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05 August 2009 @ 07:42 pm

Title:  Nothing Like the Moon
Series: Harry Potter
Author: lilly-tarn
Warnings: mentions of Harry/Ginny
Rated: PG/T
Length: 7,413 words, Oneshot
Update Schedule: Complete

Author's summary: No one – not even she – knew that Luna was one of the most observant people at Hogwarts.


Spellcast Audio Play link: http://spellcast.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=375110

I included links to the original written version and the audio version... BUT LISTEN THE AUDIO VERSION! The story flows very very well when spoken. There's a special cadence to them, as if the prose has a ballad quality to it. The audio editing has this wonderful ambient sound that really enhances the work. You really feel as if you're standing under the moon in the crisp night air.

I love the perspective in this. It jars you from your preconceived notions, and forces you to see details you would have otherwise overlooked ... to see how Luna sees. The fic portrays the dichotomy of Luna's character.  She's wise beyond her years, but with a hint of social awkwardness borne from years of solitude.

There's something very sad about Luna in Nothing Like the Moon.  I could really feel the years of loneliness in her.  She can't even come close to fathoming love and can only think of it like grasping the moon... Something pretty to look at, but impossible for her to get near. It's as if she's unconsciously given up on herself at sixteen. It's heartbreaking. 

If you listen to the audio version, make sure to leave any reviews for the author at her live journal. She probably doesn't check the Spellcast page.

04 August 2009 @ 09:24 pm

Title:  Journey Through the Night
Series: Naruto
Author: Oreithyia
Warnings: Mystery, Drama, Mild Het, Sakura/Gaara 
Rated: T
Length: 87,792+ words 
Update Schedule: Frequent and almost completed.

Author's summary: An epidemic forces the Kazekage to summon aid from Konoha. But from the horrors of disease to the ties of family and clan, from the fine line between executive and dictator to the complexities of international policy, nothing is ever so simple.


Now for something different, a Ninja medical drama!  Weird right? Weird yeah, but it's also quite entertaining.    The medical terminology sprinkled throughout the story felt genuine.  The author definitely used a bit of research-no-jutsu while writing the fic.  The mystery was intriguing too, although I'm skeptical if many readers could have solved the mystery until nearly the end of the fic. 

The story's success doesn't hinge on the mystery, though.  Its main selling point is the plot.   The plot unfolds at a steady pace and kept my attention throughout.  There's quite a bit of drama as well that doesn't hinge on romance.    You don't come across many plot driven fanfics.  While there are hints of Sakura/Gaara, they're very understated.  Romance drama is rather overused in fanfiction so a change of pace is nice.

30 March 2009 @ 09:20 pm

Title:  Fear of Flying

Series: Nodame Cantabile

Author: Laurie Bunter

Warnings: Lemon, Het, Waff

Rated: NC17

Length: 1,911 words

Update Schedule: Oneshot, Complete


Author's summary: To dream of flying was to dream of sex. What did it mean, if one dreamt of sex while actually flying? What did it mean, to dream of having sex with Nodame? As usual, Chiaki's in denial. Chiaki x Nodame. Some spoilers for the Paris arc.




I've been on a huge Nodame Cantabile kick lately.  This story is short, sweet, and wonderfully in character.  The use of musical terms gives the story a unique and very appropriate tone.  Also, it's porn. Whooo porn.

27 January 2009 @ 07:10 pm

Title:  See Noir Evil

Series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Author: MMcGregor

Warnings: Dark, Mentions of torture, and... humor?

Rated: FR18

Length: 192,299 words

Update Schedule: Complete


Author's summary: They say Xander killed them all. They say Xander’s crazy. Xander says he’s crazy too. It’s only Xander’s imaginary friend who says otherwise.





MMcGregor is one of the rare authors who can balance a sense of humor with serious subject matter without becoming crass.  This is very important for a Xander centric fanfic.  A very serious Xander doesn’t feel like Xander to me anymore.  The Xander in See Noir Evil is very emotionally broken, but there's a core of Xanderness that still manages to cling to his damaged psyche. It's heartbreaking and very heroic at the same time... everything Xander should be.


This is also one of the few writers who I like how they write.  MMcGregor has a very distinct style that shines through in all his fanfiction.  It’s distinct enough that it can snare me into reading stories that I might not have otherwise been interested in.


The only criticism I can give to this story is that it goes on about a dozen chapters too long.  At the end, I was feeling pretty fatigued.  I think the story could have had more impact if those chapters were the beginning of the sequel.

08 August 2008 @ 10:18 pm

Title:  Incursion
Series: Labyrinth
Author: aliasheist
Warnings: Het, Humor, Jareth/Sarah
Rated: PG-13
Length: 2,343
Update Schedule: Oneshot, Complete

Author's summary: There was a reason magic didn’t belong in the world Above.


This is a hilarious, cute and whimsical oneshot.  It had me giggling out loud several times.  I also enjoyed the casualness of Sarah and Jareth's relationship.  Don't get me wrong, I love the steamy tension filled potrayals of their relationship.  However, it's nice once in awhile to see what life is like after the fires have died down.

07 August 2008 @ 07:04 am

Title: A Royal Gift
Series: Labyrinth
Author: dmacabre
Warnings: None, Gen
Rated: K
Length: 4,853 words
Update Schedule: Complete, Oneshot

Author's summary: It is Christmas, and time for the inaugural Labyrinth Secret Santa gift exchange. But what do you get for the king who has everything?


Didymus and Hoggle don't get much fanfiction centered on them.  They're often pushed to the sidelines, killed, ignored, or even set up as figments of Sarah's imagination.  So it's quite refreshing to come across a story from their perspectives.  It's short, sweet, and utterly adorable. I'm not surprised, really.  Everything dansemacabre writes turns to gold.

03 August 2008 @ 01:12 pm

Title:  Luna's Year
Series: Harry Potter
Warnings: Het
Rated: K
Length: 142,164 words
Update Schedule: Complete

Author's summary:  Set during Harry's sixth year, a certain fifth year Ravenclaw, "Loony" Luna Lovegood, gradually becomes part of his circle of friends.


This story ended up better than I ever would have imagined.  It has a rather rocky start.  The first word of the fic is a typo. In fact, there are several typos throughout the first few chapters. Scene changes can be very abrupt, but I think that's just fanfiction.net messing up the author's formatting. There's also one very nonsensical Minister of Magic appointment which left me blinking in confusion.  Not even Luna Lovegood logic can explain how that one happened.  Having said that: Ignore it.  The story gets progressively better and better. Shockingly, better in fact.  Prose, characterization of every character, flow, pacing, humor, suspense, it all snapped into place.  I never would have guessed how good the story would become when I first began reading it.  It took me by surprise, much like Luna Lovegood herself.  

Luna is bloody awesome in this story.  She's a very difficult character to write.  Her characterization is hard to get a hold of like a wisp of ethereal smoke.  Some authors let her slip through their fingers, keeping her so otherworldly that she doesn't even feel human.  Others lay her eccentricities on so thick that you're left coughing and sputtering as if in a room full of cigar smoke. Luna may be a tough nut to crack, but she isn't crazy.   Thankfully, the author of Luna's Year finds the right balance.  Yes, she leaves the average person mystified, but she's still using logic that makes sense.  She's not an untouchable alien creature, she's simply thinking outside of the box in a way most people aren't used to.

She's very human in this.  You feel for her, and even admire her.  By all rights, she should be a Mary Sue here.  She wins people over, is a powerful witch, is wise beyond her years, etc... But somehow the author makes it work.  On one hand, she's still vulnerable and very lonely underneath it all.  Yet, she still has this ethereal quality to her.  The scene in the clearing with the fairies was awe inspiring.  That scene transcends everything else in the story. It's just so... well... magical.  Luna, more so than anyone else in Harry Potter, feels like a child of magic.  She's like the last druid who alone has a deep connection with the ancient magic of the land , while every other witch and wizard of her age lives their life with their eyes half closed.

Finally, I love the pairing that evolves from this story.  It's much more organic and believable than the one we got in canon.  It feels deep and nuanced like an adult relationship and not a teenaged fling.  I think I've permanently changed my shipping preference.


Title:  Knight by Inheritance

Series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Hellsing

Author: Siege

Warnings: Het, Integra/Xander, Action, Humor

Rated: FR15 / Teen

Length: 13,787 words

Update Schedule: Ongoing, Abandoned?


Author's summary: Xander finds a heritage and perhaps something more. Hellsing Crossover. Romantic Comedy I hope.





What a fantastic setup.  Xander rocks the Hellsing Universe in this. And he does it without having any of the typical enhancements that fics sometimes want to gift him with.  He gets by on his essential Xanderness alone.  His interactions with Integra were so much fun and promised some amazing sexual tension in later chapters.  Major demonic ass kicking seemed to be on the agenda for the future as well.  You can never go wrong with demonic ass kicking.


But alas, the main problem with this story is that it has no future. The three published chapters never manage to get past setup to the meat and potatoes of the story. It's a crying shame, really. The story promised some amazing character interaction, fun plot, etc... It could have been one of the best Xander fics out there. Hopefully by spreading the word about it, someone somewhere will feel inspired and write a similar fic someday.



Title:  Harry Potter & the Second Chance

Series: Harry Potter

Author: azerjaban

Warnings: Angst, Het, Humor, Dimensional Travel 

Rated: T

Length: 47,553+ words

Update Schedule: Went on hiatus for a long time, but seems to be back to regular updates.


Author's summary: Harry Potter, sick of fighting and loosing everyone he has ever cared for. In a twist of Fate, finds himself in a world where he died as a baby, his parents alive and is Voldemort really gone? Post HBP.





Don't be put off by this story's beginning.  The tone in the first couple chapters seems to be very dark, almost melodramatically so.  I do admit that the subject matter, infanticide, isn't exactly something that lends itself to levity. Treating it too lightly would seem callous and out of character for Lilly. On the other hand, the emotions were laid on rather thick. For example, there's an entire room dedicated to their deceased baby that has never been touched since the day he died... sixteen years ago.


However, each chapter is better than the next as the author finds the right balance between angst, humor, and drama. Lilly feels much more three dimensional and realistic as the story continues.  The quality of the prose increases dramatically as well.  The author is making such steady and impressive improvement with each chapter that I’m really looking forward to see how good he or she can be.


Everyone else in the story is well characterized from the get go, particularly Harry. The author's portrayal of Harry is just how I like him, emotionally vulnerable with a core of grim determination and a dash of dark humor.  Finally, of particular merit is the author’s flare with original characters.  Several original characters appear, including two other children of Lily and James. They came across as fully realized characters within a short span of time. I am generally interested in how they will interact with Harry when they finally meet him.

20 June 2008 @ 11:34 pm

Title:  Ill Met In Moonlight
Series: Naruto
Author: dave-d
Warnings: Dark, AU, Het, Not for Sasuke fans 
Rated: T
Length: 777 words
Update Schedule: Complete, Oneshot

Author's summary: A dark one shot exploration. Years in the future, Naruto tracks down Sasuke. For good reason.


There's not much I can say about this short and rather dark oneshot without ruining it. However, if you've ever been annoyed by Sasuke then you should get a kick out of this one. 

06 June 2008 @ 02:10 am

Title:  This Bird Has Flown
Series: Labyrinth
Author: moon_lover68
Warnings: Gen
Rated: G
Length: 1,073 words
Update Schedule: Oneshot, Complete 

Author's summary:
  Jareth has been bringing Toby back to the Labyrinth for many years, only this Christmas something has changed.

This story is more melancholy than I would normally recommend, but it's a wistful and poignant kind of sadness. The prose is very well written, and the references to Saint Nicholas were very fitting. Toby's lost belief in magic and wonder is really heart wrenching, especially to those of us who still desperately wish to turn a corner and find a labyrinth.

04 June 2008 @ 11:28 pm

Title:  To Expect the Unexpected

Series: Naruto

Author: Lady Dementia

Warnings: LEMON, Het, Sakura/Shino

Rated: NC-17

Length: 5,080 words

Update Schedule: Oneshot, Complete


Author's summary:  ShinoSaku, With Shino ill, and the mission they were on delayed, Sakura tries to cope with Shino's increasing... humanity.  M/F,Lemon




I love when authors can get crack pairings to work. It's even more amazing when they can setup crack pairing lemons believably.  And when you take into account Shino has virtually no contact with Sakura onscreen in canon, it becomes even more impressive. 


The romantic development is excellent in this fic, and managed to pack quite a bit of growth of Sakura and Shino's relationship into a single chapter.  The two have surprisingly great chemistry, and the resulting lemon is steamy and descriptive without resorting to any ridiculous adjectives that lemons are known for.




Title:  Tom Marvolo Riddle Potter and Becoming Brothers
Series: Harry Potter
Author: SisterDear
Warnings: AU
Rated: T
Length: 5,000+ words
Update Schedule: Ongoing, Abandoned

Author's summary: When Voldemort is defeated, the fragment of his soul still stuck in Harry drags the Boy Who Lived with it through time in search of another, complete version of itself. A time travel, Harry adopts Tom Riddle story.


Tom Marvolo Riddle (Part One):

Becoming Brothers (Part Two):

This story is based on an idea that's been done quite a few times before, but this is the only story I've found that does it well. Note that these fics, although posted as two stories, are really just part one and two of the same saga. I don't know why the author felt the need to separate them.

I really like the authors take on Tom Riddle. I admit, the characterization of Riddle in this fic runs counter to canon.  Canon Tom Riddle is a bad seed.  He was evil and sadistic from day one and becoming a wizard only gave him more tools in his arsenal to be horrible to other people. However, that one note character is just so BORING to me. I much prefer this author's multifaceted Tom Riddle.  Sure the kid's a dangerous brat, but he wasn't born some irredeemable demon.  SisterDear's Tom is a very gray character with a very uncertain future. Although Tom isn't heartless, he still could very well become a dark wizard.

There are few minor aspects that might detract from your enjoyment of the fic.  Sometimes, I felt that Harry was a bit too powerful. Fortunately, the author balances Harry's physical competence with mentally instability. This Harry may be a badass, but he's broken inside and terribly lonely.  This balancing act keeps his characterization recognizable and keeps the story from becoming a 'Super Harry' story. The story isn't a complete emo-party either.  Humor is sprinkled throughout, helping to lighten the mood.

05 April 2008 @ 03:03 pm

Title:  Tells

Series: Tinman (SciFi Miniseries)

Author: Chibi-Kaz       

Warnings: Het, Full of spoilers for the entire miniseries

Rated: PG

Length: 1,667 words

Update Schedule: Oneshot, Complete


Author's summary: Cain ruminates on DG throughout the series.




Tinman was a fun series. If you haven't seen the miniseries already check it out before reading this fic, because it pretty much spoils the entire story. If you have seen it, you know that the actress who played the main character D.G., often portrayed the character as having this vacant, thousand-mile stare. It must have been intentional, because I've seen the actress in other movies (notably Elf with Will Ferell) so it wasn't simply crappy acting ability.


Chibi-Kaz presents a believable and interesting explanation for this look.  It makes sense within the context of the show and for D.G's characterization. I also like how the diction in this short work feels off and slightly foreign. Fairy tale kingdoms, even if they inexplicably speak English, still shouldn't have the same vocabulary as the average American.

01 April 2008 @ 09:23 am

Title:  Something Has to Give
Series: Labyrinth
Warnings: Het hints, Weird
Rated: K+
Length: 29,952 words
Update Schedule: Ongoing, Abandoned Years Ago

Author's summary: There are some things you can't walk away from. The Labyrinth is one, organized crime is another... also Jareth. And sentient predatory hand dryers too. Oh, and true love. But Sarah is going to give it her best shot.


Another great gem lost to the void of authorial neglect. This fic has some of the craziest and most enjoyable tangents since the late great Douglas Adams. The fic is filled with unique turns of phrase.  The author has a special gift for creating metaphors that most people would never think of, no matter how long they stare at their word processor. The writing shows such raw talent... It's the kind of raw talent that could propel the author into the professional arena if it was just honed a little.

Finally, the fic is simply fun to read. The tone is light and whimsical and the humor is sly and smart. Heck, it was fun to read the third (or is it fourth?) time again to write this review. Don't pass this up because it's abandoned and unfinished. After all, the fic doesn't have much of a plot, anyways. With this story, the enjoyment is in the journey not the destination.

21 March 2008 @ 12:51 am

Title:  The Doll Army
Series: Harry Potter
Warnings: Gen, Cuteness with subtle foreshadowing of dark events to come
Rated: K+
Length: 7,261 words
Update Schedule: Complete, Oneshot

Author's summary: Six year old Dora Tonks gets a visit from three Marauders, and her dolls get a new mission in life.

Gen fics that can be flawlessly integrated into canon are very underrated."The Doll Army" feels like it was taken straight from JK Rowlings notes.  The characterization rings true and the foreshadowing, especially concerning Petegrew, has just the right level of subtle heartbreaking undertones.  The story also gives adds some needed history between Tonks and Lupin that I think enhances their future relationship.


05 January 2008 @ 03:34 pm

Title:  A Quiet Proposal

Series: Naruto
Author: otherworldviolet

Warnings: Het, Naruto/Hinata, Romance, Humor

Rated: K+

Length: 6,350 words

Update Schedule: Complete?


Author's summary: She wants to tell him she’s scared, and she doesn’t want to marry Neji-niisan or Sasuke-kun – she wants to marry him and only him and if she can’t she’ll never be happy. NaruHina. Rated for occasional language.


I hesitated to recommend this, because while still rec-worthy, it does have a few elements that bother me. Hinata's complacency in getting an arranged marriage, while not out of character, is frustrating.  Part of the fun of fanfiction Hinata is seeing her learn and grow into a stronger person in body AND mind. Someone who can stand up for herself and her friends.  The traditional portrayal of Hinata as quiet and dignified certainly won't be for everyone. Don’t get me wrong, she isn’t a complete shrinking violet. There is an element of strength in her quiet and dignified persona.  However, I usually prefer to see her crack that persona, because I believe deep down there's a dorky Hinata just wanting to get out and laugh loudly at all of Naruto's stupid jokes.  Having said that, there is a very endearing sweet and kind quality to her here that I'm willing to read once in awhile.


As far as characterization goes, Naruto really outshines her in this story. Naruto's attitude contrasts with the typical Hyuuga attitude in some fun ways. Just by existing, he's going to change the Hyuuga from the inside out. His constant annoyance of Neji in particular is a joy to read.


The present tense is also something I usually balk at.  Although technically a perfectly valid way to write a story, it annoys the heck out of me.  Most of the time, it just FEELS wrong, but the author made it work here. It flows nicely and gives the story a sense of immediacy. Since the "proposal" comes with a time limit, the immediacy helps accentuate the plot.  The prose is also rather simplistic, but not in a child-like way. It's more in a traditional Japanese esthetic like a haiku or an ink painting.  Words may be sparse, but are used with care and skill.


On a final note, although the story says it's complete, it feels as if it just stopped to me.




02 January 2008 @ 07:56 pm

Title:  How & Why
Series: Naruto
Author: randomsomeone
Warnings: Het, Gaara/Sakura, Non fluffy Romance, Lemony
Rated: Rated M, but I that's only because there's no higher rating on Fanfiction.net.  The rating is more like mild NC17.
Length: 24,622 words
Update Schedule: Complete

Author's summary: A psychological war gets completely out of control. Lust doesn't cut it and love doesn't just happen, so how else can it work? GaaSaku, Finished!

I agonized over this review. I've stopped and started it dozens of times, tried to boil the story down to his very essence to explain why it's worth reading.  And in the end, I decided to go with the basest reason.  

Sakura and Gaara are hot together.  

Surpassing all logic, reason and laws of the universe, they have amazing romantic chemistry. They're clashing personalities just... work somehow.  It's a testament to the authors skill that I can't pinpoint exactly why. That's the way romantic tension should be written, like an elusive substance that can't be held down nor can be denied.

Not that the danger isn't there. Oh yeeeah the dangers there. The sense of danger and tension creeps out around every corner.  Will they kiss?  Or will the borderline psychotic demon inhabited ninja eviscerate her into itsy bitsy Sakura colored pieces? Also, since its a romance fic, it isn't regular ole danger its highly charged toe curling SEXY danger.

On another note, I really loved the authors descriptions of subtle details.  The tone of a whisper, the tension in a shoulder, etc are all used to great effect to portray characterization.  The characterization is also flawless and drives the entire story.  I think it differs a bit from post-timeskip canon, but in a good way.  In my opinion, Sakura and Gaara's characters develop more naturally here then they did in the lack luster post-time skip canon.


02 January 2008 @ 02:22 am

Title:  Sorted Differently
Series: Harry Potter
Author: Magistera
Warnings: None, Gen
Rated: G
Length:  3-5 pages, tops.
Update Schedule: Complete, Oneshot

Author's summary: And Harry thought that currency was all he'd have to 'convert from' to join the wizarding world.

I tend to like fanfics that are epic in scope and this journal reflects that.  However, it's nice to read a short fic once in awhile.  Sorted Differently is built around the simple question: What if Hogwarts students were sorted differently?  The situations range from the cute to the bizarre, but all are entertaining. My favorite is the Squid.  




Title:  Dark Knight, White Knight
Series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Author: Marc D.
Warnings: Gen, Crossover with some Batman incarnation (either comics or the 90s animated series)
Rated: T
Length: 22,472 words
Update Schedule: Not updated in years.  However, the author did respond to my PM and sent me a little snippet he had wrote for it so it might not be abandoned.  Cross your fingers everbody!

Author's summary: Xander learns about something from his past kept secret. It's something he's always dreamed about, but never expected.

Everything you need know about why you should read this fic is summed up in one sentence.


Everything else is merely secondary. The great writing, characterization, pacing, and humor are all just the fantastic wrapping to the Batman daddy package. The only real drawback is that the fic has not been updated in years. The last chapter does have an 'ending feel' to it, but I had the impression it was meant to be continued. It's too bad, because there was so much more the fic would have explored. Xander never even got to meet the extended Bat-Family. I think he could have really gotten along well with Nightwing. This is pre-Damian in Batman continuity, which is a lost opportunity in of itself.  Xander dealing with the snotty little ninja brat could have been as fun as a bucket full of drunken monkeys.


Current Music: Teen Titans Theme Song - Puffy Ami Yumi
02 December 2007 @ 11:48 pm

Title:  Dark Hour of the Night

Series: Labyrinth
Author: Dansemacabre

Warnings: Het, kinky foreplay/mild torture scenes (not as disturbing as it sounds though).

Rated: M

Length: 64,772+

Update Schedule: Ongoing


Author's summary: After eight long years, Sarah returns to the Labyrinth only to find that the Goblin King has married... for love. But as it was on her first adventure, Sarah finds that things and people are not always what they seem. JS. Also see prequel, Nocturne.


Dansemacabre is a god of Labyrinth fanfics. She (he?) has written some of the best Labyrinth fanfics in existence (including The End of Days which I will also rec... as soon as I remember what it's about). This prolific author’s newest story, Dark Hour of Night, is more than living up to its predecessors.


Dark Hour of the Night is a very apt title.  Dark creatures have taken over the Labyrinth, and a real sense of danger permeates the story. No one is safe from death, torture or mental anguish.  Main characters could be killed at any time. The tension’s so thick you could slather it on a piece of bread and make a tension sandwich.


The author has made some very interesting and unique characterization choices.  The antagonist of the piece is very well fleshed out.  The story even seems to want the reader to feel sympathy with her plight.  It’s debatable if she really even counts as a villain.  I have no doubt that more sensitive readers WILL feel for her... However, my more blood thirsty mentality would still like to see Sarah thwap her upside the head with a frying pan.


Jareth's characterization is handled in a unique way as well. He comes across as very... vulnerable in this tale.  Vulnerable Jareth isn’t something you see very often and it really wrung some powerful emotion from me.  It was painful to read about such a proud King being brought to his knees. You almost feel like you should look away.


The only weak link in characterization is Sarah. Granted, time can wear away at foolhardy courage, but she's still been a bit too passive so far. This could certainly change in later chapters. I probably won't get any frying pan action, but I'd be very surprised if she remained inactive after hearing about a few of the events that took place in her absence.


Yes, that last sentence WAS vague.  The story has an excellent mystery that's picks up speed and drama as each chapter unfolds.  Mysteries surround Jareth, his new Queen, and her plans for the Labyrinth.  The author really knows how to build suspense.


On a final note, DON'T read the prequel, at least not first.  Considering a major draw of the story is the mystery, it gives  bit more away than it should of Dark Hour of the Night's plot.  At the very least, read it after you read all of the available chapters.



Current Music: Carol of the Bells by Celtic Woman from the album "A Christmas Celebration"
21 November 2007 @ 02:15 pm

Title:  Return to the Labyrinth

Series: Labyrinth
Author: Gaeliceyes

Warnings: Het, Jareth/Sarah

Rated: M

Length: 48,000 + words

Update Schedule: Sporadic


Author's summary: Happy ever after is an illusion. Ten years later Sarah strikes a bargain to get back her dreams, but gets more than she bargained for. Playing games with the Goblin King is a risky business, and Sarah is risking it all.


I admit, I almost gave up on this story in the first few chapters.  The beginning wallows a bit too much in melodrama and some of the angst description is just a little too over the top.  However, once Sarah reaches the Underground the story finally finds its magic like Dorothy stepping from her black and white Kansas home into full Technicolor Oz.


Just like Dorothy setting into Oz for the first time, this fic manages to maintain a sense of wonder through very vivid descriptions and details.  Colors, smells, and even tastes are not the same in the Underground.


Unlike most genres, original characters are almost a necessity in Labyrinth fics.  The original characters in Labyrinth fics usually run the extremes: really original or really terrible (hint: don't even bother reading anything where Sarah takes a college buddy with her to the Labyrinth, especially if that buddy is a girl). Thankfully, the original characters in Return to the Labyrinth are on the positive side of the spectrum.


Finally, An intriguing mystery keeps the fic fresh and the readers on the edge of their seats.




Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
Current Music: "Brand New World" One Piece Soundtrack
08 November 2007 @ 05:24 pm

Title:  Right or Easy

Series: Harry Potter
Author: Razzle-Dazzle-Me

Warnings: Violence, Dark, kind of angsty (but in a non annoying way)

Rated: T (should be an M though)

Length: 39,517+ words, 12 Ongoing

Update Schedule: Possibly abandoned


Author's summary: AU The final battle has been won, but was it worth the cost? Harry, alone and determined, sets out to rewrite history for a better world ... only to find himself stranded in another.


Angsty, gritty stories tend to not be my thing, but for some reason this story really grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go.  Part of the appeal is the way the AU characters are handled. The fic takes a very realistic stance to Harry's relationship with his new world. No one trusts him and he might never gain their trust, but poor Harry still has this deep burning urge to try to win them over.


The story takes a REALLY dark turn at the end of the last published chapter.  It's so dark that I don't see how it can ever recover. I suppose the author isn't sure either, because the fanfic hasn't been updated in a long time.



Current Mood: nervousnervous
Current Music: C'est la Vie ~ Watashi no Naka from the Sailor Moon Live Action Soundtrack
04 November 2007 @ 10:25 pm

Title:  Paradise Lost

Series: Ranma 1/2 and Evangelion
Author: Andy Kent

Warnings: Het, AU, Crossover-Fusion

Rated: No official rating, but I'd say probably a T

Length: 20+ Chapters

Update Schedule: Abandoned Years Ago


My Summary: Replace Shinji from Evangelion with Ryouga Hibiki from Ranma 1/2 and watch hilarity ensue. 

I have been trying to dig a little deeper beyond the regular fanfiction.net rec and find a few lost gems. And low and behold! From the darkest corners of forgotten fanfiction fandom comes... a Ranma 1/2 fanfic rec!


Whether you'll like this fic or not depends on two things 1) Whether you're a Ryouga Hibiki fan and 2) if parts of Evangelion annoyed the hell out of you.  If either of these are true, than this fanfic is for you.  Ryouga is as different from Shinji as night is to day. The only similarity is a weakness for women but honestly, how scary can regular girls be when you can get hit repeatedly in the head with crowbars and only feel a little itchy?  The drastic differences in personality between Ryouga and Shinji divert the Evangelion canon storyline early on. After all, Gendo wasn't counting on having a son who can bend steel with his bare hands!




Current Mood: worriedworried
03 November 2007 @ 08:09 pm

Title:  It Takes Two, to Practice

Series: X-Men: Evolution
Author: Silver Nitte iz

Warnings: Het, vague sex scenes, Angsty Romance,  Rogue/Gambit

Rated: M

Length: 77,000+ words, Ongoing

Update Schedule: About Bi-monthly


Author's summary: Rogue's played her cards and finally, she's folded. But has Gambit, has Remy gotten what he wanted?


More accurate summary:  Rogue has a theory about her powers she needs to test out.  Problem is, this theory involves touching... boyfriend-girlfriend sort of touching. Who better to ask for help then the king of 'no strings attached' Gambit? NO problem, right?  Or is Rogue in for more than she bargained for?


The characterization is superb. Remy and Rogue have layers and layers of pathos that each chapter manages to peel away one by one leaving new information revealed and uncovering more secrets. Furthermore, the character growth is directly mirrored in Rogue's growing mastery of her powers. Intertwining character growth with plot is very difficult and takes a depth hand to pull off correctly. 


And of course there's the sarcasm laden, back scratching, hot, sexy, glorious angst.  Remy and Rogue... When they're hot, they're hot.  When they're not, they're not.  When they're really hot and really not stuff tends to explode.  I tend to shy away from angst romance, because it's very rarely done well. I was willing to give this one a shot though, because the authors previous Harry Potter fic, Hold Me While I'm Here, was so damn awesome. I'm glad I did.


If you're like me and don't usually delve into this fandom, you still might like this fic. The story states that it's set in the recent animated X-Men Evolution series, but I think a knowledge of the comic book series or the 1990s animated X-Men series would also suffice. Movie knowledge alone won't be enough, since Gambit has never made an appearance in any of the X-Men movies (and fangirls around the world shed a tear).



Current Mood: crankycranky
Current Music: I'm Ready by Angela Micheal from the Kim Possible Soundtrack
02 November 2007 @ 07:56 pm

Title:  Into the Rose Garden
Series: Labyrinth
Author: Dryad13
Warnings: Het, Jareth/Sarah 
Rated: M
Length: 95,820 words
Update Schedule:  Complete

Author's summary:  Sarah has good grades, a circle of friends, and a cute boyfriend. Life's great...right? So why does she have the strange feeling that something's missing? Fairy tales show that magic will make you or break you. Which category does she belong in?

Labyrinth fanfic is, for the most part, composed of either brilliant stories or Harlequin romances in disguise. This is definitely on the higher spectrum of brilliant.  The prose flows, the descriptions are vivid, and the writing is just top notch.  The plot is on the surface a bit cliché since it contains a Fae court, mystical connections, magical Sarah, etc.  Many of these things have been done before, but the story really makes these aspects work. The author was also able to really ratchet up the tension. It was pulled off so grandly, I felt sympathy tension. At the end of a long marathon reading session, I was an exhausted heap.

The author takes a different stance on the characterization of Sarah.  Jareth is his usual sarcastic, arrogant, and fascinating self, but Sarah has this delightful sharp sarcastic edge to her.  This new take will definitely not appeal to everyone. Several times, I felt she was skirting on the edge of bitchy, but since she was such an amusing flavor of bitchy I couldn't bring myself to care.  One positive result of this change is that it makes her much better equipped to be deal with Jareth.  In this story, she's his equal and their sexually charged power plays are the highlight of the entire tale.


Current Mood: impressedimpressed
Current Music: Islander by Nightwish from their album Dark Passion Play
27 August 2007 @ 11:47 am

Title:  The Harry Situation
Series: Stargate SG1 and Harry Potter (sort of?)
Author: Neuropsych
Warnings: Gen
Rated: K
Length: 49,778 words, 46 chapters
Update Schedule: Complete, Several sequels are also complete

Author's summary: Complete! Teal'c's been reading popular fiction. God help us all. A Harry Potter crossover...

I've got a picky sense of humor and not many fics are capable of making me laugh out loud.  A smile here, a chuckle maybe but that's usually the extent that fanfics can get a reaction out of me.  So it takes a special fanfic to, wrench gutt busting laughs out of me like this one was able to.  Jack O'Neill is HILARIOUS in this fic.  The author portrays Jack's dry wit and sarcasm perfectly.  The rest of SG-1 and the group's comadre is handled with flare as well.

There is a lot of making fun of Harry Potter fandom, but it's done in good faith.  You can tell the author is a Harry Potter fan.  And honestly, Jack being forced to go to a Harry Potter convention, filled with crazy little children wearing black 'dresses' and waving pointed sticks? That's comedy gold there.

Just a warning... at first the fanfic seems like its playing Teal'C as a fool, but trust me on this.  That issue is resolved during the course of the story, so don't give up on it at the beginning. 


Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
Current Music: "Winder" Overdrive Soundtrack

Title: A Woman True and Fair

Series: Howl's Moving Castle (the book version, not the anime movie)
Author: The S

Warnings: Het

Rated: T

Length: 108,374 words

Update Schedule: Infrequently updated, but not abandoned


Author's Summary: What might Howl's Moving Castle have been like if the 3rd person narration had been biased toward Howl's point of view instead of Sophie's? This is an exercise in what if.


Do not read this story if you have not read the book. The fic is a direct retelling of the book from a different perspective.  Viewing the anime movie is not sufficient either. While both are entertaining, the two share only the most basic story and characters. Check out the book, then return to this fanfic. This fic complements the book, but the situation does not work in reverse in my opinion.  Don't cheat yourself out of a great read.


Having said that, it's really a shame that Diane Wynne Jones' work does not get more attention in the fanfic world.  This fanfic really highlights the fanfic potential her works hold.  Sophie and Howl are fun characters, full of unexplored avenues of characterization.  Howl's voice in A Woman True and Fair is spot on.  The author has captured Diane Wynne Jones voice so perfectly I can't help but wonder if Jones is sneakily writing fanfic!




Current Mood: hungryhungry
Current Music: "Moon Dance" by Nightwish
05 August 2007 @ 05:23 pm

Title:  The Family Name
Series: Crossover with Artemis Fowl and Harry Potter
Author: Elbereth in April
Warnings: Het
Rated: K+
Length: 74, 769, 31 Chapters
Update Schedule: Finished, Second Year Sequels Finished, Third Year fic may be abandoned

Author's summary: Artemis-Harry Potter Crossover. Artemis learns he is a wizard. Put one unethical child genius in Hogwarts and watch the schemes and rivalries unfold. COMPLETE

Artemis Fowl was made for Slytherin house. He's cunning, intelligent, and sneakier than room full of investment bankers. He's more Slytherin than all of the kids in his house!  But he's still muggleborn and that creates a fun undercurrent of tension in the fic.  Fun tension abounds in this fic, whether its from pure blood prejudice, suspicious head masters, or the simple fact that Artemis is forced to interact with kids his own age.

Its that peer interaction that makes this fic so great.    The author's potrayal of Draco in particular is not only believable but actually likable. The characters grow and change, without losing their sharp edges. Draco and Artemis are still proud, haughty, manipulative snobs... Yet, they slowly grow into being capable of having a real friendship.


Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" by KT Tunstall
27 July 2007 @ 12:00 am

Title:  Chicks Dig Giant Robots
Series: Evangelion
Author:  Rorschach's Blot
Warnings: Het, Pervy humor, SPOOF, AU
Rated: T
Length: 5, 966 words
Update Schedule: Oneshot, Finished

Author's summary:  A very different Shinji comes to Tokyo III.

A more accurate summary would be: Shinji takes every terrible injustice his father inflicts upon him as something positive. The idea is mildy amusing at first, but the longer it drags out the more outrageous and hilarious the story becomes.

To understand the jokes you need to have seen at least some of Evangelion, since they hinge so much on the contrast between AU Shinji and canon Shinji.


Current Mood: okayokay
Current Music: "Cleveland Rocks" The Presidents of the United States of America
24 July 2007 @ 02:19 am

Title:  Diplomatic Relations
Series: Naruto
Author: Maldoror
Warnings: Yaoi, lemon, and some extreme violence
Rated: NC-17 (fic contains explicit sex scenes not for underage readers)
Length: Really freakin long 28 chapters plus sequels
Update Schedule: Complete (Sequels are also complete)

Author's summary: Rock Lee: Diplomatic Envoy to Sunagakure. There are so many ways that could go wrong. But Lee is determined to succeed! And to befriend the feared Kazekage too, while he's at it. Good thing Lee loves a challenge...(eventual LeeGaara)

I do not like reading yaoi fanfiction.  Yaoi fangirls annoy me.  Cries of 'Kawaiiiiii!!' make me want to hurt something.  Preferably something holding a yaoi doujinshi and going 'Kawaiiiiii!!'  So it was to my utter shock that I came across a yaoi fanfiction that I couldn’t stop reading.  Not only was it a yaoi fanfic, but a freakin yaoi LEMON fanfic.  It's that freakin fantastic.

The quality of the writing is extremely high.  You can tell the story has not only been beta-read by several people, but written and rewritten until every passage was top notch.

Lee and Gaara are a great odd couple.  They complement each other very well.  Lee’s optimistic nature and springtime of youth make a great contrast which Gaara’s pessimism and dark past.  Lee keeps Gaara from constantly giving himself an emo party and Gaara helps Lee be a bit more level headed.

The author painstakingly crafted their relationship from acquaintances, colleagues, friends, best friends, and then to lovers in a completely believable way.  This is a story about two people first and foremost and not a story strung together to get meaniless porn.  The lemon scenes don’t even show up until the story is near the halfway point.  Poor Lee hardly gets much lemony action in fanfiction of the yaoi or het variety anyway.

Really, this story has got it all.  Drama, pathos, humor, action, romance… Give it a chance, even if you usually do not like yaoi fanfiction. 


Link to all of the chapters at the author's Live Journal:


Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: Yura Yura "Some Random Naruto Soundtrack"
20 July 2007 @ 04:52 pm

Title:  The Bogeyman
Series: Artemis Fowl
Author: Under the Bridge
Warnings: Gen
Rated: K
Length: 2,116
Update Schedule: Oneshot, Complete

Author's summary: The bogeyman story has been told for centuries to scare kids into being good. But when a four-year-old Artemis hears the story, he decides to catch the bogeyman before it can catch him.

Ah, evil geniuses are so cute when they're little with their hand-made traps and first kidnapping attempts.  This story is darkly cute, morbidly funny, original, and all the other great things that made the early Artemis Fowl books so wonderful.  While reading, I could definitly feel the same spark in this short work.  This story is more amusing if you have read at least the first book, but I think it could still be entertaining even if you have never read an Artemis Fowl book.


Current Mood: excitedexcited
Current Music: "Fireworks" Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Soundtrack

Title:  Abstinence Education
Series: Blade of the Immortal
Author:  Madame Manga
Warnings: Het, lemon, extreme violence
Rated: NC-17 (fic contains explicit sex scenes not for underage readers)
Length: 38 lengthy chapters
Update Schedule: Ongoing, usually updates once a month

Author's summary: Manji isn't used to holding back, and Rin doesn't know any better than to tempt him to cut loose. An exploration of the ragged edges of a fascinating relationship. M/F,Lemon

The author of Abstinence Education can write multilayered scenes with incredible skill. Rereading AE can be very rewarding.  Many scenes can be seen from different and sometimes contradicting angles.  It takes a deft hand to be able to convey information to the reader that the pov character of the story does not realize.

In addition, this fanfic does what very few have ever manage to do; it transcends its original series and became something even greater. Abstinence Education is leagues better than Blade of the Immortal, which I thought to be rather confusing and slow moving at times.

This is also one of the very few lemons where the sex scenes are vital components of the main plot.  You can't skip the NC-17 parts and still follow the logical progression of the story.  Sure the lemon scenes are written to be steamy and full of passion, but they also form the heart of the main characters' psychological growth.


Alternate link to the author's fanfic blog:

Current Mood: blahblah
Current Music: "Go the Distance" Hercules Soundtrack
03 July 2007 @ 04:19 pm

Title:  Midnight by the Weasley Watch
Series: Harry Potter
Author: Excessivelyperky
Warnings: Gen
Rated: K+
Length: 54,374 words, 14 Chapters
Update Schedule: Complete

Author's summary: Ron Weasley makes up his schoolwork, and actually thinks for a change. Snape gets some Christmas presents he doesn't expect. The old game is over, but a new one is just beginning. 

Ron centered fanfics are hard to come by, fanfics that feature him where romance is not the focus are even harder to find.  That's part of the reason this story is so delightful.  Its really fascinating to see Ron on his own.  I have a soft spot for fanfics that put the sidekick in the spot light.  It's intriguing to see a character shine who is usually overshadowed.  And Ron is certainly overshadowed most of the time by his family and his friends.  However, this story shows that given a little sunlight he can really come into his own.

The story is about chess, but you do not need to have a deep understanding of the game, or even a vague idea of strategy.  It's a lot like the manga Hikaru No Go in that respect.  Even if you may not understand the game, you can still enjoy it vicariously through Ron.

The several multinational original characters created for the chess tournament are multifaceted and engaging.  Most importantly, there isn't a Mary Sue or Gary Stu in sight.  I especially liked the Middle Eastern character.  His portrayal is very respectful without ignoring the differences between the Middle East and West cultures.

I unfortunately cannot recommend the author's most recent Harry Potter work.  It doesn't even seem like it’s written by the same person. In the author's new story EVERYONE but Harry and co. think Snape is a saint.  More than a saint even, he's like Snape Jesus: misunderstood, protector of all children, kind and caring... Hell, he probably saves puppies as well.  This portrayal steps way too far away from canon Snape to me, who probably enjoys punting puppies like a muggle soccer ball.  There are aspects of 'misunderstood Snape' in Midnight by the Weasley Watch but it never went beyond the realm of believability to me


Current Mood: sadsad

Title:  Introduction to the Invisible Book of Invisibility
Series: Harry Potter
Author: Snorkackcatcher
Warnings: Gen
Rated: G - All Ages
Length: 1000 words
Update Schedule: Oneshot, Complete 

Author's summary: Albus Dumbledore's introduction to the aforementioned book. 

A really cute and ingenious idea.  The author captures Dumbledore's voice perfectly.  I also love anything you can read and pretend to be a Hogwarts student studying for class.  The fic reminds me a lot of JK Rowlings mini charity books Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.


Current Mood: geekygeeky
Current Music: "Hoist the Colors" Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
23 June 2007 @ 03:27 pm

Title: I Must Paint You
Series: Naruto
Author:  Dirty Martini
Warnings: Lemon, Het
Rated: NC-17 (fic contains explicit sex scenes not for underage readers)
Length: 4.747 words, Oneshot
Update Schedule: Complete

Author's summary: Sai meets the Sand siblings, and suddenly crazy nicknames are the least of team Kakashi’s worries. [Temari/Sai] [Come on, someone had to write it.] COMPLETE,Exhib,M/F,Oneshot,Oral,WIP

I will try to minimize the amount of lemon content I recommend here, but this was just too amusing to pass up.  This lemon is very different from your typical smut fest in that it is funny... intentionally.  I love Sai's inability to understand common social conventions and when that aspect of his character is applied to sexual situations the results are hilarious.  And Temari? Well, she always kicks ass.



Current Mood: surprisedsurprised
Current Music: "Wish I had an Angel" by Nightwish

Title:  The Last Exile of Lord Voldemort
Series: Harry Potter
Author: Kylegirl
Warnings: Gen
Rated: Not rated, but I'd say it's probably  T
Length: 2,504 words
Update Schedule: Oneshot, Complete

Author's summary:  A long weird thing about Voldemort losing his powers and eventually ending up driving an old Volvo and painting houses in western Massachusetts. 

This takes a very interesting and unique approach to the aftermath of the final battle. I don't think I've ever seen a potrayal of Voldemort quite like this.  It's quirky, fun, and an oddly appropriate punishment.  Some things really are worse than death.


Current Mood: lethargiclethargic
Current Music: "Ghost Love Score" by Nightwish
19 June 2007 @ 12:38 am

Title: All Things Being Equal
Series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Author: Shin Willow
Warnings: Gen
Rated: T
Length: 7, 274 words, 2 chapters
Update Schedule: Abandoned

Author's summary: Gee, Challenges, I don't know. Xander goes to LA—Angel Investigations, specifically—to apologize to Angel. Xander should know by now no good deed goes unpunished.

Ah, what might have been? It's too bad this fic is only two chapters of greatness.  I just love the premise of this story to pieces. It's just so much fun and would annoy the hell out of Xander and Angel. I wish they had used this plot twist in the actual series.  It would have made both Angel and BTVS better exponentially.

And what is the twist you ask? Well read and find out, I don't want to ruin the surprise.


Current Mood: restlessrestless
Current Music: "Chain" Air Gear Soundtrack
16 June 2007 @ 10:45 pm

Title: Carving Out A Future
Series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly
Author: Dreamfall
Warnings: Gen
Rated: FR13
Length: 76,464+, 46+ chapters
Update Schedule: Very sporadic.  Chapters happen in quick bursts.  Hasn't been updated in over 6 months. Author claims the story isn't abandoned so hopefully more chapters will surface eventually.

Author's summary: Her crew doesn't know that Serenity's new passenger, a carpenter with an 'unusual upbringing', is a relic from the past. And Xander's not looking for trouble. Then again, neither are they. Not usually, leastwise. It just tends to come calling anyway. Gen.

This story just kicks ass at dialogue.  Firefly dialogue has a cadence and tone all its own that is very hard to get right. COAF really nails it, though. You can just hear the Firefly actors speak the lines.  Since the dialogue is so on the money, Xander's century old slang and phrases stand out all the more. Xander is a man centuries and light years from home where even his catch phrases don't belong.

Furthermore, the fic makes sense. Plot points are well thought out and not half-assed.  For instance, Xander has also a very beleivable reason for Xander being in the future.  The reason even becomes a plot point later on. Although I have to admit, I rather like the slice of life vibe that the beginning of it has. I don't think it really needs an overreaching-epic plot, but I don't think it will really hurt the story either.




Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Current Music: "Holding Out For a Hero" Shrek2 soundtrack

Title: Harry Potter and the Nighmares of Futures Past
Series: Harry Potter
Author: S'Tarkan
Warnings: Het, violence
Rated: T
Length: 323,402+, 33 chapters
Update Schedule: Ongoing and very regular.  Usually updates once a month.

Author's summary: The war is over. Too bad no one is left to celebrate. Harry makes a desperate plan to go back in time, even though it means returning Voldemort to life. Now an 11 year old Harry with 30 year old memories is starting Hogwarts. Can he get it right?

This sucker is massive and I do mean MASSIVE with capital letters. You can happily drown in this fic for days. Not only is it long, its addictive as well.  The first time I read it, I threw everything aside to keep reading it.  Homework, friends, food, personal hygiene none of it mattered.  The only thing that mattered was that sweet, beautiful "next chapter" button.

Well, holy stars and garters ashez! Why should I start to read this massive fic, neglect my personal hygiene and become stinky sweat stain person? Well fair reader (all two of you) it's because I guarantee you'll love it, yellow armpit stains and all.

This is easily the best redo fanfic I have ever read and also in the top five best Harry Potter fanfics that exist.  Characterization is amazing.  Everyone grows in such beleivable ways.  Some for the better, some for the worse.  Harry's attempts to change the future are fascinating.  Every small and large action creates ripples that spiral out in forseen and unforeseen ways.  The plotting reminds me of JK Rowling's original work.  It's long term and many seemingly insignificant details pan out dozens of chapters later.

And best of all, the author's seem's dedicated to finishing this fic.  He even has a dedicated following on a yahoogroup (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/viridian_dreams/) that's gets quite a lot of traffic.

Check out this fic, you won't regret.

Well, the people around you that have to smell you may regret it.


Current Mood: excitedexcited