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Sinai
Sinai rated it
Monster Paradise
November 18, 2017
Status: c54
Very shoddily translated.

MC gets transported to another world, but it's one of those transfer MCs where you question why they even bothered since none of his thoughts are ideas are from Earth except when he thinks to himself "this system is like the card game I used to play." Wait, I almost forgot, he also thought to himself, "Oh, this is just like the webnovels I read on Qidian". MC gets a gacha card "system" with pretty absurdly strong powers, which is fine. MC proceeds to use it very poorly,... more>> which is less fine.

World in general is what I call "low-intelligence worlds", where a moron from Earth is a genius in this world. MC hailed as a genius for having mediocre ideas. Note that this is despite the world being seemingly at least equal to Earth in technology along with a large variety of "system" magic and magic tools.

And it gets worse. Characters are needlessly wasteful of resources and lives. Characters are randomly cruel or self-centered in ways that normally don't survive 8th grade, and this includes the MC. Character personalities are completely inconsistent, and so far his life and powerups are a series of random encounters that has essentially no input by the character or supporting characters having any persistent, reasonable motivation. The world and its people seemingly only exist for the MC to do his thing, but the MC doesn't have a thing to do. He sort of had an immediate motivation in that his life bar was set at ~60 days at the start,

Spoiler

but that got solved partially without him trying because it turns out his system gives him like a year of life just for killing one bottom-tier monster and then it gets solved completely without him trying because of a random encounter was like "hey thanks for doing this thing that you did with no effort, btw, I am actually a god and I fixed your supposedly unsolvable problem without you asking me to"

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But worst of all is the nonsensical things that happen. I would call it a plot, but that's an insult to actual plots

Example:

Spoiler

MC's temporary boss/high ranker/harem candidate tells him not to let anyone leave town because it might be too dangerous. Random low-tier noob says she wants to leave anyway. MC pulls out a gun and points it at her head and tells her he'll kill her if she leaves. Like seriously, out of nowhere. He could have just said, "hey, the gold-ranker says you can't leave because there are monsters roaming outside" but naw, straight to gun-in-face. Keep in mind this isn't some grimdark fantasy, this is a hyper-modern world where there's supposed to be rule of law. Our MC is a psychopath, but it gets worse.

Random bozo tries to stick up for the girl and say the MC is being unreasonable, which is what every halfway sane person in the room is probably also thinking. Not our MC! Our MC displays his genius thinking to himself "Huuuuh, why is this guy I can easily kill trying to stop me. Gosh, I know I'm not wrong so...I know! This random bozo must be doing this because she's pretty" and spends like a minute patting himself on the back that he isn't swayed by pretty faces like everyone else. Author makes it clear he's also proud his MC isn't, the chapter title is 100% for real titled "What's Being Kind to Women?".

We never get to find out what MC is going to do to them because, suddenly, for no reason at all, random mid-boss antagonist who has been harassing MC (and other people) jumps in to start a fight against MC, not because of the girl but because he wants to pick on MC. They look like they're going to get in a fight. Mid-boss is definitely stronger than him, he literally beat MC like yesterday and let him go because "you're so weak you're not worth killing." Which is a classic mid-boss line, except only about two chapters before the author established the only reason he's here is because he's uh, here to kill people he thinks are weak. Riiiiight.

MC doesn't back down, because I don't know, being a dumbass threatening some random girl with shooting her in the face so she doesn't endanger herself is more important than his own life, which is all so stupid I can barely breathe. Fortunately, they're suddenly interrupted by random bullsh*t and everybody forgets what they were doing. In the ensuing few days MC exerts his dominance by beating up sh*t-tier background characters with no names and doesn't let anyone leave.

Somehow, this makes people trusting and admiring of him, which is important because he's about to lead a squad into battle because his boss/harem candidate thought all that previous bullsh*t was genius work by him. A couple of chapters later he declares he's going to stay and defend the town from monsters despite being having a power rating of effectively zero when there are literally a thousand other super-powered high level humans running around. Tens of thousands of years of combat experience between all of them, and somehow MC is piping up with his sh*t-tier ideas and people are calling it genius. It also feels super weird because our MC has been relatively focused on himself and his sister so far, and this is the first hint that he gives a sh*t about anybody else, yet he's suddenly burning with self-sacrificial desire.

Not long after, it turns out this was a tremendously stupid idea (which more experienced people than him told him at least three times, but he ignored because he's dumb) and he's going to die, 100%, no take-backsies. Just then he gets a system notification: Would you like to get your get-out-of-jail-free card I didn't tell you about and you didn't know you had? He's like: "sure". And then the magic wish automatically determines how to get him out of the situation with no input from him, and kills millions of monsters with a nuke that only hits bad guys and instakills everyone but the boss, and saves the day. No, I'm not joking or exaggerating in the least.

But wait, it didn't kill the boss. Boss appears and says, haha, you humans are so dumb, Superman-Goku Macguffin the 3rd isn't coming to save you, Superman is a dumbo and is fighting my sekret clone. By the way, I'm going to kill all of you, especially you MC. Suddenly, harem candidate goes, "Wait boss monster, can you please give me 3 minutes to confess my love for MC? Pleaaase? Pretty pleeaaase?" Boss monster goes: "Okay, sounds fine with me, but don't doublecross me or I'm gonna like, kill you. Uh, I guess I'm gonna kill you anyway but I'll like really super duper kill you or something", and he goes to sit in the corner and jacks off for awhile.

Harem-candidates grabs MC, and then is like, "omgersh boss monster, you so dumb!" and then she pushes through MC through a portal while boss monster is distracted. Staring at the portal he goes, "How dare you lie to me!" "Curse you humans and your predictable yet inevitable betrayal!" "It's a good thing you were too dumb to take your own portal, now I'm going to kill you even harder!"

But then she goes "Wait, let me give a dying speech. Okay, still giving a dying speech. man, why am I not dead yet? Guess I'll speech some more. Also, it's sort of weird that I pushed MC through the portal and stayed behind but he's still here but oh well, if the author's not paying attention why should I? MC even though I met you like last week and we've literally never had a conversation, you are the most amazing man ever and I love you."

Boss monster: "That's great, I'm gonna kill you now."

POW! Suddenly the goddess our delightful MC met last week in yet another random encounter roll after feeding a squirrel who turned out to be a immortal god-beast who was the pet of the goddess back in the day so he was like, how about I show you her corpse and then just because MC is MC the goddess came back to life from him getting a plot boner or something and was like "Oh hey MC, we're soulmates and I love you. Please ignore my irrelevant background story which makes it seem like I should vengefully kill all humans." Anyway. Goddess shows up and her pet squirrel smacks boss monster to death with a single slap. Actual Deus ex Machina. It's not every day you get a god to solve your unsolvable problems. Unless you're the MC. Anyhow, Goddess says, "BTW MC, since we killed a immortal super boss monster, why don't you take its soul. You can raise it as a soul pet and get super powers you didn't work for, again, just like the time you became a grandmaster in a sword technique that takes a lifetime of effort to learn by watching me make tea."

MC: "Huuuh? Oh, okay. Oh yeah, goddess, can you help save this harem candidate who I met last week?" "long as you're here doing miracles, y'know?"

Goddess: "No, that is impossible... unless I had a boss monster soul or something like that, but those are pretty rare and it's not like we just have those lying around." "Oh whoa, it turns out there's a boss monster soul I just gave you. But are you sure you want to give it up? You worked so hard for it. Oh wait, no you didn't I just showed up and gave it to you."

MC: "uh, sure, yeah, whatever G-dog"

Goddess: "haha, just playing, I don't need the monster soul after all. It'd be too much of a pain in the ass to write another monster in...I mean, I don't need one because I got others. Despite me being dead for the last thousand years or whatever" "Bippity-boppity-boo! This girl is alive! But hey we're still gonna get it on at some unspecified later date when you're a god through remarkable happenstance, right?" "also, the girl is super mega powerful now cuz I put a god-beast in her. The soul I gave her was like a super rare Phoenix soul I just had lying around."

MC: "Yay!"

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And that's when I stopped reading. <<less
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Sinai
Sinai rated it
Lv1 Skeleton
October 21, 2017
Status: c9
Can't really recommend this. The "system" of the world is so bad it rapidly ceases to make sense.

Briefly, in this world, you get exponential experience for killing more than one creature at a time. By chapter 6 or so he's killing thousands of creatures, and there's no way to make this non-ludicrous. The ramifications are absurd - killing 20 people at the same time would be equivalaent to killling a million people one at a time.

There is no way to make this system work, at all, and it's only one... more>> part of the sloppy worldbuilding that's running rampant in this story.

Example: he class changes into an enchanter... spends some absolutely insignificant amount of time enchanting some trash he finds, then a chapter later he class changes into a lich, and him being an enchanter becomes completely irrelevant.

The writing is poor, the large cast of characters are utterly unmemorable, and we're subjected to humor like this:

"‘Legol, Arin, Hattan, you guys get minus two points. Mir, Tagan, Jenna, just the minus one. You three spiders hesitated too long so that was minus one point, also none of you cooperated as a team so minus one point for everyone.’

‘... ’

It was silent as none dared to talk back.

‘Hm, actually Arin performed quite well so you’ll be spared the penalty this time.’

‘Huh why? If it wasn’t for that spider girl, things wouldn’t have been so difficult!’

Jenna’s telepathic message was burning with hostility.

Jenna, minus one point for promoting internal discord, anything else to add?’"

Or maybe it's character development, I'm not even sure. Whatever it is, it's impossible to care about what is happening to these characters. <<less
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Sinai
One of the most surprisingly deep light novels out there, the world is carefully constructed in such a way that the pecularities of the world are crucial to the plot. The entire world is a parody of RPG tropes, but at the time taken seriously by the author. In short, it's reconstructionist or even hard fantasy.

For example, the MC has the Guide class, which translates to the RPG tropes of a Jeigan character, a strong, but temporary party member you get in the beginning who shouldn't be invested in because... more>> they have low long-term potential. So he gets booted out of the party before the story begins by the party's Sage, who essentially corresponds to an in-world min-maxer. In a great send up, the MC is stripped of all his heroic gear except a worthless copper sword and sent out of the party, just as we are generally advised to do for temporary characters who might otherwise disappear with epic gear that could better go to the new replacement party members.

What makes this novel great is that the above is all taken very seriously. The author never makes it obvious that is it a parody, the reasoning is explained in-universe convincingly that the hero's party is defeating the Demon King and obviously it's a better use to save the world than for the MC to keep the gear he personally helped quest for.

Thus begins his Slow Life, the genre of "I am in a typical fantasy (RPG) world, but rather than pursuing the hero's quest, I am going to have a slice-of-life story of me not doing anything particularly of note." Where this novel sets itself apart from its peers is how well it plays by the rules of the RPG world yet has a realistic response from the characters of people stuck in a fantasy RPG world. The novel heavily plays on the existential horror of being consigned to a Class and more lightly upon the equal casual horrors of a world where you grow more powerful by killing things and gaining experience. Also, despite it's Slow Life at the Frontier setting, the novel doesn't ignore the Hero's Quest at all, carefully parsing out dribbles of what's going on, and teasing the audience with the idea that the MC will get embroiled in the Hero's Quest again as even his sleepy town is affected by the rumblings of the conflict between the "light races" and the demons. Not that we expect it to happen because that would imply a genre shift, but it's surprisingly effective teasing nonetheless.

Spoiler

What drives the plot is the conceit that classes impel a person to fulfill being the ideal representation of their class, and the stronger the class, the stronger the compulsion becomes. This idea is examined in-depth and is the motif running through virtually every story arc.

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All of it is also set against the greater backdrop of a possible "Rebel against the Gods" RPG storyline too, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if it incorporated "The Demon Race isn't really evil, but Evil in that they are fighting against Good, which isn't really good" which could easily end up with the MC allying with the Demon King in the end in the fight against God, all which of, again, are standard deconstructionist RPG tropes.

Also features one of the sappiest romance subplots I've come across in recent years, if that's your jam. Eye-rollingly non-s*xual, but endearing in its own right, and at least their slowness is, again, explained plausibly in-universe.
Spoiler

Also, probably plot-centric because the Hero happens to be a yandere bro-con, and the MC is the onii-san in question. And for the record, the reason she's a yandere is also explained in-universe making her a pitiable Hero.

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Sinai
Sinai rated it
Night Ranger
January 15, 2018
Status: c91
Night Ranger is a reasonably competent tranmigration into a game world that is actually real. The best part of the story is easily the vivid combat scenes, which relies on a MMORPG sensibility to drive the action. The fast pacing and excellent translation make at times, this novel can be enjoyable, but unfortunately, the world is inescapably shallow, which even at the best of times prevents the novel from ever being truly great, and at the worst of times, drives the novel into frustrating places.

The world is just like the... more>> game he played, except when it's not. The main character remembers everything about the game down to the fiddliest bit, except when it's convenient for him not to. The system seems in-depth, but ultimately is obviously contrived around the main character like his subclass which would make no sense as a main class. Skills that would be obviously stupid in a game are purported to have existed in the game, such as a near-instakill skill that makes the user weak for months. There are niggling details when the author tries to bring in plots into a video game world. The MC's father was murdered by a slow poisoning. Here's the problem: In this world, you can fairly trivially cast "Cure Poison" and "Divination". Over the months he was slowly getting sicker, why didn't his father visit a cleric? And after discovering he was being poisoned, it would have been trivial to find the culprit. I'm a hundred chapters in, and every single character introduced so far feels like a sock puppet for the MC to interact with. Nobody feels real, they're all just NPCs waiting around for the MC to show up. The villains, in particular, have all these contrived plans that involve trying to kill the MC, but they often seem pointless. For example, one mastermind spends an enormous amount of money plotting to kill the MC because he has a treasure map onto his land. I can't help but wonder why he simply didn't take a small adventuring party there and simply take it. We keep being told how smart the MC's actions are, but it's clear that without plot armor, he'd die pretty much every other day. He consistently, repeatedly putting himself in mortal danger time and time again, by choice. Yet there's never any sense of danger at all because the MC is a cocky perfect hero because he's played a lot of video games. He's never afraid of death even when he's inches from it, and even though we're told he feels pain, it doesn't seem that way. There is an incredible amount of telling instead of showing. Worse, people know things they shouldn't. The MC concludes that other people don't gain experience for getting kills, but he literally just assumes that without any testing whatsoever. Some mook knows instantly the incredibly rare class of the MC (literally only 18 other people in the world with the class), but then a far more powerful, older, guy with far more access to knowledge has no idea what he is like two chapters later. For some bizzarre reason, despite seers with future sight knowing a world-shaking calamity is coming, they forget to tell anyone.

The MC has a cross between xianxia and video game morals. One second he's thoughtlessly murdering mooks, the next he's sparing somebody who's betrayed him. Why? Because they're plot-centric. The MC keeps saying he doesn't kill pointlessly, but he does. All the time. Then the author tries to show him as ruthless, but it mostly just makes him evil and possibly insane. The MC looks at somebody and senses that they have strange eyes, so he kills them. Then he kills some peasant for giving him lip. Well, maybe they weren't a peasant, maybe he was a spy. Who knows? Not like the MC is going to bother to check when he mysteriously just knows. When it comes down to it, the MC sees people as bags of experience and loot. When his class trainer says "Okay, for the next step in your training, I need you to murder these five thieves that are pretty annoying because uh, they'll show off your night murdering skills" he doesn't stop and think "wait, is pick-pocketing really a capital crime?" Nope, he's got a quest to kill 5 people, so he kills 5 people. Amusing, since he later gets ragingly mad at someone else who is killing people to fulfill their advancement. I'm often frustrated by MCs that try to bring in modern world morality into brutish and violent worlds, but in this case, the MC shows less regard for human life than serial killers. His kill counts exceed that of most of the villains in the story, and include innocents, guards, and children. Bizzarrely, every day citizens expect him to be punished because in civilization there's clearly rule of law, but he routinely gets away with murder. You might say, "Might Makes Right", but he's really not that strong in the grand scheme of things compared to the ruling powers trying to keep order. Somehow, every possible authority figure that in all reasonableness would see him hang, coincidentally befriends him or has something they want from him and they don't even admonish him for his killing sprees. This is partially explained by the reliance on law enforcement on divination spells which are failing, but it simply isn't enough. The author wants us to believe he's decisive and bad-ass by going from zero to murder in less than a second, but this just makes him a short-tempered, idiotic murderer who only gets away with it because of plot armor. Let's talk about plot armor. MC shows up at what is essentially Hogwarts, where the story has tried very hard to establish that virtually any wizard with a brain could kill him at whim. Unsurprisingly, there are rules against murdering wizards in Hogwarts. So, some nub wizard, let's call him Draco, slanders him, so the MC murders Draco and his guards, in full view of, well, everybody. Keep in mind, Draco's probably like 10. Now, dead 10-year old wizard is part of an incredibly important family, lets call them the Malfoys, so understandably they're peeved, not to mention it's definitely a capital offense to casually murder the receptionist at Hogwarts.

But not to fear, the MC isn't a bad guy, after all, Draco started it. Yeah, that's pretty much his excuse. Let's recall that virtually any Hogwarts student can kill him, much less their parents. So well, fat lotta good "he started it" it is going to do him, you can't get away with murdering 10-year old Draco Malfoy at Hogwarts. Fortunately, the MC's great-grand father was a wizard, and he has a fancy wizard medal, which means the MC can't be summarily avada kevadra'd, but instead he has to be arbitrated. The Malfoys roll their eyes, and give him a sham trial, fully intending to lock him away in wizard prison and arrange for an "accident" to occur.

But wait! Dumbledore was there all along! MC had literally no plan to get out of this predicament when he killed the guy for giggles, but after he finished killing him, he was like "oh hey, there's Dumbledore in his little girl form". So Dumbledore saves his ass. Have I mentioned the MC is stupid? Well, whatever, that happened. But it's not like the Malfoys are going to take little Draco being murdered lying down. They're an incredibly powerful wizard clan, and they can squish MC like a bug. But suddenly they decide they have to do so honorably, by uh, openly killing him dring the Tri-Wizard tournament by sneaking in an insane hermaphroditic killer into it instead of, I dunno, Draco's father teleporting to his house and melting his face off before dinner. Well, anyway, it doesn't work, but it's not like they still can't squish him like a bug.

Fortunately, a volcano blows up and wakes up a dragon that has been sleeping for millenia and kills their entire family. All according to keikaku.

Well, it's still a fairly enjoyable read despite its faults. I'd recommend to give it a try and see if you can get past it's shallowness and simply enjoy it as a decent system game transmigration with awesome fight scenes. <<less
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Sinai
Sinai rated it
I am the Monarch
April 25, 2018
Status: c176
This story worked okay for me on the small-scale, but the larger in scale it gets, the more incomprehensibly dumb it gets.

Everything always works out perfectly for the MC, even large-scale combat. You know the maxim, "No plan survives contact with the enemy"? Not if you're this MC, whose enemies might as well be following scripted AI you've fought a thousand times before the way they literally never do anything the MC didn't predict 5 months ago. MC is carrying out ridiculously elaborate tactics that would never work in a... more>> million years, and his enemy is all, "well, we're going to ambush the MC in a narrow valley, but we won't bother to take the high ground because, gosh, what would be the point and gosh it'll be so surprising when this becomes one of many factors that makes us lose this nonsensical battle later". I don't know what the hell is wrong with this world, because that's been basic military strategy for valley ambushes for longer than history has existed. Not that anything else in battles ever makes sense. Nobody has ever heard of keeping a reserve. It's completely unclear what the cavalry or archers are doing once the battle is joined. Armies fight basically to the last man instead of the 5-10% casualty rate in real life. Generalship is essentially nonexistent, nor is there any apparent form of communication between parts of the army. Armies are ridiculously large for how unstructured they are. His casualty rate is disgustingly, enormously large in any case yet his soldiers are completely 100% loyal, when any sane man would have deserted after their first fight.

His medieval intelligence network works a hundred times better than the multi-billion intelligence network the CIA has today backed up by dozens of satellites, thousands of agents, and computerized databases and modeling. Somehow, his spymaster/logistics/jesus druid can keep track of the entire kingdom down to the last conversation. Who literally showed up on his doorstep and asked to work for him.

Fear of the unknown? No problem, not only does he remember every event in intricate, incredible detail despite being barely literate, he obtains a guy with psychic powers who can instantly tell if anything bad or good is going to happen well before it ever does, by random stumbling upon him as a guard in the enemy nation, who joins him because his psychic powers tell him he'll jizz harder than he's ever jizzed before if he brownnoses the MC for the rest of his life.

Fear of betrayal? No problem. The kingdom's princess falls in love with him because he's a dashing young illiterate bum, and she also has psychic powers, able to instantly tell whether anybody is good or evil. Not that it matters, because, miraculously, every single one of the MC's henchmen and stoogies is a good guy. Except one, maybe. Also, she's probably the secret greatest merchant that ever lived. Of course.

Greatest spearman that ever lived? Actually totally part of his first unit he met in bootcamp. All his super top-notch commanders? Random militia bumf**ks also in his first unit, who miraculously have the capability to be top generals if they only had the chance.

He has literally never met a single competent person who opposed him and wasn't capital E-Evil. It's like, look, sometimes, in stories that aren't sh*t, you meet guys who are every bit as good as you or better who neither want to blow you or rip off your limbs and feed you to the pigs. A lot of times, smart, clever, skilled, important people have better things to do than to wrap their lips around the cock of a random bumblef**k upjumped militia grunt, even if he has miraculously become a low-tier noble.

While we're at it, MC is an enormous hypocrite. Several times he's judging people as miserable pieces of trash because he knows in the future they'll betray the kingdom. Except that's literally his plan. He wants to be king. And that's not going to happen quietly following the current royalty. There is never any sense he detects the obvious problem with him judging people on their loyalty here.

Then there's the inanity of the economics at work here. He tells his soldiers to give their hard-earned money to the poor, and they do it. In any sensible universe, this would have been basically completely wasted, as a petty lordling is hardly going to make a dent in the needy of the capital city, but somehow it all works out, and everybody thinks he's the greatest guy ever. Did I mention none of his soldiers ever get angry or rape or pillage or kill, because, he's such a good guy, so are his soldiers? Except when he's actually executing all the enemy soldiers to the last man, EVEN WHEN THEY'RE THE SOLDIERS OF HIS OWN LAND. Yeah, that'll endear him to the populace. Like, he's doing this to his own future knights, and that of the neighboring fief, and the author is treating it like genius strategy. Hilariously, this is just after he gets super mad and judgy about the bad guy treating villagers badly. Somehow this is okay, because this is the battlefield. No, I'm pretty sure the king and the nobles will be at least a little pissed at you for executing the enemy to the last man when the "enemy" are their own bannermen and they're kind of pissed at your side for starting the war in the first place. I've given up on this. It's clear the author has absolutely no idea how to write the MC running any sort of enterprise, and the larger in scope it gets, the worse it gets. Since his plan is to run a whole kingdom and actually the world, it's going to get incredibly stupid and I don't want to watch this trainwreck any longer.

I mean, other than all that, it's okay. <<less
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Sinai
Sinai rated it
Shadow Hack
January 29, 2018
Status: c79
Thorougly unmemorable xianxia tripe. I had some interest early on because of the futuristic setting and the reasonably interesting system, but the author failed to take advantage of such settings.

So. This is what you get:

- poor world-building
- completely forgettable supporting cast
- poorly thought out system
- unremarkable MC
- no villains to speak of
- no interesting philosophical topics
- mediocre combat
- no backstory worth mentioning
- inconsistent power systems
- a low-intelligence world, that is to say, everybody is stupid

I'm not a huge fan of xianxia/xuanhuan... more>> novels in the first place, but if they're your cup of tea, there are at least dozens of lengthy ones that are significantly better. The story appears to be on a steady downward slope at that. I managed to enjoy the first 40-odd chapters, was disappointed from 40-60, and downright disliked 60-80.

In short, relentlessly formulaic, tawdry pulp fiction.

At this point, the only thing that could save this novel is a massive out-of-nowhere plot twist, like his system actually being a sentient AI using him as a meat puppet to take over the world, with a chapter cooly thanking him for his service as it cuts his throat and replaces him with a shadow puppet, "As a matter of fact, I can do that, Dave Li Yunmu."

It'd be cheap and dumb, but it'd be more interesting than what this novel has in store for the next 400-odd chapters before its readership has withered away enough for the author to start a new story.

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Sinai
Sinai rated it
MMORPG: Martial Gamer
April 4, 2018
Status: c110
Horrendously mega-overpowered MC playing a game and being absurdly better than everyone. It's competently written, and it doesn't violate its own rules, which is a huge plus.

On the downside, that's about it. Nothing interesting has happened in a hundred chapters. Just him being OP and waving his big d*ck around.

Frankly, I enjoy it, but by now, I expected the MC to encounter a setback. Good, and entertaining in its right, but ultimately, it's like reading about Superman in the Olympics and winning 80 gold medals. What is even the point?... more>> I don't mind reading a story about the very best man in the world, but the author needs to get off his own MC's d*ck. By which I mean his own d*ck, since the MC has the same name as the author. So. Here's the question: How much you can tolerate watching the author stroke himself? <<less
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Sinai
Sinai rated it
Pet King
March 20, 2018
Status: c214
Extreme slice-of-life.

Have you ever wanted a protagonist who got a "system", magical genie lamp, whatever, and proceeded to make no effort whatsoever to take advantage of it? Then this is the novel for you.

Essentially, a man running a pet store who gets magic powerups because he has magic pets. Some protagonists try to rule the world with their system, our man here, he uses it to charge people more to bathe their cats.

I'm usually a fan of slice-of-life, but this is a little too much for me. Especially since most... more>> of his problems are solved by what amounts to magic pets taking care of him. Instead of accepting the consequences for his decisions, good or bad, his magic cats intervene and fix everything. Perhaps this should be expected since his very first pet can essentially assure that nothing bad ever happens to him, but it makes every possible conflict seem a done deal.

Last, but not least, although the writing and characterization is fairly good, I cannot recommend Pet King for one reason: It is first and foremost a comedy, and it hasn't made me laugh or so much as crack a smile. <<less
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Sinai
Sinai rated it
I’m in Hollywood
April 30, 2018
Status: c136 part3
Ahahhahah. Okay, first off, I'm in Hollywood is not well-written, and it's basically a Gary Stu self-insertion fanfic, except instead of a fictional story, it is real life. Like MC falls back in time, and uses his future knowledge to go to Hollywood to steal famous movies, and in the process bangs hollywood starlets before they were famous while offering them roles in his stolen movies like Jurassic Park, Scent of a Woman, Titanic, etc, etc. Like. I read a manga from like, the 80s once, and the bad guy... more>> mafia boss guy is hanging out with his bros with some arm candy white woman blonde model and while he's on the phone he tells her to strip and pleasure his big yellow cannon. On the basic premise that powerful men have s*x with beautiful women and can completely s*xually objectify them if they want to, and in the realm of fiction, this establishes them as a villain. Actual things that happen in this novel: He makes a young and basically unknown Jennifer Aniston fall in love with him, cucks a young Brad Pitt in the process, JA gets mad at him because a s*xually precocious teenage Alyssa Milano moves in with him who might actually be his ward (I can't recall precisely), and sneaks into his bed and JA walks in on them together in bed and assumes they're f**king, and gets pissed at him all over again, all the while he's keeping some C-list actress who I don't even remember who she is as his mistress. The fact that this is getting published, even if it is a webnovel by Qidian, cracks me up. I think the entire thing is absurdly funny. It's not nearly as horribly written as one might expect, either, given the subject matter. For better or worse, the author treats the whole thing quite seriously, even if we must be abundantly aware that the author probably has watched Alyssa Milano's Teen Steam in its entirety. Like, I could talk about its many flaws, but what is even the point?

Basically this guy is Harvey Weinstein, if Harvey Weinstein was actually young and attractive and also a mega-powerful director, writer, and actor, instead of just a producer, which makes the starlets he's preying on fall in love with him instead of wanting to throw up in their mouths.

Besides, if we want to be morbidly serious, the s*xual dynamic of the casting couch is a thousand times more realistic than the MC who gains ultimate power, can't even get laid. <<less
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The Devil’s Cage
February 8, 2018
Status: c269
Read through about Ch. 108 so far. Great internal consistency in this story, and shockingly, a MC who is actually pretty smart, has a reason and motivation for his actions, and doesn't completely shun help when he needs it.

Anyway, MC voluntarily joins a VRMMO death game in order to earn money for an operation (on himself), which gives him essentially a reason to risk his life. The VRMMO is set up into a series of self-contained missions, at the end of which he is sent back into a hub to... more>> prepare for the next mission. While theoretically he can log out, essentially he has no life worth speaking of in the real world and he needs to power up quickly to save his life, so for the purposes of the MC's story it's essentially very similar to VRMMOs where characters are trapped in the world.

The MC doesn't really have much character to him, but that's sort of forgivable given that he's generally competent and driven. There's some reasonably decent side characters, but the episodic nature of the story prevents them from long-term development or gaining interest in them in general with the exception of other PCs, and those haven't really been strongly used other than info dumps.

It's a little distressing he doesn't try to powergame and min/max his build given the free availability of a player trading system with very minimal account-bound items, he just kind of rolls with the skills he picked up in his newbie mission despite exponentially increasing costs to level them - as time passes new skills are exceedingly cheap compared to leveling old skills and even at lvl 1 they're the equivalent of a very highly skilled normal person - basic skill in dagger and sneak has him OHKO assassinating street thugs by the dozen, and basic skill in light arms gives him one-shot headshot mastery of all light firearms. Imagine you could learn to be a great computer hacker, or a Casanova, or able to speak every modern language for $10 in a store you pass by every day, and you know this, but you never so much as walk into the store.

Which might be more reasonable, except he's intentionally soloing missions instead of working in teams, so he has enormous skill gaps he doesn't really realize, and there's frankly quite a bit of plot armor that keeps him from being killed outright. For example, in his 3rd mission, he plays mercenary, and just as all the team is about to be poisoned eating a meal, he happens to detect it with a skill he coincidentally picked up in his 1st mission. Which is fine, but there's really no reason he hasn't died in any number of ways from soloing without being a jack-of-all-trades given the game's general unfairness. Or how he picked up a lockpicking skill recently, but up until he got the lockpicking skill, he's never encountered a locked door or chest or cabinet or anything, which is just a non-deadly form of plot armor.

There are fun quirks that keep the different worlds fresh; in his 2nd mission, he's basically Sherlock Holmes, and the MC alters his speech accordingly on the theory that playing his assigned character role will make the NPCs act more positively, which appears to be correct although it's not really proven either way. At any rate, the fact that he's essentially shifting to different settings allows the story to keep from getting dull, and the author is quite good at pulling off a variety of settings that feel significantly different.

All in all, a well-written, entertaining and refreshingly different take on a stat-based VRMMO with a Quantum Leap/Sliders-ish feel (apparently this is a sorta established genre in the Chinese webnovel world, but I haven't read others).

edit: up to chapter 269

Quality remains overall high, but it becomes obvious there's a great deal of railroading in the story - things happen because the author wants them to, not because they make sense. Also frustrating is we keep being told how smart and powerful the MC is getting, but he's unable to significantly outpace the power curve in the "game". Missions ostensibly of the same level of previous missions offer him as much trouble as when he was at far lower levels of power, and there appears to be no good reason for this.

Also, as MC continues to play the game fairly badly pretty much bumbling around at random, it's very unclear why he's better than other players other than pure luck. Example: He's wasted skill points on no less than SEVEN weapon paths: hand-to-hand, dagger, spears, bows, light firearms, swords, and attacking magic. You know how many defensive skills he's learned? One. Exactly one. Which he got automatically without trying, otherwise his dumbass probably wouldn't have thought about it. Bro, maybe invest some points in some more passives, armor/defense, or general skills and you won't almost die every mission. <<less
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Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear
December 1, 2018
Status: c110
Flat, unoriginal, and basically uninteresting isekai with extremely simplistic writing style.

Yet still somehow charming and readable.

Good for wasting your time, but ultimately, a waste of time.
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The Novel’s Extra
August 6, 2018
Status: c64
New favorite novel. I devoured the current 64 chapters in one night. It's a pretty standard setting of an author sucked into the world he's written and going from weak-to-strong with the help of a system, but novels like this remind me that tropes don't feel tired as long as they're well-written with quality characters that feel like they have their own motivations and personalities.

The novel is lacking a few things, such as competent villains, but the large and diverse cast of students, adults scouting them out to be future... more>> Heroes, and various underground organizations of varying shadiness make that easy to ignore.

Despite being massively overpowered and generally acknowledged as such by other characters, competent foreshadowing and fairly intelligent decisions by him make it feel like he's earning his powerups rather than them being just given them on a silver platter. It helps a lot that he actually seems to be a lot more powerful than he is just because his skillset and cheat break the rules of the world, and he uses his powerset reasonably intelligently. In a lot of ways, his system is completely broken in that it can do virtually anything - his cheat/system is Author Power in being able to rewrite the world, but it basically takes experience points to do so, and actually it's pretty clever that that's his power since he's, well, the author of the world. There are some iffy power scales going on, especially those of the bad guys who for some reason never send evil monsters/humans strong enough to wipe the floor with the MC even though it's clear that a great many adult Heroes are much stronger than the MC.

The MC is steadily building up a harem of three main girls, and for better or worse, a great deal of the novel is spent detailing their reactions to his feats. The MC's insistence is that he wants to keep all his main characters alive, but since there's never a POV of any of the male secondary characters it ends up just feeling like a harem story.

Overall, the whole thing is just a delight to read and a real page-turner. <<less
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Cultivation Chat Group
March 27, 2018
Status: c337
Easily my favorite of the modern cultivation novels, this one stands out because the MC is an average college student with no cultivation talent who becomes a loose cultivator (as in, not part of a sect) because he accidentally joins a chat room of incredibly powerful, incredibly bored semi-immortal cultivators.

If you couldn't tell, it's a comedy.

After over a hundred chapters, he can reliably beat any street thug... or even a dozen of them and that's about it. Sure, he's taken out plenty of more powerful, more experienced cultivators, but that's... more>> pretty much by relying on one-shot artifacts gifted to him by pals and being lucky. He has almost no business trying to fight a serious cultivator and he knows it.

There are various plot threads coming together, however slowly, and it does seem quite interesting, but if you expect them to come about any time soon, you're bound to be disappointed.

No, this story is about a mostly average, if amusing guy trying his best to survive being thrust into a world of super-immortals and endless calamities that befall him because of it, while also being excited to find out that he, too, can be a cultivator... just, you know, kind of a weak, pathetic one who isn't expected to amount to anything. <<less
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The King’s Avatar
January 29, 2018
Status: c913
Remarkably faithful to being a gaming novel, The King's Avatar takes itself completely seriously as a story about professional gamers in the most popular VRMMO in the world, and it delivers remarkably.

Although there are some minor missteps, the whole series feels like a labor of love from an author who knows his MMOs, with a sympathetic MC who is driven and reliable despite the inherent immaturity in his actions in basically throwing his life away to play video games. He's faithful to his ideals and knows what he wants.

And the... more>> amount of logical plot progression and slow buildup into him re-entering the professional world is absolutely outstanding. Sure, he's ridiculously skilled and has practically a cheat character, but he needs them for the challenges he has to face. And the villains, while sometimes petty and going a bit too far for a game, are entirely believable as the kind of behavior you might find from people rather than some caricature of villainous behavior you so often see in other stories - their misdeeds towards the MC are because the MC is in their way of things they want and they're apt to pull back when they realize they're being a bit ridiculous or being a bit too unprofessional, or whatever.

The characters are remarkably memorable too. It isn't common that a story can convince me to keep track of both the characters and the video game characters they're playing, yet despite the absolutely huge cast of characters, they're solidly in my mind whether it's the reckless and stupid Steamed Bun, or the old and humorously cunning and ill-tempered Wei Chen, or the entirely too devoted Su MuCheng.

Real world. Real people. Video games taken seriously. It's simple, yet wonderful. <<less
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I'll probably read this a little longer, but overall, this story just seems low quality in every way. The writing is sub-par, and on top of that the world has nothing unique or interesting about it. Complete bum-standard fantasy RPG world. Similarly, the game system is so ill-defined, it just seems like he gets whatever he needs from it whenever he needs it. Any game system is inherently a bit of a deux ex machina, but it's seldom so crass.

The MC (whose name I don't even remember because he's so... more>> dull and bland) repeatedly makes poor or stupid choices that should end up getting him killed but MC plot armor saves him and then he makes zero effort to mitigate his risks. The best thing that could possibly happen is that the chapter I'm reading ends with him getting killed, and then the novel moving on the a real MC with the old one being an object lesson in how not to treat his "adventuring" like a game, even when he's warned in the first chapter that if he dies in the "game" he's dead, kaput, gone. <<less
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Godfather Of Champions
June 17, 2018
Status: c6
Early impression is that this is a top-of-the-line sports novel. The MC is the coach and already has a very strong character, basically imagine Tony Stark if he was born poor and had a passion for soccer.

The author clearly has a passion for the sport as well, with impeccable research in real world players and teams, as well as certainly being a big fan of Football Manager. I lack the knowledge necessary to fully appreciate this, but those with knowledge of early '00s English football would no doubt be delighted,... more>> especially if they're fans of the real life Nottingham Forest.

One thing I've never seen done before, the MC transmigrated into someone older than himself (26 into a 34-year-old body), which is typical of the general boldness of the novel. Given how high the rating is for the original novel (9.3), I have high hopes for this. <<less
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Library of Heaven’s Path
March 27, 2018
Status: c612
Xianxia face-slapping at it's finest. The story relies on a transmigrated character who is a teacher rather than a run-of-the-mill protagonist.

Let's get this out of the way; Library of Heaven's Path is a comedy of face-slapping, and any drama or world building is subservient to both.

In its weaker moment, it relies on genre tropes such as arrogant young masters, coincidentally getting exactly what you want, being completely immune to feminine charms, appalling arrogance from the MC despite being a frog at the bottom of a well, and basically all the... more>> things you're probably used to either loving or hating from xianxia.

But LoHP transcends all this by being the consistently among the best at what it does. The face-slaps are enjoyable, the power-ups feel somewhat reasonable, events are suitably foreshadowed, the author remembers how his world works, and there's a minimum of random ass-pulls.

MC's cheat is ridiculously overpowered, but it's also very consistent. As the story progresses and the MC has gained in raw physical power, he has a tendency to fight his way through a situation, which puts a damper somewhat on potential comedic situations. In any case, it's not without its flaws, but you would be hard pressed to find better face-slapping anywhere in Chinese webnovels. <<less
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God of Cooking
May 25, 2017
Status: c118
A hundred-odd chapters in, this is one of my favorite light novels, and it's for a very simple reason: The characterization is top notch. Specifically, the primary antagonists of the elite chef-in-training Anderson and the judges are very well fleshed out and humanized, while the female leads are realized to the extent that you can't help but root for the romance to blossom. The complexity is such that while the MC is in love with the female lead and thinks of her as amazing and wonderful, his friends are looking... more>> on and rolling their eyes at him clearly smoothing over her many faults with the power of love, and this is all conveyed to the reader without hitting them over the head with it. The characters are flawed, and it's endearing instead of frustrating. There are no villains here, simply people who want, badly, to improve, to succeed, to win. Also, there should be a bromance tag, because as sweet as the romance is, entire chapters are devoted to the central bromance and it's equally sweet in its own way and hilarious.

Although sometimes the translation is bit lacking, the author clearly is a good researcher, including accurate details about numerous locales and cuisines, as well as cooking competitions and the state of fine dining in general.

In the end, I ordered Korean food today. <<less
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I Got Reincarnated And Mistaken As A Genius?
January 4, 2017
Status: c2
Hilarious send-up of the overpowered reincarnation.

Differences from normal:

1) Reincarnated to vaguely normal Earth
2) No apparent superpowers
3) Oblivious MC fails to realize he's responsible for changing the world, thinks it's all his genius mom.

The situational humor is that it is deliberately unclear whether or not it actually is the MC who is the genius, or his mother, or a combination of the two. As the series progresses and he goes to school, it becomes apparent that he's the central cause, but from his POV it is apparent that... more>> he's is unable to tell what he is doing, for whatever reason.

Probably only has a shelf-life of about 50 chapters before the joke wears thin, but until then, enjoy the ride.

Low reviews are, generally speaking, people who don't realize that the situational humor is, in fact, the joke. And it seems completely obvious the author knows why there's a misunderstanding, it's merely not revealed to the MC, the reader, or the fictional world at large at this point in time. <<less
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Dungeon Hunter
December 31, 2016
Status: c243
Not recommended.

This started off pretty strong, got repetitive after about 50 chapters, then the author just completely gave up in the last 40 chapters or so.

Deeply unsatisying ending, plot threads just get left hanging when the author gets tired of them, completely unearned power ups giving to the MC, and epic worldshaking battles given less lines than him beating up some orcs early on.
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