A modern man finds himself reincarnated in the body of a young slave with no skills and quickly fading memories. Follow his journey to find normalcy while living in a savage world, filled with myth and legends, monsters and Demons. In a land where the strong rule, the weak serve, and bloodshed is a way of life, peace is a luxury few can afford.
Author's note: Expect a chapter every tues/thurs/sun, unless I start writing faster. The story is eastern themed, but not Xianxia, no chasing immortality, MC is not OP. Less action, more character and world driven is my aim. Mature language and themes, but no raunchy sex. It's my first story, constructive criticism would be appreciated.
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Do you like pain?
Do you like suffering?
Well then this is the novel for you. Not because of the contents of the story. No. The pain and suffering is delivered by an author so in love with winding, endless digressions that he will stamp out your enthusiasm for his own work. 500 chapters for a minor plot point payoff, check. Major plot points glossed over in random POV shifts after thousands of chapters, check.
Is the author any good at writing? O yes he's excellent. He's also the slow boiling water to your dim frog. He lures you in with great writing and then slowly cranks up the heat on his slice of life, self indulgent, masochistic, circle yank of a story. Where the MC spends more time mentally, self flagellating and throwing inner monologued hissy fits than he does pretty much anything else. But fret not he's not the only one. Every character gets a chance and I do mean every character from minor role bad guys to, well, minor role good guys. If there is any action get ready to hit the pause button on the story so we can check in on 20 POV's before we resume/ fast forward to another long lull full of near zero character development and pet collecting (gotta catch them all I guess).
I have never before read a free story that I would gladly pay for an editor to take a bushwack too. Until this one. But hey he is a good writer.
This is a sad review for me because its mainly my closure review more than being written for the actual purpose of a review.
TLDR: The author had good ideas but failed to stay true to them. The character-driven idea slowly just changed to character-exposition. Even if a story is more character focused doesn't mean its okay for it to stall as long as the stalling is done by characters. 'Driven' is still a key word in that term and it seems like the author no longer has plans to uphold that part of said term.
Now Savage Divinity as a concept, especially given what the author put in the synopsis was exactly what I was looking for when I started out and at first, it delivered.
A character driven cultivation story. Characters are usually the sacrificial lambs in cultivation stories and many times even the MC is left with no actual character. In Savage Divinity that wasn't the case, all the characters were interesting and likeable, with a lot have more realistic worries, trails and triumphs than what is usually seen in cultivation stories.
Similarly in cultivations novels the world is also usually left behind and seems to only appear as necessary in the MC's journey and is erased when said MC leaves.
Now while the characters were always well developed, SD took a more slow revealing approach to world building but all the same it was there and was strong.
The story wasn't highly unique but it was fairly so by the different story tropes it weaved together and how it did it.
Now as you may have noticed a lot of that is in the past tense, and that's the sad thing that has led to this 'closure' review.
While the grammar has not slipped much, pretty much everything else has.
The story, while still providing tibits of its direction has stopped seeming meaningful because instead of being character-driven, it started to be character-stalled. I mean this in many different ways.
The common one you will see in the newer reviews are based around the MC and his constant monologues of self-doubt, that in itself is a big blow to the story's progress but has many facets.
It's not just the character being thrown back into the same character plotlines he was supposed to have conquered, it's also the fact that due to this repeating character stumbleblock the other parts of the story have been pretty much ignored and not explored beyond the occasional side PoV or small mention.
Things are happening but they're not expanded on or explored in terms of their relevance to the overall story or even their fellow characters. Now from where I'm stopping (415), other than the war the other facets of the story seem to be playing out in a background instance that doesn't affect most of the characters in the story. This is because while the impetus for the war may be due to these happenings the war itself is more similar to just a zombie apocalypse and the 'human' side battling against it. This is made worse by the fact that the reason it had to play out like this is barely even hinted at and the characters within said situation are too busy stalling the story to question the reason for their current circumstance, so everything interesting about the story is wasted.
This stalling is even present in the style of the ficiton as the PoV's are often random now and don't serve that strong a purpose in the story because everyone is too much in their own head and don't interact properly with each other so the point of view changes don't actually serve much purpose beyond a slight exploration of present characters, therefore not contributing to the overall story or even the development of other but related characters.
Now for the characters directly. Other than the MC they're quite good though just like everything else the character quality drops as you go over a certain amount of chapters. In the early instances they were very diverse and the interactions between them enlightening even outside their PoV chapters. Now though, a lot of the newer characters that are focused on are mirror images of previous ones and even the MC with a good few fellow self-doubters. All the other characters that would bring balance have been pretty much phased out or shoved to the background. Lin for example being probably the only truly positive and happy character almost never has a PoV but is still constantly in the story and the lives of the other characters who have many PoV chapters.
Now what really saddens me about this fiction is the author, as even with all these problems if the author was more open to trying they could all be fixed, he has the writing skills for it as his earlier chapters showed.
Unfortunately it seems the author has discarded this outlook from his synopsis: "It's my first story, constructive criticism would be appreciated.". Instead, currently any criticism is returned with snark remarks or passive aggressive dismissals, with the constructive criticism seemingly being lumped in with the haters in the authors mind. That or he just doesn't care anymore.
How something so good can get its plot delayed to come next millenia is beyond me, like baking a delicious cake of a story but covering it with a house sized cream layer that just sucks any excitement you once had of getting something substantial out of it. Torturous stalling of plot
I can't make a comprehensive list of reasons for why I'm quitting this story but it all boils down to sheer mind numbing boredom and exasperation.
When I first saw the reviews of padding the story, I didn't believe it but the last 50 - 100 chapters of dicking around... I just can't...
So here's the thing: i have been increasingly getting frustrated with the amount of filler and slowness of the chapters. 80% of the chapters are at this point filler. It got so bad that i was mentaly obligated by myself to lower the score from whatever it was 3 years ago. And then i see dozen of like minded people are havng the same issues with the novel. So i start wondering why the author doesnt lissen to his readers. Checked out his patreon and guess what he makes enough to maybe even go pro. But prolonging a good story is not the way to get there! Our mc doesnt have "breakthroughs" he gets there halfway and then we stop. We get a few pov changes, some fluf time with the pets/harem, he gets depressed and then 50 chapters later he stumbels along.
Sorry for the rant, but at this point idc anymore.
The top review allready said it all.
The Story started great and went better and better. It had just the right balance.
But then it went more and more into inner MC monologs. So far that you sometimes read 10 chapters about the same thing just from different Characters descriping the same meaningless thing over and over again.
Margret artwood Author of over 40 succesfull books said "If there is nothing happening on page 10 then its a booring story"
This can be said for the latter chapters of this novel as well.
Yet rather then 10 pages its 10 chapters until something happens for 3 chapters only to go back to 10 chapters of meaningless inner dialog.
A problem the MC had fixed 100 chapter ago but appearently the author just loves to do these.
I do belive 100% that any professional Editor would cut down the later chapters by 70%.
ITs just so frustrating to see the massive potential just sit there for 100 chapters.
A story for me has to keep me comming back in atticipation what happens next not in atticipation IF something will happen at all.
I gues i will stop with the pantreon support after all and wait for a year until this story is hopefully finished.
Then i can just skip the bad parts and read the actual solid story.
I used to love this story, only one I ever donated to. Now it feels like I am reading bad fan fiction with more talk of pets than anything else. You could argue that the author is taking it slow and I would have agreed with you once upon a time but now we get the same inner monologues over and over again. Reading rain's point of view chapters used to be really fun but now it is boring and repetitive. Even when something is happening I don't feel any thrill anymore.
I don't even care about the little character development because it has become predictable...
Hope it gets better but because the story used to be so good. But yeah this review is a sign I have lost hope.
With strong editing and a tighter focus, this could be an amazing story.
5-stars and on my favorites list. That's how it used to be.
The first warning sign was the Sanshu arc, which spans volumes 7 (chapter 118) through 12 (chapter 232).
Two months between the first attack in chapter 176 (February 22, 2017), and when it starts in earnest in chapter 191 (April 5, 2017). The battle then lasts 41 chapters and 4 months, through chapter 232 (July 17, 2017).
It was a slog to read, and only covered a brief amount of in-story time.
But I kept reading. Because the author said in a comment (chapter 232): "While I feel volumes 7-12 are better written than the first 6, their pacing is off and a little awkward. With everything written, I have no idea how to fix it, so I want to prevent it from happening again."
So, the author is aware of the problem and working on it! Good!
How optimistic of me. And things did seem to get better for a while. But then... the First Imperial Grand Conference.
The slog was back, with a vengeance!
Let's watch the same events over and over again, from different characters' perspectives. Let's make sure to see every minute of every day and leave nothing to the reader's imagination. No no, can't have that. Better write every single possible detail down, dragging the several-days conference out into several-months of story.
It was completely ridiculous. I finally gave up in the early 400s and just started skimming chapters. I told myself it was temporary and that I'd come back and read it again soon. That was a year ago.
Like I said at the start, this could be an AMAZING story. I genuinely believe that. There is a LOT of great stuff in here. It's just too hard to find among the filler. And that's a tragedy.
Wish I could still enjoy this, honestly I'll come back in a couple of years and hope it's finished so I can finally see what happens.
This story is one of the strongest on Royal Road in certain aspects, but is dragged down by some elements of the author's writing style and some of its' characters.
Conceptually, the story is well thought out. The author did a good job worldbuilding a low powered westernized Xanxia. Many of the ideas are not new, but they are executed in a way that compliments the style and world the author has created. In this area the story is one of the most well thought out on Royal Road. It does what it needs to and does not overreach with power creep or too many disparate ideas.
The overarching plot is not too complex, but the author does a great job at creating good moments and engendering a strong desire to explore the world they have created.
The problems with the story can be mostly divided into aspects of style and character.
The characters are somewhat of a surprising issue because some of them are great, and all of them are generally unique with a good amount of personality. As the story progresses some characters start to fall by the wayside, or become impediments to the story. Chief among these the MC Falling Rain. Rain starts his journey as a flawed character with depression and many emotions to work through. This is fine in theory. Unfortunately, some of his quirks start getting in the way in the later portion of the story. As an example, he is somewhat dopey throughout the story. In the beginning, it is a humanizing trait. Eventually it goes beyong the point of believability to such an extent that it almost feels like a brain drain is sucking the intelligence out of other characters in order to accommodate Rain's dopey stumbling into knowledge/success. The author makes efforts to progress Rain's maturity/competency later on, but it feels a bit forced/sudden and his internal monologue is still somewhat stunted in growth/maturity. The other characters with issues are mostly those that become very static, or even invisible. As their POV becomes less productive for the author, they drop out of the picture and cease developing.
As far as style goes, the author has habits that slow down the story immensely. The majority of the story is told by way of internal monologue. This results in a lot of naval gazing that is unproductive. The story must often retread old information in order to convey new information. There is also a consistent pattern of starting chapters with these sort of mini flashbacks where a character reminisces on some history, very recent or distant, as a way of characterizing them. This can take a huge chunk of a 4-5k word chapter to tell us a very small amount of information.
Characters are very passive for long periods of time, often during slice of life sections. It creates a sense that the story happens to the characters rather than them having motivations or being active themselves. The author leans heavily on certain POVs to convey information so the story also has a weird start and stop sensation between some POVs being heavily involved and others seeming like filler chapters.
The author also tends to stick to events very chronologically rather than moving between more important/key scenes. This results in a lot of inbetween chapters like Character prepares to leave place > Character actually starts leaving > character on the way > character on the way> arrival chapter > important scene. It feels like there has to be a way to merge or cut a couple chapters and condense some of the information down into the other chapters.
The story is relatively good for a large portion, but as it slows down in later chapters. The pacing grinds down to the point that much of the buildup/anticipation and meaningful moments are greatly lessened.