/r/Fan Fiction Reviews

The Crafts [Harry Potter]

 

1,271 words, complete @AO3 by Hermit9

Genre/What to expect: Exploration of Malfoy family relationships with some fluff
Rating: G
Pairings: Gen
Suitable for fandom blind readers? Somewhat, although knowledge of the source material would better the experience.

Draco Malfoy and his mother, post-series.

Reviewed by: Concept101


dracomalfoy_wb_f7_dracoandnarcissafacingeachother_still_080615_landDraco Malfoy, in the Harry Potter books, is an antagonist to Harry Potter and a character whose complexity often goes woefully underappreciated.

From an entitled brat, to a teenager angry with the world around him, to an individual conflicted in his beliefs, to someone who learned to trust in his conscience and remakes himself as an individual, Draco Malfoy’s many portrayals through the Harry Potter story is one of the best done redemption arcs I have ever seen.

And it is the latter of those portrayals that Hermit9 manages to nail so well in this one-shot beginning to her Crafts’verse series.

The far wall was stacked with crates and rigid translucent, muggle-made, plastic tubs. Strips of parchments with his mother’s beautiful calligraphy labelled everything.

As soon as you start the story, two things will be obvious to you.

Draco’s lukewarm dislike of muggles, a viewpoint ingrained into him since childhood that he is trying to shake off, is one of them. The other is his love for his mother Narcissa. It is delightfully subtle how Hermit9 portrays Draco’s admiration for her. Every thought he has of her or something related to her speaks of a gentle tone, almost as if you can close your eyes and imagine Draco smiling softly as he thinks of her.

It had started, of course, because of Potter.

This one line tells you more than enough about the relations between the childhood nemeses. Despite the passing nature of Harry’s presence on page, his influence on the events of the story is felt throughout in the form of Narcissa’s new favourite pastime.

Astoria Malfoy as Draco’s wife was done very well by the author. Her dialogue flowed well, and her words about the passing nature of flowers as a gift are a highlight of the story. After reading the story, if I ever had to describe her in two words, it would be ‘nonchalantly wise’.

Yet another character making a brief appearance was Hermione Granger, an unlikely ally to Draco in his quest to satiate his mother’s curiosities. The way she talked about Narcissa having been defined by those around her for her entire life spoke subtly of her having been through a similar experience in her past.

(I wanted more of this Hermione Granger, and apparently the author did too because she is writing a sequel revolving around the relationship between Draco and Hermione. But that is a discussion for another day)

‘The Crafts’ is a story not defined by plot, but by its succinctly written characters, who despite being on the page for mere lines, make their influence felt throughout. It is a story of relationships. It is a story of a broken past and a hopeful future. It is a story about rebuilding.

But at the root of it all, it’s a story about a mother and her son.

One worth reading.

Review examples from AO3

Cute!
Also I was thrilled to see you included the signification for the flowers as a note. I was curious about it and it shows you researched the combination beforehand ^-^

I adore the scene where Astoria explains the meaning of giving flowers to Draco. There was something just so homey, so idyllic about that scene, I really, really loved it. Like a little snippet into their relationship.

A few grammatical issues with the dialogue section, but overshadowed by how lovely Draco and his mother’s relationship is. Him going out of his way to make her happy, it’s just lovely. He really, really does love his mother, and I enjoyed seeing their lives post-war and seeing how they amuse themselves and put themselves back together. Also, loving that it’s Hermione who helps Draco buy the flowers. I bet Ron grumbled about that!

/r/Fan Fiction Reviews

Instar – a Marvel Cinematic Universe fic

the_avengers_logoInstar

2572 words, complete @Ao3 /  by spiderstanspiderstan

Genre/What to expect: All the Avengers are overprotective. Black Widow tracks Spiderman, and then they go for a coffee.

Rating: Gen/Slice of Life

Pairings: None

Natasha investigates Tony’s newest ally. He may have potential, but they definitely don’t make them like they used to.”

Suitable for fandom blind readers? No (well, Maybe. All you need is passing knowledge of the characters backstories to thoroughly enjoy it.)

Reviewed by: Ashes0909


Spider-Man and Black Widow never really interact in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it wasn’t until this fic that I realized how much I wanted them to.

Spiderstanspiderstan’s Spidey practically walked out of the movie, smart but a bit overeager. The author put him together with an ever-suspicious Black Widow because a new superhero is hanging out with Tony Stark, and she’s curious.

It’d been frighteningly easy to dig up information on the new boy and cross-reference from there. Anyone could have done it.

Fifteen years, five months. Born in the new millennium.

It left a horrible taste in her mouth.

The above hook set the tone for the story, humor intertwining with the somber reality of a teenager fighting in a civil war.

Black Widow constantly walked the line between protective and wary of this young newcomer. Spidey, on the flip side, is entertainingly awed by it all- the Avengers, fighting on the tarmac. It was a joy to read the two of them interacting.

“Is this going to be a regular thing?” Spider-Man asked, abruptly uncomfortable. “Are ex-Avengers gonna keep showing up in my life and interrogating me? ‘Cause I need to start planning around that if you are. People knowing who I am could get me in a lot of trouble.”

Then, Tony entered the picture and I was smiling ear to ear. Black Widow and Iron Man’s back and forth to see who could be more protective had me snorting every other line.

This fic is great. It leaves you wanting more, while also feeling pleasantly satisfied by the simple slice of superhero life.  


Review Example from Ao3’s thisfairytalegonebad

I really loved this, the way you wrote the characters, Natasha’s view of Peter, and Natasha and Tony’s conversation at the end.
I like you writing style, it’s really pleasant to read, and that added to the nice characterisations makes a great fic.
So, great job here, I really enjoyed it!

/r/Fan Fiction Reviews, Tafferlicous Reviews

OUT! [Haikyuu!!]

Out!

104k words, complete @Ao3 by 
Genre/What to expect: A coming of age and coming out story.
Rating: T
Pairings: M/M  | Yamaguchi Tadashi/Other & Yamaguchi Tadashi/Original Character

JAPAN’S FIRST GAY ATHLETE COMES OUT!

Yamaguchi never expected to read THAT headline in Gay Japan News, but he about fainted when he scrolled down to the photograph. There–volleyball on his hip, naked from his Seijoh shorts upward and eyes pleading for readers to devour him–was the familiar face of Oikawa Tooru.

Oikawa? Gay? OUT?

Suitable for fandom blind readers? Yes

Reviewed by: Tafferling


iconOUT! was the first story I found on /r/FanFiction, and it was also my debut as a fandom blind reader.

It wasn’t finished back then, and I had no idea what to expect, because what could you possibly do with highschool volley ball that would hold my attention?

Oh boy.

A lot, apparently.

Somehow (and I am still thinking there’s black magic involved), Haru wrote one of the most heart warming, gut wrenching, giggles inducing, edge-of-the-seat-oh-god pieces I’ve ever read.

The characters live and breathe on the pages, and I didn’t need to know anything about them, because every single one stood out as an individual once they opened their mouths. It features an original character, and he blends in with the cast as if he’d been there from the start (far as I am concerned, he was– and I think that makes me one of the lucky ones). Two chapters after he’d been mentioned for the first time, and I fell absolutely in love with him.

All through the fic, starting with Yamaguchi’s flighty and anxious introduction, to his world being knocked out from under him, and then painstakingly slowly put back together, the pacing remains sublime. There are clear, wide reaching arcs, but each chapter stands easily on its own, making it easily enjoyed in bite sized portions. If you can keep yourself from reading on, anyway. Which you might not be able to, because if there’s one thing OUT! does exceptionally well, then that’s sinking it’s teeth into your emotions and dragging you along whether you want it to or not.

I’ve experienced Yamaguchi’s coming of age story with a constant, involuntary squeeze to my chest and gut. Whether it’s the down to earth tone of it, the every-day-bullshittery that he has to go through, or the larger than life moments it all amounts to. By the end, it all felt like it mattered. Like Yamaguchi mattered. Taiga mattered. And I couldn’t have been happier that I got to follow them through a monumental part of their lives.

But emotion isn’t all that OUT! has to offer. It’s also got this eery habit of bringing music alive, and I swear that the only explanation for this has got to be afromentioned black magic. How else is it getting me hear the notes in my head?

It’s also got tension. And I don’t just mean the tension between two young men at the cusps of growing up. That’s there too of course. It’s lovely. I loved it. I don’t mind having more of it. No. I mean the volleyball matches. Those bloody things come with the same high stakes pressure as a season finale of the Walking Dead. You want to skip to the end just to spare yourself the agony, but you can’t, because it hurts so damn good.

So, should you read it?

Hell, yeah. Do.

It’ll patch you up if you’re feeling down. And when you’re done, maybe you’ll have found yourself happier than when you’d started. It certainly had that effect on me.

Review examples from Ao3:

It took me two days to finish this, but wow, where do I even start. As much as I love stories that are all sunshine and rainbows, sometimes I need red something that hurts. Taiga was an absolute delight. Yamaguchi, I loved everything about him here- he was so realistic, so human. Thank you for such a wonderful story.

Let’s make it simple: best chapter so far. That went deep. It was intense, but not over-dramatic. Oikawa’s tale was simple but that’s exactly what makes it so sorrowful. It’s something so simple and yet it causes so much pain. And Iwa-chan surely is a poor boy. If society doesn’t always accept you, that’s ok. But if your own family doesn’t accept the way you are, the way you’re Born, that causes endless pain and … I don’t know what else.
So your son/your daughter is gay… so? What’s the matter? Where’s the problem?

“If Iwa can’t be happy because of how the world works, then I’ll change how the world works.” Oikawa Tooru
That left me almost speechless. It’s wonderful to have someone on your side who’s willing to be “public’s target” just to make someone else feel better. I do think that Oikawa is very brave – they way you portray him at least^^ (But he surely is brave in the manga/anime as well).