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In a world without machines, can an android become the greatest cultivator of all?
The mechanoborgs crossed the universe to find a source of magic only to be wiped out by a single old cultivator. All but one. Sunwhisper needs the source of magic to save his world, but he is far too weak to seek it on his own, and the cultivators of the Blessed Lands are not inclined to share.
Though he begins with almost no cultivation talent, Sunwhisper has the capacity for rapid development of both body and mind. As an android, he sees that human beings are driven by emotion, and cultivators, as mighty as they are, are often ignorant of their own hearts. Following a traditional path will never make him strong enough to save his world in time, but what if developing emotional intelligence were a dao of its own?
Discord: Too Many Wings
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The mc isnt a machine but a human with castrated shape shifting abilities. Out side of that there is nothing that makes him more them a normal human. So i reall dont get the point with making him a robot. No unnatural precision, physical exhuation, no computer processing abilities, needs to rely on the systems experience for even the most basic of techniques and cant even derive his own, needs to use a holographic interface on his arm to use the system even though he is a literally robot and should have computer system interfaces attached to his brain, his body is esstianoy human and need repetitive practice to engrain movements into his body... just why bother ? Why not just make a human mc. Silly
Given the amount of progression and cultivation fiction I have read, finding something that has a unique hook has become impotant to keeping my interest in a story. A machine with a game progresion system in a world of cultivators caught my interest even in the premise stage and up to the point I have read, I am glad that it did. While the premise serves to get attention, the content is where the story lives or dies and I do believe what is in each chapter is enough to keep Dao of the Machine in my top three follows on this site.
The world is one I hope to learn more about, as I find it has some potential. Mixing magic systems can often be a tricky road to walk but the common DNA is what allows success. In the early stages, Sunwhisper has a slight leg up to help in getting him on equal footing with even the weakest cultvators. To the point I have read, this has already begun paying dividends and I hope to see the author walk the fine balance between meaningful progression and sustaining a reasonable degree of conflict to keep the stakes high.
Character-wise, I am hoping to see a bit more development, both from the main character and the supporting cast, as I think it may be the point I find weakest right now. The protagonist being from a completely alien world lends to some fish-out-of-water syndrome but the beauty of such stories is often finding some measure of identity in he space between what he is and who the world has made him. Supporting cast, to this point, still feel like plot devices rather than actual characters. I am particularly interested to see what becomes of the seeming female supporting protagonist, as her view of of the world and Sunwhisper makes for an excellent foil to the main POV. While I am interested to get to know all the characters, I do not feel I know any of them well enough yet. Hopefully, this will change as time goes on.
Overall, I think Dao of the Machine is well-written and that the athor should continue to spread their wings. High concept stories flourish when they are not afraid to show what makes their world diferent from all the others and I think this one is already off to a good start.
I started reading when the title of this story was "Dao of the Machine"... which is probably a better title than "The Dao of Developing Feelings"... but it's a great story either way. Not to make the review all about me, but empathy does not come naturally to me. I've put alot of effort into growing my emotional intelligence and empathy. The main characters arc feels relatable... especially the speed bumps along the way.
The setting and magic are also very cool. There's an old school fairy tale feel of strangeness. You won't find a predictable grind of disposable monsters in this story. Instead, the hero will have to bargain or trick or bribe spirits. Not that there isn't action, (some very excelling fights) but conflict comes organically from character motivation.
I may be judging this harshly, but it is built on the pretence of being different than all of the other wuxia novels. It is not and it should be judged the same as one. It has proper grammar with readable paragraphs. The characters are memorable, if for no other reason than being the same copy-paste character sets you find in other similar novels. I wanted to like this, but the litrpg and robot world elements stand second to the very commonplace wuxia elements.
This is one of the best western cultivation novels I've come across. It is also the only good xianxia I've found that includes game elements. The world building is cool, too. The multiple worlds trope common to xianxia is executed in an novel way that's not just "I'm the strongest in the realm, better move up a level so I'm at the bottom again."
An interesting and unique(to me) story so far. While it could be called abrupt at points, the author does a good job of providing context to let you figure it out yourself. I prefer this style, avoiding pointless filler and providing more details of the interesting parts. Looking forward to seeing where the story goes.
Initial review at 6th post:
Pretty solid grammatically and plot-wise so far. Lots of story threads and promises being made, and MC has a compelling goal with big obstacles in the way. Fast-paced, distinct characters, unique progression system. Definitely a twist on the xianxia genre, in a good way.
As my former zhongwen laoshi would say: Have a try
EDIT after reading to 27:
Having read farther, I have to say it's less a twist on the xianxia genre, and more like an adventure/litRPG story embedded in a xianxia setting. It's still good and the fusion is interesting, but this might not be the story for die-hard xianxia/cultivation novel fans, unless they also enjoy progression and/or adventure novels.
There have been a lot of moments in this story where I’ve been like “oh this is about to happen, he’s about to do this” and every time I have been pleasantly surprised when it’s not what I expected. The author has done a good job not falling into the most common tropes and easy plot points in stories like this. I’ve really been enjoying it.
A fun original take on the xianxia alien robot from another dimension and also the future with a system genre.
So a chi starved lower world that all the cultivators fled from millennia ago was able to build itself into a high (magitech) culture without cultivators ruining every thing for everyone all the time. But a system apocalypse or something is threatening to destroy everything they have built. So, naturally, they send sapient von Neumann probes with souls into the multiverse to try and find some chi.
Our protagonist lands on a high chi upperworld which is great except that he has to learn to cultivate FAST cause any rando on the street could dent his shiny metal ass.
This diddn't go where I thought it was going, like three times, but it's a fun ride. My only real gripe is that theres no technological uplift so far. The upperworld chi is so dense that it fries any lower world magitech without a soul, no ray guns no drones, their spaceship broke down two realities over and they had to walk. Author-kun has teased a low chi barbarian country where he could maybe start to industrialize, here's hoping.
All in all a very novel concept which promises more spiders than you were expecting at every stage of the work. Good stuff.
There's a lot going on here, so much that I sometimes wish it would slow down and explain things more, but the complexity and the "unknown unknowns" are part of what makes this a great read. The biggest takeaway for me is that I haven't read anything like it before.
The grammar is really good for an RR story, but there are definitely slip ups here and there. I've noticed the author does se to respond to people who point them out and do quick changes.
The writing style is not normal for cultivation. It is strong, but it can also feel rushed. The dialogue is really smooth and probably the best part for me.
The story is big and we've only gotten a glimpse into it so far. A lot of promises have been made and the author is going to have to deliver on them soon. The reason I put story at the top is because this one manages to be original without being a joke or a gimmick. The balance of cultivation and litrpg is a tight walk, but so far it has walked that line without falling off. The system manages to matter to the story without taking it over, which I have seen too many times in LITrpgs.
There is some weakness to the character development. The MC is a robot and doesn't feel strong emotions, which can make it seem like I as a reader don't have a reason to care that much about things either. However, I have hope that the author may be bringing things around as the story deepens. There are some good characterizations, but it just isn't there yet.
Overall, I definitely would recommend.