Review: Enemy Lines — by qhuinn (Tekla)

Enemy_LInesWhen I am feeling stressed or depressed, I go to my comfort books.  And this week, despite the fact that I have three Advance Reader Copies to read and complete reports, I just wanted to read about Sterek.

I have written about Fan Fiction before, and certainly about my love for Sterek classics like DILF.  I’ve been reading Fan-Fiction since June of this year, and it’s a great way to get to read a lot of great free books.  If you want to know anything about the phenomena of Sterek from Teen Wolf, then Tumblr is the place to go.

I have read most of my fan-fiction over at Archive of Our Own, their search methods are great.  If you want to know more about the Sterek fan base or fan fiction then start by following Cole the Wolf, Dira, and Twentysomething.

The fictions can range from being very similar plot wise to the show or more like porn with questionable plot.  I have read some excellent books that I think could be published, and then I have found some to be so sophomoric in nature that they read like stereotypical by preen-teens day dreams. No offense to preen-teens who are probably excellent writers.

This week’s blog post is specifically about a book called Enemy Lines, by qhuinn (Tekla).  You can find the direct link here to the fiction at AO3.

Basic Plot:

This is an Alternate Universe (meaning while the characters are similar, they are not set in the similar environment that the original source).  The world is a human versus werewolf setting, so think a post apocalyptic setting.  A war has broken out and cities have been captured by the werewolves.  The town of Beacon Hill is human based and controlled by the Argents, with Stiles’ father, the Sheriff is siding.  Derek and his pack come back into town with vengeance in mind, starting with Sheriff Stilinski.  Stiles is taken instead, and while now there is more than just a war between species, there is a civil war brewing on both sides.  Will Stiles and Derek survive?

Stiles Stilinski:

While this is an alternate, character of Stiles is very similar to the original Teen Wolf one.  His morals and actions, I found to be similar and believable.  What drives Stiles, his every action is to protect his family.  In his case, this is his father the Sheriff.

The guilt roots and twists inside of him and he no longer wants to tell his father, not because he wants to protect him, but because he thinks his father will blame him.  Because it was Stiles’ fault.  All of it.  And he knows.  So how couldn’t his did if he knew the truth, too?

This guilt (misplaced) is what drives most of the plot from Stiles’ perspective.  I found that I could relate to his character and his reactions to events were exactly as how I would react.

Derek Hale:

Ahhhhh Derek, our poor tortured Alpha.  Derek is typically portrayed here.  Early on in the story as the two men meet, we can see how focused Derek is on his mission:

This human has been bathing in regrets and mourning for a long time.  It should be easy to break him in order to gather information.

“The dog breath will kill me first if you guys take too much longer,” the human huffs in a show of exasperation.  And that’s when Derek recognizes him.

It’s been years since he last saw Mrs. Stilinski’s son, but Derek can still see her in this gawky boy — especially her defiant nature.

We see Derek as the result of the horror of his childhood and the death of his family by the Argents and the subsequent years of war.  He is hardened, and this can be seen in the previous scene.

Theme Summary:

Part of this can be seen in the title of the novel, Enemy Lines.  In an obvious sense, we have two men who find each other literally “behind enemy lines,” and they both cross emotional and physical boundaries to find each other.

Stiles never thought he’d find his place in this world when he was once dragged behind enemy lines.

But for me, this is too obvious, and I found the theme to surround more of the responsibility of duty.  For Derek, he has become an Alpha, following his Alpha uncle Peter for the war.  He has to decide of his lust for revenge and following the chain of command is worth it, is the man he has become worth what it is doing to his soul?  On the other hand, Stiles must move past the his traumatic past and accept the man he has become.  Neither men  is safe in either society and neither wants to be a part of what is unfolding.

Strong Points:

The writing within this novel is very strong, I could see this being published with very little changes needed.  The plot is consistent and the pacing is steady.  There were very few times when I wanted to skip ahead.

What could be better?

The bad characters, are very flat and very evil.  So while they were stereotypical, and they fit with the series.

Conclusions:

Overall, this is one of my favorite Sterek fan-fictions.  I love how original the plot is and how dynamic the culture is.  We get vibrant descriptions and well written dialogue here.  I will certainly be looking up further novels by this author.

Bea

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