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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.
I'll get this out of the way and say The Great Devourer isn't a perfect story. Honestly, no story here is perfect. They all have flaws. I give ratings based on if I like it and if I don't like it, and from there, I usually grade super high.
But I will point out a few things that the author should keep in mind for this story and for later projects.
1. Readers here tend to have a hard time following characters that become the story's plot-related punching bag. It's weird. Readers want to see the characters struggle somewhat in some manner of conflict that makes it interesting, and maybe slightly unpredictable, to read. But it's hard for readers to be sympathetic toward characters who SEEM to self-sabotage too much. Or SEEM to lack agency. I'll admit some moments made me go "D'oh!" but then I kept reading, and I learned the reason behind why it happened. I suppose not many are going to last with the rapid repeats of "D'oh!"
-A counter to that point is that there are definitely nefarious characters involved set against Yul and Nox. It's quite the challenge to fight them. I wonder how they'll go about it.
1. The emotional development of the characters is fast as fuck, lol. The development between Nox and June felt like it happened within a few days. But I thought about why it happened and understood there were underlying reasons for it.
So a lot of the development can be explained, and I understand what the author's going for. That's the tragedy here because the average reader isn't patient enough to endure the "D'oh!" moments and come to terms with what's really happening.
Simply because the most important quality a character must have in RR stories is a level of "displayed" competency that's consistent. It can be a boring character, but if they're competent and consistent, RR readers' will ride with it. Make a competent, consistent, and unique character, and you're talking the holy grail.
But that's mostly commercial stuff.
What I like about this story are the unique locations the author takes us. The ideas and worldbuilding are plentiful in the world of the author's creation. I love the beauty behind the ideas, the way that everything that's modernized in the time of the setting has a link to what had been 6 thousand years ago. There's a huge amount of creativity here. Walking giants that provide sustenance. Ancient towers that shoot down invaders. Skyoceans and organisms fly around sections of a world orbiting a black hole shining light from its corona. So much is packed into this story is like reading a painting.
It's fucking amazing.
Then you have the art.
It's drop-dead gorgeous. It drips with talent and beauty.
And it honestly matches the descriptions the author writes that describe the world.
I think my biggest takeaway here is that the author themselves mentioned what this story is like from the beginning. And as a writer, I could see what the author is doing and appreciate it. And I think there's a lot of readers who appreciate it, too. It's just the way the story is told is going against what some readers would tolerate.
Also, the peeps who are downvoting this because of the nudes/ecchi are on some puritan-level ideology. They remind me of the Virtue Knights of the story, lol. And we know what Nox did to them.
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.
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.
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 Goddess Nox is arrogant as in 'all bow before me for I am the Goddess' and apart from that nothing. It is literally all that the character is, and the MC isn't much better as she only does the 'right' thing never thinking about anything. Not about what motives others have, not about the consequences, not about what might be happening to her apart from 'is it evil? Yes. How do I destroy evil?', nothing.
And worst is that the world makes no sense as the plot armour here is so thick, it could probably save the MC from being tossed into a black hole after being turned to mincemeat.
Valerianne, the MC, tries desperately to rid herself of the Void Mana even going so far as committing suicide multiple time and despite that there is always 1 mana remaining, for no other reason than plot, and always at least 1 Health no matter that she or Nox exploded themselves four times in only a few hours. It is explained via an artefact that constantly heals her but even after diminished efficacy, it seems strong enough to regrow the hand, which she should have lost after causing the blood therein to explode, instantly. How did she gain such a powerful artefact? It is so worthless that a Knight just handed it to her as a welcome gift for joining his church.
The grammar is excellent, and the story interesting. The world is expansive, and many images make it all the better, resulting in a very good style.
I'm not great at reviews, but here's some randoms bits of my opinion on the story.
Others have gone over the story better than I can, so I'll leave that to them if you are still hesitating. The chapters aren't that long though, so if you are taking the time to read that many of the reviews, you should really just read the first ten chapters instead and see if the story is for you. As for other aspects...
Grammar and spelling wise, I'd give it 4 stars. There are some occasional mistakes, but nothing that really hinders readability more than once a chapter or so. This being royalroad though, I'll add an extra half star for being much better than average and the author actually going back to fix mistakes. To be clear, I'd only give something five stars here if it had gone through multiple rounds of professional level editing.
Character wise, I feel like the story could really have benefited from some more background on the characters before everything starts going sideways. Its hard to care about characters you know very little about, and while the story definetly succeed in making me care about the characters in the end, it took me a while to warm up to some of them. Some of this seems intentional, but with Yul, it comes across as a bit lacking. We don't know anything about her motivations at first, and even ~30 chapters in, after some background is revealed, I'm still not sure what exactly is going on with her.
As for the style, it strikes a decent balance between grim-dark horror dystoptia and comedic effect that can be appreciated because we readers don't actually have to live there. There is much more focus on the characters and their personal development than worldbuilding in general, but not much about this story so far would actually be funny if I had to live in it myself.
Other reviews have complained about the nudity, but honestly, it doesn't have that much of an impact of the story at all. Its easy to ignore if you don't like it. I hardly think it warrents all the drama it seems to have attracted.
I thought it was somewhat funny, though I'm not really satisfied with the reasoning behind a few of the events that make her lose her clothes. It feels like it could have been better done without actually changing much.
If anything I think the more practical aspects should have been played up more. Prolonged exposure to the elements without sufficiant clothing tends to have deterimental effects not just physically, but psychologically as well, but we don't really see too much of that with Yul. Granted, she has other things on her mind, but a a sentence or two regarding that wouldn't have been out of place.
Overall, I'm quite fond of this story, but the latest events have left me feeling a bit conflicted regarding how I hope it will develop. I've read a lot of stories that started out great or at least decent, and then quickly turned awful. Hopefully this one will turn out to be be one of those rare gems that stays shiny even in later chapters.
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.
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.
I will be brief.
Super duper fantastic Art.
until now i didn't found peculiar negative aspects of this webnovel, but then again, I'm at chapter 7.
I like the shift between the perspective of characters, and even this change of pov (which could be a negative if done badly) is an positive for the story, without breaking the pace.