Dawn of the Void - a LitRPG Apocalypse

Dawn of the Void - a LitRPG Apocalypse

by pwtucker

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content
  • Traumatising content

Tragedy had reduced James to a nobody. Washed up and homeless in NYC, he thought his life was over.

Then a message appeared in his vision:

60,000 year countdown has ended
Nemesis 1 released
Please acknowledge

As the world falls apart, as billions die, as society collapses and all hope seems lost, James discovers a powerful truth: he was wrong to think himself a nobody.

With the dawn of the Void, he'll become the most important person to have ever lived.

Release Schedule: 5 Chapters a week; Mon-Fri.
Dawn of the Void is ONLY published on Royal Road and my Patreon. Please notify me if you find it elsewhere.

  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
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Word Count (15)
Top List #50
4th Anniversary
Table of Contents
110 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 1: Nemesis ago
Chapter 2: This Makes Total Sense ago
Chapter 3: Arete ago
Chapter 4: Two Million Dead ago
Chapter 5: Honey, guns cost money ago
Chapter 6: Stay informed. Watch the news. Stay alive. ago
Chapter 7: I want an 8 Ball ago
Chapter 8: Sexy Lumberhomelessjack Dude ago
Chapter 9: What a shit show ago
Chapter 10: The National Guard is here to help ago
Chapter 11: No time for this BS ago
Chapter 12: Kill zones ago
Chapter 13: Monitor ago
Chapter 14: Power ago
Chapter 15: Don’t you go dying on me ago
Chapter 16: A Lot of Important People ago
Chapter 17: The Keys to FAO Schwartz ago
Chapter 18: Avengers ago
Chapter 19: Smitey smite ago
Chapter 20: Fourth Wave ago
Chapter 21: Brutal lessons ago
Chapter 22: Go Time ago
Chapter 23: Nemesis 2 ago
Chapter 24: Order from Chaos ago
Chapter 25: The Big Guns ago
Chapter 26: Learning to Optimize ago
Chapter 27: Por que no los dos? ago
Chapter 28: Sacred Strike ago
Chapter 29: Get Some ago
Chapter 30: Trust ago
Interludes ago
Chapter 31: Getting our own crew together ago
Chapter 32: A speech to give and a war to organize ago
Chapter 33: Band of Killers ago
Chapter 34: Esprit de corpse ago
Chapter 35: Into the Hive ago
Chapter 36: Crown of Flesh ago
Chapter 37: Black gem ago
Chapter 38: Decisions ago
Chapter 39: Iron ago
Chapter 40: The Bear of Wall Street ago
Chapter 41: Aura Mastery ago
Chapter 42: Bureaucratic bullshit ago
Chapter 43: The major’s offer ago
Chapter 44: Cowardice ago
Chapter 45: Blue Light ago
Chapter 46: Hard Sell ago
Chapter 47: Ma Deuces ago
Chapter 48: Big axes work, yo ago
Chapter 49: Montecristo's ago
Chapter 50: The ashes of everything now ago
Chapter 51: Divine death machines ago
Chapter 52: Trauma ago
Chapter 53: Manhattan ago
Chapter 54: Fuck you, Jobu ago
Chapter 55: Gloria ago
Chapter 56: That's All You Got? ago
Chapter 57: Upgrades ago
Chapter 58: Is a knife evil? ago
Chapter 59: Wealth and power ago
Chapter 60: Lies ago
Chapter 61: CSM ago
Chapter 62: Shield of Faith ago
Chapter 63: Smite ago
Chapter 64: Bless ago
Chapter 65: The leader of the free world ago
Chapter 66: Situation Room ago
Chapter 67: Angel Wing ago
Chapter 68: The secrets we carry ago
Chapter 69: As close to family as I’ve got ago
Chapter 70: 3-Day ago
Chapter 71: Nemesis 3 ago
Chapter 72: Get there fast ago
Chapter 73: Elmsford ago
Chapter 74: New Haven ago
Chapter 75: Temptation ago
Chapter 76: Harsh Lessons ago
Chapter 77: Old Crow, Yukon ago
Chapter 78: Sola Anima ago
Chapter 79: Imbuing ago
Chapter 80: Count Down ago
Chapter 81: Red Line ago
Chapter 82: Ethics. Or a crude attempt at ‘em ago
Chapter 83: Someday. Not today. ago
Chapter 84: Interviews ago
Chapter 85: #dontlookdontdie ago
Chapter 86: Gearing Up ago
Chapter 87: Third Wave ago
Chapter 88: Arete 100 ago
Chapter 89: Bronze ago
Chapter 90: Inside ago
Chapter 91: Crisis ago
Chapter 92: The System ago
Chapter 93: Canis ago
Chapter 94: Apparatus Bellicus Prime ago
Chapter 95: Inspiration ago
Chapter 96: BRRRRRR ago
Chapter 97: Dikastís ago
Chapter 98: Hive ago
Chapter 99: The Virtue of Justice ago
Chapter 100: Old Friends ago
Chapter 101: Jersey ago
Chapter 102: Star Boy ago
Chapter 103: My kind of terrible ago
Chapter 104: Bouncy castle from hell ago
Chapter 105: Old Crow ago
Chapter 106: Jaywick ago
Chapter 107: Defiance ago
Chapter 108: Belanger ago
Chapter 109: Demon promises are shit ago

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I am absolutely infatuated with this story. My only complaint is how little of it there is so far. I especially love the faint religious themes, especially in the descriptions of how the abilities work. Please, please, please keep more things like that in the story. In fact, step it up if you can. It is absolutely the coolest aspect of a story that I have read kn Royal Road. Keep it up! 


This has got to be one of the absolute best apocalypse books I've ever read. I really can't wait for this one to continue. If the end came would you fight? Would you lie down and die? This book does an absolutely amazing job of making this real. You've been warned. 


I liked the style so far. but the fascinating thing for me is the 'hunter association' vibe I'm getting.

like when I read this sort of apocalypse type of stories I was always confused why would they create a hunter association or something similar when they're the most powerful but here the story tells in great detail why its that way, I believe this to be this stories contribution to this genre as a hole.

and the story itself has great character development and good pacing. so no pacing issue so far which is good.



This story does an excellent job with creating human characters; broken, but getting better. There is a real heart to these people.

It also has the most believable apocalypse I've seen on RR so far.  The breakdown of organization and logistics is just as bad as the ravening hordes of monster that cause it, but it isn't an instantaneous collapse.  There are meetings and debriefs and action plans and subcommittees and some are worthless but some are useful because the protagonist isn't the only smart guy in the world.

The System is clear but not overly crunchy and underexplained enough that the reader can make discoveries alongbwithnthe characters...and figuring that System out is a key part of the narrative because it becomes clear quite early on that knowledge will be vital for survival.

In short: the set-up for this is so good, I've been driven to write my first review after 2+ years of reading great stuff here non-stop.  It's a cut above.

Mute Reader

When chaos meets order, we have a dawn of the void

Reviewed at: Chapter 30: Trust

I could almost swear I've never seen this amount of commitment and smarts in comments from any book so far. 

@PWTUCKER  you are definitely lucky to get these amazing minds so invested in your story, and having read it as well I can definitely say with certainty that it's not just luck keeping these people here.

I mean I just wanted to take a look and the next thing I know the day is almost over.

It's so engaging and keeps one guessing what comes next as the MC is just so unusual compared to other LitRPG Apocalypse ones that every single chapter is refreshing in its own way, especially when the characters are flesh out more.

You are amazing at just blending chaos and order to provide one of the most satisfying and engaging reads out there, and I commend you on that.


Wow. What an awesome read.

The main character has so much depth and is so raw at times you just can't help but want to know more of his story. The only extra main character so far actually interesting enough to make me not wish her to be killed off (you-know-what-I-mean)

The world they're trudging through is so visceral and believable and just amazingly fleshed out.

I've seen a lot of authors base their stories on the real word and usually it's some kind of tin can version of reality, just hollow and flimsy... but this guy knows the grit and shit of this world and really dialed it in for this story.

It's a gritty, witty, dirty survival story with all the guilty pleasures of power progression wrapped in a world where shit still matters...

There's some typos here and there and the occasional "huh?" on a sentence that was probably half rewriten before posting but at the pace of release I welcome it!

You can tell this author is carefully meticulously wording and rewording. 

No "deja vu" moments where you saw nearly the same description of a situation 5 times before, or even overused Bing words that become irritating as time goes on...

I always know where everything is happening, I can practically hear and taste the fight scenes and purple prose is sitting untouched on this authors desk.

My only gripe now is that I'm catching up too fast...

I love it!

Read it now!


Overall, great read! Just in brief, this is a book capitalizing on the Systems Apocalypse frame, where a interface goes before multiple characters. There is a great unfolding of characters, especially with Serenity and James, some of the two main characters. I love seeing the dysfunction of the government in the face of the apocalypse. One of the things that really separates this from much of the work on Royal Road is the quality of writing. Phil Tucker is an awesome author (He wrote Bastion, a book widely regarded as one of the better Progression fantasy books and one which I am eagerly awaiting the sequel for). I want to take a moment to give props to an awesome author who is trying his hand at RR. I really hope that he sees it through and completes it, because now this is one of the few books that I am following on RR. I can't wait to see how the world unfolds!

Style: As mentioned, well done, could have a little more combat/leveling sections but he has done a great job of building the world and characters

Story: Love the integration of the military and old governmental structures into it, makes it feel very realistic

Grammar: Impeccable

Characters: I like how James particular has his background fleshed out


Started the story a couple of days ago and didn't get as much sleep as I should have. Which tells you all you need to know. But for those of you that need a bit more... here is the detailed breakdown.

Style score 5/5: gritty, dark, inspiring, rousing, depressing. All at once. I like it. It is complex and not the usual cookie-cutter, bland stuff we get from most authors on rr. 

Grammar score 5/5: spot on. The occasional typo, but otherwise an easy 5/5

Character Score 5/5: This is where the story truly shines. I was hesitant to read the story at first because I am not that fond usually of those broken characters. But the author really pulled this one off, I think. The two MCs are credible for what they are supposed to be, and all that psychological shit, the way they talk, their raw emotions... really makes me feel that they are real people. I think this is really well done. In Bastion (the author's book on kindle - check it out... a really good read as well) the main character has some character traits that I actively dislike. Once I stopped reading for a couple of days because I really hated how he was such an idiot. I never felt that way in this book. But even though the MC doesn't make those turn-off-choices, he has plenty of darkness, complexity, and emotional fragility, which makes him interesting. Kudos! Well done!

To add, most of the other characters are interesting as well, and I am curious to see where things are going.

Story score 4.5/5: So here is the only category for which I have to deduct a half-point. Why? Well... some of the things happening are a bit of a stretch. In particular, the MC getting his position despite his background and appearance. I also find the behavior of some people in the face of an apocalypse and hordes of monsters a tad weird... but whatever. I can ignore those things because the rest of the story is so darn good. Some reviews for the story talk about the same thing and give massively lower ratings because of that. I think that is unfair to the story and the marvelous work the author is doing on this story. 

Overall score 5/5: Easily one of the best stories on RR. Read it. 



Starting to slow down by chapter 39

Reviewed at: Chapter 39: Iron

Let me say, I've enjoyed the earlier chapters but it's kind of starting to drag on now that the "origin story" is basically done. I was considering not reading chapter 39. "A sequence of fights where the protagonist slowly gets stronger" is not, by itself, enough to hold my interest. It's like watching a loading bar... you know the story is going from A to B and each chapter just updates "last chapter we were at 34% from A to B but after this fight we have 5 more points so now we're at almost 37%! Hold on to your hats, folks!"

I guess it just feels too linear and slow-paced now. "Novelty per chapter" has declined. You can get more novelty by introducing new settings, new characters or factions, truly creative ways to fight or survive unlike what we've seen before, major transformations in the status or situation of main characters, big setbacks, unexpected discoveries, new mysteries.

Matthew Robinson
A real main character with flaws, doubts, and ability. A supporting cast that have depth and evolve. A system that is intriguing and I can't wait to learn more.
Found this gem on rising stars and I'm so glad I gave it a go. I know the author has said he's posting these chapters as he writes them, but I can assure you he has a plan (or he is great at pantsing this). The depth of the system already, the setup for what is happening and how long ago this started. 
The story has a dark edge to it and isn't afraid to get gritty, but it doesn't throw things at you for shock value. We're going through it with the characters and I am loving everyone moment.
Dig in, get strapped, and pray you have what it takes to keep up with James and his crew. Looks like we’re all in for action and blessings to keep us coming back for more.
Advanced review: Story 5/5 great idea, Style 5/5 excellent delivery and execution, Character 5/5 depth, emotion, and evolving I want to meet them all, Grammer 4.5/5 minor issues with tense and word substitutions needs a quick proofreader.
TLDR: Binge this and binge it hard. Need more now.