More quick cnovel reviews! The 5 novels in this post are all on the heavier end of the scale, so you may want to steel yourself first. Don’t pick them up unless you are ready for pain. But rest assured, the final end is a happy end.
As mentioned, I make it a point to finish once I start reading so if the English translations aren’t complete, I read the original Mandarin Chinese version.
英勇赴死系统 (Heroics Death System)
Written by: 雪原幽灵 (Xue Yuan You Ling)
Length: 274 Chapters + 1 Deleted Chapter
Translations: Snowy Codex
“I curse you to never die in peace!”
Thus, Shang Ke started a never-ending (forced) cycle of constantly throwing away his miserable life.
He would always show himself as a martyr while letting others cry over his death.
It was because of a woman’s curse that Shang Ke was hit by a car and turned into a human vegetable. This led to him becoming bound by an unlucky system in which he was cursed to die. The most unfortunate part was that he never cheated on anyone’s feelings. The reason for why he was cursed by a woman was because of a guy named Qi Chen. Qi Chen was a ladies man, and he would always use Shang Ke as an excuse to break up with any woman that he was with. As a result, Shang Ke was always blamed for the breakups. Since then, the main character could only be forced to cross into different worlds. He would thus experience for himself, the hero’s “thrill”. (Novel Updates)
This is similar to other transmigration, world-hopping novels, except for the fact that the MC has to do heroic deeds and eventually die a heroic death. As you can imagine, the ML follows him in each world and also has to witness the MC dying every time. It can be pretty painful. Fortunately, as a reward of sorts, the MC will later have the chance to return to several worlds and to have a happy end in them. You just have to be patient at the start and suffer through MC’s multiple deaths with ML.
Eventually, MC does return to his original world. But there is a twist and we find out what is the true trigger for his transmigration and world-hopping cycles. As I mentioned, this has a happy end. The only thing is that the sweetness we get to taste at the end was too short-lived in my opinion, which was a bit disappointing. Nonetheless, this was an entertaining read and some of the worlds were pretty interesting. For example, a pen. A spirit residing with the physical form of a pen but still, MC was a pen in one of the worlds. How is he supposed to die a heroic death as a pen? You should read for yourself to find out.
活受罪 (Living To Suffer)
Written by: 鱼香肉丝 (Tangstory)
Length: 20 Chapters
Translations: Chinese BL Translations
And his life had been but a prelude to these three things – a summer shower, a glimpse of inky reeds and one man.
Shen Liangsheng is lying in the dirt bleeding away when a doctor, Ch’in Ching, discovers the wounded man. This sets off a series of events, some the doctor expected and others that catches him off guard but are nonetheless all a part of destiny’s plans to pit these two men’s desires against their principles. (Novel Updates)
This is the prequel to ‘Till Death Do Us Part’, which is listed below. Actually, I read that first before the prequel as I was recommended to do so. It’s weird, I know. But actually you can read them separately, and I was fine with it. So I think it doesn’t matter if you read in order or not. Either way, you will feel emotional reading.
The English translations are really smooth, and this is one of the most explicit novels I have read. Nonetheless, even those scenes flow so well, almost in a poetic manner.
I don’t want to give away too much since this is a short novel. From the start, you will know that things will not go well between the MC and ML. But there is a fatal attraction between them, and you are basically witnessing how they try to go against destiny. Though this does not have a happy end, do remember that there is still a sequel.
我的鸵鸟先生 (My Mister Ostrich)
Written by: 含胭 (Han Yan)
Length: 112 Chapters + 2 Side Stories
Translations: Twelve Months of May (now defunct)
Gu Mingxi and Pang Qian were next-door neighbors, classmates, and deskmates. From year-to-year, even when the class seating was rearranged, they would still be deskmates. They grew up together like a pair of brother and sisters despite having different parents; if it was someone else, then their parents would probably have already arranged their wedding. However, Gu Mingxi was different. (Novel Updates)
This is not your typical ‘childhood friends turned lovers’ story. It’s not really a spoiler and I think this is a huge reason why this story is so special so let me say it. The ML becomes disabled when he met with an accident as a kid, and lost his two arms.
Even though ML thinks that he isn’t any different, that he is merely using his feet instead of his hands to do things, this becomes something which causes a strain in many aspects of his life. And this is despite him being a very smart and good person. How his father views him. How his extended family view him. How the top universities view him. And so on. The thing is that you can relate to it, you can see it happening in society. ML finally broke down and cried at his lowest point in life (and it had to do with his mother) and my gosh, I cried along.
The MC is wonderful. Sure, she acted immature at the start but she was only a kid then. And she had to accompany ML in everything. But also he helped her a lot, especially with regards to her studies and setting her path for success. So in the later part of the novel, she matures and she tries really hard in return for ML. The side characters were well-shaped and felt realistic too.
Yes this will be painful to read. But it will be worth it. The couple find their happiness in the end and in turn, leaves us a hopeful message.
長相守 (Till Death Do Us Part)
Written by: 鱼香肉丝 (Tangstory)
Length: 27 Chapters
Translations: Chinese BL Translations
Set in early-20th century China, this story takes off in the port city of Tientsin (Tianjin) that is divided into lands called concessions and owned by several foreign powers. Shen Liangsheng is a charismatic and cunning playboy, a son of a rich businessman, who has profits as his top priority. He meets Ch’in Ching, an average school teacher who appears mild but actually holds a patriotic heart for his home. The two cross paths and sparks fly. But will their love hold strong through the imminent forces that will tear the country apart…? (Novel Updates)
Now here is the sequel to ‘Living To Suffer’. I loved this a lot more in comparison due to several factors. The author and translator took a lot of care in setting up the historical events which make up the backdrop of this novel. That, and society’s views them play a huge role since the characters live in turbulent times. Even their own views towards their nation.
The MC and ML are reincarnations of their characters in the prequel. An interesting thing which we would question throughout the novel is who is doing the atonement towards whom? Really, who is the one who is hopelessly attracted to the other?
Again, this is one of the most explicit novels I have read. But there is so much emotions going on even in those scenes. The relationship between the MC and ML really stood the test of time. Even though I knew this had a happy end, I couldn’t help but cry as we approached the end. It was just really touching to read. Highly recommended.
就等你上线了 (Waiting For You Online)
At the age of 15, He Jin found himself a “husband” in an online game, their love was filled with loving affection and sweetness. However, because his study was being interfered with, his parent cut off the internet, he didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye and had to disappear from the game.
8 years later, the online game in the past was about to come out with a revised edition and turned into a virtual reality game. He Jin decided to login again and unexpectedly discovered that his “husband” had become a powerful player and ranked number one in the whole server, moreover, he had not divorced him!
However, the husband that was abandoned by He Jin for eight years, his initial impression of him was that of a pure boy, but now he seemed to somehow have become…….a little evil? (Novel Updates)
Yeah it doesn’t sound like a painful story from the synopsis. Indeed, it is quite fun and sweet at the start. How the ML pursues MC this time, and how MC ends up falling for him in return. It does seem like a nice university romance, with elements of online gaming. The online gaming system is rather novel too, since it later upgrades to VR and there are many interesting features. The friends are actually supportive of the couple too.
But let me warn you about the angst. This comes from MC’s side of the family. His parents have rather strict and realistic views with regards to him living up to their expectations – study hard, find a good job, marry, settle down and have children. His mother can be especially controlling. This is what drives a wedge between the couple. Since the MC was brought up in a conservative family, this also explains why his views are not as liberal and open as ML. Yes, you can call him a coward. Yes, you can find him frustrating for constantly testing ML’s patience and love. But that is what makes him so human, so fragile, so glaringly real. However, the message is that, each person deserves their own happiness.
As I said, rest assured that this has a happy end. It is just that the drama in the second half will take you on a roller-coaster of emotions.