Discussion My Korean Novel Experience So Far

Discussion in 'Novel General' started by HankyPanky2.0, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. HankyPanky2.0

    HankyPanky2.0 Member

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    I've spent a little over a year now reading A LOT of Korean novels, and I finally feel confident in sharing my opinion on what novels I think are good. Before this Korean binge I only read JP novels (tried CN and could never enjoy them), and I do still love many JP novels, but KR has really grown on me. I haven't read every single Korean novel that has ever been translated so sorry if I miss one you like. I'm only going to mention novels that have caught my attention for being either very good or very bad, so anything average won't be listed here. Also, just because something is above another doesn't mean it's better per say. I will explain what I think of each novel and why I think they're worth mentioning.

    The Good

    1. Novel's Extra

    I really had a lot of fun reading this story, which may be because it was one of the first Korean stories I read. Now, I know it had a really, really, REALLY lackluster ending, but the first half of the story was a great example of what makes a story good. Hajin was a likable MC who you felt emotionally invested in. He didn't immediately come off as insanely overpowered, and his interactions with the supporting characters weren't a chore to slog through. In fact, I'd argue that the supporting characters in this novel are just as important, if not more so, in contributing to the novel's early success. I remembered every single one of them for the entire story and I wasn't bored when we spent multiple chapters focusing on them rather than Hajin. They each felt unique and actually developed as the story progressed. If there's one story that I would hope to see reworked by the author in the future, perhaps with an actual ebook/light novel, this would be the one.

    2. Everyone Else is a Returnee

    The first Korean novel I ever read. Looking back, this novel definitely fell short when compared to a lot of the other Korean novels I've read more recently. In a lot of way, i think the characters and tropes within this novel are comparable to those found in many JP novels, which may be why it started my transition from JP to KR. The story had a very interesting premise that ended up falling short due to a rushed ending and a constantly growing cast of characters that suffered from a lack of development. This novel also taught me the importance of power scaling, and how always hoping for the MC to go faster and become more OP may end up hurting you, the reader, later on in the story. Still, I think that even with all of its flaws, this novel is worth at least trying.

    3. SSS-class Suicide Hunter

    Tried this on a whim when I first saw it come out and instantly fell in love. It is true that this novel never got translated past the first 5 chapters, and I may have never seen the bad parts that came later, but what we were shown was something very new and exciting. This story had me hooked from the very first word and it included something I'd never seen in a web-novel before, tons of artwork. While this may seem insignificant to some people, it felt like it elevated the story to another level. The quality of the translation overall was also good, which I wish I could say about EER. This is the novel I most hope gets continued one day, but only time will tell.

    4. I’m Only a Stepmother, but My Daughter is Just so Cute!

    I usually don't read romance novels, so i was very surprised to find that I even enjoyed this after seeing it recommended once. I like how it throws the MC into this Snow White scenario where she's forced to try and undo the terrible perception that her daughter has of her. It's sweet and fun to read compared to a lot of the heavier, more serious topics that come up in fantasy and action novels like Suicide Hunter and Novel's Extra.

    5. Re: Survival

    I recently went on a hunt for a good zombie novel after being dissapointed when trying to read the comic for The Last Human (CN stories and me just don't mix). I came across this novel on reddit and gave it a go, and I couldn't be more happy with it. It was exactly what I was looking for, a realistic zombie apocalypse setting where the MC has no magical powers or abilities. It's brutal, harsh, and at times hopeless. Personally, that's what I believe an apocalypse story should be. The MC Yohan is an interesting character and I felt that the side characters had substance to them. Everyone has a unique personality like those from Novel's Extra, which may explain why I liked it as much as I did. If you're looking for a good zombie read, this is my recommendation.

    6. I Reincarnated For Nothing

    Fun fantasy read with a Harem that wasn't overbearing. Our MC is kind of a dick, but not in the overly annoying edge-lord way that I come across in other novels. I also thought that the ending reveal was one of the least expected plot twists I've ever seen. Obviously don't want to spoil it, but I never saw it coming myself.

    The Bad

    1. Solo Leveling

    I feel like I might run into a lot of disagreement here, and I don't feel like wasting time re-writing why I dislike this novel, so I'm just going to copy-paste part of the review I gave it a few days ago.

    A novel that suffered from one of the worst cases of over-hype I've ever seen. The Jin Woo before his transformation and after his transformation are NOT the same character. I don't mean this literally (though I wish I could), but in his abrupt personality shift that makes little sense, even after learning everything at the end of the novel and in extra chapters. Character development can be summed up in a single word: none. Jin Woo is a walking paragon of god-like power and manliness, the likes of which has never been seen. Any other character is relegated to the sidelines where they quietly whisper "kakkoii" while furiously jacking off the MC's ever-growing ego.

    Do YOU like female love interests who stick around? Well, if you do, you'll LOVE Solo Leveling!!! And by love, I mean hate, because you will be baited by so many potential love interests who will literally VANISH WITHOUT A TRACE for no reason other than the author either got bored of them, or suffered several strokes while writing this novel, leading to him forgetting they ever existed.

    In the end, that's all this novel ever ended up being to me. A poorly executed mess of broken power leveling bullshit.

    2. Dungeon Predator

    New novel from Wuxiaworld that I tried, and instantly wanted to drop. I think this novel is a great example of what's not to do when writing a story. Again, since I don't want to re-hash what I've already said once, I'll be copy-pasting a review I wrote.

    I get that there's only 7 chapters out, but so far this comes off as nothing more than a dollar store version of LMS. Bland, unoriginal, and uninspired. If you want to read a novel that uses the same tired out tropes that have been continuously shoved down our throats for the last few years, then look no further. IF things do end up changing for the better, then I will update this review, but I don't expect things to change and I'm only going to keep reading to see if this novel will prove me wrong. I'm certain this novel may become big because it's posted by Wuxiaworld, but don't let that popularity fool you into thinking this is an amazing story.

    I think that this novel was written with the express purpose of fitting as many popular tropes as possible into a short span of the story to try and instantly hook readers. We have an OP, soulless MC shoved in our face and that's about it.


    I have read other bad korean novels, but these two were the only ones that annoyed me enough to motivate me to actually complain about them.

    The Future

    As far as I can tell, Korean novels seem to be getting more popular. I hope this turns out to be a good thing and that we are able to see more licensed novels that won't get shut down start appearing. From what I have been able to find out from my own research, the only 4 groups that actually publish these with permission from the authors are Wuxiaworld, Webnovel, Webtoon, and Meteor Strike Media (they look a lot smaller than the other two). Please let me know if there are any others I don't know about, I just found these ones from NU links and reddit.

    Anyway, I wish good luck to these publishers (perhaps less to Webnovel than the rest of them). I checked out the WW and meteor groups and both say they have more korean novels getting licensed so maybe my wish is already coming true.
     
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  2. BigBadBoi

    BigBadBoi Well-Known Member

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    Solo Levelling got popular purely because of the manwha. If the manwha wasn't that amazing then nobody would've bothered with it. The amazing art perfectly hides the flaws in the storytelling
     
  3. HankyPanky2.0

    HankyPanky2.0 Member

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    I think that is a fair point. I like to look past art at the story itself and I just wish it had been better.
     
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  4. Viator

    Viator [Cult of Pyoo: Pyoo's Oak Tree]

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    Personally Korean LN's seem to me to have the most variety as far as interesting MC's and plot developments are concerned. But perhaps that is because I have read too many Japanese or Chinese novels. It is hard to find anything different after awhile.

    (That said I also don't care much for solo leveling)
     
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  5. namigi

    namigi New Member

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    How about the Second Coming of Gluttony?

    With a reliable translator, it's getting good traction recently.
     
  6. HankyPanky2.0

    HankyPanky2.0 Member

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    I really just do not like the novel that much, so I didn't mention it. I know it's popular, but just not something I enjoy.
     
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  7. jbturkle

    jbturkle Fruit

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    What about Omniscient Reader's Viewpoint? I'm a bit obsessed with it.
     
  8. HankyPanky2.0

    HankyPanky2.0 Member

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    Another one I felt was so-so. I'm glad everyone is sharing what they love as well, but the list I made was just specifically what I liked/disliked the most.
     
  9. cosmicpeach

    cosmicpeach Member

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    This is rather out of topic (I think?), but can you please create a list of your "good" Korean novels?
    I'll gladly follow it later. I really want to read more good Korean novels~ :aww:
     
  10. HankyPanky2.0

    HankyPanky2.0 Member

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    Sure, I can try getting around to that.
     
  11. cosmicpeach

    cosmicpeach Member

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    Nice!:blobxd: thank you, I look forward to your list~
     
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  12. ToastedRossi

    ToastedRossi Well-Known Member

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    I'm probably still not going to read much Korean fiction, but I just took a peek at a translation and I'm fairly pleased. If it's an indication of how good Korean writers are, then I'd say they're vastly superior to the Japanese otaku writers I normally read. We should already expect that even amateur writers should be decent at the basics of writing, but that's not always the case so it's good to see someone adhere to that standard.

    Nah, there's always going to be way more variety in Chinese web fiction. It's inevitable because there are just so many more Chinese writers out there. This isn't really reflected on NU, but that's more on the translators (and the readership) than on what's actually written.
     
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  13. Wujigege

    Wujigege *Christian*Generous Penny-Pincher*Comedian

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    Anyone who has consumed enough Japanese media will see Second Coming of Gluttony for what it really is : a cheap Japanese knockoff
     
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  14. firefox1234

    firefox1234 Well-Known Member

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    Solo Leveling is just a lesser version of One Punch Man and don't @ me.
     
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  15. SlimIcee

    SlimIcee Well-Known Member

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    Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Solo Leveling doesn't deserve to even be mentioned in the same sentence as One Punch Man, let alone compared to it.
     
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  16. asriu

    asriu Well-Known Member

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    which story never read gluttony so dunno
     
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  17. Bachingchung

    Bachingchung Well-Known Member

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    I also love KR L/WNs but I have the same problem in most of them. They usually start so hyped up, then at the middle, it would feel dragged out a bit... then more and more until the author decides to drop or end the novel.


    Top Management is my favorite KR novel. sadly, it was dropped by the author.
     
  18. pkhyber

    pkhyber Well-Known Member

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    To be honest I am fan of kdrama and webtoons as well so I thought I would enjoy korean novel but sadly am not enjoying them mainly beacuase of
    1)gaming elements or mmorpg or vr - I have nothing against gaming element(just hard to keep track of statuses) but absoulty hate mmorpg and vr don't know why?
    2) second chance or time travel- almost all of korean novel have second chance or backward time travel.
    3)overkill conversations-I thought being kdrama fan would be advantegeous but novels have over converstion with over politeness.

    My first korean novel was king shura and was fresh breath from chinese cultivation
    Second was rebirth of heavenly demon or something like that at gravity tales (rip GT) and thought the breaker was alive
    After it was dragon maken war which is good and have good characters with good setting. You feel respect/amazement for antagonist atien.

    Other novel tried but not completed/not following are
    god of crime
    The novels extra
    Trash of count's family

    Overall korean novel have some amazing novels but like japanese isekai it is being focust on second chance or game elements stereotype.
     
  19. Villager Anonymous

    Villager Anonymous Well-Known Member

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    I like Kn novels because as far as I know they don't have Jp mc who is obsessed with peace and hesitates or refuses to kill in a world of magically mutated animals and strength coming from killing (modern people have lost it and killed to survive with way less) or Cn novels if I rape women they will mindlessly fall in love with me and join my harem.
     
  20. Villager Anonymous

    Villager Anonymous Well-Known Member

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    I liked it before I decided to read the novel:(