Bookworld Online: Marsh Man

by Bokuboy

Fan Fiction ONGOING Action Adventure Drama Fantasy GameLit Grimdark Magic Male Lead School Life Slice of Life Strong Lead Virtual Reality
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content
  • Traumatising content

Welcome dear friends, to the Virtual Reality Full Immersion System called Bookworld Online!

Your name is David Drake and you are a 10 year old slave to the Marsh Hag. You were bought from your parents when you were only a small child at two years old. You don't really remember your old family at all. That's a good thing, since you would hate them on sight for selling you to her. All you've know for your whole life is pain. You are usually quickly healed and receive a lot of training and experience as her unofficial apprentice.

It's unofficial because she would never pay to have you registered as an actual apprentice. To everyone else, you are just the boy she took pity on and brought into her home. What they don't know is that you are much more than that. So much more.

You are her food. She uses you as her own personal buffet and she indulges herself quite often. You even have the permanent scars to prove it. You have learned many things from her, mostly without her knowing, since you have been helping more and more with her spell work the last few years and her potion making. The only parts you can't do are the magic condensing rituals that her potions require and the mana infusions that a lot of her other creations need.

Do you wish to initiate the Main Storyline with these parameters?

Please Note: I publish daily.Second Note: I changed this story to a fan fiction. It is based on Swamp Boy. The old story is about 4 years old and was dropped after 19 long chapters. The author hasn't been online since then, so I figured it was safe to do my own take on it.

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Creator of L.I.F.E. Begins and Bookworld

Fledgling Reviewer (II)
Word Count (22)
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3rd Anniversary
Top List #500
Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
000 Prologue ago
001 Prologue ago
002 Marsh Madness ago
003 Spider Clash ago
004 Food For Thought ago
005 New Normal ago
006 Good Choices ago
007 Food Prep ago
008 Hut Life ago
009 Boat Trouble ago
010 Going To Town ago
011 The Inn ago
012 Morning Woes ago
013 The Boatmaker ago
014 Oopsie ago
015 Back To The Store ago
016 Go Get It ago
017 Time Flies ago
018 Remembrances ago
019 To The Village ago
020 In The Village ago
021 Making Progress ago
022 General Store Rules ago
023 Diane Phelps ago
024 Preparing For Winter Part One ago
025 Knots Of Wood ago
026 Town Trouble ago
027 Teach Me ago
028 Town Intruder ago
029 Fallout ago
030 Home Sweet Home ago
031 Learning Is Fun And Hard ago
032 If You Built It, You Will Live ago
033 Working It Out ago
034 Preparing For Winter Part Two ago
035 Learning To Potion Properly ago
036 Winter Ends ago
037 Back To Town ago
038 The Garrison ago
039 The Truth Won't Set You Free ago
040 Army Preparation ago
041 A Comforting Embrace ago
042 Passing On Knowledge ago
043 Going Back To The Office ago
044 Town Trouble Again? ago
045 Boat Blues ago
046 Making It Work ago
047 Boat Building ago
048 Finish Your Work ago
049 The Garrison Again ago
050 Going To The Next Village ago
051 Shop Till You Drop ago
052 Family Values ago
053 Basic Instincts ago
054 A Slight Detour ago
055 Delayed Return ago
056 Army Antics Part One ago
057 Diane's Divine Store ago
058 Army Antics Part Two ago
059 Working Out An Understanding ago
060 Building Repertoire ago
061 A New Workshop ago
062 Building And Learning ago
063 The Training Base ago
064 Basic Training ago
065 Training Is Easy ago
066 Ending The Day ago
067 The Next Day ago
068 The Drill Sergeant Part One ago
069 A Hunting We Will Go ago
070 Back To Base ago
071 In The Kitchen ago
072 The Drill Sergeant Part Two ago
073 A Normal Day ago
074 Learning Lessons Part One ago
075 Learning Lessons Part Two ago
076 Graduation ago
077 Back Home ago
078 The Bugle Sounds ago
079 Fixing What's Broken ago
080 Work Your Ass Off ago
081 The Colonel's Response ago
082 The Trial ago
083 Work And A Meal ago
084 Work, Work, Go! ago
085 Relearn What You Have Learned ago
086 Lessons Learned ago
087 A Dragon's Breath Part One ago
088 A Devastating Idea ago
089 A Devastating Idea Realized ago
090 A Devastating Idea Implemented ago
091 A Dragon's Breath Part Two ago
092 A Dragon's Breath Part Three ago
093 A Dragon's Breath Resolution ago
094 Reporting As Ordered ago
095 Healing Time ago
096 Back To Work ago
097 Relay Points ago
098 Defensive Measures ago
099 Learning Is Even More Fun ago
100 The War Comes Home ago
101 The Next Phase ago
102 Home Sweet Home ago
103 Back To The Front ago
104 The Best Defense ago
105 Another Day At Work ago
106 Job's Done ago
107 Hiding the Truth ago
108 Some Important Facts ago
109 Mage Henrietta ago
110 Prepping For The Capital ago
111 Capital Run ago
112 Purchasing Power ago
113 The Henrietta Family Part One ago
114 The Henrietta Family Part Two ago
115 Dressing For Success ago
116 The Henrietta Family Conclusion ago
117 Breakfast Bonuses ago
118 The Longshore Estate ago
119 Women Are Complicated ago
120 Buying What You Need ago
121 Work Is Work ago
122 How It's Done ago
123 Work Is Life ago
124 Family Dinner ago
125 Lessons Before Lessons ago
126 Days Go By Fast ago
127 The Henrietta Longshore Estate ago
128 A Party Before Supper ago
129 Some Harsh Truth ago
130 A Family's Folly ago
Not a chapter... a delay. ago
131 The New Staff ago
132 Academy Antics Prelude ago

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  • Overall Score

Hard-core grimdark story

Reviewed at: 013 The Boatmaker

Don't let the tags fool you. This story is hard-core. It starts by tricking you into thinking this is slice of life, but this is as grimdark as it can get. Extreme psychological abuse, some of the most fcked up torture, child abuse, and a hint of pedophilia. Reader be warned.

We read about the experiences of a 10 year old boy who is held prisoner by a swamp witch, The Hag. 

The story is about some very deep dive VR game or experience the main character is living. The prologue introduces us to it. And here comes one the first gripes with the plot. Its not clear who the person who went under is. Is it the narrator, who tells the story, or is it the boy,  who lives it. There are a lot of inconsistencies here, especially when it comes to the knowledge possessed. Sometimes, the boy behaves and has the knowledge of a 10 year old child. Other times, he has the knowledge of an adult who is experiencing the story.

I mentioned earlier a narrator. His presence is felt via a set of choices the main character is presented with. And this is my 2nd biggest gripe with the story. In the middle of a good flowing narration, we get slapped with the most obnoxious wall of text: the choices the main character has to make. They come every so often, a couple of times per chapter, in the form of A B C single choice. It breaks all immersion. Its bad to watch. And it seems it takes away from the identity of the character. 

  • Overall Score
  1. Great novel.

The setting is in low magic world, so There's no throwing meteor or freezing cities.

MC is the most pitiful fictional character I've known. Mistreated, taken for granted, and generally despise by many.

But ofc, there are good people in the world. People also feel bad for the MC, so they generally observed his suffering in sadness.

Spoiler: spoiler


So If you want to read were MC prove the world wrong and rise above all. It may be the Novel for you.


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Another great Bokuboy Story

Reviewed at: 129 Some Harsh Truth

I give my usual preface that my opinion means nothing but I'm sharing it because this is one of my favorite authors. I've read all his books and even followed him to another site to keep reading Morbid. Hope it returns one-day.

Style: As with all his other stories the author's personal style shows in the different time compared to the original but that's good. This is not the original and after the stories diverge should stop be compared. I look at it like Swamp boy was world building and Marsh Man is a rebuilding of unfinished parts. Style is great and I have several other stories I hope he does after it.Thanks

Story: So far the story is great. It's tough in spots especially if you read day to day. When given time the author explains everything but since he's such a good writer the day to day tension revolves into hasty judgements. It's the terminal problem with web novels they're never published fast enough to outpace naysayers.

Grammar: A few errors but as soon as they are pointed out they get corrected and the author gives props and recognition.

Character: The MC is great. Knows himself what he can do, what he needs, and what he can make happen. Secondary characters fill their rolls well. And I really like how the story stays ABOUT the MC. There's nothing wrong with multiple MC's but time and place. We get info and know things the about secondary characters but it never overshadows the MC and his story.

Overall I love this story and if you give the author some time to keep telling the story you will too.

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Interesting Characters; Horrifying Content

Reviewed at: 007 Food Prep

The division between who the character in the VR is supposed to be and who the player/person inhabiting that role are is extremely blurred, and not in a particularly good way.  Several parts of beginning don't make much sense - the "boy" acts as though they had the actual psychological damage enforced slavery and torture might inflict, which is odd given that there's supposed to be a real person piloting the character.  This was particularly prevalent when the 'boy' felt excited to be able to tease his captor by playing with bread soaked in his own blood

Honestly, I couldn't bring myself to read past Chapter 7, with how chock-full of traumatizing content this thing was.  The writing glories in the tortures, indignities, and abuses suffered by the main character, and unlike some other stories emphatically deserves its "traumatizing content" warning.  In other stories where the traumatic content might be a single important occurrence, this one describes over and over how the main character is literally carved up and eaten by his captor, and how he came to largely accept that way of life due to the constant abuse.  The hints towards paedophilia were where I ended up drawing the line, as by that point I was reading largely in order to hope that it got better for the main character, who is admittedly sympathetic.  I realize that my critique is incomplete given my decision not to continue reading, and I hope that it did, but I'm not terribly optimistic.

  • Overall Score

This story is very engaging. The build up is perfect and the pay-off satisfying. Also I'm loving the culture shock between David and everyone he interacts with. Also I'm starting to emphasize with the hag a bit. She's a monster but at least she comes by it honestly. Seeing David interact with people is much more frustrating.

  • Overall Score

The idea of a make-your-own-adventure-book that's transferred into VR is quite interesting. The fact that the royalroad story "Swamp boy" was chosen as the 'book' in question is the icing on the cake.

Unfortunately, the cake's foundation is quite screwed up. After a while, the MC ends up in the army (just like in swamp boy, no big spoiler here) and proceeds to break basically all the rules possible (here we diverge), 

Spoiler: Spoiler


After a dozen times, I just started skipping the chapters to see when this army arc is finally finished. We're in the 80th now and still no end in sight.

The Grimdark tag isn't for show, the story starts out with torture, cannibalism and paedophilia. It gets lighter later on though. Not very light, casual murder and maiming still remain but that's kinda normal for for fantasy stories, isn't it?

The writing itself is quite good, few typos and the ones that exist are cleaned up quickly.
I like the idea of a make-your-own-VR-story, even if the interruptions to make a decision are somewhat immersion breaking. Would I want to read that in every story? No, of course not. But in this one, it's the entire premise, a feature not a bug.

I initially gave this tale 4.5 stars, but the army-arc is simply so unbelievable that I took it down to 3. Hope it gets better soon, haven't given up yet!

  • Overall Score

The author does an incredible job pacing the story and manages to renew my interest with every chapter, if there are any grammar mistakes (I haven't caught any) the author either doesn't make any, or fixes immediately. This just shows the authors dedication and makes the story even better to read

Jacksonion Democracy
  • Overall Score

Pretty Good Grimdark - MC has the Big Sad

Reviewed at: 061 A New Workshop

So I'm at the latest chapter (chapter 61) and so far this story is quite good. Summary of the Story so far: 

Spoiler: Spoiler



I haven't noticed any grammar mistakes and the flow is good enough to get lost in, word choice is also pretty good with appropriate word's that belong in a story (doesn't read like a essay or something from a primary school). The style of writing is alright however one thing which may annoy people is that due to this being a sort of MMO Virtual Reality background he is frequently given choices in a A)B)C)+ setup and this may break the immersion for some (and his choices may also disappoint some more strongly as they see their prefered action listed). I binged it, and I liked it a lot and I suggest giving a shot at least - BEWARE the Hag parts if you are squemish as that is where this story earns it's grimdarkness, ex: many times MC is basically filleted like a fish with nothing to help the pain and is forced to also eat himself. Good story, not for the faint of heart.

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Spoiler: Spoiler


Spoiler: Spoiler


Jake Warner
  • Overall Score
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Not Just Damn Good, but Dependable!

Reviewed at: 095 Healing Time

The story itself is creative.  Once you start to read you'll notice it's like a book within a book.  From time to time you get humorous commentary, integrated into the story itself, about what's going on in the main plotline.  It's also almost like an Isekai in that the main character knows nothing of his world he's shoved into once he begins to explore the kingdom.

My favorite part of the story, however, is its dependability.  The author, Bokuboy, releases dependably every day.  Usually hours before and a page or two longer than his self-set schedule.  Moreso than all the other stories on this website, I look forward to this story's release every day.

Grammar-wise:  I am usually a grammar-nazi, and even I don't notice many errors in the chapters.  Bokuboy updates his chapters to correct grammar mistakes as people notice them.