Author: Dana/Lindelea CoAuthors
2008 Award Category: Genres: Horror
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Medium Length
Rating: Teen ✧ Reason for Rating: Horror, blood, monster
Summary: Collaboration between Dana and Lindelea. An ancient curse arises to seize Meriadoc Brandybuck, and his cousin Pippin is his only hope to be saved from a fate worse than death... if only Pippin can survive... (Alternate universe)
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 10
I was quite stunned by this truly amazing collaboration. In this chilling AU, it seems that the Brandybucks suffer from a horrible curse, that comes all unexpectedly upon them every few generations, ever since one of them made it back alive from the war against the Witch-king of Angmar. And now, ironically, the curse has visited itself upon Meriadoc, who was one of the Witch-kings slayers--a really intriguing bit which is allowed to pass without comment, which the reader appreciates all the more for its subtlety. We see Pippins growing horror as the true state of things gradually becomes apparent to him, and his despair as the only solution is presented to him. It is clear to see the hand of both of the authors in this story. Dana has a way with writing darker themes with compassion and believability, and a knack with horror AUs, as her story ["Turned Earth"] proved, while Lindelea is skilled at constructing solid plots and building up the suspense for truly trying cliffhangers. Both of them know how to use angst skillfully, without going overboard on it. There are certain turns of phrase in which I think I can spot the hand of one or the other in, but the narrative itself is seamless, and I have no clue as to which of them actually *wrote* which part. The denouement is presented as a very plausible ending--it played out beautifully, indeed! (And I adored the inclusion of Aragorn.)
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 6
Lindelea and Dana have between them written a perfect horror AU, a tale in which the curse of the Witch-king falls from time to time on a descendant of the survivor of the battles against Angmar; this curse has now struck Merry, perhaps due to his actions against the originator of the curse. But to see that curse broken, Pippin must take a drastic action--unless the King is able to find a counter to it! The suspense is marvelously supported by the structure of the telling, and with Lindelea's feel for the Tooks particularly we have a tale that shows all the characters off to best advantage. Definitely a tale worth the reading, and apt to the current season (I read it in the run-up to Halloween!) Read and know an enjoyable shiver!
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: 6
I can't believe I forgot about this story! I remember someone recommended it to me earlier this year, and I very much enjoyed reading it then but forgot to review. I'm glad the MEFAs are here to remind me! This is a wonderfully paced story that offsets the horror of the present with well-timed flashbacks that reveal exactly how Pippin, Sam, and Merry managed to get themselves in to this situation. Aragorn's arrival was a relief to one and all, and I loved the tension-humor combination as he found himself caught by some patrolling hobbits. It was exactly what was needed to offset the horror that was enveloping Pippin. Good characterization all around, and Pippin's desperation was keenly felt throughout the story. Very engrossing.
Reviewed by: PipMer ✧ Score: 4
I really enjoy the stories of both these authors, and this one was no exception. This is very suspenseful and spooky! I didn't know what was going to happen until the very end. The authors certainly know how to weave an AU tale and make it seem like it comes from canon. The angst that Pippin goes through as he tries to decide what he will do about his best friend is very palpable, and believable. His agony as he realizes what he must do is heart-rending. Well done!
Reviewed by: nancylea ✧ Score: 1