Arrogant Young Master Template A Variation 4

Falls apart around chapter 50.  Before then, it's an amazing read if you skip chapter 1.  

I don't like chapter 1 because the author does the same intro countless other bad OP novels do.  It starts out by bragging about how much of a cheater the protagonist plans to be.  Brag, may be the wrong word though.  

So we start with the typical MC wakes up in a new body.  He realizes what's going on then starts asking about his cheat.  The author piddles around for half the chapter on this cliche.  

It's kinda like if a guy went on a date with a beautiful woman then immediately starts telling her about how much he's looking forward to "the sex" and how much he's looking forward to playing with her... feminine parts.. 

It's just bad taste.  I don't care that a protagonist has an advantage exactly the same as I like "the sex".  There's this thing called style.  It's about how you present it.    

As for chapter 50.  That's when the author decides to string together all these plots he's working on.  There's like five different plots and he shifts perspectives hap-hazzardly.  You barely remember who's who and not one of them has an interesting plot.  

This is also when the author starts losing any restraint on his power creep.  In the beginning, the protagonist had a gradual accumulation of points through meaningful efforts with his disciples.  Then all of a sudden, here's a million point mission.  And no, I don't care if it was never really given.  The very offer poisoned the well.  

Reborn as a Demonic Tree

Interesting idea, but loses out on longevity

This is an author combining some popular but underused elements of the litRPG genre that people have been wanting for awhile now.  However, he doesn't know how to keep the story interesting.  

The first major flaw is that the characters are reactionary.  So it's not a "character driven story" where the characters make decisions that drive the story forward.  It's the characters reacting to things the story throws at them.  It's okay, but gets worse the longer the story goes.  

Second flaw is that the author isn't thinking in terms of "is this a FUN idea".  He's just trying to create a big complicated storyline and hoping that fun comes out.  Nothing I'm seeing right now as a patron with early access chapters are ideas that I would consider FUN.  I'm not looking forward to any of the developments going forward.  

Thirdly, the story basically has everyone as an enemy of the tree.  Outside of his small clique of friends, everyone sees Ashlock as an enemy and this has forced Ashlock to hide his identity from the wider world around him.  And the moment someone comes close, he has to kill them.  I want Ashlock to integrate with the world around him.  Not kill and conquer the world around him.  

Paranoid Mage

Great novel, but I think I finally put my finger on the biggest mistake this author made.  

If we were talking about Paranoid Mage up to the end of Callum getting chased out of the small shifter town and investigated, 5/5, I loved the first arc so much.  But after that, the author kinda trailed off.  He started moving towards the major plot developments without break.  

And that's the problem.  As a fantasy reader, I want a great fantasy, and I want to imagine myself living that fantasy.  I don't want to imagine myself living a life being constantly hunted down.  I want to imagine myself trying out various fun fantasy lifestyles.  

The first arc, you had the lifestyle of the reclusive hermit mage living in a small town.  Very fun idea.  Would totally want to live that.  

The second arc?  Running for your life? Hunting down evil? Politics?  Yea, no thank you.  

Like, the first arc needed to end, that's true, but it needs to transition from one fun lifestyle to another. 

And what about exploration?  I want FUN exploration.  Like, your idea for the fae was interesting and from what I can tell, very influenced by real myth and legend.  But once again, it wasn't FUN.  How can I have fun with this fantasy species when I only meet them across the battlefield?  The detective thing was nice, but it's a glancing blow at best.  

Originally, I was hoping that callum would go from exploring a shifter town to exploring a fae town.  Sure, there can be evil fae, just like there are evil shifters, but let me explore some of the fun things about fae, shifters, etc.  

In short, you need to think about fun ideas.  Not just random ideas.  Everything should be considered through the lense of "is it fun?"

Other elements of the story?

Grammar was fine.  Don't remember anything that caught my notice.  

Characters are pretty decent.  My only complaint is that Callum married the first random woman he came into contact with.  She also isn't really any fun.  It seemed like the author was trying to go the opposite route from his last book with a traditional romance and marriage this time.  Problem is that it's not a fun character.  

Amelia the Level Zero Hero (An OP MC Isekai LitRPG)

Somewhat generic OP character enters fantasy world reaction story.  This time with a female protagonist.  It's pretty solid, but nothing new really. 

So far the core concept seems to be:

- protagonist is many times stronger than even the strongest enemies - 

The writing is decent, I'm just not excited about anything really.  Although, that's because I like hardcore progression.  So a fiction where only the side characters get stronger is kinda lost on me.  

The author seems pretty reliable about releases.  He's got a patreon with 15 paid for chapters.  As well as a long history as a reliable author.  

Beware Of Chicken

Interesting Concept, Doesn't Hold Up For Long

I think with all the Xianxia novels China's been releasing en masse, people have grown very aware of the problems with the genre.  So a parody of Xianxia has been long in the making.  Which is why this and "Essence of Cultivation" had so much traction to start with.  

The author does a fair job starting the series off and the starting idea of the series is downright inspired.  Problem is that the author didn't know where to take it from there.  The series is another "Vaudevillain".  Great idea, great start, slow degredation thereafter.  

There aren't really any big mistakes in the series.  More like a lot of filler that doesn't advance the plot or develop the characters. 

as of chapter 200ish, we finally start to resolve plot points brought up in chapter 5.  That's how slow this series is.  Because every one of the 50 side characters has to have their own side stories that have nothing to do with anything.  And yes, we just added 3 more tag-along side characters in the last few chapters.  

More than half the chapters are idle banter chapters.  Chapters where the characters talk about and do random things.  It's not bad, just boring. 

Like I'm not interested in seeing how ancient chinese people react to the concept of christmas.  Or how they react to the sport of hockey.  

What I want is more chapters about other cultivators visiting the Fah Ram.  More chapters about what the city lord is doing.  More chapters about Jin developing his farm.  

I think the biggest problem is the character clutter.  The author couldn't wait to litter the story with 20 different characters.  I'm 42 chapters in and we already have around 20 characters and they're almost all underdeveloped and boring.  And the only one I'm interested in is Jin, the cultivator girl, and the city lord.  

Take for example the farm animals that became sentient.  These are probably the worst characters in the story.  Mainly because they become intelligent in the presence of Jin.  I hated it when Dungeon Master fictions did it and I hate it here too.  When long term characters gain intelligence and become a mainstay character in front of the protagonist. 

Mainly because these are completely hollow characters.  They have no background for knowing the english language and having loads of wisdom, but they just magically do.  

I'm not interested in them because I know for a fact that they have no history to explore.  Bi De was a rooster, then had intelligence instantiated into his brain.  End of story.  There's no mystery there.  

Borne of Caution

I don't normally review fiction this high.  I try and have a sliding scale so even a terrible fiction will get a 3 and even a great fiction will get a 4 star.  But I can't help it here.  This was a downright JOY to read.  Let me also say that normally I hate fan-fiction.  So if anything, I'm predisposed to disliking this series.  

There's actually a lot of attempts at Pokemon fanfic, I've tried reading them since getting addicted to this series, however, the difference between this and those is that this is a power fantasy that uses a logical gimmick. 

The power fantasy element is the protagonist using pokemon lore and theory to explore new aspects of pokemon that were never covered in the original series.  And unlike a lot of power fantasy, this one makes perfect sense.  Like the protagonist will notice some quirk in a pokemon and relate it to scientific theory, and eventually discover a new ability as a result.  

So what makes this fan-fiction so great?  I think the main reason is that actual pokemon lore kinda sucks.  Like it's dumbed down so much that you never get a chance to really enjoy the world.  So honestly, there really isn't anything for a fan-fiction author to butcher.  I remember feeling the same way about the Doom Isekai fan-fiction.  However, that fan-fiction was written by someone who never even played Doom and eventually injected so much nonsense into it that it blew up.  Borne of Caution, seems to have been written by someone who knows pokemon lore many times better than I do.  

Not only that, this author has found several real gaps in the lore that honestly needed filling.  

And to top it all off, the author has about the same writing skill as Super Minion's author.  Sufficed to say, this isn't a one-trick-pony who found a nice gimmick to latch onto.  If this author writes a second novel, I think he'd do very well.  Which is more than I can say about a lot of the fiction on the best rated list.  

The characters aren't anything special, but I will give the author credit for making each of the characters sound like their cartoon characters.  

Finally found some things I'm not happy with. 

Mainly, minor spoiler here, the protagonist has PTSD from how he died.  This is an awkward plotline and has no redeeming features to it.  The protagonist will see some sort of fire attack or something, then he'll flashback to his death and it'll cost him in his battle.  It hasn't done anything really bad so far, but I don't see any redeeming value to this aspect of the story.  And future prospects of this storyline look bad.  

Personally, I wish the author just said "he was mauled by a lion" and ended it there. Find some other more enjoyable quirk to be his personality trait.  

Also, while not spoiling anything, I don't like the build-up the author is doing in creating some "major antagonist".  One of the characters gets a side perspective in a later chapter and they introduce all this nonsense and it kinda just deflates what made this fun.  I didn't really need an antagonist in this story.  I was quite happy with gym battles and league challenges.  

Reincarnation: First Monster

I’m just gonna edit this because Alzeroth actually replied to it in a very upset manner.  The additions will be in parenthesis. 

Second edit. renamed review.  Only thing I really regret in this review is that I started off with an attack on the fiction.  Every other criticism I stand by.  

Please try and realize that I’m giving an honest review.  People like this fiction because it’s about being reincarnated as a super OP dragon. (First off I’m not actually criticizing the super OP part.  I realize he’s got competition and I like that.  I read up to where the eater girl is introduced who says their meeting is prophesized. )I like it for that too, but the implementation leaves something to be desired.  I’m not saying it’s unreadable, or irredeemable, I’m saying it’s definitely not a 5 star story like the ratings claim.  

Style: The author does decent combat, good world building, and a good power progression, but otherwise there was no style.  Style kinda overlaps with the other rating criteria so most of what I want to say here I’ll put in the other sections.  

There’s one part in particular which really annoys me.  The series is done from two different perspectives: Verath as a baby dragon, and Verath as an adult.  The baby dragon is the interesting one, the adult one just sucks.  Skip past it, there is no redeeming value in it at all.  Even the little bit of likability that Verath has is lost here because he starts talking in a weird condescending tone.  I Just don't like the whole scene either, it's the main archetype used in "Interview with a Vampire".  Supremely powerful species giving an interview to a common race about his secret history all the while plotting the interviewers death.  (I meant that the interview part was from there.  Nothing else, but it’s kinda the core part and a very distinctive part of the movie.  It’s like if you made One ring to rule them all and I called you out for ripping from LoTR.  Not that you did.  )

Story: The plot is good.  The world building is great.  

Lore is a bit thin, none of the species he covers are really built up at all beyond the normal.  Dragons are decently built up.  What I mean is, that the author makes Dragons interesting as a species by building them up with traditions and background.  He’s pretty much forced to do that with Dragons since the whole story is about them, but the other races.  It feels like he’s missing out on something.  I’d recommend he reads “Pact” over at topwebfiction if he wants a good example of Lore.  Like maybe the Dark Elves aren’t just a species with an appearance, maybe they have a history and a culture, and a notorious law system.  Build them up is what I’m saying.  (This is me being picky.  Don’t take it to heart.  I’m telling you how to take it to the next level because I’m actually fine with this part of your story.  )

Grammar:  I have no complaints at all here, good work.  

Character: This is where you’re story falls apart completely.  Verath is the worst character on RoyalRoadL.  His personality is a complete lack of personality.  I know you probably think he’s supposed to be like that, but it’s not interesting to read about, he’s painful to read about…  I was wondering why I don’t like the adult Verath before, but thinking about it, it’s because the adult Verath actually opens his mouth to talk.  He’s a condescending asshole.  

(Okay here’s where you can get angry at me for because I stand by every word of it.  You made a character and said “Let’s make a condescending asshole and see how it goes”  You say it yourself, that he has almost no emotion.  There’s nothing subtle about that, it’s a boring character.  )

Secondly you have no persistent side characters.  You seem to make a collection of characters which disappear after a couple chapters.  You even made some people I found interesting and fixed Verath’s second rate personality, but you always kill them off or just send them away.  You seem to like building up one character just so you can kill him off the next chapter…  Verath literally has no side characters which stick around.  

(If you can’t see the problem with this, then you are taking it way too personally because here I am absolutely right.  Side characters help probe into the main characters subconscious, they help keep us from drowning in his overpowering ego.  Without them, the main character REALLY REALLY just wares on you.  )

The Chronicle of a Witch

I initially avoided reviewing this because I felt it was unfair to bully you since your viewer count was poor already.  But I certainly don't agree with giving you the half star review Ziggy did.  And I believe that the reason you had problems was actually a much simpler mistake than Ziggy claims.  

Personally, I actually enjoyed your first chapter.  I felt it was remniscent of Evil God Average.  Just a carefree low thought enjoyable dungeon.  Your protagonist was actually rather likeable.  

I quit reading because you blew up what you had going there moving everyone to another world and honestly, I didn't like your two side characters, the gods.  I thought they were completely the opposite, unlikeable characters.  

If it was just the protagonist alone going to this new world, I would have liked it a lot more, but the two gods just killed it.  

I think the problem is that their characters are cartoonish and don't actually make any sense.  Maybe that works in a childrens cartoon, but in an adult novel, no way.  You need to honestly consider "why are they the way they are".  Most people may not understand that's the problem, but their subconscious does.  And it kills the novel.  

Returning to No Applause, Only More of the Same

Definitely deserves it's place at the top of trending.  One of the only new fictions trying to be original in any sense. 

NOTE, I try to avoid real spoilers, but there are vague examples of what I talk about in the review.  

It's not a combat fiction if that's what you are looking for.  This is a much more down to Earth PTSD fantasy world survivor's story about trying to return to a normal life.  It is slow paced. I would say it's like they used the setting of Seoul Station's Necromancer, but a completely non-violent plot.  

As the characters are the biggest thing in the story, I unfortunately have to give them a weak 4 stars.  Many people will disagree, but honestly, besides the protagonist, not many people have a fleshed out personality.  Maybe Craig a little.  Darius was close when he put the painting up on the walls.  Gerald is okay.  

The logic of the story really isn't that great.  They waste the time of the strongest people on Earth just to escort the Krieg around when everyone knows that if Krieg wanted to fight, they'd be dead.  They even mention it in the novel multiple times.  Yet they still insist on using these highly valuable people as guards.  Personally, they should be keeping their high levels as far from Krieg as possible.  Bring him to a deserted island somewhere and just use normal guards.  

I don't understand why no one has mentioned paying Krieg yet.  They do use him for his unique abilities, so weather it's Krieg or his family, someone should mention that they owe him an extraordinary pay.  If only just to make him more manageable as a citizen.  

The plot itself I feel is rapidly wearing itself out.  I feel like the author is bending over backwards to keep Krieg interesting as a non-violent character.  A lot of the PTSD reactions I felt were exaggerated to keep the story in the same vein that made it popular.  I'm sure people will argue with me on it, so consider this paragraph highly opinionated.  

The grammar is pretty shaky.  I don't normally notice grammar, but I noticed two simple mistakes that a basic free spell checker would have absolutely picked up had it been used.  I know one was the author spelling "college" as "collage"

I rate it as "read it until you don't like it anymore".  It's an interesting change of style, but I don't think the author actually has any real experience with what he's writing and this inexperience becomes more transparent as it goes on.  

Tree of Aeons (An isekai story)

This is one of those incredibly slow narratives.  The protagonist is a tree and he is basically a very passive protector of the various nearby villages he is planted next to.  

For the first arc of the story, the main issue is how skimmed over everything is.  Everything feels like its "going through the motions" rather than an actual organic story. 

The author does improve on this as the story goes and I would say improves from a 3-star story to a weak 4-star story.  Later chapters do suffer from this, but not nearly as much.  

It is a pretty solid kingdom builder story and there is some rather interesting descriptions and character reactions.  

I think the author really should have taken better advantage of the fact that the protagonist is a tree and use timeskips more.  He does in the beginning, but later on he's pretty much constantly working and the timeskips only occur over 1-month periods with the oddball exception.  

Like I kinda wanted to see a more detached Treetree governing from the shadows more.  

I dropped the story somewhere around chapter 85 (Passing Time).  I thought the plot decision the author made was too negative and depressing for me to continue reading.  Although I am one of those guys who don't like to see characters die a lot.  Especially when the main attraction of the story is the protagonists accumulation. 

Style: Interesting idea, proper writing format, doesn't really do too much with the idea, but it's pretty good.

Grammar: Nothing I can remember to complain about, but it's not really something I pay attention to unless you really screw up.  

Story: Extremely weak in the beginning, bit too much introspection, lots of filler I had to skip over.  

Character: Characters are rather bland.  There are some improvements later on, but the author never really has a character that I am actually interested in.