Sunday, November 6, 2011

Spotlight Member - AshesAtMidnight

I was first introduced to Ashes’ writing with the Buffy The Vampire Slayer fic, Love Is Never Wise- a poignant title for a series of alternate reality oneshots that are all as beautiful as they are thought-provoking.

The series lacks an overall story arc, and instead explores various moments in the BTVS series that are particular favourites of the author, or called to her to be elaborated upon. Although it has been quite some time since I have last read this fic, which is now complete, this series never fails to stand out in my mind as one of the best fics of its kind I have read.

The chapter content ranges from moments of the show well known to fans, such as a dirty, befuddled Angel seeing Buffy on the steps of Hemery High for the very first time, to moments that are purely of the author’s invention, such as a chilling ‘what-if’ scenario that explores what may have happened in the Season One episode ‘Nightmares’ had Angel been present.

The overall feel of the fic is one that probes, prods, and explores in depth the highs and lows of the Buffy/Angel relationship. When reading this fic, not only was I left craving each new chapter, but I also felt that I was in some way gaining a better insight into a relationship that I had watched grow over the years. Ashes’ ability to get inside the mind of the characters is both a unique and refreshing characteristic for a fanfiction writer to possess, and reading this fic made me a fan of Ashes’ work.

Although I am an avid Buffy/Angel fan, the next piece of Ashes’ that I have chosen to rec and review is an oneshot entitled Huntress. The focus of this piece is actually Faith – one time rogue slayer, badass, and arguably every fanfiction writer’s nightmare to include in their story, given her unpredictability of character.

Ashes exhibits no such fear in her writing of this piece, and even adds in another personal favourite, one Dean Winchester. The oneshot is a slice of lemony goodness that tells the story of when a teenaged slayer met up with a certain cocky, handsome, and self-assured teenage hunter. Despite the fact that cross-over fics are not usually my bag (baby), I actually loved this fic, which was another fantastic ‘what if’ episode from an author who is adept at that kind of thinking.

What I like most about Ashes’ work, however, is her inherent ability to stay true to the original characters and series’ she borrows from despite any new plot twist, development, or storyline her genius mind formulates. It is also a nice nod to her saucy side, thus proving that the lady is more adept at lemony goodness than she first lets on!

For my final recommendation of Ashes’ must-read work, I have selected my favourite from her list of twelve total fics, and perhaps also my overall favourite Buffy fic I have read to date; a gorgeous, lengthy, and heart-wrenching oneshot by the name of For Each Beloved Soul.
This fic was Ashes’ contribution to the IWRY 2010 marathon, and is an emotive masterpiece, which displays her writing skills at their finest. The fic is about the end for our Slayer, (Buffy), and is from the perspective of an unnamed but important angel who watches over purgatory, and sorts the souls who pass through. The fic rehashes all the moments on the show that Buffy was seen to die, or close to death, before finally inventing her ‘final death’. Buffy then chooses to wait hundreds of years for her soul mate before crossing over to her deserved afterlife.
The story is humorous in parts, tense in others, and written with such amazing flow and beautiful language that it’s hard to believe you are simply reading a piece of fanfiction, and not a passage from a published works. I implore any Buffy fan, no matter how large or small, to visit this piece, which is grossly lacking in reviews. You will not be disappointed.

Overall, Ashes is a writer who is particularly skilled in adopting the first person narrative and also making it believable, and has reigned in some mammoth plot bunnies that make her the envy of the BTVS fiction fandom. Read this girl’s work – review it – love her delicious words!


Dear Ashes,

I'm a terrible friend. Not only did it take me forever to get this up on the blog and possibly make you think that no one loved you (fooled ya:P) but, although I now consider you a great RL friend thanks to our joint love of FF, I haven't read any of your writing, until today! And OMG! I had to brush my teeth and take my jacket off it was so sweet and steamy!
If anyone'es wondering what story I'm talking about, it's called The Agent and The Anthropologist.

This story is a 'what if' (Ashes specialty it seems) for the 100th episode of Bones. No doubt Ashes isn't the only fan that wanted a different outcome from this episode. It was pretty heart breaking to see Brennan walk away from that hunk of a man. Hell, I'd take her place any day... that kiss ... anywho, back to the story. Well, it's a one shot and it's short and it's sweet and it's steamy! I'm not sure I can say much else without spoiling it! But it's a MUST read for Bones fans!

It also fits perfectly well with the Nocember Challenge! There's a lot of Bones fans out there, but not nearly enough FF on it and this little ditty certainly deserves some love.

General Chaz