Review: ‘Worm’ Will Be Your Favorite Super-Powered Story

Felix Cooper, Editor

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Superhero cliches with an inventive twist: That is the story that the web serial ‘Worm’ tells through the eyes of a new ‘below average’ hero.

Written by John McCrae under the screen name Wild Bow, ‘Worm’ reads from the perspective of teen Taylor Hebert, a prospective hero with the seemingly trivial power to control insects and small invertebrates. Taylor sets out on her first night of action to take down a supervillain, but is then mistaken for one by a rivaling but friendly villain group. This locks in a key plot point for a majority of the story: Taylor’s having to do the wrong things for the right reasons in order to protect herself and her family. 

As the story goes along, Taylor’s city of Brockton Bay faces rampant ‘cape’ activity–’cape’ being the term for self-proclaimed heroes and villains fighting for turf. The entire world is also under a constant threat of three ‘Endbringers,’ gargantuan cape-like monsters with the ability to destroy whole continents known to attack at random times and locations. There is also a massive cast of characters, good and bad, comprised of both fully developed protagonists and background characters that appear throughout the story including four major villains each with their own arcs.

The now complete series has 1.5 million words; approximately the same amount as 26 thick novels, according to publishers translating the series into hard-cover books. The first installment came in June of 2011 and continued until November of 2013 with a minimum of two updates per week, though there were usually three or four by the time the series gained popularity. 

Critics and reviewers have had almost exclusively positive feedback for the story. On the various websites where ‘Worm’ can be found, hundreds of readers describe how hard it is to put down this story once you pick it up. The original plot, the relatable characters, and the fresh take on typical superhero cliches we see in media make the story impossible to leave unfinished. Plus with 30 different arcs, each arc having 12-30 chapter length parts, it will certainly fill your free time for the next two to three months.

From the content, this author could not be more in love with the story. Starting with the common trope of ‘bullied, shy teen who hides powers’ and evolving into something that can be just as or even more gripping 40 chapters later. McCrae has a talent for world-building and immersion that it is so easy to lose track of how long or how much you’ve read in one sitting. ‘Worm’ easily has one of the most consistent universes out of every classic, every favorite, every quintet or more book series that you thought could not be topped.

It must be said that the characters themselves are more real than the average protagonist or antagonist. The decisions they make in times of crisis are realistic and have their own consequences; they react like real humans, not manufactured superhero personas as we so often see. 

This author rates the story 9.7/10. 

You can read the story by following this link: https://parahumans.wordpress.com/table-of-contents/