Reviews for Starless
Cheile chapter 21 . 3/7
Hey Rachie, back again and I’m in the home stretch it looks like! (til you update again that is ;)

Great chapter full of action. I see once again, Scar is getting impatient because he feels things aren’t going the way he wants :snort: and also underestimating Simba. I enjoyed that you made me wait til near the end for Simba’s rebuttal, both physical and verbal. That was unexpected and made it a fun surprise. I did wonder if Simba was just letting Scar run his mouth at first

I was a bit surprised that Sarabi stepped in, but I suppose mother lioness instincts will react first and think later lol.

And the ending. :Facepalm: does Scar really think Shenzi is gonna buy it? I’ll be waiting to see what she says (if he gets that far, cough). I’ve said it in past reviews: the other hyenas are idiots, but Shenzi is 100% not.

- some missing commas. Can PM.
- “leave them to die.” Needs to be a question mark.
- “another of Simba’s attack” – think you meant this to be plural.
- “you who let his kingdom fall when didn’t come back” – word missing here.
- “Either help us or leave”. The quotation mark is missing off the end of that sentence.

Great chapter!
Cheile chapter 20 . 2/28
Hiya, Rachie. Back for another read.

Scar sure has a funny way of showing remorse by wanting to teach Nala the game he and Sarafina played. I had to LOL at Rafiki smacking him across the face in greeting. (deserves more, but hey, cross that bridge when we come to it, heh) he may have sneered at Sarafina’s faith in the Great Kings of the Stars, but I think he wanted to believe himself and just wouldn’t admit it. I also think that Rafiki’s connection to the spiritual realms scares him – and that he will likely never admit, because it would be admitting a weakness.

Scar babbling about Zazu and trying to explain the moves of Bao to fill the silence is a nice change from his sarcastic arrogance, but it’s also good to see him at a loss because he really doesn’t know what to do in the face of Nala’s grief-induced catatonia. Mostly because I think it’s gone on this long.

And ooh that ending! At first I thought Nala had really snapped out of it. You had me there. I wonder what triggered this particular vision, though? Memories of Sarafina? Wishful thinking? Either way, it’s a good hook for the end of the chapter to keep me going to the next!

Best lines:
[“I didn’t come to you seeking medical advice”] – classic Scar-type line.

["Qui tacet consentire videtur," he said. "He is who is silent is taken to agree," he said] – eye-f-ing-roll here. Getting a little arrogant there, aren’t you, Scar?

[For all the blood on Sarafina's body, he deserved some as well] – I know it ends up being illusion but I like this way of showing his hint of remorse. Even though the hyenas killed Sarafina, it’s still technically his fault.

Great chapter!
Cheile chapter 19 . 2/15
Back for some more :)

Scar’s twisted nightmare is well-written with its confusion and assorted strange images that can be interpreted in a big variety of ways. Him seeing Nala as completely insane disturbs me in particular, because combined with her current depression, is that a sign of things to come? Makes you wonder.

The whole discussion with the lionesses (and Simba), I hate to say that he’s pretty right in what he said. His agenda will always be primary, but he has good points that the lionesses need to take heed of when it comes to fighting the hyenas. Both in general and in specific, with Shenzi in charge of them.

Simba’s cracks are also showing, even before you have Scar dwell on the idea. Methinks Nala’s grief is getting to him :/ his narrow-minded intent to target and kill Shenzi could be a bad idea here. Hopefully Scar can convince him to go with the plan (can’t believe I’m saying this, but like I said above, Scar has a point about how the hyenas do things – and Shenzi in particular will know she’s a target, esp after Sarafina’s murder. She won’t be on the front line of this upcoming fight. She’ll be all for protecting herself.)

Favorite exchange:
[“That's when you'll draw her out and then I'll kill her."
"Before or after she has my throat in her jaw?"
"I haven't decided yet," Simba said. His eyes were cold.] – LOL buuuurn.

- “Scar stood before the lioness” – this should be plural since you have him speaking to the group of them.
- “Shenzi will have your throat out” – do you mean “ripped out”?
- Scar’s name isn’t capitalized in a couple places.
- “I’ll get to her,” he said and growled – I would just make this “he growled”. Stronger wording.
- commas missing in some places.
- “Non-the-less” – should be “Nonetheless”

Loved this chapter :)
Cheile chapter 18 . 2/7
I love the description of the opening passage. The whole clouds revealing/covering the moon, alternating moonlight and darkness is not only creepy in itself, but a bit ominous. Gotta wonder if that will prove to be a sign of bad fortune later….

And Sarabi’s next words kinda confirm it. i do like the whole concept that the clouds covering the night stars is an omen of Sarafina’s spirit being restless. I also get the idea of more negativity ahead but I think that’s just general plot ;)

The flashback to the game of Bao was a nice touch. It lets us see Scar as the young lion he was once, and even some hints of what Sarafina may have seen in him before he turned evil.

- commas missing again. Let me know about PMing a list.
- Sarafina’s name is misspelled in the 2nd paragraph.
- “to take from the lion's their rightful land” – no apostrophe needed.
- I would put the flashback in italics. Or at least put it between some dividing lines to make it stand out as separate/all in Scar’s head.

Okay off to the next chapter….
Cheile chapter 17 . 2/7
Hey Rachie, back again for some more.

Lots of great, in character dialogue going on here. It is obvious that the whole Pride, not just Simba, is curious about what Scar has in mind but (of course) still isn’t trusting him. I also like that Simba’s newfound(?) strength is making Scar nervous XD

["Oh please, Scar, we're holding our breaths, get on with it," Sarabi said.] – LOLOL. I love Sarabi’s sarcasm in this line. She isn’t going to give Scar any ground here. A bit of concrit. I would split this into two sentences, make “Get on with it.” its own sentence.

[Scar caught and held his eye. "Atonement," he said.] – NOT. BUYING. IT. I do agree with Sarabi here – his plan is simplistic and, while most of the hyenas are morons, Shenzi isn’t. and if she’s in charge, she may well see through this plan. I guess we shall see where that goes?

Also I am worried about Nala. Is she gonna be able to handle Sarafina’s funeral?

- commas missing again. Let me know about PMing a list.
- “surprised my his Uncle’s reaction” – think you meant “by” not “my”.
- “to take from the lion's their rightful land” – no apostrophe needed.

Okay off to the next chapter….
Cheile chapter 16 . 2/2
Yup, here again. Because what better way to pass away a rainy day? :)

And Scar is back to his old manipulation. You fucker. TBH, I am really surprised any of the other adult lions listen to a word he says after his former alliance with the hyena and all. Why is no one else calling him out on his shit?

I see why Sarabi ends up being sold on Scar’s idea – how would she know that Sarafina had shared one of her secrets as a cub over something probably meaningless back then? Except that now it is not so meaningless and is a tool in Scar’s paws.

Okay I see the reason for Simba’s hesitation but even temporarily giving Scar back power is a BAD idea and I really hope Simba doesn’t end up doing it. Depending on what Scar’s plan is, consider implementing it but with someone else in charge. I like Simba urging Sarabi to take charge. Technically she is still the queen – Mufasa being dead doesn’t change that a bit.

["It needs to be you," she said. "I can still see my cub, ready for an adventure, barely able to sit through bath time."] – aww.

- several missing commas in this chapter.
- [Simba fought to control his words, to keep his temper reigned in. He couldn't have another outburst. It made him look ridiculous, like the cub he suspected they already saw him as. In some way she was right, he thought. He did have the closest relationship with the hyenas, he knew them in and out, but Simba couldn't abdicate power to Scar, he couldn't allow him to have sway over the pride, not if it meant Scar saw himself as anything more than the lowly distrustful, manipulative lion he was at the core.] – this is all rather run-on, though great narrative. It does need some breaking up into several sentences, however.

Thanks for another great chapter.
Cheile chapter 15 . 2/2
This is a really good chapter. Scar’s interactions with each lion shows how he COULD be a decent lion if he tried. I particularly liked how he got through to Sarabi without a lot of bullying (which you’d think he’d do, given his character). He just sticks to the facts and eventually Sarabi realizes he has a point, even if she doesn’t like it. Because he is right – going in blindly to avenge Sarafina would just end in slaughter. Especially with Shenzi in charge of the pack. Most of the hyenas are idiots but not Shenzi, heh.

[When Mufasa couldn't draw him out of his thoughts, Sarafina often could. There was a gentleness to her, but also a strength, she didn't challenge his position, but she also knew how to talk to him in a way that didn't infuriate him like almost every else did. She had this way of getting under his fur that he couldn't explain. Like she knew everything about him when he thought he must have appeared inscrutable. He didn't understand it, but it made him want to know her. Want to know how she could tell so much about him, his thoughts, his feelings, what was causing his unease, without him ever having to open his mouth.] – okay yea, I’m convinced now that he had real feelings for Sarafina. This nails it. He may have cared about his brother once, but that ended in resentment because Mufasa ascended to pride leader/king, and Mufasa absorbed some natural arrogance with it, but Sarafina was a true friend up to a point, it sounds like.

Poor Nala :( again, hate to say that Scar is right, but she is in deep shock and needs time to wrap her head around the awfulness. Also I love that Sarabi manages to bring Simba out of his blind rage. Or the story might have ended here hehe.

Another wonderful chapter.
Cheile chapter 14 . 2/2
Hiya Rachie, back again. This is like my weekend ritual now LOL.

And you’ve confirmed my bad feeling re: Sarafina’s fate. :( nooooo. This is so awful. I get the feeling that the hyenas who murdered her could sense Scar watching (maybe that’s where they knew he was spending his time and it had a view of the watering hole?) and the fact that he feels Shenzi knows about Nala’s parentage is especially concerning. Though Scar could be all wrong and maybe she doesn’t and they just killed Sarafina to kill a lion. Things that make you go hmm…

I’m surprised Scar feels actual sadness at Sarafina’s death. Maybe there was some real feeling in there after all.

Enjoyed the reactions of everyone – lots of differentiation and all believable.

- “the savanna seeming mourn with the pride” – seemingly is the word needed here.

Another excellent chapter!
Cheile chapter 13 . 1/25
back for another chapter!

Kinda not surprised Scar gets to stay because he’s permanently disabled. Simba is pissed but he also has a good heart, which means he will take pity on the fucker even he doesn’t deserve it ;)

["Are we lonely?" Nala asked.] – I can hear the underlying sarcasm in this dialogue even tho it is not stated. Nice job.

["We all played it together, Mufasa, Sarabi, …Sarafina."] – curious how Uru only taught her cubs but then they shared it with their prospective future mates. He goes all that way to make it sound like something special and secret then ruins it like that :P LOL. I see that Nala is actually considering his request to spend time learning and playing this game, and I am both disturbed and intrigued cuz I don’t know if I want her to accept his request or not. Scar obviously wants the time to drop hints and lies and let them take root in Nala’s head. Buuuuut, at the same time, could she use the time playing this pebble game to trip him up and take that info back to Simba and the pride? Hmm. Decisions, decisions.

Enjoyed the short foreshadowing where Scar is convinced he smells the hyenas strongly and now lion blood. (Is a pride member missing? Or is it all in his head?)

Okay never mind – Simba/Nala conversation, aside from the obvious, answers that question. Anyone missing would be a big problem but Sarafina being the one who is missing is a Big Problem(TM). Scar was thinking Shenzi had a plan – wondering now if Sarafina being a hostage figures into this?

- Some missing commas. Feel free to PM and I’ll send em over.
- [you're grandmother Uru] – wrong form of “your” here.

Now I’m super intrigued! Can’t wait for time to read more.
Cheile chapter 12 . 1/25
Hiya, back for another chapter.

I see Scar is back in fine form mentally, as by chapter’s end his devious mind is hard at work once more.

I’m intrigued by Scar’s thoughts on how Simba takes time to grasp the scent trails of the hyenas, whether they are old or new. Beyond Scar’s typical inward insults at his nephew, I am wondering if perhaps Scar has inherited a better sense of smell than Simba (or Mufasa, since it seems Mufasa had the same issues?) or is Scar just making assumptions and snide inner comments? I like how it is difficult to tell which is the truth.

The reflection over how the Pridelands turned to ruin is interesting. Of course, Scar won’t take the blame for what he did, but I do wonder exactly what DID turn the Pridelands into a wasteland. Overhunting might have thinned the prey herds but certainly wouldn’t contribute to what we saw in canon.

[If he could get Nala to believe his story that Simba was framing him then the rest of the pride would be drawn to his side.] – LMAO. Good luck with that….

- Some missing commas. Feel free to PM and I’ll send those over.
- “he miss-stepped” – no need for the hyphen in this word.
- “his nephew would have to be swift with is actions” – missing the H in “his”.

Another excellent chapter.
Cheile chapter 11 . 1/18
Hey Rachie, here for another chapter.

I’ve been waiting to see Nala finally confront Scar and I’m not disappointed, TBH. You have just the right amount of tension in here and each lion is in character, I feel. Scar walks his usual line between smug superiority and faux-apologetic as best as he can, despite his injury, and Nala plays no games and takes no shit.

It interests me that he sees hints of Ahadi and Mufasa in her as well. I wonder if Sarafina saw the same signs in her daughter as a cub. Scar’s lack of concrete facts is both driving me nuts and so appropriate to who he is because he is always shady and evasive. I hope this is something you visit more in future chapters. I really really want her input on this whole thing!

[You aren't known for your compassion, Scar."
Scar flashed his teeth. "But you've seen the error in your thinking. And I'm not the coward you seem to think I am."
"I never said that. You are the most cowardly, pathetic, contemptible lion I've ever known."] – bahahaha. EXCELLENT. I love how Nala just shoots him down without a pause. She’s not a cute little cub anymore, but a full grown lioness who can easily finish the job off if she wants XD
["Ask Simba about that day. The stampede. You'll see there's something wrong. You'll see he isn't fit to rule."] – oh you fucker, trying to plant the seeds of doubt. Sure hope Nala doesn’t buy it! I get the sneaking suspicion that she will and won’t. of course she’s not gonna buy Scar’s BS about how his hardships/losing Mufasa means he’s unfit to rule but she will probably end up talking with Simba and that may not go over well, considering.

- [“Simba I think must be quite concerned.”] – need commas before and after “I think”.
- ["I won't listen to anymore lies."] – “any more” should be two words in this type of instance.
- ["Simba, wouldn't do that."] – no need for the comma here.

Another excellent chapter.
Cheile chapter 10 . 1/11
I think this is my favorite chapter so far. I enjoyed both Scar’s near-death experience/dream (if that’s what it was) and present eavesdropping equally. Re: the near-death experience – I rather like Ahadi’s explanation of Scar’s name. he probably chose the name “Taka” because as he is trying to tell young Mufasa, dirt is the foundation of everything. It’s an excellent nod to Mufasa’s lesson to Simba early in the movie about the delicate balance of the cycles of existence.

Scar’s brief moment of awakening (only to be brained back into unconsciousness by Rafiki, ha) is very realistic in its confusion. Well done there.

You have captured Timon’s voice SO well in this, I can hear it easily in my head. Especially with lines like [“Earth to Simba, he tried to eat me” and "Yeah, especially with the murderous carcass of an uncle in your living room."] (people in here giving me strange looks because I keep randomly snickering) it is interesting that Simba seems somewhat unconcerned about Timon’s report of the rogue hyena. Or perhaps that is Scar’s interpretation of the conversation, hard to tell. Either way, it’s a nice little piece of foreboding – since we know the hyenas aren’t going to be gone entirely ;) and since Scar is still alive, welllll….yea.

- I would put some emphasis italics into parts of Timon’s dialogue, mainly because that’s how he talked.

Another great chapter!
Cheile chapter 9 . 1/10
Hi Rachie, here for another chapter.

[The distance had felt so much greater when he was running away from it.] – great opener here. Nice way to illustrate that Simba can’t run away from his problems.

And damn, Scar is still alive (oh wait did I say that? *whistles*) But Sarafina seems to be avoiding the issue as well. I am intrigued that she actually is interested in Scar’s condition. Does this mean she has some sort of feeling for him? Super curious now!

[He wanted him off of his back now, and he moved up Pride Rock, ascending the steep stones, until he stood on the jutting precipice and then he stopped, realizing that the only place he could go was into the cave. The cave where his mother and father used to sleep, the place where he and Nala now spent their nights, and the thought of putting his uncle in that same spot, somewhere he had always associated with love and warmth, made him recoil.] – I love this part. It’s so realistic emotionally, that Simba doesn’t want Scar’s presence tainting their haven.

Good work on the medical details. Not gory but realistic to the setting.

- missing commas. PM me if you’d like to fix these!
- [a small round bowel] – think you meant “bowl”

Thanks for another intriguing chapter!
Cheile chapter 8 . 1/10
Hiya Rachie, I’m back for some more.

Quite an interesting chat between Simba and Rafiki. I enjoyed the tale you came up with for his namesake name change (or is this backstory canon? Either way, I enjoyed the way Rafiki illustrated it with just words) I agree with Simba that he shouldn’t have gotten to change his name, but who is to say that would have stopped Scar, to be fair? I’m guessing Ahadi just let him do what he wanted, especially since either way, he bore the mark of his vicious behavior for all to see.

The contrast of the old dead grass at the beginning of the chapter and the new grass Simba finds under his feet at the end of the chapter is a nice metaphor for everything starting anew. Though with the way you have written this story so far, I imagine it’s not going to be that neat and simple!

- some missing commas. PM me if you want a list
- “you’re grandfather knew his son was troubled” – incorrect form of “your” here.

another great chapter.
Cheile chapter 7 . 12/21/2018
This was a great chapter because it was so hard to tell if it was mirage or reality, even up to the very end. I particularly liked how you shifted from one extreme to the other in several instances – clear/muddled, light/dark, Simba/Mufasa, insanity/reality. Great way to show his state of mind and how his physical injuries are affecting him.

Also I’m so not surprised that, even though he might be/have been talking to a mirage, he keeps that same attitude. You are doing very good at capturing the way Jeremy Irons spoke his dialogue in the movie through the dialogue you have written for Scar.

Simba’s reactions at the end (apparently it was real, heh) are also very believable. The line about “so much of him had been lost” is an excellent character definition that he is coming to grips with. I hope this slow progression of accepting new realities continues because it is a good thing.

- missing some commas in important places. That’s about it.
- [Oh, Simba and your conscience] – this feels like it’s missing a word. “you and your conscience” would be a better wording. (and I can hear that in Irons’ voice too hehe)

Off to the next chapter!
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