When Immortal Ascension Fails Time Travel to Try Again
What is my 1000-year-old monster self to do when I’ve failed my immortal ascension? Time travel —accidentally— and wind up back in my 9-year-old body, needing to re-cultivate, of course. But after that? Get REVENGE! Muahahahaha!
But the idiot who killed me —also accidentally— was the main character of the dumb harem Xianxia I transmigrated into. But wait. Wasn’t he only 7 or 8 at this point in time? Well, since I can’t harm a child or the main character without suffering in some way, then I’ll just have to raise him better, faster, stronger, and loyal! Muahahahaha!
This is a Xianxia comedy and satire by the author of Cold Steel Dig and Tome of Stealth. But it is also a series of interconnected and chronological short stories (featuring the same main characters). Since this is the author's side project the updates will be sporadic. Unless there are VINES involved. In that case, updates will be daily.
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I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this story. The cover art is cute and chibi, while the blurb radiates pure chaotic energy. And I’m not exactly a regularl purveyor of the xiaxia format, I’ve read Cradle, Forge of Destiny, and… yeah, that’s about it.
But I’m very glad I did.
The first thing that attracted me to Dragon’s MC is that she has a bit of a mean streak. Nothing over the top—she’s not a bully—but she’s rightfully mad as hell to be in the situation she’s in and not shy about expressing that fact. What sets WIAFTTtTA apart is how this characterization is expertly tied into the MC herself. She never stews in her anger. It just makes her more proactive, which is incredibly entertaining to watch.
WIAFTTtTA is also one of those well-written satires that refuses to trade a good story for a cheap laugh. There are jokes, funny ones—Dragon has a strong sense of comedy and timing—but they never usurp the story itself. There’s also hints of a much larger narrative threads at play, despite the implication that this is a series of tangentially related short stories. I’m on to you, author.
The comparison to traditional publishing I keep coming back to is that WIAFTTtTA reads like a less british, more angry, Terry Pratchett.
Great stuff. Every minute spent reading this was worth it, and I look forward to reading more.
[Note: Not a swap]
"Isn't this a bit too early to be giving an advanced review, Nameless?"
Well, dear reader, due to the nature of this story, I'm able to accurately review it all off of just the ~5k words written! You see, this collection was originally meant to be a singular short story, with a clear-cut beginning, middle, and end. However, if you're not into anthology-type stories, don't fret! This collection follows the same MCs across the same journey in (probably) chronological order. The chapters themselves are just formatted as short stories ^.^
Alright, now onto the review!
I've always been a fan of Rochester's style, and this story takes it to a whole other level with the prose. I've often praised authors for managing to mimic "traditional" xianxia style without compromising their prose, but Rochester goes a step further and manages to do so while still positively dripping satire.
That isn't to say that the satire is overwhelming, though. Rather, it's always in the background, giving way to a real, compelling, story. The characters are absolutely adorable, and these first two chapters alone hold more development than most xianxia do in their entire series.
Oh, and the grammar is great. I was a beta reader for this story, and even in its rough draft stages I barely noticed anything.
All in all, if you're looking for a wonderfully written, wholesome satire on xianxia, definitely give this a try!
I was excited to read this one from the start. Its concept alone is a ton of fun. Protagonist Fairy Lin has been transmigrated from Earth into a xianxia book she's never read, and has already done one 1000-year stint in its fictional world, cultivating and striving for immortality while being thwarted at every turn by her nemesis, the main character - the insufferable overpowered edgelord Bloodsword with his ever-expanding harem of wives. When she comes tumbling into the past, having failed her immortal ascension at Bloodsword's hands, she storms back into the main character's life, only to find him still an adorable, well-meaning and naive child.
WIAFTTTTA (what an acronym!) is packed full of satirical, snide and clever observations about xianxia tropes, with clear affection for the genre. You don't need to be a xianxia afficionado to enjoy this story, however; its author does a masterful job of making its references clear and its jokes accessible to all. In fact, if you removed the satire you'd still have one hell of an interesting story on your hands, with a rapid pace, immersive worldbuilding and an absolutely perfect balance of tension, character moments, and discovery as Lin struggles to dredge back her memories of how events played out the first time around, and the ongoing repercussions of her time travel-enabled changes on the world.
The grammar here is excellent and both the style and flow of the story are impeccable. I could easily see WIAF being published and don't think it would need much of an edit. It's an effortless read you can blitz through very quickly and be disappointed there isn't already more. (Incidentally, this is what happened to me.)
But WIAF's shining stars are its characters. Fairy Lin is a memorable protagonist I immediately fell in love with. Strong-willed and determined not to take any shit from Bloodsword (or anyone else), she's arrogant, highly competent and confident, yet at times hilariously inept at dealing with her abrupt fall back to the mortal realm after centuries of being unaccustomed to it. Her journey is largely one of culture shock - learning to adapt to new limitations and the occasional intrusion of humility. And yet underneath her 'grumpy old master' veneer is a heart of gold just waiting to emerge.
Bloodsword - or Little Spring, as Fairy Lin dubs him in her second run - is every bit as charming, and his hapless idealism is the perfect counter to Lin's domineering persona. The interplay between the two of them is some of the best I've seen, and the wide cast of fun supporting parody characters ensures every character interaction is an absolute blast.
Underpinning the outer fluff, however, are some genuinely serious and compelling mysteries - first and foremost being: how did the adorable Little Spring become the fearsome Bloodsword? Is Fairy Lin fair in her dismissive assessment of his annoying wives, or is there more to each of them than meets the eye? What is going to happen with the vines? And will Lin be able to reform Bloodsword, or is he doomed to retrace his former steps?
I would like to gently bop the author on the head for more story, please - this is a fantastic, fun read balancing a serious plot with lighthearted overtones. An easy five stars from me, and I can't wait for more!
The characters are fun and the story manages to come across quite naturaly given the premise.
Suffice to say the timeline divergence and the interactions with genre staple tropes and or plot armor is great XD
It is a bit unconventional in how it is split into seperate stories but they all fit toether naturally
I've read so many (translated) xianxia novels that the tropes get boring fast. There are many intrinsical issues with the genre itself the power fantasy, the ruthlessness, the sexism, and many many more issues. But even seeing those flaws doesn't mean you can't love the genre.
The author of When Immortal Ascension Fails Time Travel to Try Again clearly loves the genre but precisely worked out its flaws and tropes. I'm not sure if this story is for anyone not steeped into the genre but to be honest I don't care cause this thing is gold.
Style: I don't think there is something intrinsically wrong with the style. There are just some wording issues that I have that are purely subjective. But at some points, the flow is a bit bumpy.
Story: Like I said it's pure gold. It's subverting the genre without making fun of it. There is no arrogance at all. The loop aspect of the story is an interesting take on the regular loop stories. The stakes don't feel as forced and pretentious.
Character: I think the characters are one of the best-written characters on RR. They are very fun takes on established tropes.
Grammar: I've got no issues with the grammar. But my own grammar knowledge is fairly limited. Take it as you will.
All in all a fantastic story. I only hope the release frequency picks up (no pressure hehe)
Hmm. Let's see. I'm pretty sure that since the mc is a reincarnated immortal who's using their abilities and foreknowledge as wisely as possible (with exceptions for 1000-year old immortal arrogance of course) this is the most satisfying reincarnation Xianxia I've read in a while. Despite being a satire with several legit laugh-out-loud moments, the writing never suffers. My recommendation? You should read this story. Do it. Do it now.
Advanced review below.
Style. The words are neither overly repetitive or too florid. There is excellent characterization within the descriptions.
Grammar: Very few mistakes and those that are reported are quickly amended. Seriously, you'd be lucky to find published works with so few mistakes.
Story: Nothing surprising from what it says on the tin. But delivered in a satisfying way. No complaints.
Character: Little spring is seven years old (we think. It's really not important. He could be six. Why does it matter? It doesn't, that's why.) and is totally adorable. His senior sister, our main sister, ahem character is appropriately aware for a transmigrated, reincarnated 1000 year old almost transcended immortal.
I do have one complaint though. And that there isn't moar!!!!
Dragon, I thank you for all the chapters, but I needs moar.
Yes, my precious.
For a start: This isn't as bad as some, hell, even most stories on this site. That being said, it's nothing new, and not even all that well executed. (Even among the sub-genre of cultivation parodies.)
For a start, in chapter one there are quite a few foundational issues. The fact that, for no reason other than the complete erasure of the fourth wall, the mc expounds the last several hundred years of their life in a few paragraphs. There is no explanation for this besides the fact that he's speaking directly to the audience.
Then, the supposedly thousand-year-old mc goes on to be a childish brat. The only thing that separates the actions of the extremely illogical and stupid antagonists from the mc is that the mc has the barest drop of logic and a slightly lessened vindictiveness. So, the bad guys are cartoonishly stupid and evil, and the mc is an outlet for vindictive revenge, while still being super kind and cute. So the usual.
I may be going overboard into this, but I've always hated characters who are supposed to be ancient (1,000 years is going from the Dark Ages to now. Take that in.) show 0 wear-and-tear from such a massive lifespan and from such a staggering number of memories and experiences. (The human mind almost universally begins to fall apart and lose pieces after 90 or so years)
So when the mc has the overactive mind of a tumbler blogger, still memeing it up and dogging on the book he claims to have mostly forgotten after a thousand years of loss and hardship, it kinda knocks me loose. If the mc's previous hardships (all 1,000 years of them) were caused by the protagonist of the book he was transported into, then you think there'd be more bad blood. Rather than, I don't know, raising and training the person you hate.
Overall, it's the same mediocrity that you can dredge up just about anywhere on this site. I give it 3 weeks on Trending before it dissapears into the guts of this place. I know this review wasn't required, but seeing that the Trending page is the same mediocrity as just about everywhere else, but this stories just caught the lucky side of the algorithm is kinda disheartening.
If you read books just to have words in front of your face and the occasional surface-level endorphin drip, this book is right up your alley.