Reviews for Smoke and Mirrors
Kist chapter 17 . 7/6/2014
I was a bit torn on my feelings on this story. I liked the originality of the idea (or at least, it's the first Sabe is a rejected Jedi trainee fic that I've ever read) and the pacing was very well done. The "flashbacks" were well timed yet not overly used (just enough to carry the right message yet not so much that it becomes "filler" material). All in all, the story and writing style had a nice flow to it.

However, the biggest drawback I had was that the main character was difficult to relate to; I want to like her and root for her (and I did as the story progressed), but it's hard to like someone who initially appears to be reckless and give little though to her actions prior to racing off to action. Over the course of the story, we learned more about her background, growing up in the seedy underworld, where even the slightest hesitation or failure to follow instinct could literally mean death-which makes sense that she comes across as "reckless" and "having no regard for the safety of one's skin" to her companions (who had much more sheltered/secure childhoods). From that perspective, I understood her prior behavior and why she acted out at the temple, but on the first time through, it wasn't quite as clear that her actions were not stupidity or based on ill-will but long engraved survivor instincts.
While I appreciate the gradual reveal of her past and her relationship to Obi-Wan & Qui-Gon, it might not have been so bad to relate some of her earlier childhood as well.
For example, when she and Padame are talking alone before Padame left with Qui-Gon, instead of just skimming over the fact that she knows the jedi you could develop a more sympathetic scene. Maybe she fidgets and avoids eye contact (understanding considering who she just came in contact with), and Padame, knowing her as well as she does, realizes its more than just concern about being discovered. She can reassure her friend by touching her arm and saying something like, "Sabe, this is Tatooine, not the lower ring of Coruscant. I'm not going to do anything foolish, and I'm not alone like..." and the words trailed off to things unspoken, secrets between friends so old and so familiar that they practically lived each others stories. "I'll be fine Sabe," she said firmly, "I'm not helpless. I'm not."
Something like that would also emphasis the closeness of Padame's and Sabe's relationship earlier on-I didn't even realize they were friends or close in any way until much later in the story as their initial interactions seemed rather closed off and almost... cold when we first meet them.

But what I loved about this story, absolutely loved, was the way you ended it. Because the story of Padame & Anakin is so obsessed over in the movies, this was a fascinating twist on a same old story. First there is Obi-Wan's rightful concern about Anakin's attachment with perhaps a hint of guilt for not having intervened earlier, yet his persistent need to protect his padawan, to shield him still from the judgement of others, and his need to teach him, finally, the true risk of such attachments. But then the switch comes, and you can feel Anikin's relief, his careless joy, and his unintentional spit on the real victim by not mourning her loss equally. We cannot blame Anakin for this, but to see the simultaneous switch in Obi-Wan who goes from sadness but acceptance to confusion, pain, and even fear. Suddenly, he is the one needing a shield, suddenly he is the one needing to reevaluate the costs of attachment-and watching it through his eyes, how one person's happiness can spin right around to absolute agony for another, how someone, without realizing it, could cause so much pain in the person they are sitting next to just by their sheer radiation of joy because it isn't HIS precious person that was killed, just some no-named body guard. That scene was beautiful. So many emotions ran through the gamut in such a short period of time, and the irony of Obi-Wan's initial calm acceptance, his appearance of a wise teacher and protector dissolves completely showing that in that moment, he is the one needing shielding, he is the one needing to guard his emotions away from prying eyes, he is the one struggling with the jedi's rules of attachment, and the 180 turn around from where he stood before feels almost as though he has spun the world on its head and is finally seeing it for the first time.
Then what happens? He pauses, quietly, and puts together his face. Duty comes first; responsibility and a padawan that still depends on him, he rises, squares his shoulders, and doesn't look back. It is a very Obi-Wan moment, and while you can feel his pain, you can also feel him growing from it, feel him becoming the man we will come to know in the later series. Great scene. Great ending.
ErinKenobi2893 chapter 9 . 6/11/2014
For the love of the Force, you had me laughing even as I was blushing! Poor Obi-Wan. And yes, that is JUST like Anakin.
bigtomato chapter 15 . 4/26/2014
Haha i liked the your image of Jar Jar actually being good at something like playing the flute. It makes a nice change from the usual 'I Hate Jar Jar Binks' crowd. :)

For a moment or two a chapter or two back I actually pictured Sabé as an Emperor's Hand later in life. :D
bigtomato chapter 12 . 4/26/2014
Oh my, I may turn into a Padmé / Sabé shipper... temporarily... Can't get the idea out of my head now. Arghhhh! So jealous.
bigtomato chapter 9 . 4/26/2014
*howls with laughter watching Obi-Wan in combat in pink undies*
The Three March Hares chapter 9 . 2/26/2014
Lavender skivvies. I love it!
TheLadyLeFay chapter 17 . 2/11/2012
This story is amazing! I know you wrote it a few years ago but i had to leave a review anyways! I just read the entire thing, and loved every moment of it. You did such an amazing job giving Sabe such depth, and showing her close relationship with Padme, and everyone! Plus I love that you included the Obi-Wan romantic aspect!
Rehabilitated Sith chapter 17 . 8/26/2011
BookLover11 chapter 1 . 5/12/2011
This was so good! I think this has to be the best version of Sabe I've seen so far!
x-Goody2Shoes-x chapter 17 . 1/6/2009
Well, in a word: epic. I loved every moment of it. You were faithful to the PM storyline, yet managed to weave your own original storylines throughout. It was funny, romantic, sad, happy... all sorts. I especially loved that things were still sort of unresolved and "will they? Won't they?" between Obi-Wan and Sabe - it felt more realistic, somehow. Also, in reply to someone's earleir review: yes,the handmaiden was named Corde, and Padme may have named her - in the prescence of the Captain, and nobody else. It doesn't mean anyone else would have known - all they'd have known was Padme lived and one of her (many) handmaidens died. Let's face it, all her haindmaidens look identical, especially in mathcing outfits/make-up. Overall, loved it. Now I;m off to get addicted to your sequel. Keep writing!
Carryon14 chapter 10 . 6/28/2008
I'm of the opinion that no matter how long a story hasn't been updated (that just my poke to get you to write the Grey Divide), the author still reads the reviews, so here's to hoping.

I've read this numerous times, so wanted to pick a favorite chapter to review, but there were too many, so I just picked the obvious one. [and just curious, what's your mind's picture of Obi-wan? is it Ewan McGregor? Is it some reverse-extrapolated Alec Guinness in his 30s, or some blend of both with a dash of Gregory Peck? and who's Sabe?] Wondering: do you work mostly in prose? That's just because I feel very safe in your stories - safe's not the right word - but I feel the story knows where it's going, and whatever it reveals to us is usually the product of some larger pre-existing vision, chopped up fine and sprinkled and layered through the narrative. That is indicative of a great deal of mental complexity - and since I have never found myself capable of plotting anything, I think it is an amazing skill you have. Where do these plot bunnies come from? And I do hope that one day your job and your creative life will work out into a happy mutually-informing intermediate state, and not only will you finish Grey Divide, I'll be reading a book somewhere, and realize, with the feeling of a saucepan hitting me upside the head, that you wrote it. But this is getting weird (though the whole phenomenon of fanfic is a little strange).

There is also an undertone of unresolved things running through - rather, a pile of unresolved things that are carried along. Sabe's bitterness, Obi-wan's coldness, even the hard, sharp angles of Padme in her imperious moments being the results . The baggage people carry when they fail in something (becoming a Jedi) or succeed in something (becoming a Jedi, a queen). And the culmination of either ending in a strange, lonely independence, a self-consciousness of the unimaginable maybes, the what if's, and also of the undeniable power of the iron-clad rules by which a life is lived. And then to say to this - the Obi-wan-esque view of the Unifying Force, the hand of Fate - what Qui-Gon (sanest person in this thing) says, that everything is unwritten...the trajectory and the control of the story seems to indicate a hand of author/fate. but the moments themselves are beautiful, too, each in each.

Thank you. I really hope you continue.
Wiggy88 chapter 17 . 6/16/2007
Umm there is a little error in the story because Padme Clearly states that the handmaiden that died on the platform is named Dorme, at least in the movie that is.
FuckMyLife1989 chapter 8 . 2/27/2007
Great story so far!

I like the concept.
sanchezkm chapter 17 . 9/14/2006
I've enjoyed this so much. You've managed to capture and keep my attention for the entire fic, which is a huge achievement considering I rarely finish star wars fics. I can't wait to start reading the sequel!
Emerald Tiara chapter 17 . 8/16/2006
This was a really good story.
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