- Traumatising content
Dale Mitchell, your average guy in a below-average job. But, what happens to him is anything but average. After hitting someone in his truck, his world was turned upside down, inside out, and more than fifty shades of grey.
Now, he seems to be something called a World Keeper, and must create and manage his own world. Is this his afterlife, or something else entirely?
Cover image courtesy of Madelyn Black
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i enjoy this story personally, but its not for the story, or the characters, or any of that, its just for the magic systems, which, unfortunently, never have a chance to shine because thay are discarded and forgoten about.
pros: lots of different magic systems and intreaging ideas.
they introduce tons of potentially things, but discard them just as quick.
characters lack depth.
poor power scaling.
On my initial read-through, I dropped this fic around chapter 30-40. The main character repeatedly made stupid decisions, and was walked all over by everyone around him, regardless of what he did.
However, boredom had me turn back to this, and he did get better--the harem oddly turned up the very beginning, but only included two people, and faded to black whenever something beyond cuddling happened.. Very understated, which was a plus for me, though I wonder why he included it at all.
The protagonist wised up at least a little, and the people around him stopped walking all over him. Plus, for a royal road story, the grammar and writing is above average.
So why the two stars, you might think? Well, as of chapter 316, there are a few reasons:
- The main character still makes bizarre, enormous mistakes, which no one points out. He buys an ability that would let him split his mind, and have one portion sped up a thousand fold. This would let him train with the sped up portion until he's godlike without moving himself up the rankings in the "deadly" game he's in. He knows this, and just...stops halfway through, for no reason. He could probably finish it in a week from the progress he shows, and instead trains other abilities he could speed up with this one.
- He rushes into the war games (you aren't forced in until your planets are a certain level of power) instead of training his personal abilities and skills. Again, for no reason. This would easily be solved with the games forcing him in after a certain amount of time. Instead, he looks suicidal and completely apathetic for his people.
- No one has normal reactions or morals. He dies, learns EVERYONE he's ever known is now dead, and doesn't give a shit. Certain Keepers train their personal abilities, and reset the worlds to become "avengers" who target "monstrous" rank one keepers. How is a person who sends monsters to attack worlds worse than genociding worlds by resetting them? It makes no sense.
- Worst of all, there's no conflict. The horrifying keeper games that are threatened show up all of once for real in the time I read (the rest are with friendly people), and it was a joke.
- I don't see how the author can possibly scale the power levels or ever realisticially finish the series, from what we see of the higher levels of keepers.
TL;DR: For those who push through the first several chapters, trying to get to the games--don't bother.
Man... I was planning to enjoy this one, I was excited by the premise but... just why woukd you do it like this?
I realized this was going to be a painfully disappointing one the moment you skipped the blue screen depicting the other races stats and info, and I don't understand, why would you do that? That's like half the charm this story promises, what are we here if not for the world building? The not-real relationships between the gone-from-broing-to-hateful MC and his artificial pseudo harem? Well I'm certainly not.
Dale Mitchell started as your boring average person who becomes your average boring godlike world keeper, there's that, kinda fucked up the fact he likes to implant fake feelings in his subordinates but hey this might just not be my cup of tea. But then what's matter? So to put this way, I have trouble reading your characters because not only they feel fake and cheap, but because they are obstructing what really matters. Most of them. I mean I can deal with Dale and Catwoman weird relationship, but then you give me this group of characters and lets count what they've brought to the table.
The wacky relationship between MC and most females, the loli thingy, the catwoman GRINNING ALL FUCKING DAY, literally everytime she's got her turn to talk she's got some kind of grin for the occasion, Dale not understanding why is fucked up to manipulate others feelings ''wuh wuh why u so mad Bihema'' well fuck how could she not be mad, she knows what's up, actually the question is are we sure the other two are sentient? I can understand catgirl but the other two... are we sure they aren't still some kind of mindless dolls?
Now if you give me to choose between which I should read, read all that stuff or read about the origins of life, the dawn of civilizations, the conflict in the lives of these mortals, the technology advance of the humans in comparison with the elves, the continents, the seas, the cultures, I don't know. And that's why I dislike those characters, they're not that bad but they are an obstacle for what really matters. I mean, damn, I don't have anything against loli or some other anime references but to be clearer, you give me a detailed focus on who are the current leaders of all civilizations on one hand and a loli is justice monologue in the other then I'm not gonna give a fuck about lolis.
Then it comes to the other half of the charm of this fic, being god, or learning to be god and his interactions with the mortals, this is actually there but going slow and gotta deal with the other unwanted bs meanwhile, sadly. But then again there's close to 0 interaction with the mortals, again, what are we here for? The keeper games are still someway far, so I don't see how great is the admin room compared to the whole world that exists outside.
To put it simple, this could be amazing but its not.
This isn't a challenging read by any means, you won't find yourself awed by the emotional depths of the characters, or on the edge of your seat with its stakes. Yet it is a fun read nonetheless.
The concept of an average joe ascending to godhood on accident, and learning to handle all that comes with it while leading his people to greater heights, is cool as shit! So it boggles my mind that the author devotes such a large amount of time to Dale's training.
The characters in this are all so 1 dimensional that it is physically painful at points, personally, I'm overjoyed that the author chose not to devote practically anytime to the goddess harem. As with their 1-dimensional personalities and the fact that Dale handcrafts their love for him. It would reek too much of LN power fantasy for my tastes
It's bad. There's no stakes because the MC is the most powerful creature in the world by far, the actual "invasion" part is used twice, once where the MC literally fucking nukes it from orbit and another time where an army goes off and is just never heard from. So it seems like it's trying to be a slice of life right? Well that needs characters, too bad all of them are clumsy one dimensional charicatures. All in all it's less of a story and more of a super powered wish fufillment.
I had a hard time reading through this novel but I kept reading just in case it got better. I could have understood if the author was just having a rough time finding direction. But this story was such a letdown. At the beginning of the novel, it already starts off without an engaging start. It starts from the perspective of the MC talking about his job. It doesn't really give him any backstory but the fact he's a middleaged truck driver. But his character doesn't reflect that. It reflects an excited teenage boy. The MC feels flat and unrealistic. Then here comes the first large event in the story. The MC hits a man in the middle of the street, a life-shaking event worthy of years of guilt and remorse. But the MC glosses over it like he just got some nice shoes muddy, or forgot to bring a gift to his best friend's birthday party. Then, to top all of this off the author decides to forego anything creative in the story and create a generic fantasy world with a game system and geometric mage system [Spell circles etc...] When he creates his helper he makes a catgirl who then within the first two chapters jumps and has sex with him for no apparent reason.
I was hoping for more and this story really had the ability to turn out to be fantastic. But the author isn't worthy of the topic and this story isn't worth your time.
The story itself has a fairly interesting premise - MC becomes a "keeper"(i.e world creator). He gets to design its form, rules, power systems etc.
That, in itself could be really entertaining to read if not for one of two giant flaws this story seems to have :
We're presented with a powerful tool of creation, where he can basically make anything he imagines reality...But guess what?
The first thing he creates is a beautiful female companion (who coincidentally just so happens to fall in love at first sight, has zero personality etc...oh, and did i mention its a cat-girl?)
That's generic to say the least, but it would not matter if not for what he does next - the all-powerful tool of creation presents him some example power systems in addition to a custom one...and what does he do? He does not even take notice of the custom system and directly chooses the, once again, incredibly generic "magic system", without giving it as much as a thought.
He still has an option to customize it though....but he does not, he simply picks another option from a drop down menu. He proceeds to go for a generic game system, without giving it a single idea of his own (levels and classes, skills locked to class etc, like really?)
Then he creates races...or should i say makes elves blatantly overpowered. Like, really, humans have lower stat total, lower lifespan, no special racial abilities, lower everything basically.But alright, elves are meant to be powerful after all...but no, he proceeds to create several other generic races like beastmen, giving it no thought of his own.
What I'm trying to say is, the MC and all characters of this story suffer from complete and utter lack of imagination, are childish and generally dumb. Oh and the kitsune companion of our MC is so proud of him doing an absolute worthless mess of a creation she jumps onto him and they have sex.
...But that aside, other than the characters and their glaring flaws, everything else in the story is interesting, its just that, I simply don't want another otaku simpleton of a unimaginative and unrealistic excuse of a MC.
Pros : Good story and grammar, easily readable as everything flows together nicely, has potential to be unique with the way its going (10 chapters out as of review)
Cons : Anime dolls instead of characters
World Keeper, on the microscopic sentence-to-sentence, paragraph-to-paragaph level is very well written — Maybe not at the start, but increasingly so with the experience the author gathers over the course of writing.
The style becomes better and better and I never noticed any typos.
However where everything falls apart for me is if you zoom out and look at it as a whole.
Undermining it's own conflict, unbearable levels of wish fulfilment and 'weeb'-elements, a both lore and thematically incoherent world, hastily introduced rules never so much as hinted at before so that the main character can resolve some issue that has propped up——
Many reviews have gone on and on about how the story hamstrings it's own conflict, how the characters don't think about anything, how it is more of a brainstorm on paper than a coherent whole.
In my opinion, they are all correct.
But let's go more into detail about that, shall we?
I'd roughly divide World Keeper into three distinct segments.
Firstly the origin of civilisation, then the expanding of civilisation and lastly the addition of civilisation.
Let's go through them in that order.
The origin phase contains the introduction of our main charcter's powers him getting familiar with and using them to create the world, its gods and its inhabitants who will stand with him against the threats he and his world will eventually face.
The problems this suffers from are numerous.
My first and main complaint being the hardcore wish fulfillment going on. This story digs deep into some of the worst anime and especially harem tropes. So if you're understandibly put-off with a main character stripping away the agency of his creations and forcing them to love him... This part will make your toenails curl up.
Oh and there's this passage:
"What? You thought I was only into big breasted figures like Terra and Irena? No, lolis have their own appeal. Rather than the sexual charm of an adult form like Terra, a loli has a cute appearance that makes you want to protect them. And the best are the adult lolis, those who just never grew into an adult body, even though they are fully grown. Those are definitely the best, if only because they are fun to tease."
Hahaha. Please face the wall. Immediately.
Admittedly, the author later grows aware that the entire thing is kinda fucked, but this is one of the things at the root of the entire story, so it can never truly be washed away.
My second complaint also pertains to the characters: The characters that are created by him are flat. They don't have any conflicts, attachments, or deeper character traits. These humanoid husks stick around and if you're like me and never got invested in their dynamic in the first place, you'll not care in the future either.
What's also a major flaw is the fact that powers get introduced whenever convenient, hidden behind the thin veneer of "Can't tell you those exist, those are simply the rules." In the end you can't actually guess how a situation is resolved, because he could also just get a new power that makes the entire conflict redundant.
There are also many hooks that go nowhere and are left to dangle, forgotten. Not unusual for a webnovel, but especially prevalent here.
And lastly... The main character just does a bad job.
You cannot enjoy this story for the min-maxing.
The gods are kinda... They're playing favourites. An few examples:
Giving the races horribly unbalanced stat sheets.
Giving the beastfolk a hotline to the goddess of fate, while all other races literally haven't been in contact with the gods at all.
Refusing to intervene for any other races and going "Oh yeah, I can't interfere with this volcano eruption that will wipe out a dwarven tribe — Some things just have to happen."
Dude, your wish fulfillment girlfriend is literally talking to beastfolk, sending them on quests to gather their people, bestowing technologies upon them, appointing divinely anointed leaders. What do you mean, you bellend?
The main character is playing favourites, not making smart decisions and is generally just... ineffective and unprincipled.
His job is being God, and he's doing a shit job.
The expanding phase is where I think the story simultaneously shines the most, but it's also the phase that sows the seeds for this work's eventual downfall.
In this part the world is slowly expanding and he and the gods gently nudge it from behind the scenes. Whether it be a mitigating war, catastrophes, or pushing along the age of discovery — These stories of the main character actually being there, on the ground, guiding his world along the path of development, they are all written extremely well. Genuinely. I love every single one of them.
There's also some lampshading on events that happened in the first stage, but they're packed up as conflict, which I'll take.
For example one of the goddesses tells the main character that she just can't trust him, but can't dislike him completely either because he literally created her to love him, violating her agency and just generally being fucking creepy.
Or another newly created goddess being deeply traumatised and becoming a shut-in after they created her with memories of 4 gods being group of siblings, only for her to discover that two of them are still soulless husks.
What the hell did he think would happen?!
In the end tho... nothing comes of this either. After a few dozen chapters it's just... not forgotten, but done. You could have made this into a greater plot point, but this story never really aimed for that, so... Yeah.
There's also another issue I thought could have been executed better.
He sires a child with the mortal form of one of the gods, then proceeds to be completely absentee for... I don't now, roughly 80 years?
He gets a prayer from her which he answers, through which he discovered that she exists and decides to have a divine zoom call with her once a year.
Somehow his daughter loves him absolutely and never questions him ever. And to top it all off, after her death she becomes his pseudo-familiar.
I am uncomfortable with this on multiple levels again. Though it's better than the mind-rape in the first segment.
Let's talk about the elephant in the room though: Keeper meetings.
In the first part we learn that Keepers are forcefully pitted against each other in battles for the sovereignty of their Worlds. It is presented like these are battles to the death — Until one side caves, their Keeper dies and the other emerges victorious and claims subjugates the losers worlds.
Not the main character though; he is a pacifist. So he will defend but he has no plans to actually attack... Sooooo the story needs to warp to accommodate that. Suddenly Keeper invasions are only one-sided. They occur on a regular schedule, leaving ample breathing room and all the Keepers are buddy-buddy with another; they communicate through text chat, visit each other's worlds, give each other information and in general have a solid social net that accommodate the main character's pacifism.
The first time one of these meetings occurs the main character and some of his gods also attend. And they play god damn war games. Of course they win everything against vastly more experienced enemies, because they're just so gosh-golly darn amazing.
But where does the story go from here? The main character can gather intel about his foes. Hell, through information brokers he can also learn whether the enemy even has any interest in attacking in the first place, or whether he will just send a crippled mouse. He can talk to the person that will attack him, even.
These cataclysmic events the story set up to occur suddenly and a genuine threat to the world and the main characters — they become knowable. The enemies become knowable and the main character knows what a prepare for, the timing is always the same and he doesn't have to attack himself either.
The tension of not knowing what to expect, and the implied forcing of them into a deadly duel, with one dying and the other emerging as the winner being the only outcomes. Gone. Obliterated. Torn to a thousand pieces, turned to ashes and scattered in the wind.
The Keepers themselves are also allies more likely than not. They're no longer a threat.
So where does the story go from here? The big threat didn't exist. In fact, it never existed. It was all in your head, this big conflict you were looking forward to. Hooooo, what a twist!
Well we transition into the third segment.
The addition of civilisation covers... just about everything else. I could probably make more distinctions here, but I don't really want to.
This part is just absolutely dominated by issues. After the story has killed the conflict of keeper invasions and the world has also reached the point where all the races have met, and are in harmony with one another under his 'rule', where do we go?
Well, there is only one direction, really: Add more stuff.
Guess we need a new world!
Hey, how about a new magic system?
More new worlds!
Even more new worlds!
I couldn't even distinguish most of them if I tried.
And I frankly can't even be bothered.
Just like with conflict resolution in the first part, these additions don't have to be set up either because he can fast-forward time locally.
Another cup of narrative and tension poison that frankly deserves to be critiqued in length, but not by me.
How does the fast-forward work, with all his worlds connected by trade?
How can he skip 20 years for just one world?
Don't worry about it!
Absolute peak of this is reached when
The dwarven god, I shit you not, creates 3 galactic empires. In a single chapter.
I am in agony.
Let's introduce a body housing the representatives from each of the races!
Only two generations will ever be relevant!
While we're at it, let's introduce...
A super strong kitsune-combat maid from the hidden ninja village.
I'm getting an aneurism. She'll stay relevant.
For a loooong time.
There's just... Too much. It's quantity over quality. It tried to do everything, but in the end it just ends up cutting in its own flesh.
It's just mind-numbing. There's so much bullshit introduced. None of which I care about.
I absolutely loathe VR worlds. If I wanted to read sci-fi I'd fucking read sci-fi. And how do you merge this with the other worlds?
People go into the world via their fucking oculus. And that's a separate world? What? What do they trade?! NFTs?
The story has also almost entirely lost its grounding at this point. The only relevant people are gods, almost gods and the MC.
It continues like that... for many, many chapters.
Until I couldn't take it anymore.
To explain my feelings on this part, I have for you an analogy:
World Keeper feels like you're trapped in a room with a madman that just keeps opening cans. Not all of them are filled with worms, some actually have delicious food in them.
But as soon as the saliva gathers in your mouth, considering the possible taste of the canned delicacy he has already started ripping open the next can. And then the next. And the next.
In the end the room is filled with cans. None you had the time to touch since the can-opening mad-man just keeps opening more and more and more.
And over time, even the delicacies have begun to rot. A putrid stench or organic waste fills the room, it numbs you mind, bringing with it a moment of depressed clarity.
This will never end. There is nothing to look forward too. The story has spiralled out of control. You will never get to enjoy those few delicacies, for even if you get the time to eat them, the stench of rot that fills the room is almost choking you by now, overshadowing any temporary enjoyment you may get.
There is only one way to escape this fate.
You stand up, go to the door and leave. Trying your best to at least preserve a few good memories, before they get overwrite by those of rot, decay and misery.
Bam. Review over.
Very negative, but I have just reached my limit.
Of my patience and my sanity.
I hate to say it, but Dale seems like a dipstick. I mean, who nods like a mindless idiot when they don't fully understand what is about to happen? Also! Why did the catgirl person not explain everything in detail? Imo It felt so rushed it was almost cruel to the MC. She said a very, and I cannot stress this word enough, BRIEF summary of the trouble he's in for. She jumped from one thing to another with only a few questionably helpful things here and there. Obviously this guy is not very sure of what he's doing considering he took absolutely NO time to think about the advantages and disadvantages of each possible starter package. By the way, Dale, instead of choosing the 'cool' package how about choosing the one that's less likely to get you killed because I would imagine that being priority number one! Plus, who the hell told her to speed anything up! Smh. Like don't do shit I haven't approved of. Especially when I need time to think out strategies on how to create, shape, and develop an entire planet to maximum defensive capabilities.!
This was just after chapter 1. But what you have here is potential Gold. Don't ruin it by simplifying the protagonist's situation and the situation of the developing planet. I mean, give us details about the creation of the planet itself! Not just 'POOF! OK ALL DONE!' No. Be better Author-man. Unfortunately I can't read this anymore because I tried to look at what happens later on (y'know a glimpse of what interesting things may convince me to stay) and I just think that you should start over from scratch and re-do the story with more realistic elements. Like remorse over killing a man or the struggles of coming to terms with being the creator of an entire world with people that will face invasion and whatnot.
All I'm saying is that you kinda butchered the beginning and glossed over the small but important details. Other than that it's A-1 material.
To sum it up shortly, this story has a lot of great potential but Its completely ruined by the fact that the author likes anime a bit too much.
He spent most of his 'points' (currency used to buy new things to put in his wolrd) on making 'goddesses' and their personalities, which honestly wouldn't be a problem if they didn't only exist to satisfy the MC's Furry/loli fetish.
I ended up dropping the story at chapter 19 because that's the point that he gets really serious about creating his harem... in a story that doesn't have the harem tag.
Tl;dr - from my knowledge up to chapter 19, This is a good story if you're not bothered by lots of weeb stuff and harems.