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Skip the first ten chapters. Trust me.

By TanaNari, author of Price

May 14, 2016: They’re basically not even the same story as what comes after.

Story starts out painfully generic. The main character is uber-geek-stereotype #Lostcount magically teleported into a fantasy world. He decides it’s a computer RPG world, with generic ogres and what have you. Things are stupid for a while.

Writing’s sloppy, choppy, and stilted early on, with chapters only ~500 words or so at most and so many sentence fragments and non sequiturs that it makes my eyes hurt. And the main character(s) are so "oddball band of misfits" that I feel like I’m watching a sillier version of The Goonies.

Then roughly around chapter 10-12 everything changes.

The main character goes from stupid geek stereotype to hyper-competent geek stereotype despite zilch for character development. Despite being unable to talk to people and having no combat skills, he suddenly manipulates businesses into giving him free (if mostly junk) stuff, builds working slings (re: the weapon), and is having deep arguments about gender equality as it applies third world hellholes.

PS- he takes a mature, intelligent stance on it as well. I was surprised and impressed by the lack of pandering to the ‘feels before reals’ crowd. My surprise mostly coming thanks to the childishness of the first ten coloring my expectations, and this is about where the first impression was broken for something much better.

The story starts to become one about survival rather than "look, I put a geek in a fantasy world, isn’t that neat and totally original?", and that makes it a whole lot more interesting. It also gets heartbreakingly dark, without going into grimderp territory.

Even the humor gets better when the writing decides to "grow up".

I don’t know why the sudden inexplicable change- it’s a very good change, makes for a much better story with at least one person who even kinda knows what they’re doing on the team- but it’s one that just doesn’t fit the prior narrative.

Unfortunately, the plot remains more or less nonsensical, with holes in logic you could pass an elephant through (such as how a world which has a constant slow trickle of at least a few thousand modern people coming in over the last few hundred years is still stuck in the literal dark ages. So don’t expect this story to be intelligent. Just fun, childish power fantasy with a dark edge to it.

As the nice guy that I am (hah!) I’m rating it as a 2 for now, with a 3 pending (with suitable review edits) when the author gets around to fixing those first ten chapters. With a recommendation for now to just skip those chapters and go straight for when it starts getting interesting, if you like those sorts of power-fantasy stories. Otherwise, skip it.

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