"Digital Me" is a new try on the litRPG/fantasy genre, that tries to get the best of both while maintaining the middle line.
Grammar score: The easiest one to gauge, there are some minor grammar mistakes, but not noticeable enough to make any significant changes in the reading process. I'm going to give it a 5 here because this is beyond most standard RRL material, but is not perfect.
Style: The author incorporates a first person PoV and weaves it into the narrative quite effortlessly. He also has some side characters get their own PoVs, and they are enjoyable and written fluidly as well. Overall, I see no problems with it.
However, the author soon loses any focus on trying to bring status screens into the narrative, which loses some value as a litRPG story. The MC also conveniently also forgets all these statistics as well, or at least we are never told of any progress if there were one. 4/5
The story is where it starts to crumble a bit. The setting of the story is faulty at best. The author has made Digitals (some sort of sentient minds that inhabit the digital world) which seem to contradict each other as time goes on. First, their utter lack of seeming progress while also the perpetual pseudo-slavery of the humans under them seems to bring this absolutely nowhere. The Digitals are vastly superior in all regards, yet nothing but their 'lightning fast processing power and speed' was shown.
Sure, the story doesn't really revolve around them, but since the actual goal of the MC is to become one it would be interesting to actually find something about them.
Second point: The MC is made effectively immortal, with 700000 subjective years passing in fractions of a second. This poses a big problem, as the author basically removes any sense of inter-human relations (because no one would be able to log in into the same world as the MC), and also because we as readers are made aware of the fact, quite clearly and repeatedly, that most other characters don't matter. This basically makes the story blander than it could've been.
Characters: We have several interesting characters so far, but if you remove the MC from the equation, none of those characters distinctly matter. The King is said to be replaceable (in almost every chapter so far), the MC's wife suffers from the 'never say important stuff' syndrome, the Delsar house leader's wife is remotely interesting but is shrouded in such a way that it makes the MC look dumb by comparison. Trying to make a character exceptionally smart only leaves to dumbing down others eventually. The story has an interesting MC, which has some motives which could be thought of as interesting, but he switches between playing by his own and by other people's rules, while also going for that 'look at me going to live 700k years fools' modelling which strips him away from some portion of his humanity. Maybe that is the actual goal and I'm hitting way off the point here, and if it is, congrats, you actually manage to do that quite well. Removal of other humans (like the MC) to the story (until the premise itself changes) is actually making me consider drop this rating even further, but I won't. 3.5/5
I'll be reading this story and will be willing to update this review as time goes on. As of now, the premise is good enough to maybe get into but anything beyond that is on a per-reader basis.
What can I say? This is a professional-level work done by someone who clearly put his mind and soul into building it. But, just to sate the average reader's curiosity...
Grammar: easily a 5. If I have encountered a grammar error, it would probably be one every ten thousand words if that.
Style: Quill's writing is descriptive where it needs to be, yet concise and upfront when the situation calls for it. Every chapter brings its own charm and every landscape is described well. There is some minute inkling of purple prose, but they are weaved perfectly to not stand out.
Story: Even in the first few chapters, it is evident that the world of Adalmearc has been thought through. The intrigue and political play that happens, in the beginning, is designed in a believable way, yet is easy to grasp to those that do not hold much knowledge in it. I, for example, scrolled through the chapters in anticipation of what would happen.
Character: The characters are believable. Three-dimensional. Not clichés. A welcome sight after the Dungeon stories, litRPG, and OP that RRL is usually known for.
The Eagle's Flight is a high-fantasy novel, one of the few on RRL, and furthers RRL's ambition into branching out for serious work. As such, I can only urge people to check this novel out. Even if it isn't for everyone's liking, much can be learnt if you're looking to broaden your writing abilities.
The Bound Dungeon started out strong. The premise which could've been similar to any of the umteenth other dungeon stories somehow managed to pull through and be quite distinct, although I haven't read many other stories to judge.
The early chapters are great. Great style, likeable personality, no gods or excessive or imposed mechanics that these kinds of fics like to use. Even the side character POVs in the start are well done.
The grammar is well done, with a hint of typos here and there, but it's perfectly readable.
However, at a certain point, the story becomes dull. Paragraphs upon paragraphs of information that only pertains how the dungeon improves a bug, or a deer, or a fox. The interspersed action is told almost lifelessly, sapping any vigour or elation from the parts that were supposed to be fast and active.
Then, there's the side character POV in the later parts, which seems to hold little purpose (or connection to the main 'character') so far, and the ever present lack of interaction in the way of dialogue.
Majority of the chapters are pages upon pages of descriptions, with only a line or two of dialogue, if at all. And the biggest hurdle is that you can't put dialogue there, since those same pages contain nothing but descriptions and characteristics.
Sure, the style of said descriptions is well done, but in the end, I found myself skipping paragraphs simply because when you call something a Stone Centipede, I don't really require an encyclopaedia level knowledge on how it's made.
Also, there seem to be some pacing issues, where the narration would be about some event or progress that happened over weeks, completely ignoring the fact that a mere chapter ago, development was done over hours.
Overall, I'd recommend this story to those that are looking to improve their descriptions and world building. For those that enjoy more character-focused stories, I'd suggest you keep looking, unless this fiction changes hugely.