- Traumatising content
Michael must survive a fake world, he and other people from Earth have been teleported to.
Struggling to survive with his weight and fear. Michael must try and figure out the mysteries of this new world he is stuck in.
The other people transported to the empty stone city, the monsters outside, and the mysterious System Store are all threats or opportunities in equal measure.
The Systemic Lands is a Dark Progressive LITRPG. Taking a grittier approach to the survival progression story, when the main character isn't a super athlete ready to go at a moment's notice.
The unique setting moves away from any of the standard tropes of a LITRPG setting and takes on the air of a true mystery. While a slower start as Michael gets his bearings, there is clear progression, stats, and power levels. Avoiding the info dumps of boxes, The Systemic Lands excels at people using knowledge of game mechanics to try and figure out how things work.
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General Image Credit: General images are by Pixabay from KELLEPICS.
Cover Credit: Cover and other art by Zonked Eye
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Now this was a good book. Had fun reading it up to a point where it just got annoying. The whole basis of the book is about an MC with a cool calculative mind who is genre savvy. It lived up to the hype up to the point where the main antagonist in volume 3 came to the scene. From there it wasn't like watching a car crash in SlowMo. The dude's plot armor is so thick it's basically adamantium. I mean it's one thing to witness such a plot armor in subpar books but to see it in a book you're emotionally invested in was a big blow. If the author does a reharsh or some other works then that'll be great but with the current trajectory hah! Good luck. And on thing that irks is the main antagonist who might as well be a 1D character. Side characters have more emotional depth than him by order of magnitudes. Another one is just how lucky the dude is. Like he gets sorrounded by experienced Killers and walks off just because of plot armor( not getting into details because of spoilers). The dude still has only double digits is body and endurance and still walks away from a Sure death Moment, doesn't have any Deus ex machina to save him yet he walks it off and lives another day to plot. Like really! Is this a Saturday morning villain cartoon or something. It's just baffling to watch something going from 'cant wait to read the next chapter' to 'not my cuppa tea' .
The style works. There's nothing inherently wrong with it, but nothing incredibly unique or remarkable either. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but readers interested in more eccentric styles may have to tone down their expectations.
There is little to no hint as to what the overarching plot of the story will be, and that is something the characters are fully aware of and worried about. No hint as to what teleported them to Purgatory, no friendly tutorial, and everything they learn comes from countless sacrifices. The current plot points are the leadership of the community, the progression of the system shop, and personal growth, and those are more than enough to create tensions and drama to fuel the conflicts of the story. Purgatory is an interesting place, and though we do not know much about it we know enough to guess how it works. What is already there in terms of the plot is enough to have you hooked and curious about what will happen next.
The grammar is fine overall and at no point in reading did I have to step back and try and decipher what was written, but there are quite a few mistakes that slip past the author's notice like a few it's/its and the verb disappears being used without "make" when it refers to something making other things disappear, but again, these are all things that didn't impede on my reading.
Most characters are pretty realistic. This is how I would expect things to turn out if a group of 250 people was suddenly whisked away from their world and put in a death game. At first, it may seem like they are a bit too eager to rely on violence until you realize that those that do just happen to be the most successful group, and those that don't either wind up dead or subservient. Michael, the protagonist, is an interesting case. Early on his tendency to go from calm to paranoid to enraged was jarring, until other characters brought up how strange he was and he himself in the narration dropped some hints as to why he is the way he is, no matter his denial. To borrow from video games, Michael's strange personality isn't a bug, it's a feature. I'm still not fond of him, but I understand why he is the way is.
TL;DR. If you are weak hearted please avoid, if not, dont miss it.
So MC gets teleported into a new world with a set number of people. People around him react very practically how most normal people would do. It’s one thing to think you would punch a monster to death if it comes down to it and actually doing it when it does happen. So the practicality the author displayed here I felt was very valid.
Different perspectives might say otherwise and probably the MC could’ve handled things better but he goes on to kill anyone and everyone he considers a threat. You might not think like that but thinking no one would is plain dumb.
He amasses as much knowledge and power the system can provide him while being vigilant of a system he has no understanding of among people he has no trust on.
A very cynical personality and how their progression might be in the so called system world they are transported to. I’ve been enjoying this change of pace from all the ‘Goody two shoes’ or the ‘Prince in shining armor’ this world was waiting for types of stories all over the place.
Decent world building keeping things mysterious and interesting. Character building is decent and made from a cynical viewpoint mostly. Style of writing is standard and good. Story has been very interesting so far.
NOTE: GORE is part of the tags and beware it can get very gruesome at places for reasons. You not liking it or not has nothing to do with is it possible. So everyone else who feels this is absolutely bad, I request you to consider it like just another story and rate as such and not by how weirded out you felt.
I really do enjoy the story. Thank you and good luck to the author.
If i had to sum it up in two words, it would be: total dissapointment.
This start with MC cool, anti-hero or villain some times, who makes all the best logical decisions in order to survive and become stronger.
But later in the story, the author is lost, the MC begins to forgive people who betray his trust and even make plans to get rid of him,
It put me off but I kept reading, until the antagonist arrives and kills the novel.
The author create a new system for the antagonist that arrives much later in the story, to make him as strong as the MC, without knowing how to explain how it works, he just keeps inventing more and more bullshit to keep giving him more strenght, and throwing all the system and story he creates throughtout the novel.
I wrote this totally disappointed, because the story started and progressed amazingly, and was ruined afterwards.
In a word, Grimdark.
If you like Grimdark this is the story for you!
If not, not my cup of tea either.
The MC is obnoxious insufferable & stubborn, also an evil person with absolutely no desire for forgivness or redemption. Reading a story from his perspective is uncomfortable & confusing, his only two emotions are ice cold corpse or vindictive hell fire, because he is an actual sociopath.
Aside from the MC being evil, and not in the enjoyable villainous way, but actually unhinged in the bad way.
There is also a lot of 'Struggle Snuggle'. If want to keep 'Struggle Snuggle' to a roleplay with a safeword or in your Hentai, maybe avoid, if you are someone who gets triggered, definately avoid.
Read to chapter 89, I'm gonna have to drop because this is just making me depressed & dissapointed in humanity.
The story as dark fantasy / Grimdark is great & as that highly recommend it, five stars!
There are a lot of films and series in recent times focusing on the lives and situations of sociopaths or psychopaths. It seems we are drawn somehow to the spectacle or perhaps entertained, somewhat guiltily, by the awful lack of humanity.
This story fits within that genre pretty well.
There's a new system-governed world that the protagonist finds himself and others transferred into. The trope driving the plot conflict is a survival scenario which quickly grows into a broader communal struggle over the resources necessary to thrive and power up.
In such a world, a driven incel sociopath is in his element, it seems.
Kill or be killed is easy calculus when you can kill others with little or no remorse--or cause. And the sociopath protagonist's incelness also manifests quickly: women are seen as sinister distractions, good for little other than whoring and betrayal if one drops one's guard.
To be fair, the protagonist encounters male betrayers too--early on, especially those of Latin American origin.
Better to just kill generally indiscriminately to avoid any needless drama. Note: it is not needless drama, apparently, to fly into brutal murdering rage from time to time, or torture and kill others for the most minor of offenses.
In sum, the scenario and the protagonist are equally vicious. It remains to be seen whether we will see any redeeming qualities of humanity in the characters, or if the protagonist's driven nature and the oh-so-juicy-power ups are enough to keep the readers caring.
I'd guess the latter, as I found it hard to stop reading. The narrative style is effective and the story flows easily. The amount of descriptive detail is typically spot on, and there is steady action. The author's control of grammar, vocabulary and mechanics isn't perfect but is above average for the site, and infrequent nonstandard usages don't break the immersion for me.
This is essentially the tale of a fat gamer becoming an apex predator in a simulated environment. Upgrades and murder are the building blocks that everything is based on and remains heavily vested in LitRPG and Portal fantasy tropes.
Told in first person perspective and present tense is fine, but the writing sometimes feels immersion breaking. I don't feel that the writing allows me to see though the character's eyes or come anywhere close to empathizing with him - which is generally the main goal of first person perspective. Stylistically, the language and ideas are conveyed fairly simplistically and swing wildly from either overly detailed to timeskip-level generic. Grammar is fine. It's not literary poetry but it gets the job done.
My biggest issue is the story itself and the character. The story is ostensibly a 'mystery' but this fails to manifest as the main character uses 'game knowledge' in such a way that he appears to already understand and know everything... Instantly. From the very first paragraphs he is a nigh-to-omniscient character of 'logic'. There is no feeling of mystery. The character himself is absolutely psychopathic. He doesn't respond to fear in any meaningful way. His grief is dealt with and murdered in seconds. His internal monologue is so cold that it is like reading the equivalent of an emotional ice bath. He reads similar to a simpler Patrick Bateman of American Psycho, except the Reddit mod LitRPG power-fantasy version.
I have hope for both and will keep reading to see how it pans out. Over the past few chapters, it has slowly become apparent that the author is starting to try to solve these issues - but a rework may be necessary for the earlier chapters in order to avoid turning away less psychopathy-inclined readers.
Regardless of whether the mc actually is a sociopath or psychopath, why is that an invalid form of charecterization? Are sociopaths not a type of person as well, is it not interesting to read through the eyes of someone who can put their sentiments aside or be extremely selfish? To see what people do when times get desperate? I certainly do. I dont think the problem is that the mc has personality issues but it certainly doesn't help, I think the main part of the problem is that the author has failed to sell the world itself as actually dangerous, with the slimes only incapacitating one person that we know of. When we read a story we often ask ourselves what we would do in the main character's shoes, and In this stories case the MC's fears as well as those of the populace aren't really justified (a point against the story but I've enjoyed the ride so I don't mind much) The people dying offscreen doesn't help, we don't see the rape attempt, we don't see the gangs brutalize anyone else it either happens to the mc or it is mentioned in passing. maybe having the protaganist spy on one of the gates and watch a group get ganked by brown slimes would sell the extreme fortune of his find, Perhaps having the MC get careless while dealing with a slime and getting a bad injury which forces him to fight his way to the plaza while everyone tries to pounce on him in his moment of weakness towards the earlier chapters might have helped while also justifying his-albeit extremely flawed-world view to the reader. Maybe have him follow the screams to find the rapist being savagely beaten, or have it happen from somewhere he is able to watch.
If he wanted to go for a more subtle approach maybe people leaning over the shoulders of people at the shops, hearing screams in the forest while grinding. Coming across a body as it despawns. Slimes eating a corpse, one of the groups tailing him getting ambushed themselves. One or two people snapping and going beserk. People arguing at eachother from the houses above. Groups having arguements about their roles. People wrestling over food, maybe ominous sounds of flesh ripping in the night. Anything would have been nice, Regardless hindsight is twenty twenty. Point is the story is well structured but has flaws, the buildup is a struggle, the author seeming to do well in interactions with groups but not the world itself.
The character being near irredeemable isn't one of them.
the story obviously has a great amount of thought and planning put in, with a heavy emphasis on telling instead of showing so that we can get to the good stuff, the political bullshit. and in all fairness it is a free story. It's well made and certainly enaging, hard to put down. This story is about a deranged lunatic, in a city with lazy lunatics, in a world that doesn't completely justify the fall to lunacy. Considering the main character's admission too having an addictive personality and most of the people we've seen the perspective of having some sort of troubled background that would lead to personality problems maybe it is a plot point that will be explored later. Maybe the entire point is that the world isn't even that dangerous, but fear grips the hearts of man. Maybe hell really is other people?
as for the last point people say the MC's gamer knowledge is bullshit, other people should have played games as well right? well from what I've gathered It isn't his gamer knowledge that gives him his edge, its his ruthless and adaptable personality. He is exactly who he is allowed to be, a complacent and ill fat tub of lard in a fattened up complacent and ill society, a ruthless paronoid murder machine in a world filled fear, violence, and murder. His mindset is explained fairly well in the early chapters. His attempts to appear useful and knowledgable and in control without being domineering are all laid out quite well in the early chapters, when he is most vulnerable and in a time of uncertainty, his shift to a more domineering figure comes when he has an advantage in both strength and knowledge over the current residents. His reluctance to trust other's coming from the threats approaching from all sides, from people proving to be unreliable and chickening out at the first sign of danger or the second they get a better deal. His personality shifts as his environment does but his goals never change, survive, and remain on top.
Regardless, there is room for improvement. Not nearly as bad as the reviews would suggest. The setting needs a bit more work for it to make sense, but the story is good all the same. It's no lord of the flies, but I still look forward to what comes next for our dear hero.
this novel is really good if you like a villain mc. I personally thoroughly enjoyed this because it's a unique take on the litrpg genre. though be warned that there are no tables for this but the author has definitely done the maths for his system.
overall: if you like have ever wanted to see a villain mc in the litrpg genre read this.
Pretty dark at times, and the actions of the side characters will piss you off. but, if a book can cause you to feel strong emotion, the author is doing their job. Some grammitacal/spelling errors due to the high release speed, but it doesn't impact readbility too much. Solid 4.4