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WIP Cage by Racheakt - T - Worm

Discussion in 'Other Fandoms Review Board' started by Saez, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. Saez

    Saez Professor

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    Title: Cage
    Author: Racheakt
    Rating: T
    Genre: Horror/Suspense
    Status: In-Progress
    Library Category:
    Pairings:
    Summary: Part 1 of the Bird Series. Taylor triggers and is sent to an insane asylum.

    "Nobody likes it here. About one in every five doctors might be here to help the patients, the rest are here to study the patients.

    But you know what? You need this, we all need this. We have to try. It’s not going to be easy, it's not going to be pleasant. It's not going to be fun, or about making friends; or even, hell, escaping—though all of those might happen. Who knows?

    Being here is about one thing, and it’s the most important thing of all: getting better."

    Link: Cage
    AO3 Link: Cage

    Cage is a brilliant worm fic that I was really surprised to see wasn't recced on here already, it's a solid 5/5 in terms of prose, character building, and plot. With the background world-building being amazing as well. The downsides are that the pacing is very slow, with Taylor still in the asylum after almost 200k and the fic being out for so long. This is also just the first fic of the series.

    The basics of the story is that Taylor triggers as a thinker with a grab bag of analytic powers (tv tropes link) and accidentally kills some people with her out of control powers when she triggers, the fic starts out with her being in the asylum. She acclimates to the asylum but finds out it isn't what it seems, and she tries to help her new friends 'recover'/get to a point where the therapists will ever let them out, though they're seen as lost causes.

    With that said, it does update pretty regularly (once a month or so) and the great plot makes up for it. The summary might make it seem like therapy is a large part of the fic but imo that's very secondary to the mystery of the asylum and the other characters in it that Taylor interacts with. One thing is that it's very AU with
    parahuman 'monsters' forming out of craters
    though.

    The character's are very well done and you get invested in some of them which is necessary because the story is very character driven a lot of the time. I would give it a 5/5 if the pacing were a bit better but as is I'd give it a 4/5.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  2. Salsa

    Salsa Seventh Year

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    Largely echoing Saez here.

    Right after I finished slaving away at a new story, I came across this (thanks to you of course).

    I'm afraid I had to suspend my review until I felt human again.

    Now to my actual thoughts on this:

    I'm wholly unfamiliar to Worm. The Universe, and the characters. Yet I still enjoyed this.

    I found an air of mystery to the story. Taylor and the spiel of living in the mental asylum were incredibly fun to read for some reason. The character interactions excellently explored the layers of the alternate universe far better than an expo-dump every could.

    I enjoyed Taylor's presence from the start, he seemed the 'normal person' in the 'house of crazies'. It was an incredibly fun dynamic, Taylor's goals are believable, and I like how his attitude of treating the other patients as kindly as possible really upended the asylum's status quo.

    The story flows very well, and I found the characters generally well-rounded and entertaining.

    Again, pacing. 4/5 for that. I personally feel that the story hangs around the asylum too long, but it is, as Saez says, largely character-driven.
     
  3. Tempest

    Tempest Third Year

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    @Salsa Taylor is a girl. (Unless this is a genderswap. But there's usually a reminder in the summaries if that is the case, and the art on AO3 shows Taylor.)

    I've always seen this recommended but never read it, because I saw comments about staying at the asylum for too long. I liked what you said in your reviews though. And since it's regularly updating, I might catch up by the time another chapter is released.
     
  4. Salsa

    Salsa Seventh Year

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    My bad. I just haven't read Worm.

    (Isn't a genderswap).
     
  5. illya_

    illya_ First Year

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    Taylor is very Taylor and you still feel like you are in the (AU) Worm universe. The story however has another focus and theme. The author keeps author notes and a Mission Statement separate from the story, and the quote below should be give you enough to know what you will be getting into.
    After this the author gives examples, which include spoilers for so far unposted chapters.

    While I mostly enjoyed the story so far (4.5/5), I felt some things dragged a little.
    Mainly when Labyrint used her power.

    Edit: Taylor not Tailor.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019 at 8:28 PM
  6. Crownworthy

    Crownworthy First Year

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    Off topic, but why do you read Worm fanfiction? Granted, I lost all interest in canon after the time skip myself, but I would never consider reading fanfiction for a fandom where I didn't know the basic framework, unless it was a crossover with a very small fandom I already knew.
     
  7. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Moderator DLP Supporter

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    What is there to know about worm canon pre-time skip. The ending was inevitable. Everything that happened before it was just getting there. If you don't understand who the characters are at that point then you must have been reading a different story.

    Also, people only use the bits of worm canon they like. This story is nothing like Worm-canon. So there is no real disconnect. I've read a ton of fandoms that I've never read the source material. Everything I know about Naruto came from fanfic. Everything post-aizen in bleach, came from fanfic.

    I see this as being no different.

    On topic, I found this story boring. Could barely get into it and found my-self skimming large chunks of it without missing much inbetween. I hate to keep saying this is typical fare, but, its typical fare.

    3/5
     
  8. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Unspeakable DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    It's been a long time since I read this but I recall it being one of my favourite updating stories in the fandom.

    In brief, general thoughts:


    It's well-written, with good description and a voice that is unobtrusive but not workman like. There's a low-key poetry that makes it engaging. It uses this to build a distinct feel in its characterisations of all the inmates. I hold in high regard any fanfiction that is able to make me believe that there is an ongoing world beyond our perspective character - it's all too rare in fanfiction. Further, any interaction with more than even a bit player was impressed with authority. This is an author who knew the tone of the asylum and the character of her OCs inside and out. I could well visualise them, well recognise their quirks and their manner of speaking. I could well identify the source of their antagonism with Taylor, and get a sense of their own goals and why this was in conflict with the MC.

    It's not a quickly moving story, but the world-building builds up questions and hooks and it does so in a deliberate and thorough way that intimates there will be a satisfying pay off. I know from the ANs that this is someone who has deeply considered what an Eden world would look like and how this would impact their story. There's a clearly defined narrative goal in the story although it's not something that immediately drives forward the actions of the character (the identified goal being 'Get well' when the subtext is that it's really 'get out') and from what I recall the gradual peeling back of how these two aren't necessarily aligned was really well done.

    This is one of the few stories in which I have felt genuinely afraid for character safety. In the Worm fandom in particular this is a rare phenomenon. The monster chase in the cellars was genuinely terrifying.

    I really like it, I think it's worth the effort of investing your time in and understanding it may take you a short while to be fully sucked into the story beyond the world building. It knows what it's about, and it's tone and subject matter is not well given to immediate action and drama. This is a more slow-burning, slow rising, interesting example of an alternate world, deeply realised.

    4.5/5 rounded up.
     
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