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6/18/2020 c64 1Reign of Winter
We’re in the Endgame now.

This was a great chapter, obviously not too much happening as it’s the one chapter for our tributes to gather their thoughts and try and prepare themselves for the finale, but it was a great way of summarising all of their thoughts and struggles in the one chapter. It also recapped quite a few things to really give a sense of the upcoming finality to the story, so I must commend you on that! The tension was palpable, and the atmosphere just feels so ominous, this could go any way and that’s something I love about your writing, the unpredictability.

So what can I see happening? At the start of this chapter, the one tribute I couldn’t see winning was Kale, for reasons that I believe are self explanatory. I could have definitely seen their poster child Andromeda winning, I could have seen Tesla winning as an example of a villainous victor done right. The thing is with her, is she is redeemable from a viewers perspective, seeing as we get to be in her head, see her morals and reasoning - hell, she even said she could go back to normal. She also said she could become a whole different person, which could be suggesting something, perhaps the catalyst for the Careers in District 1? I could have also seen Adia winning as a fluke, perhaps the Capitol underestimated her and she managed to take out Tesla or Andromeda as part of a climactic surprise.

A big however, she just threw a knife at the President. I think that sort of seals Adia’s fate, I can’t see her being allowed to win now that she’s done that, same continues to go for Kale. The only scenario I can see Adia winning is so that the Capitol can brainwash her and make an example out of her, but I’m not confident you’ll go down that route. So to sum it up, I think this finale is out of Tesla and Andromeda!

Wow next chapter is the Finale, I can’t actually believe it. Congratulations on making such a stellar return, and actually getting to this stage of the story! If any story deserved closure, it was definitely this one, and you have certainly delivered!
6/17/2020 c64 Wolves the Author
Oh my god! Ice holy shit my heart! You really- wow this is just. I have so much to say. So much. And I’m not sure all of it will be coherent but it’s not like I’ve never word vomited before so here we go. First off the traditional this was well-written and amazing, pretty much a well-known fact by now. And AHHH THE FINALE IS NEXT! I am NOT ready! And I’m genuinely sorry that you have to kill off three more to get to the end, that really has to suck so really thank you for putting yourself through that for us. So now it’s time for even more babbling! Onto the POVS (wow how many more times will I be able to say that...?)

Tesla: Oh Tesla my sweet, sweet brainchild. What has become of you? Ugh I know I have said this time and again and this time it will be more toned down I promise. But this girl’s development as a character has been masterful and it’s both crushed my heart and made me more happy than it probably should. She chucked her morals off a cliff after they were set on fire and she became a contender who could actually win (she also became the kinda defacto villain but I’m not focusing on that right now) it was really hard to watch but it was so realistic that I couldn’t not approve or appreciate it. What I loved is how tired Tesla seemed at the beginning of this, and really up until the ceiling bit. She’s just so DONE, with the games, the capitol, with everything really. Which hey I don’t blame her at all. I think most people would. It also gave me a bit of comfort that she didn’t just immediately jump to hacking Sam open to get the key, yes she did eventually but her hands were tied and she just did what she had to do to survive. Which I think is a persistent theme for this character. I also really like that she is taking some responsibility at least for what she’s done rather than just pinning it all on her siblings, even though she does seem to be reluctant to do so. And not gonna lie I did kinda have the same thought she did she killed those people and did all that messed up shit, which was totally not okay- we all agree, and then to just die... it’s kinda like she might as well not have done any of it from the start, which would be a pretty good moral of the story if/when she dies but yeah... my creator bias may also be showing a bit but sue me. What also broke my heart is that Tesla left her locket behind. I get the symbolism behind it and I think it’s makes sense for the character, she’s not killing for her family anymore or at least they aren’t the primary reason/excuse for it. She’s accepted that she’s got no right to morals and understands what she’s done but still and I’m not entirely sure why, just her leaving her locket behind. It hurt. Like it felt like a gut punch. I don’t even know why but it did... so umm yeah I’m scared. Though you do have me thinking if she does win, who would she become because she definitely won’t be going back to who she used to be after all this shit. Anyway long rant and pro-Tesla bias aside this was a great POV!

Andromeda: Alright so we see the first character make it outside the maze. I’m kinda sad she just left Chance in there after that whole thing, though that’s not really out of character for her to do. Especially if she felt subconsciously guilty for killing him, and is just repressing it; which is totally her style. It just might’ve been a nice thing for her to do, to humanize her further rather than Kale, especially since she and Chance had more of a relationship than Chance and Kale did but regardless that’s really the only possible criticism I could have here. What I really liked about this POV is again we do get to see the human that has been put through hell underneath the bitchy badass exterior. Like my heart really went out to her when she was talking about being home in her shitty apartment with her brother. That actually made me really pull for her to win, at least for a little while anyway , even then I don’t think I’d necessarily be made if Andy won, though I could really say that about any of the finalists. But I didn’t always think that way in regard to Andy. So nice touch there. Another thing I really liked is that throughout the entire hunger games (whether she’s consciously realized it or not) Andromeda has had her confidence challenged and shaken, such as when she wasn’t able to fight Del into submission like she wanted or when she almost died to District 1’s traps in the bathhouse way back however many chapters ago, and of course during her fights with Riri and especially Chance, wherein both cases she also almost died. So I think she did learn a little bit from her earlier mistakes but she was still rather overconfident, especially when she was facing off with Chance. I think that at least now she’s a lot more cautious and willing to see the other tributes as threat that needed to be taken seriously. Which is a smart move on her but that may definitely make things more difficult for the other tributes in the finale. Granted Andy is still really injured from her previous fights so again that may equalize things a bit more in the finale but again we’ll see. If it’s one thing I’ve learned from this story, hell even from just this chapter, is that you really can’t expect anything. Like don’t even bother trying. Making it even more nerve wracking. Also I was wondering if the Colosseum was going to have a proper audience or not. Or like the audience would just be holograms or something but I think you’re way worked best. Another awesome POV!

Kale: Oh man this was just a heartbreaker right here. So many emotions, y’know in a way I would even argue that Kale is kinda like the readers of this story. I don’t know if I’m making sense but we’ve gotten so far in this story and so many characters have died, but so much has happened since those deaths that we don’t really think about it or the fallen characters much in general until it’s kinda thrown back in our faces and we get that same gut punch, in varying degrees. Like honestly I kinda forgot about Selene. Not like totally but she just wasn’t on my mind then BAM and her death popped into my head. Nice strategy with that. This really did just break my heart for Kale I mean he really seemed pretty hopeless and on the edge of despair, which we haven’t totally seen from him before. And him just going through all the statues (goddammit Tesla and your backstabbing!) fucking hell my feels... That small part of him not believing or rather hoping that the games weren’t actually real. Im sure pretty much all of the tributes had that thought/hope at least once... again poor guy. And then he see’s Chance’s body and gets even more traumatized! Then we have the moment when he seems to break and give up as every heroic-type character seems to have before they get a grip and are ready to rumble, or at least give it their best effort. Which was something I was really glad to see from Kale. He doesn’t seem like the type to do giving up. Especially when people he cared about sacrificed so much for him. But This poor guy though, just the bit with Del and Sam’s statues... fucking hell times ten. It was great but just- oh it hurts... It hurts Ice. Just that moment where he grabs their hands... it was a great moment but more pain, thank you Ice. I also loved that moment when he thought about Sorrel and the impact she had on him, and really the comfort she helped provide him. I really hope that girl is alive and well after those interviews... Also I loved that he apologized for mocking her for what she’d do to cope and shows his appreciation for their friendship. That shows really nice maturity on his part. And his hoping there’s an afterlife where Sam and Del are hanging out in... thats a really nice thought and with his parting words for Del. I’m taking it as a confession. Cause Sam would eavesdrop and tease Del mercilessly. It was a nice little bit of lightness before shit got sad and gets real. Another amazing POV!

Adia: Alrighty last but certainly not least we have Adia. First off I love how you started the chapter off with another flashback, I do love your use of flashbacks. They’re very effective in my opinion. I loved that you re-established the bond that she had with Bolt. I loved their relationship before Bolt passed. And it was also really nice to see the rebels back together again. United for a common purpose, idealistic and overconfident as it may have been at the time. It’s sad to think how badly or tragically rather the alliance ended. I though it was a really nice way to possibly give Adia a foundation to get back her more brash, rebellious self. Which that was nice to see. I actually feel pretty bad that Adia didn’t get to have that conversation with Tully and ultimately get closure. But that aside I have to say that this whole POV was written in such a way that it played in my head like it was a freaking movie! Like seriously it was super well done! I was wondering if they were going to organize the finale, if it was going to be like tournament style or a battle royale sorta deal. Guess it’ll be the battle royale. And well I guess we know who the favorite to win is. I mean that was pretty much a given but still it was pretty fucked they gave Kale nothing and Adia a tiny shield while Andromeda got almost a full set of armor (and weapons?) while Tesla got less armor but more weapons choice. Makes me wonder if the capitol is trying to protect Andromeda more so she’d win or give her more of that protection to make the show more interesting. Also I focus on weird random things but why’d Tesla pick a spear? Maybe more up close and potentially reliable than a ranged weapon but farther range than a sword? I dunno. Poor Kale though, I mean they are really giving him almost no chance of survival here. No freaking surprise there. Anyway what I also really liked that throughout this chapter we see Adia being obedient to what the Capitol wants, even being kinda civil. God I want to smack the Capitolites here, especially Julia. Just the mocking is unnecessary, like you’ve already put these kids through hell. But again they’re Assholes so I expect nothing less really. BUT THEN! THEN! Adia does the amazing and takes the shot at the fucking president of Panem! I mean everything about that scene was perfect! The confusion from the other tributes, The mocking superiority from the capitolites, the freaking fiddle, then the throw! It was a perfect and frustrating cliffhanger and a perfect end to the POV!

Alright so that’s my rambling done for now. Again loved the chapter! Cliffhanger and all! I absolutely can’t wait for the next chapter but I’m also seriously dreading it! No matter what though I know the next chapter will be awesome and you’ll more than do the characters justice! I’m dying to know where things go from here. I mean if Julia gets killed by Adia then it’s a pretty clean set up for the hunger games to continue but who knows? I certainly don’t but I can’t wait to find out! Anyway loved the chapter, don’t worry about the delays, art takes time after all. Stay safe and see you next chapter! I am so not emotionally ready. :)
6/17/2020 c64 1Dictator Mags
Ooohhh snap, Adia! Her pov was epic! I wonder if she'll actually succeed. I absolutely am excited and terrified for the finale to get underway. Thanks again for writing such an awe-inspiring story, Ice! 3
6/9/2020 c63 asadderandawiserman
Sorry for missing this update for a few days! But don't worry about a gap in updates, it's impressive of you to make time for this between other responsibilities in any case!

I agree with you that action scenes are difficult, and that it can be hard to find anything to say about them sometimes. But, if you want me to judge an action scene based on how much I genuinely don't know how it's going to end, the Andromeda vs Chance fight was very good! Before I read the chapter I would have been 95% sure that Andromeda was going to make it to the final 4, but halfway through their fight I was fully willing to believe it could go in either direction, which is impressive for an 18 year old trained assasin fighting a 12 year old. For a second, at the end, I even thought that they were both going to live, with Adia and Tully both going out at once and letting Chance escape through the doors. But I'm satisfied with how it turned out. Chance was probably one of the most interesting characters left to me; I think he was a really interesting mix of selfishness, vulnerability, fear, and competence. His attempt to ally with Andromeda at the end there was a nice character moment, I can very easily see it being entirely a calculated attempt to get her guard down, a completely honest desire to trust someone, or more likely a mix of both. I have to say that I think there was an attempt to sort of 'wrap up' Chance's storyline here in a way that didn't really work for me. I really like the development that he comes to see his father as more of a victim than a murderer, and how that reflects on his own self-image, since that's always been the core of his drama, but I'm not sure what's prompting this change in attitude now beyond it just being the end of the line for this character. I guess it's just very difficult to sell this kind of thing when he's been alone for this last chunk of the story, with no other characters to bounce off, and I think he was at his best as a character when he was able to react to Milo, Jeanette, and Stanley. Maybe there would have been a way to let him spend more time with Andromeda to explore both of them a little more, but I don't want to sound too negative, I like both of these characters and their stories a lot! I guess what I'm saying is that these two have an interesting chemistry here, and it's a shame we didn't see a bit more of it!

I found Adia and Tully's side of the story (or really, Tully's side) a little less engaging than Chance and Andromeda's, just because I'm slightly less invested in those characters, but it was also very solid action and I actually feel like the 'wrapping up' of Tully's story here worked a lot more naturally, in my opinion. The decision to try to rescue Adia, even when it seems futile, is a really neat callback to the first major conflict of the rebels, specifically the conflict between her and Adia, and is a really nice way to sort of reconcile those characters even though I don't think they actually got a chance to say another word to each other. I also like the angle of her actions being less an attempt to improve things within her lifetime, or even 'win' anything, but just to make things slightly easier for those she leaves behind. It also came into my head, fairly randomly, that if anyone made a visual adaptation of HRI they could very easily make Riley's chariot outfit Minotaur-inspired, thanks to his District 10 origin, and would be a neat nod to the way they play the same role in both halves of the games. Maybe you even mentioned something along those lines in the chariot chapters, but I'm not going to go back and check :P

I actually came away from the chapter feeling like it was pretty ambiguous whether Tully or Adia died, since we left that scene before either explicitly died, and I felt like the description of the statue appearing deliberately could have described Adia or Tully. But then I saw in the reviews that everyone was talking about Tully dying, and reading back those last few lines of Tully's POV it seems a lot clearer than I originally thought. Still, maybe I'm just a bit suspicious after Kale's miraculous survival, but I'm only about 80% convinced that Adia's into the final 4.

Either way, there'll be more to say next chapter I'm sure, but it's exciting to have our final contestants, and I'm very interested to see exactly what the gamemakers (/you) have planned here. In terms of the tributes, Kale, Andromeda, and Tesla have clearly been some of the most important characters in the story for a long time, and I'm pretty interested in all of them. I'm less invested in Adia, I guess because she started as part of such a large group and seems less clearly differentiated from the other rebels, but it feels right to have someone from that group left. I'm also struggling to remember exactly how injured Tesla is at this point, because I think all the others have been described as really on death's door, which might give her a major advantage. Personally, I'm stuck between whether I think Kale or Andromeda are likely to be the Victor, so if we're along the same wavelength I imagine the final battle will be between those two to drag out to tension as long as posisble. That said, I could easily see the finale being Kale vs Tesla, since they're really the only tributes left with a personal connection. It feels like Andromeda winning is the most'realistic' in terms of the fake history of Panem, and how we know the universe develops after this, but in this story individually Kale really feels like more of a protagonist, and therefore I guess more likely to win, although I'm sure awful things will happen to him afterwards if he does. Whatever happens, thanks very much for this chapter and I'm looking forward to see what happens next!
5/30/2020 c63 Wolves the Author
Huh can I just say that Microsoft trying to come in and trying to scold you on your language is kinda funny and kinda ridiculous, Microsoft is a little over sensitive methinks. Granted it doesn’t know it’s meant for a hunger games story (which is really the only warning we need anyway) but I digress. Anyways... Holy hell Ice! Here we are, down to the final four! I wasn’t expecting two tributes to kick the bucket this chapter but I would say that having a chapter before the final showdown with just the final four is a nice little breather before we’re thrown into emotional upheaval when three of those four are inevitably murdered. So I’m actually pretty happy. Not gonna lie I wasn’t expecting certain outcomes of this chapter but I’m definitely not mad at them. But anyway so I’m not going to switch Individual POV to Individual POV Because that would be long and confusing, instead I’ll just go by character. So now onto the POVs!

Andromeda: Now this whole perspective really made me like Andromeda. Not that I exactly disliked her. But this POV especially just made her seem really I don’t know young? Vulnerable? Human? Just the fact that she feels SOMETHING about this whole situation just drive home that she was actually human. I think for me I’ve seen Andromeda as kinda indestructible, like it was kinda a given she would make it this far and she was the most likely victor. Plus just what I’ve seen from her personality was just so pissy, cold and badass which was always seriously entertaining to read but it sometimes made her kinda difficult to relate to. Though these last few chapters with her perspective have done a lot to show us that hey Andy is in fact human and just as vulnerable as the rest of the remaining tributes. I mean the fact that she actually started to feel afraid of CHANCE of all people. I mean I actually thought that there was a chance that Andy would lose to the kid! Wouldn’t that have been a twist. Or when Chance tried to get the two of them to team up. Oh man I mean the outcome of the fight and stuff was heartbreaking but it was probably for the best. And it rang the most true to Andy’s character. What was also great to see was that we got to see some more real emotion from her, it even shone through a bit while she was trying to repress it. I was just happy to see that she seemed genuinely regretful, even if she was trying not to think about it. It was obvious she had a soft spot for Chance in her own way and I’m sure that this is one death that will definitely weigh on her if she makes it out. This was just a great POV overall. While Andy isn’t one of my favorites to win I have to say that I actually wouldn’t mind if she was the victor. Though she was kinda an obvious final four pick it was kinda nice to have something predictable happen. Plus I would say that she deserved it after almost dying twice. Either way it was well written that gave some awesome insights on Andy’s emotions. Glad to see she still has them. :P.

Tully: Oh Tully, Tully, Tully. Tulia I’ve really run the emotional gambit with you. I liked your stubbornness and defiance, though your narrowmindedness and stubbornness sometimes got on my nerves. I felt frustrated with your cowardice with facing Riley and owning up to Bolt’s death though I completely understood it. Your guilt and willingness to degrade yourself to help Magnus really made me sympathize with you hardcore. And my heart broke for you when you lost hope. But holy shit. You went out like a fucking badass that the rebels would be proud of! I can’t believe she killed the fucking Minotaur! She’s the hero of the fucking maze in my humble opinion. And I don’t mean like the basic idea of a hero, that I saw most of the more zealous rebels identified with but the more mature ideal would get has to do with legitimate sacrifice and knowing that the sacrifice made may not have any pay off for the people they loved in this time, or the people that come after them. But eventually someone in the future will benefit from that sacrifice even if it doesn’t seem like it. This really was the perfect way to resolve her arc. She went out on her own terms and took down a massive opponent with her. While it wasn’t a tribute, I would say it’s even more significant that she killed a Capitol creation, not just a Capitol creation but something that was likely seen as an unkillable masterpiece that showcased their superiority over the districts. Tully just beat the hell out of that mindset! Well fucking done my girl!
R.I.P. Tully you weren’t always my favorite tribute but I always understood you. You went out in the most epic way possible and I’m sure your actions will be remembered by the rebels who come after you. Rest well, you deserve it.

Chance: Okay this last POV was just so heartbreaking. But I need to say that I just appreciate how you’ve treated Chance, all of the you get characters really but really Chance. I’ve seen so many SYOTs that take a twelve year old and either kill them off immediately in the bloodbath or keep them around as a hanger on in an alliance. Chance was none of these he was a flushed out and well developed character. We saw him struggle with his own sanity and coming to terms with being willing to kill if it means his own protection and survival. It’s as realistic as it is heartbreaking. I swear there was quite a few times during the fight where I was genuinely impressed with Chance and thought that he just might win and kill Andy. I mean he very well might have had he been older and had longer arms, like Andy said. I think one of the worst parts about the whole thing is that he was so young but he’d gone through a lot and while it came really close to breaking him quite a few times it never really did. He went down fighting which is something you don’t want to think about when a twelve year old is involved. Hell some of his actions and responses in the standoff and subsequent fight just screamed that he was really just a kid. A smart kid who had to worry about too many things way too soon but a kid nonetheless. Which just guts you emotionally. If I’m being completely honest I never really thought that Chance was going to be the victor but the fight was so well-written that it did have me questioning a few times. In also pretty sure you’ve had a much more poignant emotional effect on Andromeda than she’d ever want to admit so it will be interesting to see how/if that affects her in the next couple chapters.
R.I.P. Chance you were probably one of my favorite tributes, you subverted the twelve year old bloodbath fodder stereotype and you came *this* close to taking out a trained assassin, that makes you a total badass in my book. Rest well Tiny Tot you’ll be missed.

Adia: So Adia’s was pretty much the shortest but I’d like to think that this was really good set up for her in both this and Tully’s perspective to kinda snap her back to her fighting form and get her centered to have a drive to win this thing. Cause a determined Adia is always a fun thing. Also I’m sorry but the insult “fuck-trumpet” had me doubled over. That’s just funny. I mean there isn’t a ton I have to say but I’m looking forward to seeing Asia’s next perspective knowing that the Minotaur isn’t there to torment her and Tully’s sacrifice after all they’ve been through including Bolt’s murder... either way we’ll see what happens!

Okay so we’ve got the final four. They’re all hurt and malnourished in a pretty equal way so there isn’t really a tribute we can bet on to physically decimate the others (nicely done with that by the way). We have Tesla: the defecto villain with the highest tribute body count and a single minded determination to rub (though the first part worries me for her winning chances greatly... and also HOW?!). Andromeda: the trained killer who has finally, FINALLY started killing and she’s got just enough anger at the Capitol to make the post games interesting (just to piggy back on another reviewer, I could totally see Andy of Tess totally spearheading the careers as well, they’re kinda the perfect models for it). Adia is definitely the dark horse but I think Tully’s sacrifice will really invigorate her will to fight and win for the rebels, which would be a nice big middle finger to the Capitol, which again would be interesting for post games content. She’s definitely not to be counted out yet. Then last but certainly not least we have Kale: the fan favorite and deservedly so, he’s injured and has the Capitol completely against him but he also has a driving purpose to win which I think more than makes up the difference. All of these guys are pretty evenly matched with their chances of winning, and all would have extremely interesting post games chapters. So it really is anyone’s game. God that’s nerve wracking! Can’t wait for the next chapter no pressure of course! I’m also I’m very curious as to what your original plan actually was... And oh geez sorry about another rambling review. I guess I just can’t help it .’
5/28/2020 c63 1GryffindorOnFire
Wow, tributes are dropping like flies now. We’re finally in the endgame. Wow! Chance and Andromeda’s fight had me on the edge of my seat. I wished that they could have teamed up, but this outcome seems more likely. I really did like Chance, and I never expected him to put up such a great right! I had forsure thought Andy was going to die for most of the fight.

Tully’s death was sad. She had fought so hard and lived with so much guilt for so long in the labyrinth, but her death felt a bit like a relief. She had proven herself and she had now understood, so it was a great and very Tully way to go out: fighting to the end.

The final four... Who would’ve thought? I could see any of the last four finalists winning, and I would be happy with any of them winning. Tesla is strong and savage, she’s been like a bulldozer just driving through tributes. I could definitely see her as a spearhead for the Careers. Same goes for Andromeda, she could also be the start of the Career districts. I’ve been getting the vibe that Andy might go rogue against the Capitol soon, she’s been having some traitorous thoughts, which is definitely apart of her character arc. Adia! She was definitely someone I had not expected to see in the final four, but I’m glad that she has survived this long. She’s always shown potential, and I hope she rises like a phoenix out of the ashes after being tormented by the Minotaur for a chapter or two. And finally, Kale. The favorite of all of us. I would love to see Kale win, he’s such an awesome maverick and probably has the most morals out of everyone left. But due to his history, I honestly can’t see him winning realistically as much as the other three but I sure do hope the Capitol lets him fly under their radar. Anyway, looking forward to the last few chapters and to read how you’ve chosen to end their journeys. Best of luck in writing the next chapters!
5/27/2020 c63 2AaronIris34
Crazy chapter! I didn’t realize how close we were to the end. I’m glad that Chance got to go out fighting. Even though he was 12, he was smart and he used that. For a couple of seconds I was convinced that Andromeda was about to die. Part of me really wanted to see the two team up, but this might have been more realistic. Tully’s death was sad for me, but it almost felt like closure. She’s been having a hard time recently and her mental state hasn’t been in top shape. I’m glad things cleared for her a little and she was able to kill the minotaur.

Now, to the people that are left. I’m assuming this is going to be a tournament kind of deal where there are two rounds of one on one fights but it could just be a free for all. I think the people with the advantages changes depending on how you do this. Regardless, I’d be pretty happy with any of the remaining people winning. Kale is the ultimate underdog. He strong, but he’s injured (like basically everyone) and he’s hated because he is from Eleven. Adia is like a dark horse. She could somehow pull it off. I’ve always liked her so that could be fun. Tesla has become a contender who is fighting for her sisters with little moral reservations. Andromeda is probably the better’s choice. She’s trained and well armed. She probably has the best shot but things happen all the time.

I’m excited to see how this goes!

Update soon.
5/27/2020 c62 3lexi486
Oh my gosh this is so good. This chapter made me cry, and now I really really want Kale to win.
To be honest, I didn't really think he'd have a chance, so I was pulling for Samantha, but...
I especially love the ending of the Tesla-Samantha thing. Their conversation at the end was really well written and tied up some loose strings. This story is so good what with all the emotion you manage to integrate into each chapter.
I got here a bit late after you left and then came back, but I just want to say this is probably one of the best SYOT I've ever read because you make the readers feel each and every death, even the bloodbath ones. It's been a wild journey reading through this story, and I'm sad that it'll be ending soon.
5/27/2020 c63 1Dictator Mags
Holy crap, guys! I can hardly comprehend how close we are to the end! I have to say I was definitely nervous the entire chapter for all four tributes that were involved. I'm glad that Tully and Chance were able to go out swinging more or less (even if Chance's end was super sad considering Andy's shock). I'm obviously rooting for Kale to take victory home, but I could honestly see anyone coming out on top (even Adia could technically pull an upset).

Amazing and tense chapter as always, Ice! Thanks for continuing to write masterclass fanfiction (that should definitely be canon btw~) ;)
5/27/2020 c63 1Reign of Winter
Oh wow, people are dropping like flies now! This was a great chapter, I’m not going to review by POV because that would be confusing, I’m just going to base it on the characters involved.

So Chance finally kicks the bucket, honestly he lasted a lot longer than I had anticipated, being twelve years old and all. I guess he’s a great example of why the Capitol continued to allow tributes from age twelve on onwards compete. Although it is clearly an outlier performance, he deserves a props because he did extremely well! I can’t say I’m terribly saddened by his death, because as far as he did make it, I didn’t expect him to win, so I was sort of prepared for his death. He was never a favourite character or anything, but I could appreciate him. It’s a massive shame for Andromeda that she was forced to kill her District Partner, I would wonder if doing so would impact her going forward, however considering there are literally two games chapters left, it won’t even matter unless she wins. It was a great way of showing what the Hunger Games forces people to do, especially for the rebels. Not even district partnerships are safe within the arena. So how do I see Andromeda doing? I really don’t know, she’s clearly talented enough to win, but very injured now as well. She and Kale have a big disadvantage going into the finale with their injuries, however Andromeda likely have the Capitol by her side. I can’t see the Capitol allowing Kale to win, although that would be a nice surprise, and Tesla would be a (semi?) villain Victor, which you could ultimately decide to do. I also can’t see the Capitol allowing Adia to win either, due to her rebel nature.

Speaking of, let’s move onto that side of the chapter. That was pretty heartbreaking to watch, I was really rooting for Tully to make it out of that fight because I low key wanted her to win, but that fucking mutt lmao. It caused so much havoc! Although it was sad to watch Tully die, her sacrifice obviously redeemed herself in her eyes, and hopefully Adia makes use of that sacrifice. I have got to say though, the fact that she managed to kill the mutt was astounding, that thing sounds ferocious so well done Tully! Not to mention she avenged Magnus; all in all a very fitting way for her to go out! I’m curious as to how both Chance and Tully’s stories were supposed to end, I’m going to have to pick your brains when the Games end because I’m truly interested in how things could have gone.

So yes, a fantastically written chapter! You managed to portray such a tense scene by switching POV’s back and forth, it felt really cinematic and was an interesting but very effective way of writing the scenes. Both scenes had the payoff - if you can call the death of two beloved tributes a payoff - and worked beautifully with the suspense. I’m honestly so excited to see the finale, with two villainous tributes (sort of counting Andromeda as a villain), and two rebels, it’s going to be fascinating to see which two are left to battle it out at the very end! We are in the endgame now . . .
5/1/2020 c62 A M4D TE4-P4RTY
Ok, so I've tried to write this review so many times and all that comes out is terrible word vomit (like thousands of words!) that's all emotional and doesn't make sense. So I'm going to limit myself and say this was an absolutely incredible chapter, Ice. I went from delight that Kale was alive to horror to heartbreak - it was such a rollercoaster of emotions. It was exciting and emotional (yes, I realise I’ve repeated emotional like 3 times already) and all of the characters really shone and developed. I can’t say this enough: your writing is INCREDIBLE. If you wrote a book, I’d be the first in line at the book shop to buy it, seriously.

I always hoped Kale was ok. Like at the end of the last chapter I couldn't accept he was gone. I wasn't ready to lose him just yet. And to have him be alive, if not exactly ok - he's pretty hurt, I was so delighted. And then after that came the worry. Like, my boy has just been in an explosion, been whipped, stabbed, attacked by birds… exactly how injured is he? He’s alive but how bad is the damage? When he’s assessing his injuries I just wanted to somehow jump into the story to help him or comfort him. That gradual, agonising coming to consciousness and feeling how hurt he is… trying to reach his knife… (and of course this being Kale he’s swearing the whole time :D) And the whole time he’s still thinking of Del and of Sam and hoping they’ll come for him. That “let me see them one last time” absolutely broke my heart! But of course it’s Tesla who comes in. And Kale and Tesla have such a complex relationship. It’s like they’ve kinda been fighting each other the whole time (yeah, it was Sam’s idea but whatever) but at this moment I realised they’ve never even spoken. So when Tesla said Kale’s name it was almost… odd that she knows it. Like despite this really personal conflict they’ve had between them, it was simultaneously impersonal (if that makes any sense). To see them just ‘standing’ opposite each other, talking quietly was almost bizarre. And Kale’s laughing to stop himself from crying and I had this horrible feeling like he’s just survived all this shit to be killed by Tesla when he’s trapped and unable to move?! But then they’re talking and the conversation was just… like their different perspectives on the situation. It’s seeing everything that’s happened between the Ones and Sam/Kale/Del from both sides at once. Tesla’s seeing what she was doing to Vesper in Sam and Kale’s relationship and she’s totally underestimated the fact they actually developed a friendship. She’s underestimating Kale, thinking he’s just a pawn like Vesper was to her (sorry Vesper, I still love you!). And I think Sam underestimated him too to start with and just saw him as a tool she could use to win, but then she realised he’s so much more than that… But it’s fascinating to see Tesla blaming Sam for killing Reese. And I think she’s being genuine, like that’s actually how she sees it. Well yeah, Kale’s never going to see it that way and just as the conversation is escalating and I’m freaking out that this is it, is Tesla going to murder Kale when he can’t even move, Sam and Del come to the rescue. Like wtf?! The Sam and Del at the start of the Games, NO WAY they’re rescuing Kale like this. I mean the character development is just incredible. To look at where they’ve all come from to where they are now? I actually went back and read the chapter with Del and Sam on the train and holy shit these guys have come a long way! And then of course I’m freaking out again because Sam and Del just FUCKING RESCUED KALE. Also DEL GIVING SAM ADVICE ON HOW TO PUNCH TESLA IN THE FACE IS EVERYTHING. Like SAM doing physical exercise. SAM punching someone in the face! And clearly Del has been teaching her how to do this properly on the way here because Sam, let’s face it, is useless in a physical fight, but she’s doing it anyway for Kale and now I’m crying. No wonder poor injured Kale is struggling to process this. Like A LOT is going on at once and it’s very confusing and this is like THE WORST rescue mission EVER. But of course in the middle of a rescue, when he’s being crushed by a wall Kale is fretting about Del being hurt and bleeding and it’s just adorable and I wish so much they had more time together. And of course Kale’s telling them both to run when they’re here to rescue him. Sam’s “Fuck the Capitol. You’re our friend.” What to even say about that. Again, the character development. This is just one of those unforgettable, pivotal moments in the story. When Sam changes her priorities and she knows what she’s giving up and what she’s risking but they do it anyway, for Kale. I’m right with Kale choking up. Forget that, I’m crying. This fight is so hopeless with Sam being Sam and Kale immobilised by the rocks and Del being so wounded. Kale screaming Del’s name and holding his tunic is just breaking my heart! I can’t even review the next part, I just can’t find the words. All the characters were screaming and I was right there with them. And as if my heart wasn’t already breaking when Del says ‘thank you’ *for* Kale, my heart just shattered into a million pieces and even when he died, Del still died trying to take out Tesla to protect Kale and Sam. And that’s what hurts Kale more than all the shit the Capitol threw at him, losing Del. What are you doing to us, Ice?! I just can’t believe he’s gone. HRI without Del in it any more? Devastated doesn’t begin to cover it. I wish Kale and Del and Sam had more time. It’s so sudden. Protecting Sam. But maybe he bought them enough time to get out, right?! Wrong! It’s such a short distance to the door and they’re so agonisingly close. My heart was in my mouth the whole time and when Tesla looks round at them I totally freaked out. I was just yelling at my computer screen for them to run. And Sam saves Kale. It’s like that horrible moment in movies when they’re trying to escape and one person doesn’t quite make it in time. Only she’s done it on purpose to save him and she’s locked herself in. I was totally with Kale when he’s frantically trying to get back in to Sam and WHERE’S THE FUCKING KEY?! But of course Sam still being Sam, even in this situation, she swallows it… It’s just such a Sam thing to do! And it’s such a Kale thing to do to try and protect her and offer himself to Tesla if she leaves Sam along. Of course that’s what he does. But the most emotional moment for me was when Sam tells Kale he’s the endgame. Burn it all down. That just gave me chills. It’s so powerful. And it’s been Sam’s endgame all along. Not her and Tesla, but Kale and Tesla. I’ve only just seen it. He always was the endgame. It had to be Kale. This was always her plan, just Sam has chosen to not be around to see it. Even now Kale has such faith in her. She’s got this. And I’m a wreck. This was the most emotional moment. Sam and Del died for him and Kale’s got the faith in her to believe in himself and to try and win for them.
Tesla and Sam… How to even begin reviewing this interaction. Sam is so fucking brave and smart. Even when she’s ending this, it’s going to be on her terms. She’s not going to let Tesla win. And Tesla’s frustration – wanting to end this but it’s not as easy as she’d hoped. The hurt that Sam caused her… I could really feel it to start with in this interaction. The way Tesla didn’t want Kale to suffer, but a quick death is too good for Sam. It’s just a really deep-seated pain and anger and you really made us feel her pain. And she’s still blaming Sam. For Vesper and Reese and Del, even though really it’s not Sam’s fault. Maybe the way it happened is Sam’s fault a bit. But not their deaths. But then Tesla has struggled this whole time to take responsibility herself, hence why she needed Vesper, so she could distance herself from the killings. And I wasn’t ready for that conversation. The thought that Sam and Tesla could have been classmates, hell, even friends. THIS is the moment we find out about Sam’s dreams?! As they’re literally all slipping away from her?! She wanted to be a doctor and build things, but instead she’s here… The Capitol took her dreams away twice, kicking her out of school for being honest and now this… And I didn’t think it could get more emotional, but boy was I wrong. This just took it to whole new levels. Tesla can’t even maintain her anger and hatred through all this. Even though she thinks it’s to let her descend into madness, I think she’s letting Sam keep talking because she wants to know her better. Like for the first time she’s meeting the real Sam. Not Sam the monster, but Sam the girl who could have been her friend. But it’s too late… (Now I’m crying again…) When they talk about playing the game – really they were always playing the same game, Sam with Kale and Tesla with Vesper, only Sam learnt to care. She might have lost the game, but she became a better person for it and she died a hero, saving Kale’s life. The only difference between them was that last step – Tesla chose herself and Sam chose Kale. They’re so similar in so many way… The Sam starts talking to Kale and Del and even when she’s literally dying they’re still who she’s thinking about, them and her family. I think this is the saddest thing I’ve ever read. How pathetic and helpless Sam is in the end and all I want to do is take care of her. I can’t imagine her being gone either. This chapter was so beautifully written and so painful. I can’t even review Sam’s point of view (but then I think this review is ridiculous already). It’s too painful to talk about what Del and Sam said when we’ve just lost them. I don’t know how you took a SYOT, Ice, and turned it into so much more. I’ve never cared so much about any SYOT character, I’ve never been so moved and genuinely emotional. Sam and Del were two of the greatest characters and I will miss them so much. They developed and became better people and they were too good for what happened to them. I wish they’d had more time. But thank you for letting us get to know them and thank you to Magz and Jouska for submitting them and allowing us to meet these precious babies. They were both an absolute joy and I will miss them so, so much. Ave atque vale, Samantha Hoffman and Aemilius Lewellyn. And thank you for saving Kale.
4/28/2020 c59 1GryffindorOnFire
Omg. I visited this site again for fun and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I say that History Repeats Itself was last updated only a few days ago?! Fuckin insane. I’d like to apologize to anyone I spoke to when this story was last updated. I sounded like a fuckin moron. Anyway, I realize how badly I wrote Andromeda as a character so thanks for fleshing her out so well, AOIAF. Also I watched GOT in full, so now I understand lots of these GOT inspirations. Even though I tell myself I shouldn’t be sad that Andy should die, I still found myself cheering for her in the much-awaited Andy v Riri showdown Ive been waiting years for. Much respect to you AOIAF for coming back to finish the story. Thank you for doing that. I hope you’ll find the chance to PM me about anything! Hope you’re doing well!
4/26/2020 c62 asadderandawiserman
Hoo okay, I thought there was some chance that Kale had survived the last chapter, but there was certainly a lot that happened here that surprised me! And certainly a much more hopeful chapter than the last.

Lots of bits in this chapter I really liked, there were nice conversations between Kale/Tesla, Sam/Tesla, Sam/Del, and there were lots of interesting ideas that helped the action/drama flow well, like the key that Sam swallowed locking Tesla in with her, and the painkillers she took. It was also really interesting in the sense that this chapter was kind of a ressurection for Kale, since last chapter not only did it seem like he was likely dead, but it would have felt pretty anticlimactic for him to just survive that massive plot moment with no consequences, so even if he survived a tiny bit more I felt like it would just be to have one final conversation or something. But by sacrificing Del and Sam here, this whole sequence of events has obviously had really major consequences even though Kale survived, and it feels like he's free to live in a way I completely didn't expect. And it was really nice to see Kale come to the conclusion here that he really did deserve and want to live. The only problem is, I'm not sure if I buy yet that Kale would be willing to kill anyone else; it was only a few chapters ago that he left Sam and Del because he didn't want to keep perpetuating violence that causes more violence. So it's going to be interesting to see if Kale thinks his own survival is worth killing others from here on.

I also feel like this chapter really solidifies Kale as something of a main character, given his tight connection to the overall plot and the fact that he was the first tribute we saw, and in some ways I'm getting real vibes that he might win, but honestly I still can't see a way that Kale winning would be a happy ending for him, even if the Capitol let it happen? Maybe it's possible?

And I mean, I guess you know it's a big chapter when two of the most charismatic characters are killed off at once. I'm not sure if multiple tributes have ever been killed in one chapter before (aside from the bloodbath obviously), but certainly not two with as much history and personality as Del and Sam. One of my favourite things about SYOTs that I don't quite understand, is that they seem to attract a sort of character that I almost never see anywhere else, which is characters (usually girls) that are basically pretty unpleasant and selfish people, but they're still treated as if they deserve happiness and they're still really popular with the audience. And I hope no one would be insulted for me to put Sam in that category, like she's done some pretty horrible things and taken delight in making Tesla miserable for completely nonsense reasons, and outside of recent events she's very clearly not cared much about people outside of herself, but we're still allowed to understand her and relate to her and think she deserves to be okay. I just think there's something nice about that? And of course she's clearly changed and grown a lot in the last few chapters, and it's nice to see that, but I also just like seeing characters who can be rude and selfish and still human.

And I was certainly surprised to lose Del here, in some ways it felt a bit anticlimactic at first, but really if I think about the conversations Del's had recently it feels like he had a fairly good send off. I'm certainly glad that he was able to connect with Sam and Kale towards the end, after a pretty miserable life and a completely miserable time at the start of the Games. He's been a really interesting presence throughout the games, particularly I think in his confrontation with Caragh and that he was able to come back from that, and I'll certainly miss and remember him.

I have to say though, as much as this chapter is a really nice send off for Sam in terms of like the last section where we see a flashback, and simply the decision of her coming back and putting someone above herself contrasted with her earlier attitude, the conversation between her and Tesla didn't entirely work for me. I really liked that their final moments got to be a simple conversation, but the whole Three vs Five thing never felt particularly integral to Sam's character to me, and it didn't really strike a chord for that to be the last thing we hear from her (like I said though, having the flashback after this helped a lot). I wish we'd heard a little bit more about this test thing from her earlier, or heard more about how the Three vs Five thing tied into her self-worth or her plans for the future.

So there's only two deaths left now until the Labyrinth opens, and I think Tesla and Kale have probably done enough to make it through, plus I think Andromeda is likely to make it to the final confronation, so I think we'll see two out of Chance, Tully and Adia die over the next few chapters. I certainly have the most attachment to Chance out of those three, but I also like the idea of someone from the original rebels making it all the way through, so I'd be interested either way. I expect we'll also see some dramatic confrontation with the Minotaur in the next few chapters as well, probably focussed on Andy/Chance/Tully/Adia, and I think there's a fair chance that Andromeda will be the one to take it down? Feels appropriate given her mythology background. But we will see, looking forward to being proven entirely wrong!
4/25/2020 c62 2Idalove2read
Hellooo dearest! This review took a couple of days because... let's just say it would have been just incomprehensible and uncontrollable sobbing and screaming. Like, I wish I was exaggerating, but from what I messaged you, I'm pretty sure you gathered just how hard this chapter hit me. And I'm not kidding when I say that there's a handful of character deaths that made me cry as long and as bitterly as what transpired in this chapter so, congratulations really.. you murdered my heart, sliced it right out of my body, stepped all over it and put it back. :')))

No but all jokes aside, this hurt so much. I'm not even going to do my traditional review because this just needs something else entirely, so I apologize in advance for the lack of structure. You really made me squeal of joy when Kal made it out alive. It wasn't a huge surprise, since I kind-of figured you might want to extend our suffering, which I thank you for, since I'm always happy for some more alive-Kale. And then Tesla freaking showed up and all of my hopes were shattered again. ROLLERCOASTER TIME, MOFOS. Like my GOD was I tense reading this whole chapter before bursting into tears, I literally documented my entire meltdown and when Tesla showed up, I was just like muttering "NO" over and over again.

It was a really great moment when Kale out-sassed her though, she keeps getting shut down from her high-horse position, and I'd be lying if I wasn't a little snarky about it in the comfort of my own home. Like, yeah Tesla... you know I love you (although this chapter just... we'll get to that in a moment) but just stop villain-dramatic-ing all over the place. Anyways, next comes what might be the happiest-turned-motherfucking-saddest thing I've ever read. There's too many amazing snippets and lines to quote, but I genuinely laughed when Tesla and Sam were just going at it. Just imagining these two lanky nerdy girls trying to punch each other out... goddamn what an image.
"Sam goes rigid. Everyone screams" Including me Ice... including me. Legit thought they were all BBQ-chicken crisp, and I didn't want to read further because um. I don't want a BBQ chicken Sam. But I kept going, and boy oh boy...

AND THEN DEL FREAKING SACRIFICES HIMSELF OH GOD, AND HE SAYS "THANK YOU" (at this point I'm like tearing up, but you know WHAT, I'd trade Del for a living and breathing Sam/Kale, no problem, I'm gonna nurse my heart back to health...)

AND THEN FREAKING SAM STAYS StUCK! (and you know... this is when the floodgates just OPENED AND DIDN'T STOP). "She smiles, just like she did..." That entire part is what made me completely lose it, because that's when I knew she was done for. Because it had me literally flashback to all of those moments in the games. And to think that it's been 4-5 years and yet they were as clear as day when I read those sentences.

This was the most selfless thing Sam could have done, and like, I can't even explain myself because I'll start crying again. She went out on her own terms, and even though she was stuck there in her last moments while Kale escaped, it really felt like she had won. And now I'm just praying that Kale/Tesla are the final 2, so that this whole thing wasn't for nothing. I know that's not how life works, but I'm just praying, now ahaha!

Tesla's anger is so intense, but I loved the way you had the two girls have a conversation that was almost amicable? It was crazy. I was literally reading it through tears and it was just so strange and alien and yet it made perfect sense. I also loved that you kind-of explained why a person like Sam could have been reaped... it never really made sense to me, but this whole chapter really summarized it nicely. She's not one to conform to the rules, and even if she tries to, sometimes it just comes out. It was heartbreaking that she was robbed of her future in her district, because she really WAS a brilliant person. It all makes so much sense and I'm tearing up just writing this again because this whole scene was executed to perfection. I loved what another reviewer said, and I need to highlight it again: when Sam is fading, Tesla tries to ignore whatever she is saying, but she clearly can't, hearing about Sam's younger sister, and family... I had shivers.

That last Sam POV just drove the nail into the coffin, and by that point I was literally unconsolable. My poor Fives... my poor babies. I loved you more than anything, and you both died heroes. The way Sam spun the whole thing too was just brilliant. I just love her so much, and I really hope we get to see her family's reaction to this (but also like, please spare my poor heart). I hope they're proud of her. I hope District 5 is proud of these two kids who were absolutely amazing. l

One final last small comment: I just want to say, because I want my Final 2 Kale/Tesla, I can't imagine how the hell she's getting out of that locked room, so now I'm just waiting for her to cut Sam open and search through her guts for the key, and let me just tell you that if you make me go through that, I will literally scream at you for so long that you will regret it. And I say this in the most loving way possible, don't desecrate Sam's freaking corpse Tesla, or I will come for you! I LOVE YOU BUT YOU'RE REALLY TESTING ME THIS CHAPTER, YOU'RE ON THIN ICE. and that's the end of *that* horrifying image.

Before I end this review, I'd like to just spend a bit of time on Sam. So... Sam was probably my favourite SYOT character ever because I just identified with her on such a fundamental level. Maybe it says bad things about me, or maybe it says good things about her, but her motivations, the way she coped with horrible things being thrown her way, her relentless drive just inspired me every chapter she appeared. She was just such a goddamn ray of sunshine, and I guess I genuinely believed there was no way she was dying because she was just so motivated and ready to do what it takes. And to see her go down was like, 5 years of denial and love all crammed into one "So ends the tale of Samantha Hoffman" and all of that kind of being replaced by grief. I think I sound crazy, but it's true: I really don't think I've ever cried this much, and I want to really thank you for bringing such an amazing character to life. You 100% deserved to win Sam, and I'll love you forever!
4/25/2020 c62 1Reign of Winter
Okay finally getting around to reviewing!

So I had a feeling Kale wasn’t dead, although it would have made perfect sense for him to be dead. I can’t see a scenario where he is actually able to win this thing considering his involvement in the assassination, but for now it’s nice to see that he’s still kicking, he provides some great entertainment! Speaking of, I found it very entertaining when he and Tesla were having their little chat. I love the way how you described Tesla seeming to have what she wanted to say planned out, and Kale just keeps ruining it with his witty, sarcastic remarks. Both personalities shine really bright in this scenario. I honestly didn’t expect to see Tesla so calm initially, she must have been pretty confident that Kale was no threat, which he didn’t really end up being, but it shows she still hasn’t completely broken, she still has social abilities and such. I didn’t expect Del and Sam to come the rescue, that was a (not so) pleasant surprise, as we know how it ended, but still when the moment happened it was great to read!

Del’s sacrifice was a great one, hopefully it gives him a little redemption in the eyes of the rebels. I genuinely thought he would take out Tesla so that Kale and Sam could get away, but of course it isn’t that simple. Then we get to Sam’s sacrifice, I honestly couldn’t believe it. I truly thought Sam was an endgame character, I could definitely see Victor material in her, so to see her go out was like watching a train wreck. What she did was smart, in terms of saving Kale, and as I saw in another review, it was nice to see her go out on her own terms. I was half expecting Tesla to slice her open to get the key back, but she was too vengeful and just had to wait until she died slowly. Sam’s final POV was quite heartbreaking, but it was a great send off for her character. She was definitely one of the major characters in this story, and to see both of the Fives eliminated was a little heartbreaking.

Truly, well done Ice. You continue to wow me with your writing and your ideas. I have to wonder, how much of this since you’ve started writing again has been apart of your original plan? Or have you revised your ideas and gone in a different direction? Regardless, kudos to you! We haven’t had this many tributes die in a single chapter in a while. So it really is beginning to feel like the endgame. . .
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