Reviews for Gun Play
baie-baie chapter 11 . 5/21/2016
Yay! You updated! Great work!
A Passerby chapter 10 . 2/4/2016
There aren't enough stories that branch away from the known. Harry Dresden is, to his fans, worthy of several pages of tropes, hundreds of remakes of his adventures, and an uncounted number of odd sexual success stories that have little to do with who and what he really is as a character, as an icon, and as a person. To get him totally right is a nightmare to achieve, and a lot of people spend time trying to do so because of how well written a character he is.

This story does not spend time telling you about who Dresden is or why you should care.

To create something new that almost completely ignores him isn't unheard of. People move out of Chicago, out of known villains, out of Dresden's perspective... but few successfully leave him and his allies behind completely to build on the world he lives in, to leave the world itself better than they found it (Mary-Sue characters notwithstanding).

George is one of those rare offshoots, and for once I am happy to say it's the best thing that could have been done for this story, one I personally have enjoyed. The Miami this story takes place in isn't as blatantly storied and deep as Chicago is, but enough is shown and enough is implied to come close. The villains are complex and interesting enough to remain both dangerous and intriguing, leaving you to wonder what side they will eventually prove themselves to be on. That question, not knowing for sure who is on which side, seems to be a strong cornerstone of the story thus far, and is enough to make the reader anticipate reading the next chapter.

The main character is genuinely screwed, and barely manages to scrap together enough of a life jacket to weather the maelstrom of dangers and obstacles he's facing at any given moment, choking on his own inexperience and lack of formal knowledge. There are few moments I've believed he could truly die, given that the story hasn't ended abruptly (and I would honestly be a bit scared if such an R.R. Martin approach were taken in any case), but it doesn't matter. The story still feels hectic, still feels like there are real consequences to George's actions. At the end of the first story, the consequences of victory have left the character with a plethora of new dangers and interesting obstacles, and I'm not always sure how exactly the character will survive. More importantly, I don't know how he will handle his inevitable failures. He is often caught in no-win scenarios, and has to borrow more trouble to pay off his current nightmares; if he doesn't stabilize sooner rather than later, he's going to bury himself in cosmic, unyielding debt. How he somehow pays the piper whenever it comes calling is always a delight to see!

Less time is spent on some situations and new characters than I might like, and the trade off is that the story flows more quickly. You won't always remember who exactly a name belongs to if you haven't been writing things down or paying careful attention, but there are enough context clues to remind the reader when it matters. Jim Butcher's tendency to wax poetic about the beauty of magic and the intricacies of every new remarkable character aren't here, but this author manages to get the message across nonetheless, and more swiftly to boot. Speed readers beware: the Paranet especially has more speaking characters than some soap operas, and you'll be dropped into them all at once. If you can't handle complexity, consider rereading sections with loads of characters a second time, or bite the bullet and re-meet them when they come back around. That said, I will personally consider them minor characters until such a time as they have a heavier impact on the story, or make a comeback in the sequel.

The story itself is going to eventually contradict cannon, especially as we find ourselves looking further and further into the last of Dresden's Files, but I don't particularly mind as of yet; there has been clear effort dedicated to allowing the world to stand on it's own and to grow and flourish as the chapters continue to be written. Do I expect that the author managed a one in a million guess about the true nature of the villains of the Dresdenverse? No, probably not. Would I be surprised if something similar did actually prove to be a faction in the book series? No, and that's the beauty of it. In later chapters, it becomes more clear that the villains and their plans actually could exist in the Dresdenverse, without spoiling the main series. Until such a time as things are dragged kicking and screaming against the core cannon plotline, I've yet to see any serious (or even bothersome minor) contradictions or blatantly out of place set pieces that drew me out of the story. This could actually be happening while Dresden is off saving the world somehow or other. For the most part, this story is head-cannon and lore friendly, or perhaps just barely an alternate universe.

There are a few concerns that may impact the more detail oriented readers, but thankfully they're few and far in between. Of note are the easy-healing box that "fixes broken bones in a (relatively) short time," or the protagonist's hand-waved potions of healing... healing in general, actually. While that may be a necessary evil as part of keeping the story moving, it certainly remove ssome of the more obvious dangers to the characters. Some serious time is dedicated to just how broken Dresden himself becomes over the course of a given novel, and it can be felt through the pages just how much pain he has to put up with to get the job done; part of the reason books take places a significant time apart is because the damage needs time to heal so the protagonist can be broken again. George, on the other hand, has (minor spoilers) shrugged off having his hand broken and shattered. His response was to drink a potion, and it hasn't been mentioned since.

The only other missing information seems to be on power creep and George's usable magic as a whole; I can't be certain of how much effort a spell required then vs. how much it will take now that some time has passed, nor does George often find himself in situations where those particular limits are put to the real test. I must emphasize that this is not a bad thing. By relying on non-magical abilities, or only mentally taxing ones, the protagonist can get farther without needing a break, just so long as the author remembers that exhaustion comes from more than just running marathons.

(As a side note, George at one point knows too much about the outer gates, and there's no way he got it from the White Council. There's a major Law against knowing or trying to learn ANYTHING about them. At all. For any reason. On penalty of death. Forbidden knowledge indeed. [Segment may become outdated if the author changes the section in question])

Still, the flaws are minor compared to the value and entertainment of the story as a whole. The entire work is edited enough to pass inspection, and the writing is high quality besides. I know that some people put less stock in mechanical skill when it comes to fan fiction, but the result is undeniable: the work is easier to read, and I like reading it. While some sections could arguably be shortened or drawn out, those are opinion-based recommendations. The fact that this story is written skillfully is harder to argue with, and I would argue that goes beyond just the basic mechanics.

All told, there are plenty more details about the story that I could ramble on about, but those you can see for yourself. I don't often review stories, professionally or otherwise, but seeing as this story is currently being written, I feel it's worth letting the author know it's a great one. Thank you for taking the time to read this review, and I hope you will enjoy the story as much as I have. If it continues to be as good as it has been, we can't ask for much more.

pwashington chapter 9 . 6/25/2015
Wait what just happen t
Silver-Streaked Wings chapter 1 . 6/11/2015
I just finished reading Fair Vote in one sitting- loved it SO MUCH. And so far I love Gun Play too- and I'm excited to learn more about Outsiders, which I think is what we'll be doing. Loved the Valkyrie. Also looking forward to seeing George's uncle again.
baie-baie chapter 8 . 4/28/2015
Ack! Don't leave it hanging here!

I've really enjoyed this branch of the Dresden verse you've created. After I saw that you wrote this sequel, I had to reread your first fic for the the fourth time. Keep up the good work-update soon?
Sameal-the-lost chapter 7 . 4/1/2015
Holy Shit Your Back!

oh so happy, I just lost it when I found out, so happy

Also loving the triple sided spy thing, spying on one side, to spy on the outsiders, to kill them for uncle Epic!
pwashington chapter 7 . 3/19/2015
This is getting better and better
Elwaith chapter 1 . 3/11/2015
I just finished reading Fair Vote for the second time, then I went on your profile. I was so excited to see you had a sequel!
pwashington chapter 6 . 2/20/2015
ryan.graczkowski.9 chapter 5 . 2/15/2015
Oh my God, this story is criminally under-appreciated. Your writing has that same addictive pull that Butcher's has, and your willingness to explore and work with the world and the rules he set up gives your work this awesome sense of plausibility.

Also, I am seriously digging the Oriental-style magic. And all these characters and such are just. Wonderful. I plowed all the way through Fair Vote in a couple of days and got all caught up and now I'm just waiting, waiting.

Honestly, you deserve more reviews, more favorites, all of that kind of stuff. I dunno if you'll get 'em, but regardless, please do not stop writing this!
kostigan chapter 1 . 2/14/2015
I realy liked the first story and this is shapping up to be just as good. Looking forward to the next update.
pwashington chapter 3 . 1/21/2015
So what happens when the Venatori Umbrorum catch wind of his outsider knowledge it is their job as soldiers of the oblivion war to erase all knowledge of the outsiders existence they will probobly send an assassin
rogthor chapter 2 . 1/4/2015
Looks like the beginning of another fantastic story. Really looking forward to this.
displayheartcode chapter 1 . 12/23/2014
At first you don't succeed...and then you gain Outsider magic and now have a newbie Valkyrie that can't wait for someone to die.

Good job, Jorge. I bet that was an unforgettable date.

Utterly fantastic start in Jim Butcher's world. Your own author's voice shines true throughout this amazing first chapter. I love everything about this-the mysterious glyphs, the demon bear that hates catchy jingles, and our new approaching challenger. Where did he get the Outsider artifact (and this has happened before?!)? We know why, but is it smart to attack the Fomor with some really wiggy magic?

Well, duh, it's not the best move, but they're really outnumbered and don't have enough power for this fight. Heh, I wonder how strength in numbers is going to help them out. Hopefully, they'll gain some allies that don't have collective interest in baby blood or something.

The repercussions of facing off Nawang were unexpected but cool in a narrative sense. I love how we're going to have this new conflict for Jorge, him almost versus himself, him against the kind of magic that the Council may behead him for... Oh he's so screwed. I'm really curious to see how the Council is going to interact with all of this, you know, in between the Outsiders and the ticked off Paraneters. That's a lot of crossfire ahead.

I also have to mention the new character Teresia. I'm already in love. She fondly reminds me of the character Tanith from Skulduggery Pleasant. She's very enthusiastic about her job and I love it. There's also Serigo and Gunther. Poor Gunther, I hope he gets some sort of heroic death soon.

Great, great start. I can't wait to see where you go from here.

I also have the first story saved as a PDF, just to let you know.