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for Checkmate: behind the scenes

6/15/2014 c7 26Vyrazhi
My favorite part was the one about the people who'd buy Finnick doing so because he had a price tag. It's exactly the same reason some wealthy people have trophy wives and, to a lesser extent, "himbos" and trophy husbands. Beauty is only secondary to status, and when that beauty fades, so DOES the status.

"That's what they do, pick and choose who gets to be human." Brilliant. The irony is that Capitolites are the most dehumanized of all the people in Panem, being more like mannequins who crave luxury and fashion. They think they have the power and the right to decide who's treated like a human being, but they haven't taken a good, hard look in the mirror. They're even discouraged from doing so, thus the constant distractions that the Capitol provides.
6/6/2014 c7 Well of wishes
Glynn is unique. She's not a Spock or Sherlock character, she gets people even if she's very rational and intellectual. I always picture her as a hawk, standing above and studying people, dissecting their thoughts and actions but she's just caring enough to remain quite human.

I'm actually impressed you are able to write a character like that.

Finnick is tough. Gotta love protagonists that aren't whiny. It's also pretty rare to see a teenaged character who doesn't think he knows better than everyone else.

At the beginning, you wrote camera instead of camera crew.
6/4/2014 c7 30ETNRL4L
I don't think this is how this went down. I wish it had. I REALLY wish it had. I wish Finnick would've had this control of what was done to him. But something tells me it went down very differently. Harder. Darker.

6/1/2014 c7 Rendered Thoughts
Hmm, of course. Mags wouldn't let Finnick walk alone, right? :) I like how they're turning the game around here, making Finnick the one with power instead of the one without. And Glynn... she's still awesome as always :)
1/1/2014 c6 Lollipop
Happy Xmas and Happy New Year!
Scene 1-
I hand't noticed no one actually said out loud that Esperanza had been kidnapped in the whole scene. No wonder Marquise was so confused! lol. Trial by fire! It's great to see Angelites and Mags through her eyes before they become friends, and because Marquise has a normal reaction (actuall better than normal, normal would be running away, lol!) it reveals that Mags and her mother are all but.

Scene 2 -
Aww, how serious and sad, but it's a huge step, Mags acknoledging she's depending on Marquise. Marquise seems to be able to see how very affected Mags is by everything, almost more than Mags accepts to acknowledge. and Alaric, lol!.

Scene 3 -
Thi scene played so vivdly in my mind as I read. I so picture Mags' days with her guard like that. Ofcourse Mags would pair up Marquise and Cereus, lol ,she likes them both and she's silly and paranoid. And Marquise loving the power she has and testing Cereus to see if he's worthy.

I'd have liked maybe you to stress that Marquise isn't loyal to Mags because she's right about Panem needing a revolution. Marquise is loyal because Mags is Mags (am I making sense?) and I am certain that if Mags changed plans, Marquise would just go with it, because Mags is her best friend. Glynn may not, and that's the difference between the two. Glynn's more a bigger picture type of girl, but Marquise really loves Mags.

Scene 4 -
It's great to see her interact with all the major characters. See above for comment. Marquise's dilemma makes her deeper. It'd have been too easy to make her happy with dying in Creneis as Mags' right hand woman. I think it was a brilliant move for the character and natural of her to ask Glynn for advice this time.

I must mention that I love how Marquise has these moments of doubt, about how fit she is at peacekeeping (Angelites in uniform was an interesting mental image, lol), at being a Sergeant, about how important she is to Mags and about being a rebel in district one. She's just so human.

Scene 5

Lorelei, I'd forgotten that tidbit about her being a peacekeeper lol. And good on Marquise for showing her that Mags isn't evil. I can't imagine how confusing it all must be for a kid.

Scene 6
Aha Shiraz! lool! I loved the scene for the fun of it. How Shiraz always knew and they're joking around.

Aaaaand scene 7!
I don't think I've ever written such a huge review. Merry Xmas, gurl! Lol!
This was so interesting. The ex bit and Marquise's lingering resentment were hilarious, especially at first how she liked making Roy fear her, and I laughed so hard at the husband order. They do sound like partners, and I loved the byplay. Marquise's husband works for her, I think. Now I realize you've never written her in love (except with Roy, ironically) and Arcelio is indeed a smart match. He won't break her heart and with hope they're happy.
12/31/2013 c6 26Vyrazhi
My favorite section was the one dealing with Berle's death, because it was so...raw, bringing back visceral memories from that scene. Also, the description of Angelites in the first scene gave me the shivers. Despite the cuddly imagery of mother bears and lionesses in particularly-silly American children's books, THAT is what these predators really act like when their cubs are threatened.

Riveting writing, and Happy New Year! :-)
12/30/2013 c6 30ETNRL4L
I despise you for making this nearly 9000 words.

I don't have anything to say about Marquise's role in saving Esperanza. I was more focused on Kyle here, anyway. *snort*

So... she declared herself a rebel within a year of being her guard? How did I not notice this? And Alaric is a booty call. LOL!

Awwww! Cereus went to Marquise for a hook up. And Mags so so oblivious she though he was trying to get with Marquise. LOL! He was cute when he got jealous of Rowan, though.

So, it was Glynn's idea for Marquise to go back to One to set up the Peacekeeper information system there. Brilliant.

Oh, my god! Lorelei and Marquise. The feels. I just can't. I hate you. Don't look at me.

How messed up is it that I still find Shiraz sexy with the porn 'stache? LOL!

I love the entire exchange with Roy. It was a freaking chess match of words. And she married a womanizer? And was okay with it? Pft! Only Marquise.

Now, I order you not to write another one of these for a while. I have to work on my own crap.

Love ya always...

12/30/2013 c6 Rendered Thoughts
More Marquise, yay! I loved that little scene with Lorelei. I also loved Marquise's character development, from a trembling pup into an undercover rebel who understood her power. I think I understand her married life better now, I've always had this impression that it was a marriage of convenience - but not this kind of 'convenient' that she married a playboy to have a child.

Funny that Mags thought Cereus was into Marquise instead. I'm glad that Marquise set him straight on the matter, though. I liked that little display of uneasy jealousy Cereus showed when Marquise baited him with the story about Mags and 'old' Rowan.

Thanks so much for this :)
12/21/2013 c5 26Vyrazhi
The names of the chinchillas made me smile and think of the names of Santa's reindeer. Also, "Nargle" is the sound that Sims (as in The Sims 3) make when they're frustrated with their homework. *LOL*

I loved the "raw material" line. It made me realize that Marquise is just as much merchandise as the fox furs her father sells. "Demure" is just a code word for "keep your legs open and your mouth shut", or in Marquise's case, "just act like the other girls and do what you're told." It's not so much about being sexually appealing as an apprentice Peacekeeper, but about being subservient - as a female.

In the second part, I'd like to see Marquise and Mags have a slightly forbidden talk about things that "don't add up" in the Capitol-controlled world - things that trouble both of them and make them uneasy. It could start as a conversation about the dangers of being a victor in the Capitol, and how Mags needs to watch out far more than she did in the Hunger Games, and then go from there.

P.S. I have a not-so-secret secret to tell you: I'm going to be writing an original novel next year, to be self-published on Kindle (I hope). That's the good news. The bad news is that I'm writing it for the ages 8-13 or so demographic, so you might find that sort of thing too silly. Nevertheless, I'll continue reading and reviewing. You know what prompted me to remember that I had an alert about this fic? A comic strip that mentioned "vicuna wool"! :)

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
12/20/2013 c5 Lollipop
I love Marquise's attitude. She has to deal with haters and bullying but she doesn't let that define her or stop her, and she comes through as decently happy even if she has her troubles. I think the first scene with Shiraz summed it up: she wants it to stop and she's prepared to do something, but she won't stop being true to herself. And she finds friends and a place for herself by being smart, instead of settling for Lazuli who probably just wants her favor, she accepts Auro's bossiness for what it's meant to be: advice.

She seriously fainted? Auro will never let her live down, rofl!

It was even more fun reading her interaction with Legend knowing why Legend chose Marquise. I want you to show us how Marquise gets along with the first guard (Alaric, Indra, Legend and Ajax).

Don't get self-conscious, this is great. lol
12/18/2013 c5 30ETNRL4L
Oh, my heart hurts.

Chinchillas are rats. You're aware that they're huge disgusting rats, right? They're vermin. The thought of people living around them is vile. Inhaling their crap causes a weird kind of pneumonia 'cause they're freaking rats. I'm aware the quality and value of they're fur, but those bastard are nasty and I can't imagine little Marquise growing up like that, having to change in someone's house so she doesn't reek of rat crap.

So, she was raised to be some kind of price heifer? That chick that was scorned reminds me of Persephone in Matrix Reloaded. Gorgeous but with a man who's too powerful to give rat's a...

I can see why becoming a Peacekeeper would have merit for her. All she'd be otherwise would have been a commodity until her looks went. Such a waste.

Auro likes her. You can tell right off. He's too immature to approach her normally so he's doing the cliche 'tossing rocks' thing, but you can tell he's smitten. No one pays that much attention to someone they have no interest in. The fact that he tortures her gives his interest away.

Shiraz is hot. It's funny how he turns her on to the point she feints, though. Don't think that's ever happened to me. LOL!

Try not to update for a while. I need to work on my thing.

Love ya,

12/17/2013 c5 Well of Wishes
Where had you been? I was almost worried!
Why would anyone spoil anything, it's not like she dies... Or does she? Mwahaha. I'm so childish.
So first sentence has us thinking Marquise's family were maybe rebel supporters but wouldn't say it and they sure as heck said they weren't as soon as the Capitol won. haha Sounds wise.

You did say Marquise fought with her mother in Checkmate. I think it's obvious why now. It's definitely complicated. Fun how you didn't make District One sexist, just made beauty a bargaining chip and that it involved Marquise staying chaste until she managed to introduce herself to a decent rich heir. She's not even slutty, I feel cheated!

O.O Did you just have her say her personality got her hated, not just her looks? Would you please come and make a speech on this at my school? Because I can assure you this profound truth is beyond so many girls I know.
And wow, she still manages to have friends and a life even with a fair number of cadets disliking her? how revolutionary!
Sorry, I just read a high-school fic. Shouldn't have, the angst-Sue indigestion made me cranky.

Auro sounds cool, the kind of tough love best friend that has your back I'd love to have. I can picture Marquise having a go at his mum whenever he told her off and the fighting that ensued. haha.

I so want the aftermath of that fainting scene! Give me a crack scene with Marquise getting drunk and hitting on Shiraz! Please, pretty please, pretty pretty please!

And Marquise wonders what she ever did to become Mags' guard when it's just plain obvious that peacekeepers who are all military like aren't the ones Mags (or any district person) would warm up to.

I think I'll just sit here and wait for part two. I may starve to death if you take too long. You don't want that on your conscience.
12/17/2013 c5 Rendered Thoughts
Yay Marquise! I like how tough she is. She is totally believable, I would've done the same if I were her. From the chincillas, to the rope-climbing, and Shiraz who was so delicious she fainted (I laughed so hard at that part). I'm glad that at the end it all paid off for her, that she was given the opportunity to be Mags' guard member.

Won't spoil chapter 63 for anyone on this review, but I'd just say everything which happened in this chapter made Marquise, Marquise :).
10/22/2013 c4 26Vyrazhi
"The Districts would be depravation and chaos." I think you meant "deprivation," meaning extreme scarcity, but "depravation" brings up an interesting point: the Capitol thinks that without Peacekeepers, there would be nothing but depraved idiots running around the Districts and wreaking havoc due to their animal appetites. Of course, in the words of Riff from "West Side Story," "I'm depraved on account of I'm deprived!" (LOL)

I'd love to see a Rowan x Mags outtake on "the night of," if you know what I mean. What made Mags get so drunk, anyway - or, at least, more than usual?
10/21/2013 c4 Well of wishes
I've been delaying reviews because I can't include full sentences in reviews (I'm much too lazy to type them up) anymore and that was most of the fun. I hate this site.

Ajax is nursing a big bruised ego from what I can see. He needs to find a healthy outlet or he'll pop a vein. His experiences with the Capitol and the other districts revealed a lot. I picture him a bit like Dario during his younger days.

Camilla expects to be shouted at by Legend, bullied by the other peacekeepers and all around insulted and it's only the last she somewhat takes personally. She'd rather have someone punch her than be known as "the sissy of the barracks" and she doesn't get why Marquise isn't assaulted on a regular basis. Peacekeepers sound so nice.
I like Camilla's attitude. She's not the misunderstood super cool chick with big muscles, she's a normal girl with a good attitude who doesn't like seeing people picked on for their looks.
WTF Marquise, a kitten? And Camilla wanted to arrest the guy breeding them instead. Haha.

I loathe Webster. It's because of people like him, who never even pause to figure the effect of their stupid actions, that people get bullied. It's funny to him, outsiders probably find it harmless enough even if they'd disapprove and the kids just have to cope with it.
He's twenty-four and rating girls who aren't over 13. Pervert.
Yay for Marquise.

War stories, yummy!
So Edlen was this 15 year old nasty rebel? I like that! And Legend's a sappy romantic when he doesn't go around terrifying the pups! Awwww.
And he's also a murderer who probably raped and/or tortured people (the part about 5 men squads wasn't reassuring) or saw it happen. I'm not surprised he just wants to get married and get left alone.
It's scary that the man who probably did the most evil of the five peacekeepers here is the one who's now the nicest.

Awww, Dario is realizing life isn't about good peacekeepers and bad district citizen. How cute.
He behaves as though they're in a hostile land, it's funny but it makes sense for him. I enjoyed how he contrasted with Camilla.
I also think Marquise is taking a risk. Dario is treating her with great respect because he's so convinced he has duties to older rankers. If he loosens up, he'll start talking back to her and she'll loose the authority she has over him.
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