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for Hide Your Fires: The 50th Hunger Games

8/21/2020 c53 12goldie031
Well, I'm a bit late with this review XD I fully thought there was gonna be one more chapter and was gonna review the two of them together, then I noticed the little "complete" mark on the chapter I printed out. Ah, well.

I like how this chapter felt somewhat conclusive, but also left a lot to unpack later on in the sequel. It seems as though things are picking up, especially with whatever is happening in Six right now. I'm very curious to see the impact Lana has on the Games, and what is going on with Imalia. Also, thank you again for such a sweet Barlen section .

Thanks so much for a great story! I love reading your work. If you remember, can you PM me when the sequel goes up? I'd love to sub to it . Great work!
8/3/2020 c4 2TheSoloAlpaca
When I'm finished reading I'll leave a proper review, but damn, so far this is good. Well written, interesting characters, overall beautiful.
6/28/2020 c51 2optimisms
I'm SO HAPPY! This is the first time one of my favorites won! It's actually really amusing how that's progressed (for me):
9th: I hated that Harakuise won and was really mad about it; I really wanted Brie to win, so much that I didn't believe it at first when she died. Obviously I like him now but it took a while.
10th: Didn't really care about Caroline when she won, though I love her now, but I really really thought Theia deserved to win (still do), and after she died I was rooting so hard for Thea, who again came in 2nd.
25th: I accidentally read that Brennan won so it wasn't a surprise but I was rooting for Mercury. Once again, 2nd place. I didn't care much for Brennan tbh but he's grown on me.
42nd: I loved Indira so much and I would've preferred for her to win but Imalia grew on me during her Games and I was satisfied once I knew it was Imalia or Indira (after Domingo's death). And again, my fave died at 2nd place.
50th: FINALLY one of my faves won. I thought Aleyn was going to win but I was so hopeful that Barlen could somehow pull it off and HE DID. Finally, after 4 Games of 2nd places, a Victor I've been rooting for from pretty much the beginning, definitely since hooking up with Mariska and Vashti.
Anyway, I just find it amusing how I hated Harakuise, didn't care for Carolina or Brennan, liked Imalia, and now LOVE Barlen. And I'm lamenting that 4/5 stories my faves came in 2nd. But this story was so good, and I'm so happy with the finale as a whole & who the Victor is!
6/23/2020 c6 optimisms
I'm honestly impressed at how you made the 2 youngest tributes seem like the strongest contenders out of the last 9.
5/9/2020 c53 6Platrium
Barlen getting a tattoo was functional rather than aesthetic. Ah... nice one! Lana volunteering then winning was interesting. I wasn't done reading that part yet, and I knew it was gonna be the twin's sister. I wasn't expecting her to win though, so that's really neat. I've only seen a family member or friend of a tribute win the games after the tribute's once before this. Cool to see it again! The president's daughter is at the bar instead, and I have to be reminded that the president was at the bar in a previous chapter. I forgot about it. Interesting to see that the subplot did not unfold immediately. It also took years to do. We also know that it's back at the standard 24 after the quell. :o

Thank you so much for letting me participate here! :D Retro went out here way better than how I expected him to do. It's fantastic! I'm gonna admit that I was pretty lost with the pre-games, but that's probably because of the bigger cast. The lengthiness of the games phase made up for it anyway, even though my attention span suffered from it. XD It truly felt like an actual Hunger Games reading it. The arena was so unique and the actions were of true quality. It makes my mouth water for more.

This is an amazing story that ages like fine wine, so taking 3 years to write this was totally worth it. :3

Playing it cool,
Platrium
5/7/2020 c53 5So hard to choose usernames
Well I wasn't expecting all of this. I honestly didn't expect Barlen to want to, or be allowed to, mentor tributes but I have to say I really like this idea and I'm excited to see what he's like as a mentor. Basil and Barlen are a great duo and they kind of remind me of Harakuise and Jai, with Barlen being Jai of course.

I also didn't expect Lana to volunteer after Duke made the deal with Eldred to end the rigged reapings. But I really like how Duke has to keep it a secret to avoid also telling people the reason why the reapings are no longer rigged. So I wasn't too surprised when Lana volunteered (I had added it as an afterthought on Lena's form) but I honestly didn't expect her to win the 51st Hunger Games. But now all of the Districts have at least one male and one female victor. Although Lana winning the 51st Games does seem to be fit the track record held by District 5 and 6. District 5 places runner up in the Quarter Quell and District 6 wins the Games immediately following it, witht he same gender of the tribute that dies in the bloodbath. I'm excited to meet the new victors during your next fic, and to see if any of them get recruited for this side plot.

And District 12 had it's first Career volunteer! I do really like the fact that they didn't win the Games though, or even place very high, if every first Career volunteer won the Games that would get a bit old. This isn't the first few years of the Games anymore, there are a bunch of Careers now and they're tough competition. I feel bad for Logan though and I'm curious about how his decision to volunteer, and subsequent death, might affect Kyra.

And now Imalia is gone and I'm excited to see what this will lead to. I do wonder if Lana's victory had anything to do with the fact that it was Imalia who went instead of Duke? I mean a few years have passed since her victory but it seemed to set the tone for who would be doing what.

I'm excited to see what you come out with next, both in your collab and the one-shot that will follow this. Have fun writing!
5/6/2020 c53 2sock-feet-and-stirring-sand
A lovely ending! It wasn't as much a summation as a peek into what's to come, but that's great seeing as there may be another story in this series! Definitely expect a sub from me when that comes around :):)

I'm not going to get into everything on this chapter but I did want to say, I'm so glad Barlen wants to help others and be a good mentor. My pet peeve with mentors is the ones who isolate and detach and that helps no one but themselves. Barlen's right, he owes it to those who helped him get out alive (especially as he had such pivotal allies!) Respect, Barlen.

You don't do things heavy-handedly which is probably a good thing but I'm not so good at picking up all these hints so hopefully we get some clarity with the fallout from these happenings in your next story- whatever it is, Imalia seems to have thrown a wrench in whatever plans these were. Excited to see what's to come.

Woohoo! Congrats on another wonderful completed story!
5/6/2020 c53 16TheEngineeringGames
First, I just want to say congrats on finishing another SYOT! I'm so happy I was able to be part of this story - not sure if I've mentioned it anywhere before, but binge reading your previous stories was what got me interested in writing THG stories again after several years away from it. So I was excited to submit and be part of this one! Thank you once again for accepting and writing Genevieve so well! You did such a good job with all of the tributes and creating a Games where I really didn't know who would end up as the victor until the final blow was made. Seriously, kudos to you for writing a story like that!

I absolutely love the verse you have developed with your victors. They're all so dynamic and play such a huge role in the plot. I love Barlen and the tattoos is such a clever idea! I also really enjoyed seeing the jumps in time with some of the other victors - Lana got her revenge! Go Kyra coming out (but big oof with Logan)! And it's so interesting to see Carolina and Lander staying far out of this, no doubt because of Kit and everything that happened before the 42nd Games. This epilogue answered some questions while giving a whole bunch more! What exactly are the younger victors up to with Eldred's plan? Imalia going missing is surely going to be a big part of the victor subplot in the sequel which is going to be very interesting!

I will definitely be around for the next one (or two haha I'll probably submit to both the next in this and the collab)! I'll patiently be waiting for the one shot and then the next stories :)
5/1/2020 c52 12goldie031
This was such a great chapter! I love how vibrant your world is, and the section with the president was such a great way to see how your world operates. This was not as angsty of a chapter as it could have been because Barlen has no memory of anything but that end bit - oof, that got me. I really love his relationship with Basil, and I'm excited to see more of that over your next stories. As usual, great work!
4/30/2020 c52 6Platrium
Ah, so Barlen is the most resilient among the 3 finalists. That makes sense. At the same time though, Barlen being a wild card was not only told from the perspective of the president, but it was also shown with how he stabbed his sister. Oh no. D: That scene was sad, and it shows how much he went through as a victor.

Related to stabbing his sister when she purely intended to help, Vashti's words really stuck out to him. He didn't trust anyone, and that knife is his only friend. That's the difference between winning and losing to Retro. :o Vashti's words were good for Barlen, but as we saw here, he stabbed his sister by mistake. Oops.

Barlen's interaction with his mentor was interesting. He couldn't even remember his mentor's name when they reunited. Very Barlen. Basil is now like a father figure to Barlen. I like how Basil said he didn't want to get his hopes up with Barlen winning, and that's very relatable to me with Retro. I totally agree! XD

It's awesome how much detail was on the recap. It's a great refresher to the chapters that were published more than a year ago. The detail is amazing! Leo was so long ago, but he had an impact on Barlen's journey. Vashti had the most impact to his journey though, especially by telling him that the knife is his only friend he can trust. I didn't remember Barlen hugging Klaudia at the interviews, but I remember him killing her. Ironic. The recap flashed me back to the time when I binged about 7 chapters I was behind with, and with the chapters having so many words, I'm glad my inattentive a$$ sat through them in one sitting. XD The games had so much in them overall.

3 years? Well, I'm going 4 years with mine. It's also a monstrosity with what I did, but it's my 1st, so I'm learning from it too.

One more to go! I'm done being sappy last time, but I'll probably be a bit sappy again on the next. XD
4/30/2020 c52 16TheEngineeringGames
I really enjoyed this chapter! I always love seeing what the victors are like after they win and I was curious about Barlen, considering his memory loss. The video recap isn't something I see people do too often in SYOTs and I forgot how much I enjoy it. It was just a good refresher on all of the tributes that were in this story!

Barlen is...I just want to give him a big hug. I'm really glad he has a new friend in Basil and their friendship is great. Barlen really does need Basil there to be honest with him and ground him. But what happened with his family...that's just sad to see :( I really hope eventually they can be closer to him again, but his actions all make sense given everything that happened and how recent the Games still are for him.

Crazy that there's only one chapter left of this story! I'm so glad I got to be part of this one and I'm definitely looking forward to whatever you write next. Time to start brainstorming ideas!
4/29/2020 c52 23symphorophilia
oh... this... this hits hard. beautiful victory epilogue - like, even more than i'd anticipated it to be, which is saying something. the talk between silas and tamika, addressing barlen's situation and why silas felt he would be a significant, if perhaps dangerous victor was very well detailed and explained. no doubt barlen is a wild card - we got hints of just how much there at the end. a fantastic job weaving trauma and the lasting, often destructive effects of PTSD on a person's mentality and self-control. with barlen being so young, it's only more detrimental. truly a relief that he has basil... and that basil has him, as well. never expected him to stab his sister... you can feel the shock, trepidation and confusion in the way you've written his mannerisms and dialogue which is amazing. also a nice look at how his experience - particularly with his allies, all of whom sacrificed themselves to protect him - has shaped his mentality as a victor. vashti especially... and perhaps not for the best. the advice vashti gave to barlen definitely helped carry him through the games, but out of the games it's the sort of advice that can be damaging. and with barlen's condition it's just so much harder for him to reconcile...

this fic has been an amazing journey, from start to finish. i... don't want to get too sappy or personal here but i would like to say that your updates, on HYF especially, were one of the few things i had to look forward to through some of the hardest months of my life in 2018. to know that this story's coming to an end is really bittersweet... but i'm only more appreciative of it for the fact that you chose a neurodivergent, even technically disabled, tribute as victor; i've certainly not struggled with the issues barlen has, but my own mental and physical issues have definitely shaped who i am as a person, and in all the fics i've read i've never once seen a tribute with any sort of mental or physical condition make it through to the end. it means a lot to just see that sort of representation in a fic, with such a well-developed and frankly brilliant characterization. (i'm actually tearing up typing this, haha...) you're an amazing writer and this SYOT is one that i'm so glad to have read and been a part of, even in some small way. thanks for the amazing final chapter. it's truly been an unforgettable ride.
4/29/2020 c52 2sock-feet-and-stirring-sand
This was a lovely chapter— long but it didn’t drag on. I liked the mix in POVs as well. Barlen grew on me this chapter as well; I think it was a nice way to find a bit of closure with him and his mentor. It was also touching to see all the ways that the tributes had helped him get to his victory, especially Vashti.

I think the best-written part was the part with the President; your dialogue flows really nicely and is informative yet not too rambling.

Excited, even though it’s bittersweet, to see how this story ends.
4/12/2020 c51 5So hard to choose usernames
Barlen won! He's been my favourite from the start and I'm so happy he won! I'm even happier it came down to Retro and Barlen because I would have been happy no matter who won. Props to you for writing them so well and props to their creators for creating them and sending them in because they were amazing tributes.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Barlen was the reason for the long hesitation, I mean earlier on (I'll have to reread to make sure I'm remembering it correctly) I believe Barlen mentioned something that made it seem like he'd gone somewhere he didn't belong. Perhaps it was something illegal? Since he can't remember it I'm assuming that's why they let the finale proceed as normal.

I'm excited to see what kind of victor Barlen will make. Will he even be able to mentor with his memory problems? Will he even remember he won the Hunger Games? I'm excited to find out.
4/12/2020 c51 6Platrium
A well-written finale! I've already given myself enough time to mentally prepare myself for this review, so I will finally have the right mind to proofread it later. XD

I'm surprised Retro got Aleyn and Aleyn was the first to go among the 3 of them. Wow!

Retro was still using the element of surprise in the finale! I was very impressed, because I thought he could only do it outside the finale, but apparently not! He successfully used it on Aleyn and just missed Barlen with it. :o I was really impressed because that factor Retro made good use of made this finale so unpredictable. Retro also tried to manipulate Barlen into his side by bringing up Vashti's name. That was so smart and daring! He was definitely taking all the chances he could in hopes of letting Barlen's guard down, but despite the memory problem, Barlen didn't let his guard down, and that's what brought him all the way here to the very end and to victory! He may have thought he was dead, but he killed Darian immediately after he was informed otherwise. He didn't let his guard down at all, and he still didn't on this INTENSE duel with Retro. Yo, I called it! They'd have a duel at the end, and it happened! Had Barlen fallen for Retro's manipulative tricks, Retro would've won, so props to Barlen for overcoming that.

Barlen had a MASSIVE amount of character development, and I don't think anyone has had anything this massive of a character development in and out of this story, but these games were long with 35 tributes, so there was a lot more opportunity to develop characters who got far enough. I still remember Barlen being reaped, and his short-term memory loss made him look like bloodbath fodder. He brings a pen with him to write notes and remember things he would not have remembered without the pen. He got this far because of it, but not because of it alone. He made big moves, accidental and intentional. Like I said earlier, he kept his guard up, and that was what made him win. His character development was not only massive but also memorable: He made a friend in training, learned how to treat injuries with that friend, lost him immediately in the bloodbath, played a harp for forgetting where he is, got new allies, accidentally killed a "ghost", traveled down with allies to the liquid pit, lost an ally, attacked Retro (!) out of instinct, used the pit to his advantage to kill a tribute, separated from his only ally at that point, killed someone in her sleep, thought he's a ghost too, killed a career after being informed he was still alive, and not falling for Retro's mind games. It was so well done! If you asked me at the very beginning if I saw Barlen as a victor, I'd say no, hands down. He has a memorable enough development over the pre-games, and that made me think that he might at least get past the bloodbath even though he wasn't designed to look like he would get past it, but he got way further than just the bloodbath or early games. He made it all the way to the end and won an INTENSE fight against my tribute. Absolutely well-deserved! :D

Alright, time to be sappy. XD I submitted 2 tributes, thinking the first one was bad after submitting her, so I sent someone better than my first sub. Indeed, Retro got in over my other one, and I was relieved that it happened and that I had 1 at least. There were a lot of submissions for this story, so I was afraid mine wouldn't get in. I gave him a sadder story than my usual tribute mold, and he had that arc during the interviews, which was really cool. I didn't expect him to get past the bloodbath actually. I thought that's where he'd end his journey, but it's relieving that it wasn't the end for him. His arc only strengthened when his two allies went down in the early games and in the bloodbath. I was anticipating that it'd be his time sooner or later, and I fell behind around 7 chapters over a period of months when life was tough as hell. I was surprised and relieved that the cast got cut down in half and yet Retro was still alive and kicking. On his journey alone, he would make the sneakiest moves and would play the element of surprise to his favor. He did so successfully in a lot of situations and I was very impressed and proud of him for those moments. When I was caught up with the story, he would go even further still scraping by, but he was alive, and that's what mattered. Just some background knowledge on my tributes: Most of them don't go far. They're easy picks for early deaths. For one of mine to be in the top one-fifth of the cast was very impressive in itself. I usually expect early deaths given the pattern I noticed. Well, Retro went even further than top 7 out of 35! :o He made it all the way to the finale, and even though he got 2nd, the fact that he got to the finale in itself was extremely impressive. I've only had 4 make it to the finale: a 2nd placer in 2016, 2 victors in 2017, and that's... that, until here of course. Like I said, I get a lot of early deaths. I'm glad Retro isn't one, and I'm stoked to see that he got even further and all the way to the end DESPITE BEING 12! :D Was it realistic? We saw his journey, and I'd say yes. Arena and fellow tributes play a factor to that. There was also luck involved for sure, given that his ex-allies died early into the games for simply being at the wrong place in the wrong time. I enjoyed seeing his small arcs with Macauley and Vashti as district partners. It was also interesting for Barlen to be roped into the arc when Retro and Vashti were with Barlen. Retro may have been scraping by for the most part, but he was being smart and sneaky! It got him very far, along with his luck. I love that he was manipulating Barlen in the finale when he couldn't just scrape by or sneak up. He was using Vashti's connection to Barlen to his advantage, and he never gave up with it all the way to the end! He also got to use the element of surprise to his advantage in a lot of situations, and I wasn't expecting it when he killed Aleyn, but he pulled it off successfully. Even though he may not have won, Retro had a MASSIVELY WILD RIDE in this story! There was even a point wherein the most dangerous career in my opinion, Etora, held him captive, and he was able to escape that scuffle successfully. I'm very surprised and impressed that he made it all the way to the end despite his age and size and sad story. His brains and luck carried him here, and that fight with Barlen was so intense I honestly didn't know who was gonna win anywhere until I knew Barlen made the final blow. Retro never gave up, and I'm so proud of him for getting this far! I also wasn't expecting him to be a fan-favorite, topping a poll once. Anyone can see his rise in popularity by looking at old poll results, haha! Anyway, THANK YOU VERY MUCH for bringing Retro to life, and all the way to the end even though he didn't win. Like Barlen, there was a lot of opportunity for his character development, and it did not disappoint at all! :D You made him more than just what I expected of him. You made him more than just the sad 12-year-old he started out as. These make me so proud and impressed of him! I probably wouldn't be as hyped or ecstatic with this story had he been an early death, so yay! XD I wasn't fully expecting him to win, but he went down fighting via manipulation. It was completely up to luck for him to win against Barlen with the situation he was stuck in, and he lost because Barlen didn't let his guard down. Well deserved by Barlen! Retro couldn't have won in a normal fight. He used what he had to his advantage, and he did so successfully with whatever was in his control. We saw that these subtle moves were very effective to get him here. WELL DONE WITH RETRO! :D

It was so within character for Barlen to not realize he made it to the finale and won despite his character development. XD I'm excited to see what's next with Barlen's victory. I wonder how he'll be as a mentor. He's a very unique victor pick, and you made it work out! :D
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