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Review no Jutsu!
Constructive Criticism and Reviews for Naruto Fan Fiction
[review] Ripple Effect by rayemars 
31st-Dec-2005 12:15 am
Title: Ripple Effect
Author: Rayemars
Summary: Sasuke's return to Konoha, and everything that comes after it. Some people have changed more than they wanted or deserved to.
Genres: Tragedy/Vaguely AU/post-timeskip
Rating: M
Source: FanFiction.net

Plot: Ripple Effect's plot might be a bit slow-moving and vague for some people, but in my opinion, it's well-paced and exceedingly poignant. There are intervals of nothing but character development (which is imperative for this fic and beautifully well done), but when major plot points happen, they are quick, effective, and well-written. Essentially, there is no overarching plot; the fic is just as its summary claims: it covers the aftermath of Sasuke's unwitting return to Konoha and its 'ripple effect'.
Grammar, Style, Spelling and Punctuation: Excellently written. The grammar, spelling, and punctuation leave nothing to be desired; occasionally, there is a typo or two, but that's to be expected from such a long fic (21 chapters), and rayemars usually manages to catch the errors and correct them. The style is a bit obscure at times, but the best thing that can be said about Ripple Effect is that it doesn't mince words; it's not incredibly wordy or flowery in prose. There's a lot of subtext in rayemars's short and succinct prose, and occasionally requires a few rereadings to understand the full implications of what is being conveyed. Despite the occasional confusion, though, everything is drawn together very well so that there is no confusion by the end of the fic.
Originality: Very original. There have been many fics that gloss over the far-reaching effects of Sasuke's possible return to Konoha, most of which paint a picture of either shallow resentment or impossible forgiveness on the parts of the villagers. Rayemars creates a very real possibility of how Sasuke's return to Konoha might be taken, with some parties forgiving more easily than others, and still some not forgiving at all.
Characterization: Excellent. At times, the characterization was so exquisite that it made me literally wriggle in glee. While Rayemars does focus exclusively on Sasuke and the rest of Team 7 (much moreso Naruto and Sakura than Kakashi, though), whenever she does pull in some of the other characters, she handles them with precision. Sasuke is a good mixture of bitterness, resignation, frustration, discontent, and that ineffable, subtle fondness for a few, select others that marks him. Naruto is entirely frayed hope, determined ignorance, and fierce dedication to those he loves; Sakura has matured beautifully into a respectable young woman with little patience for her teammates' stupidity at times, and Lee is wonderful. I absolutely adored her characterization, and though some people have complained, I honestly can't find anything I can criticize about the characterization.
Entertainment: Not so much entertaining as moving, I think. It's a rather deep fic, so if you're looking for a light-hearted fic for amusement, I don't recommend this. However, it's very interesting and - while not quite angst-filled - very serious.
Canon: Again, vaguely AU. None of this has happened - it is, as I noted before, post-timeskip and covering the possible aftermath of Sasuke's arrival. However, it's convincing enough that occasionally I find myself thinking something has happened in the series when it actually happened in the fic. =)
Flaws: Occasionally, it's a bit difficult to figure out what is being said or what is happening; it runs over the top of things fairly quickly without outright stating what happened at times, but this is mainly because rayemars seems to expect readers to understand intrinsically what has happened. There are parts that I didn't understand until I'd gone back and reread the fic a few times, but with some thinking, they can all be figured out.
Strengths: Characterization. There are little humorous bits stuck in between the serious, angst or plot-driven parts that just make the characterizations shine. Also, she manages to weave a rather complex plot and web of character interactions and relationships through subtext alone. Although Lee/Sakura is the only real pairing in this fic, you can virtually sense the bonds between Team 7. Its other strength lies in sheer poignancy, the ability to convey a point without unnecessary prose, and the sheer originality of the situation.
Suggestions: Perhaps to make some of the fuzzy points clearer. =)
Overall rating: (Wow; Good; Promising; Bad; Toxic!). Wow wow wow wow! Definitely one of my favorite - if not the favorite - Naruto stories ever written.

Sample of the story:
The walk back to their respective homes went about as well as could be expected. Naruto didn't seem to notice the people staring at them, Sasuke had some kind of genetic cool gene--which Sakura really wanted--that let him stroll down the sidewalk as if it was perfectly normal to be sopping wet in early November, and she was too busy trying to control her shivering to care if everyone thought they'd all gone insane.

They broke apart at the intersection that split off into the two streets that led to Lee's and to Sasuke's, and Naruto turned around in order to backtrack to the street his apartment was on.

Once Sakura was inside, she kicked off her boots with an irritated squelch. Lee finished his set of pushups and looked over, and then raised both eyebrows.

"Sakura! What happened?"

"Boys are
idiots," she replied as she stormed towards the bathroom.

She slammed the door behind her, graciously absolving Lee from trying to find a reply to that.

Perhaps not the best sample of the story, but one of my favorites. =)

20th-Jan-2007 06:00 am (UTC)
I'm excited about this fic after just reading the review!
Thanks for the review post!

Eraya ^_~
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