Novel suggestion? No Martial Arts please.

Absolutely no in-depth martial arts nonsense. A plus would be no harem/rape

Novels I have read/currently reading and what I think about them... hopefully it can help shape up to a recommendation from you:
DE - had to get past the first couple chapters with all the "foot work" nonsense... this novel was pretty annoying in the first hundred chapters (with Ji Ning getting power-ups between fights, coming back and saving people, etc). Turned out to be a decent novel after he became WG level.
ISSTH - favorite novel hands down... I'm on my 4th read through. Great character, not into more than 1 stank tilapia or rape. Gj Meng Hao.
MGA - loved it in the beginning until it became disgustingly repetitive and the harem is ridiculous; I had to drop this as his "morals" were sidestepped whenever he met a wet vagina. The word "genius" appears way too much in the chapters and it's a silly word count filler. You have True Immortals suddenly forgetting important facts? Powerful, prestigious experts become air heads in front of CF despite being a leader of a sect/organization? C'mon..
ATG - I really liked this in the beginning as well until the MC became stupid as the novel progressed. The harem was ridiculous
AWE - Good novel
WMW - Ah, a great novel up until the AI chip became a bit too much and turned into a novel about surprising the reader rather than focusing on the MC. A lack of development and explanation due to the "AI chip progressed to xyz 100%, host now has acquired abc" etc.
SSN - I liked this. Pretty decent despite relying on a "game" setting and no other explanation for anything else.
CoS - one of the novels I hope to see a daily chapter update when I check WW. A lot of fluff in the chapters with little to no progression, but it's very interesting! Kind of reminds me of a soap opera with a love confession lasting a week's worth of episodes
Soul Land I/II/II - 2nd best to ISSTH
TDG - too bad the author stopped caring about this gem...
Charm of Soul Pets - I liked this one quite a bit, it reminded me of pokemon/digimon
Book Eating Magician - Yes... But a lot of lost content due to the grimoire, which would've made this into such a great novel

Tried but stopped:
Child of Light - annoying
Lord of All Realms - I can condense 1 chapter into a paragraph with all that repetition. Yikes.
A Record of a Mortal's Journey - it was decent
HJC - 1 serving of chicken repetition please
Invincible - please, no.
Blue Phoenix + another novel with some blood related divinity/monster (Divine Elements?) - chill out with the surfer dude nonsense. I could tolerate MGA's "this queen", but damn those 2 novels were overkill with the dude/hip personality

I'm not asking for a refined novel, but at least give me something that doesn't make you cringe.
I've tried the reality game novels, but it doesn't entice me to read any further ;(

I liked BTTH, I read about ~200 chapters... it's good.

I'm having difficult picking up novels because I can't help comparing them to ISSTH.
I'm reading A Sorcerer's Journey - great novel!!!

I'm not bound to online chapters, so if you can recommend a book I'll go and purchase it. My favorite series is The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix!

Keys to the Kingdom series was pretty decent too (10 years ago lol)

Thanks!

Comments

  • Personally, I can't believe you'd put ATG above any of the novels you stopped reading, except for maybe Child of Light.

    Have you tried:

    The Nine Cauldrons,
    Paradise of Demonic Gods,
    The Godsfall Chronicles (On hold until RWX finishes Desolate Era, really good though),
    True Martial World,
    King of Gods <-- Heavily recommend this one.
    Coiling Dragon,
    Chaotic Sword God

    Those are ones I've read myself.  I've heard Stellar Transformations is good as well if you want to read that.

    I would also recommend Terror Infinity if you can get past bad grammar and spelling errors.  Story's great but I'm not sure why the previous translator never got an editor to help him.  He needed one.
    Absolute Choice is the first novel that I've read on Wuxiaworld that I genuinely do not like.
  • edited April 2018
    I had very similar reactions to most of the novels you mentioned. I'll mention some novels I liked, even though they might not be exactly what you asked for.

    Skyfire Avenue

    SciFi, mecha combat and cultivation all rolled into one. It also has a weird focus on Western culture seen through a Chinese lense - such as the supernatural quality of certain vintages of wines being explained by the two French winemakers' understanding of, basically, Dao of Wine. It's not called a Dao in the story, but still.
    There are still some extraneous details in the combat, but the mechas and space ships do bring in some variation. It does not have very well thought out space combat, and there are some martial arts things still in there, but it is an interesting take on cultivation novel with the trappings of SciFi.
    It starts with a misunderstanding that results in protagonist having sex with a woman under the influence of specific drugs - basically rape. The protagonist also has a cadre of beautiful women following him around and working for him. It avoids many of the common pitfalls though. The protagonist feels he was manipulated into the rape, is seeking revenge for that once he figures who set it up, and him trying to make up what he did drives the early plot and directly influences the later story. The harem is kinda annoying, but at least it's always clear that the protagonist himself is stubbornly monogamous.


    Upgrade Specialist in Another World

    Surprisingly enough, this series  does an ok job at the analysis / science thing that Warlock of the Magus World tried to do.
    Protagonist can make existing items better because shenanigans. This makes him OP and unique. Most fights are either over really fast, or he has no chance so he runs away, so fights aren't usually too annoying.
    Because he's unique, he has to figure out his powers on his own. He basically does statistical analysis to figure it out - after x hundred trials, he figures out things work in a certain way; later experiences cause him to refine the theories.
    He's kind, not arrogant, and all around a good bloke. Refreshing to read about between all these MGA style "You annoy me, I kill you!" type "heroes". There is some focus on combat, more so early on, and quite a bit of deus ex machina, but all in all it's quite good.



    World of Cultivation
    ( wwyxhqc.WordPress.com )

    This is organised haphazardly and kinda hard to read in order, since the WordPress blog has multiple translated stories. On the other hand, it's one of the best translated xianxia stories I've read, it's completed, and it's genuinely funny. Early on it's excellent and does many things differently, later on it ends up becoming more generic but still good.
    Protagonist has a weird expressionless face, so he is a bit zombie-like. He is a disciple of a sword cultivation sect, but is really bad at sword cultivation - partly because he's not very motivated. For one thing, you can't eat a sword! Money, though... Money can buy you food! It can buy you better flying items!  Money is the best! And there are so many ways to make money. Like these spells based on five elements used mainly for farming. Farming! Making money out of nothing! Glorious! Here, you lot can handle that war thing, leave all the farming to me.

    The best part of the story are the characterisations. Zuo Mo keeps meeting people, and either robbing them blind ("such good boots, these are worth a lot!") or making new friends. Slowly, the characters' numbers swell into almost too many to keep track of - except, the author gave them enough quirks and roles that they manage to be recognisable even when I can't remember their names. A single line, quirk, or mention of a rivalry or friendship is enough for me to recognize and tell apart almost all of the many characters, and this is used to build friendships and for recurring jokes and it ends up working very well.

    No rape, no harems. Unfortunately the fights do get a bit tedious at times, but there's enough variation that it doesn't become too boring.

    Stellar Transformations
    This was the first xianxia I read. ISSTH felt the same but better. I don't know if you'll like this, but it might be able to catch that same magic. It's not quite the same quality IMHO, and I haven't re-read it after I read ISSTH, but it might be similar.


    Western fantasy:

    Brandon Sanderson
    Sanderson writes epic, world-changing fantasy like no other. When he does epic, it sends shivers down your spine. When he does paladins, half the book is spent sharing in suffering, slavery and ruthless battlefield, so that there's darkness enough to make the light shine even brighter. He's damn good.

    Mistborn trilogy
    Sanderson's breakthrough. Interesting magic system with weird powers. Some people can push metal things, while others can pull them. Some people can grow stronger, others sense better. There's a city of decadent elite, oppressed masses, and a secret rebellion underway. The world broke, ages ago, and only Lord Rust knows what happened and how. He saved the world, then, but who can tell - now he's the tyrant.

    Words of Radiance
    Sanderson is planning to write like 10 doorstopper novels for this series. So far, 3 exist. They're very, very good.


    Terry Pratchett' Discworld books
    If you haven't read any Discworld novels, you probably should! Pratchett was the master of his own blend of absurdist comedy, puns, fantasy and social criticism. Where Black Mirror is the world's problems writ large, as seen through scifi, Discworld is the funhouse mirror that shows the world's absurdity in a warped fantasyland. 

    For example, there's the book Guards, Guards! It's about the blokes who get cut down around chapter three, by the guy hanging from the chandeliers. The protagonist is a dwarf, Carrot Ironfoundersson. He's also a 2m tall human - his dwarvish parents adopted him - so he leaves for a place where he can fit in without doubling over. The book laughs at the absurdity of kings in the time of bureaucrats, at police powerless before oligarchs, at secret societies, at dragons, at what it is to be hero, at saving noble virgins from a dragon, and everything besides. 

    Guards, Guards! is part of a group of books about fantasy police. They're noir, crime novels, murder mysteries and so on. Pratchett's books share the world, and often characters, but they're mostly independent. There's other sets too - about Death, or witches, or wizards, or technological innovation. In later books, the cops learn about guns, and about racial tensions and minorities, a sword is put into a stone, and the old guard grumbles a lot about the changing times. 

    Reaper Man is about Death the Grim Reaper, riding a skeletal horse. He gets fired, so he leaves to enjoy life and find a new job. He gets hired as a farm hand - he does have experience with certain agricultural tools, after all. He learns about humanity, about harvest, and saves a life. Half of the story draws parallels between malls and city-eating parasites.
    Death is a sympathetic and well-loved recurring character, always willing to give a helpful hand for even the poorest bloke around their time of greatest need. He can't do much, but he sees them off. In later books he has a daughter and apprentice, temps as Santa, learns to forget, appreciates rock-n-roll, and gets his old group back together. You know, Death, War, Famine, Plague, and the fifth guy who left before they got famous.
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