Intricate Relations Review

Title: Intricate Relations                                   Author: Teagarden

Source: Brothers x Conflict                               Characters: Ema H. & All Asahina Brothers

Genre(s): Drama / Romance                              Rating: T

Chapter(s): 36                                                  Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis: Ema Hinata joins the Asahina family at age eleven. As Ema grows she offers the brothers support in their dreams, care when they’re down, and cheering when they succeed. The brothers all come to adore Ema, but as time goes on they have to ask themselves: do they love her as their stepsister, or as a woman?

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11933610/1/Intricate-Relations

 

Welcome Readers, I felt like I was on a movie kick with my reviews lately and I needed to change things up.  So, I returned to a story a found a couple of months ago when I was on a Brothers x Conflict binge.  It was one of the few stories I found that featured the series’ focal character, Ema, and the multitudes of stepbrothers rather than on just one or two brothers; so, it caught my attention.  Now, after reading this story twice I can properly give it a review that it deserves.

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.  Today we are entering the world of harem fan fiction – well, reverse harem fan fiction – with “Intricate Relations.”

For those who may have never heard of Brothers x Conflict it is an Otome game, there are manga and light novels available, and an anime.  The premise is that Ema Hinata an only child of a world renowned adventurer, she gains 13 stepbrothers when her father remarries.  Ema begins living with her stepbrothers and over the course of the game, novel, manga, and anime several (all 13) of the brothers come to feel romantic feelings for Emi and vie for her heart.

That is not a typo, there are 13 potential guys for this girl.  Well, 12 in this story because the story didn’t bother with the youngest (thankfully) who is 10 in the anime (13 in Season 2 of the novels).  Still, that is 12 guys to juggle and build potential relationships with in the story.  It’s hard work and the story puts in an admirable effort, however it still has its flaws.  Let’s start there, with the balance of these 12 suitors and their quest for Ema’s affections.

This story was not a slouch in how it handled the brothers.  The brothers each made a different impact on Ema and had their moments with her, and while the balance was pretty well maintained there were still some characters who ended up falling to the way side during the course of the story.  Hikaru didn’t get much of an opportunity to try his luck at Ema’s heart due to the fact that the character moved out of the country and was mostly kept out of the picture; in the end, he became the voice of wisdom to Ema.  Not a bad change.  Iori suffered though.  His potential romance was built as strictly one-sided and his sudden departure then return left no room for anything to potentially take root between him and Ema.  Louis was another one that got regulated to “friend” despite having a decent beginning and would have made a strong contender had his character and attentions been maintained.

Otherwise, the other 9 siblings had pretty solid romance opportunities with Ema.  Each one being cultivated over time from Ema at age 9 to Ema at 18.  The story maintained several of the rivalries from the game / novels / anime and used those to help generate tension between the brothers.  Unfortunately, this made these characters seem narrow sighted for not seeing all their brothers as rivals.  The few brothers who did not have rival to be pitted against normally had to compete with their jobs and the age difference.  Those were probably the most interesting characters as they often acted not out of jealousy (except for 2 instances) but out of the desire to make the most of their time with Ema.

It’s a difference in terms of how the characters approach their feelings for Ema but still the 9 brothers build up strong potential romances with Ema.  Strong enough that it’s hard to know who she will eventually choose.  I will touch on the ending later, for now I want to dive into Ema’s side of this romantic harem.

Ema Hinata is one of those characters who is meant to be the “every girl,” very few defining personality traits and quirks in the game and while she has a bit more in the anime, she lacks a bit of depth.  This story gives her that depth and actually tries to shape her away from the “every girl.”  She doesn’t have a strong personality but she does have one, enough of one that when as her brothers start confessing their feelings to her and (some) becoming aggressive with their affections she reacts.  She doesn’t just take their actions or words; she reacts to them.

Everything that happens as the brothers make moves on her causes Ema stress and the pushier they become, the more she retreats from them.  In the anime, Ema kept pointing out that “they’re family” and in this story she clings to the idea of “Family” even more firmly because she grew up side by side with the brothers then suddenly – it would feel sudden to her – how her brothers feel for her has turned from familial to romantic; it causes her to eventually lash out and say how she sees them as family.  In the anime, it feels like the “family” reason is more of an excuse for her to not analyze her feelings but in this story it makes sense given the history it builds between her and the brothers.

Actually, because of how Ema reacts to the brothers’ aggressive behavior leads to my favorite moment in the story; the part where she leaves Japan with Louis (the brother regulated to friend/family zone) to spend the summer in France.  It’s my favorite part of the story because unlike the anime where Ema tries to family-zone the brothers and they all decide to still pursue her; this story shows that there are consequences to the brothers pushing so hard for her to return their affections.  Ema leaving is also the best point because it allows the character to analyze her feelings and what she wants for her future – a subplot in the story.  It’s the only time where Ema is able to focus on herself instead of the Asahina brothers.

Now, as for the end; much like the game, there are multiple different endings.  There is an ending for Tsubaki, Azusa, Natsuem, Yusuke, Fuuto, Kaname, and Masomi.  While I think this is genius because it allows just about any Reader to be happy with the various endings, it also pisses me off.  Note the number of different endings – 7 – note how many brothers I said had strong romance potential with Ema – 9.  Yeah, two of those brothers did not get an ending, Ukyo and Subaru.  Why I’m mad about this is because the Ukyo had a strong build and was on the same level as Masomi yet for whatever reason he was never given an ending.  Just nothing.  Apparently the story didn’t bother with giving Ukyo a happy ending beyond him just being happy that Ema’s happy.

Truthfully, I’m more upset about Subaru not getting an ending because out of the 9 potential romances his got dropped a bit earlier than the others.  Not completely dropped but enough to signal that the story was done trying to wiggle the basketball star back in.  He had a strong beginning, a weak middle, and then he disappears near the end to pursue his career only to return when Ema returns.  There’s concessions made for the other brothers to try and tie up loose unrequited ends but Subaru gets nothing.  I understand that he’s hard to write – whoever created Subaru’s character did not bother trying to go past “he’s a basketball star who’s awkward with girls” – but this story could’ve given him a bit more potential.  It certainly could’ve – at the very least – given him an end where Ema goes to watch one of his first games in the pro and…well, time makes the heart grow fonder.  This story could’ve gone corny and made it work.  Instead, it ignored the potential.

Overall, the story is very good.  Despite my grievances about certain characters not receiving an ending or a chance at romance, I still enjoy it a lot.  I appreciate how the brothers’ feelings slow eat away at Ema until she breaks down and must literally leave to find herself.  I also enjoy the amount of time devoted to each brother’s feelings and their interactions with Ema.  Personally, my pick would be for Kaname or Yusuke but I’m biased.

I do highly recommend the story, it’s a good one to read and it does a great job of maintaining the harem aspect of the story.  I seriously could see each one of those endings happening and when Ema returned from Japan it was wide open as to who she would end up with.  It was a great story to read and I hope other Readers take the time to check it out.

 

Stars: 8.5 / 10

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Love Found in Radio Review

Title:  Love Found in Radio                               Author: BrokenBlackCat

Source: Clover/Heart no Kuni no Alice                 Character(s): Alice L., Elliot M., Ace

Rating:  T                                                  Genre(s): Humor / Romance

Chapter(s): 1                                                Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis: Alice works in a radio station and there, she comes across a male asking for help in love. She tries to help him but somehow, along the way, she feels like she knows the guy. What’s she going to do now?

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10553686/1/Love-Found-in-Radio

 

Welcome Readers, it’s Friday so it’s time for another fan fic review.  I kind of feel bad for reviewing this story because the author is obviously writing in their second (or third or fourth) language, and a native speaker never reviewed the story before it was posted.  Still, as I’ve said before, nothing is off limits for me to read and review, so I will review the story as it is regardless if the author is writing in his/hers second language.  I’m done postponing, let’s get this show on the road.  I am the Fan Fic Reviewer; here to review the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.  Let’s dive in!

The synopsis is accurate.  College student Alice works part time at a radio station and she gets a caller named “Elli” who is looking for advice on how to take his relationship with a girl friend to the next level.  The advice Alice gives backfires on “Elli” so he keeps calling in for more advice until one day she realizes that “Elli” has been her friend Elliot March the entire time.

See, when I first read the synopsis I was thinking something along the lines of the movie “Cats & Dogs;” I figured Alice was going to give this caller advice, he’d seek her out to thank her and they would start to fall in love.  That’s not this story.  This story is…it’s bare bones.  I’ll address the different weaknesses that make this story paper thin.

First off, the characters.  I know that in the video games and mangas Alice tends to be a bland character because she’s meant to represent the every girl; girls who play the games are meant to imagine that they are Alice and get to project their personalities and fantasies onto her.  However, when it comes to fan fiction, Alice should have some sort of characterization, some personality.  The only thing Alice had going for her in this story is that she’s oblivious.

Elliot and Ace have zero personality too.  The only things known about Elliot and Ace are that they are both Alice’s friends and they are in love (?) with her.  I put in the question mark because while the dialogue between Elliot and Ace suggest that both men have romantic interests in Alice, the only one putting any effort to woo her is Elliot.  I’m trying to find more things to help build my case, but the story doesn’t offer much.  There is minimal interaction between Alice and the boys.  At one point they meet up before class and exchange pleasantries, but that’s about it.  They don’t seem to hang out together and neither Elliot nor Ace really try to make a move on Alice when they are together.  It’s all feels superficial.

Next up, the storytelling is a skeleton.  The story knows how it wants to end and that it wants the interaction between Elliot and Alice to be through radio, but beyond that the story seems lost.  Everything comes back around to the radio show and Alice giving romance advice to Elliot, but when anything happens outside the radio then the story flounders.  It’s a fine start but it really should have been fleshed out; include interactions between Elliot and Alice, have Elliot mention that he heard Alice on the radio, have Ace make some moves on Alice to urge Elliot on, and have these characters be college students.

Remember, these characters are meant to be college students in this story but they don’t seem to act like students.  The college aspect of these characters feels like a coop-out, like the story just felt like it had to make these characters some sort of students without making them live out the student life.  If the story had used that college status to make the characters interact and act out the romantic advice that Alice provides, then it would have helped to create the romance and give the characters some depth.

Finally, the grammar is horrible.  I know that this story is not written in the author’s native language but poor grammar and sentence structure is horribly distracting.  This story should have been reviewed by a native English speaker before being posted to help clean up the grammar.  Having someone vet the grammar wouldn’t have made the story better per say, but it would have made it easier to read.  I almost gave up on the story because I couldn’t stand the horrible grammar.

I can say that I do not recommend this story to anyone.  No matter how much of an Alice in the Country of – fan a Reader is, this story is not worth the time.  There are better stories out there to read.  I will, however, encourage if anyone is a writer to write a better version of this story.  Beyond that, don’t bother with this story.

 

Stars: 1/10

Field Training Review

Title: Field Training                              Author: Mordinette

Source: Mass Effect                              Character(s): Shepard (F), Garrus V., Jondum Bau

Rating:  M                                            Genre(s): Romance / Humor / Adventure

Chapter(s): 33                                       Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis: Spectre training was easy. Putting up with her turian teammate during their group lessons was less so. AU story with Shepard, Garrus, Jondum Bau, and as many characters from the Mass Effect universe as I can fit in.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10167828/1/Field-Training

 

Welcome Readers, it’s that time of the week again and I have a story that I am very excited to review.  I figured that I’ve been reviewing a lot of one-shots lately and I would like to change things up by reviewing a lengthy story.  So I went digging around and I found this amazing alternate universe (AU) Mass Effect fic.  Let’s get this review going!  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.

My synopsis of the story goes like this: Spectre Jondum Bau decides to take two candidates under his wing: Shepard and Garrus.  The two candidates do not hit it off at first but through a series of missions they begin to develop a bond of comradery and maybe romance.

Despite the author’s synopsis of the story centering on Shepard, I would argue that it focuses on Jondum and the group’s missions just as much as Shepard.  Bau directs the story, what missions occur and the political sphere; however, Garrus and Shepard add in their own spices to the missions through the plans, temporary companions (Rex, Tali, etc.), and their interactions.  The story is very much about the journey, not the destination.

I have a lot to praise about this story; it’s storytelling, the use of characters, and the romance.  It all works very well in this story.  While, I do have a lot to praise, I do have one complaint and that’s the characterization of Shepard.  I’ll address this in more detail near the end but the characterization of Shepard is the weakest aspect of the whole story.

First things first, this story does a great job of remembering that it does not need to adhere to the ME storyline, it just needs to use it as inspiration.  There are many stories I see labeled “AU” but instead of crafting a unique story using the original source as a springboard they only change one aspect of the original story.  This takes the missions and characters from Mass Effect and ME2 (mostly ME2) and decides to use them as inspiration.  For example, Zaeed’s personal mission on Zorya against the Blue Suns is used as an early mission for Spectre training.  While sneaking towards the base, the Spectre team encounters Zaeed and Jack in their pursuit of Santiago.  The two groups do not cooperate but instead split as Zaeed and Jack go after Santiago and Jondum, Shepard, and Garrus save the civilians.  The mission does not play out exactly like in the game but definitely takes its inspiration from it.

Next up, how the characters are used in this story is done really well.  Shepard and Garrus may carry the romance of the story, Bau moves the story.  The many cameo appearances help to support and build out the missions.  Wrex and Mordin join the team for several chapters and a couple of missions, Kasumi and Thane make a reluctant alliance with the team, and Liara makes an appearance pre-Shadow Broker.  The cameos do not drag or stop the story, instead they help move the missions forward either in preparations or in actually carrying out the missions.  Plus, some of these cameos help to introduce the next mission.

There is not a character wasted or an introduction that over stays its welcome.  Enough background and information is given on each supporting character to give the Reader an idea of how the character fits into the story without being overwhelming.

Finally, the romance has a strong build and is sustained.  Normally romances are about getting to that relationship starting point or to the next phase of a relationship (dating to engagement).  This story though has Shepard and Garrus get together and sustain their relationship.  It doesn’t have them blow up into a fight or misunderstanding just to get back together, but it has them work together to achieve success.

Shepard and Garrus start off as almost teenagers trying to one-man up each other but then they begin to develop a mutual respect for each other.  Eventually, they do become attracted to each other and the story makes it clear that Garrus is not attracted to humans (vice versa for Shepard) but he’s attracted to Shepard.  Important distinction.  The hints of attraction begin with basic banter then it becomes inquiries about each other’s abilities (Shepard’s flexibility, Shepard’s curiosity about Garrus’ body); basic things that eventually two individuals of different species would probably wonder.  Then it continues to grow as they start admiring each other’s bodies and start having physical contact (not intentionally sexual).  Eventually it culminates during a mission when they need to share heat and Garrus’ curiosity leads to an exploration of Shepard’s body.

Eventually this all leads to sex scenes.  So, I know from the lore and games about some of basic Turian body functions but this is probably the first story I’ve read that actually addressed a lot of the body differences for sex.  It is fascinating!  I know it sounds like it would be a massive turn off for the sex scenes but they’re hot even with some of these added details.  Seriously, they are “take a cold shower after reading” type of hot.

Alright, now that I’m done praising the story I do need to address the characterization of Shepard.  Shepard is a hot head biotic who like to charge in first, think later and eat a lot of food.  My impression of Shepard while reading the story is that she’d make a good soldier but not a good leader.  Spectres are meant to operate (mostly alone) and be able to lead when working with others, but Shepard seemed more eager to tell others to go fuck themselves and alienate potential allies; especially during a scene with Liara.  It just felt like this Shepard should not be a Spectre; she definitely was not made out to be the badass leader from the games.  If anything, Garrus and Bau are more badass and competent than Shepard.

This is just my opinion though; other Readers may enjoy this characterization of Shepard, but I felt like she didn’t live up to the nomination of Spectre.  She felt like the odd one of the group.

My recommendation is for Readers interested in Mass Effect and looking for a great Garrus x Shepard romance, check out the story.  It’s a solid story and it was a great journey.  I highly recommend it for fans despite any flaws.

 

Stars: 9/10

I Want You Review

Title: Wanting You                                                          Author: ElegantArtist21

Source: Dragon Age: Inquisition                                      Characters: Inquisitor (Fem) & Cole

Genre: Romance                                                             Chapter(s): 2

Status: On-Going?                                                           Rating: T

Synopsis: Cole can sense her loneliness. He just wants to help. Sneaking into her bedroom in the middle of the night can help, can’t it?

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11239478/1/Wanting-You

 

Welcome Readers, we’re going to keep going strong with these reviews! I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer, reviewing the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.  Today I present a mess of a story.  A story that could have been an okay – even good – one-shot if it hadn’t fallen into the point of view (POV) trap.

I don’t think I can elaborate more on the story’s description than the author’s synopsis.  The Inquisitor is feeling lonely and whelmed by the responsibilities of the Inquisition and Cole sneaks into her room at night to help her.  Will it be more than that?  I don’t know, the ending suggests as much but I personally think it should’ve stopped after the night Cole sneaks into her bedroom.

How I came to find this story is, I went looking for Cole/Inquisitor stories because I have a fondness for non-cannon couples.  This is one of the few romance stories I found and now I kind of regret my actions.  I was just so excited to read a Cole/Inquisitor story that I muscled through this story.

Before I start my rant, I want to make this really clear: This story has potential but it needs a lot of heavy editing.  As it is, I’m reviewing the story as it is and not as it could be.  I just want to make that clear because all of my grievances could vanish with some editing.  Now let’s get started.

I’ll address the POV trap I mentioned earlier.  Stories should always be consistent in which POV it will be written in.  POV can change from character to character throughout the story but the type of POV should remain consistent.  If it starts in 3rd person POV, that should carry throughout the story; it should never change to 1st person or (heaven forbid) 2nd person.  Same can be said for the other types of POV, they should remain consistent throughout the story.

This story apparently couldn’t decide between 3rd person and 2nd person.  About half way through the first chapter the POV switched from 3rd person (following Cole) to 2nd person, with the Reader as the Inquisitor.  There is no need to switch to 2nd person, it could easily have switched to 3rd person (following the Inquisitor) and that would have been fine.  There are types of fan fics where 2nd person POV can be useful in telling the story, but this story is not one of them.

Another aspect of POV that causes issues in this story, is the limitations of each POV type.  First person allows Readers to enter directly into the mind of the character; Readers know what that character knows and experiences what that character experiences.  The writing is then limited to that character and what happens to him/her.  Second person allows Readers to know and experience only what they are told by the narrator.  “You feel,” “you say,” “you do,” all these types of sentences are narrating to the Reader what they experiencing.  Again, this is a limited type of POV because Readers can only know what the narrator tells them.  Finally, 3rd person POV which allows Readers to follow a character through a story as though they were following them in a movie.  Characters can share thoughts and feelings with the Readers but they can’t know the thoughts of other characters (unless they’re telepaths/empaths) until those characters share them.  This POV is great because Readers can piece together more of the story by reading it from multiple character’s POVs, but it’s important to remember that just because the Reader knows doesn’t mean the characters know.

In saying that, I’d like to present part of the story when it is taking place in 2nd person POV and analyze it.

“His eyes capture you, entrapping around you, unable to escape the sea in which you swim.  His pulse thrummed in his neck and lips parted slowly, agonizing slowly, his mouth tilting breathing in your scent.  His lips hovering over yours, almost touching.  You can feel his heart hammering in his chest, wildly out of control.  He seems unsure, terribly frightened of going forward.  Not knowing what it would bring.”

 

That paragraph is taken verbatim from the story; every word, punctuation, and sentence structure is directly from the story.  I’m going to take a bit of time to analyze what in this paragraph does not work for 2nd person POV.

  1. “His pulse thrummed in his neck…” The Inquisitor (“You”) don’t know that because there’s no mention of the Inquisitor’s hand resting on Cole’s neck to be able to feel his pulse.  Plus, if her hand was on his neck to feel his pulse, that would be awkward and contrived.
  2. “…his mouth tilting breathing in your scent.” Ok, mouth is for taste.  Nose is for smelling.  This is basic science, things people learn in first and second grade.  So, it makes no sense for the Inquisitor to believe (much less know) that Cole is breathing in her scent through his mouth.  It would make more sense if phrased as: “his mouth tilting; you feel him inhale deeply then hold his breath.  You imagine he’s savoring your scent.”  Corny?    Still incorrect? Yes, but it’s within the author’s own wording.  The point is, the new wording would at least stay within the 2nd person POV and it doesn’t claim to know Cole’s mind and motivations.
  3. “He seems unsure, terribly frightened of going forward. Not knowing what it would bring.”  Huh…no.  I get the “He seems unsure” because the Inquisitor can infer that from his hesitation and hammering heart, but not the rest.  How would the Inquisitor know that Cole is afraid of taking the next step?  Sure, she could guess but the phrasing of the sentence doesn’t suggest that she’s guessing; the phrasing downright says what’s holding Cole back.  Unless Cole said anything, there is no way for the Inquisitor to know that he’s afraid of the unknown.

There are more examples I could give to analyze but I figured that these three from one paragraph were sufficient. There are several other things wrong in that paragraph that I could truly nit-pick, but I wanted to just focus on the POV issues.

Other issues with the story are grammar and sentence structure.  When the story is being written following Cole, I’m more forgiving of the run on sentences and incomplete sentences because that is how Cole speaks.  Those types of errors help reflect who Cole is and how he operates.  However, I can’t ignore when these mistakes happen when the story is from the Inquisitor’s point of view.  The Inquisitor should have a good handle on the language.

The last grievance I have with this story is the lack of story.  It could work as a one-shot but then I think it needs to be a bit more concise and have a solid ending.  If the story is meant to be longer than there needs to be more girth to it.  Have the Inquisitor and Cole explore their feelings and have the other companions weigh in on their budding relationship; have the Inquisitor not push for a relationship but fight against her desires.  There needs to be conflict if this story is meant to be longer than a one-shot.  Since I can’t tell if this story is going to continue or if it’s done, I’m left conflicted if I should recommend that it be more concise and be a one-shot, or that it needs to be fleshed out better and be a longer story.

As I said at the beginning, there is potential in this story but it requires heavy editing.  The biggest issues are the inconsistencies in POV followed by the grammar.  If the POV was fixed then the story would be okay; I don’t think it would be the best story ever, but it would be readable.  And that’s a start.  After that point then I’d recommend deciding if this story is to be a one-shot or a longer story.  This decision is critical to developing an actual plot for this story; remember, stories need a beginning, a middle, and an end.  Right now this story has 2/3 (beginning and a murky middle).

My recommendation, if you don’t mind the POV changes, poor grammar, and lack of story then go ahead and read the story.  Personally, I don’t think the payoff (Cole/Inquisitor romance) is worth having to endure the execution.  There’s potential with the story but little is being done to polish it.

Stars: 3/10

The Captain and the Commander of the Grey Review

Title: The Captain and the Commander of the Grey                              Author: Dr. Harbinger

Original Source: Dragon Age: Awakening                                                Character(s): Captain Garevel & Fem. Cousland

Rating:  M                                                                                                                Genre(s): Romance

Chapter(s): 1                                                                                                           Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis: Captain Marcus Garevel of Vigil’s Keep had thought that Warden Commander Eomerra Cousland would be far older, much more ruthless and a lot colder in person than she had proved to be. He wasn’t entirely surprised when he found himself falling for her. He had simply never expected her to want him too.

http://archiveofourown.org/works/905640?view_adult=true

I have a confession to make; I love the Dragon Age series. I have been in love with this series for a long time and am eagerly anticipating the third installment, Inquisition. So, one day I was playing the DLC Awakening, my favorite DLC to play, and I began to wonder what kind of fan fics were out there for the character Garevel, the Captain of Vigil’s Keep. So I did some digging and found only 2 stories. Oh yeah! I found 0 on FFN so I had to do a Google search for these fan fics.

I was surprised; more because I know there is a huge niche for fans writing stories about supporting characters so normally I’m guaranteed to find something. Admittedly, I did find 2 stories, but I was expecting more. In truth, I was expecting Garevel to have a fan base like the Templar Cullen, but I was wrong.

Oh well, live, learn, and move on.

So, this is one of the two stories I found featuring Captain Garevel and it’s a bit flat. The story itself is written well and Garevel’s character is easily established and expounded upon without being obvious. I think the problem is that the focus of the story is not quite interesting to me. I enjoy the “they finally got together” fan fics but this is one of those times where I rather read the drama and frustrations of Garevel loving a woman he deems out of his league. The story does express the ordeal Garevel went through (his shameful nights), but it’s all kind of resolved by his ability to stay focused and professional. Thus, the ordeal is made inconsequential.

Also, the other part of the story itself that weakens my interest is that it takes Garevel to be five or six sheets to the wind in order to finally slip up on the professionalism and get the ball moving. Having a character be drunk is just a cheap plot device to create the drama necessary to get things rolling. It becomes an excuse for things to happen rather than a reason for the events to occur.

This is just my personal view on the story and by no means does it indicate a bad story or weak writing. It just means that even though I’m interested in the character of Garevel, I’m not interested in reading a story about the night he finally got together with the Warden Commander. *Shrugs.* It’s just me.

Other than the flatness, I think the story is pretty good. Like I said, it’s well written and I like the fact that the sex scene is not raunchy but tastefully expressed. By no means am I prude, but there are just times when a very descriptive, raunchy sex scene is unnecessary and is just a turn off. The sex scene in this story is tasteful while showing the sex to be anything but gentle. And…boom goes the dynamite!

Another aspect about the story that I appreciate is Garevel’s consciousness to what it means to be of certain ranks (socially and military). It’s refreshing because whenever I play the games a lot of the characters I interacted with tended to ignore rank and just acted as they did to anyone else. Then again…I played as a city elf and was treated like crap. Maybe everything changes when the Player plays as a human noble. Food for thought.

The best part of the story in my opinion is that it goes past the night of passion and into the morning after “where do we go from here.” I like that because while it’s awesome when two characters finally get together, it’s nice having that closure that there is more to this couple than that one night of passion. Plus, it indicates that the characters are endeavoring to have an adult relationship unlike some characters in other fan fics. *Cough.* Sleep Talking *Cough. Cough.* Kudos!

That’s about all there is to the story. Now, would I recommend the story? Sure. I don’t have a good reason to not recommend it; the writing is good, the characters are interesting, and it’s a well-contained story. Any Readers interested in reading a Captain Garevel story should check out The Captain and the Commander of the Grey. It’s probably the better of the 2 stories available until fans start writing more fan fics featuring the Captain of Vigil’s Keep.

Until next time, this is Idunwanaprofile wishing everyone happy reading.

Stars: 7.5/10