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Old 06-06-2017, 06:37 AM   #2701
ibskib
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Nazgus, regarding your first spoilered point, it was also one of the things that made me stop reading the story.
It is part of the overall problem of Ack's writing, the characterisation and how the immediate plot is shaped around them, a problem in all his stories to some degree.
A strong protagonist bias/plot armor without the restraint to make it feel plausible, where the character get away with way too much, and succeed where they shouldn't. The chararacters always feel kinda self congratulatory, when they feel in the right (which is always) and when they succeed (success in inevitable, in the end), and sometimes comes across as almost unbearable smug to me.
It's why I stopped reading Security. Just one fist-bump too many from some middle aged fat guy that would have made the average teenager roll their eyes and think 'adults are lame'.
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Old 06-06-2017, 03:45 PM   #2702
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Everyone's talking about Slippery Slope but I actually enjoyed Skein. I think if the last two chapters just didn't exist and the writer wrapped it up a little more neatly to just be done at the end of the first arc it's a pretty decent time waster.
I actually really liked Skein. Maybe the ending was a little weak, but I was a big fan of the power descriptions and interactions.
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:31 AM   #2703
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Originally Posted by ibskib View Post
It's why I stopped reading Security. Just one fist-bump too many from some middle aged fat guy that would have made the average teenager roll their eyes and think 'adults are lame'.
It made me wonder why no one in the story was thinking it weird that a fat middle aged security guard was taking an interest in a female teenage high school student. Even going so far as to attach himself to her family. At one point, Taylor got into Mike's car to go to the bank robbery, but the school authorities knew nothing about this. All they saw was a girl in an adult authority figure's car.

This unquestioned acceptance is one of things that made it hard for me to suspend my disbelief reading Security, and it's one of the recurring elements that appear in other Ack fanfics. The other ones are the weird, same-y, sometimes cringy dialogue, caricatured canon characters, recycled OCs, and the obvious revenge fantasy plots.




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I actually really liked Skein. Maybe the ending was a little weak, but I was a big fan of the power descriptions and interactions.
Skein isn't that bad. I don't read fics unless they've been recommended or praised, and usually fics are not recommended unless there's a reason for it. I don't think I've rated any fics I've reviewed here below a 2/5, except for my review for Meta, which I couldn't stand for its deliberately incomprehensible writing style. On an objective level, the technical writing for Skein is excellent. The way the power was written is what makes it worth reading. No other fic has a power quite like Skein!Taylor's, and few other fics have writing as creative or expressive. And unlike Burn Up, the narration stays consistent and focused instead of wandering around in a JinglyJangles-esque half-lucid dream state. The combination makes it unique.

I couldn't rate it higher because Skein lacked things I look for in a story. A clear idea of plot direction was the main one. What has happened so far in the fic? Can I guess where the story is going, what conflicts it will tackle, based on what has happened? Should I make a bet that the story will die before it is completed, because the scope of the powers is too ambitious to be realistically kept to small-time vigilante crime fighting, and there is nothing that discourages authors more than writing themselves into corners when starting projects that are too ambitious?

I have no idea what Skein!Taylor's goals are beside the generic "Being a Hero". I have no idea what her status with Tattletale is. The ten chapter bitch fight felt meaningless because after all that, they're not besties, and they're not enemies, and Taylor would have been neither better nor worse off if she had never met her on the bus. The only thing it did was level up her powers, which she could have done mentally attacking anyone else. I have no idea what might happen, what scale of conflict the author is going for, because Mind Reading, or Mind Raping, whatever you want to call it, is a Simurgh-tier power. Street level conflict just feels underwhelming when the power has just been getting stronger every time Taylor experiments with it.

So far it feels more like an extended power testing scene than a story.

Last edited by Bernd; 06-07-2017 at 10:35 AM. Reason: Typos
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:02 PM   #2704
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernd View Post
It made me wonder why no one in the story was thinking it weird that a fat middle aged security guard was taking an interest in a female teenage high school student. Even going so far as to attach himself to her family. At one point, Taylor got into Mike's car to go to the bank robbery, but the school authorities knew nothing about this. All they saw was a girl in an adult authority figure's car.

This unquestioned acceptance is one of things that made it hard for me to suspend my disbelief reading Security,...
While the story has its issues, I think you have your facts wrong in this instance. Mike (fat security guard) used a teacher's car, Gladly caught and confronted them leaving the school, then reported him to Blackwell, and they contacted Danny. Mike was taken to task when they returned to the school.

Granted, after a series of unlikely events, nothing happened to him other than a "don't do that again without letting us know."
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Old 06-07-2017, 05:34 PM   #2705
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I think you're right now that I think about, it's a long time since I read Security, what's really the problem instead is that there might have been a scene with some sort of reaction, but then afterwards there were no consequences whatsoever, part of the heavy handed plot armor.

Regarding Skein, I could never get into it, the power description is pretty well done, but there really was nothing to engage me when I read the first bits. I haven't read the 'battle' with Tattletale, but it sounds like the kind of thing I would find frustrating rather than enjoyable.

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Old 06-08-2017, 06:24 AM   #2706
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Granted, after a series of unlikely events, nothing happened to him other than a "don't do that again without letting us know."

That's what I didn't like about Security. Not so much that he took Taylor to the bank robbery, but that he did it without following the proper procedure, and no one really cared enough to give him any real consequences for doing it the wrong way. Schools have a procedure for signing out students who need to leave class to get somewhere, like a dentist appointment. They're there for a reason. During school hours, students are under the duty of care of the school. There are laws about this. With how much the Winslow principal cares about lawsuits, it would be reasonable for her to make sure procedure is followed, if only so she won't get hit by a lawsuit for negligence.


Chapter Sixteen
Quote:
"What the hell are you doing?" he yelled. "Where the hell are you going with this student?"
"I'm a friend of the family," I told him. "I'm taking her to the shops."
Can you just claim "friend of the family" and take a kid off the school campus? When I was in school, there had to be written confirmation signed by the parent, or the person had to be on the emergency contact form that the student submitted to the school.


Yet Mike gets to breeze past a lot of things because of the way the story is written, and no one makes a big fuss that he was in the girls' bathroom for the first intervention he made in the bullying campaign, and no one questioned that he's only known Taylor and Danny for a week, but is somehow a friend of the family. I know that everyone hates the phrase "author fiat", and I hate using it, but this is pretty much author fiat.


Chapter Two
Quote:
"What the fuck?" said Emma, recovering somewhat. "This is the girls' bathroom. You can't come in here!"
"Actually, yes I can," I said. "Security guard. I can go anywhere."
Can a security guard even do that?
It's not like they're real police officers.


With Ack fanfics, you have to suspend your disbelief if you want to enjoy the story. And even if you do that, they're not guaranteed to be enjoyable.
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Old 06-08-2017, 07:10 AM   #2707
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Chapter Two

Can a security guard even do that?
It's not like they're real police officers.
Yeah, pretty much, unless the place they're guarding has provisions for multiple security guards of differing genders. As long as they announce themselves loudly, which he did. That and he had a female teacher with him at the time, in the background. Ack, in real life, is a security guard; he'd know.
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Old 06-08-2017, 07:32 AM   #2708
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So we can stop talking about Ackfic, I have scoured through SB (read: VereorNox recommended me something on IRL and I clicked a link) to bring us this.

Title: Synchronization
Author: Golden_

It's a Taylor triggers as an NGE monster fic.

I'm really not sure how to fee about this story, which has four chapters out so far. It has some thing going for it, such as the author having mentioned that it's planned to be rather short (I forget the exact number), which means there's a very good chance I'll see it's conclusion and not just have it be abandoned like an unwanted baby halfway through.

It's also managed to avoid making Armsmaster, and the PRT to a larger extent, look like total idiots, while not being perfect either.

But it's prose. I mean, goddamn, it's so fucking purple a Roman Emperor could make an entire wardrobe out of it.

It's a 3/5 for me overall. Has some refreshing takes on worn worm tropes, but the writing is nothing amazing from a technical standpoint (very few grammar and spelling errors fortunately, it's really the prose which is problematic. If he erased every other adjective from his story it would improve dramatically).
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Old 06-09-2017, 01:40 AM   #2709
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The Undertakers is a new story by Farmerbob. It's an AU and diverges after Bakuda captures the Undersiders. Only three chapters out and there are a lot of changes from canon.



 
Bakuda decides to make an example of the Undersiders. She initially uses a power suppression bomb to capture them. She gets Uber and Leet to record a video of them being unmasked, and with the video rolling, detonates two more bombs. One is an organic to silicate converter and the second a time lock sphere. Then the ABB and Uber and Leet leave.

The power suppression runs out just after the organic to silicate conversion starts allowing QA to reconnect to Taylor. QA decides that the parameters have changed and responds by changing Taylor to a light absorbing silicate based life-form.

The best part: In chapter three, Danny is killed.



I'm not very happy with the latest chapter. The interaction between characters feels strange. People are acting sensibly and Taylor is acting out of character. But, I really like the concept and want to read more.
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Old 06-09-2017, 07:29 AM   #2710
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The Undertakers is a new story by Farmerbob. It's an AU and diverges after Bakuda captures the Undersiders. Only three chapters out and there are a lot of changes from canon.
 
You say the third chapter is good for killing Danny and while I enjoyed that, I feel like the story got worse every chapter.

The first chapter was strong as a hook, nothing interesting to say to that.

Second chapter is okay. It was mostly a reactionary chapter and while everything with the PTR before they met Taylor was okay, I just started to get angry as it went along. Contessa was mentioned because half of the possibly good stories needs to bring her up just to tell the readers, yes, this story just seems like it could be okay but it's not. Like what the hell is the point of bringing up Contessa? Maybe it will lead into something later but does the story really need it at this point?

Armsmaster attempting to arrest Skitter silicon monster thing was also stupid but this is Armsmaster before his canon growth so I can let it slide.

Then the third chapter. I was just bored with it. Armsmaster managed to admit he forgot Coil was stated to be Calvert... uhhhhhhhhh. Okay? Then he managed to connect that maybe Skitter would attempt to save her family... he could have said something about that in the second chapter maybe?

Danny refusing to leave the building in a decent amount of time amuses me. I'm not sure if it is because the author is attempting to write Danny as in character as a stubborn man or trying for some dramatic irony. Danny also stating that he should have worn a hat right before he got spotted and killed right after made me giggle. I'm not sure if that is terrible or great writing.

The chapter ends including lines such as this from the police officer.

""Don't do it. I know what you want to do. I'd probably want to do the same thing in your shoes.""

Then Skitter runs away swearing to kill those that have wronged her and I just got bored with the thing.


I'm not a fan even though I wanted to be.
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