There is no such thing as a victory without a few shadows to dull its glory. (14) “Irony is a tart little hussy…” An important word from Pitch.
What if Pitch did more to Jack than snap his staff and send him into a crevasse? What is he seeded a shadow-corruption inside Jack that has to be lanced at great risk to those present? A bit heavy on the Jack-whumping but the darker side of Sandy is a surprise to see. I liked the flashbacks to Jack’s past when he was similarly ill and the ‘cure’ was also similar. Typhoid, just one of the many horrors people had to deal with that many people today need not worry about and often haven’t even heard of.
North’s anguish at having to essentially stab Jack to lance the shadow out of him seemed a little OTT, until I realised that Jack may be 300+ years old, but he still pretty much looks like a child, so that would mess with any Guardian’s urge to protect children I guess. Also an interesting mention of Old Man Winter and why the world needed a new winter spirit and thus got Jack. Still on-going, so one to watch.
“What goes together better than cold and dark?” When The Man in the Moon revealed the next Guardian no one expected Jack Frost, Pitch’s oldest estranged friend and ally.
Not sure what to think of this one. I’m never really keen on present-tense fics for a start. Plus it substantially changes Pitch’s backstory (such as it is for the movie – though it’s nominally the same as the books) in order to make Pitch Jack’s elder brother (though younger than him in Immortal terms) and both be around 1000 years old. Having Pitch also rememberhis past, unlike Jack is also strange. Though it does allow him to remember and mourn the loss of his previous relationship with Jack, I just can’t see why Pitch should remember when Jack doesn’t, or why Pitch would have been created and for such a purpose by the Man in the Moon. He generally creates/instates Guardians and spirits to make children smile and protect them. While it can be argued that a degree of fear for certain things is needed to keep children safe, I just can’t see this being done at the Man in the Moon’s hands.
I would like to see a good reason why a Pitch with human memories and a brother who, while not remembering him, at least is happy to be with him and from what the Guardians say in chapter two, stuck around with him for around 600 years, would go so bad.
Something else that bugs me, and not just with this fic, is something about the spirit population. The situation won’t be the same in every fic-continuity of course, but in those where other spirits are mentioned…why would they care about the Guardians? If there are others of their own kind to speak with, belief or no belief, why would the Guardians’ lack of attention matter? The Guardian’s roles are to protect children, not act as some sort of group of ambassadors in the spirit world. Of course, if there are relatively few spirits in the world, the Guardians not making time to do something for the less prominent may be an issue. Is it somehow up to the Guardians to make sure that all other spirits are believed in?
These issues aside, I would be interested in seeing this one continue – perhaps it could resolve some of my niggles. The description of the appearance of Jack’s home is really lovely and I would like to see more. But the most recent chapter went up in November last year, half a year ago, so that seems unlikely.
The nightmare’s not over. With a shadow now taking up residence in Jack’s dreams, can the Guardians destroy the darkness before Jack falls under? (AU post movie timeline)
A shadow is appearing in Jack’s dreams, but in this fic it is one of Jack’s own making, a remnant of his time spent with little company but his own sometimes bitter thoughts. I find it easy to believe that 300 years would leave Jack with a bit of darkness, a bitterness to him that Pitch could quite easily have exploited if he had gone about it the right way. Why Jack’s own darkness encroaching upon his mind would make his eyes appear just as Pitch’s do is interesting – perhaps it is because Jack himself perceives Pitch to be the pinnacle of darkness and evil, so his own darkness would appear that way?
The appearance of Mother Nature and Father Time seems to mark this as not being a book/movie-canon meld fic. I’d like to know why the other Guardians actually address the two as parents when the Man in the Moon was the one who instated them as such. I suppose it depends on how the author interprets the creation of the Guardians if not using book canon as a base. Even in the books most of them were appointed, rather than ‘created’ – Jack is unique in being given abilities, rather than being like the others in using what they already had to fulfil their role.
I have enjoyed the last two chapters, with the other Guardians gaining insights into Jack’s mind and character from the fragments they encounter. It reminds me of Yuriko and Azalyn’s trip into Tylor’s mind in the anime series The Irresponsible Captain Tylor, one of my favourite parts of the series. It looks like the first not-Jack they encounter is Jack’s trickery – something that can be used for fun, but can just as easily be mean and cruel. Perhaps that is why he appears to become corrupted. Jack’s fear would also be something that could fall to a corrupting influence – as Yoda says, fear leads to the dark-side, heh. I’d like to know why Trickery was fine, while Loneliness/Fear and Love dissolved. Of course, the others did not try to touch Trickery.
It’s about three months since this one was updated and the author has admitted to losing the inspiration for the fic somewhat. It may be updated but I’m not pinning any hopes on it. Pity.
It is the role of a Guardian to protect the children of the world-their hopes, dreams, memories, and wonder-and also to protect one another from whatever enemies might arise. But when the greatest danger to your friends is yourself, that job gets a whole lot harder.
Pitch managed to catch Jack in Antarctica, alone and tired from venting his unexpected frustrations as his new status. Pitch gets ahold of Jack’s staff and once ore breaks it…but not just into two but many pieces. And not only that, but keeps a piece so the whole staff cannot be reconstructed.
While this fic could be thought of as one giant Jack-whump, I personally enjoyed the issues it brought up.
As Pitch says to Jack, no other Guardian is as reliant on an apparent weapon or conduit to utilize their power. It makes me wonder why the decision was made by William Joyce and the movie’s creative team to make it that way. Jack is pretty much screwed without his staff, which is way too easy to take from him or otherwise separate from him. The fact that he also seems to be tied to it in some way that means to damage the staff/crook is to hurt Jack, making is almost certainly irreplaceable makes this even worse. When I first saw the movie I thought that Pitch demanding Jack’s staff could possibly give Pitch the ability to wield the same power, before it was made clear that the staff is just a stick without Jack holding it. Once Pitch saw that Jack mad been able to restore his staff, breaking it into more pieces and withholding one would be the next logical step, should he be able to take the staff from Jack. He could have just taken the entire thing of course, once it was broken, but leaving all but a single piece is undoubtedly crueller.
It’s easy for viewers to forget that the rest of the Guardians do not know what we do – how Jack came to be Jack Frost, that Jack is connected to his staff because it’s not just a conveniently shaped stick he found to channel his power but the tool he used to save his sister.
It also brings up how the other Guardians came to be known and believed in in the first place. North, Tooth and Bunny actually bring things that cannot be explained away, except by ‘it was my parents’, whereas Jack’s effects can be put down to the weather. Sandy placing hints of their existence in the dreams he sends is a good explanation if it doesn’t come from the books.
I liked how the author began to tie in more book elements as the fic went on, and the original characters (the other seasons, groundhog and Eros) were handled well, though Eros was kind of a surprise addition. I’m left wondering how the author was going to finish the fic without the book elements, but it’s beside the point really. Having the death of his daughter as an explanation as to why Pitch, who seemed to be close to some form of redemption in the books from what some have said, became bound and determined to overcome the Guardians seems to make sense, though there seemed to be hints that she still existed in some form with the wind.
One thing I didn’t like was how the Guardians were dumped on a bit for not paying attention to other spirits, for being arrogant. It does tend to come up in fics where there are various other spirits other than the Guardians, so it’s not just this one. The Guardians are there to help human children, not the general spirit world population. They are busy with the increasing number of children in the world, I don’t see why or how they are supposed to look after the spirits of the world too, or why they should be expected to. They perhaps have special status because they have a particular job to do that wholly revolves around children (and therefore pre-adults), rather than aspects of nature and so on.
I haven’t noticed many typos, but I have noticed ‘mis-words’, like internal instead of eternal. Actually the in-/e- thing pops up more than once. Nothing major though, but it could do with fixing. There’s just one more chapter to go in the form of an epilogue, so I shall look forward to seeing how the author ties up all the ends.
Jack isn’t really a fan of swimming.
I can’t quite see the busy Guardians taking time out to have a swim in Australia unless it was at Jack’s instigation and he doesn’t seem especially enthusiastic here, for obvious reasons. What a dumb idea, asking a winterand cold-based spirit to spend a load of time in a hot country in summer. I just can’t see the Guardians relaxing this way, but this is the author’s chosen vehicle for some drowning-themed Jack-whumping.
I kind of wish the rest of this fic existed separately to the ‘Guardians on holiday’ parts, because once the Bermuda Triangle section starts my problems with the fic more-or-less vanish. The whole fic is light on typos and punctuation abuse – I think I only spotted one problem which was ‘it’s’ rather than ‘it was’, since the fic is in the past tense.
Minor spoilers for the movie. An indoor skating rink proves to be a bad idea for the town of Burgess…
Ahh, this incident keeps popping up in fics. Which 68? 17, 18 or 19? I’ve seen both 1868 and 1968 used, with various reasons. This time it’s basically Jack in a temper because Burgess now has an indoor ice-skating rink so he’s feeling snubbed and upset, plus it is implied that he didn’t keep the ice on ‘his’ pond/lake thick enough and some kids drowned which is why they got it built.
I wasn’t too keen on the use of all caps for Bunny’s parting words, but that’s basically my only niggle. Jack’s musing of how the drownings made him feel was very chilling, no pun intended. I did like how the interaction between Jack and North sort of sets up what we see in the movie. For whatever reason, North was very positive about Jack being made a Guardian, and this fic showing how North has been paying some kind of attention to the sort of things that Jack gets up to neatly ties into that. It’s just a shame that he couldn’t spare any more time for a lonely winter spirit.
Jack has an extremely delayed reaction to the revelation of his past. Traumatizing flashbacks fall under Pitch’s job description, not Sandy’s. And Bunnymund has a revelation of his own…
Bunny catches the aftermath of Jack attempting to save a child from drowning in the pond outside Burgess. Jack has to be forced to sleep by Sandy to stop his bad reaction and his resulting nightmare/flashback summons Pitch…
I enjoyed seeing Pitch doing what should really be his job – keeping kids afraid of the things that deservefear and caution. Pitch has a function in the overall system, as long as he doesn’t start thinking about world domination or whatever.
My main niggle is that I can’t see why Pitch would have paid so much attention to Jack’s family in moments other than when they were in the grip of fear, and especially remember so much detail when he had no idea that they were related to Jack frost, who he had rarely interacted with if at all before the events of the movie. Unless he was bullshitting of course, or has an eidetic memory. Also, why would Pitch have wanted to help Jack, who was one of the main reasons his previous plans were ruined? His approach just seemed too…nice. I couldn’t quite swallow the latter part of the fic at all because of that.
One typo I spotted towards the end (‘your welcome’ instead of ‘you’re welcome’), but no major outbreak of boo-boos.
An amusing set of short fics where Jack suggests answering Wednesday Addam’s request to have nightmares again by sending her Pitch…and giving him a set of believer and a family in the process. A little silly but amusing, especially when Pitch gets all protective over Wednesday and then there’s the inclusion of Lydia from Beetlejuice. I didn’t like them enough to archive, but they’re worth a read-over.
Jack Frost has spent three hundred years in the care of Pitch Black, hidden away from a world that neither sees nor wants him. What happens, then, when Pitch finally brings him out of the darkness for a shot at the legendary Guardians?
What if Pitch got to Jack even before the Man in the Moon could tell him his name and kept him from much of the world and the Guardians so he could take advantage of the new-born spirit’s lack of memories and his power? Jack siding with Pitch because of a Rapunzel-like situation, but Pitch is a lot more cruel than Mother Gothel was.
I liked how, despite basically being raised by Pitch, Jack was still true to his original self and only wanted to help children. And I have no difficulty in seeing Pitch acting as he does in this fic. I just want to see how the Guardians are able to…well, fix Jack. It’s also nice to see Sandy getting a large role - he’s such a visual character, I can understand why he doesn’t always feature heavily in fics. But time and time again authors use him as the ‘first contact’ with Jack, which makes the most sense - he’s out and about in the world the most out of all the Guardians (bar Jack once he joins).
Set right after the movie. Discovering Jack passed out in the back of the sleigh after defeating Pitch, North takes it upon himself to make sure the child spirit is alright and makes an offer that Jack might be too afraid to take up. After all 300 years alone is not something that goes away over night.
Sort of a light Jack-whumping fic, mainly North and Bunny caring for Jack directly after the events of the movie. I’m not quite sure how old Jack is supposed to be, at least physically, but this fics seems to depict him as being rather too young - after being around for 300 years, I think he would be a bit more independent than he appears here. Also I didn’t think he was that short, and certainly not ‘elfin’. Though a good few authors have made a thing of Jack being short and maybe he is a little, considering the time he originally lived in and the potential lack of nutrition. He only seemed a little big shorter than Bunny from what I remember (minus the ears) so I’m not sure about that. Depending on how it’s handled it smacks of excessive woobie-fication. Meh, I don’t think it’s terrible, but I’ve read better.
She is two and a half, and Jack can’t stand to see her cry. It is the dead of winter, and the harvest this year is the worst he can remember. There is not food enough to go around, and though the adults bear it silently– though Jack, impressed with his own status as big brother, bears it silently– his sister is still too small to pretend.
A short and bittersweet one-shot fic, showing more on Jack as a big brother and showing how life in a colonial farming community wasn’t exactly easy. The last scene after Jack’s accident is especially heart-rending, with the echo of Jack giving his sister snowballs to eat.
Or why Bunny should avoid Amity Park. After all, white-haired boys with ice powers that can fly aren’t exactly easy to come by, so this new kid had to be at least related to Jack…right?
A cross-over with Danny Phantom and utterly hilarious from start to finish, especially when Jack explains the extent of his knowledge of where babies come from XD I always like fics that give an outsider’s perspective, and cross-overs are often the best for that. Oh, but it’s ‘dyed’, not ‘died’ =_=
‘I despise accidents. Much of my negativity relates to the fact that in most instances, I truly could have helped had I been there, but I never have been, and I never will be.’ Why would the Man in the Moon revive Jack, turn him into a winter spirit destined to become a guardian and then abandon him? The question has a simple answer: he didn’t.
A one-shot trying to offer an explanation as to why the Man in the Moon chose Jack and why he did not speak to him after telling Jack his name. Adds a dash of the books and a little science when MiM is trying to help Jack, and after this backfires and seeing what Jack did for his sister, makes him Jack Frost. It’s nice to see something that doesn’t mildly vilify MiM for leaving Jack to his own lonely devices.
Pitch is the master of deception and manipulation. He had all the tools he needed to turn Jack to his side if he hadn’t been so eager; if he’d been just a little more cautious. And what would have happened then? Because Jack is never one to do anything half-way.
There’s only really one chapter with any meat in this so far, but it’s an AU from the moment when Pitch tries to win Jack over to his side. Jack decides to join Pitch once he agrees to abide by Jack’s terms and Jack tries to limit the damage Pitch can do. Of course, it doesn’t look good to the Guardians… Interesting so far, one to stick on my watch list.
When Pitch broke Jack’s staff, he did more than either of them thought was possible - Jack’s becoming human. Now how is he supposed to get his powers back and - more importantly - defeat Pitch? *Occurs right after Pitch breaks Jack’s staff.
A ‘what-if’ fic - what-if Jack lost his power and gradually became human after Pitch broke his staff? Jack’s link to his staff as the means by which is seems to channel his power often comes up in the fics I have read so far - his physical reaction to it being broken is an obvious thing to ponder over and expand upon I suppose.
I enjoyed this fic fine enough, but it didn’t really grab me for some reason. The fact that there was no feeling of urgency once they found Jack - I mean, Pitch pushed on with his plans pretty quickly in the movie after he failed to recruit Jack to his side. Also, a massive typo: “classicized”? That’s quite a mangling of ‘chastised’.
I also wish the default ‘wow, that colour’s great!’ word people used for blue eyes wasn’t sapphire. Jack’s eyes, from everything I have seen, are not what people generally consider sapphire blue. A light topaz blue maybe, but not sapphire. Also, when Tooth finds Jack’s sister’s tombstone at the cemetery, it has her name as ‘Pippa Frost’ - but surely she would have been buried under her married name, unless she remained unmarried, which is not the case here.
Pitch swore he would get his revenge on Jack, but in his current state, he can barely keep his world alive. However, the king of nightmares has enough power to delve straight into Jack’s memories, altering them to ones charged with fear. As Jack falls apart from the inside out, can Sandy - and the other Guardian’s-save him and stop Pitch while they’re at it?
I actually enjoyed ‘Eternity’ more than ‘Humanity’ - Pitch getting to Jack by infecting his dreams was an interesting ploy. After all, dreams and sleep are how we basically file our memories, and every time we remember something we edit it a little, it’s never quite the same every time. With a way in, it could be quite easy for Pitch to thoroughly mess up the poor kid’s mind, which would be exactly what happens here. I was hoping to see more of Jack fighting against the other Guardians - I mean, just how dangerous could Jack be if he was on Pitch’s side for real? But his confusion hobbled that.
Oh well, I’m sure I’ll find the kind of fic I’m looking for, I’ve barely scratched the surface. The author doesn’t really get North’s voice/accent quite right, which takes some of the flavour away - a jolly Russian Santa was one of the ‘different’ things about the movie to me. But the typo-frequency is low, the plot is good and the ending, with Jack and Jamie, caps things off nicely. One to add to my Favourites.
When death turns out not to be the end, you can’t help but ask for what purpose you were brought back… What differences would it make, to remember you past right from the begining? To learn your purpose, piece by piece, right from the start? How would that change the life, future, and secrets of the Spirit of Winter; Jack Frost?
This is another one of the long-running (in terms of chapters anyway) fics I read first after watching the movie and raiding the TV Tropes rec list.
I really enjoyed this fic, but it gives me the feel of some of the Naruto ‘fix-fics’ I read; where Naruto would use some sort of advanced jutsu or the Kyuubi’s power to go back in time and use his knowledge of the future and techniques to become a young ninja-prodigy and prove everyone wrong about him, never making any mistakes.
Obviously this isn’t exactly the case here – the fic’s premise is that Jack never lost his memories when he became Jack Frost, and that he is THE Spirit of Winter, one of the top dogs in the spirit world hierarchy as a seasonal spirit. He doesn’t come across as in-character if you use the movie as a reference, and he has a lot more actual responsibility compared to how it comes across in the movie, where he says he isn’t about schedules and stuff. Well in this fic he kind of is. I would say that this isn’t a strictly canon fic, but more of an AU with its own expanded world and rules behind it.
It just feels like Jack makes no mistakes, he’s always right… Like when he approaches other winter spirits to ask them to be his lieutenants and always manages to make just the right approach. Or when he berates the other spirits for not being willing to adapt. Sure, his approach is the better one, but he way he is written as addressing other spirits would probably stick in anyone’s craw.
On the other hand, he is decades old at these points, he’s not just a dumb teenager and he’ll be sick of being treated as such. Sure, he’s young compared to some spirits, even his lieutenants, but surely after a certain point they have to be considered old enough to know what the hell they’re talking about, right? I just wish he got schooled a little more when he is being childish. The scene where Sandy gives him a thorough telling off was a joy for this reason.
I feel that the author trying to do a version of the movie in future chapters has hobbled some of the Guardians’ approaches to this more authoritative Jack. Bunny must remain sour and grumpy and Tooth mustremain more-or-less ignorant. I have enjoyed North’s interaction with Jack in recent chapters mind you.
Seeing Jack interact with his sister’s descendants through the years reminds me of that Rurouni Kenshin/Highlander fic that follows Kenshin as his family’s circumstances change. The family member!OCs don’t get very much fleshing out because they are generally only around for a chapter or two, but I feel they are well done and I enjoyed seeing this fic’s version of Thaddeus.
The concept of a ‘Belief Blackout’ is a good one – I didn’t like how easy it was in the movie for kids to suddenly not believe in the Tooth Fairy or Easter Bunny or Santa Claus en mass. I mean, kids don’t lose teeth all the time, a few days with no mini-tooth fairies shouldn’t have hurt that much. Mind you, adults not believing when they have to know that they don’t swap the teeth with coins, or set out the egg hunts or that some of the presents at Christmas did not come from them or any other friend or relative. Dumb Adult Logic doesn’t even begin to explain that stuff! (Hell, I only stopped believing in the tooth fairy when my Mum actually admitted that she was the one who had left me a letter along with a coin once. Dammit, I took that thing into school to show off as proof that she was real!)
There are actually quite a few typos, tense-switches (usually just for a word here or there), missing/additional punctuation and lotsof commas where they should not be. This fic definitely needs a brush-up from a beta-reader, or even just an automated spell/grammar-check.
I enjoy the fic despite my niggles though – I especially love the thought of Jack having a connection to a family, either his own blood relations or an adopted one, likes the Burgesses in In The Silence, rather than being completely without connections. I also enjoyed the recent inclusion of Katherine and Nightlight. Having not read the books (yet, the library is being slow) I am intrigued by this character who by some accounts is similar to Jack.
An approximation of the movie storyline is about the start with chapter 52 so I shall await the next updates with much anticipation.
Three hundred years is a terribly long time. (49) “It’s not a dream, is it?”
This wonderful fic definitely needs a re-read before I can properly review it – that’s what I get for chain-reading fics until the wee small hours of the morning and all but tripping over the words to see what is coming next. It is very different in tone to any of the other fics I have read in this section.
As the author says, it blends the books and the movie and while I have not read the books yet, I can almost feel what they are like. Reading this fic actually reminds me very much of the book The Water Babies in how Jack is often being taught lessons by his experiences…plus the main character drowns before getting a new life in both. Hah, Mother Nature as Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby and Mrs Bedonebyasyoudid? Jack definitely doesn’t come across as a 17-year old – whether that’s because the author pegs him to be a younger teenager or because he lacks memories and experience, I can’t be sure. That or s/he is going by William Joyce’s choice of age for Jack, since this fic seems to be primarily book-based.
In short, this fic is one of the many that try to fill in the 300-year gap in Jack’s history. I think the most fascinating addition for me is that of the moonbeam that accompanies Jack. The storybook tone really sets it apart – there’s something almost dream-ish about it, is the best way I can describe it. The author also likes to use contradictions a lot – eyes that are knowing yet innocent, something that is unbreakable yet broken or someone doing the unexpected…as expected.
It’s a shame that, without gutting this story, it could not be presented as an original work. It’s also a shame that I cannot draw, because this fic fills my head with images I would love to present to the author.
In chapters 5&6, Jack’s first encounter with Pitch was very clever, having Pitch show up in a tar/pitch-covered barrel(lololol), as he tricks Jack into playing an unknowingly harmful game of keep-away with his own sister. Ch6 ‘coarse weave’, not ‘course weave’ Ch12 ‘ice encases’, not ‘ice incases’
The author’s musings at the end of the chapters are often interesting as s/he (? You never know) discusses hints from the books of what is being used in that chapter, where an idea came from. Also they show that the author has tried hard to pin down a timeline, has planned this story, at least to an extent, rather than spewing more words onto a page just to get reviews until the fic died a miserable death. There are also small chunks of other stories, like the one where Jack was around and ancient before North was a Guardian or even grown up. A grumpy Jack who was instructed to orphan North so that he could become the man he would be…and Jack is nothappy about the request, despite Bunnymund’s reassurances. And Bunnymund is an odd one to deal with too. The author has to somehow explain why we have tetchy Aussie-Warrior!Bunny in the movie, and the (apparently) wise, wordy and intentionally unknowable Bunnymund in the books. I’m not too keen on the more crack-fic-ish snippets though. They’re not to my taste because they smack too much of conversations with muses in author’s notes.
This story does some incredibly harsh things to Jack and yet I would hesitate to call it whumping, mainly because it doesn’t feel like it’s done purely for the purpose of making someone feel sorry for him. They help him learn and develop instead (eventually), and people don’t just feel pity for him but do something productive, like Sandy does when Jack is despairing, or Mother Nature when Jack is becoming rather self-destructive. Some of these things feel inevitable for one who has such little knowledge of the world; Becoming attached to children who don’t see him or die, being tricked because he doesn’t know enough to realize what is happening, or trapped because he didn’t understand that his actions could have consequences beyond what he could see.
I look forward to seeing how this naïve, child-like Jack becomes more like the Jack we see in the movie, who comes across as very much a snarky, somewhat annoyed teenager. That’s if the author chooses to get that chose to the movie events of course, and keeps Jack’s complete movie personality.
Easily my favourite RotG fanfic so far.
E. Aster Bunnymund can go anywhere he wants. Any time he wants. With any one he wants.
A side-story to her main fic, the intriguing In The Silence. This really makes me want to look into getting the Guardians of Childhood books from the library at least, because book!Bunny’s backstory sounds odd to say the least, from what I gather of it here. He sounds like a rabbit version of the Doctor from Doctor Who.
There are adjustments that have to be made when one becomes a Guardian. Unfortunately for Jack, one of them appears to be dealing with the consequences of a belief-drunken week-long bender. Fortunately for Jack, another one is the fact that he now has friends.
Bunny, Sandman, and Jack are called to Africa to investigate the strange disappearances of several children in multiple countries, where Jack meets - and loathes - Bunny’s old friend Anansi the Trickster, the self-styled protector of the continent. When Jack’s rash actions endanger himself and the group, he is forced to confront insecurities he didn’t know were there.
Deep in a dark, cold place in the earth, an old threat has been awakened: an ancient winter spirit, one that faded and went to sleep long before Jack Frost stood on splintering ice with his sister. With a deadly cold front spreading over the world, Jack and Bunny must put their differences aside to help spring prevail - and to prevent Old Man Winter from eradicating the young upstart that’s taken his place.
The first fic is a single-chapter fic showing what could happen to a Guardian who gets a lot of believe very fast - they get drunk on it. Poor Jack!
This fic sets off the tone for the series well: Jack making mistakes. I mean, he’s a permanent teenager in a way, an icy Peter Pan (with less of a tendency to kidnap kids and be a rather selfish little shit of course) with little experience with friends, any kind of responsibility or people actually seeing him and responding to him. Add this to a stew of other issues and allow it to (hah!) simmer. I think he’d obviously make mistakes in his dealings with the other Guardians and with how to deal with the trouble-shooting side of Guardianship as imagined in this series. Many other fics place the other Guardians firmly on the naughty step for slipping up with Jack, with him left as the noble wronged one. It’s not a terrible approach but can be a little much and flat, fic after fic. I like this approach as a contrast to the rest.
I think my favourite part of the series in general is the inclusion of non-western ‘persons of belief’; spirits of volcanoes, hot springs and other myths. Especially Anansi, who I had heard about after reading Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys. He comes off as a little too smug in the second fic in the series where he is introduced, though from what I know of this particular mythological individual that is hardly out of character. This improved a little in the third fic in the series where he’s a little out of his element, as it were. I liked how the seeds for the next fic were laid in each - a mention of Anansi in Snowbird, hints of Old Man Winter in The Frost Child and the Honey Tree. I don’t have time to re-read the whole thing, but there weren’t enough recurring typos to really make them stand out or get on my wick, so that must have been fine.
I enjoyed the inclusion of part of the story of the Snow Queen as well as Jokul Frosti/Old Man Winter, and the pay-off to the tension building between Jack and Bunny since the second fic was satisfying. Bunny often comes across as a bit of an unreasonable ass in some fics, but his response here is understandable, even if it grates since Jack is generally the focus of reader sympathy and not entirely at fault for Bunny’s initial dislike of him.
Features some semi-romance between Jack and Tooth, but it doesn’t really go far beyond Jack feeling bitterly jealous of Anansi’s easy rapport with Tooth in the third fic. I’m not sure how I feel about that pairing yet, though at least there are kind of hints of it in the movie. Ish. The fic is good enough otherwise for me to ignore it anyway.
I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with next, it will almost certainly be a worthy addition to the fandom’s fic-sphere.
When children in the town of Burgess are found frozen to death in their beds, the Winchesters go on the hunt for the creature responsible. Local lore tells of Burgess being the origin place of the winter spirit known as Jack Frost, and thinking he’s the killer, the boys set out to put Jack down for his final rest. Jack, however, has other plans…
Written by the author of the Guardian of Screwing Up series, it didn’t surprise me that this was a quality fic. A cross-over with Supernatural, a series I have only heard stuff about but never had the urge to watch, I was given enough of an introduction to the two main characters to not lose interest as much of the fic is from their point of view. We get an outsider’s view of Jack and the concept of the Guardians and their brand of spirits, something I haven’t seen so far in the fics I’ve read. It’s a little violent but probably in keeping with Supernatural I would guess, especially the scene where Jack is captured.
There’s still one chapter to go, and I swore when I realised I had run out so soon. I hope it doesn’t take long to be updated!
Jack has a favor to ask of Death.
Jack makes a deal with ‘Mort’ to see how his family fares in the afterlife or ‘Shadowlands’, and reassure them that he is fine. Amusingly, Death just wants to play a game that isn’t the usual chess, rather than actually winning. What else in this day and age but a video game? I wouldn’t imagine a spirit would get to play them often.
The fic is unfinished so far, and after Bunny’s warnings of Jack not wanting to leave, I look forward to how this may happen as it undoubtedly will. Seeing Jack and Jamie banter over his ‘borrowing’ the use of Jamie’s PS4 was amusing.
Death in this fic seems mostly like Death from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series (lol appropriate much?), though less perky. I also like that the fic points out in chapter three that Jack may have his human memories back, but he has 300 years of memories as a winter spirit on top of that.
The more Jack learns about being a Guardian, the less sure he is that he fits.
A quick look at the Guardians as persons of authority in the spirit world…compared to Jack Frost, who is all about fun-times, as he says in the movie. After seeing the others exercise this authority, he wonders how he fits in with these ‘great spirits’ as he appears so much weaker and lacks the aura of authority the others have. But the North points out a reason why the Man in the Moon chose Jack… It’s an interesting idea, though I’m not too sure about the Guardians acting as judge and jury for all spirits. Will-o-the-Wisps are supposedto lead people astray, that’s what they do. of course, it could also be said that Pitch only does what he’s meant to do, but he’s more the extremely damaging ‘world domination’ type than a little wisp.
Jamie is eighteen when he discovers that his best friend is a murderer.
Huh, this author has written quite a few interesting short fics. This one runs with the idea that Jack sometimes sees less than pleasant things while he invisibly watches through windows. And what can he do to protect the children that he loves when he can’t exactly go to the police with what he knows? I like how the title refers to both what Jack sees and what Jamie finds out. It’s a grim little idea, but not all kids have lives that can be made better with a gift from Santa, a coin under their pillow and so on.
The thing about children is, they grow up. Their belief is like snowflakes: powerful, beautiful, and evanescent.
Another short one about children’s brief window of belief…and how some don’t forget. I liked Cupcake getting a bit of spotlight in this one, and it perhaps shows why the other Guardians became distant from the children they protect. I personally think they just got too busy with the rising world population over the centuries, especially in the past two or so, but it’s a reasonable side-explanation.
Various Immortal!Jamie stories. Chapter 2: (BenneFrost) Jack and Jamie meet at the borders of their seasons.
It’s an interesting idea, that Jack would eventually tire of his role and would need a bit of a vacation simply existing as his element, in a way. Jamie’s apparently random addition as the ‘Guardian of Bravery’ and apparently some kind of elemental/seasonal spirit as well (of what? light? it’s not clear. And why does he have a katana?) is…ehhh. The second chapter is also ehhhh. I have to wonder how Jamie would get into a situation that would cause the Man in the Moon to make him a spirit as he did to Jack. I’m also not especially keen on romance in this fandom, especially since Jack met Jamie when he was 8 - it’s a little creepy for me.
Jamie Bennett has a mark on his chest. It’s shaped like a snowflake. He’s had it since he was ten. He doesn’t think the person who gave him the mark even knows about it.
Jack does more when he touched Jamie and told him that he was kind of a Guardian too at the end of the movie events than he thought - he unconsciously added a touch of winter/Guardian magic. Interesting to see this play out, as long as it avoids romantic overtones.
Jack Frost knows he is damaged, but also knows he can get better. He will make himself get better. He will not be like Pitch, not ever.
The author reckons that this ficlet shows a ‘darker and more damaged’ version of Jack compared to the movie. I feel it’s more that these are the obvious consequences of what we see in the movie and could never have been shown – no matter what the age of the more dedicated fans, it was still a movie aimed at kids.
300 years is enough for Jack to have gone through various phases of despair, fury, acceptance, loneliness…and he obviously managed to find some kind of equilibrium within himself by the time of the movie’s events. He’s had time to get to know himself, even if regaining the memories of his previous life may have thrown him for a bit of a loop – 14-17 (it sounds like official sources cannot agree on Jack’s age so neither can fans) years of distant human memories vs 300+ years of immortal ones? Jack may have the demeanour of a teenager, but he has much more experience.
This fic has a lot in it for its length. Jack’s two faces – what adults see, with the concerns for their children’s welfare and annoyances at the wear and tear winter weather inflicts on property, compared to children’s carefree love of winter activities. Jack’s fanon skinniness and need for company while being overwhelmed by too much at once and knowing he needs to take time to get used to all the changes. In fics the other Guardians often see Jack as a child, but I feel he is not, though he is young compared to their ages. It’s refreshing to see a fic showing that Jack is wise in his own way.
When the end of the world happened, the Guardians had to step up to the plate to protect what could be saved. A story of after.
Very much on the pessimistic side of things, this fic. Set around 65 years after the movie, Pitch’s more subtle manipulations of adults’ fears manages to set off World War III, something even he did not intend and actually seems to regret. Jack’s quick actions enable the Guardians and other spirits to shelter survivors in their own strongholds…even Pitch. But the radiation fallout combined with the strong ambient magic of these ‘sanctuaries’ starts to have unintended consequences as well.
The idea of the humans being changed by the very magic that keeps them safe is a good one. It could almost be the magic changing them so they can live outside the confines of the Immortals’ bases. I can’t imagine what the populations would think when they were told of this possibility. Probably ask en mass to transfer to Toothiana’s sanctuary (who wouldn’twant wings? Haha) from Pitch’s or something. This one seems to be set in the same universe (thought perhaps not continuity) as Shadowlands, since there’s a mention of ‘Mort’ being very busy in the flashback sections. I look forward to seeing how things work in more of the sanctuaries and what the changes to the people living in them may be, how they react…and how things turn out in the end. It almost feels like the Shannara series where humans split into different ‘species’ depending on how they sheltered from that particular apocalyptic war. Definitely one of the fics I most anticipate being updated.
Scenes from the Life and Death of Jackson Overland Frost by Sakon76 (Chapters 1-13 - ongoing)
What the title says. Part 13: ElectroSwing. Jack’s been around a long time, yet he’s never before had dance partners.
I’m not too sure I’m keen on ‘Frost’ being part of Jack’s name from his human life – it smacks too much of predestination, and I prefer to think that it was entirely Jack’s own decision to risk his life for his sister that caused him to be chosen by the Man in the Moon and was given the name ‘Frost’ for his new role and abilities. But that’s a small thing really, compared to the story itself, and it’s not exactly the only story to do so.
I enjoyed the chapters dealing with Jack’s life before. I didn’t get to study any kind of US history at all in school, so anything I know is self-taught or gleaned from TV – therefore I know little of the lives of the colonial settlers in what would become the US and I can’t tell if these sections are accurate, but they add dimension to his background. I’m not sure about setting Jack’s age at 17 or 18 – surely by that point he could have been firmly apprenticed to learn a trade, or married…not horsing about and leading his little sister on a trip to the local pond to ice skate? This is a niggle with all fics (and perhaps even the movie?) that set Jack’s age at around 17. Again, my sparse knowledge of the time and place probably means I am just ill-informed.
I really liked seeing Jack interact with more of the kids from Burgess, and not just Jamie and Sophie. A lot of fics put most of them on a bus by saying they just stopped believing so they only have to deal with the more developed characters of Jamie and Sophie, but it’s nice to see Jack with a few more people to play about with.
Tutelary \TOO-tuh-lair-ee\; adj. (1): having the guardianship of a person or a thing, (2): of or relating to a guardian. Chapter 6: A promise made in blood, little brother figures are often more astute than winter spirits, and sometimes friends are more astute still.
Mostly batches of short ficlets gathered into chapters where Jamie contemplates Jack. Little things, like how snowflakes don’t land on him, or how he just casually walks across water without thinking about it because it will freeze under his feet. Or Jack mentioning mostly having seen movies at drive-ins, now a rare thing.
I liked how Jack’s presence at a televised figure-skating tournament of some sort made Jamie rethink his lack of interest in normal people’s skating – Jack may be able to do all they can and more, effortlessly…but there’s supernatural power behind that, and normal people have to put a lot of hard work and effort into doing the same thing.
I’m not too sure about chapter 2, but I generally hate it when an author writes a character as having self-harmed, especially by cutting themselves. Just about any other form of suicide doesn’t bug me, but self-harm and wrist-slitting? Meh.
Jamie’s nightmare in chapter 3, with sinister versions of the guardians – I’d quite like to see an expansion of such an idea, actually.
While Jack putting the fear of himself into Jamie’s old friends after they turned on him and mocked him for still believing in the Guardians after they ceased to do so was amusing, I’m not sure I like the fact they did it at all. Other kids, not having had such an up close and personal experience with the Guardians and Pitch I can understand ceasing to believe, but any of this bunch? Especially to mock Jamie for it and go out of their way to hurt him…hmm.
Chapter 4 is cute, but I don’t understand how Calvin could know that Jack was talking to Hobbes if he couldn’t see or hear Jack and Jamie had given no indication of what Jack was doing.
The pairing of the ficlet names, ‘Numen’ and ‘Snowmen’ was clever though, and I liked the addition of the concepts of a numen and a tulpa.
I like the idea behind this fic, of Pitch winning. I would like to know what effect Pitch’s elimination of the Guardians would have on the world. It’s a fic that skims the surface of an idea though, so it won’t be elaborated upon, alas. Things like how Sandy, Tooth and Bunny react to their different forms and how would this effect their abilities (or how Sandy’s whips remained behind, since he forms them from himself), or how anyof them handle having a normal human childhood then gaining the memories of their previous life.
The author offers an explanation of where the title came from, and I like the way it sort of links to each Guardian having a ‘centre’, as well as Jamie acting as a ‘centre’, or pivotal point. Whether this was the author’s intention or not, I don’t know, but it works!
While out playing in the snow, the Overland siblings unwittingly find themselves stranded in the middle of a furious blizzard. With nothing to help along the way, Jack has to get himself and his sister safely back home without the both of them freezing to death in the process. He and Rosie sure have a lot of bad luck with winter activities… Pre-movie, Human!Jack
This is actually the first fic I’ve read with pre-accident!Jack - everything else has been a flashback in a bigger fic, or a chapter of a ‘skip around the timeline’ series. This one goes with ‘Rosie’ for a name for Jack’s sister, which I think I actually prefer to ‘Pippa’, which I’ve seen in other fics. Anyway, this thing isn’t finished yet, probably about half-done. There’s going to be Guardian involvement, despite when this takes place, but I just can’t see them rushing out when every kid is in trouble - two kids stuck in snow shouldn’t require more than one Guardian, even if they do get involved. I’ll be watching this one to see the reasoning behind it and how they interact with Jack - will he even be able to see them? Hmm. There are a couple of typos and a missing word (hill?) but otherwise there’s nothing that should grate on the nerves. Plus it’s a gen-fic, always good to see. I expect I’ll run out of them soon enough, but this is good for the moment.
Jack pisses off the wrong person and as a result finds himself stripped of his powers and turned human. Stuck in Burgess with no way to contact the other Guardians, what is he to do? And what happens when he discovers the family he didn’t know he had?
The spirit of Autumn and Halloween gets revenge on Jack for a long-ago snowing of her holiday by removing his ability to do so again…by making him human.
Another somewhat lengthy fic from the author of Snowflakes, this one manages to pull off the task of adding a slew of OCs (Jamie and Sophie’s relatives) that don’t detract from the canon characters or get annoying and are reasonably distinguishable despite there being 8 cousins, three uncles and two aunts, plus Jamie and Sophie’s mother, who has such a small part in the movie that she may as well be original. I think Uncle Oliver was my favourite – I relished watching him try to work out what Jack’s story was and getting so very close before thinking ‘nahhhh, can’t be!’. There are a few typos here and there, missing words and should-be-upper-case sentence starts, but it’s not out of control.
Jack’s interaction with Baby Tooth was adorable. I have to say that Jamie and Sophie’s mother must be incredibly trusting to allow a strange boy to stay in her house like she did. The author doessay in a note that she imagines the kids’ mother to be a good judge of character.
In chapter 7, Jack’s mother being referred to as ‘Mrs. Overland’ seemed a little odd, considering it was Jack’s memory – surely he would have referred to her as some form of ‘Mother’ within his own mind? I enjoy the flashbacks though, even if they are bittersweet as we know that however sweet the sibling interaction between Jack and his sister is, it is going to end sadly, and soon. The scene where Jamie researches his family tree is wonderful though, I want to roll in those fuzzy feelings.
I’m confused as to why Jamie’s surname is Bennett, and his mother is a Bennett…unless when she divorced her husband she changed her surname back (or hey, maybe never changed it at all) and did the same for her kids.
Ohgod, Jack’s indignation when one of the Cousins assumes that Jack Frost is an old guy XD
I’m glad to see Baby Tooth appear in the fic again because she was honest-to-goodness the cutest thing in the movie, besides Sandy.
The ending to the fic was satisfying, though poor Jack never did get the crack at Eve that he wanted. I would very much like to see a couple of follow-ups to this fic, like Jack dropping in on Oliver at the college, or how Susan Bennett deals with Jack appearing on a more regular basis.
In which Jamie talks Jack into accompanying him to the local arcade.
A cross-over with Wreck-It-Ralph where Jamie talks Jack into accompanying him to a nearby arcade. The idea of Jack trying to play a video game (and failing) amuses the hell out of me for some reason. It’s telling that he knows about arcades but hasn’t been intoone before – too crowded with kids who will walk right through him for his tastes I expect. Short and cute fic. It does make me wonder just how many aspects of modern life Jack (and the other Guardians) are familiar with, however.
A series of drabbles taking place before, during, and after the movie. So many little stories have yet to be told…
Another multi one-shot series. Good name for this sort of fic – I bet others are kicking themselves that they didn’t nab it first. These drabbles are more fluff that the ones from Twisted Skys’ Invisible series, but that’s fine and makes the fic title even more appropriate. The chapters are like eating fluffy popcorn for the most part. It’s nice to read something that’s easy on the angst..mostly.
Just a couple of niggles. A (maybe) 17 year old still having a baby tooth? Uhhh…no. North’s accent doesn’t really come across (I don’t know why I find it important). Calling Bunny ‘Bunnymund’, a name not mentioned in the movie at all, while not calling Tooth ‘Toothiana’…not too sure about that one.
He’s been invisible for so long, it’s hard to be seen sometimes. One-shots and mini archs of Jack’s life.
The first fic I read for RotG, thanks to the recommendations on TV tropes. It was a good rec, it definitely set a bar for the fics I read afterward, though it could do with some attention from a beta-reader – there are quite a few typos that a spell-checker may not find. Missed verb endings (‘flutter’-ED) and incorrect words like ‘harry’ for ‘hairy’, or it’s rather than its, and that’s just in the first two chapters. Most annoying of all is ‘arch’ instead of story ‘arc’ - it’s even in the summary and appears every time so it’s a case of a mistaken word, rather than a typo.
However, besides such problems the actual content is good. This fic seems to ignore the books, which is fine for me as I have not read them (yet), only read about them. Instead of blending the movie and the books, which have a different feel, this author tries to establish a backstory, a mythology, ‘spirit rules’ of her own. The difference between sprites and spirits for example (and Jack’s annoyance at constantly being mistaken for the former), or Jack’s explanation to Jamie as to why he is different to the other Guardians as a seasonal spirit and how he interacts with the others who Mother Nature made.
I especially liked Jack’s interactions with Sandy, with the golden snowflake and everything and also depictions of how Jack interacts with the wind. That had to be one of my favourite little things in the movie - how Jack doesn’t exactly fly, but is carried on the wind like a snowflake. The chapter explaining how/where Jack replaced his original cape was good as well. I personally preferred how the cape-thing looked, but I suppose it was important that he look more-or-less like a modern teenager, albeit one in need of footwear!
Chapter 30 bugged me a little though, where Jack bottles up his power so as to avoid creating storms that could prevent children’s’ families from being together for Christmas. Why couldn’t he just find some really uninhabited area of Russia or the (Ant)Arctic or Greenland or somewhere and make it snow there in the meantime? Sure, his efforts and what they cost him made for some good whumping and interaction with Bunny and showed how much he wanted to be of use to North and the others, but surely it wasn’t strictly necessary?
The ambiguity of the timeline causes some problems too. ‘Before the movie’ doesn’t exactly help. Things like Jack’s apparent friendship with Aegir and his early interactions with Sandy and even Pitch…and yet along comes a chapter where Jack thinks on how alone and friendless he is. Of course, like a normal person, if he’s depressed then such things wouldn’t not occur to him I suppose.
Argh, the problem with reviewing this kind of massive multi-short fic is it takes forever to re-read.
Ch40 - pruning is not the same as preening!
Ch51 - Hurdle not hurtle!
Ch64 - This has turned up again so clearly a ‘mis-word’, not a typo. FLOATed not FLOUTed!
Ch66 - Oooh, I hope we get to see more about this ‘Equinox fiasco’ in future chapters.
Ch68 - Diverge, not divulge. Jeez.
Ch70 - I like seeing these ruminations on the potential harm of the season linked to Jack. I don’t know whether I personally see him as being responsible overall for the weather winter brings rather than the ice and frost alone, but in those fics that do take such a stance it’s something I appreciate being mentioned. Of course, winter is not alone in having the potential to harm. Spring can bring fast thaws and rain that causes flooding, summer can bring drought and famine and sunburn and heat exhaustion and a host of other misfortunes, autumn bringing more rain and often wind.
The other Guardians are not the same as such spirits who have a ‘job’ - the Guardians are their own purpose, that’s all they do: giving dreams, presents, eggs or taking teeth to preserve memories. None of that can harm a person unless (like Jamie actually) they fall off something reaching for an egg or something like that. In such fan-continuities, other spirits have purposes that are not always child (or adult)-friendly. Nature is as cruel as it is kind or perhaps better describes as neutral - but attach a sentient spirit to such a thing and you have problems, especially when one of them is specifically created to be a future Guardian of children and an instigator of fun. While the thought of a boy with what looks very much like a shepherd’s crook being a shepherd of winter or the snow is poetic, I just can’t see Jack as being the full-on representative/personification of winter in canon myself because that seems to imply too much responsibility for such a care-free character. But oh well, this fic does, I’ll roll with it.
Ch74 - Banned, not band =_=
Sandy was only second later than he should have been. If only he’d been faster. Then Jack would not be fighting for his life against an all consuming Darkness. Invisible Darkness Arch, with its own story!
Sandy was late in reappearing and could not save Jack from being impaled by Pitch with his scythe. A kind of branch-off from Twisted Skys’ Invisible series, where Pitch’s attack actually hits Jack and has effects beyond the immediate damage he intended.
The chapters tend to be short, and there are still mistakes (pique instead of peak), and I just want to see what Pitch will actually do with the unintended results of his actions. It’s too soon to say whether this one is a keeper or not, but it’s a ‘keep-an-eye-on’ fic, certainly.
Just want to have a quick ramble before I post my review backlog, haha.
So sometime last month I finally watched Rise of the Guardians after missing it at the cinema. I feel like I kind of missed the boat - it was nice being able to watch the How to Train Your Dragon fandom as the movie went through the cinema and then onto DVD.
I knew absolutely nothing about the RotG movie, I hadn’t even seen a trailer for it. I only knew that the tooth fairy’s design was wonderful, and that Jack Frost had some angst in his back-story (thanks to Tumblr). The End.
So the movie took me complete by surprise - I loved it, and though I think it could have been better, I was happy to wait and see if that potential would be plumbed by the fanfiction-writing community.
I felt that Pitch was an under-developed villain. He could have been so much creepier and if he really wanted Jack on his side he did a piss-poor job of it. How to not recruit and ally, step 1: insult him using a failing you actually share when you first encounter him. Yeah =_= good going there, evil overlord. I was hoping that Pitch would make more of an actual play for Jack’s loyalty and that there would be a bit more conflict for Jack, though with how causing kids harm just wasn’t in his nature I suppose that wasn’t going to happen. Back to the fanfics for that! Some kind of explanation about Pitch’s back-story might have helped but we didn’t get any for the Guardians, so what’s sauce for the goose and all that.
What the heck Jack did for 300 years of not being visible or tangible to humans is a good question that the movie wasn’t going to address at all, so…to the fanfiction banks again!
I wish there was some sort of definitive answer that made sense on Jack’s age. I’ve heard that official movie sources say both 17 and 18, but surely both are too old for a boy in Jack’s time to be messing about with his younger sister rather than learning or working a trade and even get? William Joyce’s choice of 14 sounds better to me, though Jack’s voice in the movie is way too old for that. I also prefer his original look when he first became Jack Frost rather than that accursed hoodie, but I suppose the people in charge decided that they wanted the kids watching the movie to feel like he was more one of them or something. Jack having to pick up new clothing through the ages is amusing though - wish we could have seen him at different points in time.
Anyway, the first thing I do after watching or reading something new these days (if I can resist looking sooner) is read the series/book/movie’s page on TV Tropes. Then I see if there are any fanfiction recommendations for it. I know that some of these are obviously posted by the fic’s author because some of them are steaming piles of cack that surely no-one liked enough to bother rec’ing on TV tropes, but oh well, it’s a start. Especially if you don’t know where to look for the main body of the fandom.
I decided, after I mowed my way through my first couple of dozen fics, that I really need to get back into the habit of reviewing everything I read. Thus, this effort was born and I swore that I wouldn’t read any new fics until I finished. I almost made it, so I have a new backlog now but oh well! I tried.
about a reverse little mermaid, in which the prince’s sister has always dreamed of life under the sea, and then they are in a shipwreck, and as she hangs onto a piece of driftwood, she sees her brother rescued from drowning by a mermaid. Everybody thinks she’s mad, later, after she’s been rescued. But her brother did turn up alive and unharmed on the beach, and she knows what she saw: a girl, beautiful as the dawn, with a fish’s tail, keeping her brother safe above the waves. She grows sick with longing.
So the princess goes to visit the witch who lives in the woods, and she tells her that she can give her a mermaid’s tail and a mermaid’s breath—but she will always be human in her heart and in her soul, unless she can convince one of the merfolk to fall in love with her. For humans live short lives, and their immortal souls vanish to distant realms after death, while the merfolk live for hundreds of years, and when they die they remain in the sea that is their home.
The princess agrees, and the witch tells her she will make a potion that she must swallow when she wants to transform. But then she reminds her that she must be paid—and laughs at her when she offers gold. She tells her that she will have her voice, and slowly the princess agrees, so she cuts off her tongue and throws it into a boiling pot, adds a knot of snakes and a drop of her own black blood, and gives her the resulting potion to drink.
At midnight, she takes the potion out to the jetty, and as soon as it passes her lips, her legs are bound together, becoming a mermaid’s tail. She falls—kinda ungracefully—into the ocean, and it feels unbelievably natural to dive down, and she’s shocked by how well she can see, even in the deep water, even at midnight. And then she just sort of carelessly, cluelessly swims on, and she almost gets eaten by a shark, and then she’s trailing blood in the water so she almost gets eaten by another shark, and another, and she can’t find the merfolk city she’s always been taught was under the water, and it’s late and she’s exhausted and is running from all sorts of terrifying creatures who she’d never really thought about existing before, and she only escapes the sharks by dodging past a whirlpool, and then another whirlpool, close to the ocean bottom. She passes through a series of foaming whirlpools like a labyrinth, and then she sees a white house on the ocean bottom, in the middle of a strange forest of polypi. The polypi are half animal, half plant, reaching out and grasping at anything they can touch. The princess swims carefully through it, and she sees that there are things caught in the polypi’s arms: anchors, planks, wooden chests, the white skeletons of drowned men. A little mermaid. She makes it to the house, and recoils when she realizes that it’s also made of bleached human bones.