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ieatp-ssy
ieatp-ssy rated it
Apocalypse Meltdown
December 31, 2017
Status: c1488
This story starts out like many others in the genre, in which the MC was a normal man who survived the zombie-apocalypse, and all of a sudden, was whisked in time to just before the apocalypse, so that he could 'prepare' for the arrival of the zombies. Oh, and much like any other CN webnovel stories, he also has a cheat system, a super-computer system implanted in his subconscious.

That's only how it starts out.

I've read up to about 1, 500 chapters or so, and I can tell you that the... more>> world is still in post-apocalyptic era, and the zombies are still there, but the story has morphed into something different. Not in a way that most CN writers often morph their stories, when they run out of ideas, and then go totally into a different improv'd direction, just to keep the money coming, like a zombie story suddenly turning into space opera or something like that, though. In this story, the author seemed to be working off of a planned-out, pretty detailed of a story outline.

In that sense, he's more like a traditional print novelist, rather than a CN web-novelist, who may not know from day to day where his novel's plot will go.

The plot moves fast, and there's not a lot of 'filler' to the story. I can't tell you too much about this story without giving away a lot of its 'secrets, ' but I can tell you that this story has elements of hard sci-fi, mystery, military strategy and just a touch of xuanhuan woven into the primary plot-trunk.

If you've read and enjoyed 'Gate of Revelation, ' you would enjoy this novel. I can tell you that they are made from the same vein, with an over-arcing big secret in the story, that won't be revealed until much later, but that the foreshadowing of the secret is present, even in the early chapters, so it felt planned, rather than improv'd. Just like how the translator/publisher of GOR's English translation had mentioned, the closest thing to GOR that he can think of is "The Matrix" movies, and that description is fairly accurate for this novel as well. Where GOR is packaged in a video-game universe as a shell, this one uses the zombie apocalypse.

Fair warning, though: this story requires a minimum IQ and some level of mental maturity to fully appreciate. It is more suited to an adult reader than to a young-adult, teenie-bopper set. As you go along, you'll need to remember the clues you read along the way, to keep up with the mystery's progression. Once you get over the more typical and well-overused 'horror' elements present in the beginning of the story and get into the 'mystery/thriller' meat, you'll have to remember more and more, but if you're willing to invest the time and attention, you'll get a worthwhile return in a very exciting novel.

If you're tired of the usual CN-based FS/RFC (face-slap/revenge-face-slap) as primary plot progression, or perhaps seek affirmation that a CN web-writer can do more than the usual FC/RFC crap, this is for you! If you really enjoy the FC/RFC element of most CN-stories, or just want a mindless light-read, you won't.

This is clearly a new author. He's a little short on style and still fairly dependent on the typical tropes of CN webnovels, so on initial read, the novel feels like a typical CN stuff you see out there. He can definitely benefit from a strong literary editor -- and I mean editor in the literary sense, not just an error-checker. He's got a good grasp on pacing, world-building and economy of characters, all are makings of a good novelist, someday. I give credit where credit is due, and this writer might surprise us all, someday.

I don't think the story is concluded yet on Qidian, but if the story stays consistent in quality and execution, Qidian would be smart to cease the amateurish high-school-English-quality translation and invest in a professional team of translator and editor (read: expensive), and consider publishing this novel in print. With a professional editor on-hand, I can see this novel appealing to a more 'serious' novel reading crowd, than to the typial CN 'light' novel crowd. But then that requires some actual cojones in overlooking the penny to seek the Dollar, so I'm not too optimistic.

I gave it a four-star. It's a good effort from an obviously new writer.

Happy reading! <<less
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ieatp-ssy
ieatp-ssy rated it
Omnipotent Sage
August 24, 2018
Status: c213
I wrote a scathing review of this story at chapter 69. After reading the positive reviews, I decided to persevere, and read on until 213, and I think it warrants amending my review. At ch. 69, I rated this story a 1-star. At chapter 213, assuming NovelUpdates allows a decimal point, I would rate it 1.4-star. It gets marginally better, but a thin margin, at that.

This story needs a lot of things, and paramount of them is an editor. Unfortunately, I strongly suspect that Qidian has never heard of such... more>> a thing.

The first 165 chapters move at a pace of rotting compost. If it could smell, it would resemble same, also.

First off, the author tries to painstakingly make the story 'plausible, ' describing how a child can't possibly have powers to overturn mountains and destroy planets. In my opinion, this deserves a hard whack across the head: Yo, wizard, you started the MC as a 30-year-old Chinese office worker who got 'inserted' into the body of a 3-year-old toddler. If you start with a ridiculous premise, commit to it. Make him overturn mountain. At the very least!

In fact, I would settle for him doing anything. Anything, at all.

These first 165 chapters, if run through a good editor, would have been condensed to about 8 chapter, tops!

The MC does very little. There are side characters introduced, to whom copious numbers of chapters are dedicated, but they have little bearing to the story. Pure T.M.I. Up to chapter 165, the MC is basically a little dinghy caught in a storm in the ocean. He's thrown around, helpless.

Riveting stuff this isn't. Honestly, you can read the first three paragraphs of every chapter, and with the title of the chapter, you can figure out what's going on and move on.

From chapter 165, it changes. Not by much, but at this point, I was looking for a turn-around (spoiler alert: I am eventually disappointed).

This is the point where the MC is actually beginning to make decisions. Stories are made by presenting MC's a situation, and then he'll have to choose how to react to it. Up to here, the story is absent that. So based on that, there's an improvement. Once the MC starts to think and make choices, we have a story.

Pacing isn't any better. It's still glacial and way too much unnecessary details are put in to bolster the word-count. And inconsistencies abound, such as the narration points out how 'reasonable' the story is, but then every three chapters, the MC gets a lucky chance. Up to ch. 213, this MC has more lucky chances than most characters in other xuanhuan stories get in 1, 000 chapters.

Also, I am reading a Qidian Int'l translation, so I don't know if it's bad writing or bad translating, but the MC owns a hammer that in one chapter was described as weighing 200 kg., in another it was.5 (half) kg., and then the third time the weight is mentioned, it's 2, 000 kg. The weight of an MC's weapon is not a crucial detail, but if it's written down, it should be consistent. How hard could it be? Apparently, very.

I'm a reader, and I can stop reading, but let's all pray for the guy translating this garbage, because he/she is bereft of the choices to just stop. Someone needs to tell Snake Swallows Whale to try to swallow some creative writing classes, or at least change his name to Snake Desperately Seeking Editor.

Conclusion: if you read 20 chapters and like it, well, up to ch. 213, it's pretty much the same sh*t. If you can't stand the first 20 chapters, you're not going to like the next 200. Yeah, I'm sorry, everyone, this isn't that 'hidden gem' you were hoping it would be. <<less
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ieatp-ssy
ieatp-ssy rated it
Tranxending Vision
April 9, 2018
Status: c121
Two things stand out, about this novel:

1). The harem element is strong in this one, so readers seeking vicarious living through fictional characters would enjoy it. The women are fairly formidable, but 2-dimensional, have little to do other than 'support the man, ' and only there to serve the plot point at any given arc or comic relief.

2). The novel is comical, but not in a way that's intended.

... more>> I'll explain...

In the first 100 chapters or so, the author rants -- both in the narration and in MC's inner-monologue, of how evil the US and Europe are, for enacting a 'technology blockade' on China, preventing certain (civilian, non-military) technology from being exported into China, due to paranoia about China stealing the technology. It went on to say that American newspapers often "FALSELY" and unjustly accuse China of stealing technology, making China look bad.

And 20 chapters later, do you want to guess what the MC is doing?

You guessed it! He went on a mission sponsored by the Chinese government into Germany, to steal their industrial technology, specifically because it's easier to steal it from Germany, rather than the US, since Germany apparently is not as 'alert' to this tech-theft.

I have a feeling this kind of theme will recur constantly throughout the novel, so if you're disturbed by righteous indignation that isn't consistent with the story's own action and plot-lines, this may not be for you. Other than that, the novel is OK. It's not bad enough for me to roil against, but it's not good enough to be memorable, either. if you decide to leave the novel at any point before the conclusion, such as when the translation effort either slows down or downright cease, you'd probably never remember even reading it, in the first place.

On the other hand, more intelligent readers reading between the lines can enjoy a good chuckle. I know I did. These LN's made for the masses really do give you an unintended glimpse on how the people of China think. <<less
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ieatp-ssy
ieatp-ssy rated it
Treasure Hunt Tycoon
April 4, 2018
Status: c152
The synopsis is actually nowhere near being descriptive of what this novel is.

I expected some variation on xuanhuan about someone reincarnated into a world where he hunts mystical treasures. Well, nothing could be further from the truth.

This is a novel about a Chinese college student living in Flagstaff, AZ and the 'treasure hunting' done in this novel is the kind that the US-based television show "Storage Hunters" show. People who bid on abandoned self-storage rooms, where they can either find junk or an actual hidden treasure.

Having said that, I read... more>> all the negative criticism on this novel, and for the most part, they're all true:

1). This is not about realistic life of a Chinese MC in the US, it's about what a Chinese writer believes life would be for said MC, if the writer had never actually lived in the US. All, if not most, of the American characters are basically 2D representations of what Chinese people believe Americans are like, and has no semblance to reality. This is strange for a story rooted in a real-life location and present day.

2). The palpable paranoia and inferiority-complex of the Chinese (from China) feel of themselves is palpable, and the perceived slap-to-face is augmented here, despite the fact that the story happens in the US, where face-slaps aren't really all that big of a deal.

3). It's anther hint of the Chinese mentality being unintentionally (or is that intentionally) revealed here, which is that the only way they believe someone could succeed in life is by having a 'cheat, ' which this story has, as well.

4). The thinly-veiled view of the US as a nation of colonialist pigs who live for nothing but to keep China down is there, all the way through. I know that this is indoctrinated to every Chinese child at the earliest possibility, and it's hard to overcome for a society like theirs, but I'm surprised that a nation of otherwise fairly intelligent people still believe in the over-simplification of "Chinese: good, American and Japanese; bad." But, there it is, all over the novel.

5). It's extremely repetitive, as it's about one man having all the luck, and all of his opponents constantly getting pummeled and losing money, a capital sin in Chinese culture apparently.

Yup, it's all there.

Why did I give it 3 stars, you ask? Very simple:

After reading a couple of dozen of the xuanhuan novels, I've finally discovered that they're all the same novel with interchangeable MC's, bad-guys, and basically a re-hash and blatant plagiarism of each other's work that it's very difficult to tell which one is the 'patient zero' of these things.

This novel is, as crazy and weird as it is, different.

For a web-publisher like Qidian, whom is trying to make money by publishing what otherwise wouldn't be fit to commit to print, variety, a valiant attempt no matter how feeble, to produce 'different' is commendable. (And yes, I just gave Qidian a compliment, there's no need to write me hate-mail)

So there it is. I sincerely doubt that I will get ti finish this novel, as I can foresee the onset of acute apathy coming on, as soon as this thing jumps the shark, or when Qidian starts going premium with it, but for now, I'm at least reading.

There's my two cents. Happy reading! <<less
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ieatp-ssy
ieatp-ssy rated it
Joy of Life
March 6, 2018
Status: c205
There's generally two ways to write a novel:

  1. IMPROV: this is the usual way of writing a CN webnovel, where the author starts out with a premise, and then the story would go all over the place, and where the author's inspiration for new plotlines end, s/he would let other factors dictate where the story goes. Factors like reader-feedback, plagiarised content from other novels or simply filler contents.
  2. OUTLINED: this is the conventional way of writing a (print) novel. The author considers an outline for the entire novel, and then only had to do some fleshing-out, as the actual chapters get written.
Usually, within a few chapters, one could infer which of these methods was being employed during the writing of a novel. Typically, with a CN webnovel, a reader would notice pattern... more>> no. 1 showing, but very rarely, a delightful novel comes along where the pattern no. 2 emerges.

As of chapter 205, I can't tell you which method was used to write this novel.

This is certainly a 'different' kind of novel. This is a novel featuring a boy/man as protagonist, but the story itself was written more like a shoujo novel, rather than a typical shounen novel. The arcs so far focused on scheming, plotting, backstabbing, etc., which are usually associated with a shoujo novel. There are snippets here and there with action, but they usually pass very quickly, and then back we are to the scheming, et al.

In short, this should be classified more as a 'drama' rather than what most people would expect it to be.

Sometimes the story feels like it's going somewhere, and other times it meanders all over the place, and cleverly written arcs interweave with utter drivel. Chapter 140-ish brings an unexpected surprise, since now there's an element of a 'secret' within the story, and in doing so, attempts to wrap everything up into an over-arc, though I'm not sure the story is doing that successfully.

Is it worth reading? If you're expecting drama, and don't mind the occasionally slow-moving plotlines, yes. If you read the re-incarnation beginning of this story and expect a bloody, mindless killfest, then no.

So far, this could either be a brilliant novel with an unnecessarily long first act needing desperately an editor to cut the drivel down, or it could simply be a novel that tries to be clever but failing miserably. I do sense the palpable attempt to make the novel 'clever, ' though missing the mark -- by quite a bit -- most of the time.

I'll try to write a better review when I read more. Hopefully by chapter 500 or so there's a clear indication of where this is going. Else, this would be like getting a bad massage at a legitimate parlour -- the massage is bad, and you know there's no happy ending coming. <<less
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ieatp-ssy
ieatp-ssy rated it
Library of Heaven’s Path
February 10, 2018
Status: c544
There are lots wrong with this novel:

  1. The story is repetitive.
  2. The narration breaks the fourth wall, constantly. The first few times it's funny, but after that it's just a sign of lazy writing.
  3. The style is very common, to say the least.
  4. All -- and I mean "ALL" -- of the typical xianxia cliche is included here, not a single one missing.
  5. It's pretty much 500 chapters of figurative, though occasionally literal, face-slapping.
But, if you can get over these things, you'll find yourself reading more and more of this thing. The story is... more>> light, and doe to its repetition, you can stop reading for a couple of months, and then pick it up again easily, never having to remember nuisances like plot details.

In humor, it does excel, though in a very low-brow sort.

Considering that so far this novel is about 500+ chapters of face-slap after another, the only redeeming fact here is that the face-slap, at least when done by the protagonist, is fairly unintended. The protagonist himself isn't all that self-conscious, and anything resembling tension in this novel comes from the antagonists, whom are self-conscious and take themselves too seriously, much like any proper character in a CN light novel should.

Other than that, it's a typical good guy: very good, bad guy: very bad, now slap each other in the face kind of a plot. It's entertaining, but will be easily forgotten once you pick up something better. <<less
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ieatp-ssy
ieatp-ssy rated it
Night Ranger
January 1, 2018
Status: c129
Night ranger has a simple premise: expert video-gamer gets thrown back in time for a do-over, and has all kinds of foreknowledge about the game.

Then it gets more complicated: he's thrown into the past of the video game, but not at the starting point of the game but into the back-story era of the game, the time that is usually glossed over quickly during the 'intro/prologue' of the game. MC finds himself transplanted in the game's timeline years before the moment 'players' log in, so he's basically an NPC in... more>> the world before any players were around. He becomes a real character and part of the game's backstory.

The different (from all others in the genre) : the other NPC's, the ones he interacts with, are not dull and pre-programmed kind of characters that video games normally have, but fully ego-formed, fleshed-out, intelligent, emotionally-capable humans with free will. MC's interaction with characters seems to be interactions with real people, rather than simply video game characters.

The interesting: his foreknowledge gives him an advantage, but as he goes along, the butterfly effect of his actions and decisions starts to change the world, and presumably the back-story of the game. Most profound of all is how his interaction with other game characters changed not only the flow of events, but these other characters -- the actual people -- themselves.

What I still don't know at ch. 129: is whether this is actually a video game that he can 'log-off' from or if he actually becomes a resident of this game world. I also don't know if any 'players' would come in, later, since that would be very interesting.

In any case, there is plenty in this story to get you interested. So far, it's evolving to be a promising story. There may be a jump-the-shark moment later on, as per usual with CN webnovels, but I can tell you that up to ch. 129, it's worth the time to sit down and read.

Enjoy! <<less
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ieatp-ssy
ieatp-ssy rated it
The Grandmaster Strategist
October 18, 2018
Status: v5c17
Novelupdates. com specifies that reviews should be on the story itself, and not on the translation work. I find this particularly difficult to do, since what I am reading is a translation of the story, and not the original text. Hence, this review is of the English translation published at Gravity.

So far, I've read what I believe to be the halfway point of the entire novel. Though I can't tell you anything about the second half, so far, the novel itself is worth 5-stars. I'll get to the problems a... more>> little bit later.

This novel is unusual, since it's more a drama than action piece. There is action, of course, but only there to propel the plot forward, which is a stark difference from most CN webnovel, where the action itself is the highlight. If you want something different than most other translated CN webnovels out there, this is the one.

The protagonist -- for this novel, I think calling him an "MC" somehow diminishes -- is basically a strategist. He's not the Man, but he's the man behind the Man. He does advance his own agenda, but so far, he's also in service of others.

He's not the most powerful out there, and so he surrounds himself with powerful people. He navigates the halls of power much like he would a battlefield, with brains, wit, pluck and a little bit of luck. This makes things tricky, since his enemy is often the man he serves. Every challenge brings him to the next one, which is even more dangerous and grander plots need be hatched, to ensure not only victory, but survival, most of the time.

If you enjoy ancient Chinese politics, military strategy, intrigue, rudimentary espionage and the like, this novel is for you. It's intelligent, doesn't insult its readers or plays to the lowest common denominator. Having said that, it is definitely not everyone's cup of tea. Some intelligence is required to enjoy the tale.

The action is also more subtle. It's more wuxia than xianxia, lending a little more credibility to the story that wants to root itself in more realism, rather than in abject fantasy.

That's what I get... from the story. Now let's talk about the problems.

Since I can't read the original text, I am depending on the translation to provide style and mood. I can't read the original text, but I'd like to imagine that the original text would be written in a more lyrical fahion, similar to how Shakespeare writes his dialogues. I can be wrong, but I can only imagine.

English translation would be hard-pressed to convey this. English adaptation would do it, but that's a different skill than translating.

In the first half, the translation team does a fairly good job. The tone of the translation is serious, befitting the subject matter of the story, which in itself is serious and sometimes tension-filled. However, sadly, something changes halfway.

I don't know if there is a change in translator, but there's definitely a change of editor, and from the halfway point, we start getting smart-ass comments from editor (always in parentheses like these), shouting loudly, "Hey, look at me, I can come up with zingers, and put it right in the midst of the text you're reading!"

Worse, one of the translators started following up with his own T/N's, shouting "Hey, I can come up with better zingers!"

It went on to a point that in one paragraph I read, there were four to five lines of T/N's and E/N's. In a story with a sarcastic and/or humorous note, this would probably not be so bad. But in this story, which takes a more somber and serious tone, it is completely distracting. It's like walking into a dramatic movie, and there are kids talking loudly next to you. I'm presuming that the translators are, indeed, young people, based on the notes showing up.

Having said that, fan-translation is a voluntary labour of love, and presumably none of these people are getting paid, nor am I paying to read the translation, so it isn't fair for me to tell them to 'cut it out.' Everyone's tolerance levels are different, but I can tell you it's getting difficult to enjoy the story, at this point.

And so, unfortunately for me, the only thing I can do is to 'change the channel.' I've stopped reading at v5c17. It's been an enjoyable read, and hopefully someday into the future, someone can do this novel justice. I sure would like to know what happens next.

Enjoy! <<less
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ieatp-ssy
ieatp-ssy rated it
Gate of Revelation
October 1, 2018
Status: c673
Have you ever seen "The Matrix?"

In it, when Neo first met Morpheus, he was offered a choice of blue or red pill. Choose Blue, and he would end up back in bed, to believe what he'd choose to believe. Red, and he sees how deep the rabbit hole goes.

This novel starts out with a similar precept, except that our MC, named Chen Xiaolian, wasn't given a choice of pills. Instead, he tripped, stumbled and fell into the rabbit hole. It's difficult to explain the plot of the novel without spoiling... more>> it, so I will only tell you that this is a very clever and creative spin on the Simulation Theory. It does start out a little slow and a little confusing, but it soon turns into a good ride.

First, I cannot tell you how good this novel is. You have to read it for yourself! But, I can tell you some of the good things about it:

1). The MC really is a proxy for the reader. He's truly an 'everyman, ' in the beginning of the story. He doesn't have the benefit of 'having played this game before in his past life, ' or an old man's spirit living inside of his space ring, or a supercomputer system that helps him level up faster than anyone can imagine. The usual 'goldfinger' cheat system that most of the MC's of CN novels have, is not present in this novel. The MC's only advantage here is his job, which is an online novel writer, which gives him a more active imagination than most people, and enables him to think clearly, in crises.

2). Everything of and around him is at-risk. The MC can be hurt, and he can be killed. Same goes for his friends and allies. This isn't like a novel about some guy playing a video game, where the most risk he takes is he has to start from zero again, which for Chinese people apparently is worth committing suicide over.

3). The MC makes free choices. In this novel, he thinks through problems, instead of plowing through it with OP disposition all the way. He makes choices. Freely. He's not following some pre-destined path like most other CN novel MC's, but rather deciding himself as he goes. Sometimes he makes the wrong choices. When he does, bad things happen, and people around him die. There is a sense of crisis, in which the plot armor only protects him so far, in this novel.

4). The element of figurative face-slapping as main plotline is absent. This most annoying element of most CN novels is decidedly absent here. The novel has an actual plot overarc, with mini-arcs along the way, and there's enough tension and danger, so there's no repetitive Chinese-style figurative face-slapping. In fact, the phrase "YOU'RE COURTING DEATH!" or something like it appears very, very infrequently.

5). Worldbuilding in this novel is very strong.

6). The plot moves. There's not much fillers between the stories.

7). MC does not have continuously miraculous luck. He doesn't power-up like most CN novel characters, where he finds good fortune whenever he turns his head. The good fortune he has happens infrequently, and they could as well have been claimed by other people, if not for his observational and thinking abilities.

8). The MC is not perfect. He has fears and worries. He's not some all-powerful xuanhuan character that can overturn mountains and drain oceans. In fact, the best thing about this novel is that the MC is not all that exceptional. When he wins, you'll get to see that he actually put in some effort. Nothing comes easy to him, and victory is always a result of strategic thinking and a courage under fire. And like real life, he doesn't always win.

Having said that, I also understand that this isn't the kind of novel that would appeal to everyone. I've noticed that this isn't a very highly-rated novel, on this site. Understandably so.

To fully appreciate this novel, you'll need to command a certain degree of intelligence and emotional maturity. If you are a 12-to-14-year-old boy, you'll think the novel is to slow and is too 'talkie.' This novel is more a dramatic adventure than an action piece. It's deep, introspective and sometimes philosophical. This is the anti-CN-novel of all the CN novels.

The MC's journey down the rabbit hole is not a freefall. He has to slow down at some point, and speed up at others. The mystery unfolds one layer at a time, and in fact, every 100 chapters or so, you'll discover that what you believe you know about the rabbit hole is wrong, and with another revelation you find that the hole is something else, entirely.

If you want something 'different, ' read the first 100 chapters of this novel in one sitting. If you like the first 100, the rest will blow your mind. If not, I recommend you read something called "Tranxending Vision, " since you'll likely find that novel life-changing.

Just a side note, but this has to be the crown jewel in the author's body of work. Most of his other novels are decidedly mediocre with a serious tilt towards utter crap. If you're trying to gauge the novel by who wrote it, don't. I assure you, this is very different than his other novels.

Enjoy! <<less
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ieatp-ssy
ieatp-ssy rated it
Terror Infinity
January 1, 2018
Status: v19c10
I have a certain fondness for this web-novel, which I will have to explain up-front. This is my first contemporary -- as in non-xuanhuan CN web-novel -- that I have ever read, so I imagine that the nostalgia will remain long after the actual serialisation itself actually ends.

NovelUpdates wants us to review the content of the novel itself, and not the actual translation work. I've always felt that this is very unfair, since we're all reading the English translation of these novels, and not the original kanji text itself, as... more>> reflected by the fact that this very site itself is published in English. Plus, a few years into reading these (mostly unofficial) translations of web-novels, I've realised one very crucial point: sometimes a mediocre story translated well could be more enjoyable to read than a better story translated poorly.

I can tell you that a0132 is one of the most dedicated translators out there, with a very consistent pace of work and output quality. He (or she, quite possibly) makes this story, which is just a tick over mediocre, interesting to read.

The story of a man thrown into a horror movie to 'survive' and power-up is interesting, but to be honest, some of the movies he's thrown into isn't even all that scary, and after a few movies, it gets plain-old repetitive, and has little pay-off. The supporting characters are archetypal, more like anime characters, rather than novel characters, but they serve a purpose, so we go along with it.

Fair warning goes that the plot has more holes in it than roads in donwtown Los Angeles. The emphasis here is in the action, and what the author perhaps intended to be 'suspense, ' but there's more advancement in the power-level crawl than in the actual plot. In fact, I strongly suspect that the author knows what his nom de plume hints at, in English, hence the letter 'y' at the end of it, rather than without. A bit of naughty intent, perhaps, but one that he's dangerously close to living up to.

Having said that, I have a certain fondness for this story, and immense gratitude to a0132, for bringing me my first read in this genre. I have read better, but suspect that this is the one that will remain unforgettable long after I've forgotten those others. <<less
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ieatp-ssy
ieatp-ssy rated it
The City of Terror
November 24, 2018
Status: c180
NovelUpdates doesn't allow fractions (of the stars) in ratings, but let me say that my ratings would have otherwise been about 3.8-stars for this novel. Definitely not enough to be a 4-star novel, but very strong on the 3-star side.

Premise of the story is simple. Man wakes up in an 'alternate world, ' that appears post-apocalyptic, with a computer game-panel in his head, numeralising his combat capabilities. He goes off, and fights monsters. From here on out, everything is predictably what you think it would be.

But, there's a few hooks,... more>> and in these hooks like the interesting strength of this novel:

  1. The MC is a grown-up. Not some kid. He has the perspective of an adult, unless the matter at hand is women, in which case he's as pure and untainted as a 3-year-old. Hey, this is a Chinese novel, after all.
  2. He's not 'stuck' in the post-apocalyptic world. At some point, he goes unconscious, and wakes up in the real world, and he does things in real life again. He goes in and out of the post-apocalyptic world.
  3. As the story unfolds, you'll notice that the things happening in the real world affects the other world, and vice-versa. As of chapter 180, the correlation isn't explained, yet, so this could turn out to be unexpectedly brilliant plot twist, in the future, or it'll fall flat like in most other CN novels, and the clever spark of an idea is going to be totally wasted.
I'm reading the English translation of this novel, whereupon the translator had attached a reader's note, on the very top of the 1st chapter, advising that you should read up to chapter 10, before giving up. I second that advice.

So far, this has turned out to be an action-filled novel when he's in the post-apocalyptic world, but manages to stay exciting and not totally dumb, when he's in the real world. It's definitely worth a read, and I'm really, really, really hoping this thing doesn't jump the shark, any time soon.

Enjoy! <<less
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ieatp-ssy
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Monster Paradise
September 25, 2018
Status: c209
To make it short: this is obviously a Sinicized version of the anime Hunter x Hunter, minus the yaoi shota undercurrent of the original.

THE GOOD:

When the action is on, it's usually fairly good, but then there's the slow-moving parts in-between.

... more>> There is no noticeable overarc of story, and I don't think there's an end-game to this LN, at least by chapter 209.

No overarc in the story means you can stop reading anywhere, pick it up again in a month, and miss nothing.

As light novel, it works OK. Not an outstanding reading material, but it doesn't suck, either. If you like Hunter x Hunter, you'll dig this stuff.

THE BAD:

I don't know where the story is going. It reads like random events being strung together with no particular aim, which suits the pre-teens with ADHD readership demographics perfectly.

Characters are two-dimensional. By chapter 209, there's no depth to any of them, even to the MC. Despite the base material being Hunter x Hunter, the creative worldbuilding and depths of character is sorely missing, here.

If you're not a pre-ten with ADHD, you may not want to read all that much of this.

BASICALLY, this is more 'light' than 'novel, ' but if you want something to read to pass the time, you can do a lot worse. Just temper your expectations accordingly.

Enjoy! <<less
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Crazy Detective
May 4, 2019
Status: c240
The story started with a simple premise, a death-row inmate, a career gangster, following his execution, was 'reborn' into a cop with same name, in the same timeline. He adjusts to life being a cop, but using methods a gangster might use. Much like all other present-day-themed CN novels, this one also has a cheat-device, though in this case, the device is a 'quiet' one that basically is a taoism-based fortune-telling machine, that issues enigmatic riddles similar to 'daily horoscope' for the MC, and occasionally grants magical devices that would... more>> help the cop in solving crimes.

Sounds stupid, right? I thought so, too.

Despite the stupid premise, the truth is that a story with an MC who's a cop, and an investigator, at that, will hang on the cases he handles. Are they good or dumb? Do they make sense? Are they full of plot-holes?

The first case was flimsy, at best, but then the second case came on, and it got better. And then the third, and then the fourth, and it gets better, and better, and better. I won't say they're devoid of plot-holes, but they're not quite all that obvious. They're entertaining, and complicated enough to invoke the reader's imagination, but not so convoluted they are difficult to understand. By chapter 240, or so, I'm hooked. And hooking me is not easy. The cases strike that happy-medium, where it isn't quite Agatha Christie, but much cleverer than what most others pass as 'mysteries' in most novels.

If you like murder mysteries and such, you'll love this novel! If you're hoping for a vapid comedy, you may be disappointed.

And here's the one potential drawback of this novel: I am reading the English translation of this novel published by the international arm of Qidian. Much like all the other novels they translate, the work is done on-the-cheap. I find a lot of things, and including most of the jokes, in fact, are lost-in-translation. The actual translation work is quite good, but clearly done with an emphasis on speed, rather than a professional style. The translator used words like 'inculcate, ' which is SAT-level, but then he/she/they translated 'gurney' as 'pushcart.' The word gurney is indeed an American one, and in English the word is pram, but 'pushcart?' And yes, technically, a gurney is a form of pushcart, but it's so very, very specific kind of pushcart. Ugh! Instinct tells me that 'inculcate' came from Google Translate, since it would explain everything, but I may be wrong.

And that, unfortunately, is the one thing that's a little disappointing. This novel is full of specific terminologies on forensics, criminology, some law, weapons, etc., much like any other detective novels. These terminologies are translated by someone with an obviously limited vocabulary, who obviously doesn't always have the time to Google some words.

This is another 'hidden gem' in Qidian's library, so far. Professionally translated and edited, this may be a hit novel on print that people may actually pay for. I would. <<less
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ieatp-ssy
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God and Devil World
December 9, 2018
Status: c718
If you're looking for a mind-numbing action novel, here's one for you. The action is incessant, there's not a lot of detailed worldbuilding, and not a lot of complicated plotlines to interfere with your enjoyment of blood and gore. I won't give you a synopsis here, other than to say that this is about zombie apocalypse, with a video-game element twist.

Each chapter is fairly long, which is nice, though really they should be called 'segment' rather than chapters, since they mark a certain number of characters, rather than the completion... more>> of a mini-arc in the story.

Now, on to the problems. Please note, none of the following should in any way interrupt your enjoyment, if you like this novel after getting to chapter 50:

  1. The plotlines eventually gets repetitive. He goes into a territory. He conquers. He rules. He gets into a battle with a mutant beast, and carried/flown/swum to another territory, and then the cycle begins again. Rinse, repeat. Again, and again, and again. And no, this doesn't qualify as a spoiler.
  2. This novel really exemplifies the Chinese national inferiority complex. The writer always constantly writes how other nationalities (e.g. White people, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, and basically anybody non-Chinese) discriminates against the Chinese. This theme is beaten to death endlessly: Chinese = good, Foreigners = bad. I don't know if there is a Chinese word for 'irony, ' but if there is, this is the one writer that never heard of it. Someone needs to tell this writer, that maybe it's not the whole world that's racist, maybe it's just him. On a side note, I get this mental image that the translators are cringing all the way whilst translating this thing, and that's funny (to me, at least). Bet they didn't know where this thing was headed, when they first picked up this title to translate.
  3. For all the inclusion of foreigners in this story, and also foreign locations, I don't think the writer has ever left China. The historical facts he uses to support the above-mentioned racism is not exactly inaccurate, but the depiction is coloured with so much of the old Chinese propaganda that it bore no semblance to any conceivable reality, not that this novel is 'realistic, ' in any way.
  4. There is a strong harem and paedophilia streak in it. The story refers to it as 'lolicon, ' but this story goes beyond lolicon, and straight-up into paedo territory. One loli-type in the story can be considered fan service, but he keeps finding these little girls who come on to him that I'm beginning to honestly pray this writer doesn't live within a certain distance of an elementary or junior-high school.
  5. Did I mention the plotlines are as flimsy as water and as cohesive as day-old congee?
The conclusion: read for a mindless blood and gore. The translation work I'm reading is fairly decent, and if you drop the story, and come back to it a few weeks later, you wouldn't have missed any plot details. I would have rated this 2.8 stars, if fractions are allowed. Emphasis on 'mindless.'

Extra points go to the English language translators, who actually stuck with it, and is regularly productive. Since I'm reading the English translation, and not the original text, this is worth mentioning.

Enjoy! <<less
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ieatp-ssy
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Unrivaled Tang Sect
November 7, 2018
Status: c324
I'm going to assume that whomever reads this has also read Douluo Dalu.

This sequel is set 10, 000 years into the future of the original DD, and many things have changed. It seems a great deal of attention is put into making this more of a story-inspired-by than direct-sequel-of DD. And the author throws a lot of things into this sequel:

There is technology, mecha, mystical spellcasting, military affairs, royal power struggles, and brief flashes of paedophilia. It has everything. The one thing it doesn't have is a cross-dimensional rebirth.

Yes, you... more>> read that right.

There is one chapter that apparently had been removed (self-censored, perhaps?) from the original text, and in it, there's a chapter-long description of paedo event. It's the grown woman vs. 12 year old boy type, and it struck me as being odd that this chapter was totally removed -- to mean not even re-written or retconned -- but then subsequent chapters about the MC, Huo Yuhao, a Chinese-ish character, sent into a foreign nation to steal their industrial and military technology, doesn't get censored. One would think considering the country of publication, this issue hits a little close to home, and someone would want to... ahem... not draw attention to it.

Also, the original DD covered a timeline between childhood and full-on adulthood, and moves quickly across that time range. The sequel seems to be focused mostly during adolescent teen years. Halfway through it, the MC is still basically a teenager.

And, as is usual with most CN webnovels, the girls and women in the story aren't given much to do, other than be arm candy and occasionally bursting out to win inconsequential battles.

The plotlines in this story, at least to ch. 324, seems to be revolving around mostly the school years and multiple gladiator-styled competitions.

My guess is that if you like the original DD, you're likely to equally enjoy this, if you don't mind it being a little 'busy.' Personally, I believe the best way to enjoy this story is by not having read the original DD first.

Enjoy! <<less
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The Sacred Ruins
October 15, 2018
Status: c410
I have to admit I'm a sucker for a post-apocalyptic sort of story. And this one does start out precisely like that.

And then it devolves into the typical CN-novel super-acute good fortune heaped on one person, which is then the typical trope for every other Qidian-published novels. But, seeing how I started reading, I continued. And then, the story evolved again, into something not-quite-excellent, but much better than what initially met the eye.

The plot is simple: earth is going through an apocalyptic event, where animals evolve, and some humans, too.... more>> Our MC gets a stroke of initial good luck, and more and more are heaped unto him, in this new world. If I tell you any more than that, it would ruin the story. Go with me, here.

And now, the review:

First, this is a novel with a comedic tone, and heavily influenced by Japanese anime, meaning some of the jokes don't translate well into English, and the ones that do are less ROFL and more chuckle-chuckle, here and there. On the other hand, the version I'm reading is the cheaply-translated version on Qidian International, so it could just be due to the bad translation.

Second, if you commit to reading to chapter 400, or so, you'll get a pleasant surprise. The initial bit of good luck our MC found randomly on a mountain that felt like super contrived on the initial read has more meaning. As it turned out, as history (of the story, itself) is unveiled, there is a reason that bit of good luck is located there, and not totally random.

In fact, I can tell you that everything in the first 200 chapters that will feel totally random and contrived happening to the MC will make more sense, later on. Even side characters that are contrived makes sense once you get to chapter 400, or so.

My advice is not to read this if you're hungry for comedy, as comedy is an art, and no work of comedy translated in a linear fashion will read as being that funny, to you. But, if you're easily satisfied with a few chuckles here and there, and enjoy a good -- but light -- adventure story, this might be for you. Despite the usual graphic violence of CN webnovels, this one feels like it's aimed to younger audiences. More the One Piece and Fairy Tail set, rather than the more cerebral FLCL kind of humour.

It's good for a light read. It's worth more than 3 stars, but less than 4. Unfortunately, novelupdates doesn't allow partial stars ratings from individuals, or this novel would be a solid 3.5 from me.

Enjoy! <<less
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ieatp-ssy
ieatp-ssy rated it
Apocalypse Rebirth: Chief, Don’t Move!
May 14, 2019
Status: c1128
All you need to know about the premise is: MC died a year into the zombie apocalypse, and all of a sudden was reborn into a younger self, from a year before, hours before the apocalypse hit. Sound familiar? Here's the hook: MC is a woman.

From then on, the story develops into a weird-but-not-bad hybrid of apocalyptic action and soap opera. I don't know whether the author is a man or woman, but this novel tries to combine the plotlines most often seen in shoujo novels with action/horror genre. Does... more>> it work? Not always. But it works more often that it doesn't, and so I'm giving this one four stars, for actually trying something different with the genre, and not skimping on both elements that make up the hybrid.

If and when you take up reading this novel, and if you're expecting a typical zombie-era novel, I have to warn that you may find the soap-opera plot twists distracting. At that point, you may think of dropping the novel.

Don't.

It gets better.

Without spoiling the story, all of the melodrama actually leads to the conclusion of the first arc, which is a tragedy. Without the melodrama, the tragedy doesn't make sense. This happens at around segment 1, 000 -- which may sound bad, if it weren't for the fact that the segments are really short. They're only about a quarter of what most CN webnovel segments are.

After the end of the first arc, the second arc begins, in which I am really, really hoping would be the John Wick-esque arc. When I get to it, I'll let you know if it works.

In the mean time, this is one of the first novel with a female MC that's written counterintuitively to all other female MC's. This one isn't vapid, weepy, fickle or tsundere. She's got actual responsibilities on her shoulders, and is focused on them. In fact, a lot of the drama happens around the supporting characters, which are more typically-written. The 'good' women are absolutely pure and adorable, and the 'bad' ones are absolutely vile. Shoujo novel-style.

To be honest, I don't really understand why Qidian Int'l translates some of the god-awful stories they have on their English site, but neglects this one. Some, if not most, are vastly inferior to this novel. Another thing that may be a plus, is that it's a fairly short story (based on word count).

I encourage you to try it. <<less
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ieatp-ssy
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The Earth is Online
January 19, 2019
Status: c58
I started reading this novel coincidentally, having found there's enough chapter of it to start. I never really read the tags on the left of the page, before start reading the story, so it isn't until later that I found out this is a yaoi story. I think most people who reviewed this story are so far focused on the yaoi element, and there aren't a lot of them around, so they inflate their reviews of it, because I see lots of 5-star reviews. I'll do something different and review... more>> it from the viewpoint of someone not necessarily a fan of yaoi.

The set-up is simple: librarian was minding his own business when an alien entity throws the entire world into some kind of a game. One doesn't live in the game, but instead come in and out at certain intervals. It's very reminiscent of 'No Game, No Life, ' which I believe this thing is based on.

The sense of peril and suspense is upped, in this novel, since the MC doesn't face risks of death only in the game, but also in real life. And to make it more interesting, the dangers in game and in life are different. In the game, one loses one's life mostly by losing the game, which themselves are less action-y and more cerebral. In-game, the novel reads more like a puzzle-solving and riddles sort. In life, the problems are more action-like, such as being attacked, maimed or killed by other people.

I haven't read many novels in this genre, so I don't know how original the puzzles are, in this one, and there's also obviously things lost in translation, along the way, obviously. But for me, they're good enough. They're interesting enough, and although they sometimes feel contrived, trying to be cleverer than they actually are, there is enough smarts here to make you go, 'oh, yeah, should've thought of that, ' when the puzzle is revealed.

The chapters are long and content-filled. Action moves fast, and there isn't very much filler, so far. Up to ch. 58, it feels like I'm reading plenty of content, whereas with some novels, you could have read 300 chapters, and not feel like you've gone very far, at all.

So far, I haven't read anything overtly yaoi, in this novel. The MC has self-identified as being openly gay, and there is a love interest being put in front of us, but they haven't done anything that would otherwise make the story a yaoi story. It won't bother me if it becomes more overt in the story, but at this point, I think it may be more of a distraction from the plot itself, which is quite good. Maybe more than 'quite good, ' but not quite 'excellent, ' either.

I'll keep on reading, and if you're looking for an interesting read, I recommend this novel, even if you're not looking specifically for yaoi. It's worth reading. <<less
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Martial Peak
January 12, 2019
Status: c525
I originally rated this novel with 3 stars. I was wrong. It's worth 4 stars.

When you first read the story, it plays out more like a wuxia than xuanhuan. But it was interesting enough and was worth reading. It's not until chapter 500 or so, that you get more of an outlook of where the novel is heading.

I won't bother you with a synopsis. In fact, I can tell you that you'll enjoy the story more if you don't bother reading the synopsis online, or ones in any reviews here.... more>> But, I can tell you a few things.

First of all, the storylines weaves and turned in far less predictable directions than most other novels of the genre. Most xuanhuan stories works on the same formula, and by the 100th chapter, you pretty much know where it's going, and how it's going to go there. Not in this one.

Most of these start in a remote corner of a remote region in a remote small kingdom on a remote part of a remote continent, and with an MC who starts out disadvantaged, but then found the cheat widget, and then goes into the power-crawl, as he nears the centre of the cultivation geography.

In this novel, it's a little different. He's disadvantaged, and in a small sect, but he's not exactly a nobody. From the earliest chapters of the story, there are allusions to his backstory carrying a secret, and the story quickly fulfills on that promise. Can't tell you any more, as that would be a bad spoiler.

Our MC makes choices and moves that feel more organic than most CN novels, and the character itself feels more contemporary and more realistic than most other novels' MC's. He's not just strong, but is smart, and uses his brains equally. The story is written in a way that feels like he's making choices that are based on free will, rather than as plotline-based destiny.

Now, don't get me wrong. Some of the tropes of the xuanhuan genre is still there, they're just less stereotypical. Even the storage device used by the MC is different.

If you get to ch. 500, you'll realise that thus far, you're reading basically a wuxia novel, and only after this point does it opens up into xuanhuan. This is similar to War Sovereign, where the mortal arc of the story is longer and better-developed.

I fully understand, that when you read a story tagged with 'xuanhuan, ' you are expecting the same-o, same-o, with a predictably simple outline, and for those readers, this one will disappoint. If you're interested in seeing an author actually attempting to set himself apart from the fray, and makes the honest attempt to take the path less trodden, this might be for you.

Enjoy! <<less
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ieatp-ssy
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Fishing the Myriad Heavens
November 11, 2018
Status: c455
This is one of those stories that deserve more than 3 stars, but not enough for 4.

It starts out with a young man living in present-day China, who accidentally discovered a magic fishing rod and magic well, where he's living, and if he fished in the well, the hook goes into some kind of a dimensional rift, and fishes out otherworldly things, to bring into this one. This is the story's hook, and its gist, basically. The fishing rod also comes with a supernatural 'computer, ' that tells him what... more>> it is he fished out, and its rating of it.

Using these 'resources, ' he cultivates, and crawls forward, as per usual. Also as per usual, every time he fishes something out of the well, it just happens to be something that's perfectly ideal for him, at that time. The luck of a Chinese LN's MC is with him, all the time.

As you can imagine, initially this gets repetitive and the story turns boring. In fact, it went so bad that when he fishes, and the story goes into great detail of the world his hook goes into, and the runs into a 6-story arc just to describe what it is that his hook fished out -- appropriate for a writer getting paid by the word -- I just lose it, and start skipping the 6 chapters, and get to the point where the hook comes out of the water, and the system describes what it is he got.

If you, as a reader, can endure the slog to about chapter 420 or so, there is a glimmering hope that this isn't just a stupid, monotonous story about magical fishing. There is actually character growth, though heavily disguised in irrelevant side-stories, unfinished mini-arcs that went abandoned, and inconsequential characters introduced to one effect or another that then disappear.

At chapter 420 or so, it begins to open the universe of the story a little bit, and gives you a glimmer that there may be a bigger story-universe to explore, relating to parallel worlds, higher realms, etc. I don't think this is a spoiler, since the fishing well introduced in the first 10 chapters already tells you there is a multiverse. It's not until chapters 400-something, that this is truly explored, as a viable option where the story may expand. At this point, there is a possibility that the present-day China is this story's version of the small village in a small kingdom at the outskirts of a small continent in a typical xuanhuan story.

I don't know where the story goes after chapter 455, but for the moment, it is quite promising. If this is a novel written for print, a smart editor would have edited down the first 400 chapters to about 80, but this is web publishing where the publisher makes money by-the-chapter, so yeah...

So if you can endure, this is not a bad story to read. It certainly has a distinct added-value compared to the other same-o, same-o. I would very much encourage to read. <<less
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