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Keimichi
Keimichi rated it
Sovereign of the Three Realms
July 23, 2016
Status: Completed
[Warning: spoiler tags in this review contains stuff from the rams. Read spoiler tags at your own risk]
This had such an interesting premise, but it was poorly executed.

Every arc had a very strong setting at the start, and it gives you lots of anticipation. There's lots of clever foreshadowing that suggests that something great and mysterious is happening, and that at each arc you will progressively know more and more about it. Especially with the world building. The first arc is set in the MC's native country, but... more>> eventually the scale becomes larger.

(Becomes the top dog in his kingdom? But wait! That kingdom is only the smallest kingdom in the Union! MC moves to strongest kingdom of the Union? But wait! There's these powerful clans that control the whole Union of kingdoms!... But wait!
Spoiler

There's not only one Union! There's multiple unions! These clans are only the lowest level clans! But wait, there's more!!! There's the human territory! With the top ranked clans! But wait, there's more! There's even stronger groups! Bigger territories! Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.

EDIT: I mean, I don't think that's a bad idea, except I'm not sold on how the "scales" gets bigger. We're *told* he's fighting on a bigger stage (aka, bigger territories, stronger enemies, on matters that have a greater impact) but in the end it doesn't really feel that way. I feel like he's still fighting in the same limited scope as he always did. It doesn't feel like a war between countries, or a war between territories, etc. it just feel like the same old fight between small groups of a selective few people.

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The main character's backstory also suggests some deeper great plot behind his reincarnation. At each arc you feel like the scale is grander, and that you're closer to unveiling the mysteries of the world building. It really makes you want to read further to unravel each of the mystery despite how long the story is.

Sounds great, right? Except that it feels like the author spent so much building up all that wonderful material only to waste it on either half-assed answers, or left very nice materials unused. It doesn't matter if they were plot elements, weapons/skills or characters. There has been some great characters that were set up to have beautiful character development, only to never actually getting those development? So in the end you're left with 2 to 2.5 dimensional characters. Some characters are also replaceable. For example MC would have a sidekick kind of friend in one arc, only for MC to get another sidekick with almost the same personality in the next arc. And yes, this means that characters either get left behind after the arc, or only briefly mentioned like they had no presence at all. It doesn't matter if they are villains, sidekicks, potential love interests, mentors, elders, etc.

Spoiler

I hate that when you feel like your side characters are starting to be developed into 3 dimensional characters with their own will... You suddenly move into the next arc and they are just left behind. Then they become mindless background character that only knows how to accept the grace of our MC. Once they're past their usefulness, they drop down to one dimensional characters.

Like even though the author is always describing how the MC keeps training his team/family/subordinate, 99% of them never actually does anything to the story after their initial introduction. So the training is pretty useless to the plot. The other 1% of his team that actually help the MC and does something in the story... Aren't humans (they are mythical creatures or similar. They apparently are always "with him", but disappears and never says a word unless they are needed... So they are more like hidden weapons than companions for the MC.)

Same with a lot of the weapons.

A lot of times he spends a lot of effort in a dungeon to get them, only to have them used only once. And not in a major manner either. The further you go in the story the more frequent it gets. It sometimes make you wonder, what's the point, then? Why give so much weight/importance to the treasures, but then when the MC uses them they are barely more useful than stuff you'd get at a convenience store? Same with many arts, techniques he inherits from lots clans of the past era. By the time he should be using them, the author has already made him so powerful that the techniques are barely useful. Or, they end up as being convenient (and cheap) Deus Ex Machina in one of the following arcs and that's it.

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Events were made to be really grandiose, only to have a medium to mediocre delivery that doesn't match up to the scale it was supposed to have. Like the conflicts/problems just mysteriously "deflates" at the end. Lots of foreshadowing is just left hanging or never used. It's like the author had a great idea but then forgets where he wanted to go with it.

The format is repetitive as well. Competition, dungeon exploring, competition, dungeon exploring. MC is underestimated becomes of where he comes from, MC enters into competition and proves everyone wrong. MC becomes the top dog. MC gets reward (aka, enters a dungeon and finds treasures). MC moves to a bigger stage where he is underestimated again. Rinse and repeat.
There are some very interesting plot twists though. Except, once again, the delivery is...

Also, everyone is too dependant on the MC to solve all their problems. MC is practically a one-man army.
Spoiler

Even in wars! When the author has the MC practically win the war by himself, the wars lose their value. It stop feeling like a large scale battle. Yes, he builds his own army. He talks about reorganizing the human territory so they have power to fight off the demonic invaders. Except no one ever does anything because the MC pretty much solve it all singlehandedly. And even if anyone does anything, it's off screen. The readers are given such a sense of urgency during the story about the invaders. You can literally feel the time bomb ticking, and it felt like it could have exploded at any moment. The tension is set up so high for the climax... Except the climax feels so anti climatic. Where has the sense of urgency gone to? What about that border that was set to colapse "very soon", and thus urged the MC to get stronger? What about all that talk about training your troops to get stronger because they would never hold off the invaders otherwise... Only to never have those trained people do anything?

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PS: "Sovereign of the three realms" is a flashy title. Except it is a really unworthy title:
Spoiler

First realm takes 2300 chapters, the second takes about 50 and the last realm takes like 1 chapter if we're being generous.

I think the second realm was supposed to be the big mystery + finale, the author just had no idea how to wrap it up.

A more appropriate title would have been "Sovereign of One Realm and the 50 Chapters of Epilogue that Attempts to Wrap Up its Premise"

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And no, this is not like Ze Tian Ji. It's not on the same level of depth. Ze Tian Ji is slow, but the character depth and development is fantastic. The plot is well-written and tragic. SoTR is... subpar compared to ZTJ.

I feel like if someone took all the ideas of SOTR story and rewrote it, it could have been a really awesome webnovel. Like the other reviewers said, it has A LOT of POTENTIAL. Except that was lot of wasted potential.

EDIT: On the bright side, the MC is very likeable. Very Gary Stu maybe, but a fresh breath of air in the mass of Xianxia MC's. MC is reasonable, and doesn't engage in mindless violence. He has pride but isn't arrogant. He has this "presence"/"air"/"manners" that sets him above other people over how generous and open minded he is, and how he is able to take everything with stride. That's something that comes from his identity as the son of the Heavenly Emperor, and sets him apart from the typical "I kill U" narrow-minded stingy Xianxia MC's. Makes him a very pleasant MC and a decent human being. <<less
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Keimichi
Keimichi rated it
Joy of Life
August 7, 2016
Status: Completed
So I've read the raws. (Warning: Spoilers tags here might have spoilers from the raws)

If you're looking for a story of cultivation and fighting scenes, then this is not it. The main character actually only fights occasionally. Yes, we also get some grand battle scenes, but those only take a small percentage of the story. The focus and the charm of the story isn't about the fighting, but much more about the atmosphere, about the characters and their choices. There's always more secrets to be revealed. The character development... more>> is FANTASTIC. Each of the "villains" are so three dimensional that, even until the end, you aren't always sure what to feel about them (the same way the MC also have mixed feelings about them). It's not at all about the power of friendship, or about the "you insulted my face so I will kill your whole family!!" you see in a lot of CN's, it's all about the political balance that the MC has to juggle with... And his choices regarding what to do with his identity. His identities.

Like the description says, the MC's main goal is to survive, so he will do many things to acquire great political power in order to survive on his own terms... It's one of the rare reincarnation/transmigration novels that actually talk about the different moral values between a modern earth person and a society that resembles ancient China. Especially since...

Spoiler

He discovers that his deceased mother was also a person from modern Earth like him. And since that's secret that only he knows and understands, it will affect a lot of his actions, without others being aware of the motivations. (The MC is cunning enough to use their lack of knowledge and their wrong expectations to camouflage his true thoughts).

It's an extremely interesting idea that we see the aftermath of a character that could have been an MC. Fan Xian's mother COULD have been the perfect strong female time-travelling/transmigration MC that is so typical of online Chinese romance novels... In fact, she does everything that MC in those novels do. And yet she's isn't the MC of the story. We are left with only afterimages of a world travelling shoujo romance gone wrong. We only see the subtle yet powerful influences in a world in which she no longer exist; how she influences a world and its characters --- and how she impacts the life of our MC.

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I'm saying this because the whole transmigration will actually play a big part in the plot, as well as the MC's character development.

I just have to say, our MC Fan Xian is a very interesting character. He's not the cookie cutter hot blooded vengeful prodigy, nor is he a Gary Stu in the making. He has his own way of acting that makes him very human and still very logical. He doesn't treat women like trash. (This is despite the polygamy and the small "harem". His women are able to exist and thrive on their own ideals rather than serve as his attendants, and their attraction to the MC will not stop them from going against the MC if they need to. Their value is not based on their appearance, but on their individual strength, intelligence, etc.) He is able to play with his wits and pull onto his connections when needed. He is able to act as it benefits him.

Spoiler

He even acknowledges that he is two-faced and and his whole life is an act: from the moment he was born he has to put on a show. He had to play the part of the baby, of the boy growing up, the young man that went into the city, of the young noble climbing up the ranks, of the illegitimate child...

Because no one knows about the fact that he was born twice, that he had a previous life, no one is able to understand his motivation and his life values.

Fan Xian is extremely well aware of that, and thus he knows he must plays his part in order to protect himself and survive. (I won't explain these in details, please check out the novel~)

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Mao Ni's novels just has that very weird charm to it. Yes, it's slow, it might be hard to wait for chapter-by-chapter updates, but then when you in one go you feel so deeply charmed by the atmosphere it gives.

Once again, it's not a cultivation novel, not a "level-up" novel. So don't rate it less stars simply because it lacks cultivation and fighting

the same way you wouldn't rate a really good slice-of-life romance movie 1/10 simply because you were expecting to watch a horror movie but walked into the wrong room at the movie theater.

EDIT: I've decided to pick up this as a translator since it's been a dead project for a while :> <<less
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Keimichi
Keimichi rated it
Returning from the Immortal World
May 8, 2017
Status: Completed
EDIT: So I read the ending, read through this whole thing. Dropping my ratings from 3 to 1. This is utter trash. Basically no one in this story is important. People the author managed to make you care about somewhat doesn't matter at all. Each time MC gets power up, the story just throw away those characters by not ever mentioning them ever again. Including those who should technically matter: including his parents, his friends, his followers, his love interests, his entire vengeance he tries to make you think is... more>> important but just ended in such an anticlimactic way you wonder why the author bothered. The story is pointless. Nothing exciting. No tension. MC is too boringly OP that you don't really get excited for anything, even at the supposed ending of the story. Author introduce characters like it was some character factory, and the character's relevance lasts a one to two chapters at best. Ending was crap and crappier. NO ONE MATTERS. You literally just forget about them at the end because everyone's importance just completely disappears. If before this work was mediocrely acceptable or okay, then the last arc (returns to the immortal world), then the quality drops to the lowest. You stopped caring about anyone because even the story doesn't try to make you care. The plot that lasted through the majority of the story gets solved in such a eh way it makes me facepalm.

Just. Utter crap work. I mentioned in the old review that there are some "nice face slapping"; well at the end there is not even that anymore. Don't waste your time on this. If you think this is bad from the first few chapters, know that it can only become worst, not better.

The best comparison I have for this is: completely unhealthy junk food that just taste alright, however that you chose to binge eat for the heck of it because you have nothing better to do and because junk food are addictive by nature. Then after consuming everything you feel sick because it was just way too bad in quality and you ate such a huge quantity of it that your stomach is exploding. You then wonder why you did it if it wasn't even all that good in the first place.

If you're going for this, don't expect anything good, go in expecting the mediocrity, and only then you will be not too disappointed. Once again, not the worse thing out there, but certainly close, considering how long this is.

—————————————

Here is the old review I had after reading 1k chapters:

old rating: 3/5
[spoiler tags might contain spoilers from the raws, read at your own discretion]

OK, I'll be blunt with this. Excuse the language used here but I really can't find more accurate words to describe what I felt.

It's not terrible per se, however this is definitely nothing more but a novel that squeezes your time (and money, for the Chinese readers paying for it) but gives you nothing much in return. I think the best way to describe it would be "quantity over quality". It had an attention catching premise, but that's pretty much all there is to it. The rest is just the author bullsh*tting through it with the same pattern of things over and over again. Our MC is so "knowledgeable" that he squashed any tension tension. The only "suspense" is seeing the arrogant rich kids getting squashed in front of him because they don't know who he is. That's it. This doesn't mean that there's no action, just that the action are so one sided that you wonder where the challenge is at all. Everything is so monotone, barely any climax and barely anything that could be considered an arc. It's like you're reading a clinical log of everything that happened. You can tell the author is just squeezing out money from the poor readers paying for it.

It went to the point that the author had pull out things out of his ass just to make it more challenging for the MC. And I say you can definitely tell those came out of nowhere because there was no sign at all that indicated the things he came up with fit into his lore:

Spoiler

Let's see... We are in a cultivator/Asian setting. MC goes back to Earth but that doesn't negate the fact that the world is build up on an oriental Xianxia ish background, right?

But guess what appears on earth? Vampires. Werewolves. People with psychic powers. And now? Aliens. It's not bad if it was in the lore of that world, except prior to their appearance there was no indication that they existed. However MC then claims he knew they existed. MC claims that he has seen all the hyper technology and all that stuff. But there was no previous sign of him bein aware of it, or any sort of foreshadowing. It just fit in so badly with the story that you can tell the author did not plan ahead at all.

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I keep wondering what the heck is with the harem? The few intersting female characters get overridden fast by other female characters you don't give any fcks about and you wonder how the heck does it even happen. Like once again, they just randomly appeared out of nowhere and suddenly interest in MC. Also:

I'm sorry, but just because "you" are considered "excellent" doesn't mean that all women are willing to degrade themselves to become your mistress. I wouldn't care if it was in a xianxia setting, because polygamy was part of the culture in ancient China. But you can't convince me that modern day women share the same value, especially if they are as proud as the author described them to be. It's just. Not. Logical. And the more these relationships appear, the more you are just wondering "Why. Would you. Even. Pair them. Up together??????" No but really, my disbelief is so huge at some of the most random pairings that came out of nowhere. They are more relationships of circumstances with no chemistry between MC and girl at all.

The relationships are definitely following the "quantity over quality" ideology to a Tee. And the few relationships you would actually (relatively) care about are just drowned.

I'm not convinced either that billionaires here just jeep bowing their heads to the MC. Like no matter how strong your MC is, these are people who are able to fight against the current and amass a great fortune using their skills. They should be much smarter than what the author's making them out to be. Come on. Right now they are either brainless followers kissing MC's feet, or brainless antagonists about to kiss MC's feet once they realize who they are. There's not one shred of personality in there; it's just the exact same character, cloned and given different names. It just makes me feel that other than a backstory, the author is not capable to give any character any kind of character depth. So when the author doesn't know what to write to make the story more interesting, he just copy paste another character from his template and give the new guy a name.

The MC is a hypocrite too not the worse out of the CN novels, but honestly I don't like people praising him for his generosity (which people do) because he is NOT a good guy, or a selfless guy. People praise him for it because he is a "generous" doctor, and yet he barely cures anyone if he doesn't have anything to gain from it (it's either money, or loyalty... or some kind of business relationship).

Spoiler

He gets praised because he donated money, maybe like a million YUAN, but he's like a multi billionaire! Like we're talking about tens to hundreds of billions here. A few million to him is like NOTHING, literally. Yet he's being hailed as "so generous omg!!" He is praised for patriotism but honestly he is only doing it because it benefits him and he has no problem abusing power as he fit if it benefits him. He is said to be righteous but he has no problem forgiving people who have slaughtered thousands of innocent people just because they become "useful" to him. He said his promises are worth its value in gold and he always follows them through if he promise something. But honestly I noticed half of the times he doesn't really follow through if it stops benefiting him. Especially if they are with his enemies. He only follows through because he really doesn't care about some things (ex: promising to let evil-doers aka mass murders go, because he doesn't actually really care that they are killing people despite what he claims).

I'm not saying he's horrible. He's just a normally selfish guy. And even if he was evil, I'd be fine with it in fiction. I just find it extremely hypocritical of him to criticise others for things he does as well. I just roll my eyes really hard, because he's wearing the hat of a saint but he isn't anything the author claims he is. The author just want to add a MC aura and make him all perfect because, hey, it's the MC.

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But alas, I'm being generous and giving it a 3, simply because I've seen really horrible stuff before and this is at least better than those stories. It's just enough to keep me reading for 1000+ chapters, but bad enough for me to curse in a review of it. It does have some highlights, or perhaps I just somewhat like seeing MC trashing everyone else. But either way, in the end, it really doesn't have much of a substance. I've given this other novel a three out of five too (Souverain of the Three Realms) , however if I would compare these two... Well, they are not comparable at all the other story at least had a direction and had great ideas (that were poorly executed), but this story just feels like it only tried as hard as it tried making money out of readers. Here, you can't even tell the difference between the fillers and the non-fillers (that's just how bland most of it is). Perhaps read if you absolutely do not have anything else to read and just want to waste your time. Like I said, this kind of story is just written to grab the reader's money. A big "TL;DR". Nothing else.

EDIT: there is ONE thing the author does well, though, that is "rewards". You know sometimes you find good novels with good characters fighting for something, but they aren't here to enjoy the loot and we don't get to see any first hand reactions from the side characters? Well, here, we get plenty of those first hand reactions of people marvelling at the MC's awesomeness. Almost every other chapter. Sometimes you just want to read it for the face slapping. It's a guilty pleasure. <<less
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Keimichi
Keimichi rated it
The Silly Alchemist
May 26, 2017
Status: c72
Originally I decided to read until the current releases to decide if it was worth continuing with the raws.

Some people might say that this is full of fillers, but it is really just a slice of life comedy type novel. It is like some others said not a super cliche CN, however just because something isn't cliche doesn't mean it is good.

I'm honestly rather annoyed by the MC. I'm not saying that only righteous MC's are good, however I find it unreasonable when a MC acts badly and yet people... more>> still praise his actions as being great:

Spoiler

I'm really talking about the part where MC helps a "fat girl" to chase after a school Prince. Do I want the "fat girl" to have a happy ending? Yes. But see, the school prince was already in a very happy relationship with his girlfriend. But the MC just encouraged the "fat girl" to basically break their relationship. The novel even bends the morality but justifying the act even though the fat FORCEFULLY inserted herself as the third wheel. And then dare to claim the moral high ground because of no other reason than "plot armour". And guess what. When it doesn't work out, MC goes on defaming the prince's girlfriend. Totally DESTROYING her, by creating rumors to present her as a nasty "slut" and make it seem as if she aborted her child. None of which actually happened. Why all of this? Simply because this girlfriend tried breaking the prince and the fat girl's relationship. Well what do you expect? You want the girlfriend to just stand there and accept it when another girl forcefully inserted into their happy relationship? Steal her boyfriend? So when things don't go your way, you just destroy it? Ruin her reputation? (Even when this can literally ruin her whole life?) Even though after the prince accepted the fat girl's feelings, it was the fat girl was the one who couldn't keep her distance with the MC and thus made the prince unhappy. I'm not saying this girl shouldn't have male friends, but both this girl and the MC are extremely hypocritical and have double standards. I mean, which guy wouldn't be suspicious when a random dude with dubious relationships with your girlfriend is more important to her than you are. And she even goes to his home EVERY night... And for a girl that's too shy to even hold your hands, she really has no problem holding hands of the other guy. Logically speaking, it is also a lot of bull too. You're saying the fact girl has traditional values on male-female relationships (like holding hands is too much) and yet she is perfectly friend with having the MC as a male friend? Without any boundaries?

Im fine with a MC that have different moral standards, but please at least admit it rather than twist the words so you appear to be the hero when you're not.

You can feel the author bullsh*t from miles away, because that's the only reason he could find to justify a relationship between the MC and the "fat girl" even though she liked someone else, and make her part of his harem. Oh, btw, the story literally calls her "fat girl", but after a makeover from the MC, she's a "thin beauty with jade skin and pretty face". Figures that plot has to give the MC all the pretty girls. It's all so convenient that she turns into a beauty when it matters. Because ofc the MC couldn't have an actually "fat girl" in his friend circle/as potential love interest.

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After 72 chapters, I still feel like we are going no where. I can endure a slow start, but at this point it doesn't even feel like it's a build up for anything, just a bunch of short inconsequential events that are rather boring imo. I'm not saying this because it is a slice of life. It's just that it has none of the impact of an action xuanhuan novel, none of the charm or depth of a slice of life, none of the darker cynicism of a dark humor novel, no OPness of the OP character, and no super funny moment of a comedy or the romance of a romcom. If this is what you mean by original, then I'd rather not have any originality because at least your cliche CN would give us nice gratification when we see the MC face slap stereotypically evil villains. Genre exist for a reason, you know? They have their specific appeal. However the reason why this story stayed original was because it stripped itself of that appeal. It COULD have been something great that goes outside of the box. But what it really is, is simply something half assed.

Needless to say, I'm not even attempting to read the raws. Yeah, the story is not as bad as I make it seem, but I still don't really recommend it. <<less
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Keimichi
Keimichi rated it
The Human Emperor
April 15, 2017
Status: c683
[note: spoiler tags might contain minor spoilers from the raws]

I am actually more amazed by this than I expected. After 500 chapters of raws, the story has been absolutely AMAZING.

To summarize the background, this is a mix of historical and Xuanhuan. It is set in another world that shares a history extremely similar to that of Earth, and yet it is a different world. More specifically, this is a reincarnation + time travel. MC was a person from Earth that got reincarnated to this alternate history world. However, he... more>> failed the new life he got. However he gets a second chance. In summary, it might feel similar to TDG. However, it is NOTHING similar. This story is focussed on the MILITARY. It is not about a direct clash of power beams and "my level is higher than yours". It's all about politics and actual war. In fact, it actually feels like Wuxia at first. It's only when you read further than you slowly notice that it has Xuanhuan elements. (Side note: no sign of romance so far, even if we see female characters).

The narration is not flowery and widely poetic like Ze Tian Ji for example. Rather, everything has a logical progression and everything is concise. The author doesn't just throw in randomly as things goes along and then resort to plot armor to fix them. Rather as things goes along you'll notice that actions and people that were mentioned so long ago would actually become crucial to the plans of the MC. I think the only thing that could have been handled better would be the minor time skips (ex: those that are a week or a month long that author sometimes adds in rather suddenly), but that could be just a personal preference on my part.

We have a rational MC. He is not superhuman, but he is able to make rational decisions based on what he have and what he knows. He is a quite intelligent character. But it's not the same type of intelligence as the MC of TTNH for example, who was more of a cunning type that uses small tactics and deception. He's not like the MC of TDG who is smart but too arrogant that smacks people with his knowledge. No, our MC has a calm type of wisdom indeed benefitting of his background story. The reason why I like this MC is because the author has well done the "show, don't tell". We are able to see each of the steps, and hence, I do agree he has more skills than just the typical plot armor granted to protagonists by time travel. (I'd say, the only "plot armor" is how fast things go. Ex: if he estimates something will take 1 week, "MC will be surprised it only took 5 days". But that is really minor and could be attributed to him being cautious.)

The antagonists are not mindless drones. They don't exist just because they are evil or bad. Not all characters that disagrees with the MC is a bad guy. And the MC does not eliminate all people who disagrees with him. The MC is able to see the big picture and seek cooperation rather than have a pitiful revenge against people who he disliked. He is aware that he must maximize his resources, and therefore he must not remain on minor grudges.
Spoiler

In fact, rather than "antagonists", I'd say they are more like "opponents". What he is really fighting against isn't really the "enemies" per se, but rather "the future" he knows would happen and that he is trying to change.

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I think, the only down point is that we don't really get to see things from the perspective of the side characters. The story is just really focussed on the MC, so even if the side characters have their own thoughts, the author doesn't really dig in too deep to show us what they are thinking. It doesn't mean these characters are less important, just that lot of their crucial actions, decisions and opinions are off screen.

Anyway, I think this is an extremely promising series. I won't praise the schemes as being ABSOLUTELY STUNNING—However, things are all well foreshadowed and planned out in a way that makes me acknowledge the MC as actually have a higher IQ and knows what he is doing (rather than the author trying to convince us that he does). <<less
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Keimichi
Keimichi rated it
Martial King’s Retired Life
April 11, 2017
Status: v1c11
Very interesting so far!

The background is that MC got tricked (used as a test subject) by his master into learning random (but famous and powerful) martial arts from different sects. Now MC managed to become OP after much physical sufferings. But what would you do when you are the most powerful fighter? Retire of course! Because being strong is not profitable when all sects are broke and in this world you can't do anything without money!

It's writen in first person perspective and the narration is just gold. The translation... more>> is smooth as well, nothing chunky that sours the mood with its long run-on sentences. I can't comment yet about the plot, as the story is only starting. Usually I'd wait a while before leaving a review, but this one caught my attention enough for me to recommend it. I guess you can say the attraction is really in the MC's narration as he makes a comment about everything around him.

[update chapter 11: I stand my ground. Will update with better review after more chapters] <<less
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Keimichi
Keimichi rated it
The Legend of Sun Knight
August 7, 2016
Status: Completed
I really liked the story. I'm rating it a five star because I definitely think people should read this.

It's extremely rare to see someone write such an interesting first person perspective. Or perhaps I've read way too many awful first person narration (that are apparently popular novels). While most first person narration feels horribly dry and gives the impression you're reading a grocery list of actions, the narration in this one is extremely charming--a lot of the humor comes from the comments in the narrative. It's so extremely well... more>> written that the MC manage to influence your perception of reality, you get influenced by his happy-go-lucky personality until the narration switches to another perspective and you realize just how much he has been trivializing important issues to not make his friends worry.

MC is an intersting guy. He's the laziest and most annoying two faced bastard ever (according to other characters). He's also apparently pretty evil, but as you go on you realize just how, how much he has a big heart under all that sassy narration. He's probably the biggest dummy of all. The irony is probably that he's supposed to be the least hero-like hero, and least cliche MC, however you then see how much of a big-hearted cliche MC he is. Except he is not. Except he is. Bleh. Lmao.

There are some parts I've seen coming a mile away, however Yu Wo is really talented as she manage to change cliche's into something completely different and jump outside the expectations.

(I still have to say, the Chinese raws has slightly more "flavour" than the narration. Sun Knight sounds more sassy in his use of words that aren't as well translated into a foreign language. The translation is extremely good tho, I highly recommend it!

PS: The Chinesefied western names in the original are reallllyyy hard to remember lol) <<less
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Keimichi rated it
The New Gate
July 23, 2016
Status: v6c3
Good, multi-dimensional characters. Very likeable OP MC.

Except nothing really happens.

I don't know, even at vol 4, so far the battles haven't been really that enjoyable. Maybe I have been spoiled by some of the other novels with flashy battles. I actually don't mind that the MC hides his strength. I like relaxing MC's that are powerful but pretty humble. He's calm and collected. So none of those unreasonable, hot-headed, hypocritical, perverted, weak or dumb actions. He's just someone who wants to lay low and progressively find a way... more>> to get home.

However, it's one thing to have an MC with little ambition, it's another thing if nothing really happens to push the story forward. Even the small interactions or events in the story doesn't really push the story anywhere. It felt like 4 volumes of introduction and lazing around that amounts to very little in the end. It felt like it's not doing things right. If you say it's a story focused on action and fighting, then obviously it doesn't have enough action and fighting. If you said it was a story about character development and world building, then there hasn't been really that much character development and world building. It's kinda awkwardly stuck in between, and you have no idea where it is going, or what the author is trying to do with the plot.

It is an interesting novel, but I still feel like it's lacking something substantial.

[Update vol 6: so more things happened. Except it still doesn't feel like much happened.] <<less
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Keimichi rated it
I Am Supreme
June 7, 2017
Status: c267
In general, Fengling Tianxia's MCs has always been charismatic, with intelligence and yet a quirky shrewdness that just get you attached to them personally. His works is based a lot on the MC using strategies and mind games to defeat his enemies (and for once you actually feel like the MC is intelligent not because the others are dumber but because he actually outsmarts people who can be equally as smart as him).

This work starts off with a different feel than the others. The author said at the end... more>> of his last series that he will really up his game for this one and make something different and well planned. So far it does feel a little bit different: this MC is a much more calmer MC than the author's previous MC's.

In here, the MC is actually officially acknowledged as the smartest of his group. Like imagine TTNH's main group, except instead of the MC being the "big bro" and leader, he's the "brain" of the group. This makes me excited because while the author's other MC's have been said to be very smart, they were still not the official "chessmaster" and in PURE intelligence they were still half a step behind the chessmasters (a tiny tiny half step). So now I'm excited to see a MC that is even more level-minded. (Also very excited because the author values sworn brothers relationships a lot, and yet at the very start we are told that they are dead and this is gonna be revenge. Like imagine TTNH's group dead!). A nice refreshment is that this MC is actually truly selfless. Sure, in other stories we do have some MC's willing to share their spoils, but this is under the condition that they no longer need those resources (like being too high level for them), or knowing that it will bring him some sort of profit in the end. Honestly I think those type of MC's are actually selfish bastards with a halo, because everything has the purpose of benefitting them in the end. This MC is the opposite actually, because really impressed that the first treassures he earns he dissipates it all for the sake of the family of his subordinates who died. As a priority. This is while he desperately needs resources himself. But no, he decides to put others before him.

Anyway, I'm recommending this because of the quality of the author's other work, and so far there's high expectations for this one. I don't know how truthful and well done the translation is, but hopefully it doesn't butcher the novel too much. On the bright side, the translation seems to be quite up to date with the daily Chinese chapters.

Update chapter 115:

Are there flaws in the story? Yes. I won't deny it. I think the story's relying heavily on the fact that we're all old readers. The author took less time setting up the story like in his last works (where the protagonist has a slow start from a nameless position so we slowly get attached to them), but rather threw us right into the action. It might be off-setting for fans of his previous work, even confusing since we don't really know any of the characters from the start. But at around 100 chapters, it's really just slowly setting up the story. Bits and pieces of information have been revealed, and more will come. This includes the dead brothers, which we are slowly getting flashbacks and notes and back stories. It does take longer to get attached to the characters because we feel like we're catching up to them (and the plot), rather than growing with them. Because the other characters have come into a new world where they weren't really integrated into and thus start with nothing. But in IAS, the MC already have a lot and was well integrated in his world, but lost it. So it's a different process and starting point from all the other. People keep complaining that the author's staying in the same type of plot, but the same people are complaining about the author's attempt to start something different. Yes less character time, but it's a stronger plot background. I really love plot focussed stories, and there are so many mysteries waiting to be unveiled.

The story isn't horrible. So many stories that are complete trash still gets rated at least a two or three on this site. This one is getting one star ratings only because it doesn't completely fit into the old readers expectations. It is true it is not the same quality of the previous works, however it is far from being a horrible novel. The terrible reviews are people who loved and yet are disappointed that this novel doesn't meet the same high expectation the previous ones set.

<<less
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Keimichi rated it
The Lazy King
July 26, 2016
Status: Completed
I'm rating it as 4 stars, +1star for the quite refreshing story format.

I feel like this probably is more like a short story type of novel, those types you'd see in older magazines that didn't always focus on a plot but instead wanted to convey a "feeling". It simply happens that the author choose the long detour to convey rather than compress it in one chapter. But at the same time you feel like the slow pacing was necessary, because without it you would miss 90% of the character... more>> depth (which was the great part). Even if in the end, you also feel like the character depth was pointless.

But that's pretty on point, since the point of novel was to convey how lazy and passive the MC is. As well as making you take the perspective of the MC: making you understand that all those fighting, personal struggle, plotting, etc. Was pointless and laughable. Everything is useless and lazy, that was the whole point.

Either way, with this novel, you either like it, or hate it.

PS: I think that fighting/power system was quite interesting though. <<less
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Keimichi rated it
Dawnbringer: The Story of the Machine God
July 23, 2016
Status: v2
... It's trying to tell me that the MC is a celebrated war hero who led a victorious battle as the vice-admiral who commanded a huge army. Except that the MC has the intellect of a 13 year old teenage boy with delusions of grandeur and uncontrollable hormones.

Interesting premise, but it is a bit ridiculous. It makes you wonder how the heck a character with such low IQ could have possibly been any sort of army leader. I don't think he even has the capability to lead a small... more>> team of five, let alone a whole army. <<less
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Keimichi rated it
Realms In The Firmament
March 28, 2017
Status: Completed
Short review for now, will update with a full review later with a lot more stuff
[Warnings: Spoiler tags might contains stuff from the raws.]

I have mixed feelings about this because my overall expectation was high. I must say overall, I really enjoyed this story a lot, and would have rated it a 5 if not for the ending.

Overall, I'll divide the story into 3 "arcs", each corresponding to one realm. It'll make it more clear why the final rating was a 4 instead of a full 5.

Arc... more>> 1 — 4.8/5 "Young Master Ye from the capital"
Great beginnings with extremely wonderful expectations, and did not disappoint. This section covers the reincarnated MC adapting to his new body, as he try to train and ascend back to his original realm (which is one realm above the one he reincarnated to). In my opinion, the strongest point in Fenglin Tianxia's writing is the cunning of his MC's. When they are weak, they come up with the most entertaining ways to get through their tough situations. Lying, bluffing, tricking, etc., you name it. These MC's are oozing with charisma. In RotF, MC is no exception. He might be more dense than Chu Yang (TTNH) and Jun Mo Xie (OEM), but he's still quite quirky in his own way. This is especially apparent during this first arc.

Arc 2 — 5/5 "MC goes back to the realm he comes from"
Personally, this is my favorite arc of all. I mean, all of the first arc was to prepare for this, and this was so, so well done. So much character development. Especially fun when you meet the old friends of MC who he had known from before the story started. Still a lot of bluffing and tricking, but this part is a lot less political in nature, as MC grows stronger so can depend on more physical force than pure cunning.
What I want to especially praise, is that the author actually raises the question a lot of us probably wanted to ask when we read CN's: why does no one care MC has basically taken over someone else's body? Well, here, it actually addresses the whole issue about reincarnation MC's, and all the problems that comes with it. I won't spoil the plot, but trust me when I say it had been done well.

Arc 3 — 3/5 "MC goes to the higher realm"
The arc, especially at the end, was extremely lacklustre. I think author did not plan further than the first two arcs when he wrote this story. You can tell that the author had been trying to just get everything done and wrap the story up.
Spoiler

The author himself has, in fact, said he was extremely unsatisifed with this story. That the writing was "unnatural" for him. Hence he was "glad to have ended it". He said that, after some point he did not feel like he wanted to continue, but knew he had to do a wrap up at least because if he started he had to finish it. While I was reading the last arc, I indeed did feel this clearly, especially towards the end. It's a shame really, because in my personal opinion I think the author did great for the majority of the story.

[collapse]
A lot of the parts felt like summaries, especially at the very end. You don't really get into the story. A lot of the interesting plot points raised through the first two arcs are just promptly wrapped up, some barely addressed and others never talked about again. Character developments, relationships between the MC and the female characters, relationships between some of the female characters, the important friends of the MC... Characters you felt like would appear in the arc just don't appear anymore, probably because the author wanted to cut the story short, hence did not have time to actually go back to all the points and just hastily talked a bit about them. This was very disappointing because, along the way, you don't just get attached to the MC, but also to the side characters and their quirky personalities. Even the MC feels less like the emotionally three dimensional character, and more like a... Well? He seems less human than the other arcs. All that's left is mostly power ups upon power ups, and the cunning ideas he gets is less entertaining.

Overall though, I do say that, for the sole existence of the first two arcs, it is definitely worth a read. Perhaps the last arc would have felt a little bit more coherent if I had read it all together (vs, following daily updates). Still, I can't say this is the author's best work. <<less
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Keimichi rated it
Elqueeness
April 14, 2017
Status: c50
This was really unexpectedly interesting!

Honestly, I found the first few chapters long to read, however once the introductory chapters were done and the adventure started, it was quite enjoyable. The MC is technically overpowered, and yet can't say he is ultimate being. I guess it doesn't really matter if he is OP or not if it isn't really a novel center end on battling but on adventuring and slice-of-life. Like some other reviews said, what is special is not really the action, but the daily interactions of the members.... more>> It is a sort of coming-of-age progress for the MC and his companion-- MC who slowly adapts and grows as a spirit King and his companion as he learns to assume the responsibility of a king while on the run. I guess you get attached to the characters after a while.

I can't say it is everyone's cup of tea, but I think those who enjoy this genre might appreciate the atmosphere. <<less
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Keimichi rated it
Heavenly Star
April 9, 2017
Status: --
I originally read this when there was just a few chapters available of the translation. The translation was so good and the premise was so intriguing to me that I went to check out the raws.

Only to find out it was bad. Extremely overrated.

I mean, I think this as a classic example where the MC is "smart" and "intelligent" only because the rest of the cast has even lower IQ. Sometimes you wonder where common sense went, or if the characters (mostly MC) are even capable of logical thinking... more>> above that of an bellow average person even when they're are supposed to be a genius. The supporting characters are extremely bland; they don't seem to exist without the MC. The mystery might be the only part that makes you wanna read more; other than that the storyline is boring. Some people might use the word "simple" to describe the plot, but to me it is just unimaginative and doesn't know how to properly bring out the interest of the readers. Heck, after reading a bit less than half of the 556 chapters, I just skipped all the rest and read the last few to figure out where the MC comes from. Saved myself from going through hundreds of chapters of more boredom. <<less
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Keimichi rated it
Reborn as a Divine Prodigal
August 17, 2016
Status: c170
[EDIT: After reading IRAS (I'm Really a Superstar) , I'd say I would recommend that instead as it does have a similar premise. If you haven't read IRAS and found this story somewhat interesting, then please go read IRAS instead. Its story quality is many times superior and much less repetitive. You'll laugh so hard with IRAS. IRAS's MC is such a shameless humorous guy that you'll laugh during the whole 1000 chapters non stop. Whereas in Reborn as a Divine Prodigal the humor is minimal, the character lacks presence... more>> (or intelligence) and the plot just bends over backwards to support the MC. It's not well done, and you get pretty much tired and bored after a hundred something chapters.]

I've read into the raws for a hundred seventy or so chapters before I just decided to take a break from it. It was pretty funny in the beginning, but after a while it becomes very clear that everything just repeats itself.

The MC pretty much depends on either luck or plagiarism for all his achievements. The plagiarism part isn't so bad, because that's part of his reincarnation, but the way that characters just eat out of his hands because "his ideas are so great" is just... I mean, there must be a limit with how much the entire population enjoys his stuff like they are seeing the best idea ever is just pretty unbelievable. His luck is also a killer. It's one thing to have a fortunate MC. It's another, though, when other characters almost literally bends their personality backward in order to fit into the MC's "luck". Sometimes they become so out of character (such as, we are told that someone is cold and cunning, is powerful, and is introduced as such, but then suddenly he becomes a henchman?) you can literally see the plot or brainwashing the world population. It's funny at first, but then you realize that there is zero character development at all. The MC is a two dimensional character at best. He has some "clear motivation" (it's all in the title) but no personality to back it up. No talents, no intelligence, nothing to set him apart, or even to mark him as an actual individual. The only thing he has is plagiarism, and a hella great memory if he can remember so much materials from his past life to plagiarize from.

As for the rest of the cast, 99% of the rest are one dimensional, only there in order to ass pat the MC or be jealous (it does has the typical Xianxia feel, only much worse). The other 1% has some semblance of a personality, but they feel like complex characters only because the rest is so uninteresting. At best, they could be seen as a cheap imitation of characters from other works.

I feel like the laughing points are kinda cheap too. Idk, just... How the heck do you continue on with a thousand of these chapters?

I mean, with a premise like that, it could have been a pretty cool story if it was written by authors like Feng Lin Tian Xia. Imagine having a cheeky sassy MC that isn't an actual prodigal rich boy, but has to pretend to be in order to gain experience points. And then a bunch of people being outsmarted by the MC that they all consider dumb. But nope, this author gave us a really, really bland MC that has no true intelligence or charisma. <<less
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Keimichi rated it
Nirvana In Fire
May 14, 2017
Status: --
Oh god this is probably one of my all-time favorites.

I gotta say, I became fan because of the drama (which is absolutely stunning). The drama version has been a phenomenon in China, even earning many fans in other Asian countries and overseas as well. So I'm really surprised this hasn't received more attention from people on NU. It hasn't made into an acclaimed TV series for nothing (for those interested, there's a complete subtitled version on Youtube if you search for the novel's name)

We've got an actual strategist MC.... more>> And by intelligent, I do mean he is intelligent. Not the genre that's smart only because others a re d um, but because he outsmarts others. The overall plot is rather straightforward imo, however the MC uses really great strategies to accomplish his goal. The plot does not bend over just to support him; in fact he is the one controlling the flow of everything.

The strong point is in the foreshadowing; all along the author keep leaving information that you think are trivial, however they are actually hints on what actually happened and are crucial to the story. Everything is well wrapped up, and you can tell that the author put a lot of thoughts into it, rather than have a never ending filler like so many CN have. The series gave me the feels so many times; I can't remember the last time I felt so strongly about any series or fandom and trust me when I say I have seen my fair share of series.

Spoiler

The end was also a rather satisfying end. I won't spoil anything but you have my guarantee that it is a n end that suits the atmosphere and personality of the MC so well.

[collapse]

I think what got to me was the character interactions. You get so attached to all of them. Even the minor characters. They shine so much, and are all characters with their little quirks and their own character development. They are also important to the plot because sometimes the smallest of character can make or break an event. My only issue is that the MC is probably a bit of a Gary Stu, but I don't think anyone really cares that he is at this point haha.

I do hope to see a translator re-pick this up someday, as I believe it would really be a shame to ignore such a gem. <<less
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Keimichi rated it
Chrome Shelled Regios
July 23, 2016
Status: --
This was one of the first translated light novel/ web novels I ever read.

Needless to say, I really liked the setting, and especially some of the main characters. MC isn't weak physically at all, but isn't always motivated to fight due to his guilt. I guess you can even say that his character development is based on overcoming his guilt in a "coming of age" type of story.
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Keimichi rated it
World of Cultivation
July 14, 2017
Status: Completed
[might contain minor spoilers from the raws]

Honestly when people recommended me this, I was really excited. They said MC was shrewd and funny and smart and all that jazz. But honestly, he's not as shrewd as people make it out to be, I was expecting a little more based on people's descriptions of him.

Honestly, this wasn't bad, it's probably one of the better written novels, but it's not as good as people make it sound to be.

I feel like the author did a really good job in setting up... more>> a world set the beginning. I was even rather impressed, it seemed like a well done self contained world. But the further it goes the more this world becomes vague, and I feel like the already established rules starts to crumble a little because the structure is not as solid as it could have been. Perhaps because as it goes further, author stretches himself thin. This goes not just for the world build up, but also the character evolution and the plot. Our MC is given a clear goal at the beginning, which is what really pushes the plot forward. However we are never really given a statist actor answer, as the "big reveal" to the answer we were looking for kinda just drops in importance and then skimmed through. Doesn't mean the author forgot about it, it just means it was more a means to an end than the result and we don't actually learn much in the end other than "oh he accomplished his goal". And the accomplishment of the goal doesn't really affect the plot in anyway, doesn't change the MC's personality, doesn't really answer questions. It might have as well as not existed. This is really a bummer; the mystery was set up in an intriguing way that it could have been super interesting. Which means all the mysteries from the beginning of the series you really wanted to know and see a result never really happens.

Spoiler

Which means all the mysteries from the beginning of the series you really wanted to know never really gets answered except in passing at best. Not just MC but important side characters as well, and it doesn't really affect the plot.

[collapse]

The characters kinda lose their shine at the end as well because everything is just skimmed through so much. I feel like the author just got tired about it in the end and just rushed everything. The ending was rushed to the point it felt like summaries and then we are given a cut out scene.
Spoiler

For example, rather than explaining the logistics of the battle, the author just goes like "X is battling Y", -insert a random half a chapter scene where Y shows briefly his feelings in the midst of the battle-, "X won over Y". Even the end battles are like this. Which is a great contrast from how the author used to describe in detail the earlier battles. That's why I said the author stretched it too thin, everything was clearer at the beginning/middle, but in the end too many fights were happening, which means we get only a brief glimpse of them (if we are lucky) and the fights are done.

[collapse]

Honestly its not bad, I think the other reviews have given fair points on the positive points of this novel, but I am writing this to point out the weaker points as well. <<less
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Keimichi rated it
Spirit Realm
April 24, 2017
Status: c405
I've stopped at 405. I've decided to take a break, maybe read it at a later date if I have the time, because honestly it wasn't enough to maintain my attention.

I think my greatest problem with this story is that the main character's personality is all over the place. After 400 chapters I still can't pinpoint what kind of character he is. His behaviours and personality display have just been inconsistent. It's more like he is a collection of random emotions that is convinient for a MC to feel,... more>> rather than a solid character interacting and reacting with his environment. He's like a placeholder dummy character. He can't make decisions because he has no solid character. That's why, I think, other reviewers keep saying he doesn't really take active action to change what's around him, but is more passively reacting to things.

Spirit realm is like, you know, one of those story that probably have a decent plot (it hasn't been bad or horrible so far), however the characters are just not memorable enough to remember them. It's a shame, because I really liked the setting, but because everything about the characters seemed so passive that it becomes tedious to read. <<less
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