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cape
cape rated it
Spirit Realm
May 7, 2017
Status: c250
Interesting novel, however, very inconsistent.

A strong protagonist drives the plot, he is not swept along by it. In this novel, our MC is not only swept along by the novel, he is dragged completely all over the place. The beginning of the novel was interesting enough, and presented us with what (I think) was a somewhat unique situation for the MC making you begin to build an interest in him. However, after the a while while, it's all thrown out the window. The MC undergoes a massive personality shift, the... more>> story goes completely haywire, and the same continues to happen throughout the story. Eventually, instead of the MC constantly changing, it becomes obvious the problem isn't the changing personality, but rather the fact that the MC never had a personality at all! The MC can at one point stand up to mistreatment and injustice, while seeming quite brave, only for him to completely cower in fear at the next moment, or act completely helpless in front of some random individual. The MC has no real character, changing as the plot would see fit, rather than adjusting to the world around him. I saw some of the other reviews mention that a strength of the novel is that the side characters are well-developed instead of only the MC being so, like in other novels. However, I completely disagree with this. Rather than the side characters being well-developed, all of the characters are simply bad. The side characters exist as mediocre entities for the purpose of providing some semblance of a world that revolves around more than the MC, but it's abysmally executed.

The novel isn't really that bad. It can just be incredibly frustrating. Reading 200 chapters and still seeing the MC make completely rash, uncharacteristic decisions that have no basis and no motivation for no reason every few chapter quickly grows irritating, and it really draws you out when you start to see it happen again and again. If anyone else is like me, romance is absolutely essential and, I can confidently say the romance is not the best, but, at least it exists. While many of the future prospects of the novel are somewhat intriguing, I am held back by the fact that I believe the characters will be consistently bad. Therefore, even if the situations and plot change, the crippling problem will remain, and for that, it's become one of the few novels out there that I've lost interest in. However, I do believe it is worth a shot, because despite its problems, the novel managed to at least pique my interest for a while, and some other might find it more enjoyable. <<less
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cape
cape rated it
Against the Gods
April 22, 2017
Status: c778
One of the few CNs that make me want to read them again and, so far, the only one that I have actually read again.

Against the Gods, while not being necessarily original in some ways, has a uniqueness to it that manages to resonate with me completely. The novel shares many tropes with other CNs, however, no other novel can replicate its overall narrative as perfectly. The story-lines may not be the most creative that I've read, and it may not have the deepest, well-built up, characters, however, it is... more>> undeniably the most enjoyable novel that I've read. I love good writing and, in that prospect, the novel goes above and beyond. The story, writing, and the translation do an excellent job in making the novel feel completely immersive. Amongst the novels I've read, no other could make me feel the same interest, excitement, anticipation, and emotion. Whether it comes from the backstory of the character, the way he interacts with those around him, or even the whole world itself, there was rarely a dull moment in reading, with the emotion in the novel actually making me tear up at some points. Occasionally, however, this strength can hurt the novel. When random chapters in the story dip in quality, you quickly get drawn out and may want to skip reading a little bit until the high standard is regained. Fortunately, this happens extremely rarely, and when the standard is there, it is always above and beyond.

While the story contains everything that I look for in a novel, others may not necessarily enjoy the same things as much. The story features reincarnation from a past life and, as a result, the main character is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to medicine, cultivating, craftiness, and killing. What I like about the novel is that it doesn't make it seem like the character is completely overpowered but, at the same time, doesn't make him annoyingly dependent on other people/things. The character relies almost solely on himself, due to his past experiences, and he possesses the ruthlessness and attitude necessary to make it seem like those experiences were real, instead of just one time things that are forever forgotten. The story also contains romance and if you're anything like me, romance is a MUST. In my incredibly simple mind, the romance in the novel is great. All the girls (spoilers there's more than one girl) have their own deep plot and it isn't like many other novels where the romance is just a 'hey we've had 2 chapters of interaction and I'm hopelessly in love with you for no reason' type thing. That being said, even a hardcore romance lover such as myself was a little annoyed by the extent of the harem. In the beginning it's extremely well done but, eventually, after many hundred chapters, you'll see again and again mentions of 'peerless beauties' and you already know that the MC is ready to slide into those DMs. Okay, the harem isn't actually that big, and impressively, all the girls manage to stay decently relevant even 700+ chapters in the story. Other than momentary annoyances, I am completely satisfied with all of the romance.

Against the Gods is not a perfect novel, however, despite its flaws, it manages to rise above them all in my opinion. They never fully take away from the enjoyment and the overall experience. Things you see in the novel have an immediate, and far future, meaning that is real and affects the outcomes of individual character stories. The world, its characters, the writing, its pacing, and the stories all combine to make it one of the best novels I have ever read.

(Note: I am not someone who demands constant originality, or new ways to tell stories and as a result have no problem with repetition and, instead, enjoy because it means I get more of what I want rather than what might turn me off.) <<less
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