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5/3 c66 4Cosmic Corsair
Hey Ice, so for the past week I have taken the time to thoroughly read through this story — completely immersing myself in these characters and the miserable world you have created here. Two days ago I finished the final chapter, and I can say with complete confidence that this is the pinnacle of Hunger Games fanfiction. La crème de la crème. Let me explain. Theoretically, if this were the standard you had to compare every SYOT in history to, then that disqualifies more than half of the library, because I'm going to be honest, there aren't many stories I've read that are even on the same wavelength even in just dialogue alone. You have this exceptional talent for emotional but realistic dialogue and unique characterization, and above all those are the factors I value in these stories. Without those, it's hard to care about the characters, and if you don't care about them, then it's just a bunch of kids with funny names dying and yeah that sucks, but you don't CARE. Where is the investment? Characterization, interactions, flashbacks, those random conversations during the chariot rides about sugar cubes, they're fundamental.

If you think about it, HRI features just about every classic story beat and character archetype you've ever seen though a lot of these tropes are actually subverted/inverted/deconstructed which makes it pretty refreshing. Like there are many characters & moments that seem familiar to me — bits and pieces of memorable tropes I've seen from other stories I enjoyed, but this story aggregates all of those things, adds some new ones, and puts a spin on them too. That's the key to making a story memorable.

I had read some of these chapters before, but when I did this, it was out of context and I didn't exactly know what was happening but I could still see the quality and I knew what I was reading was fantastic. I knew early on you were a talented writer, and over the years I watched this story grow like a tree and I couldn't be more impressed. It just goes to show if you stick with a story, water it, nurture it, it'll grow and take you to great heights — along the way form many branches that veer off into boundless paths and choices — the benefits that come from this method of just 'letting a story grow and take you places' are immeasurable. You'd think after so many years I would have rid myself of outlining and taken up this method instead when it comes to my 'stories' LMAO. But my biggest regret — a regret that frequently seems to plague me — is not submitting to this when I had the chance.

Before I go off on anymore tangents, I'll just share my thoughts on some of my favorite moments and characters. It's the only thing I can offer at this point beyond just gushing about how good you are at this.

So instead let me talk about how I loved Riley. Now wait, it's not because of his personality. But the idea of Riley — his existence in this story, it's kind of hilarious. The Hunger Games was created to punish the Districts for their roles in the rebellion. So it makes sense, a bunch of rebel kids get 'Reaped' and the whole world watches them die while the Capitol gets a hard-on or whatever. So someone in the Capitol has to be a troll, right? "Okay go pick out some rebels so we can kill them." "YEAH BUT, this dude in District 10 is literally Edmund Kemper wouldn't that be funny if he was Reaped LOL."

Riley doesn't care about any of this sociopolitical bullshit, he just wants to sow misery and destruction. He shouldn't exist and yet he does — it's almost like the Capitol is trying to lowkey allude to the rebels this idea of like, "This is a symptom of the peace YOU people destroyed. People like Riley exist because of YOUR mutiny!" There's probably some direct allusion to nature vs nurture in the story I missed, but this dumb theory has taken residence in my head and now it won't leave.

He's a character archetype I think we're all familiar with at this point — the unstable sadistic brute, and personally they're one of my favorite types of characters no matter how derivative they are. But I like how you deconstructed the classic trope of 'insane brute' and made him super calculating and patient and not just sadistic, but meticulously sadistic. It's not just about the killing — it's about the thrill of the hunt, the FEAR made tangible. Riley spread fear but made an art form out of it. It's substantially more terrifying than just killing everyone and cackling. To make a comparison I think everyone would be familiar with: Gregor Clegane plus Ramsay Bolton equals Riley fucking Byron.

You cannot imagine my disappointment when Riley died halfway through the story, but after some pouting I later realized in hindsight, with what you were setting up, that it was absolutely the perfect time for him to go. The incredible thing about Riley in his final moments is that you almost sympathize with him. He was the Capitol's favorite until he wasn't, and his slow realization of this is honestly kind of depressing. Riley was as much a victim as any of the other tributes were in that sense — but in a "discarded toy" sense. Who needs a Riley anymore when they can just create a better version of him in their lab? If someone like Riley can lose favor with the Capitol, then it has to mean they have something worse in store. It was a real eye-opening in the story for me, like, the first "now shit is getting real" moment.

The thing I wondered was, if Riley is the 'disc one final boss', then who IS the final boss? I had a few ideas, but none of them involved...Tesla. I'll get to her in a minute.

I was a big fan of Stanley, Sam, Riri, Del, Andromeda, basically all the foul-mouthed jaded assholes. Sadly they all bit the dust, far too soon. The one constant in this story was Tesla — god what a horrifying transformation to go from femme fatale to Pamela Voorhees to a fucking flamethrower-wielding Yandere. I uttered the words "okay now THIS is where Tesla dies" so many times I lost count. I gave up after a while and resigned myself to the fact that Tesla is just a literal parasite that won't die.

I had pegged Kale for a possible Victor as soon as he killed that lion. Like he experienced the Hero's Journey in the arena more so than anyone. Using Reg Harris' illustration, Kale acquired the Helper and Mentor figure in Sam. He felt the Temptation to kill Del for his betrayal of District 11. His 'death and rebirth' of sorts occurred in the cellar after the whipping and explosion. The 'transformation' he experienced after the sacrifice of his companions. And then his 'atonement' and 'return' of course never transpire. You could argue his 'atonement' came through his own death, atonement for what, I'm not sure. Del I think experienced the greatest atonement of all btw.

I was kind of rooting for Adia because it would have been so unexpected. Even though unexpected is hardly ever a good thing when it comes to endings. Well, consider my expectations DOUBLEPLUS subverted, because I figured Tesla was going to surely get killed by Andromeda, and then Kale, and then nope, Tesla won. She really just did that. I have so many questions — story questions, meta questions, writer questions. What did Kale whisper to Tesla? "Rosebud"? "Keyser Soze"? "District 11 sends their regards"? My theory is that Kale knew if he won, he would not only be killed, but District 11 would pay for it like 13 did. Dying on his own terms is what Kale wanted, it's not like Tesla was a better fighter or got lucky — Kale literally could have snapped her neck, but he made the choice not to. His final act of freedom and defiance in a way. Inspiring but depressing. A foolish attempt at martyrdom? Or the greatest 'fuck you' to Octavian and his project to punish the rebels?

All the death scenes are so great, because no matter how it happens, each death is done with the greatest respect towards the characters — highlighting their fatal flaw but also showcasing their strengths. Even though Volt ultimately got destroyed by Riley, he overcame his feelings of worthlessness by confronting the monster head-on. Or Selene who died with a smile, and her death motivating the tributes to get their shit together. Chance had no chance of defeating Andromedia in a fight but even his skittishness somehow became a strength.

My favorite fight/death scene though was probably Riri's, and I don't know why but it really impacted me. Nevermind the fact that it was these two badass assassins clashing for the first time making it one of the coolest fight scenes I've ever read. But I really grew to be almost simultaneously frustrated and mesmerized by Riri's cool, detached composure. Her voice was so defined, so memorable to me over the rest of the cast, that she became a favorite of mine to read about. Her death scene was particularly disturbing because this cool, disciplined operative that we're so familiar with has been completely broken down and reduced to absolute fear and helplessness. I think it's the greatest example in this story of "damn these are literally just kids".

I'm going to shut up now before I forget what I'm even trying to say here, but the purpose of this review was to finally leave my thoughts on this wonderful story because you deserve the feedback, and yeah, it needs to go on the Mt. Rushmore of HG fanfiction. Whether you update again or not, this story feels very 'complete' to me, like I have questions but they're not imperative. I think the world you've created lends itself well to a certain degree of ambiguity, and not every question needs answering. also, not every Victor needs to be morally virtuous. I think it's the reality of life that there are all sorts of shades to people and your story strongly reflects that. Tesla drugged and manipulated Vesper, turned him into her personal subservient killing machine, killed Reese out of envy, then killed Vesper, and completely lost her mind. Later Tesla won the Hunger Games. Those two things shouldn't be analogous, but it's like we're trained to believe bad guys always lose, well the fact of the matter is that 'bad' is relative and anyone can win the Games. Tesla won and it is what it is.

I'd be selfish to ask you to write more, or write a sequel — writing this stuff is such an incredible time commitment, and time is precious. But audiences will always demand more, and yeah I'll be a selfish bastard and say it, you should definitely write more and never stop! I'm happy to have finally experienced this monster of a fic, and if you never return, well, thanks so much for writing this incredible tale!
10/15/2020 c66 9david12341
Okay right as you came back I literally fell off the face of the earth and I'm so sorry I wasn't around for the end of this story. I've now FINALLY finished my start-to-finish reread of this absolutely amazing story and wow this ending just hit different. You made me feel for Tesla and actually love her which I didn't think was humanly possibly but here we are, and I'm sitting here on the verge of tears for this character who I once viscerally hated more than any fictional character ever. Someone please, please get Lionsgate on the phone and tell them to cancel the Ballad movie, and make this one instead. Honestly, the way that you just kinda slowly peel back the curtain and remind as that Tesla isn't the villain, and that us hating her is exactly what the Capitol was trying to cruelly do, that at the end of the day she's a 17 year old kid forced into something brutal and terrible, ugh it's just so well done and makes me feel things fanfiction stories aren't supposed to make you feel.

Of course her getting to see her family again was just the perfect ending for this chapter too, after all of the emotional buildup that was just such a beautiful moment and ugh wtf I'm an English major I should be able to talk about this story in a normal, critical way but whenever I come to type a review all I can think of is just to babble about how amazing everything about this is. Being out of the arena for the first time in so long felt surreal, the Games were just so long and brutal, especially while reading this all in one go it just made me feel exhausted and broken but in a good way that makes me empathize what Tesla is going through. I honestly don't think it would be possible to write a better First Hunger Games story, I've fully engrained this story into my own personal headcanon and just assume that this is what really happened.

Not ready for this story to end, honestly, even after all these years. Also, travelling back and seeing all the other families. . . there's never been a story where I've been gutted by so many characters' deaths and I am not ready to relive that. Arc, of course, and then there's Samantha and Chance, and Vesper and Reese, and literally everyone in this entire story ahhhh. Thank you for coming back and finishing this amazing story, I am so excited to see how this story wraps up in these final two chapters!
8/25/2020 c66 2Idalove2read
This chapter... what an absolutely massive payoff, and boy I can't stress enough how worth it this was! This review is going to be a jumbled mess, but you've dealt with those, so on we go! :D

Tesla... Tesla tesla tesla. So you know how last chapter was just me screaming at my screen like a crazy person for 30 minutes straight, and then having a heart attack when she finally won? Well, this was the biggest contrast to that because it was just her having survived and just... taking it all in. I don't know why, but it just left me so emotional. Like, we kind-of all forgot she's this 17 year old girl who had ambitions and didn't necessarily dream of, you know, causing the death of 8 kids. And this comes back this chapter where you can see how damaged and broken she is. But I never had a doubt that she'd be strong enough to handle it. You can really see the Victor part of her shining through at times, where that strength kinda blossoms despite the situation and conditions she's in being literally unlivable. All the respect for this kiddo.

I think you really wrote the whole post-traumatic stress and the remnants of the Games haunting her amazingly. I could literally FEEL how her nerves were frayed and she is left this neurotic mess, but she still keeps it together. Just wow, this person is a mountain. A morally-questionable and driven mountain ahahaha! I am also really glad you didn't shy away from talking about the extent of her injuries and how physically-altering they are. Like, during the Games, that was only really seen through an external perspective, but now she's supposed to come to terms with this new "her" and it's hard. Really incredibly written.

I especially enjoyed the scene between her and Octavian, and I don't know whether you'll ever write a sequel or if you will ever be tackling this universe again, but in my head, their relationship is going to a really twisted one but one of mutual understanding too, where they're kind-of the only people in this country (at least until the Second Games) that feel the hollowness of revenge. They're both so far gone and it was just so ... idk... haunting? And then when Tess starts crying I just couldn't... like LET ME GIVE YOU A BIG HUG.

And then you just gotta kill me with that ending GAHHHHHHH! aergdrgbargn
I can't. Her SIBLINGS. SHE DID IT FOR THEM, BUT NOT REALLY. THIS WAS THE BEST REUNION I COULD HAVE HOPED FOR, FOR THE SINCLAIR FAM. I'm not crying, you're crying. I really like how now Tesla is going to really probably cling to the idea that Wirea is her from "before" and I'm interested to see if you'll develop on that, because there's lots of directions this can go into. I also really want to know what Kale told her (sobs). Poor Kale.

Overall, I don't want to repeat any of the previous comments that have already commended your chapter, but... hats off. It was everything I had hoped from a victor's chapter and more. You, my friend, are a genius writer and I can't believe this story is coming to an end, but it's also so unbelievably epic! Thank YOU for sticking around and finishing this, I didn't know how much I needed this.
8/16/2020 c66 Wolves the Author
Hooray an update! Two more chapters and I'm still not ready for this masterpiece to end!

So I don't even need to go into this and this point but it was of course insanely well written, as per usual but more than that you portrayed her so perfectly here. She is utterly broken and traumatized, which who really wouldn't be after going through something like the hunger games and all the crazy, morally terrible things that she's gone through. It genuinely hurt my heart to see her like that, not just because of the brain-child bias. You just wrote her thought process and obvious struggles so convincingly that I just hurt for her as another human being. So really well done there. Not gonna lie it was a little jarring to see Tesla go from a overthinking, strategic, kinda pacifist (I know pacifist isn't the right word to use for her personality in the early days of the games but it's the closest word I can think of at the moment) to someone so violent and seemingly instinct driven in a lot of ways. However, again it is totally believable and really expected after all the shit she's gone through. Especially since the Capitol was doing literally nothing to help her mental state. We all know they had the capabilities to remove her scaring and regrow hair over the bald spots and thicken up the patchy parts, not to mention thinking that it was a good idea to dry to lift her onto the stage on a metal-fucking-platform! like holy hell I really don't blame her for trying to maim her escort (he was an asshole, but I didn't entirely hate him either, so well done there). Even her stylist's jewelry choices to draw even MORE attention to the awful scarring. A permanent reminder of all the horrible things that she's gone through and done. Not gonna lie I was genuinely disappointed that they didn't fix or at least reduce some of the scarring just for the sake of Tesla's mental state, however the symbolism of the scars themselves are useful to the Capitol's narrative and the games haven't turned into a really fucking violent beauty pageant yet so I understand why they didn't fix them.

I cant lie and say that I don't hope she has procedures to reduce the amount of scar tissue, if not only because scars can actually ache and with that much scarring it wouldn't be pleasant and the poor thing has been through enough, but with that being said her being able to own her scars and move on in a healthy way would be nice too (though they may be asking too much at this point).

The interviews were also really liked the observations made on Julia's enhanced appearance and voice. Just what is she hiding? Does she know the games will continue and just isn't telling her citizens? Does she feel that she's taken things too far with the Hunger games to begin with? Is she scared for her life? What is going on? Also that like about them liking and trusting her, was that all that Kale said or was there more?! I must know! I also just have to reiterate how fucking cruel the Capitol is, like we knew this in Katniss and Peeta's experiences as victors, with the recaps, but seriously that's messed up I don't blame Tesla for blanking out.

What also really struck me was that while we can obviously see that Tesla is pretty badly broken, she isn't broken completely. Or well some level of healing and redemption could possibly be reached (god I hope that happens). I mean she seems pretty desperate to return to who she once was or at least become healthy enough to move on to some extent. To be honest I'm glad to see her cry so much this chapter since I wasn't entirely sure that she could cry anymore. . . and that moment with Octavian on the train platform. It was kinda chilling. I can see why Tesla sees them as one of the same but the revelation was a pretty unpleasant one, for both her and the reader (at least in my opinion). I only hope she can improve herself from here rather than spiraling into something worse, like Octavian seems to be doing. I know that may be a big ask with the meltdown in the train bathroom fresh in our minds but hey stranger things of happened in HRI as far as I'm concerned. I mean Tesla winning in general was a somewhat unexpected (but lovely) surprise. I mean not even the freaking gamemakers expected her to win.

I have to say my favorite part of the chapter would have to be when Tesla sees her family again. As heartbreaking as her meltdown is just their reaction and the unconditional love/support from them was just amazingly heartwarming and wholesome. I think with them Tesla may actually stand a chance of recovering her mental heal and redeeming herself in someway. Also just the sense of peace she has at the end of the chapter kinda felt like a kinda balm on a burn or something. it was like soothing in comparison to the rest of the chapter. If that makes any sense? Besides that I'm really looking forward to seeing Tesla interact with her family and all that stuff in the future chapter.

Okay Two chapters left! Again I say that I am not ready. As happy as I am to know that an amazing story like this will be finished I am pretty sad to know that this masterpiece of a fanfic will be coming to an end. I can't wait for the last two chapters (no pressure though lol) and I just want to thank you again for coming back finish this Ice. So thank you! I'm sure I haven't hit all the points that I wanted to discuss and this review is it's standard state of rambling mess. So I'll stop now. Either way I hope your staying safe and your computer's issues will be resolved soon. :)
8/16/2020 c66 1Reign of Winter
This review probably won’t be too long, I don’t have much time to write it but I want to get it done while the chapters fresh on my mind.

Beginning to wrap up this story and you’ve started off very well, you’ve portrayed Tesla in such a realistic and understandable scenario. She is to put it quite bluntly, broken. The way it took her quite a while to be in a stable enough condition to have her Victor’s Ceremony really put into perspective just how damaged she is, but what you did really well was show that Tesla isn’t a lost cause. Sure, she went a little crazy in the arena, but the way you’ve started to make Tesla a redeemable but tragic character is just insanely creative. She clearly wants to move on and fix up her life, which was shown by how she was trying to block out her memories of the other tributes and the deaths she caused. She wasn’t relishing in their murder, the guilt was very apparent. Obviously her physical condition isn’t the greatest at the moment, but the fact that she wanted to keep what little bit of hair she has left, to presumably grow it faster just shows she wasn’t to return to the person she was, she doesn’t want to remain broken by the games. Not to mention her scarring as well, the Capitol would be very capable of fixing up her burns and such, I imagine she’ll insist on having those healed to scrub the reminders of what she did.

It was very wholesome seeing her reunite with her family, seeing how she recognised Wirea as looking like herself, it shows she hasn’t forgotten who she was, and it truly makes me think she wants to be on the path to redemption. Only two more chapters left, before this incredible story comes to a conclusion! I honestly can’t believe it, but roughly four years later here we are! I can’t wait to see the conclusion!
8/16/2020 c66 3lexi486
Aw. I feel bad for her. The capitol should've fixed her face. Who would want to be reminded of that?
I agree with Octavian. Tesla is definitely not what I expected, but her victory is the one that makes the most sense. It was done really well.
She's kinda like Riri, I guess. She wants to go back to being who she was before everything happened.
I'm sad that this story is ending. I hope you keep on writing. I'd read anything you wrote. Thank you.
7/11/2020 c65 asadderandawiserman
I really appreciate that every tribute got to make at least one meaningful decision that sort of concluded their characters in this finale. I know that sort of thing isn't easy to do, even if it comes across very naturally here!

Adia's decision was technically last chapter, which I think I wrote a little bit about, so I'm not sure how much more there is to say. I think Adia being killed immediately is more or less the only prediction I made that was remotely true about this chapter? And that was a pretty easy one. But I still think it was a good way to tie up the rebels' plotline, and it let Adia stick to her principles in a way that seemed very difficult at one point. Plus, the three person finale here seemed a lot easier to manage than a full 4 people would have been. I did think for a second that that other gamemaker we heard about, the one that I think had a lot to do with the minotaur, might have been the person Adia hit, but it seems almost certain that it was just no one we know about.

Andromeda's decision lead pretty smoothly on from Adia's, and in terms of like the history of Panem, it was possibly the most important? I think Andromeda was right that Adia's attack shook everyone enough that they could have found a sort of peace between the tributes, even Tesla. Sure, they would have been killed, but I don't know if there would have been a second hunger games. It feels like a nice parallel to that moment at the start of the games with Selene, where it looked for a second like no one had the will to start fighting, and I think it's a final note to one of my favourite threads of this story, being how much deliberate work it's taken on the Gamemaker's side to make this very unnatural event come together. Everything from cutting off Selene at the bloodbath, to Riley, to that knife between Del and Caragh, and now the inclusion of Andromeda in the games justifies itself. Clearly the whole point of the games is to sell the illusion that people (or speficially the district people) are inherently violent and dangerous, and I think there's something genuinely optimistic about human nature the way you've shown that this illusion has been really difficult to pull off, and a lot of times it very nearly didn't work. But it also feels right that Andromeda wasn't willing to throw away her life for this cause. I've said a bit in the last few reviews that I wish a few more things had happened to Andromeda throughout the games, that we might believe had changed something about her character or how she would make this decision, but as it stands Andromeda has still been a really strong character, particularly towards the end, and I'm glad we've had her.

Now Kale, hm, this was always going to be the really interesting bit. I maintain that Kale has felt for a long time like the 'main character' of this story, and I think that was still true for most of this finale, but obviously, he didn't win, and we've got a few more chapters left without him. I really did think he was going to win, but there were always problems with that. First, that the Capitol was never going to let him live hapilly ever after, and I think that was more clear than ever here. For some reason, I had been assuming that if Kale won, he would be allowed to live, even if everything possible was done to make his life miserable going forward. I guess it felt like that part of the Games was sort of sacred, but the idea that he would just be slowly executed even if he was the last one left gave a really dark note to this chapter. The second problem was that I just couldn't see Kale actually killing again. I don't feel like his helping with the train bomb was any worse a decision than any other violent act that was commited during the war, but Kale seemed to clearly believe at some point recently that violence just lead to more violence, and going back on that wouldn't have felt like much of a victory. So I'm really glad that Kale got an ending that felt true to that. Still, it's sort of difficult to know how to feel about Kale's arc in general. Like, there were several points where Kale sort of 'won', by forming genuine human connections in the games, by escaping his originally planned death, and by avoiding a drawn out death here. I'm really glad for all those things. But in the end, Kale's constant persecution throughout this story without any hope of finding a happy life at the end of it also sort of feels really bleak, especially considering that he represents real-world persecuted groups in more than one way, and not just the Panem-specific eleven. I don't feel like it ever tips over the line into anything like 'torture-porn', but I do also sort of wonder what the point of the whole thing was? I really hope this doesn't come across as too negative, and especially not as me like whining that my favourite didn't win! I know that I'm sort of expecting a lot of a SYOT here, especially one that you started 5 years ago! I guess I'm just saying that I'm really curious what it is that Kale said to Tesla, cause I'm willing to believe that his story isn't quite done.

I feel like Tesla's biggest decision in this chapter, even if it didn't really have any impact on the 'plot' or who won, was her interaction with the audience. It was also probably my favourite bit of this finale. I could really clearly picture it as this giant cinematic moment in like a movie or TV show, and I think it was really important to Tesla's character. Tesla started this whole thing off wanting to survive, but not wanting any blood on her hands, so it's a great reversal that now, even when she was more or less guaranteed to win, and survive, against a chained Kale, she wasn't satisfied with that unless she could prove to the audience that she'd earned it. Especially the detail where she corrects the audience on Vesper's kills, is a really nice way to show how much she's changed. But it also feels consistent with other parts of her character. Looking back, I feel like she's understood more than anyone, possibly more than the Gamemakers, that the games are about telling a story, so it makes sense that she can't win until she convinces the audience that she's the hero. Or if not the hero, at least the most important character. Which is clearly not how the audience saw her previously, and it's not how I saw her, but I guess she proved she was. Unlike Kale, Riley, Andromeda, Del, Arc, Magnus, most of the rebels, I believe that Tesla genuinely ended up in the arena by chance; I don't think she was part of the Gamemakers' plans to make the game happen. But in the end it feels like she probably did more to shape this games, and the idea of the games in general, than any other tribute, so she makes a lot of sense as a victor to me. I haven't always loved Tesla's contributions to the story-some of the stuff in the middle with her treatment of Vesper was so deeply unpleasant that I just didn't like reading it-but you've always made her more human than she could have been, and it feels like there's lots of interesting directions you can take her now she's survived, and I'm really interested to see what happens next.

Sorry I've been slow and rubbish with communication recently, but thanks for sticking with this story. I know there's a few chapters left, but reaching this point is a real achievement and a real gift to those of us reading.
7/11/2020 c65 Wolves the Author
Okay there’s a bunch of ways I could start this off and absolutely none of them are coherent. So I’m just going to start by saying what a finale! Like holy crap Ice this was worthy the wait and then some! This was gut wrenching and heartbreaking but at the same time it- I couldn’t have asked for a more perfectly-written, action packed, emotionally grueling finale to such a completely epic story arc for all of our tributes! There’s so much to say... but I mean we have to start with Adia. I mean I think Kale himself said it best. That girl is a fucking hero! Even though she didn’t hit her target she sent a message! Even though she knew it would end with her death, she died with a smile knowing that she scared the shit out of the Capitol for a brief moment. So that was honestly a perfect way to take Adia out and resolve her arc. What a badass. Tully and the other rebels would most definitely be proud.
R.I.P. Adia you really grew up and matured because of what you’ve been through in the games but you still stuck to who you were at the end. You’re my hero too.

But anyways now that’s over on to the final POVS of the Games portion of HRI!

Andromeda: Oh Andy I mean you were the easy choice for victor. Which isn’t a bad thing but it was because you were such a shoe in and so guarded (literally!) that it proved too predictable for HRI. But I digress for a moment. Andromeda is an interesting person. While she understood that what she was doing was wrong and she didn’t necessarily want to but she would anyway because that’s what the rules stated and she was going to follow through with it. I mean it makes sense, she was always the Capitol’s puppet and even though it was obvious that’s not what she wanted to be but her sense of self-preservation and desire to live overrules any impulse to do otherwise. What I do genuinely love about Andy’s character is that she knows what she’s planning to do is morally wrong and something she doesn’t particularly want to do. But she’ll do it and make no apologies for it because in her perspective it’s the only way to go about it. So while I would’ve loved to see Andy finally say enough and refuse to play the game anymore. It wouldn’t have been true to her character, as we saw in her POV. Which I suppose is a good argument for why she wouldn’t have been the most ideal victor choice. Her development after the games probably would’ve been on the more static side as she showed her unwillingness to defy the path the Capitol laid out for her. That may have changed as the years passed and the hunger games traditions we’re all familiar with are more established but maybe not, probably. Either way I have to say the way she went out was fucking brutal, even though her death was in Kale’s POV but whatever, like seriously woah. That was kinda sickening, I mean to be fair I understand why it had to be that way and I’m pretty sure I understand why Tesla was so vicious with it but holy shit Tess you have no chill right now! I mean damn Andy was about to do some messed up shit but just damn... I had my issues with Andy throughout the story but that was a rough way to go out.
R.I.P. Andy you weren’t my favorite tribute but you did show us that you were human and someone we could sympathize with. I don’t know if you deserved the death you got or not but I will say that was rough and I hope you’re in a better place now...

Tesla: Alright so this POV gave me a heart attack for multiple reasons. I mean you’d never want to be boxed in a corner with Andromeda. But then Kale shows up, only for his own preservation, and konks Andy in the head. I’m sorry but that little part had me bursting out laughing. So yeah. I mean just the fact that Kale and Tesla were working together in any capacity is kinda crazy. But they both know it’s they’re best bet and honestly I was all for it. Especially because it was portrayed so believably. Then we get to what I see is the main motivating factor in the overkill of Andy’s death. She realized that she wasn’t the main event that the Capitol was looking for even though she did more than Andromeda did to push the games forward and she got no recognition for that. Which to be fair I don’t know if you should want recognition for that in a normal situation but this isn’t normal anymore so. I mean she threw so much of herself and her morals for the sake of winning and getting back home and then see that she’s seen as inconsequential and Andromeda is still the favorite to win. No wonder she was livid and it projected onto Andy. Poor Andy... and I mean also she’s in the lion’s den so she wants to be the lion’s favorite. So there’s that but with that in mind like I just have to say before I go back to focusing on strictly her perspective that her turning the crowd to her side after killing Andy... that legit gave me goosebumps then it turns on Kale and- okay we’ll get to that in a moment. I mean She made herself the Capitol’s avatar after killing its chosen avatar. Which was a very smart move to cover her ass where the Capitol was concerned I’m sure that will do her no favors in the districts though. I also like that she took on full accountability for all the deaths she caused in doing that. It may have been accidental but it still happened. I just like that for her character development. But that’s not the main thing to focus on right now. Also thank you for the several moment of pure “holy shit” panic when like when Andy started choking her out or when Kale shoved her out of the way of Andy’s sword and she screamed. And while I had a feeling she was faking it because she’d used that sort of strategy before to her benefit I still was freaking terrified. So anyway thank you for that. Regardless it was totally perfect.

Kale: Okay so I just have to say what a fight! Like I can say in all honesty this could not have been a more perfect fight. Kale’s realization that he had to fight to help a person he loathed with his entire being for the sake of giving himself any sort of chance. Gotta say it was a massive relief knowing that Kale would ultimately be spared from the torture that Andy and mainly the Capitol had in store for him. Though as I said before Andy’s end was a pretty brutal one. I also loved the character interactions in these POVs Even though Andy pulling Kale to chain was another panicking moment for sure. Not to mention just Kale being in that much pain... that poor boy. He did not deserve that! It was an uncomfortable moment for all of us I’m sure and well it kinda made me mind Andy’s death a little bit less, though still brutal. On that note... Jesus Tesla really has no freaking chill! In all seriousness though all of the fight scenes were just fantastically written. The pacing and build up of suspense was perfect. It was super easy to visualize. Then we go to the final showdown. I never thought that Kale and Tesla would be the last two standing. As much as I adore both of these characters I figured at least one of them would’ve bit the dust before this but I am genuinely happy that I was wrong. Then the conversation with whether or not they were looking at a new Panem was really interesting. I mean Kale was totally right on the money. It is freaking crazy and it will never not be crazy even seventy four years later. And both of them understand that. I know when Tesla says that she does understand that this is all crazy, it gives him hope, but for what? Obviously he knows that Tesla is his best bet for either survival or a less painful death, especially when he realizes the Capitol would just torture him to death regardless if he killed Tesla. But what was he hopeful about? A merciful death? Or was it something more significant? Also WHAT DID HE SAY TO HER?! Was it something more simple and expected like “make it quick” or was it something more significant to the future, ie. The second rebellion. I don’t know but I am desperate to! But I’m glad that regardless of Kale dying I think that he still bested them. He never really compromised his principles (except for maybe a minute at the circus Maximus but we’re not taking about that right now) and he died quickly and relatively painlessly compared to the death that the Capitol had wanted for him. So even though the Capitol won they really didn’t get the victory they wanted. Their chosen butcher was killed before she could torture Kale for them and the person who actually killed him never wanted him to suffer. Really if Kale thought that the Capitol would let him live and go on with his life he could’ve won. But he knew that wasn’t an option so he went out as close to on his own terms as he possibly could. But WHAT DID HE SAY?! We must know! While I’m glad he wasn’t tortured to death my heart still broke when he died. He was really the best boy. Though it’s comforting to think that Kale is a better place with Del and Sam. And him and Del can cuddle and be adorable and Sam could make affectionate fun of them for eternity and they can all be happy together.
R.I.P. Kale you were one of my favorite characters from the beginning. You proved yourself as genuinely good multiple times throughout HRI and you stayed that way. And you went out on your own terms as best you could. We will never forget you.

Octavian: Welp we now have the obvious confirmation that the Hunger Games will go on for years to come. And we also have Confirmation that Octavian has just full on snapped. I’m scared now. Not just for the districts but actually Julia too a little bit. Just a little. But holy shit Tesla won! My noodle armed nerd won! I had hope but I just felt lucky that she made it out of the bloodbath and wasn’t killed by Vesper! I mean she did kill seven people so it would’ve been kinda a waste of all of Tesla’s efforts. Now she gets to live with all the shit she’s done...! oh god... this won’t be fun for her. I know I’ve said this a million times and I’m gonna say it again. You’ve taken Tesla’s character and developed her from a character that stood an okay chance of survival especially on her own, but you turned her into a victor and you did it in a totally believable and emotional sort of way. I’m so happy with how you handled her development and still left room for some kind of redemption arc. I know she fulfilled the villain role but I always saw her as not entirely irredeemable or as more of a kind of antihero. So I’m glad she gets the chance to be better after all she’s done. And I mean I’m trying not to be biased since she’s my brains child but Tesla is my favorite kind of victor who used her wits, intelligence, and cunning to get her to victory rather than with strength or martial skill; I mean there was a fair amount of luck involved too, to be fair, but still. On a more random note, holy shit Tess is gonna blow out her vocal cords with all the screaming and shrieking she’s done in the last few days. But more on topic to Octavian I wonder what his role will be in the next three chapters. But hey we’ll find out soon enough right?

So three chapters left until the end of History Repeats Itself. It’s been a wild ride to get to this point but it’s been amazing ride nonetheless. You’ve created an absolutely incredible story Ice. Like seriously it’s one of the best stories I’ve ever read. I’m almost sorry it’s a Fanfiction because you honestly deserve to make money off of this. It’s that good. Also thank you for coming back to finish this story. You’ve finished arguably the most arduous portion of the story. So just thank you so much for coming back to a story that so many people love. And sorry if this is super rambly and makes no sense but there’s so many thoughts and feelings buzzing around in my head right now about this so I’m doing my best lol. I’m looking forward to the next update... and the other two that will follow. No pressure though. Stay safe Ice and thank you again so much for this story!
7/8/2020 c65 1Reign of Winter
I’m at a loss for words at how perfectly written this finale was, honestly this was pure perfection. This probably won’t be a very long review, because there’s so many thoughts going through my mind, many that I just don’t know how to vocalise. Not to mention there is still a little more of the story to go, but anyways, I’ll give it a crack.

Adia, she was as good as dead from the end of last chapter, but the question was how would she be killed. I thought Andromeda taking her out was very fitting, she was pretty much a pawn for the Capitol anyways, so it fit really well. Rest In Peace Adia, your actions spoke louder than words, and were televised to the entirety of Panem.

The stand off between the remaining three was done so well, I just can’t express how suspenseful it was. For how favourable it was to Andromeda, the other two put up an extremely good effort, and actually made it into a fight rather than an execution. Not to mention that Andromeda killed neither of them, kudos to them! So the way Andromeda went out, it makes perfect sense. There was no way she was getting killed in a fight, she was too overpowered, which meant that Tesla used her wits that she had been displaying the whole story! I thought that was really clever, and was definitely a good way to kill off Andromeda.

Now Kale, the fact that he made it to second place was amazing! Against all the odds, he survived for that long, not to mention that I honestly believe he could have killed Tesla at the end there. However, everyone including Kale knew, regardless of winning the Hunger Games, there is no way he would have been allowed to leave. I feel like he still could have killed Tesla anyway, he hated her and it would have been a big fuck you to the Capitol, but perhaps he knew they would have tortured him. I’m thinking that was involved with what he whispered to Tesla, that he would let her win if she made it quick, but I could be wrong! Well done Kale, you were a great character, but we all knew you’re time was limited.

Here we are, with Tesla as Victor. Honestly, had I known that earlier in the story, I wouldn’t have believed it. I had a sneaking suspicion that she would make it out as Victor during the lines talking about her being a ‘pre-show’. And here we are, with her winning! Although Tesla was definitely antagonistic, I still don’t think she’s entirely bad. Some of her final POV’s of the last few chapters really did reveal some perspective, and I do think she is a redeemable character. Also I think she is a great choice for Victor, as for one, it was quite unpredictable, and two, she would make a great mentor and model for what the future of the Hunger Games would become. I’m certainly not displeased by this, I actually like Tesla despite some of the terrible things she’s done. I think her character has a lot of development left (despite the story coming to a close), and she definitely could have a redemption arc! Congrats Tesla!

I’m really excited to read these next couple of chapters and see the conclusion if History Repeats Itself, it’s been a wild ride and the payoff will most certainly deliver! Congratulations Ice for completing the Hunger Games portion of the story!
7/7/2020 c65 2AaronIris34
This is crazy! After all this time, we have a victor. I’m pleased that it was Tesla. She will be a nice model for careers down the road. She wasn’t the clear favorite, but she wasn’t a dark horse either.

So, to start from the beginning. Adia’s death was sad, but not surprising. I was expecting her to miss everyone, but I found it to be a nice touch that she hit a random Capital citizen. I had guessed previously that she was going to be shot, but Andromeda killing her was fitting. She was a tool for the Capital the whole time, so she was still honoring that.

So, the main fight. Pretty epic. I really liked how you explored the different dynamics at play. Kale hates Tesla, but isn’t trying to kill her because he doesn’t want to be tortured to death. Tesla doesn’t want to kill Kale first because she knows she can’t beat Andromeda alone. Andromeda is trying not to kill Kale because she feels that she is supposed to torture Kale. Gruesome relationships, but you explored it well.

When Tesla fell and screamed I had a feeling something fishy was up. Andromeda should have just killed her and it cost her. It is fitting for Tesla though. She was originally from Three so this shows that she still has her wits about her. Kale’s death was interesting to me. He was in a position where he could have won, but he knew that he wouldn’t have a happily every after. I’m assuming he told her to kill him, but I’m only guessing. A short death now is probably preferable to a long one later.

I hope that Tesla will be able to pull her life together after this. She’s pushed her mental limits, so I can only hope that she hasn’t snapped. It would be fun to see her be okay later. Obviously, she’ll have her demons, but she did what she could to get back to her family.

I know there are a couple of chapters left, but I still want to say thank you. I came in kind of late to this story, but I’ve loved it. You’ve done a remarkable job and put in a considerable amount of time. I’m sure it’s been difficult at times, but I appreciate your perseverance. Update soon!
7/7/2020 c65 1GryffindorOnFire
WOW! This has been really a lot to take in, and a very action-packed chapter. A bit disappointed Asia’s knife hadn’t hit anyone that important but she still got someone, she played by own rules and I know why she’s smiling: she died in the most Tully, the most rebel way she could, on her own terms.

Though I will say, the robotic way that Andromeda slit her throat was a telltale sign that Andromeda’s arc was that she couldn’t change, which is an arc in and of itself. And it meant that she had to die. I do admit it came with many sad tears that I read Andromeda’s death scene, but I think that’s figured with her being my “brain-child,” but it’s still great writing.

It was also a surprising twist of fate that made Andromeda the beast that she was this chapter, taking them both on and taking much longer than I would expect her to last in front of Tesla’s insane rage and Kale’s fiery revenge. But the beast was taken in the end, and it was a rather satisfying way to see her go, oddly as it is, because it seemed rather a horrifying and gruesome death. But I was very happy with the direction Andy went, and I know Sobek will be just fine even after his sister is dead.

And for Kale ... Man. I knew in my heart he had no chance, but I still let myself hope somehow in some way there would be a fluke and he would be the Victor of the Games. But now with all these Peacekeepers with their barrels right in Kale’s face, I doubt even if he did kill Tesla, he would not live. But I would give everything to know what Kale said to Tesla before he died. Was it some thing malicious? Something they could agree on? A pact, that he wouldn’t fight his death in return for something else? I’m sure we’ll come to know in the following chapters.

Okay, onto Tesla- first off, yay! My prediction was correct, and I sort-of expected and knew her to be the Victor for a pretty long time. I mean, how could you let such a badass character kill five (seven) tributes and not let her win? Albeit she was a cruel villain, or dare I say antihero, that killed most of our most beloved OCs. But she was the character with the MOST growth, the most potential and she showed such development through the Games. I am excited to read how she will face her family when she does meet them, and I wonder if the first Games will have all the fancy post-Games traditions we know they have later. But I am very happy with Tesla’s win, I think she deserved it. I know, I know .. she killed Del, Sam AND Kale. But she did it against all odds. She was smart, cunning, clever and she is our first victor.

To wrap things up, this has been a crazy ride. Thank you for this great story that you’ve given us, Ice, and an even bigger thanks for picking up and continuing the story. I know we’ve been bugging you for updates each week, but it takes a lot to continue writing a story after years of not. You could’ve just let it sit with the scene with Andromeda and Riri about to face each other (which feels like decades ago), but you didn’t. And that is major respect. I wish you the best of luck in finishing the rest of the 3 chapters. I know no one will be pestering you about this time, and you shouldn’t feel like you need to meet a deadline with these last chapters. I think everyone was just antsy to get an update because we wanted to know sooo badly who was gonna win. Though I digress, anyway! Just want to say THANK YOU, Ice, for taking the time out of your life to finish this amazing story for us.

You’re an amazing writing, you’re definitely gonna get published one day, if you’re headed that route. And I know we lost a few along the way, but I’m sure each and every one of us who have submitted a tribute to this story will say that you have done their character complete justice. Thank you. I’ll be waiting for the updates to come, have a great day! :D
6/22/2020 c64 2Idalove2read
Oh Myyyyy Goooooosh,

So I know I haven't reviewed last chapter, but I just wanted to make sure I got this one in before you published the next one. Because... well, let's all be honest here, I am not sure whether or not I will be able to read next chapter and live to tell the tale. I might just combust, from pure anticipation, heartbreak and anxiety. Which are all things that are amazing to feel when reading something like this mindbogglingly emotion-provoking story. Yes, that's a lot of adjectives but I just really want you to understand how much I care. Very much. Okayyyy onto this shipwreck of a reviewwww:

Before I zoom in on each character's POV, can I just say: the gravitas, the cheering, the endgame feeling... it really does feel like the end, and I know it's only been like 2 weeks for these tributes, but it's been 5 years for me and that's just another level. Like, I can literally feel the cheering in my bones, you cursed genius! How do you do it?! REVEAL YOUR SECRETS (I'm kidding, but like, holy shit am I hyped and also totally not ready to say goodbye to any of these guys).

Tesla: You evil bastard, I hope you win and I think I might just take a 48h nap if you don't. It's been mentioned time and time again, but she just had such a wonderful and elaborate character arc, and she really became a monster that deserves to win. Let me clarify: she really got down and dirty, she was awful and yet she persisted without totally cracking, and honestly I just have such a soft-spot for tributes like this. And there's a small part of me that wants her to see all the Del/Sam/Kale interactions and cry with me. The fact that she left her locket behind made my heart ache, but it was also such a power move. If she dies, she dies alone with all of these actions on her conscience. If she lives, well as she said, she'll have enough time to disentangle herself from the madness and perhaps become someone better. Urgh... and honestly, I was kind of worried that you would go into detail about her digging through Sam's guts to get the key out (because that's honestly something I would have done and I'm not proud of that). But the way you described was like... I can't explain it. It was simple and so removed and I could really feel Tesla just like trying to disassociate herself completely from that. Amazingly done, and thanks for not traumatizing me with my favorite character's corpse defilement, many thanks.

Andromeda: Yeahhhh I gotta say... Andy is something. She was never my favorite, but I really found myself feeling for her over the past few chapters. I think my inherent bias towards the others stems from the fact that she was never really at a disadvantage, and the kills she made as well as her human connections with the other tributes weren't really as impactful. Which like, if she wins will make this a WHOLE LOT EASIER on the poor girl. I think she'll handle victory best, and she's best equipped. When she enters the Colosseum, that scene is honestly one of the few iconic scenes from this story that will stick with me forever... again i can't stress enough how intense you made this moment seem. GAH. Good luck to Andromeda, even though i'm like... I gotta root for Tesla I'm sorry my dearest from D2, my hands are tied.

Kale: If Kale dies, I'm gonna take a 48h nap, so be warned, if both Kale and Tesla die, I'm uh, out of commission for a while. Not that it should influence your next chapter but uh. YES. IT SHOULD. (I'm just kidding, but I just love them so fiercely, I can't promise I won't swoop in with a van and kidnap them. Shoulda done it earlier to save Del and Sam too). Poor Kale... my poor poor sweet boy. His pain really came across in this chapter, and him carrying Chance outside just :'((((( Do you wanna kill me or something ? And when he whispers in Del's ear and he just KNOWS Sam will be eavesdropping... :(((((((( DUDE HOW COULD YOU, SAM DESERVED TO LIVE. No i'm not crying, you're crying. K THAT's enough.

Adia: And in this amazing POV, we really see the extent of how the Capitol really participated in the earliest games. They were right there in the audience, that's crazy ! Like, not really a twist but my brain exploded like holy shit! And it's such a classic Capitol move, giving their favorite the best gear... so petty. I think the flashback was incredibly effective where you put it, because it really shows how far things have strayed from those happy rebellious teen interactions they had back at the Capitol. It really pulled at my heart strings seeing everyone who's long gone, and it sets the tone perfectly for this 4-way face-off.
AND THEN ADIA THROWS THE KNIFE HOLYSHITHOLYSHITHOLYSHIT ! I didn't expect thattttt :O I literally read this chapter at snail's speed because I was sure someone was going to die, and then this happens and I was just [static] [sirens] [flipping video of my face]

I don't think I've ever simultaneously not wanted and wanted something as much as the next chapter. Hope you are doing great and never apologize for delays, it's sooooo worth it !
SEE YOU NEXT CHAPTER (OR NOT, BECAUSE YOU KNOW, MIGHT JUST LEAVE THIS ASTRAL PLANE DEPENDING ON THE OUTCOME) !
6/20/2020 c64 2AaronIris34
We’re getting so close to the end. I’m excited! Obviously we always have our favorites, but I’m at the point where I would be happy if any of the the remaining people won.

I loved that you made this a chapter that lead into the final fight. It could have felt rushed otherwise. This really seemed like a scene I could see in a movie, where the remaining characters meet up at the Coliseum.

Tesla’s POV was interesting to me. For some reason I go back and forth of thinking she had snapped. While reading, it’s apparent she is aware that she has crossed a lot of lines and is willing to do pretty much everything else, but she is still holding on to her original motivation, her family. She thinks that if she dies then the wrong things she did would be in vain, but if she wins she can atone for them. That is a powerful motivation and a pleasing one. Although she has obviously fulfilled more of a villain role, she has relatively pure motivations. She’s doing what it takes to get back to her sisters and I can respect that. I know I would probably have a similar attitude to get back to my family.

Adia’s POV really shows how much everyone is playing by the rules now (well until the end). She wasn't screaming at the Capital, but was preparing to fight. Unfortunately, she threw her knife at the President. In the unlikely case that she isn’t shot immediately, it’s probably better that she doesn’t win. There is no way the Capital would let her or the remaining members of her family just walk.

I’m still shocked that Kale is alive. I love the guy and he is physically capable .but he’s gone through a lot. If ‘tis were a later Games I would probably put more stock in his chances, but he’s from Eleven. Plus, he has no weapons, at least I don’t think he does.

I’m excited to see who wins. Andromeda seems like a front runner but I think I find myself rooting for Tesla more. I would have said Adia, but that was before she tried to kill the President. If she hadn’t, she could have teamed up with Kale and had a chance. Anything can happen though. Update soon!
6/20/2020 c64 asadderandawiserman
For some reason I find the detail about Kale not getting any gear really funny, it just strikes me as really petty of the Capitol! Like fine, you survived our vulture-bomb ordeal, but we're not giving you any treats. I feel like they only gave Adia a shield in the first place so they'd be able to give Kale less. Hell, maybe the only reason anyone got anything was so Kale could get less. BUT! In a surprise last minute twist, after holding on to the position for the entire Games, Kale probably just lost his 'most hated by the gamemakers' trophy to Adia!

I guess I'll start with that big twist at the end, which I really liked! I don't think Adia's likely to actually kill or hurt Julia-I bet they have a forcefield or something, or she might just miss-but it feels like a really satisfying conclusion to her arc for me. Or to be honest, it feels more like a conclusion to the rebels arc than Adia specifically, following on from Tully's motivations last chapter where she sacrificed herself to give someone else the opportunity to make a difference. Not that I particularly think this assasination attempt is going to do a huge amount of good for the universe in general, but it does have a pretty massive audience, and it does show a much higher level of conviction and deliberate action than the rebels have shown so far. The rebels have been a very unfocused presence at some points in the games, partly through the deliberate and interesting incompetence of children being manipulated by adults, like Caragh's death, Arc's death, or Bolt's death, and partly through I think some messier storytelling at the beginning, with the aimlessness when they were originally holed up and arguing over rescuing Katerina etc. And I think these last two chapters have been a really nice contrast to that, where even if they're basically doomed, and didn't get to communicate with each other, Adia and Tully have found a way to meaningfully work together and actually do something rebellious! I don't think there was any point where the rebels were my favourite group in the games, but they've been a really major presence, and it seems like a really interesting storytelling challenge that's very different to other SYOTs, so I'm glad to see that they got a nice conclusion here. Of course, there's a chance that the rebels aren't done yet, but I have a feeling that Adia's gonna die pretty quickly when the next chapter starts.

I'm trying to think if there's anything I want to say about the rest of the finalists before the next chapter.

Andromeda's been a character that I've always really liked from a basic premise point of view. I think she was a really clever way to put a sort of 'career' in the games, and I think the angle of her being the intended victor is really interesting. Her personality is a really nice balance between confidence and understanding of her own limitations, like she knowsshe has a very good shot in the games, but she never takes it for granted. All that said, I have to admit that I wish she'd had slightly more to do over the course of the games. I feel like I could very easily decribe a pretty interesting arc that the other 3 finalists have gone through pretty simply, but Andromeda hasn't really changed very much over the games, there really has been quite a lot of aimless wandering for her. Maybe if she'd had slightly more in depth interactions with other tributes, such as being more antagonistic towards the rebels earlier on, she'd have some sort of meaninful relationship to one of the other finalists, but as it is I don't think she really does. Still, like I've said, I'm a fan of Andromeda and excited to see her final fight, whichever way it falls.

I think you know I really like Kale as well, and he has had some really interesting relationships which are shown off well in this chapter. I think the most interesting thing about him here, is that I'm still genuinely not sure whether he's willing to kill. He certainly has a will to survive, especially after Sam and Del's sacrafices, but he knows very well how violence can lead to more violence, and fairly recently it seems like he had set himself against killing. As much as I'm interested to see how this falls, I wish I had a clearer idea of his plans going into this final battle. Although, I might have completely misinterpreted and he's totally willing to kill! We'll see! I'm also really interested to see some final interaction between Kale and Tesla, who I think have every reason to hate each other by now, but also seem to have both matured/got tired to a point where they can't really see each other as enemies.

On the other side, I am very sure that Tesla's willing to kill to get through this. Which I guess is ironic, since Tesla came in to the games with such a conviction not to 'get her hands dirty', but she's put that behind her a long time ago. I really like that Tesla's already aware that she's crossed a lot of lines, and that her original motivations about her siblings doesn't really hold up anymore, rather than that being some grand revelation she has at the last minute. Tesla's always been a really interesting take on a villain, who knows that she's doing villanous things but stays somewhat sympathetic, and I like that she's now having to cope with the fact that she's slipped into the role too far and doesn't really know how to cope. But also, from her perspective, those feelings are something she can sort out once she's safe, and I can't really fault her for that. I still think it's probably Kale, or maybe Andromeda who'll win, but I certainly wouldn't be upset if Tesla makes it. It would actually be really interesting to see her try to assimilate back into her normal life!

Thanks very much for this chapter, and very excited for the next!
6/19/2020 c64 1GryffindorOnFire
What a great chapter! It’s taken four long years but it’s all worth it to finally see what’s going to come out of it. Not much happened this chapter as our four finalists just had time to recuperate and prepare for the endgame, but this is really excited. I told myself to be unbiased and view each one of these characters as their own, but I can’t help myself but root a little harder for Andromeda.

But anyway. I love Kale. He is such a kindhearted soul, and dragging out Chance, that was so sad. Kale has gone through so much, he’s changed wildly as a person. I loved the fact that you added how he had missed all of the tragedy and sadness that came with the Games because him and Sam were caught up with chasing down Tesla and Vesper the whole time. It wasn’t until the end until he realized how truly sad the Games were.

I love the beginning of Adia’s chapter and the flashback. It really showed her growth, from being a cocky, confident girl to a mature, grown woman. It was sad watching all of the old rebels, and remembering how each of them had died. It’s like reading about whole different people.

Andromeda’s chapter was also great. I liked how we got to see the contrast between how they had felt in the Roman arena so very longer and seeing it now after they had spent so long in the Labryinth. It’s sad almost to see that one of them will be leaving the arena soon. It reminds me sort of of a time that once was, when they were all alive and just children. The part with the 20 candles lit up instead of 4 was chilling. So much has happened since the Bloodbath.

I can’t help but make my own guess on who’s winning, but in my eyes, Tesla is our winner. I like to think I’m a pretty good plot-guesser anyway. Tesla has been an absolute savage, and don’t get me wrong, I love my evil, ruthless characters and she has been just that. She was a mad genius, cutting people down left and right. And although Tesla did a lot of bad things, including gaslighting Vesper and drugging him and a whole bunch of other shit, I can really see her as the perfect redeemable victor arc. She goes from batshit insane to someone who’s grown and learned to become a wiser, smarter and more honorable human being. And just from the previous chapters, I can see her Victor buildup. From her accepting that what she did in the Arena was not for her family, what she’s been telling herself all along, her reluctance to carve up Sam when if it were a week ago, she had done so without a second thought, and her own thoughts of how she was so exhausted but realized she had to get out and win to make sure she didn’t kill any of them in vain. Also Kale is the biggest rebel there and Adia just tried to kill the President so their chances of winning is slim for me. And Andy is almost too perfect of a Capitol poster child, and yes, although She’s gone through changes in her person and realized that she is human after all and she does feel, I think her getting all the armor and whatnot is a little too unfair if she wins, in a plotting point-of-view, it’s almost too predictable. So yes, my final prediction is Tesla and if she doesn’t win, I owe everyone $10. But I’m still rooting for Kale, Adia and Andy. I would love to see any of them win. I can’t wait to see what you do to close out 3 of their characters and Looking forward to reading the post-games chapters of whoever ends up winning. GREAT CHAPTER ICE! Update soon.
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