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autumnscarf
autumnscarf rated it
The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
August 18, 2018
Status: c113
I'm rating this a 4, but I'm not sure if that's the best way to rate it, because I'm not sure I want to keep reading the story. I'm a little less than halfway through, judging by the chapter numbers.

This is a good story, but it's extremely depressing. My understanding is that it gets less tragic, but I'm honestly too depressed to keep going from the point I'm at.

The MC is always on her back foot and can never quite catch her breath or get any real wins. She can't... more>> get ahead or stabilize her position because her family background is too dangerous, and she can't walk away due to the circumstances in the novel. Her only real 'out' is completing the task assigned by the former owner of her body (get the ML to fall in love with her) so she can go back to the modern era, but that task is honestly soul-crushing to read about.

This feels much more realistic than a lot of transmigration/rebirth into ancient era novels. But it's also extremely depressing because the original circumstances are just awful for the MC.

Spoiler

ML is a d*ck whose life embodies 'spoiling the concubine and destroying the wife', hence his inner courtyard being on fire 80% of the time. This seems to be a political calculation, but I honestly can't see how it gets him ahead in terms of the imperial court.

Pre-transmigrated FL was a bitch, but the story basically goes into how the ML slowly drove her insane/destroyed her life because he never valued her to begin with. No wonder she went nuts and took things out on the concubines. Pre-transmigrated FL was apparently an easily-manipulated moron who was head over heels for him, so if the ML had spent the slightest effort he probably could have controlled her and prevented the utter disaster that was his inner courtyard.

Pretty much the entire story, I've been going, 'MC... you may as well forget going back to the modern era and just take your money and run away with the supporting ML.' But honestly, that isn't a solution for her situation either. She's backed up against a corner and has no outs because her own family is tied up in the struggle for the throne.

The point I quit reading was after she went through a huge struggle just to carry a baby on behalf of the original owner of the body, just for the story to go into a hugely depressing spiral. It was a tragedy conga and I finally gave up because I couldn't see how the situation could be turned around in the MC's favor.

The final goal of 'get the ML to fall in love with the MC' is just... I just find it depressing. The ML set his own backyard on fire, but the only possible happy ending for the MC is for the ML to also get a happy ending.

Nesting a spoiler because this was what made me quit reading:

Spoiler

After the MC goes through some insane struggles just to actually have the baby, the ML ignores the birth of the baby (he has good reasons for doing so) and the actual birth turns into a trap that destroys the MC's reputation and also results in said baby being handed to an enemy who wants her and her family dead. The ML is the one who personally hands the baby over. Again, he has his reasons for doing so, but honestly...

You can see this trap coming from miles away. The pregnancy itself is depressing enough, but it's very obvious during the pregnancy that things aren't going to get better when the baby is out of the womb.

(That said, I admit I thought it would take slightly longer in-universe for something to actually happen to the baby. I thought the MC would at least get one happy moment with her kid before it all went to sh*t.)

You'd think super awesome ML would have picked up on clues like 'the enemy who wants the MC dead showed up to stab her with a knife while she was pregnant because it looked like her husband was favoring her too much' and took some extra care with the birth process, right? Nope!

This dude can't decide on what he wants and he can't protect his own family. He also can't steel himself enough to clean out his backyard and instead runs around getting everyone he can pregnant. This is probably politically calculated, and MC's pregnancy was an accident he purposely tried to prevent, and like... I get it. I get why the ML acts the way he does, but I really do not like the guy.

I would honestly like the ML better if he had just killed off the original MC. At least that would mean he could make some hard decisions. Instead he's this guy who has one foot in one camp and the other foot in another camp, and the people who suffer for it are not him but rather his mother, wife and concubines.

ML probably has good reasons for ending up in this situation. It's the nature of the fight for the throne. But he has so few redeeming qualities made obvious up front, it's really really difficult to like him or root for him to get together with the MC in the end. So, I'm stopping at the point I'm at. Maybe I will pick this story back up later, after I work up my mental fortitude.

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autumnscarf
autumnscarf rated it
I Refuse to be a Supporting Character
October 14, 2018
Status: Completed
I'd rate this 2.5 if I could. It's what you'd expect of a meh quality transmigration-into-a-romance-novel novel with your standard pretty and reasonable FL and domineering ice-cube-who-can-only-be-melted-by-the-FL ML.

There are a few cute and funny moments, but most of the time I wasn't really into it. I don't think the author really resolved the original conflict between the FL, original FL, and original second ML. They pretty much just get kicked to the curb with no epilogue. Meanwhile, the FL and ML go through a kind of random life-threatening plot orchestrated... more>> by characters who aren't really introduced early in the story, for a reason that is kind of randomly explained at the end of the novel.

The ending focuses more on supporting characters who were barely relevant than on any of the main characters or original main cast. However, it's a short and easy read. <<less
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autumnscarf
Plot: 3/5. The author doesn't tie up very many loose ends and a lot of situations are contrived for better romantic tension. If you're looking for a novel which involves political schemes, it's not that great. This is a romantic novel.

Romance: 4/5 plenty of romantic tension between the MC/ML. A couple of secondary couples get some development.

MC: Likable but not especially impressive. This story is about the MC's personal journey and not that great about worldbuilding. I don't think the 'poisonous/malicious empress' title fits her that well given she's not... more>> really malicious at all.

ML: Likable but 80% of stuff that's important to his personal journey is just a reason for him and the MC to get close to one another. This has to do with the author not tying up loose ends.

General Cast: Doesn't get developed very much, which feeds into why this isn't really a good political novel. Especially the antagonists: they're mostly just selfish and out to get the MC for no real reason, which makes them kind of one-dimensional. The MC's ex and his family should be a lot more impressive than they are, but they pretty much don't put up a great fight. Most of the characters in this novel are a lot dumber than the ones in TPW. A lot of secondary characters don't really get arcs or resolutions.

I'm seeing a lot of comparisons to The Princess Weiyang here. I've listened to the audiobooks for both TPW and this novel. They both have their strengths, but Li Weiyang is definitely more vicious than Shen Miao. TPW is good at schemes, and LWY basically cleans up her own messes while borrowing the power of others or strategizing how to get that power for herself. TPW is better for people who like schemes and don't mind a weak romance, while this novel is more the opposite. There's a lot more chemistry between the MC and ML in this novel even though it's a slow burn.

This story's plots are weaker than the ones in TPW, and the first portion of the story involves the MC cleaning house, which in these rebirth novels tends to involve really annoying villains, so it takes some time to get good. By the time she gets around to dealing with national politics, she ends up relying a lot on her man rather than dealing with things herself. The ML is so OP he pretty much doesn't need her for political scheming. The latter half of the story is much more about their romance and the MC getting over her issues than about political scheming. However, the author portrays that pretty well.

Compared to TPW, I'd say this novel takes a little more time to get into it, just because the initial chapters are about how the antagonists are overtly annoying/evil and it takes a while until they get what's coming to them. I feel like I had to choke the first several chapters down and honestly it's probably okay to skim/skip the first ~15 chapters after the initial rebirth introduction if you're familiar with how rebirth novels tend to go. The main antagonists are also kind of disappointing compared to TPW in that the MC has designated enemies, but it's not really a novel-length chess match directly between her and them. The ones in TPW put up better fights. <<less
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autumnscarf
Chapter 959 is part of Arc 28.

This series was a 5 for me but started running out of steam a couple arcs ago, and I hit a bit of a wall trying to get past this arc.

This series goes through a lot of different worlds: modern, post-apocalyptic, modern fantasy, xianxia, xuanhuan, game worlds, etc. Shi Sheng's tendency to brute force problems works fine for the fight-y universes, but it's exhausting to read about her dealing with imperial palace drama. She never plays politics properly but somehow wins these scenarios anyway.... more>> Arc 28 is an imperial setting, which is why I'm stuck.

I COULD skip ahead, but I've spoiled myself a bit on the rest of the story, and the problem seems to boil down to that Shi Sheng never has any reason to change or be a better person than she is. Her being an asshole is hilarious for 25 arcs or so, but there are only so many ways to troll the universe and it's gotten pretty repetitive by arc 28. Dropping 2 stars from my rating because of this. <<less
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autumnscarf
I'm not sure I'm going to finish reading this novel, but I wanted to weigh in because some of the reviews here are pretty unfair to the MC.

This novel takes a long time to develop, both in terms of the MC's base power level and the MC+ML's relationship. MC starts out very weak and traumatized, but is a hard worker who eventually adjusts to the world. She isn't a master schemer or incredibly intelligent, but she's not exactly a moron, either. ML does a pretty good job training her to... more>> not be so naive.

So the MC DOES get better after the initial chapters, but it takes some time.

That said, this story isn't really a xianxia transmigration adventure novel. It's a romance novel. The novel spends chapters and chapters on the MC and ML's developing relationship and nothing else. In a normal xianxia/xuanhuan novel, the adventuring is usually entertaining in itself. Here, it's pretty much just background noise. Either the ML is busy manipulating the MC or the ML is busy manipulating the MC. (Or the ML is busy thinking about the MC, or the MC is busy thinking about the ML.)

The xianxia setting only became important when the author decided the MC+ML had enough time to cuddle and decided to force them to split up for a while.

I mean, it's not a bad story... but if you're looking for an ass-kicking adventure story with some romance in it, this isn't it. If you're looking for a power couple, this also isn't it. If you're looking for short story universe hopping, this... also isn't it.

The first universe arc takes about 66 chapters to finish. I thought several times about dropping the novel instead of reading through the first arc because the author tended to really expound on the details of their relationship and the ML's psychology. The only reason I got as far as I did was because it was easy to TTS and half pay attention to while doing other things. I'm not sure how interested I am in finishing the story since I don't think the MC or ML will develop much further since their relationship has been mended, and this author doesn't seem to be that interested in writing adventures. <<less
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autumnscarf
autumnscarf rated it
Transmigrator Meets Reincarnator
January 9, 2019
Status: Completed
This novel has an interesting premise, but never really takes off. CL (the main character) is a very lazy protagonist, so a lot of the mysteries in the original novel are only revealed through forced villain monologues. There's almost no description of the political landscape and extremely little about what HCD (the male lead) does to build up his political and military power. The inner courtyard scheming is especially stupid in this novel since the villains are mostly morons who can't set up an effective plot, and due to the... more>> lack of focus on the imperial politics, there isn't a lot that's interesting about the grand scheme of things, either.

HCD and CL's romance is painful to read about. 1/4 of the later chapters describe food or this couple's s*xual misadventures. CL seems to equate s*x with suffering, and HCD never takes no for an answer. Then the author likes to spend lots of words on describing how terrible their s*x is. And apparently, HCD is the sort who feels comfortable
Spoiler

spanking his pregnant wife, in an actual corporal punishment way

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, WTF.

I started reading the translated novel a while ago but decided to finish it in Chinese because I'd lost interest in it and mostly wanted to skip to the ending. I would say that the novel retained my interest until the couple returned from the north, and then it got boring. If you want to read about a lazy wife... Eight Treasures Trousseau had a more likable couple and more interesting scheming. <<less
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autumnscarf
autumnscarf rated it
The Rebirth of an Ill-Fated Consort
August 29, 2018
Status: Completed
This novel has less romance and more politics than Military Lineage. I personally like this story better as the various characters' positions are more fleshed out than in Military Lineage. However, this story has several arcs which drag on a bit, especially toward the end of the story, and the ending seemed fairly rushed and unsatisfying to me. I was skipping a lot of passages in the last portion of the story.

MC Jiang Ruan is much more calculating and coldhearted than Military Lineage's Shen Miao, and much better at holding... more>> her own because of it. However, comeuppance for a lot of MC's main enemies (pretty much her entire immediate family) tends to be somewhat lackluster. If you're looking for a rebirth revenge plot, this is okay but The Princess Wei Yang does revenge better.

ML's position in this story is much better explained than in Military Lineage and his reasons for running into the MC are less contrived. This is one of the reasons I like this story better. However, there's less of a romantic chase, so for people who enjoy stories where the ML goes to the end of the world for the MC, Military Lineage is probably better. This ML takes a definite back seat to the MC. <<less
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autumnscarf
autumnscarf rated it
My Disciple Died Yet Again
August 19, 2018
Status: Completed
This is one of my favorite novels found via novelupdates. You can't take it too seriously (I mean, it's a parody...) but if you're just looking for some light reading to pass the time, this is a good one. It's pretty funny, makes fun of a lot of transmigration tropes, and still has a pretty dramatic plot. The translation quality is really good as well.
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autumnscarf
autumnscarf rated it
Stolen Love
August 21, 2018
Status: Completed
I don't know if 'romance' is really the right tag for this story. I would file it as a gangster adventure novel in which the MC and ML eventually discover they have emotions after all. This story has a lot of plot holes and not a ton of long term plot threads. It's mostly episodic heist shenanigans. It's okay for a light read, but there are probably better modern day adventure novels out there.
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autumnscarf
I've probably skipped about 1/3-1/2 of this story. The good parts are good... there's interesting worldbuilding and fun dungeon setups, and there are some good laughs in this story. But the MC is really, really stupid. The author wrote a supporting character to lampshade MC's stupidity, but 1800 chapters in, you'd think the MC would be less stupid about picking fights with people stronger than her and stirring up needless trouble.

She never leaves things alone, and it's always ML and the other supporting characters who pay for her mistakes while... more>> she reaps the rewards. Sometimes it's not her entirely fault, but she'll do really stupid things like knowingly leave her back open or not take really obvious hints from the free sage in her inventory. A lot of the time, it is entirely her fault, yet she never solves her own problems and tends to make the problems worse than they need to be. If not for ML consistently sacrificing himself for her as well as being a walking encyclopedia, this story would have ended like twenty times over. Despite this, she makes no effort to at least make ML's social life easy and blames him when things are actually her fault. That said, ML is the exact sort of idiot ice cube who hates all girls except The One and That One Childhood Friend... though to be fair, he's never an ice cube to the MC and their relationship develops pretty naturally compared to some other stories in this genre.

This is basically the exact type of MC that's deconstructed in Side Character Transmigrations and Odette's Otherworld Odyssey. A very frustrating MC to read about. However, the supporting characters and the previous generation's leftover legends are pretty interesting, and the world is adventurous and fun. I'd rate this as 'Okay, but there are better xianxia stories out there.' Chapter length is pretty short and a lot of arcs are pretty skippable. <<less
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autumnscarf
autumnscarf rated it
My Dad Is the Galaxy’s Prince Charming
January 14, 2019
Status: Completed
This is a cute story with some pretty hilarious arcs. It's short compared to My Disciple Died Again and doesn't have as many dramatic/serious moments. MC spends 99% of the story clueless and with unreliable powers, so it's a pretty different power dynamic compared to My Disciple Died Again. It's more romance-focused.

The translation quality isn't as good as for My Disciple Died Again, especially when it comes to hitting the right notes for translating the jokes. But it's readable and it's only 55 chapters in at time of this review.
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autumnscarf
autumnscarf rated it
The Otherworldly Adventures of a Super Naive Girl
November 14, 2018
Status: Completed
This is a cute love story with a lot of adventure and mystery, but it's not a story with a power couple or a strong female lead. The real MC is the ML. Of the three female leads, we don't get much of Zi Cheng's (the original story's FL) perspective, and Ailin/Irene (the 'villainess') is a good problem solver but isn't on screen much. As for Feng Wu... she has a lot of cheats, but pretty much either can't or doesn't use them to win the high stakes fights. Hence... more>> the real MC being Ming Xi (the ML), especially in the latter half of the story.

The worldbuilding is great. It's a fun universe with a lot of magic and mystery built into it. But there's also a lot of slag family drama and vicious love rivals. A couple of these arcs were good... most involved your run-of-the-mill face slapping and plotting to bring down the FL.

There have been a few comments about the end of the novel. I didn't find it rushed so much as that Feng Wu pretty much stopped doing anything useful about halfway into the novel, so wrapping everything up the way it was wrapped up made sense. This story would have been better if it was written completely from Ailin's perspective. <<less
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autumnscarf
autumnscarf rated it
Guide to Raising a Supporting Male Lead
October 15, 2018
Status: Completed
I'd rate this a 3.5 if I could. It's mostly a dramatic and interesting spin on transmigrating-into-a-novel, but it loses major points for the ending, which is very abrupt, as others have commented. MC, ML and secondary ML are the only ones with really developed personalities. Everyone else is mostly there to move the plot along.

Based on the original premise of the novel (the MC being a petty and critical fan) I would have thought the ending would at least wrap up with some self-aware reflection on the part of... more>> the MC, but it didn't.

Most of the story is decently constructed with overarching plotlines that are laid out from the beginning. It's a short read with good pacing and dramatic twists and turns. <<less
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