Legend of the Unsolved Mystery Review

Title: Legend of the Unsolved Mystery                                  Author: Karianasan

Source: Scooby Doo & A Pup Named Scooby Doo                            Rating: K

Character(s): Mystery Inc. & Parents                                             Genre(s): Humor / Mystery

Chapter(s): 7                                                                                Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis:  The gang comes together for Christmas. With family around, they recall the story of the Red String and the only Unsolved Mystery the gang has ever faced. COMPLETE! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4570882/1/Legend-of-the-Unsolved-Mystery

 

Welcome Readers, it’s the end of the work week and oh man, everyone is truly feeling the holidays.  There are holiday parties, shopping to be done, lots of food to make, etc.  I thought that I would unwind a bit with story that played to my nostalgia; take me back to a simpler time when I didn’t have to worry about my bank account and try to juggle events with family and friends.  Scooby Doo definitely fit that bill.

I always enjoyed the cartoon as a child and the spin-off cartoons like A Pup Named Scooby Doo.  It was great watching this group get pulled into mysteries and watch them collect clues, set up a final trap, and ultimately capture the baddy.  It didn’t matter that some of the mysteries were hooky and the motivations were lackluster; it was just fun.  That was what I needed this week and I found it in “Legend of the Unsolved Mystery.”

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.  I actually wish this story was an episode of either Scooby Doo or A Pup Named Scooby Doo.  The story hits all the right notes in terms of creating a Christmas mystery, creating a plan, and the interaction between the Mystery Inc. children.  Bravo story!

The story has the gang and their families gathered together for Christmas at the Blake cabins and the group – parents – recant the events of a Christmas from when Mystery Inc. were children.    The kids hatched a plan to catch Santa and demand answers from him; not unmask him.  After all, why is this guy coming into strangers’ homes and laying out presents?  How is he getting in?  Is he an alien?

This story screams Christmas, not just because it’s Christmas Eve and they’re planning to catch Santa red handed, but the atmosphere, the interactions, and the components for their trap.  It’s all Christmas!  The parents play games – Monopoly and cards – while the children play Operation; Daphne catches Fred’s dad in her parents’ room closing the closet and he has to cover that he was hiding presents.  When the kids decide to use Velma’s trap, they need to collect the components by finding some of the craft supplies used to create some decorations and steal parts from store bought decor.  It’s cute and helps maintain the holiday atmosphere of the story.

The plan is simple – tie bells to a thread and connect the thread to the trees then when Santa comes to put out the presents he’ll hit the thread and the bells will ring, awaking the kids.  Maybe the plan is a little too simple given Mystery Inc. but it works for young children.  I think Fred’s plan of making a pressure plate that would sound an alarm in the kid’s room when Santa put the presents under the tree would’ve been doable – especially with Velma’s intellect – but the simple plan of thread and bells works too.  Especially because Fred’s the only one truly gung-ho about capturing Santa while Velma and Daphne just want to ask a few questions and Shaggy wants his Easy Bake Oven refills.

Finally, the true charm of this story is the kids; it stays very true to their characters in A Pup Named Scooby Doo.  Scooby and Shaggy both have food on their brains and are easily distracted by its presence.  Fred is the conspiracy theorist of the group and tries to act like the grown up – like when he tries to act nonchalant while trying to gather bells.  Velma is definitely the most accurate – quiet but smart.  Unlike Fred or Shaggy, when she was trying to gather bells she let her natural curiosity drive the parents to give her the bells she needed.  Daphne is ever resourceful, calling forth Jenkins when she can no longer try to find the thread without arousing the parents’ suspicions.

Their interactions are very similar to the ones in A Pup Named Scooby Doo where Fred will see a mystery and connect it back to conspiracy theory while Daphne and Velma reign him in.  Daphne telling him that it’s not true and Velma pointing out the merits of the mystery but not the conspiracy link.  Shaggy and Scooby are uninterested in catching the person – this time because he doesn’t want to screw up his chances to get those Easy Bake Oven refills – and suggest to let it go.  It’s spot on.

Finally, I like that the story brings this entire thing around 360° at the end.  After recanting the story and jogging the gang’s memories, Daphne finds the ball of yarn they had used – confirming the story – and the gang share how they eventually found out the truth about Santa.  However, Shaggy’s last example ends up igniting the suspicion that Santa is real.  It’s a nice cliffhanger.

Overall, this story is a great one for the holidays.  It has the Christmas theme down, it’s fun children’s narrative with Mystery Inc., and it wraps up nicely.  I definitely recommend this one for Readers looking for something to read during the holiday season.

 

Stars: 9.5/10

 

Advertisements

A Hanukkah Special Review

Title: A Hanukkah Special                                                Author:  Technogirl4304

Source: Danny Phantom                                                  Character(s): Sam M.

Rating:  K                                                                        Genre(s): Spiritual / Friendship

Chapter(s): 1                                                                    Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis: Have a Happy Hanukkah with Sam and the gang.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5590962/1/A-Hanukkah-Special

 

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.  I know I’m a day late in posting this but I wanted to review a Hanukkah story and today is the first night of Hanukkah; I wanted the two to coincide.  There is a decent selection of Hanukkah stories on FFN and I hope I found a couple good ones to review this year.  This is actually 1 of 2 reviews today because this story is really short.  The next one will be posted shortly after this review.

Let’s start with a Danny Phantom story.  Growing up I actually didn’t watch Danny Phantom, I know the premise and some of the characters, but the finer points allude me.  Thankfully, I didn’t need to know much about the show to read this short story about Sam’s family celebrating the first night of Hanukkah and her friends dropping by to join in.

There really isn’t much to the story.  Sam feels a bit out of character given that she is meant to be the “goth” of the group but it’s not too bad; even Carrie calls her out on the uncharacteristic happiness during the holidays.  The Jewish prayers are a nice touch.  I also like that the non-Jewish characters participated in a game of Dreidel.

I think the only part about the story that confused me was how off-putting Sam’s parents seemed by her friends coming over to celebrate.  Since I didn’t watch the show I don’t know if it’s because Sam’s parents don’t approve of her friends and boyfriend, or if they’re traditionalists who don’t want non-Jews to participate.  Either way, the tension and almost rude behavior is never addressed and Sam’s grandma saves everyone by welcoming Sam’s friends to join.

Overall, the story is nothing special.  I don’t think it was meant to be; looks like it was just meant to be a Hanukkah story.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but it does leave a lack luster story.  I would have preferred having that awkward attitude Sam’s parents had toward her friends addressed and resolved (partially or fully).  However, that’s me.

In the end, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this as a story to read.  However, if anyone is looking for a Danny Phantom Hanukkah story, here’s one.

 

Stars: 6/10

Christmas Review

Title:  Christmas                                                          Author: gypsywriter135

Source: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles                         Genre(s): Family / Friendship

Rating:  K                                                    Character(s): Leo, Raph, Don, Mikey, & Splinter

Chapter(s): 3                                                               Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis:  Christmas is a time for togetherness.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4732845/1/Christmas

 

Welcome Readers, I’m continuing my trend of reading holiday fiction with a TMNT Christmas story.  Not “Christmas story” like the movie but a story that features Christmas.  It called to me because it’s TMNT – I feel the nostalgia – and I wanted to read a story that was not based on anime fandom; I read a lot of those and wanted to change it up a bit.

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.  This time I am reviewing this heartwarming story about Christmas with the Turtles.  It is a small offering but definitely encapsulates the Turtles’ personalities and the sense of family during the holidays.  Without further ado, let’s dive into Christmas.

The synopsis is rather on point after reading the story but to entice readers it’s a bit weak.  Here’s my synopsis of the story.  It’s the first Christmas since Leo came back from the jungle.  Now the Turtles can finally celebrate like a family.

My synopsis isn’t really catchy but that is the essence of the story.  It is the first Christmas since Leo returned home and all members of the mutant family are excited to celebrate as a family again.

The story has simple offerings but it does so well in capturing the heartwarming experience of celebrating Christmas with family.  Chapter one is about Christmas Eve and the brothers trying to sleep but Mikey’s excitement won’t let them sleep.  Chapter two is about Christmas Day and the family opening thoughtful gifts from each other, exchanging words of appreciation, etc.  The last chapter features the Christmas party with friends and closing out Christmas with some family time.  Everything that happens in this story is so cheery and warm.  It made me go “Awww.”

I know it sounds a bit dull as though the story just describes the turtles’ Christmas but it’s not dull.  In fact, it’s engaging.  I found that it was fun reading about Mikey creeping out of his room to sneak a peek at the presents only to be caught by Leo over and over again.  Reading the different perspectives of Christmas Eve and the holiday season was interesting; Donnie enjoyed it for family, Raph liked it because it was the one time of year where he and Leo got along, Mikey enjoyed it for the presents and general cheer, Leo enjoyed being back with his family and the familiarity of the holidays, and Splinter – like the proud papa he is – enjoyed having all his children home.

Even Chapter 2 when everyone is opening presents isn’t boring like it should be.  Instead, it feels like you’re watching a tender family moment as each member takes a turn opening gifts and there’s a reason behind each gift.  Plus, Raph and Leo’s gifts are great; predictable but still great.

Every part of this story just screamed “Family” and rather than it being annoying, it was rather endearing.  Kind of “Bad Mom’s Christmas.”  I know that plug came out of nowhere but it’s true; what should be annoying actually turns out to be heartfelt.

I don’t think there’s anything really missing from this story.  It’s not trying to be a lengthy tale that just happens to take place around Christmas, but a story about how these mutants celebrate a holiday.  It doesn’t need an enemy attack or a squabble between brothers; it has everything it needed to foster the feeling of family.

Would I recommend this story?  As a short, stirring holiday story about family; yes.  If anyone is looking for some with more meat to it, then this is not the story to read.  It’s a good story that stays true to the characters and focuses on the characters individually and as a family unit.  There’s plenty of joy and goodwill to gladden the heart and get Readers pumped for the holiday season.

 

Stars: 8.5 / 10

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