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Tales of the Reincarnated Lord
November 4, 2016
Status: 110
*Update as of chapter 110*
The novel is about someone from modern times (probably) who is reincarnated in a world where there was magic... but not anymore. It is replaced with "battle force".

The Story:
So far the story is interesting. However it takes time to reach the part mentioned in the summary, as the beginning has nothing to do with it. Stuff, I mean the interesting stuff, starts gearing up close to the 50th chapter. Before that the MC is working in an academy to teach students the use of... more>> battle force. The story starts 10 years after he "arrived" in his new body.

The author takes great care to explain the world's history with great tales of fights between Magi and other races, each dominating the world at one time before falling, of fights between different planes and so on.

Unfortunately all that is told to us through info dumps which often last one full chapter. And it is so detached to the current world's state that if feels just like a "pretty painting", at least so far. Magis are gone, there is no trace of other species, ancient ruins are very rarely mentioned and so on. It is interesting to read though.

At the beginning the Story progress at a snail's pace, actually it progresses as fast as the slowest snail in a hood (that's right, that's what a pack of snails is called :p). The first 25 chapters will cover between 1 hour to a full morning of the MC's time. Which is basically the MC walking to work, with a total of 20 chapters (out of 25) of flashbacks triggering every few steps. It is very frustrating. The MC will speak with someone and that will trigger a 5 chapters flash backs, he will walk a little, boom, another 10 chapters flashbacks.

There are way way too many flashbacks and they are way too long. Flashbacks do add value to a story. But when 25 chapters of the first 30 are flashbacks, there is something wrong. The vast majority of those FB are really unnecessary and really do not bring anything to the story and can be easily skipped. They are merely an annoyance delaying the good stuff.

If you reach a point where you tell yourself "alright... this is enough I'm dropping this novel". Then I encourage you to just skip the chapters with Flashback, as the rest of the story is quite good and I would consider a good chunk of those FB chapters fillers...

*********************
Thankfully, it does get better around chapter 30, and for the next 40 chapters there has been no flash backs. I hope the author dropped this and can continue to move forward with the story, as he has been doing in the latest translated chapters.
**********************

**** The MC ****
Just like the story, the MC's personality shifts around the 50 chapter mark. At the begining the MC is calm, rather generous and will kill if he has no choice but that's very very rare. He is a pushover. He has no huge ambitions, he just want a peaceful life, and he acts as if he does want it instead of picking fights everywhere, most of the stuff happening is basically his entourage "pushing" him. If you can get past the fact that everyone seems to take advantage of him (which I find is presented in a humorous way, rather than people trying to con him maliciously) he will be alright.

After the 50 chapter marks he changes (no emotional triggers or drama though, he just shift bit by bit) and he is now more aggressive, will kill tons of people (not randomly though, but during battles) and will actively prepare for battles and will no longer try to avoid it. People don't push him around as much, as his personality makes him pro-active so there is no need for others to tell him what to do. He is now someone that will regret not having killed hundreds of people to save a few coins when he was someone that would do anything to spare one person before. That new personality fits more the situation he is in but at chapters 70+ I already find it hard to see in him the first chapter's MC.

**** The Characters *****
The (male) characters are well developed for a Chinese novel. This is an advantage of the extra time the author spends on the world. People have personalities and I can somewhat picture them in my mind when their name comes up. Which is a sign that they are distinct from each other. Their names are easy to remember as they are not the usual Chinese names but more western : "Jork", "Charade", "Lorist", "Reidy" and so on.

So far the unbelievably self centered bad guys haven't have much time in the story. While cruel, the enemies leaders usually have a backstory and a reason for how they act. They might be cruel, bad, selfish, but it's not just "random".

**** The Fights ****
For this I am going to skip the first 30 chapters as it is completely different with the kind of fight you get past the 30 chapters barrier. The author seems to favor strategic fights, with the MC using his army to trap and use every advantages they can get to win. But, at times, the author has made the mistake of pushing the MC as a "one man army" which I believe is a detriment to the clan/army building going on. Why build an army if you are going to solo 50 dudes with your army 40 meters away from you? Luckily most (not all, the author just can't resist pitching the MC alone against hundreds of enemies regularly) of the fights involve strategy, defenses, trickery, planing... and troops.

**** The World ****
At the beginning the MC is in the most prosperous city of the continent. The description of how that city and the country it is in came to be was very detailed in the prologue. And at first I thought this was a summary of what the MC would accomplish in the future.

It is about how the ruling family woke up, abolished slavery, created new source of revenues, improved people life and had to fight against many other threats that didn't like their progress. It turns out that nope, this is just the intro. So I expect even better things for the MC in the future.

To be frank, the beginning of this novel was hard... I almost gave up, I read people's frustration in the chapters' comments, people "rage quitting"... many people gave up because of that beginning. The first 30 chapters are painful, there is just too many flashbacks, just way way way way too many. Luckily the FBs completly stop after chapter 30.

********
Conclusion :
Is it worth reading? Yes it is. Power through the first 30 chapters or skip the flashbacks if you need to.

The translation is of quality, the characters are good, the author likes to describes the situation in detail which helps us better picture what is actually going on (it's not perfect but a lot better than a lot of Chinese novels where it's basically impossible to put things and place in perspective). This is not however the answer to the kingdom building genre, at least not for now and probably not ever as the author still insists on making the MC a powerhouse that can go against 500 people alone. For a great "Kingdom building" novel I'd redirect you to Release that Witch which is awesome.
Still, this is a good read you will probably enjoy... if you get past chapter 30 :). <<less
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Miracle Throne
October 24, 2016
Status: c40
As many mentioned, this is very similar to SOTR (Sovereign of the Three Realms) and Tales of Demons and Gods. The MC goes back to the past (he goes way way back, before he was born and when alchemy and the like were under developed).

It offer very much the same kind of events as SOTR/ToDG, MC comes back in time, uses his knowledge to wow and impress people and such, a lot of the events revolves on that knowledge that the MC brought back with him. Knowledge he has not... more>> "created" just memorized for the most part, yet he looks down on everyone as being backward and trash for not knowing it while everything he knows was build by those people and their future generations as they worked it out... for him to memorize in the future..

The beginning has a very interesting premise, the MC goes back in the body of a noble that was sold as a slave to another noble girl.

This is somewhat original but it is basically dropped after a few chapter, the MC is still a slave, however he is an arrogant douchebag that looks down on ABSOLUTELY everyone. And after a few chapters the people from the family that bought him are basically his followers even though he is still their slave (?). They will listen to him, walk behind him, ask for his advice and try to convince/please him to do stuff.

Let's get back to the MC, as said before, he is an arrogant douchebag, it could have comedic effects but unlike MC's in SOTR and ToDG he is just that... purely arrogant. He is not an arrogant guy that is "good" deep down and use his arrogance to hide it or "for fun". He will do some good thing, at times and very randomly, and he will protect the girls of the family he is a slave to, but you never feel he has any respect or affection (besides "I want to feel her up") for any of them, or any other character. The more powerful or famous the character he meets, the more arrogant and douchebagish he is. It doesn't matter if that character is actually a good guy or is respectful to him. He will treat him/her like trash.

The story has a similar progression than SOTR as well but it is even faster. You are not even 20 chapters in that you will hear the MC's usual "this country is too small, I will eventually have to leave it" which is the usual plot mechanic to "reset the scene to start the same stuff with new characters." and which I loath.
If he is good enough and has all this knowledge that will change the world, why not make his place "big" instead of running around for a place that was already made big by others? After all he is looking down on everything others have done.

Anyways, I am a little disappointed by this, it has potential, some stories are interesting and have a little bit of plot twist (a tiny tiny bit), but the MC is unlikable. It uses cliché plot devices for most of the story, and ignores the only good original thing it has over the other similar novels. The enemies are throw away characters that will die a few chapters later, they are the "comic over the top completely ridiculous bad guys" that will make outrageous demands and are so completely self centered they are not even believable.

I would not recommend it. It's not bad, but the start is worse than SOTR and ToDG so if you read those first... It will be a hard read.

If you can get past the MC's attitude it will probably OK, especially if you didn't ready any of other two novels I mentioned.

The translation seems to be of very good quality. As far as I can tell with my limited english. <<less
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Conquer God, Asura, and 1000 Beauties
August 9, 2016
Status: v1c17
It's pretty good, after the first few chapters the novel switch to a clan building theme which is very interesting. The novel is funny as is the MC, the clan building stuff goes pretty fast but it's fine. As mentioned the MC is kind of like Zhang Ye in personality and demeanor and he has a somewhat similar cheat.

There is just one thing I found strange, there is a HUGE shift between the first chapters and when the clan building part starts. Very strange as if the author suddenly said... more>> "screw it, this is better".

The beginning is closer to the usual xianxia novels where the hero starts at the bottom of a sect, as a slave, then he use his cheat to try and get better while ridiculously unreasonable people make ridiculously unreasonable demands he has to complete unless he wants to die. There is a little bit of character dvpt, he seems to get close to a girl, then boom, sudden change (less than 7 or 8 chapter in I think).

Spoiler

He is still in the same sect only now he is managed to rope in a hundred dudes as his disciple and he will help them get stronger to take over the sect (and eventually the worlds). He himself gets ridiculously strong really fast without ever training or needing pills, or cultivation techniques, and I mean patriarch level strong.

It's kind of weird, even if MCs always have power up in those novels, and they always seem earth shatering and always impress every one around there is always the next stronger dude that comes in. This is not the case here, and it's GREAT that it is not. Finally something a little different!

[collapse]

Anyways, if you like rascal MCs, that are shameless, perverted, think up plots at all turns, and if you also like to see the MC build something to last, a clan, a sect, disciples, this is probably for you <<less
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The Charm of Soul Pets
January 26, 2017
Status: c83
This is a chinese/Xanxia version of Pokemon.

This is not an exageration and knowing this you can already get a good idea of what to expect. The pokemon side brings pets to be raised by their trainer. The pets can evolve, will gain new skills with levels and evolutions, the trainer will explore looking for pets to capture. The potential of each pet will vary they have attributes and the chances are... you will probably find a pokemon version to a lot of those pets. At the begining most of the... more>> figthts are the trainer invoking their pets and staying behind while giving order to the fighting pets.

The Xanxia side brings cruelty, death, blood, gore, chinese trope and unreasonable people as well as a fighting MC. The MC will regularly find himself put against people that are unreasonable and self centered. The fights almost always end up in the death of the pet and their owners, in very bloody fashion. Since it is a Xanxia novel the trainers will have their skill to fight too. You get the usual tropes, pills/medecine/plants to progress faster, the need to meditate, the level X pet that is special so he can fight against level X+3 pets and so on.

Now that you have a general idea of the novel let's go a little deeper. The MC has a very close relationship with his pet(s) and that is a very refreshing part of the novel, their relationship is great and so far his pets are very cute. The MC is not stupid and will think and prepare. He is the type to swallow humilations and strike back later rather than unleash knowing he will loose. He is interesting but doesn't escape the egocentrism of most chinese MC... Still it isn't as overbearing as it is with some MCs.

The author has prepared a nice backstory for the MC and we get glimpses of it as the main story progress and it looks like it's gearing up to be quite interesting with possible clan building down the line. There is quite a bit of plot armor going on especially during fights but it's still at an acceptable level. Overall the plot feels prepared rather than improvised (although it still feels like some stuff is pulled out of a hat at the last second). You will have a lot of seeds that are introduced only to "bloom" much later in the story. I am hoping the author can keep this up even in a few hundred chapters.

The translation is good (not as fast as some crazzy translators though, but you can expect a chapter every 2 or 3 days). You do not need to be a fan of pokemon to enjoy this, although they share many similarities, the atmosphere and events make it closer to a Xianxa novel than the actual game/anime/manga.

I personally haven't enjoyed pokemon in more than a decade. But I binged read this in a night :).

It is a very enjoyable read despite its faults :). <<less
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Sovereign of the Three Realms
February 7, 2017
Status: c382
The MC is reborn into a noble family, like his previous life he gets a loving father. He replaces the previous good for nothing owner of the body. In his previous life he could not practice martial art because of his body, but this has now changed. His adventure starts from here.
Every Xianxia novel's MC has a cheat, and this is very much a standard Xanxia novel. His cheat comes from his life's previous memory where he has accumulated a million year's worth of knowledge of the highest level.... more>> This means he can pull out extremely powerful martial arts, pill recipe and so on.

The MC is a hit or miss depending on your tastes. It's a MC that knows better than everyone else and he keeps reminding us that every precious thing in this part of the world was nothing more than discarded grass in his previous life. The MC looks down on everything but keeps saying that he has never done so. He is so very arrogant and is always doing outrageous things yet the author tells us "he is always keeping a low profile".

I am a bit conflicted by this novel, it has good points... but a lot of bad ones. First, it's so very predicable (the MC will NEVER loose out on anything, if he seems to, it's only because it means by loosing out on that tiny thing he just opened gains 20 times larger a couple of paragraphs laters). He will never loose a fight, he will never have anything stolen, he will never be ranked anything but first. There is no suspense. The MC will prevail and will never loose face. No matter what.

There is a lot of "resets". Like many Xianxia novel the MC starts in a somewhat secluded region of the world, where the top practitioners are nothing and he will move on to other regions regularly and slowly reaching stronger part of the world with each new move bringing him to a place that completely crushes the previous one in resources and talent.

When the MC moves to a new place the author always tries to "awe us" at how different it is compared to the previous place only to tell us a little later that it is actually quite lowly, trash, ordinary compared to the rest of the world, this is obviously to prepare us for the next move. Those moves from place to place always mean that there is a "heavy reset" on characters, a few will still follow the MC, only to be somehow be dispersed during the upcoming arc to be replaced by new ones ... before the MC moves again. Which means that all characters are throw aways. Friends, family, disciple, rivals, will quickly be forgotten as the MC moves on to the next part of the world.

Enemies are ridiculously one sided and death feuds will start for nothing, I really mean nothing. After a while I don't even think the author tries to give us decent justifications, they are hostile from the get go "just because", and there are always people ready to jump in to be humiliated by the MC once those bad people are defeated.

"Defeat a random dude that was doing evil -> random connaissance takes an interest and tries to interfere with MC -> MC makes it out -> uncle of dude shows up -> mc makes it out -> sister of uncle shows up with powerful husband -> mc makes it out -> father from powerful husband joins in -> mc makes it out and so on. You can double the length of that succession of characters and you won't be far off from one of the many "chains" of bad dudes we have in the current translated part. They are of course just there so that the MC can shine and trample them and "awe us".

This means much of the drive in this novel is the frustration brought by the bad guys' ridiculous demands and the satisfaction you get when the MC trample on them a little later. Characters are often not believable : women are all ready to fall in the love with the MC, people will swear loyalty to him at the drop of a hat... And so on. You get it, this is not the novel of the year.

It does have some good point which makes reading it bearable. There are a few story points that are kept in the background and will surface from time to time. Nothing outstanding but they do a good job to keep us on our toes and it does make us feel that the author might have some handle on where he is going with the story. The frustration generated by the bad guys' ridiculousness is actually kind of a motivator to see how they are going to be defeated. And the author always has many ridiculous conflicts ready to start as soon as one is closed... Yes the conflicts are ridiculous but the frustration they bring is real... And you need vindication ... so you keep on reading :).

In the end I rate this 4 stars... Because even thought I felt frustrated during the whole read I still continued reading. It's... an okay novel. <<less
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The Desolate Era
December 28, 2016
Status: v31
The Desolate Era is a poor man's Coiling Dragon.

It follows a rough script that is very close to CD : The MC starts in his family domain, then moves on to deal with stuff to a larger part of the world, then moves on to another bigger part of the world until he moves on to other even bigger worlds. In CD the events in the story are more personally linked to the MC while in DE they tend to be a little more global though (conspiracies, global wars and... more>> such). The personal objectives of both MCs are the same though.

The beginning is quite good, the world, story, characters are grounded and developed. The characters are substained through the whole arc and they have personalities and are used quite often. That arc is about the MC's family, their dvpt and survival, about the different family members and the external danger the family faces. We hurt for the family when it has setbacks and are happy when they manage to get out of a pinch. We can follow the family's progress and territory gain and so on. This is the best part of the novel for me, it felt inspired... prepared, and gave a good "feel" to the novel, it is the only part of the novel that is very distinct from CD, but it only last a few volumes and then it all goes down hill.

After this part the author pulls out his usual stuff, meaning the MC is always moving on to other "bigger" places with more powerful people. And he is getting stronger at an unbelievable pace compared to the rest of the world. This means every single friend he makes is left behind because the author can't justify another character progressing even a tenth as fast as him. So the MC makes friends, gets stronger and we forget about the previous batch of friends and welcome a new one... for a few chapters.

********* The First Black Mark *********
And this is the first big problem for the novel. The author drops a lot of things he started. Because the story was either not well prepared or it is just childish writing. Maybe a schedule too tight for release and he didn't have enough time to prepare? Perhaps he used this novel to try out different things ? But then why drop the interesting part and keep the generic ones?

In the spoiler tag I will include a few exemples of this, don't open the spoiler tag if you don't want to be spoiled:
Spoiler

The MC joins a new school, he has the right to bring a dozen or so people as his entourage, those people will have the chance to learn some stuff in the school. This is something that is mentioned quite a bit, the MC will think about who to bring with him repeatedly, but he will never complete the list and the people that are brought as his entourage will each be showed off as if they are special they have ambitions, plans and it seems something is about to start with them... but then will be forgotten a couple chapters later and never be brought back ever again... because the MC has already moved on.

The MC makes a very important friend that belongs to a very important family and is quite close to him, the story around him and his family seems to gear up for something special until it fizzle out and is just forgotten.

The MC purposely gets close to a family that is enemy with another he wants to get revenge on... There is one scene with them, and again even though the characters he met there seem "special" as they get quite a bit of screen time and are described vividly ... they just end up forgotten.

The MC will take on a disciple. This is a huge thing for a character in that world. The disciple has maybe five lines, is forgotten after 2 chapters and brought up only once 15 volumes later in one paragraph).

Weapons and tools can have souls when powerful enough and this is shown quite often, they will talk with the MC before being "bound" to him, will test him, tease him, challenge him, but as usual this is contained in one chapter and even though those tools/weapon might get used quite often, the fact that they can manifest a personality is forgotten. And so on.

I've got so many example of things just "dropped" it is unreal. But some are just too spoilerish even for being in a spoiler tag so I'll hold off here.

[collapse]

In Coiling Dragon the author handled this better. Even if the MC did leave behind characters, his close friends, family still kept in touch later on and he had someone following him for the whole story. There is nothing similar here. Every one is left behind and forgotten. This story is solely about the MC, there is no "side characters" only background characters. They are all disposable and this story is about the MC's progression as a martial talent no life long friend, no rivals... Everything and everyone, family included, gets discarded as the MC goes further and further.

*********The second black mark *********
The second big problem I have with this novel, is that the sense of scale is absolutly and completly messed up.

In CD you could somewhat imagine how the world and continents where made up. "Yes that capital is in the north" "that forest is east", there is a mountain chain between this country and that one, this empire is north east and so on. There are actually fan made maps that were made because the world is a cohesive place.

Nothing like that here. After the family arc, the descriptions (for places, fights or pretty much anything described) are so unclear that it is very hard to understand what is going on, or where this place is relative to where he was. You can only imagine a fuzzy blob for each place without any idea where it is relative to something else. It's even hard to imagine what the actual place look like because descriptions and scale are all over the place.

The author seems to think that "bigger is better". So city gates are 3000m wide (!), cities can be thousands or even dozen of thousands of kilometers big. Swords can become 40 000 kms long when attacking (stretching from their initial 2m in length), some enemies are multiple kilometer talls, the MC can reach half a kilometer in height when he "transforms". Hand palms can get as big as entire worlds (millions of km large)... There are so many ridiculous things like that it just gets ridiculous. When the MC and an ennemy transform into the same 500m high shape to fight in a cave... how can you imagine what is going on ? How large is that cave to allow such titans to fight freely?

The same logic is applied to time. The MC will meditate for a 100 years non stop. After a certain fight an ally has to rest 1 year to get his energy back and so on.

Which is why in the end I just "adapt" what the author tells us as almost everything is exagerated in a similar ratio. 40 000 km long sword? I read it as 40m. He meditate for a 100y? Oh you meant 100 days. 1 year of rest? More like 1 day. Why is there a need to stretch time and space that much? Especially when the world around it doesn't seem to change much... If the MC leaves for a few hundred years (let's say 600) and comes back... The characters he met... have not changed. That 10 year old child? Still acting like a child. So what's the point? The author gives the MC a skill that make him 500m talls... But every one else has it in the world... So in the end, what's the point of it? Every fight is him and the other using that to get giant... So again... what's the point?

Everything is so exaggerated that you can just scale it all down and it makes it more interesting because you can actually imagine it better that way.

*********The third black mark.*********
This brings me to the third big problem. The author probably tried to do something different for fighting but put himself in a corner. He tried to put more importance in formations and skills that alter the body. In this novel it's not that the MC is stronger so he can take more attack because his body grows with him, it is mostly because he has a special defensive skill. This is fine until it forces the author's hand to choregraph the fights in a particular way.

As mentioned before the MC can transform himself to get taller, get more arms and so on. This is a "comon" skill in the world. So everyone has it and everyone uses it because it gives you an advantage over someone that doesn't. So you know the fight is not serious if the MC doesn't transform... But the MC won't use it on someone that does not have the skill... He is a hero after all, he can't fight as a giant against a small ennemy. So every ennemy has it... So in the end they will fight normaly until one is loosing and will transform forcing the other side to do so... The power balance will remain unchanged... The author can't remove the skill because it makes the MC more powerful and can't possibly explain why it is not used anymore, so he is stuck using it.

It's the same with formations. This word has a thing called battelformation where people "fuse" to make a giant with one character at the center commending the formation. This more than multiply the power of each character and gives you the strength to fight against oponents one full grade above you. So after a particular point in the story every single fight is done through those formations... Because same as before, if the ennemy uses it, the MC can't cope, if the MC uses it, the author makes sure the ennemy is using it or it seems unfair. So people walk around with hundred of thousands of people ready to use the formation at any time... Which in the end begs the question... Since it cancel each sides' advantage... Why bother include this in the story then?

*********The Fourth black Mark*********
The MC is too lucky when it comes to items and skills. I usually don't mind in novels when the MC gets that super rare item/skill that changes his future life in a big way, I prefer a hard working MC that makes it without that super lucky item but I can accept it when it happens. But here, the further the MC goes, the more it seems that there is a super rare skill/item hidden beneath every rock, and that the MC is the only one that seem to find them... After a while the author doesn't even bother giving him them one by one and he gets those super extremely rare things by the mountain load...
Once the MC starts accumulating more stuff that every other powerhouses in the world have... combined... it gets a bit unbelievable. That lucky encounter that changes the MC's life in most Chinese novel? Is replicated at least 200 times in this novel.

There are other things that bother me and make this a subpar novel. The main ones are listed above. The lack of consistency in scale, the fact that there is not one character that will consistantly be present beside the MC, the constant need to reset the setting and cast by having the MC move to other places... The way too lucky MC... Those are the big ones. An exemple of a smaller complaint would be that the novel has no heart after the family arcs. It's just generic. In CD Bebe, being the rascal that he is, helped making the MC interesting, Delia following the MC also helped quite a bit, it added a tender and sweet touch to the MC, he would have been too plain without them.

In DE there is nothing that follows the MC to make him interesting or fun here. He is not funny by himself, he is not particularly special, he is not even as hardworking as the MC in CD, he is just a sad and alone guy.

In the end this is not a bad novel even though I have fixated on a lot of bad points. But it is a let down from IET and a let down after the start. It felt like it had a lot of potential and it ended up wasted by either poor planing or an author that didn't know what it wanted to do with the story.
But like every IET novels this is very readable. It is for me between mediocre and good, but very very readable.

If you are looking for a similar novel... but better. Coiling Dragon is for you.

The translation by RWX is top notch though. As usual. <<less
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