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7/19/2020 c1 3optimisms
In Showdown it was stated that the 4th Victor was Thulis Codline, Paloma's grandfather. It was also stated that Seeder won the 31st, not the 33rd Games...so are these edits? Or inconsistencies?
10/13/2019 c1 daydreamer8989
Fascinating premise - I love it when people explore the careers in more depth rather than just portraying then as psychopaths
1/4/2017 c1 12kintsugii
Wow. I absolutely love this interpretation of the Careers you set up: I've seen a lot of fics in this vein before, but I think you really displayed the passion and desperation that would have had to go into creating an establishment like this.

This was enthralling and simultaneously haunting, and I loved the emotional roller coaster you managed to create here. Your style is eloquent and you phrase things really neatly, and this was overall a pleasure to read. Sorry for pinging a really old fic, but this was a good one!

"Her leg lashes out, ribs crack under her food."
I think you meant "foot" instead of "food", haha?
10/4/2016 c1 2Eureka234
This was an interesting piece. You've clearly given a lot of thought to Vicuna, her life and the type of person she is. I appreciated the note about where you got her name from, as i was wondering about it.
I don't remember anything about Careers from the Hunger Games. Were they mentioned briefly? Its a great idea to expand on parts of the lore we weren't exposed to. Your descriptive language is poetic and rather beautiful. In ways it was more elegant than the HG author! Its the sort of writing I aim for but rarely achieve. My writing style, from what I've been told, is more sarcastic.
To me, this one shot feels like a condensed version of a larger tale. It must cover over a decade of Vicuna's life. I definitely got the gist of her values and influences in her life, but it was difficult to care for the side characters when their presence was so fleeting, even if they were all unique and interesting (I really liked the tribute who got sent clean clothes, brilliant!)
For example, the parts near the end with the POV switches it read a lot like an epilogue xD
It is more a flaw with the one shot format itself rather than your writing. If you wanted to, you could have expanded this to 5 chapters or maybe less, with each one depicting a certain part of her life. That way the steps she took to achieve something, and the relationships with family and members of the Capitol could be expanded on. That's what I would personally like to see, but perhaps you have already expanded on it in one of your other stories?
There was a section where you wrote "Vicuna died with..." and I interpreted it literally. I had to double take to figure out it was her personality or hope dying? XD at least, I think that's right.
Good work. :-) I'm glad I finally got around to reading something of yours.
5/19/2015 c1 deathless.smile
Hey there Anlashok! I must say, you've outdone yourself with this one! :D I first read your stories when I saw Showdown. I was captivated by it! Then I found out about Checkmate (which is awesome, by the way) but I didn't finish it... Sorry, but it was too long and not too appealing to me, though it really is a beautiful piece. And with this story, you have awed me for the last time. I love how you shed light on the other side of the story: the Career side. You have shown the humanity and the frailness even in the volunteers of One, Two and Four. Congratulations on such a marvelous work!

~deathless

P.S. Please do write another SYOT! I'm sure other people are waiting for your awesome return into fanfiction.. Love ya!
5/5/2015 c1 4Dame Selena
I think I read somewhere that your first language is French and English is your second language and I can clearly see how the style can be at times different from American/Canadian/British/Australian authors I usually read.
Like another reviewer said, I was confused with the setting. You said the door was ajar so why did she need to use her shoulder? The image in my mind was using the flat of her hand and pushing it open carefully.
Also, as the reader I have no idea who Lazuli and Mr. Sheen are in relation to Vicuna, it would be better if you told us.
Ah, this is unique, the kind of thing I like to see. People who fought on the Capitol side, not the rebel side, and her gratitude at the Capitol.
The way the term Career was coined, a casual remark by Achlys was perfect.
Yes, Vicuna’s motivation, to take control was believable. In this way I can see how Careers can be rebels.
Like another reviewer said, it was great how Careers weren’t automatically successful and took a few tries to get it right.
I actually read a few chapters of Checkmate last summer so I remember these events, Mags rigging it so Garnet would win to go against Mordred’s monstrosity, Cecelia using her sexuality but I either skipped/forgot/never got to the part with Achly’s death.
My favourite part was when you described living conditions in District One, and it was considered a rich district, really great world-building and shows how grim it is in the districts.
I do have to question how it took 59 years for tributes to have sex in the arena for the first time.
Overall it was a well-written story, great accompaniment to Checkmate, but not really a good standalone because of the huge numbers of OCs in a oneshot. You are really committed to your writing as evidenced by Checkmate spanning 2 years and you definitely deserve more readers.
8/16/2014 c1 9SFCBruce
Wow. A very interesting one-shot detailing not only the evolution of the Games, but the birth and evolution of the concept of Career tributes.

And I liked the way you weaved in how corrupt the system became under the rule of President Snow.

I will definitely have to read Checkmate!
8/14/2014 c1 2Sinnocencex
(Before I forget let me just say I LOVE the story cover art, Ok? Ok. continue)

WARNING SPOILERS

So I can honestly say that I enjoyed this lengthy but excellent oneshot. I'm not usually a big fan of one shots (I favor longer fics with chapter after chapter) but this one has totally changed my mindset towards them.

Career OC's have risen in popularity recently but you have created and written a very unique story. I like the fact that you started with a historic approach to District One. And what I mean by that is, I like that it wasn't always "Luxury" in One. Vicuna's story really showed that they weren't always the Capitol's favorite (if they ever were) and I thought that was an excellent vantage point.

I found it interesting that Vicuna aligned herself to the Capitol (& I'll get back to this) because she was an orphan. I'd think she would harbor hatred towards them after how they were treated but obviously that wasn't the case. Not that this was a bad thing but it left me wondering why. I guess her did family fought for the Capitol but I'd think after losing them she'd feel some sort of hatred towards them especially with after the unfortunate situation with Lazuli. Anyway, this definitely kept me reading.
I like that Vicuna started the Career Era in the H.G, which lasted a long time. Being the first was special even if it ended up not going so well. I wonder what she would've thought of Cato, Glimmer, Marvel, etc. What she would've thought of the academies and the mass amount of willing volunteers?

The way the story moves through the different generations was beautifully scripted. I loved that there was a rise of democracy for a split second and then came the rise of Snow, and the world, Panem, got colder as if the name would suggest. Mags was a brilliant part of the script too. Her role grew and grew throughout the story and you made the transition seamless.

I didn't quite understand the part about Annie. There were a few broken parts and you might want to edit that part. ex: "she and Gloss and been there." Not a major mishap but I think you could make this section clearer. You make it clear about District One but I'm still wondering about Annie and what she was getting at. I think it has to do with Finnick and his secrets but I'm totally lost at that part. I'm not sure if I'm the only one who feels this way but I thought I'd mention it for the sake of reviewing fully & maybe someone felt the same way too.

All in all, a very great, unique, well written, oneshot fanfic.
(I envy the world building skills definitely. I'm trying to up my stats in that department lol)

- Sinnocencex X )
8/11/2014 c1 melliemoo
I enjoyed reading the motivation behind Vicuna and how she began as a volunteer, then training others.
8/3/2014 c1 Guest
This made me sad. But it is fascinating to see the thought and emotional process that went into the first volunteer.

:O)
8/3/2014 c1 Rendered Thoughts
Interesting backstory on Vicuna. It gives her more dimensions than we've seen in Checkmate. She is a curious character, her motivations a unique combination of realistic factors. She pours her life into training careers and being a victor everyone looks at with respect. It was sad to see her gone in Checkmate, but I feel better about her now after reading the story :).
8/2/2014 c1 7Oisin55
I greatly enjoyed this.

I thoroughly enjoy District 1, and I really liked seeing the darker, grittier side of the luxury district. So often it's just pretty girls in sparkly dresses. I liked that Vicuna tried to claw her way up from poverty and couldn't succeed. I liked that she gathered a gang of scoundrels around her to try and help her family's fortunes. I confess that I was a bit startled by the willingness with which they were willing to train her, however, but that's a minor thing.

The evolution of District 1 was great to see, from honor and duty - usually associated with District 2 - to sating the appetites of the Capitolians. It was great world building, especially when you described how the changing fads of the Capitol so greatly affect the labourers of 1. The piece was quick paced and tied everything in nicely. Mags was a great presence, not overbearing but quietly essential.

Loved the reference to Cecelia, that foolish little bird.

The 'misunderstood Careers' is a trope that's becoming more and more popular among the FF community, and you pulled it off very well.

Well done!
8/2/2014 c1 Iacopo
Ah, I wish you would continue this and show us training and maybe a bit of the Games of those victors. I am fascinated by how the become the actors Vicuna wants, what kind of mindset is needed.
I liked the theme of fire and ice. Very intelligent and intense chapter. Vicuna is a fantastic character.
7/31/2014 c1 12jakey121
Like you, I've grown increasingly fond of the Careers and how they came to be, and that's why I really enjoyed reading this. Usually, I only tend to read SYOTs, and stay away from other things in this fandom, but I'm happy I read this.

Vicuna (interesting name choice btw, loved the meaning behind her full name) was a great first career and the way you shaped her backstory into the introduction of why she'd want to be this type of person. I'm really pleased with the way you crafted the beginning of the Games as something that doesn't favour the dramatics we see in most stories, and focuses solely on the fact that it is for revenge. No interview, and if there were chariot rides (were there?) I'm guessing that was a way to simply introduce the tributes all at once, rather than some kind of massive spectacle.

Mags became a very prominent figure, and I loved the line about them being victors, and her being their mentor, it was a great sum up of the personality we all envisage her to have from such a small part in the actual books.

I'm always a fan of learning about different hunger games, so the little bit with Vicuna sort of narrating what the first, second, third games were like was fun. The second victor killing themselves shows you a lot about how the district kids view this, and what they meant back then. Then Vicuna's brother, it was her brother right?, being reaped, well that makes it all the more real. I'm curious, would this have ever started if her brother hadn't have been reaped, there's a lot of what if's, it's great how you've managed to build this all up to make sense, like it's not far fetched or anything, you've obviously given this a lot of thought into how such a complex scheme would come about. It's not just a case of 'we want to win, we love blood, let's go volunteer!' I love it, and it helps that the writing is crafted well, so good job on this :) You've managed to make me favourite something that isn't a SYOT ;p
7/31/2014 c1 Radio Free Death
I must admit I'm a bit confused in regards to how the story opens.

The setting is nonexistent. I can’t tell where the characters are positioned or even where they are. Is this a cellar? A storage room? Then there’s the ‘ajar door’ mentioned in the second line. Why would Vicuña give a nod to Lazuli, implying for him to push the open door, and then instead she slams into it with her shoulder? If it’s already open, it seems a bit much in excessive force. I can see her reasoning in probably catching the kids unawares with a sudden entrance, but if so I wouldn’t mind some buildup.

[It’s going to be safe.]
Who thinks this line? Lazuli? Vicuña?

It gets a bit more confusing when Lazuli announces that Mr. Sheen is dead, and it comes a bit random during an already tense moment with Vicuña apprehending a thief.

[Vicuña dug her nails deep and she tore, her mind screaming louder than any of that bastard's wails. She stepped off, leaving him screaming.]

Be careful of your pronouns. Here, it looks like she’s attacking Lazuli rather than the thief.

You have a really nice buildup of Vicuña’s backstory and her relationship with her father, and how she manipulated the rebels to get him back. District One as a war-torn place with food shortages is a really nice contrast to the bland depictions of it in other stories where they have always been well off, rather than a gradual process of loyalty. In Vicuña’s case, it was loyalty and opportunity, plus being exasperated that the winners of the Games don’t do anything with their fame other than self-destruction.

It’s also nice to see a story where the academies weren’t automatically awesome on the first try. There were a lot of trial and error, with Vicuña trying to see what would fit best and what wouldn’t.
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