The Memory Lost In Space 散落星河的记忆 by Tong Hua (BE)

The Memory Lost In Space is one of Tong Hua’s most ambitious offerings yet and almost certainly her longest. It is a tetralogy set in a future where genetic modification is readily available and it explores the explosive conflict between the mutants and humans.

I – Searching for a steadfast love in a world where your genes decide your fate.
Nothing can escape the clutches of time. Death and deterioration is but an eventuality. Only memory is not bound by the shackles of time. In fact some memories become clearer steeped in time. The beautiful, the ugly, all the has-beens. Each event seemingly small and insignificant but their flashes of brilliance can even outdazzle the night’s sky.

II – If we cannot grow old together, then let death consume us both
An existence that should be denied, he thought he would be alone forever for a soul born in darkness was destined to be swallowed up by darkness. Happiness can only be a mirage. Yet he cannot control his feelings that are overflowing because he has found someone willing to stand with him against all odds.

III – Because their paths had crossed, because she had loved him so passionately, he may have his regrets but he’d die contented.

One existence was built on another person’s genetic makeup. The other lived a fabricated lie. Just like a whisper in the wind, they had no past and no future. They only have the present. They only have each other.

IV – It is the dawning of a new hope, yet also the descent of despair. We are hurtling towards our end, be it heaven or hades that await us.

Will your pursuit only end with the withering of the final rose? Will you discover that you’ve missed all of its radiant beauty only when it is gone? Will you only stop grumbling about the cold when the last snowflake has fallen? Will you regret failing to appreciate the here and now?

[Ebook]

 

19 Responses

  1. Mochi Lover
    Mochi Lover August 14, 2019 at 5:02 pm |

    Can anyone reveal the ending?

  2. Mochi Lover
    Mochi Lover July 5, 2020 at 8:40 am |

    Ok well last summer I took the leap and read the first two volumes and a little bit of the third, so here’s a summary, though I forgot a lot of the details.

    Spoiler!
    .
    .
    .
    Setting is the far future; humans have colonized space. There is ongoing conflict between Alikata (nation of pureblood humans) and the Odin Federation (nation of mutants). Mutants are physically superior, but there’s a huge risk of an abrupt mutation into a deadly, feral beast.
    Story starts out a bit cliche, with FL wandering in a desert with no idea where or who she is. Alikata captures her, as apparently, she was trespassing. A man named Dr. Mu proposes a deal: she can avoid persecution if she agrees to be given in marriage to a duke of the Odin Federation in the place of the real princess of Alikata, Luo Lan. Naturally, she agrees, and assumes the identity of Luo Lan. She arrives there, and is coldly received. She ends up marrying the cold Chen Sha, one of the seven dukes and the head army commander. Their wedding is a debacle, because it’s clear he doesn’t give a crap about her. Completely alone and fearing the exposure of her identity, LL randomly meets a man (I’m totally blanking on the name, I think it’s Qian Xu?) and befriends him. She doesn’t tell QX she’s LL, and on the spot comes up with the name “Luo Xun.” She decides this is her real (secret) name and that “Luo Lan” is merely a facade.
    Years pass, and LL settles in, making friends with some of the dukes and becoming a genetics researcher. Under QX’s tutelage, she gradually improves her physical strength and capabilities. She also falls in love with QX, and builds rapport with Chen Sha, who is slowly (SLOWLY) falling in love with her (I swear CS is the biggest rock). Through the years, she wonders who she truly was before she lost her memories.
    Some stuff happens, and she and QX resolve to run away. QX mutates and is killed; LL is devastated. Some more stuff happens, and Dr. Mu, who is truly Ye Zhi Jie, the prince of Alikata (brother of the true LL), arrives in Odin. He doesn’t immediately expose LL, though he tries to restore her memories. Meanwhile, LL realizes that QX was Yin Nan Zhao, the masked ruler of Odin all along, and he faked his death as QX. YNZ prevents YZJ’s attempts at restoring LL’s memories.
    Eventually, YZJ exposes LL as a fake. She’s taken in for questioning and tortured, though she’s rescued by YNZ. She’s pardoned and granted permanent residency at Odin, and fully drops the name of Luo Lan and lives as Luo Xun. She once again falls in love with YNZ and they eventually become lovers. Chen Sha finally realizes his feelings for her but it’s too late; she loves YNZ. Luo Xun learns that her previous identity was “Long Xin” (an alias), one of the key players in the anti-mutant terrorist groups, which YZJ is also a part of. A traitor begins to act in Odin, triggering first Feng Lin (a duke and LX’s best friend) and then Chen Sha’s mutation. This results in an all out war between the purebloods and the mutants.
    This is the end of Volume II, though I caught a bit from skimming bits of the next two volumes.
    Early in Vol. III, YNZ dies protecting LX, though not before restoring her memories. Turns out she IS the real Luo Lan, who colluded with YZJ to wipe her own memories and infiltrate the Odin Federation. She hates mutants (particularly YNZ) because they were responsible for the death of her family. Luo Lan completely takes over the Luo Xun persona.
    Some more stuff happens. I’m not sure of the details, though by the end, the LL and LX personas have made peace, and LL only wants peace between purebloods and mutants. Somewhere along the way she restores Chen Sha from his mutation and falls in love with him, though he ultimately abandons her for Odin. Unbeknownst to him, she bears his twins, a girl and a boy.
    The ending: LL’s young son meets Chen Sha. CS is shocked, and realizes LL always loved him. Too late, LL is killed by a mutated beast (one of the first dukes of Odin, who hates her). CS and their son can only watch her death on broadcast. CS is left in eternal regret. He agrees to the merging of Alikata and Odin, and their daughter becomes supreme ruler.
    The epilogue made me cry a bit. It happens two hundred or so years after LL’s death. CS is an old, dying man. He devoted himself tirelessly to his children, working to make LL’s dream of peace a reality. Sensing his end, his children tell him he can finally rest. They recreate his and LL’s wedding (LL appears as a hologram). CS dies reaching out to LL, allowing him to rectify his eternal regret.
    Darn. Now I want to finish what I started and finish Vol. III and IV. If I do, I’ll come back and update this summary.

  3. Mochi Lover
    Mochi Lover August 15, 2020 at 7:23 am |

    Guess who’s back after having finished Volumes III and IV?
    Before I start the summary, there’re some minor details I got wrong in my first summary of Vol. I and II. The nation of humans is called Aerdes, not Alikarta. Alikarta is the main planet of the Odin Federation (nation of mutants). Ye Zhi Jie is actually Ye Jie. Whoopsy.
    Anyway, starting off at the beginning of Vol. III. A galaxy-wide war has erupted between Aerdes and Odin, and by extension, between the entire human and mutant races. The traitor within Odin is revealed to be Chu Mo, one of the seven dukes, and his father, Chu Tian Qing. They conspired with Ye Jie to facilitate a war between the humans and mutants by causing Chen Sha’s mutation into a mindless beast. Chen Sha’s beast kills Aerdes’ emperor, consequently, Ye Jie ascends the Aerdes throne, and declares war against Odin and the mutants. Mutants, who were previously discriminated against, are now universally hated and feared by humans.
    Luo Xun and Yin Nan Zhao work to find a cure to restore Chen Sha to his human form. They succeed in taming the beast, but the experimentation leaves the beast rather dumb and unintelligent. YNZ wins the war for Odin at great cost and manages to capture Ye Jie. Ye Jie is severely injured in an assassination attempt and Luo Xun, with no other choice, agrees to a surgery that will save his life, though it will turn him into a mutant. Chu Mo, Chu Tian Qing, and another duke, Zuo Qiu Bai, reveal that YNZ is a clone of the first Odin ruler (TLDR clones are also hated and reviled), ultimately usurping YNZ. YNZ flees with LX, but not before sustaining a mortal wound trying to protect her. As he dies, he restores her memories, and it’s revealed that she actually was Princess Luo Lan, Ye Jie’s cousin and adopted sister, all along. She wiped her own memories to act convincingly as a spy within Odin to seek revenge for her family, who YNZ directly or indirectly caused the deaths of. Having recovered her memories of her hatred, Luo Lan abandons YNZ to his inevitable death and flees their exploding ship.
    Now, the shift from Luo Xun to Luo Lan is extremely jarring. They seem like completely different people; Luo Xun is warm and kind, and Luo Lan and cold, hardened by life, and completely ruthless.
    There’s a timeskip of thirty years. Luo Lan is rescued from a savage, uninhabited planet by an exploring group (her ship crashed there and she was unable to leave). She eventually travels to Qu Yun planet, where she comes across Chen Sha’s beast, now named Xiao Jiao (YNZ sent the beast there to protect him). XJ grows very attached and devoted to LL, acting as her loyal guard and beast. While protecting LL, XJ manages to restore himself to his human form, though he retains none of his memories as Chen Sha. For the next ten years, LL works to come up with medicine that will allow mutant and human genes to safely mix, because she knows Ye Jie is slowly dying from the repercussions of his surgery. XJ, like a child, grows and develops, and falls in love with LL. She eventually returns to Aerdes at Ye Jie’s deathbed behest, bringing along XJ. She cannot save YJ in time and he dies by her side. (This part was way sadder to me than YNZ’s death was.) This marks the end of Vol. III.
    Vol. IV begins with LL ascending the Aerdes throne, becoming the empress. She declares her intentions to conquer Alikarta and restore it to within the Aerdes empire. For the next several years, she prepares the nation for war. For her, XJ joins the Aerdes army. On the eve of her declaration of war, LL and XJ get drunk and have sex. XJ leaves immediately after to join the army in space. LL realizes she’s pregnant and transfers the twin fetuses to an artificial womb. She doesn’t tell XJ about their children, resolving to tell him only after the war is won. Once the children (a girl and a boy) are born, she sends them to a safe haven on Quyun planet to be raised in peace.
    10 years of war pass. LL occasionally visits her children and XJ, and we see her slowly open up and show warmth to others. Thanks to XJ’s military brilliance, Aerdes is surely winning. On the cusp of what seems to be Aerdes’ complete victory, XJ deserts Aerdes and Luo Lan. It’s revealed in a major twist that Xiao Jiao has been Chen Sha all along, having regained his memories 10 years ago, right before the war began (and his and LL’s drunken night). Believing LL to have been engineering a bioweapon against mutants, he acted as a spy for Odin, crippling the Aerdes military at the most crucial moment. He returns to Odin and usurps Chu Mo, becoming the new ruler of Odin. Luo Lan grieves over his abandonment, having realized she’s come to deeply love Xiao Jiao. In one of the most emotional parts of the book, Luo Lan wonders how Chen Sha can love Luo Xun (her past identity) so deeply, yet hurt Luo Lan so cruelly. Luo Lan comes to accept her past, and wholly admits she and Luo Xun are one and the same.
    Furthermore, Chen Sha’s misunderstood LL all along. Chu Mo was engineering a weapon to mutate every human gene, and LL was actively researching to try and stop it. LL truly wishes for mutants and humans live peacefully and equally, and wishes for Odin and Aerdes to merge so that the two races can once again coexist. She succeeds in creating a powerful medicine which will cure sudden mutation and allow for the safe mixing of mutant and human genes. She sends her son as an envoy to convince Chen Sha to surrender the war. Having met their son, Chen Sha learns of Luo Lan’s true wish for peace and resolves to return to her.
    It’s all too late. Chu Mo’s bioweapon causes Luo Lan’s tragic death, which is shown on broadcast. Chen Sha and their son, having met each other for the first time, can only watch. Chen Sha immediately cedes Odin to Aerdes; his and LL’s daughter becomes the new empress. He’s left in eternal regret, never having been able to make it up to Luo Lan for abandoning her. He now lives driven to fulfill her dream of peace, and by her last words sent to him moments before her death: “Chen Sha, you must live well.”
    The epilogue happens 200 years later. The galaxy is at peace; mutants and humans coexist peacefully, thanks to Luo Lan, Chen Sha, and their children’s efforts. Chen Sha is dying of old age and sickness, but still is tenaciously holding on, believing he must still fulfill LL’s dream of a better world. His children, to allow him to peacefully depart, recreate his and Luo Lan’s wedding from hundreds of years ago. Luo Lan appears as a hologram, and his children and his and Luo Lan’s friends act as witnesses. Chen Sha is finally able to tell Luo Lan, even if it is just her image, that he loves her and will always treasure her until death do them part. Chen Sha dies peacefully.
    (Death already did you two part, Chen Sha. Sorry.)
    And that’s a wrap. It’s 4 AM, I just finished the series, and I’ve been bawling for the past three hours straight. It’s been a wild ride, and now that I’ve finally finished reading everything (890k words and all!), I feel that I can safely review and share my overall opinions.
    I must say that 散落星河的记忆 is refreshingly different from her period novels. Disclaimer: I’ve only read Ballad of the Desert, Song in the Clouds, Lost You Forever, and a bit of Once Promised and The Time We can never go back to. I hear only Tong Hua’s period novels are any good, and I’m happy to say Memory Lost in Space disproves that. As per yingniang’s review, this was such a wonderfully addictive read. I find that Tong Hua’s writing has matured greatly. Make no mistake, this isn’t anywhere near real sci-fi; it’s still just Tong Hua romance and angst, so expect convenient coincidences and plenty of plot holes (though it’s not quite as bad as say, Song in the Clouds). Nevertheless, though her writing still holds her characteristic lyrical melancholy, it feels far more subtle and less intensely soapy than her past novels. Song in the Clouds and Once Promised are trainwrecks of tragedy and angst. Memory Lost feels more natural and mature in its portrayal of its characters. That being said, Luo Lan is easily Tong Hua’s best female protagonist. She’s likable enough as Luo Xun, but I fell in love with Luo Lan. Prickly, hardened Luo Lan, who slowly opens her heart to those she’s grown to love. She seems callous at first, but we eventually see just how human she truly is as she struggles with her identity and fights off her demons. When her heart broke, mine did too. Tong Hua put in a lot of love in developing her character, and it really shows.
    Interestingly, there was a lot of something I don’t remember much of in Tong Hua’s earlier works: humor. There were so many random moments of unexpected hilarity when I just bust out laughing. I take this as a sign of Tong Hua’s maturation as a writer. She’s able to develop more nuanced and varied emotional atmospheres than before.
    The male leads: meh. They were honestly pretty boring to me, in part because Luo Lan outshined everyone else. They don’t really hold up to Tong Hua’s other male leads, like Meng Jue (probably because YNZ and CS aren’t as screwed up, yikes). Some of the side characters (the dukes, mainly) were relatively interesting. My major quibble is how inconsequential to the plot a lot of characters ultimately seemed. I just wrote this long summary without feeling the need to include several relatively important characters!
    The worldbuilding: interesting enough for me to be invested in the battle between mutants and humans. Not sure if the resolution of the conflict in the end felt contrived or just right.
    My favorite quote from the book is when Yin Nan Zhao takes Luo Xun to visit a zoo on a planet. Frequented by human tourists, the zoo’s attractions are mutants in cages. Luo Xun can only look on in horror and sadness. “也许终有一天,有些人的美梦不是建立在另一些人的噩梦之上.”
    “Perhaps, there will eventually be a day where someone’s beautiful dream won’t be built atop another’s nightmare.”
    The angst: the sad part for me wasn’t Chen Sha and Luo Lan’s tragic end, or even Yin Nan Zhao and Luo Xun’s tragic end. I cried for Luo Lan when she lost Ye Jie, her only remaining family, and I cried for her children when she died so tragically. The most painful part for me wasn’t the star-crossed love, but Luo Lan’s separation from the family she needed most. What made me bawl in the end was the fact that Luo Lan’s children, like Luo Lan herself, lost their parent so early and so painfully.
    Here’s the translation of a song Luo Lan’s children sing:

    Only when the last rose petal withers and falls
    Will you stop chasing onward and realize you missed the most beautiful blooms
    Only when the last snowflake melts
    Will you stop hating the cold and realize you missed the beauty of winter
    Only upon the tearful departure
    Will you reminisce about the fading memories of bygone years
    Only once you’ve lost something forever
    Will you realize you never treasured it enough

  4. Mochi Lover
    Mochi Lover August 21, 2020 at 1:56 pm |

    WHY IS NO ONE READING THIS NOVEL. PLEASE SOMEONE READ IT SO I CAN DISCUSS IT WITH SOMEONE. PLEASE I IMPLORE YOU. ANYONE!!!!

  5. Mochi Lover
    Mochi Lover August 25, 2020 at 7:01 am |

    Hi are you my savior???? Thank you so much for being here ;_; Also, it was your review that made me start the novel last year! I would never have read it otherwise. So thank you so, so much for your amazing reviews!
    SPOILERS!
    Is it just me who thinks Luo Lan is the female lead Tong Hua loves most? In the other novels that I’ve read, I felt that the female lead always seems to take the backstage in characterization/spotlight while the male lead shines. Like in 云中歌,Yun Ge was boring as all hell compared to Meng Jue, and Tong Hua has even said Yun Ge was “created” for her YZG male leads! Memory Lost, on the other hand, feels like Luo Lan’s story, and only Luo Lan’s story. It’s as if Tong Hua built this story for her, and only for her. Yin Nan Zhao and Chen Sha who? They honestly all felt like props to complete Luo Lan’s character arc, ha. Oh, Luo Lan. She’s so prickly and yet I still love her lol. On that note, though some side characters were interesting, they generally felt pretty pointless. Like what was the point of Feng Lin’s daughter, Ah Sheng, and even Zi Yan, plot-wise? What was the point of revealing that Zuo Qiu Bai could’ve been a caring father if he still killed his daughter’s savior anyway? All in all, I feel like Tong Hua produced just one amazing character (probably her best ever character) in Memory Lost, and that’s it. Anyway, what do you think when you compare Memory Lost to past Tong Hua works you’ve read?
    Also, I was so freaking shook when Chen Sha betrayed her in book 4. Like hot damn our girl could never catch a break. I literally felt my heart break when she broke down and asked, “Why do you all love Luo Xun yet hurt me so badly?” Are there any other specific scenes that stuck with you?

  6. Mochi Lover
    Mochi Lover August 28, 2020 at 7:31 am |

    Oh my gosh thank you for translating these scenes; I always live for your excerpts! Reading your translations makes me vividly recall the events of book 1 and 2 which I’d mostly forgotten, ha. Also, prepare to love Luo Lan even more as you finish books 3 and 4 :D.
    I also can’t help being a YNZ shipper. In the end, he understood Luo Lan the best, but their circumstances were just too tragic. The shocking truth was that if YNZ had never existed (if he’d never caused the deaths of most of her family), Luo Lan would’ve never become the hardened and ruthless Long Xin–she would’ve remained kind and considerate, just like Luo Xun. It’s frankly pretty messed up even for Tong Hua, ha. Ultimately, the two felt like soulmates that just weren’t fated to be. It’s a bittersweet conundrum that Luo Lan, through losing her memories of her hatred, was able to join with her other half, even if only for a short time. It all culminated in something very poetic and melancholy: YNZ had inadvertently put her through so much suffering in her childhood, yet he’d also given her her happiest memories as Luo Xun.
    Your book 2 ch. 5 translation makes me think that Chen Sha just never learned to stop eating his own foot, did he? His life in the end was really just a series of regrets :/.
    I’ve actually also started translating the first chapters for funsies—do you have any recommendation as to where I should post?
    And yes, I have read and enjoyed koala’s translation of Lost You Forever! I’ve been meaning to start reading it in Chinese for the longest time but have just been too lazy lol. I think Once Promised and Lost You Forever are easily the best of Tong Hua’s world-building (though I’ve only read some of the first). The pre-historic world feels so wonderfully vivid and mystical.
    My first Tong Hua books were koala’s translations of Ballad of the Desert and Song in the Clouds. The latter was such a train wreck of tragedy but it inspired me to start reading in Chinese and damn the prose was so gorgeous and lyrical. To date, among all the Tong Hua books I’ve read, I find Song in the Clouds to have the most robust and well-developed roster of characters. I feel like a pleb for not having read 步步惊心, ha. I’m just a bit terrified of taking on another book of a similar caliber of angst as Song in the Clouds and Once Promised.
    As for Tong Hua’s modern novels…I’m a bit hesitant to try them. It’s already hard enough at some points to suspend disbelief with the ancient/mystical settings, so I get the feeling that many of the tropes Tong Hua likes to use will really fall through for me in her modern novels.
    Also, do you have recommendations for other authors/novels?

  7. Mochi Lover
    Mochi Lover August 30, 2020 at 6:23 am |

    Kerjbgkesbsv YES please contact me! “Terribad” is now an official part of my vocab, so thank you for that laugh.
    Also I wish there were more Ye Jie scenes! It’s almost funny how much his character as we perceive him changes throughout the books. Random doctor->terrorist leader->creepy weird prince->LX’s ex->no it’s her brother??? It’s been so interesting rereading scenes with him, knowing how much he treasures LL.
    Translating is slow, and also weird; reading isn’t a pain since I can recognize most of the words, but it really catches up when I try to convey all of Tong Hua’s meaning in my translation. I’m always caught between staying as true as possible to Tong Hua’s diction and taking liberties to preserve the overall tone. Another thing is how idioms can pack so much meaning into just four characters—that isn’t always possible in English.
    Also, don’t touch the drama adaptation of 云中歌 with a ten-foot pole. I watched only a bit, and I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s bad, terribad. The acting feels stiff and lifeless, and everything’s just so disappointing. Honestly, I don’t know what I expected—I’ve never enjoyed any of Angelababy’s work.
    Man, I don’t even know how Memory Lost could ever be a drama, it’d be such a huge undertaking. I’m not very caught up with dramas (please rec some!), so I can’t think of a good lead, though I definitely agree that expectations for Luo Lan’s potential actress would be extremely high. Who do you have in mind for the leads?
    Thank you for the book recs, though now it looks like BBJX is next on my list. I’ve been considering picking up 东宫 and 殇璃 because I hear they’re classic tragedies. Just on a whim I read the last chapter of 殇璃, without having read any of the rest of it, and boy was I leaking some tears. I’ve also heard recs for 犹记惊鸿照影—I’ve read a chapter-ish and it seems intriguing (plot feels a bit similar to Dong Gong), but the prose is a bit too advanced for me. I also read your review for The Wind Goes several days ago and needless to say I’m really intrigued! I enjoyed The Youthful You though the court/interrogation process in the final chapters completely lost me (I liked the movie ending better). Looks like I’m also going to have to dive into Xin Yi Wu, her books seem so melancholy.
    Reading your reviews and translations are always a treat, you’re doing god’s work by letting us know your thoughts and recommendations.

  8. Victoria Xu
    Victoria Xu August 30, 2020 at 7:39 pm |

    I’m currently translating book 1 chapter 5 and dear god, I’d forgotten how much of an asshole Chen Sha first was to Luo Lan. Like lord I am getting so mad on her behalf. When he abandons her at the remotely located orphanage because she was late by less than a minute??? Makes Luo Lan’s mean behavior towards Xiao Jiao in book 3 feel COMPLETELY justified. Luo Lan was probably getting her revenge by being so cold to him–she was literally serving him his own medicine! You can suck it Chen Sha. SUCK IT

  9. dramasbooksandtea
    dramasbooksandtea September 3, 2020 at 7:11 pm |

    @yingniang

    Hello there!! I haven’t “seen” you in ages!! This is slightly out of topic because I, admittedly, have not been able to bring myself to read any of Tong Hua’s modern novels (I took way too long to recover from the tragic sobfest that was Once Promised, and I’ve developed a ‘phobia’ of BE novels ever since (although I am able to take time from time to time)). I saw that you mentioned that you are sold at the mention of tears (??) and I just had to jump in – have you read White Olive Tree by Jiu Yue Xi? I’ve heard such, such great things about it but I haven’t dared to touch it because I heard that it has such a sad, sad ending and I’m looking for people to jump into the fire first :p

    @ Mochi Lover / Victoria Xu

    What can I say but WELCOME TO THE CLUB!!! I’m terribly excited to read your translations so all the best! I’ve done my fair share of snail-paced translations, and I believe all translators experience the same struggle you go through – whether to remain faithful to the diction, or to try and convey the overall mood / tone of the novel, and ultimately I think for The Youthful You Who Was So Beautiful I veered towards being faithful to the spirit (because the translated diction can be reallllly clunky at times).

    And I cannot recommend Once Promised enough! It is a total must for all who love to read novels with sad endings – ultimate sobfest, I don’t think I’ve seen a “romance” novel where all the key / main characters just… drop like flies. Also, it’s really interesting that you brought 犹记惊鸿照影 – I’ve read the only other novel penned by 风凝雪舞 (being 亦筝笙), and I also cannot recommend that novel highly enough. I haven’t brought myself to read 犹记惊鸿照影 though, but it is definitely on my to-read list.

  10. Victoria Xu
    Victoria Xu September 4, 2020 at 5:32 am |

    @yingniang
    I don’t think I’ve received a contributor invite (that would be the greatest honor lol), but just for clarification, who did you submit your draft/work to? And oh, it’s been taking HOURS to finish a chapter, but I’ve just been trying to pump out as much content as possible because my classes start soon. Once they start, I will have no free time left ☹. Still will try to translate during the term, but my turnout will definitely be much, much slower.
    Also, as for Chen Sha’s actor…Wallace Chung pops into mind, because I know he’s played in military-men roles before. I was browsing through some of the rising actors and Li Xian certainly looks the part! Not sure how his acting is, but if he can pull off the “I am a rock” feel I’m sure he’ll nail it. (Oops, is my current annoyance at Chen Sha seeping through?) As for casting Luo Lan—I’m always biased towards Liu Shi Shi. Objectively, I’m not sure if she’s the best for the role, but I think her acting’s good enough.
    I hope you post when you finish the series, as I would love to hear your thoughts/reactions to the ending!!
    @dramabooksandtea
    Thank you for the warm welcome!!! 😀
    I read your The Youthful You translation a few years back and loved it! Before Better Days was released and we watched it I made my friends read it hehe. But it would be an honor for you to read my translation, since your own translations helped introduce me to the world of Chinese novels.
    As for getting my translation out there…I’m trying to get a WordPress blog up and running but boy is it a struggle to figure out. Maybe I’m just technologically challenged?
    Thank you also for the 亦筝笙recommendation—is it HE or BE? Looks like it’s set in a non-ancient historical setting.

  11. Victoria Xu
    Victoria Xu September 5, 2020 at 1:51 pm |

    oh my goodness yingniang you’re a genius I literally envisioned some of the characters in their respective colors and I still didn’t notice!! And isn’t 辰砂 the Chinese name for cinnabar? The scarlet-colored mineral? Yingniang you’re a genius (or I’m just oblivious HAHAHAHA)!
    Also, I agree 100% on the brothers and the clone backstory. In the chapter when Luo Lan and Chu Mo finally meet as heads of warring nations and the narration goes “they were sworn enemies” I just remember thinking, “Really?” So many smaller plots, characters, relationships, and details never felt properly utilized or fleshed out. Like what was the point of Feng Lin’s daughter as a character? She literally had no real influence on the plot besides helping Luo Lan rescue Zi Yan’s foster daughter (who’s also pretty inconsequential, as terrible as her life was)…and giving Luo Lan the death gun?
    As for Zi Yan, I’m racing through a reread of book 1 and you’re totally right—he’s more present throughout the entire novel than either of the two male leads! Wtf??? Why did Tong Hua do him so dirty and never fully develop his backstory or character? He’s there for what feels like every step of Luo Lan’s journey…yet he still somehow takes a backseat every single time. Rip Zi Yan.
    This really makes me agree that Lost You Forever is Tong Hua’s best work. Every character felt like they served some kind of function? Maybe Xiang Liu’s epilogue is making me biased lol. Also, every single character in Song in the Clouds (except the female lead…go figure) was so vivid too. In Memory Lost, it’s as if Tong Hua poured her heart and soul into developing Luo Lan and just didn’t have any muster left to work on the rest. Though Memory Lost will always be well-loved in my fickle heart simply because Luo Lan is the best character for me period haha.
    Also, which hologram scene? I’m so curious :O
    I can only very vaguely remember, at the end of book 2, a princess substitute getting executed on broadcast or something …I can’t think of anything else. But if I had to guess it was for incendiary purposes.

Leave a Reply