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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I'll start out by saying I haven't read something this good in a long time. I was thinking of giving the story a less than perfect overall score because the story spent more than a few chapters where the only character was the protagonist but the story is just too good othewise.
While it did detract from the story, I couldn't bring myself to remove anything from the character or story score because I think this was an intentional move on the author's part. Not only did that part of the story serve as a buildup for future events, it also served to develop the protagonist as a character.
Not only that, I'm impressed enough at how much character development and plot events happened within the span of such few chapters that five stars feels like too little for the character and story score.
Although worldbuilding doesn't have a score I'd like to give it an honorary mention. This story manages to strike the balance between revealing enough about the world for the reader keep making guesses about what's going to be revealed next while still leaving a lot unanswered.
In terms of grammar and style I didn't notice anything off. Really I'm not the best judge on those sort of things but I can say there's nothing glaring.
For anyone thinking about reading the story but aren't completely sure I'll just say that if you like the progression fantasy genre you will absolutely like this story.
I'm always down for a good cultivation story, so I've given this one more leeway than most.
At the story's start, the main character is abrasive, stubborn, foolish, and intelligent. He then gets stuck in a time loop of sorts. All of these character traits actually become somewhat benifical in this situation. I also love time loop stories for the tension trying and failing repeatedly brings.
He eventually frees himself from the loop, at which point he's basically the same characterwise except both powerful and insane. Which is fair considering the circumstances, but what worked for a time loop story doesn't work what ever the story is turning into.
In my opinion, he is unlikeable, unrelatible and without motivation. Neave wants to survive, get stronger and kill some people at this point. Combined with his insane, foolish, self destructive tendencies with no indication of getting better, I was honestly more interested when he just wanted to run the library.
There were some neat ideas, however I just can't see whatever path the author is going to take to bring this story to a satisfying conculusion.
The story gives a nice little twist to the classic time loop trope, with the time loop only being constrained to an arc. What follows is a massive power jump as the mc comes out like a different person. The anti-hero persona of the MC has also not been overdone, as the MC doesn't come off as overly edgy, and when he does, he acknowledges it in a humorous manner. He also hasn't just turned evil, albeit a bit unhinged. I am a big fan of a massive power rise in a short period of time, if done in a logical way, and this novel does just that. One of my favourite novels currently, would absolutely recommend it.
As you can guess by the title, I am quite in love with this story.
I can't say anything that I did not like, but it obviously has its problems, especially at the start, but it is still unique and interesting enough to make up for it easily.
I can't recommend this enough, thank you author, and keep up the good work! Oh and this story probably has the highest upload rate with good quality that I read.
Edit: Book 2 just got completed and only impoved from the beginning. Would 1000% recommend
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?
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.