Summary: The wolves don’t bother the solitary vampire who sits on the cliff’s edge, night after night, looking at the stars. Edward/Jasper, AU, Slash. Rated M.
I’m ridiculously excited that the other girls let me do this review. One of the last entries in the contest, and also one of my very favourites, Amid the Lucid Stream ticked all the right boxes for me. I’ll be very shocked if any of the readers of this review haven’t read Amid the Lucid Stream, but I offer my thoughts on it anyway (and of course the review is part of ArcadianMaggie’s prize for coming second overall in the VampSlash Contest).
Amid the Lucid Stream is a beautiful story. Heartbreaking, tragic, yes, but gorgeous. There seems to be a little bit of madness there in Edward’s thoughts and experiences, until as the story unfolds we begin to understand what has happened.
Edward seems to be isolating himself. Alice hasn’t come out of her room in weeks. Carlisle offers to listen, but Edward doesn’t want to talk. And it appears that he can barely stand to be around Bella. He spends days, it seems, on the cliffs looking up at the stars.
Looking at the pairing, it’s not long before you notice that there is one person missing and wonder why. We’re kept somewhat in the dark, not knowing what happened until near the end, but we know it’s significant. I like that. The author assumes we can think for ourselves and she doesn’t coddle us. The entire story is written with brevity and an economy of words that makes this word count snark jump for joy 😉 ArcadianMaggie does it so well that she has room within this very full story (and the intentionally restrictive word count limit) for something a little extra.
I must admit that when things get a little intellectual I often glaze over (I refer to myself as ‘woefully uneducated’). ArcadianMaggie wove astronomy and myth into this story in such a way that I was still interested. She made it part of the story, linked it to the characters; she made it relevant.
I love how ArcadianMaggie dealt with Bella in this story. Using their youth and inexperience, the way she represents Edward and Bella’s relationship seems very logical and could be completely canon. She makes the Edward/Jasper pairing not only plausible, but obvious. I’ve often wondered why Jasper is so often paired with Edward. It was never obvious to me, never ‘hinted’ at in canon (or perhaps I was simply blinded by the far more obvious Edward/Carlisle pairing), but this is one of those stories that shows that despite their very different beginnings, Edward and Jasper do have rather a lot in common.
Amid the Lucid Stream is a close-to-canon story that doesn’t quite stick to all that happened during Breaking Dawn (I would call it a Breaking Dawn AU), and we see a very different outcome of Bella and Charlie’s first meeting after Bella was changed.
They were on the front porch, laughing as Bella recounted pictures Renesmee had put in her head. Jasper was leaning against the railing, a bemused smile on his face. The sound of a truck could be heard from the distance, growing louder as it came up the drive. Edward should have been listening, should have been paying attention, but he just assumed it was Jacob. Again.
Charlie’s scent reached them at the same time. Impatient with the vague information he had been given, he had come to insist on some answers.
Edward was slow to react, not yet processing the full situation. But not so Jasper, who had spent years among newborns and knew their deadly strength and speed.
It was only fractions of a second, their movements a blur, but when Bella lunged for her father’s throat, Jasper used every last ounce of strength he possessed to throw himself between Bella and Charlie.
Irrelevant Aside: One scene in Amid the Lucid Stream brought to mind an experiment supposedly conducted by Antoine Lavoisier at his own execution during the French Revolution. I find this kind of thing (link contains possible spoiler—and potential ickyness) utterly fascinating, perhaps I’m a little morbid, but I love that it appeared here in this story.