Silent Reading


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Childhood, upbringing, family background, social relations, traumatic experiences…

We keep reviewing and seeking out the motives of criminals, exploring the subtlest emotions driving them. It’s not to put ourselves in their shoes and sympathize, or even forgive them; it’s not to find some reasons to exculpate their crimes; it’s not to kneel down before the so-called “complexity of human nature”; nor to introspect social conflicts, much less to alienate ourselves into monsters.

We just want to have a fair trial – for ourselves and for those who still have hope for the world.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Justice in the Dark [Live-Action Drama]
Mò Dú
Silent Reading
Đọc Thầm
Безмолвное Чтение
Мовчазне читання
Related Series
Breaking Through the Clouds (8)
Sha Qing (5)
Imperfections (4)
Criminal Psychology (4)
First-Class Lawyer (4)
Swallowing the Seas (3)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Read and Enjoyed
  2. top rated jjwxc novels (1-100)
  3. bl i like
  4. favorites
  5. My favourite Danmei Novels

Latest Release

Date Group Release
09/16/20 Ainushi Translations c68
09/15/20 Ainushi Translations c67
09/14/20 Ainushi Translations c66
09/13/20 Ainushi Translations c65
09/12/20 Ainushi Translations c64
09/11/20 Ainushi Translations c63
09/10/20 Ainushi Translations c62
09/09/20 Ainushi Translations c61
09/08/20 Ainushi Translations c60
09/07/20 Ainushi Translations c59
07/23/20 E. Danglars epilogue
07/23/20 E. Danglars v5
07/23/20 E. Danglars v4
07/23/20 E. Danglars v3
07/23/20 E. Danglars v2
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LadyBlue rated it
March 1, 2018
Status: c11
This novel takes a while to make sense, so please read at least 5 chapters before making up your mind about it. Good things are worth your time and patience XD

I know the summary above maketh no sense, so here's my amateur take on it with some very minor spoilers-

... more>>

Basically, our story starts with a mu*der. A gruesome mu*der on the poorer part of the city evokes much interest and outrage from the netizens, forcing the Police to involve the MCs team. Now let's introduce the main cast *clap clap*

Luo Wenzhou (MC/seme) - police officer, hates Fei Du, very gay, in love with his straight best friend

Tao Ran - police officer, very poor, straight best friend mentioned above

Zhongyi- mu*der victim mentioned above

Fei Du (ML/uke) - rich young master, playboy, good at playing detective, bis**ual... maybe, also in love with Tao Ran, hates love rival Luo Wenzhou,


I find the MC and ML's relationship as love rivals very amusing... especially since the object of their affection has made it clear that both of them have a rat's chance in hell with him. I'm really looking forward to how they will go from can't stand being near 20 feet from each other to don't touch my boyfriend b*tch.

One of the reasons I like about this novel is the fact that neither of the MCs are straight from the start. Most Bl stories start with one or both of the main characters being straight, then slowing becoming gay *insert air quotes* for each other. One of the things I hate most about BL is the "I'm straight but I'm gay only for you" trope *rolls eyes* which I'm glad this novel manages to avoid cuz I'm so sick of that crap.

I feel like many authors miss their mark when it comes to character-driven stories--this one doesn't. Priest is an excellent author and this was one of the top 3 books in 2016. There were a lot of small details I found when I was reading that I really found interesting and amusing.

Warning- I helped editing and QCing this novel so my opinion may be biased. <<less
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katiethairu33 rated it
July 19, 2020
Status: Completed
I have to say this first so as to make sure no more people have misconceptions because of the reviews here.

Fei Du, MC, is not ridiculously OP like mentioned. He is rich yes. From the very first chapter, he is portrayed as a flamboyant dandy. His father was a workaholic and left him most of his wealth when he was very young. He is a CEO but most of the decisions are made by a managerial team and his stakeholders. He doesn't spend any large amount of time on the... more>> company and spends most of his time playing around (as it seemed). Secondly, he isn't a rich f*ck who just gets to participate in police cases because of connections. His DEGREE is in Applied Psychology, specifically, criminal psychology, which, last time I checked, still has influence in police cases. In real life, criminal psychologists do work with the police. It is an actual police job. And besides the first few times when he was actually at the scene and actively helping the police, the rest of the cases he participated were as an INTERN => someone who is doing their JOB.

Untrue statement: a genius psychologist, a millionaire who runs a company, and also has time to help the police solve their crimes???

He doesn't run his company. He only signs documents when necessary and takes in reports. And I believe he is a billionaire. So it's worse. Haha. He is a psychologist and that IS his job with the police so it's not mutually exclusive. So I don't see how he is 'ridiculously OP'.

I'm not finished reading this story. I'm only at the one-third mark and I decided to write this to stop people from having misconceptions like I did after reading the reviews here. I'm unlikely to change my 5 star rating. This is my first Priest novel. So maybe it's because I'm objective and I don't find them OP at all? Both MC & ML have such blatant flaws. I don't see how they can be categorized as such. Anyway, I will update this review once I'm finished.


I MTLd it from around the 70s. I'm sure I missed some of the nuance but the story was so complex and well-written. Everything has an explanation and Fei Du makes such amazing progress towards the end of the story. I love the ML because he really managed to reform a person through sheer love. Haha. He has so much patience and doesn't press the MC for answers any more than he can handle. I would rate it 5 stars just for their relationship not to mention the amazing supporting characters as well as the intriguing plot. It's definitely worth it. I haven't started reading Priest because I can't find completely translated works but now I'm regretting not starting them earlier. I should've not cared if it was MTL. I probably missed some great books out there. QAQ <<less
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Aila rated it
September 15, 2020
Status: Completed
When I'm trying to find a novel to read, I learned to ignore the 5/4 ratings and move on to the low ratings so that I can determine what others find inadequate in it. Alas, in this case there was only one such review which was quickly refuted by later reviews. In any case I proceeded to read this as I was curious and adamant in at least reading one crime novel in this site (as I used to read that kind of novel in the past) and this was... more>> a good candidate.

Now, while this may be referred to as better than some of its kind in this site, I did find some unsatisfactory things in it.

As the story progressed it was engaging, to say the least. While it has the unfortunate elements common to such novels — the two protagonist are indeed more intelligent than their peers (more so with the ML). It can be reasoned that as MC is the leader of their unit, he is naturally their brain. While ML, well let's just say he understands the minds of psychopaths really well. However I found it suspicious that MC asks ML questions that he should know/deduce already seeing as he's an experienced police officer! (This happens later in the story btw) It's like the author is deliberately making it happen so that we should know ML is more intelligent and so on. Side characters also somehow can't come to their own conclusions and always need to ask questions to understand things. Now while these things may not be a major flaw this bothers me and one of the reasons why I don't find this novel good as the majority do.

The major flaw I do find is the way things are strung in the climax... is kinda convoluted. As the author made it so that the cases are connected in the end, the end product was not handled well in my opinion. It's like connecting the strings together and maybe what the author envisioned after it's done is a beautiful artwork, but what I see are strings that are so tangled I find it hard to believe. Pity that, as the individual cases shined in their own way and I was enjoying them too.

Now that I finished it and as I looked back on it I don't find it that impressive. Or maybe my expectations of what I find impressive are just that high, as in the caliber of rational fics.

Tl;dr As the novel neared its end and revelations after revelations are revealed, novel lost its luster to me. <<less
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shairiru rated it
March 2, 2019
Status: Completed
I've seen many readers praise Mo Du highly and now I know why. It's really brilliant, how the things were woven together without losing its sense of being believable. Really really smart. Priest definitely gave the plot a hard thought.

Definitely more plot-centric, but the interactions between the main CP are intense af and are oh-so-good.

The main characters are precious. Starting from a sort of 'love rivalry' to becoming lovers themselves... their growth together was really wonderful, too. Fei Du is a really really interesting character. The way Priest showed how... more>> he was dealing with his trauma was really... unnerving? And much real. Some comments about him before was that he's too efficient (intelligent + with resources), but you'd realize it makes sense that he has this when you arrive at the later parts of the story.

Luo Wenzhou is very precious, too, both as a police officer and a boyfriend <3 He's a good character in every sense and has great dynamics with Fei Du.

The secondary characters have greay development, too. They have their own motivations and are definitely essential to the story.

The cases tend to get heavy, e.g. drug trafficking, abuse, gruesome mu*ders, etc... but written well, it's so worth the mtl hahahaha

Priest's characteristic humor and philosophical writing shines as usual.

Highly recommended !!

p.s. Mo Du is Douban's top suspense/mystery book of 2018 for a reason :) <<less
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Donutts rated it
March 7, 2019
Status: c71
This novel had sat in my unnervingly long want-to-read list for the longest time and I don't know why I never bother to try it out until now. Even though I've been holding on to the concept that I shouldn't write a novel review before finishing it, I firmly believe that this novel deserves more attention since the summary doesn't do enough justice for this masterpiece.
    • MC : Even though it's stated above that the shou is a coward, so far he's not showing any signs as a coward aside from having hemophobia and suffering a trauma due to his childhood experience. He's dealing with his trauma amazingly in a realistic way. He's a scarred genius, with lots of witty remarks and sweet nonsense to spare.

      I especially love the way he evades unwanted topics ridiculously smoothly and his 'realistic psychotic's way of thinking

    • ML: A capable police officer, the son of a somewhat powerful figure in the police department. Shameless. Kind of a love-rival of the MC, since neither he nor the MC is expecting positive result from their love interest.
    • The author didn't make the main characters unreasonably capable while the side characters are left with brain-dead disease. The side characters have their own distinct characteristics and charms as well as developments. Even I who often have troubles remembering names, while I may not be able to recite the name, once it is mentioned, I can easily recognise which character the name belongs to
This is plot-focused story. There is no information dumping chapter here. You get to know the background story of the characters bit by bit through their interactions. You get to unveil and guess the path of the cases together with the characters.

Although it focuses more on the plot, the interactions between the main characters are really loveable too.

I've been hooked to the story after two chapters. The author has a unique style of delivering the story. I have the mind to MTL and finish the entire novel, however I love the translator's choice of words too much. The story flows really smoothly, and I would hate to miss lots of details in a mystery novel.

This novel is a must read! Both for the mystery and the romance! It's amazing in every aspect.
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rICKY rated it
July 25, 2019
Status: --
Alright, so I lightly skimmed the novel, but listened to the audio drama pretty carefully to where the story is currently.

This is gonna be controversial: the problem I have with all priest fics is how are... the main leads so ridiculously overpowered??? Fei du, the ML, is literally a genius psychologist, a millionaire who runs a company, and also has time to help the police solve their crimes??? First of all, a police department would never let a civilian do half the sh*t Fei Du does. Secondly, this police is... more>> wildly incompetent if

fei du can interrogate a child sociopath better than a psychologist that works with the police department. they didnt even attempt to bring a child psychologist!!!


If your main lead is this ridiculously overpowered, for me, it takes a lot of the storyline tension away. As for the plot -- it's mainly case-solving. I'd say each case is just alright. The pacing gets a little slow and some of them drag on longer than necessary.

Overall, I didn't enjoy it because I really don't like overpowered ML or MCs unless it's hella funny and self-aware. The plot itself could be enjoyable, if you like super dramatic mu*der cases with like way too many sociopaths lmaooo. <<less
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T1t4n14 rated it
August 23, 2020
Status: Completed
Wow!!! What a ride...

It's a great stories with great closure and great translation I have no complain. Just in case your are confused like I was, e danglars completed the translations of 5 volumes and an epilogue. Enjoy the ride.
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stardustmist rated it
July 31, 2020
Status: epilogue
This is one of the best written novel out there, not just the plot and crime cases, but the whole of characterization and foreshadowing. I got goosebumps while reading this and not gonna lie, my heart and stomach became so cold, I had to take a moment to breathe and continue this novel.

One reviewer said that the Police is incompetent if... more>>

They didn't invite a child criminal specialist to interrogate but Fei Du has said that there was no evidence and they were running out of time, also, so he wanted to take the chance and talk with the little girl. He was the one who made her drop the weapon, too


Fei Du isn't OP as people mentioned because if you have read the book, you would know why his thinking is so different from "normal people"

Fei Du was trained by his father to be a sad*st like himself, he was abused and filled with the thoughts of harming others since young. His hands were tainted red from the lives of baby animals and birds: his father tortured him into being a monster. He treated himself with electric shocks to unlearn those habits, he had PTSD and forgot some of the memories. He also studied about serial killers and their cases. That's why he knows how a mind of a psychopath works, he places himself into their shoes and analyzes the cause and effects.


These cases were like threads of an old silk scarf, messy and tangled yet so deep rooted that there wasn't a link between them on the surface. I couldn't comprehend some twists and was felt awed by how Priest meticulously wrote the cases. Each and every one of them were so intricately written and overwhelming that I couldn't read a few lines more.

You don't only get familiar with the main characters, but the side characters make you feel so devastated, because not everyone gets their happily ever after. Priest made me feel so strongly even for the passing characters, I truly am amazed and heartbroken.

Wenzhou and Fei Du are such a perfect couple, and have an amazing dynamic. They are so well written as if they are so real and you might encounter them in your life. Sometimes they are shameless, other times tender and loving, sometimes bittersweet and pain. They leave a whole range of flavors in your mouth that makes you crave for more.

WENZHOU BEST GONG EVER, HE'S JUST THE IDEAL HUSBAND!!! AND, FEI DU, OH MY BABY, I'VE ADOPTED HIM!!! Please read to find out about the best husband and his little husband!!!

Mo Du is definitely one of the best novel written by Priest. It made me cry, made me laugh, made me smile, made me heartbroken, made me think over many minute things concerning life and people, but moreover, it made me fall in love with the book and the characters.

I highly recommend people to read this, unless you aren't comfortable with the cases. There are many TW, so please pay attention before reading!!

P.S. YiGuo is the best cat ever, I LOVE HIM SO MUCH!!!! Long Live President Guo!!!! <<less
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ebryetas rated it
June 28, 2021
Status: c1
Absolutely phenomenal story. Priest is a GENIUS, I can't wait to read every other book she has ever written (Mo Du is my first)

This is hands down the best translated novel I have read so far (and yes, I've read MDZS, which I also absolutely love).
    1. The main couple: I love Luo Wenzhou and Fei Du with all of my heart. They were both so interesting and individual. They had distinct personalities, one wasn't more feminine or more a "woman"/"wife" than the other (a very common theme in BL sadly). They were both very strong individuals who slowly but surely fell in love with each other. And it was so so beautiful. I fell in love with their love. This is absolutely a slow-burn romance, and the romance definitely takes a back seat to the plot, but the plot was so good and their love was so pure that I didn't care about that at all. When it comes to romance I think Priest is incredibly talented at "showing" rather than "telling", something that many authors/authors to be get wrong. She showed the readers that Fei Du and Luo Wenzhou were falling in love simply through the small gestures and moments they shared. She never once out right said they were in love with each other until it was already so obvious that they were both boiling over with feelings. The lead up to them officially getting together was filled with silly bickering, soft glances, a bit of longing, gentle caresses and f*ck was it beautiful.
    1. The side characters: Also super enjoyable and fun to read about! I love Little Glasses (Xiao Haiyang) and his anxiousness about dealing with others, Lang Qiao and her silly bickering with Captain Luo, and even Lu Jia and his weird, slightly superhuman strength. And god, Tao Ran. I love this s*upid s*upid... more>> straight man. Kind and tough, smart enough to stand with the best of them, this man stumbles and gets SO flustered around the woman he has a gigantic (and obvious) crush on and it's so freakin cute. Babies. All of them.
    1. The plot: AMAZING. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I don't read many mystery novels, I'm much more of a sci-fi fantasy reader myself, but when it comes to anything with LGBT+ content I'll devour it regardless of genre. This book right here makes me actually want to start reading more mystery/investigations novels. Like DAMN Priest can write. I couldnt tell you much about forensics or police procedure but Priest definitely sounds like she knows how it all works. The writing and flow of the plot is just so smart that I'm in awe. There were a few things I managed to guess right throughout, but for the most part I was kept on my toes, every time I thought a case was closed something crazy would happen and I would gasp aloud and my eyes would be glued to the page in shock. AND THE WAY EVERYTHING WRAPS TOGETHER. READING THESE BOOKS AND HAVING THE MYSTERY SLOWLY UNRAVEL AND SEEING HOW ONE CASE FIT IN WITH ANOTHER WAS JUST *chef's kiss* mua, perfect.
5 beautiful beautiful gold stars. This is amazing, I can't wait for it to be two years in the future so that I'll have had adequate time to both digest, and forget this story so that I can read it again.

I love it, please read it.

Edit: (I read the E. Danglars version because it had a. Mobi file option [so I could read it on my kindle and bookmark and highlight stuff], and it was very well translated, though I'm sure the other translations are just fine as well) <<less
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SilverStream1706 rated it
August 6, 2020
Status: epilogue
Really one of the best BLs I've read, because Priest doesn't write it as if it's a Bl; this is a story about dark conspiracies and mu*ders, and incidentally, it turns into a love story woven together by those same mysteries.

Both protagonists are strong in their own ways and in all aspects are equals. Luo Wenzhou s a clever, sharp tongued police officer. Fei Du is the insolent rich young master who has a knack for seeing mu*der from the criminal's point of view. They start off as frenemies but... more>> get closer as time passes. Flirting and UST starts from the almost the first chapter but they properly get together around the end of Book 3.

The plot is amazing, just the right amount of suspense, humor and gore to keep your attention. There are A LOT of characters and things that happen in the first chapters become significant in the last few chapters. It's best to read Mo Du in one go, otherwise you'll end up forgetting some details.

All the side characters are well developed, and so are the villains. Luo Wenzhou's fellow police officers start off as comic relief but by the end, they're characters you want to root for. The villains do awful, irredeemable things but Priest forces you to see things from their side, making their actions understandable.

This novel has a lot of dark themes, such as:

gore, child trafficking, pe*ophilia, mentions of r*pe, child abuse, psychological torture, physical torture


TL;DR Amazing mu*der/conspiracy investigation novel; slow burn; strong MC/ML; great side cast; plot twist after plot twist. Go read it! <<less
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Montero rated it
October 24, 2023
Status: c68
This review will contain spoilers up to chapter 68.

TW: Discussions of pe*ophile apologetics, victim blaming, disparaging depictions of addiction, and copaganda

I keep seeing this thing recommended everywhere, but very little of substance about what people happen to like about it. I regret to say, but I didn't find anything worth spending time on here. On a technical level is this the worst book ever written? No. But for something that regularly gets a perfect score... oh boy.

Silent Reading, by Priest, is a nasty, nasty book that reads like the blandest... more>> pastiche of 00s cop shows, Thomas Harris, and JK Rowling's aggressive defense of the status quo; of a society under siege by demented mutant criminals. It has pretensions of being literary, with arcs named after works like The Red and the Black, Lolita, The count of Monte Cristo, and Macbeth, but I have yet to see anyone talking about its relationship with those stories or Priest's interpretations of them.

What I'll say first is the English-speaking danmei fandom has what I'd call 'Big Gamer Energy', where fans of a new-ish medium know that they find value in the stories there, but are mostly concerned with convincing outsiders that they are valid to do so, and that the new media is 'real art'. That is to say, the analysis when it happens is far too defensive of the media to truly apply a critical lens to it without getting shunned by the echo chamber they are residing in. If you love Silent Reading, that's cool with me, and I hope you feel the same regarding my distaste for it.

I'm about to do something really wanky, but this is a modern cop drama, so we have to talk about police, and what Silent Reading has to say about policing in general. Call it due process. You might see the phrase 'copaganda' get thrown around online sometimes. If you're unsure, it's basically when a work presents police (or just as often one 'good cop' in a corrupt precinct) as good, upstanding people who stand for concepts like 'justice', whose work is necessary for the continued running of society lest it devolve into 'anarchy'. They are the put-upon, underfunded and overworked defenders of peace against the endless hordes of mindless, psychotic, machete-wielding perps who will terrorize the city because they are bad people who come from families of badness - a black and white view of the world incredibly common in cop shows, and, by proxy, to Silent Reading.

Sadly for those shows, the history of actual policing more accurately shows cops as a separate, protected social class who exist to defend the interests of the wealthy (which makes Fei Du's involvement here very funny) and who tend to be the ones participating in violent repression of anyone who stands in their (or their patrons') way, rather than defending anyone at all. Cop organizations are often monstrously corrupt, going on to resist and subvert any form of oversight imposed on them, and any form of resistance or even criticism (particularly if you are some form of minority) is an invitation for violence or worse. It is difficult to resist meaningfully, should a cop decide you are a bad person, because manipulating/planting evidence is incredibly easy when you are trusted to work on the side of 'justice' no matter what you do. It doesn't matter if you 'haven't done anything wrong'. They just need... literally any reason, any vague suspicion or dislike for you, because they have numbers, access to lethal weapons, and the backing of society. All of these arguments, and more, are placed in the mouths of Priest's villainous criminals to be righteously ignored by our heroes as they lock 'em up like the infallible, coffee-swilling terminators they are. They literally had no answer for the 'planting evidence' one, by the way, and the book frames the very idea as ridiculous and contemptible, rather than the daily life of most of the world around police officers.

Luo Wenzhou let go immediately and loudly said, "Look into his personal accounts, assets, and close relatives, including children, as well as everyone he's recently contacted on his cell phone, landline, and social media—I don't f*cking believe this!"

"President Yang! It was President Yang!" the chauffeur cried out. "Don't go after my kids, we don't know anything! It's all what President Yang ordered me to do!"

- Chapter 68 Macbeth IX

Why does being copaganda make Mo Du bad, though? Because Mo Du is yet another part of the cultural shield these people hide behind. It is exactly the kind of story I would love if I were a cop. Why yes, I do 'just know' when someone is a criminal - you can smell it on 'em. Perps always have an innate need to mu*der puppies and do the drugs, if you look hard enough in the police's big crime database (don't think about privacy, DON'T THINK ABOUT PRIVACY). Due process and oversight are the real villains - what the police really need is more unrestricted access to funding and manpower! To keep us all safe! What I'm saying is, the horrid reactionary politics of Silent Reading are REALLY apparent if you look, but because all it does is argue against ever changing things, it gets to skate by as if it's apolitical among a chunk of the readership.

This is all getting a bit high concept, so let's talk about the cops. I-I mean the characters! If this were a fanfic, I'd probably accept them. I'd have outside context already (who they are, what they care about) from the main text to work with, so random details like Tao Ran crushing on an office lady would matter to me emotionally, but as it stands, they really don't.

Lou Wenzhou

Lou Wenzhou is a M/M protagonist. He's a gay man with zero connection to Chinese gay culture, which is sadly par for the course in BL stories, but at least he's aware that he's gay from the start. Otherwise a bland dommy man who does/says whatever the plot needs, including some light action hero-ing on the side, though he might be snarky/tired about it. Usually your action hero has a personality that leads them to value certain things, and they're risking those things by taking the kinds of chances Luo Wenzhou does, which provides narrative tension. But he doesn't seem to genuinely care about anything or have anyone to worry about, and it ends up making Silent Reading feel like, if anything, a step back from the CSI-era shows its aping. Mostly though, LWZ is a joyless lout who spends most of his time seething impotently about some small slight or another, whose sole defining characteristic is mistreating a cat that is a poorly-realized analogy for his love interest. As the romance picks up, he keeps trying to be 'daddy', but came off as shockingly lacking in charisma and unsettlingly threatening to Fei Du. A little sad. A little pathetic.

Tao Ran

Tao Ran is a cinnamon roll in a dress shirt, and professional expositor that we'll talk about more in the section on Case 2.

Lang Chao

Lang Chao is... fine? She's a woman in a BL story, which is nice, and even less of a person than Tao Ran, but at least she's not being treated like meat, which is an incredibly low bar to clear but that's where we're at I guess. Her tendency to signpost the romance moments like some kind of in-story BL fan is creepy and patronizing though. Like, f*ck me, I almost had a genuine reaction, but thank you for saving me from ever having to think, Priest.

Fei Du

Here we have it! The only character who is approaching adequate characterization within the first case is Fei Du, and he's quite likeable, for a billionaire (?) love interest. He's quippy and has at least one narrative hook beyond 'works for police', which is astounding by this novel's incredibly low standards, although his Sherlock Holmes ala BBC Sherlock impression veers into him having writer clairvoyance sometimes, and we never see him gathering the evidence he pulls from his ass. What he has over the others is the implication that he will do something interesting... eventually.

The characters have nothing of interest to say to one another, as a result, because they basically don't have personalities outside of Fei Du. They either joke about Tao Ran's romantic life, joke about Fei Du and Luo Wenzhou's tepid relationship (literally screaming at the reader 'Hey did you forget this was a BL!?'), jerk off about how rich/mysterious/careless Fei Du is being, or serve as mouthpieces to exposit about the current case. The only times they seem to have opinions on anything are when someone is unattractive, disabled or gender nonconforming, in which case they are vapid c*nts to those people. If it's Fei Du and Luo Wenzhou we can add passable flirting that's horribly mangled by literally translated Chinese idioms to that list.

The Writing Style:

Speaking of, I don't know if this is a translation issue, but there's no tone to the text, and little to no introspection. It's like the opposite problem to a book like Husky and His White Cat Shizun, which while also a messily written book had far better characters than this, even at their most tropey. We get a lot happening, but Lou Wenzhou doesn't have any human feelings about any of it, much less having his own beliefs about the world as separate from the narrative's simplistic moral messaging about how society should never ever change. Any subjectivity to his perceptions or, god forbid, questioning his own beliefs, might make you think beyond 'cop good, crime bad', you see, and then where would we be? He's not like Will Graham in Red Dragon, sitting in his dingey hotel room, desperately thinking over and over what he can do to find The Red Dragon before he kills again.

See, characters aren't humanized in Silent Reading. Nobody breaks down in the shower over whether they have the right guy or if they're ruining an innocent's life. Lang Chao doesn't have any opinions on sports. Nobody in the main cast has interpersonal relationships, much less drama, worth a single damn. If you expected character relationships to have bearing on the cases they take on then you are so far ahead of this author you might as well be communicating from the moon. The closest we get is Fei Du having childhood trauma, but his nightmares are treated as a big, impactful moment, and I'm left wondering - am I meant to be impressed that Priest thought to write this? Is the idea of him having some kind of internal thoughts meant to be a shocking departure from the above? God, I don't even know anymore. I legitimately feel like this was written by a twelve year old, and other adults in the room are raving about how it's their 'best work yet and you've got to see this'. What I do know is that when you omit all the parts of a cop drama where our cop team have emotional responses or even vague thoughts about the nature of crime, it gives the impression of the police investigation having so much plot armor that they barely have to care about the outcome at all.

Case 1 Thoughts:

Case 1 is based on The Red and the Black, and I haven't read that one yet, so I can't comment on its status as an adaptation. As a mystery story, it was sort of okay - leaning more towards an action flick - but felt convoluted for what was actually happening. I think I can put this down to the large number of bland side characters, and this book's tendency to describe those people very poorly, often to the point of them coming off as a vague archetype. I can't picture anybody from this book, and I don't know if that's the occasional jank of the translation getting in the way, but translations rarely involve removing material, so I'd err on the side of there being not enough description. People with similar archetypes, or unclear archetypes because they're just a name on a page with flavorless dialogue attached, tend to blend together as a result, making the story feel more complicated than it is when you lay it out. Luo Wenzhou's thoughts on them don't help whatsoever because he's vapid and they all have descriptions like 'refined middle-aged man' and not, 'she had a sharp jaw and eyes so dark they were almost black'.

We have a team of crooked cops who are action movie'd away with zero introspection on the duty/purpose of the police (or how they failed to live up to it, why they went crooked, etc), and a duplicitous man with an odd relationship to money/his hometown that are never meaningfully explored. Again, Mo Du is not interested in criminal psychology, what it's like to be police, or even telling a Sherlock Holmesian whodunnit story - its approach to deductive reasoning is to have the police default to grasping at straws and then be right in their vague hunch every single time. No focus on police tactics, investigative procedure, reasoning, criminology... Case 1 told me that I should just ignore the plot, don't ask questions, don't try to figure it out, assume criminals are always wrong (and eat babies), and mindlessly agree with Lou Wenzhou/Fei Du's cold reads of a situation - after all, they're never wrong, never worry about it, and never make mistakes.

Case 2 Thoughts:

The sheer unreality of Mo Du's world is startling if you've ever read a cop book. Even a copaganda book. Even seen Dirty Harry once while you had a hangover. It sort of reminds me of Ian Fleming's approach to spy work, a kind of frivolousness to the stakes and situations our characters are in that eats away at the tension they're meant to evoke. A crazed man with a knife is holding a busload of elementary schoolers hostage. I should care about this. It's a high tension scenario, in theory, but because the characters are so flatly characterized, all think exactly the same way, display zero understanding of basic psychology... it fails to convince me that anyone is in danger. No detailed, terse description setting up the scenario so the characters can pitch their plans to resolve it. No big 'f*ck it, take the shot!' whispered Luo Wenzhou.' kind of moment, even, to sell the risk the police are taking with the sniper. No clear idea of the geography or how it pertains to the situation beyond 'in the mountains.' This coming from a Phoenix Wright fan should tell you something is deeply wrong here. Again, don't think about it, just focus on the scary craaaazy man dual wielding knives. Wait, no, not like that, he's not some kind of anime-

Lolita is a book by Vladimir Nabokov. Considered to be a modern classic by many. Subject of much academic criticism and many, many spinoffs. Famously hard to adapt due to its focus on the unreliability of narrative as a theme - how protagonist Humbert Humbert's writing about 'Lolita' obscures and distorts the memory of the real girl, Dolores Hayes, through his possessive narration of her short life in the interest of convincing a jury to acquit him. Despite Humbert Humbert's gratuitous French, Nabokov's real passion for American culture, for Americana, bled off the page. So you can understand why, despite my unenthusiastic reaction to Case 1, I was excited when the I saw 'Chapter 34 - Humbert Humbert I' on my screen. It was a very bold choice, shall we say?

I don't think Priest has read Lolita. Case 2 feels like what someone who has never read Lolita thinks Lolita is about, and is convinced they can do one better. The result was deeply embarrassing, because no, no she could not 'do one better'. There is no deftness of language here. No pretense. No ambiguity or discomfort to make a point to the reader. No attempt at sleazy charm or, god forbid, aesthetic bliss. Tao Ran would have been a perfect fit for a shift to a Humbert-style villain perspective for case 2, and I initially had this mad hope that Priest would do it. Reveal that nice, flakey, boring ass Tao Ran was secretly a pe*ophile this whole time through his new relationship with this office woman and her niece, Chenchen. He has a casebook about an old pe*o case he could have been using to work out how to hide himself from the law. Everyone trusts him because of his uniform, his position would give him ready access to children, his demeanor is perfect to get children to open up, and if there were any kids in the justice system... nobody would believe them. Eugh. Genuinely stomach-churning.

Nabokov would have had the balls to write that story, and as a reaction to Lolita, it would have been an interesting development on its themes. I get that 'hot person but also bad' is a radical take for a Chinese webnovel though, so maybe I was expecting too much from this masterpiece of crime drama. I swear if the ML in one of these books was, like, fat and nobody treated him poorly for it, the world would f*cking implode. They're so focused on looks and whether someone is 'refined' that it's honestly sickening.

Anyway, now that we've returned from the mirror universe where Case 2 had bite and wasn't a waste of my goddamn time, let's talk about why making Dolores Hayes a manipulative femme fatale slasher is a s*upid as f*ck take. See, this isn't the first time someone has tried writing this. There was a spinoff called 'Lo's Diary', and it used Humbert's (biased, warped) idea of Dolores the Seducer, the evil manipulator who treated him as helpless prey, to echo the excuses pe*ophiles make about young girls through the mouth of one of fiction's most famous CSA victims. Priest is doing the same thing here, taking Humbert's predatory self-justifications and making it real via Luo Wenzhou's immediate belief in this child as an evil, sadistic manipulator. For the sake of a cheap 'victims can be bad too' narrative, positioning the sad, perfect, passive Chenchen as the acceptable form of victimhood for a little girl. Nobody questions this. There is zero compassion from characters or narrative tone for a young person who has been groomed into a life of mu*der, who likely did what she needed to do to survive and is clearly psychologically unstable from her experiences. Yet we're expected to care about trauma when the hot billionaire is the victim. Never change, Danmei. Our leads' response to this case is horrific and it strains my credibility in these characters to the breaking point. Priest makes deliberate reference to Lolita throughout this section, so I can critique it on the grounds of adaptation, and for being a poor one that validates the views of pe*ophiles and victim-blamers the world over. It espouses beliefs about victims that provably endanger real people, positions children as accountable participants in their own abuse, and that's disgusting.

Quoting @beckycegg9767 on youtube:

'We don't need a book that portrays Lolita as manipulative and Humbert Humbert as some poor man who was powerless against her because we already have Lolita.'

f*ck you, Priest. Lolita was about how pe*ophiles are monsters, not children, and even Humbert recognized that. Why can't you?

Lastly, around the 50 chapter mark the tone and structure of the story abruptly shifts from the blandest mess of tones to a... sort of bargain bin impersonation of Thomas Harris, minus his fascination with actual gay culture. It seems like Priest may have caught flack for fairly understandable reasons from her Chinese readership and decided to go do some research on the genre she was attempting to write. Things get way more cinematic and there seems to be a tone that even a CNovel fan translator cannot destroy - focus on the weather and details one would expect of a basic police procedural, like street names. The random amorphous blob of 'criminal policemen' (the irony of this is poetry in motion) now have roles like 'crime scene technician'. Lang Chao becomes an analyst. There is the barest mention of due process, though not without seething resentment on the part of the cops. Luo Wenzhou magically develops overnight into someone who might have actually had police training, which felt extremely out of character because that man has been legally braindead for the past case-and-a-half. Fei Du is suddenly revealed to have been studying criminal psychology, to the extent of having released papers on it, despite showing no signs of those words being any more than noise to him beforehand.

It's wack, and this story needed like two more drafts to retrofit this information into the previous case. It feels like a marginal improvement but the deep-rooted problems like the ease with which the police blast through their investigation, and the toxic, abuser-friendly takes on issues like mental health and pe*ophilia, still abound.

The Translation:

Phew. Translation is hard. I won't deny that. This fan translation is better than most CN fan translations I've seen. It doesn't descend into unutterable word salad every other line, and that's to be commended in a world where the best fan translators sometimes just read like edited MTL to me. It's not hard to write something that broadly gets across the face-value meaning of a sentence and makes some level of sense, and do it consistently, but as any translator will tell you, it's preserving the tone and nuance and innuendo of the source text through word choice while doing the above that makes it difficult. Danglars does better than most, and I want to like their work because their blog makes them sound quite nice, but this one is still full of these horribly awkward constructions like 'it could be hard to unburden themselves in unilateral jabber' and I just have to wonder... who uses the word 'unilateral' in English? Has anyone ever uttered the word 'unilateral' outside of jank-ass translations? How about 'unscientific'?

When this is done purposefully, I've seen it referred to as 'Sophisticated as Hell', where the deliberate dissonance between the word choice is a character trait, or done for emphasis or effect. This is one of many translations that not only is visibly a translation (kind of a sin in the professional world, as I understand it) but has an uncontrolled sense of Sophisticated as Hell through its chaotic word choices that utterly ruins any tone a scene would have.

I don't even know how much of my above complaints about the way this book is written can just be owed to Danglars not having an editor to slap their hands away from pretentious thesaurus words like 'unilateral' and 'vicissitudes'. How many times I whistled at a character's vicious thoughts about someone being an addict or having mental illnesses were because of translation choices that carried entirely the wrong tone. For example:

Zhou Huaixin straightened his neck. On his opium-addict's face, aside from the eyeliner, something else appeared, indistinct and indescribable, that made him actually appear rather human.

- CHAPTER 67 - Macbeth VIII

I want to believe in Danglars to convey this story to me with its nuances intact, and blame Priest for being bad at their craft of writing cheap webnovels for fun that others then claim to be masterful, but I also look at their choice to write 'Yan City's City Bureau' multiple times, and a million other small but noticeable mistakes in crafting English sentences and my trust is shaken. I'm shouldn't be taken out of a book to ponder whether 'deliberate killing' is a translation mistake by Danglars when Priest really meant 'premeditated mu*der', or if Priest is literally that incapable of writing a plausible crime drama. I legitimately don't know, but this is the version of the story I read, so I'm going with it. Long story short, this is my ted talk on why yelling at translators for not being 'true to the source material' creates awkward and bad translations.

Lastly, there's the 'cheng yu', which as I understand it are small idioms based on proverbs and stories that don't translate literally, but people in China understand through pop culture osmosis. An example, as far as I know, is 'lakes of wine, forests of meat', a reference to Emperor Di Xin of Shang, and his legendary extravagence, which is used to describe Fei Du on multiple occasions. As a person in the Anglosphere, I have no idea what that idiom means without looking it up, but I do know the imagery it provokes in its literal form is lovecraftian and grotesque. This introduces a phantom theme to the story, of Fei Du's money being this horrifying specter hanging over him, and it does a terrible job of conveying the intended meaning. These literally translated phrases are ruinous to Fei Du and Luo Wenzhou's flirting, because scenes clearly meant to be snappy banter that makes me laugh and think they're being awfully cute, instead have me reaching for a Chinese history textbook. Is 'Fei Du carried the air of one who knew he was worth a king's ransom' somewhat inaccurate to the symbolism of 'lakes of wine, forests of meat?' Yes, but you could also put a footnote there explaining the original idiom (and your translation choices) for those who want to know, and not make your readers do half the translator's job in crossing the cultural gulf.


All in all, don't think I'll be continuing with Mo Du one past case 3. It's not eating itself into a convoluted ouroboros knot through its own navel gazing like 2ha, or quite as wretchedly hollow as MDZS, or even recipient of an abject word salad translation like Cerulean Planet, but Mo Du has made me realize something pretty awful about my own reaction to reading Danmei, and Chinese webnovels in general. Trying to read these novels is making me feel less comfortable with Chinese culture. It's not intriguing me, making me long to understand China the way reading the professional translation of Romance of the Three Kingdoms does. You might think that's an unfair comparison, but it's not about the translation quality. It's that these webnovels all portray Chinese culture as overwhelmingly vicious and petty and obsessed with status, wealth and surface appearances. These protagonists who need to be seen as the most perfect and 'refined' and beloved person in the room, while also being free to mock and belittle anyone even vaguely 'abnormal' to their view. What scenes of selfless friendship and camraderie we do get are filtered into rare and often jawdroppingly awful expository lines like this one from Humbert Humbert XVII: 'This truly was a group of beloved colleagues.' And if you have to write a line like that... it's a tacit admission that you haven't written that to be the case. Like saying 'everyone clapped' at the end of your bar story.

I think I need to go read more regular Chinese literature, to get a feel for whether this viewpoint of Chinese life as an awful cesspool with no redeeming qualities is a real problem China is grappling with, or just that the Danmei fandom and its publishers keep platforming petty, materialistic authors who value those things. <<less
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Efu-sama rated it
February 25, 2021
Status: Completed
Truly a marvelous novel! Sometimes I didn't realize that I'm reading a BL, and a webnovel at that, and think that what I'm reading is a true classically printed crime/detectives novel. I think even people who never read any BL novel would likely to enjoy this very much. If this novel ever get translated to English for real, I'd never hesitate to buy a copy and have it in my collection, without shame, and would definitely bragging about this novel towards my friends who are not even a fujoshi. Because... more>> this novel truly deserve it. <<less
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Queen_of_Chaos000 rated it
January 10, 2021
Status: Completed
Silent Reading is a package compact with thriller, psychology, law, romance, and comedy.

Though the romance is on the low side, it was still very endearing when mentioned.

Both President Fei and Captain Luo are awesome characters, that contribute equally to the whole story. The villains were equally intelligent, but since President Fei was more than a little crafty their plight at the end was a little nasty and well deserved. All in all, very well thought out.

One of the best Chinese novels I've read, and it definitely deserves 5 stars.
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Luxe.d rated it
August 1, 2020
Status: Completed
I really love it! Specially the ending, it was so satisfyingggg!! A good read, brain-wrecking cases (for me, since I'm slow) I love the character! They really are well-developed! Anyway, give it a try!
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pointoverture rated it
March 26, 2024
Status: Completed
This is genuinely such an amazing book, and is one of my favorites!

really, for mystery lovers, this is such a gem. Each and every one of the cases in this danmei is well developed, with so many twists and turns that you won't expect. There were chills coming up my spine for like 90% of the novel. Highly recommend.

What I don't understand about negative comments is their reasoning. (@Montero's review.) Montero says that this danmei has pe*ophile apologetics, and I'm so confused because none of that exists in this book.... more>> Each and every single pe*ophile in this book is not portrayed as good or apologized for--they're treated like the criminals they are. I feel the need to ask if we're even reading the same book bc if you think there's anything here that excuses pe*ophiles, you might want to reread.

Next is the treatment of Chenchen.

Yes, she's a victim whose upbringing led her to have an extremely warped mentality on the world. Despite the fact that she is a victim, her warped view on the world and participation in the deaths of numerous other children still remains, and she shows no remorse for her actions, which shouldn't be unexpected. I honestly thought Chenchen was an interesting look into morality and stuff. I don't ever remember seeing anything that completely portrayed Chenchen as "deserving 0 sympathy." as one reviewer might mention.

In fact, the narrative makes it pretty clear that Chenchen acts and feels the way she does now mostly because of her upbringing. It takes no shortage in highlighting the fact that Chenchen's mother (the woman who was "raising" her during her formative years) and the other people taking care of her were very f*cked up people. It also connects the way Chenchen was raised to her current warped mindset. Ergo: Chenchen is like this because of the shitty environment she grew up in. The novel was pretty clear in showing that.

Are we really reading the same novel?

They also say that "there is zero compassion for Chenchen, yet we're expected to care about trauma when the hot billionaire is the victim." Chenchen was given a more morally grey narrative. There was not "0 compassion, " as one would say. And next, of course the billionaire who has trauma should be cared for?

1. It's pretty shitty to compare trauma and think of one as more deserving of compassion than another. So what if the character is a billionaire? Trauma is trauma. Owning lots of money doesn't suddenly make people less deserving of sympathy

2. Assuming that this billionaire means our ML, of course he deserves compassion. And contrary to Chenchen, he also has not done the more morally dubious actions of killing innocent people or leading several children to their deaths, so of course it's also easier to sympathize with him. Chenchen's actions and personality obviously lead to readers having a more conflicted view towards her.

And next is the portrayal of chinese society. Idk where this danmei ever portrays chinese society as "an awful cesspool with no redeeming qualities" as Montero claims. I don't see where Mo Du ever shows something like this. And this is coming from a Chinese person myself: at times novels "portray Chinese culture as overwhelmingly vicious and petty and obsessed with status, wealth and surface appearances" bc there is some element to it. All cultures have their ugly sides, and Chinese culture is no different. Granted, a lot of this quote sounds like exaggeration, so it's not obviously portrayed as all that bad in this novel, nor is it actually that bad, but Chinese culture can be extremely critical and vicious at times.

Also, we're reading a crime novel, about some of the darkest things humans can do to each other. It's our MC's job to interact with the worst people and crimes in society daily. I guarantee that if we read a novel about the most horrible crimes committed in each and every country, we would also be thinking of the country as an "awful cesspool." But even then, this danmei doesn't portray China as an awful cesspool, so idk where Montero's review comes from. Terrible crimes occur in every single part of the world. China is no different, and it is where our main leads are solving crimes. It's really disappointing to see reviewers using a danmei like this as pretext to insult the author. Nothing should ever justify calling this a "nasty, nasty novel" or Priest a "petty, materialistic author." And no, absolutely no part of this novel ever validates or defends the views of pe*ophiles. Montero seems to approach this novel with extremely biased views on cops and this danmei's overall content. (Montero also seems to love negativity, considering every single one of his other reviews on this site are similarly full of insults towards danmei and their authors.) Please don't let this shy you away from reading this wonderful mystery and crime danmei. The MC and ML have really, really enjoyable interaction. Seeing them bicker and then slowly get closer together was such an enjoyable read. This is an amazing novel that I'd love to reread someday. <<less
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Synteis rated it
July 25, 2021
Status: --
Favourite parts:
- Extensive exploration of how trauma can affect people and be passed down through families.

- Some really good cases which are solved through a partnership, both between the main leads as well as with the wider criminal investigation team.

- Strong sense of places as well as observations on societal composition + problems in contemporary China

- The number of high-stress cases in a short period of time is remarked upon and explained in universe.

- Fantastic and warm relationship between the MLs in the midst of high stress work and personal struggles. The cop struggles with self-discipline, anxiety and over-confidence while the CEO-criminal psychologist struggles with trust, emotional intimacy, perceptions about his true nature and has ptsd. They're not always sure how to handle each other's difficulties and are just making it up as they go along but the truth of their emotions is always able to win out.

- The structure of the novel is like a rollercoaster. It's divided into 5 cases + an epilogue w extras. Each case ramps up the stress/tension for the first half then in the middle has a partial resolution which exposes a deeper sin/problem which then has to be unravelled in the second half. The midpoint often has a cute moment between the leads which allows for some R&R for you as a reader. Each case ends with a hint/unfurling of the central case/conflict and some more development of the ML's romance.

- The partnership between the MLs is present throughout and they often work together. Their approaches strongly complement each other.

- Although there are no explicit s*x scenes, they have an explicitly s*xual relationship and we see a lot of moments of physical intimacy between them. I find their dynamics here also compelling.

- Both characters are explicitly queer from the first time they're introduced. The cop is gay and out at work and to his parents while the CEO-psychologist is bis**ual. Both are known to be flirty, each in their own way. We never see strong h*mophobia, much more so we see characters worried about h*mophobia directed towards them but which is not present or some very minor comments. It's acknowledged that their interests are non-standard so this isn't some fantasy world.

- The cop's parents are fantastic and very supportive of their son while also being well aware of his flaws. This healthy familial relationship is really important in a sea of unhealthy ones.

- The encounters between the eco-psychologist and his in-laws are hilarious and also very heartwarming.
- The cop has a cat who very normal and thus a complete terror.

- Lots of focus on how both MLs are effective leaders and that a lot of their success comes from having good, smart people on their teams who are well managed.

- Very funny and well-observed characters and humour throughout. The metaphors the author uses are unusual and yet immediately effective while the humour helps balance out the dark tone of the cases.

- The villains over identifying with the CEO-psychologist and misjudging him for it.

- A great side female character who is just as true to life as the other characters on the team. She is allowed to be unladylike and almost gross at times while also enjoying romance novels and caring about her appearance.

Bad parts:
- Like most crime-mystery novels, this glorifies (some) police work including laws being broken "for the right reasons". The issues within the police force which it presents are not structural problems but "bad apples".

- The ending is not the most satisfying because it becomes a bit too convoluted. The earlier villains/criminals were much more grounded and had much better pathos for it but the final villains spent a bit too long in the shadows for the most part.

The corrupt cop is the exception here because we get a lot of his POV and get to see how much his childhood broke him. He has people who he cares about very much and that he would do anything for but is willing to excuse almost everything for their sake. I'm glad we got so much of his POV including before the full reveal of his villain status.



In contrast, his brother is a never delved into at the psychological level, just hinted. At. Meeting his brother's son early on does help give definition to his brother but he doesn't quite feel grounded. Both he and the other big bad, the Reciter, feel more like cartoon villains. The Reciter in particular runs a cult and also was part of a key memory in the CEO-psychologist's childhood but his motivations lack all depth. The only part I liked about his character depiction was his reaction to a photo of the person who he'd in some ways carried out his plans for. It would have been better if the cult members hadn't been in the room when he and FD were talking at the end. The cult members had already been established very effectively earlier through the surviving family of one of the cases so having this mass of people who were very flat in these scenes flattened things.


- The epilogue left a lot of side characters with loose ends. In earlier cases, they often summarized the gap between the perception of the criminal and the POV of the outside world as well as following up on small side characters. In particular, I wish they'd fully traced how some of the characters from earlier cases tied into the main plot.
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yooa_12 rated it
September 20, 2021
Status: c1
I have to be honest, priest works are not my favorite, but from the few I've read, this is the one I've liked the most. Even though the plot becomes very heavy at some point and it blocked my brain from reading, it was something I was already expecting, Pipi never goes easy on my brain lmao

The romance felt very fast, even when it was a slowburn, I dont know why, but one moment luo wenzhou and fei du were fight-flirting, and the next they are flirting-flirting and then they... more>> are together ajkdhkjh it kept me going like "what??? WhEN?? HOW?¡" but I loved it.

Luo wenzhou is one of the most interesting characters i've seen, he's someone i'd love to be friends with. Fei du, , , , omg, , , fei du went through a LOT, and he is, , , , amazing to say the least.

I remember one quote very clearly that gave me chills: "Fei du has a talent for crime"

That was when I knew he wouldn't be an easy character and a lot of stuff was going on with him.

the side characters are also very lovely, from Lang qiao to tao ran and xiao haiyang, they are strong on their own and always help lwz without question.

But definitely, the main star, the one who takes the crown, is Luo Yiguo HAHAHAHAH he's the best cat ever, I love him so much, so funny <<less
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February 8, 2021
Status: c136
This is a very good novel actually. The plots and stories are very unique. Priest is a very good author. Unfortunately the bl romance was too little for me to the point of misery, that I lost interest by the time I finished 136 chapters. I decided to take a break from the novel, read something else and return later, but I never did.
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xiexia rated it
January 25, 2021
Status: c96
Dropped this novel today, unfortunately. BEFORE YOU LEAVE! Hear me out a bit.

The novel itself is very well written. A good amount of humour and an interesting, albeit complex, story make for an altogether well rounded book, one that proves Priest’s position as one of the more prominent BL authors.

I only had one qualm about this novel - its focal points. It’s pretty plot-heavy with hardly any romance in the first half. Where I dropped off, things were starting to heat up, fortunately, but I lost interest by then. It’s... more>> important to note that this was probably the turning point in MC and ML’s relationship lol. Don’t get me wrong - there are romantic interactions, but maybe not as many as I would have liked.

I understand that objectively this may not be something to criticise the novel about. However, if you are like me and need that perfect balance of love and plot, you’ll understand where I am coming from. Turn your mind, for example to MXTX’s works - imo, the *supreme* leader in terms of what should be included in a BL novel in terms of the amount of romance and interesting storylines.

TLDR: the novel is well put together and you can tell the author spent a lot of time on the plot, but if you are looking for a little more romance, look elsewhere.

side note: if you are like me and have a bad habit of sometimes scan reading when you lose interest, don’t! You’ll probably miss out on some important details. Like I did. <<less
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Sivajani rated it
January 22, 2021
Status: Completed
This is extremely good.

The details, the subtly flirting b/w the main chracs, the flow.. Everything, is exceptionally thought out and interwoven well.

Of all the books I've read, this easily takes up the No.1 place on my list.

Thankyou so much for translating
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