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(Parahumans #1)

4.63  ·  Rating details ·  6,113 ratings  ·  691 reviews
An introverted teenage girl with an unconventional superpower, Taylor goes out in costume to find escape from a deeply unhappy and frustrated civilian life. Her first attempt at taking down a supervillain sees her mistaken for one, thrusting her into the midst of the local ‘cape’ scene’s politics, unwritten rules, and ambiguous morals. As she risks life and limb, Taylor fa ...more
ebook, 6680 pages
Published November 19th 2013 by (first published November 2013)
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Frogthroat As mentioned above, the author does not want eBooks circulating as he hopes to publish his work. But he wants you to read it. There's the online versi…moreAs mentioned above, the author does not want eBooks circulating as he hopes to publish his work. But he wants you to read it. There's the online version.

But how I am going around this is with Calibre. It's a free software to convert text documents to eBooks. I do not download the easily available ready eBook, but combine my own with this software. So I go to his wordpress page, copy each chapter and paste into a new .txt document, then use Calibre to make an eBook. In Calibre you can select your eBook reader device, so it automatically optimises it to your device.

That way you get to read it offline, and Wildbow gets hits for each page of his web series. Just don't go copying the eBook to others, but advice them to combine their own so Wildbow keeps on getting hits on his Wordpress account.

And don't say "but it's too much work". If you appreciate the book and the work he has put in it, and respect the author, that's the least you can do. The very least. (Although this still may be a bit gray area from author's point of view. Which, I guess, fits the theme.)(less)
Alex Harman I wouldn't recommend "Worm" for most thirteen-year-olds; sixteen is about the youngest age at which I'd think most kids would be mature enough to hand…moreI wouldn't recommend "Worm" for most thirteen-year-olds; sixteen is about the youngest age at which I'd think most kids would be mature enough to handle it. There's no really explicit sexual material, but there is a fair amount of *very* explicit violence, of the sort TVTropes terms "high-octane nightmare fuel," mostly perpetrated by the superpowered serial murder gang called the Slaughterhouse Nine.

That said, it is a really good book, and "over a long period of time" is the only feasible way for most people to read it, given its massive length.(less)
Worm by WildbowHark! A Vagrant by Kate Beatonxkcd by Randall MunroeGunnerkrigg Court, Volume 1 by Thomas SiddellHarry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky
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Average rating 4.63  · 
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 ·  6,113 ratings  ·  691 reviews

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Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book was 1.7 million words long, it took me 13 days to read, during which time I pretty much didn't put my laptop down. For those of you unsure, that is long, that's almost 1/2 of The Wheel of Time series, or all of ASOIAF, including Dance with Dragons.

In just under 2 weeks, that should tell you just how into this I got. In fact, when (not if, when) he gets a decent editor and publishes this as a set, I will buy it, and I will most likely read it again. Not sure if that's going to be any ti
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Worm (Table of Contents/official summary/TvTropes/Reddit/post-interview) is addictive superhero SF posing as fantasy; it is long, of consistently high quality, and features a huge amount of imaginative powers with equally imaginative applications & combos (the protagonist usage of bugs, as impressive as it is, is only one of many possible examples, although I particularly like the Regent & Shadow Stalker incident as an example of social-engineering/hacking); the setting excellently rationali ...more
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
Finally. I can finally sleep. That’s the trouble when you’re reading a book this engrossing that insists on ending almost every chapter with a cliffhanger.

I originally wrote a quite short review, but at 1.7 million words I think Worm deserves a bit more effort on my behalf. Review contains spoilers for the first 4 chapters of the 300 or so chapter story.

Worm follows the story of Taylor, a teenage girl who has recently lost her mother and is suddenly finding herself bullied in school.

Stick with
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a crazy, crazy adventure. This is one of the most "epic" books I've ever read-- and I mean epic in the literal sense of the word, not the buzzword it's become. I want Worm 2 right now. This book had a kind of scale I haven't really seen in any other kind of book. There were certain chapters... certain arcs where I went "Oh, shit, this is one of the most intense things I've ever read". It's such an intense story. Full of emotional parts. It's on par with A Song of Ice and Fire, with the Stor ...more
Jun 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: nobody
Recommended to Kevin by: Sam Jaques
So tough to rate. The inventiveness and insight are top drawer, 5 star level. The ability to track hundreds of characters and plot threads was super-human.

It was inspirational too. The protagonist just kept transcending her own limits, again and again, to a galactic level, plausibly, just by thinking outside and above the box. I LIKE that. That's exactly the kind of thing I want to read.

It is my first web serial, and I very much enjoyed seeing the process, as readers enthusiastically commented a
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it

An endeavor like that merits a proper review. I'll do it once finals are over with.

I would highly suggest all of you read this series. It'll take a good amount of productivity away from you because it's 1,500,000+ words long, but it's definitely worth it.


Alright. What to say.

Worm is an adult novel told in installments on the Worm webserial page. It's the story of young adult Taylor Hebert's coming-of-age, set in a seem
Vasil Kolev
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-read
If it wasn't so good, I'd have probably kicked the person that recommended it to me.

I don't know how this was possible, and how hard was it to write, but this is a million word book that doesn't slow down. There's almost no rest, it's hard to put down, and you can't just do what is usually done with most such books - to just skip one night of sleep and finish it - because it's huge, and interesting, and still huge, and you want finish this chapter, then the next, and the next, and it's morning a
Hussain Elius
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who love comics and graphic novels
Recommended to Hussain by: Eliezer Yudkowsky
You know how when your watching a great action adventure movie, you kinda want to get up during or right after the fight scenes and do some karate moves?

That's Worm, but for books.

At about 1.75 million words (about 22 conventional books) it's a long, long read but there isn't a single dry moment. The first two or so arcs are just "okay" with our wannabe hero Taylor Herbert finding herself amongst the company of villains instead but the story steamrolls through a fantastically rich world of blurr
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I read Worm in just over a week, and during that period, it took over my life. You know how most books have lulls, parts where it's a bit easier to put down? Worm doesn't have that, so I sat in the break room at work reading it on my phone like a literary crack addict.

I'm honestly blown away by the quality of this work. What's even more mind blowing is that this is basically a first draft - from what I gather, the author posted as he went and is planning on releasing an edited version at some po
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Where do I begin.

This is my all-time favourite novel (if you can call it a novel). The characters are so well-constructed that my brain finds the concept of them not being real people weirder than the notion of them becoming real. Worm is what all other superhero fictions should aspire to be, and other genres could learn a lot, too. It's rife with moral ambiguity and difficult decisions. The characters are very three dimensional, and the protagonist, a young girl named Taylor, is one of my all-t
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'd like to think that someday in the future, Worm will be considered a classic of fiction.

Unfortunately it's not in printed form, and admittedly a few chapters aren't polished (but I mean, the guy was doing a NaNoWriMo every month for like 2 years?). So I fear many won't consider it a "real, proper book". But it's the best fiction I've ever read. Dark, intelligent and serious on a grand scale. It's not something you read on the Internet and forget. Not a story with some theme that you can't re
Dec 17, 2013 rated it liked it
The good: This is a superhero story in which the main character has kind of a mediocre superpower that she uses to great effect through sheer cleverness. I love stories where underdogs think their way out of difficult situations and this story is chock full of that stuff.

The bad: If you are looking for beautiful descriptions, ruminations on the art of writing, or deep symbolism, this is not the story for you. Go read some Gene Wolfe or Borges or something.

The in-between: This is a first draft. W
Phillip Murrell
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2017
Worm has a lot of fans. The author is clearly good at writing dialogue and telling a long story. However, I don’t think his STORY is very good. Reviews suggest I am in the minority with this opinion, but I suspect the people who don’t like the story aren’t willing to grind through 1.6 million words and then leave a review. I used my Christmas Break to do this, despite not enjoying the story, and liking it less as it continues. I will not blame the length as an issue, web serials are meant to be ...more
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Oliver by: Honesty Zahnd
Update Again.
Well that happened. I finished reading Worm for the third time in three months. I'm even working on some fanart now. I'm still conflicted on the ending, but I don't hate it anymore. I still can't leave worm behind. I used to have a life, now I just have Worm. Maybe I can finally let myself move on to pact and twig now? Maybe? Also this reread was the first time I reallyread any of the comments, which are pretty much pure gold.

So I just reread Worm and punched a hole in my hea
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, superhero, 2014
That was good. I truly enjoyed this book. It really is probably the main reason that I didn't get quite as many books read last year as I would have liked, but now that I have finished it...

Hiu Gregg
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Like most people who made it through the 1.68M words of Worm, I loved it. It's a fresh take on a superhero story, and one that I certainly haven't seen before in long form fiction. The "heroes" (and villains) we meet are real people with real issues, and although we are in our main POV characters head for the majority of the story, the interludes between acts allow us to see events from the perspective of a large number of side characters.

And speaking of side characters - Worm does this better
Jenna Kathleen
DNF at around page 600.

I know it has a huge following and I can understand why, but it's just too long. Up until when I stopped (end of Tangle), I was enjoying it and liked the concept, but it's just way too long to spend time on for something I don't absolutely love.
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This has to be, hands down, the best piece of superhero fiction ever written. By far. In fact, it may be the best story I have ever read. Certainly, I can't remember a book or series that stuck with me for as long as this one did. It's been eight months now, and my book hangover still hasn't ended.
This is one of the only series that I could legitimately describe as an emotional roller-coaster. My feelings went all over the place while reading it, and any moment spent not reading Worm was one
Sang Agung
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Never have a fiction invoked so much emotion in me as Worm had.

Many people would urge you to read this story because it’s a superhero story “done right”; because Worm took the time to ponder on the way superpowers would change our lives should they be real; because Worm constructed its' world in such a believable way where everything is plausible within the context. Yes, Worm is all that; but it is also much more.

In this setting, people with superpowers are called ‘parahumans’. Many would have
The best superhero story I've ever experienced, of any medium, and one of my favourite of any genre.

I always had a difficult relationship with comic books while I was growing up. I wasn't in the least opposed to getting into them, but the partially-visual nature of the medium obviously cut down on the wordcount, and often resulted in what felt like too short of an experience for me. A voracious reader, I wasn't interested in staring at pretty art for a while; I wanted the story to move along, an
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Review from June 15, 2016


Review from November 06, 2014 to May 06, 2015

How do you review a novel that is essentially 10 books in one long series? I have no idea, but I'll give it a shot.

First off, this is an amazing book. And it's free on the internet (it's a webseries) so definitely check it out if you're at all interested in superheroes, villains, powers, robots, murder, mayhem, gigantic beasts wreaking havoc and a doomsday prophecy!

That all said, none of that actually does the tale justice
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
TLDR: This book is going to satisfy your superhero fantasy craving like no Marvel Comics movie has ever done before. Do yourself a favour and read it if you want to know what superhero fantasy really feels like.

Worm was the first superhero fantasy novel that I read. Before Worm I have had brief but entertaining encounters with popular superhero movies. So when I began reading Worm, I was not expecting anything particularly out-of-this-world. Simply because I did not know what I could expect from
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of rational ideas, superheroes, fantasy in general.
Oh my! Worm is not your basic empowerment fantasy superhero story. It's also not an ignorant grimdark world of pain. It is thoughtful and aware. It is fell and wonderous. It worms its way from crisis to crisis to crisis of a different kind. From a world-ending threat to a character-ending threat, which is more scary. You keep hoping that things will get better, but they don't. And even when you're sure that this is how the story goes, you keep hoping that Taylor ends up alright. Yet it keeps alw ...more
Dimitar Dimitrov
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I can move on with my life now. Probably.

Worm was pretty amazing. Fast-paced, engaging, mind-blowing at times, provocative even. And it had perspective. A lot of it, at such a scale... I like perspective.

So much sleep was sacrificed because of Worm. At nearly 7000 pages, I was a slave of the story for quite a while.

It was all worth it. Go ahead and lose yourself in it if you dare.

Just be ready.
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's strange to start a positive review with a list of caveats but I think context goes a long way towards both an appreciation of the accomplishment that Worm is and a healthy idea of whether or not this story is for you.

Worm was a superhero web serial published on a tight schedule. Donation chapters and interludes excepting, there were two chapters every week for roughly two years straight. The amount of herculean effort and commitment that takes is something to be admired.

With that in mind, i
Snoopy Dogg
Sep 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Well, this sure was something. It's hard I think to really talk about this thing. It starts off very impressive and then veers off course somewhere in the second quarter. By the halfway mark, though, it finds its stride again and is an intense ride all the way through the end.

Honestly my major gripe with this is wilbow's prose. It's... Clunky, for the entire duration. Some odd phrasing choices. Can't say I fault the guy, but it makes for awkward reading at times. And when something is as long as
Ramprasad Saptharishi
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, scifi, wow, huge_books
I honestly don't know how to begin.... What an experience this was... I seriously don't have words to describe how awesome this book is. And god this review is so hard to write without giving away something.

This Web-serial is HUGE. The ebook version I found had was 5708 pages. Needless to say I was terribly intimidated by the size of the book and I thought it would take me forever to finish. However, the book is split into 30 arcs (plus an epilogue arc) and the first arc was just about 50 pages
Lauren Lasseter
Jun 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I started reading this about six months ago, and it's a journey I am sorry to see end. Simply put, it was one of the best books (if you can call it that) that I have ever read. Worm is an online serial that anyone can - and most definitely should - read ( It follows the journey of an unconventional superhero throughout many twists and turns.

The story is littered with bonus chapters that follow different characters as well. At first I was skeptical and just wante
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Wildbow (real name John C. McCrae, born in 1984), is a Canadian writer of Web Serial Novels.

His works include:

Ward (sequel to Worm)


Other books in the series

Parahumans (2 books)
  • Ward

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