Reviews for Underneath The Smoke, Vol 1: Firebrand
Riviera Shae chapter 1 . 7/7/2005
Very nice! I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your work :3

..*snickering at the sonnet*
Ice on Fire chapter 1 . 5/3/2005
I can't praise this one highly enough. As well as being among the best written FF fics on this site, it tells a dramatic and intriguing story that more fully fleshes out the characters and events of FFIV. Some of the directions you've taken the Rydia character in jar a little with my own recollection, but the internal handling (and development) of her character is consistent and believable - remarkably so. I remember reading Part 1 some time ago but not being able to find the sequels. Having now addressed that problem, I can say they're every bit as good.
triffickie chapter 1 . 5/29/2004
FFIV fanfiction comes in all shapes & sizes, some of it spectacularly good, some of it absolute crap. This was, unfortunately and fortunately, neither.

I do notice you can write. And you can certainly write well. And while I found this fic easy to read and follow, the text flow was nice and the action was all smoothly written, I found that this fic had a lot of things I just couldn't agree with.

I pretty much disagreed with your characterizations. I didn't think they were utterly out of character, but there were certain aspects I just couldn't find in the characters that I knew. A lot of times authors write these new aspects into characters and I'm all for that, I do it myself, of course, but this time, the writing, the story didn't convince me that these were how the characters in the game. They just didn't act how I imagined they would. I thought the dialogue was a bit flat at times - we could blame the slightly crooked & bland PSX translation in the game, but in my opinion, you didn't find the characters' voices in this fic very well. Rydia seems a bit too cruel towards Edge & Cecil and Rosa seem a bit too bland in my opinion.

One thing that annoyed me most about this fic, was the lack of Kain and how cutting him out set up the very usual setting of FF-fanfiction; two female characters, two male characters and numerous little romantic links between them. Also, because Kain has a huge importance to the plot and the character dynamics between the group & Rosa and Cecil, I think it creates an enormous gap.

I like the basic idea of Rydia, her fear & Bahamut and I think the structure of the story works fine, but in terms of characters, this fic doesn't really hold itself together in my opinion. I love all characters of the game but this one just didn't have what I loved about them.

Each to their own, this is just my opinion. Sorry I had to leave such a negative review, would've loved to like your fabulous effort, but I just didn't agree with it at all.
Indigo Steel chapter 1 . 5/19/2004
Oh my, what an amazing fic! Your characterizations are not what one usually sees for some of these characters, yet they fit very well knowing what we do about them from the game. The part of the game you've chosen to write about isn't something I've seen covered before, so kudos on the originality. The spelling and grammar are near flawless-sadly, something that is all too rare these days. And I must say your sense of humor is great, as well-the part about Edge at the end had me in stitches.
As someone who very rarely leaves reviews, I just wanted to thank you very much for giving me such a wonderful story to read. After this, I am looking forward to volume two very much!
Stealth Noodle chapter 1 . 5/19/2004
Wow. Just... wow.

This is wonderful. All kinds of wonderful, even. In particular, your characterization of Rydia has me squealing with unbridled glee. She's innocent and growing and earnest and so very, very teenaged, in the best possible sense of the word. The segment in which she first decides that she's fallen in love with Cecil had me giggling until I snorted, as did the ending.

Speaking of which, I really like how you've handled her relationships with the other characters. Everything feels nuanced and beautifully genuine to me, and I have no problem putting myself into Rydia's shoes at any point in the story.

I'm also impressed by how well you tied together elements like Rydia's fear of fire and Bahamut's method of attack (the whole Bahamut battle was awesome, by the way, the "clicking" in particular), and I liked Rydia's application of "You're a half" to herself. Once again, I am mindlessly squealing over the wonderfulness that is your Rydia. I'll calm down now. :)

Seeing that this is a Volume 1 also makes me a very happy reader. I look forward to seeing more from you!