Tag Archives: Seven Seas

The Scum Villains Self-Saving System covers

Book Review: The Scum Villain’s 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

my alcoholic escape from reality

Book Review(ish): My Alcoholic Escape From Reality, by Nagata Kabi

I purchased a copy of My Alcoholic Escape from Reality, by Kabi Nagata from the local manga/graphic novel shop (Betty’s Books).

my alcoholic escape from reality
Nagata Kabi’s downward spiral is getting out of control, and she can’t stop drinking to soothe the ache of reality. After suffering from unbearable stomach pains, she goes to the hospital, where she is diagnosed with pancreatitis–and is immediately hospitalized. A new chapter unfolds in Nagata Kabi’s life, as she struggles to find her way back to reality and manga creation in the wake of her breakdown.

my reviewLike I’ve done with some of the Seven Seas light-ish novels I’ve read recently, I’m not going to consider this a real review. I really enjoy the occasional graphic memoir, but I’m not going to pretend I know enough about what goes into producing one or what the genre norms and standards are to be knowledgeable enough to ‘review’ it. So, instead, this is just my reaction to having read the media. And I enjoyed it…as much as you can ‘enjoy’ a memoir about someone’s spiral into and possibly out of alcoholism and chronic mental and physical health issues. But Nagata does a good job making the reader feel her fear, insecurities, and exasperation at her situation, as well as her professional and familial struggles to work through both. Then, the whole thing ends on a hopeful note. This is the first Nagata Kabi Graphic memoir/diary I’ve read. I guess I’ll have to go find her backlog now.

my alcoholic escape from reality photo


Other Reviews:

Sam Quixote: My Alcoholic Escape From Reality

Thoughts on My Alcoholic Escape from Reality

 

heaven officials blessing banner

Book Review(ish): Heaven Official’s Blessing, by Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù

I purchased volumes one and two of Heaven Official’s Blessing, by Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù. Who could look at the cover art of that first one and not be tempted? I’m just going to go ahead and write a single ‘review’ for both books, since it’s a single continual story.


About the Books:

heaven officials blessing 1

Born the crown prince of a prosperous kingdom, Xie Lian was renowned for his beauty, strength, and purity. His years of dedication and noble deeds allowed him to ascend to godhood. But those who rise, can also fall…and fall he does, cast from the Heavens again and again and banished to the mortal realm.

Eight hundred years after his mortal life, Xie Lian has ascended to godhood for the third time. Now only a lowly scrap collector, he is dispatched to wander the earthly realm to take on tasks appointed by the heavens to pay back debts and maintain his divinity. Aided by old friends and foes alike, and graced with the company of a mysterious young man with whom he feels an instant connection, Xie Lian must confront the horrors of his past in order to dispel the curse of his present.


heaven officials blessing 2Xie Lian has confirmed that the bewitching youth San Lang is actually Hua Cheng, one of the Four Calamities and a supreme ghost despised by all heavenly officials. Still, he has trouble matching the terror of his companion’s reputation with the charming, clever, and protective young man he’s come to know.

When a distress signal leads Xie Lian into Ghost City, a bustling metropolis containing all the horrors and delights of the dead, he sees Hua Cheng in his element—and his true form—for the first time. But despite their chemistry and care for one another, there are missions to fulfill and secrets to uncover, and Xie Lian’s centuries of troubled history are never far behind.

my review

These are the 3rd & 4th Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù light novels I’ve read this year. I purchased everything that came out at once (Heaven Official’s Blessing 1 & 2, Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation, & The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System). These are the last to get read and, though I’ve enjoyed them all, I’ve been reluctant to call the post I write for each a review.

I’m not as familiar with all the expectations and norms heaven officials blessing 1 photoof light novels*, like I am regular novels. Plus, I can’t know where blame or praise should be lain—with the author and/or the translator—for language choices. I’ve seen several reviews (from people who were able to read the stories in the original Chinese) saying the translations aren’t accurate, leave things out, and/or change the relationships of some characters. And since I can’t read Chinese and can’t know, I’ve just decided to write posts expressing how I feel about what I’ve read, without actually reviewing it. It may simply be semantics, but it makes me feel better.

Anyhow, as I’ve said, I purchased the four books available as of now and I would have bought the rest if they were out. So, that ought to tell you how I feel about this series (all three actually). I’d seen season one of the Heaven Official’s Blessing anime on Netflix. But, though I thought it very pretty, I wasn’t convinced I’d love the series as much as the avid fan-base and gorgeous fan-art suggested I should. But having read these first two volumes, I think I will and look heaven officials blessing 2 photoforward to immersing myself in it…one volume every couple months for the rest of the year. *cries.* I wish I hadn’t discovered it until the whole thing was out.

When I finished volume one, I said over on Instagram that I thought the language too modern for the setting, but that I otherwise thought the series was super cute so far and looked forward to continuing. Cute to me is OK, but I do prefer my fantasy a little on the darker, edgier side. So, I was thrilled when someone commented, ““Cute”… honey, you’ve got a big storm coming ??.” It was the piteous “honey” that really let me know I’m in for a change of tone. And having finished volume two, now, I can see some of that storm being set up and expect to enjoy watching it all play out.

As has been the case with the other Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù light novels I’ve read, it’s the characters and their interplay that makes this such a winner for me. I actually do think the language is a little on the silly side and the world is big, but vague. None of that matters though, because I read on just to see the next time Xie Lian and Hua Cheng were on page together. Xie Lian is just so blithely oblivious to Hua Cheng’s obvious attentions that I can’t help but enjoy myself. The story development (and romance) is very slow. But it’s still a fun read.

All in all, I really do look forward to finishing the series out.

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*Edit: Proving my point that I’m not well enough informed on the genre of these books to truly ‘review’ them, I received a comment over on Goodreads saying these aren’t truly even light novels (as I’ve been calling them) but a published webnovel.

heaven's official blessing comment


Other Reviews:

Alice Poon – Book Review: Heave Official’s Blessing

MXTX Books Vol. 1: Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation, Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System, Heaven Official’s Blessing ????