The Dungeon System is breaking. Now the mutant cores will rise.
Zaria was just a normal woman, living a simple life, right up until demons burst down her door and ate her heart. Normally that would be the end of the story, but Zaria was reborn as a dungeon core. Except nothing is normal for her.
Due to instability throughout the universe, Dungeon Core generation is experiencing some unique bugs and glitches. Most of these mutant cores just explode after only a few hours of life. Zaria is one of those cores.
Luckily for her, there’s a way to prevent her detonation - she must find and form a bond with a human witch to create a striga. Only then will she be stable enough to survive. Normally, this would be a death sentence anyway, but Zaria’s mutation gives her an ability no other dungeon core has had before:
Now a walking house, Zaria sets off to find her striga, fight demons and monsters, build up a dungeon worthy of being run by the greatest heroes in the lands…and feed the insatiable appetite of her mimic mobs.
Life sure isn’t simple anymore.
From the author of Dinosaur Dungeon, Factory of the Gods, and others! Plus part of the same universe as those books as well as Roots and Steel and Block Dungeon!
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A well done new idea for a dungeon core. I've enjoyed the characters so far, interactions seem natural and are entertaining.
The writing style is good. I noticed no grammer issues. The author has mentioned needing to edit a few parts for consistency but looks to keep up on grammar edits. Feels like the author hits the style and tone they are going for and I do find it entertaining. So far it's dark comedy but it does not dwell on the present gore.
I like the idea of there being different system cores for people to choose, it could lead to some interesting classes ad restrictions. The demons atracking through Fissures are a nice idea and give the story a direction to follow. I also appreciate the lack of a dungeon fairy and not having a clear path forward. While gaming the system can be fun it is also well done in a lot of other stories and doesn't need to be redone here.
I have not seen mimics in a dungeon core story before, that should provide some novelty. The overall witch theme and options is enjoyable. The eating people isn't unexpected but the foreshadowed cooking them alive may be a touch gruesome. I look forward to it.
This is my first Dungeon Core story so I don't have a frame of reference, but if others are like this one then I have a whole new sub-genre to explore.
Zaria is fun to follow and I've enjoyed how quickly this story gets into the meat of the matter. A lot of LitRPG falls short by dragging out the introduction and over-explaining the system but this hits the sweet-spot of information vs action.
Looking forward to carrying this on during luinch breaks!
The humor and tension is A+, and Zaria is really easy for me to relate to. Her choices make sense (so far), and I'm absolutely loving the interplay with her and the mimics. Plus Vysala’s creative cursing is cracking me up! I'm really looking forward to seeing more of the dynamics between Zaria and Vysala.
I love the scale of growth so far too. One of the things that bores me in some other dungeoncores is how slow progression can be. This is hitting a nice “Do the Thing!” feel on progression. Like, aside from some easily fixed typos that a copy editor will easily catch later, this is doing awesome.
TL;DR: If you want a dungeoncore story that won't get static and same-y, with a mobile, dynamic protagonist, here you are.
One of the most common issues in dungeoncore stories - aside from powercreep and lack of actual plot - is that, by virtue of a dungeon being a both the main character and a static location, the story itself stays tied to that static location. The dungeon often has to take a more passive role, and wait for the plot to come to it. Which... doesn't always make for great reading.
But here in Yagacore, the dungeon comes to you. Borne on massive chicken legs, our protagonist is free to hunt down adventure, plot, and whatever else she pleases in a proactive fashion. We still get all the advancement and base-building aspects that people love in a dungeoncore story, don't worry, but we also get to see new people, and fantastical locations, without resorting to clunky, pace-disrupting Interludes.
To get into the things that advanced reviews specifcally care about, the style and presentation is rock-solid. I'm always able to clearly picture things the author describes, even some of the more fantastical elements. To a degree that I'd love to draw fanart of [first boss] if I had any artistic skills at all. The story has yet to properly rear its head, but the bits and pieces we've seen have been interesting enough, and I'm looking forward to finding out more. There's the occasional grammatical mistake, or typo, but they're scarce enough to not be a problem, especially with how consistent the author is in fixing them. But the characters? Oh, the characters look to be the real highlight of the story. Each one seems charming and fun in their own way, with my only concern being that a lot of them seem to share a similar dry, snarky, or sarcastic wit. It's a trait I like, but some more contrasting characters would really help them to shine.
I'm going to go out on a small limb here, and say that Yagacore is easily the most promising dungeoncore story of the past couple years. Then I'm going to go out on a much longer limb and say that it stands a solid chance of dethroning No Epic Loot as the top Dungeoncore story on Royal Road.
I like where this is going. I hope you lean into the mobility of the dungeon as that is the unique part of all this. Aquiring mortal connections(A really involved Striga) sounds like it would defeat the purpose of the "mobile" part. So I hope the Striga is disenfranchised from the majority of humanity and disinclined to beg intercession every chapter. I hate the hole "a guiding conscious to a immoral powerful immortal being" trope. I want them to cheer the dungeon on while it blunders social norms!
Keep it up!
So. I Have read... most if not all of this author's books, and the Dinosaur Dungeon is more or less my favourite dungeon series right now. So when the post-notes of book 3 said this was here, I read it. In one go. It's what i've come to expect from Mr Raizman: It's a coherent, well written story with interesting characters, hinting at a complicated world beneath. I'm hoping our first experience of a mutant core will show us more of the inner workings of the sidhe!
Now, I would probably reccomend new readers read the dinosaur dungeon (It's on KU) first, for extra context. I am definitely feeling more fun in going 'Yeah, I know that name! Or Yeah, this is a condensed form I get because I had it long form back there.' But I'd reccomend it anyway.
Good work from a good writer!
I read this book. I liked it. I will continue to read as more book is written. Good job with chicken house. Dungeon system seems well thought out. Hints at the greater world, but doesn't over explain. Characters seem nice. I suggest book to people who hate having to make reviews longer to get enough words. I am done now. Bye.
As someone who wasn't much of a reader before finding RR, what I'm about to say probably won't hold much weight, but after the short binge I did of the first (and only at the time of review), I can safely say this is the quickest I've been hooked on a LitRPG so far... not to mention the first book I've actually left a review on as well, but I simply couldn't hold myself back from sending words of praise.
It's crass, bloody, personally cathartic and comedic in all the right ways for me so far, the characters are endearing in so many different ways, from major to minor, and I absolutely cannot wait to read more.
Excited to see how the adventures of this walking dungeon and her cavalcade of copycat cohorts plays out!
Yagacore brings a very interesting take to the idea of litrpg settings and how dungeons function. The idea of having an established system and then having it be turned on its head because of mutants and then throwing in legends and mythos to dungeon concepts is a breath of fresh air. There are a few hiccups here and there.
Style: Overall style is good, with quite a bit of show and a decent amount of tell. There are times though where the style feels a little rushed or slowed in places, nothing that I would immediately cry foul on but do leave an impresion.
Story: I like the story, but at the same time I need to callout that there a lot of references eventually made to other stories that you get very little to no reference on. While in some ways this is fine and doesn't really detract from the current story too much, it does pull you out a bit and have you ask 'wait, what?' in a none-plot way. I am sure it will be explained eventually, but its still jarring.
Grammar: Overall quite good however, there are issues occasionally with either minor plot holes/conflicts with previous information that need to be edited out or word issues/grammar that get flubbed a bit. I am more bothered by the small plot issues that crop up than anthing else though. Note: these issues don't impact the main plot. It is almost always small details.
Character: Where the story really shines. The characters have flavor and personality all over the place and they do feel like people. Enough over the top that they make an impact but not so much they are a caricature. I look forward to what other characters get introduced along the way as I'm sure it will be entertaining. Along with changes to the main characters over time.
Overall: Highly recommend despite the occasional stumble. Definitely read if you are into dungeon core style stories. I haven't regretted it, and I doubt you will either.
Yagacore is yet another amazing addition to Alex's Coreverse Universe that adds something new to the Dungeoncore, and LitRPG, genre that you'd never have expected.
Style: Alex's style blends cheeky banter and well rounded descriptions with a certain flavor of sass that just smells like winning. If I had to give Alex's writing, especially Yagacore, a score it would Charlie-Sheen's-"Tiger's-Blood"-rant/10
Grammar: Alex is meticulous in his editing, and even when he misses something he's quick to correct issues pointed out. The story overall has the kind of syntax and diction that drives every sentence home in a unique manner, and never feels repetitive.
Story: MMMF. I don't even know what else I can say. The plot is extremely character driven and well structured, the narrative drags the reader along whether they're ready or not and each chapter leaves me practically vibrating with anticipation of the next. I. Need. Moar.
Characters: This is the real reason I wrote this review. Alex has always had masterful characterization that brought the world around them to life. Raizman has a knack for making the inanimate personal in a way that really just sticks with you. Zaria is relatable in a way that transcends her lassaiz-fairre attitude about others and Vysala is that perfect blend of foil and compliment to the Dungeon That Walks Like a man, offsetting the primary narrator's disregard for others with her own insistence that life be respected (within reason) if not cherished. Combined with their witty back and forth and the creativity with which they speak, Alex has built two of my favorite characters to date, and I write too. I love these characters more than I love most of my own.
I'm ecstatic to see where this story, and the rest of the Coreverse, goes in the future.