This entire story is a beautifully dark masterpiece that has many enticing characters combined with a fleshed-out world that has consistent rules and features. While this story could be considered a tragedy, it would definitely be on the lighter side of such, far from being considered "grimdark"
Every important character here has motivations, differing character traits, goals, and flaws. Even most minor characters have something to distinguish themselves from the crowd. The world set up by Phycholor feels like it could be a real place, and not just something created as the story's backdrop. It's a shame that we only get to see it from the eyes of a select few.
What little action this story has, while passable, is a far cry from the quality the rest of the story. The LitRPG elements do feel a bit forced at times, but their lesser importance in the story offsets that minor issue. There was also a (minor) plot hole I found, but that was both an author oversight rather than an issue in the story itself, and it was easily addressed without having to retcon anything. While I could complain more, any other negative criticism I have would simply be nitpicking.
The characters are well written and varied. First off, we have the protagonist Stahlia, a gender-bent isekai protagonist caught up a game made by the gods, who simply wants to live a peaceful life with her new family/friends until a tragedy drives her to revenge. After said tragedy, she closes herself off for a time and changes into a much colder person who only truly cares about the wellbeing of those she knows, and gains a drive to end those in power for what they've done. Unlike many isekai/gender-bent protagonists, we see Stahlia greatly affected by her new world/s*x, and while she does remember her old life, she accepts that there is no going back to it and uses instead uses her old life's memories as a sort of parental figure instead of forgoing it in it's entirety.
We also have Jaqueline, a maid/assassin, who, while initially sent to monitor Stahlia after she shows promise, but several years later proceeds to become a turncoat after being confronted and accepted by Stahlia for who she is and seeing just what the effects of her organization are on families throughout the kingdom. While often stoic, she is shown to care about Stahlia and those close to her, even being willing to sacrifice her well-being for them.
The psychological theming is what makes this story truly shine to me. We see the effects trauma, abuse, and kindness have on how people think and feel. Any character with significant screen time is shown to greatly change based off of their own experiences and the people around them. We see their inner struggles due to the changing first-person perspective. Nobody in this story could really be considered to be a "hero" which fits with the secondary theme of grey morality.
The author is very active in the comments and is open to discussion SO LONG AS PEOPLE ARE RESPECTFUL. In fact, I analyse each chapter, sharing my observations and thoughts, and then often end up getting an equally detailed reply from them.
While it may seem like I'm giving away a lot here, trust me when I say that this story is incredibly deep and thought-provoking. I could write a novella on just my observations, and that is something I rarely see in stories. I also happen to be incredibly stingy with 5-star ratings, so that alone should be an indicator on my opinion on this story's quality.
Edit: The author has added the Tragedy tag. Thank you for that.
TL;DR ~ Good story. Missing the Tragedy tag.
I'm feeling really conflicted about this story as I both love and hate it.
I love it because of the excellent world building and the focus put on character development, just as the author promised in the synopsis. I like the clever usage of modern knowledge in alchemy. I like seeing an MC that can use their head as more than just a fancy decoration. I like seeing the gender bender issue being properly addressed and not just casually rushed over to get to the lesbian romance.
It just makes it all the more frustrating when I see the MC take nonsensical actions for nonsensical reasons just to explain the tragedy subplot. F*cked up sh*t happens to the MC and to the people they care about, and while the MC talks about resolving the problems, that doesn't really seem to translate into action.
Now don't get me wrong, there's nothing inherently wrong with the Tragedy genre, I just really wish the author would actually put the proper tag for it instead of smacking you in the face with it halfway through the story. That's what these tags are supposed to be for: Warning people of what to expect from your story!
Considering the zany title, I was expecting another dumb protagonist along with lots of fourth-wall-breaking going on.
Surprisingly though, this story is quite the reverse. It's well-written with a tone that's well-balanced between slice-of-life portions and more serious portions. There's very little zaniness going on - even during the more slice-of-life moments, the story always has plenty of internal consistency and plausibility. The MC has advantages, but her progress feels steady and a result of her efforts. Also, the MC is presented as being actually above average intelligence both before and after her reincarnation, which is a breath of fresh air from all the overwhelmingly dense protagonists so many stories feature.
I normally end up reading litrpg tagged with "gender bender" hoping for somewhat of a TG focused plot (of which there are many on the site). So on that note - in this case, the MC rapidly adapts to her new gender without much in the way of second thoughts or introspection/identity issues/etc (aside from a brief segment in which she's in shock for a while and then never thinks about it again afterwards) - she could basically have been female from the start and it wouldn't have changed anything imo. I didn't mind though, since the story was quite good and I was happy to keep reading regardless of it not focusing on that niche.
This has a lot of potential!
Was good overall character and world building were very good. Easily able to get immersed and interested. Easy to read as well which is a big plus. Can tell Author has an idea and plan on how to proceed the story.
Unfortunately author dumbs down the MC and has her ignore all prior information she has already confirmed to progress the story and goes completely against prior established behaviour of the character to suit. Normally I would be okay with this depending on the circumstances of the character, but the way author has setup MC in this novel leaves no excuses for her behaviour.
I would have given a 5/5 but when authors ruin the MC by dumbing them down to suit plot it completely turns me off the story. I'll be dropping this one now but encourage others to give it a shot as there is still a lot to enjoy in this series
I find this story really good. There are shortcomings but what I find really interesting is how detailed female perspective of world author wrote. Most isekai stories with female MCs are often wish fulfillment power fantasy stories with perfect equal world. It often feels like in those stories MCs really are just males. This story on other hand gives perspective what it is to be woman in fantasy world.
This is just a flat out great story so far. The chapters are long and well written and the story and lore of the world seems consistent. The author is giving you a world and characters and they're staying "in character", which is an issue many authors on here seem to have trouble with.
The gender bender aspect doesn't seem to be too impactful on the story and it seems like the MC is able to somewhat come to grip with her new life as a girl and the focus is more on the world around her and the day to day. There are some well timed time skips since the MC is born in the new world and the pacing of the overall story is good. The MC is a very OP MC but the MC is also guided and taught by a more powerful person out of coincidence and convenience for them. You're able to buy in to the MC's growth and why they become so powerful... although they're still an OP MC regardless.
The story has been very enjoyable so far with a 3x per week release schedule and chapters that are long. It's not a story you need to forget about for a few months because the author releases 15minutes of total reading time per week. It's a story that will get you a good amount of story every release that's well balanced between slice of life and plot development.
Everything is good.... the main problem is how the author downplayed the MC's personality.... like how come our MC isn't doing everything in her power to make herself stronger??? Like what the hell? Its your f'ing family is at stake here!!!... they even brainwashed her?? Why is not doing everything to make herself stronger?? She can literally just grind all day then freaking demolished this f'ing kingdom???... yet all she does and freaking lay around and collecting harem members!!???....f... if it was me I would just immediately head to the nearest dungeon and grind there!. Look even most of the mangas and novels I read abandoned their personalities just to save their love ones! Yet....f'ck
Tricked is a well written psychological story. The novel spends it's time dwelling within Stahlia's head. We know what she notices and remarks upon, while far more lurks beneath the surface plot.
The occasional scene is written from another character's perspective, serving to enhance our understanding of the world and their motivations. While these scenes might churn the same ground, they cut deeper and offer fleeting insight into the greater world.
At this point, Stahlia is still in the 'childhood' arcs. She stands out as a prodigy, but still has room to grow and develop to cope with the pressures of the world around her. She suffers setbacks which drive her character development in a way that is truly delicious to read.
A few weeks ago I happened to see this story on the recent updates and decided to check it out when I saw it had a bunch of tags that I usually enjoy. I expected to it to be another average isekai power fantasy that I could kill time reading, but instead I found one of the best written isekai I've found in quite some time.
The story is a reincarnation litrpg isekai where the MC is going from our world to live a new life use to the machinations of that worlds gods. The MC is well written and the the supporting characters all have enough depth to not make them one note archetypes. The author has obviously put a lot of thought into how this world works and it shows itself in both the lore that we've seen so far and how the system works. The system doesn't activate for everyone so people that have access to it end up a lot stronger, smarter, and more skilled than people that don't have access to it, which adds some tension to social dynamics in the world. The story does have quite a few tragic and violent moments so don't go in thinking it's going to be a happy feel good tale.
The grammar and dialogue are great for the most part. There are a few typos in every chapter but nothing that pulls you out of the narrative. All the characters except for one (who has her reasons), speak naturally and make good decisions based on the info they have at the time, so there's been nothing that makes me cringe or wonder why someone is behaving out of character.
All in all I've enjoyed this story a lot and look forward to seeing how things develop going forward.