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This will be a pretty long review, I'll add numbers and hope that helps.
First of all I can see why some people hate it and why some love it. I read the first book and listened to this one, which may have been a mistake as I had a lot of the voices different in my head and some of the pronunciation I found to be weird. Now, I am going to try to rate this FAIRLY, meaning while I have my own opinion on certain things, I will rate from a pragmatic/logical standpoint. (Kind of like if the story was about 2 men and their developing romantic relationship, while personally that would be at best 2 stars (if it was funny) because it's not of any interest to me, I would try to rate it based on the delivery or development instead.)
My biggest issue was that the MC is a bimbo. And I would like to point out that a male bimbo is just as irritating as a female bimbo, at least we are generally given 2 reason why the female bimbo is put up with by the others.
Now, I understand that the author wanted comic relief, but, he tried to do it TOO often, in fact if there was a chance at comic relief, no matter how small he took it... every time. And just like when my niece says something funny, then she says it over and over and over again, I have to explain that it isn't funny anymore, if you are going to retell it, you let there be a good delay between retellings. The author needs to learn this too. That said some of the jokes did have me chuckling a bit. (which is very good considering how I was biased against the humor therefore less likely to be amused). This is the main point of the character being a bimbo, he would stop doing whatever he was doing because of NO multi tasking capabilities and basically stare off in space while he follows a random train of thought. I feel that's enough about that.
Now about the main companion, lots of people complained about her, and I was bothered by her too, in fact I also wanted her gone, BUUUUUUT I feel this is also a side effect of the bimbo MC, because the author decided to make the MC the scapegoat for 99% of the comic relief (40% of the actually funny comic relief) this companion which was used for the delivery of the jokes suffered because most of the time it WASN'T funny and came across as simply being an asshole. (Imagine you have a guy that likes to make jokes, but he makes jokes ALL the time, no matter the situation and no matter if the joke is that funny or not (which more often than not it won't be) and almost every time the cause of the situation is person B, that guy while he would be irritating if he joked simply about everything and was usually not funny, he would come across as an asshole that was bullying person B for no good reason except to kick dirt on them whenever they stumble, even though he is doing his character and not actually trying to be cruel to person B (or even targeting him for the most part).
However, (I got sidetracked) Mary is a PIXIE, and they are generally irritating childish pests. In both Disney movies and more D&D types of games that I've played. So, if she didn't behave so childishly (taking shots whenever she sees them, being very self absorbed, and generally hyperactive) that wouldn't fit well with her character. So while you may not like it, it was properly done.
The Narrator, unfortunately the last several books I've listened to had amazing narrators, whereas if I listened to this book a year ago I probably would have been much less bothered. Also Some of the pronunciations could be due to how it was written or the reader's native dialect. The voices, I generally find that people don't do opposite genders well (last few I heard did though), but she was able to do the MC in a decent male voice (even if he sounded a bit monotonous and bored most of the time), I was mainly thrown off by the kobold and the high pitched voiced guard leaving the city (which was referred to as 'he').
XP and leveling seems to be painfully slow, it drove me crazy how small of a difference levels actually made for how incredibly long it seems to take them. (Seems to be about 5k needed per level and 4-6 given per kill and 10-100 per quest)
That however is the Author's design so while it drove me crazy (they honestly better find a way to get a decent amount of xp, or at least a steady stream of it soon), I can't actually have it effect the rating.
Worldbuilding - oo I can actually give a name for this number! The worldbuilding is quite good actually, The combat system DOES make sense, the character building DOES make sense. The XP was already mentioned but it is adhered to properly. The overcoming level gaps is a bit of a weakpoint, as these people that are several levels higher in this world where it is so difficult to level would have MORE than twice the "battle experience" (not xp) than them, yet they are getting stomped, which is balanced a bit by the fact that not many benefits seem to be given from leveling. (yes there are some but they for the most part end up being minor). That said, a lot of people's reasoning for doing some of the things they do seem to be a bit weak. Such as the guy that basically betrayed one of the only friends he had from long ago for something he didn't even know if it was what his superior wanted.
Also you aren't overdosed on stat screens which is nice (however the stat screen does get pretty long and a bit irritating to listen to in audiobook format).
It seems he likes cliffhangers... The last book ended on a cliffhanger (and honestly seemed like an abrupt end to me), as does this one. I really don't think it was necessary either, as this kind of story you have a decent overarching plot (right now you have 2 main plots, one which should be solved next book) and therefore can stop at a decent point, where the next leg of the journey will begin. The cliffhangers aren't needed, and honestly probably hurt more than help. Also this is something that shouldn't be done every book, perhaps he likes cliffhangers and I can see why authors would use them once in a while, ESPECIALLY when going in between plots (such as one major plot has been cleared and either another one begins or a previous one that was put on hold starts to intensify), but both of these cliffhangers seemed to be forced in there in a way which leaves you thinking "that's it, it just stopped there?" which is the type of plot hanger that shouldn't be done every book, but once in a while to screw with the readers IS ok.
And what irritates me more is that I expect next book to clear up one of the major plots and then have the other major plot intensify for a proper plot hanger. So while these first 2 I found to be poorly done and very irritating I am expecting one for the next book because it would be excellent timing, and appropriate.
That is pretty much it.
Plot: 4/5 - There were fun parts in between all the comic relief, one particular location I am looking forward to seeing again, and another nearby location I am looking forward for some serious revenge soon.
Dialog: 2/5 - While people were well in character in their interactions (and no it wasn't always interesting, but usually it won't be) it was mostly hampered down by over-use of the aforementioned comic relief.
Character Development: 3/5 - This one is difficult for me to judge, mainly because I feel I look for different things than everyone else that talks about this. But we got new characters, with decent background given, unique 'ticks', and some development as a team. However the original characters didn't develop much themselves (in some ways they seemed to have changed, but it was abrupt and I can't consider that as a development) This actually I think has the most potential as there are issues that each character can overcome about themselves (and I REALLY hope there is a solid attempt at making them overcome their own shortcomings instead of just having it be a part of the group dynamic, I don't want to spoil anything, but my main target is the healer)
Entertainment value: 2.5/5 - This seems harsh but there were times I was struggling not to switch over to another book. Now as for the type of story this is (litrpg) if that isn't your cup-o-tea (you are less than crazy about them) you probably won't like it much. The comic relief once again jumps in here knocking it down 1.5 points. I did however enjoy how he overcame the situations in the mini-arcs. But I will be getting the next book, though if the major issue i had with this book isn't fixed, that will have to be it.
Overall: 3/5 - There are issues that will bother people, but if you can see why things are done how they end up being done, it is quite well done. And if the Author can learn from what doesn't work and why, he will be able to put out some excellent books.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
I don't know why I didn't stop at the first but but let me tell you it does not get better. More of Marry being a toxic player. The main character is such a door mat that it is unbearable. The jokes are so forced and fall flat. The author tries to pop this book up with a pathetic amount of Harry Potter references. I will be returning the book and never look back.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful