amalthia: (Last Unicorn Moon)
[personal profile] amalthia
The stories below are listed in no particular order or fandom preference. These are my personal favorite fics from the year 2009, as in I've re-read or obsessed about the stories more than normal. Out of the 400-600 fics I've read this year it wasn't easy selecting just under 20 to highlight. My original plan was to do a top five fics per fandom but I actually want to have a life. :) This year there were some truly awesome fics that were shared in multiple of fandoms and I look forward to seeing what the year 2010 brings. :)

I don't normally say much about fics when I do my normal recommendations mostly due to fear of leaving a spoiler but on these ones I wrote a bit more than normal and some fics may have spoilers so read the reviews at your own risk.

Star Trek Reboot, Torchwood, Stargate Atlantis, Merlin, Supernatural, Hikaru No Go

Star Trek Reboot

Title/Author: So Wise We Grow by [ profile] captanddeastar
Author Summary: “Commander Spock, we have located your son," the Vulcan lady on the screen says, which would be great, except Jim can tell by the look on Spock’s face that he’s never heard of this kid before in his life. “If it is expedient, the child will be sent to join you on the Enterprise within the week.
Pairing: Kirk/Spock
Word Count: 81,000
Review: I could not stop reading this story once I started it barely felt like 81k words. The pace was fast and engaging. I loved the plot, the romance, and the kid was rather awesome. I also really enjoyed the away missions.

Title/Author: You'll Get There in the End (It Just Takes a While) by [ profile] seperis
Author Summary: "Spock. Just say 'I don't trust Starfleet not to mess up the only captain in the fleet who I can train up to my expectations and enjoys running into danger wearing a blindfold as much as I do'."
Pairing: Kirk/Spock
Word Count: 33,857
Review: This story hit my major Pon Farr kink in that the shoe was on the other foot where Kirk was the one that got it and Spock helped him out. I loved the narrative structure as well because you got to see everything that lead up to the moment and this just hit all my buttons.


Title/Author: A Matter of Time by [ profile] demotu
Author Summary: A time travelling, action-adventure, romance-filled science fiction romp ensues when Ianto runs into Jack in the fifty-first century after an accident with a vortex manipulator. Laser blasters, alien dance clubs, mercenaries, a little too much public sex for Ianto's tastes, sneaky plans and circular logic can be found here.
Word Count: 100,000
Review: I was blown away on my levels reading this story. I loved the plot, the time travel aspect, and I especially loved seeing how Ianto managed to get by in the 51st century. I loved his interactions with Jack from the future plus the Jack before Jack had actually met him. It was wonderfully complex and the story was compelling.

Title/Author: The Theory of Two Centres by [ profile] sam_storyteller
Author Summary: Ianto Jones woke up in a bed that wasn't his, in a flat that wasn't his, wearing clothing that definitely wasn't his.
Word Count: 65,186
Review: Sam Storyteller writes consistently good stories and so really if you decide to read any of his fics you're good to go. This story stood out because I really loved the mystery and seeing Torchwood through 21 year old Ianto. The narrative structure, the character voices, and the plot were all top notch.

Stargate Atlantis

Title/Author: The Hard Prayer by [ profile] rheanna27
Author Summary: One year after the end of the world, John meets another survivor.
Pairing: Sheppard/McKay
Word Count: 30,334
Review: Not many stories give me the creeps (no pun intended!) but this one managed to. The imagery was spot on and did a great job of describing what had happened on Earth. I also loved the neither Sheppard nor McKay made it out without issues. This was wonderfully atmospheric.

Title/Author: Sheppard’s Law by [ profile] cesperanza
Author Summary: Weird? You don't know what weird is. Weird is being in a-- with the-- and the crazy alien--" He stopped, incoherent, hands flailing. "And then your best friend is twelve, and you're his piano teacher. That--now, you're talking weird!"
Pairing: Sheppard/McKay
Word Count: 34,000
Review: This was by far the best time travel story I've ever read in this fandom. I laughed, got tears in my eyes, and was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire story. I loved all the close calls and how Rodney interacted with Sheppard as Sheppard grew into an adult. You don't want to know how many times I've re-read this story.

Title/Author: Iron and Steel by [ profile] taste_is_sweet
Author Summary: "I don't know if this matters, but wherever he's from, they had no intention of making him human."
Pairing: Sheppard/McKay
Word Count: 57, 587
Review: This was the fourth robot story and it's about Cameron's robot from an alternate reality and what that robot had gone through and how he adjusts to being on this Atlantis. This story made me cry and worry about the characters. I also loved all the other supporting characters and seeing more of Evan Lorne. This is probably my all time favorite SGA series because Robots! But also each story has heartwarming moments and I love the team vibe.

Title/Author: Black Helicopters at Dawn and sequel Black Mountainside by [ profile] whizzy
Author Summary: Screw the bet. Rodney was going to prove the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence. Oh, and incidentally, he might just catch the United States Air Force with their pants around their ankles.
Pairing: Sheppard/McKay kind of gen mostly
Word Count: 64,000
Review: I could not get enough of this AU story. I LOVED McKay's voice and the way he interacted with Sheppard over the radio and then in person and how the military got involved. This was an all around fun action story and made me smile.

Title/Author: Surrogate by [ profile] seekergeek
Author Summary: Rodney manages to save the team, but at a terrible cost to himself. When John later stumbles across an Ancient facility, he finds that it can give Rodney what the scientist had given up as a lost cause due to his sacrifice. But the facility is rapidly running out of power and John has to make a snap decision. How far is John willing to go to help a man that he loves far too much for his own good?
Pairing: Sheppard/McKay
Word Count: 57,225
Review: This was one of the BEST MPREG stories I've ever read. The character voices were spot on and I loved Sheppard's reasoning and how everyone reacts when they find out what Sheppard had done. The writing carried me along to the end and I barely even noticed time passing.


Title/Author: The Mirror, The Sword and The Shield by [ profile] aelora
Author Summary: Fate is a fickle mistress – or rather, the Fates are. When the Wyrd Sisters offer Nimueh a second chance to fulfill her destiny, she takes the opportunity to seek revenge on Merlin. When Uther enters the equation, Nimueh's victory seems certain. Loyalties and allegiances are tested, making Merlin question the lengths that Arthur will go to in order to protect him. Through daring escapes, attempted coups, and fierce battles, Merlin and Arthur discover that the twisting threads of fate are not easily understood, and that the webs they spin cannot be readily escaped.
Pairing: Merlin/Arthur
Word Count: 62,609
Review: I loved Merlin's anger in this story, it's probably my favorite one that takes place directly after season 1 and shows the aftermath. I loved how Merlin is barely containing his powers and lashing out, it felt real because he'd been through an experience. But what I most loved was how Arthur found out about Merlin's magic and the aftermath and how events unfold.

Title/Author: The Crown of the Summer Court by [ profile] astolat
Author Summary: "The king sent me to get you," Merlin said, with a tone that implied strongly that he wasn't rolling his eyes where Arthur could see, but just wait until his back was turned. "He said you're to get changed into formal clothes and meet him in the Great Hall, there's a delegation coming from the Summer Court."
Pairing: Merlin/Arthur
Word Count: 24,773
Review: I think everyone in the Merlin fandom has read this story but if you haven't go read this story right away! I LOVED the concept and that Merlin is a potential canadiate for the throne of the Summer Court. I loved each of the challenges Merlin and Arthur face together and Uther's reactions. This story was both funny and serious and omg the sex was HOT. Wonderful storytelling.

Title/Author: On the Knob Training by [ profile] morcalivan
Author Summary: A promotion and a swanky new title, one might even think Merlin’s luck had changed. That is, if you didn’t look too closely to the fine print on Uther’s offer. There is companionship and then there is companionship.
Pairing: Merlin/Arthur
Word Count: 36523
Review:This was both funny and incredibly hot. I loved Merlin's cluelessness and had such a fun time reading this.

Title/Author: Drastically Redefining Protocol by [ profile] rageprufrock
Pairing: Merlin/Arthur
Author Summary: Modern!AU. In which Prince Arthur meets Merlin and all hell promptly breaks loose.
Word Count: 45,959
Review: This was incredibly funny and I loved the character voices.


Title/Author: Blue Skies From Rain by [ profile] lovesrain44
Author Summary: The morning after Sam rescues Dean from the djinn, Sam and Dean go back to the warehouse to take care of the bodies of both the victims and of the djinn. But instead of what should be a simple clean-up job, Sam and Dean are sucked into a nightmare world brought about by the djinn’s last dying act of revenge. Takes place directly after What Is and What Should Never Be.) What do you do when you wake up in a mental institution and you think your brother is dead?
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Word Count: 178,000
Review: I love first-time Sam and Dean fics and this one really put the guys through the wringer. I loved the plot, the character voices, and the imagery. By the time the major climax of the story happened I was on the edge of my seat, the aftermath and how Sam and Dean fell in love felt very real.

Title/Author: The Light of Munin by [ profile] leonidaslion
Author Summary: Beyond the Apocalypse, beyond the Rapture, beyond the reach of memory ... How long can even the strongest love survive?
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Word Count: 69,467
Review: This story was heartbreaking in every way that counts and yet there is love and hope and I totally cried like a baby a time or two.

Title/Author: The Truth In The Lie by [ profile] flawedamythyst
Author Summary: Sam and Dean pretend to be gay lovers while they hunt a monster on a bus tour of Nova Scotia.
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Word Count: 63,000
Review: This story came along at just the right time and it was the story I really wanted to read but didn't know I wanted it. I had so much fun reading this, it was funny, I liked the mystery of trying to figure out who the killers were, and I loved all the original characters and their reactions to Sam and Dean and how the faking it slowly changes to something real.

Title/Author: Topspin by [ profile] lazy_daze
Author Summary: Defending Wimbledon champion and world No. 1 tennis player Jensen Ackles is determined to hang on to his title, no matter how good Jared Padalecki, rising star on the tennis scene, thinks he is. With Padalecki's new reckless style, explosive power and natural grace pitted against Jensen's own beautifully strategic, strong and watertight game - all that's for sure is that this is going to be one Wimbledon final match not to be missed. With a media-painted rivalry turning into a mutual dislike that's almost as explosive as the badly-hidden attraction sparking in the air, there's more than a tennis ball flying between them.

When tension explodes into more, and more becomes again and again, how will this unexpected connection affect them, their games, their careers? Will they be able to put aside everything that's against them and make something real out of what was never meant to happen in the first place? And as emotions get stronger and the competitions fiercer and Wimbledon's upon them again, history will repeat; and under the English July sun, new history will be made.
Pairing: Jared/Jensen
Word Count: 50,000
Review: I played tennis in middle school and high school (varsity team) so I was beyond excited when I saw a Tennis AU for Jared/Jensen and the author exceeded my expectations. The sex was incredibly hot and the tennis playing was like foreplay and I could not get enough of this story.

Title/Author: And I Will Walk On Water by [ profile] tracy_loo_who
Author Summary: In which the end isn't really an end at all.
Pairing: Castiel/Dean
Word Count: 122,600
Review: I think this was the first Castiel/Dean story that was built up like a slash story that had to sell the pairing and I loved that the author took the time to start them from the beginning. I also really loved the plot, the character voices, and I could not put this story down. I also liked that the rape/rape-recovery wasn't overdone but not completely forgotten either. It takes real skill to pull that off.
Link: (linked to last chapter because all other chapters are listed there)

Title/Author: Though the Brightest Fell by [ profile] thevinegarworks
Author Summary: So the Devil's kicking around the East Coast, Sam's at Demon Blood-aholics Anonymous, there's a self-deluded and newly homeless Prophet following them around like a kicked puppy, and the only angel worth a damn has gone MIA; Dean's pretty sure life sucks. Meanwhile, Castiel is stuck in Time-Out and has something Lucifer wants...badly.
Pairing: Castiel/Dean
Word Count: 66, 756
Review: The Castiel/Lucifer parts of the story broke my heart and I loved how hard Castiel fought and that it still wasn't enough. The rest of the story had me on the edge of my seat to see how it would play out.

Title/Author: Soul-Eater, Death-Dealer by [ profile] nynxlynx
Author Summary: A grieving Dean is pulled into an alternate universe where a much more hardened, cold Sam is working to get his Dean out of hell. Though Dean doesn’t want to go back to his lonely world, he aids Sam in his dark quest, a Sam torn between the brother he’s fighting to save and the one right in front of him.
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Word Count: 30,000
Review: This story was heartbreaking and AU Sam was dark and incredibly hot and tortured. I loved the plot and the imagery.

Hikaru No Go

Title/Author: Desynchronization by [ profile] ontogenesis
Author Summary: Two years after Sai's disappearance, Sai turns up in Ichigaya, amnesiac, wet, and and very much alive. Ogata finds him.
Word Count: 100k
Review: This was the story I wanted to read after I finished watching the series and I realized there was no more Hikaru No Go. This story exceeded my expectations. I also loved how the pairing worked out and I got tears in my eyes a few times because parts of it were heartbreaking.
Link: (scroll down to story)

I realized after going through my short lists that 99.9% of the stories I LOVED were over 20k words long, which actually isn't surprising, I've always been a fan of the longer stories. :)

It was challenging to only pick a few stories per fandom for this list and I loved a lot of the stories posted this year. For anyone that wants to see my short list and the slightly longer short list here are the links to my delicious tags.

Short List
Longer List

EDIT: Forgot to say that this is the first year I'm trying this format for my end of the year recs. My format for Favorite Stories 2008 was a list of stories sorted by fandom. The plus side of that method was more stories! But the downside was that I couldn't really talk about why I loved the stories so much.

This year it was rather time consuming to do reviews for each story on the 2009 list so I narrowed my list down even further to get it posted before midnight tonight.

If anyone has an opinion on which type of recs they prefer I'd love to hear your thoughts. I wasn't sure if I should do this again next year, or go back to how I did things in 2008.

Imma just interact with you over the SGA fics

Date: 2010-01-01 08:33 am (UTC)
blnchflr: Captain America Civil War (Default)
From: [personal profile] blnchflr
The Hard Prayer is so well written, and, like you, I love that John and Rodney are both messed up. I don't know why I don't have it marked as "Personal extra-favourite" on my site, actually.

I love Black Helicopters, too - I think the first part is (and will be) the best, as is usual, but I'm still looking forward to the next installment <3

I love Cesperanza's writing, and the writing in Sheppard’s Law is as excellent as usual - but I have this weird dislike of plots like the one in this fic, so the further the story progresses, the less it works for me. It's all me, though, nothing wrong with the fic in itself O_o

Something (can't remember what) at the beginning of Surrogate threw me off like whoa, and I stopped reading. But if it's one of your favourite, I should give it another chance :o) !

Date: 2010-01-02 09:59 am (UTC)
blnchflr: Captain America Civil War (Default)
From: [personal profile] blnchflr
A couple of my favourite fics are fics I couldn't get through the beginning of - one I tried 3 or 4 times (people kept reccing it, how could I not), and finally skipped to a random place past the beginning. And loved it, as well I should!

Date: 2010-01-23 01:57 am (UTC)
auburn: (Book Pile)
From: [personal profile] auburn
Just popping in to say how much I appreciate and enjoy your recommendations and reviews. I'd never have even heard of So Wise We Grow if it weren't for your rec and I enjoyed it immensely last night. Now I'm off to feedback the author.

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