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What’s that old saying? You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. Life is never so simple. Hell can always spit you back out.
Then what do you do?
Becoming a knockoff Dracula in tight leather pants was never part of Vincent’s plans. Neither was being summoned to another world as a hero by a cult of vampire wannabes. But both happened.
Now Vincent’s left picking up the tattered pieces of his humanity as he tries to keep his family safe.
Hell should tremble.
A good man is going to war.
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This is a basic review because it doesn't need an advanced review; you can probably get my opinion from the star count and review title alone. TLDR; it's not a carefully plotted-out, subtly complex, amazing story of a protagonist struggling with his new nature and immense power, it's unapologetically 'Main character stomps his way through the setting and does whatever he wants and we're hanging out to laugh at it.'
In a slightly more comprehensive review, I struggled through the first couple of chapters because I was expecting the story of a man turned monster living for his family and fighting with his new nature and immense power, and what I kept getting was unashamed exposition dumps, dumb jokes, and the protagonist casually beating up anything that got in his way. It was only after I consciously decided 'I am taking this way too seriously' that I got into it. The main character describes painful struggling for control over his hunger, but never actually gives in; people continously doubt the evidence of their eyes and ears in order for him to sass and taunt them; he picks up a random collection of magically bound teenage girls (with no sexual tones, I should add) and they're all exceptional and magical and amazing from the word 'go' as he does basically whatever he wants. It's the literary version of that trash Isekai manga you're ashamed to love, and it's a great romp if you accept that.
Fast food is bad for you if you eat it all the time, and shitty fast food tastes bad, but sometimes you just really want that greasy burger that you know is terrible but just tastes so good. Such is this story, and I'd happily read a sequel.
Starts off as a goofy romp that very quicky loses alot of it's presonality once the MC reads an entire library and becomes little more then a walking exposintion machine that flawlesses navigates every ever problem presented to them from that point on. Really just started to feel like things are going to trug form A to B in the most linar path possible.
Extra points for being a self containted story with a begining, middle, and end though.
it's a cool story. i think it had an exceptional hook- the first couple of chapters were incredible to read.
I love the interaction between the main character and his son. It's quirky, it's somewhat meta without it being sickening. It's tastefully self aware. The quips between the two are great.
There's a slight decay in quality over the course of story. For example there are long explanations for things. I appreciate the thoroughness, but some of the exposition feels like overkill. Things like explaining skill levels or crafting. Overall, it's nice to see that the world and classes revolve around skills and training. but on the other hand, it feels arbitrary, and I would be okay with a smaller word count for explanations. 'this skill is rare. you would find only a handful of people in this world to have something similar. you are the hero and an ancient vampire, so your unique circumstances allow this to happen'. sometimes the wordcount gets high because they explain some context about conventional uses of a skill. I usually enjoy it, because it feels like worldbuilding, and it feels like some facet of the world is tangible and the writing makes an effort to explain the limitations of a given skill. But sometimes it feels like it's explaining a specific mechanic or quirk that I doubt would ever be relevant again. This feels apt for whenever crafting comes up, about some obscure theory in some rare book.
I think some particularly weird things that I thought were offputting in the story are...
-there's a negotiation that happens where the king asks the main character, Vincent, to kill all the unseen. Vincent goes into a monologue, and entirely skips... talking to the king. It seemed so weird. It felt like lazy writing. People don't talk like that. It felt like the author wanted to make Vincent seem self aware, to make him seem above drama/politics, but I think it just made me doubt Vincent's ability to retain social relationships on a fundamental level. It felt like he was closer to a 15 year old that spent too long arguing on internet forums ratherthan a father who has raised two children and had a loving relationship with a significant other.
-the unseen, and the system of good and evil. On the one hand, there's some interesting things about the world and how alignment exists within it in a tangible way. I think the church is usually interesting. but there are times when I think it's not that interesting. The main character, Vincent, just does purges on a regular basis. He is judge, jury, and executioner. I mean, if he ever kills an innocent there are ways to verify that- which isn't what I have a problem with. It just feels like an irrelevant side story that pops up sometimes. 'Vincent went to a new town. he purged the unreedamable criminals that are beyond forgiveness.' I think the story isn't being enhanced by the inclusion of these incidents. It doesn't feel like it contributes much to the story. Do these incidents offer character development? not really, there isn't much growth that feels substantial about subsisting on a morally evil source. Is it difficult for him? Physically, or emotionally? Not really. Are the moments even funny? Not really (would be difficult, or perhaps inappropriate to make a joke about it, to be fair). Do I like Vincent more? It feels about the same. Do I like the world more? Meh, not really. The simplicity of the label 'unquestionably evil' doesn't feel like it contributes to a rich and vibrant world. There are various parts of the story where Vincent is critical of the church. He's been in this world for such a short amount of time. I know that Vincent can digest a library in a short timespan, but... that still feels weird- weird in the sense of having a grudge against an established institution, but it's an institution that you haven't lived in for a substantial period of time. It feels odd, that someone so new to the world has so many stances on the world that seem endemic. It's like he's a tourist, but an expert at the same time. There's a weirdness to that hybridness that I think is uncanny, and not enjoyable to read when I come across it.
- I generally dislike the 'apathy' that vampires has, and that Vincent is fighting against. I like that it gives him purpose within the world. He wants to make it safer for his family. His actions seem quite consistent with that. But sometimes it feels like it gives Vincent a free pass to act like some sort of unempathic sociopath, and it just feels so... whimsical and inconsistent, despite the story telling me there's a mechanic within the story that controls how motivated he is about a given topic. I think a pretty good example is his follower, Angelica. At the start of that relationship, Vincent comments that Angelica is redeemable, that she deserves some sort of opportunity. Abstractly that sounds quite endearing, and it sounds like it's doing some kind of interaction of being a 'fatherly figure', which might be a good deterrent against being an 'apathetic' vampire. Then it just feels like every third chapter or so Vincent is plotting some kind of elaborate quirky punishment that seems torturous. This feels inconsistent. Why is he so motivated about designing a punishment? It feels like it bypasses this 'apathy' thing about vampires, and it feels like an inversion of how he is supposed to treat a follower. There are multiple chapters where Vincent spends time crafting equipment for her. It feels like he is treating her as some kind toy. Or that the author is treating Angelica as a toy, mainly to show off the follower mechanic. I like the moments that Vincent has with his son. He is empathetic with him, offers sound advice, acknowledges the difficulty of his position, etc.. And then Vincent just becomes a circus clown whenever Angelica swings by. It's weird, and I can't really fit these interactions in a spectrum between 'apathetic' and 'driven/motivated/empathetic/etc'.
I liked reading the story. But as the story went on, it felt like Vincent was becoming more unhinged. Unhinged in a 'the quality of the story is deteriorating' rather than seeing Vincent having some semblance of inner turmoil about his new biology with muted emotions, and having only a couple emotions that are retained surrounding certain topics. The story is rather solid, and like I mentioned before the hook was so incredible that I was willing to push past some of my discomfort. It felt like this story hit some good notes for me throughout it, despite my complaints. The story is fundamentally about 'what if a character got a lot of power', and I think the story fulfills that in a rather straightforward manner, and I enjoyed the honesty of that premise.
I really enjoyed the story overall. I'm not sure I'd pay money for this specifically, but if it ends up on KU I'd read it. I'd definitely read the next one, especially if it was on RR or KU. That being said, I had a few issues.
First, some of the characters don't really feel like they have much depth or substance to them, until the very end of the book. This includes all of the main characters. We also see characters disappear that shouldn't, and the time skips feel strange or out of place, which adds to that feeling of the characters not having substance.
Second, the pacing is just off. The book moves from one event, to the next, very quickly and there isn't a whole lot of substance to the events. I think that the events are cool, just too short and not fleshed out.
The system is confusing at best, and there aren't descriptions for half of the skills people get, or what overall level even means. The speed at which the MC levels is also strange, and kind of defeats the purpose of a system, same with the attributes.
I loved the humor and enjoy the main character, and his interactions with other people though.
Took me a day to read through the whole book. There is a great mix of OP main character and fantasy tropes that will entice you into the next chapter. There is a slight nightlord series feel to this book but with the addition of more likable side characters.
Without any spoilers you are going to love the ending.
I have spent all day reading this today and could not put it down. Benjamin Kerei lives up to his past works with another interesting and engaging story. He lives up to his pedigree of past work and continues to produce good work. I am looking forward to the next work he puts out.
This is an excellent humorous vampire adventure. I was up too late binging it yesterday and it was a whole lot of fun. The start is a fun twist on the genre, the plot moves quickly and the quality of the writing is professional. The humor is full of dad jokes, puns and references to other books I've enjoyed. This feels like there is a good chance it will be published soon, so read it while you can.
YMMV disclaimer: none really, it's comedy fantasy vampire rules so you know what you're getting into.
If you liked any of his other books you'll like this one too. It's great. The writing is to the same quality as his "Reincarnated as a Farmer" series and I enjoyed every second of my time reading it.
My only complaint is that I don't have more to read, and that problem should be fixed eventually (I hope).
No harem, though it might look like it if you squint.
A fun romp, kind of glazing over the evil and grimdark. All the really bad stuff fades to black.
A wholesome vampire story in which people sometimes get tortured to death. Um. Ok.
5/5 would binge again, if only I would forget that I'd read it.
The book is amazing!!! Sufficiently fast paced and quite funny.
The first chapter was weird cause I didn't expect the cleric to end up being a back stabbing bitch but after that the story didn't stop picking up the pace. Excellent. Just excellent.
I can't wait for a continuation. It can't have ended. Right?