Anton is a great-grandfather. He is living quite a happy life, despite his advanced age and declining health… until a group of cultivator bandits moves into the area. The nearby guardians of the area, the Order of Ninety-Nine Stars, are unable to track them down as they continue to ravage nearby towns. During one desperate winter Anton is out on a hunt when his family- his entire village- is killed or taken as slaves by the bandits. He lacks the strength to fight them, and he wasn’t even present for their arrival to die with his loved ones. At the pit of his despair, he wonders if he ever had any chance to change things. What could he even do? He cannot even pull his best bow, and his eyesight is failing. If he had been a cultivator… perhaps there might have been a chance, but he was decades- perhaps even most of his life- too late.
Notes on cultivation levels:
There are five general stages of cultivation, though the fifth is extremely rare. Each cultivation style might have their own name for the stages.
1. Body Tempering
2. Spirit Building/ occasionally System Creation (Ninety-Nine Stars)
3. Constellation Formation (Ninety-Nine Stars)
4. Demigod/Galaxy Construction (Ninety-Nine Stars)
Cover picture courtesy of gej302.
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From all the reviews and ratings, not to mention how fast this shot up Trending and even Best Rated, I expected some really amazing, genre touchstone like Forge of Destiny or Beware of Chicken, so when I finally got around to reading it, I found that it was... fine. The grammar is solid, no major errors that I could spot, the style is a bit plain but that's not really a surprise for a web novel, it serves its purpose, doesn't lift up the story but doesn't drag it down either.
Characterization is where things start to drag, as there doesn't seem to be any distinct personality between chararacters, and even the 100-year old protagonist has the same speech patterns and mannerisms as 15 and 16 year olds.
Story-wise, it's the exact same thing you've seen before. A peasant finds his village destroyed and so sets off to become a powerful cultivator for revenge. Beyond the "twist" that the MC is the oldest individual in his village instead of a teenager (having escaped the destruction because he was out hunting, naturally), everything is played really straight. He goes to a sect for training, advances really quickly through cultivation, etc, etc. Nothing new there. He claims to want to rescue some of his family before they're sold off as slaves, but then just sits and cultivates for a year without worrying about that in the slightest. He's polite, which may have once been new and refreshing but isn't that strange anymore, really just more what I would expect.
Overall, it's a fine story, but also nothing really special. If you're bored, it's a good enough way to pass a few hours, but otherwise meh.
EDIT: with a bit of further consideration, I think I pinned down exactly what my problem is with the story overall.
It feels basically like someone took the character customization screen on a cultivation video game and decided to make a really old character instead of a young one, and while to the developer's credit they included dialogue options to support that, just nothing else in the game changes beyond a few lines. People talk about him being an 'old genius' instead of a young one, they sometimes address him as 'senior' and make the occasional comment about how good of shape he's in, but that's it.
Cultivation is supposed to be insanely hard when you're old, but he progresses at the same rate if not faster than the teenagers around him, he is capable of keeping up with people when they need to move quickly (despite saying how he's so slow), he can even fight about as well as others can, despite all his benchmarks estimating his physical capability is saying that he's as fit and strong as someone twenty years younger (you know how well-known 80 year olds are at fighting). He says 'in my experience' instead of 'in my opinion,' but still acts and talks like he's a teenager (you can't tell me that a centennial's first instinct in a confrontation is to shoot for the heart).
When I stopped there hadn't been any 'arrogant young masters' that had appeared yet, but I imagine they aren't far away. And once they do appear, it will complete the full spectrum of everything needed for the most generic cultivation story out there.
It's exactly what it says on the tin, just nothing else.
This story is a breath of freah air compared to all the stories of young, foolish cultivators tring to reach the heavens. Anton, the MC, is old and far more grounded in his desires and goals.
The begining of the story is interesting, but has been begining to dull as Anton does standard cultivation stuff. The urgency and strugle of cultivating fast enough to aviod death by old age has been surpassed. The urgency of rescuing his enslaved family isn't there.
The main issue I have with the story is that I don't feel connected to Anton or the other characters. We don't see him interact with his family hardly at all and don't get a sense of any of their characters. His family getting killed and enslaved feels more like something you see on the news rather than the gut punch of a beloved child dying. Anton might feel that way, but he's pretty subdued. The point is that Anton doesn't connect with people, which makes things less interesting.
The title and the thumbnail of this story are misleading. From this, you expect, effectively, an old man, as in, a withered, wise, old man following the road to cultivation.
Instead, we have a century old man thinking too much like a 15 year old boy.
What I mean by this : the concept has so much potential, it can tackle the cultivation trope from an unexpected point of view, the end of life of a cultivator still treading the path. That means the man has been accustomed to elderness, be it the most obvious, physically, but also in mind and knowledge! That kind of person often is quite patient but entrenched in a mindset. He IS old! he has most likely been called elder for half a century at the start of the story, especially if the family has never been into contact with an immortal. As such, he is USED to be called senior, elder and what have you. By the same prospect, a century is a LONG time. If something is supposed to take multiple months or years, at this point, it should not bother him, he is the turtle in the Turtle and Hare fable. But there, he is way too impatient, the story goes by way too fast, which can be done, mind you, but he should at least display confusion over what is happening to him, because he can't adapt as fast as the young ones. By the same token, if something is common knowledge, he definitely should know of it, even if not the details.
I'm sorry if this seems like I am ranting, but the most damning flaw of all this is the following : this story, this concept, is a missed opportunity, and that's a shame. A big rewrite would be needed for me to take it up again.
My buddy, also RR reader, recommended this one as very good and "in Beware-of-chicken style"
There was something at the beginning, I connected with the main character, was sad for his ruined world and wanted to rescue the few pieces that left.
And then we had grinding at the sect. It was fast and there were two mini stories in between, so I didn't mind, it was still quite pleasant. And that's it. The and of the good stuff.
From 'heroe's journey' point of view, becoming cultivator was stepping into the unknown, but then going to another country to rescue family is stepping into the unknown once again. It does not feels right.
What's worse, interactions with saved individuals are just empty. MC appears as, actually he appears as nothing. There is no drive in him or in the saved ones. There are however internal monologues, very long and I started skipping them because they bring nothing to plot or character development. These monologues do not work good enough as replacement of drive and interaction between people.
It's OK. Honestly, it's a cultivation novel. With an old man. And not everyone has retard syndrome that gets 9 generations of families killed. But its... not bad.
The action.... isn't good. The most recent chapters got a stereotypical beast tide and I find myself skim reading. Maybe it's cuz I've seen it done before too many times, or the P.O.V changes to characters I honestly don't care about. But I pretty much skipped the last 3 chapters. It's overly dramatic and falls flat. Other than that, it's not bad.
The first chapter was also overly dramatic with how the old man was constantly saying he would die for his family. It came out of left field and was said, not shown. Of course, you can't show much one chapter in.
Overall, not bad. Just temper your expectations. It's a cultivation novel
Way too many ellipses can make the prose a chore to read. Characters are fairly flat and boring but the story itself is serviceable. Very basic cultivation system, which is fine but doesn't really generate special interest. The frequent updates are nice for when you just want something quick and shallow to read for a couple minutes a day.
My main problem would be the character, he does not feel like an old man in my opninion but a twenty or thirty year old, his character is good in general but i once again i dont feel he is an old man
The style is pretty normal but it is well written, overall i would say it is pretty good.
The story is ok, i am not really feeling any connections to the characters but it is interesting enough.
Grammer is amazing 10/10 nothing more i can say
Thats all, have a good day!
TL;DR: Read this one, it's worth the time. Strongly recommend! You can spend your time reading my review if you like, but that's time you could spend reading this story. Feel free to come back when you're caught up.
From horror and righteous anger, an old man will rise to become an avenger. This is the Punisher story with an unlikely hero. They killed his family, but they missed him, and that was the big mistake. I can't go into much more detail outside of adding spoilers, but that's pretty much covered in the blurb.
Style: Clean and clear. 3rd person limited following the MC, with some inside information about the thoughts of the character as well as the external events.
Story: Not 100% original, but told in a new way. A simple man who lived a simple life. Did right by his family, but tragedy struck in the form of human evil and now he's out to strike back. We get a glimpse of the peace before it is stolen from him. Elements of Punisher and John Wick, only with an old man as the unlikely but very motivated "hero".
Grammar: Tight. No glaring errors. Nothing that stands out and makes my pretty sensitive eyeballs even twitch. Not "RR good" just plain out excellent, even trad pub quality.
Character: Believable, relatable, and oh so heartbreakingly real. It hurts to watch the events unfold, even knowing how the story starts from the blurb only takes the edge off the pain.
I've sat here for a bit trying to figure out how exactly I'm going to approach reviewing this story. I wish RR had a 3/4 of a star mark, because there's plenty about this story that is perfectly executed. Of particular note are the elements of the story that draw upon real world science in regards to the elderly; something that many people don't seem to realize is the sort of life that the elderly tend to live in retirement homes (especially the inactivity) exacerbates the degradation of old age while the opposite is also true. Our protagonist being an outdoorsman despite pushing one hundred years old isn't as implausible as it might seem.
However, some of the story beats in regards to cultivation feel a both a bit by the numbers and vague and not entirely convincing. It honestly isn't the biggest issue, its just weighed on my mind enough to drop the rating from 5 to 4.5. Time will tell if this improves.
Oh, I forgot to mention that I greatly enjoy Anton as a character. He's very well written, and I've been able to emphathise with and appreciate him quite easily.
Same issue as the authors other novels they have amazing premises and excellent starts that leaves you extremely intrigued by the unique twist on the kanra then the author has no ideia how to carry the story without making it feel emotionally dead. And after some time you stop careing.