Jungle Fever* by Anik LaChev

Should you stumble on a rainy Sunday sometime with nothing better to do than putting up your feet, and you want to entertain your self with yet another Medical romance drama you could look up “Jungle Fever”. This is a long uber based on a Spanish medical drama “Hospital Central” a TV-series that I’m not familiar with. From a bit of browsing on the net I can see that it’s a rather popular show and that AfterEllen.com has a number of articles and post following the series.

“Jungle Fever” is a sweet romance partly set in a Médecins Sans Frontières clinic in Congo where Ester, with a fiancé back home, meet and fall in love with Maca, an out lesbian hurt by a failed love affair, and the fact that her family can’t accept her lesbian lifestyle. The question is if this is just a “Jungle Fever” for Ester or if she will hold on to Maca once they return to Spain.

As the fic is set in a not so quiet part of the world, you’ll also see a fair bit of drama, and the story will keep you on the edge while you wonder if it’s at all possible that there can be a happy ending for Ester and Maca.

I liked the story for its refreshingly new setting, the a well put together cast of characters and of course for the believable progression of the relationship between Ester and Maca. I really do think that Anik LaCheve has a great pen and if you like the style of writing, you could look up her story “Campus” – not a medical drama though.

*The link is for the author’s homepage as she has asked that no direct links are established.

Campus by Anik LaChev

Anik LaChev took her time with this story, that’s for sure. Seven years, to be exact.

Well, I shouldn’t complain – I’m one of those lucky souls who stumbled upon this somewhere around chapter IX (there are thirteen, in all) so it was only (?!) two or three years of waiting for me.

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve reread Campus. At least four of those times it was unavoidable – if I wanted to follow a newly arrived chapter a year later I had to brush up my memories.

The fact I didn’t give up on it, plus the fact I reread it at least five or six times more simply for the pleasure of it should be a clue enough: Campus was definitely worth waiting for.

There are quite a few well chosen and well prepared ingredients that make this story a perfect meal. First of all, the somewhat exotic, academic setting in the ex-Eastern Germany city of Leipzig. Then, of course, as the main course – our characters, one of whom is the double hit on the perennial fantasies (the beautiful, accomplished professor who is also the boss); the other the Uberish version of Seven of Nine (nuff said).
As a side dish, the many vivid, beautifully crafted supporting roles that are simply crawling out of the pages.

Is this Uber? The author is certainly not running away from it (even the somewhat clumsy title illustration pictures Janeway and 7 of 9). Still, I can not but wish that author pushed herself just a little bit more and turned away from the ready-mades. The story she wove, the many other original characters she’d created certainly deserve that. Oh, what the hell – to tell the truth, if it weren’t for that silly illustration and her disclaimers I wouldn’t even look for Janeway and Seven of Nine in Lil and Johanna.

Of course, Campus is a love story first and foremost. But, I have always admired the fiction which managed to teach me something without preaching or being overbearing on the issues that matter to the author.

Learning about the intricate ways of the academia, the city of Leipzig, some aspects of the classical music, or Italian and Hungarian cooking has been almost as satisfying as the searing hot love story she delivers.

I love finding authors like this one – where I can snuggle comfortably in a story, trust the author to deliver me safely to the end of the trip while teaching me about the landscape on the way.

Anik LaChev certainly knows how to weave a story. As her other stories prove, she is the Master of Angst. Perhaps one or two hand-wringing situations felt a bit forced or unnecessary, but overall Campus is a joy to read.

One of my top five stories of all time…