God of Cooking
November 6, 2017
My review is mostly for people who are on the fence about reading. TLDR at the bottom!
In a nutshell, it's refreshing and engaging without being a 'fluff' novel. I absolutely agree that this novel is an unexpected gem! I started this series quite honestly because my stash of other novels was pretty much out, thinking "Reading about tasting and cooking... Ooookay. Seems different, there's nothing to lose by reading a couple chapters." [[Hohoho, good call, Self!]]
I think the pace is solid & steady --rather than slow-- because each chapter fits
into the significant whole of the story, and good at keeping a subtle but consistent suspense without relying on cliches. It's closer to reading an actual book with the consistency of the plot. None of that business where you feel cheated after reading a chapter that was all buildup, or like the 3 different reactions to some crazy OP action from the MC.
Cons are mostly minor things like the speech and mannerisms of so-called Americans being more like the Korean MC/author's social etiquette ('please treat me well, ' 'sunbae, ' 'oppa' etc). Some of this does come from the translation quality, which I'd give about 3.5 or 4. Outweighed by the pros of believable characters with realistic growth and conflict, non-repetitive writing style, and well mixed action and introspection. Overall a well-balanced body of writing.
The game-system aspect adds to the character development, rather than detracting or steam-rolling everything else out of the way to focus on manic leveling. It doesn't feel like too much of a cheat.
Reading this is like having a detailed waking daydream about food!
Has "feel good" components, but doesn't avoid unpleasant topics; rather, it's a warm-fuzzy from resolving conflict
It's easy to feel like I'm actually watching a competition show like top chef or something while reading; the characters' details seem more like getting bits and pieces of real people's back story than being a made-up character.
Life isn't sugar coated here. I know this is kind of beating a dead horse since I've mentioned it several times already, but it's somewhat rare to find a novel that isn't too far on either side of the spectrum. This one acknowledges darker emotions/parts of life (disability, failure, social inequality, prejudice) mostly indirectly, without dwelling on them or get preachy, and it doesn't "magically" solve them either. Just a nice tacit nod of acknowledgement and inclusion in the real-life-real-people type of problems presented in this novel. (ex. snide online comments piss off the contestants and mess with their heads a bit, but it doesn't cause a total meltdown, or give them a heaven defying breakthrough..)
sort of but not really spoiler;
after reincarnating or whatever you want to call it, MC still struggles with and tries to work through concerns he had before his return to his past, like reconciling his parents' hopes and his own aspirations, or challenging his own ideas of what cooking is/should be if not just skill, and so on.
(as of ch. 87) good aspects far outweigh the meh ones,
give this a try! Expected side effects may include: becoming a closet foodie, possible keyboard drool, home kitchen turning into a disaster zone, hopefully no visits to the ER, etc... have fun, kids.
Will plan to update later :)
Garudeina Oukoku Koukoku Ki
December 9, 2018
I don't typically write reviews unless there's something really outstanding about a novel, but I have to say that this one is outstandingly... mediocre.
The concept was great, but the writing is... really underwhelming. Like another reviewer said, it feels like reading a summary of a story. The story is kind of disjointed, and skims over a lot of points; it's a kingdom building where the author legit skips over all the kingdom building by saying "yeah, and some stuff happened, and then it was 6 months later." The dialogue is
trite at best, and super cringe-worthy at worst. But hey, I guess it's more important to spend time on talking about how he combs the wolf-girl and rabbit-girls' tails every day...??
And the OP parts are, like, too OP in a boring way. "Ho ho, I spent one hour of magic making a giant castle and city with houses and farms. I guess it's time to furtively buy beast-people slaves now." There's just so much that makes me go "WHY? You moron!" about how he uses (and underutilizes) his insane powers. That and there's just no logic. None. At all. Like, I get that the original Japanese dude is some average joe, but at least give him some ability to think and have social interactions that's beyond the level of a 10 year old kid? It's sad, that despite being OP, the MC is so bland he has no sense of unique personality (besides a possible otaku) and basically functions as a plug-in for a premise of "let's introduce modern liberal arts education in a medieval fantasy setting."
Arrrrghhfsaldkdfkjf, this turned into a rant of disappointment. All that ruined potential : (I picked this up because it had the "lack of common sense" tag, but this... yo people, that tag is supposed to be applied to the main character, not the author.... *sobs*
I gave it a chance, but up til volume 3 still no improvement...
TL;DR- not my cup of tea.
A Mistaken Marriage Match: A Generation of Military Counselor
May 31, 2017
Summary of plot: workaholic badass detective is mysteriously transmigrates 1000 (?) years into the past without the body's memories to guide her. While she figures out how she came to the past and how to return to her time, she tries to tackle cases and training as she did as a police officer...
Lucid protagonist with a quick temper, several good subplots throughout the book, and pretty believable characters with decent development. Pretty well balanced mystery/suspense (bonus: the author fact checked the more scientific elements), has romance without monopolizing the story.
translation was adequate by some parts were unclear because a lot was MT, so it took some effort to make sense of it as an English-only reader. Overall a good read! If you like TV shows like "Bones" CSI/forensic type, this should be up your alley.
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