WIP El-Ahrairah by Anderein - M - Worm

Discussion in 'Worm' started by T3t, Nov 11, 2016.

  1. T3t

    T3t Purple Beast of DLP Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Title: El-Ahrairah
    Author: Anderein
    Rating: M (not actually sure - SB doesn't have a rating system, and Worm as a setting is pretty grim. I don't remember anything particularly objectionable beyond some language so this could very well be a T).
    Genre: Drama
    Status: WIP
    Fandom: Worm
    Pairings: None (sort of Taylor/Dennis, but not really)
    Summary: No summary provided. If I had to give one, it would be: "Reasonable decision-making under uncertainty."
    Link: SB

    While this fic hits a lot of my buttons, I do think this is what Thinker!Taylor fics should aspire to be. Problems are not necessarily solved with the biggest hammer, people with different goals and values end up in realistic conflict, etc. Most of the action is political, though there are a couple reasonably good fight scenes too. There's also a sympathetic but not white-washed exploration of Cauldron here, which is great to see.

    4.5/5
     
  2. throwaawy

    throwaawy Third Year

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Messages:
    80
    first i'd like to preface this so far as one of my favourite interpretations of cauldron, even allowing that as a cauldron!centric fic some empathy needs to be present in order for the viewers not want to chuck their computer through their screen in order to read it.

    as a thinker!taylor fic the story is heavy on--as one reviewer called it--SOCIAL KOMBAAAAT, which is generally mishandled by most authors who attempt it, but fairly well here. i think part of why it works is that tattletale is shoved out of the story fairly quickly so there is no 'crutch' of impossible deductions and the narrative is forced to show the progression and train of thoughts within the interactions. while i would have liked to see some more taylor vs tattle interaction, i also know it's overused and even if it was done well, the threat of fanon-cliches would dampen the experience, so i guess i don't mind she vanished into the ether.

    the bulk of the interaction then is taken up by contessa, and so far the author has done a really good job of balancing a 'human' fortuna with the deus ex contessa, which makes this prolly my favourite contessa fic at the moment as well.

    2 points i dislike, however:
    although it's nice to see a taylor who cuts through crap and gets things done, i feel like her first 'battle' was a bit too soon somehow. she takes command far too easily and it's not like there was an immediate crisis which forces her to step up and people to pay attention to, she's somehow able to shotcall from the very beginning which i found a bit jarring for where i would have assumed she'd be. i would have at least anticipated more resistance. following her display, however, i have no complaints so it's more that i wish there was more of a ramp-up, or even maybe some outside authority forcing her group to grudgingly accept her lead then being pleasantly surprised.

    second is the author's interpretation of shards....
    i have no problem with the au and munchkining to make canon powers more combat effective. that's pretty much what anyone comes to read a worm au!fic, after alternate characterisations, so no biggie there. even the idea that shards can subsume the personalities of their hosts and become little more than extensions of the cycle (aka the S-class threats and damned if this is not my new headcanon for 'actual' S-class designations) is a neat--if horrifying--idea

    my issue is when taylor is able to call up 'shard memories' of previous cycles and when the shards begin to TALK BACK. yes the majority of the 'memory phase' is via quasi-dreamcycle and it's her own shard that is the sole example and only because she was able to superimpose her own personality (and humanity?) onto it, but that whole segment near kicked me out of the suspension of disbelief in what i'd previously seen as a logical progression of the narrative. fortunately it's not the majority of the story and it happens late enough that i was able to move past it and put it out of my mind fairly quickly

    4/5 from me. cons aside this is still one of the better thinker!taylor and cauldron fics, which makes it a very nice change from the superosmgodlikeeveryonelubsmeorfearsme!taylor fics i've been seeing from the threads recently