Net-Fic Reviews

Best Netfic

This is a selection of the best netfic I've reviewed; a subset of the main collection of reviews. Now, I don't score stories -- to reduce a story just to a single number rating is not only too much hard work, but also frought with wild inaccuracy. I don't actually have a check-list by which I would score stories. So this is not a collection of the top 20 highest-scoring stories, (or the top 10 or the top 100). What this is, is a collection of the stories that I thought were so excellent that they were "must-read" stories. So yes, that's subjective too, but it isn't limited to an arbitrary cut-off point.

These are the must-read stories sorted by universe (and series).

Blake's 7

Let There Be Light

By Nicola Mody
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 22nd December 2003 (1)
Tags: Novelette

I was taking a quick peek at "Vila Restal's Livejournal" ( when I followed the reference to this, expecting something frivolous, and what I got was something which was very much in character (she's got Vila's voice all right) and at the same time, very moving. (And not at all sappy. Then with Avon in the picture, it's impossible for anything to be sappy).

Vila's Emails

By Nicola Mody
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 18th May 2002 (2)
Tags: Novel

This story (if story one could call this massive effort) had also been mentioned on the Lyst, and I confess I was intrigued. This chronicles Vila's emails to his mother (and various other people) and their replies, covering the entire series from start to end. In one sense, the whole idea is silly, since one couldn't realistically expect, in such a hard-bitten and grim universe as Blake's 7, that anybody could successfully get away with carrying on a correspondence with his mother and not have dire repercussions. But, if one considers this a sort of alternative universe, a bit more light and fluffy than the real one, then one can happily plunge in and be heartily entertained. Even this light and fluffy universe couldn't ignore the darkness of the fourth season; by the time we got to the description of what happened in "Blake" I almost had a tear in my eye. The characterisation of Vila was very good, offering plausible explanations of some of the inconsistencies, and showing him in a far better light than some of his compatriots might have imagined. It was also good seeing the others, especially Avon's insults and Servalan's intimations of what she'd do to Vila if she got her hands on him.

Doctor Who

Because We Have Survived

By Amy Wolf
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 19th June 2008 (1)
Tags: Novelette
Characters: Tenth Doctor, Martha Jones

Summary: It's a book. A stupid book. Cheap paper and blank pages. How's it supposed to fix anything?

This story has two of my favourite things in it: an alien point of view, and the healing of things broken.

The form of the story is a first-person journal, yes, but written by an alien in a psych ward in the year 4992 who is afraid that everyone thinks she's crazy. Except that we know she isn't. In walks Martha Jones, and you realize that she and the Doctor are undercover... and the plot thickens.

The whole thing works magnificently.

Psycho Savior, qu'est-ce que c'est?

By Kalima
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 29th April 2008 (13)
Tags: Novelette

Summary: A young woman contemplates suicide by power steering fluid. "'Course you could just eat the gun like Cobain-- wait, what year is this? He done that yet?

(Warning: there is bad language, including the f-word.)

Wow. Compelling. Vivid descriptions; harsh and ugly and beautiful. The Doctor, seen through the eyes of someone else. The Doctor is very much the angry post-War pre-Rose Nine, and yet, no matter the pain, he's still a Doctor. I read it, and then turned around and re-read it the next day and it was just as compelling.

Upon A Time

By AstroGirl
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 18th December 2005 (6)
Tags: Short Story

What do you get when you mix the TARDIS-as-a-character, and fairy tales? With AstroGirl at the helm, something so lovely! Full of myths, symbolism, fittingness, resonance, love.

Walk Out with Me to the Unknown Region

By Rutsky
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 21st May 2009 (26)
Tags: Novel

Summary: Given the slightest opportunity, chance, the universe's bastard child by chaos, tends toward life.

This follows on from "Parting of the Ways"; what happened on the Game Station, afterwards. This story may or may not be AU, but it's an interesting idea: What if Jack wasn't the only one touched by the Bad Wolf, not the only one dragged back into life? Unfortunately, the summary of the story was so vague that I never read this story until it was recced on Calufrax.

The writing style glints with the occasional gem. The Interludes about the Controller, they sing.

I love the characterisation of Lynda; fighting against her own insecurities because she has to. But not only that, the plot turns from aftermath into epic; not just a disaster movie, but with further and interesting undercurrents which are extrapolated so plausibly from what we know.

A lovely, lovely story.

With True Love and Brotherhood

By LizBee
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 21st May 2009 (17)
Tags: Vignette, Missing Scene

Summary: The Doctor has an invitation, Rosita has a firm right hook, and there's a Yeti.

This is the perfect epilogue to the 2008 Christmas Special "The Next Doctor". Contains spoilers, naturally.

I love this because it shows the awesomeness of Rosita, not just in the adventuring, but in her attitude to the people around her; in this particular case, she did something that made me want to cheer. The others are perfectly in character, too.

This should be canon.

Detectives, Adventurers and Girls Who Don't Wait Around: The Paradox of Amelia J. Williams

By LizBee
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 3rd October 2012 (1)
Tags: Short Story, Post Episode
Characters: Amy Pond
(9KK, 2215 words)

Summary: Between her debut in 1938 and her death in 1993, Amelia Williams probably wrote over five hundred novels, short stories and articles.

This story is the perfect coda to the episode "The Angels Take Manhattan". But it isn't just Amy (Amelia Williams) that it celebrates, but children's literature and old-skool Who companions of various eras. All brought together with a verisimilitude and spot-on illustrations. It made me feel sad and happy and gleeful and delighted. Read it.

Forever Knight/Touched By An Angel

Angels of Light

By Azar
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 23rd October 2001 (1)
Tags: Novelette, Crossover, AU, Redemption
Characters: Nick Knight

I loved this story. You may think that blending something as light and sweet as Touched By An Angel with something as dark and brooding as Forever Knight wouldn't work, but with the common thread of the search for redemption, the author made it work. I'm glad to say that the course of the story wasn't made too easy or trivial (I think) for Nick (even though "divine intervention" was happening). It had a fittingness about it. One thing I can't speak to is how well this story fitted in with the particular episode of Forever Knight it was related to (the last one, I think) because my watching of the last season was extremely spotty. But I'd heard enough about it that I wasn't going "Huh? What's going on?" but I probably would have gotten more out of it if I had seen the episode before I read this. Even so, there was some very thoughtful stuff (not just Nick brooding) and some zing! moments -- especially the scene in the hospital at the end. And there's some lovely use of words in spots.

Of course, if you really can't stand reading TBAA stuff 'cuz they use the G-word an awful lot, then you'd best pass this one by too. But this managed, I think, not to be too sickly sweet.

Addendum: The archive in which I found this has it attributed to Maygra de Rhema in the text of the story, as well as pointing to Maygra's email address in the index, so I had originally assumed that the naming of the author as Julie Jekel was a mistake. Fortunately, Maygra was able to tell me that it indeed was Julie who had written the story, not her. My apologies for misleading people as I was misled.

Addendum: Well, now that archive seems to have vanished, but fortunately the story is also on the author's own page.

Harry Potter

Becoming Neville

By Jedi Rita
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 10th January 2010 (1)
Tags: Novel, AU, Mystery
Characters: Neville Longbottom

Summary: Neville's Gran breaks her hip just after his fifth year at Hogwarts, and he must spend the summer with Harry and Remus. They discover a hidden message in the candy wrappers his mother has been giving him, and begin to uncover the mystery.

This is a rare thing: a story about Neville Longbottom, from his point of view. Full of self-doubts and uncertainties, quiet, gentle, overlooked, underestimated, wishing he were brave like Harry. And yet what he needs is to learn how to be brave like Neville.

Neville here is very well written, and his Gran is just right. The author portrays very well how Neville's family mean well, and do care, but at the same time discourage him because of their low expectations of him. Neville's parents are well done; Alice is crazy, but there are sadly poignant flickers of method in her madness.

The other supporting characters get a decent shot, particularly Snape and Lupin.

Then we have the mystery itself; the puzzle pieces fitting together into an intriguing whole.

There, Where I Can Never Find You

By Shefa
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 18th February 2011 (3)
Tags: Novella, EWE, SSHG, Romance, Amnesia
Characters: Hermione Granger, Severus Snape

Summary: You disappear into a moon lit night, and I imagine I might have seen you go if only I'd been paying attention.

This is so well written. The present-tense gives it an immediacy as well as an uncertainty about how it will end. Sorrow and loss permeates this story like cold soaks through a rainy week. The images and words that begin each section are visual poetry. Yes, this is full of angst, but hope and love shine through like breaks in the cloud - and then the author pulls the rug from underneath us again. Sunlight and Moonlight, clouds and storms, the imagery weaves its way through the story.

The characterisation of Snape and Hermione is what makes this even better; they are far from simple, and that complexity shines through even when memory is missing. The complexity and the love.

If you like Snape and Hermione, this is a must-read.

Arithmantic Equations as a Second Language

By Absolute Tash
Reviewed by Kathryn Andersen on 6th April 2015 (2)
Tags: Novelette, AU Divergent Timeline, Voldemort-wins, Romance, Angst, Worldbuilding, Arithmancy, SSHG2012, SSHG
Characters: Hermione Granger, Severus Snape
(23K, 8873 words)

Summary: Missing memories, alternate futures, and the ancient power of Arithmancy combine as Hermione Granger promises Severus Snape that she is coming to save him.

This story is amazing; nonlinear, a puzzle of fragments, a sonata of numbers, full of darkness and light, wonder and terror, love and sacrifice. I'm not sure what else to say; there is fascinating world-building with its interpretation of Arithmancy, a sense of wonder and balance and otherness with what Hermione does with it, there is the horribleness of a world in which Voldemort won, and the endurance test on both Severus and Hermione to survive in it, and the angst of the sacrifices each of them is willing to make for the other, and for the world.

Book Club

By M McGonagall 65
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 16th February 2012 (1)
Tags: Novella, EWE, Post-Voldemort, Humour, Romance, SSHG, SSHG2011, Teacher-Hermione, Teacher-Snape, Books
Characters: Hermione Granger, Severus Snape, Minerva McGonagall, Pomona Sprout, Septima Vector
(84K, 32067 words)

Summary: Hermione attempts to bring Muggle appreciation to the staff at Hogwarts through Muggle literature.

Hogwarts staff discuss The Lord Of The Rings! That idea in itself is fun enough, but what makes this story stand out even more is the way that the discussions reveal just as much about the participants as they do the book itself; sometimes much more than they had intended.

Anyone who loves The Lord Of The Rings should get a kick out of this story, not only for the insights and comparisons between Middle Earth and the Wizarding World, but also for the sprinkling of little things throughout the story that reference back to LotR. It's fun!

It's also a Severus Snape/Hermione Granger story, and, yes, the book club brings them together, but not in a trite or sentimental way. Private things are confessed, and deep issues discussed along the way. And the path of true love does not run smooth, either. But they do get there in the end, and the wedding is delightful.

This is a must-read.

The Essence of Sunset

By Shefa
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 12th February 2012 (3)
Tags: Novella, AU, Worldbuilding, Parallel Universe, Romance, Drama, Illustrated, SSHG, SSHG2011
Characters: Hermione Granger, Severus Snape
(340K, 48053 words)

Summary: My chambers are dark, lit only by the glow of the midnight moon. The castle creaks with rawness of stone and antiquity of magic, filled with the power welling up from beneath the mountain and the fire of intention fuelled by our four vibrant streams of magic, combined. It is nearly impossible to recognise this expanse of land from just six months ago: pristine grasses as far as the eye could see, cresting on a tidal wave of green, the shadow of grey stone a skeleton underneath. A spider's web holding together an enterprise that, tonight, feels like folly. I had expected to feel exultant.

I don't quite know what to say about this; creative, brilliant, beautiful, poignant, intriguing, magnificent...

The summary doesn't really tell you what this story is about; suffice to say, it weaves back and forth between the time of the founders, and between different versions of reality, of a Severus we know and a Hermione we don't.

This is a must-read.

If This Be Error

By Dick Gloucester
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 5th February 2012 (1)
Tags: Short Story, Drama, Angst, SSHG, SSHG2011, Post-Voldemort
Characters: Hermione Granger, Severus Snape
(11K, 3446 words)

Summary: Somewhere between life and death.

Severus Snape, on the edge of death after being bitten by Nagini.

Every word, every syllable, is heavy with thought. This paints a battle between Naming and Un-Naming. This story is a poem, albeit it is not verse.

Never Say Remember

By Malora
Reviewed by Kathryn Andersen on 6th April 2015 (3)
Tags: Long Novel, Angst, AU, Parallel Universe, Adoption, ?PoA-compatible, Third Year
Characters: Harry Potter, Severus Snape, Lily Evans, Albus Dumbledore, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Remus Lupin
(232K, 94901 words)

Summary: 13-year-old Harry is dragged into another world where he was adopted by Snape. Where his mother is still alive. Where he can't stop feeling like a stranger. And Snape discovers that a new Potter has appeared. One who won't leave him alone. Who knows Snape's deepest secret. As both Harrys search for a way home, they begin to question what home really is.

This was not what I expected. I was expecting a there-and-back-again story, where everyone came out of the incident with warm fuzzies and wisdom. This was much deeper and less simple and less easy than that.

What can you do to a man who has lost everything? Give him back something broken. Yet this story goes beyond even that, and says that, yes, you cannot always mend what is broken, but you still need to go forward, snatching the light from the darkness. That despair is easy, and choosing to hope can be the hardest choice of all.

Pet Project

By Caeria
Reviewed by Kathryn Andersen on 2nd February 2014 (1)
Tags: Long Novel, AU Jossed, SSHG, Friendship, Romance, Mentor, Culture, Worldbuilding, Spy, OOTP-compatible, Pureblood-Snape, House Elves
Characters: Hermione Granger, Severus Snape
(2023K, 332179 words)

Summary: Hermione overhears something she shouldn't and decides that the house-elves aren't the only ones who need protection.

It's hard to figure out what to say about this story, because there is so much goodness in this story. A complex, brilliant and manipulative Snape. This Hermione is critical in the outcome of the war, but not because she's Super!Hermione, but because, just by being herself and growing into her maturity, she is a catalyst for so many other things to happen, a lynch-pin behind the scenes, a bringer-together of people and ideas. Fantastic world-building: Old Magic, Arithmancy, Dark Arts, and the best portrayal of House Elf culture I've seen.

Yes, it's an Epic, but it's still a must-read story.

The Scarlet Pimpernel

By A Marguerite
Reviewed by Kathryn Andersen on 6th April 2015 (1)
Tags: Novel, Adventure, Humour, Romance, DH-compatible, Behind-the-scenes
Characters: Percy Weasley, Penelope Clearwater, Oliver Wood, Dolores Umbridge
(133K, 51914 words)

Summary: Percy Weasley receives some fictional inspiration before realizing that Authority, though Authority, is not always right. Through DH, he tries to do the right thing, rescue Muggleborns without losing his life or his job, and find the right laws.

An absolutely fabulous Percy-centric story, behind the scenes at the Ministry during the events of The Deathly Hallows. This really gets inside Percy's head; precise, awkward, detail-oriented, competent, full of veneration for the Law; his confusion, resolution, fear and determination when his illusions shatter and he decides to do the right thing... because he has nothing to lose. The banality of the evil of Dolores Umbridge: chilling and sickening. A light touch of humour where dashing heroics turn out not to be particularly dashing at all. Heartbreaking moments when Percy feels all alone in this world. And a happy ending, don't forget that.

The Silver Doe

By Mundungus42
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 16th February 2012 (3)
Tags: Vignette, Ballad, Angst, Romance, SSHG, SSHG2011
Characters: Hermione Granger, Severus Snape
(10K, 3204 words)

Summary: Unbeknownst to Harry, Hermione sees who casts the silver doe in the Forest of Dean, and she becomes even more determined to save Harry and Severus.

SS/HG in the style of The Highwayman? This intriguing premise lived up to its potential; angst and tragedy and hope, all with a rhythm that makes me want to read it aloud.

Turn To Dark

By Kribu
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 2nd February 2012
Tags: Novella, AU, Close Quarters, Space, SSHG, SSHG2011, Post-Voldemort
Characters: Hermione Granger, Severus Snape
(62K, 24504 words)

Summary: Some days, waking up is different.

One would think that it wouldn't be possible to blend Sci-Fi and a magical universe like Harry Potter, but this author manages it.

From the dramatic opening through to the end, we are led on a vivid journey full of suspense and mystery, twists and turns and questions leading to more questions.

But it isn't just the plot, the characterisation is good too, with the point-of-view Hermione full of wry observations as well as shock and fear and attraction and smarts. Snape is as snarky as ever, though not quite as grumpy. He is only human too, he isn't a robot without feelings, even if he tries to hide them.

A fantastic story.

Darkness and Light

(2) Personal Risks

By R.J. Anderson
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 26th October 2003 (6)
Tags: Novella, Romance, AU
Characters: Severus Snape, OFC

She's done it again. In her 11th Doctor series, she managed to do the unthinkable -- have a romance between the Doctor and a companion, and make it believable. This time she's managed to hook up Snape and a student (Our Heroine, Maud Moody) without us considering it to be ridiculous -- and without removing any of Snape's faults, either.


This is contemporary with _Order of the Phoenix_ as the author has revised it to be compatible with that book, so it feels less of a weird AU than "The Polka Dot Plague" did, though this concentrates on what is happening with Maud and Snape, and unexpectedly, with Maud's friendship with George Weasley. As well as enemies, enmities, plots, sacrifices and unexpected miracles.

I loved this.

(3) If We Survive

By R.J. Anderson
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 26th October 2003 (9)
Tags: Novel, Romance, Friendship, Spy, Adventure, AU
Characters: Severus Snape, OFC

The final one in the trilogy -- while definitely AU, as it deals with the final battle with Voldemort, I'm wishing that it wasn't AU, that this was the real story. But it can never be (despite the fact that the author has left the deeds and actions of Harry Potter her deliberately vague) since one of the main dramatic (and satisfying) scenes in it requires the existence of Our Heroin Maud and her situation with Snape, therefore it can never be. Whereas what happened with Dumbledore here is so plausible and so fitting, that I wouldn't be surprised if that hadn't been what JKR had had in mind in the first place (and if she doesn't do it, then that will be kind of disappointing). Ahem. This starts still overlapping with "Order of the Phoenix" and then continues on, following Maud as she gets her first job, keeps secrets, makes new friends, and plunges into the war with Voldemort. Action, potions, enmity and betrayal; love and friendship, lies and sacrifices. This is really really good.

Enemy Within

(1) Harry Potter and the Enemy Within

By Theowyn of HPG
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 6th September 2008 (8)
Tags: Novel, AU Divergent Timeline, Sixth Year, Mentor, Reconciliation
Characters: Severus Snape, Harry Potter

Summary: In his sixth year at Hogwarts, Harry's mental link to Voldemort is stronger than ever. Can Snape teach him to control the nightmarish visions? And is their connection the key to ending Voldemort's reign? (AU, set after OOTP)

I'm glad I came across Nomad's rec for this, ( because I wouldn't have found this story otherwise, since it's archived at, and I would never have waded through the huge amounts of badly-written Harry Potter fic in order to find it.

I didn't think I'd find something I liked better than "A Year Like None Other" in terms of Harry-Snape reconciliation stories, but this impressed me because it didn't have to go the hurt-comfort route in order to make Harry and Snape stop hating each other. Instead, it was a more gradual process, with many stumbling blocks along the way. Snape doesn't become nice. Harry is just as much an emo teenager as ever. The Trio is the Trio, with their own share of snark, banter, heartache, arguments and reconciliations. Dumbledore is as nice and as scheming as ever. We also get a new DADA teacher, who adds his own spice to the mix.

As compared to other HP AUs I've read, this story doesn't invent new magic powers (though it adds some wrinkles to what we know about existing ones), and stays close to Rowling's theme that "the power Voldemort knows not" is love. It follows up certain loose ends I hadn't thought about, and makes good use of them. There were points where I almost cried, and points where I almost cheered. I really really liked it.

(2) Harry Potter and the Chained Souls

By Theowyn of HPG
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 27th September 2008 (18)
Tags: Novel, AU, Mentor, Friendship, Reconciliation
Characters: Severus Snape, Harry Potter

Summary: Harry must discover how Voldemort cheated death. He faces Death Eaters, shadowy Ministry officials & suspicions that threaten to tear his own allies apart. But the answers lie in the mind where victory can only be won by freeing the chained souls.

I love this story. This continues with the themes of love, redemption and self-sacrifice that were present in the first story, and keeps true to the spirit of the books by making love be the key to Voldemort's defeat (though in a different way than in canon, naturally). It uses an idea for Voldemort's immortality which makes as much or more sense than Horcruxes, and raises even more difficult dilemmas.

Excellent characterisation of Snape and Harry -- both still with their faults and weaknesses and strengths, their mistakes and misunderstandings, Harry's brave foolishness and Snape's "go to hell" attitude, it's all there. The other characters are themselves, too, and we get a good original character in the form of this year's new DADA teacher. There is snark and suspicion, confusion, malice, division, unity, friendship, lies, persuasion, cunning, foolishness, stubbornness and quiddich.

Well worth reading.


(1) Resonance

By GreenGecko
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 27th September 2008 (9)
Tags: Novel, AU Divergent Timeline, Sixth Year, Mentor, Reconciliation, Adoption, Hurt-Comfort, Post-Voldemort
Characters: Severus Snape, Harry Potter

Summary: Year six and Harry needs rescuing by Dumbledore and Snape. The resulting understanding between Harry and Snape is critical to destroying Voldemort... (AU)

Warning: This story is massively, hugely long. It will suck you in and make you lose sleep because you don't want to stop reading it. At least, it did me.


This is a Harry-Snape reconciliation fic, a genre of which I am rather fond. It does start off in a somewhat predictable way, with hurt/comfort leading to a better understanding between the two, which proves vital in the defeat of Voldemort. This story is unusual in that Voldemort is defeated relatively early in the piece, and the majority of the story deals with the aftermath. For Harry, there is the accumulation of six years of stress, the rootlessness of having fulfilled his purpose in life, the unwelcomeness of fame, and some unexpected but plausible side-effects of Voldemort's death. This being written before Half-Blood Prince, the means of Voldemort's defeat is different than in canon, but I was pleased to see that, like the best post-"Order of the Phoenix" AUs, the "power that Voldemort knows not" is indeed love, as in canon, rather than power as in magical might.

The story is also unusual in that Voldemort here is defeated in Year Six rather than Year Seven, which means we have Harry still at school in the aftermath. Not everything is safe, for there are still people trying to kill Harry: death-eaters who were not all caught in the final battle. Not to mention trouble with Year Seven's new professor. Plus the usual strains, misunderstandings and reconciliations with the Trio, plus a sprinkling of new friends and enemies.

I like the ending; everything comes full circle, and we are reminded just how far everyone has come.


With a reconciliation fic, characterisation is critical. How would Snape and Harry move from their mutual hatred to mutual respect and beyond? For Harry, it starts because Snape helps when Harry needs help, and is the only one who understands the darkness that haunts Harry. For Snape, it starts with Harry's vulnerability, mutual goals (destroying the Dark Lord), not having the awe that everyone else seems to have for Harry, realizing for the first time that Harry does not want the adulation he is getting, and being the only one to notice that not all is well with Harry after Voldemort's defeat. I suspect also that this Snape might have considered Harry a puzzle to be solved.

Snape does not become nice, though he does become not quite so nasty.

Harry is neither a saint nor a basket-case; he is sulky, short-tempered, caring, thick, insightful, tongue-tied, talented, frustrated -- his usual mix, though he also learns a lot and heals too. Indeed, both Snape and Harry end up healing each other to a degree.

There is also strong characterisation from the supporting characters; Ron (who gets to be a git, yes, no surprise there), Hermione, Ginny, Dumbledore, McGonagall and the rest. Even Draco manages to be shown as something more than a shallow villain.

There are good original characters. I especially liked Suze Zepher, the new Slytherin Seeker, and Vineet, one of Harry's fellow Auror apprentices, but they aren't the only ones.


This extends the Harry Potter world in interesting ways; not just new spells, but extrapolations about the workings of magic, the nature of Voldemort and Dark Creatures (and how that affects Harry), the Ministry and Auror training, additions to Wizarding society such as their equivalent of nunneries, and glimpses of Wizarding culture in other countries. Also little details, like why Wizarding gardens tend to be infested with Garden Gnomes, and more of Fred and George's inventions. There are also suitably crazy Wizarding names, like Wereporridge and Tideweather.


Despite revisions, there is still the occasional typo, but not often enough to detract from the overall story. The pacing and dialogue are engaging, especially important in such a long work. I can't remember any particular passages or turns of phrase that stood out to me, but I was mainly caught up in the characterisation and plot.

(2) Revolution

By GreenGecko
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 27th September 2008 (10)
Tags: Novel, AU, Mentor, Reconciliation, Adoption, Hurt-Comfort, Post-Voldemort, Worldbuilding
Characters: Severus Snape, Harry Potter

Summary: Harry continues his Auror training and begins a journey of mastering his unusual and growing powers. Harry, with the help of his adoptive father, is finally making his own way, but fate and prophecy are never completely absent.

This series continues with great characterisation and plot (and plot twists) and worldbuilding. This actually takes account of some things from Deathly Hallows as part of the plot, not because this was trying to be DH compliant (because it is already AU) but because it was something that would make the plot more interesting. I like how, in making Hary having unusual powers, the author has actually made these powers cause as many problems as they solve; or indeed, even more problems than they solve. Things are not straightforward or obvious; Harry has to grow up even more, for sometimes he is his own worst enemy.

Harry Potter/Buffy

The End of the Beginning

By Mariner
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 15th November 2003 (1)
Tags: Novel

"London, 1981. Rupert Giles and Ethan Rayne may not be wizards, but they thought they understood magic -- until the night they saw a glowing green skull in the sky above a quiet London street. Now they're caught up in a civil war in a world they never imagined existed. But can their "Muggle" magic really win the war? And for which side?" -- story description

Thanks to Johnathan for recommending this to me.

This very long story works very well in more than one aspect. It works well as a crossover, weaving the two universes almost seamlessly and doing both sets of characters justice. Of course Buffy fans may not be that interested unless they like Giles (back in his youth) and/or Ethan Rayne. No Buffy, and no Scoobies. But to make up for it, we have a good look at Giles and Ethan, especially Ethan, at his weaselly selfish best.

The other aspect this works well from is simply a telling of the days leading up to the legend of The Boy Who Lived. We get to see them all, James and Lily, Sirius, Peter and Remus, Dumbledore and a few new faces. Even if you didn't know a thing about Buffy, it would be worth it from that point of view. Lots of little details, and then how it all comes together, like the footsteps of doom...

There are some things that don't fit, due to certain things that were revealed in Order of the Phoenix which contradict things here. Also I found it rather jarring that this has the pre-zapped Voldemort looking like a non-human -- I'd always assumed that he was perfectly human (on the outside) before his curse rebounded on him, and that it was his restoration at the end of "Goblet of Fire" which gave him that non-human appearance. On the other hand, it has been pointed out to me that nobody has explicitly said that, and therefore another interpretation is possible. I suppose so...

Anyway, that's not a big niggle. I really liked this.

Harry Potter/Doctor Who

Out Of Time

By Dacian Goddess
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 1st February 2011 (1)
Tags: Novella, SSHG2010, Crossover, AU, Friendship
Characters: Hermione Granger, Severus Snape

Summary: Severus Snape and Hermione Granger begin an interesting association. How well can they make it last when neither of them is exactly as they seem?

This is an amazing story. It didn't just take a concept that I thought couldn't work and make it work, it dragged us willy-nilly into an intense and vivid world, painted in shades of grey and fire, concentrated and complex, like burning spices. It jumps back and forth in time, much like a time-machine would, and gives us hints of things we have to figure out for ourselves.

One warning, however: this contains a Dumbledore who is at the dark end of the spectrum. That, I think, was the price of making the concept work.

Hermione is well done; an older Hermione, who doesn't even realize that she's been ground down to a shadow of herself by the Ministry and the lack of support from her friends. And then... she finds she's running to keep up with someone who makes her feel like she doesn't know anything at all. And nothing is the same.

Harry Potter/Sherlock

A Study in Magic

By Books Of Change
Reviewed by Kathryn Andersen on 8th April 2015 (2)
Tags: Long Novel, Crossover, Family, Adoption, Genderbending, Worldbuilding, AU Divergent Timeline, First Year, Second Year, Third Year, Fourth Year
Characters: Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom, Albus Dumbledore, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black
(1223K, 492408 words)

Summary: When Professor McGonagall went to visit Harry Watson, son of Mr. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, to deliver his Hogwarts letter, she was in the mindset of performing a familiar if stressful annual routine. Consequently she was unprepared for the shock of finding the cause behind Harry Potter's disappearance. BBC Sherlock HP crossover AU

Brilliant. Characterisation, world-building, mysteries, deductions, clever plans, relationships, character growth, mistakes, consequences, they're all there, and all well done. This is an epic because it covers Harry's first four years at Hogwarts; you might want to take a breather in between each year... except that you won't want to, because this will drag you in and not let you go.


Yom Kippur

(1) Yom Kippur

By Teresa C
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 31st March 2003 (13)
Tags: Short Story

Yom Kippur is the Jewish "Day of Atonement" and that is a very fitting title for this piece. Set after "Revelation 6:8"; when Methos encounters an old and dear friend, he is caught on the horns of a dilemma, and it bites. The truth that slays and saves at the same time. Really good.

Also at

(2) Communion

By Teresa C
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 31st March 2003 (14)
Tags: Short Story

After the events of _Yom Kippur_, Macleod goes to see an incommunicado Methos, and ends up with empathy rather than anger. The way this describes how Duncan reads Methos' body language is fascinating, as well as just the insights and thoughts and actions... Very good again.

Also at

(3) Kaddish

By Teresa C
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 31st March 2003 (15)
Tags: Novelette

The Kaddish is the Jewish prayer for the dead, and with a title like that, I was expecting someone to die... This has got to be one of the most serious and intense stories I've read regarding the question of the possible reconciliation of Cassandra and Methos. There is absolutely no attempt to whitewash Methos's past (hooray!); neither is Cassandra demonized, nor is her pain belittled. (Warning: bad words are said and awful things are described.)
    "I was willing to let David help her! I am not willing to eviscerate myself for her!"

The other cool thing about this story is that it points out that Cassandra isn't the only one who needs things to be resolved.
    "It's just that ..." MacLeod stopped, wordless. What was it about the oldest immortal that irritated him so? Aside from the slaughter, torture, and terrorism, that is. The ferret appropriated the warm spot MacLeod had left on the sofa. That was it. "He's like a stray cat I used to feed. When you want him, he's not there, and when you don't want him, he's all over whatever you're doing and you can't get rid of him."
    Grossman seemed to find this description of his friend very amusing, and after a moment, so did MacLeod. "You can just stop feeding them, you know," Grossman advised, smiling.
    "I know. But then they might starve."
    Now Grossman wasn't smiling. "That's right," he said softly.

Highly recommended (but read the earlier ones first).

Also at

(4) Pacing the Cage

By Teresa C
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 31st March 2003 (16)
Tags: Short Story

This follows on immediately from the end of "Kaddish", and needs to be read with that in mind. Again, we have this wonderful Duncan and Methos interaction (even without words). Comfort, yes, but also some unexpected and sharp truths. I wish I could write Duncan and Methos like this.

Also at


Up in the Valley, Down on the Mountain

By Amand-r
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 22nd August 2000
Tags: Short Story, Crossover
Characters: Methos, Aslan

This story is absolutely wonderful. Stunning. Written for the Crossover Lyric Wheel, it manages to capture the true essence of Narnia, while also keeping true to Highlander, and true to all the characters, and yet shedding its transforming light on all of them. Just read it.

He's not a tame lion.

Highlander/Touched By An Angel

A Gathering of Angels

By Maygra de Rhema
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 7th July 2000
Tags: Novella

I find it hard to describe this wonderful story. Moving, deep, full of angst and love. But not soppy. Three angels come to Seacouver on a mission - Tess, Monica, and Andrew, the Angel of Death. Angels can only guide, and how can they reconcile two friends, when it's hard enough to get them into the same room? Particularly when one of the parties already knows the Angel of Death, and wonders what he's there for. And if the headhunters come looking, does one with a wounded heart even care enough to fight for his own life? This is really really good.

Narnia/Doctor Who

The Wooded World of Worlds

By Lady Yueh
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 6th January 2008 (3)
Tags: Short Story

There exists a place where trees grow tall...

The Wood Between The Worlds, Nine just post-Time War, just post-regeneration, losing himself in its peace, in its forgetfulness... is visited by a Lion.

This manages to work, and work lovely. Fantastic. Beautiful.


The Heart Hath Its Reasons

By Meredith Lynne
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 20th April 2001 (4)

I am very thankful to the folks on Senfic who recommended this story, because it is just so great! To start off with, we've got a Blair-as-empath story which actually gives an explanation, instead of just doing a what-if-Blair-was-empathic thing; weaving in little bits of canon to add to the plausibility. The actual empathy itself isn't the usual "sensing emotions" kind of thing so much as it is a really strong intuition and insight; it doesn't come across as a catalogue of emotion-names, but an impulse and a need to mend what is broken, and a reaching for the right words, the communication with the other person...

And that's only the start. Yes, there's a bit of fanon there that says that Jim can't control his senses very well without Blair there, but that's only a small bit, and the only niggle I had. The character stuff with Jim and Blair is just superb, insights and misunderstandings and friendship and heroism. Drama and angst, banter and courage. Gotcha moments. Leading us on, little by little, and then whamming us.

And lots of bits I want to quote.

"No, no. It's nothing like that." Jim had to kill a smile at the worried tone in Simon's voice. On several occasions, Jim had caught Simon watching Blair with a distinctly paternal light in his eyes. It was reassuring. Blair sometimes needed more oppressive hovering than one man could provide. "Just come over here and watch."

Or later...
    Simon moved past him, into the dimly-lit room. "He can't hear you."
    "Don't tell me what he can hear," Blair said. "I know what he can hear."
    "How do you know?"
    "I just know."
    With exaggerated patience: "How do you know?"
    "I took a class," Blair said sharply, before he could catch himself.

Or later...

Blair rolled his eyes as he was lifted bodily from his wheelchair into the waiting Expedition by an orderly who looked like a cross between King Kong and Ghengis Khan. He hoped the man had a lot of inner beauty, because his outer form was the stuff of nightmares -- all hair and muscle and big white teeth.

Or later...
    Jim folded his arms across his chest and jerked his head toward Blair's bedroom. "And put on something heavier than that T-shirt," he ordered, scowling. "You just got out of the hospital."
    "Got it, Jim." Blair ducked into his room for half a beat and returned with a black-and-white checked shirt. "Wanna check behind my ears? I scrubbed, man, I promise."

I better stop now. Just go and read it. And pester the author for a sequel.

Addendum: nominated for favourite drama story in the 2001 Cascade Times Awards.

Pack Up The Moon

By Shelly
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 30th January 2000 (3)
Tags: Novelette

That was beautiful. Take out the tissues, folks. Yet even through the tears, the dashes of humour sparkle through, and the woven words.

Addendum: this story was nominated in the 2000 Cascade Times Awards in the Dramatic category.

This Little Light

By Shelly
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 30th January 2000 (4)
Tags: Short Story

It moved me, man, it moved me. I'm never going to think of that song (This little light of mine) the same way again. I wish I could write like that.

Gates of Hell

(1) Bayou

By D L Witherspoon
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 8th March 2000 (5)
Tags: Novella

First in the Gates of Hell series, though this follows on from the first few stories in the Supernatural series, so you could consider it part of that series too. Wow. Up and down, darkness and light, sadness and suffering, love and justice. What a ride!

Addendum: this story was nominated in the 2000 Cascade Times Awards in the Scary/Horror category.

(3) Lilith

By D L Witherspoon
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 9th March 2000 (2)
Tags: Novel

Third in the Gates of Hell series. This one has a touch of crossover with Buffy (and Millennium at the end). Very dark and intense, just as the author said. One could have long arguments about the metaphysics but that just shows that it's a thoughtful story also. This was feeling more like an episode of Buffy or Millennium - it's moved into their "zone", so to speak, with their themes, their atmosphere, their tone - and I'm okay with that. It's changed "channels", so to speak, and is no longer halfway between, which is what I felt with the previous story.

Addendum: nominated for favourite horror/scary story in the 2001 Cascade Times Awards.


(1) Watermark

By Tate
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 11th January 2000 (1)
Tags: Novella

This is really good. Maybe I like it better because this time the situation of hurt and comfort isn't artificially induced, but comes straight out of the series. I liked Blair's astonishment at Jim's actually saying what he feels - that's more like it! If you read nothing else by Tate, read this.

Addendum: this story won the 2000 Cascade Times Awards in the "Sentinel Too story" category, and the "best epilogue" category. It was also nominated in the Alternative Universe Story category.

Sentinel/Friday the Thirteenth

Gates of Hell

(4) Inferno

By D L Witherspoon
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 9th March 2000 (3)
Tags: Novel

Fourth in the Gates of Hell series. As well as the characters from Friday the Thirteenth as guests, there are a couple of other cameos (including the continuing interest of certain parties from Millennium). What next - Charmed? Actually The Sandman would probably fit the dark tone better.

This was a long one! And sufficiently fitting to the spirit of Dante's Inferno. Jim has changed a lot, but no? Had to. I liked the Jim & Blair interaction on the way down, the mixture of serious and not so - and Blair's reaction to the wood of suicides was notable. There were some delightful bits - particularly the identity of the other two souls in Hell - yay! Writing-wise, this still has point-of-view problems, though it's probably that I'm noticing them more since the first time I noticed it made me more aware of the problem.

And what sinister things are planned next? How on earth could one top a journey to Hell and back?

Sentinel/Nash Bridges/Millennium

Knitted Souls

(14) No Center Line

By LRH Balzer
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 10th January 2000
Zine: Knitted Souls
Issue: 7
Tags: Novel

Sequel to Some Are Silver... The Others, Gold and Double Room. Really really good, though very nasty in places, be warned. She makes other stories which feature a (psychic) connection between Jim and Blair look crude and clumsy by comparison. Good use of Frank Black, definitely. I've never seen Nash Bridges, but that wasn't a problem, there was enough backstory for me not to be lost. The only thing I didn't get was the meaning of the title, actually.

Addendum: this story won the 2000 Cascade Times Awards in the Crossover category. Also, the "Jim and Simon give Blair a bath" scene won the "best comfort scene" category.


Earthly Bonds

(2) The Inquisitor

By Sorka
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 24th December 1999 (1)
Tags: Novella

I really liked this. As far as my non-intensive viewing of either show could tell, the author got both sets of characters (X-Files and Sentinel) to the life, making it a well-balanced crossover. And there were all these delightful bits, plus some exciting action with a non-trivial nasty... all made for a great story.


Anything Is Possible... And Nothing Is Impossible

By Kimberley Murphy-Smith
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 1st March 2000 (2)
Tags: Novel

A novella based on the characters of The Shadow movie. In The Hot Corner issue 4. This tells the tale of how Ying Ko was redeemed. It is excellent, plumbing the depths of Lamont Cranston's character, and showing his growth, in character and in mental powers. Worth reading repeatedly.

Star Trek: Reboot/Multiverse

People Who Repair Quantums, or Five Planets The Enterprise Never Visited

By Ignipes
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 10th June 2009 (4)
Tags: Short Story, Crossover

Summary: "So you're a drug-addicted messianic cult dedicated to drinking your own distilled urine so your descendants generations down the road can grow palm trees. How's that working out for you?"

Part of the fun of reading this story is figuring out which well-known science-fictional planets these are, but you don't need to know them in order to enjoy this story. The first four sections vary from good to very good, serious to funny, but the last one is just stunning, haunting, evocative, and makes this story a must-read.

Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who

Tea and Sympathy

By Selena
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 16th September 2010 (14)
Tags: Short Story, Crossover, Timey-Wimey

Summary: Sometimes meeting each other in the wrong order means you know just what to listen for. Guinan and the Doctor through the centuries.

This captures both characters wonderfully. Insightful, touches of gentle humour, poignant, bittersweet. Everything I was hoping for in a Guinan-meets-the-Doctor story.

Stargate Atlantis/Doctor Who

The Holes in the Ground

By Fahye
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 10th December 2007 (8)
Tags: Short Story, Crossover, Timey-Wimey
Characters: Rodney McKay, Ninth Doctor

Rodney has absolutely no clue what to do, what to say, but the Doctor keeps spinning and keeps talking and maybe all he's expected to do is sit there and listen.

The story written for me for Multiverse 2007 -- and even more amazing, it was a pinch-hit.

This was a fantastic, brilliant story. The characters were spot-on, and the plot was one of those lovely ones where people meet each other in different orders due to time travel. And it managed to be character-ful and poignant and light and dark and profound and snarky. Must-read.


A Square Peg in a Round Hole

By MarbleGlove
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 21st May 2009 (20)
Tags: Novella

Summary: Methos was just spending a year as a highschool teacher; Jake O'Neil was just trying to be someone other than Jack O'Neill; neither are simple individuals.

I came across this first when it was still unfinished, so while I noted the premise as intriguing, I didn't read more than the first chapter. Then I went away and forgot about it. So I was very pleased to stumble across it again and find that it was finished.

I love this story; it started off well, and kept on getting better and better.

Jake O'Neil is caught between what he was and what he will be; adrift and alone, because what was his home does not belong to him any longer, and he has not yet made a new home for himself. Then there's Methos, observant and intrigued, who observes and deduces too much. I love the friendship that develops between them; how Methos is cunning and manipulative, but also someone who misses comradeship; how Jake is not stupid or immature, how he reads Methos better than anyone else.

There's also lots of little things to like here: how this reminds us that Teal'c is from an alien culture; interesting stuff about quickenings; Daniel Jackson being a smart cookie.


Spirits of the House

By Altariel
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 17th August 2004 (1)
Tags: Short Story

Though this was nominated in The Crossover Awards, I don't actually consider it to be a crossover. It's only a crossover in the sense that it has taken the basic plot from something else, and applied it to this universe. The two most popular plots for this kind of thing seem to be "It's A Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Carol". This story has taken the latter and applied it well and spookily to Denathor. The author describes this as an AU in which Denathor lives, but we don't actually see that, we only see the seeds of it, and I for one would really like to see the working out of it as well. But even so, I loved this story, because she got Denathor so well, and I haven't forgiven Jackson for totally messing up Denathor in the movie. Here, she makes the good point that the Palantir was like an addiction; it wasn't just the negativity which had driven Denathor to despair and madness. And the style is very in keeping with LOTR. Good one.

Tomorrow People


By Megan Freeman
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 15th September 2005 (1)
Tags: Short Story

As punishment, Jedikiah was stripped of his powers and sent out into the world. But what happened after that? John is the only one who wants to find out.

This is a moving and bittersweet story of darkness and light, of filth and cleansing, of bitterness and redemption. Read it.



By R.J. Anderson
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 18th December 1999 (1)
Tags: Novella

Really really good. Mulder loses his memory - and he doesn't like what he sees of himself from outside. Soul-searching, and true to character - but not mushy.

X-Files/Touched By An Angel/Piercing the Darkness

Divine Intervention

By Laura Picken
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 16th January 2000 (2)
Tags: Novella

Really good story. Drags you in and keeps you there, weaves the three universes together very well. For those who don't know, "Piercing the Darkness" is a fantasy novel by Frank Peretti, involving the battle between angels and demons - and the human beings on each side. The connection with TBAA is obvious - and the fact that Mulder and Scully have encountered demonic forces before is also a linking factor. So it all works. Good character stuff - how would Mulder and Scully react when encountering the divine? And I like the idea that someone is praying for them as a team which explains why things always seem to go wrong when one of them hares off without the other. (grin) This is also better than the usual TBAA crossovers, because the PtD and X-Files factor means that it isn't just about healing relationships, encouraging and forgiving people, but there's murder and mayhem and danger as well.

Addendum: This story is available at but note that there is more than one story there called "Divine Intervention" so check the author as well.