Hey Everyone! It’s been a while since I last posted. I have been busy with real life. This year has been awesome for web novels. With the rise of AI, we have gotten a lot of novels, especially Korean novels. MTL is readable and will reach a new level in the coming months.
In this post, I will discuss the novels which I loved reading in 2023.
Lord of Mysteries 2: Circle of Inevitability
Novels by Cuttlefish That Loves Diving has always been good. Be it Martial Arts Master, Throne of Magical Arcana, Embers Ad Infinitum, these all have something unique to offer. Likewise, Circle of Inevitability, COI, is amazing. It is at the same level as Lord of Mysteries.
The first volume was just amazing and I was stunned at the ending. So far there are 500 chapters have been released and it is going amazing. Lumian, Franca, and Jenna are amazing fleshed out characters with their backstories and goals. This is what I love about Cuttlefish’s writing, his writing always has a goal, and even the minor character has a role to fulfill. They seem to take readers somewhere an unpredictable yet amazing conclusion.
But Lord of Mysteries is still have favorite. I couldn’t forget many moments from book 1. The 0-02, Klien and his lampooning, The poet, Sharron, Frank Lee, and many more characters and moments from the novel remain alive in my mind.
Overall, COI is a great novel that can be read standalone but recommend reading Lord of Mysteries first.
Deep Sea Embers
Deep Sea Embers is a novel that takes place in a world where the old order has vanished, and strange phenomena dominate the endless seas beyond civilized society. The story follows the journey of the new captain of the ghost ship Vanished, who finds himself in a completely subverted and fragmented world. The sea has become the last ember of light for the civilized world, while the shadows of the old days stir in the deep sea, waiting to devour this dying world
This novel starts fairly well. I was surprised because, in the sea of average web novels, I have finally gotten to read something so good and new. I first thought it was similar to Lord of Mysteries but I couldn’t be more wrong. The first hundred chapters start fairly slow. We as well as the protagonist gradually uncover the world. I found it out a bit boring for around 20 chapters but as I kept reading, I forgot time as I passed Chapter 400.
With 500+ chapters ongoing, this is a novel I recommend everyone to give a try.
My Descendant Begged Me To Help Him Just After I Became A God
“My Descendant Begged Me To Help Him Just After I Became A God” is a novel set in a world where kingdoms stand tall, demons rampage in the wild, martial arts rule the streets, and gods do not exist. The story follows the protagonist, Jiang Changsheng, who was reincarnated as the crown prince of the Jing Kingdom but was switched at birth and raised as a Taoist in a temple.
The change in Jiang Changsheng’s fate was devastating, but he was fortunate enough to awaken the Survival System, which grants him the power to not die from aging. Every time he survives a dangerous event, he receives rewards.
It would be fair to say this novel belongs to the junk category. There’s no deep story development as well as world development. The characters are bland and forgettable. The power system is meh.
But still, it will be a good read if you don’t have anything to read or just want something mindless to pass the time.
I Was Mistaken as a Monstrous Genius Actor
“I Was Mistaken as a Monstrous Genius Actor” is a novel that follows the story of Kang Woojin, a former designer who becomes a jobless individual. One day, his friend takes him to auditions, and he is forced to perform despite having no prior acting experience. However, something strange happens during the audition. As he reads the script, a void space appears in his mind, forcing him to relive the character he is portraying.
As the story progresses, Kang Woojin finds himself immersed in various roles, each with its unique challenges and abilities. He becomes a serial killer, an exorcist, and other intriguing characters. However, the more he becomes involved in acting, the more misunderstandings arise around him. People start mistaking him for a monstrous genius actor, unaware of the truth behind his abilities.
This Showbiz Comedy Korean novel is a good slice-of-life novel that is kind of addictive. With over 100 chapters ongoing, this novel is not repetitive or boring. There’s always new in the story to look forward to. The humor is good and the translation is good as well.
If you prefer this novel, I would recommend Top Management. Sadly, it’s on hiatus but still a great read.
My Longevity Simulation
“My Longevity Simulation” is a novel set in a world where the path to immortality is incredibly difficult to achieve. The immortal world has been plagued by a mysterious disease that affects immortals who come into contact with infected mortals. When this happens, their cultivation bases weaken or they are forced to return to the heavens, resulting in a permanent separation between the immortal and mortal realms.
The protagonist of the story is Li Fan, who initially transmigrates to this world with grand ambitions but finds himself trapped in a mundane life. However, as he nears death, he awakens a supreme treasure that has the power to manipulate truth and reality, allowing him to reverse time to when he first arrived in this world.
My Longevity Simulation is yet another great read. I have been reading mtl of this novel because translation is slow. The author of this novel has put a great deal of thinking when writing this novel. The characters, the cultivation world, the main character, etc are written so well.
Debut or Die
“Debut or Die” is a novel that tells the story of Ryu Gun-woo, a civil servant examinee who suddenly wakes up in the body of Park Moondae, a young idol trainee. Upon waking up, Gun-woo is confronted with a status window that warns him that if he doesn’t make his debut as an idol, he will die instantly
This is another showbiz Korean novel I don’t honestly understand why it is so popular. All I got reading from this novel was anxiety. One arc after another, the characters were constantly under the camera which made me anxious when reading.
As an Immortal I only learn forbidden skills
“As an Immortal, I Only Learn Forbidden Skills” is a novel set in the cultivation world where the protagonist, Jiang Ming, wakes up to discover that he has obtained immortality. In this dangerous and ruthless world of cultivation, Jiang Ming is determined to carve his unique path. Taking advantage of his immortality, he vows to learn forbidden skills that would normally consume the user’s life.
This novel follows the trend “I transmigrated and am immortal and now I should lay low and cultivate and kill enemies.” There are other novels similar to this such as Immortal In The Magic World. What makes it novel different is the main character is smart and cold-hearted and doesn’t hesitate to kill.
I’m Just Making Up The Exercises, My Disciple, Have You Really Mastered Them?
“I’m Just Making Up The Exercises, My Disciple, Have You Really Mastered Them?” is a novel that revolves around the comedic and light-hearted story of a master and his disciple. The protagonist, a simple mortal, finds himself in a peculiar situation where he has to create and teach cultivation exercises on the spot to his disciples.
The mortal, who pretends to possess vast knowledge and experience in cultivation, decides to have some fun and dupe his disciple by making up exercises that are just random things. However, to his surprise, the disciple takes these exercises seriously and diligently practices them, believing in their effectiveness, and becomes a cultivator.
This is another novel that is surprisingly a fine read. The one flaw in this novel is that it is predictable which makes it kinda boring.
Reformation of the Deadbeat Noble
“Reformation of the Deadbeat Noble” is a novel that follows the story of Airen Farreira, a young noble who uses sleep as an escape from his painful reality. After witnessing the shocking death of his mother, Airen adopts a lazy and carefree lifestyle, earning him the nickname “the lazy lord”.
However, everything changes when Airen has a dream about a mysterious swordsman. This dream serves as a turning point in his life, setting him on a new trajectory. Motivated by this dream, Airen decides to reform himself and break free from his lazy habits.
This is an average Korean novel which I found to be good. The naive main character’s adventures into the world as he learns about his purpose is not a new concept but the writing and heartwarming family and friends make this novel a worthwhile read.
My Divine Dairy
“My Divine Diary” is a novel that revolves around the story of Su Hao, a protagonist who gains the ability to reincarnate infinitely after an accident. However, there is a mysterious limitation to his reincarnation – he cannot live past the age of five in each new life. This sets the stage for Su Hao’s quest to overcome this limitation and achieve adulthood.
I don’t have much to say about this novel. It’s a fine read.
global lord: 100% drop rate
“Global Lord: 100% Drop Rate” is a novel that follows the story of Zhou Zhou, who transmigrates into a new world and becomes a Lord of his own territory. The novel incorporates game-like elements and focuses on competitive, monster-killing activities.
Zhou Zhou’s luck takes a drastic turn when he receives a Legendary-Tier Lord Talent with a 100% drop rate. This talent allows him to see the items he will receive from defeating enemies and makes his enemies drop all of their loot when defeated
This novel is popular yet bad. I haven’t read this novel.
Ashes of Heaven
The novel “Ashes of Heaven” is a Xianxia story that offers a unique twist on the genre. It combines elements of comedy, sarcasm, and irony while exploring a cultivation world filled with scams and deception. The protagonist, Xuhan, is not a typical prodigy of cultivation but rather a clever manipulator who relies on wit and careful consideration to navigate through life
In my reading list.
Childhood friend of the zenith
“Childhood Friend of the Zenith” is a Korean web novel that blends various genres including action, comedy, fantasy, harem, martial arts, and wuxia. The story centers around Gu-Yangcheon, the only son of the Gu clan and one of the heavenly demon’s most trusted men. After dying with many regrets, he is regressed to the past by a mysterious power, offering him a second chance at life.
Many are praising this Korean novel but for me, I could read past chapter ten because it looked average to me.
Weird Live Broadcast: I Can Deduce Endlessly
“Weird Live Broadcast: I Can Deduce Endlessly” is a novel that falls under the horror and thriller genres. It takes place in a world where the “Unspeakable” has emerged and chosen individuals are sent to the weird world to represent their respective countries and face challenging and deadly trials.
The protagonist, Gu Yi, is selected to represent the Dragon Country and is tasked with conquering the first dungeon world, the Chongshan Hospital, where the death rate is a staggering 99%.
This is a good horror novel though it surfers from slow release.
The Evil God Beyond the Smartphone
“The Evil God Beyond the Smartphone” is a web novel with elements of adventure, fantasy, and mystery. The story revolves around a protagonist who plays a seemingly boring and eventless smartphone game.
This changes when he decides to destroy a village in the game out of frustration, leading to a notification that his karma has increased and he has reached level 2. Following this, the game’s graphics change, he acquires magic, saves a village girl chased by bandits, and gains a cultist. These events signal the beginning of more engaging and dynamic gameplay.
In my reading list
The protagonist of the story is Charles Reed, who was originally a resident of the Surface World (Modern-Day Earth). However, due to unknown circumstances, he finds himself teleported to the Subterranean World.
For the past eight years, Charles has been tirelessly searching for a way to return home, navigating the treacherous and eerie landscapes of the subterranean realm.
I couldn’t follow this novel properly. Not sure if it is because of translations or the story.
The novel revolves around a protagonist named Sunny, who resides in a dystopian future. In this world, certain individuals are periodically transported to a magical realm where they must engage in life-or-death battles against monstrous creatures. If they manage to survive these encounters, they are bestowed with extraordinary abilities
I swear I was gonna read this novel because it was receiving so much praise but then the author just had to say those things about Lord of Mysteries. *sigh*
Related: The Author’s POV Web Novel Review
The Cannon Fodder Turns His Sister Into A Soaring Phoenix
The main character, Ye Anping, transmigrates into this world and finds himself in the role of a lowly cannon fodder character destined to die young. However, he discovers that he has a younger sister with great potential.
The novel focuses on Ye Anping’s efforts to change his and his sister’s fates. Using his knowledge and strategic thinking, he helps his sister grow stronger and more capable, transforming her into a formidable figure who catches the attention of the story’s protagonist.
As his sister becomes a significant character, Ye Anping navigates the complex relationships and scenarios that arise, often finding himself at odds with the game’s original plot and characters.
In my reading list
The story revolves around Oliver, an orphan boy living in a 19th-century European mining town filled with magic. Despite his humble origins, Oliver possesses an extraordinary talent for magic and quickly becomes recognized as a genius warlock. As he delves deeper into the world of magic, Oliver uncovers hidden secrets, faces formidable challenges, and encounters a wide array of magical beings and creatures
This Korean novel novel has everything good yet I couldn’t handle the naive main character.
Genius Wizard Takes Medicine
The story is set in a game world known for its remarkable freedom. In the latest version of the game, version 3.0, the protagonist decides to focus entirely on enhancing magical abilities at the cost of embracing several disadvantageous traits.
As a result, the protagonist crafts a wizard character that is exceptionally skilled in magic but suffers from significant drawbacks, including a dependency on drugs for survival. In an unexpected turn of events, the protagonist finds himself transformed into this very character. Despite being a prodigiously talented wizard, he now faces the challenge of surviving in the game world while being heavily reliant on medicines.
Another good Korean novel.
My Iyashikei Game
The novel “My Iyashikei Game” is a story about a comedy actor named Han Fei who is down on his luck. He receives an expensive gaming helmet that allows him to enter a virtual reality game called Perfect Life, which is described as a soothing iyashikei (slice-of-life) game that heals one’s soul.
However, Han Fei soon realizes that what he thought was a heavenly game turns out to be a hell filled with terrifying ghosts and vengeful spirits. The game, which was supposed to provide relaxation and healing, becomes a source of fear and danger for Han Fei
A good horror novel though I still like My House of Horrors more.
outside of time
The story revolves around Xu Qing, a young survivor in a post-apocalyptic world where “God” has descended, leading to the near annihilation of all life forms. Master cultivators have fled with the human race to escape this destruction, leaving behind a world fraught with danger, including ferocious beasts and rampant infighting among humans.
Xu Qing, having narrowly escaped death, finds himself in a struggle for survival in this harsh new world. His journey is marked by a determination to gain power to fight against God. Faced with the limitations of cultivation, Xu Qing resolves to become a god himself to ensure his survival. The narrative follows his transformation from a human teenager into a god, detailing the challenges and growth he experiences along the way.
In my reading list
Living Leisurely in Tang Dynasty
The novel revolves around the misadventures of Li Yuanying, the youngest brother of Emperor Taizhong of the Tang Dynasty. Li Yuanying is known for his shameless and carefree nature, often causing chaos wherever he goes. The story follows his escapades and encounters with prominent ministers and other characters from the Tang Dynasty
A surprisingly good slice of life novel.
Related: My Top Slife of Life stories
The Game Director That Returned from Hell
“The Game Director That Returned from Hell” is a Korean web novel that combines elements of comedy, drama, fantasy, romance, school life, and slice of life. The story revolves around Cheon Yeonho, a game director who dies from overwork and finds himself in Hell. In Hell, Cheon Yeonho is struck by the idea that the hellish scenes he witnesses could be turned into a fascinating game.
In a surprising turn of events, Cheon Yeonho gets a second chance at life. He is sent back in time to his college days in 2008. Seizing this opportunity, he aims to achieve artistic and gameplay perfection by creating games based on his experiences in Hell, with the assistance of his colleagues and friends.
A good Korean novel yet something still didn’t click with me.
The Villain Who Robbed the Heroines
The story begins with the protagonist leaving a malicious comment to the author of a novel about a heroine being stolen away. However, in a twist of fate, he wakes up to find himself in the role of the villain in that very novel, the one who is supposed to steal the heroine.
The narrative explores the protagonist’s struggle with his new identity as he tries to navigate the world of the novel from the perspective of the villain.
A good Korean novel with an interesting concept that suffers from slow release.
The story revolves around the protagonist, a con artist, who is wrongly imprisoned in Tantalus, a notorious prison for the most dangerous criminals. While in Tantalus, the protagonist encounters a regressor, someone who has been reincarnated with their memories intact.
However, when the protagonist uses his mind-reading ability on the regressor, he discovers a shocking revelation: he is fated to die within a year, and the world is destined to end ten years later.
On my reading list
The Laws of Cultivation: Qi = MC^2
The story explores an interesting concept where the main character realizes that in a world dominated by young masters who often engage in violent confrontations and consume various magical pills for power, the true path to cultivation lies in creating a large number of drugs.
The novel seems to take a unique approach to the cultivation genre by integrating themes of alchemy and possibly a scientific method to understand and master the world’s magical systems. This premise offers a fresh take on the traditional Xianxia narrative, which typically focuses on martial arts and spiritual development.
On my reading list
It revolves around the character Lu Qing, who, after dying from serious injuries, finds himself in the cultivation world with a system known as the “Clan Development System.” Despite spending 200 years to become a Golden Core cultivator and having established a family and clan, Lu Qing only accesses this system posthumously.
The system offers various options like [Spiritual Root Enhancement], [Resource Scouting], [Pure-yang Body], etc., allowing him to aid his clan even after death. The story is centered around clan and sect management, with a focus on Lu Qing guiding his clan to prominence using the system.
A fine Chinese novel.
Life Simulation: Add Tags Starting with Wellness Technique
The story follows Han Zhao, who transmigrates to a world where kingdoms compete for supremacy amidst rampant demon activity. In this world, the Divine Warrior Family and the Spiritual Beast Family are dominant forces, and the Martial Dao system is in a state of decline.
Han Zhao, who possesses mediocre qualifications, is equipped with a unique ability – a prompt simulator. This simulator allows him to simulate different life scenarios, providing him with options such as [word], [attribute points], and [life experience]. Each simulation offers different paths his life could take, often with varied and dramatic outcomes, such as mastering martial arts in a year or dying young in various scenarios.
The story includes elements like the [Blade and Sword Dual Mastery] and the [Dan Dao Sag], enhancing specific skills or attributes. Han Zhao utilizes these simulations to navigate this challenging world, seeking to transform his mediocre power into supreme martial art through careful cultivation and strategic decisions.
A good novel.
The Child Emperor
The story unfolds with the death of three emperors in quick succession, leading to an unexpected ascension of a prince to the throne. This prince, previously unnoticed and underestimated, suddenly finds himself at the center of complex and dangerous palace politics.
As the new emperor, he faces numerous challenges and hostilities. The Empress Dowager, who desires a younger and more controllable ruler, opposes him. His half-brother harbors animosity, accusing him of usurping the throne that he believes rightfully belongs to him. Additionally, the palace attendants and servants harbor doubts about his legitimacy, not viewing him as a true emperor.
The novel centers around the young emperor’s struggle for survival in this treacherous environment. He must navigate through layers of danger, schemes, and conspiracies within the court, contending with various factions and power struggles.
A highly recommended novel for those who like political intrigues.
Return of the Blossoming Blade
Cheongmyeong, the 13th Disciple of the Mount Hua Sect and one of the Three Great Swordsmen, is known as the Plum Blossom Sword Saint. He emerges victorious in a battle against Cheonma, a figure who has brought chaos and destruction to the world. However, after the intense battle, Cheongmyeong breathes his last breath atop a mountain.
After his death, Cheongmyeong is reborn 100 years later in the body of a child. This unexpected rebirth grants him a second chance at life, allowing him to continue his martial arts journey and face new challenges in a world that has changed during his absence
I have read the manhwa and it was good.
“Cradle” is a popular fantasy series written by Will Wight. It is a progression fantasy novel that follows the journey of the main character, Lindon, in a world filled with martial arts, magic, and cultivation. The series is known for its fast-paced action, intricate world-building, and unique cultivation system.
It is a ritual to recommend this novel.
Practical Guide to Evil
In the world of “Practical Guide to Evil,” the Dread Empire has triumphed, and the Dread Empress rules over the lands that were once the Kingdom of Callow. However, behind the facade of this golden age, threats to the crown are rising. The nobles of the Wasteland plot in the shadows, the Forever King eyes the Empire’s borders, and the First Prince of Procer seeks to secure her reign through a crusade.
Amidst this backdrop, Catherine Foundling, an orphan girl, encounters a dangerous man who offers her a knife. She seizes the opportunity and begins her journey, not as a hero but as someone who questions the concepts of good and evil. Catherine seeks to carve her own path, making difficult choices and rationalizing her actions as she strives for control and power
In the reading list.
I Was Reincarnated as a Nameless Combatant in a Japanese-style Fantasy Depressive Erotic Game, but the Women Around Me Are All Dangerous, and I Have a Bad Feeling About It
The story centers around a protagonist who is reincarnated as a nameless mob character in a Japanese fantasy game, notable for its depressive themes, eroticism, and gore.
The novel navigates through the protagonist’s experiences in this dangerous and unpredictable game world, where he encounters various female characters who pose a threat to his well-being, leading to a sense of foreboding
Many are praising this novel. In my reading list.
I Became A Flashing Genius At The Magic Academy
Baek Yu-Seol finds himself in a world where magic is prevalent, and everyone possesses magical abilities except for him.
Baek Yu-Seol is granted a special skill called “Flash Forward,” which allows him to blink or teleport. This skill becomes his only magical ability, setting him apart from others. With this newfound power, he sets out to survive in Stella Academy, a prestigious school for genius wizards.
A good Korean novel that suffers from slow-releases
That Time I got reincarnated as a magic slime
The story follows the protagonist, Satoru Mikami, a salaryman who is unexpectedly killed and then reincarnated in a sword and sorcery world as a slime creature.
As a slime, Satoru, now known as Rimuru, discovers that he possesses unique abilities and powers. He embarks on a journey to gather allies and build his own nation of monsters. Rimuru’s goal is to create a peaceful and harmonious world where different species can coexist.
Throughout the series, Rimuru encounters various creatures and individuals, forming alliances and friendships along the way. He uses his newfound powers to protect his allies and overcome challenges in this new world. Rimuru’s ultimate objective is to establish a place where monsters can live without fear and discrimination
I had some catching up to do with this light novel. I liked the new developments.
You Were Experienced, I Was Not: Our Dating Story 1st Date
The novel follows the story of Kashima Ryuto, a gloomy high-schooler who has been secretly admiring Shirakawa Runa, a popular and beautiful girl in his school. Despite believing that she would never accept him, Ryuto gathers the courage to confess his feelings to her. To his surprise, Runa accepts his confession, and they start dating .
The story revolves around the contrasting personalities and experiences of Ryuto and Runa. Ryuto is introverted and lacks self-confidence, while Runa is outgoing and has had many previous relationships. As they navigate their new relationship, they discover their differences in interests, friends, and ways of enjoying themselves. Despite these challenges, they gradually connect with each other and learn to accept and appreciate their unique qualities
I was reading and liking this novel and then the anime adaptation came, it is still good.
Lightning is the only way
“Lightning is the Only Way” is a web novel written by an author named Warmaisach. The novel follows the story of a character named Gravis, who has a father as strong as the highest heavens themselves. Initially, Gravis doesn’t feel the need to step into the cold and ruthless world of cultivation due to his father’s power.
However, everything changes when Heaven uses Gravis in a scheme to get back at his father. Gravis realizes that he needs strength to gain true freedom and escape from Heaven’s oppression. He understands that as long as he remains weak, he will always be beneath Heaven’s control. Thus, he embarks on a journey to gain strength and true power
This novel has gotten mixed reviews. I have yet to read.
I Became The Pope, Now What?
Johnathan, after being reborn as a baby, hopes to be recognized as gifted by speaking early. However, his plans take a dark turn when tragedy strikes. The villagers label him as demon-possessed and call upon the church for judgment. In a desperate attempt to welcome his impending death, Johnathan starts chanting holy hymns, but to his surprise, the church’s inquisitors kneel before him, mistaking him for a messenger of Solis, the deity they worship.
From this unexpected turn of events, the story follows the life of Johnathan, now known as Sylvester Maximilian, as he rises through the ranks of the church. Using his cunning and the tag of ‘God’s favored,’ Sylvester navigates a world filled with treachery, secret plots, and world mysteries
Another novel that has been talked about in the communities that I could not like.