What I love greatly about this is that, even though the ML isn't incompetent by any means, the ML is clearly handicapped at the beginning of the novel. So the MC is the one who manages to save the day by relying on her wit and ingenuity to get through most of the obstacles and troubles the ML and MC encounter. The author at least attempts to keep the MC's abilities and reactions believable. The best part, imho, is that most of the times those attempts are done well enough that a reader can buy into them too.
The other thing is that the MC's and ML's interactions are the best! There's not really any romance so far because of the ML's situation:
The MC thinks the ML is a child but treats him like a pet because (1) he has yet to reveal his true form to her and (2) his injuries forces him to resign himself to her treatment. This leads to some extremely funny moments, like her trying to determine his gender or taking his temperature the same way we would a cat's. His poor dignity lol!
The ML decides to tag along with her because she saved him first and she's going to a place he thinks will cure his own problem. It's cute to see him slowly warming up to her.
Especially so with the ML, who the author shows to be NOT human. This is one of the best aspects the author creates with this story. The author clearly defines the differences between the beastmen and humans and the differences in the various beastmen types. Through various interactions the MC has with different characters, we get a better understanding of how a human's common sense wouldn't match with someone from a different species and way of life.
This rule of non-human behavior colors the ML's character-development as his affections for the MC grows. Although it's refreshing to see an ML who doesn't immediately fall for the MC, it's even more so to be able to observe how he falls for her. Usually, stories tend to show why we, the READERS, would expect the ML to fall for the MC, but rarely do we see the ML's POV of how and why he fell in love AS he's falling in love. His uncertainty and confusion, as his feelings battle with his sense of normalcy, give his character more depth than what we usually see with any ML.
And props to the author for having the MC stick with the goal of finding home. She's in a totally different and more hostile world, where she doesn't truly have a reason to expect a way back home. But instead of giving up and coping with how to settle, the MC holds onto the slimmest of hopes that she might be able to get back and perseveres. She continues to keep trying despite setbacks. Readers are able to see when her spirit strains but, nonetheless, never breaks, and we're able to empathize with her because of how believable the author makes it. I love how the author can realistically showcase the strength of hope without making it seem like something that would only happen in stories.
I also adore how much perseverance and resourcefulness the MC has. The author makes sure to not make her OP and gives her abilities pretty solid foundations. I continue to be impressed with the author's characterization of the MC, in how empowering she is on her own. She finds out that her original plan of going home is no longer available to her, but doesn't let that stop her from finding a new path. She also continues to rely on and develop her own abilities to get her out of rough situations instead of just waiting for someone to come save her.
I also love how the author subverts the MC's "space" and prevents it from being a typical deus ex machina. Instead, the author actually cares to explore its mystery and makes it a plot-point in the story.
I'm also impressed with how the author is able to illustrate the changes in the ML's behavior in a way that doesn't seem forced or out of character. He still has the traits of being overly independent, impatient, almost cruel/cold, and arrogant in himself, with both his race and his abilities. But he's developing the ability to have trust, patience, and understanding in the MC to a degree that it's also affecting his previous stated traits. I like how the author shows that the MC didn't "fix" the ML, but merely influenced his perspective of the world. The ML's new outlook in turn causes his character developments.
The death flags and world politics are intertwined in a way that its not some shoehorned coincidence that all these different characters are targeted for some catastrophic event. So far, the reasoning seems to be that a particular character is targeting all these people for a greater scheme. It even goes into why Erica has so many death flags beyond being the "villainess"--she's in a unique position, by virtue of her lineage and status, that connects her to a potential exploitable weakness of each target.
The "villainess" aspect of Erica is rather debatable though. True, her mother was of questionable character, but both her brother and father seem to be well-respected. Erica apparently has a arrogant resting-b*tch face but she doesn't have any notorious deeds to her name prior her remembrance of her past life. She technically only ever gets hate from the people of Hafan--her fiance/first capture target/potential love interest's country-- but she's pretty liked well enough by people she meets in other countries. Actually, she's really well-liked by the first capture target and his family too.
Because of his age and isolation, the master is almost as out-of-touch with the world as the MC and the story plays on that to great effect. So some parts of the story is like a time-traveler from the past meeting a hero summoned from a different dimension XDD. Misunderstandings galore.
By the way, I especially adore the spoiled little Wang. I'm not usually a fan of tsunderes because many tend to be extremely bratty with very little redeeming qualities to make up for the former. But this character has enough dere and other personality traits (such as nobility, bravery, diligence, respectfulness, and loyalty) to make up for any tsun characteristics. In fact, I'm actually rooting for him to succeed and find happiness.
Though, I'm not sure why the author gave her a high-level/highly regarded special ops background when she doesn't really have the skills to back it up. Doesn't that position require an innovative mindset/ingenuity to assess and operate in various highly volatile situations? At her level, it'd be more believable to have her have been a regular soldier instead. She does seem to have the whole spirit of being comrades-in-arms down pat.
When he stole the MC's possessions, I honestly saw red. And while I know he doesn't owe the MC anything, neither does he do anything to actually warrant any sort of true affection from the MC. He continuously deceives her, stole from her, repeatedly looks down on her, and knowingly kills her friend/comrade in arms. So far, he's done NOTHING to prove himself worthy of her love, and if she comes to hate him or starts a relationship with someone else first, I would say she is more than well within her rights to spurn him.
Since he is supposed to be the ML, the author better not make it easy for him. The only way I'll be able to accept him is if he truly suffers to earn his HE (as in, not making it easy to win over the MC). He has a LOT of crow he'll have to eat at this point. As of chapter 148, all he's doing towards this end is digging a deeper hole pit chasm he'll need to climb out of. At least have her SLAP his face once!
an example here would be the MC and ML with the value of humans and human life
it seems that the conflict in the story isn't something stemming directly from the MC but is more centered around the ML, with the MC not trying to get involved, and
In fact, the biggest reason I like this story is because ONLY the ML seems to be black-bellied while the MC seems largely unambitious. She has a pretty cushy life (compared to others around her) and doesn't seem to wish to exert more effort than she has to. I'm interested to see how that plays into and contrasts with all the conflict the ML is in. And speaking of the ML, I'm really liking how ambiguous his feelings towards the MC are (so far) and can't wait to see where and how things change between them.
Uuuhwa~ This story hits me right in the feels. The narrative of the MC's struggles to overcome his traumas (he experiences things like depression, severe PTSD, existential crises, suicidal tendencies) after being burned to death, reborn, betrayed, tortured, and left for dead is exceptionally well-crafted. I'm actually a bit surprised that I haven't come across any other stories that take a deeper look into the existential side of finding yourself alive again after death. The MC's despair over the value of existence after living two extremely different lives and the pain of living even after essentially dying twice really struck a cord with me over the contradiction of a person's coexisting fragility and strength.
Luckily, there's a lot of fluffy moments and some comedy to balance things out. The ML is so wonderfully loving and doting, to the point where I can see why the MC turns into a tsundere around him. All that sweetness being tossed around, someone needs to rein it in. The ML is sooo sappy, he was probably a tree in his last lifetime.
The summary/backstory does make it 1000x sadder though
Finished the 1st arc and it made me really feel sad for both MC and ML. Although it was non-con, it actually played out the tragedy of the lost of friendship and unrequited love, which made the non-con aspect easier to read than if the MC just accepted everything. (But with my reading preferences, non-cons aren't exactly a challenge for me to get through either). However, I couldn't stand it if all the arcs were like this, so I went ahead and read spoilers. Luckily, the ending makes up for it and I'm told that the 2nd arc is really sweet.
Further spoilers about arcs and ML: There's only 4 arcs and they're really long. I'm told the 2nd arc and 4th arc make the relationship worth reading. The relationship focuses on consent in the 2nd arc and it's mutual by the 4th. The 3rd arc's description is kind of weird though. And yes, ML is the same person for all arcs
I am 20 chapters into this and my OTP is the MC and Ying Lu, and I don't even like yuri. F*#@ the rest of them, those two are the only ones so far who deserve to be happy and I want them to be happy together, along with Xiao Hei.
Now at chapter 65, another reviewer said this, but it's true: the truly wonderful people are all the siblings. I also agree that the MC should just gather her twin, Ying Lu, He Xing Yan, and Bai Wei together and run off to a happily ever after with them, along with Xiao Hei and Xiao Bai. They're the only ones who deserve happiness! Although I do feel some sympathy for He Lian Chen, I don't like how he treats women.