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[personal profile] dmarley_recs
Following are the five-star recommendations for January, 2010. You can find these stories tagged on Delicious under the ***** tag, where you can further explore by navigating the tags. You can also find all the five-star rec posts on this journal under the five-star recs tag (five-star recs tag on Livejournal).

Five-Star Recommendations for January, 2010

Title: At The Still Point
Authors: [ profile] sam_storyteller, [ profile] shane_mayhem and [ profile] 51stcenturyfox
Fandom: Torchwood
Characters and Pairings: Jack/Ten
Rating: NC-17
Length: 1,000-5,000 words
Summary: On the eve of regeneration, the Doctor has one last gift for Jack. Spoilers through End of Time pt II

Comments: Jack's relationship with the Doctor is a fascinating one. Even within the constraints of canon it's not easy or comfortable or simple. This story nails all those dynamics, and explores them further in the context of the Doctor's final scenes in "The End of Time." This is a lovely and painful story, sad and sexy and sweet and poignant. It's one of the best stories about the Jack/Ten dynamic I've read, and I'm not sure it could have been written quite this way before "The End of Time." This story does what fanfiction does best; taking a scene and an episode and turning it all into something more. Well done.

Title: Connected
Author: [ profile] 51stcenturyfox
Fandom: Torchwood
Characters and Pairings: Canon pairings, Team
Rating: PG
Length: 1,000-5,000 words
Summary: It took almost dying to make him realise what living really meant.

Comments: This is one of those stories that's difficult to recommend without spoiling, but suffice it to say that there are a number of layers, and that it's one of those stories that bears immediate re-reading. In many ways, this is a character study, but it's also a painful and raw look into what's happened to the characters after Children of Earth. It's a powerful and insightful story, saying a great deal about all the characters involved in unexpected ways.

Title: Intersection
Author: [ profile] redsnake05
Fandom: Torchwood
Characters and Pairings: Tosh, Jack, Team, Martha
Rating: R
Length: 5,000-10,000 words
Summary: There are lines that frame space to be useful and others that imprison. There are marks of ownership and others that you choose to represent your belonging. There are rules you break and ones that are inescapable. Tosh works at the crossroads, always, and makes do with what she can find, until she finds what she wants.

Comments: There's a serious lack of Tosh-centered fiction, which makes a gorgeous story like this all the more precious. This story shows how Tosh deals with all the reminders--physical and emotional--of her time as UNIT's prisoner, and shows through them how long and hard her road has been. It's very easy to say or think that of course Tosh had to overcome a great deal, but this story shows her actually doing it, and shows her as a truly remarkable woman, filled with strength of character and determination. This is an absolute must-read for fans of Tosh (and everyone else).

Title: The Justice League Of Cardiff Is A Stupid Name
Author: [ profile] sam_storyteller
Fandom: Torchwood/Batman/Superman Crossover
Characters and Pairings: Jack/Superman, Jack/Ianto, Batman/Superman, Gwen, Tosh, Owen
Rating: PG-13
Length: 1,000-5,000 words
Summary: Superman is evil and Batman wants to know why Torchwood's agents don't wear capes.

Comments: This is another story that's difficult to do justice to in a review, mostly because any review couldn't possibly match the completely oddball brilliance of the story itself. One of the things I enjoy most about [ profile] sam_storyteller's writing is his complete narrative confidence. I believe it all, and believe it completely, and at no point in the story does it cross my mind to back up and say, "Wait a second..." [ profile] sam_storyteller has the gift of leading the reader down the narrative trail he wants, no matter how twisted or bizarre or impossible it might appear in retrospect. The reader is along for the ride, and there's nothing to do but sit back and enjoy it.

Title: Time Management
Author: [ profile] cupidsbow
Fandom: Torchwood
Characters and Pairings: Jack/Ianto, Ianto/Lisa, Jack/John
Rating: NC-17
Length: 5,000-10,000 words
Summary: The Agency taught Jack the rules of time travel. Some of them no longer apply.

Comments: I love this story for two reasons: One, it's amazingly hot and sexy. Two, it's a great piece of backstory about not only Jack, but Ianto and Lisa as well. The plot snuck up on me (yes, I was as distracted as the characters by the sexy parts), but once it was there I was completely sucked in. There's a lot on offer here, and it's all twined up together into a subtle and satisfying whole. Well written, well thought, well executed. Hard to ask for more than that.

Title: Hearts (Hand-made): 1.50 Quid A Piece
Author: [ profile] cyus
Fandom: Torchwood
Characters and Pairings: Ianto
Rating: PG-13
Length: 1,000-5,000 words
Summary: Amidst paper animals, looking like he's scrapbooking for five-year olds, that's Ianto Jones.

Comments: I really, really love [ profile] cyus's writing, and I love this look into the strange and bizarre brain of Ianto Jones. The image of Ianto cutting out paper animals could easily be silly or funny or even dark and portentous, but in the context of Ianto's thoughts it all makes perfect sense--which is frankly the creepiest thing of all. This is a story that shows that Ianto might possibly have been young and naive once, but only in the way that someone growing up on a Rift in time and space could be. This is also a frank look into the relationships Ianto has with the others, and especially with Jack and Lisa.

Title: Hotaru No Hikari
Author: [ profile] amand_r
Fandom: Torchwood
Characters and Pairings: Jack/Tosh, Jack/Ianto, Owen/Suzie, Gwen
Rating: NC-17
Length: 1,000-5,000 words

Comments: This is one of those stories that I so wish could be canon. Jack and Tosh have a thoroughly intriguin--and largely unexplored--relationship in canon, and I love the way this story fleshes out what might have been between them. It's twisty and strange and profound, one of those stories in which every detail opens up whole new worlds of meaning, and where a great deal is said with few words. I especially love Tosh in this, her pragmatism and genius and strength all coming out as the story progresses. It's a beautiful character study of Jack and Tosh, showing how they prop each other up and each take care of the other, even though they've both been damaged. They know each other so well, with a wonderful and mutual understanding that's both sweet and sad.

Title: The War at Home
Author: [ profile] nancybrown
Fandom: Torchwood
Characters and Pairings: Jack/Ianto, Gwen
Rating: PG-13
Length: 5,000-10,000 words
Summary: Jack and Ianto are having a spat. Gwen is going to kill them both.

Comments: This story begins on a deceptively quiet note, painting a fairly ordinary picture of Jack and Ianto having a tiff, one so muted at first that it takes a while for Gwen to even notice. It's even a bit funny and silly at the start, something that doesn't seem like anything to take seriously. But as the story goes on, things get deeper and darker and more intense, until the reader is left with a scenario that's poised on the edge of disaster. This is beautifully written, with a build-up of tension that is superb and subtle.


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