Sorcerer’s Handbook

Description

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In 1668, our city earned the title of “The Safest Place in the Country.”
I had a lot to do with that. How?
Because I was arrested.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Technician's manual
术师手册
Related Series
N/A
Recommendations
Night’s Nomenclature (1)
Mystical Journey (1)
Necropolis Immortal (1)
Night of the Broken Gliph (1)
The Experimental Log of the Crazy Lich (1)
48 Hours a Day (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Action-Cultivation-Fantasy
  2. Not masterpieces, but enjoyable enough.
  3. looking forward to tomorrow
  4. 9+/10 stuff

Latest Release

Date Group Release
02/29/24 Hoxionia c138
02/28/24 Hoxionia c137
02/27/24 Hoxionia c136
02/26/24 Hoxionia c135
02/25/24 Hoxionia c134
02/24/24 Hoxionia c133
02/23/24 Hoxionia c132
02/22/24 Hoxionia c131
02/21/24 Hoxionia c130
02/20/24 Hoxionia c129
02/19/24 Hoxionia c128
02/18/24 Hoxionia c127
02/17/24 Hoxionia c126
02/16/24 Hoxionia c125
02/15/24 Hoxionia c124
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Review
5 Reviews


Hate_filler
New Hate_filler
Feb 24, 2024
Status: c132
Honestly a really enjoyable novel so far, the begininng was not very apealing for me but you get over that hump fairly quick. Translation is somewhat of an issue as there is random gender changes/name changes and sometimes things arent conveyed quite as clear as I think they should be, but honestly its not that jarring as most of the time the translation is pretty decent.
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Seregosa
New Seregosa
Feb 22, 2024
Status: c130
I find this novel to be quite good. The translation brings it down a decent bit but it's still at a 4/5 level (novelupdates adjusted score). If the translation was better, it might even reach 5/5 for an enjoyable read even if it's not that complex.

The main character is a pretty fun no-sh*ts given type of character, he goes with the flow all the way but also acts decisively when required. He's not above killing or doing pretty much anything to get his way, he lives up to his role... more>> of an "observer". The current female lead is introduced as a pretty annoying character but quickly gets turned around to become more likable. The protagonist's chapters tends to be the most amusing due to the main character's joker-like personality, not afraid to poke fun at anything.

Around chapter 130, it's finally time for the true prison break and it's gearing up to be a very hilarious little arc. We have to realize that this novel is a comedy at its core and makes most events appear lighthearted, it's not supposed to be very complex, not every novel has to be.

Now I want to clarify some points from another reviewer who apparently bases this off 40 chapters. I'll just put it in a spoiler bubble.

Spoiler

The main character is not a cowardly loser. He does not get treated like a doormat. He's just the type to go with the flow, he simply doesn't care about the thing he believes at that point to be a 2D manifestation of his "system" and just teases it while not seeking any real conflict with the thing that is literally his lifeline, he is ignorant of everything in that world so he needs to take a passive approach, he is literally locked in a prison with a chip in his neck that controls his life and actions.

The female lead starts out as a typical annoying marriage hunter but she quickly changes as she realizes her talent for swordsmanship and interacts more with the observer. It takes quite a few adventures before she truly opens up to him and some more before she starts to seemingly like him. Even then, both of them share a give and take relationship based on benefits, even if that might change after a while. The transition is pretty smooth and fast enough to not make readers hate her.

The character interactions are decent enough. While not the most realistic, almost no novels have truly realistic interactions. As I mentioned before, the female lead's emotional change is pretty natural, she never hated him passionately, just disliked him. As he keeps on providing more and more benefits and she realizes how big of a favor he's doing her, she gradually becomes less resistant and finally starts to expect the benefits. But it's not until some adventures that some trust actually starts building, it's not something that happens by chapter 40, at that point the "trust meter" is still at 0 as shown by the system. She just wants to use him at that point, so it's just that reader's misunderstanding that they get so close for no reason and so fast.

The character interactions are indeed a bit frustrating to read about at times. This, however, is not the author's fault. It's the translator's fault for not making it flow well, so it ends up feeling mechanical and a bit off, which reduces enjoyment a lot. Blaming the author for what is clearly a translation issue shows how valuable a certain someone's opinion is.

The immersion issue stems from the same problem. A lot of translations sadly have this kind of problem. The fistfight against igor that this person mentions is something this reader completely misunderstood, perhaps due to the translation not conveying it properly. The MC at that point is a complete newbie and the opponent is a kind of mind sorcerer, capable of reading more obvious thoughts such as what action a person is thinking of taking. The protagonist proceeds to actually compliment his appearance, passing the falsity check and then punching without even thinking of doing so, his body acting on auto due some reason explained later, that incident is actually covered in some chapters later on. A mind reader who is used to read people's thoughts and suddenly someone honestly compliments their appearance in the middle of a fight and even insinuating something more s*xual, is it unreasonable to not freeze up in confusion or amazement and not react in time when the expected thought of "I'm going to punch" not arriving before getting punched?

The power system is indeed a bit similar to reverend insanity's gu system, although quite different. People capture spirits in a "virtual world" or summon spirits with the help of knowledge by reaching a certain level of understanding in a subject, where they suddenly just pop into existence. Sorcerers can temper their own bodies if they want to not be fully reliant on spirits. They keep the spirits in their souls and the spirits can either eat specific materials, which no one bothers with, or eat coins which is an universal feeding material. I also don't like this type of external force power system but it's not too bad, there are crucial differences too. They're not as reliant on gu/spirits as in reverend insanity. The spirits can actually use their abilities without using arcane energy if you get familiar and friendly enough with them. You can summon more if you have the required knowledge. I also think they do get some basic buffs from leveling up. Overall, the power system is indeed somewhat of a shortcoming, but it's never explored like in reverend insanity, people don't seem to lose powers easily here and it doesn't even register as an issue. The power system overall is pretty poorly explained but this is a comedy novel, I wasn't expecting a well thought out power system from the start, just something that works and this works fine enough, a subpar power system isn't a big deal in a comedy novel. As for progress, they actually do have to explore the "virtual world" to progress in strength. They become stronger by accumulating knowledge, which traveling the virtual world provides in various forms, often with dangerous encounters. The stronger they get, the harder the enemies tend to be to deal with. There's still some effort and sense of progress involved.

The advocating for racism part is simply untrue. It's about advocating for freedom as they're literally controlled by chips in the prison so they can't express themselves and the equality is simply a facade, the kingdom itself is screwed up in so many ways and death penalty for racism isn't really reasonable. Tired of snowflakes grasping onto these things to complain about.

The time skips are indeed slightly annoying at times but at the same time, they are skipped because they aren't necessary, the important stuff happens in the real world for now, the virtual world is just a way to get stronger. No point in long battles and boring exploration.

The quote about bluffing being useless was once again from igor. He was never a real antagonist in the first place, he ends up being something of a half-ally later, aiding in the prison escape. He has good reasons to not bother trying to bluff the MC, the protagonist is too unusual and has a rather weird personality, having proven to be immune to his attempts before, simply refusing to listen outright and igor not getting any benefits. Think of the MC as someone rather chaotic neutral, he's not easy to manipulate because he doesn't care and doesn't have a normal thought pattern or experience, his identity also seems to work against igor, maybe a passive effect of some kind.

This novel being a harem isn't a surprise, not sure if it is at this point though but I suppose it's likely. Expecting it to be tagged for things that haven't even happened yet seems a bit overboard.

Seems like I've debunked pretty much every complaint, just goes to show how shallow we tend to read into things when we get a bad first impression, I've done it myself. One thing I can't disagree with however is the translation being pretty bad, although readable. It's the main complaint I have with this novel.

First of all, the terms, words and names used tend to be quite unstable. For example, silver changed to white, sorcerer to mage, one branch is called "masochist", which I gather are body temperers. ashe is changed to ash, igor to igore or even igora, the name of the various "schools" like swordmanship "school" change between sect, faction, tradition etc. Gerard that is likely supposed to be gerald, the same name is somehow also sometimes translated as renard, ronald or ronat, so either the name is gerald or ronald... What was previously translated as ogre is now consistently translated as cannibal despite being a race and it making no sense. Observer is often translated as "viewer" or "watcher" despite being a main focal point of the story. Plural is often used instead of singular. These type of things tend to change from chapter to chapter, switching from one to another.

Then we have various abbreviations, some that make sense like KPI yet is still ridiculous to use, but worst of all is when chinese slang or idioms are directly translated which doesn't make sense in english, like PUA for pickup artist which has been warped by slang in china to mean someone being controlling, making others lose confidence on purpose, a workplace abuse thing. Idioms often don't make sense at all, although you can often somewhat understand what they're supposed to mean.

It's kind of interesting because the translation is similar to some half-arsed ones on qidian/webnovel, where MTL is clearly used and they're poorly edited. I somewhat suspect that some form of machine translation combined with a grammar and sentence structure program is used, perhaps with some keywords input. The grammar and sentence structures/flow appear pretty good a lot of the time and at first glance, it seems completely fine, but it's really messy once you get into it. Some sentences are jumbled up and don't make sense at all, more complex sentences/words tend to be very hard or impossible to understand, often being confusing. Whenever the meaning isn't straightforward, you notice how literally most of it is translated. Also, a lot of things, especially spirits, are clearly wrongly translated right from the start, the effects don't correspond to the name, although it's often something somewhat related so you can understand kind of what they should be.

I still feel like this novel is worth a read and I will probably keep on reading it. Just go in knowing what to expect from the translation and it should be fine. It's not for everyone though, but no novel is.

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God_Unknown
Nov 15, 2023
Status: v1c27
I have just finished all the available chapters, as there are few (only 27), I will not evaluate the novel as a whole, but rather say its potential. When I accumulate more chapters, I will do a new, more complete evaluation.

This novel has one of the most interesting energy systems I've ever seen, a top 10 novel for sure. Plus, it breaks the cliché of transmigration in a really good way lol. It also has fluid writing and grammar without any apparent errors. The MC also has a lot of... more>> personality and gets into some situations that... You better read on to find out. In conclusion, the potential is quite high and the comedy is also good, analyzing the potential, this novel wins.

Rating: A (4.5/5) <<less
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LongXi
LongXi
Oct 22, 2023
Status: --
I love the MC’s entrance to the story, it’s so wild and chaotically random it seems like an episode of gintama. It leave wondering where the story will take me, damn I’m already hooked.
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onlycrimson123
onlycrimson1
Feb 21, 2024
Status: c40
TL;DR: An unfun reading experience with seemingly limited potential.

I originally read this novel when it was released as a trial read on Webnovel a couple years back, this review at chapter 40 is in honor of that. I will update it when I complete the novel.

Frankly, I'm extremely disappointed with this novel. I distinctly remember being on the edge of my seat praying for this to be chosen on Webnovel and I was ecstatic upon seeing it get picked up. Upon rereading the 40 chapters I have read before, almost... more>> all I could see were flaws.

This review will begin with my critiques followed by what I liked, if I can think of any by that point.

Firstly, I hate the characters. Every character that is introduced is unlikeable. This goes for both the main character and the side cast.

The main character is a weak-spined loser. He gets treated like a doormat by the manifestation of his system and he just sits there and takes it, lowering his cowardly head. He has absolutely zero defining positive traits. This may be bettered in the future, but it is so unbearable to read now.

The female lead is a spiteful promiscuous s*upid person. She is spiteful because she harms others for little to no reason with no benefit to herself. She is promiscuous because her dream for the future is to marry a rich man using her body and to live a lavish life. She is s*upid because every time she uses her head it's for jumping to the wrong conclusion.

I could write paragraphs like this about every single character in the novel. None of them are pleasant to read about.

Secondly, the character interactions. This isn't even about how I hate the characters so their interactions are naturally painful. The author straight up can't write believable character interactions. If someone told me this author hasn't spoken to another human in 5 years, I'd believe them without evidence.

An example of this is how Sonya, the female lead, feels about the Observer. She initially hates him passionately as he controls her body and reads her thoughts. Then she begins to be alright with his presence. Then she starts relying on him to get through her days.

What events might have transpired between these character shifts? Absolutely nothing. Not one meaningful interaction happened that may have shifted her perspective. It just happens. Just because.

There is more than just inexplicable shifts in personality though. The character interactions also are just difficult to read about. It's hard to describe it in text, but basically, they don't feel "human." It is as if an alien is pretending to be human. Really, it's just novice authorwork.

Thirdly, it is impossible to immerse yourself in this book. The realism is horrid. I won't delve into this and will merely give a single example.

The main character is in a fistfight with someone and wants to get them to lower their guard. So he says, "You have a nice face, I want to see more of it." The person, in sheer shock that they would be complemented during a fistfight, lowers their guard. The main character then punches them in the face and wins the fistfight.

I won't be commenting on how ridiculous this is. Next.

Fourthly, the actual power system is so lame. It is reminiscent of the Gu system, which I personally do not like.

It seems as if strength in this novel comes from taming what are essentially spirits. It requires reliance on external aids rather than relying solely on one's self. It isn't nice to read and progress doesn't feel like actual progress. The main character doesn't go into seclusion and have a breakthrough or whatever. He can just catch a better spirit. Lame.

That is also the main reason that I feel like this novel has very limited potential. Even if the author gets better at writing and the character flaws go away, this power system is a persistent tumor that won't vanish no matter how good of an author he is.

Fifthly, the translation is subpar at best. It isn't something as simple as a word being wrong, but entire sentences seeming to lose their meaning. It is somehow a worse translation than MTL, as in MTL I can at least decipher what it might have meant. It's relatively small compared to the other problems but still worth mentioning.

Sixthly, miscellaneous things that I wrote down that I didn't touch upon.

Author decided to include a section of the novel to advocate for allowing people to be racist and shaming this system which stopped racism.

There are super bad time skips with events. For example, the main character is on a journey approaching an island, then the chapter ends. The next chapter begins with him leaving the island with a quick recap on what he accomplished while there. We aren't actually ever shown the island or told explicitly what happened, just "here's the outcome."

Here's a really s*upid quote the author included, "But for some reason, he felt that bluffing was useless against Ashe, so he didn't bother pretending." This was the thought of an antagonist who was apparently hyper-intelligent. The author couldn't think of a valid reason for the antagonist to lie to the main character and just went "But for some reason..." So s*upid.

Seventhly, literally while making this review I looked at the tags and saw it was harem. I'm actually upset because it wasn't tagged as harem when I added this to my reading list. I will not be updating this review anymore, I refuse to read such garbage.

I suppose that is the majority of my critiques, though I could probably double the list if I really thought about it. It's not worth it anymore.

The only good thing about this novel is that there are some good mystery elements so far. Hard to even understand the mystery because of the poor translation but it's there.

I would recommend this novel if you can bear with bad translation, harem, unlikeable characters, novice author, painful character interactions, an awful power system, and terrible realism. Basically, I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. <<less
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