A twenty-first century human mind is awakened in a strange land of boundless cults, spirit servants and immortal cultivators ruled by titanic god-beasts. Coexisting within the body of a street urchin girl, the last pharmacist in the universe attempts to fix the broken world of tomorrow by wielding the long-lost power of science and rationality.
[Rational Progression] + [Xianxia] + [Litrpg] + [Comedy] + [Post-Apocalyptic] + [Humanity, Fuck Yeah!]
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Enduring good is a post apocalyptic isekai story and it's a bit hard to fit into any one box.
The apocalypse came and went. Humanity didn't end with a nuclear war. It didn't end from a rampant virus. No--a bizarre phenomenon from the stars crash landed and ended the world as we know it, corrupting the rules of physics with a special energy known as qi. The world becomes one of myth and legend and is dominated by alien creatures and spirits. The author describes the alienness of the world well, and some of the environment descriptions almost remind me of Pandora from Avatar (blue people).
Fast forward at least 1000 years into the future. Society exists, but it's feudal. Knowledge of the past has been lost. The weak cower before the strong.
The MC is Ash, a teen street urchin who acts casual and flippant about everything, even serious subjects involving life and death. Almost immediately in the story, Ash acquires the memories/integrates with a pharmacist from long ago.
We follow Ash as she seeks to figure out the purpose behind the apocalypse and elevate the world. Ash realizes that she is perhaps humanity's only hope of remembering the enlightenment of the past. Rather than running away from that burden or deciding to just empower herself, she embraces the responsibility.
She is an enduring good, one last hope sent from the past to try and make a better future.
As a character, Ash is an odd mix of immature (street urchin) and enlightened (pharmacist). She has a lot of mental walls up around herself for protection. She acts immature. These things are all shown well, and are clearly deliberate. I look forward to the character development as Ash learns to trust others and comes into her own.
Style wise, the prose is very descriptive, perhaps even a little over descriptive at times, and there are a few info dumps. Still far ahead of a lot of books. Almost no grammar mistakes at all. Feels polished.
One final bit worth mentioning: the author is an incredible artist. You might not even realize that it is the AUTHOR and not a paid illustrator who does art on almost every chapter, sometimes two pieces on one chapter. Regardless of whether my review has sold you on the story, just click on chapter 1 and appreciate the gorgeous art, or at least click on the cover art. These art pieces help to bring the vibrant descriptions of the world and characters to life even more.
Yet it doesn't come close to the beauty of the author's. Honestly, who thinks of stuff like that?
One could suppose that the contents of the story tell a similar tale. First, there are the brilliant art pieces, each chapter having at least one in the beginning(which I think was used several times but that's just a small detail that nobody cares about), with a landscape one coming here and there. Let's just say that it mixes in with the word-based world-building, creating a scene that's not very hard to visualise. Style be 5/5
Humour, in a more abstract form, is a large part of what is felt when reading this. She looks at that scrap-bucket and is worried about insurance? Characters aren't realistic, instead of taking on a much more surreal way of looking a the world. While not having much of actual about the origin or where they stand on so many topics, we instead get a freeze-framed picture of what the characters are thinking, and that's more than just enough. The ability to portray a character through few words is quite the ability to have. Though, I suppose that's in order when being inside a world like that. 5/5 for that.
Kinda realised that I'm gonna make this an advanced review so I'll just speedrun the last categories. The plot/story itself is something I'm not exactly sure about. No real arc has been set in place yet, though their similarly is no real need for it, the opener being more than enough to promise great things. Not every day you get self-realization like that. So... 5/5 for that as well.
To end things off, I would say that grammar is great. Time has actually been spent on looking through the work for major errors, making it significantly harder to actually find anything wrong. Therefore, it'll be getting the same rating in grammar as it will in the overall one. Which is 5/5
Read it. Fin
Are you a member of Gold City yet? No—why so ever not? Admission is free! Just open up this first chapter and you will see!
Jokes aside, this story is very engaging with its lush depictions. At the beginning of nearly every chapter, there is artwork that heightens the mood, adding a beautiful source for what goes on in the chapter.
Just to get it out of the way, the 'litrpg' aspect of the story doesn't come in until 10 chapters into it. But the way it enters the picture is amongst the best I've seen in the genre. Well worth the wait in my opinion.
This is a dystopian nightmare of a post-apocalyptic story. I love the background and the reasons why things are the way they are. There's a real visual aspect that just draws one in to continue clicking the next button.
The grammar is good, I have no real complaints for an RR story, especially one that is being looked after by an editor as well as an enthusiastic writer. Most of my criticisms here are just nitpicks or things that are easy to fix in time.
The characters are great. Can a forced coexistence stand the tests of time? Often, we are able to grow used to our relatives and extended family. But what happens when this force isn't a bad thing and instead connects two soulmates across the vast river of time? It's a great concept, I dig it!
The style really packs a punch. I mean literally, as the sentences can be a little meaty. Especially in the beginning chapters. Later on, they become somewhat thinner, more digestible, but it's never a real criticism for me as I kinda like that style of writing personally.
Overall this story is a treat for the eyes and mind. It demands a visual eye, but it helps you as well with the great artwork to aid the scenery. I enjoyed every minute of my time reading the story. And yes; I am a Goldmember. I will be returning to the Gold City for further cultivation.
I implore you to act today, become a card-carrying member and become the Boundless-Gold!
I'm a little sad that I'll be the fourth advanced review this story will be receiving. Somehow, someway, I'm going to have to convey my feelings about this work of art that would be a little different compared to the prior reviews. (Darn, you all for hopping on this so fast!) At the very least, we're all here recognizing something special that's being made, so let's do what we can to add more coal to the hype train and push this unique title upward.
For we all know what will come when something unique and special rises among the stars. There will be a backlash against it. There will be hate from others who'll find every little nook and cranny of something that's abhorrent to their narrow beliefs in the art of writing. There will be jealousy and envy of pure unadulterated talent that oozes across the story of Enduring Good. Something that looks a little too ambitious at first glance until you get deeper and start to truly comprehend the fun, zany, and deep genius that's unfolding.
But with that preamble out of the way, let's first start by talking about why I rate the way I rate. I do not rate stories unless they meet a certain threshold of quality that I like... or they fulfill a certain level of enjoyment that I find too irresistible regardless of some of the faults. In other words, I only give out good reviews, and if I don't have anything good to say, I'm not saying anything at all unless I send it thru a private message.
So, me posting here meads I got all sorts of good things to say.
But! I can't only say good things. There's always room for improvement! We must strike while the iron is hot so that we can help mold this story into something so incredible it will be a part of RR for a long time. So, rather than say, "Bah, Author, Y U NOT DO THIS? Bah!" I will instead make a suggestion that the author could use going further to help remove as many kinks as possible.
Because I think the one weakness, which isn't that big, that the author could look out for, is the depth of COMEUPPANCE! Or the depth of a win. Why am I mentioning this? Well, the author is delving into Xianxia, a genre that's ripe with certain tropes that readers love to death or hate to death. And right now, this rational post-apoc rendition of a Xianxia story is doing cool things with favored tropes that will be a joy to read for many.
But to make it as close to perfect, I believe the author's most glaring weakness that they can look out for is having too little depth of COMEUPPANCE. Or the depth of a win. This struck out like a missed cord when the MC, our street-smart, dual-brained Ash, meets up with a specific individual who has been a significant burden on her life, scarring her physically and mentally.
With her new CHEAT power and gains, a few of many clever cheats to come, she turns a bad situation around quite cleverly without too much resistance.
And that there was the problem that spoke to me. Internally, I was saying, "Ohhhhh, author, wait, add a little more. This would be so much sweet with just a few more lines!" Because what's a Xianxia without that juicy, antagonistic, reasonably built-up, will-versus-will drama that involves multiple characters of various lives, paths, and quirks. This jumped up to me right then and there when the scene rolled by, and we kept marching on.
Of course, we're probably going to have the characters meet up again, but that first introduction is super essential to lay in foundations. And then a whole structure can be built with more meet-ups until the entire thing gets knocked over with an explosive bomb called COMEUPPANCE. Without the proper foundations, it could feel a tad too easy. But that's a very, very, very nitpicky thing for me to point out because, honestly, the MC is brilliant, and the story is gorgeous, and so much more about this story feels incredible.
Sooooo, that includes my one criticism towards this work, and honestly, it's not that much of a criticism. All I'm saying is to stretch out those juicy moments a little more. Add a few more lines trading words. Then go ahead and DUNK on those fools.
Now, as for everything else that I'll like to comment on.
Having a stylistic approach isn't a requirement to succeed on RR. Honestly, some stories feel so lacking of style that it becomes of the norm as long as we're capable of reading the darn thing and it meets certain requirements. But when you get the pleasure of reading something that has STYLE, it's a story you should follow and enjoy with a glass of wine in your hand. (I seriously want to read this with some wine right now).
Enduring Good has style because the author writes in such a way that punches gorgeous details into your head that makes you sit back and truly visualize the world they are building. It is partly gaudy, partly magnanimous, partly INSANE, but it all works under a context of understanding that is true to life WORLD-BUILDING. And it's world-building that's reaching for the highest of the high of concepts and brought down to our world and pressed into mortal words for our understanding.
In other words, this story takes its style and gives you a kick of imagination you probably weren't prepared for, but you'll enjoy nonetheless.
Grammar score is somewhat tied to style score because the use of words and descriptions needs a clean, clean bit of health to meet certain readability standards. Thankfully, good Web Novels don't need to follow the ironclad rules of traditional publishing grammar-nazi-ing, and this story exceeds the bar for grammar enough for it to fun to read without much consequence.
Story and character are the only ones that get a slight teensy hit because of aforementioned things above. These two tie together a bit, but I'll address them separately, too. Without the proper setup for the COMEUPPANCE, the interactions with antagonistic forces can feel a little thin. Only a little. So, the author can use this to work on that in the future and add just a bit more depth to those interactions that fuel our Xianxia hunger.
Story also takes a hit because the flow of the chapters are different compared to what we understand traditionally. Every chapter leaves me wanting a little more, which is good because it makes me click the next button more, but I suppose I just want more of the story within the bites we get. Haha. That's quite the conundrum, honestly.
I guess the same could be said for wanting more from the antagonists that we face as characters. We'll probably learn more and more about them in the future chapters, but I harp on this now because it would give new readers some level of expectations before they jump into this new work. Evidently, you're going to want more and more of the people our MC and her kitsune friend face so we can have our proper fun when they can trumped.
So, with all that said, I suppose I could leave this advance review--
AND THEN WE HAVE THE FREAKING ART! Yessssssss! How can I run off without talking about that? Seriously, look at the art that the author makes himself as part of a free web novel. Holy shit, this feels criminal. Some authors/creators get by with less effort, but I can see this author deserving more fanfare for giving us both his artistic vision in the literary and illustrative forms.
I'm all here for it, honestly, and I can't wait to see more.
Don't be scared of this fic.
I dismissed it at first. The title, the pictures, the description, it all screamed 'high production value story' to me.
And while that does not imply a bad fiction, it's not what I usually look for on RoyalRoad. I look for low risk/low reward.
Let me explain.
I binge read a lot. And I want to read stories that are simple to get into and that distract me from everyday life.
When this fic came up, I thought 'It might be good but I'll need to invest myself in it'.
I'll need to focus to enjoy it and therefore risk spotting inconsistencies, little details that'll pull me out of the story and might make me bitter.
I was wrong.
It's a low risk/high reward kind of story.
I only read 10 chapters, BUT.
The pace is just right. The setting seems thorougly thought out. The descriptions are quick and to the point. The characters do not overload you with questions, but do not feel stale either.
And it all surprised me.
I misclicked on this story. I meant to open another one, left the tab open for some reason, came back later and read the first chapter expecting to drop it afterward.
It is, and I cannot stress this enough, a great read.
Congrats and thank you, author.
(-0.5 on style and character because I think there's room for improvement, but really, in my heart it's 5 everywhere)
For the longest time, a story with the Xianxia or Wuxia tags would make me click off immediately.
Seeing the combination of Post-Apoc and Xianxia seemed interesting enough of a pull for me to check out, especially since it wasn't the stereotypical "John Doe has broken meridians and he must crush his sect and slap faces" story.
Girl, let me tell you, this story does not disappoint. It's truly a refreshing take on the genre.
Gorgeous world-building. So far we've found out plenty about the world, and it feels earned. It's very much a "Show, not Tell" kind of story.
Descriptions are vivid and you can imagine yourself truly standing in Gold City, you can picture the colossal Lord Boundless Choir stand above the world.
Great Characters. Ash and Celes are well written and a great duo, with Ash's beautiful and vibrant personality working wonders and Celes' no-nonsense personality keeping Ash safe from her overactive experimenting with the newly changed world.
Grammar is a solid 10/10, with no mistakes. The writing flows extremely well and there's nothing so far that feels too sudden or ill-fitting
So far the story itself is solid, it isn't wishy-washy. Clearly, the author knows what they want to do and how they want to do it.
This story is for a specific group of people. Xianxia junkies. If you consume that genre and you're constantly looking for your next fix? You'll likely be interested in this. Even if you just occasionally enjoy the genre, you should probably give it a shot.
The story isn't perfect. The MC is weirdly and supernaturally competent. They always seem to have the answer and get a critical success in everything they try. Given who the MC is and the "power" they get just being modern day knowledge, it comes off as a bit much. The eventually added litrpg aspect also feels half baked and unnecessary.
But compared to the average Xianxia? It's not even a contest. The prose is noticeably above average, the characters have more depth, and you get art that is as visually striking as it always is from this author randomly strewn throughout as a nice bonus. You'll know pretty quickly whether or not this story is for you.
This book so far is absolutely stunning. I love how it has turned the over used troupe of cultivators into a lit rpg through the power of SCIENCE! The rampant pop culture references of a dead spirit trapped in a 16 year old's brain makes me chuckle as well. Keep up the AMAZING story I love it!
A post-apocalyptic reincarnation (of the bodily possession-type) xianxia. It's a rather clever bit of worldbuilding. And I do like it and some aspects of the plot. But there are several recurring bits (tropes) that turn me off and mean this may not be the fiction for you, dear reader.
First, the author has a very distinctive writing style and art style. Lots of people like it; some people will find it cringey.
Second, the protagonist has some strong antihero vibes. The author explains this pretty well in response to some chapter comments. And while I think he has a good point, it's definitely something that prospective readers will want to be aware of. Otherwise, it's somewhere between being an a**hole, being highly manipulative, and being an incompetent boast. She's... difficult to like.
Relatedly, the protagonist's character/personality is hard to get a grip on, whether you like her or not. Which means they act very chaotically. This is explained because... spirit possession and merging personalities. So there's that, which can get old real fast.
Third, the plot is very iffy. There seems to be a lot of plot armor in place, as well as triggers to force the plot to move in a specific, if somewhat unnatural direction. In part, this is tied up in the author's style and I find it reminiscent of some YA series I read decades ago. It's okay, but not great.
Fourth, the protagonist's companion (a geisha) (no, not that kind of geisha) has a really flat personality. Like I regularlly forget she's in the scene because she's like a wallflower. I think that's kind of personality to begin with, and in that sense is well done, but it's like "oh, you're still here. well, you're not helping the story".
Fifth, the rational/HFY bit here is that a pharmacist with limited knowledge from the 21st century can help... well, I'm not really sure where it's going. It's a bit of here's science, here's knowledge, and let's uplift civilization. Like, in Japanese isekai, the classic trope is crop rotation. It's that thing. It'll rub some people the wrong way, so fair warning.
Holy crap, this story is awsome. I normaly follow what authors suggest from stories that I like to read on Royal Road, this one came from Beneath the Dragoneye Moons. I see so much potenial in this story, that I read up to chapter eleven in one sitting. Just the first chapter gave me a glimps of what was about to be offered and it has never failed to entertain me yet! I can't wait to see how this world slowly unforlds and how the MC slowly dismantles and learns how to gain power. This will be added to my favorates and bookmarks.