It’s been a while. There are a few reasons for that, but let’s stick with Dave is lazy. That’s a pretty good catch-all I think. Production of new fan fiction works does seem to be off just now. I think there were two days last week where not a single story I follow was updated. That may be a post S2 record! But some of the new stories coming out are as good as any we’ve ever seen. So after the jump, I’ll take a look at few stories I’m reading that I’d like to share.
First a bit of business, those who’ve been following these reviews will notice a small change. Since my favorites list is getting very long (over 150 stories now marked as favorites), I will now provide links to the individual stories as I mention them. Yeah I know, “welcome to the 21st century Dave.”
While looking at some of the stories I’ve recommended here in the past, I noticed one of the authors on my favorites list hasn’t had a single story reviewed by me here! That’s an oversight that needs to be fixed. I’m talking about CostasTT. He is actually quite a prolific writer, has done a mix of complete AUs and stories that follow cannon more closely, and is always Charah safe. If you follow a current story of his you can count on regular updates and a completed story. So what to start with? I think I’ll focus on his most recent story “Chuck vs The Accidental Spy Team“. This gives a fast and short retelling of the adventures of teamB. It gives us Chuck and his friends as recent college graduates just starting in life. They all get sucked into the spy world; so in this AU, Chuck isn’t the only novice spy. Bryce, Jill and Sarah are all rookies alike. Casey is still here as the veteran agent tasked with training and protecting the young team. This story is completely angst free; it is fast paced and fun. It is also just recently complete. It could be read in about 5 hours, and would be rated PG for a level of sex and violence similar to the show itself.
A story I just have to mention is “Chuck vs Life, Love, & Lies” by Uplink2. Uplink2 has been a frequent commenter and a big ‘shipper at this site. And, he blames me for giving him the fan fiction bug. So now he’s making a try at his own story. He starts right at that most popular of crisis points, the night after Chuck downloaded the Intersect 2.0. One obvious adjustment he’s made to cannon, this Chuck and Sarah talk! No big miscommunication snafu leading to Prague here. No, this time we’re seeing adults in action. This story is only two chapters in, but I’m already very excited to see this version of S3 play out. It looks like wherever Chuck and Sarah are heading, they will do it together. The first two chapters could be read in less than hour, and I really don’t know how long and how far this story might go. So far, I would say it would be rated PG; but the author did tag it “T” which may mean some more “PG-13” or “R” rated material ahead, its too early to say.
Next story I’ll mention is one of the more unusual takes on the Chuck myth I’ve seen, and I’m quite sure the author won’t mind me calling it that! Its “Chuck vs The Sound of Music” by quistie64. As the author warns in the synopsis, there will be singing! For starters I have to say, quistie is one of the more exciting writers to join this fandom in quite some time. I strongly recommend anything by her, and her author’s page can be found here. Back to “The Sound of Music”, its the story of an eccentric software developer who has seven children. He is working on a high priority piece of coding software and has been targeted by Fulcrum. So of course, the government sends a gifted agent, Sarah Walker, to work as his nanny. This story is just a lot of fun. Apart from the previously mentioned singing this story also includes nuns in a knife fight, mountain estates, “Nannying for Dummies”, and difficult teenagers. And most surprisingly, it all holds together pretty well. It might be hard to remember sometimes if you’re reading a Chuck or Sound of Music fan fic (yes I just checked, there are 439 of them at fanfiction.net; but “Nannying for Dummies” was made up!) This is well written and a good story on its own merits, it gets my highest recommendation. So far, the three chapters posted would take a little over an hour to read. The story would be rated PG, mainly because Sarah makes for a foul mouthed nun (really she was just undercover, I know I was worried for minute!).
We also have a long time, and long time missing fan fiction writer with a new tale this time. Ersk4 was a prolific writer from mid-S2 until right before the start of S3. He’s on my favorite author’s list and I particularly enjoyed his work at a time when I found the show itself to be unpleasant. Unfortunately, Ersk4 also found the show unpleasant and his muse left him (no, I don’t mean Anna). But now his faith has been restored and he’s back! His latest is “Chuck vs the Jill Ride“. This is set sometime mid S2. After Chuck is kidnapped, apparently by the CIA, Sarah and Jill find themselves stuck working together to save their favorite nerd. Ersk is primarily a relationships author, although when he does write action or humor he does well. But I’m thinking the main point of this story will be Sarah deciding just what Chuck really means to her. Its still early, we’re only three chapters in; but this looks to be exciting and interesting. What’s written so far could be read in less than hour, and Ersk’s tales are usually not epic length, I would expect 10 chapters or so. The rating is a guess on my part, let’s say PG-13 for likely grown-up discussions and action violence.
Ninjavanish just published another chapter in “Chuck vs the Frontier“. This author remains the best action writer in the fandom and this most recent chapter further proves the point. He expects to post another chapter later this week. But in a bit of a surprise move, he started publishing another AU this summer while he was struggling with writer’s block on “Frontier”. So his new story is “Chuck vs the Sunken Treasure“. In this one, Chuck is a low level flunkie at Rourke Instruments who is sent to the Philippines to recover an experimental computer that went down in a plane crash. To do this, he must work with “Walker Marine Salvage” company. You can guess what that means. So this story promises sunken treasure, pirates, computers, spies, scuba, and Sarah in a bikini; all written by a guy who knows action-adventure. The five chapters published can be read in a little over an hour, and the author has indicated a medium length story. He expects another chapter to publish shortly.
Quite a few other stories have posted updates since I last discussed them. For those who may have missed it; “Common Spy Problem” by KateMcK, “The Revenge of the Bartowski” by Nervert, and “Chuck vs Family Matters” by Lucky47 all recently put up outstanding chapters. I think total output has slowed down some this summer, but much of the quality we’re seeing is wonderful. Hopefully, I’ll get my next review post without so much delay as this one; with a little less than 2 months until S5 of Chuck, I’m thinking we should do this two more times before then!