- Traumatising content
In a galaxy-spanning utopia where societal leaders are networked together for instant communication, nothing goes unnoticed.
There’s no crime. No secrets. No privacy. And no way to escape.
Until Thomas unintentionally captivates the top super-genius influencer. If he’s going to help his enslaved friends, he’ll need to trick her… plus her audience of thirty trillion mind readers.
And so Thomas's galactic conquest begins.
✴ Dual protagonists. One brain, one brawn. Progression for both of them.
✴ Multi-POV because sometimes you gotta see reactions & outside perspectives.
✴ Don't expect the OP factor to kick in until later. The heroes do get OP, but the bad guys are OP first.
✴ This story gets DARK. Particularly in the first book. The heroes have fun and a lot of wins later in the serial (it is all pre-written), but there are no easy wins at first. No sexual violence, but the traumatizing content warning is there for good reason.
✴ 500+ chapters; a complete story arc in seven books. I will post this entire series on RoyalRoad and Patreon/my website before publication.
✴ Current schedule is Tue Thu Sat (3x per week)
Cover art by Byzwa Dher. Used with permission.
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It's a solid story by a good writer, which delivers on It's premise of a comparatively strong set of main characters. That said, the setting is extremely depressing and so far there hasn't been a positive moment that wasn't overshadowed by murder, torture or some other type of abuse. If you can take that there really is a lot of good here.
For me, it is too much. This goes beyond needing a trigger warning, if you empathise at all with book characters you'll come out of every story arc sadder than you went in. In that sense, it hasn't delivered on the blurb. That evoked a feeling of some sort of grand adventure of someone fighting against something big using clever tricks (i.e. fun and light).
OK, this is a great story. I feel like I'm reading classic UFO sci-fi from the seventies, and that's a compliment. We've got aliens, telepathy, MiBs and all sorts of fun things. If you've ever listened to Coast to Coast you're gonna love it.
The style is third person and it's done very well. Each chapter is from one character's point of view and it isn't confusing head hopping. The amount of head hopping that occurs is minimal and natural. The prose is well thought out and the sentences convey information without being wordy.
The story. Damn. I cried on the first chapter. It conveys how lonely being a telepath can be. Thomas isn't the typical trope telepath that runs from others to limit mind reading, he's complicated. So much more complicated than a kid his age should have bear.
Grammar is well done and has no issues. The author seems to have experience with crafting well wrought sentences and it shows.
The characters make this story in a way that just suck you in. Not one character is superfluous. Each has a role to play to further things along and it's masterfully done. Even a bully that shows up for a moment had a role. The fact that Thomas can't forget any mind he's touched means that even a minor bully's experiences and pains will have meaning to him. Rough life for a kid especially when you think about it.
The story made me realize that I need to read more of this, and so should you. It's classic sci-fi and wonderful. We're just getting started, but I think that the author is going to take us to some fun and scary places.
Torth is one of the best sci-fis on the site, full stop. It's not the telepaths, or the giant, or the aliens. It's the way it makes the telepaths and the giant and the aliens feel completely real, dropping total immersion into a story with amazing characters and real stakes.
STYLE: I don't even know what to say, here. The prose is excellence, descriptions are vivid, and dialogue is on point. It made me think and feel and live in the MC's world to a much higher degree than I am accustomed.
STORY: The plot is crazy, hitting you with twists and turns that make perfect sense in hindsight. I never know what's going to happen, and keeps the tension ramped up pretty much all the way through. Great story beats, powerful character development, and a lot of set up that pays off in unexpected ways. If I could give this series more than five stars I totally would.
CHARACTERS: Writing flawed, complicated, realistic characters is hard. AbbyBabble makes it look easy. They are deep, complex, and very real. Character interactions actually made me feel emotional several times, and I am painfully invested, not just in the MC, but in the side characters.
GRAMMAR: Flawless. Enough said.
OVERALL: If you're still reading reviews and deciding whether or not to give Torth a chance, you can stop now. It's good. It's better than good. You will not regret picking it up.
I love this story! The premise is so fascinating, and the worldbuilding (universe-building?) is very detailed without being overt exposition. Even sections of direct exposition are masked behind Thomas connecting with literal trillions of other minds and learning via them. It's fantastic, and I really appreciate the attention to detail.
The story feels like a slow start, when all of a sudden bam! plot! And then we're lost in the galaxy with no idea where we are, when we are, or who's gonna make it out. It did feel a little sudden, but I also enjoyed it. So, there's that.
And that's why the story score is 5.0. Love it to pieces. <3
For characters... I love the characters, and they're something that definitely get better as the story progresses. The characters come alive through different interactions and experience, and their personalities develop in very interesting ways.
That being said, I found a few situations that took me ever-so-slightly out of the story. These are definitely personal gripes though. The biggest one is the opening chapter of Book 1: when Thomas and Cherise meet. Cherise is suicidal in that scene, and Thomas saves her. But it didn't feel like enough care was taken with that scene. It feels rushed through and disingenuous. Which makes sense as an opening chapter to introduce two characters, but it just rubbed me the wrong way. Another scene was when a character (Cherise, I think) casually misgenders another slave. And it's just.... eeeeeehhhhhh, yeah, okay, you could say it's a character moment, but it's another bit that niggled me wrong, particularly when it hasn't been revisited. Why not just leave that comment out if that was all there was to it? (Tbf, I've only read Book 1 at this point, so maybe it comes up later.)
On the more positive side, I adored Thomas's & Ariock's journey... but particularly Thomas's. He just gets so much change! We even see the order of his thoughts change, where once he reminds himself of slave names in color, towards the end he names people while subconsciously reminding himself they're just slaves. Exquisite. chef's kiss
Character score is 4.5 from me.
Grammar, I'm not very good at with myself, so I won't be harsh. It seemed good to me. I didn't find anything so egregious I could pick it out, so grammar score, 5.0.
Style seems to be more personal than grammar, though, and it's something I'm picky about. Will it stop me from enjoying an otherwise well-written story? ... sometimes, but not in this case. I've gone back in forth in my head over the author's voice and style, but ultimately decided that, while it's not my favorite style (because of things), it's still pretty good. And to be completely fair, most of the things that niggle me definitely lessened towards the end of Book 1.
There's a lot of "was" and "-ing" verbs throughout the beginning and middle of Book 1, though, and that's a personal pet-peeve of mine. Another niggling is the colored thoughts of the Torth. It's a brilliant detail! But I sometimes found it distracting, particularly in dark mode. So... pros & cons.
At the end, I'm giving a style score of 4.0.
And, if I've done my math right, that gives an overall score of 4.625, rounding to the close overall score of 4.5.
Fabulous Book 1, and I'll be starting Book 2 shortly. :3
Is this story good? Yes and no to me. But will say give it a shot for sure. The story starts great a bit fast maybe and some of how people talk is lacking to me. The thing is to me it gets bad when the bad guys show up in this story.
The thing is they are just pure evil. I have nothing against evil or the mass slavery they have going on even a drug baron can be great to read about if you get a feeling you can connect with them on some parts anything at all but the Thorth (Bad guys) are just evil because evil stuff.
It is just not for me I think. It is good and intresting but want to conect to the other side too. Too know why they do stuff and how it works but it would be like the Roman empire having 99.99% slaves that can be killed without a problem or cost. That is not the bad part sure I would say but the thing is that their is NO Thorgh that think that is bad or treats their slaves better. Just feelt tiring.
The other chars are not great not because I don't like their POV but it feels like they don't understand what is happening on how they act.
Tbh, I don't have much good to say mostly because the other point so much work on my nervers but GIVE IT A SHOT. Some people like it others don't and even if I don't like it does not mean it is a bad story it has the blocks just does not click to me.
Torth is a sci-fi sensation I didn't expect. The description makes it seem like an alternate world sci-fi epic, and it's definitely getting there, but first it has to lay some foundations. And boy are those foundations strong.
The author does a fantastic job setting up the circumustances that lead to explosion of events. While admittedly it may be a bit of a slow burn compared to what it's building towards, the development is extremely engaging in its own right. The chapter I'm writing this review on is where it hit the fan, so to say. While it was clearly being built to, the change was a bit abrupt, but not unwelcome.
Characterwise, the story mostly focused on 1 of the 2 protagonists up until this point. He is kind and smart, but can also be exceedingly selfish to accomplish his own dreams and goals. At times it can feel a bit overbearing and heavy-handed but still feels relatable and understandable. The second protagonist was just recently introduced at this point, so I can't speak too much, but they seem quite unique as well.
Grammar wise, not much to say. Literally only one phrase in the entire thing I felt could have been worded better.
Style. I saved it last for a reason, because it honestly stole the spotlight. This author did things with style that I've never seen before. No I'm not talking about their prose, while good, it's not what I'm referring to. The actual visual style of the writing deserves a shoutout of its own. It's not in every chapter, but when it's there it steals the show. It made those chapters so much more engaging and a treat to read. You can really feel the hours of extra work the author and it paid off.
Looking forward to where this fantastical journey is headed.
This novel is amazing. I almost feel like it's way too good for this site. In this sea of bland LitRPGs, this is a beacon of amazing world building and characters that are full of life. I love how each character feels so different from one another that one person's goals can feel completely absurd from the point of another while being completely justified from theirs.
This legit feels and reads like a published hardcover book.
What an absolute ride. If you like tension, world building, psychological thrillers, scifi, you're in the right place.
I've read a lot of stories on this site, and I can say this is probably the first of its kind. The first of its merits is how unique it is - while I've seen the themes used elsewhere, they mesh together into an epic scifi thriller that I was certainly not expecting at the beginning.
It begins humble, with a boy and has family, hinting at the greater world. The pacing is a bit slow at first, but it does a great job building until the plot suddenly explodes into action.
It keeps you on the edge of your seat. What do you do to evade the constant scrutiny of your mind from billions of other minds? How much can someone pretend to be a monster before they become the monster themselves? What are you willing to give up in order to survive?
Do yourself a favor and give this story a try.
The summary implies that the first book will be the darkest, but I'm finding the third darker.
Thomas has spent a few books being actively suicidal, and every improvement to his mental health is offset by more torturous circumstances. Hundreds of companions have died, including some developed characters.
Fortunately the author's notes spoil that things improve. Most of the summary relates to the first book, but we're nowhere near "galactic conquest" yet.
Good characters with understandable motivations; nice to see multiple POVs. Could probably do with more of that; Ariock and Thomas tend to hit the same beats they hit in previous chapters again. I enjoyed the brief breaks we got to see Pung or Cherise (or the Upward Governess again) the most.
Enjoying this immensely. It is well written, well paced and interesting. Not too far into the story yet but i have high hopes.
backstory is not glossed over or overexpositioned. Enjoying bonding with the characters in a natural progression and understanding their relationship and motivations.
also happy to see a non litrpg here! Definitely a good change of pace. Looking forward to reading more.
Edit: updating since I've caught up to the releases and gone into the meat of the story. This almost feels like the best and strangest sci fi murder mystery where the murder of a civilisation is pending! In any case, I've gotten even more hooked and cannot wait for more releases.