Surrender by AsreonInfusion (Mature)

  • Oct. 23rd, 2015 at 1:52 PM
Title: Surrender
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Pairing: Sephiroth/Cloud Strife
Categories: vampire, mind control, AU
Length: Medium [3303 words]
Warnings: dub-con and a hint that Cloud is probably underage

Author on LJ: n/a
Author/Artist/Creator Website: AsreonInfusion'S AO3

Summary: Cloud is forced to spend the night in the long-abandoned ShinRa mansion, but he's not as alone as he would like to think.


Review: This is an AU one-shot and it uses the spooky setting of the original Shinra mansion to great effect to tell a classic vampire story, that - with all the things that happen to poor Cloud in the original game - play on some of the game's themes to great effect. There are nice callbacks to Sephiroth's history as we know it and to the influence that JENOVA allowed him over Cloud in the game, bleeding into the classic power of enthralling a vampire can hold over his victim.

It is a dark, sexy story and with the mind control is definitely not for readers who like clearly negotiated consent. But that goes well with the eerie setting and the overtones of classic horror.

Surrender
Title: Twenty Times Uzumaki Naruto Didn't Die
Fandom: Naruto
Pairing: gen
Categories: five twenty things, future fic, darkfic, gore
Length: Medium, 14,849 words
Warnings: Blood, torture, gore, body horror and then some. Character deaths. Attempted suicide.

Author on Livejournal: n/a?
Author Website: Kraken's Ghost on fanfiction.net

Summary: Over time, Naruto learns what it means to be a Jinchuuriki.

Review: Had anyone bothered to search, they could've found shrapnel from the log almost a mile away. The boom is loud enough to scare birds into flight three miles away. An orange piece of fabric that used to be part of Naruto's distinctive suit drifts on the winds all the way to Lightning Country.

I love the device of writing a complete story composed of interconnected themed ficlets, whether it's five things or twenty things. This gruesome and thought-provoking what-if? fails to kill off Naruto multiple times in a variety of different ways as it addresses the consequences of being the host of a Jinchuuriki.

It's one of those stories that's told on a much larger scale than its word count should contain, rolling out enough emotion and imagination for a novel. The timeframe it's told over covers years, with the lives and deaths of other characters embedded in the tale along the way, leading to the most chilling of conclusions.

This is an old fic and was a future-fic at the time it was written. I've not read/seen Naruto-the-manga/anime since a while after the timeskip, so I can't attest to how it stands with where canon is now, but I doubt it could ever not still be worth reading.

The fic is linked by its format and a few references to two others by the author, but is not part of a series in a linear sense.

Twenty Times Uzumaki Naruto Didn't Die

Draco Malfoy makes a wonderful Ravenclaw

  • May. 2nd, 2015 at 12:27 PM
I am reccing two fics today because the first is impossible to find a link for. The author took down all her work when she became an established author and those of us lucky to have copies kind of feel like a beautiful piece of art has been destroyed by the very person who made it. So I also give you a fic of a similar theme which is also heartwrenchingly beautiful.

Title: If you've a ready mind
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
Categories/Genres: Hogwarts AU, Alternative timeline, Ravenclaw!Draco
Length: 89144
Warnings: Canon Deaths

Author/Artist on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] sarahtales formerly Maya
Author/Artist Website: Sarah Rees Brennan

Summary:
Draco is sorted into Ravenclaw. A lot stays the same but somehow this little thing makes a world of difference.

Review:
I love how over dramatic Draco is in this fic. You get the feeling he always was but he never stood out because so were all the slytherins. In Ravenclaw he really stands out. He throws a tantrum and the ravenclaws find it cute and calmly leave him to it. I love how the rivalry is different between Draco and Harry because no one believes Harry that Draco is a bad person, even when Draco easily admits to only using everyone for his own gain. It makes Harry question his black and white reality.
Not to mention it feels really in character that Draco becomes smart only to try and make his father proud of him. Knowledge is power is how he justifies not being in slytherin to his cold hearted father.
Favourite moment - While Draco gets smarter every year, he still maintains the belief that his muggleborn friends' inhaler is in fact a demon amulet.

Hermione, false friend that she was, abandoned Draco and left him lumbered with Potter,
who was looking around with an air of vague alarm, as if he totally failed to recognise the
people he'd been going to class with for four years. He was also giving Draco strange
sidelong glances.
"You're asthmatic?" he said after a moment, gesturing to the amulet.
"Don't call me names when you're in my common room, Potter."


No Link for this fic.

Title: Chaos Theory
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
Categories/Genres: Hogwarts AU, Alternative timeline, Ravenclaw!Draco
Length: 102711
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence, Major Character Death, Kidnapping, Torture, Psychological Torture, Mind Control

Author/Artist on A03: Tessa Crowley

Summary:
Chaos: when the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future. One gene varies, one neuron fires, one butterfly flaps its wings, and Draco Malfoy's life is completely different. Draco has always found a certain comfort in chaos. Perhaps he shouldn't.

Review:
Draco is a little out of character in this fic. Still over dramatic and terrified of everything but possessing the brain of Sherlock Holmes and the empathy of John Watson. Anyone can see from the quotes in this fic that the writer is a Sherlock fan. It gets very dark after Book 4, darker in some ways than the actual series. You can read up to then and be satisfied with the point in the story that you decide to leave it.
I love the fact the story feels like a childhood frienship slipping into romance in an entirely unforced way. Harry and his butterflies really take the cake.

“I know it might be a bit…” Harry’s mouth twists. “But I was thinking of your thing about chaos.”
“The butterfly effect,” Draco supplies.
“Yeah. I thought it might be a nice symbol.”
Draco laughs, though it’s quite breathy. “The butterfly isn’t a symbol of chaos,” he says.
“No?”
“No, Harry, it’s a symbol of—”
Draco looks up at him, and he has to physically bite his tongue to keep himself from finishing the sentence.
You, Draco wants to say but doesn’t. It’s a symbol of you, of the way you feel about me, of the way I feel about you.


Chaos Theory
Title: bring you to my hell
Fandom: Kuroshitsuji | Black Butler
Pairing: Sebastian/Ciel
Categories: Supernatural/horror/creature fic, established relationship, PWP, dark
Length: medium (4,725 words)
Warnings: Underage (13-year-old boy/ancient demon), danger kink, master/servant dynamics

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

Summary: Other devils might enjoy offering fruit to tempt the innocent into damnation, but Sebastian -- he much prefers sharing it with one already damned.

Review: As Ciel eats his orange after the Book of Circus arc, Sebastian reflects on his own hunger, on temptation, damnation, and forbidden fruit. But as the summary implies, Sebastian's role is not to tempt in this story. Ciel is already damned, and once again, he has an order that surprises Sebastian.

This is a hard story to rec without spoiling its central premise, which is one of the main reasons I've hesitated to post about it here. But [livejournal.com profile] dustofwarfare is one of my favorite Kuroshitsuji writers, and this is a great read to start off 2015's year of recs. Her Sebastian is always a delight to read, and always a refreshing change from the many mundane AUs floating around. As in furnace room lullaby, which I previously recced here, Sebastian is more demon than butler in this fic, and Ciel wouldn't have it any other way. As the warnings imply, this story is not for everyone. This is a Sebastian who, as in canon, literally hungers for his master, and a Ciel who gets off on testing the limits on that hunger and of his demon's patience. Ciel is canon-aged in this story, so there is shota/underage. However, it does not particularly focus on his youth as a kink. Instead, [livejournal.com profile] dustofwarfare highlights the qualities that make Ciel so formidable in canon. He may be damned, but he knows it, and he's quite prepared to step into that good night with Sebastian when the time comes. In the meantime, Ciel, as always, knows exactly what he wants -- and he expects Sebastian to deliver it.

bring you to my hell

"Untouched" by GarGoyl (NC-17)

  • Nov. 25th, 2014 at 11:30 PM
Title: Untouched
Fandom: Kuroshitsuji | Black Butler
Pairing: Sebastian/Ciel
Categories: Canon AU, future fic, horror, angst, casefic, master/servant
Length: Epic (52,547)
Warnings: underage (13-year-old boy/ancient demon), dub-con, drug use

Author on AO3:  GarGoyl

Summary: After failing to collect Ciel's soul in strange circumstances, Sebastian returns home in Underworld to brood over his misfortune. But little does he know how their fate will change now that he is no longer the butler...

Review: One of the primary strengths of "Untouched" is GarGoyl's version of the Underworld where Sebastian makes his home between contracts, not to be confused with the Victorian underworld where Ciel and Sebastian solve cases for the queen! A lesser demonic noble, Sebastian (or the Black Crow as he is known in his own world) is charged with occasionally advising and carrying out tasks for the mysterious Council that rules the Underworld, much like Ciel in his role as the queen's watchdog. This role reversal between Sebastian and Ciel is one of the primary motifs in this story, playing out in some interesting and entertaining ways, though I can't elaborate much on that without spoiling the plot.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should say "Untouched" is not without its flaws. I wasn't a fan of the author's use of epithets, and Ciel's characterization didn't always work for me, although those things are, of course, subjective. However, the plot kept me engaged enough to keep reading despite those quibbles. I really enjoyed this take on Sebastian's demonic life, which is very different than anything else I've read in this fandom. The minor characters were also entertaining. The Undertaker is especially great in this, and I also found myself surprisingly fond of the OC who serves as Sebastian's housekeeper. This kind of imaginative, plotty story was exactly what I was hoping to find when I first started reading Kuroshitsuji fic.

Untouched
Our Humor theme week has come to an end and we would love to hear from you. Do you have any favorite stories that give you the shakes and make you sleep with the lights on? We'd love it if you'd share with us!
  • Recced stories can feature any pairing as long as they match the theme. Fan art, podfic, and fan vid recs are also welcome.
  • You don't need to write a review (unless you want to). All you need to include are title, author, and a link to the story.
  • Fic or media as a single file are preferred, if available.
  • If you'd like to use our reccing template, you can find it under the cut.
Totally Optional Rec Template )

Previous Readers' Recs topics can be found here.


Hell House by narukyu (NC-17)

  • Oct. 21st, 2014 at 2:19 AM
Title: Hell House
Fandom: Supernatural
Pairing: Sam/Gabriel
Genres: AU, High School, Mystery, Horror, Romance
Length: Epic (60,000 words)
Warnings: Minor character death, Gore

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] narukyu_fic
Author Website: N/A

Author's Summary:
A devotedly unreligious man sends his youngest son to a private religious school. If that wasn't suspicious enough, Sam can't get a hold of John or Dean, people are disappearing right and left, and, in the night, something whispers in the silence of the old chapel. Soon enough, Sam discovers that something terrible lingers behind the doors to the sacristy--something that sheds a light on the secret holy mission of the Soldiers of Christ as well what happened to his family so many years ago.

Review:
Here's my late rec for Horror/Mystery week. Oops.

This is a classic haunted house sort of story, wherein a lone Sam is stuck in an eerie and restrictive school. The author really nails the horror story atmosphere, and what would be a pretty tame plot in the actual show becomes much more engaging and creepy thanks to Sam's isolation and helplessness. He's not the gung ho hunter we see on the show, but a confused teenager, cut off from his family and facing the supernatural alone for the first time.

Gabriel appears as the janitor for the school, and his very IC presence provides some relief for both Sam and the reader. He's someone for Sam to turn to in a place full of sinister secrets and strict, watchful teachers. Their romance is more in the background, with the normalcy Gabriel provides contrasting sharply with the rest of the school. This is a creepy mystery with a gut punch of an ending that you need to read, even if you're not a fan of the pairing.

Hell House
Title: furnace room lullaby
Fandom:  Kuroshitsuji | Black Butler
Pairing:  Sebastian/Ciel
Categories: Vignette, hurt/comfort, horror
Length:  Short (1,658 words)
Warnings: None

Author on AO3:  dustofwarfare

Summary: Sometimes Ciel dreams he died on the sacrificial altar, and wakes up gasping his demon's name. And sometimes, his demon hears.

Review: The Kuroshitsuji fandom has several excellent stories under 2,000 words, but in the end, I decided to rec this newer piece by dustofwarfare. In "furnace room lullaby," Ciel wakes from a nightmare to find Sebastian in his room, summoned by Ciel calling out for him in his sleep. What follows is a wonderfully in-character exchange between demon and master. Like Kuroshitsuji itself, this story is hard to categorize. Sebastian's very presence almost classifies it as horror, but there is also hurt/comfort, as much Sebastian would offer and Ciel would allow. I suppose you could call it a slice-of-life vignette, for all that it emphasizes how delightfully strange and dark Ciel's life is.

All of dustofwarfare's stories portray a Sebastian as mysterious (and occasionally sinister) as he is in canon, a refreshing change from a lot of Kuroshitsuji fic. Sebastian's mask as a devoted servant sometimes hides the demon inside. This story is a reminder of the danger he poses to Ciel, and it leaves me feeling somewhat unsettled, like waking from a nightmare. But the inner fortitude provided by Ciel's point of view keeps "furnace room lullaby" from devolving into pure angst. This is a Ciel who was damaged by his past, but not broken by it, and who doesn't flinch away from who and what Sebastian really is. I love that, while highlighting the threat of their bond, this story also hints at the real affection between Ciel and Sebastian. For those of you who don't read underage, this story is only about as slashy as the anime itself, and could easily be read as pre-slash or gen, depending on how you interpret Sebastian's motivations. This vignette is like a photograph that illustrate everything I love about the relationship between them, however you decide to interpret it.

furnace room lullaby

How to be Dead by Kaitsurinu (R)

  • Jun. 1st, 2014 at 12:54 PM
Title: How to be Dead
Fandom: Gundam Wing
Pairing: Heero/Duo (1x2)
Genres: AU, Supernatural, Creature, Horror, Romance, Drama
Length: Long (37,498 words)
Warnings: Gore

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] raquel_el_pillo
Author Website: Kaitsurinu @ FF.net

Author's Summary:
It's not Duo's average Friday night. Usually, he doesn't have anyone to talk to, and he shouldn't, seeing how he works at East Central City Morgue.

Review:
Duo, a mortician working the graveyard (hah) shift, comes across a dead body... that isn't quite dead. It's a cool premise for a deliciously creepy little Heero/Duo fic. The author has really done a great job creating a horror movie atmosphere; every scene takes place at night, or in a storm at night, or in dingy little apartments that never see the sunlight. This, the authors mastery of description, and the fact that it all happens over the same night, give this fic a dreamlike - or nightmarish - quality that really suits its creepy overtones.

Every character seems a little off, with Duo driven slightly insane by his work, and Heero the socially awkward character we know and love with an extra dose of supernatural creepiness. Their interactions are both cute and creepy, as a self-hating Heero fights his nature and Duo, exasperated and scared by turns, befriends him through pure brute force. There are also great moments of dark humour and even some sweetness, nicely offset by the horror movie style of the setting.

How to be Dead

Stickytape and String by Zander Nyrond (PG)

  • Mar. 31st, 2014 at 11:27 PM
Title: Stickytape and String
Fandom: Sapphire and Steel
Categories: SF/horror, post-canon, fix-it
Length: Medium (10,000 words)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] smallship1
Author Website: Avevale

Summary:
“All irregularities will be handled by the forces controlling each dimension...”

The voice continues, enumerating the rules, calling the roll...and then there is a pause. A long silence, somehow redolent of whispered, panicky argument just beyond hearing. When the voice returns, it is with the hysterical edge somewhat more perceptible, along with a note of dazed incredulity at the words it is uttering.

“Stickytape and String have been assigned.”

Review:
If you aren't a filker, Zander Nyrond may not be a familiar name to you. That's because while Zander has been writing since the days of Blake's Seven, he tends to write original SF with considerable verve and humour, often starring the Nyronds from whom he takes his nom de plume. This is a sad loss on your part, and it is up to me to try to rectify matters.

If you are a filker, any introduction to Zander Nyrond is redundant. Pretend I didn't write the above paragraph if it makes you feel better.

This story is a little outside Zander's normal style, in deference to the darker shades of the original material. While it starts with an edge of humour, as the rework of the show's opening credits I quoted as the summary shows, it quickly turns into something a lot more serious. Probationary "elements" Stickytape and String find themselves walking into exactly the same trap that caught Sapphire, Silver and Steel at the end of their final story, and have to come up with their own solutions if the are going to survive their very first assignment. It does pay to have seen that episode, but the writing gives you enough to work with as long as you generally know about S&S.

The story fits the style of the series very nicely. Most of it is dialogue, with relatively spare action and description, and could be turned into a script in short order. Critically, the characters work and are recognisable from their speech patterns. While String and Sapphire have a lot in common, String's youthful enthusiasm shines through against Sapphire's maturity; likewise while Stickytape and Steel are both prickly characters, Steel's solidity contrasts with Stickytape's teenage all-or-nothing attitude. The only time it's difficult to tell characters apart are when it's supposed to be difficult to tell characters apart, and more than that you'll have to read to find out.

All in all, this is an ingenious story fitting very well into its source material, and I heartily recommend it to you. And if you should happen on more Nyrond stories on his website, so much the better.

Stickytape and String in four parts on LJ: part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4.

Alternatively as a single MS Word file: Stickytape and String
Title: don't trust the air you breathe
Fandom: Welcome to Night Vale
Pairing: Gen
Categories/Genres: Hurt/Comfort, Horror, Friendship,
Length: Medium (6884 words)
Warnings: Implied violence and possible torture

Author/Artist on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] devilishkurumi
Author/Artist Website: DevilishKurumi

Summary:

Set just before "Station Management" - Carlos receives a warm welcome from the Sheriff's Secret Police, which isn't so much warm as it is painful, and Cecil comes to his rescue, which isn't so much a rescue as it is an exercise in string-pulling.

Review:

More often than not, when I rec fics for Welcome to Night Vale, I dither over the Categories/Genre section, tempted to add 'Horror'. More often than not, I decide not to. This isn't because the Night Vale verse isn't a horrifying place to be. Oh, far from it. But its format, the Lovecraftian parody of the quaint little local news radio station, transforms what might be a genuinely horrific experience (if explored through, say, a more visual media) into a pleasant little aural jaunt. The unquestionably violent quotidian is condensed and explained and swaddled in Cecil Palmer's soothing voice until even the most violent deaths become peculiarly bloodless and almost, dare I say it, cute.

don't trust the air you breathe is the exact opposite. In DevilishKurumi's Night Vale, wounds hurt and bleed, death treads ever on your heels, and safety comes for an occasionally steep price. This the Night Vale we won't let ourselves see, and experiencing it is more visceral for our willful ignorance than it might otherwise be. This is the Night Vale where you follow the rules, or else.

don't trust the air you breathe

Homicide Love by copperbadge (NC-17)

  • Mar. 12th, 2014 at 9:30 PM
Title: Homicide Love
Fandom: Suits
Pairing: Harvey/Mike
Categories: AU, Dark, Serial Killers, Dysfunctional, Gore
Length: Medium (5,308)
Warnings: Mentions of rape (non-graphic, not involving main characters), Cannibalism, Murders (graphic)

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

Author's Summary:
Mike has been waiting all his life for someone who understands -- but Harvey might care too much to survive.

Review:
So, so, wrong but I loved it anyway.

Basic premise is that Mike is a sociopath and kills people who are guilty of some sort of crime. It's like a blend of Hannibal and Dexter, where Mike is taught by his father that if he has to kill he should never target the innocent. It's just so interesting. Mike is all calculation and fake smiles and relationships, while he hides this giant secret. He has the same general background as in the show, and he does end up at the same law firm as Harvey, but it's all different now.

Harvey's pretty much the one person Mike seems to care about. Harvey straddles the line between madness and sanity and you're never quite sure the way he falls until later on in the fic.

The fic does get pretty gory and there are blatant mentions of cannibalism and violence. It's a serial killer fic and it doesn't really dress itself up as anything but. If the thought makes you uncomfortable then you should definitely avoid this one.

It's creepy but in the best of ways. It's just so smooth and the serial killer aspect meshes with Mike seamlessly. If you don't mind the premise then you're in for a wild ride.

Homicide Love

Tiny Houses by ohmyjetsabel (NC-17)

  • Jan. 28th, 2014 at 6:39 AM
Title: Tiny Houses
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: angst, mpreg, kids
Length: Epic (77,138)
Warnings:  rape/non-con, mpreg, graphic descriptions of violence, body horror, attempted abortion, adoption, suicidal thoughts, and permanent injury.

Author on LJ:  N/A
Author Website: AO3
Summary: "So this is what Stiles does. He lies in Scott’s bed and waits for Melissa to say she’s found someone to get it out of him, to cure him of the wrongness and the bad, and he dreams.

God, he dreams.

He dreams of fire and swollen bellies and that scene in Alien, of giving birth to jackals through his urethra, the whole horrific nine yards. His head is a terrible place to be, he can’t imagine his stomach is much better, why anyone would want to put a thing inside of it."


Review: Mind the tags because this story deals with some heavy topics. It starts off with a non-consensual (for both of them) sex scene between Derek and Stiles, and only gets darker as Stiles realizes that he's pregnant with a fetus he doesn't want and can't get rid of. Even if mpreg typically isn't your thing, I would encourage you to take a chance on this one. The body horror elements highlight how strange and wrong the pregnancy is for Stiles, and give the story a sense of realism, if realism can involve werewolves and dark magic. This story feels very emotionally honest to me. Between his depression and horror during pregnancy, his feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, and guilt as a parent, and his complicated relationships with Derek and the other pack members, Stiles goes through an intense emotional journey in this story, and we're right there with him. Yet despite all of those heavy emotions, I never think of this as a story of pain so much as a story of healing. Reading it feels a little bit like tearing yourself open and stitching yourself back together again. There is a hard-won happy ending after all of the angst, and it doesn't feel tacked on or out of place, but as necessary and inevitable as spring following winter. By the time I reached the end, I didn't want the story to be over. It gave me that feeling I used to get reading my favorite novels as a child, like I had fought with these characters, had bled with them, and healed with them, and I could happily have kept reading about them forever. For that reason, it's one of those stories I've returned to again and again.

I also highly recommend the podfic by Jinxy. It's 11 hours long, and I think I've listened to it three times now. She brings an incredible depth of emotion to the performance, and I loved her use of music and sound effects.

Tiny Houses

Castiel Rising by phate_phoenix (NC-17)

  • Jan. 19th, 2014 at 12:29 PM
Hi, my name is gezana, and I'm here to rec! A little about me: I'm a slash lover first and foremost, though het is not anathema to me and I definitely plan to rec some. I love supernatural (with a capital or a small S) and AUs. Very rarely will I read a fic with lots of angst, dark!fic or fics with unhappy endings. Hope you all find at least one or two fics to read through my recs :)

Title: Castiel Rising
Fandom: Supernatural
Pairing: Dean/Cas, Meg/Cas
Categories/Genres: Canon AU, Adventure, Romance, Horror
Length: Epic (70,000 words)
Warnings: Imprisonment in hell, torture, gore, minor character deaths, dub-con

Author/Artist on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] phate_phoenix
Author/Artist Website: N/A

Author's Summary:
(AU) Hell is adaptation: change to suit the environment, or experience unending torment. Castiel knows this, expected it when he plunged into Hell to be with Lucifer, and allowed it. But change isn’t just one of Hell’s tortures, something he will discover when Lucifer orders him to protect Dean and Sam Winchester from Heaven’s forces.

Review:
In this AU, Castiel choses to fall with Lucifer out of brotherly devotion, ending up a demonic creature of hell. A different angel pulls Dean out of hell, and his and Castiel's relationship develops differently as a result.

This demonic but not a demon, almost evil but not quite version of Castiel makes for an interesting character. I love me some demon!fic, but at times I feel that the species change leads to a character I love becoming an evil OC. The fact that Castiel isn't really a demon - just hellish - keeps him an anti-hero that I can get behind and believe. The author makes him sympathetic by making his love for Lucifer the reason for his fall, and it's this brotherly devotion that causes Castiel's personal conflict throughout the fic. There are plenty of dark scenes in this story, such as the scenes in hell and the actions taken by Lucifer on Earth, but there's also plenty of lovely and hot Dean/Cas feels. The fic runs parallel to seasons four and five, with Castiel's altered personality making for some interesting AU changes.

The dub-con tag was used by the author herself, as in this fic Castiel is affected by Famine, which is suggested to have made his feelings for Dean develop faster than they would naturally. There is also a Famine-influenced sex scene between Castiel and Dean.

Castiel Rising
Get us ready for Halloween with your favorite eerie or paranormal fics. Or hit us with some horror or dark!fic. Go as light or dark as you want, as long as it fits one of the three themes.
  • Recced stories can be any fandom and any pairing (or no pairing).
  • You don't need to write a review (unless you want to). All that you need to include are title, author, and link to the story.
  • Fic or media as a single file are preferred, if available.

Also...
  • WE ARE CURRENTLY SEEKING 1 ADDITIONAL RECCER. Reccers are accepted by invitation only, and the invitations are issued primarily based on responses to RR posts. If you're interested in reccing once each week, respond to this post (or check out previous RR posts at the link below, and respond to one of those instead) with a rec that includes everything in our rec template: Title, Author, Rating, Pairing, Genres, Length, Summary, and Review (including 200 words or more about why you liked the story).
  • If you'd like to use our reccing template, you can find it under the cut.
Totally Optional Rec Template )

Previous Readers' Recs topics can be found here.



Mint In Box by sabinelagrande (PG-15)

  • Oct. 26th, 2013 at 8:36 PM
Title: Mint In Box
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe
Pairing: Phil Coulson/Steve Rogers
Categories: Horror, Angst, Romance, Dark, Canon Divergence, Open Ending
Length: Medium (6465 words)
Warnings: Kidnapping, Imprisonment, Stockholm Syndrome, Canon Character Death, Drug Use (to inhibit the Supersoldier serum), Mental Illness, Physical Illness

Author on LJ: sabinetzin
Author Website: sabinelagrande

Author's Summary:

But the longer Steve spends in Coulson's hands, the more foxing appears.

Review:

An alternate but chillingly believable twist on the 'Coulson Lives' trope, where Phil comes back, but not quite right.

The Phil Coulson of Mint In Box exists in a peculiar limbo, physically alive but slowly succumbing to the lingering pall that death cast over him, a strange and twisted caricature of himself. In some ways he is magnified, such as his devotion to his collection of Captain America memorabilia, but the rest of him is muted and cold, frozen through like permafrost.

And so, devoted and obsessively so, he kidnaps Steve and imprisons him in a basement that seems less like a cell and more like a secure and climate-controlled case for a priceless collector's item. The world narrows to just the two of them, and within the confines of that basement in the house that no one knows about, the dynamic between them slowly shifts from kidnapper-kidnappee to tentative friends to something else that is both less and more, creeping along like a layer frost spreading over the ground.

But perhaps most chilling of all is the story's open yet tragic ending, because there is no truly hopeful future for them, just the illusion of one.

Mint In Box
Title: Until My Dying Breath
Fandom: Glee
Pairing: Kurt/Blaine
Categories: AU, future, angst, drama, romance, supernatural elements
Length: Super Epic (140,000 words)
Warnings: Violence, grotesque descriptions, dark setting, fear, minor past character death, vampirism.

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] emilianadarling
Author Websites: emilianadarling on tumblr, EmilianaDarling on AO3

Author's Summary: On his way home from campus to his apartment on the Upper East Side, Blaine Anderson happens to come across a beautiful young man with bewitching blue eyes. It doesn't take long, though, for everything Blaine thought was real to fall to pieces. For his world to dissolve into a twisted dance of fear and heat and blood.

Review: Kurt is a dark, sexy vampire, Blaine is a helpless college student -- could it work any better? This story is as gripping and scary as it is weirdly hot, and it certainly fits this week's dark theme.

As in everything she writes, Emiliana handles the pace of the story admirably: the slow burn up to the breaking point, the terror and excitement of what follows, and a very well performed ending. It's always very refreshing to read something written by someone with a true knack for storytelling, and fortunately, that's what we have here.

Despite the violence and fear and, well, vampirism, the true heart of the story lies in the development in Kurt and Blaine's relationship. From flirty to stalking to terrified to strangely caring, every emotion is pulled right into our throats alongside our beating hearts as we watch the characters move around each other. Kurt is dark, brooding, predatory and downright scary; Blaine is just the right balance of resourceful and vulnerable. Together, they're can't-close-the-tab (as opposed to can't-put-the-book-down) brilliant.

The flow of language and plot will keep you absolutely riveted to this creepy, nocturnal romance. Go read it. But just remember to keep an ear open for any strange scratching at the door whilst you do!

Until My Dying Breath

Where the Dead Live by Mirabella (NC-17)

  • Oct. 23rd, 2013 at 4:00 PM
Title: Where the Dead Live
Fandom: Inception
Pairing: Eames/Arthur
Categories: Dark, Horror, Supernatural, Vampire
Length: Long (16,238)
Warnings: Violence, Gore, Minor Character Death, Character Un-Death (ha)

Author on LJ: [personal profile] mirabella
Author Website: N/A

Author's Summary:
There's a monster in Arthur's basement. Maybe he shouldn't have invited it in.

Review:
Honestly, I would count this more creepy than straight up horror, but your mileage may vary. But it is rather dark, which is something I apparently adore (as long as I get the requisite feeeeelings along with flying severed heads--I don't even know anymore). I do have to say this: the character death isn't really? But I figured since technically death occurs, well.

But, more seriously, this is a great fic. It's atmospheric and creepy, and yet there's Eames and Arthur who manage to make me crack a grin even under the fingernails-down-one's-spine feeling. It does get a little gory in a couple of parts, but even with a severed head I don't feel as if it goes overboard. The gore adds to the atmosphere, it doesn't overpower it, which is a plus.

Most of it focuses on Arthur and Eames's relationship, with Arthur trying to deal with the fact that Eames is a monster. A very charming monster, but a monster nonetheless. Then there's the sense of inevitability, that Arthur really doesn't have much of a choice in what will happen, and the ending had me torn between 'oh no' and 'yes please'.

A great read with just the right amount of spookiness without going overboard.

Where the Dead Live

The Wild Hunt by asya_ana (R)

  • Oct. 22nd, 2013 at 10:38 PM
Title: The Wild Hunt
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Categories: Mystery, Suspense, Halloween, Dark Romance, Modern AU
Length: Long (18,300 words)
Warnings: Major Character Death (sort of), Minor Character Death (offscreen) Dark Themes, Violence, Unhappily Ever After

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] asya_ana
Author Website: aa_fic

Author's Summary:
Every year on Samhain, the Wild Hunt terrorises the small Welsh town of Camford. A year after his own father is killed by the Hunt, Arthur is asked to lead a party against it. Merlin Emrys, the ailing recluse who alone escaped the Hunt in the past, may hold the key to Arthur's success in defeating it—or he may be the leader of the Wild Hunt himself. Mystery/suspense, supernatural, Samhain/Halloween, dark romance.

Review:
Atmosphere -- this story has it in spades. From the very beginning, the author sets a dark, gothic tone while building the suspense in a slow, almost deliciously torturous way.

Arthur lives a quiet, lonely life as the proprietor of Pendragon and Sons, Guns and Tackle. He has been touched by loss -- the Hunt took his father only one year prior, and this year he goes forth to face the deathly riders with grim resolve. You can see the King in him very clearly, as he takes his responsibilities to the townspeople seriously and is willing to sacrifice himself for their sake. To give much detail on Merlin would be to risk spoiling things, but I can say that the author does an excellent job of portraying him as a sepulchral figure, almost (but not quite) a tragic hero as defined by Aristotle.

The romance between Arthur and Merlin culminates in a love scene so filled with yearning that it made me ache. I wanted so desperately for them to have the happy ending that simply wasn't meant to be in this funereal piece.

While the story is not entirely without levity -- Gwaine-as-Idris is a particular treat -- the mood is most certainly gloomy, making it a perfect read for someone who wants a dark, supernatural fic without the violence and gore of a more contemporary horror feature.

The Wild Hunt

Don't Call Me Back by RurouniHime (NC-17)

  • Oct. 21st, 2013 at 8:07 AM
It's Supernatural/Horror Theme Week!

Title: Don't Call Me Back
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Draco/Harry
Categories: Post-canon, AU, Apocalypse, Suspense, First Time, Inferi, Horror - but with some hope, hurt/comfort
Length: Medium (9,830 words)
Warnings: Violence, death of minor characters

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] rurounihime
Author Websites: favicon Rurounihime

Author's Summary: They walked all day, skirting copses of trees, avoiding roads. Harry pushed them past a village where the glass littered the streets, sparkling in the morning light, and doorways gaped open like giant black wounds.

Review:
ZOMBIES... Or rather, Voldemort's zombified Inferi. Whatever they are, they're scary as hell, and Harry and Draco are on the run. This opens with a vivid description of Harry's escape from a critical ward with Draco's help, and it rolls along from there. It's got a few of my favorite elements from the zombie film genre, but never feels like a retread, and I didn't know what was going to happen at any given moment.

The suspense is off the charts, and there's no time to worry about past bad feelings when you're trying to live through the day, and you know exactly one person who isn't out to kill you. This allows for some intense and emotional scenes between Harry and Draco. Favorite parts include Draco's fever and fear of turning, meeting up with a few humans, and turning to one another for comfort after two near death experiences in rapid succession. Plus I thought the open but hopeful ending was just right.

Even if zombies aren't your thing, if you like suspense and a thrown together need to rely on one another, this is a terrific read.

Don't Call Me Back (AO3)
On LJ


Profile

epic_recs: (Default)
[community profile] epic_recs
Epic Recs

Length Guidelines

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

Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios
Designed by [personal profile] chasethestars