[Z Nation] Small Mercies

Z Nation70k words, complete  @Ao3 by 
Genre/What to expect: Two scared and broken people in a horrible, cold world. Neither of them trust easily, but they both need it. Slow burn. Horror. Side of blood. Zombie Polar Bears!
Rating: M
Pairings: Citizen Z/Female Original Character (my new Simon OTP)

The man formerly known as Simon Cruller is on the verge of losing his mind from solitude and the burden of being the self-appointed narrator of the end of the world.

When he meets Faye Keneally, a conservationist stranded in the Arctic, who’s as lonely and messed up as he is, he starts to think there might be hope for him after all.

But winter is coming, which means two months in total darkness, and in the long Polar night some of the shadows have teeth.

Suitable for fandom blind readers? Yes, though some of the references to what is happening in the rest of the world may confuse.

Who should read this? Anyone who likes post apocalyptic/zombie stories, with a well crafted romance plot. Expect some foul language, a bit of smut, and plenty of action in the later arc.

Reviewed by: Tafferling

Slap on some extra layers of clothing, because this’ll be equal measures wild and oh so very cold.

StopTalkingAtMe has an incredible gift. She marries believable characterisation with beautiful scene setting, and draws you in real close. Right from the start you’ll be dragging your feet through the icy tundra alongside Faye, and share in her desperate solitude in a world trying to buck the living off its shoulders. Soon after, you’ll be yanked about by the emotional roller coaster that’s Simon’s and Faye’s slow dance around each other, and it’ll be both heart warming and heart wrenching.

Faye starts out alone, her sanity brittle with how lonely she’s been, and oh so vulnerable. It’s human and close to perfection, and she grew on me right quick. Though I might be biased, because she’s just my type of girl:

That long weekend in Reykjavik with the dick who worked in the city. What was his fucking name? For the life of her she can’t remember, but she can picture the way he stubbed out cigarettes as though he’d been mortally offended by the ashtray. The two of them on the balcony of their hotel room, staring up at the sky, their faces illuminated by the shimmering lights. Just for a little while the differences between them were swept away by something that was older than humanity and–

No. She’s remembering it wrong. Because they hadn’t seen a thing.

And once she follows Citizen Z’s call across all theCitizen Z white on white an
d then some more white, you might end up wanting to shake your screen, because listen up people, not everyone (except their dog) is out to hurt you. It’s okay to trust and heal, even if your demons stalk you day and night, and whisper harshly in your ear.

They work it out though. Eventually. Only for StopTalkingAtMe to dial up the heat (entirely figuratively), and even Zombie Polar Bears start to look a lot like a comfortable alternative for what’s up ahead.

So, in summary: Faye is a wonderfully written original character. Simon is on point, and true to his canon characterisation. The writing is superb. The pacing just right. And you’ll even get a villain to hate on, and oh god yes, will you hate him. (I’m still seething.)

Review examples from Ao3:

Why did I ever stop checking out Z Nation fics? This is so good! A shame I didn’t read it sooner. I love it. I love the additional background he gets and I love her and I love how real and feral she is, how slowly she opens up and how patient yet broken he is. I love it!

This chapter– this chapter 28 has me wonder just how the fuck you managed to do this. How did you drag me from chapter one, all the way to here, with a constant undercurrent of tension? Even in the quiet moments it still sat right at the edge of the words. Never went very far.

And now I’m about ready to snap, because I need to know how this ends, and… I somehow doubt it will end well.

[Supernatural] Waiting in Samarra


21k words, complete @Ao3 by StopTalkingAtMe
Genre/What to expect: A casefic that fits itself perfectly into the source material with an incredible OC placed into the brother’s path
Rating: M
Pairings: No real pairings, this reads very Gen, though there is a hint of UST

With three months left on Dean’s contract, the Winchesters find themselves in a small town investigating a case involving the butchering of psychics. There they meet a young psychic woman, who may or may not be the next victim. But she’s terrified of something, and maybe it’s not the killer that she’s scared of…

Suitable for fandom blind readers? Yes Background might be missing, but I can see this working fandom blind

Reviewed by: Tafferling

More often than not I don’t read a fic in one go, mostly since my tendency to stop and review every single chapter is a bit taxing. This one though? Oh boy.

StopTalkingAtMe shares an incredible seven chapter case fic with us here, and she starts it off with an intriguing introduction of Emma, a psychic whose life has been unkind to her under the weight of her curse.

Emma comes well formed and layered, and with a narrative voice that easily stands apart from that of the brother’s.

While the fic stands very well on its own, we also get to see how Sam and Dean cope (or don’t) as Dean’s last few months slowly tick by.

He’s looking tired, Sam thought. Shadows under his eyes, new lines at the corners which Sam was sure hadn’t been there a couple of weeks ago. Too many nights spent in bars, and too much alcohol. Too many women whose names he could barely remember. And nowhere near enough sleep. It seemed like the closer he got to his last day on Earth, the less Dean wanted to rest. Like he didn’t want to waste a scrap of time. And still he wouldn’t admit that he wanted to fight this. That he was scared.

What sets this piece apart for me though is the visceral and vivid writing style. Emotions are very palpable throughout the whole thing, and StopTalkingAtMe made it easy for me to slip into Emma’s skin and share in the experience of being a psychic. Which, by the by, I do not recommend. Brrr. By the time I was halfway through the fic I wanted to wrap that poor thing in my arms and squeeze her real tight. Only to remember that’d make it worse for her, so I guess I’d have to pad her with pillows first.

“I’m…” She exhaled. Not okay. Not okay. Both hands now against the wall. The texture rough. Cold. Fingers numb. The cold kiss of snow on her cheeks, but she welcomed it. The smell of her vomit mingled with the stench of death on Rafe. Reapers gathering. Watching. She could hear their whispering, like an itch in the middle of her skull. If she could, she’d reach inside her head, claw at it with her fingernails to relieve the itch. Her legs crumpled. Rafe caught her.

And the ending? It made me have emotions. Bit like this?


If you would also like to have emotions, I would greatly advise reading this. And don’t forget to Kudos and Review 😉

Post Traumatic Repair [Jessica Jones]


25k words, complete @Ao3  by Detective_Animator
Genre/What to expect: Hurt. Some comfort. A little more hurt. Recovery not made easy, but made worth the effort.
Rating: M
Pairings: Jessica Jones/Patricia, WalkerJessica Jones/Zebediah Killgrave

He’s gone, he’s dead.

But she’s broken, parts don’t work how they should. Like code wiped clean, she doesn’t know how to operate. She’s a fragile machine who needs to be rewired to think normally again.

Suitable for fandom blind readers? Somewhat. It might be necessary to know the show for later chapters and to help with background information about the characters involved.

Reviewed by: Tafferling 

This one is a bit of a wild ride. It follows Jessica as she breaks away from Killgrave, her body and mind still fighting his entrapment, and the whole world no more than a playground for her fidgety, torn nerves.

“Trish.” Her voice is hoarse, scratchy. It hurts to speak. He told her not to speak. She feels sad for betraying his order. She’s afraid. She feels worthless and stupid and ‘God damn it, she couldn’t follow one fucking order correctly?’

At times we might think Hey, she’s getting there! but there’s always more, and we’re left with a bit of a bleeding heart for Jessica’s struggle against her own mind. Or what she’s trying to make hers again.

It’s a virus that crawls through her system, worming it’s way into important files, deleting ones it finds useless. It inputs one thought, one single file spread throughout her body. She loves him.

Detective_Animator does a great job depicting the subject matter of Post Traumatic Repair, and more than once I’ve been left with an uneasy feeling in my gut brought on by an accurate depiction of suffocating panic leaking from the words. The analogies drawn against machinery and computer code fit the tone and give a fantastic comparison.

While Jessica is certainly the focal character of the piece, Trish is the protagonist, and we’ve still got Killgrave as the villain, ever present as his memory whispers in Jessica’s head. But Trish– Trish, she shines. She’s patient. Compassionate. Patient some more, because Jess is not making any of this easy. Not for herself, or her loving friend, who stubbornly follows her through the grueling steps of recovery. Even if at times she’s being pushed away.

At the point of reviewing this, Post Traumatic Repair is not yet finished, but it leaves off at a point where you’ll definitely be wanting more. I won’t spoil it though. Go find out for yourself!

Review examples from Ao3:

By LetaDarnell: We’re getting somewhere now. Or are we?

This is pretty accurate for anyone who’s been through something traumatic, especially feeling violated or ‘invaded’. It looks like you did a lot of research for this, which makes the story much more readable and easier to connect to the characters and situations, unlike stories built on cliches.


By Christyflare: Read this same day it came out, but I didn’t want to comment until I had read the first five chapters again to see what you meant in the top notes… Stuff happened, and I ended up just reading them like now.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh dear… Poor damaged Jessica. REALLY hoping it’s just a hallucination and she’s safe and not actually with Kilgrave after he tells her to imagine being without him or something…