Milton Frederick was arguably the best player of Crowned Lieges of Destiny in the entire world. As the strategy coordinator for one of the top guilds, he was beginning to actually make a living from it. That was, until he was abducted by aliens.
Instead of your stereotypical grey aliens with big black eyes who like to perform anal probes upon unsuspecting victims for unknown reasons, The Collective had a more altruistic purpose. Sure, kidnapping 100 humans from Earth, ripping them away from their lives and families, and erasing their memories doesn’t sound great – but the way they saw it, the benefits would far outweigh these side-effects. Seriously, who wouldn’t want their consciousness trapped in a Station Core, subjected to the whims of a collection of alien races, and then ordered to defend against other hostile aliens for all eternity? They’d be immortal – so…bonus!
Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), the Station Core now known as Milton never arrived at his destination. Severely damaged and confused about what happened to him, he woke up to find himself trapped inside a massive chicken egg on a strange, primitive world filled with curious – and deadly – creatures.
Now, in order to survive the harsh environment, Milton has to rely on a snarky, foul-mouthed AI guide to show him what it means to be a Station Core. With her help, he might just live long enough to figure out a way to get off the planet – if only he wasn’t so afraid of squirrels…
The Station Core contains elements of LitRPG including level progression and experience, optional tables, and a heavy Dungeon Core emphasis.
Contains foul language that might not be suitable for young readers.
My Opinion: 345 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
**Warning: There is a lot of cursing in the story. Mostly from the fairy guide AI.**
This is a slice of life LitRPG story that tries to do a few new things with the dungeon core genre. Some work. Some don’t. At least for me.
The game mechanics in the story have good details. There are detailed character sheets, tables listing upgrades, lists of creatable creatures, and more. However, the author has chosen to hide a good portion of those detail. There are still some quest notifications but the stat pages with loads of detailed numbers and tables are all hidden away in the back the novel as an appendix. So to see them, you tap an appendix note, which takes you to the back of the novel and then press another note to go back to the story. It’s awkward. But I understand the author's desire to balance showing these details. It just didn't work for me. I would have preferred to see those details in the story.
Storywise, the 1st 10% of the novel has a good setup even if part of it ultimately doesn't matter to the story. By the 6% mark you have your sentient dungeon core and explanations about the possible progression for the story.
Then, there’s a huge swath of the story where the main character (MC) builds a primitive dungeon and fends off animals. It’s honestly kind of boring. Mostly because the dungeon never felt like it was in any danger and the opponents and progress felt limited. I really thought about putting the novel down at this point.
At the 50% mark, the story gets so much better. It introduces a sentient race of people with their own culture based on fighting monsters. I don't want to spoil it but it’s a much more interesting story once people come into the picture. The story gets emotional, has interesting characters, and it still connects to the dungeon. It finally feels like there is some purpose for the dungeon existing in the story.
I’d easily give the last half of the story a 7 out of 10. But the 1st half really dragged for me. Outside that first intro section, it would get a 5 out of 10. So, I’ll split the difference and give the story:
Score: 6 out of 10