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Stark3
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Age of Adepts
June 29, 2017
Status: c150
I've read reviews saying that the chip here in Age of Adepts isn't OP compared to WMW, but I wouldn't agree. The power that the MC gets because of it makes him able to stand up to apprentices 2 power levels apart, and that combined with the vague mana / resource management (it makes ado about how much a fire bolt spell would cost, but in another battle he's able to rain down fire bolts as well as control 2 golem cores at the same time with seemingly no... more>> worries) kind of breaks the realism of it to me and pushes this novel to the realm of wish fulfillment.

Aside from the WMW similarities tho, it looks like it got inspiration from Sorcerer's Journey as well and that novel had similar issues with instant gratification for the MC before becoming better by the 3 digit chapter count (and eventually turning into one of my favorite novels). So I'm giving this novel a bit more of a chance, see how it fares further on.

EDIT: Now that I've read up to c142 in the official translation (read up to c150 via MTL), I'm actually going to downgrade my review of the novel. It's not that the translation sucks : translation quality is good, and they're very fast in doing releases. Now that I can concentrate on the story rather than making sense of the words, it just strikes me more and more how irrational some things are.

Someone gave a review that all females here seem to be irrational, emotional time bombs and at first I thought it was an exaggeration. Unfortunately, it's not. The occasional mood outbursts would have been ok, to give characterization, but in some cases that irrationality is part and parcel of the plot. I don't like stories where the characters aside from the MC have to be really stupid to move things along. <<less
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The Card Apprentice
June 2, 2016
Status: c267
Very satisfying. Not sure if it's technically sci-fi, though I guess the adage is true : "any technology sufficiently advanced enough seems like magic". There are some components that make me think of other novels - the training space he gets early on makes me think of Tempest of the Stellar War (another novel that I recommend, though it loses a bit of appeal by the last 2 volumes), the crafting makes me think of Heavenly Jewel Change - but the overall concept is sufficiently unique, interesting, and fun.

It gives... more>> you that xianxia feeling of continuous advancement, self improvement, and exciting battles without the annoying repetitive elements and nearly copy/paste scenarios (so far, but then I'm nearly a third through). That for me makes this series very much worth my while. :) EDIT : Now at c267. This novel has surpassed my expectations. Even nearing the halfway point, the story feels fresh and flows along smoothly. I guess this goes to show that CN webnovels doesn't really have to really on an ad nauseam loop of tournaments, auctions, arrogant schools / personages to move the story along. Highly recommended. <<less
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Unrivaled Tang Sect
December 29, 2015
Status: --
5 stars. (Why did the star review not get in? Curious)

For me, this one is better than the prequel. It starts off QUITE a bit slower than the first (btw, I’ve read through all the chapters via machine translation), but then that’s more a matter of pacing as this one has approximately THRICE the number of chapters (AFAIR).

This gives the author more room to flesh things out that were barebones the first time around. This one has a VERY satisfying school arc, a romance portion that’s IMO the best... more>> of the Xianxia novels I’ve read, and a combined magic / technology system that’s better than the usual crafting / refining stuff that MCs usually have.

For those who find the initial powers lame, just stick it out for a while. Pretty early on, he gets access to his 2nd spirit after which he becomes totally bad-ass. His 1st spirit doesn’t disappoint either, the 2nd power for it may seem simple, but gives him a lot more tactical options (and makes for a more interesting story).
Spoiler

At the later part of the novel, his 1st spirit’s powers advance to the point where it’s really OP. The mental detection / info radius fans out to several kilometers (almost impossible to ambush his group), he gets group stealth (!!!), etc, making him easily adapt to either 1v1, small group, or large group confrontations

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The only thing I’d say would be a negative is that sometimes, it’s TOO fleshed out. Hahaha. Anyway, very highly recommended. <<less
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Terror Infinity
May 18, 2016
Status: v14 c18 part1
Very well done! I basically binge read this in two sittings, can't put it down. There just seems to be endless possibilities for this novel, since it can draw on any movie for inspiration for its worlds. ... more>>
Spoiler

Actually, at some point, the author merged the environment and characters of The Mummy with storyline from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, showing that even anime can be used as an inspiration. It also really cracked me up when they gave one of the newbies whose only talent was for piloting an "anime bear mecha" (which I imagine is Beargguy http://i. Imgur. Com/7IElF4s. Jpg) which tho cute was equipped with Gundarium alloy making it hella tough.

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Highly recommended, especially if you're tired of the usual xianxia / xuanhua <<less
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The Experimental Log of the Crazy Lich
October 23, 2016
Status: c70
I normally avoid reviewing a series until I'm past the 100th chapter, as a lot of series that seems good goes tepid later on. I'm making an exception for this one because regardless of whatever else happens, up til the 70th chapter this series has been unique in how it mixes humour, fantasy / D&D elements and tragedy in its storyline. Even if it does go down south from here it would have still been a worthwhile read.
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Magic Chef of Ice and Fire
June 12, 2016
Status: --
I like this one the least of all of TJSS's novels. Have read quite a fair bit using the RAWs.

The character is too generic / bland; what should have made him unique (magic chef) is neglected at some point in the story, after which it becomes your usual conflict. It was fine before that, the marriage of knife skills, magic, etc to cook up stuff was interesting, but it fell flat from there

... more>>
Spoiler

There is a kind of r*pe scene, where the MC and one of his female opponents get exposed to an aphrodisiac. Totally unneeded, IMO, and the resulting scenes after didn't make too much sense.

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Invincible
November 9, 2016
Status: c18
The mention of Martial Spirits and a reincarnated MC that brings over a technique from his original world initially brought to mind Douluo Dalu 1, however this novel is nowhere near that gem.

There's little to no suspense - everything gets handed to the MC on a silver platter. Within just a few chapters, the MC's reached the 3rd level mountain peak of cultivation while the early antagonist is just at 1st level, received TWO cultivation treasures (all thanks to a monkey that comes mysteriously out of nowhere), received a super... more>> advanced cultivation technique (with related battle skills!), a treasure saber and space ring.

Zero attempts at world building, MC's interactions with other people are limited to
a. Hiding his higher cultivation level (which I think is BS because that's just asking for trouble. At the very least he could show that he has worth in his clan so that he doesn't need to deal with a lot of unnecessary sh*t)
b. Reassuring his parents that he won't get beat up because of his *lower* cultivation
c. Beating up the arrogant junior members of his family.

The author could have done a better job of giving his MC personality by showing how he interacts with his parents and siblings outside of cultivation concerns, but the opportunities are thrown away in favor of cultivation and getting new treasures, etc.

TLDR - Don't go into the novel if you're looking for a well-developed, living world with a fleshed out MC and an intriguing story. If you don't mind the usual xianxia tropes, near constant treasures and level ups, then there's quite a possibility for the advancement of the MC. It's possible to get hooked to see how his martial spirit will evolve and advance, what skills he'll get, and how the mysterious cultivation technique he received will improve.

3 stars <<less
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Tempest of the Stellar War
May 2, 2016
Status: --
Reviewing at ch. 22 (machine translated)

An absolute blast. Most xuanhuan / xianxia I read reads like they're written by old fogies. This one has an irreverent youngish air all through out, the modern setting is fresh, and the way cultivation is integrated with tech is refreshing so far.
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Undefeated God of War
June 12, 2016
Status: c43
Really liking it so far. I've found that the novels by this author each have their own brand of uniqueness, and this one is no exception. No brain numbing repetition, just good story telling.

I also enjoy the fact that the battles are well-fleshed out. I hate it when battles are won by whoever's ray of light (transformed into the appropriate intimidating animal shape >.>) is bigger, or by whose cultivation level is stronger. This one features individual techniques that the characters train in (to the point of developing their own... more>> killer technique on the part of the MC). The techniques are well utilized too; it's not just a matter of whose technique level is rated higher.

Really looking forward to more chapters :) (Will probably resort to machine translations once I finish reading the machine translated version of another novel I'm currently reading) <<less
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Spare Me, Great Lord!
October 22, 2018
Status: c1247
Giving a review after reaching the latest RAWs (c1247) :

While it does not deserve a 5, it deserves a solid 4 (or a 4.5 if that kind of thing was possible). It avoids the more annoying tropes of the genre (annoying audience which just ups the word count, spoiled master ad infinitum to fight, ridiculous setups for rather obnoxious face-slapping later). It has a decent sense of humor, helped along by the MCs trolling.

One thing to note is that there are quite a number of chapters which are basically slice... more>> of life type scenarios. Others have taken this point as a negative in their reviews; on the other hand, I enjoy them. It gives the MC and the other characters a chance for their personalities to shine through. It gives you reasons to actually care about the characters instead of just having actors for action scenes.

Another thing I'd like to touch on is the tone of nationalism in this novel: it's there, but it doesn't take it anywhere as extreme as in some other Chinese novels. Sure there was an arc where the MC focused on hunting down Japanese spies, but foreigners aren't depicted as evil or stupid, nor is there an attitude that China has a divine right to supremacy.

Spoiler

There's actually an arc where the MC goes undercover in Japan, and there are plenty of cases where you see the MC enjoying Japanese culture, even appreciating the work done by Japanese undercover spies. It kind of balances things out.

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The Nine Cauldrons
June 13, 2016
Status: --
A pretty good IET novel. Giving it a good basis first on modern martial arts, and then afterwards giving it that xianxia twist makes for a fun read. My only complaint would be, it feels like the novel was cut short. Am at the next to the last volume, and from my standpoint there's enough material for the story to go on for a couple more arcs, 3-4 more volumes at the least. I think it's a complement to the novel though that I want to keep reading more of... more>> it. (As opposed to other novels that you just have to drop because things have gotten too repetitive, weird, or too drawn out) <<less
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Warlock of the Magus World
December 5, 2015
Status: --
I've since read up to 300+, and I can confidently say that this is one of my favorite novels. The MC is unique, and is the most logical (and coldbloodedly ruthless) of the MCs I've run across.

... more>>
Spoiler

At one point, he fakes being in therapy as an excuse for not immediately sortieing out when the faction he allied himself into is invaded. This is so that the invaders can massacre a lot of the faction's members and do a lot of damage to the property, giving him a logical excuse for counter-attacking and wiping down to the last man the opposing faction (not just the invading army)

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Not that the MC is mean-spirited, but everything devolves down to how he could achieve his goals and get himself the maximum benefit. He's quite scientific about it.

Spoiler

He gains access to a contemplation law that allows the user to have glimpses of the future. However, since he's not sure of the side effects, what he did was to create magical rings and spread it out at random. Those who find the ring are presented with a spirit that talks to them, and gives them instruction and guidance (ala Grandpa Doehring of Coiling Dragon). The MC has remote control capability over those rings, allowing him to nudge the users to do what he wants. Also, all glimpses of destiny that the users will have pass through the MC and his AI Chip first, giving him veto rights whether the info will pass through to the user or not (in case the info might expose the MC). In the meanwhile, the MC collects and extrapolates the data from multiple users so he has a bigger picture of the future.

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Edit : Ugh, spoiler won't work >.< <<less
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The Dark King
January 19, 2017
Status: c302
Giving this novel a 4. Initially, I would have rated it a 5. Interesting world building, the post apocalyptic setting is nicely fleshed out, with interesting adventures by the MC.

Until I got into the 200ish chapter or so.
... more>>
Spoiler

The novel kinda feels like it's lost its focus. The MC, aside from being a hunter, is the behind the scenes manipulator for a financial group. MC also becomes both an inventor for the Holy Church and an alchemist. So now you have the story going every which way from time to time, and mostly acting against other members of society instead of having interesting adventures out in the wild.

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Monarch of Evernight
December 21, 2017
Status: v3c47
A solid 4, if I could I'd give it a 4.5.

Story itself avoids tired old formulas (never ending tournaments, or the constant struggle to top a magical list just because), somehow avoids the usual pitfalls of constant repetition or annoying reaction chapters, and moves along at a nice measured pace.

There's a measure of world building without being too wordy. It doesn't dwell too much on minute details that will become irrelevant later on.

... more>>
Spoiler

If ever, the only negative comment I'd put on it is its somewhat unitary forms of combat: coming from IET novels with a lot of Dao / martial techniques, or from the Douluo Dalu series where people have variations in not just their martial souls but on the techniques they gain in advancement, the no frills Origin Force which so far only grants a passive ability enhancement at ranks 2 and 4 (no explanation given how and why >.<) is kind of lackluster. Basically, the MC gets to shoot more bullets at a given time on rank up. 0_O. Thankfully, the vampiric powers he has is becoming more interesting with time, hopefully more attention gets thrown that way

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People who are used to instant power ups, constant treasure hunts, and a stream of more abilities would most likely be put off, but hopefully people will have more patience with this one as it's more of a gem than other, more popular novels out there that's more flash than substance. <<less
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Transcending the Nine Heavens
January 11, 2016
Status: --
Currently at Chapter 736. (Btw, total chapter count needs updating. Chapter count resets after every volume. Rough count would put the number of chapters at the 2000+ range).

It's a very nice story, definitely has better pacing than the author's other book (Otherworldly Evil Emperor). It starts off pretty simple enough, but as you read through it the story gets richer and richer.

It's not perfect. It has some elements that I don't like
- I hate it when MCs (and his companions) get massive power boosts from out of the... more>> blue. As in, gaining levels 3-4 at a time. One time is possibly ok, but more than that...
- Way too OP schtick.
Spoiler

His sword 'cuts through iron like mud' (lifted literally from the machine translation) ; has a 90, 000 year old sword spirit that can give him advice, ancient powerful techniques, even once in a while can possess his body to give him a super power boost; Sword has a dimensional space (no mention of anyone else having similar gadgets unlike in other Xianxia) ; Sword can also absorb rare materials and herbs so that it can power up - leftovers are used to create weapons that are sharper and harder than pretty much anything else in the case of metals, and medicines that give near instant regeneration (if someone has a hole poked through them, one dose of the medicine can patch them up within minutes). There are also hints of the sword gaining more abilities as more of the sword's sections are retrieved.

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Fortunately, those elements occur just around the beginning; it doesn't rear its ugly head much after a certain portion of the story. I'm giving it a 5, not a 4 even with the items mentioned above since the author seems to have matured, and with more than 1000 chapters to go, there's still a lot of potential to this book. <<less
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History’s Strongest Senior Brother
June 26, 2018
Status: c1663
It's a completely average novel. The strongest senior brother schtick went on til around c100 or so, afterwards it became somewhat generic. The combat itself is somewhat disappointing... basically you have the MC superimposing X amount of the skills / merit laws he's learned up to that point... almost literally a roll call and just facerolling people with it. No real variation most of the time. Personally, I had more fun reading about the MC's OP dad than the actual MC.

That said tho, it was still kinda ok as a... more>> binge read, since its failures are somewhat common to the genre: you get somewhat inured to it after a while if you suspend your expectation for something above the ordinary..... until this:

Spoiler

After a while, the writing doesn't even focus on the MC and his activities... it becomes an exploration of characters that are part of Taoism and Buddhism lore. You get FLOODED with names, their titles, their positions, etc. Very few of them have a significant role in the story tho. It's obvious that it expects the reader to be familiar with those characters, as well as characters in famous literary works like Journey to the West (Sun Wukong aka Monkey King), and Investiture of the Gods.

While other novels have played around with their own interpretation / rewrite of events from those works / lore, none of them are such a name-drop fest as HSSB is. If you're not familiar with the literature, you'll be lost or have a much lower interest in the storyline.

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Not sure if the gripe in the spoiler merits giving this novel a 2 rating... personally I have it at 2.5. <<less
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Talisman Emperor
October 11, 2017
Status: c73
I was initially led into reading the story because of the comparison to DE, which is one of my favorite xianxia novels. Also, I thought it'd be refreshing to have an MC who focuses on something other than the typical sword immortal cultivation route and uses talismans instead.

Weirdly enough, AFTER he gets an inheritance that actually needed his talent in the Dao of Talismans to pass, he makes / uses talismans less and less. For a novel that's titled Talisman Emperor, I've yet to see the MC use a talisman... more>> past the first dozen chapters. (Another review indicated that this trend extends up to ch13x!). He's reverted back to a common template - dual cultivation of body refining and use of swords / sword qi.

Lack of talisman usage aside, the story is pretty generic (with lots of plot holes and shout out loud annoying logic). It also violates one of my pet peeves - making the MC uber powerful too fast. There are other stories that does it a LOT better.

I'll probably wait until the story gets back on track with regards to the talismans, or show something unique. As it is now, it's forgettable. <<less
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Forty Millenniums of Cultivation
September 25, 2017
Status: c1221
Spoiler

I started this one on the recommendation of my brother. At first, it reads like your usual CN novel, with the MC obtaining by chance a "schtick" (in this case, the memories of a cultivator from 40k years ago) and using that to get an edge above everybody else.

The early scenarios are kind of predictable, but they're not bad at all. Where it really shines IMO is after the MC finds himself in another universe.

There are a couple of things that I believe sets this novel apart from the sea of mediocrity out there

- world building : no, you don't get wall of text level world building, but you get consistent bite-sized upgrades to what you know about the world. A lot of the systems are logical, there's cultural diversity, myths and legends in the various cultures that eventually tie in into the story.

- space drama / sci fi: this is the only cultivation based novel that I've read that captures the feel of being in outer space. It sometimes gives me the feel of the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, where we see a space-faring civilization trying to recover step by step from the dark ages. Other cultivation novels out there just treat outer space as the same kind of environment as a land-based one, not this.

- multi-dimensional characters - I absolutely HATE it when I get presented with one-dimensional characters, where you get people who are obviously good and people who are obviously bad, with no shades in between. The villains presented in book 2 onwards are complex characters, and while they might do monstrous things they have their own set of morality and are aiming for the good of their race from their twisted point of view.

Very much recommended reading

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Valhalla Saga
January 11, 2018
Status: v15c1
I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. It has a very interesting concept: powers could be had based on the legends and stories attached to someone while they were alive. Somehow very fitting for a Norse-themed environment.

I'd like to give it a 5, but I think the execution on this is somewhat lacking. The story could have been incredibly more rich since it has a gold mine of a concept to draw on. Unfortunately, it's given a very light treatment - there's hardly any tension since MC breezes past all... more>> obstacles. Any unfortunate scenario that may happen is answered quickly by the appearance of a new power that can handle it. Paper thin characterization as well.

It's still above a 3 rating though since with all its shortcomings, it is still an interesting page turner. I just hope that it improves as time goes by and not go the way of some K-novels, becoming stale and predictable in the later chapters. <<less
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Legend of the Cultivation God
November 7, 2017
Status: Completed
Spoiler

EDIT (c2155) : *vent mode* It seriously pisses me off how much sh*t the MC has to go through just because he for some reason wants to hide his cultivation boundary. You get chapters on chapters where his master would scold him endlessly on his lack of progress, even though in actuality he has way surpassed his master. You get chapters where his junior fellow apprentice openly disrespects him for the same reason. So on and so forth. Readers be warned, it will tax your patience at times.

EDIT: Lowering my overall rating of the novel to 4, primarily due to the story structure after Volume 1. Basically, the 2nd volume does a complete reset, wiping out all context of the 1st volume. This results in a new round of worldbuilding, which is a lot more forced : where before everything was unfolded gracefully, now we have massive info dumps every now and then. Also... it's starting to devolve into your usual xianxia: encounters with arrogant sect / family members, kind of forced situations where the MC is looked down on (with the obvious turn around later), constant treasure hunts. I miss the 1st volume where it's much more focused on the story : (

Currently at c1281. I really enjoyed the novel so far, it's an actual story with memorable characters instead of just a bunch of powerups strung together like in most novels in this genre.

Spoiler

One thing I'm not sure about is the transition to volume 2. Volume 1 ended with a bang, with a massive plot twist that sets you up for more action. Volume 2, the MC apparently has amnesia, and he's in a different world with different characters. All of the character building in the first volume is basically thrown out the window. He also gets to start from scratch in his cultivation! It's such a jarring transition, it's like we're reading a different novel. I'm sure that the author will manage to relate it to the 1st part somehow, combine it with a bombshell of a twist, but right now I'm missing the previous set of supporting characters.

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Finally finished to binge read all 5215 chapters! All I can say is, the ending sucks like heck. The author spent the last 14 chapters describing the process how the MC and his doppelgangers ascended to a higher realm... doing nothing to address some of the most important questions in the novel (does MC get back to his original family? Are there any more tie ins to the MCs original / childhood world?) nor fulfill foreshadowing that's been there for the longest while (does MC become a god? - It's in the title for heaven's sake!), while adding even more questions. It's like the author ended it in a way that would require a sequel novel. *sigh*

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