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WIP Worth the Candle by cthulhuraejepsen - T - Original Work

Discussion in 'Other Review Board' started by Ceins, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. Ceins

    Ceins First Year

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    49
    Title: Worth the Candle
    Author: cthulhuraejepsen
    Rating: T
    Genre: litRPG, Adventure
    Status: WIP
    Fandom: Original work.
    Summary: It's a self-insert litRPG portal fantasy, loosely based on my personal experience of falling into a portal to another world and discovering that I had a character sheet attached to my soul.
    Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/11478249?view_full_work=true

    So while the summary is factually correct, it does the work little justice. Making it seem a whole lot worse and low-effort then it really is.

    The reasons I like it:

    We're finding out about the other world at the same time as the MC, and there are things to find out. The world functions differently with it's own biases and traditions, which we find out when the MC runs afoul of them. Like the fact that souls are proven the exist and make a nifty power source, which as you might imagine trips the MC up a bit. And it's interesting to find out why the other world uses souls and why morality doesn't even enter into the discussion.

    There's also the plot of that while the world is exiting and new, it's not completely unfamiliar, bearing uncomfortable similarities with campaigns the MC has run as a DM. Which is kinda bad news because they weren't the happiest of campaigns and the things in them would be horrible to actually meet.

    And the "character sheet" thing is being played refreshingly straight, which does have the fridge horror elements cropping up. As an example that I haven't seen elsewhere is the level up mechanic, mainly that it feels good. And it continues to feel even better each successive time, to the point where dealing with how good it's starting to feel and how everything else is starting to pale in comparison is becoming it's own little sub plot. Which is but one of the things I find neat about the ability and how the author is handling it.
     
  2. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros.

    Joined:
    May 27, 2010
    Messages:
    597
    Location:
    Philippines
    Ceins covers most of what I found good about this story, but doesn't cover the points which in the end only allow me to rate this as high as 2/5.

    Spoilers abound

    Technical:


    The author infodumps a shit load of stuff. Not just once or twice, almost consistently throughout the story we see it happen. Which I get, being a new world and all with new biases that are alien to us. However, there's something to be said about the way it was executed which I find distasteful and sloppy. The reliance on numbered lists for example. There's also the fact that it feels like too much too soon, I always find myself either 1) Wondering whether all of this information I'm reading is important or 2) Skipping through large segments of these infodumps.

    The dialogue itself is alright when it comes up, but IMHO the worldbuilding, while interesting as ideas, falls flat in execution. Bonus points for not suffering from adverb fatigue though.

    Wankery:

    My second issue, and arguably the harder one to solve, is the harem vibes. Our first major character introduction other than the MC is an incredibly hot girl who turns out to be 1) A Princess, 2) Not only a Princess, but the primary designated heir through what I'm pretty sure arose from the mind of a CK2 player (agnatic gavelkind or somesuch bullshit) and 3) Takes an immediate interest in the MC and is primed to be the main love interest.

    Okay, I can kind of stomach it even though it's reminiscent of Fleur/Harry settings in that we have this seriously way out of your league female lead falling for some bumfuck gamer nobody from the middle of freaking nowhere. Pure fantasy and wanking, but I've seen worse.

    But then the second person to get added to the party is a half-elf, half-human girl who flirts aggressively with the MC. I'm just left thinking JFC can we get a staple character that isn't trying to jump this guy's bones.

    So we get a dwarf. A male one - sure it makes a big speech about how the dwarves technically have only one gender and yadiyadiyada - and then suddenly we find out in the latest chapter dwarf is only male out of convenience but was actually in an arranged marriage and TLDR is actually female.

    Give. Me. A Fucking. Break.

    It's not anywhere near harem fanfiction levels yet, but I can smell the smoke and I'm very rarely wrong about this kind of thing. Gamer fics, as a genre, do this story no favors in dissuading me that it's a stereotypical power wank fantasy.

    Interest:

    My final issue with the story is that it simply isn't all that interesting, when compared to other, better stories. For the most part, I think the fault lies with the personality and characterizations. Sure, sometimes the jokes are funny, but other than those few scenes that get a snort, there's not a lot for me to go on. The characters themselves I find dry and mainly uninteresting after a few chapters because holy shit could the women in this story be any much hornier for the MC short of being a smut fic.

    Sure the world building ideas are good (execution terrible, as discussed previously) and some of the gamer power aspects are handled neatly (level up addiction coming to mind) that set it apart from typical gamer stories, but at the end of the day it's a very YMMV story where if you aren't already familiar with the genre, you probably won't find a lot interesting here.

    Would I bother reading it again? No.

    Would I bother following the story? No.

    Would I bother recommending it to a friend as an absolute must read? No.

    Do I think it was an entire waste of time to read? No.

    TLDR: Decent time waster, nothing special.