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for Five Stages of Grief

12/21/2018 c1 3IHCFanfic
Oh, wow... this one hurt to read, in a good way. Mr. Thicknose's death was a shock, and most of the way through I was still holding out hope that Spike would return eventually.

Ducky's characterization was absolutely superb throughout the story, but I'm especially impressed with the "Anger" section. It's hard to imagine Ducky losing her temper that badly, but you made it really believable, and it makes me wish there'd been a scene like that at some point in the series.

The main critique I have of this is that there are a few moments where the dialogue doesn't seems to fit together right, e.g. "Petrie's right. Ducky has not played with us ever since Spike had left the Great Valley" sounds really formal with the use of "has not" vs. "hasn't."

Otherwise, a great story! Poor, poor Ducky...
9/25/2018 c1 19The Rhombus
This is one of those stories that comes along and truly changes your perspective on certain events and characters. As the story unfolded I could easily see how this AU could have played out in canon, and how close things came to not only tragedy (for Mr. Thicknose) and for a harsh lesson in acceptance for our beloved swimmer. At the same time the outside exposition further added to the sense of introspection in the story as we were given front row seats to Ducky's emotional and psychological journey as she faced the loss of her brother and best friend.

As far as the plot, character interactions, and narrative are concerned this story approaches being flawless in its execution. The interactions between Ducky and Petrie, in particular, were so in-character that I could imagine the exchanges as if I were seeing them on film. The insights of Ducky's mother and the concern of Ducky's siblings were also nicely conveyed in a way that was believable and heartfelt. Ducky's denial, anger, bargaining, and eventual acceptance, though predictable considering the concept being explored, were manifested in ways that were unexpected. The emotional rawness of it all made this story quite difficult to read, but in a good way.

I honestly am at a bit of a loss for words right now. Normally I give constructive criticism at this point in my reviews, but I am at a loss here except to say "Keep writing stories that are this good." :p You truly outdid any reasonable expectations with this story and you should be proud of your work. :) This will easily be getting one of my highest ratings when I vote in the forum fanfiction awards. :yes
9/16/2018 c1 30CupOfAngst
Well damn, this story really packed on the feels! Spike leaving the valley and the effect it had on Ducky was heartbreaking enough, but honestly, what happened with Mr. Thicknose is what shattered me, because I always imagine myself in that kind of situation and how I'd feel if someone I loved or cared about died after having said something mean to them and that being the last thing they heard me say to them. I know I wouldn't be able to function and the guilt would just eat at me and eat at me until it finally destroyed me mentally. This just made me feel for Ducky even more. While it was wrong for her to lash out like that, you can understand that her emotions were running high and she was just speaking out of hurt.

*sigh* You really have a knack for writing these emotional stories. I write angsty, depressing stuff all the time, but when I read it from someone else, it just wrecks me.
9/16/2018 c1 26Keijo6
This is most certainly an excellent story! This time, you’ve managed to do a fic that lacks your previous problems and taking its place is a great premise (though it’s been explored once before), truly awesome writing and some really mesmerizing character scenarios. You are most certainly right to be proud of this fic as it certainly is a powerful and impactful answer to the prompt.

There are some times when I’m not sure if “outside comments” do more good than ill in stories but your incorporation of the psychological theory here truly works and it didn’t feel in any way forced. In this fic, your ability to analyze a character’s actions truly shows. It is apparent already during the first stage but I truly appreciate the second part as it’s always nice to see a character acting so unlike he/she does in the films while keeping it completely in-character. Ducky’s speech to Mr. Thicknose was a horrible one and it really made her feel more like a villain than what I’ve ever seen before. The emotional toll it took on the older dinosaur was apparent and the thought of where that discussion led later is quite tragic…

The emotional buildup to the Gang’s reconciliation was built masterfully, especially considering Petrie and Ducky’s earlier encounter. The flyer’s words and the friends’ reaction to the news… those scenes immersed me to the story only a few other fics can. Ducky’s realization about Spike’s departure’s finality was a good way to close out that discussion and the emotion was more than tangible there. If I really would have to point something out, I feel like the Gang and her mother telling Ducky that Mr. Thicknose’s death isn’t her fault was quite wrong for him considering that, well, Ducky was practically responsible for it.

As for the final scene, I thoroughly enjoyed how Ruby and Chomper reacted to the news of Spike’s departure. Chomper’s fears of his fate and Ruby’s surprise were captured excellently as were Ducky’s final reflections on Spike. Your decision that Spike hadn’t returned yet was the correct one as it gave this story much more emotional impact than if Spike had returned after, say, a month (though it doesn’t tell a lot good about Spike). It was great to see just how different things can go in the long term if one situation goes differently.

I cannot underline enough how much I liked this story. It would be an understatement to say this is a major step forward for you as it’s one of the best LBT stories I’ve read in a good while! Your problems with keeping the focus on the character’s feeling appeared only briefly during the first part but that’s very minor. Superb job with this fic!
9/15/2018 c1 35DiddyKF1
I am literally at a loss for words. I can't even begin to describe how emotional I got while reading this story. This is such an excellently-written piece of AU that really touched me, and Ducky's emotions throughout the story are the perfect example of how a child as young as her suffers from grief, even if her friend didn't actually die, but simply left her perhaps forever.

You are really starting to improve greatly on your story writing, and I am so glad to have read this one. I think this story may just be as emotional as the ones the rest of us have written this year, and the way each character dealt with the loss of Spike and Mr. Thicknose was very pure and almost too difficult to read through without my eyes tearing up.

I have to admit this is the greatest story I've seen from you thus far, and I can't wait to see more from you in the near future when the prompts continue!
9/15/2018 c1 12TimeLordMaster108
This was brilliant, you really did a good job of tugging at my heartstrings, plus the characters are in character and overall a good story, so keep up the great work.

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