The story is brand new so I can't expect much on the story front just yet, but this is exactly the reverse isekai truck comedy you think it is. The characters are very overblown in just the way this kind of story demands and Truck-kun DIDN'T get some ridiculously broken skill like 'skill steal' or other such nonsense. All-in-all, a very satisfying four chapters.
This story is good. The writing is clean, the characters are developed, and the premise is solid. That said, I believe this could be a 5-star novel with only a bit of work so I'm going to be nitpicky.
This story reads like a slice of life novel with no driving conflict behind it, like most slice of life novels tend to be. Normally, that would be fine because the novel would be supported by an idyllic setting of 'growing up' or 'a summer in high school'. This one is set in the middle of an intergalactic war with animal people, giant spiders, and spirit magic. While slice of life in such tense circumstances might sound intriguing, the tension of precisely those circumstances is missing. This can be felt through most of the aspects of the story.
Every character speaks and acts with care for each other's feelings and situations as though they were running into a friend at the grocery store rather than interacting with fellow soldiers in a bloody war. With a few characters, this is great. Soothers whose entire job is to blunt emotion and heal injuries care for mental health? Perfect. So does everyone else when it has been implied that sometimes these positions are forced upon them? Not so. In fact, it might be an easy way to solve this if you had the character's personalities reflect their jobs. The gunner might have a very direct and anticipatory personality for example. The only truly unique personalities we see are Vera and the playboy bunny guy. (The bunny guy that is a playboy, not a guy that is really into Playboy Bunny) Again I'll reiterate that the characters are well developed and kept me interested, they simply are too similar to keep fresh.
Driving conflict. The single easiest way to breathe new flavors into a story is to introduce a villain. In this story that could be done in maybe three sentences plugged into a few different chapters. There was a guy that needed to have his torso reconstructed because of a parasite #spacelife. This is creepy and cool and kept me interested, but at the end of the day, is just part of the danger of cruising through alien space. It is #spacelife. But if he was, perhaps, a late recoveree of the enemy incursion that necessitated Nan's reclamation? Well now half the crew can be recovering from lost loved ones and caring so much about emotional states because they just went through a harrowing life-or-death battle.
To summarize here, you just need to answer the 'why's Nan would likely have. Why is the Vespa understaffed? Why recruit from other dimensions rather than their own? Why are they at war and with who? Why can they so leisurely offer Nan a choice of joining or living her life? Make the war more present or at least give a reason for Nan wanting to join it.
It's fun, it's exciting, and it's just like the classic fantasy adventure odesseys I'm used to. Well, plus or minus a few rifles. space magic, and alien bug-taurs.
The author could stand to footnote what a few of his weapons are, like scutum is a big shield, or kilij is a curvy sword but it won't detract from the story. The grammer is also excellent so that's nice.
I took off half a star because there is room for improvement but it is already worth the 4.5
As of chapter 7, this story is quite enjoyable and an easy read but has a lot of room for imporvement. Before anything else, compared to average works on RRL, this is 5 stars so worth the read.
As for possible improvements, I would recommend taking a look at #Amused by SOSADHSCATH as he touches on the biggest issue in the first 7 chapters and that is that everything is stream of consciouness. Stream of consciousness is fine and the author does a very good job of working with that style but it can be monotonous for less avid readers, so I would recommend inserting a chapter or two from another person's viewpoint.
Worldbuilding: As of Ch. 7, all we really know about this world is that it has goblins, robots, adventurers, slimes, and somehow forking mindflayer meat at a roadside food stand. While this is a bit of a slow build, it isn't done poorly and suits the style well.
Power Balance: The fork is a fork. He got telepathy rather quickly relative to the story, but spent months training in order to use it. He has herculean strength but can't use it. He's a dam* fork. It's excellent. That said, sosadhscath mentioned the fork absorbing through an enemy and I would parrot his warning: growing too fast RELATIVE to the story is clunky and should usually be avoided. What I mean by this is that generally, if a character is slowly growing stronger before the narrator suddenly says "Then he trained for ten years" and the MC comes back as a god in the same page then it makes the story seem choppy. Nothing wrong with taking it slow. Being unable to absorb things with willpower is a tested and balanced foil to absorbtion abilities and will help balance the ability if it gets too out of hand.
Grammar: Some run-ons (what doesn't?) but overall a well written piece.
Characters: There is one. He's a fork. I love him but gimme side characters.
Will update when I'm current
First off, the intent of this review is primarily to analyse what I did not like about the story as I enjoyed a good deal of it and would like to see the author improve. Also understand that my only credentials are a healthy addiction to books and my own views. I am on chapter 40. This review contains spoilers.
That said, what truly kills this story is character development and world balance.
By 'WORLD BALANCE' I mean the degree that the rules of the story's world affect everyone else compared to the degree they affect the main character. I.e. How much plot armor the m.c. has. Mostly, this imbalance is displayed through the distribution of merit points. For example, the mc constantly attracts the attention of gods which nets him about 50k merit points every time. This is fine by itself, but he usually catches interest of said gods by doing very little. The god of madness, for example, is interested in him because he talks to a clearly intelligent and actively communicative golem. This is a problem because, as of ch.40 no one else has caught the attention of gods. One dude stabbed a wooden dummy until exhaustion and uses a syringe as his main weapon not to mention his fanatical loyalty and the god of madness doesn't care.
Another issue along the same vein is that the 40 survivors lead by the red haired lady "just barely" had enough merit points to buy the zombie cure at a cost of 1500. As evidenced by Ger's merit screen, simply surviving for 12 hours is a reward of 3000. Not only had those survivors lasted 24 hours, but they had done so under constant strain and even successfully killed several of the monsters. The red haired lady alone should have had thousands of points simply from extended resistance of the zombie virus while fighting zombies AND leading survivors the entire time.
The issue is that Dez's returns indicate that the system is incredibly generous with merit point and rewards basically everything, so it SHOULD be giving a lot of points to a lot of survivors. In a world where you can buy a permanent summon with enough strength to tear a bank vault door off its hinges for a paltry 7k, that means almost every survivor should be basically at Dez's level or at least close and have their own unique powers. They are not, and do not.
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT is the other major failing of this story. It has many tie-ins with the issue of balance, but many characters have little to no depth. I think this is perfectly demonstrated by our main man Rimmy because he is actually VERY WELL DEVELOPED at this point in the story. RImmy is a huge crystal golem with a couple of slits for a face. Despite being completely unable to speak, Rimmy demonstrates through casual actions like giving the mic a thumbs up not only how he feels about complicated issues like murder, but also reveals that he both emphasizes with the mc's pain AND is familiar with social norms on how to cheer up a friend. It's brilliant. Add to that the novel idea of using identification to give characters a quick backstory and we basically know everything about a seven foot mute statue. If every side character was like that it'd be perfect.
Unfortunately, many of the other side characters feel forced. Ger, for example, at one point looks at his daughters interacting and says something along the lines of 'she likes to tease others but can't handle being teased herself'. This is a violation of that old adage 'show don't tell'. We'd already seen the daughter blushing at being teased so the information was useless. It would be like if Ger had seen Rimmy give Daz a thumbs up and monologued 'he is supportive of his friend'.
As a quick last example of the issue with character depth is the scene with Daz throwing the red haired woman into a door. The woman later forgives Daz immediately after he apologizes with some line like who couldn't forgive you in this situation? I apologize for being blunt but that makes absolutely no sense. Imagine if you were thrown into a door hard enough to take half your health. In the real world that might be equivalent to being grabbed by the hair and thrown hard enough to break ribs and perhaps cause internal bleeding. Would you just hop up and say 'oh no worries it happens every Sunday can we all go stay at your place?' Of course not. This woman is in charge of not only her own saftey but also 40 other people. She wouldn't risk those lives for some clearly violent stranger simply because he killed some mons. Daz had shown his strength so maybe she wouldn't demand compensation but she would be far more likely to simply thank Daz for his help then attempt to find he own base with the other survivors, especially since they apparently had someone with a skill to reinforce barricades. Why risk their lives with some apparently insane, violent stranger? On top of that, why would 40 other people want to follow someone who introduced himself by nearly killing their leader? These aren't a bunch of goblins who only follow the strongest but a scared group of day to day citizens who already had some semblance of confidence they could defend themselves?
overall I did like your story and especially in how thorough and creative you were with the system I was pleased, but I need more depth to my side characters yo.
EDIT:: I've read past chapter 40 a bit and was pleased to see that my review was somewhat premature. The author does much better on world balance than I thought.
I quite enjoy the obnoxious cheeriness of the pop-up screen