This time, I’m going to try another experiment: There are several fics that, while good, are very long. I’m not sure when I’ll find time to read them all the way to the end, but it doesn’t seem fair to leave them unmentioned when I’ve already read and enjoyed at least twice the amount of text that many completed fics would have.
So, here are three very long fics that I’m still working through:
- Living an Indoctrinated Dream by Aberron
- Length: 1,088,123 words (and counting)
Fandom: Mass Effect
My Progress: chapter 53 of 89
- Let’s start off with a do-over/Peggy Sue fic… one featuring The Illusive Man.
- What makes this fic special is threefold: The characterization, the degree to which the author is willing to flesh out the cast to show off said characterization, and good use of intrigue.
- Aberron really writes an interesting and sympathetic Jack Harper and pairs him up with a cast of original characters (both major and minor) who are enjoyable in their own right. (Such as the daughters he winds up having and the minor mention of one of their friends… a volus who’s a hardcore extranet MMO player.)
- I wasn’t taking notes while reading it, so I don’t feel comfortable writing a full review, but it was quite engaging and I didn’t stop at chapter 53 because I lost interest… I stopped because, as is typical, I burned out on it after multiple days of spending my leisure time doing nothing but reading the same fic. I’ll come back to it sooner or later.
- Probably a 4.5 out of 5 rating, but a final verdict will have to wait until I’ve caught up.
- Re:Gamer by Akallas von Aerok
- Length: 421,851 words (and counting)
Fandom: Naruto, Re:Monster
My Progress: chapter 76 of 115
- First, I should be clear in saying that I’ve never read Re:Monster, so I don’t know how much of the fic is the author’s original creation and how much is just taken from the source material.
- That said, coming in from the Naruto side, it’s certainly interesting and entertaining… and that’s usually the point authors fail on when copying too heavily from canon.
- Again, one I didn’t think to take notes on. The gist of the story is “Take Re:Monster and substitute Naruto as the main protagonist” and, given Naruto’s canonical goals (become Hokage, protect his precious people), it fits surprisingly well.
- This story, I temporarily stopped reading not because I burned out on it per se, but because I was only mildly in the mood for a Re:Monster story to begin with and other events in my life distracted me with more appealing options. I do still plan to come back and finish it when I’m in the mood again.
- I’d rate this at 4.0 out of 5 and it shows no signs that my verdict will change when I read further.
- Dreaming of Sunshine by Silver Queen
- Length: 684,229 words (and counting)
My Progress: chapter 63 of 143
- First, let me admit that this fic is actually the reason I don’t have a normal review this week. I am working on a review… I just can’t complete it until I catch up… so, here’s a summary of the relevant bits of the draft:
- The story is a self-insert, but one novel enough that TV Tropes claims it’s got quite a bit of fame in the fandom.
- As a concept, the main character is Shikamaru’s twin sister. She’s smarter than in her previous life (which causes a moment of emotional distress when she realizes that), but not as brilliant as her brother. Her memories of Naruto as a work of fiction have faded, and she lacks any kind of special SI powers.
- What results from that is an entertaining story which I can certainly believe to have earned acclaim.
- For one thing, It does the most impressive job I’ve ever seen of coming up with explanations for oddities in Naruto canon that you then want to add to your own headcanon.
- More generally, Instead of stomping all over canon, it’s a story as much about the heroine’s inner struggle as her outward actions. She becomes a ninja… because it’s her only chance to possibly gain sufficient self defense skill after she paints herself into a corner career-wise.
- In relation to canon events, she walks a tightrope where she makes the details novel, while the broad strokes seem to remain unchanged… and that fact worries her to no end. At the same time, she has some delightfully snarky mental MST3K-esque reactions to canon people, places, and events.
- So far, I’d rate it as a 4.7 out of 5 because it gets all the technicals very right, but I’m still likely to only ever read it once for some inexplicable reason. (Compared to NGE: Nobody Dies, which I read as it was coming out, re-read a few years ago, and am considering re-reading again, despite it being nearly 600,000 words long.)