5 stars, fanfiction, m/m book reviews

Review: Devil of Mercy

Devil of Mercy Devil of Mercy by KouriArashi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Re-read and I’m upping this from 4 stars to 5 stars. I just love Peter in this!

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5 stars, fanfiction, Featured Posts, m/m book reviews

Review: The Light in the Woods

The Light in the Woods
The Light in the Woods by DiscontentedWinter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, this fantasy AU is so good!

Fantasy novels often need chapter after chapter to build a new world that is both believable (in a fantasy kind of way) and interesting. DiscontentedWinter has managed (yet again) to create a fantasy world I find fascinating and she did it with only a little over 12,000 words.

In a nutshell: 5 Stars

I got out of bed long enough to sneak downstairs, brew a cup of coffee, dump it in a travel mug, and head back to hide in my bed where I proceeded to read this, UNINTERRUPTED by little people (the first day of summer vacation always sucks…my reading time is sadly reduced).

And she posted it all at once! Completed! None of that stupid delayed gratification! No waiting for an excruciating 24 whole
for updates!

It’s like Thanksgiving and Christmas and Tyler Hoechlin’s birthday all rolled into one marvelous day.

*sighs happily*

This has so many of my favorite things. Arranged marriage, magic, tragic backstories, and Peter. Yes, he’s one of my favorite things, and I’m always happy to find a not-evil Peter in my Sterek fics.

It also has a scene that had my Tolkien heart a flutter, whether by design or by accident, I don’t even care, it reminded me of the Ents and it made me smile.

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5 stars, fanfiction, Featured, Featured Posts, m/m book reviews

Review: Little Wild Animal

Little Wild Animal Little Wild Animal by DiscontentedWinter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ETA: March 13, 2017:
Reading this, again. I think this must be my favorite comfort read; it’s almost embarrassing how many times I could add a ‘Date Read’ to this fic. My enjoyment of this fic is immense, but it’s not the gushing fangirl kind of enjoyment. It’s more subtle than my usual enthusiastic proclamation to ‘Just go read this!’ (though you really should go read this). No squeeing with this fic, just an incredible amount of emotions. Amusement at the kit’s initial interactions with people like Alex, who is certain the kit wants to murder him; with Deaton, who the kit probably does want to murder with each of the vet’s visits; and those poor chickens, who the kit torments with glee. There is amazement as ‘Stiles’ becomes less and less the little wild animal Derek found and more and more a real human being. A combination of anxiety and near-hopelessness as it becomes more and more likely Stiles will have his heart broken no matter what the outcome of their endeavors. And finally, happiness in an unexpected and clever conclusion that leaves me – every time – with the unique bone-deep feeling of satisfaction that only comes at the end of a remarkable story.

And I get all that for free, with one click on AO3, sent to my iPad. I get a story I come back to (often) when I feel the need to smile. I can click the ‘kudos’ button and leave a comment on AO3; I can leave a review on Goodreads sharing what it means to me that a stanger a world away from me chose to share something beautiful just because she wanted to.

And I guess if all that isn’t enough to show my gratitude I can suck it up and feel one more emotion regarding this fic: acute embarrassment every time I type in a current date in the ‘Date Read’ column.

Do you think Goodreads has a limit for that?

Original Review, January 20, 2016:
This was just…yeah, beautiful. Two nights ago I bawled my way through There Are No Wolves in California and tonight I am once more amazed by this writer (though, thankfully, this time around I’m not dripping snotty tears all over the place). I really should go to bed but I just know I’ll be searching for my next DW fix instead. Or maybe an LH fix, who knows, who cares, they are both amazing.

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5 stars, fanfiction, m/m book reviews

Review: Lord knows it would be the first time

Lord knows it would be the first time Lord knows it would be the first time by uraneia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fanfiction- Teen Wolf – Sterek
Stiles is home from Berkeley for the summer, but only because he promised the pack. He’d rather not see Derek, because whatever the thing was that they were doing, they’re not doing it anymore, and it sucks.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a choice. The betas tried a magical remedy for Derek’s melancholy, and now Stiles has a three-year-old who looks like Derek. Stiles doesn’t know how to deal with that, and he definitely doesn’t know how to tell the betas he and Derek were secret fuck buddies for a year and a half.

What I have to say after my second read:
I have absolutely no idea why I gave this story four stars the first time around. It’s almost four months later and I’m already giving this a second read. I’ve thought of this story several times since I read it, especially when reading other Sterek fanfics that can never measure up.

So full of Angst. So full of Feels. So Damn Beautiful . Five stars

ETA: Third read-July 1, 2016
Seriously, this is sooo good. Derek just can not get a break, can he? And these stupid, clueless boys, so afraid to tell each other how they feel.

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5 stars, fanfiction, m/m book reviews

Review: Stepping Off the Razor’s Edge

Stepping Off the Razor’s Edge Stepping Off the Razor’s Edge by MissAnnThropic
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fanfiction- Teen Wolf – Sterek
After the events of season 3b, the group in Beacon Hills graduate high school and move on with their lives… everyone except Stiles and Derek. Beset by their demons, they decide they need to get away for a while to clear their heads. Cue the road trip. (companion piece to “Occam’s Razor” but can be read alone)

I love this type of Sterek fic, the kind that has a slow feel to it as Derek or Stiles or both find their way back to living. These fics almost always feel like a metaphorical voyage and this fic took it one step further with Stiles and Derek roadtripping their way towards healing.

I re-read Occam’s Razor yesterday before reading this and loved how they complimented one another, but this could also easily be enjoyed on its own…though why would you want to?

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5 stars, fanfiction, m/m book reviews

Review: There Are No Wolves in California

There Are No Wolves in California There Are No Wolves in California by DiscontentedWinter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fanfiction- Teen Wolf – Sterek
A grieving Derek Hale returns to Beacon Hills.
He meets Stiles Stilinski, a boy suffering frontotemporal dementia, who has delusions that Derek is a werewolf.
He’s crazy.
And maybe he’s just what Derek needs.

Will someone please tell me why in the ever-loving-hell I did not take the tags seriously enough? I now have one of those headaches you get from trying really hard not to cry in a packed movie theater because I was stupid enough to think I could read this in bed next to my sleeping hubby and not disturb him. Since he’s now in the kitchen getting himself a midnight snack it’s safe to say I failed in the “not disturbing him” plan.

And because I must really hate myself, I went on to read a small little scene inspired by this story, After by Emma_Sea http://archiveofourown.org/works/3875386.

Shit. Now I gotta go open a new box of Puffs Plus with Lotion. And maybe put some cucumber slices on my swollen eyes.

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5 stars, fanfiction, m/m book reviews

Review: Echo of the Void

Echo of the Void Echo of the Void by MissAnnThropic
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fanfiction – Teen Wolf – Sterek

Post season 3B. After defeating the nogitsune, Stiles takes steps to ensure the demon fox can never possess him again. When things don’t go according to plan, Scott calls Derek to come try and calm Stiles down.

I have a love/hate relationship with tagging on AO3. I love how I can filter for a topic I’m in the mood for but I hate how some writers feel the need to tag every single plot point for their stories and thus end up spoiling their own fics. Drives me crazy.

But what completely pisses me off is when I find myself reading a fic without any tags…and love it.

Yeah, you read right, I’m pissed because I loved a story with no tags. And before you think I’m crazier than usual and scroll to some other (sane) person’s review, let me explain. I might hate the stupid tags like I just don’t even and I killed them don’t hate me and he’s a pile of poop but I like the ones that help me find something I want to read; or in the case of the ambiguous blurbs, the tags that tell me more about the story. But this writer doesn’t tag. Period. And I’m pissed because I’ve read a few of her works this week and I’ve loved them, but they never would have hit my radar because I use tags to filter through the 77,450 Teen Wolf fics on AO3. I only found this after finishing Occam’s Razor and Stepping Off the Razor’s Edge and wanting to read more by this writer. So, yeah, pissed I almost missed out on a great story.

But I’m not telling you anything about this story you don’t already know from the blurb, because I’m a little snot that way.

And it seriously pains me to admit this, but the thing about this story that most writers would have tagged (and I would have found it because it was sorta my go-to trope a week ago and I downloaded a ton of these fics), well, I’m glad it wasn’t tagged. I know, right? The blurb was adequate to get me reading but the big reveal was an even bigger reveal because I was not expecting it AT ALL. And that worked for me.

This time.

Because next time it could go south big time if the writer’s big reveal or plot twist or whatever ended up being something I really don’t want to read (like the “Surprise! It’s Ass-Pups” that Stiles delivered three-quarters of the way through one memorable fic…magical ass-babies are kinda okay, but I don’t like ass-pups so that was a not-the-fun-kind-of shock when reading).

Honestly, though, the writing was really good in this fic and in the other two I named above, so I plan on taking another chance with more by this writer.

Hopefully, that chance won’t involve any ass-pups.

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5 stars, fanfiction, m/m book reviews

Review: Cornerstone

Cornerstone Cornerstone by Vendelin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fanfiction- Teen Wolf – Sterek

Suffering from PTSD, ex-Marine Derek Hale moves back to Beacon Hills to open a bookshop and find a calmer life. That’s where he meets Stiles, completely by accident. Stiles is talkative, charming and curious. Somehow, despite the fact that he’s blind, he’s able to read Derek like no one else.

First Read: December 25, 2015 (such a great Christmas present and it’s Derek’s birthday, too!)

Second Read: July 7-8, 2016

Second time around found me reading this from a very different perspective. When I read this Human AU Sterek fanfic seven months ago I knew next to nothing about Teen Wolf, let alone Stiles and Derek, yet I had no problems following along. If I missed some reference to Teen Wolf during that reading I never knew it. This time around I have over a hundred Sterek’s under my belt (yeah, I really should get another hobby, don’t judge) so I figured I was bound to come across something that would make more sense now that I had watched a few seasons of the show in addition to having read all the fanfics. Nope, nada. Change the names and this could have easily been an original novel. Sure, like the show Derek’s family is (mostly) dead and but they are only vaguely mentioned. He’s still damaged but that damage comes from another source (of the writer’s original creation), not the death of his family. As for Stiles, his backstory differs rather significantly from MTV’s. His dad is still the sheriff and his best friend is still named Scott, but their page time is almost nonexistent. What I’m getting at is if you think you need to know Teen Wolf to understand this book you are wrong. So wrong, in fact, that I feel guilty for not having purchased this on Amazon as an original work and I would have absolutely no qualms about it being PTP (ooh, the horror!).

I mean, come on, Derek doesn’t even have a leather jacket in this story!

Original Review- December 25, 2015
I’ll preface this by saying I am new to the whole Sterek fanfiction. In fact, I’d never even heard of the Teen Wolf tv show until I looked it up after reading some fanfic blurbs. This is only my second or third Sterek piece and let me tell you, everything that comes next is going to have to work hard to come close to how much I loved this story.

This is probably one of my favorite lines in any book, ever, and is something I think about every time I imagine losing my sight.

“I just miss it. Reading. I miss reading.” Stiles’ face is turned in the other direction now. Away from Derek. Derek, who has never contemplated that reading isn’t a given for everyone in this country. Up until now, he has assumed that some people love to read and those who don’t like it deserve longer jail sentences if they ever commit a crime.

Okay, so maybe I don’t imagine the bit about the jail sentences!

This was an amazing read. The pace was slow, but in the best way possible. It mirrored Derek, who seemed to be going through life in slow motion as he tried to make it one day to the next. He had demons, but what I liked was the fact that the writer did not turn him into the clichéd tortured hero, aka, the Asshole Hero. Yeah, this guy was tortured, but he just wanted to get to each new day without harming anyone. He did that the only way he knew how, which was to be controlled and methodical. Unfortunately, that left him just going through the motions until Stiles entered the picture.

I will also say that hands down, this book has some of the hottest sex scenes I have ever read. Not crazy, over-the-top titillating just for the sake of titillating; but hot, gave-me-tingles-I-want-a-Derek-of-my-own kind of hot.

I look forward to reading more by this writer.

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5 stars, fanfiction, m/m book reviews

Review: It Was All An Accident

It Was All An Accident It Was All An Accident by entanglednow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fanfiction- Teen Wolf – Sterek

He’s sure that some complicated law of physics is in danger of being broken here. Something about two things being incapable of occupying the same space at the same time.
Words:3680 complete

Way too hot to be rated Mature on AO3, but no complaints from me. I love “Emotionally Constipated”
Derek, especially when paired with “I’m Not Putting Up With Your Shit Let’s Be Happy For Fuck’s Sake” Stiles.

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5 stars, Featured, m/m book reviews

Review: Scrap Metal

Scrap Metal Scrap Metal by Harper Fox
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Revised review: reread October 2015
I don’t think I can add more to what I already wrote about this book as it was just as amazing a second time around. I don’t know why I haven’t read more by this author but I tend to rectify that. Next up, Half Moon Chambers.

Review from July 2014:
I rarely write a review for a book, even one I love. This is mainly because I tend to agonize over what I want to say and in the end I say, “Screw it” and move on with my reading. This book, however, pulled me out of myself so completely that I’m almost forced to take the time to honor it.

The blurb gives the basics of the plot so no need to review it here. And really, a brief line on the About the Author page does a wonderfully succinct job of sharing the best part of this book: “She [Harper Fox] loves to try to show the romance implicit in everyday life…” Some of the most romantic lines I’ve ever read were found here. Never sappy, simply beautiful. And that is how I viewed Nichol and Cam’s growing love, simply beautiful. I think they are one of my most favorite pairings from any book I have read.

If you are looking for a story that has romance, tangled family dynamics, humor, a bit of a mystery, and yes, a good share of heat, then Scrap Metal is the way to go. I will read Harper Fox again.

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