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The first 19 or so arcs of Worm, once it gets past the awkward first arc, are just, glorious. The pacing is brutal, but in an enjoyable way. The dark stuff is incredibly dark, but it's interesting, and when good things happen, they feel really, really good. It's my my favorite use of "grimdark" in any kind of fiction. The characters are realistic, flawed, and likable; their powers are innovative and even the minor ones are given just enough depth that they feel like real people. At the end of Arc 19, I felt excited to see the rest of the story.
And then...it just kind of petered out. The plot took our protagonist far, far away from the characters we'd spent countless words getting to know, and then expects us to attach to their replacements immediately. And while the author is skilled at setting up intriguing plot threads and possibilities, at it gets closer to the end, it becomes increasingly clear that he's not as good at resolving them in an interesting way.
Between all those problems and an ill-placed timeskip, by the time I got to the later arcs of Worm I was pretty much ready to be done. The twist at the end, and indeed, the ending, is an interesting idea but was unfortunately executed very poorly. By the end, I didn't care about any of the characters, and neither did the protagonist, really. Add to that one of the worst fake-out endings I've seen, I left feeling unsatisfied and angry.
If Worm had been bad from the start, I would have taken it more gracefully but instead it was a story I loved and that I was deeply invested in but that ultimately just left me disappointed and feeling like I'd wasted way too much of my time.
I loved the story right up until the fakeout ending. This is the first time I\'ve ever been genuinely angry at an author. The crappy taste it leaves in my mouth wouldn\'t be half so bad if I could justify it by saying that it\'s internally consistent, but it\'s not; he forced multiply main characters to act out of character so that he could have this ending. I liked his writing, but with the ridiculous ending, I can\'t see myself reading any more of his work.
I kind of lost interest around the same time it became apparent that the protagonist`s city had stopped mattering. The magnitude of death and destruction by the end is so many orders higher than the beginning, and I think the book loses something by doing that.
While the timeskip was kinda weak the big twist at the end and the final battle worked. I didn\'t actually think the ending was all that bad.
My biggest annoyance towards the end was everything surrounding the time skip. Everything after the end of the New Delhi fight and up to the beginning of the final battle arc was a huge slog for me. That being said I really enjoyed New Delhi and the final arc was a thrill from start to finish.
I don't really get how the ending is a fake out. It feels perfectly fine given everything I know about the lore of the story.
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