Date: 22/06/2010 16:11 Title: Epilogue
Y'know, I blew an entire night reading this a week ago, and spent most of today re-browsing it, and it's still awesome.
I still can't quite figure out *how* you manage to rack up tension through the entire story to sometimes near-unbearable intensity.
I love what you did with the Gentleman, because he sneaks up out of nowhere, is creepy as hell in a very rational way (which makes him even more scary, really). I love how he has Alex's measure and controls him through is fear for others (and himself) and really puts him through hell on the ship. And how he lets Alex believe (or well, maybe he doesn't know Yassen's intentions) that he's going to his death at the Australian's hands and the fear that comes with it.
The battle against Scorpia was awesome, and the moment Alex just walks into the board meeting took my breath away.
And Yassen... oh, I feel so *sorry* for Yassen here. Not because he doesn't deserve what happens, but because he seems to be searching for... a partner in Alex, someone to replace John or Ian... He's so bloody honest about things, where Alex is... not?
Don't get me wrong, I love the ending. It's perfectly in keeping with your portrayal of Alex throughout, there are hints that jumped out to me after getting to the end, and a lot of people whose loss hit Alex hard would *not* have died if Yassen hadn't employed the Gentleman to bring Alex to him. Alex is *right* in handing Yassen over. It's just that Yassen never sees it coming, which makes him... a sort of innocent (the way he sleeps in Alex's presence was wonderful symbolism here). And betrayal of that sort tends to hit me hard - especially when it hurts both of them so deeply.
So yeah, the ending hit me like a sledgehammer, and I don't think it would've this much if the story hadn't pulled me in until it read like canon - not like 'this is a fanfic, let's see how it plays with our chars, but 'this is real, and it hurts!
That's just spectacularly awesome, and I'm so, so glad you wrote this!!!
And sorry for all the waily waffling! :)
Date: 14/06/2010 14:34 Title: Chapter 2
You know, this is truly evil! I barely blinked until Alex was 'safely' in the air (not quite believing he'd make it), and then they don't get there!
The claustrophobic and paranoid atmosphere you created through Alex's eyes in the airport was excellent.
Author's Response: Ilu!
Date: 14/06/2010 13:20 Title: Chapter 1
Yay, yay, yay! I can't believe how long it took me to get around to this. That was bloody exciting! MI6 is so painfully dumb!
I loved the reaction Alex has to the letters from his uncle, almost unable to contain his curiosity.
Snake and Wolf were so great, coming to the rescue with an amazingly well-developed plan. I think it's a sign of how vulnerable Alex is emotionally at the moment that he was instinctively prepared for an attack when he first sees them. He's pretty much been alienated by everybody. Loved the moment where he thinks Scorpia would be easier to deal with because he knows what to expect.
Can't wait to read on!
Date: 01/05/2010 13:50 Title: Chapter 12
Oh goodness. Unexpected, and admittedly upsetting, but very stylishly done. I anxiously await the epilogue.
Author's Response: Thanks for your comments throughout this fic -- I appreciate it! Glad you found it enjoyable!
Date: 23/04/2010 18:02 Title: Chapter 10
Wow. That was a-m-az-ing. There's really not much too say after a chapter like that; just that I hope to be one day half as good as you.
It still amazes me that people like you can write these amazing, thought out complex stories and get about a fourth of the reviews of some of the most cliched story lines of all from people that have mediocre grammar and flow at best- not that I'm perfect. Not that cliche is particularly bad either; just it get's boring if you don't add your own twists after a while.
Author's Response: Thanks for your kind words! Cliche is cliche precisely because it is so popular. Anyone can write a story that attracts hundreds of reviews. That's the easy bit. But writing a story that attracts several *good* review by people who seem interested in/excited by the story and seem to have understood it's intricacies ... that's much harder. I can only hope to be working toward the latter and I really have no interest in playing the game of the former! Of course, it's always nice to hear from people, and I often let reviews influence small changes in the narrative.
Date: 20/04/2010 19:33 Title: Chapter 1
Wow ok. Lots of interesting stuff in this chapter. I really like how you have taken the canon and manipulated it to serve your story. It is a rare to find someone who can recognise the gaps in the original material and use them to their advantage but you've certainly managed it.
One of the things that I really like about you're writing is the way that it flows. You convey Alex's thought process without it being boring or repetative. Well Done :)
Also I personally have never seen Alex as a drinker, probably because AHoz writes him as such a straight arrow in the books (e.g when the bad guys are drinking wine, Alex is having Pepsi [TANGENT: Don't you think that perhaps there is a subliminal message there that only bad people drink alcohol? The only other person who is even briefly mentioned as being a drinker is Ian]) That said I found that how you worked that into you're story it seemed natural for Alex's character development. It gives the reader that evidence that he's growing up a bit and is starting to make these little decisions for himself, which reflect the larger over-all change in his personality of taking responsibility and claiming his independance. By letting him make the little choices it's a subtle way of showing that shift. In short, very clever on your part. I like it. :) (Hope that it what you were aiming for and I haven't just read into it way too much in an attempt to sound intelligent XD.
Really looking forward to where this is heading and thanks so much for up-dating quickly. You're a star.
Author's Response: (Hope that it what you were aiming for and I haven't just read into it way too much in an attempt to sound intelligent XD. That made me laugh ;)! but yes, in principle I was trying to capture Alex's teenagerishness and all the issues and complexities that come with it. I'm really glad you enjoyed the chapter. It was one of the hardest to write, and despite the action, it actually represents the calm before the storm! New chapter now posted <3.
Date: 12/04/2010 18:09 Title: Chapter 6
Why am I going to hate you? *blank look* Much as I love Alex, we all love it when he get's hurt. Really, really love it, especially with your wonderful writing.
We're kind of all sadistic people, aren't we?
Poor Steven...but at least he will die painlessly. Although it seems sort of peculiar to me that The Gentleman would be able to drag an unconscious person to the deck and toss them overboard without being sighted in a boat full of people, even if it is only a short cruise trip. I suppose now The Gentleman has two roses to send, the woman he killed from the plane and Steven.
Help, Help, Help. How clever..it seems so obvious in foresight! But, and excuse me for sounding like an ignorant American, what is lox? (Yes, I'm too lazy to Google it. Sue me.)
And Alex feels like he deserves to feel pain because he's causing Steven's death...how aweful, and yet incredibly like him.
Did the Gentleman know Alex's father? HE must have, and it doesn't seem like John was a very nice person...although I suppose he wouldn't be, as an assassin. Maybe it's for the best that Alex no longer feels any connection to his father.
I love the way The Gentleman is pleasant and acts sort of like Julia Rothman when discussing Alex's fate, torturiong and murding people, like a truely manevelont person. Yes, my spelling sucks without spellcheck. :(
The Gentleman is such a perfect character, so perfectly written by you...I just can't get over how perfectly sadistic and SCORPIA like he is. So human!
Almost halfway through and no Yassen yet? But...but..wha? :'(
Author's Response: Thanks for your lovely review - I'm glad you're appreciating the little details that I hope make the story full and complete. Yes, I think The Gentleman would have known John Rider, if only in passing. It's a tight-knit world, as future chapters are about to start to show *wink* ... Lox = cured salmon fillet, yummy for breakfast!
Date: 11/04/2010 12:33 Title: Chapter 6
Poor Alex. Though I wonder what he thought would happen if somebody realized what he was doing with his orders. Nice idea, I totally missed it when I first read chapter 5 but in hindsight it's so obvious. It's probably for the best that I'm not some international spy:p Thanks for the amazing chapter:D Though non of us likes to admit it, we all like it when Alex gets hurts. Otherwise we wouldn't keep reading this kind of stories;)
Author's Response: Thanks for your lovely review -- fic is almost halfway through now, yet there's still so much to come! As poor Alex hurt, well ... yes, quite!
Date: 08/04/2010 22:54 Title: Chapter 5
I feel really sorry for Alex in this chapter. Being forced to play a parody of father and son, when he never had that opportunity in real life, being tied up in uncomfortable positions for hours and knowing that one wrong move will get a number of innocent killed. Not to mention that they only serve pepsi, it just can't get any worse. But Steven found him:D I can't figure out though wether that's good or bad, of course it represents a chance for Alex but at what cost? I would personally feel apprehensive with fooling an experienced assassin.
Author's Response: Thanks for your lovely comments ... your review is spot on regarding Steven ... *sob!*
Date: 08/04/2010 22:31 Title: Chapter 4
Something tells me that Alex assumes too much. I don't think it's the Australian who has ordered his capture, but I guess time will tell. Isn't it a sort of torture to let such sharp halogens light be on all the time? Something about it makes it impossible to sleep. But I wouldn't know, I'm not like Alex who makes torture into the new hot lifestyle:p
Date: 08/04/2010 22:20 Title: Chapter 3
Nothing can ever go right for Alex, can it? I'm not sure where I got the notion from but I've always thought that The Gentleman and Yassen where one and the same (I think it has something to do with a lot of roses to Ian's funeral and the fact that The Gentleman always gives roses to the victims family, but I don't have the books right here, so I can't confirm it>.
Author's Response: You're right. He does send flowers to his victims' funerals ... however there is no intrigue here as Ian's death is already graphically described in 'No Mistake' which was published as a side story of an earlier story in this series ;) ... That said, you've identified the link. You just probably don't know it yet! Thanks for commenting!
Date: 08/04/2010 22:06 Title: Chapter 2
Alex really have the worst of luck! That's it! I'm never eating airplane food again>.< Hopefully another vulcan won't erupt so they can't land, like it did a couple of weeks ago where every flights had to return home.