40 Thousand Reasons
- Sexual Content
- Traumatising content
The Immaterium poisons everything; the living and the machine. The Tau, the Necrons, and the Eldar chip away at humanity.
In the dark future of 40th Millennium there is only war.
And if you somehow still survive, the Tyranids will eat everyone anyway.
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This review may contain minor spoilers. You have been warned.
Forty Thousand Reasons is a Warhammer 40K Fanfic, complete with self-insert character who, by the standards of the setting, has lucked out big time. In a first-person perspective, we follow Pef, the son and heir to a Rogue Trader captain operating on the border of Imperial Space.
After his father suddenly and admittedly rather conveniently dies, Pef is left to take up the reins of his Rogue Trader house, attempting to guide his people toward fame and fortune while avoiding the ire of the many powerful Imperial factions, such as the Mechanicus, the Imperial Navy, and the Inquisition.
Of course, being a story with a self-insert MC, everything goes right a major portion of the time, people practically shower him with gifts, he's an absolute prodigy of naval warfare, and he's banging hot chicks left, right, and center, not to mention the fact that he's a techno-genius and manages to improve the performance of every STC he comes across by somewhere between ten and a thousand percent.
Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the story. I'm enjoying it, in fact. It's just very obvious that it needs a massive amount of polish. It's standard first-draft stuff, and a solid base to build something truly great on.
I will now break down my reasoning for scoring the fiction in the manner I have.
It always takes me a minute or two to pinpoint the exact issues I have with a writer's style. It's a bit of an ephemeral thing, but I think I've grasped it with the following.
The goings-on and happenstance of the scenes are laid out like a recipe, one after another with hardly any emotion in them. You'd think that with the first-person perspective, you'd get some descriptions of his surroundings, but nothing so much as the color of someone's robes or the look of a set of power armor has been shown. A major part of human perception is sight, and none of that is being described to us. What does this world look like? Are its oceans green, its atmosphere tinged purple, its continents laid out like a particularly misshapen gerbil?
The lack of any kind of description, anywhere, cheapens the entire story. We don't get to read about how the Magos's vox crackles angrily at the very suggestion that they lend a Titan to some damn fool Rogue Trader, we just hear a mostly monotone conversation spiked with miniscule attempts at inflection.
In summation, the story feels lifeless. Please, I am begging you, inject some personality into the people and places. The story you are trying to tell will thank you for it, as will all your readers.
There are very few if any grammatical errors, and none large enough that I remeber them. This is a very precious and rare occurence, and we would do well to look upon it with a degree of reverence. I would read a poorly-written story with excellent grammar a thousand times before I would read a well-written story with atrocious grammar. It really is that big of a deal, and is the reason I stuck with this story instead of rejecting it out of hand.
Good job on that one, Author. Keep it up.
My major gripe in this area is that everything feels too convenient and easy for the protagonist. Everything falls neatly into place, as though some higher power is arranging things just so. Seeing as this is, again, a self-insert story, that higher power is likely known as Author.
This would be just fine, if not for the simple fact that the world does not work like that. Everything must be worked for in order to be obtained, from the lowliest lasrifle to the mightiest battlefleet. This story would be so much better if all the work put into recovering, refurbishing, and refitting was touched upon, instead of being taken for granted.
Imagine what could be written about trying to convince the Forge World representative that what you have is in fact a legitimate STC instead of a cobbled-together schematic slapped together from a dozen different sources. Imagine the politicking it would take to convince a Space Marine chapter to not only take you seriously, but to consider helping your designs along. Imagine the careful line you'd need to walk with the Inquisition's own eyes upon you between surviving another day and actually implementing some form of lasting change, hopefully for the better.
We get none of this, because it's all handed to the MC without much more than a moment's thought. And that dissapoints me.
In addition to all that, things simply move too fast without giving the impression of having moved at all. Again, better descriptions are paramount; without them, we have a bland, soggy biscuit of a story, with everything blending into everything else.
To end this segment off, I'd like to touch on the references made to a sort of character customization screen, which the MC mentions several times. This of course implies it's one of those portal fantasy stories, but doesn't give us enough of that plot point to warrant its inclusion. I would advise the author to either fully commit to the theme and embrace it, or disregard it entirely. A more thorough explanation of exactly what's going on with that is necessary for it to do any more than annoy the reader.
Being a blatant self-insert (the character's name, Pef, is that of the author), the main character has a great many flaws. As mentioned before, he manages to somehow be some form of incredible genius with whom lady luck is practically married.
He spends the time not dedicated to managing his House trying to collect as many schematics as possible, and refining them as best as he is able. This is not a poor character trait, rather it's an admirable one, but the quite frankly ludicrous claims he makes about the effect of his alterations are simply obnoxious. Three hundred percent increase in whatever-it-was, my ass.
This experimentation and the results thereof would be more believable if a narration of the process were provided, something detailed enough to intrigue but not heavy enough to turn away readers.
It would also make much more sense if the process were treated more as an ongoing research project that occasionally produces marginal increases than an all-at-once one and done magical technological cure-all. We as the readers can only take so much of "My thing is just better than yours, because it is" before we throw down the book in disgust at yet another wish-fulfilment slopfest and go find something more worth reading.
Another problem is the protagonist's name. People, especially people of note, in the 40K universe do not have names like Pef. They have large, grandiose names, often evoking a very latin or aristocratic theme. Names are important, Author. They are the first impression we have of a character, and they must fit. A Rogue Trader has a name like Julianus Hildebrant, Petronius Kempon, or Calligos Haddaway, something that implies an amount of wealth measured in worlds. Nobody's going to take seriously a Rogue Trader named Steve. The more syllables packed into the least space, the better.
I'm sure I could write more if I really wanted, it's not as though I'm lacking in material, but it's getting rather late now so I'll end this here. The story is promising, but needs a good rework in almost every respect. I see it as a first draft, and a fair one at that, but a first draft without further editing and follow-up is doomed to pass away into the aether without acknowledgement. I wish the Author luck in remedying these weaknesses, or at least in finding a good editor.
A well done and moderately well-executed Warhammer 40K crackfic
Grammar: Very little grammatical or spelling errors whatsoever that I can point out in this story that would hinder your reading experience. 5/5
Style: This story is a very unserious crackfic fanfiction of Warhammer 40K that is more on the comedic side rather than the usual Warhammer dark and gritty. So it's not a story for those who are preferential towards more serious types of stories 4/5
Story: The story is set in the Warhammer 40K universe and mostly just focuses on the adventures of the self-inserted Lord Pef and his quest of doing whatever he wants from blowing up Orks to messing with canon.
It does, of course, have an actual plotline, like creating his own empire of blanks and ensuring the survival of humanity, but it all sort of just falls on the wayside and is mostly done in the background by the side characters while Lord Pef focuses on his travels, messing with everyone and essentially becoming the Deus ex machina of the universe.
The story while funny and interesting is slowly becoming boring and repetitive as the MC simply repeats his actions, again and again, simply following the same pattern.
Everything also simply falls into Pef's lap thanks to various plotholes, plot armour and his knowledge of how the story is supposed to go. Making even the most absurd of obstacles become mere nuisances that are eliminated in a heartbeat creating no real excitement except for those who like to read how the MC so easily obliterates and overpowers their foes, regardless of the odds.
There is also heavy use of lore in this story so unless your a fan of WH40K or have read up on the lore extensively, then'll you have some difficulty with some of the terms or items used/shown in the story 3/5
Characters: The characters in the story both side and main are all, unfortunately, one dimensional, rather bland, at times interesting and other times just carbon copies of each other. So much so that it only takes the most basic and simple of explanations to describe most characters in their entirety.
None of the characters in the story are really fleshed out enough to be called anything but one dimensional and most are simply static and unchanging. The tech-priests being worst of them as they are all essentially copies of one another in both actions and reactions making them exceedingly predictable and thus boring after a while.
For the more hardcore fans of WH40K there's also the fact that many of in-universe characters are very OOC (out of character). The biggest example of which are the Astartes in this story. They have become gullible, stupid and easily cowed weaklings that easily fall prey to literally anyone without guidance (Lord Pef). So be warned 2.5/5
Overall: A fun read that's great at the start that slowly becomes repetitive as the story progresses. I would recommend it as a past-time read for a good laugh or two. I wouldn't recommend it for people who like more plot-driven stories and WH40K fans who dislike canon divergence and OOC (out of character) characters.
This is the type of story for those people who like stories like Overlord where the main protagonist (Ainz) is so powerful that there is literally zero threats that can actually harm him and where the most interesting part or main attraction of the story is how he overpowers everyone who stands in his way and how his 'powerful' enemies are simply helpess lambs for slaughter against him 3.5/5
Recently the term "Mary Sue" or "Gary Stue" get tossed around like they're inherently bad writing. That's incorrect, they're only bad when they try to hide what they are. Pef is an unapologetic cheater who knows he's exploiting meta knowledge and having a blast doing it.
There are a lot of purists who think 40k needs to be all Grim-Dark all the time but they like to forget how campy and grim-stupid it can be, and this has a lot of the grim-stupid aspects getting exploited.
TLDR it's a power trip in the 40k Universe, and that isn't an inherently bad thing for fanfiction.
Overall I like this, but Pef's narration style of storytelling can be grating. There honestly is not enough 40k fanfics and those that do exist usually have not been updated in years. So, while Pef's story isnt an ideal to me I'm definitly going to read it just like I did for his Starwars novel because he provides niche fanfics I enjoy.
This all said Pef could use a good editor or sounding board for ideas. No clue if he is trying to take his writing full-time but I wish him luck in finding the tools to get better at this stuff.
And there's nothing wrong with that.
There are constant reminders of how grimdark the overall sitiuation is, but the main character keeps on dealing with his local challenges fairly easily, and snowballing his empire/fleet. But it handles that well.
Other than that, the grammar has a few mistakes, and the characters are somewhat flat.
While there isnt much overall story mostly just steal,make,kill repeat its still a fun read and im enjoying it.
Rather jarring beginning especially for the uninitiated in the 40k lore, but to me, looking stuff up in the wikis was part of the fun. The grammar isn't problematic and there isn't any other big no-nos unless you really dislike some power fantasy and was hoping for a 40k story where everyone dies and hope is just heresy in disguise.
On that note, the synopsis sucks and pretty much doesn't say anything.
Pef Lancefire (MC) is a rogue trader for the imperium of man, living on the fringes of what is considered civilized space, luckily he is a 'Blank', someone who is mostly immune to the corruption of the warp, and he knows enough of the 40k lore to be considered a heretic.
There, I almost didn't say anything and I still did a better job than the actual synopsis.
Also, this novel needs a harem tag.
This made look into Warhammer for the 1rst time so it is not only a fan fiction but a great standalone story as well. Well written with little to no mistakes some smutt that is not detailed (much to my satisfaction) and using the lore in great way to take advantage of game events. Worth a read at the very least. And for the people that don't know what Warhammer 40000 is there is only one thing to say to you; Emperor Protects!
I admit, I read the first 1.5 chapters and was turned off by the setting, world, and grammar since all i knew about 40k was that some nerds liked to paint toy figures and leave them on their shelves for decades.
Thankfully, the grammar improves considerably and the empire building, tech discoveries, and rich lore are all my current fav parts of any story.
Like i just said, i knew nothing about 40k before binge reading all 181 chapters in the last 3 days but during those days the author provided links to the 100s of terms he was throwing around and i would read those links and then the links of the links and soon i spent more time reading 40k wikis than the actual story. Once learning a lot of backstory and more of the world everything became much more enjoyable, most of the time pef would go somewhere and do some things then i would wiki those things and learn even more about the 40k universe.
The characters really arnt as bad as some reviews make it seem, there are just 100s of them that come and go in as many chapters.
My main complaint is just how fast paced this story is, it is very hard to keep track of where in the universe the mc is at times or how large his fleet is. like for the current arc, i have legit no idea what forces he took on his crusade besides 6 carriers and some battleships, id really like to know those numbers in a spoiler at the end of the chapter. Also location title to go along with every scene shift would be greatly appreciated.
Other than that i've loved reading this story so far and can only hope for 1000 more chapters though it seems the story is approaching the endgame atm and it could finish within 100 :/
I can only give you 4 stars, since this doesn't really feel like a story. More like I am reading the personal log book of the Pef. Full of battle reports and about all the women he slept with.
Which honestly I dont hate it. But it just doesnt feel like a story to me. What I do like is that you have given me a new appreciation for 40k. With all the links and little tidbits of info sprinkled in, I have become a 40k fan. Not sure I would ever play the table top and paint miniatures, but once space hulk death wing goes on sale I will buy and play it.
Also the YouTube video emperor has text to speech is awesome. I found that through one of the other readers of this. You know what, fine you get 5 stars. Only because of that YouTube channel I found. Keep up the good work though. I know how hard it is to write.