Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fic Review: Bella, the Lioness by BellaMadonna

On Fan Fiction

Description: Bella Cullen is a 159 yr old vampire; Edward Masen a 17 yr old human. Their love has existed through time. This story is PURE ROMANCE with a little something extra. They prove that true love rises above all obstacles.

Don't ask me how I found this story. I think I was fic diving in by looking at other author's favorites, but for the life of me I cannot remember who. I have often enjoyed AU fics where Bella is a vampire while Edward is a human. They are actually some of my favorites in AU because I love how the personalities of these characters change the plot from the typical canon story.

What I liked about it: Instead of simply writing a typical vampire meets human typical high school romance where the human's blood sings to the vampire and yet they fall in love against all reason, *yawn*, this author added a layer of history that was intriguing to say the least. Bella was changed by Carlisle in 1864 after losing her family to the War between the States. She worked closely with Carlisle as his nurse and made a connection with a man that became one of Edward's ancestors. I got a sense that this connect was meant to pave the way for the all consuming love that Bella and Edward would share.

The author also had an interesting take on vampire powers, giving Bella new powers that make her character unique to anything else I have ever read. I relish stories like that in which the author changes things up. And there is a twist that you would never see coming! The author uses characters, (like Jake, Edward's best friend and Charlie, Edward's uncle) in unique ways. Overall, I enjoyed this story for the timeless romance and the sense that these characters were destined to be together.

If I am being honest with you, I believe I would have flounced this fic by chapter 7 if I had not seen the large number of reviews it had. The author wrote this story over the course of two years and I easily observed a marked improvement in her writing over time, making me glad I stuck with it through the beginning chapters. This story is complete.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fic Review: For Whom The Bell Tolls by CyraBear

On FanFiction.net | On Twilighted.net

Description:There's a dusty old bookstore in Seattle where the proprietor keeps odd hours and knows the location of every book in his stock. What surprises hide in its stacks?

I was browsing the nominees for the Twinklings Walk of Fame Awards the other night when I came upon this story. This fic captured me immediately with a unique twist on the traditional Twilight vamp story. I have never read an AU story where there is no treaty in place between the Queleute tribe and the vampires. This adds a layer of suspense and danger that sets this story apart.

What I like about it: I love stories where Bella isn't a push over, constantly bending to everyone's will. In FwtBT, Bella is in her early twenties and has a bit of life experience under her belt before she meets Edward at his old bookstore. Edward, for his part, isn't pretending to be a 17 year old high school student, in fact he doesn't seem to be a teenager at all. We start the story with Edward as an isolated bookstore owner, but it is soon revealed that Edward has experienced terrible loss in his life, leading to his separation from the Cullen family.

I am also drawn to this story because it has a cerebral feel. I love the way the author uses literature and art, music and more to color the characters, the environment, and the plot.

She reached for the nearest bookcase and pulled out a slim volume. Let it fall open to a random page. "The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep," she murmured to herself. "You must ask for what you really want. Don't go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch."

"The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep."

She turned, startled. There he stood, leaning on the railing where the loft overlooked the main floor. "Oh," she said.

"Do you like Rumi?" He asked, nodding towards the book in her hands.

She looked down at the volume and flipped it over to see the cover. Selected Works of Jallaluddin Rumi. "I, ah, can't say I've read much Rumi," she mumbled, blushing.

"Was it the subject matter that caught your eye, then?" He asked, a humorous glint in his eye.

"Huh?" She looked up, and realized with mortification that the sign above read Erotica. "Oh! I don't know…I wasn't…" she frowned down at the book. "This doesn't sound like erotica."

"Hm." He stepped closer – Bella's heart accelerated abruptly – and took the book gently from her fingers. Opened to the page she had been reading. "I would love to kiss you," he read. "The price of kissing is your life. Now my loving is running towards my life shouting, what a bargain. Let's buy it."

She stared at him, her mouth slightly open, her heart galloping. He took another step closer. "Daylight, full of small dancing particles and the one great turning, our souls are dancing with you, without feet, they dance," he whispered. His eyes held hers, though he held the book open. "Can you see them when I whisper in your ear?"

"Yes," she whispered back.

He laughed and closed the book, reaching around her to slide it back onto the shelf. She turned, keeping her eyes on his, feeling the solidity of his body boxing her in, cornering her against the railing and the shelf.

Another thing that I like is the witty comments and the refreshing take on the characters. For instance, instead of having a completely self absorbed Rosalie, she is much more supportive of Edward. Instead of regretting her life as a vampire, circumstances have forced her to come to terms with her fate and she doesn't begrudge Bella's humanity.

For Whom The Bell Tolls is funny, suspenseful, and romantic. CyraBear is a talented author and if you are interested in something different, give this story a try.