Tag Archives: fantasy

The Scum Villains Self-Saving System covers

Book Review: The Scum Villains Self-Saving System, by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu

This may be a little piecemeal because I actually read book one last year. (I don’t think the rest were out yet.) Then, last week, I went and bought books 2, 3, and 4 so that I could finish up the series and count them as my X-author for my yearly author challenge. However, I didn’t know the last one is a short story collection. I haven’t actually read it yet. But I want to keep them together. So, I’m including it here anyway.

The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System photos

Half-demon Luo Binghe rose from humble beginnings and a tortured past to become unrivaled in strength and beauty. With his dominion over both the Human and Demon Realms and his hundreds-strong harem, he is truly the most powerful protagonist…in a trashy webnovel series!

At least, that’s what Shen Yuan believes as he finishes reading the final chapter in Proud Immortal Demon Way. But when a bout of rage leads to his sudden death, Shen Yuan is reborn into the world of the novel in the body of Shen Qingqiu—the beautiful but cruel teacher of a young Luo Binghe. While Shen Qingqiu may have the incredible power of a cultivator, he is destined to be horrifically punished for crimes against the protagonist.

The new Shen Qingqiu now has only one course of action: get into Luo Binghe’s good graces before the young man’s rise to power or suffer the awful fate of a true scum villain!

my review

You can go here to see the review I initially wrote for book one on its own. But here, I’m going to review the first three books together. (I’ll come back and add a word about the short stories later.) I initially thought the beginning of the series was a bit of a sloppy mess. This was in part because it is, but also because it took me a little while to fall into the style of the writing. I don’t know if it’s a feature of Danmei in general, this author in particular, or a deliberate narrative choice. But I didn’t immediately love the style. But either I got used to it, or the writing and pacing smoothed out. It stopped bothering me after a while.

I liked these characters a lot, and I appreciated that the author took on some heavy topics. This is not the light, fluffy read you might expect. Part of me wishes it was, though, or at least that we were given a little more conversation between Shen Qinqiu and Lou Binghe. The lack of closure, even as we’re given a happy ending, is my biggest gripe. I really wanted some of the tragedy to be discussed and dismissed.

All in all, however, I have several more Mo Xiang Tong Xiu books on the shelf. I’ll for sure be reading them.

Other Reviews:

Joyfully Jay: Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System series

courting her monsters banner

Book Review: Courting Her Monsters, by Erin Bedford

I picked up a freebie copy of Erin Bedford‘s Courting Her Monsters during the Stuff Your Kindle event (along with about a million other books).
courting her monsters cover
Unable to hear, I live my life in silence.
Unable to argue with my father, I live my life in service, married off to the highest bidder.

Now, to save myself and my kingdom, I will have to play the part of their prisoner.
But I’m not playing anymore, and my new betrothed is more than happy to push the limits of my body and mind. He’s a monster with a handsome face…

But truer monsters wait for me, and they’re ready to give me so much more than I was prepared for.
What makes a monster and what makes a man? Only I can find that out…
And my life isn’t so silent anymore.

my review

God, what a disappointment. This was a Stuff Your Kindle freebie, and I wanted to love it. I honestly enjoyed aspects of it. Yes, it’s got some pretty significant plot holes. Yes, the heroine does some too-stupid-to-live things. Yes, it’s completely unbelievable that if the abuse she was suffering was so severe, no one noticed (and she was up and moving around with ease). Yes, it’s unbelievable that the mind-reading drake didn’t know exactly what she was up to. All true. But it was still silly, fluffy fun. I would have happily said it was a three-star, nothing serious read. But good lord, the editing. I can’t figure out how more people haven’t mentioned it in previous reviews. Maybe they were all pre-publication and thought the problems would get fixed before it went to print. Maybe they’re fake, IDK. But the fact that it’s not been mentioned by more people is…odd because it’s a significant issue.

Look, it’s one thing to not pick up on the occasional homophone, missing word, or if the spellcheck didn’t catch the use of ‘up’ instead of ‘us.’ But this book has characters who speak telepathically. This is indicated by italics, with no quotation marks or dialogue tag. But in the last 1/4 of the book, the italics just stop. So, you have dialogue with nothing to indicate it as so. In the first 3/4 of the book, there are several instances of dialogue being italicized, along with the next 3 or 4 paragraphs of the narrative. It’s clear the author simply forgot to turn italics off.

Now, I’m usually pretty forgiving about editing. It’s easy enough to miss the small stuff, even repeatedly. But if no one is noticing multiple instances of several paragraphs of erroneous courting her monsters photoitalicization, then no one read this book after the first draft, not even the author, and that’s unforgivable. Thank god it was free. I’d be incensed if I’d paid for it.

The thing is, I liked the story (as ridiculous as it was). I liked that the heroine was deaf. I liked her snark and that she refused to be a perpetual victim. I liked that one of the important men is visibly marred. I liked the dragon-men and world. I might have even read the next one. But I’m not willing to pay for someone’s drafts.

Other Reviews:

monster whisperer banner

Book Review: Monster Whisperer, by JB Trepagnier

I picked up a copy of JB Trepagnier‘s Monster Whisperer as an Amazon freebie.

monster whisperer cover

My clients at my vet clinic have always called me an animal whisperer. I’ve never questioned it. Until I started hearing monsters too.

A man came in right at closing with a sick dog. The dog told me why he was sick and I was able to treat him. I had no idea his owner would kidnap me. I had no idea his owner had an entire dungeon of monsters he wanted me to treat. I’ve met a minotaur, a mysterious kraken, a phoenix, and this really massive spider.

I can hear them too. If monsters are real and I can talk to them, then what am I?

my review

Honestly, just not very good. The editing is pretty clean, and the writing is mechanically fine. The book is readable. But that same writing, plotting, and dialogue all feel too linear and…well, I hate to say it, but amateurish. There is almost nothing in terms of world-building, no character growth for any of the characters, and all of the attraction/love is instant. For those that care, there also isn’t any sex. I appreciate that there is a woman in the ‘harem,’ and the heroine is clearly going to rescue everyone. But I will not be continuing the series.

monster whisperer photo

Other Reviews: