(Please Note: This review was done for an online magazine and is reproduced on this site with the reviewer's kind permission. Thanks Taley!)
This week's tale needs no warning, since it is of a general nature. It is non-offensive and child-friendly, but there is mention of a slightly stomach churning battle and it's after-math.
Normally I don't read, much less review, works in progress. It usually results in getting hooked into a good story only to be left frustratingly dangling at the end; which is not really the end. But with that much being said, let me explain why I have broken my cardinal rule. When I saw a fragment of this tale posted on a mailing list, I read it with more than a little interest. When there was nothing more to read, I needed more. Regrettably, even at Verrath's website the tale remains unfinished but this story is not to be missed, regardless of it's unfinished status.
This is a tale written from Argo's viewpoint. But not an Argo we expect. "Mission Report" is written in a diary format seemingly covering the span of many days and a few events that fans of the show will recognize. Xena's finding and training of Argo, the take over of Xena's army and her trial by the gauntlet, the meeting of Xena and Gabrielle by the river and the battle with the slavers, and the Cyclops they meet. An observer that comes without preconceived notions, bias or judgement shows all of this to us and it is this that gives "Mission Report" its freshness. We are offered another way of looking at things common to us, such as eating and writing, all from the eyes and mind of "Argo"?
Although as yet unfinished "Mission Report" is well worth the read. My only complaint is that it is too short, but perhaps this will be addressed when Verrath updates her tale. For it's originality and uniqueness alone, it is worth the wait. But I hope we won't have to wait too long! "Mission Report" can be found at Verrath's Book Of Tales under 'What's New' at http://Verrath.de.
(Note from Verrath: "Mission Report" is no longer considered a work in progress. I might add to it, and then again I might not. I don't think it lessens the piece in any way if it stays the way it is)» click here to read the story