Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Lambs Review Flights of Fate by mizbiscuit

Monthly Fic Pick

Jasper returned to Forks only a week after Bella's fateful birthday party only to find her well into the change and all alone. Eventual J/B story, Rated M for language,and possible lemons, AU.

So, first of all, let me say that it's my intention to do this and not offend anyone.

But, let me tell you about New Moon first. The fact is, when it comes to writing an AU-Vamp-Bella and any other character besides Edward, New Moon gave us sort of the grounds to do it on. Edward leaves Bella...or 5 years after Edward left Bella...see where I'm going here? Now, believe me, I know each story has its originality. Each story IS different. Each author sweats and pours some blood and tears into it. But, there is still a pattern that has developed lately when it comes to Jasper/Bella stories, and it's getting to be...a little monotonous when you look at this from a reader's standpoint. It's also going to depend on the tone of the story as well. Does it grab you laugh, do you cry...make sense?

I don't think I need to be reminded which story or stories caused the influence, and I don't need to be told that if I don't like it, don't read it. The truth is, I find myself avoiding the Jasper/Bella world lately, unless it's in the form of a one-shot. But, this story was chosen for our group review by us and I will review it honestly and openly. When we choose our story for group review, we all put in choices and we poll. The winner is the story we review.

This is mizbiscuit's first story on FF, and the story starts out with Bella already in the throes of the change. Edward bit her, and this is after the scene in the forest when he says goodbye. The author takes a different and unique route by having our Bella go after Edward at the Cullen home, where she is subsequently beaten and a crazed Edward. Bella and Jasper, who is asked for a divorce by Alice, go to Alaska when it's discovered that Edward is on his way back to Forks.

What I like about this story: There is some great banter between Jasper and Bella, and Bella is a strong character right at the get-go. The Charlie situation, though, was a great way to show some of her instability, but I did have a hard time with how at ease she was as a newborn with her fine hunting skills. The author is great at setting up and giving us some detailed scenes, reactions, and feelings. When she does get to her lemons, they will be great. She has a knack for making you 'feel' some intimacy in her wording. The descriptions and details given into the powers between Jasper and Bella, and how they accent each other are PERFECT. I loved that.

What I didn't like: Edward. I mean, Edward's craziness. I know it's OOC, but you can only read so many stories where he totally goes off the rocker and the author sells you on it. It doesn't happen here. While I can see Edward biting Bella, I can't see him beating the shit out of her - bloodlust or no bloodlust. To be honest, I probably would have enjoyed this story more if I didn't see a know-it-all Peter and Charlotte Whitlock, either.

For a new reader coming to Fanfiction, or for someone who has never read a Jasper/Bella story, this story would be a good read. Just because I'm desiring some new context, though, doesn't mean everyone else is. That's just me. For your first story, mizbiscuit, you're doing a great job.

I found this story to be a very interesting read from both a technical and creative standpoint. Technically, spelling and grammatical errors ease up with each successive chapter, especially after a beta was procured; and creatively, I found that this story just gets better and better along the way. So, watching this fic 'grow'...'evolve'...was fascinating.

It’s still a WIP at only 10 chapters in, and I’m anxiously waiting for the first lemon...but, this means that the author is taking her time with developing Jasper and Bella’s relationship. Even after they do make their declarations to each other, they do not immediately jump into the sack, as it were. I find this to be wonderful.

I love the dialogue between the characters, especially between Bella and Jasper. There is a lot of reflection on both their parts, in terms of the significance of their previous ‘failed’ relationships – indications that there were both good and bad qualities linked to both those relationships and to all involved. No one is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ entirely. They just were what they were: flights of fate...paths to their true destinies. Also, the connection – the friendship – between Jasper and Bella is beautiful to watch unfold. There are a lot of trust issues at play here, even though out of everyone, they come to learn that they can only truly rely on each other. They sort through these issues together, and I appreciate the depth with which the author delves into this aspect of their developing relationship.

Edward’s behaviour is sketchy...and while I may be the last person to ever defend the man, I was quite shocked by his actions. But, I think what shocked me even more was the lack of action taken on the parts of the other players in this story. There seemed to be a little too much acceptance on almost everyone’s part, excluding Rosalie. What Edward does is so OOC (which is fine), but so barbaric, too, that you’re left wondering, ‘So, who exactly is going to exact revenge?’ Yes, forgiveness is divine, but not even Jasper would have attacked Bella at her birthday party with that much hostility. He may have attacked like he would have any other prey, but he wouldn’t have resorted to incomprehensive anger while doing so.

One thing that made me giggle while reading this story...and I find myself giggling a lot when it comes to pet names...PUMA.

“Puma, these are my good friends, Peter and Charlotte. Peter, Charlotte, this is my, ahem, this is Bella Cullen.”--NO! Don't say you were going to say, "This is my PUMA"...por favor....!!!

Jasper not fully comprehending his power and needing Eleazar’s help to better understand it threw me for a loop a bit. If there was anyone I expected to understand his or her ability best, it would be Jasper. But, on the flip side, I thought the whole exchange with Eleazar and Carmen very interesting. And, just when I thought we would have ‘Super Bella’ syndrome, what we are given, thankfully, instead is a Bella whose power can be described in many different ways, but it rolls itself all into ONE power. It just has different manifestations. Very neat.

I was confused by one part, however. When Bella and Jasper are speaking with Carmen and Eleazar, and Bella discusses the ‘eye colour’ issue, Jasper indicates surprise and confusion regarding who the mysterious ‘no eye colour’ vampire is...but I am pretty certain that Jasper was present when Bella was talking to all of the Cullens about this prior to Alaska, and I’m pretty sure she clearly indicates who that vampire is.

Peter and Charlotte, of course, are always fun to have in any story. I love them. Always will. And, while I agree with Kay that there is a lot of Peter and Charlotte as of late, I think it’s an indication of great inspiration...Also, I find it interesting that while a lot of authors who try to write Jasper don’t pull it off all the time, there is a great consistency with regards to writing Peter and Charlotte. At this point, one can say it’s cliché, but it’s wonderful cliché all the same, no?

Another worry I had was that Bella was going to be this perfect newborn...I mean, initially, that’s what you are sort of led to believe. I typically love the grittier newborn Bella stories...and thank the Lord we are given a jolt of true newborn Bella in this story! I was almost frightened...but then mizbiscuit saves the day! Full blown RED...awesome! And with Charlie, no less! Actually, the Charlie situation was interesting, too. A nice resolution...a little too accepting...but, a nice resolution all the same. And Bella’s bitchiness/irritability during the car rides with Jasper along their travels – and, boy, do they travel! – makes me a very pleased reader. There is no such thing as a perfect newborn. This is probably one of the reasons why a lot of people disliked Breaking Dawn so much, among other things. Just knowing that Bella has to hold her breath when she’s anywhere near the vicinity of humans is a relief.

So, at the end of the day, I recommend that you read this story. It’s another different take on AU non-canon Jasper/Bella. We have yet to truly see Jasper emerge as the full-blown badass we know he can be, but I sincerely believe that we will see it eventually. As we will eventually see Bella scare a few vampires, too. I mean, Edward-the-crazy-man will come back into the picture at some point, probably sooner than later, so I am hoping for an all-out confrontation in that regard...please, I hope there is no holding of hands right off the bat and a bucket full of forgiveness! Will he be the enemy in this story? Will it be The Volturi? Maria? Who knows for sure at this point? But, it makes you wonder...and hope...for great things to come!

For a first-time fic, I think mizbiscuit is doing marvellously!

I love Jasper/Bella fics. They truly are my favorite. So, I was excited when I heard about this one, which I was told was good. It was! There are things I did and didn’t like in it, but you get that with all fics, I think.

At first, the fic was in need of a beta, but she did eventually get one and it helped tremendously! Besides, she did ask for corrections during her unbeta’d chapters so she could learn from her mistakes, so kudos!

I thought things went a bit too fast between Bella and Jasper. They get together in a matter of days, which is just a bit much for me. I mean, regardless of whether or not they were true mates or not, it will take some time for Jasper to get over being in a decades-long relationship with Alice, especially if it was a good one. And, although Bella and Edward weren’t together that long, I imagine it taking more than a few days to get over. I also liked the friendship they were developing and wish I could have seen more of it before BOOM they were mates!

One thing I really liked about it is the interaction between them. I like the fluff and playfulness Bella and Jasper bring to each other, that they can relax and be themselves around each other. I really liked the explanation about mates and the pull they feel for each other when they are apart, all that.

The other thing I thought was amazing was the explanation of the powers. That part just, ugh, I loved it. It brought to light a few things that I’ve mentioned myself, regarding all the powers mentioned. I loved how their powers were complementary for them being mates, etc. I wasn’t so thrilled with the ‘Super Bella’ aspect, but the rest was stellar!

I always enjoy Peter and Charlotte in fics and this is no exception. Someone mentioned they didn’t know if Peter and Charlotte were really needed, and maybe not, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy them being there. I like the playful, know-it-all Peter and his tough, but lovable, Charlotte. And, really, they are the kick in the ass that Jasper and Bella needed to convince themselves to talk to each other about what they are feeling. This is a small saving grace to me for the issue I had above with the rushing of the relationship.

I think the best thing this author really gives you is a sense of them being halves of a whole in so many aspects – personality and powers included. You can really see how they are soulmates, and how fate is taking flight!

I always rely on review count when I scout for a new fic. So, I decided to dive in and give this story a try with almost 320 reviews in 10 chapters. It's a WIP, and for a first time writer, that is a very impressive number.

While this story has the same premise as most AU New Moon we've read (Edward leaves, Jasper comes back to make amends, etc.), the beginning is different from the others I've read. For some odd reason, I wasn't really surprised with what Edward does in the beginning, as harsh as that may sound. He does tend to overreact over simple things, so him leaving Bella in that state doesn't really shock me. Jasper comes just in time to pick up the pieces that Edward has destroyed, and once Bella wakes up, an instant friendship begins between the two.

I loved the growing friendship between Jasper and Bella. I wish the writer would've stuck with it longer. Their conversation on the roof of the Cullen mansion is my favourite chapter to date.

Eleazar's explanations of Bella's power is also very intriguing, especially the part where Bella's powers automatically protect her mate. I really like that idea.

I think it's too soon for me to pass judgment on Peter and Charlotte. Their sudden popularity in J/B fics make me one difficult bitch. Don't get me wrong, I think they're wonderful characters. As a matter of fact, I have Peter in two of my own fics. As much as I love the two, lately there's hardly a fic where they don't exist.

I've yet to see the bad-ass Jasper we all know and swoon over. But, this story's relatively on the newer level, so we have to wait and see. I can't wait for it.

I'm a fairly new writer myself, and I think mizbiscuit is doing a tremendous job with this fic. You don't need my word for it. The 316 reviews speaks for itself. Well done, mizbiscuit.


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