Just eleven chapters in and already feels like it's going places. It vaguely reminds me of Mother of Learning with how it's begun with a time loop ending in multiple disasters after exactly a month. The strength of these time loop stories is they can simultaneously have absurd levels of dangers without placing the protagonist in immediate consequential harm, which works absolutely amazingly with an inexperienced peotagonist thrown into the chaos of violence and uncertainty.
The buggest strength of the story thus far is definitely how far out of her depth the MC is with mysterious magical forces and mysteries and maybe even something resembling destiny flying around and dictating her choices for her. This is definitely one of those unasked for adventures with the protagonist dragged kikking and screaming into the main plot.
The story so far has been a slow set up for whatever exciting things are het to come with very little true exposition other than setting uo questions and mysteries that take their sweet time to be answered and virtually no litRPG style power progression as of het despite that likely being a major consideration further into the story.
The writing is pretty well done with various diverse characters and scene of differing emotional qualities thrown at us at a pace that makes you want to keep turning pages. This is not one of the regukar webserials were answers come quickly and plot develops slowly and it's totally worth it.
I've read this in a single setting up to the latest chaoter 12.
A litRPG System apocalypse story with a twist. Unlike most others of it's kind the protagonist of Mana Anxiety isn't the loner wolf solo player type. In fact the story so far has driven her towards other people and the need to depend on others within a survival context, though who knows later on.
Playin up James' social anxiety is the big unique thing this story has going for it and its done in a compelling way. You have your normal litRPG apocalypse where you get isekai'd at random with the local surroundings into some LitRPG survival "tutorial" world with the usual lack of actual significant aid for the newbie earthlings and the disdain from aliens already part of the System.
The plot is slow going so far with virtually no progress in terms of the usual leveling and grinding you might expect, which has allowed a slightly better focus in the actual story going in rather than the worldbuilding so far.
As for what kind of protagonist we get this time in keeping with her personality she seems like the aboidant type so we probably won't be betting a big brawler or any kind of crafter or builder who's all productive and diligint like you get in other such stories so far. Might end up being the sneaky tyoe based on what's happened so far but we'll have to see when System Abilities start actually getting developed.
If I'm honest I mostly started reading this out of bemusement from the main character being James the girl with the interesting psychological twist, but it's been a good find thus far and it seems like more is coming fast with the update schedule as it is now. I'm eager to see where it will go from here!
For a lack of a better term, I am referring to the "genre" pf stories where the main protagonist perspective is a litRPG "System" itself as "System Core" so as to be remoniscent of "dungeon core".
This story started out with the regular isekai exposition for getting to the setting, and at this point has been getting into the integrating people into the system part of this "genre".
I have seen one story with this kind of premise before, and it disagreed with me for reasons that had nothing to do with the inotial premise, so I am a bit excited to read a story woth the same new premise idea (within the realm of GameLit type stories at least) that O don't think I will have the same problem with. This is still a new premise concept so I like seeing ot getting explored.
As for "System Core" itself, it has a few interesting advantages, which is what my review actually is about seeing as there are only introductory chapters as of yet. It basically ends up being a sort of deity management kind of story with power/ability management sinilar to how basebuilding would work in a town management type story. It's lacks the "defend againdt invaders" that dungeon core stories have amd instead focuses on the characters that the System inducts/integrates into its fold and how they survive and grow. The source of conflict is this centred on characters the main protagonist focuses on instead of the main protagonist themself ("normally") unless there's something that can directly harm the System which would have to be a fantasy deity or equivalent reality warping powers in most kinds of settings.
This all meams that thos fiction is one of (probably) very few stories exploring a new(ish) kind of Progression System story. One with direct acess to the behind the scenes "System" and how altering and developing it may influence the world of the setting and the characters within the plot. And I dearly want to see where it goes.
This is one of those occasional kinds of stories that I am really fond of. Specifically the kind that manages to infuse a kind of wisdom of character into the story itself in an engaging way. Do not be fooled by the humble exterior of it's title and cover and all the things it's synopsis do not say. This is a story that hides it depths as much as it's characters do.
The reason I'm referring to "wisdom" as something good in stories is that it plays an effective role in creating questions and conflicts. Conflicted characters and questions of morality and other such introspection always examine the meaning of things in the story more thoroughly and through so doing add more depth to the meaning and make it more meaningful.
The characters are simple and humble, they are not highly complex or created to create intricate dramas and character conflicts but instead help cement the simple aesthetic that drives what makes this story good. It's feeling. These are not things that are hard to understand but instead are things that are hard to feel in their entirety. Like how pride and arrogance can lead to folly, what humulity is like, wholesomeness and all that. This is squarely a slice of life for most of what content it has so far.
It's also hilarious. Just like all those other stories with ridiculously and inexplicably powerful or lucky protagonists the absurdity of what the main characters are like in comparison to the logic of the world and setting around them is played for humour and it works well. Truly, I must tell you this: Beware of Chicken.
Just the prologue, but the story description is vague so it's pretty much an extended story teaser at this point.
a weird supernatural (maybe?) discovery with sci-fi setting that seems to at least have space ships and artificial gravity. Still don't know what kind of supernatural, what main characters. It's probably be at least somehwta similar in writint to the author's other story, which a focus on character drama and maybe adventure.
Thus far it's still mysterious, but a very intriguing mysterious that makes me excited to wait for the rest.
Not that I'm the best reviewer in terms of giving an "unbiased" rating and serious cirtique instead of just whatever praise or recommendation I feel most appropriate, but I feel like I have to be more critical in how I rate this story for the sole reason that I feel like it deserves more than just mere praise. Since the Author seems to be fairly "new" as these things go serious critique holds value that pure encouragement can't. Plus all my reviews are pretty glowing and I want to be a better reviewer that can say more than just a blanket "this gud" for some of my favourite stories.
This story has several flaws that were im,ediately obvious. First off is the story blurb, the "synopsis" that advertises the fiction. It's basically not even there. It's a long spiel about the author's motives and choices spanning four paragraphs and then a small elevator pitch at the end that tells me basically nothing. Frankly I can figure lut more about the story from the title and genre tags alone, and it arguably doesn't even have all the appropriate tags since it doesn't mention (though it's so obvious it doesn't really need to tbh) that the story is isekai/portal-fantasy in another magical world.
(Short aside, spilling your motives and reasonings up front like that isn't exactly a bad thing, and I'll just say that I've read one or two books with some psycology trivia that might even suggest it could easily garner loads of goodwil and tolerance and create a space of "trust" etc etc. this is getting off topic)
When you start reading the book you get the first chapter (the prologue basically) which has some of the issues prologued usually have (quite understandible, I blazed right through it no prob) such as not immediately being compelling to read, loads of (utterly pointless to the story) exposition, none of it really being important to the story at all, jumoing around from the "present" time to the "past" (the prologue story is the past, and time hopping is usually a bit problematic since it's hard to avoid it being awkward). Finally my last complaint is that the backstory protagonist is rather bland and even has a very predictable mentality and reaction going into the story proper with the (pretty mich cliche) reaction of "oh no! What have I lost! I mourn the thing that I have lost and it took me super long to figure out even though anyone who's genre savvy will know it was super obvious. These are anime archetypal tropes 101 stuff here.
Going into the story proper you learn quickly that the book is very character focused, and not all that plot focused. The story takes its time to get to the next big plot development and tends towards slice of life rather than "skipping" lots of "growth". When I first caught up to the latest chapter, the MC hadn't even gotten to doing even themost basic kind of thing that was alluded to into the on-the-nose title of the book, only the things needed to do the things to learn how to do the thing. It's a patient book is my point.
Now since this is acharacter focused slice of life story that likes to take it time, the most annoying flaws would be character and dialogue focused flaws, since those are given the most page time. The characters and interractions are, quite frankly, very high quality for a first book attempt. The are thecore that keeps the story engaging to read through 21 (as of now) chapters. My major complaint for what should be improved is the character interactions is a bit "awkward" at times. Like two puppets talking to each other and reacting as if from a pre-written script instead of having a normal reaction time to process what others say and what to say in reply. This is not a thing easily described, or conveyed, but I feel it is there and needs some practice in improving.
In terms of the plot there isn't much to say, because there isn't much. This story doesn't rush i to having a lot of plot development, and what has happened feels like it's only scratching the surface about what the plot will actually develop into. What I can say is that the author isn't scared to disrupt the status quo of the story, and does so quite rapidly and effectively at times. Sudden developments that heighten the tension between characters and create various kinds of conflict big and small, silly and serious, social and existential. This story knows how to hold it's patience but doesn't keep itself from pulling on it's strings and dragging you along without warning. Much of the conflict is short lived and the tension can quickly lower again within a chapter or less, which means events happening a few chapters before are quickly left behind for new things to focus on and to hold your attention. The plot is young and lively, amd I'm inclined to let it go at it's pace and let big things happen when they wanr to.
Overall I'd say this story thrives in its small moments. It doesn't need a grand plot or danger to be compelling and interesting, and its characters have personality and dynamics enough to be engaging even while their portrayal can be awkward at times the depth of their character shines through. This isn't a story that needs tension and drama to keep itself going, and it changes to regularly to become uninteresting or fatigue you with prolonged action scenes or miments of tension and uncertainty.
I'd highly recommend this story to any slice of life fans, and it has joined my list of favourites on this site. It has a long way to go, and it's writing has large room to grow and improve, and I look forward to seeing it continuing into a grand story.
Now this story has time travel, and I have pretty much swarn off basically all forms of time travel in stories so me reading here is a bit of an irregularity. The traveling time in question so far as been rewinding, which has a few potential issues that I tend to not be a fan of. However, the hsage of rewinding so far have largely been used for expositional and comedic effect, and have thus far not been used to invalidate or retcon any avtual proper plot or character development. Granted while I have nothing to critique, there is some to complain if you are the type of person who would prefer the post-apocalypse version of the story to be the focus or have the world devolve into a power transformation nightmare chaos. That kind of chaos, while over the top imo, can be played for entertainment so I'd understand anyone who complained.
The story has done quite well with it's writing. I'm surprised to say that I find the god giving the MC all the powers actually having a decent amount of character depth dor their role, and their motives for random power bestowal to be rather amazingly believable. I could frankly see myself doing the same if I was that character. That a major feat with how contrived such a premise usually ends up being.
There is some weakness in the writing when it comes to exposition. When ol' Prometheus is narrating his motives and criteria out to lil' Anna and then she's asking questions and it gets a little philosophical about, for example, why choosing a saint for the job would be dumb, it gets a little unecessarily expositional. Nothing too burdensome but it is a flaw.
Now it's characters have been designed for comedy, and so there's a little flatness to their personality expected to make said comedy more prominent, and I have found that it has succeeded. The story is actually funny to read at times, even during more serious plot develoments, which is praiseworthy when the comedy tag is so often added but not really executed effectively. Anna herself is a large source of comedic moments in the story, as well as how various other characters interact with her. Even characters only there for one scene bring appropriate entertainment into the story.
The plot of the story is so ething if a silly/serious superhero action story, with real potential consequences if our protagonists fail, and a lot of events largely self-inflicted that drive conflict. Humour and tension are balanced quite well so far, but the story hasn't delved into many tense fights against villains yet so hipefully well see how it goes soon.
The story is very much a superhero novel in it's themes and tropes, though a lot of worldbuilding is more fantasy/supernatural, all the other genre types bleeding into the worldbuilding are more complementary to the superhero/supervillain setting that ends up developing. Sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural all tend to be added and mixed into superhero fiction when convenient as the genre goes, so it all works together. There's a world to save, a "Evil Overlord" to defeat, a society to restructure and small time villains expected to be popping up. It's been an exciting read so far.
Another savage reincarnation adventure! This time as a dumb lizard! Whoo!
And adventure is the operative word in these monster litrpg reincarnation stories. Action, revultion, life and death, and risky gambles for level grinding that places our intrepid protagonist at the seat of the bull that is death refusing to be tamed!
It's an old formula with a lot of allure. Create danger and opportunity, pursue danger and opportunity, fall into danger and opportunity, and escape danger while gleefully snatching power and fortune from it's jealous clutches. A fun read to be sure.
The story is quite early on so far and it!s content only strecthes as far as chaoter 9 in which, not much of the eventual main plot conflict and future main character development is revealed at all. The story will still have to earn its keep in the pages to come, and it takes more than an endless progression system to make a compelling narrative.
Also we're still waiting on what seems to be an inevitable backstory, that or a more in depth character exploration.
The beginning of this story is relatively slow but quite manageable as far as I'm concerned, though it might be worth expiditing the part about becoming a dungeon.
As of exiting the tutorial stge of the story and establishing as a dungeon proper I can feel the story building up momentum. The set-up of potential invaders and dungeon town politics right outside of the current dungeon is quite interesting and I can see it leading to some interesting conflict. There have been a few adventurers in already in various compositions and with varying motives and I've already gained interest in some of them as well as being entertained by the throw away characters to a suitable extent.
This novel seems to be turning out to be what I call a restrained murder dungeon. Still a lot of advetnurer killing but only to a completely reasonable degree so far instead of being a murder hobo dungeon. It's also one of the creative design dungeon core stories and it tries to make the design and rpg progression of the dungeon structure and abilities interesting and creative. The slow exposition tutorial stage at the beginning of the story seems to be helping out with this dungeon creativity as well, so it wasn't worthless filler at least.
The main character is a partly bland "blank slate" type protagonist with his interesting quirks being unique rpg traits rather his personality as a character, which so far hasn't been too much of a problem for the main focus of the story: dungeon design and messing with adveturers.
Yes there is a dungeon pixie companion, but she seems to be turning out with an interesting backstory at least, one which isn't told through an extra chapter and boring exposition even. She hopefully will end up as a character with depth in the future.
Finally we have the adventurers (and other assorted human characters outside the dungeon) who are largely side characters, throw away characters, antagonists, and side protagonists for the dungeon to spy on. A lot of them are clearly based on archetypes, but their conflicts and politics are enough to make a good dungeon core novel if things continue as they are. As for the dungeon inhabtants they do not yet have character status and the dungeon seems to be developing at a more reasonable pace rather than ballooing into new floors left and right as other dungeon core novels do. This one is going to be a slower paced one, and let things happen in their own time rather than rushing the plot.
It will probably be a good slice of life read as things are.
Another good ol' supernatural urban fantasy. A great thing about urban fantasies is they emtend to have quite the accelerated pace when it comes to the introductory chapters, so just 5 chapters now is good enough for me to review a decent bit of plot progression already.
Rest assured the fun stuff already start happening in chapter 2, and the real action gets going in chapter 3 already. There is not a lot of pateience required with this one for getting into it.
Animal transformation stories are a bit uncommon, so it's nice to have another addition. The ones I know of all have the decency of being fictions squarely themed towards the supernatural, so the tend to have cool supeepowers for our entertainment. The story kicks of rapidly with the life ruining introduction to Beyond the Veil, kidnapping to the magical world (cough, Real World cough) happens lile usual in YA, and without the running away from mysterious evil monster people in this case, though it all got started because of a presumable evil mysterious people event where some old dude gets dead and mysteriously suggests that he knows the next chapter is going to happen. Classic mystery distraction to up the action and pcinf while we get through the boring magical world introductory exposition.
The characters are quite good with me counting 4 (post-prologue) in-scene characters introduced briefly and yet distinct enough that I can follow along with their group dynamics immediately. Not all that much character depth at this time, but they sure are recognisable already. They might be slightly attached to archetypes, but I suspect that will just play well into their group dynamics and it leaves enough room for hidden depth when there's time.
Now the story, it's pretty much all implied potential at this point in the story, but I get the feeling it will be a fun little adventure story. Humour might play a big part with the ridiculousness of the animal state of presumably most of what will be the important characters playing into absurdity, the transformation aftermath being delivered with some silliness, and even the usual magical world transition terror (kidnapping y'know. What can you do?) being tinged with playfulness.
It might end up being a bit slice of life when it comes to character dynamics but I get the sense plot progression with be tied into the pacing. I see this as an absolute plus in any case.
From what I can gather the focus of the story will be living as a Familiar in a magical world with witches and sorcerers providing the demand for the purposes of magic because it's awesome. It might have some of that working class type of job progression and a lot of introductions to the business of hocus pocus and probably some evil mysterious evil people working secretly in the background and ending up crossing path with the MC minding their own business and some hero stuff. Maybe some rogue-ish fun too.
It's a simple formula, but it works. I think this one will be a fun read.