Isekai’d into a game. It’s the dream of many, but definitely not what Jessica Harper, a regular high school teacher, envisaged happening in her mid-thirties.
Without access to the system, and with no real gaming knowledge at her disposal she is thrust into a strange and fantastical new world of power and magic that is always just out of reach.
Armed with only common sense and a background in ecology, with the help of a friendly minotaur and a naïve apprentice alchemist, she must unlock the mysteries of these strange lands.
It’s survival of the fittest out here. Agents of Darkness had better stay out of her way or they’re going to receive a thorough education.
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A Scientific ReQuest is an isekai that stands out mostly due to its choice of its unlikely protagonist.
Style - Story is well-written and easy to read, without any obvious errors. Similarly to other stories on this one, it's also quite light on the narration sometimes, even though in this particular case style complements the protagonist's attitude. It is written in 3rd person, but we can feel how the protagonist feels about this whole ‘nonsense’ as she would put it. 5-stars.
Grammar - Any and all stories shall receive a 5-star for grammar, teacher or student.
Story - A middle-aged teacher is transported to the world of the game. She is not amused. Very little happen so far, the spotlight of the story is on the main character rather than the plot right now. 5-star however mostly due to how things are presented, rather than what is really happened (because not so much yet). The story breathes personality.
Character - Jess is a teacher. She is not amused. At all. Unlike other isekai protagonists who tend to be people who had context for the world they end up in, Jess is a tired middle-aged teacher with no interest in games whatsoever, and zero interest to play along with the logic of the setting. Isekai protagonists usually wanted to become “wizards” (any other class, but wizard as an example). Either the new setting played along, and gave them power, or punished them for fantasy giving them nothing. But Jess is not like that. She does have only a vague and very basic idea of the game world she immediately dismisses as stupid and annoying. She wants nothing more than to return back to the unfinished work, hoping that she will wake up with a headache without having to care what this nonsense meant. It’s relatively rare to see characters like this. 5-star for originality.
Overall, 5-star for the original look at the isekai through the eyes of someone who isn’t “in the know.
Give it a look if you look for something that steps out from the usual look at the genre.
This novel is a satire aimed against common portal fantasy literature and its tropes.
It has a very strong underlying anti-escapism message, though it handles it uniquely, different from the other stories that labelled themselves “anti-escapism” as well.
While in other stories the protagonist is put through untold suffering, and must be sometimes even resurrected for suffering to continue so we can even have the story, Scientific ReQuest doesn’t do it.
Instead, it relies on the dull, boring monotony, with the fantasy world completely devoid of wonder seen through the eyes of the annoyed person with no desire to escape from her previous life, with no dreams or aspirations beyond doing what she was trained to do - being a teacher. She isn’t trying to change the world she found herself in; she doesn’t even want to try, just continue her job in one way or another.
The fantasy world portrayed there doesn’t have any charm, any magic attached to it, no sense of wonder, no pull to adventure, to the point it is a fantasy only through technicality. Yes, there are fantasy creatures, but the minotaur is nothing else than the neighbour of different ethnicity, elves are just another annoying people. The principal of the magical academy does not differ from the school in our life. Disposing of the wandering slimes is just as annoying as being put on duty sweeping the floor. The invisible kid is no different from the nerd kid that sucks up to the teacher all the time.
Ultimately, this is just your everyday boredom with the fantasy overlay put over it.
This world isn’t worth escaping to.
You won’t be a hero, you won’t be anything. Just doing your job, as you always were.
And perhaps that’s all the point of this story.
Teaching us where there is nothing to escape to. Stop dreaming, and do your job.
Style 5-star: Style of this story reflects on the skill of an experienced writer.
Grammar 5-star: Grammar shows that English is this writer’s first language.
Story 5-star: A satire. It is more about what it represents, and what it tries to teach you, than the plot itself.
Characters 5-star. As colourful as your everyday people.
Overall - A smart story very unfitting for Royal Road, or at very least, very unusual. While the site claims it is all about escapism, this story hates your escapist guts. A very daring attempt!
This novel isn't really like any other isekai out there, the world the mc finds herself in is a weird mix between a real fantasy world and a game, I'll talk more about that in Story~ anyway to the review~~
Style: easy to follow and yet gets the idea across, I honestly didn't even notice before I found that I've already read all the chapters that are out. It's funny and witty and yet not over the top so it's a perfect score from me~
Story: as I said above, the world is a mix of a game and a normal fantasy world, the mc finds herself transported to another world except that it seems that this world is also a game that's still being used by players, and even the NPCs act like NPCs in a way, like finding it unusual to leave their designated locations, with one even acting as if she enjoys the attention the players give her while thinking the mc is there to take her place as a player's favourite. The story in itself is still at the beginning with the mc trying to understand what happened to her, and hopefully returning home, but I'm loving the premise and the idea so much even as it is.
Grammar: I saw no mistakes at all and had no problem reading the story, so a perfect score from me.
Character: the mc Jess is quite an entertaining character and really feels like a teacher, one that's so done with this situation she found herself in and it shows. Considering how not much is happening in the story so far, she's driving and pushing the story forward and she's doing a great job in that.
Anyway, that's all from me, and again this all was just from all that's out at the moment, we still haven't reached the "Scientific ReQuest" from the title, and yet the story is still so good, I would advise you give it a chance because its quite lovely~ and finally a big thank you to the author for their hard work~~ keep it up🎉🎉
STYLE: It is an enjoyable story. Easy to read and with enough description of the setting to understand where the protagonist is. The abrupt way in which she ends up in another world is well done and you can feel that it was all sudden.
STORY: The story has potential. It's rare to see an adult going to another world. And even rarer to see a teacher in another world. I hope the knowledge and her experience will help her in this new world. I like how the author presents the world, without the need for an information dump that happens sometimes in other stories. The story gives subtle details and is explained slowly, so I guess we will eventually understand more about both the world and what kind of game the protagonist was involved in.
GRAMMAR: Noticing grammatical errors is not my strong suit. So far, though, I haven't noticed any errors that totally took me out of the story.
CHARACTER: The protagonist is a grown-up teacher. The personality is quickly defined and fits the protagonist perfectly. She is a person who is kept calm by abrupt and sudden events and will seek a way through dialogue to discover the reason why she is there and why she seems different from others. I think it's perfect that the first person she encounters is a teenager, as she as a teacher doesn't seem to be someone who loses her temper easily, let alone in front of someone so young. Also as someone who doesn't seem to know the game, she will have a harder time than others.
The story has potential and the strongest point of the story is undoubtedly the protagonist.
I seen many isekai anime
They featured many different kind of people being transported to the fantasy realms. High-schoolers (predominantely), NEETs, but also salaryman, housewifes, soldiers, doctors... and yes, teachers too.
Except, all of those people weren't meant to resemble real people, 15 or 30 years old they were still anime characters with their own quirks and their own logic.
The protagonist of this story is not like that. She is not playing along with the logic of the universe.
Who is going to win in the conflict between common sense of the real person vs. fictional world logic?
I have my tips. Read this story to find out.
So this was a nice surprise. Generally when I see anything that has anything to do with an Isekai I think, Oh this is going to be another hit-by-a-car-and-transported-to-a-new-world story (ideally with an overtly childish MC), but this was... different. While the mechanical prose is still in its early stages, the ideas and direction are pretty solid and appear well planned.
How far does the well planned go in this book? It depends on what you expect. As a web novel, this is some pretty damn good story pathing. Goes exactly how you think it would given the information at hand. The characters have a sense of plot direction that feels natural to the circumstances and world.
As a normal novel, as in a traditional on-the-shelf Isekai, then no. This doesn't work very well because there are moments where the narrative is not emphasised. Which is just a fancy way of saying that some scenes hold little value for the story direction. Particularly Chapter 4 and Chapter 1. But before I get into that, I'll focus on each category.
STYLE - 4.5/5
Now the writing itself and the voice is generally good, but the placement and use of narrative devices can (and this only really happened in the earlier chapters) make the prose difficult to get through. Particularly prose around dialogue, where it's sort of injected at odd times. It creates this pause between one response and the other, and it can make the dialogue hard to focus on.
Apart from that, the author is very good at delivering their ideas -- and I mean very good. Throughout this book you'll see that the descriptions are always put to good use and are always clear. In fact, the descriptions are marginally on par with a lot of pro works I've seen. Things are easy and cool to imagine.
So yeah. Generally you could ignore this category about the narrative pause because it tends to clear itself up by the later chapters, where there are (in my opinion) no problems with the style.
GRAMMAR - 4.5/5
I argued between 4.5 and 4 here. There are plenty of typos and clunky sentences in each chapter, and this mostly comes from the author reiterating the same thing. Tautologies. I pointed out a lot of them, but some examples are "the woman before her" or "closed shut". Those sorts of things.
Then there's the use of the conjunctive "as". Now, "as" is not intrinsically bad, but only when it's used to connect two ideas that can't be connected one after another without sounding clunky. In this book, the author, at times, conveys a lot of information in a single sentence, and more often than not these sentences include "as". And to make things clunkier, those long sentences also combine character beats and action beats and thoughts. Yeah, you can see how that can confuse someone. Generally they should get their own lines, with some small exceptions.
Other than that, the work is clean enough. It definitely has a lot of typos surrounding dialogue especially, particularly with follow-on clauses. But that's about it.
As a fun aside: One of the words the author used was "drily". Never heard of this, but it turns out it's real. However, Google's example of the word being used has a typo in it.
‘How very observant’, he said drily - Google [Comma outside dialogue]. Someone let them know,
CHARACTER - 4.5/5
Now Jess would be a good character, if she hadn't been so accepting. That's virtually my only issue with her. She is far too on the nose for an isekai character. No questions asked, just sort of a very mellow sense of self. And I get it. The author doesn't want her to go through this depressive period where she realises something absurd happened. But as I mentioned before, it would be nice for there to be a beat layout in Chapter 2 where she comes to accept the fact and THEN go with Nevin. Right now it's sort of very Isekai-ish. And that's not a good thing.
However, when you look past that (and when you consider we only have 30 pages), then Jess is a good character. She has a backstory, she has a goal, and she has this weird but funny sass to her. I found her needless dominance over Nevin odd in the latest chapter especially, but other than these things, she's a good character. No real "I'm the MC" vibe.
STORY - 4.5/5
It's literally way too early to tell. It is only 30 pages and we haven't stepped foot on the surface of what this story will be. So far, however, the author has done a good job in making things feel fresh. Like I said, good direction and good ideas. An especially clever beginning.
But the thing is that I'm not sure what it wants to be. I don't know if this wants to be a web novel or a literary novel because I sense of both traits. I sense great characterisation and prose flow but weird narrative direction on the playing field of literary standards. I mentioned this already. Chapter 4 might not survive an agent, but it would survive RR and pretty much any writing site.
Again, too early to tell. The set-up isn't clear yet. 30 pages isn't enough.
Overall, this works. It's good and the characters are interesting so far. Fans of Isekais will enjoy it.
I love how you’ve told us about the Jess and Nevin’s personalities throughout this chapter; its well done! You introduced Nevin, in my opinion, just at the right time in the story, the reader knows a lot about Jess and is ready to learn about a new character. The sense of mystery built up at the end is good and makes me want to read onwards. It makes me question what this story is about and what is going on. You have revealed just the right amount of information to hook me while still leaving me with many questions.
I like how you tell us about how Jess sees the character Nevin at the beginning of the chapter. Also, Jesses thoughts and how they are said give us more of an insight into her character, well done! The dialogue between Jess and Nevin is well written allowing both of their personalities to shine through and I feel getting Nevin’s POV would be interesting which may be explored in later chapters. Back to the dialogue. Although its good, it kind of bored me though this could just be me and my lack of attention span.
In this chapter, more is added to the story as we find out they may be in a video game (do I smell a LitRPG?). I would like to see how this change effects Jess, one minute she is a normal teacher next she is in a game. Will she start to miss family? What’s the emotional effect? I’m sure that it will be explored in the future. It ends with Nevin saying that they should be getting onto the quest. This chapter leave me with many more questions, is there more to the quest than just the livers, how did she get into the game? It was well written but the dialogue, although also well written, failed to keep my attention.
In this chapter we get to see Jess begin to build her character. Again, dialogue is well written, and this time keeps a bit more of my attention. I love the description of scenery in this chapter. Well opening some questions about the world (does this world follow its own laws of nature?) it allows me to learn more about the environment Jess has been transported into. Beautifully written author! The end of this chapter is good and leave me, again, with many questions.
Side note- I just realised I haven’t discussed the pacing. I feel it is quite quick and could be slowed down a bit more but besides that its good and the story keeps me hooked well.
Again, loving the description of environment. I love the Druidess and how her personality is shown, a good use of the show not tell method! We get more of an insight on Jess through her reaction to and conversation with the Druidess. The dialogue keeps me more hooked now and the conversation is very well written. Not much else to say about this chapter.
Damn author, you never seem to shock me with how well you can describe the environment. I like how you portray Nevin and Jess’s friendship in this chapter especially at the beginning, Nevin seems so happy to be called Jess’s friend! Also, I like the insight we get into Master Darkhault character and how dare he call Nevin a nuisance!
So, they need the livers to see Master Darkhault, interesting…
Really good chapter, 10/10.
Love the character description at the start of the chapter! Not much to say about this one except that its well written.
Overall: 4.5/5, very nice story but has me skipping over some parts.
Style: 4.5/5, love the description though the pacing could be a bit better same iwth some aspects of dialogue.
Character: 5/5, love the way that author shows their personalities.
Story: 5/5, despite there being more to reveal, it seems good and compelling so far.
Grammar: 5/5, nothing wrong that I can spot.
I imagine most people on RoyalRoad have imagined being transported to a world of magic and fantasy, daydreaming of slaying monstrous foes and becoming all-powerful.
But what about if someone who never played a game was transported, someone who has no intention or knowledge of anything fantastical?
Style - Clean and clear, A Scientific Request takes a more straightforward approach to descriptions. This helps with the sense of being in the moment, rather than bogging it down with too much dry details. 5/5
Story - A fun concept, some poor schmuck being trapped in a MMORPG. Interacting with quest givers, making friends with merchants, and generally being a bit confused. 5/5
Grammar - No major flaws makes this an easy 5/5
Character - With a strong focus on Jessica Harper, we, the reader, quickly get a strong idea of what she's like, forward and a bit headstrong. The people she meets are fleshed out well, each having distinctive characteristics. I do think it'd be more realistic for the MC to be more... completely gobsmacked by being randomly teleported, but maybe she's just made of stronger stuff than I am. 4.5/5
Overall, this is a great story that I heartily recommend to anyone who loves the Isekai genre, but wouldn't mind shaking things up a bit. 5/5
Yes, I am a hater of the genre, and I wear that badge with pride, thank you very much. Don't judge me for who I am.
Okay, on with the review.
I have to give it a perfect score here. Yeah, the writing style of this author is amusing for me. I am big fan of how witty it is and it not taking anything too seriously. None of the paragraphs drag on and they are digestible. There is no inane fluff. It gets to the point (unlike this review) and uses descriptions when it needs to and the same with the MC’s introspection enhancing the storytelling.
Editor level of grammar perfection (whatever that means).
They are all fantastic! The MC’s caustic demeanor instantly resonated with me making quite a hilarious person to follow in a world that satisfies millions of nerds dreams across our world. But it is just not the MC, the cast are very entertaining! I have had issues with this author’s cast of characters before and I see an improvement here, even though it is more of a laid-back story. I can see hints of depth to them which I greatly appreciate.
You remember when you were a kid and your parents forced you to go to a party you REALLY didn’t care about? Yeah, that’s Jess in this story. For the more hardcore fantasy readers they may expect much more from the fantasy setting but I believe more details about the world will be added that being said, the pacing is excellent and the compact chapters with smart cliff-hangers is a well calculated choice by the author. Chapters go by quickly, making you hungry for more.
Personally, I adore this story not just because it is a fresh take on the genre, but it is just a fun read in general. I have high hopes for what's to come and if it sticks the landing I may increase it to a 5-star rating.