March 2017


All in reading order within their sections. Word counts are rounded to nearest 1 or 5k. I finished (for the moment!) my exploration of the Harry Potter fanficdom, fics rated at least T, often M.

  • {HP} The Brightest Witch and the Darkest House, followed by The Hogwarts Six and the Darkest Wizard.

    Has complex plots without being over-complicated, and makes very good use of foreshadowing and including events several chapters before they’re used, without any flashback at all. Probably the best use of actually-explained time travel mechanisms I have ever read since HPMoR, and it probably surpasses that, even: used hundreds of times, over a year thrice folded on itself… our protagonist uses time travel to the best she can, and all such plots are explained and/or can be reasoned out, unlike in HPMoR where we are told Dumbledore+Snape+Potter-Evans-Verres make plans and schemas and diagrams but there’s only one or two times the time travel is actually shown and explained. And even with such a tool, Valeria (our OC protagonist) doesn’t depend entirely on it to accomplish her plans! Manipulation, advance planning, munchkinning, and other techniques all combine together in an explosive mix, with no less than three different plots going on at the same time… at any given time. And that’s just the first book! The second book is ongoing, and I am loving it. {274k + 131k words atow}

  • {HP} What’s a Little Death between friends?.

    This is brilliant. Also fun and humourous and just the right amount of flirty. Long chapters, lots of action: physical, verbal, and otherwise. There’s a very hot dominant sex scene right at the start of the second chapter, preceded (at the end of the first) by a bunch of realistic in-public affection and… more. It’s honestly refreshing, after decidedly adult fics that nevertheless ellide any actual action, and a wide corpus of fics that deal with more or less horny teenagers instead of mature (cough as if cough) young adults. Ongoing. {60k words atow}

  • {HP/SW Canon} I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.

    I love the perspective into and out of all the characters, especially Ahsoka and Aayla. The analysis and conflicting opinions of power structures with the Galaxy by an outsider that still has considerable experience that is more or less relatable, and by insider people both accepted and excluded from those same structures, yields interesting discussions packed with details. The “too many assumptions” thing resonated particularly with me, as it is something I struggle with when interacting with some people I know (they make assumptions that are often wrong or incomplete and draw concludions from that, without ever pausing to ask themselves or others about them, and end up making wild accusations that are hard to defend upon on the spot (and they then take that hesitation as admission of guilt, instead of confusion or trying to organise thoughts) as I need to think about what their assumptions could be that they end up there; the entire exercise is very frustrating). There are spectacular scenes of magic and action, the forces involved are of epic proportions, and yet humour both by characters and by story is pervasive. It’s a good mix. Ongoing. {315k words atow}

  • {HP} Behind Blue Eyes.

    It starts like any other teenager romance… well, the troubled ones anyway. Girl runs away from home, boy runs away from life, they meet and fall into friendship first, and then into love. But the likeness stops here. Because this is a Harry Potter story, and that means heartbreak, it means danger, it means terror, it means conflict and drama and emotions running high in all directions. It means magic, and all the problems that brings with it. It means love. And so Behind Blue Eyes finishes like few other adult romances… with pain and loss and success and that particular kind of happiness that is like the flame of a phoenix: strong and bright, reborn many times, and fiercely everlasting. {440k words}

Also enjoyed, but no lengthy comment: