Reviews for Devotion
Elizabeth chapter 1 . 10/22/2015
I am shaken up so badly by this, I honestly don't know if I'll be able to sleep. That being said; BRAVO for delivering such a story! As horrifying as it is, it is extremely well written and definitely forced me to look at some things in the universe and characters that I've glossed over. I've thought about these things but only at the edges never quite wanting to go there, but you did. Thank you for the roller coaster ride. I'm gonna go sob in a corner now.
klepto-maniac0 chapter 1 . 10/20/2015
I love every second of this. It's hard for me to articulate which details exactly stand out, but everything is just really, really good. The contrast between Rinoa's upbringing and what SeeD is really capable of is just perfect. Good work.
SilentStarlightSky chapter 1 . 4/4/2015
Gritty & HORRIFYING. Scary & very interesting. Don't read it if you're squeamish.
SilverNocturne chapter 1 . 1/20/2014
It's been a long time since I've read a fic this good. A more realistic take of doing absolutely EVERYTHING for love.

Best FVIII story ever.
Sdarian chapter 1 . 1/30/2012
This was okay. While the ending was pretty downer, I'd think that just caught her at a bad moment. I'm sure that given time she'd get over it.
Happy Youkai chapter 1 . 4/19/2011
This is fantastic! It's a really original look at their relationship and what could happen with a truly haunting conclusion. I thought that having the last chapter out of chronological order was a perfect way to end the story.

LissaCubed chapter 1 . 2/2/2011
I read all your FF8 fanfiction before playing the game. I didn't like the game, and probably part of the reason I didn't like the plot is that your fanfiction changed my perceptions of the game so much. What's especially horrifying about this fic and Revelation is that they feel more real than the events that happened in the game. The playable characters (except for Rinoa) are mercenaries who were trained in killing and war since the age of 12, but the potential for brutal mayhem was never realized, and the game creators seemed to ignore the fact that they created a world where children kill.

This story... made my skin crawl, made me nauseated, horrified me. You're absolutely brilliant at creating suspense and mood, and evoking emotions in the reader.
Clement Rage chapter 1 . 12/5/2010
Another brilliant entry. The whole 'child mercenaries' thing always bothered me, but surprisingly few writers explore it. Again, the quality of your writing defies constructive criticism, so I'll keep this brief.

Is there a reason Xu dies gruesomely in ALL your fanfiction?

And Julia Heartily died in a car crash by the way, not from a disease.

Yep, that's my only criticism for a story of thirty thousand words.
Astarael00 chapter 1 . 6/7/2010
Bluegoat chapter 1 . 10/29/2009
This might be my favorite work of yours. As usual, it is extremely well-written. I enjoyed your decision to put the segments of your story out of chronological order. It did create a contrast as you said you had hoped it would. Also the quote you chose for an opener was perfect for this.

I loved your Xu. Previously I didn't care much for that character, but you have made her great! (I guess I think harsh, cold, and basically evil characters are fun.) Loved the mystery preceding her sudden appearance. The duel you described was very entertaining and intense, and the mechanical coldness of your SeeD and the whole Black Asphodel thing were excellent.

You managed to twist the idea of everlasting love into a horrifying nightmare. Squall is actually scary! As with your other stories, the characterization is very good. Rinoa is still a little naive and childish without being obnoxious. Only a handful of typos, no big deal. I love this fic.
Burke chapter 1 . 1/7/2009
Well, this review is quite a bit late, I guess. So late that I feel awkward writing it, since I don't know if anything you are going to find in it is even relevant to you anymore. Or if you even check this page or the e-mail attached to this account. In any case though, I am compelled to say a few things. I followed a trail of author's Favorites while browsing one day a couple weeks ago and came across 'Story,' and since then I've been addicted to reading your stuff. I haven't reviewed anything yet, mostly because I didn't want to end up reviewing everything and gushing uselessly like a squealy fanboy (even if that's totally what I am). Most of your stories, I can't really say anything about anyway, other than 'Wow' and translating 'OMG' into articulate words a bunch of times in slightly different ways, which I figure probably gets obnoxious when done to excess. This one here is the only one I found that I felt I could say something mildly constructive about. And really, I don't even know if my 'criticism' is helpful, or just annoying, since in the end it probably comes down to personally preference, as there are entire genres of movies that specialize in this sort of trope, proving there is certainly an audience that enjoys and appreciates it.

The descriptions, as always, are fantastic. As is the general characterization, and making them feel 'natural,' for the most part. These things are so good that - while I will eagerly suckle at any new bit of fanfic you decide to put up like a desperate starving piglet - I wish you had original published novels instead of this stuff so that more than this tiny corner of the internet that reads Final Fantasy fanfiction could appreciate how good you are.

I enjoy the basic and recurrent concept of exploring the function of Garden and SeeDs. I think it had a whole lot of potential in the game that was never even touched on. I can't say I ever thought this when I was actually actively playing the game (cause I was like 14 at the time, and was caught up in the love a completely manly way of course...), but afterwards, when I read fics where Garden was just sort of treated as this benevolent, vaguely wuxia-esque protector organization despite the fact that SeeDs are literally mercenaries sold to the highest bidder according to the game's storyline, it didn't feel right to me. So I like how you treat it, and in a lot of ways I agree, even if I do think in some instances it gets taken a bit far in some of your fics.

I also like how you characterize Squall and Rinoa (I know I mentioned characterization already in the second paragraph. sh). Particularly Rinoa - aside from in Aftershock, which seemed kind of reaching to me - as she is the odd man of the party, and you don't really get into her head that much in the game like you do Squall. I like the combination of idealism, petty selfishness, love, neediness, childish anger, etc. and how it interacts with her trying to grow in magnanimity and cope with her newfound amazing and potentially catastrophic power, as well as become accustomed to the SeeD 'lifestyle.' It makes her very human, very much still a teenaged girl, despite being sort of a demigod by the game's standards. I read very few authors that manage that kind of balance with her; most of them will exaggerate one of the above traits to the point of ridiculousness until it overshadows everything and defines her instead of just being a part of her. I prefer your Rinoa to all the others, and wish with my fanboyish heart that you would be nice to her at the end of one of your stories and not have her having completely lost hope/faith in everything she used to believe in. ;_; That's going off on a tangent though.

Anyway, my only real criticism of this story, if it is indeed a criticism at all and not just me whining or something, is that there is no resounding moral theme or statement here. Not that that's a requirement of a story by any means, but the rest of your patented 'gruesome revelations' have all had a pretty profound emotional resonance. They have ended or resolved themselves in such a way as to confront a difficult or even downright horrifying moral or ethical issue. I would really like to elaborate more, but I don't want to spoil your fics to anyone who sees this and might not have read them all, so I'm kind of just left flailing here and hoping that you get what I'm trying to say. But in any case, the rest of your stories felt like they had a deeper meaning that was integral to the story (including That Which Devours, despite the fact that that story is primarily a satire). This one sort of felt like the 'twist' was added for shock value, as the story was pretty complete without it, and even included a specific - if more minor than your usual - moral issue for the characters to wrestle with. Less of a monstrous and inescapable Lovecraftian truth here, and more of a stock horror movie inspired tack-on or a Shoot the Shaggy Dog twist. Whereas similar stories, like Trigger, Revelation, TWD, Forever Rachel and Monster have left me feeling sort of dazed, and/or thinking 'wow, that is heavy shit,' this just kind of made me say 'bah,' since it was presented in sort of the same way that a Sci-Fi Originals horror movie might show you in the last 15sec that the monster(s) that the heroes spent the last two hours trying to kill isn't REALLY dead after all and is in fact closing in to kill them, to no real end. All it does is make me feel like nothing was gained.

I dunno. Maybe I'm looking at it wrong. I guess it sort of fits in with the basic themes of some of your other stories, but this one sort of feels hollow to me. Others have stayed with me and had me thinking about them for days after I read them. This one doesn't feel that way. It feels more like it was an inevitability because the basic concept of twisted endings has become a meme the same Xu's fate has become a meme. As opposed to because it was an inherent necessity to the 'soul' of the story.

Perhaps it was the lack of resolution that makes me feel this way. I think that 'How far would you go?' is a great topic with a lot of meat to it in the FF8 canon, but the ultimate issues are never confronted. Doesn't feel like it does the idea justice. Though of course I can see the aversion you might have to making the story even longer, or continuing it so long after all the actual confrontations have been resolved.

Anyhow, that is my take. Sorry for rambling, and sorry for the inconvenience of having to read this. Haha. Hope to see more stories from you in the future regardless, whatever form they might be in.
screamingbambii chapter 1 . 1/1/2009
"Happilly ever after" has never been so absolutely horrifying! Truly gruesome, yet very well written. I enjoyed it and, as of now, am a huge fan. The fic evokes emotions that slightly frighten me. The only thing that kept me from throwing up was the fact that I was trapped in the living room. I sort of want to hit you for murdering every girls cliche view of a knight in shining armor, I liked it though (not the part where I was forced to choke back bile, but reading I enjoyed)! Keep up the good work, as bone chilling as it may seem -.
piston heart chapter 1 . 12/16/2008
this story hurt me. it made me shake and shiver and i had to stand up to get away from it a few times, but it was all in a good way. very few stories on ffnet can truly invoke emotions in me, and this was one of them.

thank you for writing this horrifyingly wonderful story. it's... amazing.

angel-kamui chapter 1 . 11/4/2008
After reading "Revelation" I just had to look at your profile and see what other stories you wrote with FF8 characters. This story was awesome and featured my favorite pair in the game (which is Squall and Rinoa of course). It was kind of sad and at the same so thrilling to read that Squall would do anything (even torture an innocent person, which was morbid by the way) just for his devotion and love for Rinoa. And Rinoa's mind link with Squall was a very interested concept concerning the powers that a Sorceress may have.

Also, not many stories mention SeeD protocols (even if they're not presented in the game), so I really liked the Black Asphodel protocol you created because any military group should have protocols for just about everything. It was sad that Xu didn't backed down because of the mission and, of course, Squall wasn't going to back down either. So according to the protocol, their fight and the end of it was fitting, but at the same time it was cruel. Your concept of the SeeDs as trained mercenaries is very realistic and I really liked it too.

Overall, another excellent story! Great job! _
Against Everything chapter 1 . 3/2/2008
Holy crap. This was horrible in the best way possible. Absolutely brilliant. It's incredible how so few people see how sick and twisted the whole concept of teenage mercenaries really is. Kudos, DK, and write more stuff.

Now, I think I'll go vomit and weep in the most manly way possible.
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