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Does Three Square Meals get a more serious tone?


So I've been reading 3SM on and off for a while now and am now 38 chapters in. So far my opinion is kind of split. I do like the setting, the main story line and the action. The sex is ok. There are two things I don't like, the smaller one being the way the author seem to pair off the girls in the harem so that each girl loves John+1 other girl. I find that in these kind of harems the guy tend to only have superficial relationships with the girls, while they have meaningful deep relationship with the girl they are paired off with. It makes the guy feel like a third wheel, like if he's only there to take care of their bisexual needs because they are not strictly lesbian. I don't know if 3SM will be like this, but I find that's usually what happens when this model is used.

Now the main thing that I don't like is what I refered to in the title. Everyone is always so fucking jovial. Almost always when they are talking they are smiling, grinning, giggling, chuckling, laughing, smirking, nodding eagerly or something like that except maybe for the times when they are fighting. It sets a really weird tone. I'm not saying that everyone should walk around sad or angry, but the crew is annoyingly happy all the time. It's honestly painful to read. They can't seem to hold a conversation with each other without somehow expressing how happy they are.

I mean, in chapter 37 the word 'smile' is used 78 times, 'grin' 45 times, 'eager' 27 times, 'laugh' and 'giggle' 35 times, 'happy' and 'happily' 45 times, 'excite' 27 times and 'playful' 13 times. That's about 270 expressions of how happy they are in ONE(!) chapter. That's not counting similar words that I might have missed in my search. For a comparison, I did a search for 'smile' on an other epub file on my phone. It came up with 280 results. That's not including any grins or laughs like I did in chapter 37, but this epub file with 280 smiles contained 6 novels and 5 short stories. This means that 6 whole novels and 5 short stories only had about 3.5 times more smiles than 3SM had in a single chapter, while the novels and stories word count is about 31.5 times more than the 3SM chapter.

Let that sink in for a minute. A book series that's got 31.5 times more words than the single 3SM chapter, only has 3.5 times more smiles. That should give you an idea of how utterly cluttered 3SM is with smiles and grins etc.

These novels are not dark or grim, just perfectly normal, legit, published books. This just shows how over the top happy everyone are in 3SM. Honestly, it's so excesive that it's absurd!

Does the tone of the story ever get more serious? I don't mean that they should be super serious all the time but just tone down all the happy feelings to normal levels. Are they ever going to be able discuss what's for dinner without grinning? Are the girls ever going to be able to listen to something John says without furiously giggling and eagerly nodding?

You can more or less pick any chapter that I've read up until now and the first conversation that you come across, people will probably be eagerly grinning or smiling. I've used chapter 37 as an example for this post so I'll just post a small excerpt from a random situation in the middle of the chapter:

"It certainly is," John replied with an eager grin, and he loaded the other Gatling laser with a fake groan.

Alyssa started up the engine again on the flatbed, and the anti-gravity cyclics fired up with a deep whir. The vehicle rose gently off the ground, and she began to steer it towards the Invictus. John pulled the remote from his pocket, and pressed the button that would open the huge hull door into the hangar bay. The slowly rising door gradually revealed the Raptor, which gleamed a brilliant white, sparkling brightly as the armour plating reflected the overhead lighting.

"Oh, wow!" Jade said breathlessly, as she stopped and stared in awe at the gunship.

"You like?" Alyssa asked her with a grin.

The Nymph looked delighted. "I love it!" she gasped, as she bounded up the ramp into the Invictus to take a closer look.

John chuckled in amusement as he watched Jade cavorting around the Raptor, and she beamed a huge grin at him when she had completed her circuit.

"Still wish it was black and evil looking?" Alyssa asked him with a smile.

"It was worth the colour swap just to see Jade's reaction," John replied happily.

See what I mean? They are always so fucking happy, smiling and grinning at each other. Normally this is not a bad thing in my opinion, but so far almost all conversations they have within the crew goes like this. It is so overused that you have to wonder how theirs jaws can take all the smiling they do.

Replies:   Centaur


Wait until you get to chapter 100, 11 pages of serious.

you have to remember with out Alyssa making every thing so freaking happy John would be a depressed, brooding, do nothing. also this is a realy condenced time line. i think if i remember right John just found out he's not human less then six months ago.

it's also been noted several times though out the book that there is a personality change in the women. now i don't know about you, but i would rather have cheerful mind slaves then serious feminests.

chapter 36, humm i think he only had five girls(Alssa,Dianna,Carla,Rachel,Jade sorry had to count) with him at that time. maybe thats his kink,fedish, what have you girl on girl action. and it's also been stated that most of the girls he has and will have never had a bi-sexual tendancy and it was more then likely caused by John's personality enchancement.

Charlie kept looking out the window not seeing the rain or the trees swaying in the wind. His tears had dried long ago along with the blood caked on his face and shirt. He looked up as he felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked in to the lavender eyes of a female officer.
"Charlie, right?" The officer asked
Charlie only nodded.

"How are you doing?" she asked as she sat down next to him.
"Depends. How should I feel with the brains of my best friend stuck to me?"
"Ok, wrong question. I'm Cassy."
"Hi. I guess since you're a telepath you want to rummage in my brain and see what happened."
"How did…" She was cut off as Charlie tapped his caller indicating the TP pin she wore on her caller. "Perceptive I see."
"Not hard," Charlie replied as he turned back to the window.
"Then may I?"
Charlie continued to lookout the window, every once in awhile he would feel a slight pressure or the feeling of a feather across his scalp as if he were bald.
Charlie didn't know how long he sat there, only that his parents had shown up, and were being kept in another room. The body of his friend had been taken away, long ago.

i like the way Tefler writes compaired to my style(quoted above). with Tefler you know what the charaters exprertions are.

but to answer your question yes it will and won't. there will be more girls that join( a pair of twins, an assassin, an AI, and a fish) each will have problems and they will deal with them before chapter 100

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son


John would be a depressed, brooding, do nothing. also this is a realy condenced time line. i think if i remember right John just found out he's not human less then six months ago.

No, he's known that his father wasn't human for his entire life (he's in his 40s). However, it's only recently that he found out what species his father is/was. He still doesn't know his father's identity, though he's down to (or is that up to) two suspects.

Replies:   Centaur

@Dominions Son

I stand corrected. it's only been six months(?) that his powers have menifested.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son


I stand corrected. it's only been six months(?) that his powers have menifested.

Around that, they started to manifest after he first fed Alyssa.


I think that a big part of what has me frustrated with the 'joviality' is that it's such a contrast from how the protagonist was starting the series, and I don't like this part of his development.

He went from being a grumpy retired marine, demanding sexual services from a maltreated and malnurished stowaway girl young enough to be his daughter, to always laughing and smiling. I get that you'd be happy to have a harem of beautiful women shaped after your preferences, but when reading about him, I get the picture in my head of a dog. And I don't mean in a sexual sense, but in the way they are always happy for any attention, always wagging their tails, always so eager to please.

In one of the recent chapters I read, it was even mentioned that Johns jaw was hurting from all laughing and smiling. And I feel that it's often not warranted. It's often something like (a bit exaggerated, but anyways):

-Alyssa says something not even remotely funny, like "Want to eat breakfast?".

-John let's out a booming laugh and is nodding eagerly.

-Alyssa beams a sunshine smile.

-The rest of the girls start giggling

It's like a bad sitcom where the audience laughs has been edited in at as many place they could.

This is such a stark difference from the grumpy, somewhat creepy retired marine in the beginning of the story. Maybe his love for the girls and the fact that he isn't as lonely anymore can change him so much, it might just be that I don't like the direction of the character development.

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