Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fic Rec: Cannon Not Canon

Hello, my name is Abby, and I've become an AU addict.

I'm not quite sure how it happened. One day, I was reading mostly AH stories with a handful of canon fic. Then I read my first, really good AU fic. And another, and another. Until I reached the point I'm at today: desperately searching for the best AU I can lay my hands on and reading a smattering of AH and canon.

The AU author can take Stephenie Meyer's world of sparkly vamps and shift the mood, creating mystery, suspense, intrigue or horror. The characters may only shift by a single decision, or by an entire personal history. And the truly gifted AU author can make us feel like we're meeting the characters for the first time, even though in the back of our minds, we know them like old friends.

Walter Cannon's Theory, Expanded, is one such AU. Temptation's Girl pulls you along with Edward and the Cullens on a horrifying and exciting adventure.

The story begins with Edward, a young man on the verge of starting medical school, working the night shift at the county medical examiner's office in Seattle. It's a normal night... until a body is brought in.

Unless there was obvious trauma, the newly dead don't look noticeably different from the living. Until you get to the stages of lividity, the skin color is the same, and the body temp hasn't cooled down too much. Very different from what you see on TV. This guy looked different, somehow. His skin tone was off – smooth, very pale, none of the telltale bruise-colored signs of lividity, and he was cool. Cold, actually. I wondered how long he'd been out on that park bench.

If you're thinking that corpse is a sparkly vampire in disguise, you'd be right.

This is a newborn Edward like I've never read before. He's angry and disoriented, not only because he has been forced to prematurely abandon his human life and, oh yeah, he's a mindreader, but because he's joined the ranks of a family of vamps who seem to have their own agenda. I especially like the dynamic between Edward and Jasper, who is frequently assigned newborn babysitting duty.

"Look, man, I don't want to get in the middle of anything, it's not my business, but I can't try to mediate anything between the two of you knowing I can read both of your minds. I can't keep secrets while trying to also wrap my mind around the whole fucking vampire thing, and the mind reading thing, and the whole 'never seeing my family or friends or going back to my real life' thing, so..." I lost my train of thought as I watched Jasper pick up the newly purchased antique window. He was holding it all wrong, like he had picked up a piece of paper. I didn't know if he really realized how freaky it looked when he didn't try to pretend to be human.

The characters are rich and developed, and they have a wonderful history that we see glimpses of now and then. Some of my favorite moments are when someone tells a story about something that happened long ago. Those moments add warmth and unexpected depth to the story, and in my opinion the story is that much better for it. Edward's reactions to his new life are especially enjoyable, because in a way, he reacts exactly how I always wished canon Bella would have.

I liked Alice. I really did. She was funny, and sweet, and smart, and I could see us becoming good friends. For some reason, though, the way she operated with her visions scared the shit out of me.

As the story progresses, it's revealed that Jasper's creator, Maria, has a serious grudge against the Cullens, and has created a newborn army that's making it's way through Seattle unchecked. Their quest to stop her, and Edward's quest to find himself and keep his personal world --his family, his friends, and the girl he had just started dating-- from being destroyed, intertwine to form an edge-of-your-seat suspenseful journey of intrigue and suspense. Beware--it's been put in the "Horror" category for a reason, and there are scenes of graphic violence and death scattered throughout.

I recommend this fic because of it's intricate and well-woven plot and it's stunning use of the Twilight universe in a new and unique way. You would never know it's Temptation Girl's first attempt at fic. It's a quick read, and it's almost complete. The epilogue is the only thing left to post, so go ahead and dive right in.

justaskalice wishes she was cool enough to write AU

1 comment:

  1. I'm such a fan of that fic. You're dead on about the well-woven plot and unique take on the Twilight universe.
    - mothlights


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