( wrote in absence_oflight,

R4: Category Banners and Comments

Best Overall Angst

Extremely well done. Angel's pain is very real, and the loss of so many people Buffy cared about is heart-wrenching. Suits the category to a T.

One of the best stories I've come across in this fandom in terms of emotional impact. Haunting, cruel and compassionate. "Buffy came back REALLY wrong" has been done before but never to such devastating effect. A fantastic "what if" that strips the romantic fantasy away from "Bangel" even as Angel clings to those illusions, and demonstrates the destructiveness of that relationship. Bonus points for making me feel sorry for Angel, whom I generally don't care about otherwise.

Not a typical post-apocalyptic fic. Loved the Dawn pov and the way everything was spelled out and yet we always "got" what was going on.

A perfect example of "watercolor angst", delicate, mournful, melancholy, yet oddly hopeful and soothing; a story of the most unexpected love and how something approaching healing and acceptance can be found even in Hell. Written almost as a prose-poem; not a single word wasted.

Best Overall Dark

A lovely, dark piece delivered perfectly.

I liked this story. I especially liked Xander's sacrifice. The characterisation was excellent and the flow of the piece was well paced and well developed.

Delicious in its dark depravity.

The plot was well-developed and thought out. Great story :)

Dark and horrifying in the most wonderful way!

This is an unusual pairing, but well written and chillingly descriptive. It's an emotive story that left me feeling genuinely sorry for Oz. It's always interesting to read original ideas like this one, especially when these characters get overlooked too often.

I remember originally reading this back when it was originally posted and it stuck with me. So much so that as soon as I opened the page and saw the graphic for it, all of the story was brought back in it's gruesome glory. This is goreporn (for lack of a better term) done to perfection.

Best Drabble

This was a fantastic drabble :) It was very well, written... I like the emotion behind it, how things stolen were given a meaning.

Utterly Fantastic :) I can see this as how Spike would think.

I really like how this is AU, but doesn't feel like one. It easily seems to fit in with the rest of Buffyverse. The characterization was spot on, and it was well written.

Best Ficlet

Thoroughly enjoyed this ficlet. The characterisation was true and the plot original. Job well done.

Best Het

Spike/Buffy has never been a pairing that I rush to read. I accept that their relationship happened in canon, but I’m not a “Spuffy” fan. This story, however, moved me to heartbreak and sniffles. Angearia captures the angst and emotion of the moment in a way that feels very true to what Spike and Buffy were in Season 7. Hats off to her.

What if Faith had received the powers of telepathy in “Earshot” instead of Buffy? This chilling, manipulative, and twisted tale explores the concepts of power and abuse, of danger and revenge, of Faith and Wesley. Finally, the darkness of this tale is Holy S*%!-worthy.

I found the idea of Illyria/Fred healing Wesley the way she did to be both original and enjoyable to read. Hats off to brutti_ma_buoni for creativity.

Best Slash

This gorgeous, almost lyrical, piece delves so deep inside Buffy and her dynamic with Faith. It exposes the characters innermost thoughts and feelings in such a beautifully, angst filled way, the reader is utterly unable to hold back tears. Painful perfection.

This story has it all. Perfect characterization of Faith and Lilah, wonderful flow, and delicious darkness of soul. Absolutely perfect.

Dark, soulful Angel is so much more sinister and horrifying than Angelus and this author does it to perfection. Not only is the angst of this story spectacular, but the author leaves you with so many possibilities for future guilt, humiliation, anger, and heartaching darkness.

Best Gen

Wow. Just wow. This story was wonderful and engaging. I could absolutely see this happening in canon. I really enjoyed this new take, and after reading it, it seems so obvious an idea. Giles was so matter-of-fact about what he had to do, and I found his characterization to be spot on. Very well done.

This was such a wonderful story. I love how the ending left us wondering, rather than tying up all the loose ends. The feel of the story was really strengthened by the way it was written. The little extra notes really added to the story.

I really enjoyed this story. I love seeing Giles and Angel, both of them bearing their grief, but both in different ways. I also found the characterization to be spot on. Overall, a very good, well-written story. Well done.

Best AU

Very interesting premise. What Would Giles Do? Whatever he had to do. A wonderful piece.

The depiction of Giles was excellent. Interesting back story for Giles and Ethan.

This was disturbing in so many ways. But it was written excellently. I kept waiting for it to have all been a dream or spell of some kind.

Most Original

I have often thought of writing the summer between season 2 and 3 with Buffy's disappearance and the aftermath of Angelus. Truth be told I could never write it as beautifully as this author has. I found myself crying and smiling, laughing and full of anger as I read what everyone was going through. This story had me feeling everything they had tried to convey and in such a beautifully written way. Poor Giles... thank god they were there for him. Can I give him a hug too? Amazing story!

I. am. in. absolute.LOVE with this fic. :: sigh :: It had everything! This writer brought me to tears! Watching the transformation of Spike and the realization dawn on Buffy that yes she is in love with this man was just magical! I wish there was more and then I find that it ended just perfectly. Talent is definitely had here!!

Heartbreaking! I love how she wrote Wesley and Illyria. Illyria's confusion and Fred coming through to save Wesley. The end really did me in. Loved it!

Best Broken Heart

While the structure seems simple – it's not as complex as some of the other stories I've reviewed – it is also perfect. Perhaps elegant is the word I want. Impressive characterization even of characters not in this scene but also some outstanding bits of characterization of Giles and Angel.

Right in the first paragraph, I knew it was going to be an excellent read. Not only did the first sentence grab my attention, but the parallelism in the ending of the first and last sentences stood out: kill her / killer. "Half a World Away" does an excellent job of depicting Willow's misery and guilt. I was definitely choking up with tears in my eyes while reading this story.

Not only does Artemis_Ephesus represent the BtVS characters well, but she also create excellent characters of her own. Both Giles and Willow are perfectly depicted and I especially love Willow's musing on the different types of darkness (magic vs. grief). I absolutely adore Althenea.

I like the structure: present, past, and Dawn's notes. There is a complicated flow but the story is quite understandable. And I am overwhelmed by how much that last list item adds to the story.

Best Episode Rewrite

Pretty amazing story with a twist on season 5 of the altogether startling variety. Pregnant Buffy and her reluctant swain are in a world of difficulty, and the challenges just keep building. The climactic scenes are painful, incredible reading.

Horribly believable; painful AU, balancing the two strands of time clearly and with impact.

Some glorious wordplay here; a real sense of Faith's character especially, and of Lilah at second hand; firmly set within canon and it shows; a solid sense of when and where and why.


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