Ryker only has one goal in his life right now:
Turn a certain adventuring guild into a flaming wreck while dancing merrily through the smoldering ruins. All for the chance to get back at a handful of people.
It isn’t as if they didn’t deserve it either.
They had driven him from his home. Chased him physically from the very guild house itself. All the way to the gates of the city.
Simply because he wasn’t as strong as they expected him to be.
As strong as he’d expected himself to be.
He’d returned to the city the next day and left with his means for revenge. Something he’d hidden away and told no one about when he found it in one of his few Dungeon Dives.
An inactive Dungeon Core.
A crystal the size of a fist with a soul inside. One that could create anything from mana it wanted to. From monsters and complex cave systems to gold coins.
Years spent in planning, and unfortunately farming, as he waited. Now it felt like his moment was finally here.
The Dungeon Core had been acting strange lately. As if it were finally… coming to life.
Watching over the crystal like a hawk for this very event, Ryker impatiently waits. Any day now, it'd start.
And he could set about taking his vengeance.
Starting with ripping the soul of the Dungeon out.
Warning and minor spoiler: This novel contains graphic violence, undefined relationships/partial harem, unconventional opinions/beliefs, forced political marriage (and consummation), and a hero who is as tactful as a dog at a cat show. Read at your own risk.
My Opinion: 382 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
First let me say that there are a lot of people who absolutely love this novel. It hits all their buttons. For me, there are some really good parts that I like a lot. What the author does with the dungeon is innovative. The main character is interesting and not your normal hero type. There’s a variety of good fights. However, overall the story didn’t land with me.
The very first thing I ask as someone that reviews LitRPG stories, is this story LitRPG? That was a hard one for me to qualify this time. It has an system in the story but much of the details are hidden away. Adventurer’s and monsters have ‘cards’ that show their stats, level, and skills. But it’s only something that’s referred to in the story, the actual information on those cards is hidden away. That’s kind of the extent of anything RPG related. I was on the fence but i decided that yes, there is an RPG system. It’s referenced several times that characters level and there are classes with specific powers that’s a part of the world. Just because I’d like to see more details, or really any details at all, doesn’t mean that this RPG game world is hidden from the reader or the characters.
The dungeon master stuff is interesting. The MC has this detailed plan to use a dungeon he can create and control to get his revenge. The dungeon isn’t your standard hack and slash though. It becomes this story based system that has quest giving NPCs and as more adventures die, the MC absorbs their class skills and abilities that he uses to make more complex and powerful monsters. There’s more interesting stuff that I won’t spoil.
However, most of the dungeon master story disappears by the 35% mark. At that point, the story becomes more focused on politics and intrigue as both the Queen of the country and her rivals vie for control of the dungeon through marriage and sex. The story also becomes more harem.
Overall, I wanted to like this story. I like that the MC is a bit darker and ok with killing adventurer’s as long as he gets the revenge he wants. The dungeon master stuff is good but the dungeon development becomes a minor part of the story after the 35% mark. I’m also not a particular fan of political intrigue, which becomes a major focus of the story. That coupled with the severe lack of detail on the RPG system in the world just made it less interesting to me. Had even one of those things been more developed: showing the adventurer cards, or more dungeon development in the story, this would have gotten a 7.
While the story wasn’t a home run for me, if you like political intrigue or if weren’t expecting a full dungeon master story or if you prefer super super light RPG stuff, you will likely love this story.
Score: 6 out of 10