Reviews for They That Are Told To Survive
Discord SYOT Verses chapter 1 . 12/26/2021
(The following review was written as part of the 2021 SYOT Verses Discord Server's Holiday Fic Exchange)


So this is my holiday fic review for They Were Told To Survive (great title btw)! Sorry if my review sounds a bit jumbled. So to start off this is a AU which I love! It gives so much room for creativity and your own world building. Bro the 55th began just 2 months after the last one ended?! Now to me this story is a study of the careers and the psychology behind the characters and each character is introduced so beautifully with amazing writing but I’m just gonna go through them all individually.

Starting off with Chrys: I absolutely adore Chrys. He reminds me a little of a character of my own ive recently created. He comes from a poor background compared to most in district 1 and he want to win for his family, to make their lives better. God I adore him so much. He seems a little snarky to me around his friends which I like. So I’m getting great vibes from him so far.

Dior: I felt like the contrast with Chrys was portrayed incredible. I mean her family seem awful to me? They seem to care more about mattie and have no regard for her at all. You did such a good job of portraying Dior (a career) as a human and another victim of the horrible situation, like she is practically forced into this like everyone else but by her family. All the POVs are so well written and immersive.

Hera: I applaud you for writing a career with a drug problem, I feel like many writers don’t want to do it which is fine but its so real and I’ve always wanted to see a character with a drug problem (especially a career because they are supposed to be these perfect, athlete people with no problems). I’m interested to see how her withdrawal symptoms will effect her when she cant get regular access to her stuff.

Kiernan: Firstly he’s 12!? But seriously the whole backstory with his sister was so sad but I don’t think he’s got a great chance in the arena either. He’s going to be a sad one for sure. Yeah so his whole relationship with his mum and his sister was so well written and I like the character so far. Anyway his introduction was so sad, gosh.

Althea: So shes very much in it to restore district 4s reputation! I love that because district 4 is my favourite career district. However it seems to me that that’s the person her family have created more than anything else. And reading her relive her brothers death in the hunger games was very well written.

Rhodos: I love this character! He’s a practicing musician! Man why does he have to enter the hunger games? Why cant he just become a musician like he wants to? its clear that he is in the best head space when he’s learning. Anyway I’m really routing for him to survive!

Ok now we’ve met all the main characters we move onto the pre-games. The first interactions between the characters was *chefs kiss. The contrast between Chrys and Dior is felt so well especially the reason for their volunteering. They are just hanging on. Hera was judging and mocking Kiernan for being 12 but she is far from perfect either and it showed in her POV. Rhodos sees Althea as a kind of celebrity in their district which is kind of cool. Also Rhodos became my favourite character in the trains part, he’s so relatable and his social anxiety comes through but despite the awkwardness I feel like they get along best out of any of them. As the POVs go on Hera’s become more entertaining and Rhodos become more relatable. Althea and Dior are already looking to build a rivalry early on as they see each other as the biggest threat. I’m now seeing Chrys as a dark horse since he’s playing the long game. Dior and Chrys seem like they will explode at each other early on in the games though, Rhodo’s seems to just be acting submissive to everyone throughout their interactions and finally Chrys and Kiernan actually get along quite well at the start. Now, I really like Sadie the district 8 girl especially how she stood up to Dior but I think Dior is going to target her early on and speaking of Dior, I cant help but like her a lot less after her internal monologue about the non career kids. Rhodos and Althea’s relationship starts growing so much and I love it. I feel like she just sees him as an obstacle at first but he’s genuinely looking for a friend.

One thing that’s so good about this fic is that I’m constantly conflicted because reading Dior’s interview I can understand why she doesn’t like outer districts but in terms of the pre games, Rhodos and Althea are my favourite pair so far.

Ok now we reach the arena part of the story. Right from the get go the arena is beautifully described. It sound beautiful and very vivid and I love the fact that Kiernan actually liked it and didn’t need his inhaler well at least that’s one disadvantage for him removed. I didn’t expect any of the main characters to die in the bloodbath but there were so many shocking moments! Sadie sparing Kiernan was a shock to me, I have a feeling she might regret that decision down the line but we’ll see. Chrys lost an arm?! I didn’t see that coming at all, he was one of the strongest competitors and I really liked him, maybe he’ll get a cybernetic one lol? Rhodos wasn’t able to kill the nine girl and she ended up killing herself! My heart almost skipped a beat when I saw he was in trouble because he’s my fav. It was an amazingly described bloodbath as well and very brutal, excellent!

Chrys loosing an arm was such a good move on your part though because it brought him down to Kiernan’s level and allowed them to share a genuine connection. God why is everyone so mean to Rhodos? Especially Althea. He’s just trying to do the right thing. We see Dior quickly take charge of the careers because theres no one left to question her because Chrys lost his arm and Althea is feeling unsure of herself and bad over killing. However as the story goes on I find Dior more and more unlikeable from the way she talks about the people she’s killing to constantly putting the other careers down. Meanwhile Althea becomes much more likeable as she starts to open up to Rhodos. I love the relationship between Chrys and Kiernan growing and I think them leaving would actually be a good thing , Chrys is actually quite a nice guy it seems. Now to the surprise rebel plotline! I had a feeling something was going on with the outer tributes banding together and the tattoos but it turns out they’re rebels! Interesting.

Day three of the games brought my of my favourite quotes by Rhodos “feeling makes you human and it doesn’t matter if the world sees you feeling things” god he’s so iconic and the fight between Chrys and the six girl was a stand out because like I found myself routing for Chrys to get his revenge even though he was in the wrong when you really think about it. It’s the same with all the characters really like they should be the bad guys but you are rooting for them as the protagonists. Kiernan’s death scene really pulled at my heart strings, his final thoughts about his sister argh it was so sad! I had grown to love him like all the characters especially his friendship with chrys. Well at least he gets to be with Maeve now. ( I know he’s ok now but this scene still hit hard)

I really enjoyed the fight between Chrys and Dior and although I was rooting for Chrys it was highly unlikely he could beat her with one arm. He was one of my favourites. He was from a poor family unlike most careers which is always really refreshing to see and I loved his friendship with Kiernan. Very sad scene RIP. What a career.
So it turned out Kiernan is still alive! That was unexpected! Maybe he can avenge Chrys? We’ll see but I’m glad he’s being kept alive, I feel like there was a lot more story to explore with him and his sister and I love his character.

Aww and Hera tried to comfort Kiernan that’s so wholesome. She’s awesome! I really love the three pair and the whole rebellion plotline! I really hope Rhodos goes along with it. Also Althea is still worrying about Rhodos aww the fours are so iconic in this story.
Diors death in the hands of Sadie was perfect! I don’t know what hurt more Sadie completely shutting her whole narrative down or the death itself but it was perfect. She was so hell bent on revenge on someone that never really wronged her. Although I did feel sorry for Dior in the end even though I never really vibed with her character. Now I am on the second to last chapter and all my favourite characters except Chrys are still alive and I’m so nervous for them all, I don’t what any of them to die even the side characters like Daniel and Ryleigh.
Ok I’m just gonna finish this review up by concluding with every character because that’s how I started it. Sorry its been so jumbled anyway…

Rhodos (Icon) has such an amazing character arc, he stops being complaisant and goes back for Althea. He’s one character I never wanted to watch die and I’m so glad he made it and Althea

Talking of Althea, she’s become so loveable. You went places with her character that I didn’t expect. She was so distant to Rhodos at first and now they seem inseparable. Ah my heart, this so wholesome.

Now Kiernan’s pov was the emotional crux of the last chapter, god it was so sad (also a side note the mutts here are very creative and scary so well done on that).

Now onto Hera! Omg I’m speechless! I don’t know what to say! I love her almost as much as Rhodos and she sacrificed herself! I’m so sad. Yeah I don’t even know what to say! What an amazing character arc!

Now im not usually that into rebellion plots because I feel like the books covered that pretty well however the way you wove this plot into the story line was perfect and it fit so well with all the themes of the story and gave rise to one of my favourite characters (Sadie) and allowed for all our favourite characters to survive and continue their stories well except Hera and Chrys (RIP). So I loved this rebellion plot! This story had you falling in love with these characters and went places with so many of them that I didn’t expect. Rhodos and Althea, Kiernan surviving against all odds, Hera’s sacrifice, Chrys and Kiernan. God there were so many subversion of expectations and I’m so glad so many of these characters survived because I really want to know how there stories continue. All I have to say is you should be so proud of yourself for this story! Your writing and story telling is incredible! Congrats Dawn!
kiernanalcraiz69 chapter 4 . 12/17/2021
WTF IS THIS? Am I really that angry :(((( is this how you see me
maybe linds chapter 26 . 8/14/2021
tiny review at the end saying i enjoyed it
anastasiaalcraiz chapter 1 . 7/24/2021
Gorgeous writing as always. Just one question: you said that there's not going to be a Victor in this fic? What is the specific reason. Also, is there going to be four survivors and a war? I know this is the first chapter but more insight could have helped.
ladyqueerfoot chapter 6 . 7/24/2021
THE VULTURE! ahaaa u sly fucking fox!
Radio Free Death chapter 1 . 7/24/2021
[It's something special, this year: the soft-dusk sun, dousing the tranquil forests in amber as if they'd reflected the glow of the Capitol's gold coin. Flora and fauna prance across the earthly yolk, but they're soft, all soft as if noise would scatter the forests into ashes. Jordyn's stomach twists together, and her heart throbs in her throat, because if she forgets the yellow and the animals and the warmth it looks—it looks just the same.]

Gorgeous writing as always, though with this I do have a question: The gamemakers were able to put up a special arena in just two months? Did they use the old arena and switch things around? With 13 mentioned as providing the details, does this mean they'll attempt an attack on the Capitol? There's so many things to ponder and while this is the first chapter, it's so short that it could've needed more padding at least.
Guest chapter 11 . 7/15/2021
hmm idk how I feel about this d8 girl
Firedawn'd chapter 2 . 7/6/2021
ooh okay so our character introductions!

right away, the parallels between maddie and dior - elkavich sees similarities between maddie and dior, in that they both look empty. true to an extent: dior and maddie both share the same emptiness, but more importantly, the same ache. dior's lost mattie; maddie's lost maeve. the main difference between them is that dior's loss has had time (two years) to morph into anger and hate; whilst maddie had died too fast to be angry about maeve's death; only broken. so dior is maddie but not... because of time, and temperament, but ultimately they're very similar.

(oh, by the way, if u didn't catch it guthrie is kathvarine's father, who did the 55th games, and the 54th, and generally all of the ones before that. i'll be elaborating on it in nrftd. but yeah!)

it's the same with maeve and hera, too... they're more similar than elkavich would like to think. they want the best for their families, and sees the arena as an answer, even though the arena destroys them more than it helps. both are addicts, too, or addictive - maeve is maddie's drug, and hera uses drugs to escape into fantastical worlds away from real life (just as maeve does).

so yeah! my thoughts x
Firedawn'd chapter 1 . 7/6/2021
okay so i'm doing a ttatts commentary of sorts? i'm actually rereading this fic because it's somewhat tolerable to me and... it might be fun to drop my own thoughts that was in my mind as i was going through it so!

ahahah so like... when i was writing this...

"if she forgets the yellow and the animals and the warmth... it looks just the same"

... yeah i had fun! xx
ladyqueerfoot chapter 4 . 4/17/2021
Kiernan seems cool
Josephm611 chapter 1 . 4/17/2021
omg i cant believe i never read this or submitted to this or fell in love with these characters and hopped on vc with you for the finale. wow dawn. i wish i saw this earlier. and omg thank you for the shoutout! im so glad that ur promoting it. maybe i will get 24 subs and i wont have to make any fillers. i cant wait to write premo this story that i havent completed and im still writing.

i hope u enjoyed ur review xx
Josephm611 chapter 26 . 1/3/2021
i'm literally like this in half of my reviews but AHHH it took me far too long to get here. I have finished my vacation and I am back and here to review. This isn't exactly a live react? But you have the vc audiobook.

so, for the last time to ttatts, my review

Rhodos... MY GOSH DAWN. As I read this POV, a million things went through my brain. He left Dan and Ry. I was so sure that he was going to die. So convinced. I though he'd find Althea and then sacrifice himself for her and he would die and I'd be glad for Althea but heartbroken over him. The beginning of the POV started of so fricken positive I knew something terrible was going to happen.
"For once in his life, Rhodos decides for himself."
This line had me sold that this would be the culmination of his arc and I was ready to sob.

Althea... That regret! AHHHHH. And the giving up! You take your time with breaking down their emotions and I admire that in your writing so much.
AND WHEN RHODOS APPEARS IT'S LIKE WE'VE WON THE WORLD. This is the best friendship ever and I cry.

Kiernan... I really couldn't decide whether I thought he'd survive or not. At first I was like maybe he'll die, but maybe not? But then he has such a long death scene and I immediately went "not dying by a long shot."
so it was actually a good thing that Rhodos didn't go with them?

It's so beautiful that her last act was to reject the drugs that held her captive for so long. It genuinely moved me and as I'm rereading I'm getting close to tears again.
It was just. so. ah. beautiful :sob:

The way she reacts to each of them entering the hovercraft is just AH and it’s so sad but also so TRIUMPHANT?! Also I love Josiah and Lindsay pls give them more screentime xx
I love how this transitions into revolution. It’s not one-note of /anything/. It’s glad. it’s sad. It’s bittersweet. It’s passioned. It’s apathetic. It’s everything all at the same time and you do it so beautifully.

And that’s it. The end of TTATTS. It was so /beautiful/, so heart-/wrenching/ and heart-/breaking/ and the absolute more /phenomenal/ thing but-
It’s over.
TTATTS is over.
And I don’t know what to think or do about that.
Maybe that’s why I’ve put off reviewing for so long. Maybe that’s why I keep thinking back to our kids and the story but always leaving the review box empty. Maybe that’s why I felt a twinge of pain when I saw the disr-verse channel move from the syot games library to the thg library.
Maybe I don’t want it to end.
It’s not just the characters, though they each grabbed my heart and tore it apart in a million different ways that I can’t describe. It’s not just the intrigue, which you scatter throughout the story so delicately, like a fairy dropping glitter dust wherever it goes. The end of TTATTS means the end of the beginning, for TTATTS was an integral, irreplaceable part of the beginning, when I pressed the “publish” button and opened an syot for the first time in years. Pushing Up Daises. Premonition. And now They That Are Told To Survive. With each completion, the nagging voice in the back of my head gets loud, telling me that it’s time to move on, to enter the next stage of my journey of return that was never supposed to happen.
Josephm611 has never been good at moving on.
But I must. Such is the reality. There will never be another update to TTATTS. The breakneck pace of the final few updates only accelerated a cold truth that chills me to the bone. So I’ll do my best with this final reflection upon this magical journey.

I still remember when I first discovered this story. You had reviewed Premonition, and in my desperation, I replied to it, just like I did with all those early reviews. After writing a 14-chapter story that received a grand total of 2 reviews, I treasured every last one of them. So I replied. And you mentioned that you were new and trying out a story too. So I checked it out, and you blew me away with the /atmosphere/ you so skillfully create. It was like no other writing style I’d ever seen before—so wistful, so emotional, so poetic.
And then you submitted Alia to me. And then Elena. And then I subbed then-Rhodes to you. And then you suggested a new idea to me in our PM conversations—the possibility of an SYOT Discord. I was skeptical at first since Discord was new territory to me and I tend to be resistant to change.
But then it happened. And it was just a few of us at first (I still remember that first convo I had with you and Bradi. Who knew we were about to set up an authoritative regime?), but then it grew. Slowly at first, and then faster. And now it’s growing so ridiculously fast; it blows me away.
I really don’t know where I’m going with this, but that’s appropriate since I don’t know where my fanfiction journey is going. I’m just so thankful to have found you, DISR, this discord… just everything.
Thank you for this masterpiece. It will always hold a special place in my heart, both for its brilliance itself and everything it means to me outside the pages.
Goodbye for the last time here! And to quote you…
“Thanks for writing!”
BradiLain chapter 18 . 1/2/2021
Catch me out here revived from your eloquence to review the next chapter. Slowly but surely chipping away at all the reviews I’m behind on lmaooo. I don’t know how I’ve managed to get this far behind when you’ve practically finished but you know what? Better late than never!

Rhodos is always like the fly on the wall; so many thoughts in his head but rarely coming out to voice them. The relationship between him and Althea is continually such a rollercoaster to follow and I’m so here for them? Always waiting for Althea to have a chink in her armor, Rhodos just watches. His thoughts on death aren’t the norm for a Career but I think that’s why I like him? The rest of our pack feels like they belongminus kiernan of course but he has an obvious disadvantage. I love how Rhodos warms her frigid heart and how she manages to let him in. She really be fighting it, but she is letting him in and I feel like that’s so huge for her. I’m glad they had this realization together. They’ll be closer now as well as they’re both stronger for admitting it. The expression that you’ve had in Althea’s expressions is so stunning; she doesn’t have to say a single word and her emotions are so clearly expresses. I love how you use the smaller things thoughher slight inflections, her eyes, the cuteness of her words. You’re a master of show don’t tell with characters

I also also alsooooo think that it’s such a vibe that Chrys is out here being the big brother figure for Kiernan. It’s really precious and I love the way they interact together in this POV. Chrys don’t even need no appendages to be a bro. I’m surprised that he’s going to leavehe and Kiernan will be a good pair, though I’m not particularly sure if I think their odds would be good.

Hera is my favorite tribute to read here. Her thoughts are always jumbled and messy but in a way that I can still tell what’s going on. I’m glad that we’re starting to figure out what’s up with the marks on the wristsit feels really obvious for a secret mark but you know what? It took them this long to figure it out so it worked. I love how the Capitol rebellion subplot is literally weaves into our games. They’re usually like two totally separate plots so it’s nice to see them blending together perfectly. I also think it’s an interesting choice to make Hera be the one that explains what’s going onit shows her intelligence that she can realize even in her withdrawal phase. And now that I’ve somewhat elegantly explained my thoughts, give me one moment.

REBELLION IN THE GAMES OMGGGG DAWN YOU SHOULDNT HAVE. Are the tributes rebels? Are they pawns of the rebellion? I AM SO INVESTED. Every time I try to tell myself that I’m bored of dystopians just turning into rebellion stories I see a rebellion and I’m just like :eyes:

I like the name Elkavich. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before or not bc I have the memory of a goldfish. I also also really love the idea of people in the Gamemaking business going up through the corporate ladder from escort to a part of the gamesI had never considered that as a possibility but I’m into it. Our game maker had to claw her way up to her position which only makes the stakes of it much higher for her. She really feels like a cornered animal in her POV, which seems really fitting. A predator surrounded with her teeth bared and a thrill from the taste of blood right in front of her. I’m so pumped.
ASlitheringSlytherin chapter 26 . 12/29/2020
First of all, I can't BEGIN to manifest how happy it makes me, that the rebellion gas finally worked, that they can unleash revenge upon the capitol, save Panem! Ry and Daniel are going to live, then? I'm surprised. I saw them as comedic relief that were going to be shred to pieces before dying bloodily, but I guess not. That makes me elated. Even the cute little kids are alive. I'm not that worried for Rhodos just yet, because he's going after Althea, and honestly this arc, in my opinion, won't end any way other than Rhodos coming back for Althea and them going into the hovercraft together at the last second.

*Chariots of Fire plays in the background* Ugh I loved that so much Dawn, you emotional genius. I love Althea so much, I was scared for a sec that you were going to prove me wrong and kill her off RIGHT THERE. I was so terrified and almost crying because Kani...I imagined Kani just being so DESTROYED that her girlfriend was dead...and Rhodos being shred to pieces by grief...and the fact that Althea was giving up. And then Rhodos came in all heroically and made my heart melt because it's a cliche but a wonderfully executed one. I swear that Chariots of Fire started playing in my head haha. Now they just need to make it to the hovercraft and run off together. Please.

AAAAAH i had predicted that BUT HOLY SHIT that was so powerful Dawn! His death took so much time that I knew he wasn't going to die, but his realizations (the capitol is so messed up with those mutts i can't even-) and him giving up and then finding strength was so damn powerful. And of course Hera sacrifices herself for him. I saw it coming, and as much as I am going to greive for Hera, this is a perfect ending for her. I just hope Kiernan actually runs and doesn't try to save her and gets himself killed, even though that would be very Kiernan of him haha.

I'd just like to add that I really didn't see Dan and Ry's deaths coming at all. It really hurt deep inside because I thought they were safe and saved.

I didn't expect to be so DESTROYED by Hera's death. I knew it was going to hurt, but to this level...oh God...I find it so poetic, such a beautiful finishing touch to her arc that in the end, she felt in control of herself and her fighting skills without her drugs. She was going to take it but then... then she found inner strength and she saved even Sadie. She saved everyone which shows that she is such a good person inside. RIP Hera Dalenka, she was soo good for this world. It is wonderful to know, though, that the rest made it out.

MADISON WHAT A FUCKING LESBIAN QUEEN WE STAN SO MUCH YES YES YES YES YES. I am so damn happy that she is still alive. If I recall correctly she was my favorite out of all of them, and she was just so iconic and her arc was a beautiful flaming crescendo into death, and NOW BISH IS RISING LIKE A DAMN PHOENIX LIKE OUR QUEEN ALTHEA. Sorry for all these caps, but I just HAD to. That ending line gave me chills, everything gave me chills, like DAMN IT DAWN HOW ARE YOU SUCH A GENIUS? That li e about fighting for all the people who died of suicide almost made me sob so thanks dawn.

I love this story so much and I will read the next part as soon as it comes out. Thank you so much for writing a story that is too well written to be true with such queens.

Much love! 3

ASlitheringSlytherin chapter 25 . 12/29/2020
I wish I could feel sorry for Dior's death, but I don't. I honestly saw it coming pretty badly and it was only a matter of time before she fell. Your fighting scenes though are brilliant. You can really feel the frenzy and the confusion and the violence of the fight, you really feel there, inside Dior's deranged mind. I won't miss Dior, and I am proud of my queen Sadie for killing her in such an epic way, but I still admit that Dior realizing that she was wrong was a really powerful moment and I do somewhat forgive her. Rebel Rhodos gives me willnto live haha.
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