Cultivation Anomaly Type 1B

Xianxia as we know it is basically about more or less horrible people powerleveling to godhood with divine luck and random encounters.

This story is a nice exception. While still following the general genre the protagonist only gets one cheat and has to work for everything else (at least so far). Yeah he has a system that allows him to level up cultivation methods, but that only works if he's actually studied cultivation methods and advances his knowledge academically.

Overall it gives this story a more realistic feel than most Xianxia since the world doesn't seem to bend over backwards to accomodate the protagonist.

The Vagabond

A different take on a System Transmigrator

At its core this story is nothing really new on Royalroad. A girl gets transmigrated to another world, barely survives her first encounters with monsters, discovers the System, gets a special class and abilities that depend on luck, which she got a boost for.

Now that's where this story is actually unusual. There's always awesome skills and items for her to choose, but as it turns out those are rarely the best pick for her situation. So she actually picks what she needs.

I rather like this pragmatic take on a survival story. Where the protagonist doesn't take the rarest skills that promise the most payoff in a far future, but the skills that help her survive in a dire situation now. For all that the story is following a well trot path, this is what's making it unique and actually feel real.

Hard decisions are about her personal growth instead about how many people she feels like butchering for XP.

The non-adventures of a Dungeon Core

How to Dungeon as a newborn Dungeon core

The protagonist of this story is a newborn dungeon core. They're not a reincarnator, not a great villain, just a dungeon core starting out. They're struggling to build their own dungeon without getting eaten by the wildlife, dealing with their know-it-all dungeon fairy and slowly crafting their realm.

The story is relatively unique in that it's using a natural new dungeon core. The progress of the story is pretty slow though. We're in chapter 22 now and haven't seen the first adventurer yet. It's more about base-building than murderizing adventurers. Something the prospective reader should keep in mind.

Overall a good story, but might not be everyone's cup of tea.

River of Fate

Paced like an original Xian'xia

In this story an old soldier dies from heart failure and on his way to whatever fate awaits his soul he's diverted by a divine order of reincarnation. This order is so strong it scrambles his soul and somehow revives memories from past lives. Including one where he has a cultivator in a powerful sect, giving him access to a supreme cultivation method.

He steps on the path of cultivation by joining the sect trials. Then things don't go quite as planned. Plotwise this is a pretty standard cultivation story with a few pecularities.

Firstly the protagonist is prone to getting backstabbed a lot and seems to cling to the first asshole he rescued for some reason. Second I find the transmigration/reincarnation rather unique, but I think there could be done more with it instead of just being a way for the protag to be special.

Overall I think it's following the genre convention too closely. The pacing is as horribly slow as a chinese original, though the prose is better than you'd expect from a translation. A good story to lovers of the genre, but the pacing might be too slow for the average reader.


Lovecraftian urban fantasy romance

The review title says most of it. The story is about a seemingly insane/shizophrenic girl who learns her visions may be a bit more real than she thought and would like to appreciate.

A plot of discovering the strange new reality, romance, magic as well as action ensues. The story begins dealing with the protagonists problems, but soon the cast drags her into their problem and the protagonist drags them into her problems. While things escalate she finds love.

Overall I find this a very good story, honestly better than some fantasy romances you can get in the bookstore. Like many webnobels the pacing could be much accelerated. Right now it's pretty slow and the main plot's advancement is somewhat glacial. Apart from that the story is basically completely lacking male characters outside of villain archetypes. I guess it's better than the archetype/caricature/white knight thing you get in most of the hetero-variants of this sort of story, but it still struck me as a bit weird.


Charon's Touch

Overall decent story so far. The protagonist gets scammed by his psychopomp to reincarnate into a fantasy world. There he awakens a system and manages to bumble his way into loads of trouble.

One should be clear here this guy is minimally genre savy. Despite his stats he seems to be a person with little life experience. This seems to be partially due to his background, but this may put people off who expect yet another strong hardass protagonist.

So far we've got a naive guy stumbling his way into trouble. He's also got out of it largely unharmed so far. People should probably understand this as a comedy or parody.

Crystal High

Decent idea, basic prose

This story is about a young man, who's grown up in a world with super powers, but seemingly doesn't have any (it's inactive and might be something like super healing). As a Sagaru he's a bullied existence. With luck and training he nonetheless manages to join an advanced combat school.

Overall I'm not convinced of the worldbuilding of the dog eat dog world, but the main problem of this story would be the rather basic prose. It reads a bit like a highschool students first attempt at storywriting and maybe it is. If you like that sort of story it's okay, if you're not a particular fan of the genre I'd look elsewhere.

Eternal Mana

Rough but decent first attempt

The story is about a person that's been Isekaied to a fantasy world. He starts out as a peasant orphan, but manages to quickly improve his situation thanks to the "reward system" that gives him more or less random rewards and later shows his stats.

First he starts out as a fisherman, farmer and gatherer, then he advances to become a hunter until he's recruited into the local mage/cultivator academy. There he's learning magic, herbology and sigilogy (aka runecrafting).

Overall it's a decent enough story for the genre, but there's a bunch of weakpoints. First the grammar of this story leaves you wanting. It's not utterly horrible, but it's pretty rough and the way this story is written seems somewhat anime-esque on ocassion. If you can deal with web-translation of chinese Xianxia you can deal with this. Overall the writer might be advised to get a beta-reader though.

Second, the worldbuilding could be better. There's things like 7 years old joining the magic academy to dodge a potential draft... I'm not sure what kind of world that is, but recruiting children is generally considered an utter waste and a sign of desperation. On the other hand the author clearly put a lot of thoughts into the cultivation system. Between cultivators and mages that seem to be practicing two different techniques there's a lot of variance and things the MC can learn or not learn. While the MC has a cheat, he's clearly playing the same game as everyone else.

Third, there isn't much of a plot. This story seems very slice of lifeish and the protagonist generally does what seems most opportune. He doesn't seem to have many goals and there's not much driving him. It's kind of realistic in a way, but as a result there isn't much tension.

I'm pretty split about the character overall. On one hand he seems to know when to back down and not take a challenge - a are thing in stories such as this - but on the other hand he seems over talented. While he seems to be a college student reincarnated into his orphan boy self, he shouldn't be that omni talented. It would have been better if he specialised instead of this "good at all things crafting" thing he's got going on. Overall he seems a bit weird for an Isekai/Reincarnator. We don't really learn much about his backstory and what is driving him. Much of the time he could just be another random orphan with a system.

That said, for all of its flaws I enjoyed reading this story. If you like Xian'xias, and crafting style stories this might be for you. The LITRPG elements are very limited, so don't expect frequent skill gains and blue boxes. Overall there's much room for improvement, but nonetheless a story you will enjoy if you're into fantasy slice of life inserts.

The Summoning

Summoned to become Dungeon Creatures

This story has a unique twist to the summoned/Isekai genre. We're dealing with a dorm of college students here that was summoned to a magical / litrpg realm. But unlike most other isekais these guys weren't summoned to fight the demon lord, but summoned by a dungeon to serve as its minions (including respawn).

So far the students are still in the preparation phase before the dungeon opens their area to adventurers, but it's become obvious that the main protagonist is the hardass politician type of leader. I'm getting a bit of a slimy feel from him, but I suppose that's realistic in a way since that sort of person always seems to float upwards. Not someone I'd like to be friends with though.

Overall much potential and the author mentioned he's going to update soon.


Grim Dark Pokemon with Prison power dynamics

Well, the title basically says it all. The story is about a planet in a sci-fi world that hosts some pokemon expis that are harvested by the local interstellar polity for materials. Now the pokemon planet has some anti-technology field, so they can't do it directly and need psions to dominate the pokemon to have them fight and harvest for them.

Since the whole affair is pretty dangerous and we're talking an evil capitalist interstellar polity here they're using convicts as slave labour. That's where our protagonist comes in. Being a slum-grown psion she somehow managed to get in conflict with the heir of some megacorp and put her into coma. So she gets transferred to said planet to "protect" her from the vengeance of the Plutocrats.

This isn't the out-of-the-way post she expected, but a prison/death camp for the most hardy prisoners. Immediately proven in the introduction by Dr. Oak who quickly kills one of the prisoners for attacking him. Prison/labour camp power dynamics ensue especially since it becomes more and more clear this whole affair is for life. (Likely short life)

Overall I'm not sure why this is called a parody. It's just a grim dark version of pokemon with a hardass MC.