Embers Ad Infinitum


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In this latest work by Lord of the Mysteries author, Cuttlefish That Loves Diving, be prepared for a well-thought out and detailed apocalyptic, cyberpunk world with a setting superseding Lord of the Mysteries!

Our protagonist, Shang Jianyao, is crazy—literally crazy, at least that’s what the doctors said. Living in a huge, underground building of Pangu Biology, one of the few remaining factions in this apocalyptic wasteland known as the Ashlands, he acts in unfathomable ways that’s head-scratching, comical, and shrewd. So is he really crazy? Probably.

He has a grand dream: to save all of humanity.

Intricately tied to this dream is something everyone in the Ashlands believes in: Deep in a particular ruin buried away by danger and famine, a path leading to a new world awaits. To step into the new world, one only needs to find a special key and open that certain door.

There, the land is bountiful, as if milk and honey flows freely.

The sunlight is dazzling, as if all coldness and darkness are washed away.

The people will no longer have to face desolation, monsters, infections, mutations, and all kinds of dangers.

There, children are joyous, adults are happy, everything is fine as they are supposed to be.

Every Antiquarian, Ruin Hunter, and Historian roaming the Ashlands knows: That’s the New World.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Related Series
Lord of the Mysteries (2)
The First Order (2)
The Godsfall Chronicles (1)
Since The Red Moon Appeared (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. my reads
  2. Fantasy, no romance (yet) novels
  3. Good(No Harem)
  5. Excellent Male Protagonists Novel

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Sea Dog
Sea Dog rated it
March 23, 2021
Status: c189
I think when people pick up this novel they mostly do so after reading Lord of The Mysteries as they're by the same author. I've seen quite a few people writing about how while this novel is good it isn't at lord of the Mysteries level, but I feel there's an implicit bias that forms after reading a completed work that effects how people view other works.

Rather than comparing Embers Ad Infinium to Lord of the Mysteries I think you should think about them proportionally, this novel is only part... more>> way through the third volume with 200ish chapters, meanwhile lord of the Mysteries is a completed work with 8 volumes and almost 1400 chapters. Obviously that's not an even comparison.

I think looking at it just from where Lord of the Mysteries was at this point, be it 200ish chapters in, or in the middle of volume 3 Embers Ad Infinium is every bit as strong overall, and it might even better in some ways. Ultimately I think they're two different types of stories of similar quality (at least for mow) by the same author and both are worth a read if you haven't picked them up already. <<less
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Animosh91 rated it
May 15, 2022
Status: c817
Note: this review contains a few minor unmarked spoilers about the world of Embers Ad Infinitum and its power system. If you don't wish to know such things before reading the story, don't read this review. Also, the focus is on comparing it to the author's most famous work, Lord of the Mysteries. And it's very long.

As many others here have probably experienced, after finally finishing all 1400+ chapters of Lord of the Mysteries I felt a little empty inside and started to look for something similar. And one of... more>> the main contenders was Cuttlefish's newest work, Embers Ad Infinitum. But although I could find some brief comparisons on Novel Updates and Reddit, a comprehensive discussion of how the two compare (how similar they are, and where they differ) was missing, so in the end I could only dive in and give it a try. Having now caught up with the most recent chapter (817) – and having enjoyed the novel quite a bit – I figured I might as well do it myself, so... here you go!

Story structure
I'll start with elements that are relatively similar between the two works, before moving on to aspects that are more and more different. And in this respect, a good place to start is their overarching storylines: both works essentially focus on slowly – very slowly – exploring and unraveling certain mysteries about the world and its inhabitants. In LOTM, the main mystery was why Klein transmigrated to a different world and subsequently became the "owner of the fog"; in EAI, the big question is what the reason is for the destruction of the Old World (the story takes place about 70 or so years after an apocalyptic event that wiped out much of humanity), and what the "New World" that many religions are preaching about consists in. And these mysteries are explored in a very similar manner: by traveling to different regions and locations, interacting with different people and factions and simply increasing in strength, the nature of the world, its history and the intentions of the deities and the many factions in it slowly become more and more clear. So if you like slow-burn world building of that sort, both works should suit your tastes quite well.

That being said, one important difference between the main mysteries of both stories is that the central mystery of LOTM is much more personal. Why was Klein brought to this world? Why him? For what reason? And can he return? These are questions of existential importance to the MC, and as such, it is immediately clear to the reader why they should care about them. The central mysteries of EAI, on the other hand, are comparatively impersonal and abstract. Sure, it's important to figure out what caused the apocalypse, but why should they (the protagonists) care so much, when they can live relatively stable lives within the confines of their faction's headquarters? In my view, a meaningful answer to that question is largely absent, and for that reason it takes much longer than in LOTM to become truly invested in the story – and the typical (for the writer) slow start doesn't help in that regard. Once you're invested, though, the mysteries are very interesting.

Power system and battles
Also very similar are the power systems of both works: they go through similar stages (I won't spoil the names of the higher stages in EAI, but it has something similar to the division between low-sequence, mid-sequence, and high-sequence Beyonders), and the powers follow a similar logic that they consistently follow (meaning that both works have a "hard" magic system with clear rules and limitations that everyone has to follow: there are no love/friendship power-ups here). Just like in LOTM, power in EAI comes with a "price": in the former, it's the constant risk of losing control and having to fight against madness; in the latter, it's a more specific price that you have to personally choose when "awakening" (ranging from mental problems to physical defects) that becomes worse and worse as you grow more powerful. And in both works powers always fall within a certain "domain", with some examples from EAI being hypnosis, dreams, illusions and the manipulation of physiological processes like breathing: the main difference here is that whereas in LOTM you get new powers with every new potion you take, in EAI you are largely stuck with the same three powers from a particular domain that you get when awakening your abilities – the difference is mainly that you can affect more people, and over a greater distance.

And that brings me to one interesting difference between LOTM and EAI: in the latter series the difference between Awakened and ordinary people is quite a bit smaller. To be clear, Awakened are still very hard to deal with for ordinary folk: it is nearly impossible to defend against their abilities, so unless you're very well prepared, the chances that you'll lose are very high. But unlike in LOTM, Awakened are nearly all "glass cannons": they're very powerful, but if they're not careful they can still be killed by a gun or bomb, or be knocked out by a tranquilizer. And that means both that ordinary people remain relevant (if only in a supporting role, next to Awakened) throughout the story, and that good weapons and technology are very important. And Awakened are not only "glass cannons": their "cannons" often also have comparatively little offensive power. For example, their powers may "only" force an opponent to sleep, direct their thoughts, or get them to see an illusion: these things greatly reduce opponents' offensive power, of course, but in order to finish them off, you'll still need to shoot them. And finally, there are two more differences related both to the process of Awakening, and the process of growing stronger. Starting with the former: in LOTM everyone with the right potions can acquire mystical powers; but in EAI getting them is largely a matter of chance. Certain things (e.g. joining a religious organization) can increase your chances somewhat, but not much, and being very capable or talented is no guarantee of Awakening. And where you need potion formulas and the relevant ingredients to progress in LOTM (and later, rituals as well), in EAI the process of growing stronger is strictly internal: what's needed to boost your powers is to overcome mystical representations of your traumas – no external items are necessary (if you remember the dream explorations from Reverend Insanity, the process is quite similar). Personally, I liked this mechanism a lot: the power-ups in LOTM could be rather unsatisfying sometimes (especially for side characters), and combining them with character development in this way is a good solution.

By the way, before moving on to the next topic, I should also mention that the fights in LOTM and EAI are very similar in one aspect: the importance of planning. Having the initiative in a power between Awakened is very important: knowing the abilities and (if possible – they often try very hard to hide this) price of your enemy, and then developing countermeasures against them, is key, and that means coming up with a proper strategy before a fight is essential. So if you enjoyed that "strategic" aspect of LOTM, you'll probably enjoy the fights in EAI just as much.

The first really major difference between the two works comes from their worlds/setting. LOTM is, as most of you probably already know, set in something like a fantasy version of Victorian England, with the typical division between nobles and commoners, which is slowly being disrupted by rising levels of industrialization (and all the suffering that comes with it), and the improving education and wealth of commoners. On the other hand, EAI is set 70 years or so (I'm not sure about the exact numbers) after an apocalyptic event that wiped out much of humanity, and as such the setting is quite different: on the one hand, the world of EAI is much more technologically advanced – the protagonists are from a faction that specializes in things like genetic and bodily enhancement, and there are also innovations like smart bots and consciousness uploads – and on the other hand, the world is a lot more chaotic: there are no longer countries in the traditional sense of the word, and the world is instead ruled by several large factions who each monopolize certain technologies from the Old World, and are each organized quite differently (for example, the largest faction, "First City", is ruled by nobles, but the protagonists' faction, Pangu Biology, aims for something like a meritocratic system of government and decent living conditions for all). And of course, because EAI has a post-apocalyptic setting, the world is a lot more empty, with lots of very sparsely populated areas in between the large settlements: where LOTM has people all around, in EAI many places are either ruled by the wilderness or inaccessible because of pollution – and that pollution in turn causes many different kinds of mutations, both to people and to wild animals.

On first sight, then, the worlds of LOTM and EAI are quite different. However, the farther you get into the story, the more similar they become. For example, both stories have many religious factions that have complicated relationships with those in power and are often quite practical in nature (unlike the typically quite abstract and monolithic religions of our world), in the sense that they often suit the social circumstances and particular difficulties of different groups very well. More importantly, those factions all have gods at the top (Kalendaria in EAI, the various deities in LOTM), and one of the main mysteries in both works is what their origins, nature and intentions are. Moreover, although the social structure in EAI and LOTM is quite different, both works put a lot of stress on the suffering of those at the bottom: in LOTM this mainly concerns the underclass that is struggling to survive in factories or on the street; in EAI it concerns a large variety of people ranging from s*aves owned by nobles, nomads in wilderness settlements who may die anytime because of thieves, hunger, disease, the zombie-like Heartless (a new type of disease originating from the apocalypse) and other dangers, and hunters and ordinary workers who never know where their next paycheck will come from. And in both works, this unsurprisingly leads to social tensions. And finally, of course, both worlds have a similar minority with magical powers that are largely a secret to ordinary folk yet very influential behind the scenes. So the magical, social and religious aspects of both works are very similar.

Putting all those things together, although the setting of LOTM and EAI is quite different in many ways, they also share many characteristics, from their religions, deities and underground magic societies to their emphasis on social inequality and the corresponding social tensions.

Characters, tone, and style
So far, we have seen that the worlds, power systems and story structure of LOTM and EAI are – despite some pretty major differences – very similar overall. The same is not true, however, for its characters, and I think that is responsible for the largest differences between the two works. There are two big differences here. First, Klein was a relatively serious character: he had his lampooning episodes, of course (how the author loves that word), but he didn't joke much with others, and had a very stable, predictable and reflective personality. The main character of EAI, Shang Jianyao, on the other hand, has a very whimsical personality: he likes to joke around with and tease his friends, especially his best friend (Long Yuehong), his thoughts and emotions are very jumpy, which makes him rather unpredictable and unstable, and his personality is very outgoing, his favorite activities being eating, singing and dancing. In short, he is in many ways the polar opposite of Klein, and that is something I suspect many people will not like (personally, Klein was a far more relatable and compelling character for me, though that is a matter of taste). Moreover, it leads to a tone that is far more humorous than that of LOTM: if you remember the banter between Anderson and Danitz, that is something you can expect to see a lot in EAI (combined with humor stemming from the MC's lack of social tact). If you are a fan of such humor, you'll probably enjoy the MC; if not, you'll be in for a long ride.

The second major difference is that EAI really has four main characters: the team members of the research team into the cause of the destruction of the Old World. Shang Jianyao gets the most focus among them, but all of them are continuously present. And that is clearly a very different situation from LOTM, which had one clear main character who often traveled the world alone and interacted with many different side characters in the process. Moreover, it comes with a big downside: in LOTM you're constantly in Klein's head, looking in at his thoughts and worries. But in EAI you're typically looking at the main characters from the outside: you rarely hear their thoughts. Instead, the focus in on what they say and do, and that makes them somewhat less relatable. Combine that with the fact that they're already less compelling than Klein by themselves, and the characters of EAI are clearly a big minus. They're not bad, but unlike Klein, they're not very memorable either. Oh, and a related difference is that – again unlike LOTM – you always follow the team: you almost never get an outsider's perspective (unless the team meets them, of course). In LOTM, on the other hand, you see the world from many different perspectives through the Tarot Club: a noble, an inhabitant of the Forsaken Land of the Gods, members of different churches, and so on and so forth. And seeing the world from many different lenses really brought it to life and made it more interesting. In EAI, on the other hand, you're stuck with the Old Task Force, and that naturally limits what you see.

By the way, the four main characters are the following:

Shang Jianyao: aside from his whimsical, capricious and outgoing personality, his most important trait is his goal of "saving all of humanity", for which reason he joins the Old Work task force. It's never explained very well why he cares so much about that (most people think he's crazy when he talks about it, so it's definitely not considered normal), but the fact that both his parents are dead (his father went missing on a mission, and his mother died from stress) probably has something to do with it. He's the only Awakened in the team, and often comes up with creative ideas.

Long Yuehong: the previously mentioned best friend. He's rather average, has poor luck, and in all honesty, there's nothing really interesting about him. In this story, he basically has the role of the "normal guy": he asks questions that the other characters often already know the answers to, so we can get the relevant explanations in case we're not as smart as them (which, to be fair, I'm often not), and the others often tease him for his averageness. His main arc is to become more confident in himself and find his place in the Old World task force.

Jiang Baimian: the leader of the team, and the person in the story most similar to Klein. She's very smart and very capable, always doing her best to come up with meticulous plans to survive their many dangerous encounters and outwit their enemies. Like Shang Jianyao, she's very determined to find the reason behind the apocalypse (mainly because she thinks it's the most effective method she has to improve humanity's situation), and she doesn't want to settle down until that mission is complete. She's often partnered with Jianyao and is the only person who can stand up to him. They have good chemistry, and she may well end up as the FMC (though that is my personal guess based on both their chemistry and the similarity of their goals and attitude towards relationships). My personal favorite character.

Bai Chen: a wilderness nomad who joined the main characters' faction from the outside. She has traveled and seen a lot, and can therefore both act as a guide and a teacher, teaching the other main characters about what life outside the company is like. Because of her difficult past, she's very quiet and introverted and doesn't open up easily to others. Her main arc is to find hope for a better future and to start seeing the other main characters as companions she can trust with her life.

In short: Lord of the Mysteries and Embers Ad Infinitum are very similar in many ways. They have a similar story structure, with a focus on slowly unraveling the mysteries of their worlds. They have a similar power system, with hard rules and limitations that are strictly followed and necessitate strategic thinking. And even their worlds are very much alike in many ways: both are (or are at least said to be, by its various religious organizations) led by mysterious and powerful, yet seemingly rarely active gods, whose intentions and origins are a mystery, and the social divisions of both settings are quite similar as well. For all these reasons and more, the two stories closely resemble each other in many ways (to the point where some speculate that they're actually set in the same world), and fans of one story will therefore probably like the other as well.

That being said, there are some important differences as well. First, where Lord of the Mysteries is set in something like Victorian England, Embers Ad Infinitum has a post-apocalyptic setting, and that means both that the world is a lot less lively, and that it is far more technologically advanced – and the latter point is also reflected in the fights, where weapons and technology are very important. And second, Embers Ad Infinitum has a far more humorous tone: its main character loves to joke around, is very outgoing, and more generally, is simply rather odd and capricious, and because of that the story has a lot more comedy than Lord of the Mysteries had. Moreover, there are really four main characters that we constantly follow (and whose perspective we rarely leave), and because of that (combined with the sparsity of internal monologues) we rarely delve as deeply in their thoughts and emotions as we did in Klein's. Plus, none of them is anywhere near as compelling in my eyes (though that is admittedly a very high standard).

Even so, despite its faults, I think Embers Ad Infinitum is very much worth reading: its world is fascinating, the battles captivating, and its characters likable enough. So if you're looking for a story with a similar feel as Lord of the Mysteries, it's absolutely worth a shot. Besides, we have to do something until 2023, right? 4* <<less
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Aether999 rated it
June 11, 2021
Status: c353
To put this review in perspective, this is coming from someone who hasn't yet read the previous works from Cuttlefish. In my opinion, this is a good thing because as I read other reviews, it seems like people are trying too hard to compare this novel to his previous one, which results in some bias rather than taking this novel as it is. (Whether that's good or bad is up to you)

I'll start by saying that this is one of the better novels I have read recently. I enjoy... more>> pretty much all aspects of this novel, including the MC, side characters, power system, world-building, attention to detail, and pacing.

One of the bigger issues that I've seen people talk about is the pace, whether it be character development or progression. Personally, I disagree with the people saying it is poorly done. Rather than constantly switching from one mission or quest to the next or making the characters boring by explaining their entire past in a few chapters, it takes its time. By piecing together the character's past over time, it leaves the reader excited for the next piece of information. If you were to roughly generalize pacing in 3 categories: fast-paced, regular, and slow burn, I would put it somewhere between regular and slow burn. That being said, certain necessary aspects are being well-developed at a quicker pace while still staying with the novel's overall theme.

Overall, if you are going to start reading this novel, you should take note of a few things. Don't expect massively fast-paced progression from one mission to the next, expect character's backgrounds and details to be explained over time slowly rather than all at once, and don't expect a cheat-code type of MC; most aspects are pretty well balanced; like strengths and weaknesses.

There is a lot more to like about this novel, like character interactions (one of the highlights in my opinion), an interesting twist that makes the MC a lot more interesting, many mysteries that are being slowly unraveled, etc., but that might take too long so I left it to the other reviews. <<less
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hereforthegoodstuff rated it
September 14, 2021
Status: c516
If you asked me before, id tell you not to bother with this. It just felt too mediocre compared to the author's magnum opus, lord of the mysteries. But after months of reading, and just now binging the latest 200 chapters, I have to give this a 5/5. They say a book is only as smart as the author, and if you've read lord you know how smart cuttlefish is. The two main characters are smart in different ways, one is incredibly analytical and the other has common sense different... more>> from most (he's literally crazy), but no less intelligent. There's actually 4 (now 5) main characters, in a group. They each are fleshed out, and you care about them all. This book has it's own interesting "power" system, but there's also subhumans, genetic enhancement, and other strange things. All taking place in a postapocalyptic world. The overall mystery of the story is "How did the old world get destroyed? What is the "new world"? Who are the "gods" that exist? Is the organization the main characters work for part of the cause of the old world's destruction?" and other such stuff.

But who cares about all that? What really matters is how the author creates interesting, detailed, smart, and well thought out arcs. How every character has their own role to play in that arc like a puzzle piece. I'd say push through if you ever get to a slow part, because it's worth it! <<less
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DragonSlayer13579 rated it
January 4, 2021
Status: c70
Well, I've read thill the current chapter (70 at the time I'm read this, I'm referring to the mtl version) and what can I say, the series seems to have a lot of potential and was pretty enjoyable.

The world where the story happens in an apocalyptic and futuristic version of earth, with a few sci-fi elements, but not that many or too advanced. I'm talking about genetic modification, bionic armours, electromagnetic/plasma weapons, the highest technological achievement in this futuristic earth seems to be the capability to transplant the human conscience... more>> in a terminator like robot.

There is also a mystical side to this earth like there are supposedly 13 gods, we don't know anything about them, but anyway some humans might from time to time awaken some special abilities, they are called the 'Awakened' and need to pay some price to get in exchange 3 gifts (superpowers). Those gifts seem to be upgradable with the help of a place called the ' Hall of stars' accessed by some awakened trough sleep.

Until now the MC doesn't seem to have any cheats or anything special to him, a little bit surprising if you take in consideration how this author in his other series made the MCs always have some cheat or something special to them. I'm personally quite hyped and have pretty high expectations for this series, I hope it will be as good as The Lord Of Mysteries. <<less
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Asvare rated it
September 26, 2022
Status: Completed
If you're hesitant about reading this, I understand why you would be. It is an odd premise. The story starts off slow, and the first few chapters have a strange start. But it was without doubt worth it for me, and I'm extremely glad I stuck with it. Everyone I know that's ever read beyond the first 50 chapters has loved it. Two of my friends shelved it until I convinced them soon after to give it another try- and they loved it. We geeked about the chapters as they've... more>> were coming out live.

The characters are extremely well written to the point where you can imagine what they'd be like in real life, they almost pop out of the page. The trust, teamwork, and the tight bonds between the Old Task Force characters as they grow together was phenomenally well written. The character growth, in its own embers~weird way, is immaculate. There are tons of depressing, comedic, awe-inspiring, and uplifting moments. If you're on the fence, I recommend giving it a read- it has a weird start but only gets better as it progresses and finishes with a beautiful, memorable, and bittersweet ending. All in all, easily one of my all-time favorite novels.

For all of humanity!

And for all of you who have finished this series:


Welcome to the New World! I miss the series already, and it's only been a day. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did- that ending was beautiful and I miss all of the characters dearly... that ending crushed me. If you have the time, please try and review the novel so that other people can enjoy this wonderful experience we've shared together.

For all of humanity!

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Made_an_acc_for_EAI rated it
February 16, 2022
Status: c727
Wrote a review since most of the reviews are quite old. Embers Ad Infinitum is truly great. The pace starts picking up during their first mission and has been consistent till now and frankly I love the pace. Also for those comparing with Lotm, its kind of different. LOTM had its highs and lows, and is one of the best novels for many due to some of its moments being just too amazing. In contrast EAI is more of very well written fantasy yet down to earth novel. What I... more>> mean is although there isn't a single moment which stands out, the overall quality of writing is amazing. <<less
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meridianna rated it
June 4, 2021
Status: c338
it's nice, its characters are smart and logical, but some of them are just uncanny lmao. (Certain mechanical monk makes me scared).

the setting is quite wonderful, but most battle happened in meta world so I think most people will feel bored.

there's no romance yet, and I hope it'll keep like that.

no need to compare it with LoTM, both have different theme and protagonist. You can say Embers feel more boring than LoTM but that is because LoTM has ended and Embers still has many things to go. I actually like... more>> this novel because the mystery is also thick, and the female characters have more roles. You totally cannot compare Big White to Miss Audrey, can you? (Tho she actually is more like Princess Natasha from ToMA)

and the protagonist? He is just verrryyyy amusing and unique. I love seeing his antics. He is just unpredictable, even the author doesn't include his thinking in the writing so we readers cannot know what he is thinking. I just didn't expect this kind of mad man still follow logic and actually very coherent if he tries.

i will keep follow this novel, hopefully the plot is good till end. I'm just a bit concerned if the author can write this till end when the time for LoTM 2 comes. <<less
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Shaiole rated it
November 17, 2021
Status: c626
I love apocalyptic settings and adventures. The style is a bit LOTM but the story is different.

If I would compare this to any other work, closest would be One Piece. We have the silliest protagonist who lights up the mood from time to time, but is also strong and can carry his weight. We have a team adventuring with certain goals. In this case, the MCs silly dream is saving humanity. They travel to place to place, places with different cultures and different beliefs. Different ways of surviving and coping.... more>> Hoping to learn of the truth of the world. Why it became like what it is now. The cause of apocalypse.

Now why would someone a give this low rating? It is because it is a webnovel and plot moves slowly. The world building takes a whole lot of chapters. Author introduces mysteries on top of mysteries. There are also lots of characters that they meet with their own stories to tell. An arc can take too long to finish, when you think it's about time to finish a mission, unplanned things will happen and the adventure continues.

If I compare it to LOTM, I think this is much more interesting. That and I'm a bit bias in apocalyptic and adventure settings. <<less
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halfcrzy rated it
March 29, 2021
Status: c206
Now this pains me. I have loved Cuttlefish's previous works, and the very very intro had a cool premise. But thats all I can say. Its so incredibly slow and boring by this point ch 200. The 4 MC aren't overly likeable, some of the humor is starting to get old. I really hope things will turn around in the future, but it feels like there is no plot progress what so ever, and hasn't been any power ups in the supernatural aspect after 200 chapters.

I will update my review... more>> in a couple hundred chapters later, but as of right now I feel like this is a 5/10 or a 6/10 at best. <<less
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Sinai rated it
December 24, 2020
Status: c25
So far just some good worldbuilding and a good start on memorable characters by the author of Lord of Mysteries.

Set in a post-apocalyptic world that is partially recovered, the MC (?) is a recent university graduate that has spent his entire childhood in a gargantuan 650-floor underground complex that is the headquarters of a vaguely dystopian corporation in a post-apocalyptic world that constitutes a city unto itself.

Believing himself to be savior of the world (Which corporate profilers see as mild psychosis), he volunteers for Security duty, the only branch of... more>> the corporation who routinely venture topside. Joining a small 4-man team with a childhood friend his emergence into the greater world deliberately plays upon leaving the Vault in Fallout games, and he finds that the world is richer and more complex than he is prepared for, and he spends his early days learning to navigate the world of nomads, bandits, and small enclaves in a future-tech civilization that has collapsed but still remembers the Old World.

The author displays considerable skill in his writing, and you can see he has spent some time building the world, but so far, there is little that is truly standout in this novel, except perhaps a well-told fight sequence between his 4-man team, a monster, and a group of roving bandits. <<less
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LeylinIsOP rated it
October 1, 2022
Status: c953
It's a must read if you like investigation and mystery novels. Although it's a bit slower and doesn't have as much action as Lord of the Mysteries which is the authors magnum opus, it's still a great read. I haven't read a single bad work from this author and that includes Throne of Magical Arcana which was basically a live test for the author for his magnum opus, and it was still better than most of the webnovels in the same genre.

Overall, this won't blow you away if you've... more>> read LoTM but it's still a damm good story. <<less
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detaemo rated it
April 22, 2021
Status: c174
As of now there's nothing significant in the story they're just exploring exploring and exploring. The characters are not likable they're not attractive enough, like the previous work, the author didn't do great on character's role. He should focus on one character not everyone equally. If he wants to focus on everyone he should do it on one perspective, which will make the character more likable. (At first the MC joke was hilarious which is the MC characteristic but the author used it too frequently, over time it became boring... more>> and the MC lost his colour)

other than this he did a great work, world building, character personality, story telling. The problem is on the character's role. If the characters are attractive no matter how boring the story is, it's not important <<less
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aShinyVaporeon rated it
January 17, 2021
Status: v3c5
So far, I've read the 62 fast-passable chapters on webnovel, and then MTL'd up to the 3rd volume's 5th chapter (or 117th chapter overall), before my braincells ran out.

The MC is an interesting person so far. I can't tell whether he really is crazy (in other words, really believes he's saving the world) or not, although he has shown that he is definitely mostly sane and faking at least part of it. Also, his interactions with other characters are hilarious. MC is that one person who makes bad jokes in... more>> awkward moments. Characters seem interesting so far, too.

The setting/world background is interesting as well. It's not your copy-paste zombie apocalypse with elemental rock-paper-scissor abilities, although there are both abilities (more of the LOTM horror-ish abilities bound by strange rules than the classic clean-cut ones) and zombie-like entities (these are the Heartless, essentially people who are controlled by bestial instincts. They are not dead and therefore not zombies).

The majority of the world has been driven into poverty by the apocalypse, and food is usually in short supply compared to how it used to be. While technology has developed, it's rare for poor people to come in contact with it. The MC's shelter and others he hears of seem dystopia-like. Outside, bandits, nomads, faction operatives, and strange creatures roam. The world is not only populated by mundane humans, but also mutated ones, deemed subhuman, genetically modified ones like the MC, cyborgs with prosthetic limbs or mechanical bodies, the aforementioned Heartless, and the mysterious people with supernatural abilities.

There's also the mysterious gods behind it all, and their possible connections to the apocalypse and various supernatural elements.

All in all, it looks like a promising novel. <<less
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White Empress
White Empress rated it
December 30, 2020
Status: c60
Starts out a bit slow but the world building is fantastic and it has begun to ramp up into something I’m genuinely excited to read. It has a distinct new flavor to read in comparison to other apocalyptic novels I’ve read so far so. The MC is entertaining as well as mysterious and the side characters seem unique. If you like The Fallout series I highly recommend.
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nerizor rated it
September 26, 2022
Status: Completed
This novel brought me to laughter, and by the end, it brought me to tears. Truly one of the best novels I've ever read. It's quirky and strange, and while it is *different* from Lord of the Mysteries, it's as good.

The ending was... Simply perfect. There's no way around it. It has a perfect ending.

And a poigniant ending. I'm crying like a child, but that's the best part.


For All Humanity!
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erocommander rated it
September 25, 2022
Status: Completed
Just finished it, as expected form Lord of the Mysteries's author.

Amazing novel, amazing characters, amazing plot and great ending.

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rhianirory rated it
May 16, 2022
Status: c100
I don't have a problem with this being slow paced, my problem is the lack of connection to any of the characters, which makes them feel bland despite the author trying to make them quirky and interesting.

I had the hardest time getting to chapter 100; without that deeper connection I have no reason to care about the MC or the team. Instead of discovering the world from one persons views and experience, emotions and growth, we only see the surface of each person. It puts too much distance between the reader and the characters. Maybe it changes later, I dunno.


the world looked interesting but I just couldn't get invested. When you find yourself clicking on random coin pushing vids just to delay reading another chapter, it's time to stop.

maybe I'll try again when the story is completely translated.
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Braindean rated it
April 14, 2023
Status: c129
Actually, I'm pretty sure I made it to chapter 200 something, but I can't remember. My saved progress says 129, so whatever. Anyways, this is the worst start to a novel I have ever read. I am not exaggerating, it is so slow and so bad. I readily hopped into this novel since I loved LotM like everyone else, and I was shocked at how terrible it was. It's like actual physical pain to read. That one part in the beginning of the story where the protagonists get charmed by... more>> an awakened and spend a dozen chapters doing his bidding was agony. If I really liked this novel, I could speed read it in a few days. Instead, it took me a week to make myself read just a couple chapters. Apparently, the novel "gets good" after an indeterminate amount of chapters (from 300 to 500 depending on who you ask), but if the first 40% of your novel is just horrible then your novel isn't worth reading.

It's so sad too, since Cuttlefish is clearly an amazing author with incredible talent for writing fight scenes. The first fight with the mechanical monk Jingfa was amazing and energetic. The novel threatened to be interesting, to be amazing, but never followed through. It fell back down into being boring. Maybe one day, I'll truly run the well of good novels dry and come back to this one. Then, we'll see if it really does get as good as the reviews say. <<less
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Seregosa rated it
November 29, 2022
Status: c197
Sigh, I'm so disappointed. To me, this was a clear 2-3/5 at most, I want to give it 3/5 out of sentiments for this author but considering how skewed the ratings are in this review section and that I really found zero enjoyment in this novel, I have to bring it down to 2/5.

The author does way too much wrong in my opinion. Lord of the mysteries was an awesome novel so I had high hopes that this would be decent, especially from the reviews praising it to high heavens.... more>> But this isn't even slightly comparable. While the story is crafted quite nicely, by which I mean that the world building is good, logical, reasonable and has the potential to be interesting, the other parts (which are more important) are not.

I'd say this novel has 4 main pitfalls.

1: The mystery! This takes the mystery from lord of the mysteries and turns up the mystery to max! But this is not a good thing, lord of the mysteries was already mysterious enough, in here we just don't know anything and it drags on and on at an incredibly slow pace with nothing really happening, because everything is a mystery, even the protagonist. Since lord of the mysteries got way better after several dozen chapters, I forced myself through the first parts but was left finally realizing that this will never get better.

2: The "third person" perspective. Not sure if that's the correct word but we actually don't read this from the protagonist's perspective. It takes a general overview where all characters are exposed almost equally, although the protagonist has more screen time. We don't get to see his thoughts, his background story, his feelings or anything else. No, what we get is an ignorant bird's view of the situation. We can't connect to any of the characters because none of them feel personal, we don't get to read about their thoughts, not even the mc's. He's a stranger to us, as is everyone else in this story. In lord of the mysteries, we followed the protagonist on his journey and got to read about his thoughts and attempts to figure things out, but in this novel, the protagonist is just a guest in his own story, a side character disguised as a protagonist. He's just weird for the sake of being weird, because it's supposedly funny to act slightly crazy (and repeat similar jokes over and over again). I really don't understand the choice of making everyone a side character in this novel. You just end up feeling lost and there's no sense of fulfillment when things are gradually cleared up since you don't even care about the characters and certainly can't place yourself in the protagonist's shoes. Horrible.

3: Slow-paced. With how little engagement people can find in the characters, we need a higher pace with interesting things happening often, instead we're left with a kind of dreary, boring and slow-paced story where little to nothing happens, it also feels like similar things happening over and over again. The world is well-thought out, but that only serves to waste time on something that isn't interesting in a story like this because you don't care about the protagonist and the crew anyway. As a "bonus", even the power ups are extremely slow paced and feels completely irrelevant unlike in lord of mysteries where, while it was kinda slow, at least he got noticeably stronger and kept on solving mysteries and we could follow him for this.

4: The comedic relief. Since we don't care about the characters and the protagonist is kind of crazy, yet does the same thing over and over again in slightly different ways, it falls flat. The communication between the team members never change and they just bicker in the same fashion all the time. It's incredibly dull. The comedy is horrible. At least in lord of mysteries, we had a lot of fun misunderstandings and the meetings, it was both hilarious and interesting. But here we have a "certified crazy person" whose thoughts we don't really know (and thus don't even know why he's acting like this) making random moronic outbursts. The comedic relief is supposed to contrast the heavy mysterious setting and the dramatic mood, but it just ends up a waste of text.

That's pretty much it. I can't find anything great about this novel, it's a subpar novel in almost every way. The author made a lot of extremely bad choices and managed to create a crap novel with characters that suck and you can't relate to or care about, comedy that isn't funny, a world setting that is just depressing, mysteries that are just there for the sake of mystery instead of being interesting and worth exploring (and that you don't care about since the characters doesn't matter) and then the pace which enhances the flaws and reduces the pros. You can't even appreciate the growth of the protagonist since he's so alienated from us as readers.

Don't be deceived by the ratings/reviews, stay far away from this novel and go for lord of the mysteries or some other actually fun novel to read. This isn't worth your time, if you dislike it the first 30-50 chapters, you will definitely dislike everything else. Unlike you somehow love this bird's view third person perspective and not knowing anything, not even the thoughts or efforts of the protagonist. So "awesome" when you not only don't know the world but don't even know anything about the supposedly most important character. Horrible is too high of a praise here. <<less
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