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An introverted teenage girl with an unconventional superpower, Taylor goes out in costume to find escape from a deeply unhappy and frustrated civilian life Her first attempt at taking down a supervillain sees her mistaken for one, thrusting her into the midst of the local cape scene s politics, unwritten rules, and ambiguous morals As she risks life and limb, Taylor faces the dilemma of having to do the wrong things for the right reasonsThe story, titled Worm, takes the form of a web serial, posted in bite sized reads in much the same way that authors such as Mark Twain would release their works one chapter at a time in the days before full fledged novels Worm started in June , updating twice a week, and finished in late November,It totals roughly ,, words roughlytypical novels in length or very thick novels Where do I begin.This is my all time favourite novel if you can call it a novel The characters are so well constructed that my brain finds the concept of them not being real people weirder than the notion of them becoming real Worm is what all other superhero fictions should aspire to be, and other genres could learn a lot, too It s rife with moral ambiguity and difficult decisions The characters are very three dimensional, and the protagonist, a young girl named Taylor, is one of my all t Where do I begin.This is my all time favourite novel if you can call it a novel The characters are so well constructed that my brain finds the concept of them not being real people weirder than the notion of them becoming real Worm is what all other superhero fictions should aspire to be, and other genres could learn a lot, too It s rife with moral ambiguity and difficult decisions The characters are very three dimensional, and the protagonist, a young girl named Taylor, is one of my all time favourite characters She uses a mediocre superpower with an anything but mediocre level of cleverness to, as the popular tag line says, do the wrong things for the right reasons She s active and internally driven, which makes for a very exciting story Occasionally, chapters will be from other PoVs, and by and large these are great too.Other strengths Countless strong, fleshed out female characters Other social issues are also handled well The proportion of gay, asexual, bisexual, etc characters also matches that of the real world This also goes for race and mental disability less so for physical disability, but this is explained in canon He manages to strike the right balance between no big deal at all and character is defined by overcoming adversary , similar to how one dwarf said that George R R Martin wrote Tyrion Lannister Nobody is invincible, except those with invincibility powers During one of the arcs, a battle occurs, and the author supposedly rolled dice to determine who survived The fight scenes are great The powers he comes up with are unique and creative The way characters use their own powers evenso You ll never be able to watch The Incredibles again without facepalming at how little Frozone exploited his power, for example It s dark, but not too dark The explanation for where powers come from is the most plausible one I ve ever encountered If the author had a power, it would be avoiding plot holes Wildbow is excellent at not writing himself into corners, and in writing himself out of corners Anything that seems like a plothole at first, like those Why didn t they just questions, gets addressed There is always a reason they Didn t just do something Amazing world building This skill is also seen in Wildbow s second web serial, Pact I am not a very emotional man, but this story has some bits that really moved me.Weaknesses There s a time skip 2 3 of the way through This is confirmed to be something that gets fleshed out when Worm gets edited, but until then it s a bit frustrating It can be a bit slow to start Some people only start loving it around arc 8 At times you can see the support beams of story structure Occasionally antagonists emerge and you know they ll be around a while because it s obvious that a lot of plot is being set up Not for the weak stomached Some seriously fucked up things happen in this Worse than Game of Thrones level fucked up This book was 1.7 million words long, it took me 13 days to read, during which time I pretty much didn t put my laptop down For those of you unsure, that is long, that s almost 1 2 of The Wheel of Time series, or all of ASOIAF, including Dance with Dragons.In just under 2 weeks, that should tell you just how into this I got In fact, when not if, when he gets a decent editor and publishes this as a set, I will buy it, and I will most likely read it again Not sure if that s going to be any ti This book was 1.7 million words long, it took me 13 days to read, during which time I pretty much didn t put my laptop down For those of you unsure, that is long, that s almost 1 2 of The Wheel of Time series, or all of ASOIAF, including Dance with Dragons.In just under 2 weeks, that should tell you just how into this I got In fact, when not if, when he gets a decent editor and publishes this as a set, I will buy it, and I will most likely read it again Not sure if that s going to be any time soon though, as he s now working on a second book, Pact The fact I can t just pick it up and read the next chapter now is absolutely destroying me.I read this almost directly after Steelheart, and the two did not compare at all This is the book Steelheart should have been.Spoilers from here on out, I warned you If you have not finished it do not read on, I swear to God, even if you don t think you will read it, just don t.Ok.Promise me you ve finished it.Done Good, let s talk view spoiler The book as a whole, is basically Taylors life, from her coming into her powers and setting out into the world, to her eventual death as she saves it That interlude at the end with her and her mother No I refuse to believe that is canon and I m pretty sure that s just the authors sudden inability to let go of a character he s been nurturing for over two years For me It ended there on that last chapter, and I was ok with that She went out with a hell of a bang, and that s nothing to be ashamed of.Yeah the first few chapters were rough, but when you consider that this was his first book, it s absolutely amazing Once it gets moving the action never really lets up, and at times it felt a lot like a game, always rising in power and intensity, with the main characters fighting just to keep on a level with everything around them.That said, it wasn t always in a good way, it felt most apparent in the way the Nine were the ultimate bosses at one point, but then they came back later as barelythan trash mobs Granted they re neutered versions of the originals, but still.One thing I did like was that despite all of the people vying for attention around her, Taylor managed to stay the main character throughout In so many books the main character is merely a catalyst for the events around them, and she was, but she was never overshadowed or outdone by others, in the end it was still truly her story.And man was there was a huge list of characters, after a while I stopped trying to track them, if someone big was mentioned then I Googled it and looked them up on the wiki I liked that though, the many characters, it made the world feel solid, and the way they were handled through interludes meant that their histories and viewpoints could come through without of intruding on Taylor s Characters like Assault and Battery, they were minor characters at best but their backstory was pretty sweet and meant they weren t just names by the time he killed them off.I never entirely understood the bits with the space beings, but I think that may be intentional, they were alien after all I mean, I got the broad picture, I think, but, yeah On the same note, the extra endbringers seemed a bit, um, unnecessary and not as memorable as the first ones The backstory with Trickster and his lot was pretty awesome though At times I wanted to just skip them and carry on with the action though.Overall, I ll addto this later, but I think it was one of the better things I read in 2013, and I m looking forward to what he comes out with for Pact hide spoiler Worm Table of Contents official summary TvTropes Reddit post interview is addictive superhero SF posing as fantasy it is long, of consistently high quality, and features a huge amount of imaginative powers with equally imaginative applications the setting excellently rationali Worm Table of Contents official summary TvTropes Reddit post interview is addictive superhero SF posing as fantasy it is long, of consistently high quality, and features a huge amount of imaginative powers with equally imaginative applications combos the protagonist usage of bugs, as impressive as it is, is only one of many possible examples, although I particularly like the Regent Shadow Stalker incident as an example of social engineering hacking the setting excellently rationalizes the standard superheroes vs supervillains setup which as often observed, makes little sense prima facie The series opens in the smallest possible setting, the geeky introverted protagonist Taylor being bullied in school, steps logically towards a life of crime as a supervillain while trying to do the right thing and being manipulated by multiple parties, some prescient and slowly expands to multiversal scope with an appropriately epic bittersweet ending Reminds me of Watchmen Or to borrow from the official summary An introverted teenage girl with an unconventional superpower, Taylor goes out in costume to find escape from a deeply unhappy and frustrated civilian life Her first attempt at taking down a supervillain sees her mistaken for one, thrusting her into the midst of the local cape scene s politics, unwritten rules, and ambiguous morals As she risks life and limb, Taylor faces the dilemma of having to do the wrong things for the right reasonsReaders should be cautioned that Worm is fairly dark as fiction goes, and it gets far darker as the story progresses Morality isn t black and white, Taylor and her acquaintances aren t invincible, the heroes aren t winning the war between right and wrong, and superpowers haven t necessarily affected society for the better Just the opposite on every count, really Even on afundamental level, Taylor s day to day life is unhappy, with her clinging to the end of her rope from the story s outset The denizens of the Wormverse as readers have termed it don t pull punches, and I try to avoid doing so myself, as a writer There s graphic language, descriptions of violence and sex does happen albeit offscreen.I recommend reading single arcs at a time calling the whole thing Worm is a bit of a misnomer, it d make muchsense to group a few arcs and call them individual novels in the Worm Saga or something Length wise, it s upwards of a million words, and according to my arbtt logs using the rule current window title Worm Iceweasel tag Worm , took me 37 hours 42 minutes over 5 days to read.The work is not perfect The opening is perhaps too slow the first fight with Lung, which hooked me, took a while to happen as it only really starts in ch4 In the middle, I suspect there was perhaps too much material devoted to the Slaughterhouse Nine arc and not enough to later plot arcs like Taylor joining the heroes or dealing with later Endbringers Further, there s so many characters that a binge read is a good idea, but during a binge, the fights can blur together and become exhausting, suggesting Worm may spend too much time on that Some good parts, like characters having reasons to be bad, are taken to an extreme where it seems like every character, no matter how mundane, must have a backstory explaining how their environment society made them evil even for characters like Emma where such a cause is unnecessary But the flaws are relatively small and hopefully will be addressed in the editing process I look forward to reading Wildbow s Pact when it finished, and I think I ll check out some of the fanfics like Cenotaph.I read Worm after it was finished and I continued to see positive reviews of it, such as Eliezer Yudkowsky I commend to youthe just completed story Worm, which is roughly 1.75 million words in 30 volumes The characters in Worm use their powers so intelligently I didn t even notice until something like the 10th volume that the alleged geniuses were behaving like actual geniuses and that the flying bricks who would be the primary protagonists and villains of lesser tales were properly playing second fiddle to characters with cognitive, informational, or probability based powersDoing this so smoothly that I don t even notice because my brain considers the resulting world to be normal really ought to deserve some kind of epic bonus points.There are stories which are better than Worm, and stories which were written faster than Worm, but I don t know of any epic which was ever written faster and better than Worm.Other reviews include Joshua Blaine a self consistent and expansive Super hero universe, and with a ton of unique and powerful abilities, I ve really been enjoying it The story is Worm, and It s easily one of my favorite web stories in awhile, and very dark especially as the story progresses further.iDante I ve been reading this awesome web serial called Worm Highly recommend if you want some action and suspense There s a bit of rationality business in there as well, but it s spaced out and the story is long I see it s been recommended previously on here as well.Vaniver Caveat Worm is really dark The characters are clever, the protagonist makes the most out of a superpower that seems mediocre at first glance, and there are enough twists and turns that I would look at the clock and realize that I d been reading for six hours Worm is really long, so if you re the sort of person who has to keep reading fiction be warned that it will eat a week or two But, despite those positives, terrible things happen to everyone always I found it similar to Game of Thrones in that it was engaging but depressing, and unlike GoT where new characters are introduced, dance about, and then die, in Worm there s a clear protagonist who, as far as I can tell, always wins eventually I also found the superhero fight sequences less engaging as time went on but they can be skimmed with little loss.and Ritalin Indeed Although, frankly, what I ve seen of Worm so far seems to designate it as very similar to my idea of Hell every accomplishment is either made moot or cost something irreplaceable and possibly of superior value, every victory is short lived, every mistake is paid for dearly Every situation is desperate, every problem urgent By the time a conflict reaches its resolution, another is at its peak, and twoare right around the corner Perhaps it s even worse hardship, instead of building character, corrupts it For the characters, it must be like a nightmare they can t wake up from Finally I can finally sleep That s the trouble when you re reading a book this engrossing that insists on ending almost every chapter with a cliffhanger.I originally wrote a quite short review, but at 1.7 million words I think Worm deserves a biteffort on my behalf Review contains spoilers for the first 4 chapters of the 300 or so chapter story.Worm follows the story of Taylor, a teenage girl who has recently lost her mother and is suddenly finding herself bullied in school Stick with Finally I can finally sleep That s the trouble when you re reading a book this engrossing that insists on ending almost every chapter with a cliffhanger.I originally wrote a quite short review, but at 1.7 million words I think Worm deserves a biteffort on my behalf Review contains spoilers for the first 4 chapters of the 300 or so chapter story.Worm follows the story of Taylor, a teenage girl who has recently lost her mother and is suddenly finding herself bullied in school Stick with me here.Taylor knows that she could easily torment the bullies back because she is one of the minority who have developed super powers over the last few decades Taylor s power is to control bugs, not the most heroic or effective of abilities right Despite this all she keeps a small notepad meticulously planning the day when she can become a true hero like her idol, the great Alexandria Founding member of the Protectorate, able to stand up to the fearsome Endbringers and all around beacon of hope Action figure available from all good retailers.After a particuarly bad day at school she realises that she has been planning her debut for far too long Armed with a bottle of pepper spray, a costume painstakingly woven out of spider silk and a handful of cockroaches she sets out to patrol Brockton Bay s Docks area and face its nests of murderous, super villain led gangs.Needless to say this doesn t go well After being taken in by some friendly faces who mistake her for another villain she starts to realise that maybe the heroes aren t so heroic, not all villains are evil and perhaps everyone has their own motives.The action escalates continually but smartly I ve read books where the main character just gets things piled on and piled on until their enemies are practically fighting themselves Worm simply raises the scale and stakes after each battle Every victory has a downside, every loss has a silver lining Several times throughout I found myself wondering how Taylor and the Undersiders had the slightest chance of prevailing The powers are amongst the most imaginative I ve seen and the point is made that a cunning and practiced person can dowith a weak power than a person coasting along on what they ve been given With a power like bug manipulation you wouldn t expect Taylor to be a particularly effective superpowered cape and yet this is definitely her story rather than the story of her watching other capes duke it out.Extra background is given throughout with interlude chapters which are narrated from a different character s perception They can be about an event we ve just read about from a different angle, something Taylor didn t get to see or even the origin stories and early days of other capes finding their powers I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with enough time, you re not going to be able stop reading half way through I would however also warn readers to think if they really want to see the eventual aftermath It s hard to improve on the ending and the final interlude feels to me like an idea that happened half way through the story and had to be crammed in somewhere.Oh, and the name Taylor picks I keep groaning at that pun