Obligative Reviews

Before we begin properly, I got two gifts for Ladystuck!

Jack: Fail to Ascend (BQ, Jack)

Wonderfully cathartic, and I love the expression on Jack’s head!

Stars and Shadow

“They finally manage to find a position that works for them when he sits on the throne and she straddles him, and it’s enjoyable right until the moment he opens his mouth and tries to order her around, at which point he loses his throne privileges entirely.”

Their drunken attempts at dealing with each other are all hilarious but this wins for Jack never knowing when to stop. And aww, happy Derse! Basking in the glow of their successful genocide/universe murder, so cute.

So go appreciate those. As is the customary compromise, further Ladystuck reviews when I get to them one day.

Your author notes really confuses more
than it clarifies – I don’t know what the “Carl Barks
continuity” involves beyond that by implication it doesn’t quite
get along with the movie canon, and googling doesn’t shed any light
on it, and then you proceed to list changes from the thing I don’t
know anything about. I really think you’d have been better off just
writing the fic and mentioning stuff when it comes up. Or if the
secondary continuity is important, list what stuff you’re importing
Also [I do not wish any children older
than 14 to read this, for it contains heavy language.]
Think you mean younger, and you’d be
better suited just warning for language so people can make their own
decisions, telling kids to stay out is counterproductive.
[and then deposited a voluminous amount
of vomit into its depths. ]
One of the things I notice is that your
vocabulary doesn’t seem a good fit for how I remember the characters
talking in the movie. You seem to be working to make the sentences
clever but it’s distracting because it’s so different than how any of
them sound when they’re talking or thinking to themselves.
[True, she probably could have afforded
that most modern of ocean-crossing luxuries, an airplane, but she was
terrified at the thought of what would happen to her if the plane
should come apart in the air. After all, it was very new technology
and had not been tested by many. True, Charles Lindbergh had managed
to fly a good distance in one, and true, she would have several
guards on her with her on the most safe and well-put together model
of the day, but the technology was so new that she could not help but
fear that it might crash into the sea and who knows what terrors
hauint the sea? Perhaps a shiver of sharks would devour every member
of the crew once they had fallen into the plane, or perhaps the plane
might crash right above an iceberg, in which case she would fall
directly on top of it and surely break most of her bones? ]
This is all just incredibly ridiculous.
People were afraid of planes because they might crash and then
everyone would die. Guards don’t matter and she wouldn’t be listing a
bunch of possibilities that sound more like shipwreck scenarios. And
why even go on about this in such detail?
[Also, while she was there, she could
check up to make sure her restaurant was being run properly, as she
had last come back to find it being run in a most disagreeable and
unprofessional fashion ]
I really don’t think her idea of her
restaurant is technically owning a restaurant on paper but not
running it in any way. I’d sooner believe she was running one as a
side job while queen in her new country.
[She was lucky enough to get a job
working as a waitress at a restaurant at age 17. ]
This seems a really late age to start
at, especially given how poor she is and how obsessed she is with her
[Naveen and all “true”
Maldonians worshiped Bolda, the god of Maldonia). ]
…Uh, then shouldn’t that have been a
huge deal when he showed up, rather than just the prince thing? How
does this all figure into the fact they were hit by magic spells
powered by various spirits and know those exist?
[Besides, you suffer from seasickness.
Why would you wish to come on deck?” ]
Because it’s worse throwing up in your
room? Or she wanted fresh air? Unless her room is in just the right
location, it’s probably not going to be too different in terms of
motion. If she’s healthy enough to be walking around it doesn’t seem
like she’s in any danger from seasickness, anyway.
[“I will. And I don’t fucking need
you two jackasses to escort me.”]
The swearing really seems to have come
out of nowhere. And then she keeps doing it.
[Tiana listened, and heard him cutting
the doorknob off with his knife.
Tiana was filled with shock and horror
as she heard the noise. “Hey, you can’t leave me locked in here!
Ah, applesauce!” Tiana cried.]
Okay, so now they’re being
psychotically controlling to the point of abuse. Also for some reason
you’ve flipped to kiddie not-swears.
[Tiana sighed and lay back on the bed.
The King of Maldonia was more powerful than the Queen, she knew that.
She regretted having lost her temper like that. They were only
following orders, after all. Besides, Naveen was right. ]
What the hell? Aside from this actually
endangering her, since when is she the sort of person to accept her
husband being allowed to lock her away at will?
[The voyage took 5 days to complete,
and Tiana was not allowed to leave her room for one minute of it. She
almost went mad twice, but the guards came in and reassured her both
times, and she bore no ill will against them, although she decided
she was to give her husband a thorough scolding the moment she could
find a phone to place a call to Maldonia. ]
The word you’re looking for is divorce.
Divorce her husband. This is insane.
[She could not believe Tiana had become
the Queen of a foreign nation, especially considering her color ]
The racial aspect of this seems kind of
hamhanded. I can’t exactly say to follow the Disney route of just
ignoring it as hard as you can, since that’s got its own issues, but
this feels like it’s too far in the opposite direction, especially
when Naveen is dark-skinned.
[who was dolled up in (I WOULD
Don’t do this.
[“Well, frankly, Lottie, I don’t
like how Al Jolson uses blackface to demean negroes.” ]
This seems anachronistic. Blackface
being terrible took a long time to crystallize, and since it has your
readers could probably work out what’s behind it if Tiana just says
she doesn’t enjoy blackface.
And now Lottie appears to be insane.
The movie showed her growing up a bit, so why is she a thousand times
worse now?
Huh, and now the characters are
pointing out this doesn’t make sense, so I guess it’s for a reason?
But then the reason appears to just be that she’s drunk.
And now the villains. I’m not really
sure what’s going on because it’s unclear when they’re talking about
the original plan and when they aren’t, since the only reference to a
schedule is the kill every July plan, but that one seems like the one
being called idiotic (and I can’t understand why advance warning
would ever seem like a good idea, even to an idiot).
Also, is the old guy supposed to being
referred to as a group? You keep saying y’all.
…and that’s it? And yet it’s marked
complete. You refer to this as an “episode”, but it’s
functionally a first chapter – things are introduced but not
developed let alone resolved.
[I’m not sure if it really did take 3
days for such a trip. I was just estimating. If anyone has the real
amount of days a journey like that would take (from Louisiana to
Romania), I’d appreciate it. ]
You could find this out by googling.
Then the last bit is talking directly
to another author in what looks like it’s a reply about something
else. That sort of thing shouldn’t be here at all – PM them if you
want to talk.


Since you wanted me to jump to the end
here, it’s a bit hard to tell if what’s going on is meant to build on
something or if it’s pointless, but the opening seems pretty
content-free. Ash and Dawn are apparently together to some degree,
and maybe this is new development. But then you spend a third of the
story on Ash watching snippets of other pokemon battles that’s just
“Pokemon used Move on Other Pokemon! Now on to Different Pokemon
used Different Move on Yet Another Pokemon!”
Pokemon battles are difficult to make
entertaining at the best of times because they’re something that’s
very dramatic on the surface but is being done for little or no
stakes – a loss just means nothing’s changed yet, because you can
always try again. Taking that setup and using it to show moments in
the battles of complete strangers is incredibly boring.
Dawn, thank god, finally brings that to
a halt by being bossy, and Ash complains about this. Since I’m not
sure where their relationship was last chapter, I’ll guess this isn’t
business as usual but showing they’re developing friction. Then more
of that. And now Ash has met some guy and they’re discussing a video
game of version of pokemon battles in intense detail, because I guess
you thought fictional battles weren’t boring enough and decided they
needed another layer of pointlessness. And it’s really just a
description of our game because you want to avoid having anything at
all be interesting about the focal point of the scene. Then they have
an actual battle because the guy says they should. It’s inconclusive
and there’s no sign it’d matter what the outcome was anyway.
[“So what does this mean?”
“It means nothing. We had our
battle, and we drew.” Styles got up, careful not to move too
suddenly. “Until we meet again,” he said. He then walked
away leaving Ash alone on the battlefield.
“Okay…” Ash trailed off.
After a few minutes of going over what just happened, he went to go
and find Dawn.]Not even Ash seems to care about it. Why are
you bothering to show scenes that don’t even matter to the people in
the story?

And now he’s going to where Dawn is
doing the super interesting lying around in a bathing suit.
Apparently they’re not only not in a relationship but Ash is still in
the what are girls stage. Also still falling for Team Rocket
Then the final scene is Ash recapping
all the not-events of the chapter, and Brock figures out Dawn likes
him but because explaining that would come perilously close to this
chapter mattering, he doesn’t.
I was leery when you said that you
wanted me to review a “filler” chapter since filler is by
definition something that’s just a waste of everyone’s time, but I
was hoping you didn’t mean that and were using it to mean, say,
downtime or independent subplot or whatever. But this really did live
up to the meaning of being full of words that are just there to fill
space. You’re not getting paid by the word here, there’s never any
reason to spend time dragging fanfic out. Words, scenes, chapters,
everything should be adding something new.
I am really baffled how anyone could
think it was a good idea to specifically ask me to review this
chapter, especially after review month of all times which is full of
complaints about nothing happening.


  1. Niesse says:
    The thing that always gets me about the new words people coin for “girl with whatever-coloured hair” is that they’re using the wrong language! We say brunette, not brownette. So a blue-haired girl should be a bleuette, a green-haired girl should be a vertette, that sort of thing.

    Everyone always underestimates Mewtwo, don’t they?

    1. Farla says:
      I can see why they underestimate him – he’s in a power class of his own, so you can’t easily use him in a story where he needs other people’s help. But it’s terribly lazy.
    2. purplekitte says:
      Ooh, I like that idea for hair colors. I don’t mind people doing it on principle, and that’s much more fitting considering the words we already have.
  2. SophieSummer says:
    I think I’d like to see some of the things you pointed out here if it was in a parody story. For example, if the writer was pointing out how things the characters need are often conveniently there, and there was a narrator always explaining the obvious like the people in the games or whatever. However, here it comes off as lazy.
    1. Farla says:
      It can be done well, but even in parody it’s generally not. Usually the story’s still as badly constructed, just now with the author going LOL THAT SURE WAS BADLY DONE now and then.

  3. Ember says:
    What do you think of A/B/O in general?
    1. Farla says:
      It is sort of interesting from a worldbuilding perspective, but in practice it ends to involve some combination of being a way of having a world where women don’t exist, creepy gender politics, and very, very depressing, what with the incredible power differences and being controlled by hormones. There are some porn tropes that are really horrible if you take them literally, and regularly going into heat turns out to be one. And I saw one once that had the omegas being the dominant half, but it was ruined by at the same time making the alphas still stand-ins for real world males, so it ended up going halfway into Why Misandry Is The Real Problem.

      That Madoka one was cute, though!

      1. Koby says:
         You mean the Puella Magi Madoka Magica one? It was brilliant. It was also quite unapologetic in eventually having Homura take advantage of Madoka’s omega status, and having Mami note how creepy and stalker-ish Homura’s obsession is, and defend Madoka against it. It was very self-aware of the problems in that world, I feel (and it had Madoka’s mom as alpha, which was brilliant).
        1. Ember says:
           I’ve never seen this.  Link?
        2. Farla says:
          It’s just not Homura fic if it doesn’t involve her slow loss of morality as she goes crazy under the strain.
  4. Septentrion Euchoreutes says:
    I’m a bit worried that the pokemon author said that chapter was the hardest one to write. I think he had a school assignment mentality. For me, the hardest chapters to write are the ones with fight scenes, but those are not typically RPG/fanfic pokemon fight scenes.

    I fear that those frictionless fight descriptions are what writers try to aim for in the fandom. I do find good fight scenes every once in a while, but those authors are the exception. I do notice the good battle writers tend to be a lot more sparse in their stories with battles, and it’s probably because they require so much thought and planning, but those scenes are worth it.

    “I am really baffled how anyone could think it was a good idea to specifically ask me to review this chapter, ”

    This confuses me as well. I would be very careful with how I would use an obligatory review. I wouldn’t know what to do with it. Even just aiming for a positive review with my proudest work might be insufficient compared to a critical review of a new concept.

    1. Farla says:
      Well, a lot of pokemon authors work that way, pokefics can be very rigid and people stick to a formula no matter how boring it is.
  5. Cathleen says:
    Interesting that you were requested to review a Princess and the Frog story. I read that one a year or so back and… you HAVE to review the second one, “Election Year”. It SCREAMS for a Farla review. Trust me.
    1. Farla says:
      The impression I got is that the Princess and the Frog people are working off some shared fanon I’m not aware of. It makes it hard to understand.
      1. Cathleen says:
        No, only that person made his stories directly follow another writer’s story in chronology. And he apparently did this after having an enormous argument with said author when he ranted about all the flaws in said stories, and this resulted in him getting blocked. I kid you not!

        The story you were assigned to review takes place soon after the other author’s fic ended. However, that story was good and resolved and nothing in it really affected the canon much besides Tiana and Naveen becoming King and Queen after Naveen’s father died.
        Everything else that relates to that story is explicitly retold for new readers.

        And Election Year is really terrible and Farla snark-worthy and you just HAVE to review it.

        1. Ember says:
          Farla doesn’t usually take requests from third parties. If something gets a Farla review, it’s either because she’s blanket-bombing a certain section of an archive or because the author themselves requested it, as was the case here.
          1. Cathleen says:
            Well, all right, but If I were Farla, I’d make an exception because this story is really snark-worthy. I mean, the author requested the first one so he hasn’t blocked her yet, has he?
            1. Farla says:
              It sounds like you’re way more qualified to do this. I really don’t know much about the fandom or what’s been doing on there.
              1. Cathleen says:
                No, no. It’s like I said. You don’t need to know ANYTHING about the fandom or the author’s personal history in order to spork this fic. Everything that you need to critique it is right there in plain sight.

                Here is the link:


              2. W. Stock says:
                I thank you for fulfilling the request, and I have no objection to a review of Election Year.

                I will note only that Facilier did use “y’all” incorrectly to refer to one person in the movie. I was reflecting that aspect of his manner of speaking.

              3. W. Stock says:
                Your inferiority complex is showing.
              4. Farla says:
                So are you going somewhere with this or what?

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