Ilea likes punching things. And eating.
Unfortunately, there aren’t too many career options for hungry brawlers. Instead, the plan is to quit her crappy fast-food job, go to college, and become a fully functioning member of society. Essentially – a fate worse than death.
So maybe it’s lucky that she wakes up one day in a strange world where a bunch of fantasy monsters are trying to kill her…?
On the bright side, ‘killing those monsters right back’ is now a viable career path! For she soon discovers her new home runs on a set of game-like rules that will allow her to punch things harder than in her wildest dreams. Well, maybe not her wildest dreams, but it’s close.
With no quest to follow, no guide to show her the way, and no real desire to be a Hero – Ilea embarks on a journey to discover a world full of magic. Magic she can use to fight even bigger monsters.
She’s struggling to survive, has no idea what will happen next, and is loving every minute of it. Except, and sometimes also, when she’s poisoned and/or has set herself on fire. It’s complicated.
Note: This is a completed series with Books 1 & 2 released. Rest of the story is available as Web-Series in Royal Road.
This was a book that started off a bit like so many other books in this genre, but quickly went on to become one of my favorite’s. I loved this so much that I finished the published books and then binge read all the serialized chapters within a couple of weeks.
The book is about Ilea stuck in a dead end lifestyle in modern Earth. One fine day, she wakes up in a new land with magic and monsters and the plot finds out why that happened and how she navigates and thrives in the wonderful yet barbaric lands.
To start this off, Ilea is such a badass. She’s equal parts sensitive and brash with a unhealthy affinity for punching things, one who wears her heart on her sleeve. Her intentions are believable and the way she’s conflicted in missing Earth, but still loving the fact she can punch powerful monsters in the magical land is balanced perfectly. She’s quite an OP character from the get go, but somehow the author keeps making the world bigger and tougher that we get the sense of challenge and danger without feeling the MC moonwalking through with her powers. The power progression is one of the best parts of the books. Just when you thing she’s gotten a cheat code, we get reset back with a new and more powerful target to conquer.
Not just Ilea, but all the characters (even those outside the main cast) are well etched and have depth. Everybody has their say without blending into background playing the supporting cast. You really root for the characters you like, hate the bad guys, but also really understand why they are what they are.
The new world is exotic, raw and magical. From the civilized rules based lifestyle at Earth, the a primal monster ridden and brutal setup of the magical world, the contrast is stark. The magical world in itself is quite immersive with the variety of physical, social & political layers written quite realistically. The prose is quite well, that I actually felt being in the scene I was reading. Easy to read prose and realistic dialogue complete the wonderful experience. The socio-political intrigue adds a new dimension that make the read all the more intriguing.
Finally, the pacing. This has action. Lots of it. Imagine when the basic beginner level monster Ilea faces is a Drake! From monsters, to ninjas, elves & aliens from other planets…Ilea faces a interesting and intriguing host of opponents as she figures out her past & future and the ever widening scope of the plot.
Overall, it is a amazing read. One, that I’d highly recommend.