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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

    Jan 21, 2011
    Los Angeles
    High Score:
    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.

  2. throwaawy

    throwaawy Fourth Year

    Apr 26, 2014
    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
  3. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

    Dec 12, 2009
    Read about half of this over the last week (made it up to arc 4). I kinda of like it, but mostly don't. Taylor doesn't feel like Taylor at all. She's pretty much unrecognizable from any iteration of canon Taylor, despite still having the Administration shard (except with different powers). Like, within a handful of chapters, Taylor is lecturing the Brockton Bay wards as if it's the most natural and easy thing in the world. So, I guess I kind of like every other character other than Taylor in this fic.

    Secondly, the usage of her power is kind of ridiculous. It's pretty much just turned her into the author's catspaw for a fixit fic, but at the same time also twisting a lot of what we come to learn about powers in canon into the author's re-imaging of them. It's one thing to take the evidence presented and come to a slightly different conclusion, but it's a whole different thing to just completely flip it, to the point where I'm going "I don't think that's how that works at all". I'm not very good at suspending my disbelief these days.

    Lastly, is the plot. There really isn't any. Actually, that's wrong. There's one plot point, and it's just repeated over and over and over. It's not even that interesting in a plot point, and the way it's executed is really shitty. Like, Taylor just brute forces her Thinker abilities onto people. There's no subtlety to it. She lays down a bunch of heavy truths, pushes Assault/Piggot/Brandish/whoever into a corner then essentially says "if you don't believe me, talk to Eidolon/Legend." And that's just repeated over and over. Maybe that's not true for the second half of the story, but it's true for everything I read, and I didn't really see any reason to continue.
  4. Heather_Sinclair

    Heather_Sinclair Chief Warlock

    Jan 19, 2008
    The Eighth Circle of Hell
    I liked it at first, because it was different from the typical 'moar powwwwwer!' fics that flood the fandom. I dropped it at whatever the Jack Slash arc is, mainly because it took so long between updates and I had to go back to reread in order to remember what was going on. It was annoying, plus I didn't like where the author was going with the characters by that point. Meh.

    It was something different.
  5. gamarad

    gamarad Fourth Year

    Jan 8, 2014
    Why does Taylor speak like such an obnoxious wierdo in this fic?

    "It's true, Shadow Stalker," I said. "Incidentally, your actions against me earlier this month were a violation of your probation. Doubly so, in light of the fact that those actions induced a Trigger Event. The Protectorate was quite eager to score points with me by sacrificing you." I met her eyes; my power told me where they were, despite the mask. "But I plead your case, on the condition that you be watched more closely. You're scum, but your power is useful, and if I'm being honest I'm rather grateful that a cape was involved--the academic literature suggests that that's what made me a partial Trump. Still, make no mistake, Sophia Hess: you remain free only so long as I want you free. Now sit down and shut up."

    The silence continued... But all the other heads in the room turned a little, eyes on Armsmaster, standing silently in the corner. He didn't react: no denial, no reprimand, not so much as a word. He simply continued to look straight ahead... And in its own way, that was damning.

    It reminds me of that copypasta where a navy seal shows up a smug professor and the whole lecture claps.

    So yeah, I'm dropping this.
  6. Cxjenious

    Cxjenious Dark Lord

    Aug 24, 2005
    It's gotten worse. I attempted to read the latest chapter but it's just too cheesy. And so much dialogue. 2/5