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Worm by Wildbow

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Rated 8.76 out of 10 Statistics

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Genre: Superhero / Crime

Audience: Teen, Young Adult, Adult

Updated: Every Few Days

Content Advisory

Occasional Sexual Content

Frequent Coarse Language

Frequent Violence

Statistics

Overall Rating: 8.761

Average Rating: 9.87 (Guests), 9.05 (Members)

Ranking: #1

Rating Count: 343 (299 Guests, 44 members)

1 indicates a weighted rating.

"A hero whose only allies are villains"

Rating: 9 / 10

When Taylor Hebert, bullied teenager, gets a superpower that gives her unparalleled command over all the creepy-crawly creatures of the world -- insects, spiders, worms, crabs -- she knows exactly what she wants to do: she wants to be a hero. She wants to help people, rescue people, stop criminals -- the opposite of the bullies at school who make her life a torment. She spends a few months getting a handle on her power, doing some physical training, making a spider-silk suit of armor, and then one night she ventures forth to do good.

Where she ends up in a fight against a physical powerhouse of a superpowered gang leader with enhanced senses, enhanced strength, and the ability to generate fire out of thin air. And then is rescued by a second gang of supervillains ... who assume that she is a supervillain herself. And things only go further wrong from there as Taylor makes a series of hard calls in harder and harder situations, trying to help people in a world which doesn't appreciate her help.

The universe of Worm is quite dark -- villains greatly outnumber heroes, giant monsters regularly attack major cities, and no Comic Code or Hays Code protects the innocent from being subjected to death or worse -- but it is not a place that will go gentle into that good night ... and by god the writing is a thrill-ride.

Wildbow, the author, is one of the most creative inventors of superpowered fiction that you will ever encounter. The number of superheroes and supervillains one encounters over the course of the story easily extends into the hundreds, and every single one -- from the tiniest bit part character to the most prominent of pro- and antagonists -- has their own affiliations, personalities, and unique superpowers. More critically, the encounters between these superpowered individuals play out with all the energy and chaos of the greatest fight scenes in any medium -- and Taylor, as protagonist, is the greatest source of energy, chaos, and sheer fiendish ingenuity of them all.

The storytelling is not without its flaws -- for example, physical description of the characters is served out by the teaspoon and rarely reiterated -- but if superhero fiction is of any interest to you, if the epic struggle of flawed mortals to overcome adversity holds any attraction to you, Worm is a series that delivers.

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"You won't be able to sleep.. You'll be too busy reading!"

Rating: 10 / 10

Worm is a story about making hard chices, trying to do the right thing, and dealing with the consequences. Wheb Taylor gets superpowers, she thinks she'll get a heroic escape from her normal life. Instead she gets mistaken for a villain! When Taylor goes undercover to discover the mysterious backer of a local super powered gang, she becomes friends with them and learns disturbing secrets about the so called heroes. And Taylor begins to wonder if turning on her friends is really the right choice.

I really love this story. There are nuanced protagonists and antagonists, mysteries, plot twists, and most importantly really really good writing. However, Worm is obviously a work in progress. For instance, the author has stated that zie wants to make changes to the work (changing the beginning to better fit the tone of the rest of the story, re order events so that they fit a novel format rather than a chapter arc format, and re ordering the echidna arc to not have a two chapter long fight scene), but zie will not have time to do that until the story is over. The other big warning that I have to new readers is that Worm is dark, scary, and disturbing. Wildbow was a horror writer before this and it shows. I love it, but Worm is not for everyone.

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"Not your average super hero story"

Rating: 8 / 10

From the start, Worm is not your typical super hero story.

The main protagonist, is a socially awkward teenage girl living with her single father.

The first villain we meet is out to kill children and the hero that stops him doesn't initially seem to be much nicer.

Watch as Taylor learns and grows, struggling with her desire to be a hero and the world's perception of her as a villain, all while keeping the whole shebang a secret from her friends and family.

Worm spans almost 1,700,000 words and is a true joy to read. It's a fresh take on the majority of the standard fare you've come to expect out of the superhero genre.

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"Classic"

Rating: 9 / 10

Worm is becoming a classic of the prose grimdark superhero genre. That's not that large a category (though it contains other great fiction like the Reckoners trilogy), but the size of the category does not diminish Worm's accomplishment. Let's go through some of the reasons Worm is a classic in the making, shall we? Structural Innovations: As far as I can tell, Worm originated the Arc/Interlude format for web serials. If that doesn't make it a classic, what does? Setting: The setting has incredible depth. Many of the normal superhero tropes are carefully justified within the setting, and the powers themselves are well thought out and varied. Prose Quality: The writing has very good spelling and grammar. It is also just engaging o read on a sentence by sentence basis. One nitpick: the author sometimes overuses certain words that are rare in real life. Plot: The plot constantly escalates in danger in scope. If you like stories that become epic, Worm is one to go for. However, some parts drag out the action to the point where it can be hard to push through. Character Development: Character development in the Interludes is fantastic. Sadly, it doesn't always translate to the main story. If you are at all interested in superhero fiction, you've probably checked Worm out already. If you haven't, you will.

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