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Gwen Song awoke in a world that was not her own, in which everything she was familiar with had been replaced. Instead of airplanes and electricity, this 21st-century Earth is ruled by magic and dragons; humanity survives in a land of magical beasts and otherworldly beings, protected by shielded enclaves and magical constructs.
Follow Gwen across the world as she struggles to rebuild her life in this strange new reality. Behold a tale of adventure, friendship, and (of course), magic! Witness as she grows from a simple grade school student to a fully-fledged Mage, through university and beyond, discovering the secrets of a world made unreal by magic and mysticism.
Volume 1 Amazon (US) the book is in all markets as well.
Volume 2 Amazon (US) the book is in all markets as well.
Volume 3 Amazon (US) the book is in all markets as well.
Volume 4 Amazon (US) the book is in all markets as well.
Volume 5 Amazon (US) the book is in all markets as well.
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V2 Google Play, iBook, Kobo, Nook and Playster Link
V3 Google Play, iBook, Kobo, Nook and Playster Link
V4 Google Play, iBook, Kobo, Nook and Playster Link
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Have you ever read a book that you wanted to love so much, but you just couldn’t? Saying to yourself that maybe it might change in the future, you just need to keep waiting, and yet it just kept disappointing you. This is that book for me. No matter how much I want to love it, the main character Gwen simply ruins it for me. There are three main reasons why I can’t stand Gwen.
Gwen is the most beautiful, cutest, most powerful, smartest, wisest, most knowledgeable being that has ever existed. If there was a problem in her way that required her to be smart, she would meet the expectations and surpass them. If power was required, she would kill all who dared stay in her way. Every other character exists to prostrate themselves beneath her long legs and gaze lovingly at the bright existence that is Gwen Song. And those who do not? They get to learn their lesson and their place beneath her perfection. Gwen is so perfect that she becomes unbearable. If she falls into a trap, that just becomes an opportunity to awe everyone by her skills. The whole world revolves around her, other characters do not matter, they are there to appreciate the greatness that is Gwen and nothing else.
Something that I have come to realize about Gwen is that she doesn’t really have a character. She is whatever author wishes her to be in order to push the story in a desired way. If she needs to be a teenager, then that is what she will be. If she needs to show maturity, then she will. Scared, strong, arrogant, unyielding, smart, naive, rational or irrational, if the situation demands it, she will be, character development be damned. This is extremely obvious in the beginning where she can jump between a teenager one chapter and an adult in the next. It gets worse by her reacting in different way to situations that look the same. She will massacre people and come to realize that harsh actions are required of her in this new world in one chapter and later on start questioning her morals on something less severe. There is no consistency or real character development.
And lastly, if there is a smarter way or a dumber and harder way to deal with a problem, she will go for the dumber way. Never mind that she has the intellect of all humanity combined, if she can put herself into a harder situation she will. Author even acknowledged it by having side characters call her a masochist, giving her an excuse for her actions. My guess is that she does that simply so that the author can show Gwen’s greatness even though the situation has been made harder artificially.
For the story, I’ll divide it in three arcs, Australia, China and England arcs, but I will not go deeply into them to avoid spoilers as much as possible.
I really enjoyed Australia arc. While Gwen was annoying, there weren’t that many opportunities for her to ruin the book, so I really liked it. Yes, her being reincarnated was pointless, and I honestly didn’t even consider her as such because it didn’t really play any role at that point. It was a slice of life of a teenager going to school and learning magic and it was enjoyable. At the end of that arc, I was really excited, the plan was for the story to go in a different direction, show the other side of the world, show why hard choices mattered, but instead almost all of the characters and everything that has happened up to that point were thrown away only for the story to repeat itself in the China arc but worse. This of course repeated itself again at the end of China arc. Currently in the England arc all of the friendships and companionships that Gwen has created during the first two arc are thrown into the Void except for the bare few. With minimal information you could pick either second or third arc and you wouldn’t feel lost, because they are so disconnected from each other.
Gwen being reincarnated started playing a role in the China arc. She used to be a businesswoman, had a company and a lot of money, and used those skills to grow her wealth in this new world. I’m going to be honest, this part of the story was extremely boring to me. I mean, there is magic and monsters and even simple interactions with other characters, and instead of all that we are focusing on economics… I’m not saying it’s bad, just that it isn’t for me, you might like it, I don’t know.
This book either has the best world building or the worst and I’m not sure which one it is. Sometimes I don’t know if the author is describing events from our world or this new magical one. It feels so lifelike that I’m not sure if the author didn’t just copy/paste Earth’s history and changed some minor details to give it a magical flare. Or they created a world so detailed that I can’t differentiate it from reality. Does it matter in the end which one it is? Not really.
And the reason why I want to love this book so much is the magic. It might be among my favorite magic systems on RR. The schools of magic, the elements, the spells, I couldn’t get enough of it. Pure power fantasy of it makes a part of my brain tingle so pleasingly and I’m not even ashamed of admitting it.
In the end, this is a slice of life, power fantasy that at times can be the best book, and then Gwen does her thing to make it almost unreadable. If only some of her skills were divided among the side character to make her less perfect and make those characters actually matter. This book makes me think, what if Gwen wasn’t so perfect, what if China arc never happened, would it have been better or worse? I guess we will never know. Even though I’m giving it a low score I do think you should read it, but just be prepared for Gwen to make you groan in frustration. Or maybe you will love it.
Stylistically this might actually be one of the stronger novels on RR, if only because it has an actual style. Unfortunately it's a style that I don't particularly enjoy. The author writes in a manner reminiscent of trashy romance novels, with artificial and exaggerated emotions. This is further augmented by constant narration on how the MC looks, as well as how she interacts with her friends.
The actual story itself is alright, in that it follows the generic plot that most stories here do, go to a new place kill a few things, get stronger, and repeat. The difference here I suppose is that the worldbuilding is actually pretty deep and complex, and so is interesting to read.
In terms of grammar, I've found little issues, and the ones I see are usually quickly fixed and so are of no real concern.
Last, and most certainly least the character. Specifically the main character. The primary issue I have with the main character is her inconsistent morals, and beliefs. Gwen as a character seemingly changes morality at a drop of a hat going from a mass murderer, to a naive teenage girl, to ruthless business woman, to moralistic abolitionist, with no real rhyme or reason. Beyond that Gwen isn't a very believable 30 year old, much less successful businesswoman.
Overall I've lasted until chapter 428, but I just can't stand the MC anymore. It's a decent story if you're looking for something long, but not necessarily great.
I have enjoyed most of parts of this novel and as it is my first find on RR I'm pretty happy I managed to find something readable right out the gate.
My problem with this novel comes down to pretty much one or 2 things
- Descriptions of what people are wearing, at first I though it was an ammusing inclusion but when multiple paragraphs are consistently devoted solely to describing someone's outfit, I was like (CLAP)WHERE(CLAP)IS(CLAP)THE(CLAP)STORY?(CLAP)
- YES WE GET IT, she has LONG WHITE LEGS and apparently people find that feature attractive. I don't know if I'm using the word appropriately but I thought it made sense but I guffawed (not in a good way) and eye rolled so hard when great pains are taken to ensure that physical feature is mentioned EVERY SINGLE TIME fashion is involved.
- regarding the MC, how unrealistic the MC is as a "30 something" grown woman in a teenage body. She is able to anticipate and counter any attempts at disrupting anything that would get in the way of her BIG ASPIRATIONS. She uses her OLD WORLD knowledge to advance her goals which included intense long winded lectures that involve said knowledge. So I almost believe her character and personality. But than we hit the back and forth internal dilemna of I can't kill them or they are intelligent beings to. Cut immediately towards end of arc after MC killed or wiped out entire city and this happens EVERY SINGLE TIME. Lets not even get into wearing mini dresses that show of the LONG WHITE LEGS to a batlle scene. I really struggled to pair an intelligent, knowledgable and mature 30 something year old woman with a character that has a virtually obsessive compulsion to wear highly impractical clothes into a dangerous situation. My ONLY conclusion is that the MC is in reality not Gwen Song but ELLE WOODS.
- Lastly as a queer person I barely tolerated the queer relationship baiting as the MC's habbit of leading other characters on really started to grate on my nerves anytime a possible love interest appeared. In a sentence the MC, No we can't be in a relationship but you can totally touch me inappropriately, kiss me, hug me and I wan't to touch you, hug you, smell you, kiss you. And this is dismissively explained away as the MC's tendency to be masochistic. I think it was at that point I started to serously wonder if this novel is worth following. But then again the Romance genre is not my cup of tea so I'm highly biased against romance novels which I thought this wasn't because I didn't see it in the catergories. So the Catergories NEED TO BE UPDATED
It started out really entertaining and I liked the magic system but now there's just way too much to remember and the MC spends her time working on economic theory and being way too op. It turned into pretty heavy self insert fantasy somewhere down the line and she constantly uses quotes from philosophy to 'win' arguments
Wish fulfillment fantasy that promises but doesn't delivers. lets start the the good points:
- dialogues: some of them are on point – adult, clearly conveying the characters personality or pov.
- characters: initial characterization gives each one almost a unique voice, but that’s it. But it feels like their stuck into their sidekick role without any unique voice of their own. The biggest problem is though with the female lead, a self proclaimed 30 year old behaves like a teen.
- filler and gratuitous erotica – pages and pages of small talk, shopping, dresses, getting from point a to point B without any meaning full events.
- erotisized description that serve no purpose beyond fan service. e.g. a shower scene with an erotic tone that did not even connect to a internal dialogue to make it meaningful.
- world-building: despite being initially intrigued by the world political and magic system, it become very much apparent that the author just slapped a half-assed dungeons and dragons (1st edition) rule book over the current geo-political system, and just went along with it without giving serious consideration to the ramifications of having magic. We have all the modern conveniences of a technological society photocopied into a magical one without a single change, cars (“turbo boosted mana core engine), phones, etc. In one of the fight scenes someone casts “detect evil”? Wtf – does it mean that a first level spell can make philosophical ethical judgment, when even the author magic system does not have the d&d distinction of evil vs good.
- cartoon villains with their obligatory pre-death monologue of justification and clearing of plot points.
- mary sue badassary – where the characters sidekick animal is a lovecraftian horror wurm that is just there to make the protag onlookers shit in their pants, when she makes her entry. And even when that horror nightmare gets kicked in the butt losing a few of its legs. Two minutes later its back on the scene brand new carapace.
- fight scenes that a literally characters calling out spell names like some bad version of japanese kid anime.
I could go on and on but in chapter 121 I gave up.
This story most certainly has a good premise, and it definitely delivers some good moments. However, at some points, it really falls through.
So first of all the thing that really rubbed me the wrong way was the style. Damn, I can't count how many times I've read how the side-characters admired Gwen's legs or her amazing features. It REALLY does get tiring to read about her amazing legs. And this is not only limited to her, every single time we meet a new character in the series Wutosama needs to tell us exactly how attractive their features are. I swear practically everyone in this series is supposed to be a walking model.
Not only their appearance I also cannot imagine how much time I have spent reading what sort of CLOTHES they are wearing. I mean seriously why do we need to know what their attire looks like at any given moment right down to what their shoes look like.
Anyway, this is not the only problem I have with the style. Perhaps it is only me, but the amount of complicated and academic words in this story is just crazy. Perhaps the author is just really educated but this really frustrated me since I constantly had to look up words. (perhaps this is just because I am not a native English speaker).
Apart from these problems, and the fact that some of the characters lacked a bit of life, I did actually enjoy the story. The idea of a clever protagonist who actually uses her brain to get through the different situations was indeed quite nice
Anyway to summarize I would recommend this story to people who like a well-developed modern fantasy world and can ignore the aforementioned faults in the style. The story really does have a good premise, and I really did enjoy a lot of it.
This story would've been much better if she was a teenager instead of a grown woman in a teenager's body. She already acts, talks and thinks like a teenager. She is actually a decent character when you think of her as the portrayal of a troubled teenager. Not so much when you try to think of her as a strong, grown woman. The reincarnation/soul-travel bit does nothing but detract from the story.
Written on ch 55.
This isn't a reincarnation story.
Because the MC who is supposed to be a 30 year business woman with a difficult past and strong character has all the wit, resolve, and social ability of a 16 year old girl.
Now, this isn't to say this is a bad story. It's fairly good for a pretty standard wuxia, which it is. Just because the MC is a woman and the world is more magic, less cultivation, doesn't make the plot armor any less thick nor the characters any more deep. Personailty is literally affected by elemental affinity, leaving about 12 or so character templates, NoM are general simpletons, and everyone thinks the MC is the best thing since sliced bread, not to mention she gets a power-up every fifth chapter. But, all-in-all, it's totally readable, downright binge-worthy, if it wasn't for the false promise that this was a reincarnation story, because it isn't. The MC is supposed to be a business-savvy mature woman so why is she as clueless as an already pretty stupid teenage girl? Why can't she handle awkward social situations with the 15+ years of emotional maturity she has over nearly everyone around her? Why is she so needlessly reckless in a world she barely understands? There are so many holes in her character backstory, you could pass a truck through them. She thinks and acts like a teenage girl constantly and only pretends to be mature by stealing famous lines from authors in her old world. Just because she dresses fancy and reminds the reader every chapter of how secretly old she is doesn't mean she acts like it. It's more like "Upgrading Specialist in Another World," where the soul that was supposed to travel to another world gets destroyed along the way and the actual MC just gets his power; the story would be more honest if it was written that way. But it wasn't, so now I have to read about a 30 year old woman whose never been in a relationship and can't handle horny teenagers, thinks she can beat evil Magus with her less than a year of training, and wanders around slums in stilletos.
The grammar is great, the style is above average, and the story is okay, but the characters, especially the MC, just leave too much to be desired for me to give it a good score.
Not that you need care.
Well written story, interesting magic system, really detailed and unique setting... My only gripe is how many semi erotic scenes there are. The main character is basically a Lolita who freezes up with panic attacks when talking to her mom or when men look at her lustful or when she's not wearing long pants and men can see her legs.
Lots of scenes of her choosing just the right outfit to wear to some event, often with a corresponding picture from the internet that the author used as inspiration... then going on and on about how many heads she turned or how many people can barely contain their lust for her.
For example there is an early scene where she rides the train and a man starts groping her and ask she can do is freeze in terror. At first I thought this was just a comment on the human condition, or an example of the stories setting, but no, the author just likes writing scenes like that, and you'll find another one every few chapters with some contrived excuse why.
Solid series for the Australia arc, then tapers off in the China arc and beyond.
My honest to god opinion on this story as a whole is that it's something you should try out. The start is kind of rough, but the cast of characters and the shenanigans that ensue carry the story in my opinion.
I don't recall that many grammatical errors, and neither was the style that bad. Author does go into a ton of depth on exactly what Gwen dresses like. Like seriously, I didn't know what a Miu Miu was before reading this series.
The worldbuilding is also amazing. We get to learn so much about this foreign world, and it honestly feels alive and lived in, instead of a world that was created just for the story to happen. The magic system is also really well-made and quite deep.
Story-wise, it started off very strong. Gwen gets reincarnated into a younger version of herself into an alternate world where magic exists. She's basically talentless, and is treated as such. I loved accompanying Gwen through her struggles as she gathered power and proved herself
I especially enjoyed the Harry/Dumbledore relation Gwen has with Kilroy
Honestly, I really enjoyed most if not all the characters throughout the entire story. I feel that the side characters are one of the strong suites of this story.
Which brings me to the biggest problem I have with this story: the side characters.
They. Get. Dumped. After. Every. Arc.
You know all the characters you've connected with and become attached to during the Australia arc? They're gone now, relegated to occasional appearances that last about half a quarter of a chapter, or are just outright gone. Now, they're replaced with a bunch of Chinese side characters that you'll end up connecting with and becoming attached to, but BOOM! They're all gone now for the England arc.
Save for a very select few, most of the characters get relegated to the depths of tertiary character for the following arc.
Not to mention the fact that Gwen sometimes straight up goes from acting like an independent 30 something businesswoman, to acting like a teen on puberty. I can never get a good grasp on just what Gwen's mental age is.
Another thing that irked me greatly was just how much Gwen's power grew. She just gets stronger and stronger in a linear fashion, and at this point she can basically muscle through any challenge unless it's literally some of the world's most powerful people.
The last thing that annoyed me was the whole entrepreneuring things. Like, I get it. You needed it to justify her having reincarnated, but do I really care about economics? Her being a successful entrepreneur kills even more of the story since she basically has an infinite supply of shards after the deals she made in the China arc.
All in all, the Australia arc is good, China arc was meh (I liked the tournament arc tho), and I dropped this series in the England arc. I'm just burnt out.