Amour by Viola (PG13)

  • Jun. 10th, 2015 at 10:43 PM
Title: Amour

Fandom: Angel: the series
Pairing: ~gen, ~Holtz/Justine
Categories: dark, angst, drama, flashback, sad stories
Length: long, ~20,000 words
Warnings: abusive relationship, canon character death, written prior to season 4

Author on Livejournal: [livejournal.com profile] viola_dreamwalk
Author Website: Viola_dreamwalk on AO3 (not all her stories are archived here) | Viola on fanfiction.net

Summary: An un-love story, happily never after.

Review: She looks at him the way Sarah did. The way Caroline had, at least at first. As though he's a poet and a prophet and a pilgrim soul. As though he's the hero of the piece, as though he could do no wrong. She looks at him and sees exactly what she needs, exactly what he wants her to see. He sees this and knows just how to make her love him. He finds he likes it.

This is the story of the antagonists of Angel: the series' season 3; Holtz, the archaic vampire hunter adrift in time, and Justine, who fought vampires like a cut-price slayer and will be remembered by most for slitting Wesley's throat. It's also the story of Holtz' wife Caroline and Justine's twin sister Julia, and the losses that forge Holtz and Justine's single-minded quests.

Viola is the author of my previous rec Percy Weasley, Rogue Demon Hunter, but the two works couldn't be more different. There is no light-hearted humour and quirkiness here, only velvet darkness and damaged, deeply flawed people, hampered judgement and loss. The prose is very beautiful.

This is a fascinating, lyrical exploration, filling in the gaps of who Justine and Holtz were and the skewed relationship between them.

Amour

Cinnamon, Mint, and Smoke by kaigou (R)

  • Jun. 8th, 2015 at 7:44 PM
Title: Cinnamon, Mint, and Smoke
Fandom: Gundam Wing
Pairing: Duo/Heero, Duo/Trowa, Quatre/OMC, Wufei/OMC
Genres: AU, Romance, Drama, Virgin, Supernatural
Length: Long (18,818 words)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] kaigou
Author Website: Sol1056 @ FF.net

Author's Summary:
I was twenty years old, and I’d never been kissed. Well, that’s an exaggeration, I suppose. I’d never kissed someone that I actually -wanted- to be kissing. I was also a virgin. My life sucked.

Review:
This AU is a beautifully written exploration of lonely Duo's search for acceptance. As in canon he is an orphan, though this time in a modern AU. The newest member of a gay fraternity at his university, his struggle to fit in and his sense of being an outsider are poignantly written and very relatable. It takes a deal with the devil - who is, in this case, Heero - for him to finally see that his isolation was in fact all in his head and more a product of his own insecurity rather than anything tangible.

Duo's feelings are so well explored and explained that it's easy to see him taking these extreme measures for companionship. Being a lonely orphan for most of his life who has never had his romantic needs fulfilled, I didn't actually find it very far fetched that he would make a deal with Heero. Despite the potentially angsty subject matter this is a mostly gentle fic that's more of a character study, and I found the more subtle and ordinary issues Duo was dealing with very easy to empathise with. All in all this is a slow and thoughtful fic with a lovely payoff.

Cinnamon, Mint, and Smoke

Objective Data by walkandtalk (PG)

  • May. 31st, 2015 at 2:56 AM
Title: Objective Data
Fandom: Star Trek XI
Pairing: Jim Kirk/Spock
Categories/Genres: Pre-Canon, Alternate Universe, Outside POV, Kid Fic, First Time, Matchmaking, Romance, Fluff, Humor
Length: Long (22368 words)
Warnings: N/A

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: walkandtalk

Summary:

A young Vulcan decides to find a mate for his guardian, Spock. After careful calculations, Cadet Kirk is obviously the superior choice.

Review:

Senik, a nine year old Vulcan Yenta, decides to hook up his cousin Spock and Cadet Jim Kirk for fun profit science. It's hilarious.

Writing children convincingly is a tall order for writers. It's one thing to slip into the mindset of an adult character, someone fully formed with their own unique patterns of reasoning and behavior. But to strike the perfect balance of naivete, innocence, and perceptiveness that belongs solely to children seems to escape most writers, per my observations as a reader. Most seem to either fall short of or overshoot their character's intended age, turning a maturing child into a babyish caricature of a child or giving a child maturity and wisdom much too far beyond their years. Some authors even manage to do both simultaneously.

walkandtalk has a slightly easier job of it, since Senik is Vulcan and can already communicate on the level of adults. But there remains a childishness to his perception. There is lightness and innocence in him that separates him from the many adults he interacts with. Senik is slyly obstinate in a very specific way, weaseling without malice around the rules laid upon him by the adults in the way that children do. It is perhaps that, more than anything else, that cemented walkandtalk's characterization of Senik in my mind as one of the most convincing portrayals of a child I've ever read.

I haven't yet finished reading Objective Data's sequel, Subjective Assessment , but from what I've read so far, the collection of timestamps seems to be a perfectly adorable continuation of Spock, Senik, and Jim's (mis)adventures.

Objective Data

Life Sentence by Astolat (R)

  • May. 27th, 2015 at 11:21 PM
Title: Life Sentence
Fandom: Fast & Furious
Pairing: Brian O'Conner/Dominic Toretto
Categories: AU, Action/Adventure, Case Fic, Romance
Length: Long (29k)
Warnings: Threatened Dub-con

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] astolat
Website: Ao3 Website

Summary: “Sit down,” the doctor said. He took blood, three vials filling up dark red. “Any medical conditions?”

“No,” Dom said, and then his mouth kept going and said, “What if I want to volunteer for bonding?”

The doctor peered at him over the glasses. “Do you want to volunteer for bonding?”

It hung in the air. Dom felt it like a noose around his throat, squeezing. Twenty-five to life. “Yeah,” he said.

Review: An interesting take on bonding fics. In a world where bonding is one of the only way to get out of prison, Dom is desperate to get out of Lomac and Brian isn't given much of a choice but to agree, or risk the lives of a lot of innocent civilians.

Despite the complete change in worlds, and meetings, this fic manages to keep the high-octain action of the films, while keeping the characters from becoming too Out of Character. There is a large threat of 'Morality made them do it' sex throughout the first half of the story, but it is resolved before anything is forced on the characters. And their relationship is allowed to grow organically into a happy ending.

Even if you aren't very familiar with the fandom, this fic is self-contained it might be worth giving a try if the premise appeals to you.

Life Sentence

Lips in My Hair by fierybeams (Nc-17)

  • May. 24th, 2015 at 10:37 PM
Title: Lips in My Hair
Fandom: Glee
Pairing: Kurt Hummel/Elliott "Starchild" Gilbert
Categories: Romance, Fluffy
Length: Long [16978 words]
Warnings: No warning apply. Please check the rating at the title.

Author Website: fierybeams(on AO3)

Summary:
Kurt and Elliott's relationship as told through hair dye. Or: Five times Elliott changed his hair, and one time Kurt did. [original summary]

Review:
When it comes to Glee I usually read Kurt/Blaine, Kurt/Puck, Puck/Finn or Sebastian/Kurt, I do, sometimes mix those characters up, but I’m quite limited to Kurt, Finn, Blaine, Puck and Sebastian in various couples, triads or moresomes. Then I saw this fic and decided to try Kurt/Elliot, mostly because of the Donut!Verse - that I reviewed here - in which Kurt/Adam Lambert aka Elliot are a thing. Well, color me surprised, the fic is really good! And brings out a ton of what I picture Adam to be, while still making Elliot a believable and amazing character.

While it follows the 5+1 fanfic formula, all chapters are quite cohesive and the plot flows splendidly. We go over the many moments a new relationship has, including a break up. It’s fun, it’s hot and very well written. I specially like Kurt characterization, showing his virtues and hung ups: fandom tends to portray him as overly perfect or demonize his flaws.

The fic also doesn’t bash Blaine, which, thank god! And it’s marvelous that we see Kurt experimenting in college, not only with body modification - his brief canon tattoo/piercing, but also his hair - but with how differently a relationship can transform with another person. In that manner, Elliot is put together and guided by his cannon characterization, while playing with a whole great personality and shimmy the author gave him.

Fluffy, but mature, this fic wins points for the general happy feeling it gives, while still managing smut and great conversations. The dramatic points aren't boring or over the top and I'm just fascinated by all the hair talk - it gave me delirious dreams of painting my hair mermaid green again.

On a final note, before you read, because you should! I love the writing style, the author’s adjectives are to die for and Kurt’s though process is so fun, I wish the shows had subtitles made by her. This fic is truly a perfect marriage of form and content.

Lips in my Hair

Curtains by Anonymous (PG-15)

  • May. 24th, 2015 at 3:06 AM
Title: Curtains
Fandom: James Bond
Pairing: James Bond/Q
Categories/Genres: Domestic, Slow Burn, Romance, Action/Adventure, Fluff, Humor
Length: Long (20352 words)
Warnings: N/A

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: N/A

Summary:

Indulgent domesticity. No real plot to speak of, just Bond and Q moving in together as friends after Q is targeted and his place burnt down, and slowly progressing to being a couple.

Review:

Curtains is an easy read, which is a more complex proposition than one might think, when you consider the two characters it's written about. Perhaps it's more accurate to say that it's a gentle read, as opposed to easy, swaddling the reader in layers of cozy domesticity and slowly warming romance without glossing over the violence and danger inherent in these two men's lives. There's no conflict in this fic beyond what the world throws at Bond and Q, no arduous strife nor struggle. Just gentle, easy domesticity and two men slowly deepening their relationship from co-workers to friends to lovers.

Curtains

Walk a While With Me by LadyJanelly (NC-17)

  • May. 17th, 2015 at 2:21 AM
Title: Walk a While With Me
Fandom: The Losers
Pairing: Carlos “Cougar” Alvarez/Jake Jensen
Categories/Genres: Alternate Universe, Canon Divergence, Hurt/Comfort, Angst, Drama, Friendship, Fluff, Romance, Healing, Slow Burn
Length: Long (33841 words)
Warnings: Descriptions of assault and sexual assault

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] ladyjanelly
Author Website: LadyJanelly

Summary:

Jake Jensen left the Army before he ever had a chance to be a Loser. Cougar meets him anyway.

Sometimes what a man needs to have a chance at happiness is losing the battle he’s been fighting his whole life.

Review:

Note: This fic contains descriptions of homophobic violence of both sexual and non-sexual nature committed against a gay character. The violence occurs off screen, but is frankly discussed by the characters.

I'm not quite sure where to begin, when it comes to Walk a While With Me. It's an incredible work that strikes an impeccable balance between a slowly developing romance and the realism of Cougar and Jake's respective mindsets and traumas. Between Cougar's deeply internalized homophobia and Jake's previous sexual assault, it's not by any means what I would consider an easy read, but the friendship that forms between the two men and the quiet weeks they spend together working on Jake's fixer-upper houses cushions the sharp edges. The result is a poignant fic that digs deep into the reader's emotions, but never quite cuts. It's about hurt and pain, but more importantly it's about healing.

Need is a prominent theme in Walk a While With Me. What Cougar needs. What Jake needs. What they need from each other. What they needed from others that they did, or didn't get. LadyJanelly explores the evolution of Cougar's needs as he comes to terms with his homosexuality and how they are affected by his deepening relationship with Jake. It's a stark contrast, looking at Cougar as he is introduced in the fic and then at his decisions at the end of the fic, but LadyJanelly writes his journey with such deftness that the change is fluid and inevitable.

The supporting characters range from the Losers to several original characters. Each is excellently written, particularly the OCs, who are quirky and interesting and stand out without removing the focus from Cougar's narration. They provide texture and richness to the story, interacting with and affecting Cougar and Jake's relationship even in absentia and helping the story move forward in a very organic way.

Walk a While With Me

La Lune Joindre by Petrawaters (R)

  • May. 15th, 2015 at 8:15 AM
Title: La Lune Joindre
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Scott McCall/Stiles Stilinski
Categories: AU, First-Time, Friendship, Romance
Length: Long (20k)
Warnings: dub-con

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] pterawaters
Website: Ao3Tumblr

Summary: Scott isn't quite sure he's ready to move on after his relationship with Allison implodes, but he attends La Lune Joindre – a two-week retreat for single werewolves – anyway. As much as Stiles loves his dad (and alpha), he hopes by going to La Lune he'll find a mate from a faraway pack. Sitting next to each other on the bus to the retreat starts a fast friendship, and maybe more. When everyone at the retreat is pushing them apart, will Scott and Stiles be able to reconcile what they’re feeling in their hearts?

Review: This is a sweet and fast moving, first meeting fic for Stiles and Scott. I particularly liked the interplay between different packs, and the different ways they were run.

Stiles and Scott are both kept very in character despite a completely different world. And Jackson actually is a good listener in this one. Which makes a nice change from the usual one dimensional explanations for his bad behavior.

The Dub-con is due to them both being high on magic, and full moon. Both of them are interested, but not in the right frame of mind to consent. So if that is triggering, please considering skipping this fic.
La Lune Joindre
Title: Lassiter Learns How to Bend

Fandom: Psych
Pairing: Carlton Lassiter/Shawn Spencer
Categories: podfic, romance, humour, slash, first time
Length: media: podfic, 1hr 30mins // fic: long, 15,418 words
Warnings: none particularly.

Reader Website: dark_dreymer on Dreamwidth
Author Website: Teragram on AO3

Summary: Lassiter is alarmed at finding himself attracted to Spencer following the Drimmer incident. He visits a friend in San Francisco, looking for advice, but Spencer has tailed him. Lust overtakes them in the gayest city in the world, but can their relationship survive returning to Santa Barbara?

Review: Another media rec, this time hailing from the recent Amplificathon podfic spree on Dreamwidth. But kind of a fic rec as well!

I didn't and still haven't had chance to listen to much from Amplificathon, which produced new podfic at a truly scary rate, but I was drawn to this podfic by the bright cover and the promise of a Paul Simon soundtrack, even though it isn't a ship I normally go for.

This is such an exuberant reading I couldn't stop listening, and it absolutely brings the story to life. The recording quality is about as polished as I've heard podfic, and I love the usage of Paul Simon's Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall for the soundtrack, and the echo to distinguish thoughts is nicely done, making it easy to follow in an audio format. The whole production seems to bounce along with the lighthearted spirit of the show and the ever-present slight inanity of the two main characters.

Lassiter Learns How to Bend - podfic
Lassiter Learns How to Bend as text on AO3
Title: In All the Tongues of Men and Angels
Fandom: The Losers
Pairing: Carlos “Cougar” Alvarez/Jake Jensen
Categories/Genres: Post-Canon, Angst, Romance, Family, Hurt/Comfort, Fluff, Friendship, Domestic, Cooking, Misunderstanding
Length: Long (19304 words)
Warnings: Original character death, mercy killing

Author on LJ: coinin
Author Website: coinin

Summary:

In which Cougar goes home, goes on a road trip, and learns to cook.

Review:

Fair warning, the first chapter of this fic follows the declining health and eventual passing of an original character, Cougar's grandmother. It's not an easy thing to read, but the obvious love between Cougar and his grandmother, the easy, familiar relationship between them, and Cougar's devoted care during his grandmother's final few weeks makes it worth the pain of her passing.

The Losers holds tightly to the theme of families, both found and of blood. In All the Tongues of Men and Angels explores the latter when Cougar takes his slowly dying grandmother back to her father's home in Mexico to live the rest of her days in peace. Well, relative peace, considering that she insists that Cougar learn to cook, starting from the very basics of chopping vegetables and moving up through tortillas made from scratch, until he is cooking of his own volition, emotionally conning his ailing grandmother into eating just a little bit more in spite of her flagging appetite.

When Cougar makes his way back to Jensen, cooking becomes an act of expressing himself in lieu of words. What started out as obeisance to his grandmother becomes a labor of love that Jensen is largely bewildered by, never quite understanding what Cougar is saying without actually saying until Cougar's grief for his grandmother finally cracks him open enough for the words to spill out and for Jensen to finally understand.

Two short and delightfully fluffy epilogues, Unexpected Sweetness and No Home Complete Without a Cat round out the series, and are not to be missed.

In All the Tongues of Men and Angels
Title: In Between Days

Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Percy Weasley/Oliver Wood
Categories: AU/canon divergence, war, slash
Length: long, 23,524 words
Warnings: references to injury, torture, wartime setting, minor character death

Author on LJ: perpetual_motion on dreamwidth
Author Website: Perpetual Motion (perpetfic) on AO3

Summary: Wherein book 7 is completely ignored because wars don't tend to happen so quickly; Percy Weasley runs a safehouse [because that's as close to administrative work as you can get in a war], and everyone gets a chance to play minor character bingo. Get your cards and markers ready!

Review: So there has been a reasonable amount of HP on here lately and I would rather post variety, but I read this for the first time only yesterday and I Must Rec, because I was blown away by how fantastic this is.

This is Percy Weasley's war, as he runs his safehouse with a removed precision and attention to detail -- living with the information silences and asking only what's necessary to perform his assigned role in precaution against capture. Character cameos pop in and out, delivering fragments of other peoples' stories throughout, and the Golden Trio are entirely absent from proceedings as we get to see the struggles of other characters fighting in their different fashions, in the longer slog, out of the spotlight.

The sparse style really fits Percy's perspective and state of mind, pulled in so tight to do the job and allowing himself so little, and the way he organises his world, to best offer the people he's taking care of what they need. It's lovely to see this character in an essentially caregiving role, too, a contrast to the administrivia and rule-obsessed focus he so often has (and in this fic he definitely still also has), and recall that he looked after the twins while they were growing up. The characterisation is subtle and glorious, making the moments where characters with an outside perspective on Percy's closed world make observations that pull all the hints together so very earned.

Of course, one of the agents flitting in and out of Percy's safehouse is Oliver, but the romance, while definitely engaging, to the degree that I'm now seeking out more of this pairing to read, feels more like a bonus on top of a very different kind of story.

There are sequels that expand events after the war a little, and I love that there are sequels and you should read those, too, but this fic is where my rec is at.

In Between Days
Alternate link to In Between Days on Dreamwidth

January Girl by parenthetical (R)

  • May. 4th, 2015 at 8:03 PM
Title: January Girl
Fandom: Supernatural/Harry Potter
Pairing: Dean/Luna
Genres: AU, Crossover, Pre-Canon, Romance, Action
Length: Long (33,438 words)
Warnings: Minor character death

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] parenthetical
Author Website: parenthetical @ AO3

Author's Summary:
With Sam trying out normal life at Stanford and his father working an undercover gig across the country, Dean is on his own and getting reckless. While investigating a series of mysterious deaths, he runs into a strange witch called Luna Lovegood, who is searching for what she calls a 'Horcrux'. (Seriously?) Suddenly Dean finds himself dealing with evil wizards, broomsticks, Bat-Bogey Hexes, Dementors, mirrors which order him to wear a pointy hat, and much more - all the while trying not to think too much about Luna's last name and whether it's accurate.

Review:
In this AU of the Deathly Hallows, Luna and some other members of the Order are in America tracking down a suspected Horcrux. Dean stumbles across her in battle, and her separation from the rest of the group results in her and Dean working together to track the Horcrux down. Luna is delightfully in character, and that results in an unusual - and all the more sweet for it - romance. Despite the dark subject matters that are Death Eaters and Horcruxes and Dementors, this is a light fic and an easy read. I don't quite believe that a Season 1 Dean would accept that there are good witches quite as quickly as he does, despite his protective instincts. Nevertheless, the fic is still a lovely read featuring a surprisingly compatible rare pair.

January Girl

Handle Me by flipmeforward (Nc-17)

  • May. 3rd, 2015 at 7:46 PM
Title: Handle Me
Fandom: Glee
Pairing: Kurt Hummel/Sebastian Smith
Categories: Romance, AU, Post-Cannon
Length: Long [39448 words]
Warnings: Boypussy, Cutting and Suicide Talk, Gender Issues, Vaginal Sex, Anti-Blaine.


Author Website: flipmeforward(on AO3)

Summary:
Written for this prompt on the GKM. Blaine breaks up with Kurt because Kurt has a pussy. Kurt is ashamed over his anatomy, and finally settles for never finding someone who’ll love him completely. Cue Sebastian. [original summary]

Review:
This story is amazing! I really like how Kurt and Sebastian slowly work their differences and become friends before turning into more. Alex is a great secondary character and I’m really glad Rachel isn’t Kurt’s support system - I still have issues with her on canon, so anytime she isn’t the focus on fics, it’s great.

Basically Kurt tumbles into Sebastian and makes him his model for a college project. Blaine and Kurt separated in a very dramatic way and that made Kurt less willing to be with someone. Sebastian has grown up and the author creates a good background on him, which makes way more sense than just making him to be the jerk, not providing any backstory on canon to support it.

The Anti-Blaine warning is for two or three paragraphs that have a really negative opinion on him, almost leaning towards bashing, but it’s mostly a ex-repulsion sort of thing and not really about his character. He is a bit out of character, but it generally serves the plot and I don’t mind it.

All in all, you get porn and feelings, plus friendship. The smut is specially delicious and it doesn’t ventures into the healing cock clichê, which is great.

Handle Me
Title: Graduate Vulcan for Fun and Profit
Fandom: Star Trek XI
Pairing: Gen
Categories/Genres: Alternate Universe, Original Character, Pre-canon, Mentorship, Friendship
Length: Long (15113 words)
Warnings: Original Character Death, Canonical Character Death

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] lazulisong
Author Website: lazulisong

Summary:

It really does take a village to raise a Jim.

The members of the Kelvin's crew watch over Jim as much as he lets them.

Review:

To be frank, lazulisong's summary of the story is misleading almost to the point of inaccuracy. Graduate Vulcan for Fun and Profit is not about a group of people raising Jim so much as it is the story of Jim's relationship with one particular Kelvin survivor, a Vulcan linguist by the name of Sakel.

The two first meet, as far as Jim is concerned, in the immediate wake of Tarsus IV, when the vessel Sakel is stationed on receives a group of survivors, the twelve year-old Jim Kirk among them. From then until Jim passes back into his mother's custody, Sakel mentors him in the Vulcan language as means to help Jim cope with, distract himself from, and heal from what he endured. Alternating between the two weeks Jim and Sakel spent together during Jim's childhood are pieces of Jim and Sakel's adult relationship after Jim enrolls in Star Fleet Academy, per movie canon.

Sakel is a peculiar sort of Vulcan, sentimental almost to the point of un-Vulcan-ly, but in that way he's an excellent match to the wounded, young-but-no-longer-a-child Jim Kirk who thrives on learning but also the unobtrusive warmth that a more rigidly disciplined Vulcan would likely not provide. They build a fond mentor-mentee relationship in the short time that they spend together in Jim's youth. Years later, that relationship picks up almost where it left off, unaffected by time and distance, beyond Sakel's acknowledgment of Jim's increased linguistic competence. It's truly a joy to read their interactions, particularly their final 'interaction', both from Sakel's perspective when Jim is young, and then through Jim's adult perspective while he attends the Academy and on past the events of the movie.


Graduate Vulcan for Fun and Profit
Title: Bend All Your Notes for Me
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Genres: AU, Fuck or die, Romance, Drama, Slavery
Length: Long (15,793 words)
Warnings: Dub-con (fuck or die), period accurate homophobia

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] littlesleepfic
Author Website: halfhardtorock @ AO3

Author's Summary:
From the Kinkmeme prompt:

Merlin is given to Arthur as a pleasure slave (or somehow makes his way unwillingly? into Arthur's possession). He has been enchanted (cursed?) so that he must have Arthur's (or whoever owns him) seed within him at a regular basis or he will start to get sick and eventually die.

They start off disliking each other, and with Merlin resenting and fighting the situation, but somehow they end up falling in love with each other (and eventually breaking the spell?).

A d/s relationship would be preferred and bonus bonus points for collared merlin! I definitely would prefer, despite the situation strong Merlin though and hope for (eventual) BAMF Merlin.

Review:
Merlin, living under the rule of a foreign prince, is given to Arthur as a prize after a victory. Being stuck with a servant he didn't want is bad enough, and then he finds out that Merlin is bespelled. It's a fuck or die situation, where Arthur must have sex with Merlin despite his conflicted feelings about his sexuality and his moral outrage. This could easily have turned into an extremely dark and angsty fic, but Merlin and Arthur's growing regard for each other and Arthur's efforts to be as kind as possible during the situation keep it from going down that road. It's a scorching hot slow burn, with well-written sex scenes that are some of the most sensual I've ever read.

Bend All Your Notes for Me

You Have Infinite Choice by R_Gunns (R)

  • Apr. 23rd, 2015 at 11:13 PM
Title: You Have Infinite Choice
Fandom: Marvel MCU
Pairing: Bucky Barnes/Steve Rogers
Categories: AU, Body Swap, Dark, Established Relationship, Romance
Length: Long (23k)
Warnings: Lots of death - Some Gore

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] gru_da
Website: R_Gunns

Summary: They don't have control, aren't Gods or spirits or beings with any power. But they are something.

(A reincarnation AU that follows a dozen lives amongst thousands.)

Review: A series of loosely connected stories that follow various lives of Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes as they reincarnate, die, and repeat the cycle.

Some are dark, some are strange, and some are surprisingly sweet. Each one shows a different facet of both the characters and their relationship. All held together with a single story line rushing towards its end.

Even if you aren't super familiar with the fandom, you should be comfortable reading this fic, since each of the different worlds, and character experiences is included in the various parts of the story.

You Have Infinite Choice
Title: Where There Are No More Tomorrows

Fandom: Star Trek: Deep Space 9
Pairing: gen-ish, background Bashir/Ezri
Categories: drama, mystery, adventure, crime, post-canon
Length: long, 27,906 words if you trust ff.net's word counts
Warnings: Medical details and warfare.

Author on LJ: n/a
Author Website: CDS on fanfiction.net

Summary: Post-WYLB Bashir and LaForge try to solve a murder in the Post-War Alpha Quadrant.

Review: This is a solid mystery/adventure story set against the backdrop of the post-Dominion War Federation after DS9 tv canon leaves off.

Most delightfully in this fic, Bashir is... Bashir, and even years down the line from Emissary, there's still some part of him that would rather be a detective/spy/adventurer, and that enthusiasm carries through in the more matured portrayal of his character. I'm less familiar with LaForge and TNG, but he seems likeably written as the frustrated straight man to Bashir's impulsivity, and the banter between them is enjoyable.

I'm not expert enough to vouch for the accuracy of the science, Trek tech and medical information, but it all sounds incredibly convincing to me and there's so much of it, and so many *details* in the background this mystery takes place upon. Observations and anecdotes of the war and post-war, and the supply chain issues confounding Starfleet's military and medical efforts, and most relevantly for Bashir, costing lives.

As the header says, there's some Bashir/Ezri, but it's no more than a footnote and touchstone for Julian on his grim posting apart from her, there isn't a lot of time spent on it: the fic clearly supports the relationship but is for the most part gen. Geordi LaForge is along for some of the ride, but it really is Dr Julian Bashir's show. There are a few typos throughout, but they're not too much distraction from reading.

Where There Are No More Tomorrows
Title: Draco Malfoy and the Trials of Single Parenthood

Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: gen-ish, background Ron/Hermione, Harry/Ginny
Categories: drama, kidfic, diary, angst, humour
Length: long, 26,588 words
Warnings: I don't think so? See the bit about cynical-me and sobbing.

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] estora
Author Website: estora on AO3

Summary: Draco Malfoy: ex-Death Eater, former bigot, divorcee, and single father. His wife left him for Viktor Krum, his children worship the Weasleys who clash with the décor, something is rotten at Hogwarts, and he doesn't really know what he's doing. But maybe he's getting the hang of it.

Review: HP isn't really one of my fandoms, but reccing it last week made me want to re-read the previous really good HP fic I remembered reading. This rec is uncharacteristic for me, since I emphatically don't seek out kid fic. Yet evidently this story has some mysterious capacity to melt the cynical and hard-hearted. It has a couple of things working against it, actually, because I'm not a fan of the faux journal/diary style of narrative, and yet I did find that here I could get used to it after a while and still like the story very much.

Harry's generation are now in their mid thirties. As the story starts out it seems that Draco is still a prat, but a prat who loves his kids -- enough to disregard his own dignity and humiliate himself in front of his old enemies to provide parental comfort to them. And over the course of the story we get to see him mellow somewhat through the fronts he has to present and the stands he has to take for the sake of his children.

Perhaps the reason it works so well is that despite putting such an unlikely (and-yet-somehow-not) character in this situation, despite the magical world twist, the problems are real problems and the fic doesn't overplay things for angst, but takes on its situations with a genuineness and honesty. The impact of a parental separation. The way the parents' politics and actions and status impact upon their children. How parents have to fight for their children when they are different.

I suspect this has something to do with why this story reduced me to a sobbing mess in at least three places even on re-read. Really I don't know how to explain that.

Don't let that dissuade you from reading. It's actually a pretty funny story, too. Bring on the running jokes about Draco's receeding hairline.

Draco Malfoy and the Trials of Single Parenthood

you belong with me by countthestars (NC-17)

  • Mar. 15th, 2015 at 3:02 PM
Title: you belong with me
Fandom: One Direction (Bandom/RPF)
Pairing: Harry Styles/Liam Payne
Categories/Genres: Romance, Angst, AU,
Length: Long [35000 words]
Warnings: Underage Drinking.

Author/Artist on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] countthestars89
Author/Artist Website: countthestars[on AO3]

Summary: Liam and Harry grow up, fall apart, and figure it all out.
Or, the one where Harry gets famous and Liam gets left behind, and sometimes you find that what you're looking for has been here the whole time. (original summary)


Review:
This fic captures Liam so perfectly, or at least what I imagine Liam was pre-X-Factor, a kid that was awkward, lonely and still so driven to find his spot, while still wanting to share his amazing talent. First of all, this fic is a character study, written in Liam’s pov about his insecurities and how much he doesn’t know what to do unsupported. The contrast between Liam’s shyness and insecurity, but adorable fierceness with his friends and Harry’s charisma and popularity move the whole fic and enhance the internal tension of the plot.

Be aware that this fic shows Harry in a very graceless light, where if not hooked into the fic, you might feel angry, and you should, because story!Harry is a bastard! It’s not character bashing or personal distaste of the person Harry Styles, but an extrapolation of what we seen on fandom about Harry. We have several connections to the recurrent rumor of Harry moving out of the band and going solo and of the media’s constant showing him as a womanizer.

The friends to lovers cliche in this story is really well used, and we have a huge amount of pinning by Liam’s part and an oblivious jealousy on Harry’s part, which is absolutely delicious. There is also lot’s and lot’s of underage drinking and destructive behavior on Harry’s part, which is responsible for a good part of the angst on the fic.

I recommend this fic if you want a nice cry; it’s not unbearably sad, but it left me really depressed, and it was just what I need at the time. The only thing I got slightly bad was about Danielle/Liam, but even if, like me, you don’t like her, her participation is subtle, but really pointed and served the story really well. On the really happy note, the end is amazing and the progress to it is not rushed in any way.

The time of them separated, after Harry gets famous, is the best part of the story, so full of feelings. The story gets a happy ending, Niall is one lovely fairy godmother/lucky leprechaun and Zayn, my precious baby, is there to support Harry when he gets lost. When they finally start to get back together, you can count with a lovely Harry trying to make amends and Liam pissed off with Harry for using his fame to help Liam. It’s priceless. So it’s just story packed with feelings and the discovery of love, without being cheesy or predictable.


you belong with me

Men of Legend by hells_half_acre (PG)

  • Mar. 2nd, 2015 at 1:28 PM
Title: Men of Legend
Fandom: Merlin/Supernatural
Pairing: Gen
Genres: Crossover, Action, Friendship, Casefic
Length: Long (33,957 words)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] hells_half_acre
Author Website: hells_half_acre @ AO3

Author's Summary:
When a sorcerer summons monsters from another world, Merlin must summon heroes from another world to help save Camelot. Meanwhile, Dean and Sam Winchester didn't even know they were summon-able.

Review:
A gen fic full of great characterisation and realistic interaction between the two groups. The rapport between the main four and the knights of Camelot is all great, with no greater emphasis on either fandom - though obviously the setting does lean towards Merlin. All characters strengths and weaknesses are portrayed equally, with neither fandom being 'stronger' than the other, all wrapped up in a case fic and supernatural drama. Pretty much everything you'd want in a gen crossover.

Men of Legend

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Short: under 2,000 words
Medium: 2,000-15,000 words
Long: 15,000-40,000 words
Epic: 40,000-100,000 words
Super Epic: 100,000+ words

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