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WIP How I Learned to Stop Hating and Love the Bomb That is Nero by OnlineImothep -M- Worm

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by Nemrut, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage ~ Prestige ~

    Aug 9, 2009
    Department of Post-Mortem Communications
    High Score:
    Title: How I Learned to Stop Hating and Love the Bomb That is Nero
    Author: OnlineImothep
    Rating: T or M
    Genre: Humour/Historic Insert
    Status: In Progress
    Fandom: Worm
    Pairings: Nothing yet
    Summary: Nero is reborn as Emma's older sister.
    Link: It's on Spacebattles, but you can read the story without reading the comments.

    Okay, so, the summary is probably a big red flag for most, but here is why you should give it a try. Yes, it is not true to Worm in spirit, tone or plot at all. However, you will have a blast reading this. It is not a serious story.

    Nero is just such a joy to read about. She is insane, racist, elitist, arrogant, misogynistic, cruel, dismissive and a lot of other bad things, but damn it, she is just so damn likeable while being...herself. The way she perceives the world and others in it is just really interesting. The way it is written is really engaging.

    You get sucked in into the insanity that is Nero, as she, riddled by paranoia and pure arrogance goes through her everyday life, thinking herself so perfect and subtle, yet the occasional glimpse on her via others, such as Taylor, who does play a role, just shows what is truly going on.

    And yet you get the occasional sweet moment, such as between her and others, such as Emma. Immediately followed by an offhand insult to a random group of people, considering them inferior to Romans and their way of life.

    There is no real plot, not really. It's just Nero living her life. It is an unusual story, I'll admit, but it is just pure fun, at least it was for me. It gets somewhat regular updates, last one was roughly a month ago, I believe.
  2. TMNTurtwig

    TMNTurtwig Professor

    Oct 9, 2011
    Love this story; It's my current favorite Worm fanfiction. you'd think the humor style and Nero would get old after a few chapters, but OnlineImhotep manages to keep it fresh and great throughout most to all of the fic. An easy 4/5 with the potential to be a 5/5.

    A few things are kind of cliche'd, especially Nero calling Taylor a "Blessed by Minerva" and holding her in such high regard (though that one's been somewhat dialed back in recent updates) and Nero's power which is probably a little too strong that it extends to all liquids instead of just water.
  3. Hachi

    Hachi Death Eater

    Sep 5, 2010
    In the Zone
    It got old quickly for me, tbh. I can't rate it more than 3/5 when the last chapters are such a bore.

    The concept is interesting though, and the writing decent. It's just that the humour wears out after a while, and there is no plot to sustain the story.

    Should have been a one shot, imo.
  4. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

    Apr 4, 2008
    This was hilarious, and is probably the best new worm fic I've read in recent times. Not that that's saying much given the state of the fandom as of late, but I'd still rate 4/5.
  5. Mutton

    Mutton Unspeakable

    Feb 20, 2011
    This story started off kind of funny, but more than that, it had a huge amount of potential for basically being the story of a villain. Nero is "asylum patient that thinks they're Jesus" nuts with little moral center and it's actually interesting to watch her interact with the world while realizing that from an outside point of view she's a mass murdering psychopath. Kind of like a sympathetic American Psycho. But instead we get hand waving to remove any elements that might move forward some sort of plot (such as the gun or the massacre) and Taylor is shoe horned in for no reason.

    I want Nero to feed an ATM the metaphorical stray cat. She's basically a prime target for Jack and the S9 to recruit or to have to deal with the suspicions of the PRT. It's a whole different kind of villain protagonist from Taylor, but the refusal of the author to treat it as such undermines the story. I get the want to just write a fun cracky story, but that was kind of over once Nero pulled the equivalent of a stealthy school shooting, not to mention a waste of the interesting drama surrounding the Barnes family.

    Fuck this story is frustrating.
  6. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

    Feb 13, 2008
    I still enjoy each and every update. Nero's narrative is just so damn fun to read that it never seems to get boring, despite very little actually happening.

    I think what keeps it in balanced is that she's dismissive and disdainful to people and things, but then equally respectful or appreciative of other people due to her Roman beliefs (like her father, and the laws of society).

    One of my favourite twists was what happened when she became a cape. You expect she'll start her campaign to become an Emperor, forcing the plot to change to a more action orientated one. But then she asks permission from her Dad, and he says no. And she obeys, because good Roman daughters obey their father.

    It's also fun how much she misreads her father's actions. Like he takes the same route to school everyday because obviously he has made other arrangements to stop assassins, and is testing her by acting confused about it all.

    I agree with @TMNTurtwig on the "Blessed by Minerva" thing. While I don't mind her being friends with Taylor, it seemed completely forced and Taylor exhibited no traits that would appeal to Nero at that point.

    Anyway, a fic like this can never really be a 5/5, but for its concept, it's a near perfect in my opinion. 4/5.
  7. Quiddity

    Quiddity Headmaster

    Apr 14, 2014
    New Zealand
    Enjoy this a lot, especially the slice of life style. I actually wished that

    Nero wouldn't trigger

    But spacebattles made that inevitable. It's lost a touch of its shine since then, as Nero becomes a bit too OP, but if you can look past that and just focus on Nero interacting with the world than it's a fun story.
  8. Iztiak

    Iztiak Prisoner

    Dec 4, 2006
    What an absolutely terrible title. Seriously.

    At any rate, I didn't find it funny, and even if it had been funny originally, dragging the same joke on for page after page doesn't make it more funny.

    Additionally, the writing quality leaves a lot to be desired.

    I really don't like this story.
  9. Katricia

    Katricia DA Member

    Sep 11, 2009
    United States
    This thread finally got me to read this.

    I spent a decent portion of then night dying of laughter and reading choice quotes aloud to my roommate.

    4/5, for sheer humor value.
  10. Vira

    Vira Second Year ~ Prestige ~

    Dec 20, 2006
    High Score:
    This is a fun story with a charming protagonist, but I'm not sure where it's heading. Crack has never interested me so I'm not that invested in it, but it's a good time waster.

  11. ElaraSilk

    ElaraSilk Squib

    Oct 1, 2015
    High Score:
    I love-love-loved the first few chapters of this. Nero is charmingly bonkers, if you must write Worm fic in Brockton Bay then this is at least a fresh approach, and the prose is competent.

    It has now lost my interest, however, I think because the unreliability of the narrator and wackiness of the shenanigans overwhelm plot progression.

    3/5 for me, the first couple of chapters were 5/5.
  12. esran

    esran Professor

    May 19, 2013
    I read it until Nero triggered, and it was all around crap. 1/5.
  13. Newcomb

    Newcomb Minister of Magic

    Sep 28, 2013
    The Evergreen State

    It's not... bad, I guess? I think this fic has a very firm idea about what it's trying to do, and it's doing that.

    The problem is I don't like a lot of what it's trying to do.


    Every 15th or 20th joke or so is pretty funny. I got a chuckle out of Nero's lines about feeding Christians to lions, and the "she may call it cinnamon; I call it poison" thing with her mom's pancakes.

    Nero's voice is well-articulated.

    The dichotomy between Nero's inner life and the outer world is strong and occasionally subtle and interesting.

    The idea itself is pretty off the wall but in a good way? Never really seen anything like this, and it could have been /so/ bad.


    It's not really funny enough for it to be so one-note. The joke gets old after a while. YMMV, but for me it got old pretty fast.

    It's told almost entirely in description. Tell, tell, tell, tell. I had to drop it when it switched to Taylor's PoV and Taylor had all these amazing insights into Nero, recalling interactions and moments and situations that were never on-screen. It's just the absolute laziest type of character building ever.

    Nero is mostly compelling, but it frequently veers off into "bullshit I don't care about, at all" land. Like, when she's thinking about how cell phones work and how Roman commanders would have liked to have them in battle. Like... okay? That's relevant to anything how? That advances the plot how? That's a funny and thoughtful anecdote that's going to make me like or relate to Nero's character how? It's just... filler.

    The writing's not bad, but Nero's language and character voice have a very distinct feeling and tone that sometimes just gets dropped for modern language. You could make the argument that she's adapting to modern times, yadda yadda yadda, but it's still a bit jarring. It feels like the author is dropping the curtain a bit and just commenting on his/her own story when Nero's internal monologue slips like that.

    No real plot to speak of. Maybe it picks up later? I stopped after the first Taylor PoV; the "nah, I'll just tell you what happened instead of showing you, that's more interesting, right?" attitude was the last straw.

    I'd normally say 2/5, but I give this a point for sheer novelty. It's definitely worth trying out to see if Nero's voice really tickles your personal funny bone. If you're mild-to-medium on the humor like I was, you'll probably get bored with it, but if it happens to resonate with you, this will probably be a hidden gem you'll love. For me...

  14. Orm Embar

    Orm Embar Auror

    Mar 18, 2008
    On the shores of Selidor
    The writing is technically sound and Nero's numerous idiosyncrasies can prove amusing, but ultimately it fluctuates between seriousness and comedy too frequently to excel at either, and elements like Nero's incessant monologue and friendship with Taylor feel forced. The premise isn't exploited to the degree that it could be, and not much of significance has really happened yet; for the reincarnation of a Roman Emperor, Nero is awfully content to sit around and not engage with other parahumans.

  15. yak

    yak Moderator DLP Supporter Retired Staff

    Jul 28, 2007
    I enjoy this. The humour agrees with me. Nero's a great unreliable narrator.

    I don't much like any of the other characters, including Taylor and Sophia. Emma's sort of alright though.

    The plot is a bit unsteady. We don't really know what's going on. I don't like that Nero's been able to kill so many people and that no one's twigged to it yet.

    except Sophia?
  16. Puzzled

    Puzzled High Inquisitor

    Jul 24, 2014
    Every time it updates I read it. Nero is gleefully insane and there are a few jokes each chapter that I laugh at. Its crack yes, but the author knows what he wants and is doing it.
  17. andy50

    andy50 Groundskeeper

    May 6, 2013
    I actually really enjoyed it. Reading about her insanity and her relationship with emma was interesting to say the least. I'm tempted to give it a 5/5 for how much i enjoyed it but the story had its fault. The rambling at some parts was way too long. I get your trying to portray an insane characters but it was just tiring to read and not particular interesting. The turtle was just silly and didn't really add much. I hope plot actually starts developing soon, this slice of life thing is interesting but can only work for so long.

    As for the humor.. it has it's moments. Not the funniest work i have come across but some of the jokes got a laugh out of me.

    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  18. Biigoh

    Biigoh First Year

    Jan 18, 2015
    I have to give it a 4/5. This is one of those stories, you'll either love or you'll hate or something like that.

    And yes, Nero is a COMPLETELY unreliable narrator.
  19. Mercenary

    Mercenary Snake Eater

    Aug 10, 2006
    Its a refreshing change from the norm of "Taylor gets X." or "Random SI #2465 gets power and is in Bay now."

    Best viewed as a kind of slice of life Worm fic.

  20. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage ~ Prestige ~

    Aug 9, 2009
    Department of Post-Mortem Communications
    High Score:
    This got several updates, the latest of which didn't show up as a notification on SB because it was entirely in quotes.

    The last few chapters before the newest had been a bit lackluster, but the latest chapter, the emails from Armsmaster were actually enjoyable again. Hopefully, it's back to its old form.