“I recommend this fic, the power imbalance is so well handled”
Do I believe it this time and read the fic or no?
[Update: New fic is great, I retract all my reservations.]
I mean, the problem I had with the last fic wasn’t even mostly about the “power imbalance”, which was never overtly an issue. It was about the “inexorably magically drawn to you since I first met you” aspect and how all that shiny hopeful admiration was met with “Well, we shouldn’t… and I don’t want to (I guess), but before & after & around verbally saying no, I’m going to encourage you in every way I can.”
So my problems with it were:
1. Mr. Mixed Messages feels deeply untrustworthy to me, even though the rest of the story makes clear why he’s like that and that he’s not deliberately leading the main character on.
2. All that shiny admiration WASTED on this guy who gives nothing back except ambivalence, and the magical shininess of his existence, I guess. It’s hard to enjoy a story about unrequited love if you can’t see any positive features in the person the main character is in love with.
3. I relate way too much to that shiny admiration and I am having a bad jerkbrain feeling about it, which is: “If you go around having feelings you aren’t supposed to have, and expressing them in ways you aren’t supposed to express them, what happens as a result is your fault.” (And in my defense, there were a few things in the story that encouraged me to feel like that.) The ratio of OH NO on my part, to actually scary things that happened in the story, was ridiculously high mostly because of this feeling.
Let’s be honest, I was always going to read this new fic, but yeah, these specific things are unlikely to be in it even if it’s not great.