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Title: 8 Sensations series
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] merle_p 
Fandom: Sense8
Genre: Friendships & Relationships, Chosen Family 
Length: Medium (WIP)

Author's Summary:
1. It isn’t until Amanita says, out of the blue, over the rim of her chai latte, “Would you mind telling Kala that I really liked the book she recommended?”, that Nomi realizes it’s so much more than that. Her girlfriend is not simply accepting the existence of other people’s voices in her head – she is actually conversing with them.
2.“Jesus,” Will says. He is pacing the room, rubbing a distracted hand across his face. His cheeks are flushed, there is sweat pooling in the back of his neck, and he can’t even blame the Mexican heat for that, since the A/C in the apartment is working just fine. Wolfgang looks up from his phone with a smirk. “They are at it again, aren’t they.” It’s not a question.
3. “I should have blown his fucking brains out,” she tells the wall, but at that point, she thinks she might just be channeling Wolfgang.

Review:
This is a beautiful series about the friendships and relationships in the cluster&their families/friends and how they enrich each character's life. I especially love the first in the series, epistolary. Neetya is such a fantastic character (so are Nomi and pretty much all of the cluster, but Neetya above them all, imo).

8 Sensations series (on AO3)
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Title: Choosing
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] dreamfall
Fandom: Hunger Games
Genre: Pre-canon, all/mostly OCs
Pairing: various OCs
Length: Long (44,357 words)

Author's Summary:
In the 25th Hunger Games, to remind the Districts that they had brought the Games on themselves through their choice to rebel, each district was forced to choose its own tributes, rather than have them chosen by a public lottery. These tributes had to face not only the Capitol and, ultimately, the arena from which only one would emerge, but also the fact that their people, their friends and families, had chosen them specifically for the task.

Review:
An original story in the haunting dystopia of the Hunger Games 'verse. The original characters are mostly well-written (there is one whose mental illness is, imo, too magical for the 'verse, but it serves a purpose in the story that I'm not sure could have been done any better so it's justifiable). I really like how the premise is laid out and how devastating the voting is shown to be, how the rebel legacy is handled just 25 years into the games, and how the games themselves play out believably within the canon 'verse.

Choosing (on AO3)
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Title: it used to be mad love
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] featherxquill
Fandom: Taylor Swift "Bad Blood" music video
Genre: Female Friendship
Length: Short (1,946 words)

Author's Summary:
No one's a superhero since the job went corporate, but they were supposed to be sisters.

Review:
Really cool story written for Yuletide to explain what's happening in the video (which is on Youtube if you haven't seen it - you do need it to make sense of the story).

it used to be mad love (on AO3)
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Title: Sense8 Character art
Author: [tumblr.com profile] notti963
Fandom: Sense8
Genre: Digital Drawing/Painting, GIF

Review: Great character headshots.

Sense8 Character art (on tumblr)
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Title: Lily fixes a mistake
Author: [fanfiction.net profile] severusphoenix
Fandom: Harry Potter
Genre: Severus as Harry's dad, Snape/Lily, strong!Lily
Pairing: James/Lily, Snape/Lily, James/OFC
Length: Very Long (183,204 words)

Author's Summary:
JK said that, given a second chance, Severus would pick Lily. I'm giving Lily a second chance to pick Severus, instead. AU, of course. Some deaths, too.

Review:
Okay, this starts out iffy - James is ridiculously caricatured and Severus is unpleasant... I put off reading this fic for years because I couldn't get past that introduction/setting-up-the-premise. But stick with it. Once the story gets going, things get much better and the characters level out and get much more believable and it's actually an enjoyable read, especially if you're a fan of any of the genres listed above.  There's a lot of worldbuilding as the story develops and Snape and Lily and their friends get on with their careers and make changes that have a huge impact on the wizarding world and the progression of the plot.  Very good for fans of Lily, especially.

Lily fixes a mistake (on ff.net)
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Title: here comes the fighter
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] peppermintcas
Fandom: Sense8
Genre: character study, friendships
Length: Very Short (1,532 words)

Author's Summary:
There’s an itch in Sun’s bones that she can’t scratch.

Review:
Sun has a lot to be angry about and few options to cope with that without the support of her cluster. Luckily, they're amazing, and so is she.

here comes the fighter (on AO3)
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Title: What The Mayflies Leave Behind
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] MayFairy
Fandom: Doctor Who
Genre: Friendship, Character Study (Jack)
Length: Short (3,826 words)

Author's Summary:
The first time she meets the promised Captain Jack Harkness, he's so unaware of his own curse she can barely look at him. The second time, he knows all too well, but is not yet ready. The third time, he stretches out his hand and she takes it.

Review:
Ashildr meets Jack (no prior knowledge of the 12th Doctor series or characters needed, including Ashildr - you could substitute any older human-turned-immortal and the story would still work).  It's a character study for how Jack changes through the series. I really liked the contrast between the two immortals and the sense that their journeys to accepting their new natures has been different and even though Ashildr, whose POV the story is from, seems to think that her view is inevitable and Jack will/does get there eventually, I don't read Jack by the end in the same way as Ashildr reads though there is clear character development that sort of runs parallel - that balance makes for a really interesting dual character study.

What the Mayflies Leave Behind (on AO3)
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Title: Claws and Teeth and Tulle
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] lorata
Fandom: Hunger Games
Genre: Original Character, Outsider POV, pre-canon , mentorship/friendship
Length: Short (3,714 words)

Author's Summary: Petra killed ten children on live television; she made love to a beautiful, deadly girl while the bodies cooled around her, sucked another boy's blood off the girl’s mace-callused fingers and angled herself for the cameras, but no, now she’s the little girl who walks with a limp and inspires pity in everyone she meets.
Nobody gets to choose their image, not even Careers. After a final showdown injury that overwrites the rest of Petra's brutal, bloody Games, the girl with District 2's highest kill count has to play the broken doll for an over-sympathetic Capitol audience. At least her mentor knows the truth, and Brutus makes sure his girl doesn't forget it.

Review:
This is a great example of a fanfic whose story forms a dialogue with its canon. This OC character piece is a great exploration of the treatment of Victors and other ways than canon's drugs and sex that the Capitol uses to break them, even, or perhaps especially, the Careers who are brought up from a young age to think of themselves as the strongest and most vicious.

Claws and Teeth and Tulle (on AO3)
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Title: Formidable & Insurgence
Author: [fanfiction.net profile] RisaLovesCato
Fandom: Hunger Games
Genre: AU, Romance
Pairing: Katniss/Cato
Length: Very Long (147,795 words)

Author's Summary:
The 74th Hunger Games. The Capitol may be craving star-crossed lovers, but perhaps they are not from the same district. "And for some reason, I have a feeling that Cato is exactly what I was during the tribute parade…formidable."
&
Katniss and Cato are the victors and the star-crossed lovers of the 74th annual Hunger Games. This is the 3rd Quarter Quell. "Hundreds are dying, uprisings are growing out of control. People are wondering about District 13, wondering what's being hidden there. Chaos. There was no other word to describe it."

Review:
I wasn't sure I was prepared for Katniss/Cato, but this one worked. I also loved the dynamic between Cato and Clove and therefore between Clove and Katniss. I also liked how the relationship change rolled through the story, changing both games in big and small ways. I'd have liked to see more of Haymitch in the 3rd Quell, but the story was abandoned before then.

Formidable (on ff.net) & Insurgence (on ff.net)
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Title: Modern Woman
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] jaegermighty
Fandom: Arrow
Genre: Romance
Pairing: Oliver/Felicity
Length: Short (6,120 words)

Author's Summary:
"You're a what?" Oliver asks incredulously.

Review:
Awesome fic! It's a story where a capable, intelligent, adult woman is a virgin and it's not a problem at all. Or, well, Oliver is weird about it, but the fic makes it odd that Oliver is reacting like that, rather than treating it like something is wrong (or right, since some stories do go preachy preachy about virginity and that's equally problematic) with Felicity.

Modern Woman (on AO3)
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Title: Two Fires
Author: [fanfiction.net profile] isabugg
Fandom: Hunger Games
Genre: AU - Gale and Katniss in the Arena
Pairing: Gale/Katniss
Length: Very Long (119,146 words)

Author's Summary:
What if Gale, overtaken by the grief of seeing his oldest friend about to be swept into the monstrosity that is the Hunger Games, volunteered for Peeta and took his place?

Review:
Nice version on the Gale and Katniss in the arena plot. Doesn't shy away from the horror of the arena or the shallowness of the Capitolites. I was really sad to get to the end and realize the author had abandoned this one - it cuts off just getting out of the arena and given that, I guess I felt in retrospect that the story as is had only really been half-developed, particularly the friendship/relationship between Gale and Katniss lost out to (admittedly a very good depiction of) the Games and I just felt it could have been more balanced if that was where the author planned to end their first book.

Two Fires (on AO3)
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Title: Absolution
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] SFCBruce
Fandom: Hunger Games
Genre: AU, Dark
Pairing: Katniss/Gale, Katniss/Peeta
Length: Very Long (195,217+ words)
Warnings: Major Character Death, Major Character Persecution, PTSD

Author's Summary:
A/U Hunger Games, looking at how different things would have turned out if there were two volunteers from District 12 rather than just one. Mature themes, adult situations, strong language, and eventual Everlark.

Review:
From Peeta's POV. Another Gale and Katniss volunteer story, but very, very different from the last I rec'd. Starts out very dark and Peeta has a lot of bad stuff thrown at him all at once. Things get more towards the level of canonically bad as the story progresses and Peeta and Katniss work to find their new normal.

Absolution (on AO3)
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Title: the small
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] dirgewithoutmusic
Fandom: Tortall
Genre: Minor Character POV
Pairing: Lalasa Isran/Tianine Plowman
Length: Short (7,086 words)

Author's Summary:
Bandits came for Lalasa’s family and burned the whole farm out, except for her, because she had been at the river washing clothes. Lalasa did not miss her father or her brothers for all the long years of her life, which should tell you something about her.
She cried for them anyway, and that should tell you something too.
--
Retelling of Page and Squire from Lalasa's POV.

Review:
Does a great job capturing Lalasa's character which is an interesting one in terms of her own character arc and how it runs parallel to and independently of Kel's.

the small (on AO3)
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Title: Weave Ourselves in a Circle
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] Akabit
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Genre: Time Travel, Fix-it, magic!Stiles&Lydia, good!Peter
Pairing: Stiles/Derek
Length: Medium (18,035 words)

Author's Summary:
Stiles and Lydia try to cast a time loop spell but wind up with something altogether more complicated. Every action has consequences.
or
Stiles hops through time to fix everything. Sort of good Peter is sort of helpful...sometimes.

Review:
Really well plotted time travel fic - Stiles has to keep going back in time trying to get it right and the more times he goes back, the more complicated it becomes keeping everything straight and finding the right levers in time. I also really like the ways that Stiles, Lydia, and eventually Peter (who isn't in the know but figures it out from the outside) work together - all three are really well written.

Weave Ourselves in a Circle (on AO3)
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Title: Shadows on the Wall
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] AraSigyrn
Fandom: Sherlock BBC
Genre: AU, Psychic powers
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Length: Medium (18,160 words)

Author's Summary:
John came back from Afghanistan psychic.

Review:
A plotty John-centric BBC Sherlock story about psychic powers that cause as many problems as they solve. John's characterization is fantastic. This fic is well-written and understandably popular (has almost 5000 Kudos and almost 2000 bookmarks on AO3). Also [archiveofourown.org profile] lunchee has made a podfic of this.

Shadows on the Wall (on AO3)
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Title: Do not stand at my grave and weep
Author: [fanfiction.net profile] black-k-kat
Fandom: Torchwood
Genre: Fix-it, Ianto gets immortality
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Length: Medium (19,301 words)

Author's Summary:
The 456 made a mistake when they threatened Earth's children - there was another force out there, older and far more powerful, that wanted those children protected. Ianto Jones awakens in the fairy world, charged with one task: safeguarding the Chosen Ones. But returning from the dead is never easy.

Review:
One of the most creative fix-its for CoE and for getting Ianto immortality. I really like the fairies in this one - they're very otherwordly, even the one that speaks in historical human poetry. Ianto's character is really well written too, which is always nice to read.

Do not stand at my grave and weep (on ff.net)
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Title: Lifeblood
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] Johannas_Motivational_Insults
Fandom: Hunger Games
Genre: AU, Femslash
Pairing: Katniss/Johanna
Length: Very Long (150,512+ words)

Author's Summary:
Johanna Mason always seems to know exactly what I need to hear, and deliver it with such brutal honesty that it can’t possibly be ignored. Maybe she has known me better than anyone else all along.

Review:
I am loving this story. Johanna is one of my favorite characters and she's written well here. Also, I am so glad someone else noticed/thought how awful it was that Peeta put Katniss on the spot, not just confessing his love for her in a way that meant she had to go along for the sake of the games, but so she had to go on with it even after the war. It's like he (and Haymitch, who apparently knew beforehand) just thought since Peeta loved her that was that. She's this passive object that Peeta chooses and it doesn't matter what it did to her. Even though they said they didn't tell her "the game plan" beforehand so she'd have a "genuine" reaction for the cameras during the interview, it's like the didn't even consider that her actual reaction could be something other than "shocked, but flattered and interested". I mean if someone put me on the spot like that, I'd be pissed and it would definitely show!

Lifeblood (on AO3)
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Title: Wisely, I Say, I Am A Bachelor
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] Mithrigil
Fandom: Hunger Games
Genre: Pre-canon
Pairing: Finnick/Various, Finnick/Cinna
Length: Medium (22,992 words)
Warnings: Forced prostitution, Non-consensual sex, non-con unsafe BDSM

Author's Summary:
How Cinna became a revolutionary, and other stories; most notably, how he deconstructed Finnick Odair.

Review:
I wasn't convinced by the pairing or the summary but I've liked this author's work in the past so I gave it a read and definitely enjoyed it.  I love how Cinna's passion for his art really comes through.  As a glimpse into the development of the revolution, this is great too.  I remain unconvinced by the pairing but can easily suspend disbelief for the length of this lovely and well-written fic.

Wisely, I Say, I Am A Bachelor (on AO3)
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Title: Our Skin, Our Bones, Our Silent Poems
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] taylorpotato
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Genre: Friends to Lovers Romance, Deaf character, Language and Linguistics (uses ASL Gloss)
Pairing: Peter/Stiles
Length: Medium (7,675 words)
Warning: Stiles is underage
Admin note: I don't have a tag for differently abled characters - I will keep an eye out for more fics in the future that could go under such a tag and come back and change it but for now and so I can find it later, I'll tag this neurovariant as the closest thing I've got even though they're not the same at all.  WIll fix later.

Author's Summary:
Peter is a Deaf werewolf. Stiles is a CODA (Child of a Deaf Adult). They’re a kind of unlikely pair. But sometimes things you wouldn’t think of as a good combination, end up turning out to be the perfect combination, you know?

Review:
I LOVE this fic. I really like ASL gloss (I like ASL in general a lot and wish I knew more, and could use it more often without crazy pressure to not screw up - I should probably study harder) and love to see it included in fic about deaf characters. I already know a passable amount about ASL grammar so I didn't have any trouble following the gloss - I would guess it's pretty followable by anyone with a couple of exceptions that can be worked around with context so don't ignore this fic is you're not familiar with ASL - it's really cool, you'll probably like it. The ship isn't treated as being as important in the fic as the general bond between Stiles and Peter over ASL and challenges of being deaf and having deaf family - it's more a Friends-to-Lovers fic. It should also be noted that the dark parts of canon are pretty strongly downplayed or ignored altogether and the age difference issues (including how Stiles is underage) are lampshaded lightly and not dealt with again - this may not be okay with everyone - I was a pretty meh about it, but can't pass up ASL Gloss in a fic.

Our Skin, Our Bones, Our Silent Poems (on AO3)
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Title: The Best Years of Our Lives
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] CharleyFoxtrot
Fandom: Supernatural
Genre: Time Travel (sort of), Romance, a little bit of a casefic
Pairing: Castiel/Dean, Sam/OFC
Length: Very Long (110,801 words)

Author's Summary:
AU after Season 8, episode 6, "Southern Comfort." Dean goes to sleep in a motel room in Texarkana, and he wakes up 17 years old, in his childhood bedroom in Lawrence, Kansas, 1996. He has no idea how he got there, why his parents are still alive, why his brother is an adorable freshman with no memory of his adult life, and why the only ally he has in this place is the angel he left behind in Purgatory – somehow also 17 years old. They have to get out, that's the important thing. Only, falling in love with his angel wasn't a part of the plan....

Review:
Set immediately post-Purgatory, this is a good fic for people who used to love Supernatural and lost interest recently (like me). This fic is very well-written, has great characterizations of canon characters and OCs, and has some strong plotting too. Dean wakes up to a world where he's out as bi in his 90s midwestern high school which is really tough (warning for a seriously violent hate crime at one point) but it also leads to some really touching moments where Dean gets support from his dad. And then when it looks like everything has finally worked out well, you get a bonus second happy ending on top of that. Lovely story.

The Best Years of Our Lives (on AO3)

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