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Fourthaid
Fourthaid rated it
Library of Heaven’s Path
April 8, 2017
Status: c80
I must admit to not expecting too much when I started reading this. It felt like it would be your standard transmigration novel. And it certainly is in most ways. There's a cheat ability of some kind given the MC, there are tons of people who underestimate him and use any chance to belittle him, etc.

However, what I find sets it apart is its humor, the attitude of the protagonist and the side characters. The people that spout nonsense at him are very quickly subdued, usually in very funny ways.... more>> Most of them usually quickly understand that he is better than what they assumed and go on to respect him (unless you are one of the more dense main "antagonists") for what he displays, rather than go on for chapter after chapter of chastising him without the MC revealing his hand.

Other novels of this kind I end up just quickly scrolling through chapters to get to the good part where the protagonist proceeds to the face-slapping. Library of Heaven's Path has lots of minor face-slapping incidents that build up to the BIG face-slapping incident that I just finished. It's glorious. <<less
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Fourthaid
Fourthaid rated it
Trash of the Count’s Family
September 29, 2018
Status: c25
In the vein of The Novel's Extra and Omniscient Reader's Viewpoint, we again find an MC who is stuck inside the world of a novel that he has either created or read. In this case however, the MC is not aware of the entire plot from start to finish, as he had only read partway through it before he awakens in the body of the titular Trash.

It's unavoidable for me to read it without comparing it to TNE and ORV, since at the core it is a very similar story.... more>> And I think one aspect that TotCF fails at is how much of the established story we are told about before it's relevant. It means a lot of "wasted" time is spent info-dumping the reader with future events that might have no bearing later on as the course of the story gets changed. It also has an added side-effect of locking the author somewhat into a certain direction. TNE and, to a lesser extent, ORV handles this much better and large parts of the story ahead of us is vaguely talked about and it only really hones in on the parts of it that are relevant for the MC's current situation. I don't know if TNE and ORV's authors had an overaching story plotted out in advance, but this method means that IF they do need to make changes at some point, they've not already entangled themselves into a specific course and thus are more free to make changes.

Because of this, a lot of TotCF's story feels like it's floundering at the starting line, not really getting off to a proper beginning, when a lot of this time would be better spent developing the character's in front of us and the plot in general. It feels like a lot of conversations are there only to fill up a little bit of wordcount and is unnecessary.

I might be coming off as quite negative, but it is still very early on in a story that has some potential.

So my far too early, unnecessary score for now is a solid 3.5/5 which I'll round up to a 4 for now. <<less
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Fourthaid
Fourthaid rated it
The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
December 23, 2018
Status: c200
This is slowly moving further and further up my list of favorite web novels. The story seemingly is yet another harem intrigue novel where the MC transmigrates into the villain or secondary female lead, only to charm the ML into somehow becoming monogamous. And I do like those stories personally. However The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir isn't that.

It's not really a romance per say, at least it is not the main focus yet (200 translated chapters out of ~513 in). But rather, it's a political intrigue with a potential... more>> dash of romance down the road sometime. And the MC is not omnipotent either with some sort of cheat or attitude that allows her to instantly win every time someone challenges her, or to disrupt every scheme against her. The plotting behind the scenes is never spelled out for us, the readers, and instead we have to interpret the attitudes of the other characters based, in large part, only on what they say and do as we very, very rarely get an insight into someone else's mind.

Spoiler

I also have this strong desire for Ji Man, the MC, to be the first (at least that I've read) female protagonist to actually leave the ancient world behind when she has the chance to. Considering we're closing in on the half-way point and she still has no feelings for the male lead, I'd be pleasantly surprised if she never truly falls for him and just GTFO's, since she has a clear way back to the modern world.

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Fourthaid
Fourthaid rated it
My Engagement was Annulled (lol)
August 4, 2018
Status: c11
I tend to enjoy these broken engagement stories, despite them being very similar and interchangeable. However, this protagonist is beyond irritating to read. If this was a third person POV or we weren't so intimately into her very deranged commentary to everything it might not be so grating to read it.

Still, this is a guilty pleasure sub-genre of mine so I will give it a decent chunk of chapters before I pass final judgment on it.

However it is coming dangerously close to one of my least favorite tropes of isekai... more>> stories.. Recreating Japanese cuisine (and in particular miso, soy sauce and acquiring rice are the best examples of this) which if it becomes a major focus is a huge turn-off for me with few exceptions. <<less
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Fourthaid
Fourthaid rated it
Is it Tough Being a Friend?
August 3, 2018
Status: c2 part5
This is early for a full review, but there's some potential for an amusing read here. The passionate way the MC wants to support someone else into the limelight is quite funny, despite him in actuality being far superior to all of his previous "main characters".

However, as is always the danger when it comes to comedies based largely on misunderstandings, it can get old quite quickly, which was why I was pleasantly surprised...

... more>>
Spoiler

... when the obvious girl crossdressing as the ideal Hero, Ryuuga, was revealed to be a girl within the first two chapters to the MC. I was expecting that to be a recurring gag and somehow sidestepped by a bunch of different tropes as excuses, such as it being a gender bender curse or a potential twin sister or what-have-you whenever it got brought up.

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So far, with a fairly limited amount of content, I'd give it a solid 3, 5/5 and round it up to a 4. How it'll handle the comedy and romcom aspect of it in particular will shape that score. <<less
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Fourthaid
Fourthaid rated it
Top Management
April 22, 2017
Status: c46
I'm really enjoying this novel. It feels like a combination of I'm Really a Superstar and God of Music. But without the former's repetitious nature (so far)

While the MC has a cheat, it doesn't feel like it alone means that he is unable to fail. He puts in a ton of effort, and would become successful even without it, as is displayed several times. Most of the time, the foresight is very vague and the MC (not being aware that he is the protagonist in a novel) can't plan... more>> ahead too far or be too sure of what is really the cause for what he's seeing in the potential-alternate future.

Spoiler

I also enjoy that so far, 46 chapters in, there's still not been any of the stereotypical haughty characters showing up to block the MC's path at every single turn just because he happened to breath in someone's general direction. And while they are certainly building towards at least two of them with the Team 2 Leader and Son Chaeyoung, it's so far not gone over-the-top&jumped-the-shark like in IRAS or any number of other wuxia/xianxia.

And the author has left plenty of room for a redemption for both of them, at least if we're to believe Son Chaeyoung 's words in chapter 44.

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I hope that the MC sticks with managing Neptune throughout the novel, and he doesn't end up being in a more high-level job like in God of Music, because it feels nice getting to know a bit more about the talent he is working with rather than the conveyor belt of trainees in GoM. <<less
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Fourthaid
Fourthaid rated it
Otherworldly Evil Monarch
April 26, 2017
Status: c241
This is definitely a slower paced novel, usually 241 chapters into a xuanhuan novel I'd expect mountains to be used as juggling tools for the MC (or at least the Big Baddie™) but I appreciate that it is a lot more subdued in what the people are actually capable of doing with their powers.

Another point I have enjoyed in the story is the budding romance. I normally don't expect much in this regard when it comes to xianxia/wuxia/xuanhuan novels, since more often than not it's almost instantaneous for both the... more>> male and female characters to just fall in love and there we go. In OEM, I feel like the (I assume) first romance is built up over a long time for both parties, especially the MC and how he slowly comes to realize that while he might have been a loner with no desire for romance in his previous life, there's this one particular person who just tugs at his heart strings. Don't get me wrong, the romance isn't about to win any awards for how ground-breaking and amazing it is, but I appreciate that a little more time has gone into than what I am used to in other, similar works, and I appreciate the author for it.

The only thing keeping me from giving it a full 5 stars, is that while the novel builds up these antagonists to be smart and clever and not just your average over-bearing and all-powerful enemies (Li You Ran for instance) they never seem to get any victories, no matter how small. And that is frustrating to a certain degree. Because at first I was very hopeful that Li You Ran and others of his ilk could prove to actually be worthy adversaries for the MC. But a lot of twists of fate and pure luck (that, to be fair, are hilarious at times) leave them with no victories to threaten the MC in any way.

Overall though, I would say this is definitely worth a read if you do not mind a slower story where things do not ramp up to unbelievable levels within the first tenth of the story. <<less
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Fourthaid
Fourthaid rated it
Rebirth of an Abandoned Woman
December 23, 2018
Status: c87
I am quite fond of these ancient rebirth novels. However they do tend to often be carbon copies of each other a lot of the time.

In that regard, Rebirth of an Abandoned Woman has a few things to make it stand out from the rest of the crowd.

The first part might seem minor, but I do enjoy that this for once not set in either an Emperor's or (Crown) Prince's harem, but instead in a well-off (although an extremely well-off one at that) family. It means that there is very... more>> little, so far, outside politicking going on and most of the navigation of plots is within the family itself, rather than also suddenly focusing on the traditional battle for who becomes the next emperor.

The second part is that the MC is not a complete psychopath that has perfect memory of every single thing that happened from she married in her previous life, up to her death and their ploys are always perfect. Don't get me wrong, I love those stories as well. However, I do like that this one is a lot more relaxed in that regard. Our MC sets out early to not stir up too much trouble, and if some does come to find her to (as much as possible) avoid it and not retaliate since she knows that she is very much in a situation where the people with power (her husband, her mother-in-law, and her cousin-in-law to begin with) will never take her side.

And thirdly, shockingly, not all the other women (minus maybe one or two personal servants) are poisonous snakes waiting in the grass to strike. At least so far. Admittedly that part might change down the road for all I know, though usually if there was someone "loyal" that was to betray the MC we'd have already seen at least a few signs here and there by now I'd hope.

Otherwise, it develops along the lines you'd expect.

Spoiler

A disinterested husband that, due to her unique personality and how she holds herself, becomes intrigued and interested by her and comes to see the faults and flaws in the antagonists over time. A mother-in-law that has to be pampered and handled like a rare antique so as to not explode right in the MC's face. She is not as aggressively awful to the female lead as in a lot of other similar stories, but she doesn't exactly treat her well and expects a lot out of her for no reward and instead treats the main antagonist, the cousin-in-law, like she is the real wife as long as she can get away with it. An antagonist that will stop at nothing to become the main wife, though it is abundantly clear that it is not for some sense of love she has towards the male lead, however his feelings towards the antagonist-cousin seems to be quite genuine. The author does manage to add in some sympathy for the antagonist as well, she hasn't had the best life, her one way out of her dreary life with a gambling-addicted father is to become a member of her cousin's harem. Especially as she is stuck in an awful spot once her father finally does pass, because of the archaic ritual of having to observe filial piety towards her deadbeat dad for 3 years before marrying. Naturally, after having seen first-hand how his feelings towards the MC has changed over the course of the story so far, she fears that eventually he will forget her completely in those three years. And thus has little other choice than to become his concubine, rather than his wife, upsetting the male lead who realizes that maybe she doesn't really love him like he does her. I honestly feel like it would be very interesting to read the story as seen from the cousin's perspective as well, because she might be the most fleshed out character of the entire story.

I will give bonus points to the author for having at least some of her family genuinely care for her, since this is a rarity in these types of novels. I'm hoping we get to see more of her sister-in-law and youngest brother as the story moves on.

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Overall the only "major" complaint I have so far is that we are sadly "only" getting about one chapter a week, which means it'll still be a long while until the story is completed.

Tl;dr: If you aren't into a more down-to-earth protagonist in a rebirth series that aren't just there to scheme and murder everyone who wronged them, this is not for you. However if you, like me, need a break from those rebirth novels then this might be worth your time at least checking out. So far, this is a solid 4.5/5 for me, rounded up to a 5 for now. <<less
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Fourthaid
Fourthaid rated it
Akugyaku no Black Maria
May 17, 2017
Status: c38
I do love me some dark comedy, and this has plenty of it. The MC's relationship with all the other side characters is absolute gold, especially the other assassin's in his squad.

I was at first hesitant when I saw the harem tag. Don't get me wrong, I am not one to shy away from stories that involve harems, it's just a fact that more often than not I find myself distraught over how they usually end up portraying the female characters with one single characteristic that is eventually replaced with... more>> "superduper loves the MC". This is not the case in AnBM. And also, the harem is not really the main point of the story either. It's just a bunch of messed up people in a messed up situation doing messed up stuff. If anything the harem is there to lighten the mood with some laughs at how absurdly these people display their affections.

It's also quite refreshing to see an Isekai story that doesn't involve an MC that is absurdly OP. Instead he is surrounded by OP people, and is very cunning and uses words and emotions to sway people rather than a dagger or a sword.

There is very little I can say is negative about the story so far. It's far too early to complain about world building, but I am hoping that the world opens up more in the next arcs, since all we have seen so far is one section of the city and nothing has really been mentioned about the rest of the world out there. <<less
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Fourthaid
Fourthaid rated it
The Cry of the Phoenix Which Reached the Ninth Heaven
January 30, 2019
Status: v2c13
Tl;dr: It's a great story, with fantastic characters that manages to craft a pleasing mixture of drama, comedy, scheming and intrigue.

I am currently binging a ton of novels in this particular sub-genre. And next to The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir, this might be my favorite one that is a more serious take on the entire situation. And by serious I don't mean that there is no comedy, there is plenty of that which I will come back to later. What I mean is that the scheming as well as... more>> the characters feel a lot less like it's all-against-one (with the one being the female lead) with no reason except for "she's a di daughter whose Mother was disregarded!" or "she's a shu daughter who is disliked!".

All of that is not to say that this novel doesn't have its fair share of tropes that is prevalent in the sub-genre. However, I would argue that its use of those tropes feels a lot more wisely handled, as if the author had a bigger plan than to plop the female lead into an awful situation and then move on from trope to trope, kicking down cannon fodder after cannon fodder along the way.

Where it truly shines, in my opinion, is in the interactions between the female lead who has (naturally) turned quite cold towards the world from her and her son's cruel end, and the male lead who loved her deeply and dearly and her departure from this world has lead him to give up on continuing life and is simply an empty husk at the start of the story. The female lead, only desiring revenge before she passes on from her new chance at life, doesn't want him to keep hold of her memory as she feels undeserving of his passionate love. And thus she tries, in her own way, to make him realize her own flaws and why he was far, far too good for her. It's heartbreaking, yet at the same time also funny, to see her try to push him away from "her" sister while at the same time when he isn't looking doing everything in her power to protect him from the man who ended her life, the Emperor.

Another huge contributing factor for my enjoyment of this novel is that, we only really have two MAJOR villains (arguably three with her Father, though he is far, far, faaaar away from the awfulness that is the Emperor and her half-sister) unlike a lot of other similar novels. A large portion of the story is focused on Mowan/xin slowly but surely disrupting the Emperor's trust in people. She mainly achieves this through the use of the other Consorts and Noble Consorts and their family connections. More often than not, these consorts would be typical cannon fodder. However, in a lot of ways they too are pitiable.

Spoiler

At least, two of the first that we've met (Yu Funing, who deeply loves the Male Lead and is fine with him achieving happiness without her. And Xie Siyin who also loves someone other than the Emperor, and whom the Emperor has been scheming against for seven years. I'd also argue that Huan Caier isn't terrible, sure she is a schemer at heart, but not to the vile levels I'm used to from other works, and it was nice to see at least one parent that cared for their child in this story! :]) Are not villains. Sure they have their bad parts, for instance Siyin tries to murder Mowan/xin because she figures the Emperor murdered her beloved, so she will retaliate in kind. However it is something she concocts shortly after her beloved, as far as she knows, has been murdered in front of her eyes, not exactly the best of times to lay the worst of plans. Siyin quickly realizes the error of her ways, thankfully. And Mowan/xin doesn't end up killing or scheming against them in all honesty, sure she definitely uses them for her own gain, but at the same time she saves them from their eventual fate. Hell, she even considers pushing the male lead towards Yu Funing, thinking she might be able to give the male lead what she can not, pure, honest love.

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My only regret is that the story is not close to being completely translated. But on the other than, that also means there's a lot more story to consume and enjoy! <<less
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Fourthaid
Fourthaid rated it
When God Made Me
May 2, 2017
Status: c20
It's closer to a 3, 5 than a 4, but the potential for it makes me round it up to a 4. As many others have mentioned:

... more>>
Spoiler

the first few chapters are very disturbing, especially how he reacts to his crush in the midst of making out with her boyfriend, filming it, then uploading it to the internet. It's a seriously messed up thing that he does and I was tempted to drop it then and there. However, the MC is slowly coming to terms with what a detestable thing it was and I am hoping we will eventually see him try to make amends in some shape or form.

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Another thing that seems to be a negative for some is how he dumps stats into "irrelevant" stats like looks and height. And while I could see how that would be very weird for a novel with a setting where wars or fights happen continuously and it wasn't mainly a comedy. But this is a regular high school boy who has lived his entire life being looked down on for his looks, and I am sure pretty much anyone who has gone through their teenage years can relate, regardless of them being the world's ugliest being like the MC or the prince of the school. We all have our insecurities after all, some are just easier to spot than others. So instead of raising his strength or dexterity or similar stats (which certainly would not instantly make him a good fighter), he chose to go for the root cause of why he has been ostracized and bullied most of his life.

It's interesting to see how our MC deals with this sudden change in how people interact with him. In a lot of ways, he is just as insecure now that he is handsome as he was when he was an ugly loner, and having to deal with all this new attention is a struggle for him and he is unable to discern easily if it is good or bad. Again something I am sure most of us can relate to, the uncertainty of how others view us, treat us and why? This is after all a boy who has only received attention in the form of bullying for most of his life, and now suddenly everyone wants to be his friend.

One of my biggest issues is that we're introduced to WAY too many characters, WAY too quickly. And maybe I am unused to juggling Korean names, but it's at times hard to keep track of who is who when you have 5+ characters introduced within a single chapter, some of who have very similar names. It's not been an issue I have had before with any other Korean novel, so either the author's choice of names is bad, he's introducing far too many characters at once, or my memory has suddenly gotten a whole lot worse! It sounds like a pet peeve, but it really is a big problem when you have to reread the same passage a few times to comprehend who said and did what.

TL;DR It's got potential. <<less
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Fourthaid
Fourthaid rated it
Miracle Throne
April 30, 2017
Status: c103
I want to like this novel more, believe me. It has plenty for me to enjoy, it has an arrogant and ruthless MC, there's a time travelling element, the general world while generic as hell has the right elements, the fights aren't going over 10+ chapters describing the same actions and yelling out the name of the same move over and over again, there's plenty of face slapping (both literally and figuratively) so you would think that since I don't mind that combination of elements that I would rate it... more>> more than a 3 out of 5...

However, the biggest problem for me is that there is no room for the novel to breath, take in the world and relax in-between action scenes. It's like a gigantic conveyor belt of arrogant "antagonists" (I use that word lightly) that have lined up to get utterly humiliated/murdered by the MC. And don't get me wrong, I enjoyed how cleverly the MC handled most of these people by throwing their own words back at them after one-upping them... the first 5 times he did it. Now the conveyor belt of antagonists is also a thing in something like Library of Heaven's Path, but in LoHP there is an actual difference between the methods the MC uses at the very least, and instead of jumping right into the spinning fan blades to die at the MC's hands, most of the haughty folks in LoHP have a very quick change of attitude after first witnessing the MC's OPness. In MT, no one seems to learn the lesson from the ones who came before them.

If there was actually some time taken out between these scenes, I think it wouldn't stick out as such a sore thumb. It would also allow the author to provide us with more insights into what has thus far been a cast of side characters that are simply soulless husks that are only there to stroke the MC's ego, build up the world better (though I suspect this is done intentionally so that once the MC actually becomes too strong for his current situation he can just toss another area's superduper cultivators at him even though it seemed just a few chapters ago that being cultivated at rank X and Y was basically a Godly level of power that no one could withstand) and maybe even allow some actual plot to develop beyond what has thus far been a very rinse-repeat plotline for over 100 chapters.

Now I might be coming down pretty hard on this novel, but I still think there's something good in all of this. The first thing that sticks out to me is that the fight scenes are very brief. Almost too brief, even for my standards, but of the two extremes there's no question I would choose simple over complex when it comes to fight scenes in novels. However, again we run into the same issue as mentioned previously with the same pattern repeating. Victory happens, 9 out of 10 times, with the use of a single move, and everyone (even the ones who have seen Chu Tian do it 50 times at this point) must make sure to react strongly to this every time.

Another positive for me is how this is more of a PED simulation than sitting inside of a cave for 50+ years to cultivate, there's an immediacy that the MC's quick increase in strength produces that is hard to feel when within two chapters in other works, decades have passed.

And while I would hardly call the female harem members 3 dimensional, at the very least they are distinct from each other (Though the latest inductee, Yao, certainly seems like Yun Lite...) Now it's nothing more than the author slapping one single token distinction on each of them, but at least it's more than what most females get in the majority of novels of its ilk.

TL;DR: If the novel just took a few time outs in-between mini-arcs to expand the world and co-cast, and actually gave some good development to at the very least a single, main antagonist and/or focused more on the development of the company it would easily get a 4/5. <<less
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Fourthaid
Fourthaid rated it
Pampered Fei Brimming with Cuteness
January 22, 2019
Status: c150
This novel is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine. It's clear as day that our dear MC would've been murdered within moments of arriving in this new world if not for her Protagonist Halo which is far too OP. But sometimes, it's nice to read a silly, stupid rump as seen through the eyes of a very deluded MC, rather than a more serious or dark take on the same themes (The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir comes to mind).

However, I suspect that the formula of: "MC pisses off people,... more>> eventually someone she can't retaliate against, gets saved by a love interest, rinse repeat" will get tired eventually, 150 chapters in and it's still amusing to me. The face slapping is gratifying, the acts of the MC (while way, way over the top and completely unprepared) are at the same time both frustrating and delightful.

For now, I am still onboard, but I have said the same of other novels that rely heavily on face-slapping and eventually gotten tired. But until then, I'll be enjoying this very silly novel. <<less
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Fourthaid
Fourthaid rated it
Heyi Shengxiao Mo
July 10, 2018
Status: epilogue 3.3
The story was overall an enjoyable read. The misunderstandings didn't overstay their welcome, there was none of the typical drama between typically seen between jealous women in these types of stories which is a huge plus.

... more>>
Spoiler

However there were plenty of issues, especially with what felt like a very rushed ending. But also introductions of characters like the female lead's mother and ex-husband which were just pushed into the story and then promptly left without issue.

And while there is certainly a lot more xenophobic and even racist novels, especially in the Chinese market, it did feel very awkward whenever the female lead's past life in the US was mentioned. While there is a lot of racism still, it would not have come off as badly if there was at least one example of a friend or companion from the US that helped her out somehow rather than just being shown the bad side. Again, not quite racist, but definitely xenophobic and biased towards the Chinese as being righteous and just but oppressed within the American borders.

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Overall, it's close to a 7/10, and I round up my scores so 4/5 it is. <<less
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