/r/Fan Fiction Reviews

Three Years (DBZ)

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29k words, in progress @Ao3 & @FF.net by CommanderAIK
Genre/What do expect: Hurt/Comfort and the exploration of a friendship taken for granted
Rating: T
Pairings: Gen  | Chiaotzu & Tien

AU: Canon divergent. After a second reunion from death, Tien and Chiaotzu find their relationship as unstable as it ever was. Even as lifelong friends, they discover aspects they never noticed before.

Suitable for fandom blind readers? Yes, for the most part

Reviewed by: SatuD2


Three Years is the fanfiction debut of CommanderAIK tackling a big gap in the canon of DBZ with two characters who are often overlooked or ignored in not just the fandom but also within the canon itself. Fair warning, I may be biased because they are my BroTP 😛

The three years referred to in the title is a gap for extensive training following a warning from the future of an enemy who kills literally everyone. Of course, he doesn’t just cover the period of time mentioned. He supplements his story with a healthy dose of backstory told during flashbacks.

Tien and Chiaotzu are interesting characters for this because we are not really given a backstory. Of the villains-turned-allies introduced in DBZ arguably the least is known about these two. And Commander reveals their past in well-placed stories and flashbacks and conversations.

The opening chapters unfold a sense of unease and tension fitting the news of what they’re training for. It’s not made immediately clear what is underlying this tension and the fear between them. A threat shows up and stirs things up, they go back and visit with old friends. It explores their friendship and how it has been changed by death and distance, how promises can change perception of actions.

The story is unfinished at the moment. The flashback we are currently in the middle of is one of the most powerful moments for these two characters in the canon of DBZ. I will freely admit it brought me to tears, I could hear the sad background music, it hurt my heart. It was very nicely done (though perhaps a little baffling to the fandom blind).

As previously mentioned, this is Commander’s first fanfic. The writing does reflect that in early chapters but not distractingly so, and you can clearly see the growth in the chapters that follow. The writing becomes crisper, the impact greater. The words and phrases flow beautifully and give you a sense of place and feeling.

All in all I would highly recommend reading this story. It grows and expands and draws you in beautifully.

Review example from AO3:

PugMaster

I know this chapter is short, so it’s tough to say a ton about it, but so far, this is shaping up as nicely atmospheric! I like the almost “disembodied” dialogue to really reinforce the idea of nothingness. 🙂

I do think you have a typo when describing Chiaotzu: “He possessed the whitest skin, pale to the bonel, red circles on his cheeks,” but I knew what you meant.

Review example from FF.net:

Tafferling

[They were hit with a myriad of trivial follow-up questions, such as Gohan’s inquiry of the average number of scales of their captured fish, to which Chiaotzu tilted his silverware in a shrug. But Bulma asked a more digressive question. She looked at both of them and asked with a smile, “I’ve been meaning to ask. How did you two meet?”]

That is such a lovely line 🙂

[“..We were such…”

“Jerks,” Chiaotzu finished. He imitated his younger self, deepening his own voice. “Thanks for the food! Not a bad price when you consider we were risking our lives.”]

Pfffft 😀 what a pair of scoundrels. I like it.

Lovely chapter. I see you’ve dropped the use of “the boy,” etc as much as you did before. And now it’s time to look into sentence starters! I challenge you to look through this chapter again and reduce the usage of “He” for starters 😉

I really liked the emotional aspect of this- and I’m learning more about them.

/r/Fan Fiction Reviews, Tafferlicous Reviews

Harry Potter and the Game

 

290k words, complete @FF.net by Concept101

Genre/What to expect: Action/Adventure with a big dash of Detective Harry
Rating: T
Suitable for fandom blind readers? Somewhat. I believe rudimentary knowledge of the source material is necessary.

With his life turned into a Game, Harry now has to raise a Phoenix, uncover the Founders’ darkest secrets, deal with political manipulations and live through Hogwarts in this story full of heart, humor, and spectacle. And the occasional swear word.

Reviewed by: Tafferling



hpWhen I found Concept’s
Gamer  version of Harry’s already extraordinary life, it had been years since I’d last had any exposure to the Potter and Co. Which is great, because I’m experiencing a wonderful blend of Was this canon? Nope, it wasn’t? But why, it’s great!

Concept is, in effect, retelling the original novels, but he’s putting so much spin on it, that the whole thing derails quickly and you’re left guessing on what he’ll turn over next. To start off, the first book passes relatively easily. Canon is clearly used as a template. The plot is simple. But that’s okay, because at this point we (and Harry) are still getting to know the mysterious power he’s gained, and the Game itself has got to get comfortable too. It’s a bit of a courting phase, really.

Already though you’ll get a taste of where this is headed. Concept begins to stretch his world building muscles, introduces additional details to the already rich magic system of the Potter-verse, and gives Harry his first “sidequests”, which eventually result in full-fledged plot lines through the second book.

And that is when things get real wild all of the mentioned.

Harry isn’t just the Boy who lived anymore in this story. He’s a detective, a part-time vigilante, and a snarky little ass. He purposefully deals with what life throws at him, all the while bothered by an increasingly self-aware and ornery Game. The quest texts for some of the tasks bestowed on Harry are totally worth every word read on their own.

But Harry and his game aren’t the only stars in this epic.

Concept has a great handle on side characters. His Luna makes me wish he’d write a series dedicated to her (because I’d read the shit out of that). He gives Harry an amazing little sidekick by the name of Hedwig (but not what you might think), who I very much adore. And even while Harry is the focal character, it’s obvious that he’s just one tooth in the cog that amounts to Hogwarts. Dumbledore, McConagall, and Snape do a lot more than carry their weight and are given time to shine.

Any more gushing about it would spoil things, because a lot of what makes this story stand out is what Concept does different… and I’d rather you read and find out. It’s worth it.

Review examples from FF.net

As always, this was brilliant! I’m continually amazed by the number of twists you manage to slip in without making them strange or confusing. I await the next chapter with bated breath 🙂

I’d like to take a moment to thank you for this story.

It has been a phenomenal read, your use of the Basilisk and the chamber have been outstanding. Not many stories have dared to go outside the beaten path like yours, and it’s quite refreshing to read something so original (not to mention a gamer-like story that’s actually good for a change).