Even when the MC finally finds his mother, whom he has never met before, the interaction is boring, empty, bland, and stupid. You'd think meeting his mother for the first time would be a touching moment or a time for him to finally confront his parents for basically abandoning him his entire life for no apparent reason, but no. Instead, we get some useless, vague descriptions and not a single sentence of actual emotion or character development.
The worst part is that the MC easily accepts the random excuse that his parents ignored him to allow him to grow stronger by himself. In the same chapter, it turns around and says they wanted him to live an ordinary life. Then it again contradicts everything by saying that they wanted him to be ordinary, but then learned he had potential, so wanted him to be strong and left him alone despite knowing he was actually too weak to survive alone, but that was ultimately something they, as two of the the most talented people of their generation, had to do. Just because. Um, what?
Clearly, the author only has half a brain cell, and assumes that the readers have even less.
It basically goes like this:
Bad Guy Clone 1: Hur dur what a weak trash, kneel before me and I might spare your corpse!
MC: You kill/provoke/ignore/look down on others for no reason, and I take offense to that! I act like a non-descript weakling and you actually believe I am one, and I take offense to that! How dare you tell me to kneel, DIE!
Crowd: Haha, what a weak idiot! The MC will never beat Villain Clone 1!
*insert chapters of drawn out "fight scenes" consisting of a few moves punctuated by random insults, the word 'DIE' in all caps, and lengthy commentary by the ignorant crowd. Inevitably, the MC or his companion (s) win the fight*
Crowd: Wooaaaaahhhh~! Lin Feng won. Look how awesome he is! Besides, Lin Feng is just so powerful that he could kill "talented" Villain Clone 1 instantly!
MC: You (Villain Clone 1) offended me, acted arrogantly, and killed recklessly, therefore you deserved to die! Blah blah weak excuses blah.
Clan/father/sect of Villain Clone 1: You trash dared to kill my disciple/son/relative?! I heard about how strong you are but still can't believe it! Obviously you should have stood there and let them kill you! Now I have to bring a bunch of other people to kill you in front of a crowd, despite the fact that you've become famous for your strength/ruthlessness and everyone knows who and how you are!
Then the MC goes and trains (no interesting description of his cultivation either- everything just gets handed to him. He just keeps leveling up for no justifiable reason) and then proceeds to beat into the ground the latest batch of idiots. MC moves to a new location and repeats the exact same scenario.
Looking for significant romance, harems or chasing girls? Too bad!
Want to watch a sidelined hero on his quest for revenge? Not gonna happen. When Leylin needs to take revenge it is usually swift, brutal and resolved within the same book/arc it starts in.
Do you like MC's who look to justify every action, who do bad things and put a good or righteous spin on it? Haha, this isn't the MC for you. Leylin does bad things and he doesn't bother to hide or justify it, because in his mind as long as it benefits him
nothing else is important.
In this kind of dog-eat-dog world where the weak are seen as nothing more than cattle to cater to the needs and desires of the strong, Leylin could care less about running around upholding justice. He understands very clearly the kind of world he is now living in, and he isn't foolish enough or idealistic enough to make it his mission to change it.
Excitedly waiting to watch the MC's super cheat item help him plot-armor his way into godly-ness? No can do.
Leylin's equivalent of a cheat item is his AI chip, which is nothing more than a handy tool for things such as analysis, simulation, memory boost, and for when you need a handy microscope. While it is definitely a useful tool, it is only as helpful as the person using it. If that AI chip were in the hands of someone else it would be completely useless. In particular, the further you read into the story the more clear it becomes that the AI chip is just a tool (in other words, if the AI bothers you at first, don't worry, it starts to fade into the background more as time goes on).
You can say the AI chip is a plot device, yes, but it's a reasonable one. Despite Leylin's coldness, he is actually pretty human, so if you can't wait for him to use some bada** legacy to become an insta-god, just give up right now.
There are some people who may think that Leylin is overly coldhearted, and he is pretty cold in an emotional sense. Still, he is at least far less bloodthirsty and violent than some other MC's, like the ones from ATG or MGA, who run around massacring entire sects left and right.
This opinion people have of Leylin likely stems from the fact that he doesn't really have any deep emotional attachments to others. In many reincarnation stories, the MC will at least have attachment to their parents or families, or they'll have close friends or love interests- basically people they are willing to jump in front of a bus for. This novel is different from that. As of the latest chapter (chapter 291), Leylin doesn't have anyone he'd willingly throw himself in front of a speeding train for, and he doesn't expect anyone to put themselves in danger for his sake either. This world, this story, and this MC all run based on cold hard logic and personal benefits.
This "coldheartedness" isn't something that just Leylin has, and is in fact fairly common to some degree or another among all Magi, light or dark. Rationality, logic, and personal benefits are characteristics that are relatively common, and are valued amongst Magi, so Leylin isn't some kind of freak in this point.
I think that some people who start reading this novel don't have a proper understanding of what a cold and rational MC is like (or can be like), and therefore become disappointed when they start reading. Similarly, there may be people who think that "cold and rational" purely applies to Leylin's enemies. Well then, let me be the one to say that Leylin's mentality of benefits and logic applies to everyone he meets.
This doesn't mean he never has friends or relationships, it just means that there isn't as much of an emotional emphasis on things. Generally, his relationships consist of both sides gaining something, and end when one or both sides no longer have anything to gain. It sounds a bit harsh, but in actuality it is quite reasonable. As a reader, it is satisfying when a relationship that has outlived its usefulness ends, rather than having it get dragged on for entire arcs.
This is actually a huge positive point I have to mention here: so far, most problems and good fortune are pretty nicely packaged within their own arc/book. Naturally there are some larger plot points going on in the background, but in terms of more immediate plot you don't have to wait quite as long for things to get resolved as in some other novels.
Again, in a lot of Chinese novels, the MC's moments of coldheartedness tend to stem from an emotional place (protecting loved ones, keeping their face, upholding "justice", getting revenge, etc.), but here there is less emphasis on that, and many conflicts are ones of interest, not emotion. If you are used to these more emotional scenarios and expect that from this novel, then please thoroughly shatter those expectations before reading.
Leylin is logical, rational, cold, calculating and a bit emotionally distant when it comes to others. He delights in getting stronger and discovering new things. He only moves if it benefits him, and if he's forced into a situation that isn't looking good for him he will do everything he can to manipulate it until it does. He is a cautious person, like Han Li from RMJI- the exact opposite of typical hotheaded MCs.
Leylin is a harsh person (maybe a bit of a b*stard even) in an even harsher world. The tone of the novel is a bit serious and gritty, and the cruel and ruthless aspects of the world are presented in a fairly straightforward manner. People get used, thrown away, killed, tortured, backstabbed, betrayed, and treated like puppets by those around them.
As you can expect from the types of people able to climb to the top in this kind of world, the experts that we've seen so far don't exactly take care of their groups with love and affection in mind, rather, they blatantly make use of those who join them and horde important information and resources for themselves. It isn't a nice world. It's the kind of place where trusting strangers (or heck, even friends), and running around helping others isn't going to get you admiration, and will instead just end up in your death. Affection and loyalty does exist, but it isn't as strongly emphasized or focused on as many other novels out there.
If you are someone who likes your MCs more on the emotional side, who likes fights to be motivated by emotion (like captured family members for instance), instead of logic and benefits, if you like plots focusing on revenge or heaping a combination of insanely lucky chances and horrible misfortune on the MC, then this isn't going to be your kind of novel. It's a novel that might be best for those who have an understanding of the harshness of reality, with maybe a dash of sarcasm thrown in.
If I had to speak of cons, I'd say that I do wish Leylin would form a couple of longer-lasting relationships with others. I'm not necessarily asking for a love interest or best friend or anything (not likely given Leylin's personality), but having some kind of long-term ally or rival of sorts would be nice.
1) Word choice and repetitiveness have both improved in this novel compared to PMG, meeting an acceptable standard for this genre. The wording is good and the tone is all right, if slightly dull. What I mean by that is it can sometimes feel as though there is a layer of mist between you and the emotions of the story, like you can't entirely feel everything that is happening. This isn't too bad or noticeable at first, but if you binge many chapters in a row you may start to notice such a feeling.
2) Characters feel more human and 3-dimensional. Antagonists do generally follow the arrogant young master mold, but I think that the level is bearable, moreover so far there have been far fewer such characters as well. The side characters are decent. They are not especially prominent or anything, but they have interesting personalities at least, so it's nice to see them when they appear.
3) The MC's personality is better compared to the MC of PMG. Qin Wentian is more even tempered, less arrogant, less preachy (thank god), and has a kind heart. For now at least, he is a decent guy who values friendships and has a nice dose of hatred for his enemies, which I can appreciate. Besides that, the manner in which he powers up is more balanced and acceptable. He doesn't rise too many levels too quickly, cultivation makes more sense and feels understandable, and you get the impression that he does a fair amount of work to achieve these things.
4) Although this could also be considered a revenge orientated story, the reasons for antagonists to target the MC make far more sense. Rather than having the antagonists or MC stupidly provoking each other for no apparent reason at every possible turn, the reasons for provoking the MC are virtually all tied to his family. The reasons for them being targeted have not been fully revealed, but from what we've seen they are enough for Qin Wentian's enemies to want to target him. Seeing as how he is the person with the greatest potential and strength among the younger generation, it makes sense that they want to get rid of this potential threat, given the grudges between them and his Qin family. Is this the best and most exciting excuse? No, not really. It is however, a decent enough reason, especially when compared to the ridiculous reasons the antagonists used to attack the MC in PMG.
5) The cultivation is actually really interesting. If the author can continue to explore and expand this point sufficiently, that alone may be enough to carry the story for me. It isn't the most profound system ever, so if you prefer something deeper I would instead recommend one of the quality novels I mentioned above. That said, the concept is quite intriguing and isn't too hard to understand. If you aren't interested in lengthy or philosophical descriptions of cultivation, preferring to keep things a bit simpler, then this is a good choice.
With an MC driven by revenge and taking into account the writing style of the author, it's safe to say that Qin Wentian will kill a fair amount of people, and most of his reasons for doing so will be put with a bit of a righteous skewing. He will likely develop a bit of arrogance, though with his kind and naive beginnings it shouldn't be too extreme I hope. With the world building so far, the scope of this story's world is huge, and Qin Wentian is still only in one of the smallest areas, so I expect we'll be seeing a pattern where he moves to a place --> finds out he's at the very bottom in terms of strength and is probably underestimated --> trains, gets stronger, and tramples his enemies --> moves on to the next area. The key in how boring or enjoyable said cycle turns out to be will lie mostly in the variations in the environment, circumstances and characters, as well as in the level of character development shown by the MC.
I'm hoping the MC doesn't forgive his Grandmother. So far this is a solid revenge story, so if the ending to all of this turns out to be half-hearted I'd be dissapointed. That aside, I'm also hoping the MC's time remains limited for the sake of tension, and that at the end he asks himself if trading his life and half his emotions for talent was worth it. That would just add some nice depth to his character for me.
1) The love interest - Cons: The female lead is described as being very beautiful in classic "jade-like" terms, She just happens to have a yin body which caused her to be weak and ill until Jiang Chen showed up to cure her. Initially she was a very innocent and naive young girl, which could be a bit annoying at points.
Pros: The MC is very devoted towards this girl, and is both unwilling to let anyone else insult her, and also completely uninterested in any other women (as far as I have read). The girl has good talent, and could be considered roughly on par with Jiang Chen in terms of strength. Her personality also changes slightly as she becomes more familiar with the cruel reality of the world, though it isn't all that developed yet, but she's nice enough. I'm hopeful that she'll have a certain level of importance even as the story goes on. The female lead and the MC meet in a cliche way, but it's tolerable (I hate it when the meeting is annoying, like the MC sees a girl bathing and the girl proceeds to furiously try to trample the MC, for instance).
2) The power-ups - Cons: Jiang Chen tends to power up very quickly, and the majority of his overwhelming strength is due to the advantages given to him because of his powerful technique. The system of cultivation is a pretty typical level system, without any really unique points, and there isn't any focus on laws or philosophical descriptions or anything like that.
Pros: Although he does brute force his way through lots of things, and his power-ups are pretty quick, there is at least some logic behind most of his rise in power. Besides that, his level jumping abilities are about equally due to his knowledge from his previous life as his superior cultivation technique, so while it's primarily brute strength there is some intelligence involved.
3) The reincarnation - Cons: He has tons of knowledge, so whenever a problem pops up or something seems impossible for others, he can easily accomplish things using his past life knowledge.
Pros: The reincarnation part is actually done pretty well, unlike in many other novels. First, he reincarnates into the future and on a different continent, so no worries about him going back into his own past and conveniently knowing literally everything that happens. Another upside is that in this case him being reincarnated actually matters in this story, instead of being just a convenient way to get things started (PMG *cough*). However, the best part for me is that Jiang Chen actually seems to have learned something from his previous life, and strives to correct some of his previous mistakes in this life. For example, in his previous life he went at everything alone, but this time he ensures that he has friends and allies to help support him, recognizing that he can't do everything by himself.
4) Antagonists - Cons: The antagonists are kind of like what you'd expect. Many spoiled young masters and arrogant brats who incessantly harass the MC for relatively minor reasons.
Pros: Later on in the story an antagonist appears whose talent and destiny are fairly close to the MC's, and he apparently remains a relevant villain for much of the story, so if you're sick of antagonists being constantly defeated and forgotten, there's that. As for the cannon fodder types of antagonists, plenty exist, but for the most part their destruction isn't too delayed and is sufficiently interesting to keep me from minding too much.
5) Side Characters - Cons: We don't get too much development for the side characters, and many of them just end up either respecting or hating the MC.
Pros: Jiang Chen's love interest isn't too bad. Jiang Chen's best friend, Big Yellow, is also a pretty hilarious character whose talent is about on par with the MC (he can level jump and everything), and Big Yellow goes with the MC on most of his adventures after he enters the picture, instead of almost immediately fading into obscurity like many other "best friend" characters.
6) Main Character's Personality - Like a lot of MCs in these types of novels, Jiang Chen isn't quite good or evil. He goes far to help his friends, and doesn't hesitate to exterminate his enemies. Jiang Chen has a bit of arrogance too, which is attributed mainly towards his current talent and the mindset he developed in his previous life. That being said, I think it's an acceptable level of arrogance. He is a pretty ruthless guy, and he kills a lot of people, but I've yet to see him straight up murder an entire sect (there is a case where he kills all of the main members of a sect/clan, but he spares those who aren't a threat, like the servants and such, so I didn't think it was that bad).
7) Translation/Writing - The translation is pretty good. I think the earlier chapters were in need of some editing, but once some more editors/proof-readers join it gets better as you go on and the translation speed is pretty good. As for the writing, like many of these novels there is some repetition and wordiness, and there are some flaws in fights scenes and explanations as a result of this. I've seen much worse though, so I wouldn't go so far as to say it's worth dropping because of that.
Based on what's happened thus far, I'm not expecting a very good ending for the MC. If the MC ends up in a nice happy romance I might just pass out due to shock. So far, there have been several romantic interests, but nothing has gone nicely, and who will end up the final love interest is up in the air (who knows, maybe a new character will appear to take the position). Although nearly all of the characters are extremely brutal and viscous, I do feel like there is something oddly human about it (maybe it's the way that the MC just can't seem to find the right one, and the damage that war and unbridled violence can do to a person), which is interesting.
With the personalities and occupations of these characters (the MC is in the army, as are most of the other characters, hence war and violence) I figure the story will continue on a darker route, so if you aren't interested in those darker types of stories, or if you prefer your romance without the side of emotional abuse I would recommend trying something else. On the other hand, if you have an appreciation for the darker, more tragic and crazy psychological aspects this could be a pretty fun read.
This is especially the case as the novel goes on. In the beginning of the story, the MC is an underdog in a bad position, so that plus the fact that he was originally a normal person (with evil inner thoughts) in his past life means that for a while there he has to stay more low key. Once the MC starts gaining power he loosens the cap on his inner desires and becomes much more unbridled. I admit that I wasn't a big fan of the story for the first 40-60 chapters or so, but if you get past that part it gets more interesting as time goes on. I will say that the novel isn't a serious one, with a bit more comedy than you might initially expect, and the MC just kind of messes around at some points. If you want a more serious, really evil MC I'd say Leylin from WMW is much better.
The side characters' development is somewhat limited, so naturally even more of the story hinges on the MC and your personal feelings about him and his actions. In other words, if you read a bit and don't like the MC, or the violent or perverted scenes, you will probably struggle with the novel. If you enjoy the excessive violence and/or outright pervertedness, then you will likely find the novel enjoyable.
Because the MC's actions and character are more extreme, how you view the novel ends up being even more closely tied to personal preference than some other, more moderate novels.
I personally am not a big fan of romance, so the MC's casual attitude is a good thing, but on the other hand I feel like there are a few too many perverted scenes, and sometimes the MC comes across as a bit more childish or casual than I'd like. I admit to liking the violence though, and the magic aspect is quite interesting. I look forward to seeing how the MC develops in the future.
Like the title promises, the MC is a merciless b**tard who kills lots and lots and lOTS of people (I'm talking giant massacres here), usually in especially vicious ways. One of his methods of cultivation directly involves absorbing people for power, to give you a bit of an idea. Shi Yan is also an arrogant guy. Truthfully, in terms of his personality there's really nothing good there. At least he doesn't pretend to be a good guy, though.
Honestly, the "romance" or harem parts of the story kind of kill it for me. I'm not a big romance fan in the first place, so the MC's casual attitude on the subject is a good thing, but on the same token I'm also not too big a fan of just how many of these scenes there are. Usually, my favorite part of any story are the characters, so when most of the side character aren't developed it can be a bit of a letdown for me. That's probably why I wish these girls would have a bit more characterization, even if he never actually invests much in them emotionally, it would at least make these parts a bit more interesting to me.
On the bright side, the MC has no tolerance for betrayal. A beautiful girl leaves him and tries to return? He simply doesn't care. There are two girls which are like this earlier in the story, and when they are rude to him later he literally tells them off to their faces, which was SO satisfying. I hate it when female characters get an automatic pass just because of their looks. If you happen to find one of the female characters annoying, you can rest a bit more easily knowing that she won't constantly stick to him, and may not remain in the story line.
On the one hand the MC is open about his perverted nature, on the other none of his interactions with other women really give you the feeling that he likes any of them, and since the side characters don't get much characterization, the MC's personality and actions really end up carrying the story (no problem if you don't care, a big problem if you don't like Shi Yan).
As bad as it sounds, I'm mainly reading for the unbridled violence, and because I think the idea of absorbing people for power is interesting. Yeah, I admit it, the insane killing sprees are pretty b***ss.
1) The incessant descriptions of the main character's beauty, using the same words over and over. Her beauty must be described at least once per every half a chapter, each time using words like "lazy", "bewitching", "arrogant", "unruly", "cruel [smile]", "breathtakingly beautiful", "waterfall-like black hair", "white dress", "sleeves/dress/hair blowing in the breeze", "condescending/contemptful gaze", etc.
It's just painful. We get it, she's beautiful and wild, that's great. Too bad she doesn't have any brains...
2) The main character is styled as though she is incredibly intelligent and devious, possessing both wisdom and foresight... and this will only ever be said, not shown.
The main character is impulsive and shallow. Her plans are flimsy and poorly thought out, and the author relies on an awkward sense of "mystery" to try and convince the readers the main character does in fact have a really impressive plan... probably.
Frankly, the only reason the main character is able to succeed is because all of her enemies have IQs in the negatives. The MC doesn't succeed, her enemies just trip over their own stupidity. Not a single antagonist thus far has shown any hint of cunning or ability. So, while It's true that the MC is guaranteed to happily face slap all her enemies, it isn't fun or engaging to watch.
There aren't any genuine battles of wits or scheming, and for a novel like this which naturally leans more towards scheming and politics, if the story is severely lacking in this area it will make for a very boring read. I just can't being myself to care, because I know all of these idiots will just self destruct anyway.
3) The characters aren't believable. The MC was a genius medical student in her previous life, which is great but ultimately irrelevant since she's in a brand new world with entirely different types of illnesses, wounds and herbs, and since her ridiculous cheat is just going to give her whatever she needs anyway. Her being a medical student previously is utterly irrelevant.
The fact that she had a past life at all is totally meaningless. She was nothing but a medical student, and now she's strutting around acting overbearing in the face of cultivators and emperors? There is never any explanation or development of character to explain why she is able to behave in such a way. It would have made more sense for the overall story if she were never reincarnated in the first place.
None of the characters, whether the main character or the secondary characters, feel even remotely real or interesting. Everyone is 2d and boring