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INHERITORS

The next Worm? Oh, Indeedy.

By L Nimbus, author of The Minotaur Paladin

Jun 5, 2019: Let me make a few things clear. Inheritors will rip your heart out. Then it’ll make you come back for more. There’s nothing you can do about that. You have two choices: Leave, and miss out an amazing story, or soldier on through the grief for more. I picked the second option, obviously. Do I regret it? Just a little. But if I had to choose, I’d do it again. Because it was all worth it. This story pulls no punches, curbs none of it’s kicks. It’s dark and brutal, yet kind and beautiful at the same time.

Sit back and let me attempt to explain this conundrum. For every piece of darkness in Inheritors, there’s another piece of light. There’s despair, bigotry, cruelty, petty tyrants and a fucked up world. Yet, there’s also hope, friendship, love and all that. The dark often outshadows the good, but it’s still there.

Usually this would make for either a masterpiece or a mess. I’m praising it, so you can about guess which one I found in there.

Story:

Inheriotrs takes place in a dark, future Houston (First half of the story, at least). It tells the story of Gabe, the clone of the greatest Hero to ever live. He’s only got a fraction of the power and all of the enemies. With the government wanting him captured or preferably dead, he’s stuck between a hard place and a wall of cheese wire. You get exactly what’s advertised in the sypnosis. Dark, gritty action. Fast, witty banter, vivid scenes painted into your head. Times when the injustice of it all makes you want to tear your hair out and attempt to pulverise concrete with you forehead. You know what I call that? Quality writing.

The plot advances at a good pace, with Mega carving away the filler whenever any attempts to show up. All that’s left is a lean, mean plot machine.Or, it would be lean if it wasn’t bursting at the brim with content, excellent fight scenes, amazing levels of characterization, creeping horror, lore and more.

The dark, heavy subjects are tackled and put in their place with three broken ribs apiece. Meganoule doesn’t go for the light stuff here. He rips right into things like human trafficking, shunned children, government experiments on children, morality and death. How far people are willing to go when faced with an imminent doom they can’t stop. There was SO, SO much in Inheritors. And yet, it never felt overwhelming. It was presented to you at just the right pace and amount, letting you soak it all in and be hungry for more.

Instead of having you wonder just how capes (the good guys) can sleep at night after killing masks (the vigilantes) It has you wondering just how far gone the world is when this is the normal now. In a sense, this is similar to Worm and some others in the genre, where vigilantes and unlicensed Supers are ruthlessly cracked down on, but it never feels like a carbon copy. Instead, Inheritors feels very much like it’s own thing.

There are a few sections readers might criticize, such as the chapters in which Gabe is affected by the Fear. To someone not paying attention, these chapters can come off as random rambling, and I’m guessing they were actually intended to only half make sense. Yet, read a little into it, and it’ll seem very much like it was supposed to be. The portrayal of a half-lucid mind.

The power advancement is done at just the right pace, and with it’s own explanations in place. While the original version might have suffered a little from having Gabe get a lil bit too powerful, too fast, that’s been smoothed out in the rewrite. I also want to go out of my way to compliment the action. Megajoule starts off strong in this regard, and only gets better. By the end of the current content, he’s become arguably one of my favorite fight scene writers. It’s fast, flows well, shows consequences, and is always fresh. Always.

There’s nothing for me to suggest here. Everything I’ve written in my own stories, you’ve written better. Okay, maybe not minotaurs, since there is a distinctive lack of those here, but you get my point.

One such example. Dialogue. I’ve heard more than one veteran author say that character dialogue is the hardest thing to write in a story, and I wholeheartedly agree. But you seem in your element here, providing literal tonnes of great dialogue for the readers to consume. How you do it, I don’t know, but I want to pick your brain apart and take that secret.

Grammar:

I have absolutely nothing to say in this section save for one thing: perfection. If you brought in the twenthiet Reich grammar Nazis, they could babble on and on about things no reader will ever care about, but insofar, I have nothing to complain about.

Style:

There’s nothing to say here. Refer to the section directly above for my opinion on this topic. Swap out the relevant words, and you have the gist of it.

Just kidding. I have one, tiny detail to talk about. There are times when you style feels minimalistic. Not all over the place, but times here and there when I feel an characters actions could have been filled out a wee bit more. Don’t get me wrong, this is strictly personal preference, but I’m putting it out there anyway.

The Cast:

 . . .  . . . .I am in awe. This is probably one of the best casts I have come across. The author has either discovered time travel or been developing these characters for years. The cast, including main characters, side characters, villians, mooks, people you see once and never again and randomass people on the streets is gigantic, deeply developed and vibrant.

Mega makes you care, makes you laugh, makes everyone memorable. He cuts no corners, assigns no roles. Instead, he makes you see people. See their strengths, their flaws, their quirks, their dynamics. He makes them likeable, loveable, barely tolerable, cruel, hateable, charming, brutish, rogueish, oblivious, knuckleheaded. He makes them so unique, so brilliant.

That it truly hurts when he rips you heart out. Make no mistake, he will. And you’ll never see it coming. Often enough, you can guess when a character will die. When they reach the end of their developmwnt, when they’re thrust into a predictable situation, to show off another villian’s strength or cruelty, then list marches on.

Here, you have no time to prepare, no time to steel yourself. Yet, it never feels random or wanton. Instead, it feels real. That is the kind that’ll hurt you the most. When it doesn’t feel like it’s just fiction.

This is a true story. I’ve never watched Game of Thrones, up until three days ago. I wasn’t spoiled on the series. Instead, I read Inheritors first. Then, I went and watched GOT. GOT is famous for it’s character deaths. To me, they paled next to Inheritors. The reason? Like I said above, the extent to which each and every member of the cast is developed. You read the words. You form the thoughts in your head. You learn more and more about them. Pretty soon, those ‘thoughts’ have full personalities. Little or big flaws. Ways of talking. Ways of thinking. Superpowers to compliment them. Then they die. And you’re left cold inside.

So, so cold.

Characters:

Now, let’s talk about the actual characters.

Gabe:

Gabe is so well done that I want to kidnap him for my own stories. Mega has made an art here. Deep, flawed and loveable. You want to cheer for this guy. You really do. I especially like you you made other characters see his flaws, but neither Gabe nor the reader came upon them on their own. Yet, looking back, they were so obvious. That was genius. He grows throughout the series, evolving with every chapter.

Ruby:

She was handled so well. Disillusioned, angry at the world or uncaring at times. I’ve seen people with her habits in real life, self-destructive alcoholism at it’s worst. And Mega handled that beautifully. The scene in Longinus’s house was more or less the truth. No grand struggle, just a decision. This is a character who made an impression, burned herself into your memory, and stays that way. He did, however, win the ‘Weird Sex’ award with her.

I feel like I already spoiled enough with those two, and the Cast section more or less describes my opinion of the other characters.

The Rewrite:

A lot of you’ve probably heard that Mega has re-rewritten the first arc of the story. Some of you might have read the original, and want to know if it’s worth reading. Here’s my answer: It is. The rewrite offers an entirely new experience for the first arc. Better dialogue, better character growth, fight scenes, better everything. Many of the issues that were brought up in other reviews have been addressed and fixed. Gabe is no longer an uncaring, kill-happy twit. He no longer gains too much power at once. All in all, the rewrite feels like a very fresh take on the story, and it’s worth reading.

I do have to say, the bump from the end to the rewrite into the second and third arcs was a little iffy. This comes from the rewrite being of slightly higher quality than the following. You made the rewrite TOO good, and it kinda shows.

Conclusion:

Inheritors is one of the defining reads of the superhero genre. It deserves to be mentioned right next to the like of Worm, Anathema and Outliers. It really does. It oozes quality like an overblown black and white blob of death. It slowly creeps up on your expectations, devours them, and keeps right on trucking past you. The series might not be for everyone, with it outdoing Game of Thrones on it’s own territory, but for those who can stomach that, Inheritors is a masterpiece. It brings something new to the table, and it makes it appealing.

And me, being a sucker for pain, will be reading this to then end.

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