Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Traumatising content

A man has been brought back to life for a fell purpose. He inhabits the body of a ghoul: a lesser undead being. He must kill and eat, both to accrue power for himself and to serve the purposes of the mysterious woman who summoned him.

WARNING: This novel is not suitable for underage or otherwise susceptible readers. Take the tags seriously.

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Author
NineKeys

NineKeys

A Sentient Keyring

Achievements
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Word Count (12)
3,500 Followers
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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 1 - Breaking the Universe ago
Chapter 2 - Skewer ago
Chapter 3 - The Second Brand ago
Chapter 4 - Dead End ago
Chapter 5 - Peon ago
Chapter 6 - Into the Storm ago
Chapter 7 - Howl of Death ago
Chapter 8 - Ritual ago
Chapter 9 - Legacies of the Past ago
Chapter 10 - Orimo's Return ago
Chapter 11 - Command and Conquer ago
Chapter 12 – First Divergence ago
Chapter 13 - A Familiar Face ago
Chapter 14 – Even the Dead Can Fear ago
Chapter 15 - Intent ago
Chapter 16 - Resolve ago
Chapter 17 - What is a Brand? (Part 1) ago
Chapter 18 - What is a Brand? (Part 2) ago
Chapter 19 - Whispers of the Mind ago
Chapter 20 - The Cradle Will Fall (Part 1) ago
Chapter 21 - The Cradle Will Fall (Part 2) ago
Chapter 22 - The Cradle Will Fall (Part 3) ago
Chapter 23 - Forging Covenants, Breaking Shackles ago
Chapter 24 – Those Who Strive ago
Chapter 25 - Headcount ago
Chapter 26 – Autonomous Action Rejected ago
Chapter 27 – The Bug that Beheld the Watcher ago
Chapter 28 – That Which Lurks Within Us (Part 1) ago
Chapter 29 – That Which Lurks Within Us (Part 2) ago
Chapter 30 – Rematch ago
Chapter 31 - To Rule ago
Chapter 32 – The Cursed Blessing ago
Chapter 33 – Imperfect Recall ago
Chapter 34 – Ash in Their Wake ago
Chapter 35 – Feather and Claw ago
Chapter 36 – Form of the Wild ago
Chapter 37 – Deviant ago
Chapter 38 – The Five-Colored Watcher ago
Chapter 39 - The Gray ago

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Commander Kane
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

I don't normally read stories about the undead or non-human in general, mostly because the MCs are always trying to become human in one way or another. This is the one thing NineKeys got right about this story: the MC doesn't remember his human life and thus has no qualms about not being human, which most non-human MCs seemed to be obsessed about.

I like how NineKeys wrote the MC as a murderhobo—because he is, honestly, and I won't convince you otherwise—but it's not in that cringy 'humanity needs to be purged' murderhobo kinda stuff. He's a ghoul. Ghouls kill humans—and each other, which is a very evident point throughout the book. And though the MC is mainly focused on protecting his mistress, there's more to the story than just kill, kill, kill!

You're presented with worries about the MC's existence from the human side characters, the absolute insanity of the mistress (I won't spoil the story, but she's a complete loon), and pretty interesting world-building. The side characters (there's, like, four that are actually sapient besides the MC) are fairly interesting as well. They're not bland tools for the MC to use-they have actual relationships with one another, care for each other, and are motivated because NineKeys took the time to actually write them as characters, despite their lack of screen time.

All in all, I think it's a pretty good story. Pretty good grammar, pretty cool characters; I'm excited to see where this goes and I hope you will too.

myselfdsk
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

It's a great story. I like your style and the gloom of this world. I hope to see more horror and fear in the future and hope for many many new chapters. Great work. Let the darkness rule this ghoul. Thanks.

The Dolphin
Overall

If not for me lazily searching through novels, I would have missed this gem! Don't be dissuaded by its small numbers, I'm honestly baffled this isn't in trending! This is not some edgy wish fulfillment novel, the MC's actions are done with a motive, wether it's serving the mistress, or subduing another ghoul. The novel also a ghoul MC that acts like a ghoul, which means the following are done - Evolution, check! Controlling lower-tier undead, check! Smooth plot progression, check! Mc who acts like an undead, check! It checks all around the board! This is a must-read! Even if my review keeps on you on the fence, or even makes you want to skip this novel, then ignore this review and marvel at this work of art yourself! Go on, what are you waiting for? If it's not for more chapters then hurry up and read this gem!

SosadhScath
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Thoroughly good, tho still building

Reviewed at: Chapter 24 – Those Who Strive

At readers: very interesting.  A little slow at the beginning, but much like Threadbare or large chests, the character has to get his Int score up a bit first.  Interesting system.  Not unnecessarily grimdark, thoroughly enjoyable.  A soul is revived into an undead by an angry necromancer in a remote mountain village.  The necromancer’s horde is almost done conquering the village, but it’s raised enough questions to be interesting.

 

@author: Pacing is a bit on the slow side, but as we’re still in the worldbuilding phase and there’s certainly no filler, that’s forgivable.  not much to say, mostly leaving a large review to counteract the xianxia guy.  I’ll comment more structured thoughts for improvement if I have them on posts.

Jurak Lucais
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

A good story but some chapters lack the pace

Reviewed at: Chapter 24 – Those Who Strive

I’d like to start by saying it’s a good story. Yet sometimes there’s a dip in the narrative where it is clear the author has an idea of what they want to convey and write but not quite how that into words on a page as a story.

but I like the story well enough that the odd non informative or plot progressing chapter doesn’t interrupt that much and I’d recommend everyone to give it a read.

Zethuron
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

This story is quite the hidden gem. I haven’t before seen actual monstrous, inhuman undead being written this well before, which is something i wanted to read for quite some time, but those few stories that use undead or monster characters as a MC, just do it wrong from the start with humanizing them in a way, so kudos to the author!

Oh first a warning, trust the tags for this story and the authors warning, it IS dark, and fully deserves those tags, if someone would be possibly turned off by such content, I can only warn them to NOT read this story, as it gets really graphic and gory at times.

 

The MC, is what I would see as an actual well written undead, not just a human in a undead body with some undead urges, but different from that, the MC is truly inhuman, only wanting to kill, which he does without remorse, feed and gain power, though not being mindless as one would expect from undead, no, he actually can think further than just his base desires, and has something leading him on beyond his desire to become powerful.

There is also something else going on with him, as he is a resurrected corpse, and still has remmants influencing him from before he died and was resurrected, though not to a point that he wouldn’t kill those that he once knew.

One of the main things driving him is his mistress (who likely is insane), the one who has resurrected him and thus brought him back in this world as a ghoul, first just being a mere undead, but quickly becoming more than that, being something that has never before appeared on that world.

The author has fully nailed writing an undead character in this story, this is one of the things that this story does really well, and the other characters are also well written, even if not as noticeable as the MC who just stands out so much from them.

 

The plot so far, has been quite different from what I have seen in most other litrpg stories. The plot so far has been a literal undead apocalypse starting out in a secluded village and the MC being one of those brought back by his mistress’s necromantic ritual, and starts killing all those living in the village at the will of his mistress while also becoming more than he was through such killing.

I’m quite interested in which direction the author plans to bring the plot, as much can be done with this type of story, though at the same time, I hope the author doesn’t bring the story in a wrong direction as that could really ruin the overall story. This so far remains to be seen, though I have high hopes that the author can do it well considering what he has done with the story so far.

For the worldbuilding, there has been a solid base so far, even if its honestly not much given that the story so far has only taken place in that village. I quite like the authors take on litrpg, with it being 2 types of systems at the same time, which are opposites of each other, based on the 7 Virtues and the 7 Sins, with neither side being complete positives or negatives, rather mixed. Also status screens don’t appear that often, even if the level ups do, to me it seems like the stats side of the system has not been defined well so far, though that could still change.

 

Grammar has been solid so far, saw only a couple mistakes or odd sentences while reading this story, though honestly there is still work left to be done before the grammar can be considered to be excellent, still great grammar for RR standards.

 

I really like the authors writing style, from the start it is quite clear that this story is dark, gloomy, the author has captured the spirit of a starting undead apocalypse really well, the start just seems like one of those zombie survival stories, though seen through the perspective of a zombie, or ghoul in this case. This though does not last as it moves on as the MC gains some cold ruthless logic. The author really describes things in a vivid detail as they happen, even if it is graphic like the MC killing his enemies in a gory way fit for a ghoul, this just makes the story even better, though of course unsuited for some readers.

Just some things irk me a bit, like the dialogue between ghouls not being actually marked as different from other text in some way like one would expect from dialogue, this is just a minor gripe through, which does not take away from my enjoyment of this dark story.

Pacing has been solid so far, being just right for the story, even in those infodump chapters about the Brands, where the information is being delivered in such a way that it mixes with the ongoing story, without stalling it.

 

Honestly this story has some real potential, I’m interested in just what the author will do with it, as it is just that good to me. Just keep on writing author, you are making something special here, and don’t deviate from what you are writing now.

I really recommend this story for those who want to read about a properly written undead character that actually behaves like one, it just does it so right. So just come read this story, and mind the warning tags, they are there for a reason!

 

 

todd
Overall

Brutal, bloody, and monstrous in all the best ways

Reviewed at: Chapter 20 - The Cradle Will Fall (Part 1)

This is the undead slasher that I've been waiting for. The main character is a soul that broke through the barrier separating life and death, fueled by hatred and re-embodied as a lesser ghoul marked with the brand of Hatred. He then is set with a simple mission "Go and devour." What follows is a slow rise in capability and intelligence as he hunts both man and monster growing himself and his brands. The brands comprise the litrpg mechanism of the world and are a great take for a simple system. Levels are awarded for feats, both combat and otherwise, providing a seemingly random growth to their stats. As a monster, he is also able to evolve after reaching certain level thresholds, lending a satisfying sense of progress alongside the stat growth.

The world itself starts off small but is beginning to expand. The opening setting of a small valley in the mountains is revealed to be a minuscule population with vaster nations somewhere outside. Likewise, the nature of brands and the undead is revealed as the story progresses and the situation escalates. It's hard to say at this point, given that the story begins in a thoroughly isolated and backwards set of villages, but the foundation for a solid and fascinating world has already been laid. The characters are also well done, with each individual feeling like a different person, which is somewhat impressive given that some of the characters are monsters incapable of speech. Still, there's a distinct sense and pattern to their behavior that reinforces their identities.

Overall, this story is a satisfying take from the perspective of a monster that is more than just a human in a monster's body. He doesn't spare people because they remind him of individuals or ideals from his previous life, once he regains deeper thought he works with a purpose to take down those that survived the lesser ghouls. Despite that, I can't help but want him to succeed. To follow his undead crusade as he grows in power and spreads the blight of undeath across the lands of the living. This isn't a story where the monster teams up with friendly humans, but one where all humanity stands on the opposing side, whether they want to or not. Still, I can't wait to see as the protagonist grows into an ever greater threat and crashes onto the world's stage.

IAmBehindU
Overall

I'm not a fan of undead stories. Except for some peculiar ones. And this one works for that matter. 

When a person says: inhuman, I deeply disagree as most characters in fiction have hands, eyes, heads, and basically a human bipedal shape. So to me that word is beat used for a non-humanized char.  

At least beast-like, or a full beast. But in a way the soul if reincarnated will be humanized. 

The mc in this is humanized, point. But it is well written in the terms that what drives him aren't humane desires (mostly). In fact he is a humanized monster, and has certain emotions and flashbacks of past experiences. But it is perfectly written to represent his 'overall' self. 

Now, that's my opinion. But don't let it influence you much if you believe the opposite. The story deserves the stars and the Praise and I hope we at least agree to this. 

The plot is nice having a ghoul serve as a pov for an apocalyptical context. Its growth, and changes. 

Inhumane is what we usually call a life driven by instincts or immoral thoughts. But from his pov the things he does are necessary for his survival. But he is sapient, and ghouls recognize each other. 

At some point even the vilest creatures with certain levels of sapience will develop what we call humane. Morals, pity, trust, etc. This is all because communication is needed. 

Maybe the only monster is one with amnesia, one that would forever forget and never care about life, not having any emotions. But those end up crude. I very much wish to see the MCs goals develop furthee, if he will forget and do friendly fire, if he will obey and trust for all, and how much his psyche evolves during the course of his hunting. (There are some of these that have ocurred, but since I'm not direct, they don't serve as spoilers). 

All in all the story is deserving of praise, and I suggest people to read it. 

 

F1RST
Overall

Undead+litRPG done right

Reviewed at: Chapter 8 - Ritual

The long wait is over, I know iam not the only one who are waiting with this kind of writing.

I like the story so far and there's no glaring grammatical error. Just read.

sevensavethepost
Overall

I enjoyed the first 25 chapters or so, unfortunately like many stories with non-human leads, the problem of how the author is supposed to convey all their gooey litrpg mechanics and worldbuilding when the main character is a non-verbal illiterate monster eventually reared its ugly head.

And in this instance is the solution was to save it all for the end of the arc when the protagonist can finally communicate and then just dump it all on the reader at once.

The end of arc housekeeping gives the more recent chapters glacial pacing that leaves most of the more interesting story threads unused in favor of infodumps, flashbacks, and nonsensical AI reveals.