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BL Novel Recommendations

49

Little Mushroom

Title: Little Mushroom

 

Synopsis

 

 

"Until the day humanity falls."

 

In the year 2020, Earth's magnetic poles disappeared and humankind was nearly wiped out by cosmic radiation. Within the span of a hundred years, living creatures began to mutate and devour each other while the remaining humans, numbering in the tens of thousands, struggled bitterly in their man-made bases.

 

In the Abyss, home to the mutated xenogenics, there lived a sentient little mushroom. Because it had been nourished by the blood and flesh of the deceased human An Ze, not only did it take on a similar-looking human form, but a similar name as well: An Zhe.

 

An Zhe is determined to go to the human base to search for his spore, which had been harvested by humans. Once there, however, he faces the omnipresent risk of discovery and certain death as he tries to keep his non-human nature hidden from the Judges, whose responsibility is to inspect for and eliminate xenogenics like himself. And of all the Judges, Colonel Lu Feng is the most perceptive and merciless—as soon as he determines that someone is a xenogenic, he will execute that person on the spot.

 

But An Zhe's mutation goes undetected by Lu Feng's eyes, and so a tale of humans and xenogenics unfolds...

 

Silver Award winner at the 12th Chinese Nebula Awards for Chinese Science Fiction.

 

 

What I think

 

 

What more can I say than this novel has swiftly climbed to the top of my favorite Chinese novels list?

 

I wholeheartedly recommend it. This story will move you to tears, bring laughter, and provoke deep reflections on life's transience and delicacy. 'The Little Mushroom' takes us on a journey, exploring the essence of humanity.

 

The main character, a little mushroom, might be new to the human world, yet he's far from foolish. Naïve, certainly, due to his short time as a human, but his quick learning and adaptation are remarkable. He views himself as a mere observer of human struggles, unaware of how his own actions exhibit more humanity than he credits himself for. His relationship with the male lead (ML) evolves beautifully from fear to love, capturing a spectrum of emotions that's compelling to follow.

 

The ML stands out as one of the most well-developed characters I've encountered. Strong, yet he adheres to his beliefs and principles even when they clash with his feelings for the MC. His clarity and self-awareness without excessive internal conflict reveal his true strength. As a Judge, his role involves life-and-death decisions, and his mental fortitude is a beacon of sanity amid constant moral dilemmas, questioning the extents one would go to preserve humanity and what it truly means to be human.

 

What I appreciate most about this novel is its portrayal of human kindness and generosity in a post-apocalyptic setting, contrasting the often depicted selfish survival instinct. There's sadness and loss, yet there's also a prevailing sense of hope.

 

While the novel might appear short compared to others, its rich content ensures no feeling of haste or emptiness. However, I do wish there were more 'Extras' – I still find myself missing the characters long after the conclusion.

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