Tag Archives: fanfiction

A Fresh Perspective (Merlin Fanfic)

Author: dr4g0ngrl

FanFiction ID: 8495208

Status: Complete (14 Chapters)

My rating: 5 of 5

An innocuous (if extremely annoying for Merlin) hunting trip with Prince Arthur turns into something drastically different when the two find themselves attacked by a group of sorcerers who manage to shove a suspicious potion down Merlin’s throat. After dealing with their attackers, Arthur turns around to find . . . an unconscious Merlin who is now a little kid of around four years old. Oops. Unsure what to do with a child, Arthur makes the natural decision–take the kid back to his mother. So the two of them show up on Hunith’s doorstep, and Merlin’s poor mom gets dragged into the mess, trying to comfort her confused son while also keeping his magic a secret from Arthur and the rest of the magic-hating world. But for a little child to keep secrets, especially a secret as big as this one, is not exactly easy, and Arthur is in for more than one surprise on his way back to Camelot.

A Fresh Perspective is just about everything I wish for in a fanfic–or in any story, for that matter. The writing flows well, uses excellent grammar, shows a very readable use of third-person narrative, and is just generally pleasant to read. The plot, as the author admits directly, is basically an excuse to write Merlin-as-a-kid fluff. And the result is absolutely adorable. The author’s grasp of Merlin’s character, as well as how that would display as a four-year-old kid, is excellent if flavored towards a highly favorable view of his personality and character (just as I like it). This view of him and his utter devotion to Arthur and to Camelot is vital to the way in which the plot develops, especially after Arthur and the knights discover Merlin’s magic. I also love that the knights (Gwaine, Percival, Elyan, and Leon, specifically) are heavily included in this story, because they’re fabulous and they’re individual reactions to kid-Merlin are important in developing their own personalities, histories, and relationships with each other and with Merlin. The bromance between Merlin and Arthur, as well as between Merlin and Gwaine, is well crafted here, and I think the way in which the author handled that uncertainty of relationship at the point where Merlin is suddenly a child and has no memory of Arthur or Gwaine was very well done. Honestly, I would change nothing about this story, and will probably re-read it many times over. I just want to find more stories by the same author!

Note: You can find A Fresh Perspective at https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8495208/1/A-Fresh-Perspective.

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Mossflower Talk (Redwall Fanfic)

Author: Katie Sullivan (a.k.a. Snowfur)

Status: Complete (6 Chapters)

My rating: 4 of 5

“Welcome to Mossflower Talk, the only Redwall-based talk show on the Net!” So begins each chapter of this amusing fanfic in which Snowfur–a rat who vehemently defends her neutrality against all odds–interviews a wide variety of denizens of Redwall Abbey, Mossflower woods, and the surrounding environs. With a complete disregard for technicalities such as timelines, villains and heroes from various eras of the Abbey’s history are thrown together to tell us what they really think. Mayhem, naturally, ensues.

Snowfur’s Redwall fanfics were my first real introduction to good-quality fanfiction, and they’re still some of my favorites today. Mossflower Talk is probably the most amusing (and absurd) of the lot. I love the unconventional way in which it is written; the entire fic is set up as the script from a radio talk show, complete with commercials (which can be extremely amusing). Each chapter focuses on a different topic, and as such includes a cast (guest list) that lends itself to that topic, whether it be reformed villains, dysfunctional vermin families, or those who have carried Martin’s sword throughout the ages. I love how utterly crackish this story is, down to the way it pokes fun at itself for being chronologically impossible. But I also love how completely true to the spirit of the Redwall stories and their characters it is, also. It is obvious that the author is both very familiar with and very passionate about Brian Jacques’ books (and if it isn’t obvious from this story, just check out the rest of her amazing website which, even in retirement, is still quite impressive). Mossflower Talk is definitely recommended to fans of the Redwall series, although I do warn that if you’re not pretty familiar with at least up to The Legend of Luke (in publication order), you’re likely to be a bit lost at times as there are lots of references in a compact space here.

Note: You can find Mossflower Talk (as well as Katie’s other fabulous stories) at http://www.sullivanet.com/redwall/creative/stories.htm.

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Catch Me Now (Supernatural Fanfic)

Author: BatTitan

FanFiction ID: 8980147

Status: Complete (35 Chapters)

My rating: 4.5 of 5

With one misstep, Ariel finds herself falling, not down the stairs at her school as she thought, but right out of her safe college life and into an airplane . . . right next to the Winchesters! Of course, she knows they’re the Winchesters (and not Jared and Jensen); she’s enough of a fan of Supernatural to know that. Also, enough of a fan–and in enough shock at being dragged from her own universe into theirs–to attract their attention. Not necessarily the best of things when they’ve just been dumped on the same plane themselves and are still reeling from the madness of it all. Things get sorted eventually,  and Sam and Dean decide to keep Air (as she prefers to be called) around since she must have been dragged into their world for a reason–possibly something to do with the impending Apocalypse ? Ariel becomes almost a part of the extended Winchester family, offering her opinions readily, helping where possible, and trying not to be too obvious of a Destiel fangirl whenever Dean and Cas are around each other. And then there are the dreams she begins having. . . .

So, the premise of Catch Me Now may be the sort that is both overdone and consistently messed up . . . but in this story, it works and does so brilliantly. A lot of that is due to the author’s obvious talent in spinning a quality tale; the writing itself is excellent. Equally impressive was the character of Ariel and the way her story was woven into the plot of Supernatural so seamlessly. Because this fanfic is essentially season 5, and other than the character insert, it pretty much sticks to canon (even when I really wish it wouldn’t!). Ariel is a really well-written OC, and I truly appreciate the work the author took to create someone who would work in the context of the story and the already existing characters, adding flavor and character without completely altering the course of the story. I especially appreciated that she wasn’t 1) a completely flat self-insert sort of character, 2) overly stereotyped in some way as OCs often are, 3) an awkward love interest for Sam or Dean, or 4) somehow automatically a great fighter or otherwise equipped to be a huge help in the fight. She’s funny, quirky, opinionated, smart, geeky, and compassionate–which is just what is needed for these guys–but she’s also just a normal college girl. As for the plot, the first few chapters are basically just the associated episodes as seen through Air’s eyes, which is interesting enough as it is. But as the story develops, we get more of her own story, sometimes as a part of whatever is going on in a certain episode, sometimes elsewhere, doing her own thing (often with Gabriel–I adore the amount of Gabriel we get in this story, it’s brilliant). The author did make a couple choices here and there that threw me a bit–like changes the person in which the story is written partway through (for a really good reason) and sticking with the plot where I would have loved to see some divergence (see above)–but in all those instances, there were solid reasons behind those choices and I respect them. They certainly didn’t reduce my enjoyment of the story, and I would highly recommend Catch Me Now to anyone interested in a fun, engaging Supernatural fanfic.

Note: You can find this story at https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8980147/1/Catch-Me-Now.

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Restricted (Supernatural Fanfic)

Author: cirobert

FanFiction ID: 12383537

WARNING: Mature Audience/Mild Slash

My rating: 3 of 5

Recently, Castiel has been feeling the restrictions of being an angel cooped up in a human’s body. It’s making him grumpy and short, even with the guy he (not so) secretly loves. Really, Cas desperately needs a chance to spread his wings, just for a while . . . but there are all sorts of complications that make that less than practicable. Lucky him, Sam and Dean think they might have a solution–assuming it actually works.

So, I was in the mood for some Supernatural stuff (which, on a side-note, sorry for totally spamming SPN right now), and I found this adorable little fanfic. It’s mostly a happy and fluffy means to a cute Destiel end, despite the issues presented with Cas’s vessel and the complications of the spellwork the boys have to go through to make things work. I feel like the author captured the characters well, and I enjoyed the overall tone of the story. The concept was interesting too; in canon SPN, we get so little of what’s going on in Cas’s mind at any given time that it’s nice to see that explored more. Plus, the development of the relationship between Dean and Castiel was tasteful and convincing. On the downside, there were some mild grammatical issues, but then, it’s nearly impossible to find fanfiction without that. More outstanding was that the author has a bad tendency toward certain sentence structures which, while great for adding color and variety to writing, become kind of repetitive when used all over the place. Still, this was a fun story which I enjoyed, and I’ll probably read more of the author’s work.

Note: You can find this story at https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12383537/1/Restricted.

On a side note, it’s been ages since I’ve read fanfic at all, but recently I’ve just been in the mood for more stories about the characters I love. I’ve found some pretty good ones, too. So I may be including some more reviews (which will be clearly labeled, so you can skip them if desired)–mostly SPN, Merlin, Doctor Who . . . possibly some Superwholock if I can find some good ones (the concept does fascinate me). Anyhow, point being that I’m planning to include these as Media Reviews and stick review links on my Media Room . . . yeah.

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The Beast of Babylon

Author: Charlie Higsonthe beast of babylon

Based on Doctor Who, Series 1

My rating: 4 of 5

*SPOILER ALERT* In this review, I will be spoiling a major plot surprise in this story because I have no idea how to effectively review the author’s writing without doing so. So if you want to read this story without having it spoiled first, do NOT read this review until you’ve read the novella.

Ali is having a pleasant, quiet picnic with her family one day when this strange man who’s clearly “not from around here” comes barging in, disturbing their meal and telling them they’re in great danger and to go home now. Not something Ali would normally take well, but there’s something about this man that makes her want to do what he says . . . especially when he goes dashing off to handle this monstrous shadowy beast that takes up half the sky. Using her keen intelligence and interminable curiosity, Ali discovers that this man is none other than a Time Lord–a race of time travelers who had long since been relegated to the realm of myth. She follows his trail and, finding him after he’s sent the “monster” to another dimension, introduces herself properly to “the Doctor” as he calls himself. . . . And convinces him to let her travel with him. Unfortunately, the beast the Doctor got rid of has an equally dangerous cousin that’s about to take out the kingdom of Babylon back in Hammurabi’s time, and the Doctor and Ali race off in the TARDIS to take care of it. It should be a fairly manageable, peaceable job . . . except that Ali isn’t exactly human or naturally peaceable.

I’m not normally one to go in much for fanfiction and spinoff stories, but this collection of Doctor Who novellas released by Penguin is a definite exception–have you seen some of the incredible authors who are writing for them? I certainly enjoyed reading The Beast of Babylon, although it’s the first Charlie Higson I’ve read to my knowledge. The story itself is well written and readable, although nothing particularly outstanding (thus 4 instead of 5 stars in the rating). Basically, it’s pretty standard story for Doctor Who. What’s most notable about this story is Ali herself and the way Higson goes about developing her character. You’re first introduced to her as a smart, inquisitive college girl out enjoying lunch with her family. The writing and the Doctor’s treatment of her gives you no reason whatsoever to suspect that she’s anything but human, although it’s clear that she’s living on an alien world somewhere. Then as you go, you start to get a few references to physical characteristics that aren’t exactly human, but they’re small enough that you can write them off as Ali’s being alien but fairly human-like at least. And then you get to the point where they’re in Hammurabi’s court and actual humans see her for the first time . . . and when you see her through human eyes, you’re shocked by how utterly alien she is. More shocking is how alien she acts when threatened–not what you’d expect from a companion of the Doctor at all, and worse, somehow, because you weren’t expecting it at all. I think Higson did a great job pulling the reader along with this device. I also appreciated his timing, setting the story in the few seconds of “Rose” between when the Doctor first invited Rose to come with him and when he came back for her again. Since he’s a time traveler, there’s no telling how much time might have passed for him in what was a few seconds for her, after all. The Beast of Babylon actually gives a lot more weight to his coming back that second time for Rose–it was cleverly done. I would recommend The Beast of Babylon to those  who already have enjoyed at least the first series of Doctor Who; it’s really mostly for fans of the TV show, although written well enough to be enjoyed by anyone who likes science fiction.

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William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back

Author: Ian Doescher

Inspired by the works of William Shakespeare & George Lucas

Mayhap you’ve heard the tale of a time long ago and far away. A time when brave rebels allied themselves against an evil empire. When a beautiful princess fell in love with a (maybe) reformed smuggler. A time when great leaders trained young warriors in the hope that things may turn out differently this time. It was a time when the Force was strong both for good and evil, when a moment’s choice could alter the course of fate forever. Verily, it was a time not unlike our own. . . .

As a fan of both classic Shakespeare and of the Star Wars movies, I have loved what Doescher is doing in combining the two from his first volume, Verily, a New Hope. I think William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back is an excellent follow up, continuing in the same vein as episode four as well as including several details to add to the writing even more. There were several points I found specifically intriguing about this volume. I love the way Doescher adds in details and expressions of internal feeling that wouldn’t have fit in an action movie but are perfect in this context–they add a lot to the reader’s appreciation of the action. His use of monologuing to describe some of the action scenes (as opposed to simply including stage directions to be acted out) is also an interesting choice; it adds character to the flow of the script, I think. His choice to use haiku for Yoda’s speech was also fascinating–unexpected, for sure, but it works, breaking the reader out of his expectations of Yoda’s speech patterns and focusing on the character and wisdom he seeks to imbue upon his young pupil. Finally, let’s face it, hearing Leia and Han love-fight in Shakespearean English is something not to be missed! My general opinion is that William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back is something that will be greatly enjoyed by those who share my love for both Shakespeare and Star Wars–and completely lost on everyone else, but that’s okay, right?

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William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope

Author: Ian Doescher

Based on the works of William Shakespeare & George Lucas

The tale has become something of a legend: how one small rebellion held out, fighting bravely against a domineering Empire. How the Jedi were made all but extinct, yet managed to fight back against the Sith against all odds. And how one young man, hungry for adventure, found himself caught up in something far beyond himself, meeting people, braving unspeakable dangers, and growing in unexpected ways. Yet forsooth, you’ve never heard the tale told in so metric and unlikely a manner before!

Combining two such iconic and seemingly dissimilar bodies of work as those of Shakespeare and Lucas is quite a daring feat–one destined to be either brilliant or atrocious. Doescher’s work in William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope is a piece of genius. It’s surprising how well the story actually fits in the style–rather I would say that the style gets out of the way and lets the story shine through, which is what all good storytelling should do. The inclusion of various Shakespearean allusions is both amusing and apt, and the use of soliloquies and asides (which obviously don’t occur in the original) provide a greater insight into the characters’ motives and emotions. I think that actually gave me a greater appreciation for a story I already love. My general conclusion is: if you like Shakespearean plays and the original Star Wars movies, you’ll likely enjoy William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope (unless you’re a purist, in which case, avoid it entirely).

Note: I want to see this performed live as an actual play now. It would be fantastic!

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