“If I am Xiao Che… Then why do I have memories of the Azure Cloud Continent? Is it because I traveled to this body after I died in the Azure Cloud Continent? No! I am obviously Xiao Che! This entire room is familiar to me and I clearly remember all the events of my childhood. Everything from my memory was from personal experience and there is no way I would steal another’s memory! Then was everything from the Azure Cloud Continent all just a dream? Was it only after I jumped off Cloud's End Cliff that I truly woke up?” (Against the Gods, Chapter One)
“Xiao Che’s eyes smoldered in anger. He firmly nodded his head slowly, ‘Father-in-law, have no worries. Although people hold me in contempt now, once my profound veins are fixed, a sleeping dragon will be awakened from the abyss. I will make those people who look down on me and those who think that the Xia Clan took in a wastrel for their son-in-law obediently shut their traps.’” (Against the Gods, Chapter Four)
Yun Che has no idea what’s going on. When he wakes up unharmed after throwing himself off of a cliff, he has no idea how he survived, let alone unharmed. He soon comes to the realization that he also has memories of another life. Not understanding how he remembers a life that’s not his own, he is told that he is in the body of someone named Xiao Che and has somehow assumed this person’s identity while keeping the memories from his past life. Xiao Che had been poisoned just as Yun Che jumped off the cliff. Luckily, Yun Che is a master of poisons and could quickly identify the toxin that killed Xiao Che. He figures out that swallowing something called a Sky Poison Pearl had allowed him to wake up in Xiao Che’s dead body.
Now, Yun Che must live as Xiao Che and follow the duties of his family, while also using the knowledge of his time as a medicine master in his previous life. He must also deal with Xiao Che’s approaching wedding to Xia Qingyue, a beautiful and untouchable woman. Will he be able to figure out who poisoned him and why? And will he reveal that he has memories from two lives? Yun Che’s unique situation could be used to his advantage, but that depends on how he handles it.
When I first started reading Against the Gods, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the writing. The chapters seem a bit longer than in some other web novels, but there were practically no errors in grammar or punctuation that I noticed, and the flow of the novel made each chapter easy to read, even if some included longer paragraphs that looked intimidating at first. The characters’ dialogue is realistic and written convincingly, which made it much easier to become absorbed in the story.
The characters in Against the Gods start out in rather predictable stereotypes, including Xia Qingyue, the defiant girl who stands up for herself and refuses to back down, and background characters who look down on Yun Che for his reputation as a “broken” man. Yun Che himself seems like a practically omniscient character, since he carries knowledge from two different people, but this portrays him as a rather cocky main character. However, as the story progresses, we see these characters begin to change gradually through their experiences. These changes are subtle enough to be believable and make the characters relatable. Rarely, if ever, do the characters make a decision that seems illogical and completely out of character.
In terms of plot, this novel has just enough twists and turns to be different from other web novels with themes of reincarnation. Of course, it is fairly obvious from the beginning that Yun Che’s doubled life experience will only work to his advantage in his new life, but there are still obstacles for him to overcome, such as figuring out who poisoned Xiao Che in the first place. There are several subplots in the story as well, like the background mystery of why Yun Che killed himself in his first life, that compelled me to keep reading rather than skimming the text until I made it to a part I felt I would enjoy. If I had skipped certain sections, I would have risked missing important information that revealed the answers to my questions.
This story has just over 1,700 published chapters available to read, but the events pick up right away. In the first chapter, we have already been introduced to Yun Che and his situation, and from there, the action continues at a steady pace. Despite having so many chapters, there are few that serve primarily as filler, which is impressive considering the sheer length of the novel. Of course, this means that there are several story arcs in the work, so readers who are not particularly interested in one arc will not have to worry about the entire story being the same.
Despite not being the biggest fan of cultivation stories, I enjoyed reading this story for its writing quality and the interesting plot. Those who already enjoy this genre will definitely enjoy this novel, while others might like it simply because they prefer to read web novels that are on a similar standard to traditionally published novels.