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4/6/2020 c42 1Sulimo
Oof. I was pretty sure Chapter 41 was the last one I read before college took over my life a few years back, and this chapter certainly cemented that hypothesis. The rest of the next 18 chapters are completely uncharted territory. Happy Hunger Games.

Damn. I really liked Stanley, too. My pet axolotl is also named Stanley, so pardon the pun but we have no choice but to stan. At the same time though I do think that his journey to acceptance of his own tenderness was really completed by his sacrifice for the kids’ lives.

Tesla is becoming the monster Riley expected her to turn into so many chapters ago, but clearly there’s some humanity in her left since she didn’t sick Vesper on the kids after murdering Stanley. Or more likely, couldn’t bear to watch Vesper kill more people, much less a couple preteens, after watching that desperate scene of him trying to push Stanley’s blood back into him after losing it and attacking. I wonder how her family feels, watching her repeatedly drug and manipulate this boy into becoming a murderer. On a related note, this chapter sounds like it’ll be the start of Vesper finally recognizing what Tesla is doing to him. I’m tentatively predicting a murder-suicide when he finally puts all the pieces together and realizes everything she’s done.

And Riley. Oh, Riley. When his fear of lightning was exposed last chapter I expected the reason to be electroshock “therapy” at the asylum, and I’m not disappointed. I love that the guy doesn’t dwell on his problems or traumas, instead channeling fear into anger. It’s not healthy by any means, but it seems precisely like what someone like him would do and it’s kind of a breath of fresh air with how much angst these kids are going through. Riley’s POVs are always startlingly refreshing; his brazen and inglorious personality seems like it’s a lot of fun to write, especially in this chapter when he isn’t actively torturing someone. After the events of the rest of this chapter I had to check twice to make sure his POV really was at the start of this chapter, and not in a previous one. I kind of get the sense we won’t be seeing him for a little bit while he recovers and starts plotting again, but maybe not. Who knows.

It was also in this chapter that I realized all the “pretty boys” that wound up in this fic—Vesper, Magnus, Del—are connected to the elite in their respective home districts in some way or another. Funny coincidence. And I forgot to mention this in my last review but I appreciate that you named the head trainer after the trainer of heroes in Greek/Roman mythology. I don’t remember if I caught that during my first read through or not, but I definitely did this time, haha.
4/5/2020 c17 Sulimo
Hi! It’s been a while, but I’ve been thinking about this fic a LOT between senior thesis all school year and now with lockdowns I finally have the time to re-read. I was going to wait until getting through the first POV for every character, but I just had to get out some comments here before continuing.
First of all, I forgot how much I love and appreciate every single one of these characters. I keep finding myself grinning like a loon every time one of them so much as blinks, and especially so whenever my errant son Del is mentioned. It’s amazing that we were able to put together such an awesome group of interesting personalities, but it’s especially amazing that you were able—from the START of this fic—to differentiate between them and clearly define and highlight each and every character. I’m finding it very hard to hate any one of them simply because of how well they’re written. And your hints at the personalities of characters we haven’t even met yet at throughout the beginning all the way up to this point in the fic have consistently kept me interested in finding out more about them. The little background interactions between other tributes as observed by POV characters at any given moment are so flavorful that I often find myself chuckling, or getting nervous, or becoming curious. There’s just enough humor to keep things enjoyable, but the undercurrent of tension is still carried throughout the story beautifully. It’s brilliant. And the DRAMA. We LIVE for the drama.

I wanted to comment on Chapter 17 especially because Tesla and Vesper’s relationship was one of the things that really stuck in the back of my mind over the years. Drifting interests, the constant grind of art college life with its 6-hour long classes, and honestly, just plain anxiety kept me from clicking this fic to read updates many a time over the last four years, but you crafted Tesla and Vesper into such powerful characters that I often found myself thinking about them every time posts about abusive and manipulative behavior crossed my screen, or everytime I read a book with a manipulative character or an abuse survivor. Tesla’s internal struggle with her own morality and goals as she molds Vesper into a monster is so potent and gripping. And poor, sweet Vesper is just as complex. His mentality is so fragile and he’s trying so hard not to lash out at others, but his restraint is misplaced and he is only able to restrain himself by putting himself down; it’s an awful cycle that is so painfully realistic and understandable, my heart hurts for him. I really look forward to getting to experience their evolution again as the story continues.

Another character that stuck with me was Riley, of course. We love a good villain. He is a rare breed for SYOTs, so I vividly remember being both surprised and incredibly pleased when he made his appearance in Del’s reaping recap chapter, mostly because I felt the same rush rereading it now. He hasn’t had a POV at the point where I am, but all the background mentions have stirred my memory of him quite a bit. I can’t wait to read this bloodthirsty bastard’s chapter. And, though we’ve already had an Andromeda chapter, the same goes for the rest of her story arc: I cannot wait. So many awesome morally-grey (and not-so-much in the case of Riley, haha) anti-heroes and villains. I love them all.

It should go without saying that I would hate most of these characters if they were real, just as I would find my own boy insufferable if he was a real person, but as characters they just add SO much spice to SYOTs that I can’t help but be excited to see what any of them do next. I think that was the case five years ago when this endeavor of yours started, too, and I am very much looking forward to catching up to where I last read and then experiencing all the uncharted territory of all the chapters I missed for the first time. It’s killing me not to read the reviews and spoil it for myself, but I owe it to your awesome writing to remain strong. Thank you so much for keeping up with this incredible undertaking!
4/1/2020 c60 1Dictator Mags
I got a pretty wide variety of feels throughout this chapter. It's heartbreaking, some of the realizations that occurred this chapter (the non-games tragedies happening in panem; the likely deaths of the families of the rebellious tributes, etc.). You wrote this sooooooo well though. I liked seeing the snippet of Samantha's family.

Ugh, I'm so psyched for the remaining chapters, but I'm terrified at the same time because it seems as though someone's gonna die each chapter from here on. I hope you're still safe/healthy as well!
3/31/2020 c60 Wolves the Author
Oh yay an update! This was just what was needed to combat the crazy and somewhat depressing state of the world right now… Never mid this is just as depressing… JUST KIDDING. In all seriousness though this update was a real highlight of the week, just what the doctor ordered for a case of the Mondays whist in the middle of this crazy crap. So just gotta say that this was indeed a very sad and emotionally charged situation. But completely genius I must say. I feel like in most hunger games situations we never get any kind of glimpse into what the loved ones of our tributes, or the loved ones of fallen tributes are going through while the previously mentioned tributes are still in the arena. So I’m very glad to see that we have this lovely chapter to give us just that kind of insight. Seriously thank you for that. So now onto the POVs:

Julia: Well greetings Madame President we haven’t seen you in a while. I rally like that we get to see things “capitol-side” it just brings out a more rounded out picture of the world. I actually like Julia’s character quite a bit. While she’s got a cruel streak and a lovely vendetta, and of course a desire to make the districts suffer and avenge her family. I feel like she wants to make a point and just move on to secure peace rather than keep the hunger games going which makes her a more sympathetic character. Like obviously she isn’t the best person, but she doesn’t come close to striking me as evil for the sake of being evil which I feel is a common trope for many presidents for SYOTs. Is she my favorite character, no. But she definitely isn’t a hated character either, I actually like her much more than I ever thought I would. Also the interactions between the different district representatives was a nice little glimpse of the state of affairs in Panem and sort of how they’re dealing with the Hunger Games. Octavian’s plan of only broadcasting these mandatory interviews was complete genius, a brilliant political move. If there’s competition and animosity among the districts than there is no risk of them banding together against the capitol. So very well played, very well played indeed.

Kerri: Oh wow okay. Like I obviously know that Reese is a character and the story worked out that Tesla killed her, and maybe I may just be too invested in this story, but man did I feel awkward and terrible reading the vast majority of this POV. Which is just a testament to your skills as an author. I just felt so bad for her and the rest of Reese’s family. You really don’t think about how the deaths of tributes effect those who they left behind but man did we get a picture of that here and again the heartbreak here is strong… just all I can say is poor Reese and poor Durnhams I just feel genuinely sorry for them. With that being said I can’t say I didn’t enjoy seeing Tesla’s family be interviewed. That has been something I’ve wondered about since Tesla threw her morals away, like how her family was coping y’know? And I really like how you handled it honestly. It came off that she was feeling awkward at the beginning which is to be expected given that- well Tesla, just all that is Tesla at this point. I couldn’t help but wonder if Wirea feels guilty for technically being the one to advise Tesla on her games strategy. And Electra was adorable while Archie was a good pillar of support. All I can say is very well done. Also again I am heartbroken for Kerri, just seeing her personality take such a hard and bitter turn… I can’t blame her of course it’s just unfortunate… I think it’s also funny in a not-funny way that the hunger games influenced Tesla’s actions/personality to change into a more hardened individual and in a way, Tesla’s actions have influenced Kerri’s personality and way of thinking. Maybe I’m thinking too much into it, but I just thought it was interesting.

Percy: Okay so Percy and the rest of Riri’s family are being imprisoned for being rebel affiliated through Riri or just in general? That’s what I’m assuming anyway. Either way so we already know that the Kramer family lost Riri but now they know that their other son/sibling may have died as well, just another blow to an already rough experience for the Kramer clan. Which does actually beg the question why are they still being kept there? Is the Capitol convinced they have more information that they aren’t willing to share? Do they just want to see former rebels suffer? Personally, my money is on the second option that just screams more true to the Capitol in my opinion. Also can I just say poor little Sobek! The capitol reporter really pulled no punches with him and pretty much backed him into a corner to say just what they wanted him to say. I mean come on the poor kid is already going through enough as is. Also it makes a great amount of sense that Andromeda would be the most likely favorite for Victor in the Capitol I mean she was a agent for the Capitol and seemingly a loyalist so it seems only right that they’d want to reward that, especially after killing a capable rebel operative. Which does worry me that the gamemakers will start showing favoritism to Andy and that’s not good for the rest of our tributes. No matter what, we’ll soon see what happens.

Byron: Okay so this POV was kinda unexpected but not in a bad way exactly. But I’ll get to that in a moment. First just gotta say that it’s unfortunate that Jeanette’s brother shares any slight similarity to Riley… that’s gotta be legitimately rough, especially considering the role Riley played in his older sister’s death… poor kid. Oh I forgot that Jeanette was originally from 3 or at least spent time there? It seems like that family really went all over the place! We’ve got so many tributes from 4 that it’s kinda refreshing and sad of course to remember that there were other kids from other districts who had been displaced from the war. I was also genuinely surprised to see peacekeepers portrayed in a more… I don’t know human light. It’s just so often we see peacekeepers as unfeeling and ruthless but at least that group seemed like they actually cared about what the Walters family was going through. Which it stands to reason not all peacekeepers would be unfeeling assholes, and it was really nice to see that at least these people seem different. At the very least they respect the family enough to treat them kindly and then you have the peacekeeper who’s watching over Chance’s little sister. I guess it really just makes the point that there really is two sides to every perspective. Also fuck that Capitol reporter like oh my god you don’t talk to a kid like that I mean what the hell!? That’s just messed up! And Alright cool Byron wants to become a peacekeeper… that’s not something I would’ve thought to see from someone outside of District 2 it’s just a really interesting development.

Terra: Oh man Bolt’s family… okay so yeah District 3 is still as fucked up as it was at the start, even more so I would say actually. I get that Terra is angry and grieving, hell I can totally understand why but that’s still not exactly fair. Though I can’t really say that I would be much better if I was in her shoes. It’s just really unfortunate that the state of District 3 and I feel genuinely terrible for both families though I feel a bit worse for the James’, especially considering the fate that will likely await them when/if Adia meets her demise. It’s also interesting to see that this division doesn’t just exist between different districts but even between it’s own citizen’s it really just illustrates how effective the Hunger Games has been in turning the districts against each other in all ways (so well done Capitol I guess…? Not really). And of course you have to feel for Terra here I mean sure there’s plenty to go around but she and her family have lost much more than they ever needed to. This was just an unfortunate situation, but I really love that we get to see this because again it just adds so much to the world you built within the HG universe.

Ceria: Ah another Prospero child. Damn well she’s quickly working to live up to her older brother’s legacy… god that’s depressing. There just was a lot there man… it’s just genuinely sad to see that this shit cycle repeat. Again there was a feeling of awkwardness and a bit of guilt to as well since the death of Vesper is on Tesla but more than that it was just heartbreak that the misfortune heaped on the Prosperos wouldn’t stop with Vesper, not that it likely would just thinking logically. But being faced with the reality of it is a bit gut wrenching. It’s just genuinely sad that now Ceria has to be sacrificed for the sake of the others in the family and be beaten and spat upon by the others in District 1, just like Vesper. One thing I did find really interesting is that I didn’t really see much focus on Vesper during this POV, I may be a little off but there just seemed to be a disconnect between Vesper and the rest of his family which would make sense. But it seems that they don’t even care about the misfortunes and abuse he was subjected to in the arena, which they would’ve had to know about, right? I mean unless the Capitol was editing certain situations out of it depending on what district they were broadcasting to, though I doubt they’d go to that trouble for the districts. And of course Vesper’s parents prove to be monstrous in their own ways, his father of course being a brutish violent abuser and his mother being just as abusive but in a much more subtle and cold way, though she has at least some semblance of a reason. Jesus Vesper’s mom and Tesla do seem to have a bit in common. I also thought it was interesting that she focused on the evil that Sam has done instead of what Tesla was doing to her brother, and just Sam’s family in general were really interesting. I mean I don’t think they’re exactly PROUD of what Sam has done but I’d kinda like to see what’s going on in their heads. Really at the end of the day though all that can really be said here is poor Ceria and I hope that she ends up better off than her older brother did, not that that’s saying much.

Cordelia: Alright this POV got me *this* close to crying. Like oh my god the feels. I can’t even imagine what it would be like for a parent who had lost their child in the hunger games but with this POV I think we all have a pretty clear idea of what that would look like. You portrayed her grief and anguish beautifully here. You can tell immediately that this is a heartbroken mother but she’s strong enough to keep pushing on and trying to cope as best she can. I respect her greatly for that. It was just so genuinely heartbreaking like holy hell. And yet again we see another lovely job of world building here as well, with both the hospital conditions of both 7 and 4 be it pre-war, post-war or during the war. The tidbit with the naming customs from the different district industries. It was just a really interesting thing to see. I also found it to be really cool to see how the districts tend to differ with their quirks and such. I absolutely love Volt’s family! Those guys have guts and that was fucking touching! I know I definitely won’t forget either of them. I feel so bad for the Tron’s though in the same breath I mean they already lost Volt now their other two children almost get themselves killed for rebelling in a relatively minor way, compared to what they just came out of anyway. And shit there another rebel movement starting up. Well I guess this is a precursor to what will eventually be the rebellion we come to associate with a certain Mockingjay pin wearing archer from 12. Alright cool! This again is just another wonderful example of well-done world building.

Sabrina: So we finally see the Sabrina that Magnus would mention. So I can’t say she’s my favorite district dweller we’ve seen but I can definitely respect her for going through what she has. I really liked seeing more of a picture of Magnus’ life since I feel like Riley did a lot to strip away so much of what Magnus was for so long. It’s nice to see what he was like before the games, and Riley and his very heroic death. I also have a fair amount of sympathy for Sabrina and all the other displaced kids in 8, it just seems like a rough situation to be in in general. And what an interesting and ultimately traumatizing conversation young Sabrina has stumbled upon. So District 13’s existence after the war was actually known by some people! I would guess that’s the reason they were cut down by those peacekeepers. Which holy shit by the way. But anyway that does make me wonder just how many people do actually know that 13 is still around. Probably not too many, or at least not too many for too long. I found it really telling that those previous “sellouts” to the Capitol were entertaining ideas of rebelling and running for 13, that just makes me think they weren’t truly that loyal to the capitol. More likely they were just trying to protect themselves and their loved ones. And I just have to say that who thing escalated VERY quickly! Sabrina was very lucky to make it out of there alive and now she’s traumatized (poor thing!) and now has a strange phone which may actually be what the peacekeepers are looking for I wonder what secrets she could find on that thing…

Octavian: Okay so this POV was fucked for so many reasons and on so many levels. I understand Octavian’s motives and I don’t necessarily think he’s a completely evil person per say, what I mean is obviously he is cruel and psychologically damaged and capable of HORRIFYING and genuinely EVIL things. He’s evil but not for evil’s sake, you’ve developed him in such a way where you want to hate him entirely, but you can’t totally go there because there’s just a trace of sympathy there. Then again, he dos do plenty of fucked up shit to make hating him a little easier. This who thing was just fucked up to the ump degree. I mean I love that we get to see more of Kale’s backstory and just get the picture of the abusive past he’d alluded to before. I’m pretty relieved to see it wasn’t actually his mother that was behind it. Also that was just such a merciless attack on Rye that you can’t help but pity her since you know she probably won’t live long after the interview is aired. Which I respect the hell out of her for sticking to her guns like that. And Jesus outing Kale like that was seriously not cool. I mean I know that’s kinda the lesser thing to get indignant about but seriously not cool, of the capitol not you. I actually thought that was a very useful for their purposes and I mean technically that was already previously inferred pretty strongly in that one conversation with Sam a while back so… yeah, I don’t know. She just didn’t get a fair shake is my point not that I expected anything different. But wholly shit they were really trying to break her down, but she still held out really strong even though she knew it would probably end with her being killed pretty brutally. Damn that woman is tough! But oh god things are about to go to shit for dear Kale... I am not prepared for this. What are these bastards going to do I must know! Then again, I’m not entirely sure I want to…
Oh man sorry this is such a long and rambling review. I may have gone a bit too far here but hey I guess since this chapter was so massive it’s all kinda relative. Oh man Eight Chapters to go and we’re back to the tributes buckle up ladies and gents time for heads to start rolling… I feel very conflicted here. Amazing chapter as usual and I’m looking forward to the next update. But most importantly stay safe and healthy! See you next time!
3/30/2020 c60 1Reign of Winter
This was a really refreshing chapter in all honesty, with all the doom and gloom of the Hunger Games chapters you’ve written, I believe this is the first time we’ve seen the behind the scenes since the Bloodbath! We’ve been down in the maze with the tributes for so long, it was easy to forget that there was a whole post-war world out there, and this further exploration of some of the backstories and home lives of the District’s and Capitol characters was simply fantastic!

If I go through each POV the review is going to go for ages, so I’m going to try and summarise my thoughts in a more brief format. I really love how well-developed your world building is, you’ve got an impressive talent for it! Each POV it was easy to picture because you painted the scenes really well, they all felt distinct and unique in their own ways, without diverging from the point too much. I found myself really enjoying Sabrina’s POV in particular, it really describes just how different some of the Districts were during the Dark Days. It wasn’t all just Capitol v Districts, but of course there were betrayals and loyalties that really differentiates from the traditional ‘everyone hates the Capitol’.

I also thought it was very clever how you chose POV’s of family members/friends of dead tributes, that happened to be observing the interview of the tribute who caused the death of their loved one. It really drives the whole goal that the Capitol is striving for, and shows that everything is extremely calculated and how it worked for so many years. They’re driving a wedge between District’s, causing rivalries, and turning the rebels against one another. It’s honestly genius, THIS is why this story was and still is so sensational!

As usual, great job this was a blast to read! I can’t wait for the next chapter because it sounds like shits about to go down! I hope you’re staying safe in this pandemic and hopefully it can be over soon!
3/30/2020 c59 2Idalove2read
Anddddd I'm late with my reviews, but what's new?
I apologize in advance that this will lack the quality that your reviews have, bless them, but I'll try my BEST.

Sam: MYYYY BABY. I absolutely adore her in this chapter. I mean, I always do, but here you can really feel how tired and ready she is for this to end. But at the same time, there's always the lack of taking responsibility for what she does, and she's starting to realize it. Her half-joke about killing Kale just rang so ... I don't even know how to explain it... it was too real. And now I'm terrified that in some twisted warped way of justice, she'll get killed by Kale. Please don't do that to me, oh god.
And poor Del crying at Kale leaving... Let me just tell you, I can FEEL the endgame.

Adia: The poor girl :'( She's really having a rough time, isn't she? Amongst the much more "extra" personalities and forces to be reckoned with such as Sam and Tesla, I'll admit that Adia faded into the background for me, but this chapter just brought back how poignant her parts are. And she's a fellow D3 girlie, which is something I can always get behind. Holy crap though... you masterful writing genius.
I was going to pick out a favourite quote from this part, but I literally can't because it's all just, shudders and dread. Amazing. The way you described her being ready to "confront the monster" and then screaming when it shows up... like, absolutely same, girl. This entire section is a testimony to how exceptional of a writer and story-teller you are. I'm scared that her game of cat-and-mouse will end soon...

Riri: OKAY. OKAY this shook me to the core. Like, I was expecting Riri to die during this fight, and then when they started fighting I was sure she was going to make it and then you flipped all the expectations sideways... I WAS NOT READY. Not gonna lie, I was sure Riri was gonna stab Andromeda's eyes out and I was not ready for it, but I was even less expecting Andromeda to go ahead and stab her back with her pin. Just overall, this whole part with these two opposing forces fighting for what are essentially very similar things... it was heartbreaking and beautiful. And Riri's "wait wait" ... I'm traumatized, but in a good way.

Andromeda: The girl is tough. I like how her part is shorter and more succinct that the others, because that's kind of how she reasons too. Everything goes from A to B in a very linear fashion, and that can even be seen in the way she fights. Now that she got a taste of what it's like to kill (and let me quickly touch upon the fact that she doesn't seem all that shattered by it), I'm afraid she'll double down on finding the others. Everyone RUN!

Chance: Oyyyy not gonna lie, I forgot this kid was around, and so has everyone else and I'm glad for it. Like, first victor just waiting it all out? Highly unlikely but possible ! Once again, it's unexplainable, but you really capture his more childish and more terrified voice so well. Like, I can really feel that he's years younger than the others, and idk how you do it, you magician, but you're successful. The statues are just such a haunting and amazing touch.
In a way, they'll commemorate forever the tributes that died here. But more ominously and more pressingly perhaps, they're kind of the guardians of the exit, and that in itself is horrifying.

Amazing chapter. I love this so much! my review doesn't do justice to the awesomeness that this chapter was.
3/30/2020 c60 2AaronIris34
Great chapter! It's fun to see the districts react to the 1st Hunger Games. There is no precedent at all, so they have no prior prejudices to influence how they think. I hadn't thought about it before, but how the rebel tributes behave in the arena really affects their families. Tully and Adia have been pretty brash about how they feel, so it's fun to see their families try to skirt around that. Frankly, it's kind of surprising that they're alive. Speaking of, Kale's mother probably won't be alive much longer. I really doubt he will win, given where he is from, so they won't have to worry about keeping her around for press.

Filling out the poll almost killed me. I normally never root for tributes from One or Two, but in my head the Victor of the first Hunger Games set a precedent for Career tributes. Besides, it's hard to imagine a rebel or tribute from 11 winning, so that only really leaves Andromeda, Tesla, Samantha, and Aemilius. Out of those, Tesla and Andromeda seem the most capable. If this were another Games, I would probably root for Adia, but frankly I don't see that happening.

Thanks for the update. Stay healthy and update soon!
3/27/2020 c59 XxDreamingofDis
Can I just say that on a whim that was started by watching Catching Fire for the first time years, I decided to come back and re-read this story that I had never truly forgotten about. I was not expecting to see such a recent update and I am absolutely ecstatic about this! I've been wanting to know how this was going to end and now I finally will be able to see it through! Thank you so much for coming back and wanting to write this, I can't thank you enough!

I am the creator of Tully, I just for the life of me cannot remember my login details as I haven't touched this website in so many years :'). This was a fantastic chapter, I can't believe that it's nearly the end! I'll have to remake an account simply so that I can follow this and make sure I can read the next chapter as soon as it's posted! Thank you!
3/17/2020 c59 A M4D TE4-P4RTY
I honestly think I've forgotten how to review fanfiction! I keep rereading it but every time I try and write down what I think about the chapter, it turns into a jumbled mess. Anyway, here goes...

Sam - What impressed me most about this POV, especially the conversation in the mosaic room, was that I could SEE it as I was reading it; it was written so visually that I felt like I was watching it on TV. That and the characterisation. Oh boy, the characterisation! Sam and Kale's personalities really are the star of this POV. We've reached the crisis point for them where their fundamentally different personalities make their relationship unsustainable and it was so wonderful (and painful and emotional!) to read. In a way, Kale and Sam each feel like they see half the picture. Kale is right - he's the only one who is really thinking about others as people and the real consequences of their actions. He's very self-aware and being true to himself (And I couldn't be prouder of him - this chapter just filled me with so much love and emotion for him!). Sam on the other hand understands how this thing works - kill to survive. On the other hand, she's totally not self-aware (only now is she beginning to wonder things about herself that her family/friends maybe always saw) and she's also (to an extent) blocking out the reality of people's deaths. Sam sees only the actions that need to be taken, Kale sees only the consequences of those actions. I think they'll both be weaker without each other (they need each other and I think that's maybe subconsciously why Sam didn't leave when she realised about the food), because they balanced each other out. I'm so sad to not have Sam, Kale and Del as a team any more! Sam and Kale have been teamed up the whole games, to lose that feels like shit is getting real and really close to the end...
(Also Del trying to chase after Kale and then crying after he'd left was heartbreaking. And I love how far these two have come from Del trying to avoid Kale at all costs to him shouting after him to try and get him to come back.)

Adia - THE SUSPENSE! This could have been lifted straight from a horror movie! Again it was so visual and dramatic. Adia trying to stand he ground as the lights go out one by one and the sound of hooves pounds in the darkness... The counting down until sudden darkness and silence and THEN the roar. It was just so well written! This chapter generally made me want to see a TV series version of HRI - I could practically see how each shot would be filmed! I loved the chaos of the chase scene with Adia bouncing off walls and the sense of desperation as she ran away. Normally the cliche is 'so-an-so barely recognised themselves' - I thought it was great that Adia DID recognise herself, but could no longer remember what she looked like before. Psychologically she's been completely broken down and I love how you've shown (across all the characters, not just Adia) how the games are really breaking the tributes down mentally as well as physically.

Riri - Well this is the confrontation we were all expecting and finally Andromeda's chance to prove herself (my money was honestly on Riri!)! It's very dramatically written, how it starts with sneaking around and then suddenly explodes into action and they dive straight into the fight. They're both trained so there's a calculating nature to it that I really enjoyed. The brief flashes of distraction (Arc and her past) are also really nice though and really humanise Riri. Throughout the rebel alliance she faced the critique of being too perfect and not caring enough - this POV shows that she's not unfeeling at all and she does care! By the end it was so emotional - Riri was winning, she was on top and suddenly it turns around so fast. She doesn't have time to emotionally process that switch or prepare for what's about to happen and neither does the reader. Riri begging 'wait' left a real lump in my throat and is one of those really tragic moments that stands out and no one will forget in a hurry.

Andromeda - Nice to see Andromeda is still swearing as much as ever ;) I wonder how much will some of her resolve to kill the others as brutally as possible to get back to Four. She's just killed Riri, which shows that she is a real threat, but then she's been deciding to kill the other tributes all games. And now she's wounded as well. What I like about Andromeda is that she's such a potential threat but I think she overestimates her own threat level (this isn't something she's actually experienced in!) - perhaps her overconfidence will come back to haunt her? Or perhaps getting one kill will spur her on to be more decisive? I don't know.

Chance - Little Chance! Who proves the point that a sensible amount of cowardice is never a bad thing :D While everyone else is fighting etc, Chance has just been working out his way around the maze (ok, having a map helps!) and lying low to avoid danger. I don't know how long it will last though (I just don't see the gamemakers letting him sit there by the door until four other tributes have died...). The emotional trauma of whoever makes it to the finally four - I assume they're all going to have to walk past the statues and if Chance's reaction is anything to go by, that's going to be an emotional moment.
3/17/2020 c58 2Idalove2read
Okayyyyy so I hadn't reviewed this chapter as soon as it came out because I suck? because I don't have my priorities straight and should have jumped on the opportunity immediately? WHO KNOWS.

Either way, I just want to say that very few things in my life ever made my heart skip like 3 beats before resuming a frantic tempo for WAY too long... and this update was certainly one of them.

My serious bias for ruthless District 3-born ladies is just... it's all Tesla. I love her dearly, and I absolutely adored the way she has evolved. Many people have mentioned it in the reviews, but I feel the need to highlight it yet again: this girl... this girl has had one of the most amazing arcs of any character I've read.

The fact that she TOOK this flamethrower and torched the people she has killed... it was just such an empowering and horrifying moment. Just for this alone, I have her as a fave to win (I mean, I couldn't have picked more diametrically opposed faves to win, since it's really Sam or her, for me).

That part where she screams and fires, it was just so powerful.
I'm so glad you're back. You can't even comprehend HOW glad I am, and returning to these characters is amazing.
3/16/2020 c59 1FoalyWinsForever
HOO.

Man, I love Sam. I absolutely shouldn't, but I do, and I'm not going to think about it too hard. She's so grimly funny and believable. Not *malicious*, just a little more frank than anyone in her immediate vicinity wants her to be.

In Adia's part... you could be a horror writer, you know that? It's hard to get real suspense from text, but you do it all the time. I also love how you rarely let the tributes get away with anything like a heroic movie moment. They've kids and neither they nor us get to forget that for more than a few seconds at a time.

What a gory fight! I honestly thought you were going to pull a Game of Thrones maneuver on us for a second there and was wincing. I had no idea who was going to walk away from that, if anyone. I always appreciate serious fights between female combatants.

And finally Chance. Again with the suspense; I was so nervous for him both in the long hallway and as he was walking between the statues. You do a great job of throwing in scary moments where it turns out nothing outright dangerous happens; it keeps us on our toes, lol.

Anyway, sorry for disappearing for another month-ish. I'm here, though! And checking back pretty much just for this story! Nine more chapters, oh god my poor heart.
3/16/2020 c59 9twistedservice
honestly just wanted to be your 900th review

my kale sam and del trio :((( how dare you. expected it at some point but that did not make it any better, excuse you! im still rooting for one of them, me thinks, or andy because of my vicious d2 bias, but im just so very excited to see this finished no matter the outcome!

(regrets that in 9 chaps)
(what else is new)
lovely update thank you!
3/15/2020 c59 Wolves the Author
No Ice. No I am not ready. NINE chapters left oh my god that is oh man that’s- excuse me for a moment while I panic and then like marvel at the fact we got a proper POV update, like old times. Thank you again for coming back Ice. Like seriously, with all the crazy crap going on in the world right now we need lovely distraction like stories about organized child murder to brighten our days. But in all seriousness seeing that HRI updated was like the highlight of my day after a kinda crappy week so I dunno just thanks for that. Now for a sentence I haven’t said in four years... onto the POVS!:

Sam: Oof this, now this is a dramatic rather heartbreaking moment that we all probably suspected was coming the breakup of the Delamtha bromance. I can’t blame Kale for leaving all that mess. This just spells all around doom for me. Kale knows he’s going out eventually it’s just a matter of when and what or who he’s gonna try to bring down with him. Which makes me very, very nervous for both Kale and potentially his intended target... Ugh nerves... this was just a really interesting bit of insight into Sam’s psyche in general I think. I really like how we got a more personal look at Sam’s life post war before the games, while I personally think her hatred of Three is still a bit over the top but it’s a bit easier to justify it. I also loved that little bit where Sam talked about a piece of her missing. I’ve always wondered if she had some sort of mild-psychopathy or a touch of anti-social personality tendencies and while that wasn’t confirmed here it was interesting to see that played with. Just that whole confrontation was great. I actually found it sweet that Del was trying to defend Sam. Part of me feels genuinely bad for Sam as we can really see how the arena has taken its toll on her. And of course the death of that trio was sort of expected and timely. I’m extremely worried about all of them. Geez this is a thrill ride...

Adia: Oh man Adia iIm sad to say I almost forgot that she was still alive! I’m glad to see that she is though! This poor girl really has gone through the ringer. This POV really drives home the fact that Adia really is just a kid, a kid trapped in a horrifying situation and has been through hell. And we can see this in how she has changed from the fearless, headstrong rebel ready to take on anything. She’s acting how any fifteen year old girl would. And that’s what makes it so much more heartbreaking. That whole situation with the Minotaur was just down right horrifying. Hell I think anyone would’ve acted that way if they were being chased by that thing. I can only think about that whole situation is nothing short of gut wrenching. Just poor Adia is all I can say. I’m just glad to see that she hasn’t given up entirely on trying to survive.

Riri: Well first and foremost man what a fight! It was beautifully written and you did a great job of keeping us guessing on who was going to end up alive. To be perfectly honest while I liked Riri enough she was never really one of my favorite tributes but you absolutely broke my heart for her with that ending. You humanized her in such a gut wrenching way that it made me genuinely hurt for her which isn’t exactly something I thought I’d feel when it came to that character. She in her last moments she wasn’t a hardened rebel operative she was just a fifteen year old kid who just wanted to go home. That’s the real heartbreaking part. That she was so desperate to get to her family that she never allowed herself to think about any other possible outcome. Only for that to get crushed in an instant... it’s just genuinely sad...
R.I.P Riri no one could ever say you weren’t a badass...

Andromeda: Well Andy congratulations you finally made a kill! It only took what? Thirty chapters? Oh the irony... the trained assassin not getting a kill till the games are nearly over. Well I’ve never been a huge fan of Andromeda but I’ve gotta say that I really liked her POV. I really liked that there was some emotional conflict with her actions. It was a really humanizing sequence for her. Which is always good for that character. But now that she’s got a taste for blood she’s gonna have no qualms about killing... oh that... that’s really not good... really, really not good. Oh man things just got much more dangerous didn’t they? Yeah they did. Excuse me while I go panic for a moment..

Chance: And I’m back. Oh man Chance! You poor boy, so paranoid so guilt- wracked. Just that poor kid. I really don’t think I can say anything else. Just poor Chance. I’ve always had a soft spot for this character and just that whole thing was heartbreaking. Leave it to the Capitol to throw all the death and trauma at the tributes while they walk out of the labyrinth. Genius. Poor guys. And now we know only the final four will make it out of the labyrinth. So there’s nine chapters left and eight tributes left, that calculates to a lot of death in not a lot of time. Yeah still not ready. But I’m looking forward to hanging on for the ride!

Okay so all and all amazing chapter, and again it’s so great to see this story up and running again! Don’t worry about potentially needing to take a break. We’ll still be here. I just hope you can make it to New Zeland cause that sounds like an amazing trip and experience! So I really hope it works out for you and you have a great time! Anyways that’s enough rambling from me for now. In conclusion great chapter and I can’t wait for the next update! Man it feels good to say that!
3/13/2020 c59 1Reign of Winter
Yay! The first (proper) chapter back! This one was just. . . wow, I certainly did not expect to get back into the thick of it so soon. But here we are, and with nine chapters left, people are going to start dropping like flies!

Samantha: Her POV was actually quite sad, both her and Kale had been such a dynamic duo, that has lasted for the entire Hunger Games, and now just like that it’s over. I have no doubt they’ll meet up again at some point, although I can’t be too sure that things will be the same. There was a palpable bitterness between the two, that turned Del of all people into the neutral party. It’s good to see Samantha and Del can be fed now, but I feel as if Kale’s days are numbered. If they didn’t already know about the bomb link to him, they certainly do now. Kale is as good as dead, the question is will it be before or after they escape the maze?

Adia: Ahh, this is a bit strange because I’m used to her being dead in HSRI, but it’s strangely satisfying seeing that she’s still alive and kicking. It almost feels like she’s been gifted a second chance. Anyways she is just having an awful time, I’m not sure how things are going to go with her considering the Minotaur is on her tail, but for some reason the Capitol didn’t let it kill her, so maybe she isn’t doomed to die at its hand. I’m sure their main goal is to have mostly tribute on tribute kills, trying to tear apart the Districts and all. Adia’s description of herself is really vivid and telling as well, you really understand what they have physically been through, and you paint a great image of a gaunt, hollow human.

Riri: Outstanding fight sequence. You really show how both are on par with one another, and they finally have a great opportunity to show their abilities and skill. I can’t lie, I didn’t expect Riri to be the first death after your return, but hey, the unpredictability is what makes the story exciting! I honestly had no idea who was going to make it out of that fight alive for a moment, hell I was convinced that Andromeda would be stabbed in the eyes. Ultimately, she had more power and an unfair advantage with the concealed weapon that earned her the kill. Rest easy Riri, you were an interesting character and brought a lot to the story!

Andromeda: Brief and to the point, it was a nice little wrap up to the fight, and really demonstrates how dangerous Andromeda will be. I dare say she is the biggest threat in the arena, more so than Tesla even perhaps.

Chance: I really enjoyed the description of all the statues, I’ve always had that idea in the back of my mind but I’ve never gotten around to using it in a story. And wow, that’s a little scary, four more have to die before they are able to get out of the maze! It’s really hard to predict who they may be but if I had to guess, I would say possibly Tesla, Andromeda will probably take over her role as the villain. Possibly Kale, out of that trio one of them has to die soon. Adia isn’t looking too good right now, so I can definitely see her dying. And the fourth is too difficult to pick, it could really be anyone.

Fantastic chapter, it really reminds me of why I enjoyed your writing and this story so much. I hope to see the next chapter soon, but if not, enjoy New Zealand!
3/13/2020 c59 1Dictator Mags
Damn. Riri's dead. That's crazy to realize. I suspected Andromeda might come on top, but both of them felt like potential endgamers to me. And that freaking barrage of statues that Chance passed has me feeling so melancholy, remembering all the children that have died up until now. I'm absolutely gutted that Kale left Sam and Del. I understand his reasoning completely, but it doesn't ease the blow at all. Without him there to be Sam's (and Del's?) moral compass, I wonder what's next for them? They're both injured, but don't have nearly as much of a problem with killing as Kale.

Nine chapters? Holy freaking crap. That's even crazier. I sincerely hope you keep healthy, Ice! And thank you once again for returning!
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