I recently read through all of He Who Fights With Monsters. It’s a solid decent rating. Should the romance actually improve to decent as well, I would then rate it as good.
The romance isn’t though. The writer seems to like picking inconsequential side characters as love interests, perhaps in a misguided attempt at originality, but it always falls flat. If later he decides to make Farrah the main love interest and slowly build that up over a volume, then he could fix that. Cassandra was such a bad romance side plot and the unrequited love interest Sophia was really cheapened by what he wrote for her. Sigh… I digress.
The combat is pretty good and the magic system is both multifaceted and unique. They have these essences that give them magical powers using awakening stones. Five for each of the four essences. The fourth essence being a confluence of the first three. The system is more or less grounded in science, but they do use some concept magic systems. There is a lot of sociopolitical conversation under the hood. The armor and weapons are pretty plain though.
One problem I’ve noticed is that sometimes the story can feel detached at times and there’s of course far too many pov changes. Could also use more world building. Don’t get me wrong, there is some world building, but… They spent too much time on one place and not enough on exploration.
The comedy is what first caught me and that light hearted almost Evil Dead humor kinda falls off a little too much and becomes too serious at times.
I don’t like that the quest system was removed entirely either. That sorta walked back a lot of the litrpg feel.
The supporting characters that are actually important are good. Story needs about 70% more Ron Pearlmon the Lionid aka Gary. That guy was great. Rufus is pretty cool too though. Farrah as I said could be the perfect love interest for him if the writer is good enough to pull that out for the long haul and she’s pretty awesome on her own right. I liked Clive. Like a young Merlin. The non romance with Sophia cheapened her character a lot, but she’s alright I guess. The different pov changes for her were annoying though. Belinda, he didn’t really pull that off well at all for what she was supposed to be. Might just be me there, but I didn’t get the female MacGyver fell I was supposed to. Humphrey is boring as toast. Neil is practically not there at all, but it’s funny when they pick on him for being fat. Spoilers he’s not fat.
Overall worth the read, but it’s probably one you should let the chapters build up until he finishes the volume two. Not one you read as it comes out. It’s not exactly the most cohesive work.
Read “He Who Fights With Monsters” here!