That’s right, Dave’s back with more fan fiction reviews. After my previous post on the topic where I commented on how fan fiction output seemed to be down; it really seems the rate of posting has picked up again. Maybe it was just a seasonal or random trend. After the jump I have a few recommendations for this late season break.
You’d think after doing this for so many months I’d be about out of suggestions; but really, not yet. The Chuck fan community is truly blessed with a number of creative and talented amateur writers. As I’ve said before, there is quite a range of age and skill levels involved. I’m not going to claim everything I recommend is professional quality, but a surprising amount of it is, or pretty darn close. What I will promise is; every story I recommend is a lot of fun if you’re a Chuck fan with taste like mine (gee, did I really just promise nothing?). Those of you familiar with my regular comments on the show will know that means some combination fun and exciting. And things will end (mostly) well for Chuck and Sarah without any great damage done to our favorite characters.
My first recommendation this time is for an “in progress” work. It is “The Revenge of The Bartowski” by Nervert. This is a sequel to “Chuck vs. The Pacific Northwest” which I previously recommended very highly. That previous piece really is one of the best of the best. This AU breaks from canon after Fake Name, but don’t let that scare you off. The writer takes considerably more care in restoring things that went wrong than canon ever did. The current story starts with Chuck and Sarah in a secret relationship. They know Shaw is crooked and are trying to bring him down, but he is still a part of their team, so this will get tricky.
The strengths of this writer are many. He handles tension and action well; he has a nice touch with the main characters and their relationship, making it funny and sweet in equal measure; and he even manages to do some pretty good things with Sarah and Ellie, while pushing Sarah way outside of her comfort zone. And as I mentioned elsewhere, I would like to nominate Nervert for a special award for “Worst Sarah Walker Birth Name Ever.” And if you missed the hint, that means even post- Fake Name, this Shaw knows nothing!
So far this story could be read in a couple of hours, and would be rated PG-13 for some adult situations.
My second recommendation will be a very old story. It is “Chuck vs. The Missing Memories” by Ersk4. I have previously recommended stories by ersk4, and I even have the writer tagged as a favorite on my own page; but I know nothing about him/her, except that I like almost everything they’ve written. This particular story starts with Chuck awakening from a coma in hospital, surrounded by friends and family; except he doesn’t recognize the beautiful blonde sitting by his bedside. Chuck thinks it’s 2006, and he seems to have misplaced the last 10 years.
Yeah I know, we’ve all seen amnesia stories before. I’ve even recommended one here before! This story basically gives us a snapshot of Chuck’s life in the future, through his own disbelieving eyes. It breaks from canon early in S2, so there’s no Intersect 2.0 or misery arc to worry about. It can be read in about 2 hours and would be rated PG. (just a heads up; this is different from “Chuck vs. the Missing Years” by Malamoo. Which is also an excellent story, is also on my favorites list, has been recommended by me here before, and starts in a similar manner! The two stories play out very differently)
I try to recommend one-shots when I do these lists; they are simpler stories and much faster reads. So this time I’ll mention “Bridezilla vs. the Extreme Wedding” by MyNameIsJeffNImLost. The title alone gives a good explanation of what this is about. This is just pure silly fun. We won’t find any deep character analysis or intricate plot points here. This is Sarah running her wedding, her way, plain and simple. Very funny stuff, and you might even feel a little sorry for Lester… nah, probably not.
Bridezilla can be read in about 20 minutes and would be rated PG, only because Carina is in it.
A few on-going works continue. “The Long Brick Road” by billandbrick has been updating faithfully every Thursday morning. When last we left them, Chuck and Sarah, and Cole and Ellie, have been living off the grid together for about a week and accidentally (yeah, we can blame Chuck as always) discovered an evil plot by drug lords that they will need to deal with while staying hidden.
On a very similar note; “Chuck and Sarah vs. Themselves” by Ninjavanish is down to its last few chapters, and is in a very similar spot; with Chuck and Sarah hiding off grid together when Chuck discovers an assassination plot. So they will need to save the president anonymously. This is really one of the great epics of fan fiction, and would require a time commitment like one was reading a novel. With only four chapters to go (and the next one already in beta) its a safe bet this will get finished.
Frea O’Scanlin, who is no stranger to this site, also posted an update to “What Fates Impose” a few days ago. But those have become few and far between, hopefully she’ll find time to finish that great work up soon!
As always, everything I recommend can be found by following the links under the fan fiction header on our side bar. My own favorites list is getting pretty long. But I have had many hours of fun putting it together.