May. 31st, 2012

tevere: spock and uhara, intimate (spockuhara)
I haven't been particularly fannish lately-- partly due to all the travelling I've been doing, partly because of leaving behind my lovely fangirls in Melbourne (sob!), and partly due to just not clicking with the current fannish zeitgeist. (I will maintain a diplomatic silence on the topic of The Avengers.)

A while ago, though, I stumbled across one of [personal profile] mementis's recs (er, I think it was from [personal profile] mementis) for a novel-length Star Trek reboot story and saved it without much thought for following through and reading the whole thing. Last night I finally cracked it open, and HOLY MOTHER OF GOD could I not stop until midnight and 100,000 words later. An immensely satisfying reading experience, and one I haven't had in fandom for a good long while. (Which speaks more of how little I've been reading, obviously, rather than the quality of available stories.)

The Lotus Eaters by [ profile] aldora89

Stranded on the planet Sigma Nox while searching for a missing away team, Spock and Kirk find themselves pitted against a disturbing native life form. With the captain out of commission on a regular basis and Spock struggling to preserve his stoicism, staying alive is difficult enough – but when a slim chance for escape surfaces, their resolve is truly put to the test. Together they must fight for survival in the heart of an alien jungle, and in the process, uncover the mystery of the planet’s past. Slow build K/S.

There are so many things that impressed me about this story, but two things in particular really made it stand out in my mind from a lot I've read recently. The first thing is that the storytelling was masterful: tightly controlled, interesting, and with a great page-turning quality. The mild horror of the early scenes develop into a wonderfully engaging, suspenseful middle act where Kirk and Spock struggle to survive and, in the process, slowly piece together the planet's (fascinating) history. The second thing I particularly loved was just how vivid and visceral the depictions of the alien planet were. The landscapes, the flora and fauna-- everything was brilliantly rendered, sometimes to truly terrifying effect (I had alien-related nightmares last night, I'm just saying), with the result that the story felt present and alive on the page. A lot of Star Trek feels kind of grey and blah to me, courtesy of too many industrial interiors, but this was wonderful, inspired worldbuilding.

To be honest, I almost could've done without the K/S and the final act, I just wanted to wallow in the adventure so much. I wanted more of that world, and the new characters and mysteries! Highly recommended for when you want a long, absorbing read.

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