BOOK 1 DONE. THE STORY WILL PICK BACK UP IN THE REWRITE, BUT THIS DRAFT IS COMPLETE.
BIG NOTE: This story is currently being rewritten. However, the rewrite has strayed so far from the original that they're hardly the same story anymore. If you want a better story with higher-quality writing and much better pacing, check that one out.
(If you liked this story and want to show your support, consider rating the rewrite! I would be super appreciative if you did!)
When a mystic has reached the peak of their world’s growth, they are able to ascend, leaving it behind in favor of a higher, more potent plane. Since the dawn of existence, ambitious prodigies have pushed the boundary of what seems possible, ascending beyond countless worlds in search of the peak.
Hong Tang Kiro… is not one of those geniuses. However, his twin sister just might be. Secluded on a border world and selected for their talent in fire mana, the siblings are unknowing participants of a centuries-long experiment, hosted by a powerful eccentric on the verge of immortality. Follow the twins as they learn of and attempt to escape their predicament, before venturing out into the wider world(s).
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This story almost feels like it was written by two authors. The first eight chapters (a rewrite) are phenomenal. It tells the story of a pair of twins cultivating in a Xianxia world, making us feel for their very different social station. It touches on tropes without indulging in them and draws the reader in. Those chapters I would probably give straight 5s.
The remaining chapters still good, I'd say somewhere between a 4.5 and a 5. Sometimes the action gets jumbled- events happen too fast and without explanation (although usually the author does explain things later), but other than that it paints an intersting world with characters that feel distinct.
In short, it's ALL worth reading, but I urge the author to keep up the rewrite. This has the potential to be a top shelf cultivation/progression novel if they keep at it.
Largely good, occasionally the multiple POVs can get a bit tangled, and the failure to describe complex technical details such as cultivation levels can be jarring. Additionally, there are periods where too much is happening at once. The story would benefit from taking a step back to breathe. That said, the things that are happening are interesting and engaging. It's good, it just could be a little better (hence 4 out of 5 stars).
I didn't notice any major problems. Doesn't mean they aren't there, but if they are they're minor enough that it didnt' slow me down.
The later chapters lean a little too much on the mysterious master to push things forward (and not much has happened at the point I've read too). That said, the class structure and twist regardin the initial cultivation world are interesting and well done. I'm confident that once more things happen, the story will pick back up.
There are four main characters and all of them feel distinct. The 'party' doesn't sync perfectly together and the story is better for it. Even in the later chapters the characterization is very good.
Note that this review is for the newly-edited version of the story!
This story is really something special. It's a xianxia, through and through, but one that attempts to put some new spins on tired tropes, and thus far, it succeeds in this endeavor. Instead of a cold-hearted, abusive protagonist, here we have a brother-sister duo who care deeply for each other, trying to make it in a terrifyingly brutal world. The juxtaposition between their characters and the side characters' more typical xianxia personalities makes for a shocking contrast, one that would go completely unnoticed in more standard takes on the genre.
This is the real strong suit of this story. Kiro and Seira are believable, compelling protagonists who you just can't help but feel for. Thrown into a brutal world and treated like objects by their own mother, they support each other perfectly, shining like diamonds in the rough. Luckily their mentor is a similarly-minded character, which is really exciting to see! It makes for a stark contrast with the rest of their clan, who can be summarized as: scum. I'm eagerly looking forward to the demise of their mother along with the clan matriarch. Solid cast of protagonists, antagonists, and side characters. Easily 5/5.
Really good! There are a couple of minor mistakes here and there, but the author is quick to fix issues, which is excellent to see. Sentence construction and flow is among the upper tier of what you see on royal road!
For me, it is the interaction between the cold-hearted killing machines who treat humans as tools, and the MCs, that make this story incredibly interesting. We grow to hate the antagonists. We begin to root for our protagonists, and hope that they grow past the evil machinations of their society. It makes for a gripping story, one that feels like it's just getting off the ground. The pacing may not be the fastest of all stories, but I guarantee it will hook you. Even as early as chapter 10, there are some bombshell reveals that all-but-guarantee your interest. That said, it is still early days, so the story's not quite there yet, hence the 4.5.
There's not a lot of flourish going on here, but I think that is fine for this kind of a story. I especially enjoyed the on-genre analogies that are presented; they are very well done, and fit the narrative beautifully. 5/5.
In summary, while things are still early days, the edited version of this story(haven't read the previous version) is definitely worth anyone's time. If you like xianxia and are tired of old tropes, try this for a breath of fresh air!
Among the giants is a fun cultivation story with likable main cast.
Style - 4.5/5,
The style is good, though the occasional "**************" serving as a break isn't pretty to look at. That aside it's everything you expect.
The story moves forward at a great pace, you never get stuck in one place for too long.
There are plenty of descriptions and very vivid fight scenes, my only other complaint is the short chapter length, though it's not a big issue.
Gramma - 5/5,
While I saw some comments adressing a few slipups, personally I didn't notice a single mistake.
Everything is written every nicely.
Story - 5/5,
Like previously stated the story moves pretty quickly, it follows a cast ranging from under dogs to big important people of high rank.
Character - 5/5,
The characters are great, without going into spoiler territory, I have to say my favourite character is a certain saint ;)
The characters feel real and relatable.
Overall, while I'm not really a big fan of cultivation stories I became really invested with this on,
It took me maybe ten chapters to click the follow button and I reccomend you consider doing the same because this story deserves more attention for sure.
This story is pretty interesting so far and worth following!
While it is a slow build, that is often typical of the genre. So, don't expect fight scenes and assassinations right away. But that's not necessarily a bad thing since we learn about the universe and it's troubles fairly early. We also get a better understanding of the characters as most of the time is spent on them and their problems, and what is a story if not it's characters?
Its still early on in the story and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes and finding out more about the techniques of this universe.
Fantastic worldbuilding and characters.
I love that there's the inclusion of Chinese alchemy into this world. The concept of Saints is a nice bridge that expands on the bureaucracy often in eastern mythology, and makes it easier to understand from a Western point of view.
The characters are amazing, the situations they are in are great. I can't wait to see what happens to the twins as I read on, and even the chapters without much action are interesting and keep you entertained. Definitely Following.
Just as a heads up, this review isn't to bash the Author by any means. It is intended to give insight into how I felt about the story and how I personally believe that is could be improved in future. The issues I have with the story can definitely be fixed.
Also remember: this review may mean nothing to you, take it with a grain of salt. Also read when it was posted (24/06/2020) to see if you should even take what I am saying seriously, especially if there are 50 more chapters out that might solve issues talked about here.
First of all, the style. It is decidedly average, and palatable by all means, but I found the writing somewhat detached from the story itself. It felt like things that were meant to have emotional impact just weren't portrayed correctly for me to create an emotional bond with the situation.
This could be from a lack of descriptors, or just a lack of sufficient time for the emotional impact to be built up and then released, I'm honestly not quite sure.
The idea is there, and there are definitely interesting ideas to be pulled on, especially with the sect and what that is all about. However, I feel like it continually falls flat with not giving enough time for things to develop and continuing on anyways. This happens continually throughout the story and I feel like each thing that is happening needs far more build up time and intrigue for it to be really impactful as a plot point. As of writing this review, thing simply seem to be just happening to the main characters.
It’s grammar. It isn’t world class edited but has minimal mistakes.
Potentially the biggest downfall of the story is the total lack of character growth and depth. This will be written in spoilers for obvious reasons.
The characters initially start off pretty strong. The connection between a brother and a sister that have ended up in different social castes simply by fate, and the brother having a mentor/someone higher ranked looking out for him was a fun dynamic. This initial part of the story is really the only reason why I continued to read further on in the story.
As soon as the Saint appears, character development and interaction takes a nose dive. For one, when Kiro finds out that Seira was, for all intents and purposes, going to literally abandon him to a sect that is a massive Guinea pig experiment, he wasn't angry at all.
I don't even think they talked about it. He wasn't even slightly mad that she hadn't confided in him that she had been approached by someone who was tantamount to a god to them. There was no anger from Kiro, no apologising from Seira, and no resolution or bonding moment. As soon as the Saint showed up, they were off to another world without a moment of reprieve suddenly becoming almost entirely different people.
Rynn is another example. We heard about Rynn precisely once before he was on this magical journey with the brother and sister. Kiro seemed to think he was a pretty alright guy but turns out he is a massive douchebag.
The three kids (who are apparently in their late teens if not twenties) have barely spoken to each other, and if they have it has been off screen. They haven’t had a heart to heart on anything, they just exist separately from each other except when something super obvious needs to be said.
The Saint also turned out to be a massive douchebag. She slaughtered a bunch of people for seemingly no more reason than they ticked her off, but it’s all good now guys because she picked up a few rag tag kids and taught them magic. She dropped a bunch of kids onto a new world as told them to 'survive'. There isn’t much cool about her other than she's powerful, has killed a bunch of people because she had a bad day, and doesn't like being called 'honoured saint'.
The characters desperately need more time together to figure out what the fuck their relationship to each other should actually be, because at the moment they are all basically on Mrs Frizzles magic school bus with Aer at the helm, and the kids in row 2, 7 and 13, not talking to each other.
This is not even including how, in the more recent chapters, Kiro is killing people who are really powerful and seems real capable. When did that happen? Nothing interesting happened to them other than they got picked up by a Saint that would justify that kind of personality/power change.
This review may be seen as overly harsh, but I feel like the Author has a lot more potential than what they are currently displaying. The characters need desperately to be worked on more. More time needs to be given to each plot point so that the story doesn’t just feel like a flurry of things happening so the story can keep moving forward, heedless of the character development being left on the table.
I hope that this story lives up to it's potential in future.
The interactions of the characters are shaping up and they're enjoyable to read. I do think a little foreshadowing of the mentor's past would help, as that part seemed rushed. Still early, and not sure what the overall plot will be quite yet. World-building is okay, it will probably be expanded upon although there might have to be a limit since there's infinite? worlds
This author takes a fan favorite of this site, Xianxia, and makes it unique. As many have said, the author takes a spin on this classic tale that makes it feel fresh, unique, and entertaining. Each chapter entails an adventure or character development that makes you want to turn the next page and learn more about this story.
I think the author's strongest trait is the way they are able to characterize their protagonist and side characters. I want to know more about them, about their ins and outs and what makes them tick. That is such a hard thing to tackle, and as a writer, I respect them for that immensely.
Overall, if you enjoy a classic Xianxia story, but appreciate the creative touches that make it fresh, you will want to pick this story up.
I put off reading this for too long. If you've been around here you may have been burned by stories in this genre as well.
Put those fears to rest, this is a well crafted, highly enjoyable story with actual good guys as well as villanous bad guys and an entertaining struggle between them.
The plot is intersting, well-paced, and has a fresh feel to it.
The writing style flows well and has a way of making you go 'just a bit more' again and again.
The characters are well done, as someone with a twin sister that's always a nice relationship to see portrayed well. People are rootable, hatable and various forms of in-between as appropriate.
In summary: If you like xinxia, want to try xinxia, or want to refresh your enjoyment of the genre. Read this and be happy.
Even though it has made its foundation on cliches, just like the xianxia genre overall, this story builds up a completely different premise as compared to other cultivation novels. The basic concept that fuels such stories is the same, near crippled mc who wants to control his own fate and has to get stronger to achieve such. But the trope is used in a different way and hence, gives for a new experience that feels fresh, especially if you are fed up after reading thousands of chapters of the same content.
Style - I read this story in the middle of a major rewrite by the author, so a couple of parts didn't make any sense but other than that everything else is paced fine. The prose and descriptions make for a good read overall.
Grammar - I didn't find any visible flaws, so perfectly fine in this aspect.
Story - As I have already mentioned, the story takes a new approach to the mc's journey and it is made clear by the tenth chapter. The inclusion of a genius twin sister who has no feelings of contempt towards her brother is another welcomed trait that makes it interesting. It makes you root for the siblings' adventures.
Characters - With a good diversion from generic one-dimensional characters, the ones here are made likable. The main siblings come out as grounded and as vibrant as possible. They have their own motivations and reasons to act in certain ways. The others of the main cast whom we follow are equally fleshed out and some may even be more likable than our heroes.
This is a solid attempt to rinse out the flaws of the xianxia stories and present a well-paced fiction. Well recommended.