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Aeternus
Aeternus rated it
Main Character Hides His Strength
March 17, 2018
Status: Completed
The novel loses focus, abandons the premise and strong points in the second half.

I would liked not to have read it.

Spoiler

You want to know why I have left such a devastating review:

Let us remember, what the novel shown, promised us at the begining:

  1. Premise shows us a somewhat broken protagonist, who was betrayed and abandoned. He found quite literal and figurative strength and now he is back with a plan.
  2. The setting is a dystopian dieing world. With different laws, mostly law of the jungle, with some elements of forced classical Lord of the Flies or similar settings. The world is a mysterium, which we want to understand.

So what went wrong:

  1. The protagonist is actually betrayed by everyone and everything. He is apparently a "nice guy", who is used by everyone, and while it was shown at the begining he changed, it is a lie, a deception, he reverces to the same weak character he was before. Maybe weak is ot enough... pathetic is the right word. If you think he has a plan, you will be upset. How is it shown:
    • Spoiler

      He can not kill his enemies, he lets them grow (I ignore the nonsensical reasoning that was given in the novel: "Because he wants to see who is behind them." - there are four guys stronger then him, who else might it be, if not them?)

      [collapse]
    • Spoiler

      The guys who betrayed him are his friends. And the "joke" is he wants to be friends with them. And they betray him more, because he is a guy, who "understands". They just wanted power, nothing personal, so it is ok. (Reason in the novel is same nonsense, the one I wrote is actually what happens.)

      [collapse]
    • Spoiler

      You think the firends thing is bad? You know the "daughter" he saves, it is actually a cuckoo, and not his. The mother is stil alive, and is enemie of the protagonist and tries to kill him, and betrays him more then once in the process of the novel. Then after he saves her from his followers and helps her like 2-3 times, she finally changes camps (to neutral) and they stay friends. But at least he did not get together with her. If you think it saves everything, then good for you.

      [collapse]
  2. The same deception is a world. There are no logic, no rules. Mysteries? - if the world has no rules, everything is a mysterie, because everything can happen at the convenience of the author. Why would you care? The world funktions only around the protagonist, it doesnt actually exist without him. Even law of the jungle, does not work.

There are much more I can write. But I think it is enough to understand my decision.

Thank you for your time.

[collapse]
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Aeternus
Aeternus rated it
Ze Tian Ji
March 17, 2018
Status: Completed
If you read the novel, you will propably think the rating is wrong. I don´t know which side you will be on, the one who thinks it is too high, or the side that thinks it is too low. It is hard to give this novel a rating. In my opinion three is too high. I try to explain it, without spoilers.

The problem I have with this novel is, the more I know about it, the more I have read it, the more I want to give it a worse... more>> rating. The first impression is actually quite good. The writing, the style is quite beatiful, and it is propably enough to give you a recomendation to read this novel.

The question arises are there more to this novel, other then the beatiful writing?

And yes it seems, the novel has a decent story, a decent philosophy and much more. But... Yes but... Is the story trully good? Interestingly I later read some chinese history, and you will find the story there. Not actual spoiler, but unnecessary commentary:

Spoiler

The chinese reader will propably recognise the setting. It is in principle an alternative (through pretty similar) take on this pretty interesting part of chinese history. There are phantastical elements, some changes, the perspective is special, many plots are added etc.. But I actually found it weakens the story. It is like you take Joan of Arc and make her have superpowers and the other side have superpowers, and you tell it from the perspective of some guy you add, but you leave the important events close to the same, interpret them in your own way of thinking.

[collapse]

So the author actually copied the best part I liked, from history books. He added some parts, which are actually in the end discriminating, logically flawed or bad. The further you read the story the more it makes no sense. Because it derivates from the basis, which is actually in my eyes pretty much "borrowed" (stolen), it is not even a satire.

Philosophy, I acknowledge myself to be not even a beginner in chinese philosophy, and it was interesting to see them used, I can see that the author borrowed parts (mostly basics) of different religions (pretty much all big in Asia, + Christianity), and used them at convenience, while making it a nice story.

Characters were ok? No, one-dimensional, pretending to be more. Actually I thought of most of them as stupid (as the second dimension (it is a "joke" - you should laugh, please don´t hate me xD). They are represented as geniuses, I see a discrepancy between what the author wants me to believe and what I see. It is the other main problem of the novel the beautiful words do not allign with what actually happens. This is the critique most reviewers describe, as the novel is "too slow". No it is not slow, nothing actually happens, what happens is actually flawed in every way. While it is cowered beatifully, it leaves a bad taste behind, especially in later parts of the novel.

I hope you see why I think I should have given even less.

The funny part is the name "Way of choices", I remember one choice! It was the decision the MC takes in the second chapter. Everything else.... Do you believe there is a choice between execution and a way out? Actually there is, Socrates is the example you seek, but you must have a foundation, a reason for that to be an actual choice like Socrates, which leads to a rational or irrational decision (there needs to be a ratio - reason, even to make an irrational decision, it is in the word!!).

So if you like to read beautiful words, you should consider reading this. If you read it for plot - read the actual historical reference, it is much better. There is a TV adaptation, which I found actually much better, while it was in every way an abysmal teeny drama. I understood the problem with the characters, after I watched some episodes (They are boring).

I acknowledge the review is not neutral. It focuses on the bad sides. I hope you can understand this. To offset it I gave a novel a better rating, then I would like to, because I know it has some redieming sides, which most readers can find enough to offset the shortcomings I described.

Thank you for your attention! <<less
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Aeternus
Aeternus rated it
When A Mage Revolts
March 17, 2018
Status: c467
A disclaimer. While I have given the novel a 3 star rating. It is better then most novels. But it is still mediocre, and I don´t correct rating, based on the fact, that the other are bad in comparison. It is actually already corrected for the medium of webnovel.

What you should know before you decide to read it:

  1. The novel starts weak, incredibly weak. Some reviews say it gets better after 50 chapter. While that is true, it gets better, it is still quite bad. The novel gets trully better after chapter 150. Why you ask? Writing doesn´t get better, the comedy actually develops, gets rarer, and is of showing instead of telling kind, situational (?), quite hard to describe actually. Why gets answered by my second point.
  2. The protagonist. While he is pretty plain in the beginning, he develops a little. I don´t if it was intentional at all, it is that subtil. To say he is threedimensional is not true, there are points he lacks for that, but it would be wrong to say he stays plain and boring.
That leads to my first point on - why you should read it:

  1. The character, the plot, antagonists are close to realistic. They are by far not characters you meet if you read Dostojewsk or other giants of russian literature (far from Tchechow), but enough for me. They are not necessary in a "fun" WN. The MC is a guy, he is not trully stupid, nor is he smart. He gets into this situation. At first the decisions are made for him, later he can actually make own decisions. He actually decides on the path he takes! There are alternatives, he could do other things, he acts the way he acts because he can, he wants and sometimes he needs to, sometimes because he doesn´t think of other ways. I actually read many WNs and LNs, many of them quite popular and/or acclaimed, but they lacked it, "true" decisions. You must also have in mind a biased point of view, we are presented, it is relevant because some acts of torture seem logical in MCs point of view, but clearly could have been avoided, under the cost of more work from protagonist. You will see other ways, if you see past the bias.
  2. The world is a world, which I believe could work. We actually did not see much. The System is OP and useless (Bias from the MC?) at the same time. The MC is the strongest and the weakest, because of his innate abilities and powers. He actually uses his powers and smarts to outplay his enemies.
So what does the novel lacks:

  • Romance - I do not mind, it is actually logical for him not to have a romantic interest as of now, I would have considered it weak, if there was a owerpowered beautiful maiden from somewhere, which functions as a symbiosis between trophee and troublemaker/bringer for our protagonist. There are some powerfull women in the novel. And they are quit successfull in their own right.
  • Good writing. Lets be honest. The novel is based on dialogs and the discriptions are lacking. It uses easyly understandable language, which is not beautiful. It is ok if you read it 2 chapters a day, but 400 chapters can be quite boring. (Pss. Skimming can help, propably)
  • "Fantasy" - Realismus is nice, but you propably decided to read WN propably because you want to see something different. While the world is magical, it is not fantastical. Some may consider this to be bad.
Thank you for your attention. I hope to have helped you.
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Aeternus
Aeternus rated it
Reincarnator
June 27, 2018
Status: c398
The novel has a good begining, with time it gets worse. 200 chapters later it is a wrack.

The second part is barely readable, the last few chapters could be as well written by some child. Read it yourself:

... more>>
Spoiler

—booooom!—

Hansoo whistled as he looked at the power of the Flames.

‘Amazing.’

A power that the natives of Angkara had to pour every bit of their effort to use.

But this man was covered from head to toe with this power.

In a much more efficient manner too.

—boooom!—

Hansoo blocked the energy charging towards him with his armor and swung his hammer towards the opponent.

And as the Nerpa saw this, he twisted his fingers in a weird angle.

Then

a giant barrier made of condensed mana appeared next to him.

—boooooom!—

[collapse]

It is the begining of chapter 398. It can not be compared to the begining. It does not make sense, and it is plain boring. Chapter 4:

Spoiler

The location of the first hidden piece was Gangnam Station.
By the time Hansoo got up to start heading to that place there was already a chaotic situation.
‘I knew this would happen.’
Hansoo clicked his tongue at the screams from multiple directions.
“Why are you doing this!”
“Aaahk! We will go separately!”
“Go where! We need to group in order to survive!”
In the location where the battle ended, people were making an uproar here and there.
‘Their opinions probably differed.’
There was a lot of small fights here and there.
Between the people who wanted to act by themselves and those who wanted to group.
Normally if their desires were that different it’s normal to separate.
Because there will only be problems if you hold onto somebody with a different opinion.
But if one side wanted the other side a lot, and if for that they didn’t want to let them go a problem occurs.

[collapse]

What I want to say, it degraded to a brainless "action-boom-wahh-style" novel. You can check other later chapters out, they are not better.

Spare yourself the pain seeing this.

Additionally the translator is just horrible, his lack of ability to keep up with a selfdetermined schedule makes the novel even less worth reading. <<less
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Aeternus
Aeternus rated it
Death Sutra
June 12, 2018
Status: c380
I gave the novel three stars. My intention is to tell you, that you should try to read it, but beware, it is not for everyone. But that is a stupid sentense... the point of review is to tell, if you will like reading the novel... or if the novel is worth the time because of other reasons. I hope to provide more info on the subject.

The writing is very good, for a WN, it includes some philosophies, some - interesting, enlightening, important for the plot, others - stupid, nonsensical,... more>> unnecessary. Whatever, it tries to be deep, I only thought so for the first 30 chapters, it is still nice try, at least it is not pure irrelevant barter.

The novel has very intensive s*xual themes. It touches many taboo themes, they are apparently pretty normal in the setting, fraternicide, rape, betrayal etc. etc. You will think half of the districs are nothing but whorehouses, you would think rape is the coming of age ceremony in this book.

Ok let us get factual. The only thing positive about this novel, in my opinion it tries to go a unique way. The main promise of the novel is: it is realistic, no plot armor etc., much gore, revenge, intelligent protagonist. What will you feel, if none of the points above are realised? Three stars are mild - my feeling.

So let us say, the world has no STDs, the brain of the humans of this world functions differently, our morals can not be aplied. Ok but still, let us speak about the society there. So the thing about this society is pretty much organised crime syndicate. But the organisation part is really lacking, is a pyramide with no control over members, members are chosen through gruesome methodes, which destroy unity of the organisation, the organisation provides members NO BENEFITS, NO RETIREMENT PLAN, NO SECURITY, NO POWER (from the position of member). How does such an organisation exist? The novel tries to cower it up with monetary reasons, but it does not work this way. And you can find more similar examples everywhere. Realismus... not true. The assassins, who I think is the most likely group, the novel is based on, were a bunch of drug addicted religious fanatics with external enemies... and they prospered for like less then 20 years.

No plot armor? - Not true either... just a small glimps: A certain female can not stop whoring, is not smart either, accepts all, even enemies of protagonist, while being a known ally and employe, provides critical information to the protagonist more then once at convenient times, ehhh... what, how?

Much gore? - ok that point is true, the s*xual themes are included, and also used very liberaly, I think this point is what many people think makes the novel "realistic" and adult

Revenge... it is a joke... it is the main selling point of the novel, and it is never rached, like all the woman/man who never revenge for themself

Intelligent protagonist - he is a nice chap, he runs around, plots many things, can swing with his sword really well and so, but at the end, it is all Kindergarden, he and his enemies never move past IQ of 60-80. Like there is a s*x addict big enemie, who also swings sword good, like use poison or something.... or a trap, where you don´t sit in the bushes for 2 hours, while "your" women gets *** by him. Sorry for this small spoiler, so frustrating, I do not know why I read further, all traps are peeping Toms in the bushes... It does not get better. There are many plots, but if you move a step away you will see the limits.

Three stars, because I feel generous. In my opinion, it is not worth the read. <<less
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Aeternus
Aeternus rated it
The Book Eating Magician
July 31, 2018
Status: c380
The novel is ending soon, and sadly I do not think the ending can change my rating anymore, so I decided to leave a review.

The translator, rainbowturtle, deserves praise for her dedication to translating.

So the review:

... more>> 2 stars means apparently poor. And sadly this is what the novel is.

It starts (the first 100 chapters) with a good mechanic, but a standard plot. The execution lacks, author changes styles and information can not be relied on, changing greatly. It seems amateurish, but kinda honest. And I liked it.

Then the novel seems to stabilise (chapter ca. 100-200). It seems to have found a style and direction. It is investing into stable worldbuilding. It also has decided to go the mythical western route. Some arcs are better then others, mechanic plays a big role.

Later (chapter 200-300) things get complicated. The novel changes once more. Eastern parts get added. Which is ok. But the important part is, once more the core mechanics are subjeted to change. The novel lays off the book eating part! Without it, it is not different from any other cultivation novels, you train, some "bullsh*t unicorn power" aspect., stronger enemies just a realm about you, decide to attack you etc. It invest heavily into premonions, cheap mystries and epicness. We get a standard cultivation harem route. Magic is at this point not much different then boom, and bigger boom. That is also why our magician becomes a complete swordsman, with especially bullsh*t ability, besides being "so owerpowered" and "never seen", it doesn't actually ever do anything, maybe because it is "so owerpowered". If the novel started like this, noone would read it. Can it get worse? And yes, it can...

Ending (300+), there is no reason to read further. The novel fails completly at this point. Why? Because it doesn't do something in my opinion necessary. To show us any redeaming qualities of the main character, or any personality of the MC. Who/What is the mc? At this point he is already noone. He is you, the reader. You are the hero, who gets a cheat with no consequences, who goes to adventures with no effect on you, and who gets everything you want with no effort. The plot gets is just a jocke, we all know it is about establishing

  • who has the biggest "sword" in the town
  • who will deserve to be a "shaft" of this sword, and how will it happen
  • tocken actionsequences for companions
  • meet cool mythical whoevers
Yea, and I read this thing. It is not even a good power fantasy, at least you get to swing your "sword", I guess. Not just a trophy hall. If that makes it better for you...

I appologise for any mistakes, or failures in logic, just can not let myself spend any more time on this "jewel". <<less
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Aeternus
Aeternus rated it
Max Level Newbie
June 20, 2018
Status: c119
The novel is not bad. I say... and give it a 2 star review...

You could read it, if you have the time. The basic ideas are interesting, some choices are too, but it suffers from inept execution. It is short and straight, like a stick, that lacks ornaments, which I feel are necessary, but you may not.

I feel the plot alone is not strong enough to carry the story, to engage me to care about anyone in it.
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Aeternus
Aeternus rated it
The Experimental Log of the Crazy Lich
May 12, 2018
Status: c303
The Experimental Diary of a Crazy Lich is the series, I liked the most on novelupdates. And I read far over 70 different works. Instead of a fair review, it will propably be an opinion. Or like a guide, on what to expect.

Why should you, my friend (can I call you that?), read it?
It is unique. It is satire at its core, so you should not read it as your first work, but it has, if you are interested, a great story to tell, with many great and touching... more>> moments. It is quite smart. The story is well thought out, it starts quite far into the story, and it fills the gaps with time. If you are patient and careful in your reading, you will understand why some of the characters behave the way they do.

More importanly... What problems you, my friend, may have on your journey through the novel?
The novel likes to present information in monologues, they have some merit to them, that they are NOT plain infodumps! it gets even worse, they (at least some) are necessary (and you never know which), especially if you do not know and understand the complex power and lore system, the story utilises (you will propably recognise parts of DnD, maybe even more). Even then it might be hard for you, like it was for me. The reason for all this is, that the world is in fact very carefully crafted, and many mechanism need to be explained. The more you understand, the more references you get, the more enjoyable the novel will feel to you, otherwise you will propably feel the novel is too slow. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean it as "If you dont't like this novel, you are stupid!", but the scale is epic (like what the word trully means, not the weekend stuff, which let us be honest to each other, can never be epic, aside from maybe sieging Troy with your buddies) and a big part of the action is implied, instead of shown. Much of the information interconnects over multiple chapters and even arcs. If you don't invest time, you will propably miss the small, detailed development, and the results may not impress you as much. One of the main questions, which should interest you on your way are: "Why is Roland like this?", "Why is he in this situation?", "What does he wants to do?", "Why like that?". You will get answer to most of the questions in due time, some as late as chapters 250+, and it is just the beginning. I will not spoil you and stay vague.

The second problem you may expect is: characters are over the point. Like, Beifang, lets go beat him up. You will understand why, I mean he is Beifang. But jokes aside, most characters are constructed with much effort, some characters can be even called beautiful (not as beautiful as you, of course ehem... ehem...). The story of Amelia is trully touching, and it is a shame if you can not enjoy it, and it is not the only one there.

The third problem is the writing, you may say it is just too silly. And it is like the first problem we faced. Yes it is silly, yes it is all jokes, but only at the surface. The story is actually quite serious, there are quite horrific scenes, which can drown in the slapstick comedy, if you don't read carefully. It is this apparently dichotomic style, which makes the read for me even more enjoyable.

So at the end, I wish for you to read this novel. You may like it, even if not, it will be too late. And you have to read it till the end, or I will tell your parents and friends about Beifang. Hahahahaha. Ehem. Yes.

Thank you very much for reading. Have an epic weekend! <<less
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Aeternus
Aeternus rated it
Throne of Magical Arcana
May 12, 2018
Status: c275
I would like to make this review pretty short.

You will not regret reading this novel, the novel is in every aspect average with some interesting, but at the end uninspiringly carried out ideas. Like music, scientific research etc..

For further reading:

Main conflict - standard magevs mage vs. church. Transmigrated into another world - time to release modern world knowledge and claim it as his own. Show them who is the genius here! At first author acknowledges this point, later he forgets, and we get the standard fawning over things protagonist "does"... more>> and "knows". The main character is also pretty standard, useless, boring, gets caried by his cheat.

So yes you will not regret reading it, but you will not gain anything. Ok maybe... if you did not enjoyed a good education in basic sciences, you will get to experience blatant, unnecessary detailed rippoff of many important experiments etc.. Which may widen your horizont, if you decide to read further, the book is despite the lengths it goes in description, pretty limited in actual matter.

Conclusion: The WN has the right ideas, but the implimentation is just horrible. <<less
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