Mark of the Beast
|Title:||Mark of the Beast|
|Author(s):||Donna Gentry (Ysone)|
|External Links:||online here|
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It was published in The Best of Donna Gentry and is online.
Summary: "A first season AU. Jim and Blair meet under very different circumstances.Winner of the 2000 Burton Award for Best Alternate Universe Story. Winner of the 2004 Burton Award for Outstanding Long Story. Nominated for 2004 Light My Fire Award in the Alternate Universe Category."
Reactions and Reviews
What would happen if Blair had already found a sentinel before meeting Jim? I love all of Ysone's stories and this is one of my favourites. In this long, angsty AU, Blair is working with Nathan Wester, a sentinel and detective in Seattle when they are called to Cascade to assist in a case. Jim's senses have recently emerged and Blair realizes quickly that he is a sentinel and is drawn to help him. A large part of the story deals with Blair's struggle between his desire to help Jim and his strong ethical sense of duty to his first sentinel , even though he is an abusive jerk. Wester goes from being emotionally to physically abusive, to frankly unhinged as his possessiveness and territoriality towards Blair escalate. There is a bit of animal spirit mysticism involved in the dramatic resolution and things end happily- well, for our two guys, anyway. I also like the way Simon is drawn in this story.
I'm not sure I buy this premise. It's as if the author bundled up all of Jim's worst traits in Wester, and eliminated them from Jim. I know that all of Jim's better traits that we saw here are truly Jim, but, well, this isn't the Jim (nor the Simon, for that matter) that I saw in Switchman. This one also puts more emphasis on the Sentinel/Guide bond (of the "instant instinct" sort) -- which I personally don't find that plausible either. I didn't really enjoy watching Blair suffering all that abuse, either. One reason I stuck with it was because I'd peeked at the last page and reassured myself that it did actually end happily - something I don't normally do at all! This story won the 2000 Cascade Times Awards in the "AU story" category.