June 12th, 2007

jim&blair gen pride!

The Sentinel (with crossovers) Fic Rec (the Imperfections series by Dasha)

I've been enjoying this long-running AU series ever since Dasha put up the second installment (second full story, really) at the Cascade Library. It's just gotten better as it has progressed, and I thought it was about time I recommended it to you all.

AU. If Blair's washing out of the guide program, who's taking care of Jim?

Imperfections (currently at 9 stories in length) is what AU should be. Detailed in its differences from canon (Sentinels are known, and guides are trained; Jim's first guide was Lee Brackett, which didn't work out well), yet not so far off that the characters and milieu become unrecognizable. Showing canon events from another perspective (including using specific cases from the series), and giving us twists on canon relationships.

Many people have told AU stories where Sentinels and guides are known in modern society, but this is the most realistic one I have ever read, the most interesting in terms of world-building, and the least dystopian. The ongoing academic discussion in Dasha's universe, over the best way to handle the sentinel-guide relationship (emotional attachment vs. professional competence) alone is fascinating, though it only forms a subplot of experience for Jim and study-related comments from Blair and Jack Kelso.

This is also one of the only multiple crossovers I’ve read that completely works. Dasha does this by crossing over characters, and character dynamics, rather than wholesale universes. Details and emotions are important, and she pays close, careful attention to those, while never letting her cameo characters take over the story, which still belongs to Jim and Blair. (Detours into other povs become prominent in Imperfections IX, but still don’t distract from the story--rather, they add a thick layer of suspense and peril.)

And I can't forget what an excellent a writer Dasha is.

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And here are the links, to each of the stories, in order. (They can also be found at Dasha's listing at The Cascade Library.)

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One small caveat: while this entire series is gen, Dasha has also written additional "detour" stories featuring some of her crossover characters. Some (like the CSI ones) are gen; others (SGA, Due South) are slash. So if you like the series enough to go looking for the detours (try her LJ), just be aware of that.