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7/26/2020 c2 20The Rhombus
The initial scene in this chapter truly made me despair for Pellie. It is not hard to imagine that a sibling could be so cruel to another due to their disability and I feared that she perhaps had an entire childhood with such treatment. It was only when she began to piece together the oddities of her nightmare that I also began to realize that it was just a dream...

...though it seems that Pellie does have her share of problems, as one might expect. Upon waking we get to see from her thoughts exactly what she thinks of her tail and the hardships that it bestows upon her. We also get to see that rather than be faced with ridicule and contempt, she is rather faced with pity... which is an expression that she hates to see. This is certainly understandable as it must be maddening to have everyone act super-careful around you, lest you erupt emotionally. Though it is obvious that her family loved her very much, we can also see how their reactions towards her are affecting her upbringing and outlook. The final part of the scene, however, does present a glimmer of happiness for the swimmer in the form of a friend. I certainly look forward to seeing what we can learn about this Hukai.
7/22/2020 c2 26Keijo6
For some reason I really liked this chapter. It gave a balanced view about Pellie’s life while also giving us a good idea about what’s going on in her head. The first scene certainly showed some of the poor swimmer’s fears but on the other hand, her family isn’t trying to be mean or make her feel bad. As we saw in the latter half, they try to make her happy on her hatch day even if Pellie doesn’t immediately appreciate their gesture. I must say, though, that her resentment at her parents’ care and concern is a bit hardcore but Pellie herself probably doesn’t yet understand her deformation’s full implications.

What I really approved of was how you handled the dream. At first it seemed like a classical bullying scene that turned to cruelty and that would have just been bland. By portraying that scene so negatively you underlined Pellie’s frustrations and insecurities but also showed that they are in many ways overblown. That struck a perfect balance, imo, as it gave everyone very relatable personalities quickly. And in the end, it seems the siblings are on good terms and these developments give this fic a strong basis to move on.
7/22/2020 c2 8Anagnos
You totally had me with that opening sequence. No joke, I literally thought that was all real and that poor Pellie had to deal with that daily, no less from her own sibling. Even if it was a dream, I have to admit that the scene was nicely done and it really made you feel for the swimmer even if it was all in her head. Yes, I probably should have seen it coming from a mile away that a handicapped swimmer would be at a serious disadvantage due to her disability. Since we haven't yet seen what any of their personalities were like, it seemed like the right option to assume this is how it really was.

Not a moment is wasted listing all the cons that have to do with Pellie's handicap and I quite liked that you decided to reveal them early rather than leave them out. Reading the part where even the parents and siblings feel on edge around Pellie adds into her character and lets us know more about this family. They seem to treat her as if she could go off like a bomb at any moment, which must be hard for her to deal with. Since there must be human families out there like this, it makes this all the more believable. However, it's good to see that despite her problems she has found a good friend in her life. If there is one thing she needs, it is that.
6/20/2020 c1 20The Rhombus
Though it has been a long while since I was caught up on the Swimmer Trials, I do feel that this story was straightforward enough that this lack of being up-to-date does not detract from the impact of the story. What we have here is an interesting take on what happens when harsh realities of prehistoric life collide with parental empathy. With resources being scarce at times, it is understandable that more traditional herds would have harsh policies on such matters - to only allow food and security to be given to those children who were most likely to survive to adulthood. However, Ruddy and Hull see possibilities in their child still which give them hope to counteract the uncertainty. So with parental love they decide to do what they can to give their young one a chance.

I do like how you have interwoven not only your take on why swimmers must fixate on reproduction to such an extent, but also the harsh realities of the world around them, in order to show a complete picture of what makes certain herds and parents choose certain decisions for their families. Though on the shorter side, this story does present a heartwarming look at a character's entry into the world, and a prelude to the struggles Pellie will now face. I look forward to seeing how Pellie's life develops from here. :)
6/16/2020 c1 26Keijo6
To be honest, I hadn’t really expected a story about your Swimmer Trials OC but that is a more than a welcome idea. Pellie seems like a rather sad character whose disability certainly makes her life a lot more difficult. Her birth was far from a happy one especially as her parents already wondered whether to finish her off or not. Even then, it was good to see that they decided to give her a chance and considering how far she has come in TST, that was the right choice.

However, there is very little else to say at this point. We know pretty much nothing about Pellie but I’m sure you have a more than exciting backstory in store for her. She seems like a rather interesting character thus far and her tail already provides us with a noticeable twist from a general swimmer story. It will certainly be intriguing to see where her story takes her next.
6/14/2020 c1 8Anagnos
First off, I wasn't going to review this chapter until tomorrow at best, but since the first chapter is relatively short, I figured it was best to get it over with. It has been quite a while since I've read the infamous Swimmer Trials and my memory of the chapters I read is rather insufficient as a result. But like you said, one doesn't exactly have to read the fic to understand the storyline in this prompt.

While more traditional herds likely would not have thought much about putting down a child born with a birth defect, the more independent and logical parents, Ruddy and Hull, demonstrated undiluted faith in their handicapped child, Pellie. Their fear of the unknown is not only rational, but plausible and no one can blame them for that. But instead of giving into prejudice, they've chosen to let fate decide whether life will be worth living for the young swimmer or will it be taken away before it has a chance to blossom.

This type of mentality isn't often encountered in the Land Before Time universe and the innuendo from Hull in regards to his past life in a herd he wasn't a happy person played a huge part in setting Ruddy and Hull apart from the rest. I liked how they didn't wallow in self-pity over their daughter and got rather quickly over her birth defect. This showed that despite their initial shock, they see her just as much as their child as they see the rest.

I love how you've presented us a valid reason as to why the swimmer population is so adamant to produce as many infants as possible and this same fear most likely is felt by every other creature with offspring. This was quite an interesting way to paint the swimmers as mating obsessed maniacs, albeit maniacs with a good reason to breed as much as possible: to ensure that at least some survive to carry on the family line. I will be looking forward to how the story will develop from here and how Pellie will eventually have to face the dangers of the world before she might even be ready.

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