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WIP The Perfect Run by Void Herald - M

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by andy50, Mar 26, 2021.

  1. andy50

    andy50 Groundskeeper

    May 6, 2013
    Title: The Perfect Run
    Author: Void Herald
    Rating: M
    Genre: Adventure/Comedy/Mystery/Superhero
    Status: In-Progress
    Library Category: Original Fiction
    Ryan "Quicksave" Romano is an eccentric adventurer with a strange power: he can create a save-point in time and redo his life whenever he dies. Arriving in New Rome, the glitzy capital of sin of a rebuilding Europe, he finds the city torn between mega-corporations, sponsored heroes, superpowered criminals, and true monsters. It's a time of chaos, where potions can grant the power to rule the world and dangers lurk everywhere.

    Ryan only sees different routes; and from Hero to Villain, he has to try them all. Only then will he achieve his perfect ending... no matter how many loops it takes.

    Link: https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/36735/the-perfect-run

    Time Loop story, where the protagonist has a clearly overpowered ability, the ability to go back to his savepoint and redo actions. But that's fine, because the story isn't about him eventually learning enough about the setting so that he can craft the perfect plan. The author focuses on the psychological toll of his powers as well as the protagonist's past and why exactly why and what he's trying to achieve in his perfect ending. He does a good job building up the character to be a fairly likable and sympathetic figure.

    I think worldbuilding is the life blood of a time loop story and in my opinion, it's excellent. There's a shadowrun feel to the story. With different factions competing for the city of New Rome. Why the world has superpowers, the super powers themselves, why Europe is rebuilding, are all done in a way that while not unique is well done.

    One glaring issue, is the humor employed by the protagonist. It's honestly way to over the top, and can be annoying at the beginning but now that I'm 66 chapters in. I'm not sure if it's been taken down a notch or I've just started to enjoy it.

    4.5/5 with .5 knocked out for over the top dialogue from the protagonist being too grating at times
  2. Swirly Mango

    Swirly Mango Seventh Year

    Sep 30, 2014
    Sydn'y, Oz
    I tried this. Your listed pros are true and they're great and they're amazing. But the humour is so flat and juvenile it's actually giving me flashbacks to crackfics I've read when I was 11 that I still thought were bad.

    Right I need to rate this: 1/5 Don't read shitty crackfics.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2021
  3. Clerith

    Clerith Ahegao Emperor ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Jan 7, 2008
    High Score:
    I read three chapters. This is also my initial impression.

    Perhaps it's part of "exploring the psychological toll of using his powers", but the protagonist's attitude is that of someone in a crack fic. I didn't enjoy it. Despite being a RR story, it gave me Spacebattles vibes (although more creative) - the protagonist is a flat, nerdy spaz monkey.
  4. Ceebee

    Ceebee High Inquisitor

    May 5, 2009
    I also attempted this story after greatly enjoying the authors previous work Never Die Twice, and stopped reading it after I bounced off the terrible humor/Main character's personality.

    I'm not sure if giving it a rating is appropriate given I only read a dozen or less chapters before I decided to promptly drop it and burn it from my memory.

    1.5/5, maybe?

    It's (unfathomably to me) like the 5th top story on RR and someone thought it was good enough for a 4.5 here, so I guess it has a strong love it/hate it quality.
  5. Donimo

    Donimo Auror

    Jul 4, 2015
    I tried reading this a few days ago and couldn't get past the first couple chapters. And that is with me being desperate for a good groundhog day story.
  6. Barzûl

    Barzûl Seventh Year DLP Supporter

    Dec 31, 2011
    I went in with a pessimistic view due to the first review in the thread.

    The humor is quite juvenile but it grew on me. Perhaps it's because it seems more like a coping mechanism than an actual attempt at humor as the story goes on, but after chapter 20-ish it was just a part of the story. It was never the best part of the story, granted.
    Females in the story are also often introduced in a sexy manner. I didn't mind too much but it drags down.

    There are real consequences to Ryan doing a trip back. He loses friends and feelings as he's the only one with memories. It could be highlighted more but I really like this aspect of the story.

    There is a real Worm-vibe with seemingly godlike beings (comparisons can be made with the golden dude from Worm and Leo).
    The powers are varied and interesting, the backdrop and various interludes also provide some flavour to the world.

    I'd give it 5/5, if it fixed the females being a bit feeble and the humor was toned a bit down.

    4/5 for now
  7. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Chief Warlock DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

    Oct 16, 2010
    I really enjoy this.

    After the first two or three loops, once you start seeing the shape of the story, I got really into this. And I think that the character development and reveal of his softer corners is really interesting. He's this irreverent, Deadpool-inspired character (and in a very recent chapter, we finally saw the loop that changed his mind to be this way, and it made sense), however unlike Deadpool you can tell that it's his coping mechanism, rather than a 24/7 thing. He has plenty of softer, tender, or more conflicted moments. Characters will say things and wrongfoot him, or make him feel awkward, or make him realise he was wrong - and that's not what you expect from going in.

    I've not read the dragon story, I read Never Die Twice, and I prefer Perfect Run to it. It's a 4/5 to me. I find the plotting of this time looping really well done, I find the characterisations as he learns more about people each loop really compelling - people feel three dimensional - and I'm enjoying learning more and more about this very well realised New Rome setting and world.

  8. Mutton

    Mutton Order Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    It's not good; the humor is just terrible, the characters can occasionally be interesting but mostly suck, and it manages to constantly undermine any sort of emotional beats it summons. 2/5
  9. soczab

    soczab Professor

    Feb 1, 2016
    High Score:
    Im on the positive side with this one. It is one of my favorite on royal road and of void herald.

    I agree the humor makes me roll my eyes. But I think its *supposed* to do that. As others have said its made clear its a coping mechanism. I normally HATE 'comedy' category fics on royal road because I find the humor cheesy etc. And sure it is here too, but this isn't a comedic fic which is what makes the difference.

    Its a fic with a plot, great characters, etc. And *one* of the characters has the character tick of using bad humor to cope. That's different than fic that is filled top to bottom (all characters) with bad humor.. or where the story is *about* the humor if you follow me.

    Anyway the actual plot is engaging, clever, and while not original very well done
  10. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss Second Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Apr 4, 2008
    High Score:
    I tried it and dropped within two chapters. I'll refrain from rating, but thought I'd mention it. I've read some of his other works, and I can see why some of the criticisms would be replicated in this story. Vainqueur the Dragon was very much mid-2000's crack fic, to the point that I have yet to finish it. Never Die Twice was better, but fell off in the end imo. The perpetual "witticisms" get tiresome, particularly given the length of the stories.
  11. Da Boyz

    Da Boyz Squib

    Jul 3, 2014
    The story itself goes for a tragicomic atmosphere with regards to the life of the main character. It can be a bit hit or miss at times with the comedy but largely its more hit then miss. Takes on the cruelty of living in a time-loop are as old as Groundhog Day but Ryan manages to be a pretty interesting take on a character who has control over it and is both willing to exploit it for his own benefit while maintaining enough of his morals to care about other people.

    4/5 would recommend a read. If it's not your cup of tea I'd still recommend giving another work by the author, Never Die Twice, a chance.
  12. Hashasheen

    Hashasheen Half-Blood Prince

    Sep 10, 2008
    Really loved this when you recommended this to me in the discord. The humor needs some adapting to, much like a Deadpool comic, but once you're in, you're in. I wasn't too sure about the post-apocalyptic landscape, but it kind of all really comes together the more you're into the story. I haven't caught up with more recent chapters since you rec'd it, but I like to leave a buildup of stories to blow through.

    One of the few original stories I've enjoyed on royal road in the last couple of years. 5/5.
  13. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

    Jan 6, 2009
    The South
    I tried to read this and hated it. I made it about 6-7 chapters in before giving up.

    The writing is mediocre at best, the protagonist gives off stalker vibes, and there's nothing remotely interesting to hook me.

    Does it get a lot better later or something?

  14. Otters

    Otters Groundskeeper ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Jun 8, 2010
    High Score:
    I'm enjoying this a fair bit, against my better judgement. I love the premise, but the execution is a bit of a mixed bag.

    The humour is garbage and overacted. Very much in the realm of what Reddit thinks is funny vs what's actually funny. There's no sense of style, or substance, or gravitas. It's a pale imitation of the sort of maverick smarter-than-thou protagonist of the rick & morty/dr who type bent, by an author who doesn't quite have the panache to pull it off, in a character who doesn't quite have the charisma to pull it off.

    A lot of these things are shitty visual or performative gags which don't translate well to the written word. Author's brain has clearly been rotted by reading comic books and watching cartoons - a lot of the jokes and prop comedy might work if you could see them, but are simply insufferable in text.

    Aaaand going into a royalroad story about a world full of superheroes and villains, what reasonable person would expect any different?

    As I read, two things increase in equal measure:

    1. My enjoyment of the story.
    2. My hatred of the author.

    Rather apt that the main character's name is Ryan because he's clearly being played by Ryan Reynolds.

    I think a lot of people here will enjoy this but resent themselves for it at the same time.

    Last edited: Dec 23, 2022