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WIP Threadbare by Andrew Seiple - Original

Discussion in 'Original Fiction' started by DeathShade, Mar 3, 2021.

  1. DeathShade

    DeathShade Third Year

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    The icy north
    Title: Threadbare
    Author: Andrew Seiple
    Rating: T?
    Genre: LitRPG/Adventure
    Status: In-Progress
    Library Category: Original Fiction
    Summary:
    Meet Threadbare. He is twelve inches tall, full of fluff, and really, really bad at being a hero. Magically animated and discarded by his maker as a failed experiment, he is saved by a little girl. But she's got problems of her own, and he might not be able to help her.

    Fortunately for the little golem, he's quick to find allies, learn skills, gain levels, and survive horrible predicaments. Which is good, because his creator has a whole lot of enemies...

    Link:
    https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/15130/threadbare/chapter/175199/awakening-1

    I think a good amount of people on this site are aware of this story, but as far as I can see, it hasn't been put up for review. Since it just started updating again after concluding volume 3 a few years ago, I felt like spreading the word.

    The story follows a toy bear golem who gains sentience in a LitRPG world. He doesn't have a good understanding of people and the world around him, so he kind of bumbles around, figuring out everything by trial and error. Despite being painfully naive at times, Threadbare is a very likeable (and smart in his own way) protagonist, which is a huge plus, since many LitRPG protagonist are huge assholes, stupid, bland or a combination of all three.

    Both the world and plot is surprisingly well thought out, with a depth at times that you wouldn't expect from a story about a toy bear gaining RPG powers. Details like newborns having low luck, possibly leading to huge problems that can be averted by powerleveling their luck at a young age, elevates the story above many other lazy LitRPGs.

    It has been a year or two since I read the full story, so I've probably forgotten some of the problems with the story. But in general I remember the story very positively, and it is one of my favourite stories on RoyalRoad. The new chapters are so far also good.

    I would rate it around 4 to 4.5.

    Comments found on this site about the story:
    "Final rec a really strange one. The Threadbare series is lighter on the LitRPG aspects but makes up for it with charm and... just weirdness. It's basically about a Teddie Bear golem that gains sentience." -Gengar
    "Both my brother and I enjoyed it quite a bit, but I've not touched it in 14 months, and I'm not always very discerning in what I'll read." -Thaumologist
     
  2. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Dark Lord

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    1,961
    Location:
    Wrexham, Wales
    I've seen the updates over the last few days, but the first two didn't really grab me, so I've not bothered catching myself back up on this.


    One thing I will mention is that the author publishes their work for profit on other sites, and will remove the free version. If you're interested in reading this, it might be best to see if you can get through the first books before they're purged (although I don't know timeframes)
     
  3. DeathShade

    DeathShade Third Year

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    The icy north
    As far as I can see, they have remained free on RoyalRoad for 3 years now, so I don't think he is removing them any time soon.
     
  4. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Dark Lord

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,961
    Location:
    Wrexham, Wales
    Huh... You're completely right. Which really confuses me, because I was sure this guy had done it with at least one of his stories, and had mentioned it in the Threadbare thread.
     
  5. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Messages:
    7,869
    Location:
    The South
    I hadn't heard of this one but decided to check it out now that I've finished up (and rec'd) Delve.

    Most of the stories that end up removed from RR go up on Kindle Prime/Unlimited/Whatever. Street Cultivation was like that - free on RR, but once you put it on Kindle you can only leave a certain amount available for free to read on RR. A few others also did the same thing. This one - as mentioned above - does not appear to be going anywhere. It's on regular Kindle I think, not the fancy Kindle? Whatever.

    Anyway I felt this one started out reasonably well and got more and more boring as it went on.

    I was significantly more invested in "teddy bear and housecat team up to kill rats in the basement" than I was in the ultimate showdown fight for the Kingdom at the end of the story. I was skimming like mad just looking for plot points to get closure so I could stop reading.

    Yup, I was rushing trying to get to the end and would have been happy with a summary of the third volume as opposed to having to read it to figure out where the story went.

    Worldbuilding isn't bad and has some neat parts (newborns with low luck, needing to unlock special jobs, etc.) but the fact that the system itself only originated within living memory (roughly 45 years prior to start of the story iirc) means that sometimes it felt awkward. Like more people should mention that type of thing. And statements like how no one knows how to unlock X anymore as if it's lost to time don't work - just clean it up and say no one has ever shared that info, etc.

    The characters rarely stand out for me. Threadbare and Fluffbear work pretty well as their whole thing is that they are 'new' to the whole sentience/sapience aspect of living and come without a lot of knowledge or preconceptions. I do feel that it's a bit of a plothole how they learned so quickly at the start though - just gaining the intelligence level of a human child shouldn't automatically give them fluency, for example. That would have been fairly easy to handwave away by connecting it to them gaining some basic portion of knowledge their creator wanted them to have, but it was brushed over.

    As for other characters? Zuula is really the only one I had a lasting sense for. Caradon, Mordecai, and Celia started off with a bit of characterization when it was really just those three in the story. After the timeskip though I'd argue that all the characters except Zuula 'felt' pretty much the same, and I just had to keep a tally in my head of which one was important for which reason ("this one" is the King's kid, "This one" dated that dwarf, "This one" is the necromancer, etc) without any of them 'feeling' any different or unique or interesting.

    And some of them are fucking annoying. Glub (?) the surfer dude stereotype? Madeline with the accent that is more annoying than the worst I've seen in fanfiction from people trying to write Fleur and Hagrid.

    Also so much of the plot and character interactions are... there's no suspense and things are too easy always? Like... things will happen along the lines of this:

    Character: Fight! Win!
    Threadbare: Oh bother, you seem to misunderstand the situation and are doing a bad thing.
    Character: What?
    Threadbare: It's just that X, and Y, and Z - would you like to do better and be a better person?
    Character: Actually that sounds lovely, let me be on your side now.

    I don't know how to rate this.

    It's better than average for the first half, which makes it 4/5. But I didn't enjoy it after the first half, even if I was curious enough about the plot / worldbuilding to want to finish it (hence the skimming).

    Ultimately I think I'll go with 3.5/5 and think on it before rating either up or down.

    Also cute as fuck in parts, and Threadbare himself is endearing. He just needs a far better written cast to play off of to become engaging in the second half.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021