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Seraphic rated it
Throne of Magical Arcana
November 14, 2017
Status: c171
Summary of the review: I recommend this to people looking for a more thoughtful action novel.

This.... this is actually really good. I wasn't expecting a whole lot going in, but it's really quite underrated (probably due to issues with the publisher). Rather than a Chinese/Eastern fantasy, TMA is (up to this point) set in more of a Western fantasy world.

Stylistically and tonally, I'd compare it to Release that Witch; the protagonist is a transmigrator/reincarnator from modern civilization who uses knowledge (aided by his cheat) to great personal benefit, but up... more>> to the current chapter has relatively little impact on society compared to RtW or the similar Japanese genre protagonists. Other comparisons: Warlock of the Magus World if the protagonist was more like a college student and less like a sociopath; the cheat from Library of Heaven's Path if it wasn't so OP. In fact, it takes quite a few chapters until the cheat even really becomes relevant.

It's not jam-packed with action; in fact, the first arc is rather slow; but it spends time fleshing out technical details and side characters. The protagonist, as a normal college student, isn't a combat genius, but he quickly learns to adapt to his situation. That's not to say he becomes one of those ruthless, kill-em-all type protagonists; he prefers to avoid combat if possible and knows what compassion is without being overly moralistic. The setting is fairly well-described, but it's not the most amazing world-building ever. Of more note are the side characters, who are, for a Chinese novel, very prominent and have roles beyond sitting in the background saying, "I can't believe how great the MC is, " with struggles and lives of their own separate from the main plot. <<less
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Seraphic rated it
Dragon-Marked War God
January 26, 2018
Status: c1024
Edit: Down to one star because this novel is just so extremely stupid. Otherwise, everything I've written previously still holds true.

Recommended: If you've got a ton of time and have read all the interesting novels, well, DMWG is probably not the absolute WORST novel on the site.

This is one of the most bog-standard cultivation novels being translated. Hypocritical MC, swooning ice-cold beauties, flat arrogant young masters, shameless comedic wingmen, disbelieving peanut gallery, casual misogyny; you name it, this novel has it, often repeated ad nauseam. If you've read Emperor's Domination,... more>> DMWG is basically that with everything distinctive and interesting taken away from it.

On the other hand, like fast food, even though I know it's utter crap, I still find myself returning for more because it's convenient and I know exactly what I'm getting. If you're just looking to waste time and you don't mind the same generic xianxia plot being repeated over and over again, this will deliver exactly that. <<less
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Seraphic rated it
Unruly Phoenix Xiaoyao
November 14, 2017
Status: c108
Recommended: Yes

Hmm....I want to classify this as an action novel, despite the fact that there really isn't much in the way of fight scenes. Martial arts (of the wuxia variety) is implied to exist, but completely irrelevant to the plot. Think of UPX as a court drama, where the "court" and the "drama" are dispensed for the MC punching people until give in to her demands. The setting and side characters have the potential to be quite serious, but the presence of the protagonist pretty much completely shatters any darkness... more>> in tone as much as she shatters the common sense of the other characters. The male lead is a brooding, cunning figure, but contrary to other female-lead novels, he's only occasionally mysterious and almost never in control; he gets dragged along by the protagonist about as much if not more than anyone else.

Pretty much a comedy through and through. <<less
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Seraphic rated it
(Um, Sorry) I’ve Been Reincarnated!
January 21, 2018
Status: c150
Recommended: Nah.

It's quite boring.

I suppose I should expand on that. It starts out somewhat promising, and there are a couple of fun action scenes.... and then it devolves into maddeningly mediocre slice of life.

... more>> There is an okay overarching plot, but the author starts padding it with school life antics and resolves all plot threads with incredible banality. The climax occurred all of a sudden out of nowhere, but all conflict was effortlessly resolved to make way for more slice of life.

Edit: Changing to 1 star, the ending is really grating my nerves. <<less
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Seraphic rated it
Golden Time (JungYong)
March 16, 2018
Status: Completed
EDIT: Revised it down to 2 stars now that I've finished it. It gets really heavy on the wish fulfillment in some of the later chapters.

Recommended: A decent medical drama, but rather episodic and with tons of plot convenience. If you don't mind that, go ahead.

If half-stars were available, I'd put this at 3.5. This novel isn't bad; the plot and the characters are there, and the medical scenarios are fairly grounded (so far, no unexploded ordinance stuck inside a patient's chest or anything). It just moves at breakneck speed.... more>> If you've read other Korean novels here, a common complaint is that the ending feels rushed. This novel feels like a rushed ending pretty much from the start. Also, the protagonist is a walking ill omen. I mean, sure, events need to happen for the story to go on, but the shear amount of accidents and sudden sickness that occur around him (especially outside of the hospital) even before the start of series just seems ridiculous. <<less
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Seraphic rated it
Swallowed Star
March 24, 2018
Status: c862
Recommended: Only if you're a huge IET fan.

Swallowed Star has a great first arc or so, while the protagonist is still fighting monsters on Earth. In fact, it's arguably one of best bits from IET.

Past that, once it goes out of the solar system... it takes a really fun pseudo-scifi setting and turns it back into another bland xianxia. No other characters really matter, every planet and civilization is basically the same Chinese-worldview cliche, and the plot becomes a generic "cultivate to the top and fight for treasure" you can... more>> find in hundreds of other novels here. I mean, IET is a competent writer, so it's not particularly terrible, it just feels like he had a really cool idea for the first arc, then realized he had to write an entire novel and so fell back on his tried and true tropes. <<less
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Seraphic rated it
The Novel’s Extra
October 9, 2018
Status: c80
It's been going pretty good. Honestly, I probably wouldn't have read this if I knew that the author was the guy who wrote A Monster Who Levels Up (MLU) because I detested that novel with the fury of thousand suns, but so far the action and plot has been fairly engaging. Of course, MLU was also engaging at first but devolved into dreary monotony later on, but so far The Novel's Extra has been much better paced. In fact, in many ways, this novel feels like the author was trying... more>> to rewrite MLU with new inspiration and experience as a better writer, and the premise of the novel's setting almost feels like a self-critique. Hopefully the quality will continue as the novel goes on.

However... the pseudo-harem misunderstandings/dense-af MC romance is still annoying as all hell. While it doesn't completely blot out everything of interest like his previous work did, for me it's definitely the least enjoyable part of the novel. <<less
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Seraphic rated it
Chronicles of Primordial Wars
June 4, 2018
Status: c265
Recommended: If you're a fan of action but looking for something slightly different, this certainly is different.

My thoughts can be summed up thusly: An amazingly good setting and okay characters hindered by a relatively lackluster plot.

The protagonist is calm and thoughtful, strong without being overpowering, forward-looking and courageous without being brash. The side characters are also fairly interesting.... in what few appearances they get. There's too many of them, and while they are generally believable, so far the story lacks extended interaction with any of them save for perhaps the... more>> shaman.

The plot... well, there's explicit motivations and the main character's actions certainly help change the situation, but everything feels somewhat vague and couched in mystery because part of the motivation is finding out what, exactly, happened to the MC's tribe and its flame and why they had moved to the place they were in the beginning of the novel.

The most exciting part is, as usual, around the start of the novel, where the MC is struggling to survive and be recognized by the tribe, because that's the part where there's the largest sense that they're actually exploring a strange and hostile land. Later on,

once the MC goes across the river and finds other tribes,

a lot of that sense of exploration and danger is lost, and thus the novel becomes somewhat more boring.

It's still good enough for me to recommend, but I'm not quite as enthralled with it now as I was in the first 100 chapters or so. <<less
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Seraphic rated it
Hail the King
May 29, 2018
Status: c316
Recommended: Eh, no. It's okay if you're just killing time and it's a pretty easy read, but I wouldn't go putting it at the top of your list of must-read novels.

This novel is a huge bundle of cliches and pop culture references (notably Diablo). Honestly, it's pretty sh*tty, but at least I'm having fun reading it so I won't rate it too low.

The MC is transported to another world with cultivation, only to find out that he can then transport to another world from that world, namely, he can go... more>> level up in the Diablo world before returning to the cultivation world. He's pretty much your average hot-blooded Chinese protagonist otherwise; he goes off face-slapping a bunch of idiotic enemies while achieving no small amount of arrogance.

At least, in comparison to other novels I've read here, the side characters/romantic interests he's picked up have so far managed to stay in focus and not disappear as they tend to in, say, an IET novel. The romance isn't much, but it has at least a passable presence.

To be honest, it kinda gives me the impression of someone writing fanfiction in their spare time. <<less
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Eintagsfliege rated it
Praise the Orc!
September 11, 2017
Status: c169
Suggested: Yes, though it's better to think of this as a more traditional fantasy novel than a VRMMO one. Leveling and skills aren't really important from the MC's perspective after the first arc or so.

It starts out seemingly as a passable, if somewhat bland, VRMMO novel, but it morphs into a bitter struggle against nihilism and despair in the face of human nature, not just on the part of the MC but all the people he inspires. The protagonist, like those of so many other KR novels, is an embittered... more>> veteran at the novel's beginning, but unlike the others, he finds new perspective in the "virtual" world and learns what it means to be truly alive.

The MC is strong but he's not powerful enough to barrel through all obstacles. Though he can easily defeat most other users fairly early on, his enemies are armies or demonic beings and there's only so much he can do alone. Despite that, he overcomes his trials with perseverance and a large dose of machismo.

TBH, I find the important side characters to be annoying, including everyone the MC interacts with in Korea and the traveling companions he gets going north, but it doesn't really have that big of a negative impact on my enjoyment. <<less
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Seraphic rated it
Nee-chan is a Soap Girl!?
October 8, 2018
Status: c8
Dunno if this needs much of a review, but I'll write one anyway so this page doesn't look so lonely. A normal schmuck MC wants to lose his virginity before he turns 20 because he feels like he'd be too much of a sad sack otherwise, so he goes to a brothel (I'm sorry, "adult massage parlor") only to find out his divorced sister is working there to make ends meet.

Then they spend eight chapters banging.

It'll take about ten to fifteen minutes to read the whole thing from start to... more>> finish, though perhaps that estimate isn't taking into account any, *ahem*, "distractions" you might have along the way.

I guess it's pretty okay smut, if incest is your thing. There's nothing particularly offbeat/macho/lovey-dovey about it beyond the usual H-tropes; other than the incest angle it's basically just a normal story about an average Japanese boy's visit with a prostitute. Take that however you will. <<less
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Seraphic rated it
Plundering the Heavens
March 13, 2018
Status: c216
Recommended: Yes. This review's short, but I quite enjoy this novel and in my opinion it should be more popular than it currently is.

Basically, the MC is a hilarious a*shole child raised by bandits who stumbles and robs his way to fame and fortune. The novel's pretty consistently fast-paced and interesting with decent enough world-building and characters.

If you've read The Strongest System, PtH is comparable but has a slightly more evil protagonist and relatively better pacing.
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Seraphic rated it
Age of Adepts
March 11, 2018
Status: c241
Recommended: Sure; if you've got some time to kill Age of Adepts isn't anything amazing but it's okay. Honestly, 4 stars is a little high by my standards, but given how bad three star novels on NU usually are I can't leave rate it that low.

There are a couple of common complaints to address.

AoA suffers from the comparisons to Warlock of the Magus World. Frankly, it's not as good as WMW. However, looking beyond that, it's a perfectly entertaining novel on its own.

In my opinion, complaints that the protagonist's personality... more>> is inconsistent are overblown. He's not really a genius but he tries to act according to the situation.

This novel is exposition-heavy, but personally I find that it's fast-paced enough to the point where that doesn't really bother me.

Lastly, logical inconsistencies... yeah, they exist and they can be pretty jarring. Sometimes, you can just assume that the author just poorly explained things the first time around, but sometimes it's clear that the author's just pulling stuff out of their rectum. Your mileage may vary.

In terms of what AoA does well, that'd have to be characters, especially in comparison to WMW. You get to know the side characters, and even the antagonists have a little more of the limelight than in many other novels. There's also a fairly okay romance going on, by xuanhuan standards. <<less
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Seraphic rated it
Martial Peak
March 5, 2018
Status: c350
EDIT: This is my baseline "average" CN action novel. It's good enough to be enjoyable but not outstanding enough to vehemently recommend. I'll keep reading it, but, as I said originally, whether you should depends on how much you like the genre.

Recommended: If you're a xianxia/xuanhuan fan, this is pretty good. If you're not or you're already tired of the genre, though, this is ultimately just more of the same.

The main character is a hardworking but untalented disciple of a relatively unimportant sect, until one day he finds that a... more>> random stone he picked up was actually a peerless divine item. It's nothing revolutionary, but Martial Peak is solidly above average as far as Chinese action novels go. You get all of the usual arrogant young masters, divine items, and aloof jade skinned beauties, but the protagonist is cocky without being idiotic, the side characters have at least a semblance of personalities and motives, and most importantly the plot and the action move along without being overly drawn out or bloated.

Martial Peak was exciting and fun without getting overly "gimmicky". Of course, looking at the length, there's plenty of time for it to get stale later on, but from what's translated it's definitely one of my favorites and in my opinion it needs more attention. <<less
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Seraphic rated it
A Monster Who Levels Up
February 24, 2018
Status: Completed
Recommended: Not really. Just go read a Toika novel for a similar, but better, experience.

The setting's fine, the plot's a bit cliche but not necessarily boring; the real problem I have is with the characters, especially the protagonist. This novel starts out with some good ol' skill grinding before the author realizes that rather than show any sort of process or effort they'd much rather just give the protagonist abilities whenever convenient. I'm as much a fan of OP, crush-all-obstacles MCs as anyone else, but as the story goes on... more>> it becomes clear that Kim Sae-Jin, as well as pretty much everyone else in the world, are just narrow-minded idiots.

Characters can be divided into brainless antagonists working towards foolish goals, brainless men existing to be shocked and awed by Sae-Jin's "talent", and brainless women existing to swoon over Sae-Jin despite him being a massive d**cheb*g. And yeah, there are pretty much no female characters who aren't harem-teased. As another reviewer has mentioned, it feels as though the women fall in love more with the MC's ability than the MC himself, because the MC is pretty much a worthless person without his powers. The MC gets a girlfriend... except he tells her nothing about himself whatsoever and promptly becomes closer to the other lead heroines. Speaking of which, Sae-Jin keeps a lot of secrets pretty much unnecessarily, just for cheap drama. He starts a pseudo-company, which is run quite unrealistically even by webnovel standards (also... they know they have to prepare for a coming disaster and yet somehow all the main characters have time to be television stars on the side?).

My impression is that A Monster Who Levels Up is what you'd get if the protagonist of Everyone Else is a Returnee wasn't funny, but was a self-absorbed prick. The highlight of the series is the first arc or so when Sae-Jin is just struggling to get by; after that the whole thing just becomes webnovel wish fulfillment mixed with Korean soap drama.

Edit: Just finished reading it... all the complaints I had when I wrote this continue to exist and be as annoying as ever. On top of that, the ending, while not as rushed as certain other KR novels, is certainly an anticlimax and doesn't really provide much in the way of a satisfactory emotional resolution. <<less
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Seraphic rated it
I Who Is a Loner, Using Cheats Adapts to the Dungeon
November 14, 2017
Status: c29
Recommended: Nah.

This novel was pretty fun, for what it was. Not a very deep plot or realistic characters, but at least it was enjoyable. I'd even go so far as to say it was more entertaining than something like To Deprive a Deprived Person. Shame it was discontinued, though. Probably not worth picking up, given how little of it there is.
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Seraphic rated it
Summer Advice For Dealing With Mosquitoes
May 30, 2018
Status: Completed
Recommended: 10/10 changed my life, should be taught in schools.

Joking aside.... well, no, this is a joke.

That's literally what this is. A translated joke. Reading the entire thing will take 5 minutes, tops, and that's if you're, like, dyslexic and also can't speak English.

My actual methods of dealing with mosquitoes are sleeping with a fan and a blanket, having a racket zapper, putting B. thuringiensis toxin in areas of ponding water, and leaving spiders and spiderwebs all over my house.

F*ck mosquitoes.
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Seraphic rated it
Godly Model Creator
April 4, 2018
Status: c500
EDIT: Down to 2 stars. I will reiterate, it is quite dumb.

Recommended: Yes, at the very least, I had fun reading it. However, it is quite dumb.

Standard xuanhuan fare. I'd go so far as to say it's below average, but there hasn't been a moment when I've been bored so I'll give it a high rating.

There's a couple of logical inconsistencies that seem to stem from the author making stuff up as they went along. The protagonist's ability in the beginning is vaguely enough defined that they can do anything... more>> the author thinks would be convenient.

The romance, for a xuanhuan, isn't terrible, but that just means it's the tallest among dwarves. There are some entertaining side characters with actual personalities, which is nice. The love interest's brother is hilarious whenever he shows up, but he's not around as much as I'd like in the story as of yet (though he might show up more later as the protagonist moves to a larger stage).

A couple of gripes over CN novel tropes that show up here: The school's policy of leaving them to their own devices and forcing them to buy learning material just sounds like, you know, not being in school; letting your younger generation murder/cripple each other over relatively minor disputes does not seem like an effective tactic to create a unified army against an existential monster threat, especially when you can fight in virtual reality without any ill consequence in real life; guns are, as demonstrated in the novel, still quite useful, so you'd expect at least the police would possess a few, but nope. <<less
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Seraphic rated it
Shura’s Wrath
March 8, 2018
Status: Completed
EDIT 2: The ending is some premium grade bulls**t. I'm rescinding my recommendation below.

EDIT: You know, "racist" was a strong term to use and I somewhat regret saying it. Ling Chen is definitely an ass and an idiot, though. Revised down to 2 stars.

Recommended: If you're looking for some action and you don't mind if it's stupidly macho, sure.

I've heard SW described as a predecessor to Against the Gods, and they do both share certain flaws... namely, the MC is a raging sack of testosterone and every woman he meets... more>> is a cardboard cutout that can't wait to jump him. On the other hand, he's not quite so egregious as to go around personally slaughtering innocent people for very little reason, so that's at least one thing he has over ATG. He is quite racist though, so it about balances out. Yeah... let's just say East Asian regional conflict is out in full force once again in this novel.

In the end, though, I do like Shura's Wrath slightly more than ATG, if only because I'm a sucker for game elements, which this does deliver. <<less
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Eintagsfliege rated it
Conquer God, Asura, and 1000 Beauties
August 4, 2017
Status: c96
A fast review for busy people

Suggested?: No, it's good but was dropped.

Synopsis: Dude wants to resurrect his dead lover, has to conquer everything to do so. His cheat is that he can trade cultivation/levels for knowledge and techniques.

Pros: Actually pretty funny. The protagonist is not a pacifist, but definitely isn't a "kill all who are in my way" sort of guy. He prefers to let his enemies get hoist by their own petard, or even better, take their loyalty. This leads to a lot more "creative" solutions to conflict. The... more>> novel is oddly philosophical in a way I wasn't expecting (Honestly never thought I'd find another reader of Anthony De Mello).

Cons: Protagonist never actually gets that much stronger because of his cheat, so when he trades in his levels for something big, there are "starting over" arcs. Despite the title, the harem isn't really in focus. A pretty solid novel if you don't mind that, but the author dropped it.

Ending: The author states outright that it was dropped (in-novel!) <<less
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