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WIP The Gods Are Bastards by D.D. Webb - M - Original Fiction

Discussion in 'Original Fiction' started by Lion, May 15, 2016.

  1. Lion

    Lion Denarii Host DLP Supporter

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    Title: The Gods Are Bastards
    Author: D.D. Webb
    Rating: M- Probably it's not really states but that's what I'd give it.
    Genre: Fantasy/Adventure/Western
    Status: WIP (several books complete, book 10 in progress)
    Fandom: Original Fiction
    Pairings: Some develop but I don't want to spoil.
    Summary:Evil is rising. The world is rent by strife. The gods have turned away from us. In times past, heroes of sword and sorcery have always risen to turn back the tide of darkness… But what will become of us all, now that swords are obsolete, sorcery is industrialized, and heroism itself is considered a relic of the past?
    The times are changing…

    Link: https://tiraas.wordpress.com/table-of-contents/

    I've never put anything up for review, I'm normally late on posting them or I don't think the quality is good enough. I'm on the sixth book right now and I can say this series is amazing. It starts weakly, and I put it down and picked it up a few times over the course of a year. Finally I sat down and said fuck it, I had run out of anything else interesting and it had been sitting close to the top of the to read list for awhile.

    After powering through the first few chapters it started to hold my attention and I haven't put it down since I started. It starts off like any other magical school fiction I've read. Lots of characters being introduced who all seem to fit neatly into one or two tropes. From there it fleshes out each character uniquely and interestingly. Each one has an interesting backstory and as interludes start to come out you really see how much thought was put into them.

    This extends to the background for the history of the world. Interesting tidbits are strewn throughout the story in a way that makes you look forward to info dumps, which are presented in a way that doesn't make them feel like info dumps. Especially the system of religion in the world, it's one of my favorites in fiction and leads to several interesting conflicts.

    Overall I'd give this story a 4/5, but only because I want to finish what has been published before I give it a full 5/5.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2016
  2. Suty

    Suty First Year

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    Read chapters 1-1 through 1-7.

    I'm going to abstain from rating since I'm still at the set up phase of the story, but I'm not very enamored with it. My biggest issue is that the characters are all very much immature, including the 3000 year old elven headmistress. The three POV characters that I've read so far seem alright, but their personalities don't get to shine when the side characters constantly jump up and down shouting "LOOK AT ME!!! LOOK AT ME!!!" They're all loud and obnoxious and they wouldn't be out of place in a shounen anime.
    - Princess Zaruda Carmelita Xingyu Sameera Meredith Punaji, Chapter 1-3

    - Professor Tellwyrn
    Another thing, although it's being touted as a college/university the social dynamics feel decidedly high-school-esque. Nobody in college (or in the real world) gives two shits about who you are, much less whether or not you're a freshman/junior/etc. But this merely goes back to my initial issue about maturity.
    - random upperclassman

    Final point. The author did a good job of world building for the most part: description of the world and its people seemed natural. However, the author does rely on info dumps disguised as dialogue and that can get tiresome. The puzzling thing is that those info dumps didn't seem necessary. That info could've easily been introduced piecemeal until needed or cut out entirely.

    I'll trust the OP that the story improves later on, but I can't be bothered. If you don't mind reading YA then this'll probably be a 4 or 5/5.

    --edit--
    Forgot to mention, the single chapter from the Emperor's POV was very interesting and I wouldn't mind reading more of that.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  3. Lion

    Lion Denarii Host DLP Supporter

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    I'm on my phone so I can't give a proper response, but I completely agree. The beginning of the book is rough and it is cliche as fuck. It took me forever to get through but by the time you start getting more point of views in the Capitol and abroad it gets good.

    That's one thing I forgot to mention really. The PoVs get to be pretty wide. Characters from common soldiers to the actual gods. They start sellers felt and intertwine in various ways, at least they are as far as I've read. The beginning is rough but once the cast expands you begin to see how great it is. If you make it to 1-17 that's when it really starts to get interesting.

    Edit: I forgot this
    Oh and as to it being YA, nah. It gets better.
     
  4. Lion

    Lion Denarii Host DLP Supporter

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    I've finally finished the story and I can safely say it's a 5/5 library worthy story.
    It's hard to get people into the story without spoiling it, a lot of the great moments require build up or are exciting to read for the first time. I think most people will have trouble until the cast starts to expand, because the Class 1182 is boring as fuck until their trip into the Golden Sea. Every one of them has some type of character flaw or feels like they've been cut straight from their stereotypes cloth. That changes as the story goes on and you see their histories and how they're forced to change at the university.

    Reading all of the story also shows the depths of world building that has gone into the story. Sometimes bringing in side characters that you thought were unimportant and showing another side. I've learned to dismiss nothing as Webb has an amazing eye for detail and leaving hints that become obvious as the story goes on. Lots of little things have often come together in ways that I wouldn't have imagined but make perfect sense once everything happens. Also as you start to get involved with the other plotlines and see how big the world is it gets very interesting.

    One thing that hurts the story is not getting into the other point of views quickly. The story expands beyond the students and starts to include regulars from around the continent. That's when TGAB starts to really shine, because the other characters are older and understand more of what's going on in this world. Bishop Darling is probably one of my favorite characters that I've read about in a long time. Without getting too spoilery he's the Bishop for the Thieves Guild to the Universal Church, and he also works in Imperial Intelligence. His adventures and the people he gathers are probably the best part of the story. Especially because Darlings true goals have only been hinted at and in the setting they are pretty big. There's also the gods to think about, they are pretty active in the world in their own way. They formed it as it was known 8000 years ago when they killed and took the Elder Gods powers for their own. They used the dead gods energy to make Divine magic and to make themselves the new gods. At various points in history and the story they make their presence felt and it's big. Not much has been told about how that happened but it's one of the driving goals for several characters.

    Arachne Tellwyrn, the headmistress and a pretty famous figure in the history of the world, is awesome. She seems immature when handling the kids, but that's because she doesn't take any shit and hates idiots. When you read her history you start to understand why she acts like that, and why she gets away with it. Mostly because her kill counts include two different gods, she's known to be friends with several others, and she has been pivotal across the history of the world. Forming, destroying, and rearranging Kingdoms as various things have happened. When you get her point of views it's a rare treat to see that she actually does have a plan.

    It's hard to really make people want to read this story without spoiling my favorite parts, but if you make it to book 2, out of 10 that are out right now, you won't stop until you've finished.
     
  5. George

    George First Year

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    To a degree and for a time the perspectives can be read independently, if you wanted to try that and see if it grows on you. It does seem to be intended for the freshmen to be on the annoying side and then grow up throughout the story as they learn and work out issues. It being high-school-esque rather than college-like makes sense with it being a small school and many of the people recently having had their lives changed in a big way that renews their search for what sort of person they are.

    5/5 for me.
     
  6. Lamora

    Lamora Definitely Not Batman

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    I finally managed to put a finger on what I don't like about this story, about 4-5 books in, and it's been steadily dragging the story down ever since.

    This author absolutely cannot shut the fuck up about how Rape Won't Be Tolerated in My Fantasy World.

    This story is the author's DnD (+ cowboys/Wild West, for some reason? Not complaining, mind you, just pointing out how everything strange it is that everything in the world is vanilla DnD campaign faire except for the cowboys deliberately plonked into it, sometimes jarringly) story basically. Which is fine. It reads like what seemed like a would have been a great campaign.

    And it isn't written badly by any stretch. There are parts that made me laugh outright (like the Drizzt joke, fucking incredible). I would easily put book 1 and most of 2 at an easy 5/5.

    But then they got on the subject of rape, and has not been able to get off it yet, 3 or so books later. This is also fine, but there isn't a single other facet to it that I've been able to see besides how doing instantly turns you into a irredeemable villain, to get shit on by the entire ruling pantheon of gods. The main fucking antagonist, the QUEEN OF FUCKING HELL, is written more sympathetically than Thumper. Which, while I almost always like more complex characterizations of Lucifer-esque figures, only served to annoy me in this case.

    I'm not going to becry the age old line of 'medieval realness', but when the entire collective fictional world seems to drop everything and band together on one particular subject, I'm going to raise an eyebrow.

    I've just got done reading Darling meeting with the High Commander of Avei about Thumper. Their two cults - the Good Guy Thieves and Always-Right Amazon Sues - were purported to have one of the bitterest rivalries and ideological differences between them of any in the setting. The soldiers at the temple are literally ready to kill them at a moment's notice.

    Darling: I might have sent someone who's allegedly a almost-rapist after this woman in our guild who you specifically have a grudge against, if don't hate outright.

    Instant one 180, zero downtime. After all, rape is so bad that it makes genocide okay, right centaurs?

    The more it became obvious that this was a hot button issue the author couldn't stay off of, the more the rest of the story starting fall apart for me.

    The Pantheon is mostly goddesses. The antagonist is a sympathetic goddess. Most of the main cast are women, except for the (token?) men who are basically comedy relief. Elves are basically an allusion to any given minority in any situation.

    Tl;dr started out really good, before I realized this was basically novelized DnD campaign with Ariana Huffington as the DM. 5/5, to 3/5.
     
  7. Plothole

    Plothole Fourth Year

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    Finally finished reading. I enjoyed it. If you like DnD you'll like The Gods are Bastards. The story actually got me to break out my old copy of NWN and replay Hordes of the Underdark.

    The beginning of the story is pretty terrible. I nearly dropped it three times just trying to get through Book 1. It's just not compelling at all in the beginning but I stuck with it because while it wasn't great, it was still an interesting premise. The idea that the Age of Adventures is over and a sort of industrial revolution is taking place puts the world in an in-between state that no other story I've seen has done.

    It picks up a lot in the second book and gets progressively better from there. Part of the problem with the first book is that nobody is likable in the slightest. All of the interactions the students have with each other are fairly annoying and it takes a while to actually get conflict going. Gabe and Ruda are two of my favorite characters now but they were intolerable in Book 1.

    Another problem that I have with the beginning of the story is that the author never really fleshes out the university. We get to see a few classes but compared to the rest of the world building we get throughout the story the university isn't well understood. There's not much of a sense of progression with the students learning new things, with the exception of Fross.

    Introducing Darling helps the story a lot. He's funny (for all its flaws, I've laughed more reading this story than I do watching a lot of comedies), clever and embroiled in high-stakes politics. He brings a measure of suspense and danger to the story that was lacking at the University.

    One of the great strengths of The Gods are Bastards is the varied and interesting cast of characters. We get an in-depth appreciation of the world and a sense of what's going on. Every book gives you just a little bit of a better understanding of what's going on. Each character has their own motivations and even now, as far into the story as we are, I can only guess at the motivations of some of the characters. The author does a great job of giving you just a little more information every few chapters to keep you wanting more and not giving anything too important away.

    Some of the interludes are pretty great too. They let you see parts of the world that otherwise wouldn't come up. The chapters about Tellwryn throughout history were my favorite part of the story so far.

    Not all POVs are created equal though. Some tend to drag on more than others. Reading about the students gets better as the story goes on but they've fallen by the wayside recently. The cast of characters is enormous and its been slowing the story down. The current book is already longer than any of the others and doesn't seem like it will be ending soon.

    Despite that, I can see where the author is leading the story and the stakes get higher and higher in every book. The most recent twist was weird and I still haven't decided how I feel about it but I'm reserving judgement until I see where the author goes with it. I'm definitely planning on following the story.

    4/5
     
  8. Tomster10010

    Tomster10010 Third Year

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    This story kind of reminds me of Worm, in that the author gets a lot better as the story goes on. In my opinion, the story doesn't hit its stride until book 4, although book 2 is (imo) better than book 1 or 3.

    The way divinity works through most of the series reminds me a lot of the War God series, by David Weber. Deities are individuals with varying amount of personality and power, and Arachne Tellwyrn knows many of them personally. I'm a little skeptical of the revelations on the nature of magic and the universe in book 10, but I trust the author to not
    turn this story into science fiction.

    The characters are, in some cases, less mature than they should be. This goes from the college students to the 3000 year old headmaster to various other immortals and generic human adults. However, most of them mature along with the rest of their characterization. I think that the author stumbled a little, introducing so many characters in the beginning of the story. On the other hand, there are points where I think characters change a bit too abruptly. However, because of the indeterminate timescale of a lot of the story, this is somewhat believable.

    A point most people haven't really raised is how long this story is. It's had 2-3 5000+ word updates a week since the middle of 2014. By my (admittedly rough) reckoning, that makes 1-1.5 million words. Even if the story starts off less than strongly, it has more than enough staying power to make it worth reading.
     
  9. Imraefi

    Imraefi Second Year

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    Just finished this story til its most recent update.

    5/5

    I think all the points mentioned are valid. The worldbuilding has been consistently good. The characters are memorable and they grow into themselves as the story continues. The past few books have added a significant number of new characters and it's becoming a bit difficult to keep track of them all, however.