I know that's not a mandatory rule you have to stick to every time. But what the author is doing is essentially writing some descriptions and summarizing what happened. He says 'MC is clever', MC can perfectly socialize despite his character', 'MC has fooled everyone with his perfect acting', etc. But this is just the author stating it in plain text. No dialogues, no actual scenes, no interacting with classmates besides the author saying 'he interacted with them for a whole year'. It feels like reading a system log.
It might be that the author did it to get through the summoning chapters faster, but do you really need to turn your first chapters (that will influence your reader's opinion the most) into the bland porridge of words?
The story might get better after that; I'll never know.
The other problem is that MC's character is boring. He doesn't like socializing, he needs no friends, and he needs no romance. The author's style of writing makes it worse because MC doesn't even talk. The author is doing it for him.
MC feels like an autistic kid that can do just one thing right, in exchange he will do it better than anyone else.
I wish we could have some tag like 'dead inside' because 'anti-hero' and 'villainous lead' tags are full of novels with main characters like that and it's almost impossible to make them interesting. You need to be really skilled to pull it off.
The story itself is generic, tropes we all know like class summoning, brainwashing, discarded 'looser', blood magic, probable slavery, and so on. The only novelty is that MC doesn't care about what is happening.
Trying to not review novels this early, but I have a good feeling from what the author is writing so far. Simple, yet fresh and mature; with a promise of politics, trading, and maybe a romance.
The story started by introducing the main character, the third child of the current head of a wealthy family. He is quite capable, but doesn't do anything that goes beyond his role, a young master that never did manual labour. Though, unlike his counterparts from other stories, he shows what the key difference between a commoner and noble is; resources, behaviour, and education.
Before we dived in the main conflict, the author makes sure we have a basic understanding of the main character and the people closest to him. But he does it so you don't get bored. This and the way each chapter goes was what led me to the decision to write this.
I hope the author will keep moving in the same direction and I wish him good luck with it.
I like the plot. I really do, but the story has a few issues.
MC's behavior is highly irrational. Yet he doesn't strike me as a madman, or a person blinded by money (the author tells in comments otherwise but I would rather read about it in the story itself). So what MC does in ch 7 looks like a plot hole.
Plot hole details below.
In ch 7 MC is forced to merge his soul with a dragon soul. He threatened with a curse, but he can lift it without any problems by merging with a much safer soul. He has a lot of money and no one around to control him. But it looks like the author never considered this option.
Upd: the author states in comments that merging with a simple soul might not be effective wit lifting the curse.
Another issue is that the author chose to gloss over how bad the first hero is. The author tells us about the hero's misdeeds, but you can't see him actually killing/raping/torturing anyone. You can't see how people suffer, how they grieve. The author prefers to tell about it rather than show (so far). The issue is, I can't see him (the hero) as an antagonist (yet).
But that aside, the story itself is interesting and keeps you invested. Feels like acceptable writing without cringy or edgy stuff. Maybe pace is a little too hight to my liking. The world is promising (one of those on the brink of chaos), the author even prepared a map which is a plus. But the MC's behavior is hard to rationalize. I think the story wouldn't have worked if the author hadn't reduced MC's IQ when it's convenient. Or at least highlighted his stance.
I love this novel but also feel triggered. Struggle to find a reason to recommend it when I know it was dropped. Yes, I enjoyed reading it. But that's why the abrupt end was like hitting a wall to me.
After thinking it over I don't know who is to blame. The author stated he doesn't feel safe because of the dark themes in his novel. I understand it and I wish we could live in a society respecting artistic freedom. Where you won't be prosecuted for drawing naked lolis or writing some gritty fictional story with imaginary characters.
I can only recommend thinking about this problem before publishing. Posting with an alt pseudonym, alt account, uploading text from TOR, using encrypted pastebin as a platform, etc. There are many ways to protect your privacy today.
But personally, this particular story doesn't warrant any form of attention from big brother. I saw many stories with rape and other dark stuff here. Some websites already have dark tags like rape or snuff included in their search form. Sure, depends on the country the author is living in.
The story itself is good. Anti-hero MC, good worldbuilding, dark fantasy setting, the right amount of gore; I love all of them.
I can rate it somewhere around 4, given that this is a rough draft. But this is unfair to other RR novels, so I can't go easy on it. There are significant problems that should be addressed.
Characters. Twodimensional and featureless. Not enough descriptions, more like static objects. The author often forgets about the input from secondary characters. Sometimes it gets ridiculous. For example, there was an elf girl tortured, but the author skipped on her emotions and description of what she was doing. No screams, no begging, nothing. Like she wasn't there at all.
Too much MC. All his allies are looking insignificant. They barely have screen time. This novel would be much better with multiple POVs.
Static unfeeling world. The author often forgets about important details necessary to turn the story alive. Like, people die, but there is no one to mourn them. Women raped, but no one cries. People win a battle, but no celebration follows. Stuff like that.
The author tells a lot, but seldomly shows. His worldbuilding is excellent, but most often it presented through the author's exposition or MC's thoughts. You can't experience it through action, words, senses, and feelings.
Sensitive content is toned down which in turn makes the story too 'safe'. Contrary to the setting and genre, the author is too cautious. No direct sex scenes, no real torture, no rape. These things are implied but rarely shown directly. When the author tries to show them, it is always bad. You can feel he was too disgusted to write it properly.
The review's title says it all. I like gritty novels about survival, this one started off well and has been consistent for several chapters.
But then the author completely changed his approach, and the story turned out as a slice of life in a magic academy. After that, the author was constantly shifting between fluffiness and out of place violence, not sure of where to stir.
Actually, the author has many good ideas, but most of them were ruined by not exploring them thoroughly and this all over the place style of writing.
Also, the 3rd perspective narration is better than the 1st in case of multiple POV. The author tends to abuse boring internal dialogues. It becomes worse when he let characters explain their moves and motives in their heads instead of applying some efforts to show and not just tell.
Nice reading. The story flows well, and the author does a nice job of evading overused tropes so popular in novels for kids. The setting feels fresh too.
Though, I expected a little more from a "romance" tag. Feels more like a romance subplot to me. Also, there are a few loose ends forgotten by the author; it highlights that he doesn't have a thoroughly planned story before starting to write, the usual downside for many web novels.
If I can choose one problem that should be addressed, it will be how rigid immortals sexual life is. No bedding kids under 16, monogamous behavior, and so on. Considering the endless and uneventful life, you can expect them to degrade so much until they start to enjoy bestiality orgies and other wild fetishes, especially when they know that morals and sexual rules are a social construct (many immortals were born in times when there was no civilization and everyone freely fucked like animals), but no, the author made them magically proper. Of course, he offered an excuse that immortals are regulating their violent nature that way. Your choice is to believe it or not.
It's a silly problem that shows that there isn't much to complain about in this novel.
One more thing, sadly, the author isn't into harems,
I hoped the MC would bed Sely's sister too.
Guess it's a welcomed thing for fanatical harem haters. Personally, I can enjoy a well-made compact (2-3 person) harem.