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Complete Under My Skin by Asynca - M - Original Fiction

Discussion in 'Original Fiction' started by Nemrut, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Title: Under My Skin
    Author: Asynca
    Rating: M
    Genre: Romance, Drama
    Status: WIP
    Fandom: Original
    Pairings: Min and Bree
    Summary:
    Link: WordPress

    Okay, Jarik kinda introduced this in "The Camera Loves You" thread, which is also a story by this author. In that story, the author introduced two OCs, Min and Bree and this original story deals exclusively with them. No mention of Tomb Raider or anything, in fact, one could probably take that as a crossover with a work that was not yet published.

    And yeah, this project was funded by kickstarter here and raised 5,670 $. Story is going to be about thirty chapters long, ten of which have been released in the past ten weeks on every Wednesday morning. Those who supported the kickstarter have access on Tuesdays.

    Seeing that the story had accumulated enough chapters to give everyone a good enough impression on its quality and since it shows no sign of stopping before it is completed, decided to post it here.

    Makes for a nice change for the kind of stories we usually have on this side, not at all focusing on action or mystery or anything but more on exploring issues of gender, sexuality and self-identity, alongside a romance.

    Writing is competent and engaging, the characters are compelling. The humour works well, and your really feel for the characters. Its grounding in reality helps. Might be a bit angsty for some at times but I didn't have a problem with it, since it's understandable why she would feel that way.

    So, yeah, really love it. 4/5 so far.

    Edit: Okay, sorry about that, messed that up. Yeah, it is not Harry Potter, if a mod would be so kind to move this. Really sorry about this.

    Edit 2 : Changed the description in the genres due to me having slightly misunderstood the definition of slice of life.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  2. Radmar

    Radmar Disappeared

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    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  3. Stormey

    Stormey Groundskeeper

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    Slice of Life?
    First time I have heard of that as a genre.
     
  4. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

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    I think Nemrut meant to post it in Other Review Thread and did it here by accident.

    Obviously haven't watched much anime then. Slice of Life is a really common genre there. I'd strongly disagree with Nemrut classifying Under My Skin in that genre though. Slice of Life, by definition, pretty much means a lack of story or character progression - it's about characters dealing with regular, day to day activities, usually in a skit-based format. Under My Skin is straight up heavy drama.


    Anyway, I've been reading this since the start, also introduced to it via The Camera Loves You. It has a lot of themes that do make for an interesting drama. I can also get a bit more immersion given that it's set in Australia, and Min's job is in an industry somewhat similar to mine (just started working this year lol).

    Now, I really don't like Bree. Didn't in the Tomb Raider fanfics, and even though she's better written here, I still don't like her. She's written as an irritating adolescent, and apparently she's going to play the role of a love interest for a successful businesswoman. Perhaps asynca will somehow pull off some amazing romantic chemistry later on, but I'm not really that optimistic.

    As for Min's whole "identity crisis" thing? To be honest, at the start I think it was over the top. Not necessarily saying it can't be realistic, and perhaps people in that situation may feel like that, but as a reader, it sounds a bit like whining to read paragraphs of self-deprecation.

    That being said, the last few chapters have got me a bit more interested in Min's drama a bit more. I think as long as this whole development comes from Min, it could be pretty good. But I'm a bit worried Bree will play a bit too much big of a role than she really deserves to and that'll be pretty cheesy.

    While I am kinda enjoying this, I can't really rate it as a quality piece of fiction at the moment. That being said, maybe getting my first job has stolen my soul, as I'm finding myself more excited to see Min's epic career success, and dreading the point where she throws it all away. >_<

    3/5, with potential to go up or down depending on how it deals with the rest of the story (can't really see it going above a 4 though).



    Do really like the success of its crowd funding model. I'm thinking of a certain another piece of Original Fiction that could also pull off a really successful kickstarter to get it published...>_>
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  5. Zeelthor

    Zeelthor Scissor Me Timbers

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    Min was okay to deal with alone in the beginning, but downright unlikeable in her interaction with Bree. Initially.

    But yeah, I've read through the entire thing today and I really, really want more... So while I gotta agree with some of the flaws, I really do like the characters and story, and I'm shipping the hell out of Min and Bree.
     
  6. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

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    Alright, despite what I said in my last post, I've been enjoying the last few chapters a lot more. I'm upgrading this to a 4/5.

    It's actually become the update I wait for all week, constantly checking the site to see if it's out yet.

    That being said, still not seeing any chemistry at all with Bree. Min basically treats her like a younger, kid sister. They're not at all on the same level intellectually When you compare that to the amazing flirting that was going on with Gemma in the latest chapter, I can't help but root for that pairing instead.

    Or Sarah/Min OTP?

    I'm sure asynca will somehow pull it off though, seeing as I had previous doubts on the way Min's self-identity issues were being handled, and it's actually being executed quite well now.
     
  7. Zeelthor

    Zeelthor Scissor Me Timbers

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    I kinda agree on that otp, Jarik. :p The chapters are getting better as the story progresses, too.

    The four I originally gave it is sorta edging towards a four and a half.
     
  8. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

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    This actually concluded two weeks ago. Here's the (long) review I left on asynca's blog.

    So despite the main pairing not holding any interest for me, the story was of high quality (polished, in the way you expect published books to be) and did what it set out to do (which wasn't an easy concept). Giving this a 5/5.
     
  9. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    So, not sure how many here have read this or checked out the thread and became interested but the author recently completed and published the sequel, named Flesh & Blood

    Haven't read it yet, didn't have the time but if you want to check them out, now is a good time, since both books are 0,99 cents on Amazon for kindle atm. First book at least is more than worth it for that price.
     
  10. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

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    So finished the sequel, Flesh & Blood on the weekend.

    As I was reading it, I was all ready to write this review - ready to say things like "Didn't have the sense of purpose or structure like the first one did". But as soon as I passed the halfway point, that slowly start to change as I approached the end of the story and I realized it was actually the exact opposite.

    Just like in her previous works, asynca excels in slowly introducing little drama subplots - each feeling pretty typical of any old drama - and then piling them on top of each other. The sheer number of them creates an intense sense of hopelessness and pressure that feels so real to the point where you're actually impressed that Min hasn't actually considered suicide as a valid solution to her problems.

    The core of the story is the exploration of the relationship between Min and her mother. But it approaches it as a pretty complex issue, exploring the themes around people who give everything up to try to give someone else what they believe to be a better life - and the sense of guilt and debt that instils into that other person to the point of misery. When you invest so much in someone else, you also feel so much more vested in seeing their life go the way you want it to.

    The thing that really blew me away in this fic is the way it worked in a seemingly independent subplot - Min paying off Bree's school fees - as a way to explore the theme.

    It seemed like such a selfless, honourable act - Min paying to keep Bree in school with money she didn't have. Then you see her struggle and suffer and suffer some more because of it. Feel that pressure, stress and hopelessness that Min goes through because of it. And then the little brat is wagging class and not even giving school any effort. And you, the reader feel so fucking pissed and then...

    ...you (and Min) suddenly realize exactly how the "villain" of the story, Min's mother, feels. That she sacrificed everything, motivating herself with a vision of how good Min's life would turn out, and then Min goes and throws it all away.

    The other thing it explores is what lack of money actually means. Throwing away your high income, steady job and giving a big "fuck you" to your dickhead boss to "be yourself" is a scene that happens a lot in fiction, but rarely is the real impact of the aftermath shown. Flesh and Blood does a good job of really showing you the high levels of stress and desperation that a lack of money can cause.

    It's an intense emotional ride, with complex characters and mature takes on themes and situations. A step above anything else in the LGBT fiction genre.

    My two main gripes:

    Just like the first story, I just don't feel any chemistry between Min and Bree at all. Bree's cutesy act feels too real - as an actual annoying, ditzy high school girl. It's like there's this intellectual barrier between Min, everyone she interacts with and Bree. I feel like Min is mothering her half the time, which makes their romance feel forced.

    Second gripe is that after the plot around Min's mother wraps up, all the other subplots feel like they were solved way too easily as an afterthought.

    Overall though, another fantastic, intense drama from a really talented author. Despite my dislike of Bree (which you'd think would be a fairly major thing), I still rate this another 5/5.