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makenai89 rated it
Great Demon King
April 29, 2016
Status: c91
Reviewed at c91, rated 4.

With necromancy, skeletons, and various magic, Great Demon King feels more like a western fantasy than a chinese novel. It started off a bit iffy, but after we passed the intro, things began to develop nicely, be it the plot, characters, and world building. The MC too is relatively relatable as a young boy -immature thoughts that were tempered by situation, easily horny near his “darlings”, not necessarily gave in to pressure but neither he looked for trouble-. By chapter 90s, I’d say that it is... more>> a well-constructed novel, although we can’t say it is superb yet.

Nevertheless, there are downsides. The MC personality changes was somehow abrupt, though it didn’t go unexplained. Additionally, the plot was highly attributed to his fortuitous encounters -an over-reliance that might deter some people from reading this piece. Still, I’d like to advise people to read this novel at least 50 chapters first before giving it up. It’s not that good in the beginning, but it is definitely got better. It’s not for everyone, but you might like it. <<less
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makenai89 rated it
The Magus Era
March 28, 2016
Status: --
Reviewed at 70 chapters, rated 4.

Cruel stone age, ruthless genius, plus the power of nature made up this novel. Okay, well, the title was “The Magus Era”, and there’s plenty of interesting depictions of “magic”, but IMO, that was not what stood out here.

To begin with, the world setting was an ancient civilization where people sacrifice people in sacred ceremonies and enslave their enemies. Within that setting grew the unscrupulous MC who despite having the capability to restrain himself in front of his parents or in public, but was... more>> someone who kept grudge and won’t let off his enemies easily. Beside him, there’s few “human” characters that stood out except some annoying enemies, but there were stones, trees, crows... which I wish the author could elaborate further or at least give them a bit more screen time.

All in all, I think “The Magus Era” has great potential, worthy of at least 4 stars; though with the large amount of violence and cliche enemies’ characteristics, I’m a bit wary to give it 5 stars as of yet.

In regard to earlier reviewer comments about “no plot”, “contradicting” and “no sense”...I beg to differ. From the beginning till the latest chapter, there was clear plot and it was quite consistent. The MC character too was obviously set as genius, willful, and ruthless, though he didn’t always showcase it as he respected his parents very much and knew enough to act in accordance with circumstances. I suspect some of the prior reviews was written when the translation was still unedited, and if so, then that might be how it was. However, I read the translation after editors covered it, so I’d like to clear the air. Although there were some mess at earlier chapters, but they were cleared up in the later chapters. <<less
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makenai89 rated it
Tensei Oujo wa Kyou mo Hata o Tatakioru
February 27, 2016
Status: c39
Reviewed at 39 chapters, rated 5.

IMO, Tensei Oujo can be summed up in a sentence: reverse harem with awesome plot and world build.

It actually rather bothered me that the protagonist was surrounded by males only, and no other females her age there. Don’t princesses usually have noble girl companions? Maids? But... no, her childhood playmates was boys, and her closest companions was knights. It was so obviously reverse harem...

However, the protagonist was not the cliche spoiled princess nor a reincarnated person that only thinks ways to avoid her flags.... more>> She is a proper princess who understands what is noblesse oblige and works more on behalf of her country and for the good of the people around her. Half of it might be for her own sake, but she tried to do her best although she was just a ten years old child. It was so emotionally touching and thought provoking to see the things she did, and I found it hard to hate that. If anything, I wish she’ll continue to grow up to be a splendid princess in the future, conquer the hearts of the people, defeat evils, and so the heroine need not be summoned.

All in all, so far Tensei Oujo is a wonderful one. Although the author’s narrative and pacing was a bit lacking, it was not particularly bad. If anything, some people prefer less-detailed storytelling. Very recommended ^^ <<less
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makenai89 rated it
Shen Yin Wang Zuo
November 9, 2015
Status: --
Shen Yin Wan Zuo tells the story of mankind war against demons from the perspective of a child that has been granted extraordinary strength and fortitude to take key role in the said war. We follow his journey and development, how he used the materials he was given smartly and righteously, with plenty of supports from people around him, for the good of the mankind.

An opposite to Douluo Dalu, another work of Tang Jia San Shou that hints at cynicism against human and the world, Shen Yin Wan Zuo sticks... more>> with normative ethics. The MC is an ideal human being who is loyal, generous, diligent, filial, wise, etc. On one side, it made for a good story material. Furthermore, Tang Jia San Shou clearly excels at character and plot development among other xianxia writers. On the other hand, the MC perfection may nauseate us who have realized that the world is not some place where we can survive by being exceedingly kind. <<less
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makenai89 rated it
The Amber Sword
January 16, 2016
Status: --
Reviewed at 44 and rated 4 *I swear the triple 4 was just coincidence*

The Amber Sword offers a unique take on the “transported to a game” genre. I was actually quite surprised to know that it comes from qidian, because the setting, plot, and characterization seems like a j-novel written by someone heavily influenced by western fantasy stories. Nevertheless, it is a very interesting novel, and if you are someone looking for novel with unusual plot or plot with game elements, then this one might be a perfect choice.

The MC... more>> feels mature, and has a good strategic thinking. He is not looking for harem or to be the strongest either; up to the latest chapter, he was just looking for the best way to survive in the new world that is on the brink of calamity while ensuring key people to stay alive. As well, supporting characters here are not just empty vessels to drive the plot, but actually experience some development. An interesting piece, indeed.

Review edit after v2 c9, upped the rating to 5.
The author narrative was getting better and better. The battle scenes too. It can be interpreted as I personally like the second book than the first, but well, that's how it is. The POV exchanges also provided a much needed break in between, and was well-done. I'm increasingly loving this. <<less
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makenai89 rated it
Galactic Dark Net
May 17, 2016
Status: c78
Reviewed after c78, rated 5.

It might be subjective of me, but I consider this novel as having exceptional ideas and solid development. Just the beginning arc shocked me out: selling drug price indices! I studied economics for years and as a trader knows that people are willing to pay top price for whatever data, but I never thought that there's such a huge potential in the black market. What a ret*rd I am. Regardless of whether it is applicable or not in real life, that was a great idea.

In further... more>> chapter, the author again and again showed his innovative mind, especially with the twist on MC love interest. Although we are not yet arrived at the point where we can say that everything resolved satisfactorily, but that indicates well-thought plot and hooks.

However, I consider the narrative as a bit lacking. For a novel with "dark" on its title, its not dark enough for me. The ominous feeling was kind of reduced by the underlying comedic nuances and MC OP-ness; and there's nothing that offset it so far. The pace was just perfect, though.

Galactic Dark Net might be suitable to the taste of people who need to take a break from monotony and fans of superhero stories, but not exactly for people who will question every step, every detail. Fair warning: there were (minor?) matters that were brushed off by the author which we don't know the reason as of yet whether it was considered as having no significance to the main plot line or if future chapters will revisit it. In the style of superhero stories, the world construct was being told incrementally and people's motives tend to be hidden till the related arc nears/begins. <<less
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makenai89 rated it
Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi
April 7, 2016
Status: --
Reviewed at chapter 20, rated 5.

If you’re looking for NSFW story slash written porn slash ecchi with an actual plot, an MC that deserves to be called as MC, and solid narrative, then this is it. Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi is definitely first-ranked novel among its genre (please do note the phrase “among its genre”). Although, of course, you’ll have to be aware that these kind of stories are anti-feminist, vulgar, and the banality is often unbelievably crude.
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makenai89 rated it
Genius Sword Immortal
June 27, 2016
Status: c97
Reviewed after finished reading 97 chapters of proper translation and 1500 chapters of mtl.

Genius Sword Immortal tells the story of Ye Feng, an immortal cultivator who found himself in the body of a high school student and live in the middle of modern world. However, previously he was not a powerhouse, and even in the current world, he has to restart cultivation from the very beginning and scrounge for artifacts and elixirs to promote his own cultivation.... and his girlfriends', his family, his girlfriends' families, etc....

It shouldn't be surprising for... more>> those who have seen the novel's genre that it's a harem. A"pure harem" as some of you might say.

Within the earliest one-third of the story, what I thought was that the author perhaps gave the wrong title. Shouldn't it be "Genius Playboy Immortal" instead of "Genius Sword Immortal"!? But later developments were surprisingly refreshing and not at all boring nor controversial. Better yet, the Author managed to give proportionate attention to all of the girls in the harem, didn't let them disappear into nihility although Ye Feng left them for a long time in the course of his training to gain strength. A bit spoiler here: Who you see in the beginning, you'll see again in the end. In short, it contains "no-anguish" romance which only lacks extra chapters for fluffy moments.

However, the attention to romance doesn't mean GSI lost out on others factors, because it has awesome world construct, well-fleshed character and (although I don't understand much about the strength system due to mtl) sufficiently good plot. Of course, it's not perfect; there are dragged out arc and nonsensical MC decision as is commonly present in xianxia/xuanhuan novels. Nevertheless, in the end those weaknessess were not excessive to the point where the novel became distasteful. TL;DR, I'm liking it and will definitely still follow the proper translation. <<less
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makenai89 rated it
True Star
April 6, 2016
Status: --
Reviewed at 96, rated 5.

I personally dubbed “True Star” as harem, yaoi version. However, it was the good kind of harem due to the MC’s level-headed-ness and the novel’s interesting plot. Aside of it, there were rare premise, solid characters, and plenty hooks packed in this novel, made it stood out among its fellow yaoi and drama genre. Its showbiz setting was also narrated attractively as the background for the characters’ interaction. All in all, this is really a true star.
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makenai89 rated it
Chaotic Sword God
March 24, 2016
Status: c397
Reviewed at ch.397, rated 3.

Chaotic Sword God can be said as one of the most controversial Chinese novels in NU directory, for many reasons. There are shaky plots, cliche characters, plot armors, and so on. Read all the reviews here, and you'll get just how bad it is. I particularly dislike how the MC seemed to be easily diverted from his aim by anything that he meets on the way, how he seemed to be fishing troubles everywhere, also from the way the plot constructed in which he always gained... more>> something from his losses and use it to destroy his enemies. Once or twice is okay, but the repetitiveness of this story chafes reader’s enjoyment.

However, the world building and the author’s narrative was enthralling... probably. At least, those are the only things I can think of as the reasons why I’m hooked on it. It’s like drugs; you know it’s bad, but you want a dose of it anyway. I know some other (equally controversial) series that I’ve dropped and I’ll never pick again as their repetitiveness bored me. But CSG... well, my eyes are just always looking for the newest update... or if I managed to put it off for some time, then one day I’ll suddenly think, “What’s Jian Chen doing now?” and look at CSG again. <<less
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Netooku Otoko no Tanoshii Isekai Boueki (WN)
November 13, 2016
Status: c40
Reviewed at c40, rated 4.

Despite its business/economics tags above, Netooku Otoko up to c40 is just a light read about the days of an ex-NEET who gained an artifact that allowed him to go back-and-forth between two worlds. In the other world, the MC was a merchant with many supporting unique talents and he did do some trades between both worlds, but the story developed slowly as he was more a cliche safe-seeker than a creative risk-taker. Therefore, although we probably could expect more business and adventures to come in... more>> the future, it is wiser to take this novel with intention to "enjoy the ride" instead of "enjoy the thrill" or "enjoy the tricks".

The Author's narrative was not really good, but there were strategically placed hooks that may string you along if this novel is your kind of thing. TL DR; this novel is not for everyone, but some of you who prefer Japanese slice-of-life might find it interesting. <<less
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makenai89 rated it
Pursuit of the Truth
July 31, 2016
Status: c60
Reviewed at c60, rated 5.

Beseech The Devil tells the story of a boy with unknown background who grew up in a minor tribe. The tribe retained primitive customs like sacrificing animal bloods and bowing to mythical animals, but they also had a unique methods of cultivation. At first glance, the boy himself didn't have the physique needed to cultivate, thus although he was not treated badly in the tribe, no one actually expected him to be anything but ordinary. However, through some coincidences, later he was able to cultivate... behind... more>> his tribe's back.

The plot seems cliche, but the development so far is pretty solid. The characters are lively and relatable; they're not simply there to set MC stage. Disregarding the volatile quality of earlier translations, in my opinion Beseech The Devil is an above-par novel among xianxia/xuanhuan. Particularly if you are a fan of this genre, it is very suitable for your reading list.

Truthfully, the story is still laying its foundation now, so it might be too early to give it 5 stars. However, I've got really big expectation for its future chapters. <<less
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Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
May 31, 2016
Status: v16
Reviewed at v16, rated 5, although I probably will not be able to read it again as it's been licensed and there's next to zero chance it will be published in my country.

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei is one of rare Japanese light novels where the Author managed to create exceptionally strong characters and plot. Set in an alternate universe where magic-based technology rules the world, it offers surprising turn of events and unusual developments. Readers are brought along in a journey where we will experience the precarious positions in which... more>> the characters are in from time to time. There's also a good balance between romance, comedy, action, and sometimes poignant moments.

However, at some points, I feel that the plot was rather forced to showcase the MC's godly power and nonexistent emotion, to the point where we might question, "If the MC is going to out his strength in public anyway, why would he did so much to hid it in the first place?". In many juncture, he could have acted with more prudence and stayed as a low-profile hero, but he didn't. Still, I guess that things like these are what made Mahouka stands out, so... that's okay. <<less
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makenai89 rated it
A Slight Smile is Very Charming
May 15, 2016
Status: shan side story 5
I've actually finished reading this one a long time ago, around last year to be exact, and just realized now that I haven't written a review (how slow!). The first one I read was Lil' Bliss translation, and only far later I found Dreams of Jianghu's work when I was reading another novel there. Aside of the similar plot, both have drastically different flavor. Both are great and could be said as excellent representation of the original novel, but the nuances each one created were distinctively unique, which just goes... more>> to show how translator's insight and presentation might influence readers' perception toward translated novels. Overall, doesn't matter whose translation, this novel was one with undebatable 5+ star in my mind and had became the cornerstone by which I measured many other pop romance novels, so there's basically nothing I could say except "perfect". It started off with a "bang" and ended with a lot of fireworks. It had solid world construct (including the fictional game that I wish someone will make for real), solid plot, solid characters, irresistible hooks, and great narrative conveyed at just the right pace.

If there's weakness that might make people dislike this novel, then it's probably have something to do with the novel's readership target. Its sugary content were fairly high, so perhaps people who would prefer unsweetened novels might find much to be desired. Additionally, although the MC love interest's perfection is something desirable among shoujo/josei readers, some other people might find it hard to swallow that. <<less
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Only Sense Online (LN)
October 16, 2015
Status: v3 epilogue
A feel-good read and unusual VRMMORPG novel. The main protag aims to enjoy the game, and as the reader we will feel as if we are enjoying the game along with him. Slow paced and minimal conflict though, so it can be boring for some, quite similar to Desumachi.
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makenai89 rated it
When He Comes, Close Your Eyes
March 13, 2016
Status: --
Love Me If You Dare (When He Comes Close Your Eyes) began when JY, a soon-to-be graduates, freelanced for BJ, a young professor that often worked together to solve crimes with police and FBI. Who knew that something that was planned to end in a short time turned into a “lifelong agreement” between the two? But their love story had to thread a twisted path, as their works brought them to meet murderers and psychopaths.

It’s an awesome novel of romance-suspense genre. The characters, plot, pace, development, narrative, everything were great.... more>> Well, this is Ding Mo’s work, so need not say too much, just read and you’ll see how solid this novel is. You could even feel the author had done her research well. It definitely deserves a five star rating or more.

There are two things that stand out from this novel: the characters and the cases. Both are fascinating and uncommon. The male protag with high-IQ low EQ and the smart female protag combi was consistently developed with continuous ups-and-downs along their journey. You’ll be laughing funny at their antics, also confused and worried when they’re in danger; all in all, extremely relatable.

The only problem I’ve got is that... the cases in this novel brought back my trauma when reading an old manga titled “MPD Psycho” years ago. There were bloody tortures, mutilation on living persons... well, not all the gruesome details were written, and it’s certainly not as mind-bending as MPD Psycho, there were also funny, sweet and ‘sweaty’ moments, it’s actually well-balanced... but you’d better be warned. <<less
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The Nine Cauldrons
March 9, 2016
Status: v2c28
I’ve previously read this till v2 ch28 when the translation was done by Wuxia Translation, but just now decided to write this review to celebrate the fact that Gravity picked it up ^^

Among the translated I Eat Tomatoes’ novels, personally I like The Nine Cauldrons the most. Its plot armor is relatively thin, and there are plenty background explored, so we are able to gain better understanding about the MC character and circumstances. The things that happened on the plot was narrated properly as if they occured naturally or for... more>> certain reasons, not coming out of the blue just to make the MC overpowered, for wish fulfillment, or such. The pace is also quite satisfying and balanced. All in all, worthy of 5 stars rating.

I’m not sure how the story beyond v2 ch28 will go, but it’s clear that there’s huge potentials. <<less
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Romance of Dragons and Snakes
June 15, 2016
Status: c101
Romance of Dragons and Snakes presents the charms of wuxia in modern day setting. Following the martial journey of a high school student who was trained by a great master to be a great master, the depiction of martial arts in RDS are both whimsical and realistic. At some points, readers will even feel like they would be able to do the same training regiment that the MC do! (Please note that they're not exactly doable, so don't try them at home)

The Author's narrative was so good, he can... more>> even fluently draw the MC's changes from when he was an ordinary student till he started to become known as an expert, not only in behavior but also mentality. All in all, RDS is a very good novel and I see even more interesting development in the future if the Author didn't flop.

If there's weakness in RDS, it's probably info dump and (ehem) Chinese "nationalism". Info dump here happens often, at every arc so far (c100). There are many long-winded conversations and monologue regarding martial arts and its history (of course not a real history, but RDS version of it) which may bore some people, although they can also be a kind of charm that attract another group of people. While in regard of "nationalism", this novel is actually more moderate than some others, but... you should be aware that the author may unwittingly offend another country in its plot or narrative. <<less
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Ascendance of a Bookworm
July 12, 2016
Status: c22
Well, c22 is obviously nothing compared to the whole hundreds chapters of this novel that is still ongoing. However, I would like to express my initial impression here.

Ascendance of a Bookworm presents a very cute twist on the theme "reborn in another world". The twist here lies on the MC whose fanaticism towards books is like Yomiko Readman of Read Or Die, while having to live in a family that's too poor to afford books.

Generally, what other reviewers said about her self-centeredness and difficulty in realizing her family's circumstances were... more>> right. But I see it more like the MC being true to her character. After all, someone who is overly fanatic toward something often being illustrated as living in delusion and unable to fully understand the way the world actually works. Moreover, even though blind on some things, she has shown that she actually cared about them, in her own way. Many things that happened might have been exaggerated, but everything's in conjunction with the story's plot and premises, which I consider quite well-thought out and well-established. The one that stands out the most is still this novel's characterization, though. Not only the MC, supporting characters also fleshed out nicely while keeping its soft flows.

This novel might make you laugh and shake your head every now and then, but if you are looking for some depth and realism, you'd do better to look at other novels. <<less
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makenai89 rated it
Stealing The Heavens
August 9, 2016
Status: c53
Reviewed at c53, rated 5+

Stealing the Heavens is a really, really cool novel. The beginning shot off with a BIG BANG and continued with a lot of heart-pumping, mind-enthralling action scenes and battle of wits.

It started off from a sect of thieves in Indonesia and a large explosion in Macchu Picchu which sent our MC to an ancient world where barbarian lived and cultivators reigned. With quick wit and his knowledge of both worlds, he slowly gained foothold in order to be stronger so he could go back to... more>> modern day and take revenge for his teacher and friend.

There are balanced amount of blood and humor here, plus between brawls and brain, so I really like it so far. There's also some amount of domestic affairs (kingdom building? I hope so). I wish the translation goes forward soon... or else I'll probably have to MTL the raws, because the cliff (hangers) were so high.

If you are a fan of xianxia/xuanhuan but want something fresh with plot and characters that are not cliche, this novel is for you. There are minor plot holes and armors, but nothing significantly disturbing. Overall, it is still above-par for its genre. <<less
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