OC Mini Book Reviews Beware of Chicken, Worth the Candle and The Rascor Plains

Beware of Chicken (ongoing webserial with 3 complete volumes)

Its a xianxia novel turned on its head, isekai protagonist rejects call to adventure and instead runs away to become a farmer in the weakest region of the world. Between his earth knowledge of farming techniques and an overabundance of qi for the region, he's a much better farmer than one would normally expect and it makes it harder to hide than he might like.

Overall I enjoyed the story a lot. So much xianxia is so dark and miserable, this focuses on the opposite. There's a huge focus on joy and community and family and friendship and it makes it a real palate cleanser for the genre. The progression is mostly focused away from the MC, his farming style keeps creating sentient spirit beasts and turning normal townsfolk into cultivators, many of which push forward to get stronger to protect the farm and become central characters. Whereas other deconstructions of xianxia (a will eternal) tend to satirize the genre while keeping the macro level plot very traditional, this one does the opposite, instead being more slice-of-lifey and less one-crisis-after-another.

Worth The Candle (complete)

This is a progression fantasy about a DnD DM who gets pulled into a world inspired by his own creations. Its pretty dark in tone but does a great job of capturing the feeling of munchkinry as the MC rapidly powers up and tries to ascend to godhood so he can fix the world. Its less about training montages and more about creative problem solving. The setting itself is a huge positive for the series for me, it has unique magic and races as well as an interesting system where, whenever the universe decides some power/ability combo is too OP, it 'excludes' that power to working only in a single area, creating zones full of danger and opportunity with rare magic.

I think this book is under-rated in the progression fantasy community, being both complete and well written is rare in this genre and though its become a bit more common in 2023 with the completion of cradle and mage errant, its completely off of most people's radars for whatever reason.

The Rascor Plains (Book 2 of the Immortal Great Souls)

The series is about a world where a population of elite people get continuously reincarnated as they try and conquer hell. These people have magical powers that they gain as they level up and remember their past lives.

Book 2 was overall really enjoyable but one thing really soured the experience for me. The world, magic, action and plot all got expanded and the author delivers perfectly on all those, but as for the characters, well, 1 in particular was a huge disappointment <spoiler>WTF happened to Jova Spike's character? She just goes along with the murder of the group because she's honey potted on Damien? Even though she's spent every single life trying to stay away from the companies to avoid exactly this type of thing...OK lets say she's super duper pragmatic and the damage is already done so no reason to not profit. Then Scorio and Naomi start killing manticore....and she starts fighting them?? She could have just been like 'yeah actually you guys are pretty justified, I'm not going to get dragged into this...after all, I just demonstrated that I'm super pragmatic. So she fights them and fights them and then they get to Bastion and suddenly she joins them because...I don't even remember, because she sees the other person who was in the cell I think? Either way, I don't get it. She supposed to be a world famous badass lone wolf who stays above the fray of the company politics in every life and still manages to kick ass despite their support and in this book she's like the weakest wormiest person who just seems to go along with whoever is nearby whenever there's a decision to make.</spoiler>

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