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for The Book of Primal Illusion

7/31/2018 c23 6Rocket Axxonu
I first found this story through recommendations on the Avatar Wiki. Although I'm not a Zutarian, I'd been curious to read a reasonably in-character Zutara fic for awhile, since that does represent such a large portion of the fandom, and given the development of Katara and Zuko's friendship in the series, I can see the appeal.

First off, I love the vivid descriptions and raw emotion in this story. Rather than write Mai off as somehow bad for Zuko or try to undermine the legitimacy of their bond as we see it in the show, we feel the tragedy of it that makes sense from how Zuko felt about her. (I really like Mai, so I was feeling kind of heartbroken about seeing her gone myself.)

The whole concept of evil earthbenders and the involvement of the Dai Li worked well, at once feeling familiar and fitting into the Avatar world while also feeling like something new and unexpected; the mental image of the white masks is so chilling, you really feel how eery and terrifying these people are.

The way you incorporated elements of the Spirit World and its role in all these events was also handled in a way I found quite compelling—while in the original show I generally had trouble getting into aspects that dealt with the Spirit World (even moving into Korra where the concept is better explained), here the clear oriental flavor and strong mystical quality of it drew me in. Aang's walk through the Spirit World and the spirit's attempts to get him to fall prey to his weaknesses, giving us insight to what happened with Katara and his feelings about it (a question that naturally arose from beginning, given that this is set several years after the end of the show and it was clear something had happened between them during that time) was particularly powerful.

All in all, a very impressive work; I'm just sorry to see it wasn't finished, and the unanswered questions left over.

Oh, and this review wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention the Sokka bits—so brilliant, the humor is captured so well (the way he keeps bringing up his soon-to-be marriage with Suki with details of sitting arrangements and such in between all the life-and-death antics, and makes friends with a baby cave-crawler. Furball Deathy-Fangs—oh gosh, I wish he were canon). But I love that he also has some deeper, more meaningful moments, such as bonding with Mei Lien; sometimes Sokka gets played off as purely the comedy guy, so it's nice to see his more serious side, too.

Thanks again! Hope your health situation has improved, and best of luck on any current/future projects!
8/23/2015 c21 4Tortoise01Swe
You can't stop here! THIS IS TOO AWESOME TO BE STOPPED!
4/26/2015 c2 7Elen-Di
Oh Sokka. So predictable (always the jerky). But this is very intriguing so far - on to the next chapter! :)
1/16/2015 c22 1sub.C
The guard. He killed the guard. Ugh... *giant sigh of relief* thank you SO MUCH...
OMG and that ending... he's so freakin' terrified but for all that he decides to trust Katara... I just wanna hug him! Like, so bad! FOR LUCK, you know :'D... and I'm not gonna let go til everything's alright again!
1/16/2015 c20 sub.C
Omg, it's so heartwrenching how everyone's telling him to keep fighting whenever he's about to give up... and so they're the ones that keep him hanging in there. But still, things are light years from turning out alright... whenever there's a tiny soothing moment for him, it's immediately followed by some even more torturing stuff... it's SO NOT FAIR, Long Feng is an inhuman, twisted psycho!
I'm wondering who signed that sick contract kind of thing... apparently it's neither Koh, nor Long Feng... so who's behind all that cruelty?! O.O

Oh geez THAT RIDDLE THING! There it is again! It's like... a spell or something...
No no noooo... don't... wtf... please tell me that sword attack is meant for Long Feng or something ó.Ò...
1/16/2015 c19 sub.C
Ugh, damnit, anxiety can be used as a damn effective tool, cause it always works, you can't help it... cause you fear the things you fear, you can't talk yourself into NOT fearing them... cause it's not a rational train of thought, therefore you can't fight it with rational thoughts, and therefore the person who manages to use your fears against you is a super sick and twisted, but successful genius. ó.Ò
And apparently, Katara's scared of her own hatred and her aggressive, uncontrollable side or whatever... and Aang freakin' worries about Katara and fears Zuko's aggresive, uncontrollable side... or more like, he doesn't really trust Zuko to truly get over it and leave that side of himself behind. Aang's scared that he's supposed to save everyone and won't be able to live up to those expectations. ó.Ò

But yeah... what was it that Sokka said to Mei Lien on that tree? "One of the bravest things somebody can do is keep on going."
1/14/2015 c15 sub.C
O-OH MY GOD IT'S URSA... right? I bet it's her! Yeah. Just... yeah.
1/14/2015 c13 sub.C
Gaaaaaaawwwd I wish I could read faster... if there's nothing else I can do from this side of the screen *blinks helplessly while tears stream down cheeks* - then at least I want to read at the speed of light or something... so rescue might come quicker ó.Ò. I can barely make myself stop for a second to write a proper review... I gotta go, I need to hurry...
1/13/2015 c10 sub.C
Oh gaaaaaaaawwwd yeah. Most definitely THE CUTEST THING I'VE EVER READ... I freakin' love you for ALL THAT CUTENESS... it's just what my poor heart needs to get a bit of a rest from all that real worrying and heartwrenching stuff with Zuko. SOKKA TALKING TO FURBALL ABOUT HIS WEDDING, omg I just caaaaaaaan't, my heart's bursting with cuteness, I'm telling you :'D!
1/12/2015 c7 sub.C
No... omg no... *sobs* The very same words like what Ursa said back then... to tell Zuko goodbye...
ZUKO PLEASE NO!
1/12/2015 c5 sub.C
Aaaaawwwww... I got a feeling this is gonna be one of the cutest stories I've ever read... with so many cute details in it that I can't even... gaaaaahh Sokka being so scared about his wedding, it's soooo freakin adorable ':o)!

AND EVEN THE CAVE CRAWLERS ARE CUTE *lmao* :'D!

Oh... only that creepy cliffy at the end isn't exactly what I'd call cute *gulp*... ó.ò
1/12/2015 c4 sub.C
Aaaawwww Mei Lien is soooo adorable... it's so good to know Zuko has such a sweetie-daughter! :)

And YAAAAAAAAAAYYY HE'S AWAKE AND COOL AND HILARIOUS AND SO DAMN CUTE AND... and hot :'D... geez, how old is he by now? Please let him be older than me, just a tad... :'D

Ouch... but that poison is a bitch though ò.Ó... giving Zuko such a shock (and Katara as well), ugh...
1/12/2015 c1 sub.C
So... now you made me curious... with all those author's notes about how weak that other Avatar story is compared to your other stuff and to your "usual writing standards" or whatever :P. So here I am once again, looking super forward to reading this one as well. :)
Alright, here we go.

And omg, what a beginning. Zuko being so very sad and lost about Mai's death and won't share it with anyone... and now that coma kind-of-thing... and his little baby daughter, omg...
11/28/2014 c23 lawliness
Oh hah that poem! 床前明月光 疑是地上霜 舉頭望山月 低头思故乡
11/12/2014 c23 bookworm83197
Hey there, I just wanted to say: Eeeeee! 8DDDDDD 《静夜思》! Brings back so many childhood memories... :'D
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