Sunday, May 24, 2009

Guest FicRec: Limona Takes Us All Captive


Every once in a while, you stumble across a story that you enjoy. The first chapter is decent, so you read on. And before you know it, the story has you in its clutches.

Captive has strong clutches.

I suddenly had a romance-novel-cover vision of myself struggling with an Edward dressed in tight pants and an open pirate shirt, and attempting – quite successfully - to carry me off into a lurid sunset. – From Chapter 2

On the surface, Captive is a story like many. It is an AU where Breaking Dawn never happened, and it meditates on the drama between Edward and Bella as her change to a vampire draws near. When the drama reaches a fever pitch, Edward does something drastic. There is no paucity of Darkward stories out there. Bonne Foi by Amethyst Jackson comes to mind immediately, but there are scads of others to tickle our fancy. Similarly, there are also plenty of BxE AU ‘happily ever after’ fluff stories. I think the number of Breaking Dawn re-imaginings alone could fill a small swimming pool.

Captive is neither of the things. It is more a hybrid between the two genres. Rather than jumping off from the end of Eclipse like so many Breaking Dawn alternatives, Captive begins somewhere in middle of Eclipse. This gives Erotillectual more leeway in creating a unique story. She doesn’t have to start off with an engagement and a wedding; she is able to spend her time on more seductive fare. And speaking of seductive… this story is rated M for a reason, both for subject matter and a couple of scenes. The scenes are labeled in advance.

Edward has a dark side, but he never quite crosses over into true Darkward territory. I know, I know. It sounds like a Darkward story. Edward does something drastic. It’s even called Captive, for crying out loud. But for me, what keeps this story from being too dark is that it is predominantly a thoughtful examination of the relationship between Bella and Edward. In the books and in so many stories, Bella’s change just happens. The choice isn’t hard. She’s suddenly stunning and coordinated and has no regrets. This story is different. Examining the consequences and ramifications of Bella’s choice is where Captive excels.

Erotillectual does something that I wish would have been done adequately in the books: she forces Bella to think, really think, about what becoming a vampire will entail. She also succeeds where so many stories (including Breaking Dawn, IMHO) fail; in Captive, Bella recognizes that she must make some sacrifices to become a vampire. By definition, this means that the story isn’t all sunshine-and-buttercups... but it’s not depressing, either.

What kept me hooked as I read? The love between Edward and Bella is never in doubt at any point in the story. Many stories build tension through a series of misunderstandings or unfortunate events; Captive never goes down that path. Bella and Edward communicate with each other like adults. They respect each other. They love each other. But they disagree about one fundamental issue. The tension here is less about fate and more about whether love is enough when two people are at an impasse.

Adding to Captive’s charm is that the characterizations are fairly true throughout the story. Bella, especially, is done well. Staying in character may sound like a small thing (especially coming from someone who writes an AU-AH fic that is nothing like the books), but it makes a huge difference. Keeping the characters relatively true to the characteristics that Stephenie Meyer set out elevates the experience of reading. I was able to feel as though I was being transported back to the books. And like in the books, Bella wants Edward to have sex with her. While Captive isn’t littered with sex, the sexual aspect of the relationship between Bella and Edward is a theme of the story.

There are many fine qualities to recommend Captive: it’s competently written, it has a plot, Bella and Edward are surprisingly in-character, and… it’s complete! That’s right… it’s complete and relatively unknown. At the time of this writing, it had an average of 12.3 reviews per chapter.

Why has Captive flown under the radar for so long? I have no idea. The author’s note in the first chapter contains a small missive about it being a sequel to an earlier novelette, Flirting with Danger, but in no way do you need to read the novelette to appreciate Captive. I didn’t. Other than the sequel thing, the only reason I can think of that this story doesn’t have a bigger audience is that it hasn’t found the right audience.

That’s where we all come in.

Give it a look.

Give Captive a few chapters to snag you. Erotillectual is an author who has already shown she can bring a plot to fruition. As a fellow author, I can tell you that a little love and encouragement go a long way… and I’m willing to wager that whatever she comes up with next will be well worth reading.
Limona is not only the author of our favorite Human suspenseful romantic fic, Hiding in Plain Sight, she is also the creative mind behind the Eddies & Bellies. And she is just nice as hell to boot.


  1. Wowsa! A Completed AU?!?! How have I never read this?!

    I actually just started. Loving it already. Thanks a ton Limona for the aweosme rec!

  2. Wow thanks for that review! I read captive such an amazing FF! Just wow! :)

  3. Thanks for the rec- I have added this to my 'Must Try' list.


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