Elaine is ripped from this world to Pallos, a land of unlimited possibilities made real by a grand System governing classes, skills, and magic.
An ideal society? What is this, a fantasy novel?
Adventures? Right this way!
A Grand quest? Nah.
Friends and loot? Heck yes!
Humans are the top dog? Nope, dinosaur food.
Healing and fighting? Well, everything is trying to eat her.
Join Elaine as she travels around Pallos, discovering all the wonders and mysteries of the world, trying to find a place where she belongs, hunting those elusive mangos, all while the ominous Dragoneye Moons watch her every move.
I think the author is trying to explore sexism in a LitRPG setting, but utterly fails. I can’t wrap my head around how sexism to this extent can exist in a world where women can throw lightning bolts and potentially much much more. A system lets everyone be equal because the normal power struggles of our biology no longer exist, right from their first class both genders can be equal in power.
I almost dropped this at chapter three when we learn that only men are allowed citizenship, and I was tempted again at basically every chapter after that, especially when she meets a certain someone. I kept with it because I figured the author would write some stuff in about how this is wrong and how the MC is going to circumvent it... But for the most part the MC just plays along, even with her mostly having most of her previous memories.
That’s not the least of it though. Her parents are incredibly aggravating and unlikeable, the MC is not very smart and people roll over her in every discussion/interaction.
The reason I kept with this however is I enjoy the story and the chunky stats and the way the class/skill system works. I will give the second book a try and see if there is ANY attempt to reason why sexism is in this world.
The characters, world building and magical mechanics are all very fun and immersive. Aside from a few moments in the books where the MC did something so unwittingly stupid that it actually made me cringe, I thought the characters were well thought out.
The first problem I came across was the glossing over of the MC's best friends death. Up until then, I was closely paying attention to everything that was going on. There was imagery, there was detail, there was a sense of self. That, however, was swept away when Elaine's best friend dies.
You could tell something bad was going to happen and as much as I abhor the death of a character for no other reason than drama, I could see what growth a childhood friend's death could provide for the story, giving the MC a turning point. But that didn't happen. To paraphrase, this is what happened.
Elaine and her friend are thick as thieves. Mischief makers that provide a wonderful sense of innocence to the beginning of the story. There is a potential and none to subtle hint that a healing that Elaine helped her mother with was going to go badly(her best friend being the recipient of said healing.) Then...she dies. Elaine is sad. Makes a vow. Gets power. Annnnnd that's it.
I went ahead and read both books in the series but I found that the author tends to leave out details that ruin the flow of the story. The 'glossing over' of several events leaves the reader wanting and not in a good way. There are also several dead ends throughout both books and it feels like the author didn't have a set goal in mind when writing. To me, personally, it feels like lazy writing, which is annoying since the author has far more talent at this than I do.
I would not recommend this book unless you are just bored and looking for something to pass the time.
The only way the author was able to make a "strong" female character was to make the world in the book full of weak ones. The sexist setting was created solely to make the FMC seem worldly and knowledgeable in context. A lot of the writing was problematic, and on top of it, boring and unimaginative. Many elements of the story could have been excised with no discernable affect to the plot. Characters make dumb choices and fantasy world is only developed at the slightest surface level.
I did not enjoy reading this book, and will not be continuing the series.
This is a combined review for the first two books of Beneath the Dragoneye Moons. The books are worth the read and I don’t worry about spoilers so read this review at your own risk. The “worth the read” verdict was a close call for me and I focus on the negatives in my reviews so, if you are on the fence, I recommend not reading this review as it may ruin the books for you. Also, there are currently four books in this series and I have already determined I will read book 3 (I just wanted to get my review down before it got even more muddled by further reading).
This is a weird story to rate. To me it looked like a talented new author in need of a good editor. For example, the author repeats things that do not need repeating, not often but enough so that it is noticeable. And the repeated things are forgettable as I am writing the morning after finishing book 2 and I already can’t recall what was repeated.
Also the story focus of living as a second class citizen and living a life based on a vow made when eight is bizarre. The MC is female in a world based on ancient Rome where women aren’t citizens, can’t own property and have no say in who they marry. When was the last time you read a story where the MC basically says “I’m a second class citizen and that is wrong. Oh well, time to head out and become a super powerful magician.” This is particularly bizarre in a world with stats so a woman can easily be as strong and as good a warrior as a man if they so choose.
The author also undermines her MC. (Note: I don’t know the author’s gender so I’m just guessing here.) The MC, as a reborn person from earth, should have been aware that there would be other cultures where women aren’t second class citizens. Does the MC (Elaine) ask a single question about this? No. In fact Elaine, who constantly bemoans the lack of books in her new world, breaks into a library as a part of teaching herself to read. But what does Elaine read? We are never told and frankly I can’t imagine what it was since Elaine is completely clueless about the larger world she lives in as the story progresses.
So Elaine, reborn from a world without mythical monsters, is the daughter of a city guard and a healer in a relatively safe city. Elaine is coddled in what is otherwise a kill or be killed world. Children in this world get access to leveling at age 8 and so there is a push to expose children to as many different skills as possible before their eighth birthday. As a result Elaine helps her mom heal Elaine’s best friend, Lyra. Lyra gets an infection and dies. Elaine had many of her memories taken from her as a condition of her rebirth but she retains a lot of biology and so blames herself for Lyra’s death. As a result Elaine makes an oath similar to the Hippocratic Oath which the leveling system then enforces. Elaine could abandon the oath but doesn’t even when she is given repeated experiences where she is disadvantaged because of the oath. As the story progresses this makes more sense as the cost of abandonment goes up but the author just ignores (1) an adult reborn as a child should have been able to better foresee the problems with such an oath in a violence riddled world and (2) eight year olds make life long commitments about every 20 minutes or so. Granted the death of a best friend mitigates that second point but the take away is the author didn’t so much develop a character as relate a series of thoughts and actions. I admit that is highly subjective and so hopefully your experience will differ from my own.
The author provides no story resolution for book 1. The MC, having been told by her parents she must marry, runs away from home at age 14. She joins a friend of the family, Artemis, who is one of the few female Rangers. Rangers are elite high level soldiers akin to Special Forces who ride two year circuits around the country solving problems too big for the locals. Elaine, initially just a tag-a-long, demonstrates incredible bravery and healing prowess and so is initiated into the Rangers and levels up. The end. Not a single story line resolved. Book 2 ends with the completion of the Rangers’ circuit so it at least felt somewhat justified as an ending point. Basically your take away should be: Don’t bother reading book 1 unless you are prepared to read book 2 as well.
However, the end of book 2 does something pretty bad: It appears to switch main characters. Book 2 ends with the story of an eight year old girl who is a Lyra equivalent except she lives in a Nordic community and survives where her best friend, an Elaine equivalent dies. That’s it, the end. What is the point of that non-sequitur story? There doesn’t appear to be one except that the author is insecure about her writing bringing readers back so she is trying to create a hook of some kind.
Finally, the author seems to be unable to think consistently about her characters and the world she has created. I really only have one example of this but it is so bad I feel I must mention it. At the end of book 2 Elaine is visited by her parents and amidst the happy reunion she is told they adopted a boy. It is never explained why the parents didn’t bring the young boy with them which seemed bizarre but what was truly mind boggling is that about an hour later Elaine and her mom are discussing how screwed they will be in their men only country when the dad dies. THE SON IS NEVER MENTIONED and apparently has already been forgotten by everyone.
So, bottom line: I was able to enjoy the books but I had to overlook some stuff to do so.
7 minutes past midnight, and I finished my first July book! 😅
💥 Read for SPFBO, this is only my personal opinion, group verdict might differ wildly! 💥
At first I thought this wouldn't really catch my interest, as the start felt like a very easy middle grade / YA sort of LitRPG that just lacked a bit of... I don't even know what exactly. It just felt a bit shallow. We have a girl from our world reborn into a gaming system world, and she retains some of her memory. I found it so weird how she is a small kid, with some knowledge of a 14 year old, but then she throws a tantrum like a toddler. Though I could understand the tantrum, given that it was at the utterly unfair sexism she meets in this new world. Women are more or less married off, and then belong to their husband in a way. They also can't become citizens, and their husbands have the last say over what stats and skills they shall level.
Oh and there's slavery, even though it's not "for life", but for specific amounts of time, either as punishment, or if you sell yourself into slavery for money.
Both of these, plus reading about another woman being violently beaten by her husband for "not being in the mood" when she didn't feel well at all, just contrasted really badly with the sorta fluffy YA tone and style, and so it was a bit of a bumpy start for me.
After a while the story takes a new direction though, and from there on I really quite enjoyed it! Our main character grows up a bit, and we leave for an adventure, which also means we leave the city and its problems behind.
I really enjoyed the characters and the way they all interacted with each other as a team! It reminded me a bit about The Wandering Inn and the mix of darker and grittier content with light and fun bits as well, and a lot of banter.
As the rough patches were all at the start, I did end on a high note, and will definitely consider to read more in the series!
This review will be over books 1-8. So this is a mix between the published books, chapters found on Royal Road, and Patreon chapters. Part of this review will retort some of the negative reviews I’ve seen. I have given an indication of spoilers in parentheses as well.
When I found this series, I was on the fence about reading it. Nothing really stood out to me from the synopsis. But oh boy, was I wrong. I love this series; it is one of my favorite book series out there. Like most things, there are some problems with it, but overall, I highly recommend reading this series.
We follow Elaine as she is reincarnated into the world of Pallos and keeps some of her memories from Earth. We then follow her as she grows up, gains power through this LitRPG system, and changes the world.
(Major spoilers in the paragraph) The first book is basically just set up for the rest of the series. We meet Elaine’s parents, her childhood best friend (big spoilers: There is more to Lyra, not only does she shape Elaine in a major way, but there is also some god tomfoolery going on with Elaine and Lyra’s souls). By the end of the book, we see the start of Elaine’s journey.
One of my biggest frustrations with book 1 was it made no sense why Elaine reincarnated with part of her memories from Earth. The gods got rid of the big things like chemistry and physics. That didn’t give Elaine really anything to work with. (minor spoilers) Turns out, the gods aren’t infallible; they didn’t take away all knowledge from Earth.
Some people have criticized the sexist society in the series. Although yes, sexism is a major part of the story despite there being a system that gives everyone power, there is a reason for this (some of these reasons aren’t explained until after book 1). There are large societal expectations put on girls and boys in the story. Then there are laws in place giving the man of the household complete control over the life and death of the other family members. These factors lead to women being suppressed in the story and forced to take classes that focus on housework. If the women choose not to follow what the man of the house says, they are either killed or sold into slavery. Women can’t even do anything to fight against it since most of the men have a warrior-focused class. There isn’t really a way to compete with that. It’s like asking a child to win a football game against an NFL team. Then with powerful women who did gain power, there are too few of them, and none of them are strong enough to influence the law and take on everyone who is sexist.
(Spoilers in this paragraph) Plus, although we see throughout the series women pushing to gain equality. Later we learn that humans seem to be the only ones with a sexism problem. Second, I would argue that the human way of thinking is relatively advanced compared to how long humans were on the planet of Pallos. In books 3 or 4, we learn that it was only roughly 4000 years since creation. The gods were basically doing whatever and causing mass chaos as they created the planet and spawned species such as humans and dinosaurs. Then most of the years were spent trying not to die and attempting to form societies from scratch. But surprise, surprise, it’s hard, and they fail a lot. So it honestly makes sense why male humans are super sexist.
There has also been some criticism of how Elaine can be stupid at times, and it’s true. But it’s a part of her character, and there are reasons behind her stupidity. Many times, it is emphasized that Elaine is not a social butterfly and is socially incompetent. Although Elaine has the life experience of someone who was a little under 20, she has the brain of a child/teenager and is heavily influenced by that biology. (Minor spoilers) It is even discovered that Elaine is incapable of gaining social skills through the system; it completely bars her from social skills. Although Elaine acts stupid a lot, it just makes the character more real. I don’t want to read about a character who is a complete genius and hardly ever makes a mistake or a stupid, irrational decision. I wouldn’t even be surprised if Selkie wrote Elane with something like ADHD.
One of the things I love about the story is it is not just about the action; it is also about character development and interpersonal relationships. Yes, Elaine can be stupid, irrational, and unfocused at times, but she learns and improves. She grows as she becomes stronger. Things happen because of her, and she reflects on it. She forms and updates her on philosophies of the world. All of this makes her character far more real than many other fictions.
Anyways, although there isn’t much action going on in the first book, it is still pretty enjoyable seeing Elaine grow and learn about magic. Selkie, the author, writes very well throughout the story and does a great job of not doing an info dump on us. It is enjoyable to learn about the world of Pallos, and this stays true throughout the series. The series itself is very well thought out and creative with different cultures and the history of Pallos.
Selkie also does a fantastic job of keeping each book entertaining and not stagnating. There are a few times where it gets close, excluding book 6. Book 6 was arguably the worst in the series, and I believe even the author recognizes this. (Medium spoilers) In book 6, Elaine meets up with the Elfs, and it is basically Elaine traveling with powerful Elfs while trying to get back home and having a fling with one. I suppose book 6 is more of a setup for story points in book 8 (this remains to be unseen since, at the time of writing this, there are only a few chapters out for book 8).
All the characters in the story feel real and have their own things going on in the background.
My only other minor qualms with the series are system notification and the Iona major interludes at the end of a few of the books. Showing each individual level up along with each stat gain gets really annoying, but honestly, it’s easy just to skip past it. Then with Iona, I really didn’t care too much for the character. I found it annoying because I wasn’t sure how important Iona was since nothing big was ever mentioned about the main story in the Iona interludes. (Minor spoilers) At least that wasn’t until book 8.
By the way, the Iona interludes have been combined into their own short story on Royal Road called “Valkyrie’s Dawn.”
Loveable character, exciting story, intricate worldbuilding, and well written. Overall, I love this series and highly recommend it to any fantasy enjoyers.
Edit: Review has been adjusted from 2 stars to 1 stars because the author starts over at book 7. From return to Remus onwards, this is essentially a sequel. MC walks through a fairy circle and comes back so far into the future that the only reason it's not a whole 'nother world is plot convenience. Author had irreconcilable problems with the world she created so she nuked it from space and started over.
Not a bad story, corrupted by bouts of ham-handed afternoon special and a meaningless litrpg system that A) Almost never has any meaningful impact on the story B) makes no sense and C) doesn't follow it's own rules. First half of first book is 1 star, it gets better later.
As an example, the MC has a passive ability "pretty" that 1) never seems to have ANY impact on the story at all, and literally goes up every time the MC changes clothes, takes a bath, brushes her hair, etc. I should note that this is not a base 100 system. There are literally hundreds of one-off sentences (paragraphs; CHAPTERS...!!!) in the book following the form "MC puts on a dress. ding *pretty has leveled up." Most levels in most skills are like this. There's some leeway with her main healer class stuff, being that she's a super-special healer with middle-school bio level medical knowledge healing non-stop for hours on end, but in cases like pretty, where the MC actively avoids doing things like "washing" and "changing her clothes" for days on end, you're just undermining the entire point of the system. If anything, I'd rather read about her pretty skill falling farther and farther behind her other skills, it holding her back, her struggling to do things that are uncharacteristic for her or uncomfortable to "save" the skill, her recognizing that it's actually kindof childish to be so attached to a skill she chose before she even turned 10, and eventually discarding her skill as her self esteem, confidence and "don't give a ****itude" grew over time. Very Afternoon special, amiright? Yay for metaphors or whatever!
Her stats are adhered to a *little* better, although by the 3rd or fourth book she's so OP she can essentially regen her entire body from just a pinky (and indeed, this will become something of a trope). That being said, until around the 3rd or 4th book, she is literally a low-level (by system standards) mage with a below-average magic category... which means, apparently, that she can fight 3 higher-level adventurers to a stand-still and kill monsters 500 levels above her combat class WITHOUT her oath skill (the other unique mcguffin that explains her super-OPness.)
The author also had the most epic opportunity to give Elaine a beard in the 5th (?) book when she lost pretty and gained a related skill called that physically alters your body to make you more attractive to the people around you (while surrounded by dwarves who keep giving her crap about how beardless she is.) Had she done so, I probably would have cried tears of joy and this would have been a 5 star review, regardless of any other minor quibbles I might have. Ah well.
seeing so many men complaining about the fact that they feel it sexist because the female protagonist is too OP and the fact that merphy likes this is making me want to read this SO bad also, is lgbt and litrpg????? just my thing lmao
This is a curious book. It's an offering by an amateur, posted for free on a site catering to such stories. It also falls into the weird category usually called LitRPG (books about characters in a computer RPG).
It's also ... more of a serial than a story. It's a series of connected, lesser story arcs rather than a concrete whole. The nature of its construction reminds me of comic book plotting and pacing. The long term goal of the story is unclear (and possibly undecided by the author), but the short term arcs are nonetheless complete and satisfying.
I find the opening passages and the first arc (where the main character is a child) to be awkward, and somewhat clumsily written. ... but ... the writing improves. It's an ongoing process, the author is clearly learning as s/he goes.
The story is compelling. The world is interesting. The main character is certainly powerful, but also has some very distinct limitations which provide a realistic counterweight to her abilities. The situations she encounters vary, some are quite suited to her abilities, but others are conundrums, forcing her to think around them, to work past her weaknesses rather than with her strengths.
Overall, the book was an enjoyable read.
Recommended: With the caveat that this is a LitRPG book and some familiarity with computer RPGs is helpful.
As always: I paid retail price for the Kindle version of this book, my thoughts on it are my own. They were neither solicited by, nor compensated for, by the author or by the publisher.
I liked this quite a bit when I first found it. Most of the LitRPG stories are so testosterone-fueled it chafes. The female MC is young (16) at the start, and the world she is in is a fantasy setting that seems like it's set in the past, pre-industrial and with gods and magic. It was fresh to me when I started it. Over time, the POV character's attitude started to annoy. She is affected by it, but is so passive in how she feels. And while it seemed YA at first, given her age, the battles are for a more mature audience, so I had to change that in my mind as the story prgressed.
I like that the saga is mostly gen, with some hints that this character is bisexual or lesbian (she hero worships an older woman role figure), and that any romance is only lightly touched on as the story progresses (there is a date with a woman later on in vol 3 that goes horribly wrong).
The world in which this takes place is so patriarchal that it would irritate me immensely to be a strong woman in it, and I don't see why she is so accepting.
Written after reading 2nd book. Spoiler free, including meta spoilers.
One warning: The audiobook version has stat walls in it that repeat that are fairly large. So I'd recommend the written version unless the audiobook has some edits done.
* Main character: Interesting but not ground breaking * World building: Particularly good with lots of potential * Combat: Balanced and cinematic in places * Comedy: Not a focus. A little here and there * Romance: Not a focus. Not a motivation for the MC. * Drama: Balanced with some powerful moments when appropriate. * Audience: Just about anyone can enjoy.
I will say in particular I was happy to see the book being open to a large audience. The women are written as proper individuals. And the guys don't have physic powers that notify them whenever a nearby needy girl craves pickle flavored potato chips, or a candle light foot massage.
Above average, enjoyable, litrpg. Like a lot of royalroads stuff it's a bit wordy, could do with copy editing and overall editing for plotting and pacing, and generally has a self-published feel. That being said, its character portraits are more fun that a lot of LitRPG stuff that's out there, and it retained my interest.
The main things holding it back for me is the main character, who is supposed to be some isekai reincarnation but mostly acts inconsistently in ways that just aren't believable, and the extremely soft nature of the magic system and LitRPG elements. I'm still not entirely sure what the purpose of quantizing character development is if it doesn't make any difference and can apparently be manipulated to be whatever the author needs for that week.
I'll definitely keep reading and hoping that this serial settles down into something that I can enjoy for a long time.
8 hours into listening and so far this book lacks any and all conflict resolution. I give it the 3 stars only for the world-building that seems to be done so far. Its a "game world" type with a system that shows notifications, but with the system being part of the worlds worship points its a bit nice. I do however wish that the writer wouldn't put a "ting" for every notification that happens as it gets old fast. Also a little too much emphasis is put on the MC being feminist. like why you gotta make every guy out to be a bad apple. Oh but one character later on is laughingly chastised by the MC's group for sleeping with married women and getting caught, (#nicecomedicrelief) yeah because in that society the repercussions for that wouldn't be severe for both that guy and said wife. especially for said wife.
2/8/23: 4 stars. I quite enjoyed this book. The writing was amateurish throughout, but it stopped bothering me once I started getting into the story. None of the characters are particularly complicated, but they are all really fun to follow. I really enjoyed the relationships between characters in the book, particularly Elaine and her parents, but also with the Rangers, especially Artemis. I enjoyed the levels aspect of the book way more than expected. I also really enjoyed the slice of life nature to the plot, even once the "adventure" part of the book started. Overall pretty fun—nothing earth-shattering, but just plain fun.
MC was remarkably ditzy. Maybe a touch stupid… which normally really bothers me. At 14 AND reincarnated she was acting (and thinking?) sillier than my 7 year old. My 10 year old daughter was/is FAR more mature, intelligent, and level headed.
But, all that said — there simply are some ditzy, immature people in the world. She was well written, consistent, believable… as was the story/world she was written into. The world wasn’t dumb. And I suppose that made all the difference. I really liked the story and the MC. Even more so on the second read. We’ll done. I recommend.
This is quite an enjoyable book. Well written in fairly well thought out.My only critiques would be that even though the MC is much older due to her previous life on earth she still seems to be quite childish it times.Will call it hormones In her new young body.The next with me that her earth prohibits her from doing much violence. Hopefully there is a gotta soul modification in the future that allows her to be slightly more effective at protecting The world as a hole. That said quite enjoyable and I love seen skill evolution's. Off to read the next novel
This is a new story type for me. Following Elaine as she grows up was fun, funny, with some sadness, and some clashing ideals. I like how even having kept many of her past life memories, she still is cognitively accurate to her current ages. It made the story more entertaining. Some of the aspects of the book wouldn't be what I chose and Elaine feels shame for choosing some skills, and that was mildly questionable, but they go back to her being developmentally her current ages. Absolutely enjoyed this and I look forward to reading more.
Clearly written as a serial, but lacks the annoying repetition. Somewhat irreverent, the MC is reincarnated from Earth but doesn’t overly clog the narrative with pop culture references. Well balanced system keeps her from being OP.
I’m going to immediately purchase and read the next book. Solid recommend.
The most important thing in a book in my opinion is the characters, and not just the main character , but all the supporting ones as well. This book has it in spades. The characters are individual and unique and each have their own differences. They feel alive and I am enthralled by the worlds vibrancy.
Sadly, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as others did. The plot idea is good and with a bit more explanation and structure it would be a decent one but it feels rough on too many edges.
*contains spoiler* I love stories about reincarnation and I don't expect an imba character, because it doesn’t leave much room for character growth, but at least a little bit of maturity and intelligence would be nice here. The MC reincarnated with the condition of only keeping a part of her memories, which is legit. Sadly, it turns out she’s acting like a real child, which leaves me quite disappointed for a story about second life. She's in a body of a 8th year old, should have a mind of 28, but acts like 10. It leaves me complaining about her immature behavior, since she should know so much better. Only after 2/3 of the book we get the explanation about the MC’s brain being one of a literal child. This should be put at the beginning of the book. It makes me question the plot about reincarnation, since the only thing the MC uses is her biology knowledge and telling fairytales.
The MC has zero awareness (like a mayfly) or interest about the world she lives in, is constantly surprised about culture etc, has many questions but never DOES anything to get answers. She should be smarter than that, but prefers playing with other kids instead of getting to know her new surrounding and building up a decent life in this misogynist world. Later she breaks into the library however the only thing we know is her complaining about the lack of fictional books. As a girl from earth she should know the power of knowledge but that’s her only complain? In addition, we’ll never know WHAT she read but nothing groundbreaking, cause otherwise it should have been mentioned.
Another let down is the oppression of women. It could be a good plot (which I was looking forward to) but the author didn't exploit its real potential. Every person has super powers and women just resign to their fate, the only little rebellion being some secret skills which men don’t know. I can't imagine a society where 50% of civilians are suppressed and not even a single countermovement, secret organization or another underground structure exists. Why should women stay in town and don't go out killing some beasts? Cause choosing a life with no other meaning than giving birth or a self-determined one with dangers on the road, doing what they want? It feels like the world building needs some more focus here.
The skills are also quite exhausting to listen to (audiobook). It feels like a pathfinder character sheet where every single action gets a skill and every lvl has to be announced separately. Summoning it up would make leveling up much nicer.
All in all I wouldn’t recommend this book, only if you have really nothing else to read.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
[I don't see the point in reviewing individual volumes of a serial so these comments refer as far as I have read, which is up to the end of the recently-released volume 9.]
BtDM is a slow, mostly slice-of-life LitRPG about a transmigrator from Earth who wakes up as a baby in the fantasy world of Pallos. Like most such stories, it does not start as it ends; the first volume is about a weak child who rapidly turns into an invincible battle healer. Unlike Azarinth Healer, the obvious point of comparison, she's not a battle maniac and mostly wants to read books and eat mangos. Where the series shines is as a pleasant fantasy tale about a young woman having fun adventures with friends. Don't expect a lot of depth, just fun banter -- with occasional tonal whiplash to serious or gruesome topics.
It'd be a lie to say that this is great literature, but I enjoy spending undemanding time with these characters. In a genre known for endless retreads of battles against slightly stronger opponents, it's also currently much more interesting than most because of the author's audacious move to retroactively label the first 7 books a prologue (!) after the protagonist suffers a 20,000 year timeskip, which was apparently this was the series plan all along.
I consider this a warning, not a spoiler, because some readers are going to be very put off. One of this series' recurring themes is that of the relationships between immortals, mortals, and mortals who want to be immortals, so I wouldn't be surprised to see more of this kind of thing.
This book is good but has a huge plot hole: Where do the mangos come from? The book cover suggests that the main character is white, and based on the books they're in a temperate climate at most. They don't have storage technology, which means the mangos would probably need to be grown locally. WHERE IS SHE GETTING MANGOS.
As a side note, a bunch of other reviews say systemic misogyny wouldn't exist when women can learn magic. However, early gender roles are likely a result of necessary division of labor within family units in pre-industrial society. Sexual dimorphism is more a result of the differences in gender roles, rather than the cause. Any society with deeply engrained gender roles have the potential for sexist social structures like they have in the book, regardless of natural affinity for violence, especially when access to writing and education is limited. Kind of like how we have some regressive governments even after the invention of the gun.
So that part's good. But not the mangos. Thank you for coming to my ted talk.
The book has a purdy slow burn in the beginning... and yes it's a Isekai adventure, Elaine our MC dies and finds herself bargaining with a god to keep her memories. Little does she know that she has'ta grow-up all over again... and yes she gets some stats but the adventure really ignites when she runs away from home. Although I like Elaine well enough, I love Artemis her mentor and best friend. Also Silkie Myth plays around with the idea of equal rights for women in this new world, but they don't take it very far... other than having Elaine run from an arranged marriage. Perhaps it'll be a concern for later in the series. I found Andrea Emmes an apt narrator.
I love farreting out the quotes that amuse me, here's a couple of 'em:
"We can say it's a new skill of yours, loose a body part, get an old friend for dinner."
"It was becoming clear that violence was cold and calculating here, and exterminating dozens if not 100s of bandits in a night was Wednesday."
This story starts off pretty slow with a reincarnated heroine born into a new world with a game-like system that everyone has access to. She starts off as a somewhat gifted but otherwise relatively normal child. The first third of the book or so revolves around her growing up and learning about the world in a slice-of-life fashion.
Things gradually pick up pace after that and the story transitions towards an action adventure and I expect things to stay that way for sequels.
If you like gradual weak-to-strong progression where the protagonist doesn’t start off with overpowered talents, I highly recommend this one! Note, however, that while there is action and adventure, the protagonist is not a fighter and seems rather unlikely to become one anytime soon.
Finishes pretty well, but the first 30ish chapters are a real slog. As the author shares this info before reading the first chapter I feel safe mentioning it here. The first book is three arcs: Child MC, Teenage MC, Becoming a Ranger MC. The first arc seems painful and pointless, the second is a bit better, but the author really doubles-down on the whole "comically evil societal norms" thing and it detracts from the story. The final arc is where it really comes into its own. The book would have been far better if the entire first two arcs were a few chapters to set the stage/tone, and then move on.
I was skeptical going into this book, and I actually had two false-starts. The reincarnation aspect of a lit-rpg has failed to capture my interest several times in the past and this seemed destined to follow suit. I tried once more, though, and made it beyond that initial hurdle only to find some characters worth caring about.
This genre is not my favorite. I really love The Wandering Inn, and now this series seems to be joining the limited ranks.
The MC is reborn into a world with a rpg-system. She becomes a healer and gets help from her mothers friend Artemis who is a Ranger (aka professional adventurer). Unfortunately in this world women are second class citizens and she rebells against that. The game system is fun, the litrpg part is good with lots of stats and skills and some good restrictions that prevents the MC to get overpowered fast. Really good read!