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sleepingjay
sleepingjay rated it
I Dare You To Run Away Again
April 9, 2018
Status: c13
Sometimes possessive characters are written well, sometimes they aren't. This novel is the latter case. First of all, ML fell for the MC way too quickly. He went from "oh he's interesting" to "i love him" in less than one night. Then, ML's actions are too overbearing and controlling. He "loves" MC but completely refuse to respect MC's boundaries and completely disregard MC's rejection as insignificant in face of his own "feelings". Their relationship doesn't feel like ML courting MC. Rather, it feels more like Stockholm Syndrome, but in this... more>> case ML is forcibly inserting himself into MC's life (home, daily life, etc). If MC doesn't obey, he becomes a "bandit" (as the novel lovingly describes him) and completely ignores MC to assert his own will over MC. If MC is obedient, ML spoils and pamper him.

Yet, the author seems to want to pass this "courting" off as romantic. MC, despite being straight and having his opinions completely disregarded when it's not in line with ML's, is starting to excuse ML's behavior. Author excuses ML behaving this way as a result of his military upbringing, etc.

Writing and translation is quite good. It's the premise that I can't stomach. Their relationship leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Love and respect should come hand in hand, but this story completely disregards "respect" and leaves me unable to believe in this "love" or any future "love" between MC and ML. <<less
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sleepingjay
sleepingjay rated it
Chongfei Manual
April 4, 2018
Status: c86.1
    1. Characters: MC and ML are both assholes. ML is a vindictive asshole. His character is the usual cliche, nothing new. MC is a "white lotus", pampered by everyone, and is immature, petty, vain, selfish and shallow. That's not to say she can't be likeable or charming, because she is. but many of her actions and behavior show that she is at heart a 16 year old girl (age she originally died), with all the immaturity of that age. There's no "I'm older than them and shouldn't bother"; MC is as petty and salty as they come, especially right after her death and rebirth. She also holds very obvious and sometimes unreasonable (to a modern readers' views) biases. however, I don't know if the author does it intentionally but the MC does mature a bit (a veeeery little bit)

      from when she's 6-8 to when sh'es 13. (from 90% immaturity to 50%, probably?
      Spoiler

      i mean, at 6 she was quick to write off some people (ex-fiancee and stepbrother, specifically) due to their past-life-adult-self's actions, but at 13 she seems to have realised that these people are not the same as they were in her past life.

      [collapse]
      )

      she cares for some people, and for these people she does try her best to help and support them. but for less important people
      Spoiler

      i.e. her poor ex-fiancee,

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      she sometimes hurt them without realising the depth of the wound, not even out of malice but simply because she doesn't care enough to be considerate (not sure if the

      author realises what an asshole the MC is, tbh). for enemies, she can be very vindictive and petty, especially if they've hurt people precious to her. personally, I find her character ironic because she perfectly fits the "white lotus" enemy archetype in C-novels, yet in here she is the MC. I do like how flawed the author makes the main characters.

      Other characters are decent. Author gives them a bit of depth, and they're better than most revenge C-novels in that they're not all cannon fodder copypaste of each other -- the author even writes some of the traditionally villainous characters to be quite sympathetic/complex (both pitiful and hateful at the same time). But some others are unfortunately sidelined despite their potential, e.g MC's twin brother that's only relegated as a siscon.

      fair warning: there are a lot of assholes in this story and occasionally you might want to stab someone. MC, ML, both of MC's parents (despite a half-hearted tragic backstory), etc.
    1. Plot: Mostly slice of life and romance with some sprinkling of revenge.

      Romance:

      It's actually very cute and fluffy. The MC and ML matches each other well. While the ML is a grade A iceberg asshole towards everybody else (and only marginally less of one towards his own sister), he is very sweet and pampering (and teasing) towards MC. MC is legitimately fiery and proud and doesn't take his BS quietly, so there's a lot of cute bantering as well. There's no abuse and he's not a controlling manipulative freak to her. However, he can be very pushy with his affections (see spoiler in paragraph below) and this sometimes get pretty iffy and treads the line of dubcon.

      Personally I only liked the fluffy interactions between them, because whenever the author wades into "deeper" territory, the romance plot becomes very trite.

      Spoiler

      e.g. when MC is trying to figure out whether she loves ML, she hems and haws f**king forever and "thinks about it". meanwhile ML continually pushes her boundaries (which is Not Cool, ffs. and you were doing so well too, ML). then something serious happens and MC realises she does love ML, but wait, she still need time to come to terms with this. she hems and haws a bit more, but is eventually forced to spill her feelings due to unforeseen circumstances. sounds familiar?? yeah, it's just the plot of every shoujo out there.

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      I feel that while the author tries to add some depth to the romance, it doesn't quite deliver. at most it's a very light dressing that keeps the fluffiness from getting stale.

      As for the age difference... It's a bit creepy yet not? This is a bit iffy because MC's mental age is the same as ML, and this is what attracted him in the first place, but her physical age does not match and ML is physically attracted to her.
      Spoiler

      When MC is a child (6 yrs old) their relationship is strictly sibling-like. From both MC and ML's perspective, so no creepiness there. Things get a bit iffy when she's 13 (and he's 22) because he starts to become s*xually attracted to her and as mentioned above he gets pushy with his affections. at worst it doesn't go beyond mild dubcon (forced kissing/hugging), but your mileage may vary.

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      As for love rivals... uh. They're pitiful. Very pitiful. They're 100% better off without the MC and/or ML, tbh. They don't deserve getting the backlash of the main romance. At least the main rivals, anyway. Some smaller rivals are highkey assholes too.

      Intrigue: uh, zero? MC gets her revenge well enough, but her original life was short and wasn't complex. so there isn't really a lot of people for her to take revenge on. the main bulk of her revenge was taken care of in the beginning, and though she still takes revenge throughout the story it feels more like small subplots that are quickly over. in addition, author's not that good at writing schemes. most of the schemes are very... childish, especially compared to other revenge novels. that, or they're cliche and doesn't break out of the mold.
At first I wasn't sure if this was my cup of tea, but after realising that MC is what in other novels the "white lotus" enemy that is pampered by all and take shameless advantage of it, I've come to like the novel, if a bit ironically. it's really amusing recognising the traits of the white lotus in our MC that are usually condemned in other novels. the novel is not a deep read and can be ridiculous sometimes but is entertaining nevertheless (or perhaps because of it). besides, the translation is excellent.

Edit: the novel after the first time skip becomes less ridiculous. I think it's because the MC has matured a bit so most of her actions/behaviour are less petty.

I'm giving it a 3-star because while the story is entertaining and I like how the author manages to write the main characters to be charming despite their flawed personalities, the story itself isn't too special. Plus, I feel like this novel's current high rating (4.7) is misleading. I'd say it should be around 4-4.5.
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sleepingjay
sleepingjay rated it
The Devil’s Origin
June 10, 2017
Status: c4
So far the story is very entertaining, due to its incredible wackiness. It's definitely not the usual plotline you see on NU, and both the writing and translation are pretty good.

... more>>
Spoiler

The MC is 100% confused, but he also has a spine, despite mostly going with the flow (forced to). The "system" that guides the MC is hilarious because of how merciless and blithe it is to the mc's confusion, though it does help the MC somewhat. The story development is too fast paced so far, but it's forgivable with how entertaining it is.

Warning for weird stuff such as shota, mpreg, laying eggs. It's also implied there will be bestiality in future chapters. It's not exactly a new kind of porn on the internet but definitely isnt the norm for NU.

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sleepingjay
This is amazing! MC reminds me of MC from To Be A Virtuous Wife. Her main priority is to keep her life and live as comfortably as possible. She's completely indifferent to the ML and considers him an employer, at most. But MC is really loving towards her family, servants, and her dog (ML). She's a really gentle and kind person, as seen from how she treats her dog like her own child, though she hides it under her tough exterior.

The story is from ML's POV. ML is the typical... more>> hatable scumbag emperor; he's a good emperor and is very intelligent in managing the country, but in the beginning/before the story starts he's a complete scum with how ruthless he is to his women. He used his other women including MC to balance power in the court (because he's an emperor and is paranoid) and to shield his actual favorite woman (the antagonist).

Spoiler

For one, to prevent MC's family from getting too powerful, he had been giving her birth control poison to prevent her from giving birth to an heir. He had been completely using her while pretending to favor her, though MC knowingly allows this to keep her and her family's life.

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It's really satisfying to see him getting his world view shaken (faceslapped, basically. This is a dream come true payback against this kind of emperor MLs lolol) as he lives as a dog. With truths getting revealed left and right (since no one guards against a dog), he even realized how he was too blindly trusting to some and over-paranoid to others. He gets humbler as time passes, and falls in love first with MC (meanwhile MC remains unbothered). <<less
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sleepingjay
sleepingjay rated it
The Good for Nothing Seventh Young Lady
April 1, 2018
Status: c603
Review up to ch95:

Honestly, I actually like the characters so far, and the story's not too bad. Cliche, but entertaining enough to pass the time. MC has the slightly apathetic and mischievous perspective of an unscrupulous thief, which is fun too. But I'm downgrading it to 3 stars, because... the author writes too many brainless things. Author uses different cliches and/or interesting ideas, but mashes them together without actually pausing and thinking, "Does this make sense?"

... more>>
Spoiler

e.g, the MC has to and wants to maintain a low profile in the academy. Hence she passes herself as a commoner. Except... then the author states that this section of the academy is one only the rich can pay for. And then focuses on how the MC steals off of these rich kids, lololol!

Meanwhile, this reader just want to say... author, aren't you focusing on the wrong thing here. Exactly how is this "commoner" low profile among these rich kids?! Has this "godly thief" MC ever heard of casing the situation/venue?? Where are her analytical skills?? For that matter, where are the author's analytical skills??

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There are several more instances where the author writes down cliche A and cliche B, without realising there's a big ass plothole in the middle of A and B. If you can grin through these facepalm moments, go on forth and read the story.

Besides that, the story's pretty entertaining. I like the MC so far, when she isn't being shoved into dumbassery by the cliches. None of the side characters has displayed much personality, but the supporting MLs show some potential. Slow story development though, but that's pretty typical of this trope. As of where I'm reading the story still hasn't branched off the typical trope, so potential readers you can skim at least up to ch95 without missing much.

Honestly, at this point I don't have much to say about the actual characters/story because... there's not much. It's the typical plot of this trope. Will update when I've read up to where the story actually shows uniqueness.

Update as of ch350:

The story does get more interesting when MC enters to the academy. The dynamic between MC and her friends is fun to read, and their friendship isn't instantaneous, so props for that. It took a while for them to gain actual trust for one another. Their camaraderie is cute.

Beyond that though, the author... continues to be disappointing. It's very clear by now that the MC is completely, brokenly OP. I do enjoy OP characters, but the MC progresses so fast and so ridiculously that it's boring.

Spoiler

e.g. MC despite never being interested in nor having experience in pharmacy and is only in the freshmen classes was able to defeat a Master Pharmacist. Granted it was in a task that she already has prior knowledge and practice of, but it's just... boring. also, if it was that easy to gain knowledge I as a college student really want to slap this broken MC. talent only goes so far, time is also a necessity. MC is "too talented" in basically everything and because of Plot Armour, no matter what she does, even if she makes mistakes they would turn out okay in the end! Comparing to Genius Doctor Black Belly Miss, Jun Wu Xie's progress and genius would be considered tame. In addition, the MC has never faced any serious setbacks or repercussions due to her actions. Even when she's found out as a thief/offends an authority, it turns out alright. Most of the time because of luck. AKA plot armour. That's how broken this MC is.

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speaking of which, the author's "villains" are all copypaste face slap cannon fodder. their reactions are exactly the same every time, and the outcome also the same. I love face slapping, but when every time the points ridiculed by the cannon fodder are the same i.e. "he's too lowkey, too ugly, too plain to be anything but worthless!!!" then I just want to beg the author to find some creativity, please. at this point I think the author is just lazy.

good points about this story, uh... the non-fodder characters are cute/entertaining? and the world has a pretty good setup. especially the cultivation, it'ss rather cool with the classes and all. I dont usually see game/western fantasy mechanics transferred over to xianxia.

update as of ch495:

she's... so... dumb.... author.... can you please stop making your MC so dumb/ignorant/careless while passing her as a genius..... sobs sometimes you can see a hint of savviness in the MC, but then it gets buried under an avalanche of cliches....

author, you did okay with GD:BMM, why can't you put at least half the effort from that novel into this novel....

update:

i just realised I forgot to comment on the romance. because, uh, what romance? we barely get glimpses of the ML lol. at least MC and ML has a good rapport and trust, though the depth of that trust requires some suspension of disbelief. seems like romance isn't going to come until around ch1000, from what others have said. but in the meantime, some other supporting MLs are cool/cute enough to satisfy.

update as of ch603:

....I can't believe I made it to the latest update.

So. Final judgement: MC is brokenly OP with lvl9999 Plot Armour, author tries to pass her off as a peerless genius but in reality due to cliches she's 50/50 stupid/smart. it's a pity that the author is so lazy with the writing this time, because otherwise the world setup and characters have a lot of potential. a good enough read if one wants to pass the time and likes this trope, as long as you can glaze over the moments of stupidity. <<less
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sleepingjay
It's a cliche but well-written misunderstanding story. MC is a proud and dignified noble girl but very pure and innocent inside. ML is handsome and slightly cold but is actually a dumbass (and yandere) in love. I liked both of them, though I also wanted to punch the ML in the face a few times for being a dumb teen (a f**kboy, to be exact).

... more>>
Spoiler

But inside the story he got told off with everything I wanted to say, so all is well. It was very satisfying. MC might be willing to let past misunderstandings be the past, but her family certainly won't until ML learns to not let this kind of situation develop again.

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The misunderstanding felt natural and since the story is short (4 ch), it wasn't stretched to ridiculous proportions. Both MC and ML had understandable reasons for their actions that worsened the situation. Although, some of ML's actions still made me want to punch him and tell him to man up and stop being a coward. What I liked however is that the author made it clear that MC's bias of knowing the otome game's ending is causing her to suspect the Prince where there is no reason to. As a reader, I could tell that ML is teasing her/is head over heels for her/is a goddamn pervert for her, but MC doesn't see it because of her bias (and because she's an innocent pure maiden, bless her).

The resolution to the misunderstanding was also satisfying. Aside from obtaining a clear explanation from ML and reconciling with him, she also obtained closure for that alternate future in the otome game. She knows now that even if this first love fails, it doesn't mean the end of the world. She's not alone and doesn't have to endure the suffering; she has her family, and she will eventually find another love.

Another thing I liked is how it's shown that the original otome game was too rose-colored and biased towards the protagonist and doesn't actually depict the reality of nobility. MC's "villainous" acts in the otome game is perfectly within reason (if slightly inelegant), while the original protagonist's actions breach etiquette x1000 over. It can be said that the original game was from the point of view of commoners, a fairy tale.

The reincarnation and yandere tag doesn't actually play much of a role. The former is only a plot device to prop the misunderstanding on MC's side and doesn't have any other effect on her (she does not gain another personality). The latter is basically casually thrown in by the author a few times.

In conclusion, while the story doesn't do anything new, it's quite well written. It's worth a read, especially since it's quite short anyway.

Edit: I did not like the additions after the main story. It kind of made it seem like ML didn't learn at all from previously and didn't take any decisive precautions. Also, her family turned from smart and supportive to brainlessly meddling. <<less
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sleepingjay
sleepingjay rated it
Superstar Aspirations
April 4, 2018
Status: c98
I can't say much because there's not much out yet. So far MC is cool, calm and collected. From what we can see of his past life, his personality is actually similar to the cliche aloof ML with incomparable power and status. In this new life however he is a newcomer actor. But he's not arrogant in either actions or thoughts, although he's still quite aloof (in thoughts. On the surface he's a warm-hearted friendly person, which is smart for a newbie). He's polite and considerate towards others (except his... more>> enemies i.e. Terrible relatives), very rational and hardworking in his job and climbing up to stardom.

ML is surprisingly cute. He's an aloof ML (what else is new) but he falls for MC pretty early (although he himself doesn't seem to realise it) and his actions in trying to get MC's attentions are very silly and clumsy, which is very funny to readers. There are times he tries to be high-handed. Try being the keyword, because MC is a whirlwind that very much goes at everything on his own pace.

What I really love about this novel is the stories within the story. The author actually puts a lot of thought when writing the movie/drama the MC act in. I actually look forward a lot to when MC acts because I want to see the story as well lol

Also, like the author's other supermodel novel this one also has plenty of social media. It's very cute and resembles real-world fandom, so I always enjoy it.

Edited (MTL up to ~ch98) :

I have to rectify my previous assessment of the characters. The translated chapters currently out (ch16) haven't yet fully portrayed the MC and ML. While MC has a very professional attitude (which led me to believe he is aloof) he's quite down-to-earth. He's that chill, laidback guy that calmly goes at his own pace. He's not extroverted but he's friendly and a great person to talk to -- that's the kind of vibe he gives. MC is kind of a workaholic, from his past life to now, but when he loosens up i.e. To ML!!!, he can be very mischievous and likes teasing him. It's adorable.

Speaking of which, ML is hands down one of the best MLs of danmei novels. He's head-over-heels for MC, but is so awkward in front of him that he ends up pulling some very, very ridiculous shenanigans just to be a little bit closer to him. Like making a fan account to support MC (ft. Getting into really, really dumb fights against antis; engaging in ship wars to support his own ship with MC, etc..) among other things. He's very ridiculous and lovable.

Spoiler

In fact, he's so "dumb cute" that his fangirl persona has her own fans that worry about "her" being taken advantage of when "she" starts posting about her love life.

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MC and ML fall in love slowly (confession at ~ch80), and I really appreciate that. While ML kind of fell in love at first sight, they first grew to become friends and grow out of their awkwardness with each other. There are some plot devices that are repeatedly brought up that really emphasize how their relationship has grown.

Spoiler

ML at first keeps using his mom as an excuse to check up/take care of MC. At first MC just accepted it because they didn't know each other well, but eventually he actually teased ML about this excuse, and ML finally admitted that he's doing things out of his own volition.

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Besides that, the world-building is brilliant. I like that the story touches on how the entertainment business works (PR, etc.) without going into "gritty" stuff, keeping it mostly lighthearted but realistic. As a kpop fan, I just kept going "yep, that's how things go". It's cool to read.

Also, major props to the author for paying proper attention to MC's movies/dramas. Author basically writes several short stories in this one story. And while they are short, the scenes that are fleshed out properly are very well-written. In fact, I just spent 2-3 minutes crying at MC playing a death scene and shouting "HE DIDN"T DESERVE THIS" at my laptop screen. Hence, why I'm writing this review now. The way the author writes these movies/dramas make me wish she had actually written them so I could read them. Story-wise, it's also nice to be able to truly understand MC's career growth the way the in-story audience sees him. It feels a bit like actually following a celebrity in RL, but with added insight into his private life. <<less
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sleepingjay
sleepingjay rated it
Chaos Of Beauty
March 27, 2018
Status: --
i have to say this novel is extremely well written. it's melodramatic, but managed to captivate me despite the heartache when reading. this story is not really a light read, it's more of a thematic novel on choices and fate. romance, action, political intrigue etc exists, but only enough to support this theme. I loved the novel because of this, but some may find it unbearable that these aspects of the novel aren't fleshed out enough.

most of the characters are extremely polarising, at times making me feel pity, at times... more>> admiration, other times disgust. this includes the MC and especially the main ML. but in the end, the author manages to give readers an understanding of the characters.

Spoiler

many readers hate ML for his deplorable behaviour and ngl, he is a two faced asshole. but for me, that made it all the more sweeter when the author brought him to the peak of his political career, the culmination of his effort over more than a decade... and let him give it up, turn his back against his whole life principles for his love and real happiness. I wish the author had expanded on his background better, make him a bit more sympathetic so readers understand him better instead of writing him off as a power hungry bastard. he may be two-faced, ruthless and power hungry, but he was also a product of his environment. when he actually learned what true love and happiness is and how empty its absence is, he was willing to give up his whole life principles and effort. putting myself in his shoes, even I don't know if I would be willing to give up everything I've worked for right when I will succeed. this is one asshole ML I actually like.

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Spoiler

honorable mention to 2nd ML the general AKA the bright shining, pure light of the novel who truly deserves better than he got. I still need an AU fanfic for him and his family gdi.

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the weakest point of the story is the development of the romance between MC and ML. while a lot of attention is given to the trials they face, the sweeter moments are barely fleshed out, only given glimpses in the narrative and time skips. there's only one chapter (mostly) dedicated to their bonding, which compared to the angst and melodrama of the other 30~ chapters, is really not enough. the story is weakened because it does require some suspension of disbelief and one's own extrapolation to understand why the MC love the ML.

in short, I both hate and love the story, but I definitely am in love with the writing. the author has a poetic way of captivating your interest, and the characters and relationships are mostly complex and well written. even though it's inherently melodramatic, but there's also a surface facade of lightness (also due to mc's personality) that makes the story easier to swallow (I'm not actually a fan of angst and didnt want to read this story at first, but was captivated till the end lol). of course, some things could have been better fleshed out and it's definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but overall I'm satisfied with the story and believe it's worth a read. <<less
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sleepingjay
sleepingjay rated it
Thousand Face Demonic Concubine
September 1, 2018
Status: --
As other reviews said, the novel started out amazingly -- it was great to not have to slog through the usual MC setting up her power process since the author completely skipped to 3 years after MC's rebirth. But after the strong start, the author dropped MC's artistic but bloody methods (which was what made the novel different) for typical scheming you'd usually see from these novels.

One aspect I liked about the novel is the male love interests. First, ML is completely different from what the summary suggests; he's very... more>> sweet to her, always helps her, respects her wishes and doesn't force her to accept his feelings. His character is very Second Male Lead -esque, including helping her quietly behind the scenes (the summary is a bit misleading since what's described still has yet to happen at ch225, so I don't know if he'll change when his bottom line is touched). There are a few other male love interests that are also interesting and likable.

unfortunately, when I say the ML is like a Second ML, this includes being led around by MC and having his heart broken by her despite continuously helping her. MC is traumatized by her previous life and the death of her baby, which makes her completely obsessed with revenge. To achieve her goals, she's merciless to both herself and the people around her. Which is a pity, because when she isn't consumed by revenge she and the ML are really cute together (they like teasing e/o).

Spoiler

she's also obsessed with getting back her baby, which involves sleeping with her previous life's husband just to get back the "same baby" (hence the summary). Yeah, MC's not quite sane. Author also loves angst and torturing ML too much.

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Overall: the story falls into typical cliches despite the strong start, but the writing is engaging and the plot moves quickly enough to not be boring (relatively, compared to those 1000+ chapters novels). I did enjoy the first 100 chapters, but when I skipped ahead (ch225) to see how much more the ML had to suffer I realized MC is in too deep in her revenge for the journey to be anything but not torturous, so I can't continue to read. This kind of angst and self-destructive MC is just not to my personal taste. I wouldn't mind so much if this was a shorter story, but I can't bear to read that self-inflicted suffering for 200+ chapters

if you can stand it though, it's a fine read. <<less
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sleepingjay
sleepingjay rated it
Reign of the Hunters
July 26, 2018
Status: c468
I enjoyed reading this novel a lot. What I like the most is that the characters feel very human. They all have good and bad points. Not all of them are likable characters, but they are still well-written characters. Each character is the star of their own life and you can really feel that they have lives outside of their interactions with MC. While the MC plays a huge role in the development of the game, she's not be-all and end-all.

The MC isn't perfect. Although she resolves to change herself... more>> in her new life, it takes her time. She also makes mistakes along the way, sometimes overcompensating, sometimes falling back to old habits. And some things are just part of her personality: she's stubborn, ruthless, prideful. But in this second life, she's learned to temper herself. She's more flexible, turning losses into gains. She uses her ruthlessness to benefit her guild. What's most important is that while in the last life she was completely alone, in this life she learns to connect with others.

Spoiler

I liked that she continued to play solo, while learning to balance her guild's interests with her own. Her experience in her first guild shows that changing her whole personality (obeying the norms and playing with teams) isn't the answer for a better life. Because she is who she is (this line is often repeated in the novel), this will inevitably end in conflict. Her second guild shows that what she needs are people that can let her be who she is, while giving her human connection so she learns to care for and trust others.

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Another point I loved is the game setting. I think this is the first time I've seen a game setting handled so well, because it actually feels like a game. It's neither underplayed nor overplayed (see *Edit), and no one character is unrivaled, not even the MC. In other novels, sometimes the human side of the story undermines the game setting (usually romance or some cannon fodder with an endless grudge against MC), to the point I've wondered whether these characters actually want to play the game with how much time they waste. Or, the MC becomes an OP existence in the game (too many novels to count). Here, the players (and guilds) had huge influence in the story and how the game developed. Also, this novel didn't need to make the NPCs become rogue AIs to make me care or get emotional for NPCs and the story of the game. The author also did well with the quests, storyline, and the in-game universe. As I read, I felt the same excitement as the MC to discover the world of the game, the same trepidation when there were guild conflicts, etc.

Spoiler

I loved that this game setting was driven further by the biggest antagonist of the novel: corporate politics. So many novels use AIs or other players for the biggest antagonist and it just doesn't feel real or threatening enough. But in real life, so many games are ruined by corporate issues and money, and this is reflected in the novel.

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*Edit: I've seen other reviews say that the plot isn't strong enough, and I think it's because this novel isn't about the main storyline of the game. What it is, is a story about a normal person playing a game. She may be a god-level player, but she is still a normal person. She gets invested in the main storyline of the game, but there are still many other things taking her attention such as guild wars, relationships, leveling, pets, PvP, etc. So there's indeed no focused storyline. The Epic Quest line that usually becomes the main focus of game novels is just one of many subplots here. In fact, I think this novel can be considered a slice-of-life -- though it's a slice-of-life of adventuring in a game, fighting monsters, completing quests, guild conflicts, etc. The closest comparison I have is the anime Log Horizon.

This novel isn't perfect. The author occasionally forgot to finish subplots. Some things that happen to MC definitely screams "protagonist's luck". The volumes go down in quality: the last volume really slacked off in terms of game world-building, and side characters gradually became more underutilized and undeveloped as the story goes on (mostly to give way for other stuff). I felt the author skipped too much of the slower parts of MC and ML's relationship development. I'm a bit unsatisfied by the resolution because I wanted more from both the game world and the main couple's relationship, though at the same time I'm glad it ended at the 4th volume because I hate when novels drag on endlessly and you can tell the author is losing interest in the story.

Overall, this novel is a good read, I definitely recommend it. The feel, though not the execution, is similar to the anime Log Horizon. <<less
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sleepingjay
sleepingjay rated it
True Star
February 24, 2018
Status: --
The MC is very mature and intelligent (as in, he makes logical decisions to make the best out of the situation he's in, so you don't feel like screaming at him for being dumb). It's also funny sometimes because he can be too mature--he's older in soul as well so sometimes the love interests seem like brats to him. I personally love his mature temperament a lot; when he was dealing with the original body's mess, he had no choice but to relent (... more>>
Spoiler

agree to a s*x contract, basically

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) but once it's not needed for his survival in the new world he pulled himself out of the disadvantageous position immediately. He's very clear about what he can or cannot do, and doesn't dive head first into something he can't handle.

Spoiler

Personal favorite scene: when one of the ML confessed, MC despite being somewhat fond of him, rejected him on the basis that ML is currently in a position of power over him and has done things to him he cannot yet forgive (selling him (or rather, the original body) to that s*x contract), and must work to gain his trust. I.e. MC is open to the possibility of getting together, as long as ML courts him seriously and they can have a balanced relationship.

....

Seriously, it's so rare to see a protagonist that respects themselves more than they love their ML. There are novels that have the MC starting out like this, but often they later make concessions for the ML because of love. In this novel, the MLs are the ones that need to grow out of their childish, egotistical nature to capture our MC's heart.

ngl, the MLs leave a lot to be desired. Some of them have their good moments, but most of the time they're, as the MC sees them, egotistical brats. But at the same time, they seem to show the aforementioned character growth, simply because the MC would never look at them as potential lovers without it. So there's hope that we'll end up with great characters by the end.

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The story is not overly dramatic, so it's a nice read. Although, fair warning: it can drag a bit. <<less
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