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Author Archives: venis

About venis

Reader and writer of derivative fiction (because that sounds more grown-up than saying "fanfic"), repeatwordiness nazi, lover of photography (and Dylan O'Brien), part-time superhero...but I'm not actually supposed to tell you that.

Review: Windows by shoefreak37

Windows, by shoefreak37

Summary: I put my hands against the spots, understanding the dark masses were what kept Rosalie alive. They might as well have spelled out ‘The End’ because that was how I felt—not just a chapter was ending, but my story was done. It began and ended with her.

I’d like to be able to say that I’m sort of an advocate for femmeslash in the fandom, but truthfully, I fail at it. I try, but it really isn’t easy to find the kind of story in this genre that tugs at your heartstrings and makes you all warm and squirmy at the same time. They certainly are few and far between, so I find myself shying away from them more and more lately.

Regardless of my scepticism, I was excited to see some femme come in with this contest, and thrilled that one was actually able to capture me the way that it did.

I love it when stories of friendship bloom into something more, but the way shoefreak brings us into the past without the burden of a huge backstory was fantastic. We only get small hints of the childhood Rosalie and Bella shared, but the way this writer weaves her words, there’s more than enough to draw you in, making you feel almost as if you’re there with them.

She was like skinned knees and grass stains, part of my childhood. Unforgettable, she was, like the first breath of Autumn sneaking in on a summer breeze. Like markers that smelled of fruit, a glue stick colored purple, she was different and she stuck out to everyone…

In so few words, we travel down a road with these characters, watching as they experience true friendship, comfort, exploration, a first kiss…but just as they’re discovering what lies beneath the surface for both of them, all of it is snatched away. Shoe managed to hold on to some of the canon aspects of Rosalie’s would-be death, making this story all the more heart-wrenching.

Bella has never known life without Rosalie, and none of the small details included here fail to convey that loss to the readers.

Glancing at the pictures—high school graduation, packing for college, my first apartment—I can’t help but see the empty spot Rosalie should have inhabited. Each photo features me huddled to the side, leaving a gaping space that has no hope of being filled.

Such beautiful descriptive throughout this story, something I’ve come to expect from this writer. What I didn’t expect, though, was her incredible knack for creating a piece that’s both full of beautiful, undying love, and laced with gruesome gore at the same time. Not a feat easily accomplished by many, in my opinion.

I can’t say much without giving away the entire ending, but I will definitely say that this is very much worth the read. Beautifully written, perfectly paced, different in an unexpected way.

Windows won both best femmeslash, and third place judges vote in the vampslash contest. Be sure to check out the wide array of equally beautiful stories by shoefreak37. She’s certainly got something for everyone.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 20, 2011 in Contest, Femmeslash, Reviews

 

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Review: For a Season by giselle-lx

For a Season by giselle-lx

Summary: They both think they’ve lost everything. But some things, it turns out, are never taken away. Edward/Carlisle Slash. Breaking Dawn AU

I think I might be somewhat of a snob when it comes to fic recs. If someone recommends a story for me to read simply by passing me a link and the title, I usually crinkle my nose and push it away unless the person knows me very well. I want to know why they are recommending the story to me. Why did they love it enough to want to share? So, when a dear friend of mine (who doesn’t usually read the kind of things I do) hit me up on chat last week asking if I’d read For a Season, I shrugged and made some “meh” sort of noise as I went about my business. She told me it was Edward/Carlisle, which piqued my interest a bit, but not enough. Then she said “canon,” and I said “okay, gimme!”

I’m really glad that I did, too. This story was absolutely beautiful. It’s AU Breaking Dawn, set sometime shortly after the Volturi confrontation, only this time, not everyone made it through.

I stand for a long time, thinking about how it was when it was her standing at this edge, the unbearable loss she must have been feeling. I understand it better, now. I have half a mind to check to see if anything has changed since the last time I jumped—it would be nice, I think, to feel the rush of wind on my face as I tumble over the fall, hear the resounding smack of my body hitting the boulders below.

Perhaps this time, the rocks will break me instead of the other way around.

Carlisle’s grief over the loss of his mate, while powerful and deep, is not the typical in-your-face sort of angst we’ve grown accustomed to in this fandom. The little ways that he manages to pull her to the forefront of his thoughts without abruptly changing the focus of the story is not only gracefully subtle, but also refreshingly unique.

Carlisle has a house of his own now, a thousand miles away from his remaining family members, and while shopping for things to fill the empty home, he realizes that it was always his wife’s preferences that shone through in their decor. He slips subtle little things in as a reminder of her—place settings, a vase full of daffodils—but there are also hints of Edward mingled into these nuances (the color of the threads in the dish towels). The way that the author has managed to intertwine their past with the future in such a discrete way was absolutely breathtaking.

Alice sends Carlisle a ticket to the Bulls game in Chicago and, by no small coincidence his seat happens to be right next to Edward’s. They don’t speak at first, but they don’t need to; they just find silent comfort in the company of one another. Struggling to maintain some semblance of normalcy in their suddenly very altered lives, Carlisle and Edward make it an unspoken habit of meeting at these basketball games throughout the season.

This story is compelling and gorgeous is so many ways, but I think what hooked me was the fact that it just flows so perfectly. There are no abrupt turns or twists. The budding relationship between our two main guys doesn’t even seem that shocking, despite the circumstances that brought them together, because of the foundation of the relationship between them all along. Everything about it is just so canon. These two characters are still exactly who they were meant to be.

I run my fingers through his hair and put my nose against it, inhaling spice and earth. Like those of all the ones I’ve turned, Edward’s scent carries a little bit of my own. Mine is a sweeter spice, like smoked cinnamon, Esme always said; Edward smelled to both of us a little darker, like nutmeg. The similarity is a biological warning to others of our kind; a marker that I’ve sired almost my entire coven, that they are likely to be loyal.

To me, it’s a reminder that he’s mine. Edward smells perfect to me.

This is truly a poetic and heartbreakingly beautiful story of lost love and finding something that’s been there all along. Each character, no matter how small their part, plays a pertinent role in helping the progress of the story and the flow of its plot. There isn’t a single part of this that I’ll skim over when I re-read (for the umpteenth time), and I’ll definitely be checking out more by giselle-lx. It’s no wonder it was chosen as first place judges pick in the CarlWard contest, but it does surprise the everloving f*** out of all of us here at the VampSlash blog that, for once, something that wasn’t AH placed so high in the public voting round as well, coming in second. I highly recommend this story for readers of all genres.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 6, 2011 in Reviews, Vamp Slash

 

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