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frostcrystal
frostcrystal rated it
Return of the Female Knight
February 20, 2019
Status: c15
What an amazing novel, I was completely taken by surprise! It checks every single one of my boxes.

    • An actually competent female protagonist with drive and a goal? Check!
    • A pragmatic point of view? Check!
    • Well-rounded characters with motives who care about each other? Check!
    • A fricking marriage of convenience, yes please!
    • Protagonist faces s*xism that isn't either a strawman or condoned by the story! What! Checkcheckcheck
Also a struggle to prevent a coup and decently done battle scenes and just such a departure from the whole badly-researched sorta-European reincarnated Japanese princess-knight light novel thing, I am frothing at the mouth. I should've guessed it would end up being Korean.

The translation is great too, it reads very fluently and lots of updates. I'm looking forward to this novel in the future. :) EDIT AS OF CHAPTER 50:

So far so good, but this novel is definitely going down a rather different path than I'd thought at first. I was kind of hoping for a bit more battle and blood and military, and a bit less tea party and doting prince. Still, I am enjoying myself and remain hopeful.
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frostcrystal
frostcrystal rated it
The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
July 26, 2018
Status: c120
The story isn't too far in yet, but I really like it! I had been following along with Chongfei Manual and was thoroughly disillusioned due to the occasional petty heartlessness of both the male and female leads. This novel is the opposite - the MC is a cool-headed, intelligent, thoroughly down-to-earth adult woman, with a modern mindset. She isn't keen on dying for love and doesn't mind groveling a little bit to get to a comfortable place in life. So far the author has also been doing a great job... more>> of fleshing out the other female side characters, many of whom are not just allies or enemies, but actually people with their own thoughts and goals.

Meanwhile, the translation is smooth and clear, so no issues there at all. There is still quite a ways to go, so I'm looking forward to many, many more chapters! :) EDIT at Chapter 120: Man I am not a fan of the male lead at all. He's a product of his time, but it's quite unfortunate because he rather ruins the novel for me. <<less
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frostcrystal
frostcrystal rated it
Doomsday Wonderland
July 22, 2018
Status: c289
It's pretty fantastic. I love the main character, who is a complete badass, and there is always some dystopian twist to whatever is happening at the moment.

I'd probably say that the great flaw of this series is that it's a slice of life in a dystopian post-apocalyptic horror thriller. Which makes sense, since the protagonist is basically struggling to survive day-to-day, but it also means that there's not a huge overarching plot continuity. So if you're not a fan of whatever arc is happening at the moment, it can be... more>> difficult to get through it. <<less
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frostcrystal
frostcrystal rated it
Chongfei Manual
June 18, 2018
Status: Completed
It was alright, but there were quite a few nasty bits about this novel. Other reviewers have already pointed out a lot of it - the MC being really young at the point ML starts finding her physically attractive is the big one. ML is also, to be honest, a real asshole. The author likes to frame it as "ruthlessness", but every time he even thinks the MC is in trouble his automatic instinct is to kill relatively innocent people until she isn't - even if he's just imagining things.... more>>

But there are a lot of other very bothersome little tidbits thrown around in there in the midst of all the fluff. The author has a really bad habit of laying down incredibly disgusting punishments to minor rivals whose misdeeds are usually either quite petty (snarky words, minor bullying), very young, or just not that likable. And by awful, I mean gang-rape, domestic abuse, forced abortion, questionable consent... just casually thrown into an otherwise cute, fluffy story. And you're supposed to like it. It is at times incredibly unpleasant to read. <<less
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frostcrystal
frostcrystal rated it
Isekai Izakaya Nobu
October 7, 2018
Status: --
While adorable, I feel awkward reading it. Every chapter so far has been more or less summed up by: "Oh my! My German (ish) tastebuds just cannot handle how amazing and novel Japanese food is! Our food is rubbish by comparison!!!".

I love Japanese food, but some days I just really want some kraut in a sandwich. So it's not for me. Maybe it's for you.
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frostcrystal
frostcrystal rated it
Akuyaku Reijo Ni Koi Wo Shite
September 28, 2018
Status: c74
This story is, as another reader commented, kind of tiring to read. I can't honestly pinpoint why or when, but at a certain point I found myself forcing myself through the chapters, trying to get to the end.

It might be because everyone but the protagonist is just so incompetent. It's a bit less so in the first arc, but in the second, he's often the only one who can solve anything, and whole chapters are devoted to what a genius he is. I find that sort of thing a little... more>> exhausting.

Secondly, there isn't much humour about the story. That doesn't always bother me, but this story in general feels like a real drudge in part because the protagonist is depicted as this person grimly trudging on with life, with not much joy in it aside from his one beloved. Speaking of whom, Ariel is one of the points that I felt the plot handled reasonably well. Maybe I just enjoy reading about faithful people.

One way or another, I can't articulate what makes Falling In Love With The Villianess a boring story to me. It checks all my boxes. But I just can't go on. <<less
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frostcrystal
frostcrystal rated it
The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent (LN)
May 17, 2018
Status: v2c6
I quite like how this story had all the hallmarks of a harem, but hasn't chosen to go that route. A nice easygoing story to read on a chill day.
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frostcrystal
frostcrystal rated it
The Heartbeat at the Tip of the Tongue
March 30, 2018
Status: c52
What a hidden gem! I must say, when I read the summary, I was definitely not expecting a piece of such depth. I thought it was just going to be fluffy comedy.

The thing I enjoyed the most was the amazing characterization of this novel. It's a semi-love triangle; you more or less know who's going to win from the start, but on the other hand, I really liked how it was handled in this case (I don't usually like love triangles much.)

One side of the triangle, with Ke Song... more>> and Yi Ran, is a meeting of similar people - two kids who grew up together with similar humour, tastes, and hobbies. The other side is a meeting of opposites - Ke Song is young, naive, charming and careless, while Jiang Qian Fan is almost monk-like in his austerity. But what really touched my heart was the subtle differences in their relationships. Ambitious Song Yi Ran may love her, but he loves her selfishly; always hoping that he can have it all, not willing to put aside or compromise his own ambitions for her. On the other hand, Jiang Qian Fan is cold, severe and impersonal, but he is always careful and kind when it counts, straightforward in supporting Ke Song's growth and teaching her to respect herself and to find her own dreams.

I enjoyed the reading of this novel very much and eagerly await further chapters. If there is a flaw, I would say that a lack of other good female characters would be it.... but it's a flaw I can overlook. <<less
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frostcrystal
frostcrystal rated it
Return of the Swallow
March 25, 2018
Status: c33
This series doesn't have too many reviews right now so I'll add one. It's not far in yet, but so far I really like it! I'm not generally a fan of transmigrated poison assassin in ancient China novels, so this one really strikes a chord with me because the MC is just a plain old smart, strong young woman whose only superpower is being very world-wise. I also really enjoyed how there is a contrast between the inner court politics of her immediate family and the sincerity of her maternal... more>> side's.

The translation is excellent (as expected of the Volare family), so there's really not too much to criticize at this point. Looking forward to more chapters! <<less
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frostcrystal
frostcrystal rated it
Kumo Desu ga, Nani ka?
March 9, 2018
Status: c214
Add me to the pile of people who gave up on this story after being confused to death. To be fair, the story itself is actually pretty engaging. I enjoyed both the slice of life first half and the epic second half, but after Blastron drops the translations around chapter 115 or so, a lot of what happens is just completely incomprehensible. It's very difficult to follow the plot and the grammar is all over the place. Still, if you don't mind machine translation, this might be a good novel... more>> for you. <<less
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frostcrystal
frostcrystal rated it
Lady Cultivator
March 14, 2019
Status: c106
This story is a bit like how harassment is for a woman. It has long stretches of daily life in which the protagonist lives out her life in contentment; and then WHAM the author brings down a sudden surprise plot event that completely changes matters (usually for the worse).

I definitely wouldn't recommend this for anyone wanting a quick and easy wish fulfillment story. It's quite realistic about the trials of being a low-ranked cultivator; the main character worries about money, death, and her own safety quite a bit. A number... more>> of characters seem like good people and then turn out to be bad; a few villains seem stupid and turn out to be smart. In the process of growing up, the main character has to slowly develop her discernment about these things, and her adolescent mistakes have huge consequences.

On the other hand, it's also quite well put together. The main character develops slowly and the seed of the romance is there more or less from the beginning. It feels to me like the author has really thought this through.

Honestly, the weirdest part for me is actually how the author/narrator is very occasionally glaringly s*xist. Everything will be completely normal, and then she'll drop in things like "but all women are emotional after all, which is why most female cultivators were weak", like wha?!? Isn't this undermining your own story? The male:female gender ratio between cultivators is easily explained by the fact that women are second-class citizens in this world already, isn't it?? <<less
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frostcrystal
frostcrystal rated it
Divine Doctor: Daughter of the First Wife
November 2, 2018
Status: --
It was really good right at the start, but I'm more and more uncomfortable with it as it goes on. At the beginning, the female lead had a pretty upright personality - stood up a bit for people in need, takes care of her own, does what's right when she can. As the story goes on, she starts becoming more and more villainous, petty and cruel (like unfortunately, a lot of these stories do because otherwise there's no conflict). It's just about started going downhill where I am, and... more>> honestly it's started to seem like she's just stirring up trouble because she can. It's not like it would take a lot to just live a quiet life.

Some of the antagonists are good, and some are really over-the-top. I agree with another reviewer that I felt her first sister is someone who could really have been the protagonist of a different story, and it's kind of a shame the author didn't portray her character in a more nuanced way.

For what's good, the beginning is really fun. It's snarky and interesting and the protagonist is quite strong in her own right, plus there's added interest since her ML is a cripple. I'd have given the first 50 chapters or so a 5-star rating, the second a 4-star... and it's slowly dropping down as we go, so I've decided to drop it here. <<less
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frostcrystal
frostcrystal rated it
Unrepentant
October 30, 2018
Status: Completed
Uh, wow. I cried. I don't know why I do this to myself.

Although you do see some of the twists coming, I really enjoyed the intricacy of the plot and the presence of an actually decent female and second female lead. There is no ridiculous female harem scheming throughout the story. In addition, every little foreshadow from the beginning ties neatly right back into the end, making one feel like the author has planned it all out really well, and the translation is good, though slow.

That said, although the story... more>> was excellent I don't know if I'd read it over again. It's just so heavy.

Moral of the story: Talk about your feelings and bring up difficult topics with your SOs, everyone. <<less
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frostcrystal
frostcrystal rated it
I am the Monarch
April 21, 2018
Status: --
Powerful, magical, talented soldier spearmen portrayals have mostly been forever ruined for me by Brandon Sanderson, but IATM was a fun enough read. It has a lot of the issues other people have pointed out: an OP protagonist who doesn't have the background to be as skilled in strategy as he is, and who is made more OP by the fact that no other commander seems to be particularly competent. Roan has a number of people around him equally skilled in different fields (information gathering, magic, spear skills), but no... more>> other commander really seems to be able to contribute to his thoughts, and I didn't like that. I also didn't like how he seems to be good at everything. It would be more reasonable for him to be OP in only one area, but everything he touches seems to turn to gold.

I did like the fact that the author allows him to fail from time to time, and that his failures result in tangible losses. So I'm enjoying myself so far. <<less
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frostcrystal
I really liked this novel to begin with, but now that we've run into the Twilight Empire, I feel incredibly awkward reading the very 2-D characterization of the enemy (aka Japan). I've basically skimmed all those chapters. Blatant nationalism aside, it's really difficult to understand how an enemy so incompetent could possibly achieve space travel in the first place, and the thrown-in Japanese sounds just... super childish. I wouldn't mind a more nuanced portrayal of evil Japan in space, but the author is so heavy-handed that I just cannot like... more>> it. There's nothing I hate more by being preached at by my fantasy books, even when I sympathize with the viewpoint. <<less
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frostcrystal
frostcrystal rated it
The Great Storyteller
May 14, 2019
Status: c182
It's fun, and I'm still working my way through it, but it's not incredibly satisfying. The main problem is that there's no sense of struggle or buildup past a certain point. Every piece the main character puts out is wonderful and well-received. He's got a rather OP language power that he honestly didn't need, and he excels at everything he puts his mind to... writing, translation, etc. Around where I am (chapter 150ish), there's really no sense of suspense for anything. If the author mentions an award, he gets it.... more>> If there's an interview with another author, they end up talking about him.

The hype surrounding the protagonist is especially underwhelming because a lot of it is due to his second chance. Like, everyone's all agog because he's just 18... No!! I, the reader, know that he is in secret a 50-year-old ojii-san! Everyone praises him for his language abilities... No!!!! He didn't even earn those! They were just showered down on him!

If the author had removed his language superpower and forced the protagonist to struggle a little more, it would have been a much more interesting read. I very much enjoyed the MC's chill, go-with-the-flow personality in the beginning. <<less
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frostcrystal
frostcrystal rated it
The Human Emperor
April 26, 2019
Status: c854
This novel has a lot of flaws, but I must say I've really enjoyed reading it.

Likely the biggest issue in my mind is that the MC is rather unabashedly racist, though in a strangely respectful way. He never underestimates his foreign enemies and goes out of his way to learn their language and culture in a bid to fight them better, but at the same time the whole thing with the Han and the Hu really goes against the grain for a modern reader.

Another annoyance is that while the author... more>> has obviously tried very hard to sprinkle in numerous powerful and intelligent female characters, they are all of them damn annoying. It's almost unfortunate because the author has clearly made an effort, but nearly all women of the MC's peer group are haughty and arrogant and know-it-all and kind of violent.

Finally, there are occasionally some issues with the pacing. The southwestern war lasted over 100 chapters and God knows I skipped a bunch of them.

All that said, I've still read up until chapter 800+ so clearly none of these are dealbreakers for me! The Human Emperor is fast-paced, has memorable characters who are usually well-rounded, competent villains, and an interesting semi-historical basis. I highly recommend it if you are into military novels. <<less
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frostcrystal
frostcrystal rated it
Tales of the Reincarnated Lord
April 8, 2019
Status: c328
I guess I'm probably far enough along to add a review now. Since I've made it to chapter 300+, I can confidently say that this is a pretty good novel. It's got it's flaws, but it's gripping and engaging.

Other people have described the good parts, so I'm going to fill those in later maybe if I get around to it.

The flaws of this novel in my mind are two-fold: One, you really have to get used to the author's writing style. He's super prosy and can be quite long-winded. Fortunately,... more>> the translator is superb, otherwise this would be really hard to read. Even as it is, I mostly skim paragraphs of exposition; just the gist of things is already enough to get a good story.

Secondly, I honestly just hate harems. This is even one of the better ones I've read, but they're all cringey to me. It can kind of be justified here because it's a very military-based novel, with having multiple wives and concubines presented as a common thing, but I just can't help but roll my eyes hard every time the MC acquires a new conquest. There's quite a few of them, too, and his first concubine's scenario is even kind of rapey. It doesn't help that there aren't any female main characters at all (there are a few powerful women, but they're all side characters), despite there being female knights in this world.

If you can turn a blind eye to that, then you might enjoy it. <<less
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frostcrystal
frostcrystal rated it
Transmigrator Meets Reincarnator
February 28, 2019
Status: c655
Well, I liked it a lot at first, but ever since the main couple has gotten together, this novel just frustrates me. The author seriously has no concept of how relationships work, and all these descriptions of supposedly happy marital s*x that are actually kind of rapey leave a sour taste in my mouth. It has also been really dragging out over the final 50 chapters, introducing unneeded misunderstandings and not really any sort of plot climax.
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frostcrystal
frostcrystal rated it
Honey Stewed Squid
February 19, 2019
Status: weibo scene 5
It's cute and fun, but it doesn't quite make it to 5 for me. I tend to like my female leads to be competent, and while Tong Nian is actually a pretty good foil to her male counterpart, she is also a character with really random bits of expertise/stupidity. For instance, she's supposedly an excellent computer programmer and engineer, but she doesn't really have the right mindset; she's not that logical and kind of air-headed. I don't think the author gets how detail-oriented you have to be to care about... more>> every single missing semi-colon. She's conscientious, but doesn't really seem to care much about her job as a singer. All she thinks about is Gun. It's as if the author just wanted her to be "smart" and threw in a few pieces of random genius here and there... but I guess it's still better than if she was completely and irredeemably stupid. <<less
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