Reviews for Empty Nests
Guest chapter 3 . 3/13/2014
Oh this can't be complete the ending was too fast I need more!
HeroInTraining chapter 3 . 7/22/2013
Wow. Great ending to a great story. I really like how you used different POVs, and how each sounded like their own person. There weren't any mistakes too, as far as I could tell.

How about a bit of an identity crisis? Like, the hero part of him wants to keep fighting crime in their honor, but everything else demands revenge. Retribution, perhaps?
Blue-Inked Frost chapter 3 . 11/11/2012
I thought that the emotive tone of the beginning worked very well indeed - you evoked some strong emotions about the missing Bat. It definitely intrigued me in the story!

I also liked your Barbara point of view and her joy in being Batgirl - great to watch her flying around in action. I like her as Oracle too, but that joy at her luck is delightful to read while it lasts. A good description of her thought process and her action sequence.

This chapter was well-paced, I felt - enough detail to build an image but not too much to drown in. I liked how quickly it moved. The sense of immediacy from the present tense worked well.

On a critical note, I think calling the chapters "Barbara's POV" and so on looks amateurish - it's better to just call them by the character names rather than use the informal acronym.

In chapter two, the Copycat situation seems like a good plot idea for me! In superhero abduction situations the Bats do tend to be considered honourary metas.

"Dick absentmindedly sweeps a hand through his long, black hair" - I found it odd that Bruce would go into a description of Dick's hair at this point of the story; the same with the phrase "his handsome face". Is this intended to be Bruce/Dick slash? (Not that that's a bad thing.) The point of view would read more in character to me if Bruce was more focused on the investigation for Tim. I think that given how Batman's detective style is all about paying hyper-close attention to detail, his point of view should have used more of that trait. Perhaps he could recount more detailed, technical evidence related to the disappearance.

"ghosted Tim out" - definitely a legit figure of speech, but I don't think it goes well with the evidence that there was a struggle. As a reader the plot intrigues me though - I assumed that the kidnapper had superpowers that involved either muting noise or ensuring witnesses slept or blocked memories! I was also speculating at this point why the kidnapper chose young metas and Bats, and how they found out who Robin was.

I liked Alfred taking care of Bruce.

"Right now, Tim is on the phone; I can find him right now!" - for some reason I thought the repetition of words here didn't feel very Batsy; he's more intelligent than using redundance, even in a situation of urgency. A minor thing, though!

The sensible use of technology to trace the call was very plausible in the story. At this point in the fic I was betting that there was a catch in the plot - Tim was obviously somewhere unknown to him.

By the way, isn't a payphone on a busy street already by definition of a public place? "Stay in a crowd" might've been a better way of phrasing the instructions.

In chapter three - then came the twist! It was suitably grisly and tragic; props on how it was written. :) Barbara's joy in the first chapter is also cut short here by her death. I thought one theory would be that Tim was somehow brainwashed by the kidnapper and instructed to kill the others before killing himself, or that he somehow carried the kidnapper back to the Batcave with him (via telepathy or shapeshifting or suchlike). It isn't necessary to the story to provide a full explanation, though.

And I thought a plothole in Bruce's point of view in particular was identity concerns: how did this person find out the Bats' identity, and couldn't the world's greatest detective work from that angle? I thought that the concerns not just for Tim but that all of them would be compromised should have been more in the minds of the characters. Two days is probably a little long for flight time from Gotham to California in the Batjet, although American geography is admittedly not my strong point; six hours at most should probably have resulted in a callback saying that Tim was found.

There was a tense change in this chapter - "When I had finally finished crying over Barbara" and the paragraph following was in past rather than present.

An interesting take on something that could shape a darker Nightwing! I think this story is well-written and probably achieves what you set out to do, a dark story with a gory ending. Good work!
kagome04 chapter 3 . 10/30/2012
wow this was really good. dark but good! i couldnt stop reading.
waterfall13 chapter 3 . 5/6/2012
this was very well very detailed. i felt like i was standing right next to nightwing through this tragety. i really enjoyed reading this even though it was quite sad. amazing job I'll keep a look out for more of you writing!

ShadowCatAlex chapter 3 . 3/10/2012
Nooooooo nononononononono! Bruce isn't allowed to die!

Wow. So this is Copycat's handiwork. Poor Timmy! He went through so much, and STILL died!

This was so dark! Have you used this AU Dick in other stories?
Aspiring Mythmaker chapter 3 . 12/27/2009
(For MCFF”s under 50 words, I generally make one review, rather than one per chapter. This review covers all three chapters.)

This is a very good story. Strong emotional scenes and solid progression give the chapters more depth than many longer stories. The emotionally charged first chapter, the investigative tone of the second, and the tragic, violent finish provide a satisfyingly varied story that has something for just about everyone. That you’re setting it up as a back-story makes it even more exciting for me.

That having been said, there are a few issues. Some of your word choice is unusual, and at times overly complex. For instance, the emotional first scene contains several complex words and phrases that can, at times, undermine the atmosphere. Also, without any exposition, most of the references would be lost on someone unfamiliar with the canon.

There were also some errors.

Chapter 1:

Dick’s eyes, still red from earlier, begin threatening to overflow again as he flips off the TV.

-”Begin threatening” is something of a mouthful, though not technically in error. Replacing it with “threaten” would be better, but that’s just my opinion. This one is subjective.

I settle down next to him, and rub his back rhythmically, trying to offer comfort.

-The first period of this sentence is unnecessary. There is no need for a break.

And how the hell are you going to help either of them, curled up in bed, balling your eyes out?

-Again, the first comma isn’t necessary here. Also, “balling” is not the right word here. It should be “bawling.”

The two of us sit together quietly, both straining to reign in the tears, but neither very successful.

-”Reign” is not used correctly here. It should be “rein”

I’ve come to think of all of them as my family; Tim, Dick, Bruce, even Alfred.

-Another subjective assessment here. “Think of all of them” might be better written as “think of them all.”

Yes, Alfred is right; whatever trouble Tim is in, he can deal with it just as well as we can.

-”Can” should be “could.”

He flies back naught six feet before the turn in the alley stops him.

-”Naught” should be “not.”

The car’s squealing brakes hardly seem to phase him as he regains his balance and charges on down the street.

-”Phase” should be “faze.”

Forty square feet of asphalt, dotted with a few cars, completely enclosed by fencing and buildings save the two exits, makes the perfect trap.

-It’s not so much a grammar problem here so much as it is a question of dimensions. Forty square feet is smaller than the average parking spot, let alone a full sized lot. You might want to scale that up a bit.

Chapter 2:

Dick’s brow is furrowed in a glare as he studies the data I compiled.

-”Brow is furrowed in a glare” is not a proper way to write an expression. You glare with your eyes, not your brow.

The signs of struggle were unmistakable. Books strewn all over the floor and twisted into his bed sheet, pillows lying haphazard all over his room and the coup de gras, flecks of blood speckled on the fallen bedding.

-Again, this may be somewhat subjective, but I think these sentences should be combined with a colon after “unmistakable.” The list following the statement would read a bit better. Also, “coup de gras” is questionable here. Seeing as it is synonymous with “finishing blow,” I don’t understand its context.

Chapter 3:

One body could never have held this much blood, but my brain isn’t thinking; it’s only intent is to reach my friend and help her.

-Seeing as the sentence is written in the present tense, It doesn’t make sense for him to take note of something that he hasn’t realized yet.

Feeling the coldness of her skin, no sound or movement from anyone but me, I know the truth, but cannot accept it.

-Again, this sentence has some present tense issues.

I knew all this blood couldn’t have been her’s—how could I be so selfish, spending all my time on her?

-“Her’s” should be “hers.”

My heart skipped a few beats at this realization; who else had been here, and more importantly, is he still alive?

-“Skipped” is in the past tense, whereas the rest of the story is in present. It should be “skips.”

I’ve always been a fan of dark stories, and this is no exception. I hope to see the follow-up soon.

(Note: while I personally have no problem with it, you might think about your ‘T’ rating a bit. The last chapter gets a bit grisly.)

White Eyebrow chapter 3 . 9/19/2009
First Impression:

Darnit girl, you didn't leave much room for concrit, so you force me to merge the review across all three chapters to give it sufficient meat.

Favorite passages:

/ Alfred regards the two of us on the living room couch, huddled together in an embrace we hope will keep us afloat above the sea of misery we are slowly drowning in. Alfred, as always, hopes to sail in…ever our rescue ship

Good imagery here.

/Reaching the display cases, I notice the Batman suit seems to be sagging slightly on the mannequin. My heart lurches as my detached state wavers in the face of a cruel reality. Getting closer, I can see the face beneath the mask isn’t the usual formless white ball, but a pale, flesh tone with defined features.

This one took me by surprise. Good buildup and a nice example of showing rather than telling. It was also a great cliffhanger.


Very good use of present tense here; I really got sucked in by the second chapter. I didn't notice any of the major pitfalls I usally look for with this type of Presentation. Props to your betas.


Barbara's POV:

/I revel in the simple pleasure of just feeling, my red hair whipping about in the wind.

- This sentence took me out of the the tight first-person pov you've set up. In particular the phrase "my red hair whipping about in the wind" - it doesn't seem a turn of phrase a personal narrator would use. In my mind, a narrator that is describing what she is feeling wouldn't go on about the color of her hair, let alone how it is whipping around in the wind. It seems closer to the viewpoint of the author looking on from the outside.

It would probably be more apt to have Barbara describe how her hair feels caught in the breeze.

Bruce's POV:

/But unlike Jason, I will find Tim.

- This might be a stylistic preference, but I would set off "unlike Jason" completely with commas.

/Dick turns to look me in the eye, his handsome face distorted by concern and worry.

- This one made me rub my chin; I couldn't imagine a guy - let alone an emotional cripple like Bruce Wayne - use the word 'handsome' when describing another guy. This looks like another example of the author's personal voice creeping in.

Final thoughts:

You weren't kidding when you said AU: Dick is so emo. XD

This is delightfully dark. You don't pull any punches. Part of me is hoping this is all a bad dream. (And part of me isn't.) :p
PeaceGuardian chapter 3 . 9/11/2009
NO! THey can't be dead! :( You have to update! YOU HAVE TO!
Yuan Mi chapter 2 . 9/6/2009
This is really interesting. I can't wait to read more, you've really got me hooked now. Anyway, hoping you update soon. :)
lushifuhr chapter 1 . 8/22/2009
I liked it. I really did. Maybe it has something to do with my stomach being empty? ;)

I liked the.. rawness of it. I can't really explain it. I love the cursive sentences in the second part of this chapter, they're very strong. Last sentence also, I'm starting to pity the kidnapper. Finally, a strong woman! (I'm not familiar AT ALL with Batman or Barbara)

/The bastard deserves is/ and because everything was spelled right and your grammar was, as always, superb, I'll nag you with this little s instead of a t. I'm just that evil.

I don't know if this wasn't as dark as I thought it would be, because it's only the first chapter, but I look forward to reading the next chapter.