RARE [Criminal Minds / Discworld]


3.3k words, complete @Ao3 by Deejaymil
Genre/What to expect: Grim humour. Cruel reality. An adorable reaper of souls. And tenacious, fate defying BAU agents.
Rating: T
Pairings: None, Gen

An entry to the December Prompt Challenge on /r/FanFiction.

Humans, as a whole, are always interesting. Sometimes, the wrong kind of interesting. Death is pretty fond of them all.

But then, there are the heroes…

Suitable for fandom blind readers? No. It might start off as such, but to be able to fully grasp the rest, Criminal Minds knowledge is a must.

Reviewed by: Tafferling

Before we get started, I’d like to introduce you to DEATHHe’s been one of my favorite deathcharacters throughout my history of favourite characters, and ever since I’ve first met him in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, I’ve known I’d want to be able to write a character as compelling and funny as him.

I’ve collected a few of his likenesses and scattered them around my place (see exhibit a), but aside of that I haven’t gotten anywhere with cozying up to his likeness.

But Deejay has gone and shown me that it can be done.

It hadn’t happened yet; however, he had met some humans who were rather… well, interesting, yes, but not in a good way. Not like kittens or astrophysics were interesting. More in the interesting way of slimy bugs or many-legged spiders or even a dark hole in a wall leading to gods knows where. The kind of interesting that came with a big neon sign declaring DANGEROUS, DO NOT TOUCH that you felt oddly compelled to touch and yet also strangely betrayed when it touched back.

So. Yeah. I adore her DEATH. And I hope that during the first section of RAREyou’ll learn to do the same, and that even if you aren’t familiar with Discworld, Dee does a splendid job building DEATH and who, or what, he is before delving into Criminal Minds.

From there on out this fic shines with how DEATH interacts with the familiar characters from the procedural crime show, and we’re getting to see past the veil and get to be intimately familiar with all those moments in which one of the BAU should have died. But they’re just too damn stubborn to let go– and after they’ve come face to face with him one too many times, I think DEATH ends up a little smitten with them.

Find out for yourself though. If you know Criminal Minds, go read! If you don’t– go read anyway, it’s still good!

Seriously, this isn’t exactly Ghostbusters… [Mediator Series]


1.700 words, complete @Ao3 by Somecallmemichelle
Genre/What to expect: A young woman introspecting about a questionable curse in her life.
Rating: T
Pairings: None, Gen

An entry to the December Prompt Challenge on /r/FanFiction.

Suzannah Simon (or just “Suze”, to everyone but a few of her closest aqquaintances) has a secret…she can see ghosts, now she reveals that truth to the world.

Suitable for fandom blind readers? Somewhat, though it is likely easier enjoyed with knowledge of the source material.

Reviewed by: Tafferling

I’ve had no idea what fandom the Mediator Series belonged to, not until I started writing the review and had to go hunting for a header image. And yet I’m left feeling sympathetic to Suzannah as she rambles on about her life– and what’s beyond. Because damn, her job can’t be an easy one, what with her daily dealing with unruly ghosts.

By the time I got done reading, I had a fairly decent grip on Suzannah’s personality, and I wouldn’t be adversed to reading the series she’s from.

Raindrop and Puddles [Supernatural]


3.300 words, complete  @Ao3  by Hermit9
Genre/What to expect: A Supernatural case fic that might as well have aired with a true to the character Dean POV
Rating: T
Pairings: None, Gen

An entry to the December Prompt Challenge on /r/FanFiction.

Day of rain: ?
“Craigslist? Or you know, I’m sure Lebanon has one of those quaint lists of local businesses.”

“For the last time Sam, no!”

Dean swore. There was a gurgling sound coming from the drains that promised nothing good.

Suitable for fandom blind readers? Yes, because you don’t need to know Supernatural to adore Dean’s snarky POV

Reviewed by: Tafferling

Hermit makes magic happen with her words. She’s lived up to the challenge and turned her three challenge words (Crude, flush and cleanup) into a humorous and true to canon Supernatural case fic.

Despite the random word generator having itself a raunchy day and coughing up one suggestive sets of words after the other, Hermit went and made me laugh, launching the story off with Dean lamenting backed up sewers and DIY woes. Because hunters might be ace at frying demons, but plumbing is an entirely different beast.

It wasn’t Hell (not enough sulfur) or Purgatory (not enough blood), but it had a presence and body all of its own.

She doesn’t stop there though. What could have been a simple crack fic, quickly turns into an actual hunt for the Winchester brothers, because when it rains it pours. Something to be taken quite literal if we are to believe Castiel.

I refuse to spoil the enjoyment of this read for anyone though. Go on and have a read. You’re in for a true treat.

To Raise a Triclops [Dragon Ball Z]


39k words in progress @Ao3/@Ffn by SatuD2
Genre/what to expect: extended hurt/comfort: an exploration of separation and eventual reconciliation of two soulmates.
Rating: T
Pairing: Gen | Tien & Chiaotzu

A pale telepath is given an unexpected assignment in the middle of the night: to raise a triclops baby in the way of the Crane. If only he was old enough to protect him properly. Rated for safety. Potentially slightly AU.

Suitable for fandomblind readers? Yes
Reviewed by: commanderAIK

Imagine two inseparables who met at a very young age, to the point where they are practically brothers. Picture they grow up together in a school that brutally trains its students to swear by it as assassins. There’s the brother larger in size, the one that’s more combative and therefore utilized by the school. Then there’s the smaller one, quirky but more incapable and ignored. Naturally, the taller one rises in rank, soaring past the smaller. It’s easy to assume the smaller brother is the younger, cared for by the older, and the the taller one is the older, naturally more worried about the younger.
Reverse that, and you get To Raise a Triclops.
The story, written by SatuD2, goes against the traditional background of Dragon Ball characters Tien and Chiaotzu. It introduces a new headcanon: Chiaotzu, the smaller character in the anime, being given the baby Triclops Tien by the school and told to care for him. Satu excels in leading up to and following the canon events, but does it all from Chiaotzu’s point of view, unlike Tien’s. And as the technical older brother here, he cannot stand his incapability to prevent Tien from slowly drifting away as he is brutally trained to become a skilled assassin. Satu takes those moments of dread and helplessness and amplifies them. By the end of those chapters, I feel as if I myself am Chiaotzu, or better yet, an older brother so out of control of protecting my own kin. As an older brother myself, I am touched deeply by it.
In short, it’s a beautiful examination of what tears the two inseparables apart and eventually begins to bring them back together. The character development is stellar, each chapter giving a bit more information. No information is unnecessary, and it allows for concise, juicy chapters that I look forward to every week.
I like to split it into two arcs: the hurt arc, where the separation occurs, and the one we are currently on, the comfort arc of reconciliation and restoration. The writing is crisp, descriptive when necessary, and conveying of all the essential emotions for the plot. The dialogue is also amazing and completely in-character, making the story all the more believable!
We currently just got over a very heavy scene, which has certainly hit me emotionally. I specifically remember my heart skipping a beat upon finishing this most recent chapter. It was not the only time. Throughout the work, Satu, while still staying true to the story, sprinkles in scenes that show what it feels like to have someone there for you, and they have driven me dangerously close to tears.
So even if you aren’t a fan of Dragon Ball and don’t know the first thing about Tien & Chiaotzu, I recommend you read To Raise a Triclops. There are many ways in which this story is more than just two students of a martial arts school, and anybody can enjoy it.

Example review from FFN:

Tafferling’s review for chapter 28

Great entrance, as I have gotten used to.

And while I am not connected to this fandom at all, and cannot say I know what happened, you’re not making me wish I did, because it all feels like it makes sense. No need for details, because [Chiaotzu was sure that if their minds had not previously met that the deep sadness and regret the old man felt at the death of his pupil would have been completely obscured. And completely private.] already says so much.

But but but.. wait.. rice cooker?! Oh god, what? 😀

[The air was hot and dry, a brisk wind blowing stinging sheets of sand against the three of them as they wandered through the seemingly abandoned town.] Wordporn. Argh. Your scene setting had come such a long way since you have started this. I am so proud.

*flails at you:* [All he could manage was a low hum in the back of his throat, an involuntary reaction to being asked a question.]

Oh my, what’s happening? Police! Guns! Oh Tien 😦 He’s offering the man to break an arm or a leg OR TWO?! YOU ONLY HAVE TWO! You cannot truly be held responsible for what you’ve done, brainwashed by Shen as you’d have been. Not.. fully.. anyway.. I mean.. okay, nevermind. I suppose you are right. And that you’re willing to accept whatever, that tells a lot about how far you’ve come.

What a soothing ending to this chapter, even if you’ve given us a sense of urgency and revealed how much is really at stake in their search for the balls. It was still beautiful to see that man forgive Tien and have them stay for food :).

Three Years (DBZ)


29k words, in progress @Ao3 & @FF.net by CommanderAIK
Genre/What do expect: Hurt/Comfort and the exploration of a friendship taken for granted
Rating: T
Pairings: Gen  | Chiaotzu & Tien

AU: Canon divergent. After a second reunion from death, Tien and Chiaotzu find their relationship as unstable as it ever was. Even as lifelong friends, they discover aspects they never noticed before.

Suitable for fandom blind readers? Yes, for the most part

Reviewed by: SatuD2

Three Years is the fanfiction debut of CommanderAIK tackling a big gap in the canon of DBZ with two characters who are often overlooked or ignored in not just the fandom but also within the canon itself. Fair warning, I may be biased because they are my BroTP 😛

The three years referred to in the title is a gap for extensive training following a warning from the future of an enemy who kills literally everyone. Of course, he doesn’t just cover the period of time mentioned. He supplements his story with a healthy dose of backstory told during flashbacks.

Tien and Chiaotzu are interesting characters for this because we are not really given a backstory. Of the villains-turned-allies introduced in DBZ arguably the least is known about these two. And Commander reveals their past in well-placed stories and flashbacks and conversations.

The opening chapters unfold a sense of unease and tension fitting the news of what they’re training for. It’s not made immediately clear what is underlying this tension and the fear between them. A threat shows up and stirs things up, they go back and visit with old friends. It explores their friendship and how it has been changed by death and distance, how promises can change perception of actions.

The story is unfinished at the moment. The flashback we are currently in the middle of is one of the most powerful moments for these two characters in the canon of DBZ. I will freely admit it brought me to tears, I could hear the sad background music, it hurt my heart. It was very nicely done (though perhaps a little baffling to the fandom blind).

As previously mentioned, this is Commander’s first fanfic. The writing does reflect that in early chapters but not distractingly so, and you can clearly see the growth in the chapters that follow. The writing becomes crisper, the impact greater. The words and phrases flow beautifully and give you a sense of place and feeling.

All in all I would highly recommend reading this story. It grows and expands and draws you in beautifully.

Review example from AO3:


I know this chapter is short, so it’s tough to say a ton about it, but so far, this is shaping up as nicely atmospheric! I like the almost “disembodied” dialogue to really reinforce the idea of nothingness. 🙂

I do think you have a typo when describing Chiaotzu: “He possessed the whitest skin, pale to the bonel, red circles on his cheeks,” but I knew what you meant.

Review example from FF.net:


[They were hit with a myriad of trivial follow-up questions, such as Gohan’s inquiry of the average number of scales of their captured fish, to which Chiaotzu tilted his silverware in a shrug. But Bulma asked a more digressive question. She looked at both of them and asked with a smile, “I’ve been meaning to ask. How did you two meet?”]

That is such a lovely line 🙂

[“..We were such…”

“Jerks,” Chiaotzu finished. He imitated his younger self, deepening his own voice. “Thanks for the food! Not a bad price when you consider we were risking our lives.”]

Pfffft 😀 what a pair of scoundrels. I like it.

Lovely chapter. I see you’ve dropped the use of “the boy,” etc as much as you did before. And now it’s time to look into sentence starters! I challenge you to look through this chapter again and reduce the usage of “He” for starters 😉

I really liked the emotional aspect of this- and I’m learning more about them.

Harry Potter and the Game


290k words, complete @FF.net by Concept101

Genre/What to expect: Action/Adventure with a big dash of Detective Harry
Rating: T
Suitable for fandom blind readers? Somewhat. I believe rudimentary knowledge of the source material is necessary.

With his life turned into a Game, Harry now has to raise a Phoenix, uncover the Founders’ darkest secrets, deal with political manipulations and live through Hogwarts in this story full of heart, humor, and spectacle. And the occasional swear word.

Reviewed by: Tafferling

hpWhen I found Concept’s
Gamer  version of Harry’s already extraordinary life, it had been years since I’d last had any exposure to the Potter and Co. Which is great, because I’m experiencing a wonderful blend of Was this canon? Nope, it wasn’t? But why, it’s great!

Concept is, in effect, retelling the original novels, but he’s putting so much spin on it, that the whole thing derails quickly and you’re left guessing on what he’ll turn over next. To start off, the first book passes relatively easily. Canon is clearly used as a template. The plot is simple. But that’s okay, because at this point we (and Harry) are still getting to know the mysterious power he’s gained, and the Game itself has got to get comfortable too. It’s a bit of a courting phase, really.

Already though you’ll get a taste of where this is headed. Concept begins to stretch his world building muscles, introduces additional details to the already rich magic system of the Potter-verse, and gives Harry his first “sidequests”, which eventually result in full-fledged plot lines through the second book.

And that is when things get real wild all of the mentioned.

Harry isn’t just the Boy who lived anymore in this story. He’s a detective, a part-time vigilante, and a snarky little ass. He purposefully deals with what life throws at him, all the while bothered by an increasingly self-aware and ornery Game. The quest texts for some of the tasks bestowed on Harry are totally worth every word read on their own.

But Harry and his game aren’t the only stars in this epic.

Concept has a great handle on side characters. His Luna makes me wish he’d write a series dedicated to her (because I’d read the shit out of that). He gives Harry an amazing little sidekick by the name of Hedwig (but not what you might think), who I very much adore. And even while Harry is the focal character, it’s obvious that he’s just one tooth in the cog that amounts to Hogwarts. Dumbledore, McConagall, and Snape do a lot more than carry their weight and are given time to shine.

Any more gushing about it would spoil things, because a lot of what makes this story stand out is what Concept does different… and I’d rather you read and find out. It’s worth it.

Review examples from FF.net

As always, this was brilliant! I’m continually amazed by the number of twists you manage to slip in without making them strange or confusing. I await the next chapter with bated breath 🙂

I’d like to take a moment to thank you for this story.

It has been a phenomenal read, your use of the Basilisk and the chamber have been outstanding. Not many stories have dared to go outside the beaten path like yours, and it’s quite refreshing to read something so original (not to mention a gamer-like story that’s actually good for a change).