Techman

Techman

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High-Class Mob

Fun story with surprising heart

Yet another "reincarnated as a character in a story/game" story, but the best I've read of the category. The author avoids all the usual pitfalls that these types of stories run into. The MC was just a bit character, so he has more freedom to do what he wants. His "knows everything that will happen" cheat is limited by the fact that he doesn't remember everything and the realization that the more he changes the less he can predict.

What I love most is the depth of all the characters. The MC says he's just gonna live easy, but reveals himself to be a good person who genuinely cares about the people around him. He uses his cheat to help others instead of himself. The supporting characters are much more than cardboard cutouts. Several times characters that he remembers as stereotypes are revealed to have much greater depth and motivations as he gets to know them. 

Great story that I really enjoy and recommend.


Little Giant

Story can't decide what to be

Starts out as a fun romp. What's more ridiculously awesome than a little green dude driving around a suit of armor by (badly) singing pop songs? 

But then the tone drastically shifts from "fun comedy adventure" to "dark serious adventure" and it loses me. I have nothing against dark serious fantasy stories, but it's hard to take it seriously when it's not played straight from the beginning. And I really don't like it when my fun lighthearted escapism suddenly gets depressing.

Grammar is fine, characters are interesting, but I don't like where the plot is going so I'm dropping it. Still giving it 4 stars cause y'all might like it better than I did, especially being forewarned.


A God's Chosen

Early in the story, but so far so good

Pretty early in this story yet, but enjoying it so far. Looks to be a settlement-building story where his denizens are monstrous races. Pretty good start, so I'll be giving it a follow to see how it goes.


The Elements: Silver Coin Saga - Book 1

Overall, the story is your standard "village bumpkin attends the cultivation school and grows in power" type, but it is one of the most well done ones I've seen. It avoids the usual pitfalls for these types of stories quite well so far.

The cultivation system is unique and robust, allowing for lots of specialization without getting needlessly complex. 

The school actually seems to care about their students and discourages inter-personal conflict. There is the obligatory Arrogant Young Master antagonist, but he's not as cartoonishly evil as other stories.

At this point in the story they're all still learning and growing, but it's enjoyable to read. I definitely recommend.


Cinnamon Bun

The same vibe as "There Is No Epic Loot, Only Puns", except the MC isn't a dungeon core and is a little less flighty. A fun read!


KINGDOM RISE, CASTING CROWNS: Your Way Called Peace

First, you should watch the trailer when you have a chance. The music is quite good, suitably epic and poignant. 

This story is written in the style of Eastern epic romance. This means that there is lots of overwhelming emotion, hyperbole, and recurring themes and symbolism. Good guys are paragons of perfection and virtue while bad guys are evil and despicable. She's not just pretty, her doll-like beauty touches the hearts of all who gaze upon her. If that style of writing isn't your thing, bail out now. If you're okay with that style, you're in for an enjoyable read! This is an excellently written example of that style.

The story follows two star-crossed lovers kept apart by things like duty, honor, and the machinations of evil men. They seek to find their way through the world and back to each other as kingdoms rise and fall around them (and because of them). It's epic and moving and poignant. The illustrations scattered throughout are truly gorgeous. 

Fight scenes are not the authors strong point, and there's plenty of things that don't make perfect sense (it feels like some of these kingdoms are only a single city, and there are multiple times where an enemy army suddenly appears at the city gates with no warning) but if you skip the logic and just go with the flow ofof t feel and emotion of the story, it is a truly enjoyable read.

This is a great story that needs better visibility than it has for the quality and effort on display. I'm so glad that I finally decided to give it a try.


Fantasy World Epsilon 30-10

Fresh spin on portal fantasy. A delight!

This is a fairly new story that is interesting and enjoyable and has surprising heart. It's clear that the author has put a great deal of thought into both the world and the character interactions. The author notes at the end of each chapter give good insight to their thought process.

Some story context without being too spoilery: The multiverse is a thing, more advanced beings have discovered Earth and gifted them portal technology. Earth has, in turn, decided to explore other worlds too. Jon is a "Diver", sent to scout a newly discovered world full of fantasy characters and magic. Things happen and he finds himself pulled into the happenings of the world much more than intended.

This has got the perfect blend of sci-fi and fantasy. Most of the tech is logical and theoretically possible with our understanding of science. Jon is very aware of the standard portal fantasy tropes and doesn't so much subvert them as acknowledge them while doing what he thinks is best. He's a little too dependent on pop culture references and catchphrases for my taste, but I deal with it for the rest of this fantastic story. Give it a read.


The Inheritor

Far too Edgelord for my taste

Super Edgelord first life, needlessly complicated reincarnation, comes back as a baby with an adult mind.

Not for me.


The Strangers

One of the best dice-rolling stories I've seen on here

This story is a Dungeons and Dragons campaign set to words. Specifically DnD 5e in the Exandria setting developed and popularized by Matt Mercer and Critical Role. The author rolls dice for the combat encounters and everything.

I've found dice-rolling stories to be a mixed bag. Good ones (like this one) end up feeling like a novelization of a gaming session. But the random nature of dice can make it difficult to develop and structure a good narrative while still obeying the dice.

Despite this being the very definition of a litrpg, it is not very "crunchy" at all. No blue boxes, no allocation of stats. All the numbers are behind the scenes and the author does a fantastic job of turning them into compelling drama. Like I said before, it's a novelization of gaming sessions.

I recommend this story.


Gray Mage: The Alchemist

Transmigrated into a world filled with magic, but not a litrpg, which is surprisingly refreshing. I love me some blue boxes, but the absence of them in this tale gives more room for characterization and story.

Fantastic world building, likable and realistic people, interesting plot, no grammar or spelling problems. Just all around solid. Author is prolific so far, too. 10 chapters and 100+ pages in less than 3 days.

The story itself is fast paced, with lots of time skips. I almost wish it would slow down a bit and flesh out things a little more, but I do appreciate the effort to keep things moving. Lots of other stories either get bogged down in too much detail or have their MC become instantly hyper-competent. Our MC gets good at alchemy by training for a couple years. We're given a taste of how the training goes, and then fast forwarded to the next relevant plot point. I appreciate the more realistic time scale of this story.

Overall, I definitely recommend. Enjoyable story with multiple chapters a day.