Bride & Prejudice Redux

Title: Bride & Prejudice Redux                                                             Author: Tripp3235

Original Source: Bride & Prejudice                                                   Character(s): Lalita & Will

Rating: K                                                                                                       Genre(s): Romance

Chapter(s): 6                                                                                                Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis: Decided to alter some scenes.  Changed the ending of the dream sequence and added/altered in moments where we actually see Darcy and Lalita falling in love.  Thank you to Slynn6776 as my long suffering beta.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6645432/1/Bride-Prejudice-Redux

This was not what I was expecting.  Even now, re-reading the synopsis, I can see how the synopsis coincides with the…work, but I can also see how I misinterporated it.  See, I thought I was going to read a retelling of the movie with extended/new scenes to fill out the areas the movie glossed over.  Yeah…I was wrong.

See I can’t call this work a “story” because it isn’t a “story,” each chapter is…filler to scenes from the movie that the author felt needed to be expanded and explored.  So it’s less of story than…I guess a collection of one-shots/filler scenes.  Like chapter one, or the “epilogue,” is an extended version of the dream sequence from the movie (*eyebrow twitches.* I’ll get into that in a moment), chapters two (err…one) through five (err…four?) are each days to show Will and Lalita falling in love, and chapter six (five?) is a confession of love scene.  So, taking this into consideration, I cannot review this work as I would a normal story, but I’m still going to review since I took the time to read it.

Overall, the work isn’t bad.  The writing is very good and the scenes created are paced well so that, as the Reader, I’m not getting bored because I’m being overburdened with dialogue or paragraphs of intense description.  There’s a nice balance between the dialogue and action to keep things moving.  The characterization of the characters are spot on, except that I would argue about the kiss scene in chapter five—I don’t think Lalita would have kissed Darcy, but that’s my opinion.

So, now here’s the question, is there anything wrong with the work?

There’s nothing inherently wrong with the work.  It hits are the right notes as far as the writing and the characters, but I think the weakest part about this work is that it’s not a story.  As someone who has seen the movie Bride and Prejudice it was easier for me to get into the filler scenes, as opposed to someone who has not seen the movie or only seen it a handful of times.  Since this work isn’t a story, or at least a retelling of the movie, it’s harder to reconnect (or build a connection) to the characters and to care about these filler scenes.  Sure chapters two through five are cute and very romantic, but they do not carry the story!

Let me try to put this into perspective, chapter one was kind of like riding a bike on level ground; it’s easy-going and a bit enjoyable, but it requires a bit of work to get into it.  Chapters two through five were like going downhill on the bike; it’s fun, requires very little effort on the rider’s part, and the bike continues to gain momentum.  Then chapter six is when that hill suddenly makes a sharp turn; the rider has to react quickly and regain control of the bike to avoid landing in the middle of traffic or against a solid object.  That’s kind of how I felt while reading this work.

This is why I think that if this work had been a full story, it would have been able to sustain the momentum that chapters two through five created.  Or, at the very least, have it vary between the level ground and the downhill ride.  Instead it builds up this romance then skips to a scene at the end of the movie.

Thankfully, there are author’s notes explaining where in the movie the chapters take place, but I still had to sort of reorganize my thoughts to recall the events that took place in the movie between the end of chapter five and the beginning of chapter six.  It probably would have been easier if I had been watching the movie while reading the chapters, but alas, I didn’t have the movie handy.

Taking all this into consideration, would I recommend Bride and Prejudice Redux?  *Ponders.* I would recommend it to fans of the movie; fans who are very familiar with the movie and share Tripp3235’s opinion that some of these scenes should’ve been extended or more developed.  I wouldn’t recommend it to Readers who have never seen the movie Bride and Prejudice or only saw it a handful of times.

The work is obviously written for Readers who are very familiar with the movie, as it was already a bit difficult for someone has seen the movie to recall events to form context.  So I wouldn’t expect Readers who have not seen the movie to fully understand what is happening in these filler chapters.

In the end, the work is good for what it is; a collection of filler chapters.  I just think that it would have done much better as a flushed out story or retelling of the movie.

Stars: 5/10

Foam Review

Title: Foam                                                                                                         Author: KamikazeCreamPuff

Original Source:  SyFy’s Alice / Alice, 2009                                       Characters: Alice & Hatter

Rated: K+                                                                                                            Genres: Romance/Humor

Chapter(s): 2                                                                                                     Status: Complete

Description:  AU. David is a barista who finds himself oddly challenged by a particularly stoic customer.

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5631415/1/Foam

Welcome Readers, I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer; I review the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in the world of fan fiction.  After my last review I needed to read something that wasn’t going to royally piss me off so I went into my stores of fan fiction that I had read in the past and found this oneFoam.

This story is wonderfully crafted.  I mean it’s a story about a barista who is attracted to a customer and decides to take it upon himself to make her smile; a personal challenge of sorts. The story is written as brief exchanges between our barista, David, and his customer, Alice.  I enjoy having these short scenes because despite the fact that they are only a couple of paragraphs long they are quite insightful and they do a great job of showing a progression of time.

There may not be a lot of detailed description like in other stories but these brief segments reveal exactly what’s going on and show the emotions that these scenes evoke.  Like the embarrassment and awkwardness of David trying to explain his comeback (“we’re out of foam”) to Alice when the context of the comeback occurred a day earlier.  Just reading that paragraph I can feel David’s embarrassment and my embarrassment for him.  It’s great!

Even after an event occurs that causes the exchanges between David and Alice to come to a brief halt the story doesn’t slow down.  Instead it continues to move forward until the reunion where the reader is left with an optimistic outlook for these potential lovers.

If it wasn’t clear already, I’ll plainly say it:  I love the briefness of the exchanges.  This may not be quite some Readers’ cuppa tea but consider: how long are your interactions with your barista?  And it’s through those brief exchanges that the interaction between David and Alice evolves from Barista and Patron to possible romance.  It’s wonderful!

Another thing I love is David’s awkwardness.  Some Readers may call OOC-ness on this but I’ll point out that during the farewell scene in the mini-series, Hatter (David) kind of lost his silver tongue and began to trip over his own words.  Probably the most awkward scene in the mini-series and it certainly demonstrated that there can be times when Hatter’s (David’s) verbal skills fail him.  So, I like to think that this story just provides more instances for him to lose his silver tongue.

I also like the fact that the story doesn’t go too far.  Let me explain, some fan fics go too far and have multiple endings.  There are stories that should stop a chapter or two earlier but instead keep going for one reason or another.  This one doesn’t.  KamikazeCreamPuff stopped the story at the right time.  Readers don’t need to read about their date and how well or not so well they hit it off.  It is perfect just giving the Readers the optimistic ending of David and Alice’s have plans to go out on Christmas Eve.

I know that I keep raving about the story’s good points so let me touch on the one thing that bothers me.  There is one paragraph where this “game” (David trying to get Alice to smile) is first mentioned and it is problematic.  It’s not a big deal and by no means should it deter people from reading the story.  It’s just a weird paragraph in that spot and for whatever reason; I end up stopping because I can’t make heads or tails of it.  It just might be a “Me” thing though.

Overall, the story is a cute, fast read.  Anyone can enjoy it even if they haven’t seen Syfy’s Alice.  I mean that’s probably the best part of the story being AU, it doesn’t require the Reader to have seen the original in order for the story to be understood.  It’s just some fluff to make one feel all warm and gooey inside.  If you find that you are looking for some cute and quick to read, check out Foam.

Stars: 8/10

Bruised Angel…Sultry Siren Review

Bruised Angel…Sultry Siren                                                        By: DeliriumsCry

X-Men Evolution                                                                               Status: Complete

Rated: T                                                                                                 Genre: Romance

Characters: Scott/Rogue/Warren                                            Chapter(s): 7

Author Synopsis: *updated* Warren has agreed to come and stay at the Institue. He’s got an eye for Rogue, but unbeknowst to him or her, so does Scott…And after Kurt brings her a luck charm back from Germany, things are turned upside down for Rogue…Scott/Rogue/Warren.

www.fanfiction.net/s/498811/1/Bruised-Angel-Sultry-Siren

* Takes a breath.* Welcome Readers, I am the Fan Fic Reviewer, I read the good, the bad, and those that should never exist within the culture of fan fiction.

*Sighes.*

I need to start this review off with a disclaimer.  I know, not a good way to start a review.  I love X-Men.  I am a diehard fan.  I loved the 90s cartoon, X-Men Evolution, Wolverine and the X-Men, the X-Men anime; I love the comics (cannon, side-stories, and alternate universes); I even love a couple of the movies (I wish the writers could have kept some sort of consistency between the sequels and “prequels,” but that’s a different story).  Out of the characters in X-Men, I love Rogue; every single incarnation of Rogue!  This includes the less-than-stellar Anna Paquin version.

I especially loved the gothic version of Rogue in the Evolution series; I think it was a refreshing change and mixed things up within the group.

I had to make this clear before I officially began the review.

*Inhales then exhales slowly.*

Let the torture begin.

Here’s this story that takes place during season two, post episode seven and Warren (Angel) has decided to join the X-Men and live at the institute.  An attraction/romance begins to develop between him and Rogue which brings out Scott’s jealousy.  Emotions run high especially once a convenient plot device enters the picture and miraculously Rogue has control of her powers.  Out of the attraction and plot device emerge two love triangles; Scott x Rogue x Warren and Rogue x Scott x Jean.  It’s the basic teen, romance drama that the WB and Teen Nick thrive off.

Dear Readers, you are all probably wonder where could this story go so drastically wrong that it has me making disclaimers?  Well, it went wrong in so many ways and I will take Readers on a tour of the torment I went through in reading this…story.  I’ll start with the basics and work on up to the nitty-gritty stuff.

Spelling and grammar.  *Sigh.*  I don’t like to critique spelling and grammar because we all make mistakes when writing and even published works have mistakes in them for the world to read.  However, I cannot sit back and not mention these basic essentials when it is clear that they were ignored due to one reason or another.  Seriously, there are so many consistent mistakes; that’s right, these aren’t just mistakes that happen once in a while but throughout the entire story.  Mistakes like spaces after punctuation (commas, periods, etc.), run-on sentences, and run-on paragraphs—the type that should be two or three paragraphs but it’s typed as one very long paragraph.

Then there’s all the spelling mistakes—please note, I am not including words that were spelt to express a character’s accent—and these aren’t the spelling mistakes where it’s the wrong word but it’s spelt right.  No, these are correct words that are spelt wrong!  Words that spellcheck will and does catch and correct.  Words where “dissappear” becomes “disappear.”  I understand that not everyone has spellcheck, particularly if writers are using notepad (although Notepad ++ has spellcheck), Word Pad, and other types of word programs.  However, fanfiction.net has a spellcheck option on the posting interface.  Use it!  It’s a free tool!

Now that the basics are out of the way, let’s get into the real meat of the story.  I’ll start with the lack of fact checking.  When writing a story that takes place during the middle of a season or episode, fact checking and maintaining a consistency between the events of the original source and the events the story will create.

For example, (there are so many in this story) Kurt (Nightcrawler) refers to Rogue as his sister during the later chapters.  Now while this is a fact it’s not something that’s discovered until season 3, episode 8 when Rogue has her meltdown and accidently touches Mystique/Risty.  That event or something similar doesn’t happen in the story so how would Kurt know that Rogue is his sister?

Here’s another one, during season 2 (when this fan fic is meant to take place) Jean is dating a football jock named Duncan and at the time she seems fairly happy with Duncan.  Sure there are signs of the attraction between Jean and Scott but nothing so overpowering that she would suddenly dump Duncan and date Scott.  There’s even an episode where Scott goes on a date with Jean’s friend and while Jean’s jealous there’s nothing overdramatic that happens.  So the fact that she not only gets so jealously enraged and begins to—off screen—date Scott, it doesn’t coincide with her character from the series!

Oh, and this one inconsistency is hilarious.  During chapter one, Scott calls Rogue “Kate.”  I don’t know why but suddenly he calls her Kate so I can only assume one of the following:

  1. This was originally a Mary Sue story.
  2. The scene was…”borrowed” from another story and someone just forgot to change the name.

Yeah…it’s awkward reading that moment.

*Takes a breath.* So yeah, there’s that.  Next up is the plot device.  Plot devices are like double-edged swords, they’re effective and awesome when used correctly but dangerous if not handled properly.  The plot device in this story is a wish-granting trinket/token/talisman that Kurt sends to Rogue–via the fastest international delivery system ever.  (I’m nit-picking but logic says that if Kurt went back to Germany a day or two before Christmas and even if he did get a chance to go shopping and mail out this gift, it wouldn’t have gotten to Rogue the day after Christmas because the travel time for packages and the USPS system would have made it impossible; even for overnight mailing).  Like I said, it’s a wish-granting token-thingie (the story couldn’t give it a proper name instead it just described it and to me it sounded like a rune or talisman) and Rogue uses it to wish control over her powers.

Where the story goes wrong with this lovely plot device is that it shows up and then disappears just as quickly.  The token arrives and does its wish-granting thing but then it’s never mentioned again.  What the hell?!  It’s a wish-granting token that suddenly gives Rogue control over her powers without any consequences or stipulations!  On top of that, no one at the institute questions how Rogue suddenly gained control over her powers!  What the hell is going on?  There are two, count them, two professors at this institution who are doing whatever they can to help young mutants learn to control and harness their powers, and this story wants me to believe that those two professors wouldn’t want to analyze this token!  I call bull shit!

This is a prime example of what not to do with a plot device; never bring a plot device—like a wish-granting token!—into the story and drop it once it’s done its part.  There are so many things that could have been done with this wish-granting token.  Such as:

  1. Have there be a stipulation for the token granting a wish like Rogue has to wear it all the time otherwise if she takes it off her powers go haywire.
  2. There could have been a consequence to Rogue’s wish where if she gains control of her powers then a. someone else loses control, b. her powers become exponentially more dangerous when she uses them, or c. (this one’s silly-stupid but still) she has almost allergic type reactions to wearing clothes.  Just something!
  3. Hank and Xavier analyze the token and are able to harness its power to make some sort of device/tool to help mutants gain control of their powers.  However, someway, somehow, a villain/rival finds out about the token and now the X-Men have to protect it all the while the team struggles with the drama and tension brought on by the love triangles.

See!  These are just the three I could think of off the top of my head, just imagine if I had the time to actually sit and think it out.

There is so much that could have and should have been done with this plot device yet nothing happens except that Rogue gains control over her powers.  It’s depressing and I’m not entirely convinced she actually gained control because there’s no demonstration or explanation of how she turns her powers on or off.  It’s just a mess!

*Inhales deeply then exhales.* I’m calm…  I’m calm…

I’m going to move on before I make myself angry.  Next topic, the OOC (out of character) personalities some of the characters display.  *Eye twitches.* Readers, I have read fan fiction where the OOC-ness works well and has a purpose beyond feeding whatever loose plot is “driving” the story (I’ll actually go into that when I review Chasing Methuselah by Sandra E).  This is not a story where the OOC-ness works, it actually hurts the story.  This complaint of mine ties back to the lack of consistency I find with this story, the characters’ personalities are solidified by the series and while stories can get away with giving a personality quirk here and there, the essence has to remain the same.

The Rogue I read in this story is not the gothic, tough girl with an inner vulnerability, and smartass attitude whom I’m used to seeing in the series.  Instead I read about this Rogue who is so vulnerable that it borders on fragile—I think if someone gave this Rogue and constructive criticism she would break down crying—and who forgoes the dark greens and blacks for pastel pinks and neutral colors.  This Rogue is far more angst driven then the one from the series as she apparently believes that until Warren came to the institute no one treated her like a person.  Who knew that during the time Scott was befriending her in season one while she was the Brotherhood he wasn’t treating her like a person?  The series really fooled me.

The other thing about this version of Rogue, she apparently becomes crazy girlfriend once she’s dating Warren.  For Readers who have seen the Family Guy episode where Quagmire gets married, she acts like the wife when Quagmire brings up the topic of divorce.  For Readers who do not watch Family Guy, Rogue acts like the crazy girl in your life who has a meltdown because her boyfriend hasn’t texted or called in her back within 15 minutes of her last text/call.  That’s Rogue in this story!

There is a point within the story where during…I’ll estimate 12 hours (although it was probably far less) Rogue has an emotional meltdown because after waking up she finds out that Warren went out shopping with a few other X-Men for a bit on the day he and Rogue have a date at the museum.  So because Warren’s not there ready for their date after Rogue got out of bed, she believes he no longer cares about her.  Crazy girlfriend!

There is nothing in the story to indicate that 1. Warren has done this multiple times to Rogue, 2. Rogue tries to contact Warren to be like “what happened to our date,” 3. That Warren’s shopping excursion was an all-day event, or 4. that the museum is only open during certain times and thus they had to be there in the morning.  So…yeah, Rogue has this meltdown for no reason except for the fact that she’s CRAZY!

*Pauses.* I honestly hate this version of Rogue.

Then there’s Scott.  *Sigh.*  I already don’t like Scott Summers (Cyclops) in almost any version of X-Men and while the Scott in Evolution was by far the most likeable, by season three and on he began falling into the same pattern as other incarnations of Scott.  So here’s a character I generally don’t like and I think this story decided to give me unnecessary reasons to further dislike him.  The possessive personality Scott displays in the story and his wishy-washy acknowledgement of his crush on Rogue are so out of character that by chapter three I was already waving the white flag.  This Scott has moments where he refers to Rogue as “his” and he curses Warren’s interference but when confronted by Jean he suddenly has a brain fart and pulls a “I have a crush on Rogue?  When did that happen?” bullshit.  Scott in the series very clearly has a crush on Jean so if he was to discover that he also has a crush on Rogue and Warren’s pursuing Rogue, he would be jealous by not to extent of being an utter dick.

My complaint about Warren is not a matter of him being OOC but rather the lack of personality shown.  There are only a handful of times Warren interacts with Rogue and most of the time it’s to either cock-block Scott or just to be Rogue’s #2 guy.  There is no personality to this character!  There could have been a mannequin in his stead and it would have had more personality!

*Takes a breather.*

I’m going to move on because this topic is just further pissing me off.  On to the meat of the story; the romance!  *Pauses thoughtfully.* I think this topic might further piss me off than the OOC-ness.

So the romance in this story that is meant to be the plot, the entrée of this entire tale is rather unfulfilling and rice paper thin.  The romance is developed through a series of scenes where one of the guys gets one-on-one time with Rogue and an intimate moment that gets interrupted.  That’s it.  There is no foundation behind the romance.  I have no idea what draws Warren and Scott to Rogue but something does apparently—I suspect it is plot convenience.

This makes me mad and disappointed beyond words because when there’s this non-canon love triangle there is so much that can be done!  Think about it, how would the love triangle(s) affect the overall cohesiveness of the team?  What would school life be like since Warren is too old for high school?  How would missions play out with this new teammate and the love triangle(s) situation(s)?  There is so much that could have been done and made this story more complex and interesting but alas, it didn’t bother to go beyond jumping from romance scenario to romance scenario.

It was just weak!  Then it makes the ending beyond lackluster.  The only redeemable thing in this story is that in the end Rogue ends up with no one, but in order for her to not end up with either Scott or Warren, she has to “leave”—it sounded more like an eviction notice to me—the institution and go to Hawaii to stay with Alex Masters (Havoc, Scott’s brother) for…however long.  What a coup out!  And it happens all within 12 hours!  It’s a bullshit ending.

I’ll summarize this in as few words as possible; Bruised Angel…Sultry Siren is a bland love triangle that twists the characters from the series to make this horrible romantic drama that not even the WB or Teen Nick would air.  There is no sense of time, reality, romance building, character development, or consistency with the original series!  In short, this story is a model of what not to do with a romance fan fic!

Would I recommend this story?  NO!  I really don’t recommend Readers wasting their time on this story unless it’s to see what not to do in a fan fic.

Stars: 2/10

A Troubled Mind Review

Title: A Troubled Mind                                                                       Author: TheClumsyHero

Original Source: Sherlock Holmes (Movies)                           Characters: S. Holmes & J. Watson

Rating: K+                                                                                              Genre(s): Hurt/Comfort/Angst

Chapter(s): 1                                                                                          Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis: AGOS SPOILERS. ONE-SHOT Watson has never been the same since the loss of his best friend, and since the incident, he has been plagued by terrible nightmares, which causes him to reminisce on a particular meeting between Holmes and Moriarty. Rated K For slight language. Just being safe!

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9804839/1/A-Troubled-Mind

*Gently massages temples.*  Welcome Readers, I am the Fan Fic Reviewer, I read the good, the bad, and–unfortunately for me–those that should never exist in the world of fan fiction.  *Sighs.*  In case you couldn’t tell, I found a story that should not exist, as far as I’m concerned.  Yet, it does exist and I happened to find it and to have read it.

I know, dear Readers, that you may not know me on a personal level so I’ll say this as clearly as I can.  I am a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes.  I owe every story by Sir Conan Doyle, I own the old, black & white series, several of the old movies (with The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes being one of my favorite movies), I own the cartoon series “Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century,” and I enjoy Robert Downy Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes movies.  So understand that when I found garbage like this…whatever it wants to categorize itself as, it brings me pain.

*Rubs temples  some more.* Okay, let me make one more thing clear.  Holmes considered himself to be the world’s first consulting detective (A Study in Scarlet), not “the famous detective.”  *Puts hands down and breaths.* With that out of the way I can move on to the rest of this one-shot.

I’m confused.

This drabble confuses me a great deal.  If I look at the story and the summary I can see where parts line up but I don’t see the connections.  It’s like I can see the red dots on a map but I can’t make out the roads that connect those dots.  *Shakes head.*  It bothers me so—much!

What’s not working for this fic?  Well, the fact that I can’t see the connections between Holmes’ death, Watson’s nightmares, and the scene where the docks blow up and Watson gets caught in the blast.  Like I said, when comparing it to the summary I can see where these key points line up and from the summary I have an idea of how they link but when I read the drabble they don’t link properly.

Argh! It’s frustrating!

I think I know the main reason why the parts aren’t linking properly, because of how the drabble is written.  Instead of it being more like cause and effect or the domino effect it ends up being more like a drunken frog leaping from lily pad to lily pad; too drunk to know which direction to go in or which lily pad to hit next.  It’s so sporadic and it starts an idea but doesn’t quite finish it.  Like the nightmares, if Watson is waking up screaming due to the nightmares there is no way Mary hasn’t noticed them and isn’t trying to help.  Or Watson’s sudden interpretation that all of Holmes’ antics were done out of “loneliness,” when did this view come about and why?  Or, my favorite, why is Holmes’ scream at the docks so poignant to Watson?  Did he have some sort of realization in that moment?!  I don’t know because the drabble doesn’t say anything except how that scream haunts him!!

*Crosses arms in annoyance.* The last thing that truly bothers me is the writing.  There are sentences that don’t make sense or are worded weird causing the meaning to be lost.  Here’s an example, “His job was exactly what he had wanted to do; he was helping people to add onto that.”  I get what it’s trying to say but it’s not quite saying it.  Or this one, “The nightmares that tormented him seemed to vary from his different experiences that the doctor had been through over the span of his life, and were actually had begun occurring recently.”  *Rolls eyes.*  That’s painful to read.

It’s like the story can’t tell if it wants to refer to Watson as “he” or “the doctor” while in the same sentence.  During one word, the story wishes to be personable with Watson but then at the next word it needs to distance itself from him; almost like the story feels Watson is somehow suffocating the story.

To add to it all the tenses shift so much that there are times where I wonder when this drabble is supposed to take place.  I know the summary says after A Game of Shadows but the tenses and sentence structures sometimes change in such a manner to infer that Holmes isn’t dead (remember, this drabble is from Watson’s perspective and he only has an inkling that Holmes might still be alive at the end of the movie).  There are also references that make it seem more like this was taking place between the two movies.  *Sigh.*

Was there anything redeemable about this drabble?  No.  Sure it could be reworked and revised (heavily) but as it is I don’t see much potential for it.  There was nothing in it that justifies me giving it praise.

Would I recommend this drabble?  No, but I’m not going to stop others from taking a look at it and seeing if they can make more sense out of it than I did.  Remember, I saw the main points and by the summary I know how they’re supposed to connect but they don’t seem to connect properly.  I kind of feel like I wasted 30 minutes on this drabble but oh well.  There are more and far worse fics out in the World Wide Web that are bound to eclipse this drabble in blowing my mind.

Stars: 3/10

Nellis Second Chance Review

Title: Nellis Second Chance                                                            Author: Unickcorn

Original Source: Left 4 Dead 2                                                     Character(s): Ellis, Nick, Rochelle, & Coach

Rating:                                                                                                    Genre(s): Tragedy/Romance

Chapter(s): 4                                                                                        Status: On-Going

Author’s Synopsis: Ellis, nearly dead, is brought into the pool hall by his teammates.  Unfortunately, the group is low in medical supplies.  What will happen to the young mechanic?  Well, you’ll have to read to find out.  Not so much a romance, but more so a beginning to one.  I’m planning on adding chapters to this one.  (I apologize. Idk how to get the “-” to stay in to make it less confusing.)

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8479924/1/Nellis-Second-Chance

 

*Stares dumbfounded at the computer screen.* Um…well, I don’t quite know how to review this little work of fiction.

*Takes a deep breath.* Welcome Readers, I am your Fan Fic Reviewer, I read the good, the bad, and those that should never exist within the fan fic world.  This time I have found quite the little conundrum of a story.  Normally I know if I’m going to say that I loved it and it’s awesome or I’m going to say this story can burn in hell for being so horrible or I’m going to say it was like purgatory, not good but not bad either.  This time around, I don’t know what to say about this story.

*Ponders for a moment.* I guess if I have to put into a category it would be purgatory.  The reason being that the writing is good, very little mistakes and it’s not overloaded with descriptions or dialogue; it has a nice balance.  The characters are written well and within character – I can see Nick making a deal with himself to not help unless he sinks a pool ball – and there’s an aspect of realism to the story, more or less.  The second chapter is awesome and is hands down the best chapter, followed by chapter one.  However, there isn’t enough meat to this story to boost it past from being glanced over.

The summary provided by the author is…not exactly what the story delivers.  Don’t get me wrong, Ellis is severely injured and brought to a pool hall by the other survivors and the group is low on medical supplies, however, this problem resolves itself fairly early (chapter 3) and from there the story doesn’t seem to know where to go.  Hell, chapter four ends with a cliffhanger that could pass as a terrible ending—“terrible” as in unfulfilling not “terrible” as in “what is this POS?”

*Leans forward.*  I think that’s the problem with this story is that it didn’t focus on what it supposed to—given the synopsis; the life or death situation where one of the survivors is life-threateningly injured and the others (none of which are necessarily medically trained as surgeons, doctors, or nurses) have to make do with what they find at the pool hall, fight off and hide from the horde, and deal with the rising tension of having to stay in one place for so long with few supplies and the eminent fear of an attack.

There is so much potential to the story given the synopsis but the story doesn’t take advantage of it! *Lets out a lamenting sigh.* It hurts to say that, but it’s true.

The first two chapters are by far the best because they tap into the drama and sense of danger that comes from the survivors trying to hold down the fort in the pool hall, tend to Ellis’ wounds—resorting to some primitive methods of medicine, and over all trying to survive.  However, from chapter three on it just kind of drops off and it almost feels like the story gave up on that drama and settled for more slice-of-life type scenarios.  For example, a slowly healing Ellis going to the bathroom on his own and his paranoia kicking in from his traumatic experience with a Hunter.  Or sniping off a couple of zombies to prove that Ellis is not yet healed enough for the group to venture out of their make-shift shelter.  It becomes silly things like that and it contrasts with the vibes from the first two chapters.

Oh!  And the “romance” aspect of the story!  It’s there if Readers wish it to be there (kind of like the fourth hole), but it doesn’t add much to the story.  I know that the synopsis says that it’s more of a “beginning” but even then it’s one of those types of romances where Readers can ignore it entirely.  Like I could see the points where there was “romance” as I read, but I have a feeling that if I didn’t know that there was supposed to be a “romance,” then I wouldn’t have interoperated things as building “romance.”  In all honesty, I think the “romance” part could have been left out of the genre and synopsis because it doesn’t add anything to the story and it’s not a focus.

Then there are a few things in the story that bother me because they don’t make sense.

1. How do the survivors know where the safe houses are located or how far they are from one?  Do the writings on the wall provide all the details or something?  This drives me insane!

2. There is no way the survivors could survive a month or more in the pool house without food AND water.  I’ve read survival stories of people crossing deserts and even then they had to become inventive with what to do to give their bodies sustenance (drinking their own urine).  Yet in this story the survivors are able to live on as normal with very little side-effects (irritation being the only real side-effect shown) due to the lack of food AND water for a MONTH!  I call massive amounts of BS on that fantasy!

3. Why is it that the horde doesn’t attack when they normally would?  Or why don’t the survivors try to avoid doing things that attract the horde?

Like there’s this scene where the group performs a very painful, primitive surgery on Ellis and it causes him to scream in pain several times, yet the horde never comes.  I would’ve thought that the others would’ve gagged him before the surgery to keep him from screaming to prevent attracting the horde, but that seems to have been unnecessary since they decided to be deaf during that time.  It’s very considerate of the zombies.

Or like when Ellis and Nick are snipping off zombies, the gunshots don’t attract the zombies?  I’m sorry but standing on a non-alarm car in the game attracts zombies to you, noise attracts more of them!  I’ve accidently shot my fair share of cars with the alarms; the area swarms with zombies within seconds!  I understand that Nick and Ellis are not shooting the cars but even when firing weapons at a zombie or two, three or four more come running to attack.

My point is, sound attracts zombies in the L4D universe; the game establishes that, but this story chooses to ignore this rule and have characters make unnecessary noise without trying to muffle the sounds.  IT DRIVES ME CRAZY!!

So yeah…that’s kind of why this story is hard for me to review because of the seemingly lack of direction the story later took, the unnecessary and supposedly “romance,” and the lack of sense that is sometimes shown by the characters (who wouldn’t have survived in this scenario).  Now that sounds like it should be easy to give it a bad review but the writing is good, the characters are spot on, and those first two chapters are very good.  So it all evens out and it’s not like all the negatives are critical (the lack of direction is) and the positives are areas that other stories tend to ignore (the writing and keeping the characters in character), thus my confusion.

Would I recommend this story?  I…I don’t know.  It’s not a bad story so I wouldn’t say, “Don’t read it!”  Yet, I’m not sure it’s really worth anyone’s time to read.  So, I guess, if Readers are interested in reading the story then go ahead and develop your own opinions.  I just in good conscious cannot bring myself to encourage Readers to read the story because I think it’s rather disappointing in the end.

Stars: 5/10