I have spent a lifetime reading and writing countless stoic management reports, design briefs, equipment analysis reviews, and business presentations. None of which I would ever describe as witty, insightful, or entertaining until I read by chance The Mech Touch by Exlor. His LMC company designs and builds machines of war from the ground up. This novel will leave your nerd senses tingling for more, and if you think flicking a wall switch to light up a room is magic you will find this book magical from chapter to chapter. Toss away your paperbacks, embrace technical devices and immerse yourself in 'The Age of Mechs'!
I rather enjoy this story. Its more of a slow burn in terms of pacing, which can understandably be a bit frustrating. I'm actually not a super big fan of the actiony bits where Ves gets personally involved, but I understand their importance within the context of the story. I started reading this story because I was looking for something a bit more relaxed compared to the normal fare that I read. The MC often has many conflicting goals so it often feels like he's dragging his feet a bit, but I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing. I don't believe its ever been stated that Ves is a super driven person, so bouts of procrastination aren't uncommon and serve to make him seem more realistic. I don't think said dragging of feet has ever been particularly egregious, but at the same time I binged 350+ of the chapters at once so my perspective may be a bit skewed as a result. Since I've caught up to the most recent chapters, the story's been updating at a pace of two per day, so I think the updating pace is pretty stable. I think the supporting cast is fine, but the story is definitely very focused on Ves himself. We know the names of other characters and a bit of their backstories/motivations, but we don't go super in depth about them. I would say this is an area that could be improved upon, but not something that really detracts from the overall quality of the story itself. As for the World Background, we've been given glimpses into the universe as a whole outside of the small bubble the story's been primarily focused on. As a result, we know there is a greater universe with other planets/characters/aliens out there waiting to be explored. From my recollection, I don't believe there's been too many lore dumps. As things become relevant, Ves (and we as readers) learn more about them, but never really to a truly overwhelming extent. All in all, I think this is a fun story that's trying to be a bit different from the normal fare on this site. From that context, I believe the story I've given is fair. There's room for improvement, but nothing that detracts significantly from its overall quality. I think if you enjoy Superstars of Tomorrow this will be something you might enjoy as well.
*I have read every single chapter up to 1736, skipping and skimming nothing* Slight inclusion of very mild spoilers that mean nothing out of context )) First, I have to say that the critics of the Vandal arc aren’t wrong. When I first read about the conscription, I assumed a time skip would be employed at some point. When they arrived at the Aeon corona system, I assumed time would be sped up on the planet rather than slowing down- this seemed like a great chance to accelerate the war ark. Nevertheless, the MC grew a lot during the arc. It is a bit of a stretch, but this is shaping up to be a 5000 chapter story at this rate. Dedicating 600+ chapters to preliminarily shape the MCs character from a timid indoctrinated weakling into a prototype of a business leader able to survive in a cutthroat world has at least some merit. Before you discount me completely- yes, I agree, there was some ‘false advertisement’. Being disconnected from the system for so long was counter to what most system novels do and many fellow readers will be justifiably annoyed at that. Me? I have no issue. Whilst I love your standard system trope chewing gum novels as much as the next guy sometimes, this isn’t that. In one of the recent chapters, the author described serving in the army as a means, not an end. That is the same thing I have to say for my perspective on his usage of the system. Whilst I cannot speak for the author, what I see from his work is an amalgamation. In mech touch speak, the design seed of the novel has taken fractured spiritual pieces from many different genres and used them to craft its own unique identity. Many people comment about the novel not conforming to expectations from various genres. Well... why should it? In webnovel speak, why continue to define a story by the same tags it started with if the story has come to a point where they are no longer the best choice? What if Ves loses the Metal Scroll for good? I’m sure the readers will riot(I’m sure the thought of introducing this plot element gives the author a headache for this reason) , but my point is that what if it makes the story better for it? Unlike so many people saying how the story has deteriorated, I have actually read the whole thing word for word. Whilst I agree that there were times where I was weary with parts of the story, I have never been disappointed. When ves returns from war, the Story picks up and becomes so much more phenomenal. The start of the new mech generation and his new mechs with their expanding repertoire of abilities are increasingly interesting to read about Tbh,I really tip my hat to the author. Perhaps the difference between phase tech mechs and mastercraft mechs are a subtle jibe at the non conformity of this story to cookie cutter ideologies. I’m sure any mildly intelligent person can think up 100 arguments against anything they wish. ‘Mech designers are unstable, hence justifying the MC making retarded decisions that help the plot’ I’ll take that excuse at face value. Why not? It makes for an interesting plot point. ‘the novel is so much about business but the business aspect isn’t realistic’ I’m entertained reading about it. I’m not a business magnate myself, nor do I expect the author to be too perfect? ‘What’s with cultivation? Why doesn’t it work like this or like that?’ Spirituality is obscure. Can the author make it more obvious? Does a massive pirate ship full of spirituality users not hammer home the point that only the strongest organisations really use it? Whilst Ves always calls it his unique advantage, there have been many hints in the story that he is well aware that he is not unique. He is aware that he is reinventing the wheel in some areas. He chooses not to think about that because it is not helpful to him. Many things are inherently open to debate. The author is building a universe. Where’s the fun if it’s perfect? I encourage fellow readers to read everything. This story is worth it. Enjoy!!
Hello, this is the author of The Mech Touch, and I'll shamelessly review my own story to provide some clarification. This novel is my original work and I'm writing it as I go. My goal is to write a webnovel with the consistency and quality of Qidian's mainstay stories. This means that I will do my utmost to keep up a regular updating schedule and upload chapters with decent word counts without detrimentally affecting its quality. I have a decade-long history of writing fanfiction and have published about 800,000 words in a dozen different stories, so I'm an old hand at this. I know more than almost anyone else what readers demand from authors, so I will work hard to meet your expectations. The Mech Touch is a story that I came up with a whim, but found it good enough to start writing immediately. I wanted to write an engaging sci-fi mech novel but from an original premise. Incorporating a 'System' into the story might be a cheap and overused plot element, but its fun and it works for the audience of this website.
The Mech Touch is one of the best original novel in this site, sadly it was become worst and worst. The story itself is interesting, the writing is a solid one, it is one of the best writing quality I have ever seen in original novel. So whats the problem? At first the story progress is slow but detailed about the MC, it was understandable as the author try to paint the world around MC. But what happen if that keep happening for 500 chapter? Then you got slow, full of bs and useless story or filler you may call. The story development become more and more slow, and you got a turtle pace story. Mob character get so much attention for 10-30 chapter and then disappear as they either dead, or become useless for the MC. Then you may think, why dont the author cut the filler, focus on the MC and stop making the story longer and longer than necessary? My answer, greed, the author is full of greed for your SS. Not it is wrong, not my problem, my problem is the time you wasted reading this useless filler story that got little to no impact to the MC and core story! You hope the story progress but for 3 days or 6 chapter and more it still stuck to that one battle with almost no relation to the MC, author keep making detailed BS of this mob character A who killed mob character B, C, D, E, F and so on so on. And it was not the first time he do it! While he keep making this BS nobody care, the character building become abandoned, many important side character got little to no story, and a mob character got more than 10 chapter, "u mad bro?" Another problem of this "detailed filler" is it wasnt even that interesting or correct enough, the chain command in the military is so bad and stupid the MC's country should be destroyed long ago. The mob character got to many explanation, you start to think maybe he become the next side chara, and then bam, no word anymore. Another time there is a filler full of mech battle, wait not that kind of mech battle, I mean what pilot in mech battle think in the fight, it wasnt even that interesting or important, and it got so many explanation! Like the reader care about that kind of BS! The author only want to increase word count like greedy chinese webnovel author, so he got more SS. Author build so many background BS, the story become so full of background story that got no explanation or attention for a long long long time! And he keeps adding more! The MC unfinished problem at chapter is maybe 1 or 2, but at chapter 500 he got 10 or more. There is no focus in the story, author is not just greedy about SS, but greedy about all kind of story development. It become to chaotic because of all the filler! This novel is a HONEY TRAP! It have excellent writing, but chaotic story development. You may read and think how good the story is at first, but as you go, and read far above 200 chapter, it become snail pace and full of filler. The problem is it was very subtle, and when you realize it you already read far to many chapter, therefore a honey trap, it was a good story until you realize it is a trash. Dont believe me? Read it yourself! Waste you time, I dont care. I only rant here because the author never read comment.
This is one of the best and well thought out Orginal novels on Qidian. The relaxed and smooth transitions and clear descriptions of the characters, mechs and building processes are amazing to see from someone who is not a professional writer. But all of these pale in comparison to the godly battle scenes in this novel. By far some of the most exciting and powerful battles and battle descriptions I have ever read. Even if you don’t normally enjoy mechs you should try this novel.
When i started reading this novel, it became more and more interesting with the MC's developement, but as kept reading on, the author seems to completely scrap all of the MCs development at the start of a new arc. His stats also dont match his abilities, and many of skills are ignored as if they never existed even tho they did 100 chapters back. The fun parts bout reading this novel is about his development plans and how his mechs are used in battles, and even tho the "intellect level" of the MC is high, he keeps doing the same stupid mistakes over and over again, not improving them or getting worse from them. The arcs seem to continue on for 30-50 chapters and only 7-10 or so of those chapters are actually part of the story, the rest are just word count/chapter count requirement. I have to stop reading this novel now, cause the author has already detracted from what makes this such a good story. Thank you tho author, it was a fun ride, the first 100 or so chapters.
it has mechs. a lot of mechs. and I like mechs. I may be biased but at least I know my bias. I enjoy my bias for mechs. this is the best mech related story I have ever read. as someone that spent over 100 hours in the Armored Core garage while never starting the final mission, this is right in my strike zone.
Another case of a novel floating on the reviews it got in its infancy. Look at the reviews that rate this novel highly, the flat majority of them are in the first 400 chapters. After that, the novel is just mediocre and bad in some aspects. There is even a review telling you to skip about 200 chapters of the war arch. The other 400 after that is just barely tolerable. Stability of Updates: 5/5. The author drops down a lot of chapters on a consistent basis. Writing Quality: 5/5 Story Development: I can't go lower than 1. He writes a lot but a lot of it is just info dumps. The quality suffers heavily when you get to the premium chapters. Each chapter is expensive and 2/3rd of most of his chapters involve info dump of some kind. As a result the story slogs. His grammar is excellent but a beautiful gun is useless if two out of every three bullets gets jammed. However, that's the smallest issue with this novel. This novel is a system novel. But, the author takes the main character to a war zone and leaves the system behind. How can you have a system novel when the system plays no part. He drops the system at around the 250 chapter mark and it doesn't make a significant play until the late 900s. Imagine paying that much for each chapter to get info dumps, slow story development, and no system for 3/4ths of the story. It's a rip off. Word Background: 5/5. The only good thing out of the info dumps is it tells you about the world. It's a tell don't show approach so it's annoying to read but whatever, the world is fleshed out. Character Design: Another 0/5. The main character has no agency in the story. He flies whichever way the wind blows him. You're not living his story. You're watching a guy on a roller coaster of ****. At the end he comes out with very little character growth. The author seems to think war medals gives his MC more character but it's just a medal on the same dude you had at the end of the first 300 chapters. The system is his growth and without it he's not a mech designer. He's just some soldier that happens to know how to fix and make mechs. The story is about designing mechs but the MC stops growing in that aspect just to become a soldier. Lazy Tension: The author does this thing where he describes everything in a grandiose manner. When the MC designs a mech, it sounds and comes across like the most badass thing of its category. However, the author always seems to introduce opponents with mechs that just seem to inch out or flat our destroy our MC. Why describe it in such a grand manner and then make it come out as a dud in competitions? It's such a lazy way to introduce *******. Of course, the MC wins but it comes across as Deus Ex Machinas and plot armor. The amount of money you spend for the value you receive is not worth it.
Well, when i picked up this novel 5-6 months ago, I enjoeyed it like a madman. When stellar-planetary arc started i suffered for quie a while waiting for it to be completed, when it did. i was quite happy and enjoyed this novel at that time, BUT ( here's why i dont recommend this novel) War arc starts- Honestly, it killed novel as a whole piece and i didnt even read all of chapters, just skipped new updates to see when it finally ends. Well 5 months later, im still waiting :) 0/10000 story development wise
Ketis was one of the best characters in the story and could have developed into something great. I always though ves and ketis would be like brothers and sisters since ves once mention wanting a sibling but as usual author wrote ves as a dumb and boring character and didnt explain and stuff and also made ketis like him. Ketis and Ves would have been a great duo and not in love kinda way but more of a sibling kinda way and he would have had someone he could really trust. Kudos to the author for ruining another great character. Great job as always man. You keep your readers proud of you.
This first couple arcs are a fantastic tale of industry intrigue and competition. There are awesome set pieces, mystery, exciting battles, all of which contribute to the overall plot. The second half is just a Star Trek rip off that even the protagonist can wait to end. Its boring, and has no clear weight on the main plot. There no stakes, no mech designs, no other fun characters (except Ketis way later) This isn’t the first time I’ve seen an author shoot there story in the foot by introducing a long and, at the end of the day, waste of time arc. Maybe theres a huge pay off at the end, but several hundred chapters to get there means you’re milking the story for your readers money more than advancing the plot.
Ves Larkinson lives in a universe where mechs rule the battlefield. Mechs and mech pilots are glorified, both in battle and out of it. As a Larkinson, he is expected to join the family in a long line of historied mech pilots. Alas, since mechs are piloted using a neural relay, some genes affect how good a pilot can be, and Ves simply got one of the worst kind of connection with neural relay. Disbarred from his family's heritage from a fluke of genetics, he decided to become a mech designer instead, but double alas, he simply isn't good enough... What can a young man do? Get a Mech Designing System from his exiled father, of course. Now, that was the opening premise of the story, and while it seemed cliched, it was plenty interesting at start. But unfortunately, Exlor delivered a different story than what is expected. The tag 'Space Opera' is probably the important cue here, because the writing suggested that Exlor wanted to have a gritty kind of universe, where the main character is not the focal point which the suns and stars orbit around. The universe is large, and Ves inhabited a small portion at the rim of the galaxy, where tech level is plenty low that he thought the System might be some manner of quantum-like tech from the inner regions of the galaxy, where technology is more akin to wizardry. There are politics and war between human polities of the Komodo Star System where Ves lives. There are business and politics among the controlling factions in the Bright Republic, the human polity that Ver is a national of. There are competition and politics between famed mech designers. There are jockeying and drama among the Larkinson family. There are... You get the picture, right? There are a LOT of things happening, so the story does not just revolve around the poor boy and his Mech Designing System. In fact, compared to standard Systems where one climb a strict hierarchy, here Ves has to spread himself between making a name as a mech designer, making a mech design that is good, getting more skills to make a better mech design, making his mech studio renowned and profitable, making a mech design that fits the requested niche, winning design contests, making connection in the mech production and market world, making business decisions, escaping spies, aliens, mutants, mercs, and armies... Wait, what has the last one got to do with Mech Design, you say? Well, gritty setting and lots of politics meant that being reputable makes one interesting to others. Ves becomes a resource to be taken over or to be destroyed so that others might not benefit from him. So again, there are LOTS of things happening, and mech design and the System simply fall to the wayside. I wouldn't quite say that it was a bait-and-switch tactic, but expectations have been broken that there were quite a large number of bad reviews overall. Did you like the basic slapdash big-arsed VR mech design from the beginning and the story of the VR pilot who played it? Well, there's not a whole lot of them. It is not like the delivered storyline is not possibly interesting, but the problem is, Exlor is not at the stage that he could deliver such plotline with his current level of writing. Later on, when X-Factor, Spirituality, and Resonance start to come into focus -which isn't bad, I just think it ala Newtype from Gundam instead of thinking them as space cultivation- Ves started to gain insights on his mech design philosophy... But the way he gained insights is kind of absurd and not very well expressed. For example, Event A happened, Ves does action B, bemoaned of C; after event passed, several scenes later, when Ves needed to do something, it was recapped that during event A happened Ves learned to do D, E, and F, and he integrated them into his design philosophy! Wait! Didn't he only think of B and C while A happened!? Where did D, E, and F come from!? And D is just the thing he needed for this design he is currently facing! Argh. The ideas are good, execution needed alot of polish. Plot coherence and scene flow are odd.
As others have stated, this novel is very much a slow burn with rather slow progression and more detail on the finer details such as worldbuilding. Conceptually, I find this aspect of the story most interesting which is very high praise considering I'm more into fantasy over sci-fi/mechs. The level of detail is just right, in my opinion. Though it does tend to stress certain concepts several times, it doesn't feel repetitive unlike in a certain sword god novel. I noted that certain arcs felt 'slow' at the time, but looking back, they're very much necessary in how they contribute to worldbuilding and the overall plot. Character development is rather good for this reason as well as being a non-plot-driven slow-burn. Other characters are distinct in their characteristics and dialogue and it's not just a slew of side characters. I'd definitely recommend giving this novel a shot.
In this novel, there's a lot I like and a lot I don't. I like the Mech design and the MC's progress in it. I feel like there's a lot of potential in that area that's been wasted for the sake of stuffing gods and cultivation aspects down our throats. The MC is somewhat on the darker side. While intriguing at first, it's gotten sickening after a couple thousand chapters. Still within tolerance, but at the point I'm at, already unlikeable. Many times I get worried about the manic obsessiveness and short-sighted greed of the MC. His great vision and direction all seems unnecessarily forced, overly selfish, and mainly an excuse for the author to force plots. The way he treats people and close ones is also disturbing to say the least. I'm hoping we'll see some redemption phase or somehow see things get better, but so far, it's a downward spiral that's lasting hundreds of chapters. That brings me to what I dislike the most about this novel; it's slow. The updates are good and regular, but the story itself plods along like a tortoise. Just recently, the MC and company took no less than Six Chapters Just To Launch Their Ships and start their next journey. Twenty chapter battles, chapters that mainly consist of MC's speculation... the writing is very long-winded, and the chapters are short, to boot. There are things we've been waiting for that's still 'coming' since well over a thousand chapters ago. Writing quality is as good as it gets on webnovel, and the updates are thick and fast, so both get 5. Story development would be higher, but due to the slow pacing, only gets a 3. Also, the author seems to like forcing the MC into trouble-farms on purpose. His aims, his needs, his people... so many of his close ones turn out to be endless sources of trouble. Maybe this is supposed to excuse his twisted personality? Just courting his main LI alone is enough to pitch him into the wrong side of an interstellar war. Plus, I really dislike that girl and all her people. It's a rare situation when I find myself hoping that the side the MC is on would lose the war, if not completely, then at least enough to learn some humility and respect for others. While there's some effort on the author's part to give some depth and personality to the characters, generally speaking, I don't like them. There were a few I could have liked early on, but at this point, there's almost no character in the story I like any more. I'd give Character Design 2 stars, but that's it. As for the World Background... I gotta say, I like it. Not entirely, because just having three classes of ranking feels too simplistic, but the spread of humanity across the galaxy and there being many nations and cultures across the void... it has vast potential, though the author seems to be trying to rush past most of it and focus only on the brave lots making an expedition into a new frontier just like the MC. I wavered a bit between giving this four or five stars before settling on 4 because while we know the vast world is out there, a fat lot of it mean very little except for the current places the MC is involved in. I'm still reading it due to my interest in Mechs, and though there's a lot in it that I dislike, there's enough going for it that I'm still reading. I mean, I've gotten this far with it already, I may as keep going and see how it goes. Overall score: 3.8
This webnovel is over 3000 chapters and should be less than half of the way done considering the main character still hasnt embarked on his grand voyage. Exlor's writing is filled with excessive dialog, detail and explanation. It's clear this saga is just meandering without a clear timeline and will inevitably take 10 years to write or eventually go on permanent hiatus due to a loss in popularity or author's eventual loss of interest. Getting invested would be a mistake.