The Very Best by BrilliantLady

Story TitleThe Very Best
Author Name
Category:    Harry Potter
Content Rating:  Teen
Status: Complete
Length:   21,427 words
Story Summary:  They told Harry that magic was real, but had limits. He saw no reason why that had to be so. Why should you only be able to break some laws of nature and physics? He wanted a pet Pikachu – but that was just the beginning. Serious fic with a large serving of silliness & fun.

Gioia’s Rec:
I love creative plots with new magics. This story nails it. So unique! So FUN, sheer FUN! Slightly crackish, but always charming and captivating. Harry decided the common rules about how magic works are stupid, so he ignores them. Did I mention the FUN and crack? It’s awesome. I know nothing about Pokemon, so that knowledge isn’t needed for this fic.  In fact, seriously, just ignore that part of the Summary. The point is that Harry has motivation for defying the boundaries of magic, and holy cow does he ever!

 

(This story rec is part of my AO3 Bookmarks series. I.e., this is an abbreviated rec because it is taken from my AO3 bookmarks rather than having been properly written in full.)

Posted in AO3 Bookmark, Content Rating-HP: Teen (PG-13), Crack!Fic, Crossover, Fluff, Gen, Harry Potter, Harry-centric, Humor/Parody, SuperPowered!Harry | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Miss Darcy Finds her Courage by ladyspencer

Story Title: Miss Darcy Finds her Courage
Author Name:
Category:  Pride & Prejudice
Content Rating:  All Ages
Status: Complete
Length:  1,572 words
Story Summary: Someone had to stand up to Caroline Bingley

Gioia’s Rec:
This short little fic has one of the greatest lines of any P&P story I’ve seen, tucked into a conversation between Bingley & Georgiana. I’m embracing that brief dialogue as my new headcanon for what occurred at Pemberley after Darcy’s canon trip to London to hunt down Lydia & Wickham.

(This story rec is part of my AO3 Bookmarks series. I.e., this is an abbreviated rec because it is taken from my AO3 bookmarks rather than having been properly written in full.)

Posted in AO3 Bookmark, Character Study, Content Rating-P&P: All Ages (G - PG), Conventional (Canon) Couple, Era: Regency, Fluff, Friendship/Mentorship, Gen, Het: M/F, Missing Moment, Mr. Bingley/Jane Bennet, Mr. Darcy/Elizabeth Bennet, Outsider-POV, Pride & Prejudice | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Different Beginning by mad_fairy

Story TitleA Different Beginning
Author Name:
Category:   Harry Potter
Content Rating:  All Ages
Status: Complete
Length:   95,326 words
Story Summary:  A very slight change in Harry’s introduction to the magical world has unexpected consequences.

Gioia’s Rec:
It’s hard to find novel-length, well-written, fun HP fics which I’ve never before read. This was great. I saw a few hints that the author inserted a couple of deliberate, sly tributes to other fics, such as “The Best Revenge.” Well done. Since my first reading, I’ve been back repeatedly for additional reads. This is just too captivating to leave be.

 

(This story rec is part of my AO3 Bookmarks series. I.e., this is an abbreviated rec because it is taken from my AO3 bookmarks rather than having been properly written in full.)

Posted in Action/Adventure, AO3 Bookmark, Content Rating-HP: All Ages (G-PG), Drama/Angst, Friendship/Mentorship, Gen, Harry Potter, Harry-centric, Sirius Black avoids or escapes Azkaban earlier than in canon, Spoilers for Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Neither Duty Nor Honour by buckbeakbabie

Story TitleNeither Duty Nor Honour
Author Name:  
Category:   Pride & Prejudice
Content Rating: All Ages
Status: Complete
Length:   41,338 words
Story Summary:  Fitzwilliam Darcy was four and twenty when he married Anne de Bourgh. In doing so, he fulfilled his duty to his family. Life with Anne was comfortable, if not joyous. However, a year into their marriage she died fulfilling what she saw as her duty – bearing him a child.  Fitzwilliam Darcy was eight and twenty when he accompanied his oldest friend to Hertfordshire with his sister and daughter. It was widely known that he had no intention of marrying again. His duty was, after all, already fulfilled. But that firmly held conviction will not hold long against the charms of one Elizabeth Bennet.

Gioia’s Rec:
This story has long been a big favorite of mine. Excellent writing style, characterizations, plot development, and technical composition skills. But it is Julia, and the relationships she has with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, and her influence upon the burgeoning relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth, which really shaped my literary love affair with this story. Writing small children can be hard. This author nails it.

(This story rec is part of my AO3 Bookmarks series. I.e., this is an abbreviated rec because it is taken from my AO3 bookmarks rather than having been properly written in full.)

Posted in AO3 Bookmark, Background Character Death, Character Study, Content Rating-P&P: Adult (NC-17), Conventional (Canon) Couple, Conventional Couple, Deviates from canon in or just prior to Chapter 1, but consistent with canon backstory, Drama/Angst, Era: Regency, Favorite Story, Favorite Story-Pride & Prejudice, Fluff, Het: M/F, Kid Fic, Mr. Bingley/Jane Bennet, Mr. Darcy/Elizabeth Bennet, Nicer Lady Catherine, Pride & Prejudice, Prior Relationship for Elizabeth or Darcy, Resolution earlier than in canon, Romance, Unconventional Couple | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Wizards IN SPACE (series) by esama

Series Title: Wizards IN SPACE

Author Name

Category:  Harry Potter

Content Rating:  Teen (for mild language)
Status: Primary story (D.S.S. Requirement) is Complete; The alternate POV sequel (D.S.S. Enterprise) is MIA.
Length:  49,581 words
Story Summary: Dumbledore’s Army use the Room of the Requirement to get themselves a spaceship.

Gioia’s Rec:
In 2016 I noted on my AO3 bookmark that if I could only recommend one fic per year, this would be my choice for that year.  I think it would make my Top 10 List for every year, frankly.

This series makes me so happy.  I recommend both stories in the series, D.S.S. Requirement (which is complete) and D.S.S. Enterprise (which is probably abandoned, but is fine as-is).  It’s likely the most creative merger of the Harry Potter fandom — or the fantasy genre in general — with science or SciFi that I’ve ever seen.  Furthermore, I love stories which invent new magics, and this one wins the grand prize in that regard, for certain.  I’ve reread this series more times than I can count. It delights my soul, captivates my imagination, and thrills my heart.

You need no knowledge of any fandom except for general awareness of the plot of the Harry Potter series as of Order of the Phoenex. I see that the author has Stargate tagged as a contributing fandom, but I’ve never watched any episodes of that show and I never saw anything (characters, objects, or plots) in this series which referenced what few overall facts I know about Stargate.

Let me also add that every story I’ve read by esama, in every fandom in which they write, is brilliant. Esama is one of those rare authors who displays keen insight into the human condition and a curious mind about everything. Those traits provide the foundation for esama’s fertile imagination and prolific writing skills. I’ve never been disappointed by any of esama’s 200+ stories.

(This story rec is part of my AO3 Bookmarks series. I.e., this is an abbreviated rec because it is taken from my AO3 bookmarks rather than having been properly written in full.)

Posted in Action/Adventure, AO3 Bookmark, Content Rating-HP: Teen (PG-13), Crossover, Fantasy/Folklore/Mythology, Favorite Story, Favorite Story-Harry Potter, Fluff, Friendship/Mentorship, Gen, Harry Potter, Outsider-POV, Sci-Fi, Series, Spoilers for Order of the Phoenix | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

An Ever-Fixed Mark by AMarguerite

Story Title: An Ever-Fixed Mark 
Author Name: AMarguerite
Category:   Pride & Prejudice
Content Rating:  Explicit (R to NC-17)
Status: Primary story and 2 others in this series are completed; 3 stories are active WIPs
Length:  Primary story in series is 190,537; Total Series Wordcount to date: 502,582 words
Story Summary:  One would think that having the name of one’s soulmate appear on one’s wrist on one’s sixteenth birthday would make matrimony much less complicated. It mostly does not. And not at all for Miss Elizabeth Bennet of Longbourne.

(A deconstruction of the “soulmate identifying mark” trope, using “Pride and Prejudice.”

Gioia’s Rec:

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this series. I could’ve just hugged my kindle to my chest, rocking side to side, for all the delight I derived from reading it. I LOLed frequently, and would’ve killed for a RL friend who also loved the Jane Austen fandom so that I could’ve shared my favorite scenes!

I also love the structural composition of this series. For example, it is beautifully long while still being a very concise, tightly written narrative. That kind of balance is insanely hard for even the most popular, gifted authors (J.K. Rowling castigates herself periodically in interviews for that writing struggle) to achieve. This story has also got a fascinating plot which that concise writing style protects from long rabbit trails and overly detailed minutia.  (I’m looking at you and your literary vomiting again, Tom Clancy!)

Furthermore, this author has clearly done a lot of research into the Regency era’s socio-political and cultural environment, and how all of that would impact a middle-class girl like Lizzy. Even the author’s sentence structure is pitch perfect for the time period, with longer sentences, more semicolons, and of course a vocabulary representative of what would now be labeled a “classical education,” but was then commonplace for a reasonably educated person.

But don’t read this for all of those reasons. Read it because it is Fun and utterly charming. You may find yourself hugging your tablet to your own chest, too.

In fact, as I am just now copying this story recommendation over from my AO3 bookmarks to my blog, I’ve been inspired to go re-read the entire fic.  That’s going to put an end to my blog posting for today. Whoops.

My Only Critique: I will offer a few cautions, though. If you don’t enjoy particularly explicit relationships or scenes, be aware that the Dalliance With the Duke AU in this series may not be your cup of tea. It is deliberately, humorously written in the style of a Harlequin Romance Novel. And the author’s talent still shines through this semi-parody.  But truthfully, I had difficulty with that pairing (in which a widowed Elizabeth ends up with the Duke of Wellington), both because of the explicit content and due to Lizzy’s changed character arc in Dalliance, as opposed to her character arc in the main series. As a result, I didn’t end up finishing Dalliance, though I was still left with quite a long series in which to eagerly immerse myself.

My only other caution is that there are slash pairings in the background of this series, due to the nature of those soulmarks. Those pairings are only referenced, though, and there are no slash scenes depicted, for those of you for whom that is a turn-off.

(This story rec is part of my AO3 Bookmarks series. I.e., this is an abbreviated rec because it is taken from my AO3 bookmarks rather than having been properly written in full.)

Posted in Action/Adventure, ANGST! ANGST! ANGST!, AO3 Bookmark, Character Study, Col. Fitzwilliam/Elizabeth Bennet, Comeuppance/Vindication/Schadenfreude, Content Rating-P&P: Adult (NC-17), Content Rating-P&P: Mature (R), Conventional (Canon) Couple, Deviates from canon at or post-Hunsford, Drama/Angst, Elizabeth is wealthy, titled, or connected, Era: Regency, Fluff, Friendship/Mentorship, Het: M/F, Historical Novel or Setting, Humor/Parody, Hurt/Comfort, Longer road to resolution, Main Character Death, Mr. Darcy/Elizabeth Bennet, OMC/Elizabeth Bennet, Original Character featured, Original Character/Canon Character, Out-of-character behavior (Deliberate), Pride & Prejudice, Reunion-fic, Romance, Series, Soul Bond, Marriage Bond, Other Similar Bond, Unconventional Couple | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#BringHimHome by MelRows

Story Title:  #BringHimHome
Author Name:  
Category:    The Martian
Category: AO3 Bookmarks series
Content Rating:  Teen
Status: Complete
Length:  10,944 words
Story Summary:  Mark Watney will need to buy a lot of people beers.  A collection of in-world oneshots cataloging the world’s reactions. From the news to social media and from regular people to NASA rover techs.

1: Fox vs. an 80 year old Bill Nye
2: John and Hank Green, Crash Course Mars
3: A NASA rover tech at Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station
4: The WatneyWatch app and how to tell your child their hero is going to die in an invisible dust storm on Mars
5: Tattoos, music, and what is likely to amount to the largest simultaneous worldwide traffic jam
6. 78 hours of vlogs are released, the Ares 3 crew returns home, and Mark goes on The Tonight Show

Gioia’s Rec:
I must have read this over a dozen times in the last year alone.  This work of humor and art depicts social media and public responses to Mark Watney’s ordeal. This is the fic I return to most often, over and over again. It brings me great joy.  The headlines, especially those by Buzzfeed, are just so spot-on, so very realistic, that they make the fic my go-to on the days when I need to laugh.

(This story rec is part of my AO3 Bookmarks series. I.e., this is an abbreviated rec because it is taken from my AO3 bookmarks rather than having been properly written in full.)

Posted in AO3 Bookmark, Comeuppance/Vindication/Schadenfreude, Content Rating-Martian: Teen (PG-13), Favorite Story, Fluff, Friendship/Mentorship, Gen, Humor/Parody, Martian, The, Meanwhile, on Earth, Missing Moment, Outsider-POV, Post Rescue (on Earth), Post-Rescue (on Hermes), Reunion-fic, Sci-Fi, Social Media or Emails, Still on Mars | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment