Street Cultivation - a modern wuxia/litrpg hybrid

by SarahLin

Original HIATUS Action Adventure Fantasy GameLit LitRPG Male Lead Martial Arts Supernatural Urban Fantasy Wuxia Xianxia
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Profanity

In the modern world, qi is money.

The days of traveling martial artists and mountaintop masters are over. Power is controlled by corporations, modernized martial arts sects, and governments. Those at the bottom of society struggle as second class citizens in a world in which power is a commodity.

Rick is a young fighter in this world. He doesn't dream of immortality or becoming the strongest, just of building a better life for himself and his sister, who suffers from a spiritual illness. Unfortunately, life isn't that easy...

(Author's Note: After the first book's successful run on Amazon, I'm posting the sequel chapter by chapter here as well for all the fans who supported me.)

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  • Overall Score

A juicy truffle for us mud slogging pigs.

I never took the time to write a review before, so hear me out, please.

I read a shitton of wuxia/xianxia, but honestly, the genre is saturated with so much garbage that most of the time I feel like a goddamn pig slogging through mud and shit trying to find a truffle. Thing is, this story is a goddamn truffle. A juicy one with earthen and smoky tones.

The characters feel real, the problems are relatable, MC isn't OP, at all. It's wuxia without all the bullshit.

This is a truffle, people. Enjoy it while it's here.

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Being the Negative Nancy

Alright, I am going to be the Negative Nancy. This series started off fantastic, from concept, to world building, on to characters. All great. Then... then the story kinda loses the plot.

As best I can tell, the MC is supposed to be prideful. That seems to be his consistent problem. But his chacter flips from pratical to prideful at the convience of the story. It seems that, whenever the author needs the MC to do something that is fundamentally against the established chacter, he is threatened. And he just meekly complies with being threatened. Need to get him into a tournement, just threaten him, need to get him to fight someone, more threats. The character is a brave coward. Brave, up until the author needs him to do something, than he is meekly cowed.

This bipolar characterization would be fine if the story takes even a second to acknowledge it, but the MC never broods on it and no one ever comments on it.

  • Overall Score

15 chapters in so my opinion might change severly in the future: It is an interesting setting, the world is modern and so is cultivation. Everyone seems to have some cultivation and the energy used to cultivate has basically become their currency. (Which makes me wonder whether this setting has the super long live aspect of cultivation, does everyone rich become an immortal?) 


The MC is rather poor and has a sick sister but is steadily working on his cultivation in hope of improving his situation then stuff happens and he is even more fucked so he begins taking risks. We aren't yet far enough to tell how it will play out but from my initial impression and related info I expect it to have a main plot instead of meandering around for countless chapters like quite a few stories on this website.

Character wise I like the MC well enough, other characters that look like they will be long term characters seem like I will probably like them but we haven't seen enough of them yet.

I think it is worth giving it a try.


Edit: Close to the end of book 1 now, I raised my rating to 4.5. Plotwise I would dscribe it as a bit slice of lifey, yes there is underground fighting an assassin and some assholes that inherited power so that might sound weird but what I mean by it 

Spoiler: Spoiler

 The setting remains the main draw imo, modern xianxia is not something you see often. Writing is good and I like the characters. Worth reading imo.


Edit: decided to raise it to 5 star

Ed White
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Sweet street cultivation

This is a story with a fresh approach worth diving into. Very enjoyable so far.

I'll be sure to update as the story progresses.

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Great first cultivation read for me - loved it!

Reviewed at: Book II: Chapter 1 Preview: Soul Application

Just found Book 1 on Amazon and read it all in a few days. It was my first novel that was mostly cultivation and I thought it was really well done.

She added enough structure to such a nebulous concept and the way she tied it into the world's economy and power structure was really entertaining. Some of the ideas required a bit of suspension of disbelief or were missing some logic, but those were minor and I'm happy to skip over those if the story and characters kept my interest and these did in spades!

Thanks for expanding my view a bit out of the traditional litrpg genre and keeping me up too late so I could find out what happened next. Dessert for the brain and soul. Loved it!


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A Great, Fun Story About Crippling Social Stigma

This is the first wuxia story I've read, so I'm not a great recomendation if that's what you're looking for. However, as a general story this has it all. It's engaging, the characters are fantastical while remaining relatable, and the system of lucrima generation and management is genuinely fascinating. It's very readable and the story does a great job of naturally progressing and increasing the stakes without relying on characters making stupid mistakes. The lead is a compelling everyman who draws you in effectively, and the fight scenes manage to be well detailed while still seeming frantic. Overall, an excelently written story with exceptionally compelling stakes.

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A novel take on cultivation.

A novel take on cultivation. Great promise there.

To pick on anything it's that every other chapter there is a new disaster, it would perhaps help immersion if there was more happening between these. Now at times it feels like an enumeration of all the things the MC has to suffer thru.

Also, some novels think that if they spend the first 50 chaps beating down the mc that somehow helps establish the mc as an underdog or make him more relatable or something but then for the 1000 chaps that follow the mc is a revered genious that slaughters people left and right as if 2 different novels were fused together. I sincerely hope this is not going in the same direction.

Wade Mooney
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But why is the rum gone??

Brilliantly written piece of work that draws the reader in and leaves them wanting more. I can't wait to read it to completion and I certainly hope there will be more books coming.


Winged Thing
  • Overall Score

Equally matched in potential and execution.

This novel takes the concepts of cultivation and breathes new life into them by spinning a non gimmicky magic/power/cultivation system out of it.

All of the good parts have been maintained while the rest have been excised. The fact that all the novel's characters are consistant to their own motivation and the worldbuilding and descriptions are in the goldylocks zone and boy oh you do you have a story.

As reader I've enjoyed this novel immensely and look forward to seeing how it progresses. As someone who writes, this novel is a shiny example of what to be if you're competent enough to manage it.

SarahLin has knocked this out of the park, you owe yourself a read and them, your support.




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An Aversion of Xian'xia isn't necessarily better

To be honest, I tried liking this story, but I really couldn't manage. Basically this story is set in a "modern" Xian'xia setting where the rich are cultivators and cultivators are the rich. The middle class also gets to cultivate and has power and the poor get fucked. A bit like real life in that way.

Now the protagonist starts out as an "undeserving poor" as the author calls it. But as I said, starts out, as the story progresses he does everything to deserve his poverty. He has no wealth, more pride than a king, a sister that's very sick and a healthcare system like the US. Basically he starts out rather fucked.

The thing is this is an aversion of Xian'xia. Meaning instead of heavenly encounters or just plain luck, he's got encounters with assholes, bad luck and bad decisions. I don't think there's one chapter after the first where he doesn't get fucked over. Being beaten up, inheriting his parents debts, joining an underground fighting ring, getting crippled, ending up effectively a slave, then gaining a billionaire heir as his personal enemy.

Honestly that's the latest chapter and where I stopped caring about this story. The MC is an overly prideful fuckup machine and the story so far has been how he stumbles from bad encounter to bad luck to fuckup to bad luck to bad encounter. Basically the MC is a classical authors chew toy. Where a normal Xian'xia protagonist would be an author avatar that has more luck than brains this one is the very opposite.

And to be honest, where classical Xian'xia gets boring because you just know the character will get the next OP thing for certain, this one gets boring because you just know a new chapter a new torment. And it won't get better because the MC is just the kind of never-do-well that has enough intelligence to fuck himself over where a dumber or smarter person would have just done nothing and coasted along.