Series: Final Fantasy 7
Title: Blood of the Innocents
Warnings: Violence, Character deaths, squick-ish moments, lime, AU, game canon only
Couple (if applicable): Zack/Cloud, one sided Sephiroth/Zack, hints of other various canon and non-canon pairings
Plot: 10/10 - Granted, this is an AU fic, but unlike 90% of AU fics out there, the characters retain their personalities and the story feels like it takes place in the FF7 universe.
Basically, this is a what-if fic. Cloud never went to Midgar, instead, he was captured by Hojo for the last 2 years. In that time, Hojo 'wakes' Vincent up, and basically, rocks fall from there. The first half of the fic takes place between the Nibelhiem incident and maybe a few days after that. The second part takes place during the game.
While some stuff that happens in the game is pretty copy/pasta, a lot of the story deters from the main game, but manages to stay within the bounds of the FF7 universe. This story also does a good job to Sephiroth and manages to incooperate the main characters as well as the minor characters.
Also, be warned. Some nasty things happen to the characters in this story that might not settle too well with people. I mean, you think Hojo was bad in the game, this story makes him 100 times worse. Some of the things that happen to the characters may not set well with people, just as a warning.
The ONLY problem I really have with this story is the spelling of Zack's name, I don't know why people back in the day called Zack 'Zax', when anyone whose played FF7 know it's spelt 'Zack' in the english version.
Writing: 9/10 - Nothing wrong with the writing here. One of the better fics that I've read. It does get wordy, and I wouldn't recommend reading it in one sitting. It's a really long fic.
Characterization: 9/10 - I don't think there's a trace of OOCness cept in Cloud's case, but it doesn't hurt the story given what happens to Cloud in this fic. I really loved Sephiroth in this story and I felt so freaking bad for him overall. I don't think I could've hated Hojo anymore than I could in game, but this story made me hate him a hell of a lot more and shows how creepy and sick this guy is.
All the canon cast makes an appearance, and while it kinda lacks the Cloud and Tifa relationship to some degree, it's understandable given the AU's plotline. The Zack and Cloud relationship is bitter sweet along with Zack and Sephiroth. I loved all the characters here and they all retained their personalities from the original game.
Negativities: Boarderline squick material
Summary: A 'What-if' story. Cloud never made it to Midgar, instead becoming a new specimen to a mad scientist...
Overall: 9.3/10 - If you want an AU fic done right, this would be the fic I'd recommend as long as you're not anti-yaoi and okay with boarderline squick material.