In the dark caverns of a secluded dungeon, Click the spider is born with the impossibly rare gift of great Intelligence. Only the strongest of monsters can hope to survive in the savage dungeon, and Click must make the most of their unique abilities to come out on top… or at least alive.
Click can best be described as Lawful-Neutral, but in a way that they see merit in making and benefitting from allies rather than trample everything under them. So not a Hero, but definitely not a mindlessly evil villain.
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An intelligent monster protagonist that isn't an isekai'd human? Yes please.
It's great to see a smart (for its kind) creature gradually build its understanding of the world, I'm already rooting for its terrible maneating success. The lore snippets at the start of every chapter is a cool worldbuilding choice.
Seeing outside POV some more would be appreciated, I think.
It's easy to have LitRPG stats governing the intelligence of beings, but it takes skill for quantifiable differences in intellect to show themself naturally without coming out and explicitly mentioning it through comparison. This new monster evolution story thankfully fits the latter description, as the entire premise is based around the protagonist's superior brainpower. Click quickly pursues a skill path of commanding other creatures to do it's bidding, which comes in handy when implementing tactics that can turn a fight from unwinnable to simple. I'm enjoying this very much, and reccomend it to anyone willing to give it a shot.
What do I mean by that title? Simple: the Style is to die for. It is eloquent and stimulating, in ways, few texts are. Using vocabulary so varied that it is a joy to read, but still simple enough that there is no problem of understanding. It would feel inappropriate to write this review in simple terms. Therefore, I will try my best to do justice to the author.
But a story is not just style. So, let's continue to the least controversial part in most reviews: Grammar. There are mistakes, but those are few and far between. This might be because the author had time to proofread it before I started to read this story. Now that I caught up, this might change. Take this part with a grain of salt.
Story: The pacing is weird, since a lot happens in a short time frame. But that just accentuates the size difference between the MC and humans. Sometimes a time jump happens, but those get justified by skipping boring and repetitive scenes, which I quite appreciate.
The Characters are probably the weakest part of this story. The MC is the only recurring character of any real depth, and even they didn't have any significant development. But to the author's credit; motivations for actions are explained clearly and are believable. Even those of side characters who only appear for a chapter or less.
I also don't have a problem with this small, let's call it sentient, cast in the beginning of the story. But by the author's own words we are well into the second arc, and it gets a bit dry when the main way of expression is inner monologue. I hope some real conversation between the MC and another party happens soon.
Even if this last point doesn't happen, I still enjoy Born Different very much just for the style and descriptions.
A must-read for anyone who is intrigued by the synopsis and craves some brain candy in the form of prose.
'seeing a spider isn't a problem,
it becomes a problem when it disappears.'
Let me begin this by saying even though this story isn't focused on being very original and it does hit a lot of the same beats that others of the LITRPG/PROGRESSION fantasy novels do.
It isn't a negative toward the story, the entire reason novels in this genre are popular in the first place is because people enjoyed their novel forefathers.
If it ain't broke don't fix it am I right? The story is reminiscent of:
ᴋᴜᴍᴏ ᴅᴇsᴜ ɢᴀ, ɴᴀɴɪ ᴋᴀ?
A Japanese light novel, and quite a good one at that where the main character is reborn into a spider in a dungeon. The main differences are, however-
1. The main character was born a spider, just with enhanced intellect that made him more sentient and overall strategic than his kin.
2. Our protagonist isn't fighting himself, in theory
he could do it just as well as any other spider with his stats but why would he when:
He can command his kin or his tribe as he calls it to fight for him with much better efficiency because they have the evolutions made for fighting, while he supports with actual battle tactics instead of just swarming tactics.
Like when in defence against adventurers, he makes use of a particular spider's evolutionary skill that transforms them into stone to hurl at the attackers.
ᴬⁿᵈ ᵃˡˢᵒ ᴵ'ᵐ ᵃ ˢᵘᶜᵏᵉʳ ᶠᵒʳ ᶜᵒᵐᵐᵃⁿᵈᵉʳ ᵗʸᵖᵉ ᵐᵃᶦⁿ ᶜʰᵃʳᵃᶜᵗᵉʳˢ
3. I admit I forget if the main character of the light novel wants to return to being human because it's been so long since I've last read it:
But she does eventually evolve into a semi-human Arachne and I feel like she did.
But our favourite little spider was never human in the first place so he feels no need to become one of them, even remarking later on how he'd much rather stick to his eight very sexy legs, I took it upon myself to add the sexy part.
Now, a summary of all the main categories:
Style: I never fully knew what style meant, like style of the story or the writing style? I assume it to be the writing style, anyway.
There isn't much to say on this front, the story perspective from a sentient spider is told quite well, not so much in the first couple chapters mainly because of the weird way of referring to the main character as 'one of the spiders' or something along those lines.
Grammar: Not great but the author has said it's because of the writathon and that he would go back and edit the chapters, and you do get the sense that there wasn't any extensive checking or note-taking early on.
Things like his skills will level up to a number they're already at, an actual example is 'command subordinates' leveling up from level 15 to level 15 yet again. The author has mentioned this in the notes so he is aware, and a little editing when he gets around to it in the future will smooth it out.
Story: It's a very interesting journey through the mindset and adventure of a born once-in-a-generation human-level intellect spider in a dungeon, things like this will never get old to me no matter how many similar stories I read.
The worldbuilding through quotes tailored to the specific situation the main character is going through at that moment or shortly in the future adds so much more depth to the world than I thought possible, that is how you give easily digestible exposition or lore. It's not in large quantities and it gives you time to digest the information and see examples of the information put to use by the main character.
But in ways or situations, the original maker of each excerpt could have never imagined.
(Side note I'm adding in just before I publish this review, I forgot about this, we never actually get a description of how big the spiders are. Like we get told the protagonist gets smaller after an evolution but how small? Maybe I missed it but I can't remember a single time we were told how wide or tall the spiders or many other dungeon creatures are, something to work on maybe.)
Character: Nothing really sticks out when I think about characters apart from how cunning the main character is, he observes and I don't mean he looks at a rock and states it's a rock I mean he looks, analyses and makes guesses as to the reason behind it from the view of biology and survival.
He can recognise that information is a boon and that putting certain information he has learned into plans makes things that he couldn't do before possible. That sounds simple but my god is it something most people don't put into their characters these days.
An example would be when he uses his command skill to temporarily override base instincts and other compulsions from his subordinates, he uses this a lot and it's incredibly useful in a lot of core parts of the story so far.
From using it to depose a stronger spider leader by making the members of his hunting party not flee despite the fact their instincts tell them to when getting wiped out, to using it to let other dungeon creatures do most of the work in killing invaders and then ordering them to sweep in to get the same benefits with a fraction of the work.
I love this story and I think the author has done a fantastic job on it so far, I will now leave everyone with one final quote.
'There is nothing to fear except fear itself...
I highly appreciate a LitRPG that has put time and effort into its system, and this story has obviously done so. There isn't enough out right now to do a full advanced review, so I'll do a smaller, shorter one that I may update as the story gets longer.
Monster evolution stories can sometimes be difficult to do, because they often boil down to "the MC fights Monster A and wins. Then, the MC fights Monster B and wins. Then, the MC fights Monster C and wins. It levels up. Next chapter." This story, while absolutely focusing on progression and leveling, seems to care much more about intelligent, creative solutions to problems than brute force. It makes these conflicts and 'xp grinding' much more interesting.
Also, as I said before, the LitRPG system has obviously been planned out and thought about ahead of time -- the stats matter, the abilities matter, it just generally feels effortful.
So far, I'm enjoying it. Keep it up, author! :)
Man it's been awhile since I have seen a story starting out this well, honestly it reminds me of when Chrysalis was first starting out but this time around the MC is actually ready and willing to work with its people.
The characters act sensably and the author seems to understand how important it is for them to make mistakes and learn from them, any "villain" so far isn't evil for no reason and the heros look like they'll have their own flaws, it may not sound like much if you are new to this site but getting even most of those right is rare.
the style and flow makes sense and any time jump so far is barely noticable, stats and skills are working well so far and haven't fallen to bloat but keep in mind the story is still early on so I can't really comment further.
the author does need to work on grammar but its mostly just small typos, nothing immersion breaking and they seem to revise when they notice something weird after posting.
as for the story there isnt much down at the moment but it's got about three plot points set up as of the first "arc" that was finished.
Unexpectedly, this story has really captivated me.
I had no idea what to expect when I read the description about following the life of a spider, but the author has managed to weave (pun intended) a story with character growth, emotional bonds, and a truly captivating main character.
Click has his struggles, and learns and grows from them. It's amusing reading the antics he and his "siblings" get up to, and I love the world-building snippets that tie into the main character's journey.
Can't wait to read more.
I'm sad I read this. Not because its bad--its fantastic. But because it was one ahead of me on rising stars. I was intrigued by the story, and I decided to read... and now I feel compelled to give it a 5 star review, because thats what i would do on any other book this good.
It is very good. For being a spider, click has alot of personality. The system is alot of fun, good numbers. Lots of variants and such. And I'm rooting for the hoard. Hope the story picks up again soon.
Honestly, great story. I like the main character, and I feel that it's going at a very acceptable speed, not too many chapters where nothing of importance happens, unlike other stories I've read. *cough cough* ...literally everything else... *cough cough*. And I can't wait to learn more about the world, as I feel like there's a lot to be learned. Not to mention all the crazy twists and turns, which keep things from getting stale in the later chapters. A+! The only problem I genuinely have with this story is a bit of grammar. The pronoun usage is a bit funky, and sometimes it's hard to know what the narrative is referring to. But it is still completely readable, and hardly takes away from the experience whatsoever.
I think that it has a lot of potential mainly because the MC isnt a reincarnated human. The lore snipets are a lot of fun and also I love the foreshadowing with the bearhunting notice so I can see some funky stuff happening. The humans are boring but that is only my personal opinion and the reason why I read monster novels