Neave is no cultivator, and if he can have his way he never will be. His desperate struggle to free himself from his father's grasp eventually leads him to a book. A cursed tome he shouldn't have touched. After being trapped in a hellish time loop for umpteen years, he is finally free.
Oblivious to the horrors he had dragged outside.
Unaware of the apocalypse he would become.
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This is one of those cultivation stories that is just a must read. From the very start it's compelling and keeps you interested. The writing is good, character development is ok, and the overall story has me wanting more. It's fast paced, and one of the best cultivation stories of read on RR.
This story is good, but quite rough around the edges. First of all, I'm glad the author fixed the tense and 3rd person issues. Very jarring to swap between present/past and 1st/3rd person. However, I believe that there are still problems that need to be refined.
First of all, the beginning. Way too much time is spent in the infinite time loop. I got to the fourth chapter of infinite time loop and was shocked it kept going. At one point the author lists twenty different enemies the mc must face in the time loop with paragraph long descriptions. Literally all twenty, like enemy 1: sword wielder that is tall, etc. Just skipped straight over it and missed nothing.
Secondly, the author skipped explaining the magic system. I can figure it out barely through context clues, but having him talk about "iron path" and so on without explaining if that's specifically body cultivation or just normal qi cultivation is a bit confusing. I've read like 30 cultivation novels so I can't tell how easy it would be for someone who is new.
Overall, I think the author should have gone for a much more sedate pace. The number of powers the mc has gained, his extreme personality caused by the insanity of being trapped in a time loop, and the rapid plot shifts are jarring and not very engaging. A slow burn would do much better in my mind.
MASSIVE SPOILERS ABOUT TIME LOOP: Another big issue is how
OP he becomes. I understand he's trapped in there for trillions of years, but it's just not good story telling. I would have much preferred the time loop giving him a good foundation for when he left then he strikes it big with a little bit of time in the real world.
Not only does he become a master at fighting, he learns something called a true strike that only people at Gold can do. Even then, he learns like 1000 true strikes. This is something that not even Diamond rankers can do, the strongest on the continent. Then spends an eternity dancing, eventually learning how to do over 400 movement techniques.
He freaking learns how to teleport by accident. He then masters lifeforce manipulation, something that lets him do some more absolutely ridiculous stuff. At first, he tries mixing life force and qi (something that generates random elemental effects) in parts per hundred; so 99 parts qi, 1 part life force, then 98 parts qi, 2 parts life force. Then, he breaks the composition down into parts by hundred million and goes through all of them until he learns how to create spirit, something that can only be found in monster cores. This gives him massive OP benefits that just don't feel very interesting.
Once he finally leaves the eternal realm, he can fight and kill someone 9 stages ahead of him. He then does a number of other insane things that derails the plot and adds like 50 different abilities to his repertoire. It becomes ridiculous and tedious.
If the author wants to salvage this, I think they should go back and edit a lot of this stuff out. The true strikes, the teleportation movement techniques, and the lifeforce mastery should go out the window. Instead, the mc should get really good at fighting, learn maybe one or two true strikes (which I think shouldn't even be available yet. I think the mc should master swordsmanship and then gain a few true strikes later when he reaches silver as a benefit of his firm foundation), learn two or three movement techniques (sudden dodge, sustained movement, etc), invent a few basic qi techniques (reinforce weapon, reinforce body, etc), and finally gain strong mastery over his lifeforce that lets him heal and empower himself.
As for once he escapes the time loop, I think the author should have executed it very differently. By the end of book one we are dealing with an 11 year old child still. Even if he is mentally the oldest being alive I just don't care.
He repeatedly does crazy and lifelong altering things. Murdering those elders for poisoning him is overboard. I understand the need and that he is crazy, but he's in such an insane rush that it just makes for bad storytelling. You would think someone who has lived for trillions of years and died billions of times via extremely agonising methods would, you know, take the slow route and do things safely.
I would have much preferred he got his footing, excelled within the sect through his teenage years, quickly reaching silver rank over, say, 50 chapters while the main plot slowly ramps up. Now, things are so chaotic and extreme I just really don't like where things have gone. Too many powers, heaps of character shifts, and just not very compelling storytellling.
It's still early for me to review a fiction, but since there are no other reviews I figure I should put one out there.
As of this review, we're 9 chapters in and have made it to the arc promised in the description - the 'hellish loop'. I think we might even be getting close to the end of the loops, but it's hard to say. That depends on Neave succeeding at what he's trying this time.
The interactions at the sect before Neave was trapped made sense; they were well-written and the people were understandable. The time he's been trapped has also been well-written and understandable, showcasing the environment, the challenge, and Neave's various issues and attempts to overcome it. It keeps moving and doesn't feel stale.
I'm personally looking forward to seeing how Neave handles things after he gets back out; that's going to be a make-or-break point for the story. He's been changed by his time stuck alone, but what does that really mean when he's back with people?
TLDR: Couldn't get past chapter 2, do not recommend.
There are grammar issues and the overall style is verbose. In the first two chapters, facts are told to us nonstop, and yet nothing is shown. I do not understand why the protagonist refuses to become a cultivator since the justification is that the 'The heavens spanked quite hard after all'. This sentence is treated as common knowledge and then the story goes on for several pages on how the sect beat the ever-living crap out of our MC so I'm confused. Because what it seems like is being told to us is that the heavens are known to spank quite hard, but it is the sect that we should be scared of. This is not the case.
The characters are also...painful to read. The protagonist (and most of the rest of the cast) is uhm...an edgelord who believes he is better than everyone and has delusions of grandeur. He is aware he has delusions of grandeur and yet leans into them. He constantly monologues on how he is better/smarter than everyone else and then he is beaten to shit. I am getting mixed messages since this isn't how a smart individual handles such a situation and only reinforces his idiocy.
The worst offender is that the fiction thinks it is a spy thriller. It is constantly putting the setups before the payoffs without any understanding of why -- and when -- such a writing style works in the first place. It is infuriating and drains all suspense and attachment from the story.
Overall character motivations are murky, the style is poor, and the setting is boring. Do not recommend.
The story keeps you interested. Several characters have been setup in addition to our protaganist, hinting at the possibility of many interesting stories with reocurring characters ahead.
As for our main character, he gets into plenty of fights. Honestly, a bit too many for my taste, but I'm confident that many fans of the genre won't be bothered by that at all. I'm curious to see if he has already achieved the final form of his personality, or if he will grow/heal into something else. The title points the obvious, but that doesn't mean that this story won't end up with our hero no longer being the 'Jester of the Apocalypse'!
Written extremly well with an interesting premise that got me to binge all the available chapters. I dontt really know how to explain the smile I had on my face reading this. I've read alot on this site and very very few feel this tight and well written with so few chapters.
The first chapter was a pain to read because the author just doesn't understand proper tense use. This gets better in the following chapters but never entirely goes away.
And then the characters goes to hell in chapter three and the entire things slows to a crawl, utterly destroying any pacing the story had because the author feels the need to give far too many details on far too many loops the character goes through.
And on top of that you've got a thoroughly unlikeable main character. You kno wthe type, the unsefferable know it all with an over inflated sense of their own worth because they're "smarter" than everyone else.
The MC is supposedly 11 but really acts more like a 16 years old. That shows the author does not have a good grasp of how people behave, on top of that the MC is made into a very particular brand of Mary sue, the type where horrible things happens to them just so they can show off how strong willed and better they are than other people.
TLDR: unlikeable character, horrendously paced and in dire need of an editor.
The story is great, the loop is satisfying and the characters are well written and reasonable.
But the thing I didnt expect was the comedy. Or should I say I did expect it but then it seemed like it wasn't trying to be one. But every once in a while there's a decent joke that genuinely made me laugh out loud. The humor really isn't the focus of the story, but it seems like funny things just happen naturally to the main character. Fitting with the theme of the book.
The other thing that really impressed me were the detailed fights. I hope the author keeps putting in the same amount of effort into the fights in the future as well.
Be warned though, the story does not shy away from gory and self harm stuff. It isn't too bad in my opinion and it doesn't feel forced either. In fact, given the theme of the book it is almost to be expected.
Another thing I see a lot of people mentioning is the grammar, but as far as I've seen if the story had grammar issues, the author has fixed them at some point. The prose isnt masterful though, even if there is actual poetry in the book. That personally doesnt bother me however.
Overall good progression fantasy, love it.
I'm really liking where this story is going and I can't wait for more.
Hopefully he figures something out regarding his cultivation stuck at the foundation level. It doesn't seem like he can go on for much longer without more Qi.
Chapter length is fantastic which really helps with combat sequences. Story is focused on the main character but there is still enough information about the other characters that keeps them engaging.
Hopefully this story stays for the long haul as I am invested in it's future.
A bit of a slow start compared to some other novels on this site; the mc is not very likeable in the first couple chapters, but he undergoes changes and by chapter 10 he is much more enjoyable to read about. MC quickly becomes OP for his rank and age (real-world age that is), but there are still plenty of humans and monsters stronger than him, so he is far from invincible. The worldbuilding and power system is quite enjoyable, and a lot of MC's strength comes from his, what we know for now, unique ability to use the power system to his advantage, which needs experimentation and exploration to do: Therefore a significant part of this story is MC doing just that.
The powerlvl in this novel is not too crazy, atleast on the continent and among the top rankers from what we've seen so far, it does not reach continent-destroying or worlddestroying powers like some other cultivation novels. This powerlevel fits the novel well, where MC can battle monsters in a forest without destroying the forest. Although cultivation realm matters in this novel, it is not a complete suppression of rank; matchups and how one uses their abilities matter too, and even lowrankers can have absorbed a useful ability, so the strongest powers in the world cannot simply do everything by themselves, since there is a limit to how many special powers one can efficiently learn (and it is not high)
Slight spoiler starting from ch 10
MC becomes a little unhinged. He sometimes does some weird things, and does not always act in his own best self-interest. A couple of times, even post the Trial, I did find his actions a little annoying, achieving his goals in quite obviously not the easiest way for himself, but not annoying enough to not make me enjoy the story. MC becomes a little crippled early on, but do not worry, after roughly a dozen chapters he is able to fix himself and get back to normal. He is now decently strong, and quite a bit stronger than when he first returned after his Trial, although still far from the top.
If you enjoy cultivation novels with a different path to power than simply sitting still and absorbing energy, a different system and interesting abilities for the MC to explore and absorb, and are not scared away by the MC being a little crazy, give this a try. Do not be discouraged by the MC's personality the first couple chapters.