Reviews for Hybrid of the Opera
Omnitrix 12 chapter 17 . 2/3
Well, this chapter does move the plot ahead. Alas, it does no favors for the characters. I liked Jean Claude before. Up to now he's been calculating, calm, and controlled. Now he feels like a steamroller; unyielding and authoritarian. It would be entirely different if he at least tried to compel them with questions like, "Monsieur Managers, do you want to go on running this house from under the thumb of a murderer for the rest of your careers" or, "Monsieur Chagny, do you have some means of protecting your fiance from a trained assassin, or do you simply not care?" However, seeing Jean Claude like this is like seeing Sherlock Holmes turned into a drunken brawler. Whether he's right or not, he comes across as an obsessed and imperious tyrant little better than the criminal he means to stop.

I won't remark on the others since I've done so previously.
Omnitrix 12 chapter 15 . 1/21
Hm, quite the game-changer. This is something I haven't seen in any other version, which I suspect is entirely original to you since it centers so much on an OC. This Russian adds an intriguing element. I have some notion of who he is, but I will not say openly.

Nice touch with the tapping at the end.
Omnitrix 12 chapter 14 . 1/17
Well, from a story perspective this works well, as it ties things into the investigative side of the plot. From a character development approach... Well, better late than never? In all seriousness, this bit of soul-searching would have made much more sense a lot earlier - like before she got engaged to Steele (and skipped to an early honeymoon if I understood part of the last chapter rightly), or at least before the Phantom started murdering people who had never done him or Jenna any harm or insult.

However, to your credit, you have at least shown her confusion and guilt, which do make perfect sense. Jean Claude, moreover, seems very respectable here in that he is not trying to pressure her to help him bring in the Phantom despite his obvious and rightful reasons to pursue that end. This makes me think that, were you to attempt OC-centered material, you would do very well.
Omnitrix 12 chapter 13 . 1/13
At this point, the only way I can really like this is to completely forget that these are supposed to be the Balto characters. You at least preserved Jenny's personality until this point, but honestly I see even that disappearing here.

I do, however, like Jean Claude. His ill-fated pursuit was well executed and well evaded.
Omnitrix 12 chapter 12 . 1/5
O-kay, the part with Balto owning up /almost/ felt like him; the part where he admitted to murder was pretty far off, of course, but a lot of the rest sounded like him; even the mask off part. The chandelier... No, you've officially left the canine cast behind now.

One problem purely on a writing level: you clearly say that Balto took off the mask, but the whole rest of the chapter feels - and once or twice seems to say point-blank - that Jenna did it.
Omnitrix 12 chapter 11 . 1/1
Ah, so now we find out what happened when Balto led Jenna down that passage. The first part (Jenna leading Steele to the roof) felt very foreign and out of character, especially for Balto, though it would be less so if not for the preceding chapters. However, the scene had enough tension and drama to stand pretty well on its own apart from that.

The flashback started out as a breath of fresh air. Despite the creepy feeling of its setting, Balto actually talked and acted like himself. The awkwardness and bashfulness were so in-character that one could almost forget he later would graduate to actual murder. Alas, if you had done this part earlier things might have been different, but you have that bit hanging over you now (pardon the pun).

The song was very dramatically rendered and choreographed, but again, losing Balto in the Phantom's role. Though he was chivalrous enough to supply a separate room for her, the whole almost-touching, hypnotic music, marionette thing carries and air of villainy and suggestiveness which would have felt like too much, I think, even if you had made Steele the Phantom. It feels more like Dr. Facilier from 'The Princess and the Frog' than anyone from any of the Balto movies.

Character renderings aside, I liked the way you portrayed everything. The shift from eerie passages to gloomy sewers to the lavish underground house (how'd he get that stuff down there, anyway?) was all very vivid and memorable.
Omnitrix 12 chapter 10 . 12/29/2017
Hmm. I'm definitely thinking this would have been better with Steele as the Phantom. Either that or... eh, never mind that.

It's good to see headway towards catching the murderer, but I'm having a hard time rooting for anyone at this point.
Omnitrix 12 chapter 8 . 12/27/2017
Hmm. Liking Steele's brother here, but this chapter feels out of sequence with the preceding material. It's as if you are trying to force Steele to be the good guy he never was in the movie, and the scene itself lacks sufficient originality to really make up for that.

The first part with Jean-Claude resonates much better. I was not very interested in Poe's detective stories (Doyle's 'Study in Scarlet' played a role there), but now you have me wanting to read them. I worry a little for Balto now that the sleuths has guessed him to be corporeal after all. As always, you have me yearning for the next chapter.
Omnitrix 12 chapter 7 . 12/18/2017
Well, starting to see more of the Steele we all know and love to hate. I have to admit Balto feels creepy here, especially drawing Jenna away like that. Not so in-character.

On to the next chapter!
Omnitrix 12 chapter 6 . 11/24/2017
Intriguing chapter. I begin to see what Balto's game is here (if 'game' is the right word), and it makes for a peculiar mix of sweet and creepy.

I have to admit, I'm not sure what to make of Steele here. His ego, dishonesty, and unwillingness to shoulder the blame for his rift with Jenna all feel very in-character, which make it hard to receive this as being a match with the pairing in the book. Having only the most basic knowledge of the original story, I can only sat that my impression from this is one of a love triangle executed either brilliantly or atrociously.
Omnitrix 12 chapter 5 . 11/12/2017
Nice mystery/noir chapter. Jean-Claude feels a little bit disjointedisjointed, speaking so matter-of-factly about what he claims not to believe. It would work better to have him saying, "I never believed in these kinds of things, but I /have/ read about yadda yadda yadda." Still, he makes an interesting OC, and introducing such a significant character into a classic like this is a bold move indeed.

There are some points where your wording could stand to flow more smoothly, but all in all that is only a minor drawback.
Omnitrix 12 chapter 4 . 11/5/2017
Well,Steele's blunder at the end is certainly in-character. I had to raise an eyebrow at how long it took Jenna to figure it out, though. That part felt very be labored and unrealistic, to be honest.
Omnitrix 12 chapter 3 . 10/29/2017
Well, you have here a very vivid and descriptive chapter. I'm a bit divided on your handling of Steele, though. In this context it makes sense, alet hough it also seems - unfortunately - to pave the way for him to be the hero and Balto to be the villain. What really bugs me, though, is the logic you cite. I recognize the merits of looking at other writers for inspiration, but in my own experience most people who pair Steele with Jenna do so because "Steele is hawt" or "they would have better-looking puppies." Yes, those are actual quotes.

Not saying I would write this off here and now, but it does bring to mind the old adage, "Seth your course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship."
Omnitrix 12 chapter 2 . 10/14/2017
Figured I'd been long enough, so I'll just start reviewing here.

You seem to be on track for making Steele a much more daunting rival for Balto, giving the former some implied history with Jenna and the latter an insidious aspect which, in the movie, was wholly Steele's (at least Steele still has a monopoly on egotism when it comes to the ladies). I still want Balto to win out, but you make a more uncertain triangle of it.

You also invented a very interesting history for Jenna in your anthropomorphic world, and one that feels entirely in her character. Nicely done.
The Chaos Phoenix chapter 17 . 2/28/2017
So welcome back, and it seems that Baltos insanity comes from how cruel society can be. Tis a tragedy at its core.
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