trancer21: (WH13 - HG/Myka)
[personal profile] trancer21
Oh man, I'd meant to post this *ages* ago and am just now finding the time. I mean, I have this LONG list in my 'to read' file and am barely scratching the surface. (I made an EXCEL SHEET, people!) And my list just keeps getting longer.. thanks to AO3's 'mark to read later' feature. Anyway, my standard disclaimer when doing rec type stuff is this - I don't claim to be an expert on writing. What's written below is merely a list of stuff I've read and my thoughts on them. Nothing more, nothing less. So, with that said, here we go...

CRIMINAL MINDS

1. "And Shiva Blinked" by Harper-M. Emily/JJ, Mature, 22205 words. I liked this fic in the sense that it reads like an episode, where every character has there 'moment' and the case file is interesting and well told. But, as a first time, it fell a little flat for me because there's very little examination of the JJ/Emily ship. JJ finds out Emily's gay, in between there's a case, and at the end the two kiss. That's it. I was expecting a little more depth to the relationship aspect, ie, I wanted the ship aspect of the story to have as much depth and examination as the case aspect of the story. This isn't to say that I disliked it, or it's not good. It's good *and* I liked it. I guess I was expecting a bit more romance.

GLEE

2. "Say Goodbye To This Heart Of Mine" by Random-Flores, Santana/Rachel - Mature, 14500. ZOMBIES... AND GLEE!! It's Santana/Rachel, but it's mostly a Santana story, not that Rachel gets lost in the characterization. It's the end of the world and all Santana and Rachel have is each other. It's about how Rachel slowly and, sometimes, annoyingly whittles away at Santana's emotional defenses and before either of them realize it.. BAM!! And I love how Santana is written here. The story's not particularly long, but there's a lot of depth and insight into the character. And not a single 'latina' descriptor to be found *anywhere*!!

DOLLHOUSE

3. "The Gun in the Stars (We Are In Some Old Film About Lovers In Wartime)" by Immortality. Whiskey/November, Mature - 60081. Wow, I'm not even sure where to start with this one. Like, it totally had me at 'post-apocalyptic zombie fic' but, seriously, it totally delivers. This is what I *wish* 'The Walking Dead' had been, maybe with a bit of 'Escape From New York's' grittiness. This is more post-apocalypse than zombies. Where it's really about the time after, when the dead are mostly dead and the survivors are finding ways to eke out an existence. It's hard and gritty, with characters that are neither heroes nor anti-heroes, imperfect people trying to find their place in an imperfect world.

4. "The Midnight That Lasted Forever (That Old Saying About Lovers In Wartime)" by Immortality. Whiskey/November, Mature, 46334 words. An interesting contrast to immortality's other fic I read, The Gun In The Stars, same fandom – Dollhouse, same pairing – Whiskey/November, similar circumstances – post-apocalypse but with werewolves instead of zombies. I don't want to say the previous fic is better than this one, it's just that the plots are so similar that the one I read first compares as the better because everything was.. unfamiliar? Like, here, this story reads like 'The Gun In The Stars' as if Whiskey and November were already in a relationship as opposed to the previous fics first time aspect. Their relationship here is more romantic, less dysfunctional and violent, and shows more of how they work as partners. I mean, I liked it, I *really* liked it and I definitely recommend it. I just wish, plot wise, it hadn't been so similar to the previous one.

Fringe/Warehouse 13/Castle

5. "There You Are" by Cdybedahl. Helena/Myka, Olivia/Beckett, Astrid/Claudia, PG-13 - 46346 words. There's a good story here, actually several good stories in fact. The problem is, they're all shoehorned into one and it's all very square peg, round hole. There's a lack of focus (imo), particularly with the characterization, that gives the story a lack of depth. So I found myself skimming a lot. Had the story been longer, focusing on just one or two characters, I think it may have merged well. As is, there are good ideas, but it didn't read to me like a coherent whole.

HIGHLANDER

6. "The Thief" by Meghan Black, Mature - 39109. Woot! Fandom blast from the past! *sigh* I wish femslash wasn't so damn rare in this fandom. Written way back in '97 and, at almost 40k in words, I wished I'd liked it more. It's mainly a first-time romance and there's nothing wrong with that (admittedly, the writing tends to veer into purple prose territory more often than not). It's just, when you're dealing with a canon involving immortals who run around lopping each other's heads off with swords, I was looking for something a little more, I don't know, epic. Even when there's a third party introduced as a rival for Amanda's affections, I thought there was a lack of dramatic tension all around to effectively deliver the melancholy tone the story ends on.

RIZZOLI & ISLES

7. "Interference" by SnuffyNYC, Rizzoli/Isles - Mature, 80915 words. [Trigger Warning for consensual non-con roleplay] This is good. Like, good in ways I was completely NOT expecting!! This takes place/was written during season one and there's a plot point that happens where I had to stop and go 'wait! When did *that* happen?'. The characterization is that good but a little more grounded, less campy than the show. I mean, the Rizzoli family dynamics here are.. I wish the show were as good as its portrayed here. The story is a drama, but it never veers into melodrama, it's a bit more grounded in reality.

8. "Darkness Within" by Anamatics, Rizzoli/Isles - Mature, 9398 words. [Trigger Warning] A sequel of sorts to 'A Gentleman's Dilemma', which is just as good. If I have one complaint it's that the damn thing is soo SHORT!! The story deals with Rizzoli's first contact with serial-killer Charles Hoyt, how his attack on her shakes the foundation of her still questioning identity.

9. "Heat Wave" by SnuffyNYC. Rizzoli/Isles, Mature - 40434 words. I will never, EVER be disappointed in a fic that starts off with Jane Rizzoli masturbating.. TO HER OWN REFLECTION!! Lol, seriously. It's a nice contrast to the other SnuffyNYC fic I read. It's a first time fic, but the Jane here is more grounded, less.. angsty. She's all confidence, swagger and sexuality. There's a refreshing lack of angst when it comes to Jane's recognition of her own sexuality and her desire for Maura. I really like how Snuffy writes Maura, there's always a depth to her character that I often feel is missing from the show.

WAREHOUSE 13

10. "Belief & Betrayal" by Grumpybear1031 & Shaych03, Helena/Myka, Mature - 86859 words. Oh man, if ONLY season three had started as this story does. *sigh* I mean, if you like long, plotty fics with action and romance and some hot girl on girl lovin'.. or in this case, Secret Agent on Supercentenarian lovin', heh. I particularly liked how all the characters are integrated/get their chance to shine. I mean, Artie acts like a complete ASS for the majority of his fic, but it always feels organic and never like an excuse to use the character as merely an obstacle. Then there's Myka and Helena. Both characters always feel as in character and the romance between is just.. *swoon*. They have obstacles and anxieties but the moment the two are together, they're *together*. I do have one *minor* nitpick and that's the revelation that Helena, in an attempt to save Christina, had been raped. I don't know. Helena has gone back in time three times to save her daughter only to fail each and every time. That's a mountains worth of angst right there. Adding sexual assault on top of that felt like overkill.

11. "Artificer & Phile" by Anamatics. Helena/Myka, Mature, 62741 words. A re-telling of WH13, in which Myka never joined the Warehouse after Sam's death and, still, winds up meeting Helena, and getting involved in Warehouse business. I liked it just fine, I just wish there'd been a little more 'oomph' to it. And I really can't explain it any better than that. Like, in retelling seasons two and three, it feels like there's too much story to tell in too little time (too few words)? The only thing that's really different here is how Myka and Helena's relationship begins, with Myka falling for HG before she joins the Warehouse. I liked that the Myka in this story already identifies as queer, and the examinations of the little struggles regarding coming out all over again in a new place. I also liked the characterization of Helena, both confidant and insecure, still out of place in her time. I do wish there'd been a bit more to do with Helena, though.

Oh, and if anyone has any recs I'd love to have them. Admittedly, I have a *very* long to read list but there's nothing wrong with adding more!
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October 2012

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