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Complete Pact by Wildbow - Original Fiction

Discussion in 'Original Fiction' started by Oz, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. esran

    esran Professor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2013
    Messages:
    456
    I agree that the epilogue would work excellently as a stand alone.
     
  2. theronin

    theronin Order Member

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    Jan 17, 2013
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    Amazing what committing to 5-6k words twice a week will do if you can keep it up.
     
  3. Chime

    Chime Dark Lord

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
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    1,951
    Pretty much, you can easily manage 1k words a day even while managing tons of other responsibilities. Though, you have to stay dedicated and write effeciently with your time - both things are rough.

    Does Pact get much better? I read the early parts when it started and it failed to keep me interested enough to follow updates. I get the ending's worth reading, so I'll get to it, but how's the rest of the story compared to the first half? Better? Worse? Same?
     
  4. Bramastra

    Bramastra Groundskeeper

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    380
    Location:
    a rip in time and space
    This is basically me
     
  5. Idiot Rocker

    Idiot Rocker Auror

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Messages:
    634
    Certain arcs are really good, but the entire story as a whole is a little bit difficult to stay interested in.

    Unlike with Worm, I wasn't really surprised by any of the plot twists that occurred in the last third. Everything felt a touch bland - other than certain characters anyway. There were also a few things which repeated from Worm (off-screen character death for one), but not necessarily in the same way or with the same gravity. Part of this feeling may come from a lack of investment in the majority of the characters.

    Wildbow summed it up best. To paraphrase, Pact wasn't great but it wasn't terrible.

    In my opinion it served as a decent time killer for the wee hours of the morning, but it isn't something I'll tell my friends about like with Worm.
     
  6. fire

    fire High Inquisitor

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    517
    Good, but not excellent, as Wildbow himself thinks. The comparisons with Worm are inevitable, and naturally it falls short - but objectively speaking, it isn't as good either.

    The characters were solid (but not compelling); the plot was interesting (but not as exciting as Worm's); the idea of the fearsome otherworldy threat of demons was well-presented (but again, it's somewhat cursory and does not do what Worm did for the superhero genre).

    4/5, with the story only really achieving excellent in parts (the Arrest; the Abyss).

    Edit: Thanks for moving the post.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  7. Chime

    Chime Dark Lord

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,951
    Finally got around to finishing this...

    I felt a lot of the characters were left to the wayside until the final act. The majority of the story is Blake doing his best to not get killed. The first half of the story is very challenging to read because Rose isn't likable and Blake is not driven enough. The most interesting character is definitely Maggie, until Null comes around. But Null subverts the always-fun "developing practitioner" story that was being told, too, and this should be cited as a negative since Pact's biggest draw is its magic. Plus, Null happened at a point where Blake was finally becoming "driven" and it seemed like the story was finally going to go somewhere. I mean, it did go somewhere, and Blake became a less conventional protagonist as a result, which is good; but for all the sacrifices Blake made, it seemed like they were in vain.

    Biggest disappointment for me was Blake's friends turn out to be flakes. A few good scenes to each of them, but not distinctive characters with much agency in the story. Green Eyes was fun, but she seemed more like a bodyguard and passenger than a person - she only got a few good scenes that explored her character. Alexis forgot how to talk for most of the later half of the story. Mags was awesome, but because of her unique situation, didn't get to do enough talking. Laird died too early on. I feel like a lot of the characters were left half-baked, without sufficient time to reveal the best bits of them. This goes for the antagonists and the junior council, too.

    Toronto took too much time. Should have cut the "Chess Game". And the part in Null where we relived Blake's "past". Just should have cut those parts out and replaced them with character development and rest. Worm was a whilrlwind of action, but it had much lengtheir "breather" sections. Actually, maybe should have cut the Toronto bit out altogether and make those events take place in Jacob's Bell in some capacity. Jacob's Bell was no Brockton Bay - I didn't empathize with it.

    It's readable, the ending is sufficient; but I wasn't invested in Rose or Blake by the end. I think that says enough, itself, considering how much of the story was devoted to their problems. It's a lot of words to slog through, for a pair of unlikable protagonists.

    I think a 3/5 is a fair rating for Pact, but not if we judge it against other stories in the library. A 4/5 is more in-line with its level of artistry, but it inflates my feelings of it. It could have been a lot, lot better. I'm sticking with 3/5, even if it's a seemingly-unfair score.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015