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VampSlash Roundup in the TwiKinkFest

The TwiKinkFest is “officially” complete, but there are still unclaimed prompts that are just begging to be written, many of which are vampslash prompts. Visit the tumblr blog for rules and procedures, and then check out the spreadsheet to see what’s left.

Without further ado, VampSlash in the TwiKinkFest! (NOTE: asterisks [**] denote fics added to this list since the last update.)

Bareback Mountain by Fr333bird
Pairing: Felix/Emmett
Word Count: 3,601
Summary: Felix and Emmett have always longed for someone of equal size and strength to spar with. They meet secretly once a year to give in to their basest urges, hunting and fighting. This year one thing leads to another.
Prompt: Vampslash! Felix and Emmeett have both longed for years for someone of equal size and strength to spar with. Despite the fact that their covens are at odds, they meet secretly once a year to give in to their basest urges – hunting and fighting. This time around, their wrestling becomes heated and sexy and turns into hot vampy fucking. Bonus points for unexpected tenderness mid-fuck and bloodplay.
My thoughts: Emmett? Check. Vamp hunting? Check. Hot vampy fucking? Check. Bottom!Emmett? I’m fucking dead.

**Body, remember by rhythm junkie
Pairing: Demetri/Mike
Word Count: 4,902
Summary: [see prompt]
Prompt: Marking with bruises. Slash, any pairing except Edward/Jasper, vamp/human. For example, vamp Garrett loves to grip boyfriend Mike’s wrists/throat/other body part a little too tightly, feeling the blood pool and watching it form a bruise under delicate human skin. I’d like this to be completely consensual and enjoyed by both men. No heavy pain play or D/s themes please.
My thoughts: This one wasn’t at all what I expected, but it exceeded any expectation I had. Something that stuck with me was the way the author was somehow able to evoke the senses – as I said in my review to her, I feel like I felt this story, rather than read it.

**Crescent Moon by dellaterra
Pairing: Jasper/?
Word Count: 6,787
Summary: The first bite was unintended… A very AU tale of what happened after Jasper’s escape from Maria, told from his rescuer’s POV. Rated M for M/M vamp slash, biting, and scarification. Written for the Twi Kink Fest. Read warning first.
Prompt: Jasper’s scars cover his body. His mate (slash pairing) wants to love on his scars, claim his scars, so they become representative of something beautiful. Biting them to create new scars is totally acceptable. Mate can be any vamp but preferably not Edward.
My thoughts: In the interest of full disclosure, this was one of my prompts, so I’ll try to tone down the squeeing. I will say, however, that this filled the prompt better than I could possibly have imagined. dellaterra took the prompt and put a very real, very beautiful story behind it. The story is told in first person POV and we don’t find out the speaker until the very end, but that’s okay because it’s Jasper’s story. Please do read the warning, I admit to a little bit of squick at one point, but it was an absolutely wonderful story and you’re doing a disservice to yourself if you don’t read it.

**Do or Die by vampireisthenewblack
Pairing: Edward/Carlisle
Word Count: 4,733
Summary: For the Twilight Kink Fest. Prompt: Fuck or Die. NM AU. Edward/Carlisle. Vampslash. NC-17.
Prompt: Fuck or Die, Edward. I don’t care how it happens. Maybe an evil vampire injects E w/vampire semen and the result is that he needs vamp semen to survive, needs it daily, worse than blood. Without it he’s weak, in pain…dying. He can take it orally or anally. Craves it all ways. As long as he gets enough he’s stable. Any vamp can satisfy him but I’d like to see Jasper or C or Em even claim/demand the sole responsibility for keeping E alive.
My thoughts: Like just about anything vampireisthenewblack writes, this is angsty but delicious. It features a painfully broken Edward for whom you can’t help feeling sorry. I won’t spoil it, but my favorite bit is at the very end where we see a beautifully protective side of Carlisle that will make any Carlward shipper’s heart happy.

**End Game by ArcadianMaggie
Pairing: Emmett/Jasper/Mike
Word Count: 6,225
Summary: The next time Mike enters the locker room after practice, the sound of running water is enough to make him burn. He knows Emmett’s just on the other side of that wall. Written for the Kink Fest. PWP. Slash. Mature content.
Prompt: Double penetration. M/M/M. At least one vamp, though I’d prefer the guy getting penetrated be human. Emmett comes to mind as a penetrator, but that’s not necessarily a requirement. And I wouldn’t be opposed to two vamps doing the penetration of one human. Not at all…
My thoughts: This was another of my prompts in the kinkfest and I was thrilled that ArcadianMaggie picked it up, and then doubly thrilled with how she wrote it. The building sexual tension is palpable (thank God for Jasper!) and the little ways in which Jasper and Emmett entice Mike into a sexual liaison were absolutely delicious. This fic is exactly what the prompt asked for and is perfect for it. Just remember that this is, in fact, a vampslash story.

For A Pack of His Own by anon
Pairing: Jacob/Sam/Paul
Word Count: ~1,300
Summary: [see prompt]
Prompt: In order to establish his status as alpha, Jacob forces his pack to submit to him. Sam immediately offers himself on all fours and this is where Jake starts. Each pack member reacts differently. Paul refuses to submit and is forced after a fight in human form. Bonus for bloody nose and mouth. Double bonus if Paul sucks Jake’s cock while bleeding. Jake should hold Paul down the whole time, telling him that he will submit.
My thoughts: Short, well-done, and fills the prompt perfectly. As a warning, this falls pretty solidly into the non-con category. So take that as your warning if that’s a hard limit for you.

**My Wolf by CherBella
Pairing: Carlisle/Sam
Word Count: 10,251
Summary:
 TwiKinkFest story: To Look Into Their Eyes Forever Imprints Your Heart, To Hear Their Howls Forever Marks Your Soul, To Connect With Them Forever Bonds Your Spirits… Two lonely enemies destined to be together.
Prompt: I want first time animalistic outdoor sex, vamp or wolf or vamp/wolf with trees breaking, boulders cracking, etc. Could be after a fight or a tragic loss. High emotion fueling primal need with no thought to the destruction, complete letting go & unleashing of strength. Preferred pairings Edward/Jacob, Edward/Seth, but any pairing is fine, het & femme included!
My thoughts: Carlisle moves to Forks sans family and a few days later Sam shows up as his neighbor. Carlisle regularly goes running, both to clear his head and to hunt, and soon a wolf is matching his strides in the forest. Carlisle is remarkably unintuitive when it comes to these two things, but it appears that Sam’s his singer, so he must be forgiven. This fic features voyeur!Carlisle AND bottom!Carlisle, neither of which are versions of Carlisle I think we see enough of. And the fist time animalistic outdoor sex? Yum.

No Consequence by beckybrit
Pairing: Alec/Jane
Word Count: 5,094
Summary: To combat boredom, Alec and Jane toy with their victims before feasting on them. Warning: M/M/F scenes, incest and main character death/torture.
Prompt: Pain play & possible twincest. To combat boredom, Alec and Jane toy with their victims before feasting on them. I’m thinking a good cop (Alec)/bad cop (Jane) scenario. I’ll leave it up to the author to determine how sexual things get, but I’m open to pretty much anything, including a threesome (or moresome) involving twincest.
My thoughts: Um… *squirms*… so apparently I enjoy twincest. Or perhaps it was the bloodplay and the treatment of vampires like they’re actually vampires and enjoy the taste of blood. Whatever it was, this whole story really worked for me. Though I admit a moment of heartclench when beckybrit revealed Alec and Jane’s plaything. Still, it really worked.

Pack Bonding by Fr333bird
Pairing: Seth/Sam
Word Count: 4,285
Summary: Seth is new to the pack and has to take part in a rite of passage. Contains explicit sex acts with more than one partner, a little dub-con at first. Unashamedly kinky but also kind of sweet. Seth/wolfpack. [Warnings: dub-con at first. Voyeur Leah only – no incest.]
Prompt: Wolfpack gang bang with Seth on the receiving ed. Bonus points if it’s part of a rite of passage within the pack. Prefer human form and slash only, but it’s okay if Leah gets in on the action, too. Dub-con okay if author feels it necessary to get things started, but no non-con, please.
My thoughts: This could totally be canon. A wonderfully twisted canon that would never have crossed Stephenie Meyer’s mind, but canon nonetheless. Seth was totally in character – trusting, open, caring – and I absolutely buy this as a pack initiation.

**Passion Flower by SqueakyZorro
Pairing: Carlisle/Aro
Word Count: 3,544
Summary: [see prompt]
Prompt: Aro has been trying to seduce Carlisle since he arrived in Volterra. He’s even had Chelsea reinforce Carlisle’s bond with Aro. Yet Carlisle continues to resist, as Aro is mated. Aro eventually resorts to placing a plant in C’s room, its pollen rumored to incite uncontrollable lust when in bloom. sex!pollen
My thoughts: I think the verbal ‘foreplay’ that Carlisle and Aro inevitably engage in whenever they’re together, sexually or not, is my favorite part, and this doesn’t disappoint. Oh, the sex is pretty hot, too. 😉

Prey by kgq
Pairing: Edward/James
Word Count: 3,836
Summary: [see prompt]
Prompt: I’d like to read some bloodlapping in vampslash preferably but het would do too. During sex or in a non-sexual situation, but with hidden or clear sexual context. Please.
My thoughts: This was a little hard for me to follow at times, but I absolutely love the premise. And as much as James is a sadistic dick in the original, I kind of love the Edward/James pairing. And (final “and”, I promise) the bloodlapping in this? Jesus. Dead.

Red Strawberries by Miss Dare
Pairing: Edward/Jasper
Word Count: 4,677
Summary: Edward loves how pretty Jasper looks wearing mascara. But that’s only the start of it.
Prompt: Ooh, some forced feminization with Jasper/Edward pairing please. There’s so little of this out there but what there is I’ve loved.
My thoughts: Forced fem really isn’t my thing, but this was very well done. I love the established, loving relationship, and the rimming – UNF – the rimming was top notch.

Pairing: Edward/Jasper
Word Count: 3,846
Summary: [see prompt]
Prompt: Edward and Jasper want to help Carlisle overcome his shame for homosexual urges which he can barely admit to himself. They fuck in increasingly filthy ways when they know he’s near, until Carlisle can’t help hiimself and jacks off while watching. Vamp preferred.
My thoughts: If the prompt doesn’t entice you to read this, I don’t know what will. Quasi-accidental voyeur!Carlisle, and kinda exhibitionist Ed/Jas. Delicious.

**The Man You Make of Me by theladyingrey42
Pairing: Carlisle/Edward
Word Count: 4,391
Summary: “He was all long limbs and soft lips, hair the color of walnut set to flame. Even polluted with disease, his blood smelled sweet. Like he was meant for me. Made for me. And so I took him.” ExC, vampslash. For the TwiKinkFest.
Prompt: Carlisle/Edward. I want a possessive Carlisle. In character, he’s the voice of reason all the time, but when it comes to Edward, don’t cross him. Claiming Edward of some sort. I’d prefer Vamp/Vamp, but any works. Marks from the “claiming”. Bareback. Maybe Edward has been flirting, trying to push Carlisle. Please!
My thoughts: This is exactly everything that vampslash Carlward should be. It’s possessive and needy and vampy and violent and perfectly lovely. Seriously. Stop reading this right here and go read the story. Now. I’ll even give you an extra link to it. Go.

The Thought That Counts by RaindropSoup
Pairing: Edward/Alec/Caius
Word Count: 5,647
Summary: Mindreading is not only an overwhelming ability but also a sixth sense, and the gift of sensory deprivation might just be a condemning Godsend. Post-BD.
Prompt: Edward/Alec vampy-bondagey thing… Alec uses his gift to cut off Edward’s senses, plunging (heh!) him into a stage of sensory deprivation – except for the pleasure Alec wants to give him, of course. Maybe he invites others to participate as well – and it’s the writer’s choice as to whether Edward can still red the minds of whoever is involved.
My thoughts: Edward + Alec + Caius + Demetri. Seriously? Volturi vampfic always gets me going, and the author does a great job with her first slash fic. I do wonder what got Edward to this point after the events in BD…

The Whipping Boy by Fr333bird and beckybrit
Pairing:
 Edward/Seth
Word Count: 10,949
Summary:  Edward and Seth are captured by the Volturi, but the experience brings them together in a way E never expected. This is ultimately a love story, albeit a dark one. WARNINGS: contains graphic torture and some elements of sexual abuse.
Prompt: The Whipping Boy. AU, Wolf/Vamp Slash. Ed and Seth are captured by the Volturi. Seth is tortured whenever Edward refuses to obey an order. Graphic torture (remember shifter’s rapid healing) and hurt/comfort sex between Ed/Seth. Feel free to include sexy Dom/sub action with a male Volturi (Marcus please), but Ed and Seth should be the focus of the fic. HEA not required, but love would be appreciated.
My Thoughts: This one really took me by surprise. Whipping is not a kink of mine, but this doesn’t really treat whipping as a kink. The authors handle the subject matter beautifully, and the relationship between Seth and Edward is real and believable. Takes place in a BD AU where Bella was killed in the non-battle at the end of the book.

The White Dress by avioleta
Pairing: Carlisle/Edward
Word Count: 5,599
Summary: “When he wears the white dress, Carlisle knows he will have to touch him.”
Prompt: Cross-dressing, slash, vamp E/C. It starts off with Carlisle and Edward trying to hide their relationship from an unforgiving society, but it turns out to be so much more. Edward grows to love wearing the pretty dresses and silky lingerie. He loves getting dressed up for Carlisle, and being ‘Esme, the perfect wife’. He loves getting bent over the table with his skirt pushed up, and Carlisle’s cock in his ass.”
My thoughts: Cross-dressing is not really my kink (though it’s growing on me), but fuck if this didn’t kill me. avioleta writes E/C absolutely perfectly, and she does a brilliant job of putting Edward comfortably in a dress. (For other reference, please read A Cinderella Story, not vampslash but one of my all-time favorites. And I will get everyone to read it if it’s the last thing I do!)

**Timeless by shoefreak37
Pairing: Demetri/Felix
Word Count: 4,013
Summary: While monitoring the newborn army in Seattle, Demetri and Felix find ways to indulge while also getting themselves fed. Entry for the Twilight Kink Fest. Takes place during Eclipse.
Prompt: Dubcon + possible bloodplay. Demitri/Felix + human(s). I’d like to see these vamps indulge in a bit of carnal delight before draining their next meal. Bloodplay a plus. Obviously dub-con, with the human(s) being so overwhelmed by their attraction to the vamps, they think they want it and are grateful to get it… Slash preferred, but a combination of slash/het okay too.
My thoughts: All I have to say about this is that it’s exactly – exactly – what I imagine Demetri and Felix are really like. It’s exactly how their relationship would work and exactly how two, centuries-old vampires would behave. And it is brilliant.

**To the Victor Go the Spoils by MarchHare5
Pairing: Carlisle/Jasper
Word Count: 9,731
Summary: When Carlisle’s coven of females is threatened by an interloper, Carlisle’s instincts run away with him as he teaches his rival a lesson he’ll never forget. Very OOC. Graphic. Heed warnings inside. For the TwiKinkFest.
Prompt: Vamp Carlisle is the leader of his coven (females only) New male rival, Jasper, threatens the balance and gets dominated and fucked into submission as he stumbles upon a hunting trip. Dirty bareback feral forced anal. The more feral the better!
My thoughts: Well, dirty bareback feral forced anal was the prompt, and this absolutely delivered. This is Carlisle as you’ve never seen him, and a sad, ruined Jasper. It displays a very different coven hierarchy and dynamic than we’re familiar with in the Twilight universe, but it works for this fic. Do be warned that there’s quite a bit of het in this, but since Carlisle and Jasper do have sex, it still counts as vampslash.

If you see any others that I’ve missed, or yours has been written and isn’t featured above, give me a holler!
 
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Posted by on December 5, 2011 in Fandom Events

 

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Review: Tracking Redemption by shoefreak37

Tracking Redemption by shoefreak37

Summary: When Edward flees to Volterra after learning of Bella’s death, he is coerced into remaining as a member of the Volturi Guard. Redemption can be found even when it is not being sought after. Slash/New Moon AU

For our first post-launch review, I chose the first fic I reach for when someone asks me for a vampslash rec. With perfect glee I sat down to re-read Tracking Redemption by shoefreak37. I very very very rarely re-read fanfic. Consequently, I thought I might have to push myself to pick it up. This was only the second time I’ve read this story, and yet once again, I couldn’t put it down.

The story begins in New Moon, but Edward is running to Volterra earlier than in canon. Alice has seen Bella in the meadow with Laurent, and then she disappears from Alice’s visions. With Bella dead, Edward runs off to commit Volturicide.

This time, no one follows him. This time, Aro succeeds in acquiring Edward as a member of the guard. His first assignment is a simple one, more or less. His second, not so much.

He began scouring the hardened nails with ferocity as though trying to purge himself of the self-loathing he was experiencing. If only he could get his hands clean, then he would be free of what he’d done. He could forget it.

Edward cleansed and rubbed and polished and buffed his fingernails, but the stains would not come clean. He added more force and the brush crumbled in his hand. He grabbed another one and began scrubbing again in desperation, and, once again, the tiny plastic tool could not withstand Edward’s panicked grip.

Shoefreak37 ‘humanises’ (so to speak) many of the Volturi, making them real people with depths beyond what we might think of as ‘evil’. Edward finds a few friends within the guard, and Demetri is there from the beginning. Slowly Edward comes to realise that perhaps he wasn’t attracted to Bella in the way he thought he was, and yet he continues to feel tremendous guilt over her death.

“I know that the pieces of your heart are scattered. You feel that you will never find them all again, but, trust me, I am very good at finding things. I already know the shape they are to go back in,” Demetri stated, clutching Edward’s left pectoral tightly. “I can feel how good your heart is Edward, even in its absence.”

Edward let his breath out in a rush, and sobbed once more quietly. “How can you stand to be near me? I can barely tolerate myself.”

“Edward, I have not been moved by another in well over five hundred years. How could I not want to be near you?”

I’m sitting here trying to find words to express how I feel about Edward and Demetri. I can’t. I get stupid-happy all over again. I have a different Demetri in my head from the one in the books (and definitely the movie). He’s patient and understanding. Gentle and self-sacrificing. I’m trying very hard not to *swoon* while I’m supposed to be helpful and factual and shit 😉

Edward is innocent and very pure at the beginning of the story. His thoughts are very proper. This character definitely grows and changes in the course of the story. The sex scenes in Tracking Redemption are very very hot (OMG mountain sex), but the first time Edward says something I wasn’t expecting, it almost killed me dead. More than that superficial change, Edward eventually comes to accept himself, to accept what he is, his immortality. This I found to be a very strong theme within the story, and is part of what makes it a perfect example of alternate universe vampfic.

Tracking Redemption is compelling, surprising, and concise. It’s a hair over 100k, but it doesn’t feel like a rambling epic. Every sentence adds to the story and advances the plot. I’ve heard Shoe refer to her prose as ‘purple’. It’s not, in my opinion. If there is a smattering of turgid members, it’s completely appropriate to Edward’s point of view. Shoe writes in third person, but she does it exceptionally, never once dropping out of Edward’s head and into someone else’s.

The strongest impression I come away with every time I read Tracking Redemption, is that it doesn’t read like serialised fiction. There are no loose ends. No obvious ‘corners’ the author has written herself into which she must then waste an entire chapter digging her way out of (don’t look at me like that, I have a WIP in which I’ve done that exact thing). The first time I read it, I could not believe that shoefreak37 hadn’t written the entire story before she posted a word. It just seemed that cohesive.

I was beyond impressed.

Tracking Redemption has an outtake, Hide and Seek, and a futuretake, Cadence of Humanity.

There is also a companion story: Til Death Do Us Part by GracieBlack28, which is a Jacob/Bella story set in the same universe. I haven’t read this, so I offer the link for FYI purposes. The author seems to have a few other stories set in this universe, focusing on the wolfpack, Embry and his parentage specifically.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2011 in Reviews, Vamp Slash

 

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Review: Arcana by solareclipses

Arcana by solareclipses

Summary: Pre-Twilight Volturi, canon AU. 2nd place femslash judges vote, In the Closet Contest. Together for centuries, Sulpicia longs for a deeper relationship with Didyme, the woman who also happens to be her mate’s sibling…

First off, I have to admit that as much as I love slash, I’ve never been drawn to the lady side of slash, so Arcana broke my proverbial femmeslash cherry.  Whether you’re a femmeslash virgin like me, or it’s the only thing you read, Arcana is a must-read.

What solareclipses so artfully does with this story is take a missing piece of the Twilight Saga and give it life.  She makes Sulpicia and Didyme real people – three dimensional characters with motivations and desires and fears.  And she does it in a way that is absolutely believable within Twilight canon.

She is light—so pure, that sometimes I feel I must shade my eyes from her brightness. Wherever her leather-sandaled feet venture, shadows flee, and laughter reigns. Her heart, still though it may be beneath her breast, sees only goodness, for she is only goodness in this den of vampire thieves and hungry lion men.

Solareclipses’ prose is well-researched and beautifully written.  She effortlessly weaves bits of history in with the narrative, creating a richer, fuller experience for the reader.  Though Arcana is only just over 5,000 words, there is no dearth of imagery or affect.  In fact, the story is likely more impactful than if it was twice as long.

At face value, Arcana is only about Sulpicia and Didyme.  However, through the telling of their relationship, their love, we get a glimpse into the lifestyles and lives of the Volturi through the centuries.  We also gain a better understanding of current-day Marcus’s misery and Aro’s need for power and control.

My husband Aro knows of my feelings. How can he not, when his every touch unveils to him my history, my every thought? There are no secrets between my mate and me. He does not hide his anger over my inexplicable desire for his sister, though he is also aware that my infatuation is beyond my control; it is perhaps this fact that annoys him most. I imagine that his gift often confronts him with love and lust for his much happier sibling. […]

The years pass, turn into decades, and then centuries. We witness the rise and fall of societies, participating in some, ignoring most. Eternity is longer than any of us were able to imagine. Velathri becomes Volterrae becomes Volterra, and our coven takes on the name Volturi, growing until Marcus is more frequently required in the great hall with Aro and Caius. The latter two thrive in this new, more powerful environment; Marcus broods without his wife. His angst is understandable; I cannot fathom living without Didyme.

As solareclipses points out in her ending Author’s Note, so often in fanfiction, slash especially, the focus is on the lemon.  We fixate on when a couple will get together, where it will happen, how it will happen, how many times, etc.  But in reality, relationships are largely a waiting game with no guarantee of citrus.  Arcana plays the waiting game well, but not in the typical way.  It’s not a story rife with sexual tension or innuendo, and the story isn’t just the lemon.

The story is the emotion and affection between the two women, strong enough to endure centuries.  And when the two finally do give in to their love for one another it is still more about their connection and less about the physical act.

“Let me see you,” she says, and unlike my hands, hers are calm and gentle. She takes her time, slowly pulling down one shoulder strap and then another; it is the single most pleasurable and torturous feeling I have experienced. My breathing is erratic as I stare into her eyes. I feel as though I am looking into her soul, and it is so painfully beautiful, so perfect, that I wish I could cry, if only to show her how deeply I care. Somehow, Didyme understands this, for she understands me. Her hands leave my dress straps sagging loosely around my biceps, coming up instead to cradle my face. “Shh, shh, shh. I understand, mellita.”

If you’re familiar with the Volturi in Twilight canon, you know that this story cannot have a happy ending.  But that ending just makes the rest of the story that much more poignant.

Arcana is a dynamic tale, one that is full of rich characters and gives the reader an intimate peek inside the walls of the Volturi that we could never hope to get from the original Twilight Saga.  If you’ve ever wondered about the interpersonal relationships within the Volturi, Arcana is a great place to start.  I enjoyed the story and its realism so much that I am choosing to believe it is canon.

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2011 in Femmeslash, Reviews

 

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Review: BRONZE by mothlights

BRONZE by mothlights

Summary: Edward is a rebellious newborn lashing out at those who try to help him. At his wit’s end, Carlisle asks Isabella, the woman who was once his mentor, to take Edward in until his bloodlust cools. ExB Very AU – COMPLETE

I don’t read a lot of het fic. Very little. Probably less than 5% of all my fic reading is het. Probably 0.5% Edward/Bella. Just not a fic-Bella fan, I’m afraid.

Well. After reading BRONZE, I’m not sure I’ll be able to go back to reading even Steph’s Bella. There are some similarities, sure, but overall, mothlights Bella has very little to do with canon-Bella, and I like it that way.

Edward’s fingers twitched, but there was no pushing away Carlisle’s thoughts, so he swung his attention to the mind of the one who would soon be his keeper. Carlisle had called her Dae and Genovefa and her latest name, the name by which he had known her, Isabella. Even ten miles away, Edward could read her. She was focusing on the cool give and bristle of moss beneath her feet. Her heel came up; the air caught the moisture from the dew on her skin. Cool. Damp. Pressure. Motion. Skin and pine needles and earth. Then the smooth conformity of wood as she stepped into her house. If these wordless sensations were the only thoughts invading his mind until he mastered his godforsaken bloodlust and set out on his own, then it would be an improvement over his time in Washington.

In an alternate timeline, BRONZE’s Bella is an ancient vampire, a hermit living in a cabin in the mountains, who takes on the newborn and volatile Edward as a housemate. Edward himself is quite close to his canon self, or at least what he might have been like in his first few years. He is a mind reader, but is frustrated at the simplicity of Bella’s thoughts, which gives him no opportunity to figure her out.

Isabella turned to face him. The breeze was gone, and all the birds had flown, leaving the forest silent. She didn’t bother to blink, but Edward found himself blinking repeatedly. He had never felt quite so looked at before. Power seemed to roll off of her in waves, and he was certain that, like him, she had a talent – perhaps withering something on the spot or causing storms. Whatever it was she could do, why hadn’t Carlisle told him? Don’t growl. Do not growl, the most basic part of him warned. He wanted to pull his arms back as far as they would go and send her through the rough logs. Instead he felt himself bending slightly, almost bowing his head.

I’m not telling you what Bella’s gift is, only that it’s nothing like canon, and it is so well imagined and executed as to blend seamlessly into the Twilight universe. And I do love this Bella. She is strong and wise, yet not perfect.

“How old were you, Edward?”

“What?”

“How old, when you ran your car off the road?”

“Nineteen.”

“Nineteen,” she repeated. Her voice was soft. “You’re not a child, so I’m not going to treat you like one, no matter how you choose to act.” She dropped down so her face was in front of him. “But if you ever lay a hand on me again you will wish Carlisle had let you die. You understand?”

I hate to give away plot in reviews, and so I won’t. I will say that this is a real story. Sure, there is romance there, but there would still be a whole lot of story without it.  There are surprises, thrilling conflicts, bad guys, daring rescues, and original characters that have depth and rich histories of their own. And mothlights explores the Children of the Moon (the real werewolves), fleshing out the tiny details we got from canon into a very adequate mythology.

Though set entirely in the 21st Century, BRONZE took me on a journey through history. It gives glimpses of mammoth hunts, the markets of ancient Sumer, and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. It touches on Aro’s humble beginnings, and the time before the Volturi made the laws, when the Romanians ruled the vampire world. And while brief, these glimpses are vivid, well researched, and used in just the right way within the story.

Mothlights didn’t bore me with details however. She gets right to the point without meandering, and yet she allows Bella’s history to come out gradually. Necessary exposition doesn’t seem out of place, it is integrated into the story and is as compelling as the rest of her words. Her prose is simple and unaffected, and yet so lyrical, with an ebb and flow that had me reading aloud to myself without realising I was doing it.

Once you’ve read it, check out the prequel that details Carlisle and Bella’s first meeting. It should have a glowing review all of it’s own: Corruption : Compassion

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2011 in Reviews, Slash Approved

 

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