Sequels of any kind are a dangerous thing. The audience has already had their expectations built up, and (as is commonly seen in music especially) the creator may have put far more thought and care into the original, only coming to the sequel in a sort of desperation. Happily, this isn't an issue that "The Greatest Gift is You" falls prey to, and I would argue that it's a better story than "Quid Pro Quo." Part of this, I suppose, is due to its greater focus on fluff, but it's not just my username (and the tastes you can infer from it) driving that. Although I am a WildeHopps fan, I'm glad to read stories with other pairings, or no pairings at all, if they're good. In this case, though, the focus on fluff also helps address one of the greater failings of "Quid Quo Pro." Specifically, the overall tone is significantly lighter, and in the absence of the sometimes forced-feeling darkness the author's talents really get the opportunity to shine. While "Quid Pro Quo" is more about Nick grappling with his past to strive for the future he wants, "The Greatest Gift is You" has Nick dealing with what he has in the present and what it means to him. Here, the author does a wonderful job of getting inside his head and at the warring impulses that drive him, and wrapping it all up in some wonderful Christmas bonding with Judy keeps the story especially engaging. With all that being said, it may come as a surprise that this story has noticeably fewer follows and favorites than the story that it's a sequel to. If I may step outside the review of this particular work a bit, let’s talk for a moment about something that I think ties in heavily with reviewing: implicit ratings versus explicit ratings. Explicit ratings are easy; these are things like starred reviews, which have a definite metric. Of course, there may be disagreement on what the numbers actually mean (for one reviewer, a five out of five might be reserved for the single best story they’ve ever read and for another reviewer it might be anything that they enjoyed at all), but the more ratings there are the closer the score theoretically comes to the consensus. An implicit rating is a bit trickier, but it’s all many sites have. Fanfiction.net and A3O don’t have a star rating system, but you can see how popular a story is by a variety of metrics. If all other things are equal, it’s not unreasonable to assume that, if you have two stories with similar plots, word counts, and posting dates, the one with more page views, kudos, follows, and favorites is the better story. In many ways, a lack of those page views, kudos, and so on can suggest criticism that readers simply aren’t bothering to provide. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily follow that a more popular story is the better one. After all, all things are rarely equal, and there are many things that can influence a story’s popularity. A work with more chapters has more opportunities to snag readers, for example, and a work by someone who has already written something popular has a built in boost. Some stories are heavily promoted by their authors, and others not at all. There can be hidden gems, stories that just never had the good fortune to reach a mass audience, such as works published when the fandom was at its peak that got buried under the endless wave of content. So why am I writing this? I’ll freely admit that I am a harsh critic. I am willing to give stories that have low implicit ratings a chance, even as I’ll also enter my thoughts for stories with high implicit ratings. My thoughts will then become explicit ratings, and if this site takes off people will either agree or disagree with me, shifting the overall score on works. Explicit ratings certainly aren’t immune to being gamed, though, and it’s always possible for an author or someone who supports or hates a particular work to rig it one way or the other. In that case, I hope my thoughts can stand alone. If you agree with my analysis on one work, perhaps you’ll consider my opinion before starting another work I’ve reviewed. Perhaps you’ll disagree with me so completely that your opinions are exactly the opposite of mine. It’s no skin off my nose either way, but my thoughts will be out there. If at least one person finds them any help at all, that’s a win.
· 1 review · [ Zootopia ] · by Anon8043
teen · completed · 90k words · updated 2 years ago
Taking place three months after the events of Quid Pro Quo, It's Christmas time in Zootopia, and Nick is taking a break from his enrollment in the police academy to spend the holiday with his favorite bunny.
submitted by WildeHopps4Eva · updated by · approved by Kraewen
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