|Reviews for A Poem of Swine and Wrath|
| BradiLain chapter 20 . 8/27/2020
I found every single sentiment of this follow up so powerful. you've really wrapped this up in such a beautiful way. the little recap of the games was really interesting to watch from Blest's eyes - all of the story that we watched, the tributes we followed and loved and lost. it's heartbreaking to see blest like this. So broken. even the tribute that wins comes out of the games at such a disadvantage.
i think the moments she had with Beauty were very sweet too. they felt very organic - which is no surprise when you say they sort of just happened that way. I think they'd make a really nice pair.
The moment in the house where blest finally put her foot down was brilliant. she needed that. she's flirty, she's fun, she's cheery - but she's a victor now. and she knows when enough is enough. i think she has every right to kick anybody and everybody out of her house that doesn't treat her like the QUEEN she is.
I love getting a look at her victory tour as well. it's nice to see these little glimpses at some of the other tributes we had throughout the games by the family they did or didn't have. you've got the melancholy tone down perfectly, my heart ached for everyone - but for little Blest the most.
stunning. beautifully done, great job man. i know you'll do just as well with the sequel.
| Chaos In Her Wake chapter 20 . 8/22/2020
Tada! Congratulations for finishing. That's a big deal no matter what. And it's been a steep learning curve so far, and you've really done a great job handling feedback, absorbing skills, and growing throughout the story.
And ugh ffn is the woorst when docs get deleted. Nothing kills motivation and focus like redoing something you already did once.
Trauma changes people. And it's clear that Blest is no different, but she does retain some of what we're familiar with. Her innate desire to reach out to others, her ways of interacting, her almost-dangerous willingness to care for others.
And, lemme get on a lil soapbox, I really fucking love that food is such a big deal to Blest, in such a healthy way. It was funny that she was always snacking even in the arena, but also like... do you know how much easier it could have been for you to give her a more typical (unhealthy) relationship to food? And idk if it was intentional, but the moment with the prep team when they were like 'omg your stomach is so flat' and she's like 'it's because I was literally starving...' is a fantastic moment that reflects on the way beauty standards affect the way women eat. Anyway. Blest EATS and it's a great thing! Proud of her for that consistency!
Her slow recognition of the way Victors are inherently broken, highlighted by the Games recap and Victory Tour, and the manner in which Beauty hints that the Capitol will use and manipulate her... dark but perfect. She's not allowed to grieve as the survivor she is, she immediately is forced to put on a public persona and pretend she isn't hurting.
And, in all honesty, to some degree I think most Victors would only be able to find a suitable partner in another Victor. They're the only people who would understand your mental health situation completely. So... I can get behind an eventual Blest/Beauty pairing if that would be where it heads. Very different from attempting an in-Games romance (ew).
And I'm happy her final scene was a moment of happiness. That's what she deserves!
| IamtheVirus chapter 20 . 8/21/2020
Love love loved reading this last chapter. Honestly so glad to see Blest stand up to her parents and start to learn how to be happy again.
Like literally after last chapter thinking if Blest all I would imagine was a broken girl, crying eating a cookie. Now I think of her yelling at her parents, throwing a tray of cookies at the television, kicking off her shoes after the victory tour and chasing Beauty around trying to touch him with her feet lol.
This is a breath of life chapter I didn't realize was needed after all the death. It's a closure. And so very good lol. I know you said romance might not be part of Beauty and Blest's relationship but I ship ️
| matts0688 chapter 20 . 8/18/2020
This was so good. Some of your best work and that's really saying something. I feel like you captured Blest's voice as a victor perfectly. I loved reading the recap on the games and her thoughts about all of the tributes, I loved her interaction with all of the past victors and her standing up to her parents. But I think I loved the most that there was the subtle lesson in all of this that laughter and taking a light-hearted approach to life is just good for the soul. I was so glad that she got herself back toward the end. I enjoyed the closure on this story and I feel happy that Blest won't be completely miserable as a victor in this fictional world you've created.
I really hope you're doing better and I hope the breakup hasn't been too depressing for you. It's a hard year already so I know that had to be difficult. Hope all is well. I'm looking forward to more chapters of A Song for Snakes and Rats! Also no worries about typos, they were few and far between. This was an easy and enjoyable chapter to read.
| Chaos In Her Wake chapter 19 . 7/23/2020
Oop forgot to review!
LOL my quest for a 6th place continues... to dream the impossible dream! It means a lot that you connected with Halona, I'm glad you enjoyed writing her and giving her a place in a larger story. And yeah, real-world political events coincided with the writing of this story that happened to throw Halona's background into a different light- and it speaks to your care for others that you wove in moments of working through that kind of pain within the story. The anger of the oppressed towards oppressors is a righteous and justified fury. The fact in the fiction, as it may be. "Remember who the real enemy is", Finnick would say, right?
I bet the moment she died, all the politicos in the Capitol collectively unclenched their assholes in relief at not having to deal with a rebel Victor.
My favorite moment of this finale was Blest thinking about the political implication of crying during the finale, but still weeping when it came down to it. Love that, wonder what her response would be when she's inevitably asked about it in her Victor interview?
I'm glad that this is Blest's story, from the Capitol til now. SYOTs are an odd kind of episodic competition and yes, we do read and write them in a very similar manner to Survivor and Big Brother (that's why people like Ace and Kev are scary good at predicting what happens in SYOTs sometimes, because they pick up on a lot of the formatting details and foreshadowing that's common across media forms)!
Fav chapter? 13! The one where BOTH KATYA AND DARROCH DIED. That was a good one.
Fav scene is... probably the Career showdown ft. Malachite Making Decisions, or the short fight between Katya, Dox, and Halona. Both good clear combat scenes with high stakes.
Fav dead tribute? MISS DELAINE. AN ICON. "No men!" "Boys? I shiver." She was ridiculously quotable and I was very protective of her... rip in peace queen
| JabberjayHeart chapter 19 . 7/22/2020
Firstly, congratulations on completing your first SYOT! It's been a wild ride and I've loved being part of it. It's been amazing to watch you grow and flourish from the beginning to the end. Your writing has come leaps and bounds but still reads like you, and I love that.
I'm gonna make this a relatively quickish review because I have ASFSAR to catch up on!
When all is said and done, Blest was the best choice for Victor. She was unanimously liked by all the readers and reviewers from what I saw. She was witty, she was dumb, she was strategic and fiery and a great mix of all these personality traits that just propelled her to the front. Admittedly, I was rooting for my man, Onyeka, but I would've been satisfied with any of these three winning. It just so happened that Blest made the most sense from a story perspective.
Halona was a strong contender. She was fiery and rebellious but there was no way she would've survived with that attitude.
Favourite chapter? That's a tough one. You had quite the few — it's hard to narrow down. This final chapter was amazing, as was the one before this.
Favourite scene? Soooo many. Shenille's poignant death. Halona whacking Paradox over the head and holding her hostage. Bryn killing his bully, Dax. Onyeka and Bert's plans. The avalanche. Lysandra arriving after being assumed dead covered in blood and dirt. Blest in the tree. Blest screaming at the swines as she killed them. There was so many iconic moments that helped define these characters.
Favourite tribute? Aksel. Such a simple one but I loved him. Luno. Darroch. Shenille. Onyeka. Dox. Katya. Blest. Malachite. There was honestly so many that there was few I actually disliked or felt neutral on. When I disliked them, they swiftly died.
Honestly Austin, great story and thanks for having me!
| Cashmere67 chapter 19 . 7/19/2020
HI im sorry i've been MIA on ff but i am here.
blest's pov perfectly set her up for victory. it outlined exactly where she started - a bit naive, much more innocent and hesitant than her allies - and how far she came in the games. she killed mutts/people and watched her allies died and yet there she is! blest is better than ever!
"like a strawberry dipped in chocolate" amazing
she really GREW as a person over the course of this story into a real BADASS and despite how nervous and scared she is! she remained confident and focused on winning. amazing. so proud of u bb. and her final line was poignant! she's definitely more confident than she started out as but honestly... to die in 2nd place must suck LMAO like you were sooo close ...
a good fight scene! honestly wasn't sure who was going to win but .. obviously .. i'm glad it was blest. and in retrospect your a/n makes sense! blest's plot and development was fascinating and i couldn't tell at certain points where you'd take her but here we are! blest 4 victor! she'll be thrilled to learn how much good food she'll be able to snack on omg life of a victor sounds nice
favorite chapter? can i say this? chapter 19 it is
favorite scene/fav fallen tribute; honestly anything with lysandra. she was so iconic and hilarious. we miss her
FUN. COOL. LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXT CHAPTER
| BradiLain chapter 19 . 7/15/2020
Aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh this was so good. Such a nice ending to a thorough story. Hard to believe this was your first SYOT, because it was so stunning through and through. I love the way that everything came full circle for Blest, after Halona almost killed her in the bloodbath just to be the one to stick it to her in the finale. Beautiful, truly a stunning piece of work. I applaud you.
I don't even know if I could pick a favorite chapter or a favorite scene. There was so much going on through the entire thing, so many tidbits that I adored from so many different characters. I feel similarly for the fallen tributes. There was such a good cast from this story that I think almost everybody was memorable in their own way. Amazing work, Austin. I can't express enough how much of a good time i had being along for the ride and how excited I am for your next work.
| BradiLain chapter 18 . 7/14/2020
So sorry to hear that life has been hard for you recently. I'm glad that you've had this community to help you through it. Sending you the best thoughts and good vibes all through it. I've got thoughts on the chapter, too, though, so I'll try to avoid the sappiness.
I feel like Onyeka made the most sense to go next. After all, he was so heavily injured that he wouldn't have put up a very good fight as one of the final two. It's crazy to think we're so close to the finale here. Blest and Halona. I never would've guessed it'd come down to these two, but I'm so pumped for their final showdown. I'm gonna have to put my money on Blest, though. But I've got another chapter after this to read since I'm always a little bit late to the party lmao, so I'll see ya in just a minute.
| matts0688 chapter 19 . 7/14/2020
I wasn't sure if it was going to be the finale since you said there were 2 chapters left and I wasn't sure what the last chapter would be but I'm glad there was a bit of uncertainty there, it made the beginning of this chapter even more exciting. Blest never ever disappointed, even in this chapter she retained all of her humility and everything that I've always liked about her was there. I'm curious why both Onyeka and Halona mentioned her having dirt smeared around her lips. Was she messily eating the cookies? lol I wasn't sure. I'm still not a huge Halona fan but man was that girl a fighter. I didn't think it was anticlimactic at all. She held her ground and didn't want to give up. Halona was in mind the embodiment of country strong. Since we're referencing TV shows, I think of her in the same light as the guy who beat the UFC fighter in the Titan Games, as in deceptively athletic. I never cared much for Halona's personality but her country strength reminds me why I'm proud to have grown up in a town of 360ish people and be "country". Ok that was a really unorganized review and a really long way to say I love everything about Blest and am so happy that she is the winner but Halona was a worthy runner up!
I'll answer your questions as well, not sure if you were asking us but I like questions anyways soooo.
Fav Chapter was probably 9 or 10 when the careers split up. Those chapters were a fun read and when the Tal/Blest thing started getting good. I also liked Mal more in those chapters. I guess just a lot of people grew on me there.
Fav Scene was the one where Blest and Tal were talking about their lives back home and I thought for a second they might have a bit of a crush on each other when Blest seemed so interested in his life.
Fav Fallen tribute can't be my own since that would be too obvious so I'm going to have to go with Paradox. I was pretty bummed when Halona killed her honestly but I get why you did that too. She grew on me every chapter. She was so much fun to read. She was a bit of a maniac but she had more complexity to her than just that, she was an intelligent sort of crazy. I loved her troglodyte 1 and troglodyte 2 thing too.
Lastly, just wanna say I can't wait for more A song for snakes and rats! Go Dasenia! And take care, hope your days get better!
| matts0688 chapter 18 . 7/14/2020
Holy update speed. I think this is the first time I've been a few chapters behind. I also just now realized you've been naming the chapters after songs which is cool. Wow I'm pretty spacey.
Onyeka: I have had this love/hate relationship with him the whole time but in this section I was full of sympathy for him. This was probably one of the saddest parts to read just because you knew his chances were so slim with being injured and the other two tributes left being pretty deadly fighters. He cares so much what people think of him and I can relate to that. I'm sure I'd be thinking the same thoughts as he did. How do you balance not being a coward with making sure you retain your innocence in a death match. Death by falling out of a tree is pretty sad but honestly he went through so much and fought a good fight. I think his loved ones would still be proud.
Halona: I don't really understand her thinking, of why she'd sprint to the Cornucopia. I feel like if I were part of the final 2 I'd hide and attack with stealth if possible. She has a weapon capable of killing and everything she needs to survive a few days I think. I also think its odd that she thinks if she just hit Blest harder in the bloodbath, she'd be victor right now. I get it, but with the butterfly effect, the outcome would be so different. Halona would likely be facing a diff career or be dead herself with all the changes Blest's early death would have made to the games. Anyways, she kind of proves to me what she always has. She's so full of rage and she's hard to like. She doesn't get along with the Capitol enough to be a victor. She'd either die post games from rebelling or live under their shadow and hate herself. I still see a parallel with her and today's government/media/powers that be. They're always controlling you, and just when she thought they weren't they still are. They want rage, they want us to kill each other, and they've personally ASKED for division.
I hope you don't mind my little rants. I can't help but see parallel between your story and daily life. I think that's a mark of a good writer though. I'm so excited for the finale! I might have to read the next chapter today yet! Also super bummed and sorry for what you're going through. I rarely stop to thank God how blessed I am to have a job through all of this. I'll do my best to keep you and other's that are jobless in my prayers, that's tough. Losing your gf on top of it? I'm so sorry to hear that. I hope things get better and I hope you realize your dreams someday. Take care and God bless!
Runner up: Halona
| IamtheVirus chapter 19 . 7/14/2020
I can't believe it's over!
Woot woot Blest! I'm so proud
Poor Halona though. I remember a time I liked her better than Blest, but Blest really grew so much as a person I just love her and I'm glad we'll be seeing her again.
I don't even know which chapter would be my fsvorite, there were so many good moments in each depending on which tributes I was hearing from.
My favorite scene was definitely when Onyeka and Rapture were running from the bear. Of course Rapture was my lady, and I really enjoyed getting to "see" her develop more here
As far as my favorite of the fallen, idk bc I really liked a few different people, but I suppose I'll have to default to Onyeka even though he just died and I wasn't even supporting him as winner
| IamtheVirus chapter 18 . 7/14/2020
Dang that's not how I expected Onyeka to go, but it only makes sense I guess.
When he started to talk about Theo of course I started to wonder if it would make a difference in his life if Onyeka came back, but it's for nought.
She's so right too, she's playing right into what the wanted and expected from her, and yet what other choice really is there. I hope she saves some energy for Blest.
Blest had easy pickings with Onyeka, curious about her hair and the dirt on her face though idr that happening.
And swinging a club, carrying a pack and a shield is a lot of energy Halona is expending.
Between the two, I'm definitely standing behind Blest.
| symphorophilia chapter 18 . 7/14/2020
hey, man - before i hop into this review i just wanna say that i'm sorry to hear about all of the stressful events you've had to deal with in your life recently; any one of those things would be difficult on their own, but i conjunction... i can't even imagine what you're going through right now. if you ever need to talk about it, you're more than welcome to PM me or message me on insta; i'm not always the best conversationalist but i am a good listener, so the offer always stands. :) that aside... i'm very glad that you've chosen to share your work with this community and have allowed us readers the opportunity to be a part of your story in some small way. i know you're already on your way to becoming a full-fledged novelist and i can't wait to see the direction in which your writing goes in the future! rest assured when a book comes out with your name on the front, i will certainly be buying it. it's been so neat to watch your style develop and grow as you've been writing this fic, and i'm certain it will continue to do so in the future. we are lifelong learners, after all, always seeking improvement in our craft, but you should be confident in your writing and in yourself; even if there's always room for improvement, you've done something pretty spectacular by finishing this story and it puts you a step closer to realizing your goal.
anyway, onto story shit! sorry, didn't mean to get too sappy with that but yeah man, you're a lovely writer and this community appreciates you too! thanks for doing what you're doing.
onyeka - i was expecting him to go down next, if only because he was so severely injured that i didn't see any way for him to fight when push came to shove; indeed it was his injuries that did him in, keeping him from acting as he needed to survive. i loved the exploration/insight facet of this pov... it was nice to get a look into his head before he went, both in terms of the nightmare and how it represents the way the games have haunted him, and his relationship with theo, how their friendship really started to crumble after misha went and how there wasn't really any way of salvaging what once was. thanks again for accepting my boy and doing everything you have with him! you took him so far beyond the shoddy form i wrote up for you and i'm truly grateful.
halona - and here they are, the final two; choosing for halona and blest to have another fight was honestly a superb choice and a good way to parallel the finale back to the bloodbath. these two are both strong contenders and have demonstrated their skill and worthiness throughout the games, but ultimately halona's in a weaker position narratively; her loathing for the capitol again puts her at a disadvantage going in, but the way she acts as a foil to blest, the career, in so many ways serves as symbolic. the appearance of the swine herding them together/stampeding wildly is, of course, also symbolic and a nice shoutout to the story's title; we love when things come full circle.
i already read the next chapter so i know the victor choice - and i'm happy with it! blest was a deserving victor without question and i'm excited to go back and reread the story to better examine her narrative arc... i owe you a finale review which i'll probably get done in the next couple days. SFSR first lmao! i'm looking forward to your next updates. stay safe and take care! hope you're doing at least somewhat alright, bruv. you're awesome. :)
| Chaos In Her Wake chapter 18 . 7/12/2020
We may have showed up for the story, but you still have every right to share whatever you feel is important about your personal life, to whatever degree you feel comfortable! It's rough man- a lot of issues compounding and piling onto each other at the same time. That sounds like a shitty month and I'm sorry you're going through all of that pain in the midst of a pandemic and social upheaval. I feel u on the job front one hundred percent too, yikes. Having to make money to survive sucks, and so does unexpectedly moving home, but it's good you have somewhere to go.
Mental recovery takes time. The body takes what it needs. Sendin best wishes for healing and comfort.
Also, if you ever need an early drafts editor/test reader, you know where to find me!
Anyway, the chapter.
Yes Onyeka and Halona! Question the innate performativity of survival! Debate your inner drive! Wonder how your morals change in the Games! Is it about going home no matter what or truth of self? Acknowledge the control the Capitol has no matter your individual actions! What does that entail! They're both serving late-Games existential crisis!
Onyeka's slow descent makes sense. Honestly, I nearly skipped over Blest's appearance at the end because if she didn't show up with her knives, all signs pointed directly towards Onyeka succumbing to his wounds anyway. Poor guy just didn't have a shot. This was a really appropriate time to have some backstory woven in to his thoughts, and those details fit very well with the current situation. Ugh... the idea of feeling utterly alone before dying... that's rough.
I can't help but think the late appearance of the swine was not only a tactic to bring Halona nearer to Blest, but also the Capitol attempt at maybe just getting rid of her entirely so she wouldn't have a chance to become a rebellious Victor. Like, what's she gonna do if she did win? Spend her life faking allegiance to the Capitol? Be sedated into submission? Die young? The Gamemakers probably are hesitant to interfere with the finale itself- although that would be quite a refreshing twist- so they probably wanted Halona to die before then, yknow?
Omg teddy time for our gurlz to reunite!
take care, and happy writing!