Apocalypse Redux (a LitPRG Apocalypse)

Apocalypse Redux (a LitPRG Apocalypse)

by wilderfast

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore

It wasn't climate change that killed us. Nor was it the blue boxes that suddenly appeared in front of us one day.

No, it was what we did with said boxes. All it took was a little nudging from the wrong dark deity and the world spiraled into the abyss. 

Twelve years later, only a mere handful of humans remain, fighting against an endless horde, fully aware of the futility of their actions. 

A demon lord gets torn to shreds by the last of humanity, determined to go out in a blaze of glory. 

In the end, only Isaac Thoma remains to reap the reward for this victory. Another chance. A new go at things from that fateful day the world became quantified. 

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Grounded and thought-provoking, though rather dull

Reviewed at: Chapter 27: Equipment

Good novel.

Things I liked:
- interesting and unique system concept
- solid time travel set-up
- world feels impressively realistic, with characters acting like real people
- German setting is very well done, working in some cultural aspects without distracting from the meat of the story

Things I didn't:
- protagonist feels pretty flat. After getting sent back in time he immediately starts doing plot things with pretty much zero reflection, planning for the future, or emotional turmoil (improves with later chapters though)
- large amounts of time dedicated to repetitive research and grinding
- the reasons for and the extent to which the main character avoids spreading future knowledge is both poorly explained and (if I'm understanding correctly) rather convoluted

Overall it's a pretty enjoyable read. Dry, though, with excess info dumping in proportion to actual plot development. There isn't really anything that makes you wonder what's around the corner, or any mysteries to be solved, reading more like a slice of life novel (though too light on emotional payoffs, character development, and those 'little moments' to really shine in that way).

The prose is good though, and the realistic characters and their interactions really make this work despite some issues. The casual multiculturalism is also a nice touch - there are people from lots of different places and walks of life, but it's never made into a big 'thing'. They just talk like normal, reasonable people. It'll be interesting to see how they grow and play off each other.

I don't think this is quite a 4.5/5, but it has some great intentions and has already been improving in many ways - so this seems more appropriate than unnecessarily tanking the rating.


Time travel and System Apocalypse

Reviewed at: Chapter 21: All to myself

The main character is a person that has seen the death of the human race, because of a system apocalypse. With a small number of interesting twists, however, some of which I'll mention later. 

He gets a chance to redo everything again, giving humanity (and him) a chance at survival. He takes it.

And here we are at the first twist: those stories tend to focus on making the main character the strongest possible. While this is true here as well, to an extent, a significant amount of his focus is on making everyone else stronger as well, because he cannot be everywhere. Telling everyone of certain dangers, through a number of ways, will reduce the amount of issues he will need to deal with. 

This is increased by the fact that monsters actually do not appear out of nowhere. They need to be summoned. Summoning them is the only way to advance, and those that do get stronger quickly.

Which means there is a kind of necessity to summon them, especially considering the summoning is easy. Like, you dont need more than common household supplies to do so.

The story is good and well written.

The style fits the story and grammar is exellent as well.

The characters are written well, although I think the main character is not entirely normal - he was the last survivor of humanity and now can see all his friends and family again, and does not really think about that. Still, that is honestly my biggest issue with the entire story.

All in all, an excellent read.


Only regret is i read so soon after it started

Reviewed at: Chapter 26: Eldritch

A very interesting twist for how monsters are brought into the world. Main character seems intelligent yall knowing athough hes from the future. Characters seem to hold some weight both to him and the the story. Although he does have an edgelord stealth rogue build i dont fault thoma for sticking to hus roots to guarantee strength they trying someone elses strategy. Overall a solid novel so far and i cant wait to come back after a backlog of chapters is built up.


Bland Writing If Good Premise

Reviewed at: Chapter 12: After Work

The overall premise is neat. But the actual writing is too bland and repitive for me to keep reading. I'd recommend a story I'd rated about 3.5+ Stars if you aren't reading anything else, but I really don't recommend this LitRPG unless you are a really big LitRPG fan and can ignore the writing. The Character's are just as bland as the writing, so it isn't like it makes up for it in that regard. The Spelling isn't terrible, but it feels like something one of those AI Dungeon wrote stories almost, the conversations are super awkward like people pretending to be human. One stuck out to me. Some man the MC was chatting with said something defending his illegal occupation, the MC agreed and was like "Yeah people don't realize that if there's a supply then there's a demand", but worded even more awkwardy then that, then the other one agreed, then the MC agreed again. Each one like a few sentence/paragraph long monologue.

3 Stars, I can't recommend it, I personally at least did not find it an enjoyable read.

-Author, if you could clean up the characters and writing this really has the potential to a be a solid story, maybe I will check in on it later and revise my review.


apocalypse restart done right

Reviewed at: Chapter 23: Weekend Plans

On a site full of LitRPG apocalypses where power means everything, one author dares to ask: what if the story didn’t entirely consist of power-tripping wish fulfillment and screeds about the inherent stupidity and selfishness of humanity?

“Apocalypse” comes from the Greek word for “revelation,” and the best apocalypse narratives remain true to this etymology, using world-changing events to examine society and human nature. RR apocalypses tend to lean more into the “widespread destruction” angle. There’s nothing wrong with that. I love a good action story as much as the next person. But those stories tend to have uncomplicated people and social dynamics that can’t support complicated plotlines, leaving powerups and fighting as the only ways to advance the story.

By contrast, wilderfast makes some interesting worldbuilding decisions that aren’t only a refreshing departure from the usual tropes, but also lend themselves to a more nuanced picture of society, with plenty of room for complex arcs and character development.

From the synopsis, I expected wilderfast to have a rather dim view of humanity. And yes, characters do some amazingly stupid shit. But they also do amazingly heroic shit, clever shit, and just average shit. Even while writing about the end of the world, wilderfast manages to balance extraordinary events to hold my interest with grounded mundanity that makes the characters relatable.


Style: 4/5

The style is solid. It isn’t transcendentally evocative or anything, but it wouldn’t be out of place in a commercial fantasy novel.


Grammar: 4/5

Again, grammar and spelling is pretty good. Rarely there are misplaced letters, and occasionally the word choice is seems slightly wrong, but it doesn’t interfere with readability.


Story: 5/5

This is where the wilderfast really shines. He has made some tweaks to the standard LitRPG apocalypse narrative that fix a lot of its weaknesses. Instead of monsters suddenly arriving and ending civilization as we know it, monsters must be intentionally summoned by people. This means that society crumbles slowly, leaving lots of room for commentary on current mores. At the same time, this commentary never turns into outright satire—the story remains sincere and serious. For instance, Isaac, the protagonist, joins a university research group that studies the system. They have to work with a government representative to ensure animal rights guidelines are being followed in their experiments on summoned monsters. It would be all to easy to depict this representative as an out-of-touch snowflake, or as a cold, ends-justify-the-means Frankenstein type. Instead, he’s… consummately reasonable.

Another departure from common tropes is that Isaac doesn’t solely pursue personal power, nor does he have a detailed plan based on his future knowledge. While these tropes often create exciting situations in the first dozen chapters, eventually the character becomes too powerful, and the situation is sufficiently changed from the previous timeline that future knowledge is no longer reliable, which can lead to drastic changes in the story’s tone. wilderfast opts for a more slow and steady approach, with Isaac building lasting relationships and taking time to relax instead of singlemindedly pursuing his goal. I think this will lead to a more enduring and consistent story—if you like the first few chapters, you’ll probably like the next thirty.


Character: 5/5

We’re a bit early in the story for me to say for sure how well the characters are fleshed out, but so far it seems that the main cast will be fairly complex, with lots of showing and not too much telling. Isaac seems a bit too well-adjusted after having lived through the end of humankind, but there are hints that he is less stable then he appears. I hope the author expands on this in future chapters, and given how he’s written the story so far I fully expect that he will. (Edit: literally as I was writing this review, a new chapter was released that deals with this.)


I wouldn’t be surprised if this became one of the defining stories of the second-chance-apocalypse genre. It is well thought out enough to almost be a deconstruction of the genre, but remains earnest and relatively uncynical. It has plenty of commentary without being preachy or moralistic. And most importantly, it’s got great action and interesting characters. I look forward to seeing where it goes next.


I don't want to discourage the author. This story was enjoyable, even the slice of life bits could be enjoyable, I like slice of life but when it comes to the lab experimentations it could derail from the story extremely so when we are told he could literally achieve almost anything with his knowledge but instead we read very mundane chit-chatting and experiments that feel like a waste.

Don't get me wrong, I get that the experimentations are to officially lead everyone to know the knowledge faster but it all could've been done better, more efficiently and in a more fun and fitting way for someone that was at the apex of humanity and the last one to survive. 

The dialogues really need to improve :/ it reads like "Hey, would you like some coffee?"

"Yes, please.. life is boring without coffee"

"But I think beer is better" 

"Mhm, you may be right but I still like coffee"

A lot of the dialogues are like this. Mundane and just irrelevant. 

But I still enjoyed this because the MC didn't care only about himself but wanted to improve humanity as a whole. The only bit that actually really bothered me is how he treated his family in cold way for bs reasons. They still think he's family and love him but from where he comes his family already died and now he treats them like strangers & completely disregards them.


The only thing that carries this story is worldbuilding. Not gonna lie, this is first time I saw a creative system and interesting things one could do with it, including effect on the world and society. But I found myself skipping and occasionally rolling eyes on everything else.

Characters are the biggest problem. They are completely bland and half of the cast is better off sipping coffee in the background and not interrupting interesting bits. This also includes MC who seemingly needs to turn every short sentence into whole paragraphs of dialogues and thoughts. At this point I'm thinking that author tried to make MC sound smart, but ended up with additional -ass at the end.

The pacing is the next problem. 26 chapters in and only few meaningful events happen. Progression is constantly halted by MC's thoughts often repeat what we already know in whole paragraphs, and downright stopping himself from advancing over ridiculous reasons like being worried what people on TV would say after finding corpses of killed monsters.

One time he does everything to keep low-profile without trying to find a way around it, then another he makes a hulk purchase of soon-to-be extremely valuable materials and downright tells shopkeeper that it will be needed soon, or reveals that he illegally summons and hunts monsters to people he barely knows.

I couldn't get past chapter 26 thanks to MC. This is definitively not my coup of tea.


It's good, really good even.

Reviewed at: Chapter 21: All to myself

I honestly can't think of anything to complain about. Storyline is very interesting and the reason for the system appearing in the way it did is very unique. Characters are well written. Even background characters feel real and are not just a way to further the plot. And then there is the MC. Oh boy do I love that guy. It's like someone took everything everything that annoyed me in every LitRPG novel ever and made sure none of them appeared in here. I Binge-read it all and I can't wait for more.


It's good to have a heart sometimes

Reviewed at: Chapter 23: Weekend Plans

I have read a couple 2nd chance time travel litrpgs,  and I like this one for the simple reason that the MC does more for the betterment of humanity than most, whereas most other 2nd chance series have more selfish motivations to gain personal power and what not. 
Although that's the point of the litrpg aspect, it just got repetitive even though I like that genre. 

TL:DR: I like this series cuz MC is an actively decent person.


Good story, but drags in places

Reviewed at: Chapter 15: Slimes

It's a good time travel LitRPG story with a decent twist on the system apocalypse genre. 

my main issue is that, imo, it spends too much time on the experimentation. It's a lot of detailed blow-by-blow depiction of experiments to determine things MC already knows. 

I get why he's doing it: MC has a lot of information that he wants the world to know, but he needs it to come from a trustworthy source and doesn't want to raise too many questions about himself: "trust me bro, I'm a time-traveler" wouldn't work.

But I think the author could have yada-yada'd a lot of it. For example, there was a big, multi-chapter segment building up to the lab team makinhn their first, tier 1, summoning circle. Except the MC by that point had already made dozens of tier three summoning circles and killed the monsters inside.