The protagonist passes the "not evil" test... with great reluctance. He'll swear, threaten, spank, extort, and swear at orphans, men, and gods, but he winds up honorbound to do good.
Its hilarious, heartwarming, and relateable.
End of if review, on to padding. Setting, worldbuilding, grammar, all good. Pacing is slow and deliberate. Story is long form.
Entertaining, but the mc is evil. When hes benevolent, its for entertainment, pragmatism, or coincidence. The same for when hes destructive.
If you dont mind evil mcs, youll find this mc much friendlier than average. If you like good mcs, look elsewhere.
That said, the characters and writing is very fun and entertaining.
Reader beware. The intro is a little rough around the edges, and being introduced to 5 main characters (or, people who all *think* like they are main characters) is a bit of frontload.
However, if you stick with them, the cast is loveably unique. I don't think I've seen one author write this many POVs so colorfully distinct. You can usually get a glimpse for an author's opinions and worldview through their characters, but in this case the author is nearly impenetrable. This is the story of the characters, for the characters, by the characters, with the author being an unseen enigma.
I couldn't tell you which of the leads is my favourite, as they are all awesome. They are all good people - or try to be. They are also all distinctly flawed, traumatized, and are under the not unreasonable assumption that their comrades aren't capable of accepting eachother. I eagerly await the upcoming trainwreck (and hopefully cartharsis).
This brings me to my last warning: The story isn't done yet. There are 5 loveable leads (each with half a dozen unresolved secrets and character arcs), at least 2 layers of supernatural mystery, at least 2 layers of corporate intrigue, which may or may not having anything to do with at least 3 religious factions, and I haven't even mentioned the murder yet. TLDR: Cliffhangers abound.
This reminds me of the first book of Into The Mire, but more intense.
For the best viewing experience, read on the authors website. RR suffices if you just want the dialogue, but the text is more than 1/half of less than 1/3rd of the story.
There's a reason googling "apocalyptic webcomic" shows multiple pictures of this series in the top 5 image results. Just saying.
The story is an indescribable blend of Alice in Wonderland, Dr Strangelove, The Twighlight Zone, Calvin and Hobbes, etc. Abandon hope all ye that seek plot. Nothing but ambience awaits. Although, perhaps, ambience and plot just might be one and the same.
If you're concerned about political stuff, dont be. This comic started long before the hyperpolarization of many issues. It is intended as a timeless psychedelic experience, not a cultural fad. It is not safe to view this series through a serious lens.
The bluntness, humour, and optimism of Mad Saddie, while staying true to the spirit of the Brothers Grimm.
Some liberties are taken with the plot, but no more than youd expect from stories that began and continue to thrive primarily via oral tradition.
The following is word count salad. Because apparently, it is wordiness and not conciseness that is percieved as the hallmark of intelligence.
To be fair, writing convincing word salads is difficult. Even google AI struggles with this. Copypasta is a thing, but easy to see through with simple algorithms.
It is rather impressive, the spontaneous style of Mad Saddie. More impressive than the most powerful computers made by the smartest men in the world.
MC is not evil, but hes very human and makes mistakes.
I rate stories based on subjective enjoyment, not objectiv quality. Obectively, the initial pacing, character development, and dialogue are crude and unpolished. ~2/10.
Subjectively, watching both the writing and characters grow - both in quality and maturity - from chapter to chapter is a breath of fresh air. By chapter 20 the story became a ~4/10.
If the writer keeps this up, im expecting a 6 or 7/10 by chapter 30. Theres a strong foundation here. Credible threats, mc fails forward instead of being op or useless, and the System is treated like the crutch that it is.
Despite the weak start, i dont recommend a rewrite yet, if at all. Maybe after another 100 or 200 chapters the author will be good enough at writing to do a rewrite without losing the charm that hooked me in the first place.
First things first: the main cast pass the "not evil" test, despite technically being villains. Except Athena (and Sam?), juries still out on them, but only time will tell.
Story explores the moral complexities of apearences vs reality, ruthless capatilism vs necessity, friends & family, and more. This is done in a tongue and cheek manner that asks questions while avoiding the quagmire of pretending to know the answers.
Theres lots of character development. Theres a massive desparity between who the characters are, who they want to be, and who they can become. This is explored at a slow, steady and gradual pace, such that most character development isnt noticed until it has already happened.
Id rate this as a 6/5 Ravensdaggers.
Look, admins, moderators, woever, this story took 5 minutes to read. Dont penalize me for th lack of wordcount, please?
If you want fuzzies, a laugh, and have five minutes, enjoy the story. If not, then how did you even find this story? Mad Sadie has a very distinct reputation.
Story, characters, etc. are decent. Worldbuilding, consistency, etc are excellent. I don't write reviews about such things.
Where the story will lose you - or win you over, tastes differ - is that the MC is a few shades to the darker side of pragmatic, with a side of vengeful and moral relativism.
Example: he spends the start of his life in the military of a slightly despotic kingdom, where killing "illegal settlers" is part of his job. This happens off screen, but he apparently was good at this job. Said "illegal settlers" are often former legal settlers that got abandoned by said kingdom. Then, he becomes an "illegal settler", using his past work experience to defend himself from his former comrades in arms.
On its own, this would merely be a sad and complex tale. Thats not the case. The MC is 90% psychopath, with shockingly few moral compunctions. Hes not 100% logical either, hes too vengeful for that.
His morality basically boils down to relativism, pragmatism, and his mood. Hes a fine guy to friends and family, and *usually* to civilians, but everyone else he meets is at the mercy of luck and circumstances.
Hes the sort whose concious operates by asking "would this make me feel bad" instead of "is this bad?"
The MC is insufficiently intelligent to pass the "not evil" test. Think "Lister" of Red Dwarf. Generally nice, but crass, utterly lacking in ambition, and routinely causes more problems than he solves.
Although he does try to do the right thing (sometimes), expect misunderstandings, collateral death, and misusing orbital weapons to draw inappropriate things on planets.
Worth a few chuckles at the start, but is too dark for my tastes. YMMV.