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insteadofdeath
insteadofdeath rated it
Legend of Fu Yao
August 31, 2017
Status: v1c33
One of my current favorites.

First of all, the translation is exquisite. The original Chinese must be absolutely beautiful if the exquisite descriptions in English represent even 10% of the original language. The sentences flow smoothly; the imagery is vivid; the action jumps right off the page. This is probably the only novel on NU I would recommend for the prose alone.

Second. The story. The story! On its surface this is a story built out of cliches: A woman transmigrates. She meets hot men. There are shenanigans, scheming white lotus females,... more>> and plenty of politics and intrigues. Yet the author manages to take all these cliches and turn them into something amazing. The protagonist, Meng Fuyao, manages to fall into a string of ridiculous situations, each more hilarious than the last like a comedy of errors. She jumps out of the frying pan, into the fire, and then right under the butcher's knife. Each escape is narrow, unexpected, and probably funny as hell.

She is surrounded by a cast of refreshingly distinct, unique characters, each of which have their own personality and motivations. The plot starts out slow, but once it gets rolling, it just keeps going and going and going. It took me some re-reading to keep track of the cast and plot, but I mean that in a good way: The story manages to be straightforward and complex somehow at the same time. You don't need to re-read in order to appreciate its depth, but you will absolutely be rewarded if you do.

Overall, I highly, highly recommend this novel. It's an absolute gem. <<less
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insteadofdeath
insteadofdeath rated it
Doomed to be Cannon Fodder
June 6, 2017
Status: c47
A good, light read. The novel is about a landscape gardener who ends up in the body of Bai Xiangxiu, who is (as the title implies) a cannon fodder in a web novel. Luckily, this is a story that doesn't take itself too seriously--the heroine transmigrates by pricking herself on a cactus; faints frequently; and can't help but think of the people around her as their roles ("male lead" instead of Long Heng, for example).

I really like the heroine. She's smart but emotionally dumb. The distance between who she actually... more>> is and how others view her is hilarious. Her plans always go awry. The plot is entertaining and the situations she lands herself in are ridiculous.

(Of course, the real star of the show is Huo'er, the talking cactus.)

The characters' low EQ can get very frustrating, but that's really my only hang-up about this novel. Otherwise, it's fun, the translations are updated frequently, and the characters are pretty distinct from each other. <<less
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insteadofdeath
I haven't enjoyed a couple like this in a long time, and it's mainly because, individually, the male and female leads are both frankly annoying, hot-headed, selfish, and emotional cowards with communication issues. And yet together they are perfect. They might argue all the time, but it was obvious how devoted they were to each other. I was sad we didn't see more of their happy-ever-after.

The plot is a little weak, but the relationship between Chu Kong and Xiao Xiang Zi more than makes up for it. Their interactions are... more>> at times ridiculous, at times laugh out loud funny, and once in a while so touching I was moved to tears.

Also features probably the funniest depiction of the underworld (and the heavenly emperor) that I've seen so far. <<less
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insteadofdeath
insteadofdeath
Chu Wang Fei
June 6, 2017
Status: c100
This is a good read if you like political squabbling (between women and on the battlefield), verbal ass kicking, and a smart heroine. It's satisfyingly long, the male lead is great (but OP), and the other male leads are similarly swoon-worthy.

Unfortunately, at least for me, the story falls flat because it requires so much suspension of disbelief. The heroine seems omniscient rather than scheming and black-bellied, and when she spars verbally with other characters the back-and-forth is far too sided in her favor - her victories just don't feel earned... more>> to me. And, as with many novels of this type, the villains' personalities are 2D and copy paste - they're jealous, they hate the heroine, and they're two-faced. It gets tiring.

For me it's a good read if I have nothing else to do, but if you like these sort of novels I absolutely recommend you give it a try. <<less
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insteadofdeath
insteadofdeath rated it
The Villainous Lady Aims to Overthrow the Heroine
July 30, 2017
Status: short story part4
Short, but cute. It's a sweet, light hearted read. It's definitely an interesting take on the noble villainess trope!
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insteadofdeath
insteadofdeath rated it
Sharing Rain and Dew
June 6, 2017
Status: c8
A short, but adorable story. You probably need to read it twice to really get it. I feel like it could have been a biiiit longer but it has just enough detail for the story to make sense and the ending is very satisfying. The extras range from cute to downright sad.
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insteadofdeath
insteadofdeath rated it
15P 7H 6SM
August 26, 2017
Status: c28
This really deserves a higher rating. It's not the most thought provoking or epic story, but it accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do: Deliver a story so sweet reading it gives you cavities!

There is just enough angst at the start to contrast against the absolute fluff later on. If you need a pick-me-up or a break from melodramatic romance, or even just enjoy sweeter stories, this story is perfect for you.
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insteadofdeath
insteadofdeath rated it
Ballad of the Desert
July 30, 2017
Status: epilogue
Edged into melodrama territory a bit too often for my liking, but overall a definite 5-star read: No matter my criticisms, at the end of the day, I laughed, I cried, my heart was touched, and I was rooting for the protagonist the whole way.

I would classify the ending as an ME... neither sad, nor happy, but the resolution is satisfying.

This is probably my favorite work of Tong Hua. It's epic, the plot twists and turns, and all the characters have their own motivations and reasons behind their actions. There... more>> are no 2D villains here. The main character is smart and capable; the male leads are each attractive in their own way; and the setting is rich (and made richer if you're familiar with the background). Would definitely recommend reading this... but if you do, block up a nice chunk of time and make sure you don't have work or school the next day, because once you pick up this novel you won't put it down! <<less
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