Review: The Earth is Online

Date 2019-03-31
Language Chinese
Media Novel
Original Title 地球上线
Author Mo Chen Huan (莫晨欢)
Original Status Complete
Translation Status Complete
Romance? M/M

This book is very violent with an absolutely massive body count, including the deaths of young teens. Some of these deaths are fairly gory in concept, but it's not described in graphic detail.



  • Competence kink, featuring a power couple with a strong tacit understanding of each other.
  • Really creative and bizarre puzzles to be solved
  • Strong, well-developed supporting cast


  • Bai Ruoyao is *so* obnoxious, he deserves to have a swan mailed to him in a box.

This book is pure adventurous crack on wheels, taking the "Real People in Video Games" genre and turning it on its head. The premise of the book is that one day, a ton of illusory black towers appeared out of nowhere all over the world. Then one day, the earth came "online" and players were thrust into a very cut-throat and violent survival/tower attack game. In this new game world, fairy tale/children's storybook characters like Cinderella and Santa Clause are terrifying bosses who throw difficult puzzles and tricky game scenarios at players.

The protagonist of the novel is a very clever librarian named Tang Mo, and his love interest is an equally intelligent military special-ops guy named Fu Wenduo. The main focus of the novel is survival and puzzle-solving, so this is a very subdued slow-burn of a romance, featuring two characters who already know that they're gay. Both characters are smart as hell and very capable in combat, although obviously Fu Wenduo has more experience fighting. The main draw to their relationship is how well this understanding they've cultivated between them, such that very few words are needed for them to know what the other is thinking.

Other fantastic points about the book are the supporting characters. Chen Shanshan is pretty much my favorite character archetype, having gained extra reasoning powers at the expensive of her physical prowess. Mu Huixue is unbelievably cool, and she has one of the most compelling and tragic backstories of the bunch. You find yourself getting very invested in the large cast.