Fanfiction Reviews

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Fanfiction Reviews

Post by Ranger-Nova on Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:01 am

This topic is a place to post reviews of BLoSC fanfics, and a place where people looking for good fanfiction can go to find out what's available. I'll be posting reviews every now and then for various stories (mostly just the multi-chaptered ones, but a few oneshots will be included), and if other people are interested, they can come here and post reviews as well.

Just a few suggestions for reviews:

Stick to reviewing stories you like. Trouble could result if you write purely negative reviews. And remember, NO FLAMES!
Criticism is fine, since it'll give potential readers a better idea of the story's strengths and weaknesses, but keep it polite and don't be too nitpicky (like going on about how the author made a typo or added an OC).
Give a brief, non-spoilery description of the plot so potential readers can tell if it's something they'd be interested in.
If your review has major spoilers, add a spoiler warning at the beginning.
Make sure you point out the highlights as well as the flaws. We need a reason to read this fic.
If the review is long, you should put it in spoilers.
At the top of your review, add a link to the story so people can easily find it. You can also add a link to the author's profile if they're on deviantART or FF.net.
Treat the story with the same respect you'd like your own work to be treated with. That doesn't mean you can't give criticism where it's due, but please do so in a respectful way.

Points that should be discussed in reviews:

Plot - was it good, was it bad, what were it's strengths and shortcomings, etc.
Characters - were they in character, did you like the way they were developed, did each of them get enough focus, were there any pairings, were there any OCs and were they good, etc.
Writing - is the grammar good, are there a lot of typos, does the author have an interesting style, is the writing quality good, etc.
Criticism - what are the main things you think the author did wrong, how do you think the story could be improved, was there something you strongly disagreed with, etc.
Praise - what are the main things you loved, why should someone read the story, what do you want to see more of, etc.
Warnings - if the story has content that some may find objectionable, or that is not suitable for all ages, please make it clear here so people can be sure they're reading a fic they'll be comfortable with.

Obviously, these are just suggestions and you can write the review any way you want, but please keep all this in mind.

And now a word to the authors being reviewed: I can't speak for anyone else who may choose to write reviews, but I personally won't be reviewing any story I don't like, so if your story is here, it means I thought it was good. I may be critical of certain elements, but I really DO like your work, and I'd be happy to help you fix any problematic parts. Please don't take offense if I criticise something, and do tell me if you think I'm being overly harsh, or if I misunderstood something. Also, if you don't see a review of your story here, it doesn't necessarily mean I didn't like it - I may simply have not gotten around to reviewing it yet (or, if it's a oneshot, I may have thought it too short to offer a proper review). You are welcome to request a review of your story, and I'll get it done as soon as I can.

Current reviews:

"For Good I: Breakaway"
"We Can Never Return to the Way We Were"

The above reviews will hopefully give you an idea of how reviews should go (though you're welcome to write them in your own style). Authors are welcome to give defenses of their work if they think their story was unfairly criticised, and I'm always happy to listen. Just remember, this is a place to have FUN - a place where authors can read reviews of their work and potential readers can find out more about them. NO FLAMING IS ALLOWED. I know you guys are all great, and I doubt we'll have any trouble, but I just want to be sure. I'm still a little nervous about this, because I'd hate to have started any problems by posting this thread. I want to be clear that this is all in the spirit of fun, and even when work is criticised it's simply to help the author improve and help potential readers decide whether or not they want to read the story. No ill-will is intended. To set an example, I'm willing to have my stories reviewed by anyone who wants to, and I'll happily accept criticism.

Okay, I think I'm done now. Just being extra careful so that nothing goes wrong here. Smile

Have fun, guys!


Last edited by Ranger-Nova on Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:53 pm; edited 3 times in total

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"If there's one thing I can't stand it's gambling! I'll lay you seven to one odds there'll be no more poker after tonight!" - XR

[03:35:11] @ Alexa : The bad thing about having Zurg on my desk is that he judges me when I flail in excitement. XD




I ship way too many couples.

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Re: Fanfiction Reviews

Post by Cartoonhottie2009 on Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:49 pm

I'd be pleased as punch if someone reviewed my story. Good OR bad criticism!

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"Uh Buzz? This is not really the way a girlfriend should behave!"-Booster
"She's NOT MY GIRLFRIEND!"-Buzz; before getting shot by Ozma
"That's Dr. Furbanna to you."-Ozma
"You know, Doc, your boyfriend's got some violent tendencies."-Zurg
"He's NOT my BOYFRIEND!"-Ozma

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Re: Fanfiction Reviews

Post by Ranger-Nova on Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:45 pm

I'll get to it, then! I love both your stories, so I'm sure most of my comments will be good. Smile

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"If there's one thing I can't stand it's gambling! I'll lay you seven to one odds there'll be no more poker after tonight!" - XR

[03:35:11] @ Alexa : The bad thing about having Zurg on my desk is that he judges me when I flail in excitement. XD




I ship way too many couples.

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Re: Fanfiction Reviews

Post by Fox Storm on Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:46 pm

This is a great idea, Ranger! I'm liking this idea a lot. ^^

Actually, I do have a question; if we were to post samples of our writings up, like excerpts to give us an idea of what the stories will be like, will those also be reviewed?

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Storm Front....a BLoSC/X-Men crossover fanfic....NOW on Fanfiction.net!

Glory Days...the Academy Days of four certain Rangers, a BLoSC fanfic. NOW on Fanfiction.net!

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Re: Fanfiction Reviews

Post by Ranger-Nova on Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:51 pm

Do you mean excerpts from unpublished stories/chapters? If so then yeah, sure!

I'm moving my review here so that each review can be linked to the main post at the topic:

For my first review, I have "For Good I: Breakaway" by Aleine Skyfire (aka Strictly Sherlock). There are a few minor spoilers below, but nothing that will ruin the story for you.


Spoiler:
This was one of the first stories I read when I was getting back into the fandom, and it really made an impression on me. While not perfect, a lot of effort had gone into it, and it quickly became one of my favourites. Unfortunately, by the time I found it, Sky had gone on hiatus right in the middle of a major revision. I assumed the story would never be completed, but much to my surprise (and joy) she began updating again. The story - the first in a series - is now almost done, and I may update this review once she finishes.


The basic premise of the first half of the story is how one person can have a major effect on many lives. The second half is about the next generation of Rangers (currently cadets at the Academy), and how they are forming friendships and slowly becoming the people they need to be when they rise up to take their place in history. Or at least, that's how I interpret it.

At this point, I should probably tell you that there are a LOT of OCs in the story - in fact, the central character is one. If OCs aren't your thing, then this may not be the story for you. They aren't annoying OCs, though - not to me, anyway. I should also point out that there are Christian elements in the story. However, they're only prominent in the early chapters, so even if you're not a Christian I think you could still enjoy it.


Plot:

The main character, Erin Frame, is a girl from the past who is pulled into the future by accident. BLoSC is a TV series where she comes from (due to the two time periods somehow having been in contact), and she fangirls a bit in the beginning when she discovers she's in the BLoSC universe. However, she also has to deal with the emotional strain of leaving her family behind and learning to start a new life. She adjusts perhaps a little too quickly, but it's understandable that the author didn't want dwell on the "woe-is-me-I'm-trapped-here-away-from-everything-I-love" part, since that would get tiring and hinder the flow of the story. Still, it would be nice to get the occasional regretful moment from Erin as she thinks about her family.

After coming to terms with everything that's happened, Erin decides to enter the Space Ranger Academy. Meanwhile, she also meets Warp and the two develop an attraction. This causes them both trouble since they're on opposites sides of the law. Erin feels Warp could reform if given the chance, and wants to be the one to give him that chance.

Once Erin enters the Academy, the focus shifts to her and her fellow cadets. Tension is also growing as Star Command starts a secret organization that will require the cadets, and someone from Zurg's past appears.

All in all, the plot is interesting and certain elements are very unique. There are times when the pacing is a bit off, as some of the chapters are more fillers than anything else, but they do provide good character development; it's just a pity they don't have more relevance to the plot.

Some might say the whole "girl-from-the-past-pulled-into-a-new-world" idea is over-used, and it probably is - but the important thing is that it WORKS in this story, and gives Erin a better reason to be there than just "an-amazing-new-recruit-who-gets-to-be-on-Team-Lightyear".


Characters:

The canon characters are all pretty in character throughout the story, but I do wish Booster and XR had more focus. Unfortunately, they get overlooked in a lot of stories, probably because many authors can't find anything for them to do. When they are in it, though, they're perfectly in character. Buzz and Mira are slowly developing an interest in each other, so be warned that this is a Beer fic. However, it's kept pretty subtle (at least for now), so even if you don't like that pairing you can still enjoy the story.

Zurg and Warp will probably be the biggest points of contention when it comes to the canon characters. There's debate among fans over how much good is left in Warp, and this story leans toward the idea that he's still a decent person underneath all that greedy, selfish, bad-boyness. I can see how some people may disagree with that. However, it's handled realistically for the most part. Zurg is going to be more of a problem: EVERYONE has a theory about him, and they often feel quite strongly about their own ideas. I myself don't mind what backstory he's given so long as it's believable, in character and well-written. I won't give away exactly what Sky's Zurg's backstory is (I don't even know all of it), but I will say that Zurg is an alien AND a cyborg. If that bothers you, then so be it.

Now we get to the real issue: OCs. Some people love 'em, some people hate 'em, and some people don't care one way or the other. I personally don't mind well-written OCs - especially if they serve an important purpose. Badly-written OCs make me cringe, but Erin Frame is NOT a bad OC. She's not perfect either, though - there are times when she verges on Sueness, and times when she acts in an unrealistic manner (as I pointed out concerning the way she accepted her new life so easily). But these are problems common to most OCs - even the best sometimes suffer from them - so don't write her off just yet. She goes through some great character development, and really comes into her own when she joins the Academy. Her relationships with the canon characters are interesting (she's like a sister to Mira and Buzz, and she helps bring the two of them closer together), and I especially like how Warp hasn't instantly left Zurg to be with her. They have feelings for each other, but he's still Warp and he hasn't gone through a major character change just because he met a lovely woman. It's taking time for Erin to have an effect on him, and it's definitely going to be awhile before they have the slightest chance of a workable relationship. Mary Sues usually reform their boyfriends by the end of the week, which shows that Erin is NOT just some typical Sue.

The other OCs haven't had a large enough role to really be objectionable to anyone, except perhaps in that they've taken time away from the canon characters. I really like Erin's friend Ricki and a woman called Zomega. Both of them are shaping up nicely, and I think they'll be well-received.


Writing:

The writing is of a very high quality. I don't recall seeing any typos, though there may have been one or two, and the grammar is excellent. Sky's whole style is great, and you can see she's well on her way to becoming a successful author (she's already published a book and is working on another). The later chapters naturally are better than the earlier ones, but on the whole I can't fault the mechanics of the writing in any way.


Criticism:

Okaaay... criticism. I've already mentioned a number of things I thought were off, but I'll add a few more here. First of all, I think I would have preferred Erin to have had no knowledge of BLoSC before she came into their universe. I just found it a bit distracting at first. I don't mind it so much anymore, but it's still one of those things that bothers me slightly. Secondly, there are LOTS of references in the later chapters to stuff like Star Trek, Stargate, Star Wars, and Sherlock Holmes. Being a fan of all of those except SW, I didn't mind these references myself, but someone unfamiliar with those shows might be confused. As for why these shows are still popular, and with aliens too, Sky has given an explanation here.


Praise:

What I like most about this story is its strong characters and excellent writing. That's what makes it really stand out. I also love the Beer, and I totally adore XR and Booster when we see them. There's a lot more I could say, but I don't want to give away too much of the plot. I'm really grateful to Sky for continuing this, because it's one story I definitely want to see more of. If you're looking for a well-written, emotional, character-driven epic with a few OCs added in for good measure, then this is the story for you.


Warnings:

Not really much to say here. The story is written by a Christian, so you'll find it pretty "clean", but it is rated T for a reason. There's death, angst, and violence plus some minor swearing on a few occasions. Keep all this in mind.

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"If there's one thing I can't stand it's gambling! I'll lay you seven to one odds there'll be no more poker after tonight!" - XR

[03:35:11] @ Alexa : The bad thing about having Zurg on my desk is that he judges me when I flail in excitement. XD




I ship way too many couples.

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Re: Fanfiction Reviews

Post by Pythonmelon on Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:16 am

my story does have some things i need to fix, but now that i cant please ignor them, i may get a chance to fix everything eventually.

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Re: Fanfiction Reviews

Post by Ranger-Nova on Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:18 am

That's okay, I understand. If you want a review, I'll be happy to give you one right after I do Cartoonhottie's. Luckily I have your stories saved on my computer.

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"If there's one thing I can't stand it's gambling! I'll lay you seven to one odds there'll be no more poker after tonight!" - XR

[03:35:11] @ Alexa : The bad thing about having Zurg on my desk is that he judges me when I flail in excitement. XD




I ship way too many couples.

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Re: Fanfiction Reviews

Post by Pythonmelon on Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:23 am

thanks a million ^^ that would be great

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"So, try and stop me you self-proclaimed 'normal people'"- The Major (Hellsing)

"He's a bit insane at the moment, but he'll get over it."- Dr. Membrane (Invader Zim)

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Re: Fanfiction Reviews

Post by Cartoonhottie2009 on Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:48 pm

Ooo, I can't wait! This is going to be awesome!

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"Uh Buzz? This is not really the way a girlfriend should behave!"-Booster
"She's NOT MY GIRLFRIEND!"-Buzz; before getting shot by Ozma
"That's Dr. Furbanna to you."-Ozma
"You know, Doc, your boyfriend's got some violent tendencies."-Zurg
"He's NOT my BOYFRIEND!"-Ozma

Best. Couple. EVER.

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Re: Fanfiction Reviews

Post by Ranger-Nova on Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:05 pm

I wrote your review a few days ago, but I still need to polish it. Expect to see it up here soon! I hope you like it. Smile

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"If there's one thing I can't stand it's gambling! I'll lay you seven to one odds there'll be no more poker after tonight!" - XR

[03:35:11] @ Alexa : The bad thing about having Zurg on my desk is that he judges me when I flail in excitement. XD




I ship way too many couples.

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Re: Fanfiction Reviews

Post by Cartoonhottie2009 on Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:19 pm

If you're writing it I know i will!

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"Uh Buzz? This is not really the way a girlfriend should behave!"-Booster
"She's NOT MY GIRLFRIEND!"-Buzz; before getting shot by Ozma
"That's Dr. Furbanna to you."-Ozma
"You know, Doc, your boyfriend's got some violent tendencies."-Zurg
"He's NOT my BOYFRIEND!"-Ozma

Best. Couple. EVER.

Cartoonhottie2009

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Re: Fanfiction Reviews

Post by Ranger-Nova on Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:50 pm

Here's your review, honey. I hope I did a good job - I would have liked to make it longer, but I didn't want to add too many spoilers. Smile

"We Can Never Return to the Way We Were" by Cartoonhottie200

Minor spoilers below:

Spoiler:

I don't always like AU stories, or stories where OCs have a major role, because I like to see the canon setting and characters explored. However, this story uses both the AU setting and the OC very well, and in a way that gives the reader a deeper look at Buzz's character.


"We Can Never Return to the Way We Were" is an alternate universe version of Buzz's life prior to and during the events of TAB. In this universe, Buzz married Ozma Furbanna and had a daughter, Jillian, who loves animals.

Even though Jill is now a young woman, Buzz still treats her like a child, much to her dismay. A recurring theme in the story is her attempt to prove herself as an adult.


Plot:

Buzz and Ozma get married early in their careers, and they have a daughter, Jillian. Unfortunately, Ozma dies shortly after Jill is born, leaving Buzz to raise her by himself. He does a pretty good job, but is overprotective of Jill, causing friction between the two as Jill grows older.

Jill is an animal lover like her mother, and she gets into trouble as teenager when she joins a group of eco-terrorists. Later on, she takes a more legitimate approach to environmentalism when she joins Star Command's research department. Unfortunately, during a test she is injured by a malfunctioning robot, leaving her with several scars on her back.

About midway through the story, the events of TAB begin to play out, only with Jill involved as well. I won't give away the ending, but I will say that the story continues beyond WCNRTTWWW and into the sequel "How it Once was, and the Way it is Now".

It's certainly an interesting and unique story, and despite the fact that about half the story is a retelling of TAB, it never loses its excitement and appeal.


Characters:

Although there were one or two moments when Buzz felt slightly out of character, the characters are very well-done. Jillian is an interesting OC who undergoes plenty of great character development (Buzz also gets some good development), and she displays enough positive qualities to be likeable but enough flaws to be believable. Buzz and Jill are of course the main focus of the story, but I felt the other characters got a decent amount of screentime. I especially like the way Warp was handled.

The only pairing in the story is Buzz/Ozma. Even if you're not a fan of that pairing, you'll probably still enjoy the story, since Ozma's death means she only plays a small role in the story.

There are several other OCs in the story, but none of them get much screentime, so I doubt anyone will find them objectionable.


Writing:

The writing itself is well-done, but there are a fair number of spelling and grammar mistakes which can be a bit distracting to read. All that really needs to be done though is for the author to reread the chapters a few time and correct all the errors.


Criticism:

As I mentioned above, the spelling needs a bit of work, and Buzz has a few OOC moments, but otherwise I can't really find much fault with the story. Naturally, there might be people who don't like the idea of an OC as one of the main characters, but Jill doesn't completely take over the story, so I don't think this will be an issue for most readers.

One thing which can be a bit distracting is the layout of the story - the text is centered, which makes reading awkward. This really depends on your personal preferences, though.


Praise:

I love how an OC is used to develop Buzz's character more. We get to see him in the role of a dad, and we learn about his relationship with Ozma via several flashbacks. The story is really all about character development, and I love this. Jill and Buzz both mature throughout the story (and continue to do so in the sequel), and we get to see the formation of Team Lightyear through Jill's perspective.

This is a must read for all fans of Buzz, or anyone who wants a heartwarming, character-driven, emotional story. I really enjoyed reading it, and I'm sure you will too.


Warnings:

Nothing too bad; just some minor swearing and violence, and a character death.

Eh... I still think it's too short... I should have made it longer.

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"If there's one thing I can't stand it's gambling! I'll lay you seven to one odds there'll be no more poker after tonight!" - XR

[03:35:11] @ Alexa : The bad thing about having Zurg on my desk is that he judges me when I flail in excitement. XD




I ship way too many couples.

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Re: Fanfiction Reviews

Post by Cartoonhottie2009 on Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:40 pm

Sorry, can't reply, died from the amazingness of this.

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"Uh Buzz? This is not really the way a girlfriend should behave!"-Booster
"She's NOT MY GIRLFRIEND!"-Buzz; before getting shot by Ozma
"That's Dr. Furbanna to you."-Ozma
"You know, Doc, your boyfriend's got some violent tendencies."-Zurg
"He's NOT my BOYFRIEND!"-Ozma

Best. Couple. EVER.

Cartoonhottie2009

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Re: Fanfiction Reviews

Post by Ranger-Nova on Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:24 pm

I'm glad you liked it. Like I said, I feel bad about how short it it.

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"If there's one thing I can't stand it's gambling! I'll lay you seven to one odds there'll be no more poker after tonight!" - XR

[03:35:11] @ Alexa : The bad thing about having Zurg on my desk is that he judges me when I flail in excitement. XD




I ship way too many couples.

Ranger-Nova

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Re: Fanfiction Reviews

Post by Cartoonhottie2009 on Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:40 pm

I laughed when you said spoilers. Like my silly little story is something big and important. Laughing

_________________
"Uh Buzz? This is not really the way a girlfriend should behave!"-Booster
"She's NOT MY GIRLFRIEND!"-Buzz; before getting shot by Ozma
"That's Dr. Furbanna to you."-Ozma
"You know, Doc, your boyfriend's got some violent tendencies."-Zurg
"He's NOT my BOYFRIEND!"-Ozma

Best. Couple. EVER.

Cartoonhottie2009

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