April 28, 2012

Banner Boner for In Love and War by @vRSoup


Banner Boner (noun): A feeling of awe when both story and banner for said story are beautifully crafted.


The Banner


I initially discovered the banner for In Love and War after an affiliate request from The LUV'NV. What a gorgeous site I thought. So different and the graphics were stunning. I nosed around a bit and then checked out the admins. That is where I came across Raindrop Soup. Jumping to her site, I was even more amazed by the graphics.

And that is when I spotted the banner.

I am an Edward girl. I very rarely stray from canon, but the banner mesmerized me. The coloring, the choice of pics. The red in Caius's eyes. It was as though he was looking at me. The banner led me to the story. A truly amazing story.

The banner completely encompasses the story. The depth of the color and design just envelops you, draws you in. Stunning.


Review by credoroza.



The Story

History is what defines us, personal and otherwise. To conquer it, one must decide not what they love more, but what's more important, and where one stood—with ALL things considered—could make all the difference.

Suited up. Armor polished, gazing out at those who *gather pitchforks, saws, and flame throwers*

Yes, I have strayed from my beloved Edward. I have gone to all new heights of OCC. Rumors are true, I can not deny it. I have fallen for a Caius / Bella story. *gasps* A self proclaimed canon girl accepting Bella with someone other than Edward?

And with Caius? *breaths in paper bag* How did this happen?

Well, you see, what had happened was...I stumbled across the gorgeous banner for In Love and War and was curious. I then started following the author, RaindropSoup and her stunning blog. And you know me, the stalking commenced.

I just needed to know things about the story that had me completely fascinated. RaindropSoup was kind enough to entertain my curiosity and was even willing to answer my questions about what led her to writing this brilliant story. Yes, the story line is brilliant.

In all seriousness, In Love and War is just one of those stories where the story line completely grabs you, regardless of the pairing. And though the pairing is completely surprising, it is the story on a whole that has me.

We begin one year after New Moon and Bella this time has emerged as a much stronger person and embraces her future. A definite departure from the typical New Moon stories. But fate has other plans for Bella and she is thrown back in to the world of the supernatural head first.

We have Victoria, Jacob and the wolf pack, the Volturi, and the spirit warrior, Taha Aki. The author also enlightens us on her take of the Quileute legend and it is completely original and excitingly fraught with realism.

The story jumps right in with Bella kidnapped by Victoria and Jacob trying to save her. We are then brought in to the world of the Volturi and their higher purpose for Bella as well as why they are in Forks. I completely devoured chapters 1 and 2 with the surprising twists and turns as well as heart stopping excitement...

Oh, shit. I gaped at him and then phased back along with the others, except for Paul.


No one but the most trusted in the tribe knew the third wife's name. When Taha Aki left the tribe, he left that name to the tribe elders, along with specific instructions to use it as a safe word only. It was supposed to be used between the pack and someone we didn't really know. It was so we would know who we could trust. The name Akane was only said aloud during a couple ceremonies—not even uttered when the legends were told—and only the council elders were able to give it to someone to use.


We saw no need for it, really. But why give it to a bloodsucker?


The introduction of Caius was a complete surprise as well as his purpose. I was even more surprised at Caius' realization that Bella is his mate, something he never wanted. There is a deep feeling of sadness that comes from him and his initial refusal to believe what he feels and knows is true...


And as I gazed at her, I realized it was probably more than that. I felt the beginnings of a pull, and my priorities began to shift. That meant only one thing . . .


. . . mate.


I experienced immense jealousy while Jacob talked to her. I smashed my lips together and swallowed my growl when they uttered their affection towards one another.


Goddamn it, fate is a malicious and fickle whore, I thought. I. Do. NOT. Want. A. Fucking. Mate.

The first few chapters have some very dark content of abuse at the hands of Victoria and the atrocities Bella suffers. However, before you jump to any conclusions, RaindropSoup does a phenomenal job of alluding to the abuse without actually being graphic or even describing in any detail. But you definitely understand what Bella suffered. And you suffer with her. The writing of the darker chapters is heart felt and the emotions overwhelming. And as dark as they are, they are completely in proportion with the story line and add a necessary understanding to all the pieces of the story. And there are many. There is a cornucopia of characterizations and history going on, but again, written in way where you are not lost, the story completely flows.

The introduction of Taha Aki and the Volturi connection is a key point to the story. There is a lot of history there. I love it. Being brought in to their worlds with such a different understanding than you are used to is somewhat, dare I say, empathetic. You will view the Volturi in a completely different light. They are definitely not shiny and bright, not even close, but they are definitely different than what we are all used to reading about them.

And Bella. She goes through some serious trauma culminating in a turning. And she is not happy about it at all. She is down right pissed off! And it shows spectacularly in the writing...

Isabella's eyes snapped open.


She was off the bed in a second, immediately cloaking herself.


Before any of us could finish our gasps of surprise and awe, I was knocked back with so much force that she and I went through the door, into the hallway, before hitting the stone floor . . .


. . . and dropping four stories below.


Oh, fuck.

And let's not forget about the Cullens. They are a definitely part of the story. As is Edward. I am going to leave you with that, you'll have to read the story to see how they are involved. I know, evil of me.

In Love and War is well rounded and beautifully written. RaindropSoup pours her heart and soul in to every word, and it shows in her story line. A story line completely unique and filled to the brim with excitement, heart ache, despair, trauma, surprises, and dare I say it, love.

You will be hooked on the originality and the characterizations. A brilliant story. And....*whispering*... rooting for Caius...

And a special thanks to RaindropSoup for not doing the typical *bashing* of my beloved Edward as so many do in order to incorporate the OCC pairing.

This is a writer who can definitely weave a story without the usual cliche.


Review by credoroza.


Do you have a Banner Boner? Write up your own post and submit it here.

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