Cobwebs and Gears Review

Title: Cobwebs and Gears                                          Author: FlameWolf

Source: Five Nights at Freddy’s                                Character(s): OCs, Animatronics, Scott, & Fitz

Rating: R                                                                 Genre(s): Abuse, Angst, MCD, MiCD

Chapter(s): 6                                                           Status: On-Going

Author’s Synopsis:  Rose has been working for the Fredbear Franchise for longer than she could remember. She has seen things that many would find hard to believe, even discovering that the animatronics she cherished are alive. Things only get scary when a new person joins day security. Soon her friends are acting almost dangerous and she finds herself wondering if there’s a connection to the new guy. If she doesn’t find out the answers soon, she may end up as another victim.

http://games.adult-fanfiction.org/story.php?no=600089993&chapter=1

 

Welcome Readers!  So, it took me a bit to find something to review.  I looked at the lists of “Plan to Read” and “To Review” and nothing stuck out to me.  In fact, I looked at what I had readily available to read or review and thought, “Man, I really need a change of pace.”  Almost everything I had available was: Dragon Age, Ranma ½, Labrynth, MirrorMask, Gundam Wing, or X-Men (comics, movie, and cartoons).  It kind of felt like I returning the same fandoms to review!  So, I decided to take some time and find something that was not one of my normal fandoms, something different.  Thus, I ended up at adult-fanfiction.org checking out their Misc. Video Games catalog.

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 I went into the world of FNAF (Five Nights at Freddy’s) to find what is probably the tamest story I’ve ever come across on Adult-fanfiction.org.  Like I’m familiar with the FNAF franchise and lore; I’m also familiar with how horrible some stories can be when the fandom begs for fetish fiction.  However, I apparently lucked out and found something that doesn’t involve animatronic sex, torture, or sadism.

The synopsis above is pretty accurate for what the story entails.  I’m just going to include a few other tidbits.  This story does not directly follow FNAF lore; it uses key events and characters but does not constrain itself to the lore from the video games or that’s being developed in the books.  I feel this is an important detail because during the 6 chapters (thus far) there are events that line up with the games but are tweaked just enough to make them not fit.  Anyone who started reading this story thinking it was going to follow the lore and add to it would be a bit disappointed or turned off.

Personally, I find that the story not adhering to the lore is great.  I think there’s enough nods to the original lore to recognize when and where events line up, but enough of it is changed to make this a completely new story.  For instance, in this story the animatronics weren’t made by William Afton (at least not the originals), instead they were made but previous owner of Faz Bear’s Family Diner (an original character that is deceased by the start of the story) and the current owner has bought updated versions (like the ones from FNAF 2) from a third party manufacturer.  Things like that are great because as the story progresses the Reader has to wonder if the animatronics had souls before the children’s bodies were put inside them.  Things like that make me enjoy alternate lore so much.

Another touch that I like that is non-canon is that Foxy is a re-design / updated version of a previous animatronic called Fritz that was decommissioned prior to the story.  The rest of Fritz is left to rust away in the back until later in the story as our protagonist tries her best to put him back in working order – essentially making Mangle.  That’s cool to me!  That’s a cool spin on the lore!  Mangle came before Foxy and is the result of odd parts because Foxy is currently using those parts.

In this re-imagining I like that the animatronics are seen interacting with people of all ages throughout the day.  They clearly have special guidelines to make them partial to children and wanting to see to the kids’ happiness and safety.  However, towards adults the animatronics are limited to how they can respond.  For instance, the animatronics never behave hostile towards the adult guests or workers – although they will stare at the new security guard.  It’s never anything that would cause the customers or workers to think anything was “wrong” but it’s enough to create a sense of paranoia and fear in the employees.

At night, the animatronics don’t go charging down the halls trying to get to the night shift guard or attacking the employees in general.   However, they do make a couple of frightening visits to the homes of a couple employees and help Rose repair their fallen comrades.  The most hostile animatronics come after the bite of 1983 – FNAF 4 – and the first murder victim that became the puppet.  Once these two events occur the unease that the animatronics created increased and changed to terror.

Speaking of the terror, there are a few jump scare moments done to the characters but Readers won’t have those same experiences.  The real horror in this story comes from the environment and the character Rose as she experiences these unsettling sights, describes her own unease and what creates it, and the Reader’s own knowledge of what’s about to happen.  It’s unsettling how something that a child sees as a “friend” – like Springtrap – interacts with the children during the day then invites one child to stay after closing for a “special game.”

For instance, there’s one scene where I almost jump scared myself.  The story was from the first victim’s view and he was playing hide and seek in the diner after hours when suddenly Springtraps head pops up where the kid is hiding.  Spoiler!  Nothing actually happens at that moment, but because I was expecting the worst and I know that the child dies somehow, I worked myself up enough to become fearful for the child.  It is this sense of anxiety and fear that this story builds, and I appreciate it.  This is a great way to encapsulate the feeling of horror in a story about these living animatronics.

I’ve praised the story in all the ways that I can without spoiling much.  Where could it improve?  Currently, I don’t think there’s much to improve upon.  The story is doing such a great job of crafting this alternate telling and providing original characters that have their own background and personalities that it all fits seamlessly into the FNAF lore.  Sure there are a few grammar mistakes but those are pebbles against this mountain.  I think where this story going and how it’s been crafted is perfect for it.

Now, I will touch on a few things that I am looking forward to actually seeing in this story in the future.  I hope to see or hear about Sister Location at some point; I don’t think this story can ignore the animatronics at Sister Location and I think that the dark entities of the animatronics from Sister Location would help fuel the terror being created by the Puppet and the shadow animatronics.  I am looking forward to a point where Rose and maybe Scott – the night shift guard – have to barricade themselves in the guard room and survive the night.  I kind of want to see some of the games from Freddy’s Pizzeria make a showing.  Some of the Easter Eggs from those games would be frightening for Rose to discover.

The story is still going and I look forward to reading more.

I highly recommend this story whether you’re a FNAF fan or not.  It does not require knowledge about the lore – but it helps – making it friendly to Readers who might be new to the franchise.  The story stirs up enough fear and paranoia in the Reader to give that taste of fear without leaving the Reader scarred.  Personally, I read this at night and I had to close the curtains because it created a sense of paranoia in me that I became spooked by the idea of something being outside my window.  Now, if that’s a bit much then read the story during the day hours; either way, read it.

 

Stars: 10 / 10

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Announcement – New Posting Dates

Hey Readers, I just wanted to announce a change to my posting days.

I’ve had a couple of weeks to consider this and I’ve decided that due to my change in work responsibilities, I will no longer be posting on Mondays and Fridays.  Instead, I will be posting on Tuesdays and Fridays.

I know, not a huge change, but I like to keep people aware.

Thanks for reading.  I will have a review posted later today – I’m in the middle of working on it now. 🙂

The Calm after Chaotic Space Review

Title: The Calm after Chaotic Space                                                      Author:  mescarlett

Source: Star Trek: Voyager                                                                  Genre(s): Drama

Character(s): Chakotay, K. Janeway, H. Kim, & T. Paris                      Rating: T

Chapter(s): 1                                                                                       Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis: After Chakotay helped release Voyager from the confines of Chaotic Space, various members of the crew reflect back upon their time spent there, and Captain Kathryn Janeway finds herself in the middle of a dilemma – the boxing ring!

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12797427/1/The-Calm-after-Chaotic-Space

 

Welcome Readers, Happy Rusev Day!  Er, Happy Friday.  With the weekend upon us and me getting restless in deciding what to read and review for the next few days, I decided to not bother with the laundry list of stories I have set aside as “Plan to Read” and instead went to FFN’s “New” list and picked a couple that were listed as “complete.”  Thus, I ended up reading a Star Trek Voyager story.

Small disclaimer before I dive into reviewing, I am not a Trekkie.  I have seen a few movies (besides the Abrams ones) and sporadic episodes, but I never felt the compulsion to stay on top of the various series, movies, or characters.  I wanted to make this disclaimer because it affects how I approach reviewing this story.  Now that’s out of the way, let’s get down to business!

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 I’m looking at a one-shot that follows up the Star Trek: Voyager episode “The Fight” (Season 5, Episode 19); a sort of what happened as the crew decompresses from the events.  As I mentioned in my disclaimer, I won’t approach this review the same way I would if I knew the fandom.  Instead, I’m going to focus on the general story, what made it good, and where it might improve.

The story starts with the crew (Harry, Tom, and B’Elanna) discussing what happened on the bridge; Chakotay’s actions and Captain Janeway’s decision to let Chakotay take control despite being under the influence of aliens.  Eventually, their conversation leads to the topic of the potential romance between Chakotay and Janeway, and the crew’s betting pool that has been going on.  This sets up the real meat of the story, Chakotay and Janeway’s interaction in a boxing ring on the Holodeck.  I won’t say what all happens but the events from the episode lead them to the boxing ring and Chakotay taking a hit from Janeway.

The story is simple.  It’s less of an emotional piece of characters trying to get back to normalcy and more of a depiction of the characters actively doing things that are normal to them.  There is no romantic payoff – some flirting though – and no disaster that has the crew scrambling.  Instead, it’s the crew talking shop and the two leads feeding the gossip mill.  It’s a Slice of Life type story.

The lack of clear climax or resolution to the story doesn’t harm the narrative.  Sure there are more exciting stories out there in the internet, but I don’t think this story needed to be deeper, flasher, or anything else.  If anything, keeping the story this simple and focused on the characters and their interactions – not necessarily relationships – is a great gateway into the series.  I’m actually interested in watching Voyager because of this story – because I want to know how this story came to be and what happened on New Earth.

What does this story do well?  The opening is great.  The crew’s discussion about the events on the bridge help to shape what led up to this story.  It’s a great way to fill in the uninitiated to what has transpired and why the crew were a buzz with rumors and suspicions.  The crew is the Greek Choir in this story, providing the Reader with the context information needed to understand the story.  To me this was amazingly helpful.

This story also did a great job in character interactions.  Characters felt like people who were talking to other people, instead of people spouting exposition.  Chakotay and Janeway’s interactions blurred the line between two people who were close because of their command and close because of romantic feelings.  It was a nice touch.

Where could the story improve?  The beginning of the story uses a lot of the pronoun game (“he,” “she,” “you,” etc.) instead of names and it makes it a bit confusing to follow along until the story makes the Reader aware of who is being referenced and their genders.  This is the only time where I felt like being uninitiated held me back.  Once I figured out that Chakotay was a man and Janeway was a woman, the pronoun game began making a little more sense.  To me this is a bit of a nitpick and probably could’ve been overlooked if I was a fan.  Yet, even if I was a fan I would expect less of the pronoun game and more references to the person’s title (Commander, Captain, etc.).

Overall, the story is okay and a simple “after the events” story.  I don’t think it’s something I would recommend to everybody – Trekkie or not.  I think the only people who would really enjoy this story are those that wanted some sort of follow up to the episode “The Fight.”  I would also recommend it as a way to introduce someone to the series; get them piqued.  Other than that, I don’t think the story is a must read; it’s okay but it doesn’t really stand out from the fandom pack.

 

Stars: 6 / 10

Hello, Nurse Review

Title: Hello, Nurse                                                                Author: bluetreeleaves

Source: Escaflowne                                                             Character(s): Hitomi K. & Van F.

Rating:  M                                                                           Genre(s): Romance / Drama

Chapter(s): 9                                                                       Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis:  No one had come to visit this particular patient even when he had been first rushed through Emergency. Now in long-term care, he’d have to suffer as her break time hiding spot because of her strange habit: reading out loud.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11032906/1/Hello-Nurse

 

Welcome Readers, it’s Friday!  It’s been a cold week in my area, the kind that makes people stay indoors, make hot chocolate, and curl up with some good stories.  Well, I curled up with my laptop and read some fan fiction.  I found an absolute gem!

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 found a great story!  Like this was one of those stories that I couldn’t put down; I actually stayed up late just to finish reading it.  It was worth it!

Now, this is going to be a bit of a shorter review because while I could praise a lot of things about this story, I really don’t want to spoil it.  So, I won’t be using too many in story examples or describe specific scenes / events while making my points.  Just because this will be a bit shorter, doesn’t mean I’m not going to talk about the story in some detail.  After all, I have a lot to praise here and I will not be kept silent!

Let’s get started.

The story is a bit more than what the author’s synopsis makes it out to be.  Van is the long-term care patient in a coma and his room becomes Nurse Hitomi’s break spot so she may read aloud.  However, that’s only one part of the story.  There’s the other half having to do with hackers, corporate espionage, cover ups, and murder.  I know!  It sounds like a completely separate story, but it’s not.  This all happens in the story; it surrounds the main focus of Van as Hitomi’s patient and Hitomi reading her book aloud during her break.

Now, on to the meat of the story (literally).  The story is really good.  Initially, I was thinking that this was going to be like along the lines of While You Were Sleeping with a romance budding between the nurse (Hitomi) and coma patient (Van), which I would’ve been engaged to read.  However, this story has the budding romance between Hitomi and Van but also the thriller aspect of corporate espionage, people out to kill Van, kidnappings, murder, and romance rivals.  Like there is a lot that goes on in this story!  Yet, it doesn’t feel like anything is out of place, it feels like a natural build.  Van’s in a coma because he survived getting shot in the head (twice), but why was he shot?  I’m not going to say because that’s a spoiler, but it segues into the corporate espionage.  The story does things like that where it ties this simple story of nurse and patient romance into this darker thriller story.  Oh my God, the ultimate “villain” Van has to face at the end is amazing!  It’s so good that I can’t say much more without practically giving it away.

Let’s talk characters; they are awesome.  They maintain a lot of their personality foundations but now their backgrounds are tweaked to fit the modern world.  Hitomi is a nurse (still out to rescue and support others), Van is…the coma patient… Alright, I can’t actually say Van’s occupation because it spoils the story.  What I can say is that he starts off as the coma patient but his personality really comes through as Hitomi’s love life picks up and Van starts coming out of his coma.  Allen is the charming romantic rival.  Folken is…Van’s brother…damn it, I’m trying not to spoil too much.

*Sigh* I’ll make this blanket statement, the characters fit their roles and their personalities.  It compliments their actual roles from the anime.  I’m satisfied with that phrasing.

Speaking of the anime, the book Hitomi is reading in Van’s room is a novelization of the series.  I liked this idea because that’s a clever way of calling back to the source material and tying it directly into this alternate universe.  Plus, the author was clever in that instead keeping key characters’ names in the novel, they were changed to titles.  Hitomi was called the Girl, Van was called the King, Allen was called the Knight, etc.  It was a good way of distinguishing the characters and not having to completely change their names.  This is an area that I’m sure other Readers may take issue with, but I thought it was clever.

Also, having Hitomi read the novelization version of the anime helped with foreshadowing and develop Van’s history.  While Hitomi read the story, Van drew parallels between the 3 lead characters (Girl, King, and Knight) between himself, Hitomi, and Allen.  He also drew parallels between the King’s history and familial experiences and his own; betrayed by an older brother.

Now, I will say that reading the actual novelization bits was hit or miss.  Some sections felt really long but others were just fine.  It was hit or miss based on what part of the series was being read and how much commentary Van interjected.  Granted, the longer sections did help illustrate how enraptured the characters were in the story that they didn’t react, make a comment, or get interrupted.  It’s one of those things that it works but it was a bit tedious at times.

The last thing that I really enjoyed about this story is the ending.  *Phew* It’s a great ending.  Everything wraps up, there’s the happy romantic ending, and the epilogue is a nice edition.  The epilogue may not have been needed, but I’m glad it’s there; if nothing else, to know if Hitomi and Van ever finish the book.

Overall, I can’t praise this story enough.  It was not what I expected but it was definitely something I needed.  I will probably return to this story in the future and maybe I’ll start finding the flaws, but right now I think this story is a keeper.  I highly recommend Readers to take a chance on this story, whether you have seen the anime or not.  Seriously, this story does not require any prior knowledge of the series and since the novelization is in the story, anyone who has not seen the series will get a taste for it in this fan fic.

So, what are you doing still reading this review?  Go check out the fan fic!

 

Stars: 10 / 10

Happy New Year Review

Title: Happy New Year                                                           Author: Kindle-the-Stars

Source: Lizzie Bennet Diaries                                      Character(s): Lizzie B. & Will D.

Rating:  T                                                                             Genre(s):  Romance / Drama

Chapter(s): 1                                                                         Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis: A Lizzie Bennet Diaries fic – when Lizzie is at Pemberley’s new years party, she and Darcy find themselves alone in his office for the countdown to midnight.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8831620/1/Happy-New-Year

 

Happy New Year, Readers!!  So long 2017 and welcome 2018!  Let’s make this a better year.

To start this year off, I’m reviewing a New Year’s one-shot.  I was actually looking for Pride and Prejudice fan fiction but I found some Lizzie Bennet Diaries (a web-series that is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice); thus, I was all in.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer; here to read the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.  Welcome to the first day of 2018 and we’re kicking this off with a good one-shot.  I think for this one, I’m just going to free-write this review; no need to make this one very structured.

The story takes place on the very last day of Lizzie’s stay in LA at Pemberley Inc. before Jane makes her aware of what’s happened with Lydia.  At the Pemberley Inc’s New Year’s Eve party Lizzie and Will sneak off to his office to enjoy a glass of scotch.  Over the glass of scotch Will shares with Lizzie a few of the reasons why he’s attracted to her – things that he never mentioned during his confession, per usual.  Then when the countdown occurs the two share a romantic kiss that turns a little steamy but is interrupted by Gigi.

I enjoyed the story for it being a one-shot that could have taken place during the series but never mentioned on the blog – I mean there were other (bigger) things going on like the countdown to George having sex with Lydia and recording it for the world to see.  The story was sweet and added its own flair to the source.  Like the fact that Darcy’s not much of a drink and has an exclusive taste in alcohol, and Darcy opening up about some of the things that attract him to Lizzie.  Things like that help build from the original material.

One of my favorite points in the story was when Lizzie and Will talk about why Will holds an empty beer bottle during the party.  The explanation makes so much sense and it helps shape Will’s character; he carries the bottle around so no one can offer him a drink – it’s foolish to offer someone a drink when they already have a drink.  It also leads into the conversation of Will’s drinking preference while tying back to previous encounters Lizzie and Will have had – him having a micro beer at Carters.  It’s a small thing but it’s a great, natural interaction that expands on the characters while acknowledging previous events.

Now, let’s address the New Year’s kiss scene because – let’s face it – that is the goal of the story.  In some ways it’s pretty cliché but it works with the characters.  Will asking for permission first, the first kiss being chaste – an invitation to more, and Lizzie being the one to initiate the steamier second kiss.  The pacing is just right and the build up is effective; overall, it’s a good scene for the characters and doesn’t try to take it further than necessary.

Gigi’s interruption is a bit cliché too, but it makes sense.  Gigi at least announces her presence a few seconds before appearing in the room – giving Will and Lizzie a little time to react – and her first actions are to wish them both a Happy New Year.  She doesn’t immediately tease them and when she does it’s a light teasing; she doesn’t make the situation awkward.

Overall, this is a cute story and a great way to start off the New Year.  It’s simple yet effective.  It builds onto the characters and the events of the web series without making anything unnecessarily complicated or awkward.  This is a great, effective one shot.  Definitely one I would recommend for Lizzie Bennet Diaries fans.

 

Stars: 8 / 10