WIP Nursing a Grudge by Helian05 - M - Worm

Discussion in 'Worm' started by Nemrut, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Title: Nursing a Grudge
    Author: Helian05
    Rating: M
    Genre: AU
    Status: In-Progress
    Pairings: None
    Summary: After splitting from the Undersiders after the Leviathan battle, Taylor rescues Madison.
    Link: Sufficient Velocity

    We have too few of these type of fics. For one, it's not alt power Taylor, and two, it's a divergent from the middle of the story.

    Taylor finds Madison and sticks around for her to heal, which kickstarts a new chain of events that I find to be very compelling.

    Firstly, the dynamic between Madison and Taylor is fascinating. Madison's guilt and Taylor's discomfort is interesting to see. I like how Madison's view on Taylor absolutely changed and how she clings to her as the only stable thing in her life, whereas Taylor doesn't exactly like her but also doesn't want her to suffer, being Taylor and all.

    She does have the most amazing ability of being able to work with people that have wronged her and get past grudges, which is probably the best superpower she has and something Worm fics never really factor into her characterization.

    On the other end, her trying to set herself up as an independent cape and her interaction with the heroes has been enjoyable too. Especially the last two chapters, the fight in the hospital and the reaction of others to Skitter is great. It has been some time since someone has captured the potential horror of what Taylor can do and how unsettling and outright disgusting her power can be.

    Overall, excellent fic. It had been on hiatus for quite a while but apparently it got updated in early December, so, we might see more chapters in the feature and even if not, it is absolutely one of the better fics out there.

    4.5/5
     
  2. Newcomb

    Newcomb Headmaster

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    Going to disagree with you here.

    I like the dynamic in theory, but I'm not sure I like the execution here. Madison's character seems very shallow to me. I'm reading passages like this one:

    And I'm just not really feeling it. It's not OOC or terrible writing or anything, it's just kind of... playing to a trope and playing it absolutely straight, or something. The pieces line up too easily. Like - they do talk about how Madison was horrible to her, but Madison's completely broken and Taylor's pretty much waving her off and forgiving, which, eh, that's fine, what Nemrut said about Taylor working with people she doesn't get along with is right, but in canon it's always with this edge of pragmatism - like, she'll work with shitty people if they can do something she wants to happen.

    But what exactly is Madison bringing to the table here? I mean I hate to say she's useless. But... she's kind of useless. The whole "sympathy for her horrible experience" angle is okay-ish, it's just a little bland.

    It's bland from Taylor's end, too. Like this:

    I feel like that's just too socially competent for Taylor, heh. I want her to be a little rougher around the edges, a little less understanding, a little more awkward. It would at least make the Taylor/Madison interactions a bit more layered and nuanced.

    And in theory, I like the idea of playing with Taylor/Skitter tension, like Madison seeing both sides of her; problem is I don't think the dichotomy is that well written.

    Like - in canon, the cafeteria scene with Dragon/Defiant facing off with Taylor and Emma's there and it's like HOLY SHIT - it's set up better, the moment is epic, you can really feel the tension. It's just... better. Compelling.

    In this one, you have Panacea in the hospital room, and I can see how it was supposed to be kind of a mini-version of that scene, but it just doesn't land particularly well because it's... rushed? Two-dimensional? Something like that.

    __

    Fake edit:

    Madison's stutter is annoying as fuck.
    Yes, I get it, she's a total Woobie, thanks for bashing my brains in with it.

    3/5 and that feels a little generous. It's not bad, though. Just... missing something.

    ---------- Post automerged at 05:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:22 PM ----------

    Hmm okay the last 2 chapters were noticeably better. And the hero PoV at the hospital after the fight had some of that nuance I was looking for earlier.

    So, yeah, never mind, not bumping the rating, but it's a solid 3 now.
     
  3. Zill

    Zill First Year

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    I was actually thinking of recommending this fic myself, I guess I was too slow though.

    I really like Nursing a Grudge myself. I think part of is that by diverging at the point it does, it avoids retreading the stations of canon that the majority of Worm fic end up hitting with whatever alternate power Taylor ends up getting in that specific story. If I remember correctly, post Leviathan Taylor was sort of aimless so it's a good place to introduce something new and go from there. I can't think of many other fics that choose to start at that point though (the only other one I can think of off of the top of my head is Walkabouts). Still starting the fic with a (semi) experienced Taylor is always a nice change.

    Personally I like the role that Madison has in this fic, the outsider/newbie to the cape scene against Taylor as the experienced cape. The split between Taylor and Skitter that Madison observes is also pretty neat. As Nemrut said I like how she's sort of latched on to Taylor as the one stable thing in her life. I personally don't have any problems with her woobieness especially as the set up events for this fic have basically destroyed her life. I can believe that she would have been really messed up by that, Madison doesn't really have any characterization in Worm proper that would conflict with that characterization so I have no problems with that. I like how in Taylor proves that she's a better person then her bullies with her decision to take care of Madison.

    I'm also a fan of the interaction between Taylor and Amy in Nursing a Grudge. Helian05 seems to have avoided the common fanon trend of making Amy a woobie so that's always a a nice plus. I like the mutually assured destruction/teeth clenched teamwork thing that they sort of have got going on. As generally pointed out Taylor and Amy's powers work well together, but, I always like when writers don't go full on Amelia with it. Going forward it looks like Amy will probably end up giving Taylor some boosts, but, those boosts are limited by the fact that Amy doesn't really trust Taylor at this point which is great. It'll be interesting to see how their interaction ends up progressing as the story moves forward so I'm looking forward to that.

    Taylor trying her hand at being a rogue and repairing her reputation isn't something you see very often. I think the last two chapters were really good for that with defending the hospital/the team up with Assault and Kid Win. One thing that I had a problem with during that scene was Assault taking as much damage as he did though.

    I think it will be really interesting to see how things end up taking off when the Slaughterhouse Nine roll in to town.

    As with most Worm fics I've read/enjoyed, just for convenience I wish it was cross-posted on fanfiction.net or AO3.

    Rating: 4 Stars
     
  4. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros.

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    I liked Nursing a Grudge in general and the latter chapters are distinctly more interesting than the former. Madison's dialogue was a bit annoying to read (too much stuttering for my tastes. I'm a fan of using just enough seasoning in the dialogue and making the reader's head "fill in the blanks" so to speak). The interactions with Panacea and the heroes more than made up for it though.

    The main selling point to me is the exploration of post-Endbringer life, which hooked me right from the premise.

    4/5.
     
  5. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    This was just updated.

    Seems New Wave was hit rather hard and is still in dangerous waters.
     
  6. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros.

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  7. M.L.

    M.L. Seventh Year

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    I really enjoyed this fic, Taylor's characterization was really good, and I was impressed by Amy's as well. The writing and grammar was solid and I haven't seen anything regarding Taylor's use of mites before. What I didn't like was Madison, this sounds stupid because she is a central part of the story, but I feel like whenever she's in a scene, it drags on and gets kind of boring. That isn't even to add that she is constantly crying, I can only handle so much angst. I got really involved only when Madison was not the central character of the chapter.

    PS. The author has hinted that the story will be Taylor/Madison so the pairing tag might need to be changed. In particular he said "Next chapter will have some Taylor/Madison stuff,".
     
  8. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros.

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    I can't help but feel that would sink the story