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Fellow Travelers by J. Brooks (PG-13)

It's Family Week here at Epic Recs -- making a family, being a family, and finding a family. And for an example of the latter:

Title: Fellow Travelers by J. Brooks
Fandom: Magnificent 7
Pairing: gen
Categories: kid!fic, AU, drama, adventure, h/c, humor, friendship
Length: Long (~30,000 words)
Warnings: n/a

Author on LJ: n/a
Website: n/a

When seven-year-old Ezra's uncle threatens to kill Nathan (his slave) Nathan and Ezra go on the run. Soon they meet up with a bounty hunter with a price on his head and a four soldiers who are the only survivors of a typhus epidemic at a Kansas fort.

This is, by far, my favorite Magnificent Seven fic. Not only do you have great plotting, solid writing, and plenty of humor, you also have some of the best characterizations in the fandom.

Kid!Ezra is exceptionally well done: undoubtedly a child, but already molded by his unusual childhood to be more cautious and self-reliant than any child should have to be. Much of my love of this fic comes from Ezra's gradual acceptance and trust of the new adults in his life.

Even better is the characterization of Nathan: beaten but not broken, a bit of a mother hen, and an all-around amazing father to Ezra. To me this is far closer to the canon character than the endless fics in which Nathan is portrayed as irrational and judgmental.

My favorite characterization, however, might just be Vin, with his quiet competence and sly sense of humor. After reading a few hundred fics that define Vin entirely by a lack of education and/or turn him into a(n overly emotional) damsel in distress, I was thrilled to find a fic in which he proves himself to be just as calm, confident, and canny as he was in canon.

All in all a great fic populated by captivating characters. Even if you aren't a fan of Mag7 fic in general, I recommend you give this fic a try.

Fellow Travellers


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 18th, 2010 06:37 pm (UTC)
i'm totally glad you found something you like. :) i knew if we kept looking long enough, there'd be something. it's just that, well, you're pickier than i in what you accept - and i'm really picky! still, i love this fandom, with all the potential and crazy AUs and everything else. it's kinda awesome in terms of creativity. i really haven't been so inspired - even if i don't write very much - by a fandom since Sentinel fandom. and i still want to go back and reread everything in TS, too. :-D

i agree with everything you've said about this fic, and it really does make a good read.

Jan. 18th, 2010 09:46 pm (UTC)
Hee! I think we're going to see just how many J. Brooks stories I can get away with reccing:)

I think the problem isn't so much pickiness (though I definitely am picky) as it's the fact that the M7 fandom as a whole wants different things in their fics than I do. I remember reading an author's note that pretty much says it all: (paraphrased) 'I tried to take everyone's suggestions and hurt my characters more.' Which is pretty much the philosophy of the M7 fandom as a whole (though there are obvious exceptions): hurt is good. Comfort is not necessary. Angst is king (and placed well above characterization). Which is pretty much the exact opposite of what I personally enjoy reading:)
Jan. 19th, 2010 10:37 pm (UTC)
... and i think we've already discussed that my personal level of angst tolerance is much higher than yours. i know one of our - yours and my - main differences is that i rather like to completely rip 'em up before i put 'em back together. and i want to see it in all the nitty-gritty detail, too.

IDIC, yah?

Jan. 20th, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)
Sure! (Um, what's IDIC?)

Jan. 20th, 2010 11:05 pm (UTC)
lol, it's 'infinite diversity in infinite combinations', which is from Star Trek : TOS era. :-p real nerds use 'IDIC', hee.

Jan. 18th, 2010 11:15 pm (UTC)
Aw, I love this one. ^__^
Jan. 18th, 2010 11:27 pm (UTC)
It's awesome, isn't it:)
Jan. 20th, 2010 07:25 am (UTC)
Another White Collar fic, around 20,000 words, one file: http://archiveofourown.org/works/47938?view_adult=true Very good.
Jan. 20th, 2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
Awesome:) I have to admit that I've been saving my White Collar fics for special treats (because there really aren't enough of them out there) so this means I can now read one. Thanks!
Jan. 20th, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC)
So happy to hear you're reading White Collar fics too!!! Love the show! Can't believe people are already writing stories.
Jan. 20th, 2010 05:12 pm (UTC)
And they're writing long stories! Which gives me great hope for true epics in the future:)
Jan. 21st, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
I heard the show's been renewed for a second season. Yay to a potential expansion of the fandom! :)
Jan. 21st, 2010 12:35 am (UTC)
Yeah, nascent fandoms are tough. But in ways better than older fandoms that never grew. Hopefully White Collar will keep booming for a while.
Jan. 21st, 2010 01:56 am (UTC)
Amen! I'd much rather have a new and booming fandom than an old and small one. Also, new eps! (I might be just a bit hyper after watching last night's ep:)
Jan. 21st, 2010 07:36 am (UTC)
Hyper away! It was sooooo good! ^___^ Like fanfic made real. ::happy sigh::
Jan. 21st, 2010 05:48 pm (UTC)
I know! And, really, it's hard to claim that you don't trust a certain agent when you make that agent's wife your confidant. And you talk to her in the agent's house. While the agent is in the same room. Seriously. I about died of squee:)
Jan. 21st, 2010 07:13 pm (UTC)
Elizabeth is so awesome. And I loved that Peter told her everything about Kate. ::squee:: And of course I'm a huge fan of asphyxiation (oh, season 1 Supernatural, how I miss thee), so this epi was practically tailor-made for me. ^______^ And Jonathan Tucker guest starred! Awesome! Can't wait for next week. Heee.
Jan. 21st, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC)
And it was renewed for a second season! Really, there's not much to *not* squee about when it comes to this show:)
Jan. 21st, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC)
Really?!?!?! YES!!!!!! ::jumps for joy::
Jan. 21st, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC)
I know! Life is good:)
Jan. 23rd, 2010 07:57 am (UTC)
I love pretty much all of J. Brooks' fics. Um... except for this one, because kidfic wherein one/a couple canon characters are suddenly still children while everyone else is an adult are one of my squicks. Temporarily degaed is fine. Crack Au where they're all in kindergarten is fine. The equivalent of rule 63 with children? SQUICK. I'm not sure why -- it just utterly puts me off, much the way amnesia!fic does, and in some of the same ways (a visceral "kill it with fire -- that's not character X anymore" reaction).

The fic told entirely in telegrams, though, is pure comedy gold. I think it's one of my favorite Mag7 fics of all time. As is "The Explorer," especially the part where Nathan threatens to stake the previously-bitten-by-a-gila-monster bad guy out in the desert and "let the lizards have their way with him." (That one's also got a good and non-damsel-in-distress Vin).
Jan. 23rd, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
Heh. I'm starting to think that we don't have much in the way of squick overlap:) A kid!Ezra doesn't bother me any more than I'm bothered by other kid!fic, as long as it's well done.

Other J. Brooks fics might possibly be in my to-rec folder. Maybe. *cough*
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )


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