Tag Archives: Isekai

the scum villains self saving system

Book Review: The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System, by Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù

I purchased a copy of Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù’s The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System (Vol 1).

the scum villains self saving system cover
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
I didn’t know much about The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System when I bought this light novel. I’d seem clips of the donghua here and there. But I’d not paid much attention to it, because I didn’t like the animation style. But like so many of us, I’d seem the live action version of The Untamed 3 Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù booksand loved it. Would have read the book too, except that I didn’t think I could handle something thousands of pages long on my computer screen. So, when Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù’s books got official English translations (in print) I bought the first volume of all three that came out together (The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System, Heaven Official’s Blessing, and Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivations). I’ve read two of the three now.

I ended up enjoying this. But I honestly thought the start was a bit of a mess. It took a little while to figure out what was going on and settle into the narrative. It’s partly because the main character (Shen Qingqiu) is so utterly blasé about what happened to him and so informal in his narrative, slinging around slang like loli and moe. But after a little while, even that felt like it fit.

But what I found significantly more amusing than I expected was the parody aspect of the story. It’s very meta—aware of what it is and good-naturedly mocking the genre, authors, conventions, and character arc-types of what is, in essence, itself. I laughed several times at it.

When I finished this volume, I went ahead and finally watched the donghua, which follows the book quite closely (but loses a little of it’s meta-ness), and pre-ordered volume 2 of the print series. Here’s the thing though, I ordered it more on my expectation of liking where the story is going than my love of this volume.

Luo Binghe is a child (14) for most of this book and Shen Qingqiu is trying to be a good mentor to him. It’s cute yes, and watching Shen Qingqiu miss all the signed of how he is changing the narrative (and even the world and genre of the story itself—and doing it with kindness) was fun. But there’s a quote, round about the middle of the book that goes:

the scum villains self saving system photoDemons were compelled to viciously bully the person they liked. Only if the object of their affection failed to die would the demon accept them. If the target died, that meant they were useless and not worth nursing any lingering affection for.

The anticipation of a Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù-style pairing and all the flustered bullying to come if delicious. So, I’ll be following the series. I’d honestly expected that to be what I found in this volume. But I don’t mind the story starting earlier than I expected and being made to get to know these characters better while I wait.


Other Reviews:

REVIEW: The Scum Villain’s Self Saving System by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu

Review: Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System, Volume 1: Ren Zha Fanpai Zijiu Xitong by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu

 

I normally prefer to link to other small blogs, not big ones like Tor. But I liked this review so much that I’m including it.

Screwball Comedy in Translation: The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu

 

love spells full moons and silver bullets

Book Review: Love Spells, Full Moons, and Silver Bullets – by Cameron Allie

I accepted a review copy of Love Spells, Full Moons, and Silver Bullets from the author, Cameron Allie.
love spells full moons and silver bullets
What do you do when your ex boyfriend’s werewolf boss wants to feast on the mortal you’ve sworn to protect?

Quinn was unaware of the love potion her meddling cat dumped into her tea, so when Ian Hannigan ends up injured on her property, she thinks she’s dealing with another mortal, not the man who can help mend her heart. Her life becomes a balancing act as she attempts to keep him safe, while hiding secrets better left buried.

In a realm filled with things that go bump in the night, Ian didn’t expect to find security and happiness in the arms of a green skinned witch, yet for the first time since his parents tragic car crash, he’s found some measure of peace. The rumours he hears in Clayridge aren’t pleasant, but Ian knows there’s more to Quinn than what people would have him believe. If he’s placed his trust in the wrong hands he’ll be paying with more than just his heart. He’ll pay with his life.

my review

I think one of the hardest things to quantify when reviewing a book is when there is just too much of it. Even if you like the characters, think the plot is interesting, and the writing is good, there sometimes comes a point when you have to admit that there is just too much of it. And that’s the case here, with Love Spells, Full Moons, and Silver Bullets, in my opinion. The book is 462 pages long and feels like it should have been, at most, 300.

Over half the book is just slice-of-life kind of stuff that really drags the plot down. It’s sweet sure, but it’s slow and, as a result, by the time the action finally happens in the last 15-20% of the book the reader (or this reader, at least) is ready to just be finished with it all. Plus, it creates a real sense of slow, slow, slow, rush, rush rush that is a pacing nightmare.

But the story is sweet, the characters likeable, and the writing/editing is quite readable. There are some show vs tell sort of issues, but it’s not unovercomeable. The story just drags on longer than it should and the pacing is off. None of it is enough to wholly ruin the story though.

love spells full moons and silver bullets photo


Other Review:

Review: Love Spells, Full Moons, and Silver Bullets – by Cameron Allie