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By spacemonkey
If you dislike fanfiction that deviates from the canon material, this is not the story for you.

If, however, you enjoy realism and intelligent characters, then Game Theory is a must-read. The story seeks to fill in the Plot Holes and remove the Idiot Balls from the original work. To this end, the author has created a rich, incredibly elaborate background, and established consistent rules for the magic, which are quite frankly a lot more coherent than the source material, and provided me with almost as much enjoyment as the story itself. The characters are almost universally vastly more competent than their canon counterparts, although it should be noted that the child characters act closer to their actual ages as opposed to being miniature adults.

The narrative is gripping, at times hilarious, and it takes some very surprising turns. Only a little ways into the story, it becomes clear that this is not merely a rehash of canon, as the plot heads off into completely unexplored territory. It also gives quite a bit more focus to many of the characters who were sidelined in Nanoha, including *gasp* male characters who are relevant to the plot! Game Theory also has a very different tone from its parent series. This story is quite a bit more cynical, although most everyone has good intentions and remains sympathetic. Unfortunately, just because people mean well doesn't mean they'll get along or that they can't screw things up. In many ways, this story is a deconstruction of standard Magical Girl fare along the same vein as Puella Magi Madoka Magica. If that's not your cup of tea, you probably won't enjoy Game Theory. If such things are to your taste, then I cannot recommend this story strongly enough.

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