I was debating with myself alot about how to rate this book, finally i decided to give it a 3/5 because i liked Emerilia and based on that previous series i think the author will deliver a better second book in this new series and i am not ready to doom it yet.
But if i were to judge this book on it's own merits it definitely drops to a 2/5.
Erik and Rugrat both serve in a mercenary force in Africa guarding shady copper mine owners, they run into an ambush in which they get hit with a mysterious "two weeks curse" and Erik get's blown up with an IED.
This curse gives them interfaces like in a video game, stats, access to magic, healing powers and after two weeks teleports them and their surrounding area to an unknown place. standard LitRPG opening, nothing new..
Once they arrive to this new place then it becomes interesting, the fact that they are together with gear and expected to be teleported in the first place made this starting point unique.
I enjoyed the two characters synergy that was going on, them learning about the new world's and it's mechanics, deciding on their path together and later on trying to find ways to survive better as one unit while becoming stronger, it was great!
And then in the most interesting point of the book (just before the half mark) when it's all about to kick into high gear it grinds to a halt instead in one of the most unoriginal, uninspired and unnecessary "quest" that managed to contradict parts of the story and was completely unbelievable in how it was accomplished (for more details see the spoiler section below).
If the book would have continued on the same path of it's first half or if this quest was done in a believable manner it would have been a much more enjoyable read then it is now.
Another thing to be improved in this book is it's editing and errors, while it's not bad as to be even close to unreadable status it still could have used more time in that department.
I still intend to buy the second book in the series and give it another shot, it's an Okay read at the moment with high chances of improvement later on.
My Major Gripes With The "Quest" - SPOILER ALERT!
Erik and Rugrat get teleported outside a small backwater farming village that is about to be attacked by a horde of thousands of high level crazed animals with some intelligence and super strength.
The village has dirt roads, a wall that is made out of mud and buildings made out of "wood and dirt", it has a population of 181 farmers and village folk including elderly and children, some hunters, 20 guards that are not much better then the hunters and 1 Novice blacksmith.
They have total control of the village and the time of the attack is in TWO WEEKS.
In these mere two weeks, Erik and Rugrat helped the villagers to accomplish this:
- gathering food supply and water that will last for 4 months.
- fortifying the walls, make traps and obstacles and build watchtowers.
- heal everyone, fix sanitation and build latrines and showers.
- craft 100+ crossbows, dozens of spears and thousands of arrows FROM SCRATCH.
- gather enough wood for all the buildings and weapons (there was nothing on where and how they got all the metal from)
- form a military style militia force with officers, full training in weapons and discipline with different types of units that includes: range units, sharpshooters, heavy infantry, medics, mages and an elite quick response team.
- power level most of the village from an average level of 5 to an average of 10.
- have the villagers succeed in running most of everything on their own in a way that leaves Erik and Rugrat plenty of time to multiply their own power and levels while also advancing their chosen profession.
All in two bloody weeks, "how?!" you ask, very simple, books! not skill books in which the knowledge is instant and instinctive, regular books, called - MANUALS!
Never mind the fact that none of these farmers in this backwater village have even seen a book before, because books in this world are considered treasures, they are horded by the wealthy and the strong so it may only be passed and sold to other wealthy and strong individuals.
Never mind the previous mention in THIS book that most of the simple folk are illiterate, something that is very logical when a single book can cost years of labor in silver.
But all the residents of this very special "Village of The Savant Farmers" can not only read and write, they can immediately comprehend and act upon what is written in these manuals and pass the knowledge downwards like god damn robots.
"We need better weapons? no problem! let's just buy a few manuals for the blacksmith and in 2 days he will level up from novice to apprentice on his own"
"We bought 50 swords and shields for close combat, so let's buy some sword and shield manuals and give them to the officer in charge, he will read the manuals, pass the information downward to his soldiers via training and in a single day we have a full unit that knows how to fight with shield and swords together and even form shield walls and other formations.
Just buy a manual for every need that occurs, pass it on to a farmer that never seen a book before, and that farmer knows what to do in a day and will teach the others!
This entire part of the book (a good third of the book) was absolutely ludicrous while somehow managing to be both agonizingly slow in pace and feel rushed!
Just unimaginative, unbelievable and self contradicting quest that made me roll my eyes so much.