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somniel rated it
CEO Above, Me Below
June 6, 2017
Status: c12
I must post this review in protest. The oldest posted review glosses over some incredibly unacceptable content in this story. The male lead is a rapist. Full stop. He may only rape one girl, but he does it repeatedly, and everyone around him not only condones this, but plays along with the lunacy. Again, the oldest review states the guy is mentally ill. I suspect, from what little I have read, that the author has never considered research into mental illness, the behavior of people with specific mental illnesses, and... more>> the likely behavior of people around the mentally ill; all of the people in this story have acted either as morons or madmen.

I'm not familiar enough with present day Chinese culture to say for absolutely certain, but I doubt there is anyone sane anywhere who somehow magically believes that their own experience of being raped (and bizarrely, at that) is a dream resulting from being a man-hungry virgin loser. The female lead is physically enfeebled by repeated rape and being knocked around.

This is no Beauty and the Beast (a classic of fairy tale Stockholm Syndrome, to be sure), it's a wildly erratic, senseless case of reader abuse. <<less
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somniel rated it
Poison Genius Consort
April 22, 2018
Status: c500
This novel appears to be getting a lot of meh or worse reviews, which are seriously uninformed by reading past the first introduction of the local characters; the first 30-100 chapters are not the whole story, they are mostly exposition. Yes, it takes a long time to establish a relationship with the characters of this story, in part because you don't meet many of the most important people until quite a bit later. The story is long, and it twists and turns and contorts along the way. I cannot report... more>> on the ending, as I am not there - just over 1/3 of the way through, presently.

In the beginning, the author sketches in the world, and some of the people, who then are fleshed out pretty quickly. The primary characteristics of the lead characters are established, and then we get the first hints of action. Some bantering, and typical main character abuse (she is married to a royal) by the direct line royals, and we have our introductory arc.

Following that are numerous small arcs of scheming, poisoning (it's in the title), healing, and relationship building, all comprising the first instance of more important characters. The world in this story is not small, and it behaves as worlds of this sort of setting generally do - politically, martially, interpersonally. By this time, you care about the main character, and her husband, and various of the secondary characters who are simply interesting. None of the important characters are flat or boring, and most of the unimportant ones are either interesting, or out of the way soon. Nobody is an entirely open book when we first meet them, but their stories unfold along with the plot.

The story follows the main couple (the main character, most faithfully, but also her husband) through relationships, including their own, plots, confusion, disasters, triumphs, mysteries, and sometimes circles back for more of the above, all heading, toward mutual understanding and a better run world (we, and the characters, hope).

It's still going for me, and engaging enough that the reader can be overjoyed, infuriated and frustrated along with or because of the characters.

Not too many of the reviews mention the translation, which is generally a good sign that it does not get in the way of reading the story. It does not. The translation reads smoothly, with helpful notes tucked out of the way, and brings you into the story. The enthusiasm of the translator (and editors) and your fellow readers is apparent in the lively comment section, early teasers, and the pace at which the translation is produced.

Over-all, the story is very entertaining. A slow start leads to a raucous rollercoaster ride through all the highs and lows of some very interesting lives, in a reasonably well built world. The future looks just as interesting. <<less
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somniel rated it
Bone Painting Coroner
July 29, 2018
Status: c243
This novel is intended for mature audiences.

The story begins as an episodic mystery/detective story, with a transmigrated female lead using techniques from her past to solve murders in an Imperial past setting - hampered by an abusive family and a 5 year history in the setting before the novel begins.

It quickly evolves into a complicated mind maze, where every conclusion is thrown on its head, and every case builds on another. Like any good mystery, the reader is constantly guessing whodunnit, why and wherefore, and occasionally how. Like any really... more>> good mystery, not much is as it first appears. Clues are hidden in plain sight, and tucked behind a façade, and every revelation casts a new light on... everything.

Nearly every character is a multi-layered human, with greater depths than one may assume upon first sight. Each new layer revealed presents the reader with a new, not always clearer, understanding.

The romance is a very slow build, with endless complications. The past is an ever-present shadow, lurking, sometimes engulfing the main characters, who aren't super-human or unfeeling.

Story progression waxes and wanes, with the first few chapters a slog for some readers, but it is worth sticking it out to see where the author is going. Rare stretches of exposition are necessary to introduce the reader to a scene, and new people, though most introductions occur within the action in this story.

For seasoned mystery fans - pay close attention, everything is important. <<less
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