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Title: Greatly Approved
Author: damular
Fandom: Dragon Age (Dragon Age II)
Pairing: F!Hawke/Varric
Categories: Romance, humour, friendship, book clubs, meta
Length: 35k
Warnings: Subtle R
Summary: An apostate's guide to popular fiction. (Or: Hawke runs headlong into Cassandra's book club, Varric comes along for the ride.)

My thoughts:
Damular's rendition of Hawke perfectly illustrates why I can never not play Purple!Hawke. This story is fun. The characters play cards, cavort in a tavern, and read one of Varric's pulp novels.

"That's great, everyone's caught up!" said Dagna. "If we're all good with it, I thought we could start by going around in a circle and reading our favorite part out loud, just to get a feel for the rhythm of the story. It can be a scene that you thought was funny, something that struck you about the characters, interesting development of the novel's world...anything!"

...

Hawke cleared her throat and read: "'Shit shit shit!' said Knight. 'Shit shit shit, what the shit!'"


Which is not to say that it's all fun and games. The author builds tension very well, partly through the use of dramatic irony and partly through the use of these really well constructed sentences that just perfectly capture the self-loathing and misery of unrequited love without belabouring the point. I felt my stomach lurch emotionally at five or six different points during the story. It was great. I love it when the understated emotional anguish of fictional characters makes my insides contract in sympathy.

And fuck, it's so nice to see Hawke happy with someone who has their shit together. The contract scene - well, I thought that the contract-writer was being kind of unrealistically pragmatic until I read a line in it that I love - "He bent his head and ran one hand over his hair; Hawke suddenly realized that he was nervous. ". The tone of this whole fic is generally light-hearted but the blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments like that become so much more poignant as a result.

To end this rec post, I present two more of my favourite spoiler-free quotes:

"It is a masterpiece," said Cassandra. "And a clear allegory for Andraste and Maferath—"

"What?" said Dagna. "It is not! It's a radical political tract disguised as a post-imperial meditation on chance versus divine decree!"

"Excuse me," said Dorian. "If I may cut in, what is this book we're supposed to be reading?"

Cassandra shot him a black look. "It's about two elves—"

"Ah," he said. "Genre romance for the niche market, say no more."

***

"What I believe Lady Pentaghast is trying to express," said Dorian, "is her dissatisfaction with the ending."

"Why, is something wrong with it?" Varric pulled away from Cassandra and circled around to the head of the table; there wasn't a chair, but he set his tankard down and leaned against the wooden post there.

"Yes," said Dorian.

"Everything," said Cassandra, who managed to pack as much passion into that one word as most poets did into entire epics. Hawke was impressed.

Varric sighed. "Ah, fans. Always thinking they know better."

duinemerwen: (extra happy)
I'd like to take this opportunity to direct your attention to an excellent fic in progress, that I happen to be beta'ing.

Title: The Half Life of Element Zero
Fandom: Dragon Age and Mass Effect crossover
Pairing: Lady Inquisitor/Solas, Lady Inquisitor/Cullen
Categories: ADVENTURE
Length: 10k and counting
Warnings: Violence, swearing - nothing that would be out of place in canon.
Summary: After being discharged from the Alliance, Commander Helen Trevelyan joined the Andromeda Initiative, thinking to leave her personal tragedies and a psycho ex-boyfriend behind her. She expected to sleep for 600 years, and wake up in a med bay. Instead, she crash-landed on the side of a snow-covered mountain, ten-thousand years later. She is alone, confused, and dying from eezo radiation. And the only sign of civilization is an old church in the distance. A Post-Modern Girl on Thedas fic.

What I thought: God damn, fish-out-of-the-water crossover fics aren't usually my thing but this one is really good. The author does a good job of exploring the consequences of Helen's crash landing in Thedas. Balding, medieval-quality hygiene, translator problems, and culture shock abound. And there's a reason why an Andromeda Initiative biotic landed in Thedas, of all places. Problems are fully explored and not handwaved away with space magic. I particularly appreciate the author's Solas POVs.

[x] linguistic stick up the ass
[x] kinda racist
[x] obviously up to things
[x] not the only one whose friends are all dead

I'm a beta for this fic and I can't spoil anything but this fic is going places.


duinemerwen: (garrus)
- Making the training set for my thesis work :(
- Finishing the minor revisions on That One Paper (... There is only one paper)
- Finishing Adam's X-Wing (why won't he try it himself?) 
- Visiting Justin and eating Justin's food
- Betaing a Solas/Trevelyan kinkmene fill (It's going to be, like, 10000 words long and it's really good so far!) 
- Climbing into probably some SEWER TUNNELS to get a D5/T5 geocache! 
duinemerwen: (pretty ok)
Character creation
I complained earlier that my character looked like a redheaded Tommen Baratheon but she grew on me. I played a Elf because I'd played shemlens in the previous two games and heard that being an Elf gives you a lot of extra dialogue options. I played a mage because the world of Dragon Age is prejudiced against mages and I wanted to feel a bit more connected to central conflicts in the story. I played a female because I am one.

minor spoilers )

Why a certain character is an asshole.

MAJOR SPOILERS

call me up just to break me like a promise, so casually cruel in the name of being honest )

I'm very excited about Dragon Age 4. I hope there are Antivan assassins and Nevarran pirates and dashing Tevinter magisters around.
duinemerwen: (Ampersand)
2016.07.28 12:27 - back to school
- The postdoc is now a prof.
- Adam the phd is now teaching 531
- I kind of agreed to help TA 531 for Adam
- Haven't been able to reach a certain city manager at the city by email or phone
- meetings everywhere
- Dragon Age Inquisition looks great on the new computer. Lots of moist-looking skin textures.
- too bad I accidentally made my female elf mage look like a twelve year old boy. Also I've ended up playing a pro-templar lawful neutral renegade, which has never happened before. So as far as teenage despots go, I'll be trying to channel Joffrey instead of Tommen.
- I miss the detailed tactics system and micromanagement of DA2 and DAO.
- But I love the art style, the way that the same outfit looks different on different characters.
- But speaking of the art style... it seems like it's trying to go for Skyrim, but everything is really too well lit for that. But I don't mind.
- Monica is finished being pregnant.


"Boy, can't wait to start wowing some eyeballs. Damn, it feel good to be AAA!"

Then there was kind of an awkward silence before Destiny walked over and put a friendly arm around it. "Dragon Age, are you sure you wouldn't be happier back at last-gen house? It's just this is a very high pressure environment. I'm concerned you'd have trouble fitting in."

"No, I wouldn't. Look at my big environments and water effects. I'm more next-gen than Commander Riker's beard."

"Oh for God's sake, Dragon Age, you look like shit! You always looked like shit, but we've been too polite to say anything. Your animation's janky as hell, three-quarters of your runtime consists of watching people explaining how they feel about things while emoting like animatronic presidents at Disneyland, and all their hairdos look like they're about to pop off like they're made of LEGO."

"You let Assassin's Creed: Unity in and his characters' bits pop off like Gabe Newell's shirt buttons!"

"Alright, fine, but I'd better see some moist-looking skin textures or you're out the fucking door!"
duinemerwen: (garrus)
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