Omniscient Reader's Viewpoint by Singshong Book Review

I felt giddy, I cried, I laughed, and cried some more. It's a truly heart-wrenching story. I felt myself spread thinly as I read the novel for two weeks.

Omniscient Reader's Viewpoint
Omniscient Reader's Viewpoint by
Date Published:
Publisher: Munpia
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Format: light novel

Prologue - Episode 36

Only I know the end of this world.

One day our MC finds himself stuck in the world of his favorite webnovel. What does he do to survive? It is a world struck by catastrophe and danger all around.

His edge? He knows the plot of the story to the end. Because he was the sole reader that stuck with it. Read his story to see how he survives!
Review

The story opens up with this prologue:

There are three ways to survive in a ruined world. Now, I have forgotten a few, but one thing is certain. The fact that you who are reading this now will survive.

That is obviously meant for the reader. That paragraph is contained in the novel "Three Ways to Survive in a Ruined World", shortened as Ways of Survival. In its feature-length that spans 3,149 chapters, a sole reader read it from the 100th chapter till the end. That sole reader is named Kim Dokja, which is apt since Dokja in Korean means only son or reader.

What happens to a story when the story already left the author's hands? It breathes, it comes to life when a reader reads it. Characters will play out the roles they're portrayed as and act out on their own in the gaps of pages that the author didn't get to write.

The day after Ways of Survival was concluded, Dokja has no idea that the novel he faithfully read for over 10 years would become real, and he gets to live in that world. When 7:00 PM struck, his world transformed into that of Ways of Survival with video game-like setting. A furry cotton-candy shaped Dokkaebi named Bihyung appeared out of thin air and gave everyone a scenario that they have to clear. The first scenario is that of a Battle Royale where they have to "kill a life form" to proceed to the next scenario. Failure to do so means death.

The story is powered by fables. Known people of history gets to become historical-grade constellations. Heroes with more known stories became fable-grade constellations. Beings known as gods in various cultures became myth-grade constellations, the most powerful among constellations.

These constellations who've lived hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands of years live through fables. They quench their boredom by participating in scenarios. People are now become known as incarnations and constellations get to sponsor them when selected. The more powerful a story gets germinated during a scenario, the more incarnations and constellations alike get stronger.

A dokkaebi is a story-teller and the events he covers are shown in the Star Stream, the universe where constellations regurgitate stories as if consuming the shows they watch on live television.

As Dokja is the only one who knew the entire story of Ways of Survival, he's basically ahead of everybody. He knows everything that's going to happen, knows where hidden scenarios are, knows where to collect items that will help anyone to get stronger.

Of course, Kim Dokja wasn't the only one knowledgeable in this new world. The protagonist of the novel he read would step in. Yoo Joonghyuk, a man towering over everybody with a very handsome face to boot, is a regressor. He regressed 1,863 times in the novel. Currently, he's on his 3rd regression.

Shackled by the fate of regressing after death, Joonghyuk gets to revive back to the first scenario. Along the way, he collects his comrades. He loses them, he dies. After countless of times with people dying around him, he realizes he couldn't save everybody. With this torment, he decides not to care for anyone who isn't originally his companion on the earliest memory he remembers. Anyone who gets in his way, he instantly kills.

That's how Kim Dokja remembers the favorite hero he so badly wants to emulate as a child. That guy eventually turned into a psychopath hell-bent only on achieving his goal, that is to reach the end of the scenarios. Inadvertently, Kim Dokja got hold of the companions that were originally Joonghyuk's and gathered people of his own, some of which are not characters of the novel he so loves. He even turned the evil ones to his side.

That sounds about long-winded. Omniscient Reader's Viewpoint, designated by fans as ORV, spans 551 chapters. It has a handful of lovable characters. You'd cheer for them, you'd get angry, and then you'd ache for them. A character I felt repulsed by initially turned out to have a pivotal role in the end.

Three characters, Kim Dokja, Yoo Joonghyuk, and Han Sooyoung, the leader of the "Apostles" who gave up reading the novel, are bound by fate. In a nutshell, Omniscient Reader's Viewpoint is like Ethan Hawke's film, Predestination in terms of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff. No matter what they do in the expansive universe, the result will give life to a cause and the cause would yield to a result.

The story is very intricate. Various known figures are utilized, from localized historical figures in Korea, to famous characters in Chinese literature like Journey to the West, to Olympian gods like Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus. Thor of Asgard wasn't even spared.

Characters get to earn skills along the way depending on their initial talents and characteristics. Incarnations could inherit stigmas provided by their sponsor Constellations. Coins could also be a medium of success. Various cliches and tropes get mentioned, the novel even pokes fun at the trends in the light novel world.



There's so much going on that it's hard for me to end writing this review. What lasted with me were the characters' comradeship, the feeling of longing for someone you've lost, the pain when someone misunderstands and makes the wrong decision, that nice feeling when you expect some good news. When they all finally get to be together is all you'd yearn for till the end.

The authors are a married couple. The fact that they develop this story long before their previous work just shows how much they want to perfect this masterpiece. There's no plot hole. Everything is well‑thought and the things that transpire are laid out well. Omniscient Reader's Viewpoint is one of the best masterpieces there are in the world of literature.

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