Return of the Swallow
May 30, 2018
This one is a novel with
a strong beginning, at first our MC returns to her birth family after she is swapped due to some nefarius scheme, early on, she realizes that what expects her is not a happy family, but a tough life of political scheming, mistreatment, and the fact that, as a woman, she is only perceived by her family as a tool for marriage.
Onto happier things, in spite of our MC living a hard life in the mountains, she is fortunately
early on she realizes that sometimes, simply being quiet and lowering one's head does not solve your problems, so she asserts herself,
, a life in the mountains (that includes things like lumberjacking and
wrestling with wolves
) - not to mention that she excercises daily, made her very strong, strong enough to not take crap from anyone, although to be fair what worries me is that the novel states her in the beginning as very strong, but she might end up turning out to be one of those "who might be strong, but as a woman, she cannot compare with men"; she is a girl who knows when to push, when to pull and when to make use of things.
What awes me the most is definitely the side characters, most of them are written in a way that you can see that they are not simply painted in a color or the other, but are instead a complex matrix of circumstances, you can see that there are layers to them, for example in a mere 80 chapters you can go from hating her paternal grandmother, liking her, and really disliking her again, others you will simply hate, like the disgusting emperor, or the other (enemy nation) disgusting emperor (yes, both emperors are so incredibly infuriating!), and the unbeliveably short-sighted, stupid, foster sister; other characters can be quite surprising, both in personality and bearing like the scholar uncle, or the priestess, characters that at first you don't really know what to expect and they turn out in ways that you couldn't expect.
As for the male lead, to me, that's what makes or break a romance novel, I simply cannot stomach one of those overbearing, almost rapist douchebags that the only thing they got going are their appearance and power (political or otherwise), fortunately, so far the ML is not like that, he is a man with a lot of baggage, described as ruthless and a butcher on the battlefield, he has however proved to be a respectful, kind, logical, and honourable... he is also a tsundere...
The way this novel is written is absolutely brilliant, the descriptions are vivid without being annoyingly poetical and the story often goes to the point without wasting time on senseless repetition (although there
a few slow episodes in-between the arcs or incidents). And let's not forget the fact that the story is written in such a way that it grabs you, refuses to let you go, and then takes you along in an emotional rollercoaster and you won't want to do anyhting else other than find out what comes next (as of chapter 89 I had to stop and wait to build a decent stockpile, the cliffhangers were killing me!), I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good romance with a good plot.
Ultraman – Only Want To Protect You
December 15, 2018
This is a surprisingly good novel... I'm someone who often scoffs at these fanfiction novels... although every once in a blue, blue moon pops up a fantastic read written by someone who is at least a decent writer that respects and loves the original material and doesn't get carried away by the things deemed popular in CN WN...
Anyway... this novel is about a young man that gets transported into an alternate world that doesn't have the Ultraman tokusatsu series and is thrust upon the role (appearance and powers) of Ultraman
Zero... and as Zero he now has to defend the earth from villains from the Ultra series...
As someone who loves tokusatsus of every kind, I found that the way the story... and the arcs unfold are closely reminiscent of a toku show, and that is what's great about this series: it's a well-written tokusatsu and not the usual power trip and face-slapping i've seen on other fanfics...
I love how on his very first few fights he realizes there is no time for poses and that he must fight seriously... and I specially liked how reality hits him and he slowly must man up and accept his role as defender of earth...
Sovereign of the Three Realms
May 30, 2018
I've always felt that Sovereign of the Three Realms is an odd novel; if you look at it in a broad sense, you will find that every (if not most) arcs and characters are filled with the usual clichés/tropes found in other xuanhuan novels and yet in many instances they are done in a completely different way and somehow the story feels quite gripping (well, at times at least).
Let's look at the MC: He's a reincarnator with an amazing amount of knowledge in techniques and alchemy, however he was never
able to put most of it in practice due to his physique; in his new life he replaces his recently dead namesake in the lowest of the lowest realm;
how did the old Jiang Chen die?
he was caned to death because he
on a public ritual (he later figures out that he was actually poisoned (so that he would fart) as is usual in these stories) ; After his reincarnation, he must now use his supreme knowledge to get ahead in life (as a cultivator/martial artist as well as his own station in life), in this life he can cultivate so he uses the best (read: most appropiate, he is aware he can't "practice the numerous grand methods") method to cultivate and he pushes himself and his allies using his top-notch alchemy skills.
He is very prideful, but not overtly arrogant... actually he is not quite like that in the beginning, disregarding the knowledge of the so-called 'experts' and considering every sect as useless and filled with arrogant people; later on he
figure out that, not only there are things to learn in low-level places, but also that not every sect is filled with arrogant, overbearing, and in the end, worthless people; in this sense he outgrows his initial arrogance, settling himself in a prideful personality.
As far as his martial genius goes: he
considered as a martial genius by everyone, unlike other reincarnators however, he is not some kind of secretly unappreciated kind of genius (the kind that has superior spirit roots that look like trash roots) he simply knows the most efficient method to cultivate, he is supported by superior medicine, and he trains in three particular techniques that reinforce his overall foundation; in fact, later on (in what can be considered a
there's a proper TA later though) those three techinques help him steamroll the competition and
like a massive genius.
He has solid moral principles... that's not to say that he is unwilling to kill, or that he won't shamelessly take things from people,
, he does not however, kill indiscriminatedly, rape, plunder and most importantly:
he is not romantically fickle
he does not go from place to place collecting waifus like they were pokemons, in spite of this being a harem, the harem is pretty subdued.
And by far my favorite feature about the MC is his intelligence, and I don't mean all the knowledge he earned in his previous lifetime, I mean the fact that he is not reckless and his actions most of the time have a purpose, also he doesn't voluntarily get into a fight he cannot win, and when he does he some insurance, either in the shape of some strong backers or the many spiritual beasts he convinces into following him. You can expect a lot of planning and scheming since he doesn't solve everyhing with mindless violence.
Now that we got the MC aside, let's talk about the story arcs themselves, as I stated previously, the plot itself
clichéd but it's not, you will find many familiar plot points: the "single father, missing mom who is actually from a higher place", the "helping family become politically strong", the "tournament arc to get into a sect", the "competition to prove which sect is better", "waifu with powerful background", "accidental aphrodisiac encounter/impregnation", "proving I'm awesome at alchemy", etc. as you read, you will discover that things are not done quite like other stories, and are in fact quite freshly executed.
Overall it's quite interesting, so far there are several plot points that could have been simply tossed aside but are instead foreshadowing (for better or for worse), there are plenty of characters that aren't simply discarded once the MC goes to a new place, and in the end if you don't mind the classical xuanhuan scenarios, you will love the unique perspective the author paints them with, beware though that the villains in this novel are simply some of the most infuriating people ever written, and you will not be able to wait until their inevitable demise (a fact that made me build a quite the stockpile when the novel was around chapter 500) ; with a surprisingly gripping beginning, I highly recommend it if you actually like the genre and everything it offers.
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