The Reborn Omnibus 1-5 by D. W. Jackson is an odd duckling. Even as I write this review I am not entirely sure the best way to go about it. First off, it is an omnibus of 5 short novellas as opposed to a book. I thought about reviewing each individually but figured that there wouldn’t be much of a point in going with the omnibus then.
Ok, so about the series. It is stylized as a Japanese isekai web novel; with a dense protagonist, slaves that fall in love with MC, and a womanizing combat instructor. Before I go any further, I will say I enjoyed this story, it was fun. Not much depth, but it was simple and enjoyable. MC somehow dies and then gets transported to another world with a stat system. When choosing a race, he picks random and ends up with a cheat ability.
Unfortunately, I have a laundry list of complaints to mention about it as well. First and foremost, book one is simply godawful. There were misplaced words all over the place (i.e. ‘week’ instead of ‘weak’), capitalization issues, and punctuation problems. Thankfully those were reduced significantly as I moved onto book 2 and above, though they still remained throughout. A bit strange to see a writer improve while reading a novel. The language is somewhat simplistic, which does match up with the web novel format, but one thing that really bothered me is the author’s constant overuse of the word ‘said’ for dialogue. There are so many more interesting ways of saying things, like ‘shouted’ or ‘spat’, just to name two.
There is also a moment in book two where I had to stop reading for a short while because of a thought that the MC had. Now picture for a second that the MC had just spent the last 100 or so pages dense-protagonisting his way out of learning any information that wasn’t immediately useful to him, then all of a sudden he says something to the effect of “knowledge is the key to surviving in this world.” I couldn’t handle it.
As far as story is concerned, almost all of it centers around one city with a labyrinth in it and only occasionally deviates from there. Little to no world building, even when the main character reads a history and/or geography book. The main problem though is the consistent lack of goals. Occasionally a short-term goal is given to him and he complies with it, but no long-term goals are ever discussed, and I don’t think he even considers why he needs/wants to kill things.
I found the stat system fairly unimpressive. The classes are barely gone over, the abilities are all over the place and I’m not sure I understand how the stats relate to damage and other functions. Another problem is the ability bloat, the MC picks up many abilities way too quickly, then just kind of sits on most of them without using them. I noticed that for one in particular that it had a level during one stat page but didn’t for another. Not sure which was the error.
Tl;dr: Though fun, with some formatting issues, ability bloat, a bland protagonist, and punctuation and capitalization issues, there are better options available for the Japanese web novel style story. I cannot recommend this one. Try Growth Cheat or Shield Bro. 4/10