Brilliant. Absolutely BRILLIANT.
It's impossible to really say how good this fic is. Granted, Your Mileage May Vary
on Naruto's slow Took A Level In Badass
, but it makes sorta sense. Otherwise, this is a brilliantly executed fic. The events of the canon are followed closely (excluding all the anime filler, thank God) and really display the author's knowledge of the Naruto universe.
The Key Brilliance of Lot R 1
is the fight scenes and description of the effects of each jutsu. While most fanfics fail to really convey the utter destruction any on jutsu can do, the author does so perfectly in this fic, making all the combat scenes become real. Fireballs and explosions and generally massive graphic violence abounds and is utterly amazing. A key example and massive spoiler is when Naruto uses a fire jutsu when channeling Kyuubi and manages to INCINERATE the Sand Ichibi that possesses Gaara.
Plot wise, the changes to Canon are great enough to create a much richer, deeper, and more empathic connection between all the characters and the readers. Naruto isn't just LOUD AND OBNOXIOUS, he's also a somewhat bitter, incredibly determined individual who plays VERY close to the chest and knows exactly what's what. Sasuke isn't just a cold asshole, his actions and reactions are all carefully examined and shown to be understandable, if a little tragic. Sakura doesn't live up to her namesake. Instead of blooming once, then falling back into obscurity, Sakura blooms and grows brighter, going from hovering wall-flower to a competent kunoichi who, while still behind Sasuke and Naruto in skill and power, is still soundly capable of engaging in battle and performing well.
The best part is how Hinata isnt't shoved off into Ship Tease
territory. Naruto isn't a dumbass, he can figure out that Hinata has a crush on him. And he reciprocates.
But not romantically.
No. Somehow, the author's perfectly conveyed the slow, gentle immersion of an individual as they grow increasingly in love with a significant other. And it's beautiful.
There are no sequels. At least, no sequels that should probably be read. By the author's admission, books 2 and 3 either skew massively off of canon (too far) or just die because of lack of inspiration. Stick to Book 1, and you'll be completely blown away by the author's writing and come away with an excellent fanfiction experience.