damalur: (avatar • gqmf)
[personal profile] damalur
Title: Stalking Zuko
Author: emletish
Characters: Zuko/Katara (with Suki/Sokka, Toph, Aang, Hakoda, and Iroh)
Length: 880k
Summary: Katara keeps a journal of all the shenanigans that the Gaang run into.

I'm going to recommend this series with the caveat that the writing itself is pretty unusual in style - this is set up as Katara's journal, there are occasional errors in spelling, and some of the phrasing is highly, uh...Australian. That said, this is absolutely one of my favorite Avatar stories, because while the voices aren't always dead-on, the characterization and worldbuilding absolutely are.

The first part starts shortly after Zuko joins up with the others in S3, and the next eight-hundred thousand words are an in-depth expansion of everything that happens from that point up through the post-war treaty negotiations at Ba Sing Se. It's also canon-compliant (not including LoK or the comics) and Zuko/Katara, and the author does an amazing job of building up the characters to support the premise of the main pairing. On top of that, this is one of the few stories I've read that manages to balance the humor of the show with the serious subject matter without either one feeling out of place; the main characters are still obviously teenagers, but they're teenagers put into world-changing situations. The Zuko/Katara side is just as excellent, with a lot of time put into developing them individually and as friends before the romantic plot launches.

Seriously one of my favorites! As a side note, the author's notes at the end of each chapter are worth reading - they're exhaustively thorough and just as interesting as the story itself.

Stalking Zuko: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7250783/1/Stalking-Zuko
Not Stalking Zuko: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7325839/1/Not-Stalking-Zuko
Not Stalking Firelord Zuko: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8121138/1/Not-Stalking-Firelord-Zuko
damalur: (# knowledge of good and evil)
[personal profile] damalur
Title: DILF
Author: [personal profile] twentysomething
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Length: 31k
Summary: "Today is Scott's first day of kindergarten and Derek is terrified."

I promise not to inflict too many Teen Wolf recs on my admittedly small (but wonderful!) audience, but this one is too delightful not to share. I think it's easily readable even if you haven't seen TW, as it's an AU that reads more like a well-plotted gay romance novella than anything involving werewolves. Lovely slow build and lovely banter from one of my favorite authors; if you're looking for a lighthearted escape, this fits to the letter.

Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/487739
damalur: (ats • god-king)
[personal profile] damalur
Title: Religion in Modern Love and War.
Author: [personal profile] cereal
Characters: Sheldon/Penny
Length: 6k
Summary: N/A

Must I rec everything [personal profile] cereal writes? Yes, yes I must. One of the fandom's favorite authors surprised us all with a pinch hit for this year's Saturnalia exchange, and as always, every story she writes is the best one yet. Here, Sheldon and Penny team up to get Leonard and Amy together. Whacky hijinks ensue! It's the interplay between Penny's musings about how Mary Cooper's faith affected her son and the subtle, slow-burn dynamic between Sheldon and Penny that make this tale stand out to me; although more fics present a Sheldon inexperienced in and unsure of sexual matters, I appreciate how this Sheldon's confidence works in his favor. A++.

Link: http://cereal.livejournal.com/162928.html
damalur: (dbz • goku)
[personal profile] damalur
Title: Blind Sight
Author: Valerie Jones
Pairing: Remy/Rogue (616 comics)
Length: 320k+ (WIP)
Summary: When Operation: Zero Tolerance turns into a full-fledged mutant hunt, Remy must use all of his resources to keep the X-Men safe while they search for a way to bring Bastion down.

I've started to write the review for this story three times now, and every time I've both completely failed to do the story justice and descended into incoherent and wildly enthusiastic raving by the third or fourth sentence. If I had to pick my single favorite fanfic from any fandom, I'd name "Blind Sight" without a moment of hesitation, so at least I have justification for the difficulty.

(It's worth noting that this is the sequel to Thick as Thieves [written by Valerie and Lori McDonald], which is itself a sequel to Lori's Looking at a Woman. I'd recommend reading both before you start this behemoth; they're rec-worthy stories in their own right and crucial to understanding the background for "Blind Sight.")

So! Actual review time: THIS STORY IS FREAKING AWESOME. (Made it to the third paragraph - new record!) There is not a single thing I do not love about it. Gambit is just - he's GAMBIT, to the very best and fullest extent suggested by the comics. There's one right-between-the-eyes revelation scene after another; I love the sleight of hand Remy uses to misdirect the X-Men, the way he tries to break the world of the Thieves' Guilds to Rogue slowly and how she gets sucked in despite his best efforts anyway. Scott, normally a character much maligned - or at least overlooked - in Remy/Rogue fic, shines, and most of the core X-cast have their moments in the spotlight.

Probably my favorite aspect is the friendship between Remy and Bobby, carried over from "Thick as Thieves." The dynamic may seem like an odd one, but the two play off each other perfectly - but neither does the friendship between Remy and Ororo slip by unnoticed. The Remy/Rogue relationship is everything you could ask for from a story and more. Rogue, like her partner, is fully realized as a character. There are even some fantastic scenes with Mystique, and I'm nothing if not a sucker for the Rogue-Mystique relationship.

Unlike most stories that drag on for fifty or more chapters, my attention did not and has not wandered once. The plotting is - dare I say it - masterful, and there's a great deal of depth to the world of the New York Guild. Epic, romantic, funny, intriguing, action-packed - no, seriously, just go read the thing before I descend back into gibbering. (Especially chapter nineteen. That's gotta be my favorite.)

Link: http://www.gambitguild.com/library/valerie_jones/blind_sight.html
damalur: (books • tower junkie)
[personal profile] damalur
Title: The City
Author: smc-27
Pairing: Puck/Rachel
Length: 66,000 words
Summary: Somewhere between coffee at Dean and Deluca and riding the Staten Island Ferry just for fun, he starts to think that it actually makes a lot of sense for the two of them to end up going rogue the week after graduation.

There's something I absolutely love about the friends-turned-lovers storyline, and this story builds that relationship between Puck and Rachel so, so beautifully. I think the word I'm going for is enthralling, because I read straight through without even stopping to check my flist. Writing Puck as an NYPD officer seemed like a strange choice at first, but by the end the job seemed so fitting and now I'm going to have difficulty imagining him in any other future career. There isn't much of a focus on the other glee kids, just a few cameos and a handful of appearances by Finn, and while I normally prefer my shipper fics with an ensemble backdrop, there's something perfect about Puck and Rachel creating this completely new life.

(Also, this is one of those stories where I'd KILL for a sequel - not at all because the story doesn't stand on its own, but because I want to spend more time in the author's universe with her version of the characters.)

Link: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5831519/1/The_City