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Complete The Death God Alliance by Asilda - PJO

Discussion in 'Other Fandoms Review Board' started by Otters, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. Otters

    Otters Fifth Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Jun 8, 2010
    High Score:
    Title: The Death God Alliance
    Author: Asilda
    Rating: T
    Genre: Adventure
    Status: Complete
    Library Category: Other Fandoms
    Pairings: None
    Summary: "Sorry," said the son of Hades, "but if I surrendered to an organization called the House of Life, my dad would kill me." After a run in with the Kanes, Nico unwittingly ends up becoming a host for the Egyptian death god Anubis.
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5953965/1/The-Death-God-Alliance

    I read the first series of Percy Jackson books but never followed up with the others, which made me a bit hesitant to try this. My worries were completely unfounded. So far as I can tell, this picks up after the end of the first series, with Percy and Nico di Angelo as deuteragonists.

    The premise is that Nico accidentally gets caught in the cross-fire of a battle between a sect of Egyptian magicians and the Egyptian answer to demigods: instead of straight up descendants, they're hosts for powerful symbiotic spirits. Nico gets in trouble, and Percy runs after in an attempt to save him. Everyone seems pretty much in character, and everything that happens meshes well with my understanding of canon. There's a focus on the sibling relationship between Percy and Nico, emphasising the family connection which demigods often ignore.

    Even though I hadn't read any of the Egypt books, I was able to follow along easily enough. Undoubtedly I was lacking the context for certain things, but everything made sense within the context of this story, and that made it work.

    The prose is workmanlike, existing in that place where I wasn't spotting endless errors but was never blown away by the craftsmanship. This is the first of a series, and several other finished stories following on from this exist, but I haven't read those. It works as a self-contained story, with suggestions for what a larger overall plot arc could be and ideas introduced as the groundwork for later events. The author has deliberately modelled this after the way Riordan used this approach. It means that this is a complete work in its own right, rather than running out of steam and falling apart as the author's designs grew more ambitious over time. That kind of structuring is seldom seen in fanfiction - amateur writers and serial publication are anathema to it.

    It plays rather heavily into the lame and lazy trope of a protagonist getting in danger because of a situation which doubles as a threat to them and a source of a power boost, and then flopping about recovering from the effects instead of kicking ass and taking names. That usually bothers me, but with Percy playing second string as deuteragonist, we had an active character to make up for Nico's passiveness the rest of the time. It's a bit odd - Nico is painting as the protagonist in this, yet acts more like a secondary character despite him being so central to the plot. Percy acts more like the true protagonist in every way. Because I'm used to Percy as the sole protagonist, it didn't hurt my enjoyment of the fic, but it may well have done if the roles had been reversed, just as a result of my own preconceptions going in.

    I wouldn't call it a particularly special story in any way, but I'm going to try posting more readable fics for review instead of hiding them in megathreads because they're not perfect. Get some more content out there, instead of letting new recs dry up until the next surprise masterpiece is discovered. Plus, given the absolutely appalling state of stories in the Percy Jackson fandom, this one is alright in comparison. Not so much a diamond among zircons as a zircon in a heap of broken glass.

  2. Drachna

    Drachna Third Year

    Jun 22, 2016
    High Score:
    I liked this fic somewhat, but as you said, given the state of the Percy Jackson fandom I'll have to mark this higher then I would otherwise.

    3/5 on its own merits, 4/5 for a PJ fic
  3. Strangebloke

    Strangebloke First Year

    Jul 23, 2020
    TBH, its a 5/5 for the PJO fandom. Good character writing, original plotline, and decent humor? And its complete, having succeeded at what it set out to do???

    3/5 on the basis of it's prose, +0.5 for being a not-shit PJ fic and +0.5 for being complete. 4/5 overall but I'm sorely tempted to put it higher.