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WIP Mixed Feelings by Kittius - T - Worm

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by Nicovi, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. Nicovi

    Nicovi Fourth Year

    Mar 13, 2015
    Title: Mixed Feelings
    Author: Kittius
    Rating: T
    Genre: Action/Drama
    Chapters: 77
    Words: 712,290
    Status: WIP
    Fandom: Worm
    Summary: Our main character, an OC suffering from long term (non-sexual) child abuse by her militant racist father, triggers. Her problems only gets worse.
    Link: SB, AO3 (in order to avoid spoilers, new readers should stick to AO3 until they caught up).

    Longer official Summary: Astrid Berklow has problems, not least of which are a demanding father, an asshole brother, and the facts of life in Brockton fucking Bay. Triggering very publicly solves precisely none of these, but it does give her the opportunity to try to chart her own future, even as the baggage of her past still weighs her down.

    Mixed Feelings is a tale of abuse recovery, identity and superpowers, focusing on an original character in the Worm setting. This is a character-driven story exploring the Wards of Brockton Bay, the ordinary men and women working for the Parahuman Response Teams and the human cost of living in a town where the balance of force is tilted solidly towards the gangs. It begins a few months pre-canon and will end around canon start. Scion is Sir-Not-Appearing-In-This-Story.

    Why you should read it:
    Astrid's character development, although at times slow, is interesting and well made. She were raised as a racist homophobe, who only tries to get over the racist part. Both of these things have an impact on things.

    The interactions between characters are well thought out and often very engrossing and fun to read (with Glory Girl being the main exception imo).

    Most of the characters are very fleshed out and well presented.
    Anything Sofia and Clockblocker does is gold and the interactions between Astrid and Amy are adorable.
    Also Astrid has a brother who is a complete asshole. But that is fine, Astrid is one as well.

    Child protective services is a thing in this story, which swings both ways. Astrid's situation is being taken serious by adults and professionals, but it can at times get rather boring and repetitive.

    Backstories being properly hinted and presented, both in order to unveil the mess that is Astrid's psyche, and to develop the story.

    Action scenes are decent.

    Why you shouldn't read it:
    At times slow and repetitive. I lost count on how many times Astrid wonders if this will be the time she will be brought to a sound proof basement for discipline. Most issues I have with the story can probably be attributed to it having a realistic take on serious situations, which takes time to deal with.

    Also the child abuse thingy, but then again this is dlp and things are placed in order of importance.

    At least Almost Recommended, while passively aggressively edging library material.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
  2. Dresden11

    Dresden11 Fifth Year

    Oct 7, 2014
    I remember starting this story some years ago and being very interested because even then there were hundreds of thousands of words for it. I got around to power testing with the PRT before I had to quit. This may well be the most boring fanfiction I have ever read. It just went on and on and on some more about stuff that really didn't matter, and it wouldn't stop.

  3. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Chief Warlock DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

    Oct 16, 2010
    Ok so I know this fic by reputation. I tried the first chapter ages ago, and it was really well written, but I didn't progress futher. It's almost a million words long and that's a big investment. Further, I understand that the author writes in discrete, well researched arcs, so you're basically reading a ton of different stories with this one MC running through as she's deprogrammed from being raised by Neo Nazies. It's heavy stuff. And as I say I've not read it (or its like 100k power testing story).

    Here's the story I want to recc:
    Interlude 4a - 4e.
    This bears almost no relationship to the 'main story' of Mixed Feelings, barring the very very ending, where there's a reference or two to a character that you don't know if you've not read Astrid's fic in the whole. It doesn't matter. This is, without a doubt, one of the best character studies for not-much explored characters in Worm.

    Summary: A retelling of Battery and Assault from the moment they meet, start working together, to when they're married. In worm canon, it's a single interlude story, and we kinda' assume they're happily married (Wildbow, after having the worrying dynamics under which they interact and marry has said this was an unintentional subtext since, and I think in Ward in his Dauntless interlude, he walks it back a little, recontextualising it). In this 'short story within a story', Battery is gaslighted, and it's the best gaslighting in fiction I've read. I was pro-Battery and Assault at the start, by the end my complete understanding of their characterisation that I carry forward into anything I read that involves them is completely altered. I can't see them as a positive couple, or Assault as a positive figure.

    It's one of those stories where after you read it, it becomes part of your headcanon. Like it's a worm companion piece.

    As a male, getting me to really 'feel' the 'woman being pursued when she doesn't want to be', like the visceral unease and displeasure of it, when everyone else is treating it like hollywood romance makes it 5/5. Read it. It's a 60k story. It's basically its own novel.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
  4. soczab

    soczab Professor

    Feb 1, 2016
    High Score:
    Ive not read the whole story but i have read several hundred thousand words of it. It ultimately imo suffers from bloat. Theres parts of it that are very good, and storylines I was interested in, but the length makes it drag on at times too (and as someone indicated get repetitive with the main characters crisis. Some of the personal crisis are confronted dozens of times. Realistic to real life perhaps but repetitive to read). I think there's probably a 4 or 5 star story of 300k or less words in there, but only 3 stars at its current length.

    Or put it another way. It was good enough to get me to commit to several hundred k words of reading. But not good enough that I finished it.
  5. aleph

    aleph First Year

    Jan 27, 2016
    High Score:
    Gotta go with 2.5/5 for basically the same reasons as soczab. There's a good story buried somewhere in all the bloat, but the pacing is just intolerable. The infamous power-testing side-story was mentioned above, but I'd just like to note for the record that it's 166k words of the main character testing her powers... That's just absurd. The author at least made it a separate side-story that can be easily skipped, but it's emblematic of this fic's massive pacing problem.

    It's frustrating, because I found Astrid's character and backstory interesting and enjoyed a lot of the character interactions in the part that I read prior to dropping it, but the bloat and glacial forward progress make it a rather unsatisfying story.

    Edit: Interlude 4 is definitely well-written and nicely self-contained, as long as you don't mind a depressing read. It's an interesting recontextualization, but it took some logical leaps and twisted facts to make it work, from what I recall.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
  6. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

    Jan 6, 2009
    The South
    Can we get another review on this before it moves out of For Review?
  7. esran

    esran Professor

    May 19, 2013
    I enjoyed it, except that large parts were long and boring. Some of the character interpretations are odd or cringy, but I wouldn't mind if the character interactions weren't so repetitive. Sometimes an odd or cringy character is okay, but not when we see a repeat of the same interaction 5 times. 3/5

    I skipped most of the power testing arc, but from what I read it would be 1/5