The Other Line Review

Title:  The Other Line                                              Author:  Xaphrin

Source: Teen Titans                                                 Character(s):  Raven & Robin

Rating: M                                                                Genre(s): Romance / Humor

Chapter(s): 11                                                          Status:  Complete

Author’s Synopsis: When Raven agreed to Jinx’s devilish dare, she never expected it to backfire completely and the whole situation to get so completely out of her control. What is she supposed to do now, knowing that Nightwing is leaving completely inappropriate voicemail on her phone?

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11511563/1/The-Other-Line

 

Welcome Readers, oh Lordy this was a hot one!  Phew!  I think I need a cold shower after reading this story.  This was a great, fun story to read and it has enough naughtiness to get Readers hot and wet without making them feel filthy.  It’s glorious!  Ladies and Gentlemen, I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer; here to review the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.

The synopsis is right now, Jinx dares Raven to talk dirty to an unknown person over the phone and that person ends up being Dick Grayson/Nightwing.  That act leads to Raven and Dick playing this “game” of foreplay where for the better part of the story Dick calls Raven and tells her all these sexual things he imagines doing to her.  Eventually, Raven returns those calls with some filth of her own.

This story does a great job in keeping the focus on Robin and Raven’s sexual phone exchanges while keeping them present in the world around them.  It succeeds at this by limiting the characters involved in the story.  Beyond Raven and Robin there’s Jinx and mentions of Bee, Cyborg, and Batman; this allows the story for remain centralized on Raven and Robin while acknowledging that there are others interacting with them.

Jinx becomes not only the instigator of this story but Raven’s sound board when her insecurities rise and Raven begins to think of all the reasons to not pursue this “game.”  The role of Jinx may seem minor in some ways but she helps bring perspective into events, especially since it’s not until much later in the story that the Reader gets some of Dick’s point of view.  Jinx is the embodiment of the Reader, coaching Raven off the ledge and assuring her that it’s okay to have a little sexy fun with the former Boy Wonder – especially since he persists in leaving the dirty messages.  It’s a nice role and a necessary one to keep the story on track without making the characters seem unnecessarily insecure and crazy.

When the story does provide some of Robin’s perspectives it shows his moments of sexual frustration and introspection into his own feelings for Raven.  Unlike Raven, Robin doesn’t have another character to play off of in expressing his growing frustration, so everything the Reader knows happens to him is from his own reflection of his feelings and actions.  Personally, I think this change is a nice contrast and helps showcase that even a person with some “experience” can have insecurities when getting textually involved with a friend.

Next up, the sex!  It’s hot without it being raunchy.  Like Robin and Raven do tease each other with their sexual voicemails but it’s not…it’s not as filthy as what I imagined.  Like I was expecting it to suddenly be like reading “50 Shades” or a porn; I expected the filthiest things to be said that would make me think Robin was a creep.  Instead, it felt like watching the rated R version of “Pirates;” it’s sexy without taking itself too seriously.  Even the sex scene is not overly graphic.  I’m not saying it’s the most tasteful sex scene put into the written word, but it’s not so descriptive that I felt like I was in the room with the characters. It left just enough to the imagination.

Finally, the pacing.  I like the pacing and flow of this story, it doesn’t feel very fast as each chapter is about a week or so apart. With how everything is spaced out it just brings home the fact that not everything has to be written as a day-by-day account; it made everything feel natural. Plus, the periods of silence helped develop the characters.  Raven in the beginning goes a full week without checking her phone until the number of voicemails is so high that her curiosity gets the better of her, but later the “silence” increases her insecurities (“What if I crossed the line?”  “What if I fucked this up?”).  These are the type of real reactions people can have when developing a relationship!  Robin is shown as being distracted by these messages and his own imaginations; it all takes him off-guard that this game he started suddenly opened up unexpected emotions from him.  It’s just something I like, it’s the slow burn but with this story it doesn’t feel slow.

I know I’ve gotten into the habit of not providing some sort of criticism, but not this time.  This story has some grammar issues.  I’ve got some reviews here where I don’t harp on it because really having a misspelled word here and there, or a wonky sentence here doesn’t take me out of the story.  This story has a few instances where the grammar mistakes did take me away from the story as I tried to figure out what was trying to be communicated to me, the Reader.  They aren’t huge issues that suddenly break the story but they do interrupt the flow of the story and can be easily rectified by having someone go through and revise the story.

Overall, I’d recommend this story for Raven / Robin fans.  It’s a nice story that is a stand-alone from the adventures of the Teen Titans and focuses solely on Raven and Robin without forgetting that they are vigilante, crime fighters.  Plus, it was just a fun read.

 

Stars: 8/10

Stripperella’s New Sidekick! Review

Title: Stripperella’s New Sidekick!                                                Author: Brandon Burns

Source: Stan Lee’s Stripperella                                                     Genre: Crime

Character(s): Erotica Jones / Stripperella, Giselle & Cheapo           Rating: T

Chapter(s): 1                                                                               Status: Complete

Synopsis: Kind of a short story I made about the show “Stripperella” which I use to watch back in the day on Spike TV.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10378695/1/Stripperella-s-New-Sidekick

 

Welcome Readers, this week we’re starting off with a blast from the past.  Who has heard of the adult cartoon Stan Lee’s Stripperella?  Well, I found a fan fic for it – I hope there’s more out there in ether – and I have a few things to say about it.  I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer; here to review the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.

I remember watching Stan Lee’s Stripperella in high school and despite its corniness, it was a fun satirical superhero cartoon.  Here was Erotica Jones living the dual life of stripper and crime fighter facing off against pun-named enemies and getting involved in hilariously clever crimes; implants that made models become obese, for example.  The show never took itself too seriously yet it didn’t devolve to everything being resolved with porn.  It remembered that Stripperella was still a superhero who had to be able to fight crime (with her sexy martial arts).

So when I read a story for something like Stan Lee’s Stripperella I expect there to be some semblance of the show in the story.  It should be clever and corny; it should be littered with innuendos and one liners; it should border that line of soft core porn and superhero comics.  In essence, I don’t expect a fan fic to be better than the show, but to be on par with the show.

This fic is the introduction of Stripperella’s new sidekick – Giselle – and it leaves a bit to be desired.  The shortness holds the story back while the lack of context and villain’s capture is disengaging.  On the up side, the writing is what I expected for a Stripperella story with the corny dialogue and turning Giselle’s southern bell charm up to eleven.  Those parts were great for the story, it’s the other areas that need help.

I can’t say that there should ever be a minimum or maximum length to a fic (stories end when they end) but for this story it feels like only the ending was written and the beginning and middle skipped over.  It would have been nice if the story was longer to include a beginning and a middle that could lead up to this ending; plus, a longer story could make this story seem more like an episode from the cartoon rather than the last 3 minutes of an episode.

To help fill in the story and make it feel like an episode there should have been some context given.  Like why Stripperella is taking on a sidekick?  Is it by choice or is she begin assigned the sidekick?  Does Giselle have her own superpowers and gadgets?  Is she a sanctioned crime fighter like Stripperella with the Bond-esque gear and toys?  What is Giselle’s gimmick?  And what is Giselle’s crime fighter name?  I doubt it would be Giselle since Erotica isn’t using her real name when she’s out fighting crime.

So many things that could be explained even half-heartedly if the story just started at an earlier point.  I wouldn’t imagine Giselle’s story would be a deep one given the show, but in this case a little context would go a long way.  Plus, I think providing a bit more context offers opportunities for more tongue-in-cheek references and gags.

Finally, the villain’s capture in this fic is wanting.  From what I remember of Stripperella, it wasn’t known for its action packed fight scenes but it did tend to follow the logic of there being some form of fighting in the fight scene.   Remember, Stripperella is a master of sexy martial arts.  In this story though Cheapo’s plans are foiled by Giselle’s strip and pole dancing.  There is no fight or attempt by the enemy to take her out.

If this was meant to be a joke about men being easily distracted by a sexy woman on a pole, then go further with the joke and have them throwing the money that was stolen at Giselle.  Seriously, there is more that could be done with this fight if the object was to make a crack about guys and pole dancers. Otherwise, the story could’ve incorporated Giselle’s pole dancing into her fight moves.

Plus, it would’ve been better to incorporate Stripperella – the title character – into the capture.  In this story, all Stripperella does is deliver a few lines and pat Giselle on the ass for doing such a great job in making Cheapo and his mean surrender.  Lame!

Would I recommend this story?  I…I feel like I have to because it’s the only Stripperella story that I’ve found (yet) but it doesn’t really deserve that recommendation.  It’s a fine concept but it requires better development and care.  This is truly a story that missed the opportunity to have a lot of fun with characters and a concept that is not meant to be taken seriously.  I’m quite disappointed.

 

Stars: 4/10

Heaven and Hell Review

Title: Heaven and Hell                                                                      Author: Phoenix Angel Suyari

Original Source: X-Men Evolution                                              Character(s): Warren W. & Rogue (Marie)

Rating:  M                                                                                                Genre(s): Drama/Romance

Chapter(s): 1                                                                                           Status: Complete?

Author’s Synopsis: Warren/Rogue round two!

fanfiction.net/s/734369/1/Heave-and-Hell

Oh my God, I thought with my streak of bad fiction being broken I would begin a streak of awesome fiction.  Nope.  By the way,  I am the Fan Fic Reviewer; reviewing the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.  For the better part of last week I was stuck in a rut of bad fan fiction that ultimately ended with yesterday’s review, but apparently it was not to stay.  Instead, I found this story in my archives and decided, “oh hey, why don’t I read this story since it has Rogue in it and she’s my favorite X-Men!”  I’m so stupid at times and now I’m paying for it.

This is the sort of sequel to A Heavenly Experience, which I have neither read nor will I; not after reading this BS of a story. I don’t even know if this is a story; there’s a beginning, middle, and an end but so do songs. *Groans.* This *points at the story* thing frustrates me!

*Takes a breath.* I guess I’ll just start with what it’s “about,” since the synopsis is not exactly helpful.

The “plot” of the story is Warren and Rogue have a misunderstanding and Rogue runs out on Warren. Now, Warren is stuck wallowing in his misery without his beloved. Yeah…that’s about it. There’s something in there about the problem with Rogue’s powers and it preventing intimacy, but that shows up later when the primary problem (Rogue leaving Warren) has yet to resolve itself. *Shrugs.* I can’t even provide a clear synopsis of this story because it lacks an EFFING PLOT!

I apologize for my outburst. It seems that my latest string of bad fan fiction has given me less patience for stories such as this one. Everything seems to be coming to a boil and this story will receive the brunt of my frustrations.

*Cracks knuckles.* Let the beating commence.

I’ll get this one out of the way; the grammar. For the love of all organic life forms, pick a tense. Past, future, present, I don’t care but pick one and stick with it. Stop flip-flopping because one moment the POV is from an omniscient being and the next is from the 3rd person stalking Warren and providing commentary. I know that these are not the technical terms for the 2 types of 3rd person POV, but this is what it felt like I was reading. Either I was receiving commentary from Warren’s stalker or getting Warren’s experience on the events.

Here’s a sample of the POV changes:

“To any casual observer, the sight before them would be a miracle. A beautiful angel with large white wings and soft golden hair. His stance was mournful as he stared out at the ragging storm. The occasional lightening bolt illuminating the sky, as well as the angel and his surroundings, would bring any God fearing man to his knees. It truly was a breathtaking sight, and also a sad one. The angel was grieving and no angel should be sad. They have no reason to be, or do they?”

That’s the first paragraph too! Then during the flashback sequence the POV changes.

“Warren sat on his bed frozen in shock. What had just happened? It took him a couple of minutes to process everything. As he realized what she meant by “It’s over” his heart stopped. He couldn’t believe it. No he’d probably heard her wrong. She couldn’t have meant they were over. No, he’d probably heard her wrong. Not after all this time. Tears threatened and he felt as if he couldn’t breathe. Slowly he got up and walked over to the magazine she’d thrown. He picked it up dreading what he might find. He flipped through it with blind eyes, then closed it forlornly.”

Here is a sample of the tense changes:

“An informed observer would tell you yes, for an informed observer would tell you the glorious angel framed in nature’s precious light was none other than Warren Worthington III. Just your average young man. No angel. Not in the traditional sense. He is no champion of God, nor man. He was not sent from Heaven, unless you count being born. He is not here to judge. No, far from it. He is here to be safe from judgment, and those who would hate him. He is here because he is a mutant. But that’s not why he’s upset. No, that is the furthest thing from his mind.”

Yup…that’s this story.

Readers, if you couldn’t tell by the samples that there are other grammar issues as well. Basic mistakes too, like misusing “there,” “their,” and “they’re,” and incorrectly using “nor.” There are a lot of fragment sentences as well. It’s a disaster.

Beyond the basics, the story itself is flawed with the exclusion of resolution. The conflict is built up (misunderstanding between Warren and Rogue leading to a broken relationship) but it’s never resolved. In fact, the characters do not reference the misunderstanding. Warren doesn’t try to explain the situation and Rogue ignores it. Instead, it comes down to Rogue returning to Warren and them having (implied) make-up sex.

Oh my God, the sex! It’s not graphic, because it’s implied and I’m not 100% certain it even happens. The story says how they can never have sex (“Her body conforms to his in a perfect display of unity they will never know.”), yet a few paragraphs later the story implies they have sex (“Neither can recall how they made it to the bed. Though both can accurately describe the ecstasy to this day.”). So did they, or didn’t they? No one will ever know.

Back to the conflict, the misunderstanding between Warren and Rogue is never resolved (even though half of the story is built around it!). The other “conflict,” Rogue’s powers preventing intimacy, is overcome by…Warren’s tongue? I don’t understand it and the story tries to…“explain” it in the final paragraph, but it doesn’t make a lick of sense.

Here’s the final paragraph:

“Neither can recall how they made it to the bed. Though both can accurately describe the ecstasy to this day. And how something so beautiful came from something so simple. For as everyone knows, the tongue is immune. The curse belongs only to the flesh.”

What the hell does that even mean? Are certain parts of the body able to deflect Rogue’s powers? I know that by definition of her powers, it’s skin-to-skin contact but I don’t think the tongue suddenly gets around that power. I doubt that actually works. Plus, it would still limit how much they can do in terms of intimacy. The tongue opens up some doors but others are still left closed and Warren would have to get creative to use his tongue and avoid touching Rogue with any other part of his body that has skin. I call BS on this “resolution.”

There’s another part to this story that I take issue with; it’s Warrens reason (excuse) behind the events that lead to the misunderstanding. Just so this makes sense, the misunderstanding is that Rogue sees a tabloid/paper feature a news article about Warren marrying another chick and showing a photo of Warren kissing the chick. His reason for kissing the chick is “she’d asked him to. She’d never been kissed before and who better to ask than your best friend.” Oh yeah. Here’s a better person to ask, the best friend who is single.

I know some Readers will disagree with me, but to me Warren’s reasoning behind his actions is weak. Knowing how his parents operate, why would Warren risk kissing the heiress to another billionaire mogul anywhere where the paparazzi can snap a photo? I don’t know how Warren’s parents fill about Rogue since it’s never mentioned, but I’ll assume they disapprove of her and will use whatever tactics to separate her from their son. So, again, why would Warren do something so stupid? “Because he’s her friend?” Would Warren also take the other woman’s virginity too, because they’re friends?

I’m sorry but this really makes me want a resolution between Warren and Rogue about this misunderstanding. Have Rogue and Warren talk about it and figure out if Warren actually kissed the other woman because he’s intimacy-starved due to Rogue’s powers, or some other reason. Then have them work it out. Sure it could lead to them splitting up again, but at least the conflict would be resolved and it would open up the door for the 2nd conflict (Rogue’s powers and intimacy).

Okay, I’ve ranted long enough about the story’s flaws (numerous flaws), let me touch on the good points of the story.

The conflict set up. Everything in the flashback for the conflict setup is fine. It’s a great set up (ignoring grammar errors, of course) and provides a situation that challenges the love between couples. That’s about it though. There are no other redeeming qualities.

I do not recommend this waste of digital space. Readers, do not put yourselves through the pain of reading this story. It’s is not worthy of attention. While true that this is not the worst story I have ever read, it is not a good story either. It’s a bad story. Spare yourselves and find a better fan fic to pass the time.

This is Idunwanaprofile; reviewing the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction. I wish all my Readers, happy reading, and pray to find some decent fan fics to read.

Stars: 2.5/10

IT Support Review

Title: IT Support Service                                                                                      Author: Chanel-M

Original Source: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: TMNT                       Character(s): Donatello

Rating: T                                                                                                                    Genre(s): General

Chapter(s): 1                                                                                                            Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis: Donnie has a hard job. ONESHOT. 2k7 Universe. R&R

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10250813/1/IT-Support-Service

Why hello Readers!  I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer, reviewing the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.  I went digging through my childhood cartoons and found a few fan fics having to do with the cartoons I grew up on.  Kids these days are missing out on a lot.  I found this one that was mislabeled as “cartoon” instead of “movie,” but that matters little because it’s still connected to my childhood.

I love TMNT, particularly the old ‘80s series and I enjoyed the first few seasons of the 2000s reboot of the series. I love the corny live action movies (although I’m holding off on my opinions for the Michael Bay version). Out of the turtles, Raph is my turtle. Love him! Donnie is a close second because I love his ability to a nerdy engineer without being out of touch with his brothers. I’ve worked with engineers and sometimes when they’re too good, they’ll sometimes interact with non-engineers in condescending manners and seem out of touch with other people. Donnie’s not like that, so I find myself endeared to him.

Now in saying that, I found this story and from the title and one sentence description, I was prepared to read a story highlighting some of the most awkward or frustrating phones calls an IT Support can receive. Instead, it’s more or less the lead up to the scene featured in the movie when the turtles are re-introduced. Donnie finishes helping a customer and then reflects on how life for him and his family has turned out before taking a call that ends up being for a sex hotline.

This is another one of those stories that has a great setup and potential to be very comedic, but decides to drop the ball and focus less on what it tells the Reader it focuses on (IT Support in this case). *Sighes.* My hopes were so high too. Damn.

What’s wrong with the story? It doesn’t really focus on Donnie’s job as IT Support. Sure, he takes a call and there’s a summary of another call but it doesn’t really portray Donnie’s work. There is exposition on Donnie’s work hours and his lack of time to do anything else, but it doesn’t show Donnie’s work life. I don’t want to be told about Donnie’s 12 hour work shift, how he when he’s not working he’s training, or the changes in family dynamics. DON’T TELL ME, SHOW ME!

Want to know how this story could have shown me exactly what it told me?

  1. Make the story not a reflection that features a single phone call. Instead, make it into a “normal” day for Donnie.
  2. Feature some phone calls from customers! The sex hotline call is fine but there are OTHER types of calls that IT gets that are humorous and frustrating. Need help thinking of some? Watch the IT Crowd.
  3. Have Donnie interact with other members of his family and through the dialogue convey the mental trauma Mikey’s going through due to his job, Raph’s absence and odd behavior, and the lack of correspondence with Leo.
  4. Show how Donnie’s not getting sleep by having him fall asleep on the job or try to catch a few moments of Zzzs only to be prevented by Master Splinter, Mikey, or Raph.
  5. Show how Donnie’s life has become one large revolving door between work, training, and repairing things for the family. Have him try to do something other than those 3 things only to be pulled into doing any of those 3 things.
  6. End it with Donnie finally able to close his eyes, only to be back on the clock with IT Support.

*Re-reads list.*

I think I have set up a massive rewrite for the story.

Anyways, in the end the story is does not live up to the IT support portion of its title and is just not that interesting (as is). I would recommend a massive rewrite to the story to make it more about Donnie’s job as IT Support.

It’s disappointing because there’s potential in a story about Donnie’s job as IT Support, but this story does not live up to that potential. Rather it did the bare minimum in order to create a “story” around Donnie’s IT job. So disappointing!

Would I recommend the story? Nope. Without it going through a major rewrite, it’s just a waste of space. There is nothing to glean from the story. Readers, pass by this story. It’s not worth the time to click on it.

Stars: 3/10

The Mystery Machine Review

Title: The Mystery Machine                                                                      Author: Symbolist

Original Source: Scooby-Doo                                                                 Character(s): Mystery Inc.

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

Chapter(s): 1                                                                                                  Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis: Rust coats the old van, the tires are flat, the windows shattered or scraped, and there are only hints of the blue and lime paint that used to decorate the antique automobile. He runs his hand along the windshield and his palm is coated in dust.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3742061/1/The-Mystery-Machine

Welcome Readers! I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer, reviewing the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction. So I felt nostalgia and decided to go hunting through FFN for an incomplete story that I had read several years ago. Sadly, I did not find the story I was looking for, but I did find a few other stories that piqued my interest. This story was among that lot.

The synopsis is what pulled me in as well as the fact that on FFN it is marked as Fred and Velma as the lead characters (it’s actually all of Mystery Inc but I think the story was posted prior to FFN’s change to include 4 characters). I like the synopsis a lot and it is verbatim how the story starts off, it doesn’t really say what the story is about but it’s got something to do with the Mystery Machine and that’s all I really needed to get pulled in.

The story is about the Mystery Machine but not as an object. Sure there is a great deal of details in describing this icon but it plays more of symbolic role in the story. In essence the story is about Mystery Inc. gathering together one last time inside this object that represents their shared past. Each member is drawn to the Mystery Machine for their own reasons and it just happens to be on the same day.

I really liked this story because even though it is a narrow topic and there isn’t a great deal of physical action there is a lot going on and it’s done well. The description of the van is amazing as well as the action happening inside the van (no matter how insignificant it seems) is very impactful. It’s almost like watching a short film where the little actions are focused on and used to show the mood. I loved it!

Speaking of mood, this story does a really great job of conveying how tense the atmosphere is as these former comrades come together one last time with past baggage. The conversations feel awkward and it really shows that the characters don’t quite know what to say or do. The only characters with any semblance of confidence are Shaggy and Daphne. Although the confidence the two characters have is completely different.

See, Shaggy’s confidence is more in that he reverted back to his old demeanor (until someone mentions a topic that shall not be named) and is just generally happy to see his old friends after so long. Daphne, on the other hand, comes at the situation like a bitch! Seriously, if she feels any sort of awkwardness she covers it up by making it clear that she doesn’t expect anything out of this reunion than to prove that Mystery Inc. can never get back together. She even calls Shaggy “Norville!” I realize that’s his name and while I love the name, when I read Daphne saying it, in my head it sounds like nails on a chalkboard. It’s just so…impersonal given the group’s history.

The ending is…what it should be given the events in the story. It’s not some sort of fan or romantic type ending but down-to-earth and appropriate.

I really do recommend this story because I do think it is well executed and written, but Readers, if you’re looking for an uplifting or romanticized story, this is not it.   This is an emotional story (not something to make Readers bawl though) and concise. It hits all of the right notes and provides fantastic details that do not overpower the story but paint the scene. I absolutely loved this story and think it’s worth sharing with the masses!

Stars: 10/10