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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

—— Dickens《A Tale of Two Cities》

I took my hatred and plot for revenge with me down the mire, to the depths of the abyss, and returned as a ghost of the past. I want to plant the seeds of the rotten truth, nourish their deadly thorns with fresh blood so that they grow and pierce through this civilization built on lies.

I reached the bottom of the abyss…only to find a shining star.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Can Ci Pin
Cán Cì Pǐn
The Defective
Related Series
Sha Po Lang (8)
Little Mushroom (3)
The Mechanic (2)
Silent Reading (2)
Don’t Pick Up Boyfriends From the Trash Bin (2)
There Is No Afterlife (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Sci-fi (bl)
  2. vou ler vou ler
  3. Daun's Fluff List (I WARNED YOU DO NOT TRUST ME)
  4. BL To-Read List
  5. hilariously good sci-fi

Latest Release

Date Group Release
09/03/21 Golden Plastic Sisters c90
08/14/21 Golden Plastic Sisters c89
08/14/21 Golden Plastic Sisters c88
08/14/21 Golden Plastic Sisters c87
12/30/20 Golden Plastic Sisters c86
11/14/20 Golden Plastic Sisters c85
11/14/20 Golden Plastic Sisters c84
10/29/20 Golden Plastic Sisters c83
10/05/20 Golden Plastic Sisters c82
09/27/20 Golden Plastic Sisters c81
08/27/20 Golden Plastic Sisters c80
08/12/20 Golden Plastic Sisters c79
08/12/20 Golden Plastic Sisters c78
08/12/20 Golden Plastic Sisters c77
06/21/20 Golden Plastic Sisters c76
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42 Reviews sorted by

New 3694 rated it
November 18, 2022
Status: v1c1
I have this thing with priest that everytime I encounter priest's novel it will take a long time for me to read it, I meant I already started it but procrastinating not to continue reading. Even if it was alrdy on my reading list, it still there waiting for me to read it. And no matter how many series I read from priest and how much I know their writing style It really just takes time to get into it. This always happens every single time.

This is the 3rd priest... more>> novel in my reading list THREE! <<less
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New ssangss
November 10, 2022
Status: c51
The quality of the translation improves after about 20 chapters. This is my third time trying to read this and knowing priest and her talent, along with sci-fi being my favorite genre, I always found it baffling. But knowing that, respectfully, the translation isn't at all good in the beginning, it makes more sense that I couldn't get into it until I forced myself to keep reading. Once you get past the non-edited stuff, the bad grammar, the missing verbs, the MTL style, then it picks up quickly and gets... more>> engaging. I'll come back and finish my review when I finish. <<less
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shairiru rated it
January 6, 2019
Status: Completed
ADDED (1/19/19)

I've finished it! IT'S AMAZING. 10, 000, 000/10 stars

Plot: I'm not much of a "plot police" but I can really say the plot has been thought of very well. Something that happened very early on turned out to be such an important plot piece. The twists!! THE TWISTS. And the unfolding of past and present events too T_T Just so so so good. And if you're a fan of separation for a long time...... more>>

Yes they do get separated. SIXTEEN YEARS. And they were already a thing during that time. With MC not knowing if ML is still alive... and ML having strength because he promised MC that he will return to him no matter what, no matter where goes, and no matter how long he might be gone. He will always return to him T_T


Characters: It's interesting how you see the three major characters develop differently under the same situation of "suffering since childhood" and "having the same end goal". The way they approached situations and faced certain events truly highlighted these differences. I really love the MC's development from the bright, bouncy, naive young man that he was to what he became yet he never lost his heart, his dreams, and his goals. Truly a wonderful growing up story. Even how they dealt with relationship issues realistically... beautiful. ML's personal growth as well, how he was able to deal with the thorns that have plagued his heart for the longest time, how he is truly able to find his brightest star. I love their relationship!!!! Really healthy...

many points in the novel, you'd see them expressing how they're willing to let the other go if they'd be happier without the other yet they won't stop loving the person. And in crucial times, when they have to do their own responsibilities to save their galaxy, even when they could get separated again and they could even die, they didn't become dramatic with some "stay with me, don't leave me, let's just leave and be happy on our own"... they knew what they had to do. I like to believe they trust in each other that much that they don't have to be around each other 24/7. Really healthy.

Even the development of the secondary characters is very beautiful too!!!!

Writing: I've lost count on how many times I had legit goosebumps while reading because of certain lines. The book is full of wisdom. Makes you think about the current situation of the society... it certainly mirrors current dilemmas and it'll show you the many ways how humanity could deal with it and what will be the results.

tl;dr: Can Ci Pin is not just some BL novel, because I'm aware how some people would only read for the "BL". Can Ci Pin is way beyond that. It's a great novel wonderfully crafted, beautifully written, that just happened to have a gay couple, just as how other novels have their own het couple too yet that couple is not the main focus of the story. I think this pattern is a trademark to priest's work, and it's really great. TwT

ADDED: (1/10/19)

I'm almost halfway through and W O W. It really is a big plot and everything is so exciting! And the development between MC and ML's individual character and as a pair is *chef's kiss*. The development of the secondary characters is good, too! They're definitely not there just to add to the character but they also grow with the main characters and with the book.

Priest knows how to deliver her humor well, and she knows when to deliver the knives as well ;w; This is really a beautiful read... not just because of the cp but also because of the philosophical lines that'll make you think, the conflicts that reflect real world situations, and the imagery that'll paint you the world of Can Ci Pin vividly.


Struggling through the 60-70% that I can understand from mtl, but this is seriously so good. I highly commend priest's worldbuilding, it's what makes this book shine. Since I have no complete grasp of the plot yet, I can't really judge it already. But writing-wise, character-wise, as always, priest delivered. Even the dialogues, the lines, every is written so vividly, probably only lazy readers will complain about the worldbuilding haha

Even all the characters are precious... this has an upcoming donghua and I'm very excited to watch it ;v;

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katiethairu33 rated it
July 24, 2020
Status: v1c24
Kill me now, I'm in love with this ML! Ah, he's so cute. Such an adorable little genius. OMG. I can't anymore. squeals I wanna squish him. He's going to be my favorite ML of all time. I can feel it.

cough I'll write something serious once I calm down.

Update 1:

... more>> Goddamn! I love MC too! He's such a badass! Priest Goddess, how do you keep creating such delicious men with steel balls? Ahhhh, I'm so smitten.

A quote of his: "If there's no alcohol, I'll drink blood."

I mean, this wasn't the serious part. I'll have to write an essay if I have to describe the extent of MC's badassery. But he's so strong! I literally have stars in my eyes~

More later.

Update 2:

I'm sobbing. Priest Goddess is vicious. I am another victim of her silent knife. No preparation. Got me when I was naked. plops down and cries

I have realized that this is going to be one of my favorites. And it's only Chapter 25 O_O I'll just leave my feelings as I read here.

It's going to be a long, hopefully spoiler free review that shows my emotional journey throughout the story. I haven't done one of these before.

Update 3:

cough The torture is way too creative in this one. And my nasty self likes it. covers face

Update 4:

MC: "No penalty = no human rights."

Ahahahaha. I'm dead. Please send me off properly. I died laughing. XD Too good.

Update 5:

You know, I usually find idealistic optimists annoying. I'm one of those and I've learned from harsh reality or you could say I've compromised to it. But the ML, he's such an earnest person. He has big dreams and he can realize them with boundless enthusiasm even in the face of war, misfortune, grief and a whole array of confounding situations. It's just so heart wrenching. I'm crying so much just because I got to read about such a brilliant person, even though he's fictional. sniffles I've decided. He's my fav ML of all time.

Update 6:

I don't think my man Zhanlu, the extremely competent AI mech got praises yet. His cold jokes are kissperfect MC & Zhanlu's camaraderie is so hilarious. Ah, I could just listen to them yapping at each other forever. OwO

Update 7:

I swear all those little ingenious schemes they come up with to survive are just so amazing. ML is like a gift giving tree that keeps on giving. And Priest humor was so on point in this one XD

Update 8:

I think most of my liking for the ML comes from the gentleness of the ML. He's like a messiah that can tame all the wild beasts using his gentleness alone. He has so much love. And even this MC with a heart of stone is rendered useless in the face of his gentleness. It's like being encompassed in the waves of the ocean. No use struggling against it. Might as well enjoy the warmth.

Update 9:

Remember what I said about the ML being gentle? He's scary when he gets angry. I mean, it's only natural though. If even someone like him can get angry you can imagine how much of an as*hole the MC was. Anyway, being with him might knock some sense into him. At least the MC needs to treasure his life more? Not be like a f*cking tyrant who would rather take down his enemies with him.

Update 10:

I thought I could keep this spoiler free but I can't. This is a minor one though.


I thought MC was a shou because of emotional issues. And while it is true that MC being unable to take care of others is part of the reason, the main reason is that MC could have broken ML with his inexperience. I mean, MC honed himself into a human weapon and if he accidentally lost control or did something s*upid out of his inexperience, pleasure could easily transform into a bloody freaking nightmare. So, to save themselves from trauma during their precious first time, MC decided to handover the pleasure department to Professor Lu who enjoys creating fun experiences out of nothing anyway. It was the most unexpected reason I could've imagined before reading this. OwO


Update 10:

My brain's going to explode. There's more than 90 chapters left but I've already bitten through my nails, cried all my tears and am having a mini heart attack every half a page. Priest Goddess took thrilling to a whole new level. I think I need a break to cool off? I'm scared I might explode.

Update 11:

After this roller coaster ride, I'm proud to say that I'm another survivor of the infamous silent knife galore that this book presented. 20 chapters just about wrecked me. I was like a ping-pong ball that was bounced across heaven and hell. It was... unforgettable? It was worth it though. I understand why this book received that sci-fi award. This deserves to be made into a movie tbh. This is truly an epic space saga.

Update 12:

Oh no, even towards the end, why are there so many knives ah? sniffles ML grows up... He is traumatized and loses a lot of his blind optimism but he is still hanging in there and slowly heals. But, but... everything that happens is so tragic ah! It's like they can't have one second of peace! Grr!

Update 13:

MC is such a tsundere! Hahaha. He's so cute towards the end when he opens up! But jeez, there's so much thrilling stuff going on right till the last chapter. Oof. Well, the extras are extra sweet too. It ended on a perfect note. <<less
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August 1, 2021
Status: v1c1
All these reviews are 5 stars and here I am unable to rate it. I have picked this novel up five times.. And five times I can barely get passed a whole chapter without wanting to cry.

The first 40 chapters of the translations is so difficult to read for me, it physically pains me.. Each time I pick this up I try to read one chapter and each time I put it down after barely getting halfway through one chapter.

All the reviews make this novel seem so interesting and I... more>> sincerely want to check it out and see just how interesting it is, but in all honesty, I just can’t seem to push through. Maybe I’ll try again later or just chalk this entire novel into my attempted list and call it quits.

Take my review with a grain of salt. I’m posting this just for my own relief than anything else. <<less
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kilppes rated it
April 21, 2021
Status: Completed
Can Ci Pin is literally my favorite danmei and maybe the best work of literature that I've read in so, so long.

I want to preface by saying that: even if you're not into sci-fi, the work is really easy to understand. She introduces all the technologies with great detail by creating characters that demand explanations constantly. Lu Bixing having his students around all the time is one of her plot devices to introduce us to what we need, usually in small doses as Lu Bixing tried to explain what is... more>> at hand in that part of the story. So if you're afraid of not enjoying it, don't worry! Even if you don't understand in the end, you can get through 90% of the story, as it's more about humanity than any robot.

Like every Priest's work, it is heavily plot-based. If you took out the romance, the story would still be really appealing and enough. But it's the development of the main character's relationship that makes you immerse yourself even more in this universe.

I love how both Lin JingHeng and Lu Bixing have their own set of beliefs and goals, and definitely don't force each other to agree or act a certain way. Many times in the story, is exactly the clash of their beliefs that will be the blank canvas for Priest to develop her worldbuilding. This makes the relationship even more realistic, as you can't have two people from completely different universes like LJH and LBX and make them completely fall in love with each other with no issues whatsoever.

There's a lot of communication. I really hate how most BL create the conflict by having misunderstandings and lack of communication between the characters. The conflict here is way more adult in the sense that they are trying to survive in this hostile world and make it work, but both of them work in different aspects. While Lu Bixing is an idealistic teacher, hoping to save the world and grasping more than his arms can hold, Lin Jingheng is rational and methodical, willing to make big sacrifices for the bigger picture, making him seem cold and rigid. Despite that, you can clearly see how willing both LBX and LJH are to listen to the other and try and find a middle ground whenever their ideas clash.


In the beginning, due to a misunderstanding, Lu Bixing thinks Lin Jingheng is in love with him and shamelessly flirts with him. Even though Lin Jingheng doesn't reciprocate, when he finally grasps the idea that maybe Lu Bixing likes him he politely declines and gives him real expectations. Lu Bixing takes it in the most mature way possible and never gets mad at the other for not liking him, and doesn't force LJH.


I particularly dislike how obsessed BL readers are with the couple's position during s*x - I genuinely think that many people expect certain behaviors from the characters when they know the roles based on heteronormativity. Priest subverts the expectation amazingly, and you can even headcanon the couple as a switch (which I find even more interesting than being stuck with the same narrative of all BLs). The couple is really devoid of any heteronormative behavior, which makes it an even more efficient work when talking about the representation of LGBT couples in media, especially when Can Ci Pin is not only a virtual novel but an actual Sci-fi piece and regarded as such by critics. Having LuLin as the protagonists, considering the big prize the work got, makes me think that it's a good introduction to LGBT stories and happy that Priest got acknowledged outside a BL category.

But aside from all of that - even though the story is plot-based, there is a lot in terms of romance. There are many plot-based stories that characters barely interact - I missed Fei Du and Luo Wenzhou a lot in Mo Du, they barely dated each other. You don't have to worry about this in Can Ci Pin, because if they're not together they're definitely thinking of each other, which is the sweetest thing ever.


There is a part in Book 5 where Lin Jingheng and Lu Bixing have to spend a great deal of time far from each other. Even though the loneliness they feel is because of how much they miss each other, watching them grow during this period of time makes your heart melt. You see Lu Bixing spiral into his worst and you can't help him heal, while Lin Jingheng is being literally abused by fate, but they both learn to take care of themselves before meeting each other. Even though they need to work out many things after they finally meet, they become a couple that both can rely on each other in every possible way. The growth in Lu Bixing's character is substantial, and even though there's a lot of trauma involved in the aftermath - creating one of the most beautiful scenes I've ever read of an "argument" between two people trying to make a relationship work - the emotional payoff is HUGE.


I also love the themes of found family all throughout the work. Lu Bixing's students, the Silver Squadron, Lin Jingheng's adoptive family, and others emphasize that family is not who your bond by blood, but by trust and love. You can see how important it is to the characters to build these relationships, especially when you watch Lin Jingheng grow out of "sacrificing" himself every other mission to actually starting to feel homesick because now he has somewhere to return. The same goes for Lu Bixing, that puts all his effort into building a better world for the ones he loves. I dearly love the students, they were the side characters that made me the proudest.

When it comes to female characters, I think it was done well. The story doesn't lack any, which is already more than many BLs can count on. Even though Turan is known for flirting with men, it's more like a running gag to introduce her to the reader than her only job at the story. She shows to be extremely reliable and a good friend and her growth is significant. The same can be said about Lu Bixing's students Mint and Jingshu, which we watch go from reckless teenagers to reliable adults.

Other themes in the work are more bound to the genre itself - the limits of the machine and the biology. Many times, when talking about dystopic Sci-fi, it's usually more focused either on the technology betraying man or the biological advances going out of hand. She makes the bold choice of making these two dependents on each other in the story. Priest also brings to the table the Huxley vs Orwell views of a technological society and discusses more in-depth throughout the book, but I think we can see it clearly through her own storytelling choices.


When you finally get the big picture about the projects, without the biological enhancements that the Nuwa Project did, the Biochip would not efficiently work. When both the projects walk separate ways, it's almost as if she was showing us that we often focus on one aspect when dealing with these types of fiction.


Despite that, I feel that even though she talks about the machine and the medical aspects, in the end, she is still discussing how accessible these things are to the general public. The presence of class consciousness throughout the book is really evident when you see the disparity caused by the system that created what the 8th galaxy was and how much violence is created. She also touches on some really sensitive political topics like the right to self-determination during the independence of the 8th galaxy, the problems with unifying the whole universe into a single "Union", corruption and others. I have no idea how these topics were received in China, but reading these politics through her lenses brought many thoughts toward my own country's reality.

I do feel that Priest has a rather militarized view, and often falls flat when making her characters believable in how they manage power.


We see this problem in Sha Po Lang, where the story is all about how power corrupts people, yet after 18 on the throne Chang Geng willingly steps down. In the same fashion, Lu Bixing makes stern and harsh decisions while being the Prime Minister of the 8th Galaxy and holds too much power, yet is able to step back down and not hold onto the position. Even though the power goes up almost every secondary character's head, the main protagonist never struggles with it. I feel that it's not really a big deal, considering that Lu Bixing was exhausted and wanted to retire, but seems like a recurring theme in her works.

I also feel that she relies too much on military prowess and violence to make society work. While I agree it would be probably the fastest route to achieve the goal she was looking for, I sometimes wonder how the 8th Galaxy managed to stabilize in 16 years without the people there feeling extremely oppressed by the government. Now, this is a sociology major job, not mine nor Priest's, and the whole work feels very cohesive in the end so I really don't mind. If you're not picky about your politics, you will also barely notice.


If I had to choose a single danmei to convince you to read in your whole life, it should be Can Ci Pin/Imperfections. Not only is it one of the best stories that I've ever read, but it brings so many discussions to the table that you will feel like you've read the most philosophical book in the world. But half of the philosophy is just the softest and most wholesome relationship ever (with a happy ending!). <<less
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kuoskinomoto rated it
April 3, 2021
Status: Completed
First, this novel is already completely translated along with the extras (except the last 2), even though it's not reflected on NU as of now. You can visit any of the chapters translated by beans and you'll find links to everything at the beginning of google doc.

In terms of romance,

... more>>

it is a slow burn but not too slow. Lu Bixing (ML) is a shameless flirt right off the bat. The first time Lin Jingheng (MC) saw Bixing he was having a nosebleed due to reading smut to wake up Jingheng from his coma 🤣

There are 7 books and around book 3 (c59-c84) our MC and ML get together. There's plenty of kisses and a couple of fade-out s*x scenes. Plus, it's HE.


I have read many novels by Priest. If Lord Seventh and Faraway Wanderers were light reads and Liu Yao, Silent Reading and Sha Po Lang were heavy reads, then I'll say this one is even heavier. As usual with Priest's novels, romance is a subplot and the main plot is heavily focused on politics, wars, pandemic, body modifications, AIs etc.

Not every time you run away from home meant that you could go back.
- from end of c23

This line really hit me hard 😢


Out of all of Priest's novels, this one occupies the top spot in my heart fol. By SPL. Seeing a rating of 4.3 (at the time of writing this review) really makes me sad. IMO, it should have at least 4.5, ideally 4.7 or 4.8. I hope more people give this novel a try. You guys don't know what you're missing out!

For me, I didn't really get into this novel until around c20. After that, I just knew that I'm not gonna drop this novel despite it's length and the later chapters only proved me right. I sincerely invite you all to jump into this pit and join me 😋

This novel is an under-rated gem. One of the best sci-fi novels, I have ever read. Worthy of winning
- 2019 30th Chinese Science Fiction Galaxy Awards (the most prestigious science fiction award in China) and
- Best Original Book - 2019 Top Ten Best Searchlight Chinese Literature Books of 2019.

P.S. Zhanlu is the best baby and Monoeye Hawk is the best dad. Also, Lin Jingheng has the absolute worst luck, Priest mentioned that she actually had bad luck while she was writing Jingheng haha <<less
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meridianna rated it
January 5, 2019
Status: Completed
edit: I rewrote the review

to be fair, this one starts very slow. only around 10-20 chapter, the pairing is becoming clear. the plot is also starting to show. idk if people are okay about this. imo that's because the world-building in this novel is quite detailed.

the plot is.... WOW. just never expected this level from yaoi/BL. priest herself is quite acknowledged about Western literature. we can see from her previous, Silent Reading.
... more>>

in short it's a mix from Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu (military space opera) + No.6 (dystopia - utopia) + dot hack (AI rampage). the dystopian world later in novel is also a mix between Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World. come to think, I should read those before lmao.


now about the pairing. the shou is very powerful. I mean not only in his power or talents, but also in character. I still find hard to believe this kind of man, a renowned war general, a very fierce and reckless man, with very strong mentality and very manly, very dense about feelings and romance, is a shou! albeit his face is good/beautiful, but it's the cold beauty-type okay! it's almost like I see Reinhardt (Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu) here. welp.
praise to gong who could melt this ice :)
i say, Lin Jingheng is the most coolest uke. coz only coolest is not enough!
also I like the idea in this novel, pairing is about someone who can be equal to you, not 'to protect/to be protected'.
note: Zhan Lu is a qt AI.

yep, the description is confusing. but the last one is true and beautiful if you read.

oh yeah, don't forget to check upcoming anime/donghua!! <<less
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sakirol rated it
June 21, 2020
Status: c102
5/5. Just read it. I would also buy it if there was a physical, translated copy.

Setting summary: Western-friendly intergalactic sci-fi. Plot-heavy with original twists and settings. Subtle romance subplot.

Complex and well-written plot. Amazing world and setting. Multiple logical twists and well-placed foreshadowing. Multiple factions with reasonable personalities, backdrops, motivations. Realistic (and sometimes empty) deaths.

MC's harsh, militant personality contrasts against the ML's soft and optimistic personality. The two contrasting views are brought to the table against moral dilemmas again and again. They're the perfect foil for each other. You'll grow to... more>> love the characters so much and also hate how conflicted you feel about situations they're in. <<less
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ricoerrr rated it
March 22, 2021
Status: Completed

mc: lu bixing

ml: lin jingheng


space opera in which MC is a 'defective' genius from a piss-poor backwater home planet. ML is a decorated commander but fell from grace due to complicated political reason and fled his priviledged high society home. the two meet, shenanigans happen, and together they save a bunch of rag tag kids, homeless space folk, space pirates, and the entire world which spans eight galaxies and then some.

there's so much going on in this story its hard to condense it into a short summary. ... more>>

our MC and ML had to deal with (1) a robot-human hybrid megalomaniac, (2) space pirates and space purists, (3) a deadly virus, (4) a painfully long separation but equally powerful reunion, (5) crazy siblings with a god complex, (6) out of control AIs on a rampage. nevertheless, they both make it out in one piece at the end AND save humanity on the side :)



it took me... 6 months to finish this novel. partially because sci fi is a difficult genre for me to read. a lot of the science-y terms and technicalities flew over my head and I do feel regretful for that because my understanding could have been more enriching otherwise. regardless, this is a pretty heavy novel but I have no regrets picking it up. it explored a lot of concepts - and personally it was priest's most ambitious novel to date.

a lot of the ethics dealt in the novel can be found irl, but dialed up to a 'what if the same dilemnas we face now were asked 10000+ years in the future' kind of way. you see a lot religion vs science, designer babies vs natural evolution, AI vs people, free will vs hivemind, just to name some.

i will say that my favorite theme is how human evolution is handled, should we accelerate human evolution, how should we deal with the class divide that will ultimately result from the fallout, and what to do if it ever spirals out of control. y'know - the fun stuff. and I do think that priest played with that a lot in this novel; the whole 'if so-and-so ever spirals out of control from its original intent into an apocalyptic event, then sci fi is the perfect background for all that shi*t to go down'.

--and I loved every last bit of it <<less
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Neelambori rated it
April 18, 2020
Status: c66
What's there not to like about a story that has good build up with enough clues to muse on, the wonderful side characters that actually have relevance and the Main Character and the Main lead acting like people of their position and not suddenly losing their minds. Logical space journey with twists to make you wish you could go in space to.

I love the fact that while being an awesome novel, retaining qualities I like in literature while still containing a BL couple as the main. I wish it was... more>> a physical book I could buy.

Sci-fi lovers must read.

+++MC is Lin Jingheng who is the shou as stated jjwxc website by the author <<less
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Kazekaachan rated it
April 19, 2021
Status: Completed
I don't really understand mecha, but luckily Priest writes well. so nerve-wracking seasoned with romance, the taste is amazing. MC is Lin Jingheng and ML is Lu Bixing, their character development is quite good, it's just...

WTH, I had no idea who Seme and who were Uke, but it was far from my imagination. This is not a spoiler, but you should read this warning; Lin Jingheng is an uke. Really, this time the priest caught me off guard, I was shocked when it reached chapter 100. I already imagined Lin... more>> Jingheng as seme in such a way, there was even Lin Jingheng's explanation a little higher than Lu Bixing... (I think the priest doesn't like uke who is weak and very similar uke.)

And what surprised me was that Lu Bixing was seme, not as obvious as seme at first. It's no wonder Lu Bixing has never been described as weak man, but he looks shameless and childish. Lin Jingheng treated him like a sugar baby, haha, oops, no, he was just spoiling him. (Lin Jingheng is tens of years older than Lu Bixing, but the lifespan of humans in novels can be up to 300 years, so it's okay.)

I think the priest likes to play things upside down with uke and seme positions, like the Wuxi and JingQi scenes in Lord Seventh; Changgeng and Guyu at Shapolang

okay, fine, my english is bad. <<less
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saphire8626 rated it
March 27, 2022
Status: Completed
My short review is: priest is awesome.

My longer review: In this book, humans are living in a futuristic planet where everyone is part of a mental/neural network called Eden. People have given up their privacy and freedom allowing Eden to monitor and tweak everyone's slightest physiological and emotional states, ensuring that people live happily. The average lifespan is now at least a few hundred years. There is AI everywhere and pretty much everything is automated, convenient and easy. Nearly anything can be done with technology - some of it includes... more>> creating virtual models of people who have died so you can still interact with them in a very limited sense; recording memories like videos, travelling through space, gestating (?) infants outside of the womb... Eden sounds idyllic.

But there is a group of people, whom the novel refers to as 'imperfect' (the title), who are considered by others to be 'brain dead'. They're not able to connect and be affected by Eden. They're considered the rejects of society and are pushed to the fringes of the galaxy, to the eighth galaxy, where they're ignored and treated as substandard. The novel follows two characters, Lu Bixing, and Lin Jingheng, who are both revolutionaries. They want to bring down the administrators of Eden and bring equality to the people of the eighth galaxy.

There are a lot of big questions about the future of humanity, freedom, equality, morality. Priest writes quite differently from Western authors about technology - quite a lot of the utopia/dystopia novels I've read have an anxiety about where technology is going, whether we are really in control of it, individuality, privacy, sensationalism, mind control in the form of mass media and mass entertainment... But Priest's focus is less on technology and more about freedom and morality. Are we all free if one group is more free than another?

I loved reading Priest's writing again! She is so funny. She's also well-versed in western novels and quotes George Orwell and name drops various other western classics at some point. I also have to rave about her characters. Main characters undergo quite a lot of change and growth. There are very few villains who are villainous for the sake of it. I read somewhere that she's a psychology major, which I think explains a lot about her understanding of people.

While it was interesting watching the way the main cp interacted, I think where priest's writing really shines is when disaster strikes. About 60% into the novel (both characters are now in a relationship with each other), Lin Jingheng's ship is blown up and he is presumed dead. Lu Bixing and Lin Jingheng's reactions to the event showed very clearly how much they've changed. Lbx falls into a years-long depression; the description of it was visceral and accurate. He describes everyday as similar to walking on a tightrope. He has to make sure he doesn't lose his mind, lose hope and lose his soul while still maintaining his balance. It was quite painful to see how the optimistic, talkative and upbeat Lbx become withdrawn, quiet and even suicidal at times. I read a book about trauma recently, and kept thinking about it when I was reading this.

Meanwhile Ljh who has always shown a very blasé attitude towards living - 'if I live, that's fine, if I die, that's fine too, I won't fight particularly hard to stay alive' - struggled very hard against difficult circumstances and a very sick and failing body to live.

It was even better after they reunited, because sixteen years had passed, and they'd both become very different people. There was this whole new, tenuous and painful period where they were trying to get used to each other again, with Ljh realizing that the person he'd immortalised in his mind and fought to live for was no longer that person, and he now had to bend over backwards to treat Lbx like glass. On the other hand, Lbx was struggling with being in the present moment where Ljh is alive, rather than being frozen in the traumatic past where Ljh is dead and Lbx is hopeless, helpless and reckless. It culminated into one of the most honest and vulnerable fights I saw a couple have in a Chinese novel. Usually, they don't talk about how they feel. They just kind of imply things. It was super cathartic and quite refreshing to read that.

This is not even mentioning the plethora of side characters and the plot twists. There were some really thrilling plot developments. My heart was in my throat, reading this.

I'm just heart eyes over this novel. It was so good. <<less
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PeonyDancer rated it
February 28, 2022
Status: --
This book... is actually my favourite book. Like, ever. I don't know how to describe it to be honest - all my life, I've dreamed of interstellar exploration, and what I'm studying right now is all in the effort to get there. This book compounded that love... and did something else to my soul.

Like, it reached right within me, with all it's grey morality and discussions on 'what IS humanity', and deconstructed my inner self before building it up again. IDK, if you'll feel the same way about this book... more>> that I did, but I just felt like sharing how much this book means to me <3

I give you this quote from Liu Cixin:

“Life reached an evolutionary milestone when it climbed onto land from the ocean, but those first fish that climbed onto land ceased to be fish. Similarly, when humans entered space and were freed from the Earth, they ceased to be human.”

Agree with it, or don't. <<less
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kedpotato55 rated it
September 20, 2021
Status: extra 6
Another masterpiece from Priest. Finish the novel within 1 week. Well, I need to re-read some of the part to understand it better. Overall the plot is so good. I literally cried when it come to the sad part. And the translation is 100%. Thank you dear translator
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uwu_Nabong rated it
June 22, 2021
Status: extra 6
What can I say? I loved this book.

The characters are superb, from the main characters, to the secondary ones, even the villains and the ones who were already dead when the book began, you get to know each one of them, empathize and even feel attachment.

Many events were certainly cruel, there were countless times when I got shaken by the happenings throughout the novel. From social inequality, flawed government models, discrimination followed by ostracization, the manipulation of the masses, political struggles, the unstable fate of humanity and the inhumane sacrifices... more>> made for the "bigger picture". The novel excludes none of them and points them out.

But, leaving those issues aside, this novel also talks about faith, about surviving, about raising when you have fallen and metamorphing. It talks about hope.

At the beginning the author paints an idealistic society, they have revolutionary technology which can fulfill everyone's wishes and needs, a stable government and economy, there is no war, everyone is "happy", it sounds like a Utopia, and then, conflicts arise, little by little as the plot develops that seemingly flawless society is stripped of its fake skin revealing its ugly and rotten core.

The characters are complex people, they have their own ideals and beliefs. You can see an amazing character development as you see them tripping and falling down, but then gritting their teeth to get up as they are forced to mature and change, realizing their own naivety or arrogance. Many times you question yourself "what would I do if I were them", only to realize you may not have done better in their place.

The book triggers many conflicting feelings, there are times where you may feel as mentaly exhausted as the characters themselves, as hopeful, helpless, distressed, joyfull, as them. In the end, the author takes you through a journey of metamorphosis, letting you explore the twisted side of human nature, filled with greediness, selfishness, wickedness, etc, it shows you humanity's Imperfections. But likewise it slowly heals by displaying its bright side, that one which is filled with solidarity and braveness; loyalty and survival; but most importantly, hope. <<less
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StarPhia rated it
March 22, 2021
Status: Completed
Honestly this book is just absolutely incredible. I really love the MC and the ML, they are so sweet together. (Its my personal opinion that Lin Jingheng is the MC because I feel that the actual story follows him more, but Lu Bixing is like a close second MC because a large portion also follows him, but it really is more about Jingheng). Anyways, the story is also really great. I've read a few of Priest's novels and they are honestly amazing. The plot of this story is really good... more>> and all the characters are really developed and interesting.

Lets start with the plot. It's been a bit since I've started this novel and I've finished a few in between while I was waiting for the translations to update, so I don't completely remember everything. Anyways, the plot is very well thought out. There is a decent balance between the fighting, dialogue, and character exploration. Although some of the explanations to things are difficult to follow because of all the made up space names and stuff, it still does a very good job of explaining things in context. I really love how both leads get a chance to suffer and prosper. Neither one suffered more than the other, they both have had their difficulties. Actually I wanted to cry when the bad thing happened to them, it was so depressing and they changed a lot after. The story is also very interesting, it starts off with the MC going to the 8th galaxy and a girl running from a bad guy, you then very quickly meet the ML. I love how Priest wrote the ML and MC's story, how they got to where they are and show who they are.

OK the romance, it is adorable. At first the MC and ML are just very very cute together. Then the bad thing happens and Lu Bixing becomes very sad and they almost break up. They pull through and are even closer than ever. I honestly love how it is written, they love each other despite their changes, and they do change a lot. Their confession scene is adorable, Bixing is like KISS ME and Jingheng does. I love their little interactions together. I also really appreciate the dynamic of their relationship. Jingheng probably would have been top, but he doesn't want to hurt Bixing so he let Bixing be top. Also Jingheng is fine with it and just loves Bixing and lets Bixing do what he wants. They are on relatively equal standing. Bixing was probably "below" Jingheng for a while because of naivety, but when the bad thing happens Bixing gains more maturity. Jingheng also willingly tries to give all his freedom to Bixing, and tries to chain himself to him so that Bixing doesn't have to worry. Jingheng doesn't really care about himself and just cares about Bixing. They also have playful bickering times and it is really cute. The ML goes from a hopeful and dreaming big cutie into a bad ass Prime Minister and his journey is incredible. MC goes from a cold as*hole to a loving hubby and kinda bickering man. I haven't read the extras, they haven't been updated yet, but gosh they are already so cute.

SIDE CHARACTERS. Love them. There are many, but none of them are forgettable. Ain't much to say, but they all have their own developements and stories, and are absolutely wonderful. I actually like how this novel uses different ways to name characters, so that I don't have to fail at memorizing a bunch of different chinese names. It is easier for me to remember names like, White, Mint, Anakin, etc. I mean, I don't mind the Chinese names, it is just harder for me to remember. Priest just does a very good job at making their names memorable.

All in all, I love this novel. It is hilarious. It has lizards and snakes. It can be sad. It has fluff. GOSH its amazing. It balances so many things so well and I love it. <<less
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Valuna rated it
January 11, 2021
Status: c186
As I have finally caught up with the translation with only 10 chapters of the main story left - I want to say thank you to the translators and editors who work so hard to bring us amazing novels like this one. The quality of translation is perfect and manages to depict the sci-fi terminology and futuristic setting very well.

The intergalactic theme is refreshingly new and I never felt like it was boring at all - The chapter count may seem intimidatingly long (197+extras) but this allows for more... more>> in-depth characters and themes that really leave an impression.

The thing that makes this novel in particular my favourite of priests work is the dynamic between the two leads: There are many problems and issues that they have to overcome, both internally and externally, and it does get a bit painful/sad at times. But this is what makes it so captivating as a story, since it can feel boring and unrealistic if everything always goes well for the characters. Although, that's just my personal opinion since I like a good balance of happiness and angst.

There is so much more I can say about this novel but I don't want to spoil too much; I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a complex, well-written plot and slow-burn romance. <<less
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sonnemund rated it
June 12, 2022
Status: c186
AAHHH long overdue review but this novel remains to be my bl favorite novel on the site and considering I'm a picky reader that's saying a lot. First, the worldbuilding is f*cking crazy, it's insane, it's great. To the point that even if this wasn't bl the younger me who only read bl would've dedicated hours onto reading it. I finished it two years ago yet I still vividly remember the characters (they're really, really likeable) and the plot progression, that's how good it is.

I haven't read any interstellar novel... more>> before this one, didn't even think I'd like this since it was never my thing but damn was it a ride.

Plus, the cp is so amazing, wonderful, brilliant, exceptional, one of a kind, never the same. They both have their own goals and don't solely exist for each other to be a couple. They're written really well with likeable traits but not lacking in flaws, either. I could say the same to most of the main cast, though I don't remember all of them that well.

Be aware that it tackles really heavy topics, though. Some points of the story are heart wrenching but you will be rewarded with a beautiful, healthy relationship by the end. It's all worth it.

Im ngl, until now I still try to find and immerse myself in a novel the same way I did with this one. I'm still trying to emulate what I felt during the times when I read this until today.

In short, Priest really popped off with this. <<less
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August 15, 2021
Status: v1c6
Just a few chapters, I have gut feeling that this was a heavy read, however it'll be awesome too.

But, I'll store this for later, as I'm looking for something lighter and easy going for now.

Skimmed the reviews and some spoilers, one thing I noticed was people have different ideas of who were the ML and MC. Some even didn't know who were the top/gong/seme or bottom/shou/uke. 😅
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Elyurias rated it
August 9, 2021
Status: extra 6
It's the most perfect story I've ever read! I feel like I'm not good enough to express how incredible this novel is, this is Priest's masterpiece! Go read other comments if you want to fell inspired to start ccp, but if you're here, I can already tell that you will start and love. Just trust me and Priest, you won't regret it. I wish that you can enjoy this novel, because it's pure perfection.
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2013722 rated it
November 5, 2022
Status: Completed
Certainly, one of Priest's best. This was one where her qualities as a writer really shine

Incredibly satisfying to read this novel. Everything is balanced, but still very well developed and built upon each other. With a novel like this it doesn't matter whether or not you're into sci-fi. Behind the sci-fi image is a grand take on humanity, merely using the sci-fi as a background. The characters are so realistic to me, despite not being emotionally attached / relating to them I still find myself very fond of them.

What to... more>> consider before / while starting

It just took a long while for me to actually get into the story. It kind of information dumps you at first, and if you weren't into that in the beginning then I recommend not continuing because it's something that consists throughout the novel for most parts. I personally like that, what had it slow for me was because Priest starts at the very top of the iceburg with things and in this case, it's the sci-fi. An aspect I'm most very certainly not interested :P. But I've read Priest's previous novels, so I had an idea of how her novels tend to be written, and knew that this novel had MULTIPLE AWARDS. And damn, well deserved for sure.

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