The Great Devourer [Progression Litrpg]
- Sexual Content
Thousands of years ago, Nox, the Goddess of Eternal Night tried to destroy the world and was sealed into an eternal prison for her crimes. Now the world wants to finish her off along with the girl who was unlucky enough to accidentally find and let her out.
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Holy hell, it feels like someone distilled the essence of the average Royal Road reader and made it into this story.
(This is not a compliment)
The story doesn't even bother to explain most of its setting, it expects you to know most of it by heart (meaning it has all the tropes you can imagine), and its painful to read through.
This reads like a cheap Ecchi Anime (it means its heavily sexualized but never goes through with it, so its not actually smut), the protag has her clothes off 99% of the time, is sexually harrassed constantly, and it tries to pander to as many fetishes as its able to.
It tries to be comedic, but for me it always comes off as forced, comedy is deeply personal, and I personally dont find it appealing when its derived by having EVERY SINGLE characters feel about as intellectually challenged as a retarded goblin (and as debatably horny as well)
The Art is bloody incredible tho, idk what the hell this guy/gal/other (you can never assume these days) does to make these images so good, yet.... if anything reading it along with them only cements the notion that this was supposed to be a smutty Visual Novel instead of a Webnovel.
The great devourer is a misadventure of an ancient, world-destroyer, goddess of night, Nox trying to reclaim her past glory and her unwitting-unwilling vessel, Yul.
The first impression that the story delivered is how well-executed it is. Particularly when the readers are presented to the inner thought of Nox, which understandably a bit ...removed from the hubbub that is being a mortal.
While Nox one-track mind; her deluded, narcissistic one-dimensional personality is nothing new of isekai tropes, her banter and willfulness who thought that because the world used to revolve around her, thus it should continue to do so is exhilarating. Especially when we saw her fumbled the most basic social interaction.
Although with how the author presented Nox's character voice, it'd be unsurprising that the reader would found themselves not rooting for her 'looks on how things should be'. A pure child-like look, that however immoral, seems right because it's fun.
At the same time, the readers would also feel empathy for Yul, who is forced to endure in becoming Nox host, even willing to kill herself then becoming a vessel of destruction.
The characters are well developed and well fleshed, already by chapter 10, we could see several character growth slowly developing in the background.
The only flaw that could be pointed out (and this is really nitpicking) is that Yul is a tad bit too advanced for a simple farmer's daughter. How could the girl think in the million (first chapter, first paragraph), while none of her cultural background seemed to indicate so. It could be understood if she come from a mercantile/scholastic family, but millions for a farmer? That's stretching it a bit too thin. Of course, this particular commentary should be sidelined the moment she revealed to have more of those 'unusual pasts' like most author here love to foreshadow.
The story also teased grand worldbuilding; a complex interconnecting world of magic with possibility of space travel, a black hole as sun replacement, a church-civilian politic, racism, and (obviously) a secret organization encompassing six millennia and six thousand miles.
The style is lyrical. Particularly Nox's voice. The sentence structure is varied with length. First with five-six structure crescendo. Then stopped with a hint. A brief.
It is beautiful and mesmerizing. Immersing the readers fully.
A̶ ̶b̶i̶t̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶w̶a̶r̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶a̶u̶t̶h̶o̶r̶ ̶t̶h̶o̶u̶g̶h̶,̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶s̶t̶o̶r̶y̶ ̶n̶e̶e̶d̶s̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶a̶p̶p̶r̶o̶p̶r̶i̶a̶t̶e̶l̶y̶ ̶t̶a̶g̶g̶e̶d̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶p̶e̶r̶ ̶c̶o̶n̶t̶e̶n̶t̶ ̶w̶a̶r̶n̶i̶n̶g̶.̶ ̶S̶e̶x̶u̶a̶l̶ ̶c̶o̶n̶t̶e̶n̶t̶ ̶w̶a̶r̶n̶i̶n̶g̶.̶ ̶F̶r̶o̶m̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶f̶i̶r̶s̶t̶ ̶t̶e̶n̶ ̶c̶h̶a̶p̶t̶e̶r̶s̶ ̶a̶l̶o̶n̶e̶,̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶c̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶s̶p̶o̶t̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶s̶t̶o̶r̶y̶ ̶d̶e̶s̶c̶r̶i̶b̶e̶s̶ ̶a̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶m̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶s̶e̶x̶u̶a̶l̶ ̶h̶a̶r̶a̶s̶s̶m̶e̶n̶t̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶d̶e̶p̶i̶c̶t̶ ̶a̶t̶ ̶l̶e̶a̶s̶t̶ ̶a̶n̶ ̶N̶S̶F̶W̶ ̶l̶e̶v̶e̶l̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶f̶e̶m̶a̶l̶e̶ ̶n̶u̶d̶i̶t̶y̶.̶ ̶ ̶ ̶
W̶h̶i̶l̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶l̶a̶t̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶c̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶a̶s̶c̶r̶i̶b̶e̶d̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶c̶u̶l̶t̶u̶r̶a̶l̶ ̶b̶i̶a̶s̶ ̶i̶f̶ ̶c̶o̶m̶p̶a̶r̶e̶d̶ ̶a̶p̶p̶l̶e̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶a̶p̶p̶l̶e̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶i̶r̶ ̶m̶a̶l̶e̶ ̶e̶q̶u̶i̶v̶a̶l̶e̶n̶t̶,̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶m̶e̶r̶ ̶n̶e̶e̶d̶s̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶p̶e̶r̶ ̶t̶r̶i̶g̶g̶e̶r̶ ̶w̶a̶r̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶r̶a̶u̶m̶a̶t̶i̶z̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶r̶e̶a̶d̶e̶r̶ ̶w̶h̶o̶ ̶e̶x̶p̶e̶r̶i̶e̶n̶c̶e̶d̶ ̶s̶a̶i̶d̶ ̶d̶i̶f̶f̶i̶c̶u̶l̶t̶y̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶i̶r̶ ̶o̶w̶n̶ ̶l̶i̶f̶e̶.̶
(author had added the appropriate tag)
In conclusion, the story is amazing. A true worth read that deserves all of its five stellar stars.
I know the cover should have made it obvious, but eesh. This reads like the author is a teenage boy trying to write smut, then walking it back just enough so it's technically not.
Sexuality in stories can totally work. The problem is that this comes off as one of the most paint-by-numbers fictions I've ever read. The sexuality never feels natural, it comes off as a weapon to forcefully contort the plot and smack you in the face till you're interested. It's like the story is trying to hit the most common denominator and pander to every possible fetish while satisfying none of them. Even the litrpg aspect that I'm guilty of typically enjoying.
"Okay, first page, I want a tentacle rape picture. Now barely cover up the important bits so it's technically not porn that will get censored, but make sure the audience can tell her naked legs are forced open and the monster is all over her. Perfect. Now she needs to be a masochist, because duh. So let's just immediately turn her pain into pleasure. Done. What's the next fetish?"
The entire story reads like this. It's obvious and awkward. And yet in spite of the constant and overbearing sexuality, the story refuses to go full on smut. It reads entirely like they forcefully slapped on a PG-13 filter to reach a wider audience. Which just makes the weaponized sexuality even more awkward by utterly refusing to follow through.
Humor wise, it's accomplished by relying almost solely on misunderstandings and the MC getting smacked around and enjoying it. It's labeled as a comedy, but that's the entirety of the comedy so far. That's it. To say it falls flat is an understatement. I noped out when the protagonist ends up licking and kissing a girl to get at her essence. Not sexual at all of course, don't be silly. Yet another misunderstanding that is totally hilarious and not at all the lowest possible rung of comedy.
Author should really just go pure smut and remove the self-imposed PG-13 filter, or stop with the extremely heavy handed sexuality and misunderstandings. One or the other. As it is now, trying to pander to everyone results in the worst of both worlds with the benefits of neither.
The gist of this story is someone didn't like the whole "entropy ensures the inevitable heat death of the universe" thing, so decided to scream "FUCK YOU SPACE!" so loudly they accidentally broke the earth into a pile of tiny pieces, turned the sun into a super-massive black hole, fucked up magic so hard that now all the trees have tits, the rivers have tits, basically everything now has a sexy spirit who demands the puny humans worship them, and accidentally got imprisoned for 6,000 years by her own followers who were understandably upset about the whole "everything is fucked" situation.
Fast forward 6,000 years to a very different world where a young girl just found out she has no talents beyond being the equivalent of a virgin in the creepy, fetishistic way catholicism viewed that trait during the middle ages. So the local super-power obviously wants her to become a nun. Yup.
Naturally this all goes terribly wrong, and before you can say "excuse me, what the fuck?" These two functionally polar opposites are smashed together, resulting in extreme shenanigans as one doesn't want to die, while the other is convinced she is possessed by an ancient evil and must go become a nun to cure herself. I can't really say more without spoiling things, but that's the first 2 chapters, and it gets crazier from there.
So enter a not-quite-a-world of magic, intrigue, debt-slavery via soul magic, ancient nature spirits, corrupt quasi-religions, and at least one adorable fox-girl, and remember to enjoy your stay. Don't mind the screaming lady glowing purple. That's Nox. She does that.
I don't know how to describe the style beyond "wholesome humor meets unpleasant reality and the two fight like angry cats in a wet bag, while wonder and awe watch from the sidelines."
The story is fantastical, as presented in my short synopsis above. If you don't like it by chapter 2, it's probably not for you.
As a registered grammar gestapo, I can confirm that the grammar meets my standards.
For character score I only have one thing to say: "AUTHOR IF YOU DONT MAKE SURE SHE'S OK I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN AND DO UNSPEAKABLE EVIL TO YOU! THE UNIVERSE WILL TREMBLE AT YOUR SCREAMS! You know who I mean, chapter 27 better have good news for me.
it's a fun concept and I like how the author uses multiple personalities. The world building is great and I feel like I'm starting to understand how everything works. Also I like the story and have a great time reading it. Can't wait to see how it turns out. So thanks for the story!
The art is fantastic, the premise is solid, and so is the worldbuilding. Spelling and grammar are all good too.
So why give it 2 stars?
The author keeps forcing the 2 MC's to act like idiots. All. The. Time.
The same old mistakes are repeated constantly and they never learn a thing. This goes on and on and on chapter after chapter.
I dunno maybe its supposed to be funny or something but its frustrating to read to me. I got 9 chapters in and I couldn't take it anymore.
Right now It seems to have good worldbuilding and show character growth so don't see any explicit prroblems the protagonists are very different in a way that contrasts them nicely with lots of hints for more going on also love the fantasy use of the black hole with high quality art. Lots of mysteries thus far.
Looking at the less positive reviews i.e. complaints most of the can be summarized with two specific criteria.
The first is that the amount of sexual innuendos may bother prudes but thus far it remains a background element aside from its role in Nox's character demonstrating how out of touch she is with the settings local culture. It will likely remain prominent but it doesn't seem likely to ever be the sole focus of the story for those worrying about it. Explicit content seeems to be patron only which suggests it exists but isn't going to focus the story given it will be skippable.
The other thing that seems to have set some other readers off is Yul's responses to finding her body possessed by "an alien entity monster of the void" This may bother some people as based on her zealous indoctrinated background her first thought was to eliminate/purge herself of the evil influence and when that failed she switched to sabotaging Nox. Power fantasy mongers may find this a horrifying shock for their munchkin min maxer dreams but it totally makes sensein terms of character development and is well done and eventually resolved as a third party helps bridge their differences.
In either case these don't seem to be problems with the story but with the story not matching certian readers tastes and them falliciously equating that any story they don't like must be "bad".
Personal tastes and the writing quality of stories are not equilevent there are poorly written stories that are fun to read just as there are well written stories that aren't to ones individual preferences. Its particularly desturbing when people give a clearly cohernt story a nonsenical 0.5 rating (which I would argue is basically reserved for completely undecipherable noise/garbage lacking any informational content what soever.
To offset this for now I'm giving a full 5 stars though I will add that the quality thus far is good enough that it may very well earn a 5 star rating on its own merits there just isn't enough material yet following my rating criteria to justify a rating above 4.
This is absolutely one of the best executions I have ever seen for what it is. The swapping between perspectives is what really drives this story for me and it honestly amazes me how the dichotomy between Jul and Nox works as well as it does.
Also, arrogant Goddess goes brrrrrrrr.
I'll give a temporary four stars to this, which I'll update at some point. It's not to say I have any big reservations or critical elements I didn't like to point out, just that I don't think it makes sense to give a perfect score with so little content available so far.
Now, this story starts with this Yul girl and her (un)fortunate meeting with a goddess, after her life has seemingly denied her her dream for the future. To avoid spoilers I'll just say that so far the author is delivering his promise for character developement and the start of the actual litrpg aspect.
Now, the characters are not necessarily likeable at the start, as some of the personalities may come as extreme in some ways, but there are reasons and circumstances that make sense, and that's also what allows for development, and it's all coming together well so far.
The writing and grammar are good, just some typo here and there, but never anything that will make reading annoying. The pace is on point, slow enough at the beginning in a way that allows to give the reader a good understanding of what's going on, of the world and circumstances the characters find themselves in; at the moment of this (hopefully not too bad) review, things are starting to accelerate, as the premise for the story has been properly set.
Again, I'll stress that this review is a temporary one based on the few chapters available, with the story having barely started. I personally wouldn't really consider any review giving a very net judgement (negative or otherwise, though especially negative).
Tl;dr: very good premise, good writing, interesting characters with plenty of room to grow. Definitely worth a follow, with the potential of developing into a very precious gem.
If you approach this book shallowly and without patience, you’ll foolishly assume that it’s nothing but a basic yuri fantasy with some tits and ass pictures.
However, it is actually nothing of the sort! In reality it’s a very art-nouveau idea. It's a complex, beautiful, intricate, hilarious and deep worldbuilding masterpiece that’s wearing the stolen skin of a litrpg that it carved away with a knife made of science fiction from the festering corpse of every poorly written, self-insert, isekai-trope progression fantasy.
If you actually understand the joke references such as “I’m fine” [while everything is on fire] and dive into the maddening, harsh world presented by AbsolutePower, you’ll find a true shining gem here that plays and intertwines themes such as sci-fi, fantasy, litrpg, progression, system, mana, isekai and etc.
What The Great Devourer does is that it takes existing tropes of isekai novels on Amazon which feature very selfish, handsome murderhobo OR overbearingly sexy aka titillating protagonists and then stabs them in the heart, flipping every single trope that’s usually existing in these books inside out.
The villain and hero share the same body and it’s quite fun switching from one perspective to another.
Take the main character for example - Nox. She is an “isekai-style” MC who awakens in a world of her own design, six thousand years in the future.
Nox is absolutely the epitome of ego and selfishness and in the first batch of chapters I had nothing put passionate hatred for her due to the fact that she appears to be a really stupid, tyrannical textbook villain achetype who can’t even order food herself. However, as you read more you find out that she’s actually not a horrible monster, but a being made this way by consequences of her actions (necromancy & quest for absolute power) and that the entire world around her is made from her past mistakes (black hole being the biggest and most immediately obvious.)
The other character - Yul, is an archetype of a Harry Potter type hero. She totally lacks agency, being constantly knocked down by the villain, which makes you feel bad for her and hate Nox with a burning passion. Yul does show some heroism and agency in her actions in chapter 3 when she destroys an entire dungeon, cancels Quests and tries to kill herself. She doesn’t take Nox’s insane bullshit lying down, but beneath it all, she seems deeply misled by the propaganda of the church of Virtue, as pointed out by the third character - June.
June, unlike pure white Yul and pure black Nox, is gray. She is a character that unites their incompatible yin and yang. She is the bridge between the absolute evil that represents Nox and the absolute goodness that represents Yul. Without her, Nox and Yul pretty much oppose each other in a perpetual cycle of hatred and self-destruction. You can’t help but love her. She’s adorable, feisty and cute.
The worldbuilding: holy freaking crap! The whole concept of shards of a planet orbiting a black hole is really neat and beautifully illustrated both with art and words. The Church of Virtue appears corrupt, but isn’t - they’re simply trying to prevent another Nox from coming into power, abusing people relentlessly because they’re living in constant fear of the past and at the same time defending their little floating continent named Europa from invaders called the Sextants. Every character has fun and unexpected depth to them from Ingrid, the Legate of Virtue to Tamara “the cook” Rimmer.
Trust me - there’s logic and reason for literally every odd event in this book and every single expectation is subverted. For example, there’s a reason why the Knight makes the MC undress in the first chapter and it’s not just for purposes of leering at her sexy butt as I had originally assumed. I’ve subscribed to the author’s patreon and holy shit. There’s even a very brutal reason why the MC is so good looking and why she often lacks agency in chapter 20 “The perfect hero”.
Side note - spelling here is perfect too, no complaints.
Everything in this book can either turn you off and make you hate it due to you not understanding the underlying message of trope subversion that the author is presenting here or turn you on and excite you about: beauty of the characters, horror of the Rimmers modding human souls, comedy of MC’s failures and interactions, depth of every protagonist and their fantastic past, vast worldbuilding that spans an entire solar system of broken worlds and simply incredible art.