About Me (If you want to know anything)
It's been a hell of a long time since I updated this page but...some things stay the same.
1. Respect someone's work even if you don't like it. That thing you just read, that is someone's hard work, someone's vulnerability and courage in text (to paraphrase a certain author I admire on this site-brownie points if you know who!) It takes a lot of effort to write anything at all so you should keep that in mind when you review.
2. Constructive criticism is fine but tearing someone apart because it wasn't your cup of tea is low. You should never lambast someone for trying. Move on if something truly bothers you. There will always be people who flame and stomp over a story but you don't have to be one of them.
3. If you enjoy something-say something. I admit that I haven't always been the best at reviewing, they are never as long or as eloquent as I want, but I genuinely make an effort most of the time.
4. You are not the author, you don't have the right to demand anything or take a story that hasn't been updated for a long time as your own without the author's permission. Plagiarizing is the absolute worst thing anyone can do on this site. It is incredibly disrespectful, dishonest, and violating.
5. This site is about community, it's a safe place to express yourself. It may be overkill but I have to say it again, don't express yourself by stepping over someone else.
Anyways, I use this account to collect stories that I believe are well written, things that are funny or make me cry. Basically stuff that breaks my heart, makes me smile, or both. I can't guarantee that everyone will like what I have on my list but it is what it is. A repository for old and sentimental favorites from my earliest days-those ones with less polished work, and the new and exciting, near peerless pieces that continually leave me in awe (and sometimes very afraid to pick them back up for fear of heartbreak or heady enchantment)
You'll also notice a slight love of...crack pairings. They don't dominate my list but they're there, though be assured that they, like everything else, only make it here if they make me react (whether with a beaming grin or sobbing into my tea) I also love time travel because the concept can get so complicated and people can go in such disparate directions with the same premise, well, that and they make for some of the best angst or happy endings. I've also recently gotten into SI's after years of stalwart avoidance. Don't be scared. If they're on here know that they are inventive and have actual plots.
Regarding the navigation of my favorites list, it's really big-use the mobile version of the site to effectively sort by category and fandom. Also, please note that I do have some mature stories on here-I'm an adult and I can handle looking at things with M-rated content or issues without bursting into flames or turning into a harpy. Still, nothing M-rated is about sex alone, sex is just the end result of other character motivations and feelings in every such rated story I have on here. I want to say that only around 250 of the stories on my list have that rating.
There are also pairs on my list that I probably wouldn't support in real life, such as Jalex (which may be the only such pair I ship because damn, some people write them incredibly convincingly, a shoutout to MoiraRiordan's In Fire, In Ice which actually made a shipper out of me. Sadly the author has taken it down but I respect her wishes and urge others to look at her other work, and NejiHina), yet do in fanfiction because it has this curious way of challenging your beliefs if only in this arena. You'll also find some very rare same-sex pairings, among the avalanche of hetero pairs, but I will not apologize for them because I very much believe that love is love. If they made it here you can bet that they are damn convincing and 100% genuine. I'm not a yaoi or yuri fangirl by any stretch of the imagination-I'm just in love with genuine connections. On that note, people are allowed to believe differently I simply hope those who disagree are polite enough to keep their disapproval private.
Now, as for my tastes, well those keep changing. To be accurate-they keep growing. Whether it's general fiction, romance, family, friendship, or action/adventure, I adore it all, so most will find at least one thing they enjoy here. But to give you an idea of stories that I hold in high regard, let's just say that I more or less worship authors who excel at world building or developing interpersonal relationships.
Sincerely, a twenty-something Sourcerer who loves nothing so much as a good book.
Some Author Recommendations
I'll get to this part when I don't have to go to work in a few hours. But just to throw something out there-anything by Sythe, Evil is A Relative Term, Vixen Tail, Kist, Coolio101, Kryalla Orchid, Tarafina, J.R. Godwin, Sage Thrasher, and Nagia is fantastic.
Kryalla Orchid is who I turn to whenever I have A RobStar (Teen Titans) fix. She writes them in the most beautifully expressed way and no one else on the site has ever matched her in my humble opinion. Her numerous works are always worth rereading and time actually makes them more poignant, they never fail to recapture that original feeling you get when you first read something good. The swooping in my stomach, the warmth in my chest, even the pangs of heartbreak, are all familiar and welcome things when I visit her universes.
Tarafina was an author that I found because of her Steroline (Vampire Diaries) fics but I honestly love a lot of her work aside from those (though it is worth mentioning that her Steroline interpretations are the most nuanced and full in the fandom) She's an incredibly prolific and thoughtful writer whose characterizations are continually compelling. She has a style that you can easily get hooked on.
J.R. Godwin for his magnum opus "Eulogy" which is one of the most striking stories I've ever read on this site. He has a very deft hand with building suspense and capturing that off-kilter feeling that permeates Labyrinth. The level of detail and the subtleties that are expressed through the plot will make you feel as though you've read a published novel. I guess the most appropriate term would be that it is polished. There is a reflective quality that brings you into the real world even as it submerges you into its twisted and original plot. His more lighthearted pieces are also worth reading so take a look at him if you have the time. You definitely won't regret it.
Lady Librarian has written the most incredible sequence to what I ever thought life after "Spirited Away" would be like for Chihiro. Her "Kamikakushi Saga" starting with "Road to Somewhere" is a perfect personal journey and adventure and I encourage everyone and anyone to read it. The first book can, admittedly, be a little rough in the beginning but as the chapters go on it gets better and better and, impressively, that trend continues in the sequels. She layers a lot into her work and her research into the culture and myths of Japan shows in the symbolism that weaves itself into the narrative. If I could describe it, I would say that it reverberates through readers like a bell. It makes you stop and marvel the way you do at a perfect note in a song. I don't use the word perfect lightly so believe me when I call it the penultimate "Spirited Away" series. I can't say much more than this without ruining the plot but if you want quality you read this, it may actually spoil you for the fandom. The bar is set so high with her pieces that many works come off as childish in comparison and few even approach it in terms of feeling complete barring "Natural Selection" by Aishuu. Hands down, it has made for some of the most satisfying days I've ever spent reading.
Evil is A Relative Term has always sort of fascinated me because of how complex the plot-lines and character developments go. They take the world they're given, whether that is "Naruto" or "Harry Potter" and they give it depth by asking questions and providing answers that turn the original series on their heads. It's always a surprise to read their work because the intellectual nature of conflict always comes through. There are so many Sakura-Centric (mostly Naruto but other fandoms as well) that I marvel at the dedication because writing is so difficult. Much less to write so regularly and with such high quality. You could say that they specialize in creating strong woman centered narratives because what I've read of their characterizations of Hermione "Harry Potter" are also impressive.
Mehjiren is magic for the person who loves detail; who loves lush and extensive imagery. The dreamy, fairy-tale qualities of her work are lyrical and compelling. "When the Moon Fell in Love with the Sun" (Hunger Games) brings me back to a time of almost innocence and the brings about the simple and pure wish for two people to be happy. Being so invested in the story was such an unexpected and refreshing treat. While there is a very classic flavor to the piece, in that it takes on shades of a fairy-tale I loved as a child, it should be noted that that is actually secondary to the immersion into the intimate and largely internal development of the couple involved. Alternatively, "Six Months to Strawberry Time", a story in the same universe, provokes a very different feeling that is arguably because the pair of leads in that work live so vibrantly in a reality that extends beyond them. It's there that you really get a taste for the world-building and extended forays into the imagined culture that's been built. Where the other makes use of a limited cast and focuses on the internal, this piece, while not losing in relationship development, leads you to explore their leads from alternate perspectives and scopes. Between the two you have every spectrum of emotion and curiously enough, every kind of personality.
black.k.kat was a writer who really surprised me. I don't have many shounen ai/shoujo ai or yaoi/yuri pairs but the few I do have were basically created and maintained by her. Her characterization of Orochimaru is beyond solid and it verges into the supernatural. She knows just how to portray him and through her pieces we see him as deeper than canon suggests while still retaining the qualities that make him recognizable. Her stories featuring him are an emotional journey in and of themselves and his voice is distinctive and convincing. I had actually run into her pieces on the lists of favored authors but I had avoided them previously because I didn't think the pairings were my cup of tea and that they'd be typical yaoi bait (because previous times I'd been curious the works I picked up were beyond cringeworthy) Anyways, my thing with same sex pairs is that they have to feel both genuine and uncontrived which means the cliches I might accept for a hetero couple don't work because most cliches work off of gender norms. With same-sex pairs there should be a more nuanced portrayal so as not to disrespect the honest complexity of that kind of relationship because there can be fundamental differences in how the relationships can form. False expectations or equivalencies can be harmful and the last thing I want is for anyone to fetishize a relationship and reduce them down to caricatures where one is obviously the seme/dom and the other is the uke/sub. Life and love don't work in simple ways and the pieces written by black.k.kat showcase her understanding of that. She has my respect for treating the characters and love so genuinely.
VeltPunch regularly makes me smile with all the fun forays into the Hikaru no Go fandom but "Firesuite" and "affection" are longstanding favorites that should be read. The way he/she plays with the characters is always unique and even unfinished and still in-progress you leave feeling happy. The regular focus on interpersonal relationships in conjunction with their beautifully worded dialogue is something special.
Thai Tea Addict has birthed the proverbial jewel in the crown of its (Hikaru no Go) fandom. "Caught in a Thousand Strings" is a stunningly evocative piece, often in the most unexpected of ways. I sound pretentious when I say that but I do think it is an experience that should never be missed. All I can say is that it is extremely thoughtful and nuanced and the depth of the AU plotline is scary beautiful. You bleed for the characters.
Anad wrote one of my favorite Hikaru no Go stories and I have probably reread it around three or four times. At around a 131K word count it can be classified as a proper novel and rereading it is a not an insignificant time commitment. I am an extremely fast reader and 131K will still take some time to finish but even so I never regret it "Go, Soccer Player, Go" is a lighthearted and funny read that plays to the strengths of the manga and anime in a surprisingly original way and any person wanting to laugh or be inspired should pick it up. Growing up doesn't mean that you have to give up on anything.
Harem - There is nothing I dislike more than harem although I have tolerated it in some stories. While I don't mind multiple people in a relationship (polyamory) traditional harem is often character assassination or it turns the romance into card collecting. Without the sense of equality and consent among partners you'd see in polyamory it just comes across as distasteful for me. Other people can like it but you won't find it in many, if any, of my favorites. The power imbalance, and this is a big one for me, is always ridiculously skewed and honestly, a relationship of multiples can only work if the partners all have a sense of love and care towards one another. Even then a multiples relationship will have its disagreements and partners will not always be able to agree on matters.
Mpreg - There is only so far that I can suspend my sense of disbelief. Men raising children and loving each other is not the big problem for me, my issue is that I know so much about health and anatomy that fathoming a man pregnant is impossible. The part of me that thought I would end up in the medical field just facefaults at the thought. It's just an automatic marker for avoidance because "it's magic!" doesn't quite work on me in that respect. That said, if you like it, you like it, but even if you like it I don't have to.
Godlike!*Insert Character* - If a character is all powerful, where is your story going? Seriously, trouble free and no problems equals no story worth reading.
Scrolling through my favorites makes it very obvious.
Gaara Ino - I blame this entirely on random thoughts and yuugiri's "The Arrangement" which has one of the most interesting and endearing Gaara characterizations I've ever come across. There is something odd and sweet about the development that occurs between the two very different characters and I enjoyed how relatively pure and refreshing it was. The believability of their dynamic is sold in a very natural and understated way that kind of creeps up on you. "Tough" by ArcGreen is another story that also follows the pair from acquaintanceship to friendship and romance but it is definitely more mature than the first. Where the first is, in a way, innocent, this will make you want to loosen your collar. It has its own draw in that both the characters are more grown-up and confident in who they are as people and their issues can be startlingly multi-faceted. The passion and tension palpable in their growing relationship is almost a perk in addition to that self-exploration.
Rosalie Edward - "Breaking Points" and its sequels by sugarbucket were a surprise. It was a couple that I had just idly thought of one day and decided to search for and the first story I clicked on was hers. I'm glad I found it because it blew any expectations I had out of the water, it was an utterly absorbing read. The characters were human and flawed and so desperately addictive to read about and that I still feel that way 6 almost 7 years onwards is a mark of its impact. I'm not a Twilight fan (reading it only on the request of a friend) and it took me three weeks to get past the first 100 pages of the first book in the series, which is awful considering that at the time I averaged one thick novel or so a day, but I have discovered a partiality for the characters Meyer gave the least sympathy or notable development to (Leah and Rosalie)
Pairings I Cannot Stand
Kakasaku - I tried so hard, I read the most recommended and most popular stories for them in the fandom and I. Just. Can't. Ship. It. The recoil is real. He's not just her mentor, to my mind he also functions as something like a parental figure. Even when she travels back in time and meets his younger self it doesn't feel right and it never convinces me that they have any kind of chemistry besides platonic or familial. It's like there's a mental block. Funny thing is, the age difference isn't always what throws me off, Crimson Siyrean's "Dirty Old Men" pairs him with Tenten and I actually really liked their dynamic. All I can say is, to each their own, I'm not the immature type to mock or deride someone for their ships anyways.
Hermione and Ron - Divorce material. They are, to me, the worst possible match that could exist. The only match that surpasses them in canon is Merope Gaunt and Tom Riddle Sr. That's right, the woman who Amortentia'd/drugged a man to trap him in a marriage he didn't want and which resulted in a sociopathic evil overlord who terrorized and tortured people for fun. Honestly, they make no sense to me and it doesn't help that I'm none too fond of Canon Ron for his repeated disloyalty. I understand that he was growing up and had his own problems but the way he constantly took people, and their forgiveness, for granted grates on me (Fanon Ron is often a much more palatable and likeable, if often more of a peripheral comic character) Anyways, fighting over a multitude of small things, and worse, petty things, is usually indicative of larger issues. As a child of a rather nasty divorce their squabbles and momentary periods of peace seem like the same unhealthy and emotionally draining cycle that I witnessed as a child.
beware of trips (48)
Cherie Dee (21)
Fluttering Phalanges (83)
Kryalla Orchid (49)
ladie galadriel (6)
Larissa Hyuga (3)
Leila Winters (15)
Mirune Keishiko (33)
Sahara Hyuuga (5)
Seraphina Scribes (16)
Silver Spider (104)
so caffeinated (30)
The Scarlett Ribbon (33)
Unicorn Paige (0)
Winter Leigh End (102)