The Many Lives of Cadence Lee
- Sexual Content
- Traumatising content
Cadence Lee thought she was a normal girl, perhaps a little well to do, but not exceptionally so. She had her college classes, she had her job that her uncle gave her, and she had a nice boyfriend who was sweet if a little awkward.
Except, when a mugger accosts Cadence and her boyfriend attempts to wrestle a gun away from the criminal, Cadence ends up shot. A normal girl, with the kind of wound Cadence had, would die. Cadence managed to do that part. But a normal girl wouldn't then open her eyes again and learn that death is not as permanant for her as it is for other people. She can be reborn again, and again. Each time stronger and with new abilities.
The catch? Any world she is born into, she can never return to. She has infinite lives, but only one life for each.
So begins The Many Lives of Cadence Lee.
[participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]
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For the type of story it is, which is an isekai mashup of genres, it is really quite good.
The style is a lot of tell not show in the beginning chapters and lives. This understandable considering this type of story keeps 're starting' so to speak.
The problem with that, is that the balance of tell and show is so hard to find. I want to be told the less important bits, but without enough showing, characters and events can lack depth.
This is something future edits will probably seriously help out with.
The story itself is fun fluff. Basically, Cadence revives and tries to live a decent life while spreading modern ideas to Broze age and other less developed civilizations. Which is nice and all, but I think what would give this story a great push would be a stronger goal. Like, going over the purpose of Incarnates and developing an over arching plot.
A more modern restart where this isn't her focus (and the focus in noble, but expected) will give more perspective on what Cadence is like when she isn't just trying to survive and help other people live better lives.
Grammar wise I saw a couple typos and...bad reader! I forgot to point them out. Sorry author. 🤦
Character score...sadly this was impacted by the tell and show too. There is so much ground to cover. But apart from Cadence wanting to better the societies she finds herself in...she is bland. She is almost doormat like in her niceness.
Other characters are hardly memorable, or fleshed out. None really 'jump off the page.'
I remeber her first boyfriend saving her, a bit of Lady Cat, the Pharoah was a jerk, and Sut her husband is like just busy running the empire and being a generally good hubby for his time.
But they don't ha e personality, which is what characters need to shine!
But with the scope of this novel being what it is, I understand it would be difficult to do...
All in all The Many Lives if Cadence Lee is a fun, light read for GameLit and isekai lovers.
And I enjoyed this story, even with all my nitpicking. And some would say that's the main point. And I would say back, it is an important point, but the author can grow beyond what ever level their current work is at and I want to support that.
Good luck author!
Until now this is nearly a perfect story. Funny, using a good idea and a normal person, as in not someone abnormal. And showing emotional growth while still making a nice story.
Style: Is really good, funny and entertaining. (The only thing bothering me is the Authors low self-esteem, you managed to make (the beginning of)a really good story. Be more confident in yourself!)
Grammar: Haven't found any problems here.
Story: While there isn't an overarching plot like in 'The Ascendant: Endless Reincarnation' we have got some storylines already.
While the first one came to an abrupt ending like her life did, the second one is branching out more, also with notes from the future + an Interlude from the future. Which is pretty good.
Characters: Also no problems here. With emotional growth as I said. (The 4,5 only because I'm petty and don't want to give full stars.).
All in all this is quite a lot better than 'In Loki's Honor'. Considerably better. The author vladerag, like 'In Loki's Honor' also said this was a rough draft in an authors note. But I can't really understand what he meant with that. There isn't really anything that stands out (problem wise), or is needing change. While the first lifes end, kind of was very abrupt, it was very much realistic. And thankfully, different than 'In Loki's Honor' the MC won't have, a too overpowered 'cheat'.
I would definitely recommend this. Regarding the title... here is what I think:
Cadence Lee is pretty much just a name and the first chapter. We don't know much about her other than that she went to school had a boyfriend and a good family situation. While her achievement list kind of explained a lot of what she did with her life, other than that. There isn't much else we know about her. So another title would definitely be appropriate.
On the other hand though. It is quite difficult to find a good title for short and especially for long stories. This title gives the story a starting point and the following stories as an anthology a good summary, what would be of concern though would be the endgame. Will she remain only as a relic and a memory to all the worlds she visited, or will she become something different and continue living. Well better worry about that after some hundred chapters. (Hopefully)
Anyway I hope this story continues as it has and doesn't stop at a hiatus as 'The Ascendant: Endless Reincarnation' did.
Mad respect to the Author. It is really hard to write a story based in one world, but so far, we have gotten 4. I would have lost myself in Worldbuildersyndrome with the third at least.
The MC´s birth world is good old earth. She dies and gets a chance at visiting other worlds. (The speculation in the comments are glorious.) At the moment she can only go to worlds with Stats and Skills, as they are easier to progress in.
The second world is a classic medieval based one. She doesn’t do much here, but that is by design. She still grieves over the loss of her first world and hasn’t accepted her new situation. Quite realistic, I think. She doesn’t use her knowledge of technology and is contend with going with the flow. She learns to fight and has her hands full, keeping her friend, the baron’s daughter, save in a civil war.
In the third world she realizes how passive she has been and strives to change herself. As the princess she is expected to challenge her siblings for the throne, but is stunning everyone by instead learning how to read and write, as well as leveling classes other than [Imperial Princess]. She pushes for peace, changing the entire course of the world.
I really enjoyed the third world, as old Egypt and Mesopotamia are not that often seen in these types of stories. I would have loved to see more, but Cadence seems to be cursed to live very short lives. I enjoyed the Extra´s, showing how the world sees her achievements thousands of years after her time.
The fourth world throws a wrench in her plans. She has finally gained a goal, that now seems entirely out of reach. We haven’t seen that much yet, but I think that is about to change.
The Grammar is good, no problems here.
The Characters are a bit shallow, but that is to be expected when we see so little of them. Despite having very few interactions, they still feel like distinct people. Tropes and clichés are used to further their character, giving the reader a better idea of them, bevor changing things up.
I'll try to keep my thoughts here short.
Overall I am interested in seeing where things go, but I'm worried I will end up dropping soon. Mainly because of one my biggest pet peeves in stories of this type.
I suppose minor spoilers ahead. (though nothing at all specific). mainly me ranting about my pet peeve.
I really dislike when stories have main characters that introduce technology into the places they go. It has never 'felt right' to me. If anything it has always felt nasty to me on multiple levels. It's not only dishonest for the main character to pass off the accumulative acheivements of modern humanity as their own idea, there's also the feeling of tainting or maybe polluting that world with modern things. Of course there's also the weird superiority thing. It feels as though, to the main character, they are inherently better than everyone else for having knowledge of a more advanced world. As though they are a civilised person suffering the ignorance of savages.
Of course, I have also never read one of these plot lines where the introduction of modern knowledge goes wrong somehow. The main character just remembers every invention they've ever googled, and can somehow convince people they aren't some sort of witch or demon with otherworldly knowledge. Also, there's never anything bad about the technologies themselves. We all know that no harm ever comes from new technologies. a person or peoples suddenly having more or better techology than those around them is never a precursor to war or other atrocities.
I don't feel I've properly summed up what feels so nasty about it but whatever. rant over.
There are many poeple who like that sort of element in a story, I'm not one of them. That's not all there is to this story by a long shot, but it is present and noteworthy.
The story's premise is so simple yet so original that I'm baffled and perplexed that I've never come across any with a similar hook with Many Life of Cadence Lee. If done well, this story could very well be the next Mother of Learning (*at least on Royal Road). And no, I'm not comparing them because they have the same premise, not even close. But in terms of the story's potential, there are countless possibilities where the next life could possibly take place or what kind of adventure Cadence would face. It's all only limited by what the author can imagine, and that's the magic of reading this story.
Warning: this review may contain minor spoilers of the early chapters.
Plot Summary - Multiple Lives - Experiencing a tragic death, Cadence woke up in a white room dubbed as an Incarnation chamber and soon reincarnated into another world - possibly with magic. From the event (and the title of the story, duh), we can imply that this won't be her last life. Soon, we will see the Incarnation chamber again when Cadence's second life ends. What surprised me is how soon that is.
Plot Summary - Countless Possibility - Reincarnation is one of the generic tropes that is already tackled in many other stories. It's rare to see it used multiple times in the same narrative. On top of that, there is a unique twist in that she won't return to the same world. She only gets one chance in each world. That fact alone makes it feel original and refreshing. It opens the potential that the events introduced in each planet can be (and will be) different while simultaneously guarantees that the plot thread will be resolved (or at least attempted to be finished) by the end of the world run. This is so exciting! I can't wait to see how many worlds we will experience with Cadence.
Plot Summary - Time, literally, jumps - I really like that the time jumps aren't used sparingly. It is frequent enough - at least in the first few lives - to have time jumps in the range of years. In a typical isekai or time loop story, we often get a growing-up montage about how genius the protagonist seems. I love how the author has skillfully spared the readers from unnecessary details and always cut to the meat of the actions, if possible - which makes each event in the world feel even more important and meaningful.
Plot Summary - Missing Overarching Plot - The only critic I can give is the missing overarching plot of the story. But that can be attributed to the mysterious nature of the Incarnation chamber, and hopefully, we'll learn about it more in the consequential runs.
World Building - A new life, A new world - Cadence's first lives are short, but they are unique enough to warrant a distinct feeling for each of the worlds we experienced. The author is also smart enough to acknowledge the possibility of variance in how the System may work on each individual planet, which opens up exciting opportunities we may experience with Cadence.
Character - Smart, calm, and emotionally healthy - So far, the impression I got from Cadence is that she's relatively smart and knows various trivia from her early life. She is capable of making intelligent decisions on how to live her life. We were also shown that she could cope with her emotions, although it may take years. Living multiple lives, with the grief of the past, must take a fair amount of mental fortitude on her part. Other than that, knowing she's the only reincarnator (for now) and nobody is ever going to understand her makes us want to root for her. I like her a lot, but maybe I'm also reading too much into her psyche.
Grammar and Style - A vocal author with many typos - There are lots of typos and some minor POV mistakes, but the author has acknowledged this and is willing to fix it (he/she is working on the story late at night). I'd say that the author is very knowledgeable and reachable. The author's lengthy discussion with another reader in the comment sections is fascinating, and I think having a vocal author for a web series is definitely one of its strengths. I know this isn't a valid point to review, but I just want to put it out there.
Conclusion - I think I'm lucky to have found this story. Definitely going to keep an eye on it, and I hope you will too. If you like a smart protagonist, episodic stories, and the idea of multiple isekai, you should definitely read this story. Some parts in the earlier chapter may get repetitive (the achievements), but it's only temporary, and I think it's just a minor quirk of the story.
Final Score - 9,5/10. Not perfect, but I could see this blows up in the future!
World hopping multi-life adventure. The MC reacts honestly to loss of families and the trauma at the end of a life and the start of a new one. I've really enjoyed this story so far and the updates come steadily. I'll avoid spoilers but so far the jump between didn't styles of tropes has been fresh and non-repetitive. The MC isn't a mary sue and perfect at everything.
It is a wonderful story and I highly recommend reading it, absolutly fantastic. A story where you live one life after another with your achivements allowing you to improve upon your chances in future lives. An excellent premise that can be very difficult to do sucessfully. The author has here very much manged to do just that.
I'm happy with the pacing, some parts of a life going by very quickly with other more important and interesting parts being detailed and very well written. As of the twenty third chapter I'm sitting between wanting to see how the life goes, because it has been an amazing life so far, and wanting to see how highly such a life will be scored. The little glimses into the far future where the characters impact upon history is the subject of study is a great touch, absolutly love it! On that note I would love to see a glimse at Hemetra taking part in designing her own tomb, specifically the stela, with some toughts about how this will really make them wonder in the future. Would be very fun to read.
I have been on the lookout for a story with a similar premise to this one ever since The Ascendant: Endless Reincarnation stopped updating. This story followes a similar premise with its own unique twists. The fact that it is more focused on the characters impact upon the world and not just an ascension to something greater gives in a fresh new feel while still satisfying the itch that The Ascendant: Endless Reincarnation left. The fact that it is written from a female perspective also gives the lives a different tone than most world transfer fictions, as the main character is more vunerable and is actually aware of this. No destory everything scorched earth style. This is a character that plans and works to avoid getting killed, using charisma and personal interactions (including just hiding from people). Will also be honest here, chapter Seventeen was amazingly well written. If you try reading the story at the very least read up to there, when I'm saying it was well written I really mean it. 10/10 great job!
To summarize for the TLDR crowd: A really well written story that I would recommend highly! Definetly read up to chapter 17, you won't regret it. Absolute masterpiece.
The idea behind this story and its proper execution make for a refreshing take on the LitRPG genre. The main attraction for many when it comes to the litRPG genre is the and excitement and gratification that comes with level ups and new skills, however there's a problem with this model. If the MC keeps leveling and gaining new skills consistently then you quickly end up with skilll lists looking like , the MC becomes too OP, and/or the focus is put entirely on levels making the story feel hollow. Stories are forced to work around these problems so they can have a coherent and enjoyable story, but often end up making sacrafices to do so. Wandering Inn is a great example, it's a wonderful story but in order to stay enjoyable the author had to take the focus off of LitRPG elements and onto character development. Many stories do something similar and instead of finding clever solutions to the problems inherent to the genre, end up sacraficing the instant gratification new levels and skills can bring in order to adapt. The concept of multiple reincarnations poses a sultion to that problem but only if executed properly! In Loki's Honor is the perfect example, it tried doing something similar but ended up falling prey to many of the same old pitfalls by having too much carry over of power from life to life leading to the MC becoming somewhat boringly OP and having a problem with skill lists. So far however, The Many Lives of Cadence Lee seems on track to avoid many of these pitfalls. Skill lists aren't a problem since they reset with every life and the MC doesn't murderhobo to powerlevel, being OP isn't a problem either since the MC can be killed off before becoming too rediculous or the rest of their life can be hand waved away with a "and they lived happily ever after" due to how OP they are before moving on to the next incarnation. The author has also already shown their abilitiy to create interest outside of just fighting and gaining levels as the third life focuses more on politics and character interaciton. Finally, by having a clear structure and checkpoints of sorts with each death and subsequent reincarnation, I feel like each life's story will be able to have a satisfying end unlike other novels where it just goes on and on until the author gives out or the reader does.
This story isn't just defined by it's lack of failures however, if it was then it would probably just be mediocre at best, afterall you can't live a good life simply by avoiding failure, you actually have to achieve success, and this story does that. One of the main benefits of the concept is the creative potential, something which the author seems very ready to take advantage and which they have already done so far with their first 2 reincarnations having distinct flavours and focuses. Also, looking at the poll for potential next lives gives me lots of hope with my personal favorite three ideas being a LitRPG take on steampunk, cyberpunk, and finally space opera! I feel like this story so far has great potential and it feels like it will allow the author to grow alongside it and show off their talent and potential. Great ideas alone can't carry a story however, and luckily this author has shown that they can execute will with prose that keeps you engaged, and interesting character dynamics and interactions. Currently one of the stories I am most excited for alongside Apocalypse: Generic System, and close behind Never Die Twice. Great job vladerag, I'm loving the story so far and I like the others you've written so far as well, keep up the good work and don't put too much pressure on yourself! Continue following your heart!
While the story is just beginning, we see our protagonist move into her second life with advantages from her first, but over all modest ones. She's not setup to be the hero who can change everything. While her knowledge from earth gives her a better starting point, she hasn't leveraged that into anything big, which is understandable.
She also has the power to buy advantages "between" incarnations, but what she got the first time was modest.
It's looking like her second life won't be a long one, which makes sense. Concidering the point costs of the various advantages she can buy between, it seems like most of her lives will be short.
It's an interesting start, but we'll have to see where this goes.
I tend not to review often, and try to review accuratly. that said this story has rebirth, thought out events, and little bits of history; so i will be a little bias.
So first the grammar, i have not noticed any errors, but that could just be that there are none that jump out at you like in some stories on RR.
Second the story, it has a good flow, nothing seems forced. each life changes the system for the current world so conflictions with how world is set up....yet. Lifes have been short so if there is an error probably be with the rebirth perks a couple lifes down the line from where i have so far read to.
Last character, so MC is not Op, stupid, smart, overately violent, plot armor heavy, ect. So far MC is believably normal. Only have her second and third lifes to go off of and she is not the same in both, but her logic and actions fit her enviroments making her believable as a person.
Over all i like the story enough to read all 23 chapters that are currently out at once and stay up to 4:15 am when i normally go to sleep at 11:00 pm. And when i finally get to that dreaded last chapter that does not have a working next button i then wrote this review, which to be honest i normally write reviews to warn reads of really bad writing, or of good stories that have hard to read starting chapters. This is niether of those.
Last i recomend manga 'Red River' old but good manga and thrid life in this story keeps making me think of red river.