The Primal Hunter
I’m just going to come out and say it. If you’ve read Defiance of the Fall and enjoyed it, you will love The Primal Hunter. It has a similar premise, similar (minimal) base-building and progression, but with better characters and less deus ex machina.
Now, to be fair, the author gets away with a lot on the social side of characterisation by making the main character incredibly anti-social, and then befriending a pair of (sentient) birds. This is something I can get behind, but if you are wanting a story with some consistent and great character interactions, this one probably isn’t for you (the hilarious interactions with Villy excluded). This one is for you, if you want a story where the MC has an overpowered and unique bloodline ability (bloodlines being incredibly rare) that gives them an almost unbeatable edge from the outset. This edge continues to grow and grow, and Jake spends very little time challenged or struggling to overcome obstacles. For a system apocalypse, he’s got it pretty great. And then he becomes best pals with a god as well, which provides another edge no one is going to beat.
That last part isn’t a bad thing, the interactions with the god are humorous, and serve as an appropriate way to provide exposition or info dumping without having the break narrative consistency. In terms of those info dumps, there are unfortunately large sections of many chapters (especially on Royal Road) which contain absolutely useless information.
Here’s a super common one: Jake levels up, and gets presented with five new skills he can choose from. Theres a long description of the skill (from the system). Then theres three pages of rumination from Jake about if he should pick the skill or not, and how it might synergise with his current approach. He looks at the next one. Rinse and repeat. You can literally spend twenty pages going through all of this pointless internal deliberation, and its all pointless. Jake goes through skills (or moreso the author does) from common to uncommon all the way down to legendary. So of course Jake isn’t going to pick a common skill when theres a legendary one that is a thousand times better. So why on gods green earth are there dozens of pages of writing in the way. By the third time this happened (and it happens dozens of times), I would just do a mega scroll and skip past all the dross until we got to the part where Jake picks the obvious choice, and we can get on with our lives.
Ah, sorry, had to get that off my chest. There’s a lot of filler, that’s the take away. Filler skills, filler fights, filler this and that, and while I am totally fine just skimming through at an incredible pace, I feel anyone who reads every single word is going to be pulling their hair out. So, keep that in mind. It annoys me, but I’ve been reading web novels for a long time and I’m used to it. It is, I believe, a symptom of the patreon style of writing. You have a schedule, a chapter a day, and let me tell you, that is a lot of work to write. So if you don’t have the global plot mapped out perfectly yet, its so very easy to just take a 100 word scene and turn it into a 3000 word chapter by sticking some skills which you’ll never hear of again, or a fight against yet another badger.
With all of that said, I read the Amazon entry. I read all the chapters posted on Royal Road. And one day, I’ll probably come back and finish reading it. Its a guilty, pulpy pleasure to read about overpowered protagonists stomping everything in their way, and I’m just as much a sucker for it as the next person.