|Reviews for The Sun Always Rises|
| Verran chapter 18 . 11/20/2013
What a chapter to return with - it hasn't lost any of its despair. The one thing that has stayed with me from this story is the execution flashback, and everything in this chapter, even the contrasting scenes with the Mushrooms and Kelley, feed back into that.
It's lovely to see an update to this - I hope it won't be too long before the next one. Great to see it's not dead!
| Amazing-Thalia-Grace chapter 17 . 6/10/2013
| 999 the 9th chapter 17 . 2/14/2013
Just because this story is angsty doesn't mean it shouldn't be in the Mario is a beautifully written story, and to not complete it would be a shame. I wait for the next update with bated breath.
| Super-taya chapter 17 . 3/23/2012
thanks for the good read, well worth the evening it took to read. I've been on the edge of my seat the entire way- a plotline where bowser's in control, and the ohter worlds are barren is really deep. I'm excited to read more, so keep going!
| Verran chapter 17 . 1/18/2012
What a delight to find a gem such as this rising to the top of the archives after so much time. I had never considered what a post apocalyptic Mushroom World might be like, and you painted this one very well - not just the Mushroom Kingdom but the other associated worlds that the characters visit throughout these chapters so far.
The structure of this feels like you're into the second part of a three-part adventure, the first dealing with Luigi and Mario re-discovering themselves and ending with rescuing Peach. You haven't pulled any punches with this first part either - both Mario and Peach physically damaged, and Luigi's loss being Daisy's execution. This has turned the main characters' personalities on their heads, to the point where they didn't even recognise themselves or each other any more. For the supporting characters it has turned them into much grimmer and solid characters than you would normally see from the Mushroom folk, so well done there.
The horrifying flashbacks sharpen the present-day storyline, and considering that some of these events shape the way the characters now conduct themselves, I don't think they were overdone at all. Having said that, the writing from Chapter 12 onwards (Where I consider Part 2 to begin) has a much cleaner style to it, without losing any of the edginess, although I did feel a sense of it being rushed in places around Chapters 14 and 15.
This story kept me reading from start to finish in one go. Now I feel that great things are afoot - Mario's side is strengthening, but at the same time there are possible weaknesses - Mario preoccupied with the prospect of becoming a father, Luigi deteriorating, and Kelley the wild card - well meaning perhaps, but also I think a little foolhardy. The Bowser in this story is not stupid!
Looking forward to the next instalment.
| tetekanui chapter 17 . 1/18/2012
What an awesome surprise, to wake up and see a chapter from you! The opening flashback was great, and I was surprised about pregnant Peach. Many lines made me rethink convictions I had held previously. I can't wait to find out what happens next!
| Trust-Me-I'm-a-Fangirl-96422 chapter 17 . 1/17/2012
I can't wait for the next chapter!
| tetekanui chapter 16 . 1/15/2012
Hm, you have me quite intrigued with Luigi's odd behavior. It's quite interesting that the younger brother is the more cynical of the two now. It's quite nearly a role reversal. This seed of discontent can only grow and flourish into...what? Resentment? Hatred? Even evil? Whatever happens, I have a feeling that Luigi will soon give in (at least temporarily) to the darkness that plagues his soul and will always be a part of him now. The suspense is so thick and cloying, around Peach's condition, around Luigi. These truly are fallen heroes, and although they have found themselves and each other again and are starting to rise to their former glory, they still have time to fall. And unfortunately, I believe Luigi is in danger of slipping. At least Mario and Peach have each other. Luigi has no one. Daisy is dead and Mario is too preoccupied with Peach to be much of a support in this time when all Luigi needs is support.
So Kelley really is good, huh? This is a relief, although here and there, there are glimpses that as innocent and upright as Kelley seems, there is more to her than meets the eye - as there is with every other character. There are conflicting forces all acting upon this poor Troopa. On the one hand, Bowser has devastated her family and friends all in the name of his insane lust for power. He has sacrificed his own people and reduced them to nothing more than fearful slaves. Somehow, he finds value in such an empire. And yet, I don't feel the intense, burning HATRED of Bowser from Kelley as I do from say, Luigi - or pretty much all the other protagonists. There is fear, yes, but not anger. She even finds it in herself to be grateful for the position he gives her and she is excited when he orders her to dine with him. What I see is a sort of perverse, twisted loyalty to Bowser despite her common sense. What a beautifully layered character.
Speaking of beautiful characters, though, let's take a look at what you've done with a two-dimensional, cardboard cutout, cartoony, ridiculous video game villain. Like I've said before, you've made him actually scary, but here's the really amazing thing: he is still recognizable from canon. There are elements of the established Nintendo Bowser in this story: his pride, his selfishness, his sense of power. In the video games, it always seemed as if he had an overinflated sense of how powerful he was, but here that pride is warranted. He is singularly the most powerful character in this entire story (at least ostentatiously, but more on that later). Your Bowser, at first glance, does seem like evil is all there is to him. But, just as none of the "heroes" are altogether good, Bowser, as despicable and downright creepy as he is, is not completely bad. Have I lost you there? Allow me to explain.
Bowser, at some point, was not who he is today. Presumably, he was the Bowser we see in the games, the one whose only goal was to steal and possess the princess, who was always defeated by Mario. Not really a threat so much as a nuisance. But at another point, there was a switch, when Bowser decided, 'No more Mister Nice Guy,' and he concentrated his forces and took down those who had time and time again bested him, preying on their weaknesses that by now he had had plenty of time to study. I think this change came about, not because Bowser's goals grew loftier, but because of the psychological turmoil that must happen after so many failures. If you think about it, from Bowser's point of view, the time that Mario and Luigi spent defeating him time and time again was the nightmare. And Bowser was simply paying them back in kind. It's an uncomfortable thought, but what if Mario and Luigi PUSHED Bowser into being the cruel, remorseless tyrant he is today? What if, at first, THEY were the bad guys; THEY were the nightmare? As for Bowser, why did he want the princess in the first place? Did he yearn for love? And then, realizing that she would never love him as he was, he decided the closest thing to earning Peach's love would be to gain power over her? Power. Power is a pervading theme in this chapter and in Bowser's character. Many characters feel powerless. It is likely that in the past, Bowser felt powerless in much the same way that Luigi feels powerless now. I wonder, in fact, if Bowser's fall from grace eerily echoes the hint of one we see happening to Luigi at the end of this chapter. The line between heroes and villains is becoming so blurred, and now everyone is being mixed into this thoroughly gray area, and I love it!
A little more on Bowser before I go, and yes, I've harped on about him, but he quite frankly fascinates me, and I feel like he's a grand starting point for analyzing the other characters' psyches (especially Luigi's). I've noticed that he is quick to anger, even though he always seemed surprisingly suave in the video games despite his bulky size. He DID have a terrific temper, but he was usually calm and confident until the very end. He is also paranoid and shrewd, and I'm never quite sure if he truly believes Kelley's story. Quite honestly, he seems insane. Just as Luigi seemed a bit insane at the beginning because of what happened to him at Bowser's hands.
I don't want to leave this review without addressing the mushroom characters. I said that Bowser seemed like the most powerful character, on the surface. But underneath, I'm going to have to say that the mushrooms are the strongest. Even little Oliver and Jack. Especially Kaden and Adeline. Despite everything, these characters have stuck together through thick and thin. They have all complemented each other splendidly; Oliver and Jack are able to relate to each other, being the little ones, while Kaden is hot-headed and cynical, tempered by the sweet, stout, simple faith of Adeline. I don't always agree with Kaden's pessimism, but I can certainly see his points, and likewise, I don't always think Adeline's optimism is wise, but I admire that it isn't shaken. I guess the strength of the mushroom characters lies in their convictions. They stand their ground, resolute, sometimes against remarkable opposition. This makes them compelling characters who make me think a lot about what it really means to be strong.
So to sum up, this chapter has given me a lot to think about, examined the characters and their relationships in more depth, and yes, I have noticed that over the course of the fic your writing is gradually evolving into a less "angsty" style, without losing the edgy darkness that kept me reading from the beginning. You have simply become more mature and subtle about tragedy, although it is still present in every contour of this fic. The characters are growing and developing; while not "over" their harrowing experiences, they are learning to pick themselves back up, determined to survive, slowly beginning to understand that there IS life after the nightmare.
This was an gripping chapter. Perhaps not as intense and fast-paced as previous ones, but it spent more time in the characters' minds, which was a trip I found fascinating. I think that every character has a unique, distinctive "voice"; that is, when you change point of views, the way you write, the slant through which the reader views the world, is altered a bit. You hop from one complicated psyche to another flawlessly, with logical transition and quick precision. When reading from the point of view of Kelley, for example, I vicariously felt her terror and confused feelings and even her excitement at getting "decent" food. Though, uncomfortably, when reading from the point of view of Luigi, I did start to see some traits reminiscent of Bowser, especially in his temper and resentment. Sometimes some "voices" blend together, and it is always with purpose, sometimes unsettling and sometimes uplifting. In this case, it is a mixture of both. Of course, I'm worried that Luigi has a chance of falling into villainy, but doesn't this also mean that, as far as Bowser has fallen, there is a chance for redemption? True, Bowser can never remedy everything he's done, but perhaps...perhaps ALL is not lost. Perhaps he can at the very least change and feel remorse. Then again, maybe not. This story leaves one guessing, which is one of its best qualities (among many great ones)!
Thanks for updating so quickly! This was such a lovely surprise, and it has opened up so many new avenues of thinking, as well as given me more of a feel for this universe and this diverse, complicated cast of characters.
| Trust-Me-I'm-a-Fangirl-96422 chapter 16 . 1/15/2012
OMG! I love it!
| tetekanui chapter 15 . 1/15/2012
Oh my word, an author's note shout-out from THE Robin Lee? *swoons*...uh, no homo? '
Anyhow, this chapter. It hasn't decreased in quality one bit; in fact, I think I can even say it increased, even though I thought you'd reached the peak. First of all, I love the theme you've got going here of trust and loyalty, and how things are no longer black and white but in shades of gray. I have a feeling I'm going to like this new Troopa character you've introduced.
Every main character had a good meaty amount of "screentime" in this chapter, and seeing how they interact with others has fleshed them out even more and given me more reason to care for them. Luigi is obviously not over Daisy, though how anyone could be "over" watching their loved one's throat be brutally slashed is beyond me. A very striking effect that you used in the beginning of this chapter - and in the beginning of the story - was not revealing who was narrating at first, instead just using the pronoun "he." This device adds an air of mystery, and somehow brings the focus on the suffering rather than the character who is undergoing the suffering, if that makes any sense. It's unique to your writing style and very effective. There is such dark beauty in the way you weave your words. In the way you describe the trauma and pain present in every one of your characters - in some, more subtly than others. Every single character is broken, but I believe that they can all be mended. Even in such a dark story, there is always this underlying theme of hope (I mean, it is called "The Sun Always Rises"), even if that hope has taken many a beating and is sometimes so trampled and downtrodden as to be nearly invisible. But it's always there. There's this idea of redemption, never more present than it is in this chapter with the revelation that there are Mushrooms and Troopas working together, and that Troopas hate or fear Bowser. (Side note: Bowser and the Troopas remind me of the relationship between The Lion King's Scar and the hyenas, or, on a more poignant, serious, and chilling note: Hitler and the Nazis. Bowser is legitimately SCARY, and I don't scare easily.)
I've ignored this scene in my review up until now, but what actually turned out to be my favorite scene was the short one near the middle between Peach and Adeline. This was quite surprising to me for a number of reasons: 1) I much prefer to read about Luigi and Mario than Peach or Toad (Adeline is like a young, female Toad), 2) Not much happened in this scene especially in comparison to the other action-packed scenes, 3) there weren't any italicized thoughts in this scene, which I LOVE to read in this particular fic; I think they reveal so much about the characters, but in this scene, I had to interpret things entirely from dialogue...And yet, this scene was my favorite. Why? It's hard to say. I think that so much has been happening at such a fast pace (and I'm NOT complaining!) that it was kind of a relief to slow down just a tad before picking up that breakneck speed. The way you write, I really couldn't tell that I wanted a breather; I was just happily reading along when we come to this scene, and as the pace calmed, I started to realize, 'Hey, this is nice. It's refreshing.' And then after that brief interlude, we were thrust right back into Speedy Gonzalez territory, and I was okay with that too.
Enough about the pace of that scene; what about the content? Well, so little was said and yet so much subtext was there. It's like a psychologist's dream! Peach obviously no longer feels like a princess. She feels worthless and helpless and even kind of resents Adeline for still treating her as if she deserved her birthright. It's such a complex relationship that Peach and Adeline have. The blindness issue is fleshed out here too...I had assumed previously that Bowser only made Peach wear the blindfold, but that she still had functioning eyes. Now I'm assuming that the eyes have been brutalized in some way (maybe gouged out?), but I find it very interesting that in Peach's short point-of-view exposition-flashback in a previous chapter, she never overtly explains exactly what happened to her eyes. As she said in this chapter, she doesn't like to talk about it (even to herself!) and seeing as she beats her experiences down in her mind and represses her memories even more than Mario and Luigi combined, I think I can safely say that she is a somewhat unreliable narrator.
Skipping around a little now, but I think that Mario's disbelief and knee-jerk distrust of ALL Troopas is well-written. I do not know if this generalized hatred is warranted. I don't know if the Troopa in the end is actually planning to stab them all in the back and lied out of desperation, if she's loyal to Bowser or not, if she actually is good, but no matter where you take this storyline, I think that this prejudice issue will be a fascinating exploration.
A few final thoughts: I love this sentence right here: "Even in these clouds, the sun refused to shine" just because it ties in to the title and the main theme, but isn't overt symbolism; I'm not even sure it was intentional, but every word you place just fits perfectly.
Also, I love your description. It never bogs down the narrative or slows down the action, but there's enough of it that I always have a clear picture in my mind of what everyone looks like and the appearance of the setting.
I love how a lot of the time, what a character DOESN'T say is just as important as what he/she DOES say. An example is after Mario is trying to convince Luigi to trust the koopas and mentions that they went through those torturous years together, "Luigi stare[s], and huff[s]. "'Together'. Sure…"". So much is said there, and yet Mario does not respond nor does Luigi elaborate, even in his thoughts and this says EVERYTHING.
Just as before, I have racked my brain trying to search for ways I could advise you and help you improve, and I'm going to be totally honest here and say I'm coming up blank. I feel like it isn't fair to you, and I am not doing my full job as a reviewer by not offering up any constructive critiques for you to build on. But I am doing my job as a reader in enjoying this treat you've shared with us, and boy, rest assured, this is thoroughly enjoyed. Please keep it coming; you will ALWAYS have a reader in me. I am completely hooked.
| rene10 chapter 15 . 1/14/2012
I love this story! It's so interesting and always full of new twists; I am so glad you updated!
| Trust-Me-I'm-a-Fangirl-96422 chapter 15 . 1/14/2012
You finally updated! I love this story! I can't wait for the next chapter!
| tetekanui chapter 14 . 1/13/2012
Very interesting choice for a Mario prologue. I'm intrigued. Imma keep reading O.O...
What a trip this has been so far! What a...fantastic, gothic, beautifully dark piece of prose...! Okay, let me start at the beginning. Right away, you gripped me with that stark "The Mario Brothers are dead" line, and for a while, I read voraciously because I wanted to know who was narrating and why things were the way they were. You jump around with narrators in later chapters, but it's never jarring. It's always at a logical place and just FITS the mood, and you do a great job differentiating the different "voices" of the characters when in their point of views - especially Luigi and Mario (in that order because I feel like Luigi is the heart of this story). There have been so many twists and turns, keeping me guessing, and nearly all of my predictions have been wrong. Sometimes I think I'll understand exactly what's going on, only for you to steer the story an entirely different way, making me realize that I hadn't understood anything at all. But it all...it all just fits together so logically.
It's extremely psychological. I love the psychological horror aspect of it; there is a lot more of this internalized horror of the mind than your standard blood and gore fare (even though a little blood now and again is in there too to satisfy the horror movie aficionado in me! but even when there is gore, it's coupled with emotional, mental horror as well. It's never just mindless violence; it always serves a specific purpose - like the murder of Daisy helps characterize Luigi).
Bowser is so deliciously evil, and his idea to blindfold Peach is so intriguing in many ways. It's symbolic and such a unique punishment. When thinking of torture methods, blindfolding doesn't immediately leap to mind, but if you think about it, being robbed of your sight would be one of the ultimate ways of being stripped bare of defense and being turned completely powerless. We rely on our sight a great deal more than out other senses.
The way that this terror keeps being referred to as the nightmare actually makes my stomach twist. It's so apt, and so poignant. You pull no punches, physically killing off both Toad and Daisy, and emotionally killing the Mario brothers. One moment in particular made me ACTUALLY cry (which for me is a big deal), and it was: when Luigi says "Say it again, call me Weege again..." AHG OH MY GOD! Emotional manipulation at its finest, ma'am! I dearly loved Luigi's faltering and yet eloquent speech about the sun always rising; that would have to be a close second to my favorite moment. This is just, wow, it's brilliant. I know that vapid praise doesn't really help you grow as a writer, but I honestly cannot think of any criticisms, and I did try to think of some. Mechanically, it's sound; your grammar is top-notch, your vocabulary and usage are both stellar. Your themes are not too heavyhanded and just subtle enough, you have a finely-paced plot...characterization's great, length of your chapters is great (I especially like those italicized stylistic line breaks that hammer in the psychological strain on the minds of Mario and Luigi - this time Mario's listed first because I feel like he's the most severely psychologically injured; they were both battered, but Luigi was the first to regain hope and determination). You have grown SO much since your Brotherly Love days; your style is similar but now expanded and strengthened and all that good stuff.
I really don't know what to say except that I was blown away. This is... there are no words to describe how gutwrenching and edge-of-you-seat and...and INTELLECTUAL this story is. God, I...God. How can anyone write like this? How can any human come up with ideas this good? You, madam, are a genius.
| Guest chapter 14 . 11/7/2011
| tyron14 chapter 14 . 5/3/2011