|Reviews for Glass|
| Jayzegreat chapter 63 . 3/15
My god. That was intense. It's quite realistic which was the best part of it. It was so well written that it got me frustrated, relieved, mad, and happy reading through it. LIKE LITERALLY. I WANTED TO SCREAM WHEN HE GOT HIM BACK TO THE GLASS ROOM. Man, that was very good. Very well written that I'm off to check more of your stories. Loved it! It's very rare that I stumble upon such a story that makes me feel with the characters. Amazing work especially dealing with Seto, I think that he'll act the same under these circumstances. Thank you. 3
| Lexx chapter 63 . 2/27
| Ieyre chapter 63 . 1/29
Well...that was quite a journey.
I said this to you on tumblr, but I have been completely engrossed in this story for the past several days. Seriously. It's very, very well written, surprising, with genuine, not contrived twists and turns (I really never knew where the hell it was going, except by the end I REALLY, REALLY wanted them to get out of there.)
My only...I guess I can say "gripes" were some minor characterization choices you made with Kaiba and his feelings about Yugi and co. (though that could also be chocked up to your choice to combine the manga and anime continuities, which-I can respect, and that does change the way he interacts with the gang). I felt like you undersold the significance of Yugi/Atem to Kaiba. He just seemed super ambivalent to him which was the only way your Seto felt out of character to me. I mean, I'm sure it just wasn't what you were interested in, and the circumstances of the story were so extreme that its natural for priorities to change, but their connection would be the one thing I could say I "missed" from this story. I really, really wanted Yami to come out and be involved in the escape, even if it was only in the last chapter or so. I think that relationship/what he gets from the rivalry is pretty central to Kaiba's character, and I did feel its absence somewhat?
But...I also get that this is fanfic, you have a pretty obvious, bold style and characters/relationships (Seto and Pegsy, Seto and Mokuba) you're interested in-so this is minor on my list of critiques. I also don't really get what having Duke there did for you (except, of course, introducing the life-for-a-life, he was a mistake angle) but I also can't really see that Tristan would have done much more for you with this premise. I actually wanted more Joey-even though he wasn't in it, much, you have a talent for writing his voice. And he was a breath of fresh hour.
The crown jewel of this project really was the interplay between Kaiba and Pegasus, the mind games, the dialogue-at first I totally bought into the idea that he would be doing this only to Kaiba (and was fully on board with the effed up-ness of it) because I always felt like in the anime that he got a particular enjoyment out of getting a rise out of him IN PARTICULAR, but when you revealed the rest of the gang was there as well-It happened so organically that I was on board, my expectations successfully subverted. I still always felt as though the Kaiba Bros were what was making the whole venture worthwhile for Pegasus because they gave him emotional/intellectual stimulation. But maybe I'm just buying into his insane vision of himself as having any internal logic (this story gets in your head haha.)
Pegasus and Kaiba talking through glass in circles should not have been that entertaining for that long, but you had a real Hannibal Lector/Clarice Starling thing going there. It worked so well. Kudos to you for getting a good insane/sympathetic/cunning balance with your villain.
I had been enjoying this as a thriller and pretty impressive use of YGO characters to explore shit that the actual canon manga/anime never um, totally went for, but I have to say-was not expecting to be as touched as I was by Seto's story to Pegasus to convince him to let Mokuba go. That was...really very poignant.
The ending was satisfying (BURN IT TO THE MOTHA-EFFING GROUND), if abrupt-I can understand this as too exhausting to do, but...no epilogue? We just have to imagine the post-script of them getting their lives back? Needless to say, can't tell if these people are bonded for life or never want to see each other again, lol. I have to give you props for ending with gallows humor. I really like your writing so I'm incredibly torn on if I can handle 'Shattered'...like, I want it but I also don't? It feels like a train wreck I can't look away from.
I know I've come to this late, but I have to say-seeing a fic of this length, with this much skill and planning-I'm incredibly impressed with your rigorous update schedule. Cannot believe you did this in less than a year. No idea if this is just a hobby for you or if you have some professional aspirations, but you have a lot of talent and almost more importantly, obvious discipline.
Thanks for writing this. Really enjoyed it (even though it was probably a little unhealthy how much time I spent reading it the past few days.)
| Ieyre chapter 8 . 1/27
I would never think of this premise, but it works SO WELL. I'm incredibly entertained. Love getting to see how all the gang are coping with their situation (Joey and Ryo, man.) I'm very happy I discovered this after it was finished, because it's such a gripping read. Looking forward to finishing it.
| Shmeagle chapter 63 . 12/16/2017
The best fanfiction I've read in years! So wonderfully written in every way possible; it was near impossible to guess where the plot was going to end up and that uncertainty really added to the suspense. I must also say that you did a brilliant job of writing all of the characters, especially Pegasus who came off as a perfect blend of mad and tragic - something that's rarely captured properly.
| John Smith chapter 63 . 9/23/2017
Wow that was a wild ride. I can't believe how much entertainment I got out of that. I'm so, SO glad you wrote it! Everything about it was incredible, so I'm going to leave a bit of a longer review for this chapter to sum up the things I liked best.
I actually prefer the Japanese version, so I know the characters by slightly different ages, names, locations, and even personalities. However, you kept the dub's goofiness down (since it clearly didn't have a strong place in a fic of this tone), and honestly? You made the dubbed characters more intriguing, relatable, and familiar than most stories I read that stick to the Japanese continuity. Not only that, but you picked apart and exposed aspects of their characters that are things I was aware of and appreciated, but weren't things I could really put into words or defined concepts. I LOVE that. The whole fic was less of a horror to me and more of a character study. It was this great big "what if" for Kaiba, Mokuba, and Pegasus in-depth, and then to a lesser extent for Anzu, Yugi, Jounouchi, Bakura, and Otogi. Everything felt not only on point, but incredibly well thought out and appropriate for each situation you put forth.
I love the plot. I can't tell you how many times I've thought of a similar premise. There's just something so raw and telling about trying to figure out what a character would do if they were treated like a pet and left to question not just their freedom but even their humanity at all to an extent. As I said in my first review to chapter 1, usually when I find fics like this, they are rife with OOC moments, silly illogical choices, overdramatic fanservice moments, and smut. Bleh. This fic was 100% free of those. The moments that did seem like they could be fanservice were STILL handled with tact and a realism that suspended most disbelief I had, and I remained immersed in the story. I already mentioned this in another chapter's review, but I am a HUGE fan of character-driven plot. The real world is made up mostly of choices that people make and the consequences of those choices. Random events are almost always a result of those. I can only think of one random event that didn't have to do with character choices in this fic, and it was Seto's appendicitis. And? It was used to further character-driven plot points. I love it. Even the little nods you threw in earlier helped with plots later on. Seto seeing where Otogi's door was. Mokuba having a peanut allergy. Chekov had a lot of guns in this fic, and they all came back to play.
Things just worked
Seto's eyesight was so bad that apparently he couldn't even see where a towel was. That seems a little excessive, but you know what? It worked. It worked so well that it became endearing and wasn't used in any huge, plot-driving way to manipulate Seto into a corner. That would have been too cheap, too easy. It wouldn't have been Pegasus. Instead, it was used to humiliate him several times over, which is far more up Pegasus's alley, and far more frustrating (rather than plan-killing) for Seto. You know what else just worked? Pegasus being so flippant and wishy-washy. He loved Mokuba best but knew he was putting on an act. He loved Seto second best and even used him as his main confidant (that we got to see in-story), but humiliated, punished, and took from him at every turn. It worked because he was being inconsistent based on what was working in his situation. He was so hauntingly in tune with how to manipulate and control his "guests" that he had different tactics for all of them.
Seto Kaiba got broken to pieces and put himself back together after his parents died, after Gozaburo was finally dealt with, and after Yugi's mind crush. The fact that he never curled up into a ball sobbing made sense and was realistic (although I wouldn't have felt anything but sadness for him if he had, but it would NOT have been something he'd let Pegasus see). This is the kind of overdramatic fanservice I think a lot of authors mistakenly throw into a story that you kept out very masterfully. It could be there. It could help things... but we all know it's more about fulfilling the "whump" fantasies of authors than staying in character when it comes to someone like Seto Kaiba. Bakura being stuck in a straight jacket and having to live in a terrible hole because Pegasus was just THAT spiteful and frightened of Yami Bakura... was horrible. And real. I love the care you took to explain that he needed to be washed, to be fed, to be toileted. I love that Seto had a catheter when he got his appendix removed. I love that Joey lived in his own filth and was ill many times because of it. I love that Pegasus timed out his meticulous meetings and ferried back and forth with a cart that kept food warm. I love so much about the care you took to explain how all of this worked, because that is what made me believe in it and be so immersed in it. This was true immersion.
Honestly? Not many. I don't usually include a section for this when I review, but I was so astounded by the lack of them in a 63 chapter story that I just got done telling my sister that this may be the best fic I've ever read. Ever. My only let downs were extremely minor. I was hoping for a little more falling action at the ending. That's the biggest gripe I have, and it's a minor, minor thing. I also blinked at one moment, thinking "that seems a bit odd," when Yami Bakura kissed Seto as a distraction rather than letting the lighters simply fall out of his pocket onto the couch as he gave Seto his coffee (or something of the like). The kiss routine is classic distraction for swapping notes or secret whisperings. It kinda felt like fanservice rather than character-driven plot. It's really the only exception in the entire story to what I said earlier about fanservice moments, but even then, it still was written so well that it only made me lose immersion a little bit, not much at all. Neither of those were a big deal, but both just kinda made me go "well alright" while the rest of the fic left me wide-eyed and riveted and nodding with absolute and complete acceptance that yes, this is how it would have gone and yes, this is probably the best fic I've ever read.
Bait and switch
Dang, you got me so many times. At first, I thought Seto was the only one captured - because HE thought he was the only one captured. When Bakura showed up, I was super confused, and Seto worked it out before I did because you kept the information just far enough away. I loved that. You put in little things that made me curious a lot. Pegasus's watch had meaning, but not in any huge way that helped with the ending, it was just him timing his visits. I thought Yugi was going to come up with a plan. I thought the bracelets were going to be a feint by Pegasus. I thought Seto was going to be locked back up in the glass-walled room for 16 months. I thought so many things that you swapped away with something more unexpected and interesting. That was what made it so suspenseful!
The raw emotion
I touched upon this in a few other places in my review, but you captured emotions in so many ranges so well. Of course, Seto is the primary person you captured well. After all, he is the one whose head we were in the most. He was starting to lose himself there, and he knew it. He waffled back and forth between wanting to fight to wanting to see Mokuba, then from wanting to escape to wanting to stay with Mokuba, then from wanting to escape to wanting to get Mokuba off the island and safe. He was constantly struggling, and we saw him frustrated, angry, helpless, shaking with rage, weak with fear, rife with doubt, and even completely and utterly broken. It's interesting that Pegasus was not the one to break him though. It was Mokuba's flippant, angry outburst that sent Seto away, unable to deal. And thankfully, since it WASN'T Pegasus who made it happen, Pegasus himself welcomed Seto's vulnerable self into his awaiting arms and listened to his weak plea for Mokuba's freedom. We also got to see a lot of Mokuba's raw emotion, and that was the greatest delight for me in the story. He is such a good, good character, and you really brought out all that brazen, honest, canny, short-temperedness out of him in a way that most authors do not. Yugi's melancholy, Anzu's helplessness, and Bakura's dejected but completely submissive acceptance of the situation were also all done fantastically. Pegasus himself was shown so raw, so realistic, so jarringly scary in how sure of himself he was that it was incredible to read him.
Probably the best fic I've ever read.
| John Smith chapter 62 . 9/23/2017
HOLY GEEZ I FEEL LIKE A TERRIBLE PERSON. I FORGOT ALL ABOUT ATEM. Oh my GOSH. How did I do that? He was on my mind a lot in the beginning, since Yugi's depression was directly linked to his absence. I feel like a bad person LMAO. I love love LOVE how much of a Hero Kaiba is becoming in this. He isn't even trying at this point, it's just part of who he is. Pegasus is right. Kaiba is the mother hen of the group.
Also, it's got me nervous that Pegasus isn't raising an alarm. Maybe Atem is his true hostage and he's been waiting for this scenario. Hm.. LAST CHAPTER, I'M SCARED.
| John Smith chapter 61 . 9/23/2017
O-oh. W-well, I mean, okay. That's one way to provide a distraction. LOL. I can very honestly say that I was not expecting that in the least. Also, this whole scene during the movie with Seto planning to tell Yugi and then pass it on to the others - it had me really tense. I feel like it's going to blow up in his face somehow. I love how wild and desperate his burning plan is, and it feels pretty messy regardless of how well he's planned it out. It has to be, after all. They are desperate and walking blind. I love how realistic that is. It's not like this magical come-together of brains over brawn a la Sherlock the TV Series or something. It's a genuinely human, messy, scary, risky plan.
And I'm still worried about Otogi. A part of me fears that Yugi and Anzu are going to pick his lock only to find a corpse.
| John Smith chapter 60 . 9/23/2017
Hooo boy this is getting so good. Once again, I must compliment you on how character-driven the story is. I love how Seto calculates all his options before choosing - and his opportunism (which is really all he has in this situation) is what gets the message across. The movie wasn't even necessary after all, but it was a sensible reason for the event to happen. Very cool writing. Awesome job! I'm sad that I'm almost through...
| John Smith chapter 59 . 9/23/2017
YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO TORRA YOU HERO! YOOOOOOOOOOO UN-NAMED GUARD WITH LIGHTER YOU HERO! I'm so ready for this. THIS IS A LONG TIME COMING BOYS. LET'S DO THIS. Obviously I am very excited about this. I wish Seto had thought of it sooner. So simple and primitive, and that's what makes it so effective. Nature cannot be overpowered.
Also, poor poor Mokuba. How much does this poor kid have to suffer? Great chapter yet again!
| John Smith chapter 58 . 9/23/2017
Awesome chapter! I haven't said this, but one character I have always been perfectly ambivalent to was Bakura. Recently I read an interesting character study about him that made me more intrigued by his character, but this fic has given me far more investment. He's still not a favorite in general, but the important role you gave him in this fic (both he and his dark spirit) is really stupendous. Also, that ending. ;-; I'm so relieved. But I still want Mokuba to leave.
| John Smith chapter 57 . 9/23/2017
This chapter was heartbreaking and so beautiful. It still makes me think that the story you had Seto bring up to Pegasus about the leveraged buyout is what's at play here... but I'm not so sure. It's so real and raw. Fantastic, beautiful writing.
| John Smith chapter 56 . 9/23/2017
Oh no... another oh no chapter. It was going so well. That breakdown was beautiful. The way you've slowly woven a camaraderie between Bakura and Seto is beautiful, and this was a sweet moment to read. I love seeing Seto develop into a more caring person. Mokuba's outburst at the end? Expected. Normal. A bit frustrated and selfish. Seto's reaction? Completely heartrending. I feel for him.
| John Smith chapter 55 . 9/23/2017
This chapter hurt too. I felt better when I found out it was over, but then Seto's conclusion at the end is just absolutely heart-wrenching. I don't know what to expect. And I'm worried about Otogi.
| John Smith chapter 54 . 9/23/2017
This was by far the most nerve-wracking, intense chapter for me so far. I'm in actual pain, my stomach is in knots. I can FEEL the tension. I want to scream for Seto LMAO. THIS IS SUCH A GOOD STORY. I DON'T EVEN HAVE THE WORDS TO COMPLIMENT IT PROPERLY.