Tuesday, July 1, 2014

REVIEW: Masen Manor by drotuno


Some stories have such a big following that it’s hard to remember where you first heard about them because every-freaking-body you know is reading them.  They're the stories that are recognized by initials or stand-apart details and are immediately connected to an author's name. They get you talking, screaming, and swooning about fic, and often become the standard by which other stories are compared. These are those stories.


We've invited four guest reviewers to share their thoughts on some of our recent ‘we can’t stop talking about them’ favorites.


Masen Manor by drotuno
Masen Manor, home to a prestigious boarding school, Masen Academy. An immortal hiding from the world has his faith tested by a hundred-year-old fortune and a broken, silent girl. AU…E/B…Slightly OOC…Fiction M - Romance/Supernatural - Bella, Edward


Nat (evilnat)~

It's no secret that I am a huge fan of drotuno's Gravity Series, which, in my opinion, is one of the best action series in the Twilight fandom, so when Deb teased us with a banner for Masen Manor, I was all-in, even before chapter one was posted.

Masen Manor is an sweet, well-written, exciting read. Edward is complicated and brooding, protective and passionate, and Bella is intelligent and sweet, yet broken. She's one of those characters that you can see growing stronger with each chapter and you just know that when the action kicks in that she's going to really come into her own.

I like how the storyline touches on a lot of canon elements, but has it's own life with an original backstory, and it's not a simple storyline either, there's a lot of effort and detail put into this one. Much of which is still unfolding twenty-eight chapters in.

With a huge cast of characters, and a lot of likeable and love-to-hate supporting cast, it shows that this story is planned out perfectly. You can tell Deb knows what she's doing. It's also got a lot of mystery and keeps you guessing about what's about to happen with each plot twist.

I would recommend anything that drotuno writes, but in this case I'd say that you wont be disappointed with Masen Manor if you are unfamiliar with her work. If you like protective, vampy Edward, UST, chemistry and a Bella that has so much potential to be a really strong protagonist, you will love this story.


Becca/GothicTemptress ~

There is something extremely captivating about Masen Manor, written by drotuno. The enchantment begins at the very beginning of the story, where we are introduced to a Bella that does not speak. Learning about the traumatic event that led to her with-holding her voice for so long, the readers are truly pulled into the magical mystery that develops as each chapter reveals small clues, building slowly as the romance and UST simmer in the plot. This story progresses at a meticulous pace because there are many junctions to the motives, actions and reactions of the characters - the weft of this carefully woven story is slowly plaiting into a design that is beautiful and quite addicting, exciting me every time I see an update alert come into my in-box.

Vampireward will steal your heart in this story, especially when he accepts that changes are coming to Masen Manor, and embraces the gift of happiness and companionship that has literally come through his front door. Watching Bella's emotional and physical transformation has been one of the most moving parts of this story so far. The motion of drotuno's loom seems meticulous and thoroughly balanced, and while I have no idea where this story is going, I look forward to seeing how the counterbalance of the various characters will deliver justice and resolution to the mystery in motion. The textile-quality of this story is tangible, quite easily felt by readers and formed carefully weave by fastidious weave as the softness of the “hurt/comfort” eases the harsh realities that constrained Bella to that realm of silence. Wrap yourself up in this story and see what I mean. You won't be disappointed!


Fanfic Maplestyle ~

One hundred years ago, forced out of his house by an abusive father, Edward Masen meets two very different women. One a fortune teller, who foretells his death, and death herself. Fortunately for us, his death is not of the permanent kind. With the help of kind Doctor Cullen, Edward awakens to find his life altered forever. He awakens as a vampire.

Edward, remembering the events of that fateful night, tells Dr. Cullen about the predictions made and eventually they come upon the woman again. She retells Edward’s fortune and it hasn’t changed, 100 years from the date of his change he’s to meet his soulmate, a beautiful but scarred swan.

One hundred years later, enter Bella, an extremely talented, extremely broken young girl. A tragedy has taken away her ability to speak, whether she can’t speak, or won’t speak I’ll leave up to you to discover. Invited to join the prestigious school, run by the Cullen’s she accepts her position and the beautiful, scarred swan and Edward are on a crash course to meeting.

One of the things I love the most about Drotuno’s writing, are her characters. She gives us, not only strong Edward’s, but strong Bella’s as well. This story also brings us a fantastic array of side characters, including a likeable Jake, that’s right, a likeable Jake. A quirky Alice, who helps Bella learn the ins and outs of the Manor, as well as helping her to avoid trouble in the form of classmates that are not understanding of the fact that Bella doesn’t speak and label her a freak. She gives us a Jasper who is fighting his feelings, but extremely loyal to his family and in my opinion, one of the best written Leah’s ever.

I have a lot of favourite stories written by Drotuno, in fact I’ve read her Angel and Gravity series at least five times. I have to say though, that Masen Manor, so far is my favourite Vampward of hers. I urge you to read it and come along for the ride. Drotuno really knows how to suck you in, she writes in a way that makes you fall in love with the good characters and wish death on the bad ones.

If you haven’t read Masen Manor, what are you waiting for? If you haven’t read anything by Drotuno before I urge you to catch up on Masen Manor, then read through her entire list of stories. You won’t be disappointed.


JenRar ~

If you’re a fan of Drotuno’s writing, especially her Angelward and Mercward series, as well as her short standalone, Hard to Love, then her latest, Masen Manor, is a great one to read because it’s kind of a mix of the three. Edward is a vampire (and we know how well she writes those!), while Bella is a human who’s had a traumatic past and is a little…damaged. Much like they did for Edward in Hard to Love, the other characters support her and love her so much that it makes you just want to cry sometimes.

There’s also a great blend of canon and AU, which makes for a lot of nods to our favorite parts of the books, but also gives readers some fun twists. Edward can read minds. Alice can see the future. Jake is a wolf, but he’s Leah’s son, and Leah is a future-seer herself: she reads tea leaves, crystal balls, and tarot cards. Rose and Emmett are great people in Masen Manor. You still manage to love them, though, even though they’re human and, sadly, not a huge part of the story as a whole.

The best part of this story, though, is the relationship between Edward and Bella, as always. The way they love one another is truly one for the ages. He worships her without being smothering, while she is able to lean on him while learning to be strong herself. It’s a slow, smoldering relationship that burns hotter and hotter with every chapter, yet underneath all the heat and lust is a bond of friendship and love that can endure anything.

Masen Manor is one of my favorite stories Deb’s ever written, and if you haven’t jumped on it, you’re missing out!



3 comments:

  1. You ladies haven't left me much to add except to say you're preachin' to the choir here LOL! Drotuno's Masen Manor is one of those fics that give me a rush of adrenaline when I see the update alert in my inbox! Of course, I also don't want it to end *le sigh!*

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  2. I was sad to hear that she is taking a leave from FF for awhile after this is written. She will be missed and I hope she returns soon!! :D

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  3. Definitely one of my favs. And I had no idea she was stopping after this story! Just when I found her.................:(

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