Reviews for Zen and the Art of Mercenary Maintenance
Elaeazeph chapter 7 . 7/2/2006
I don't read a lot of Firefly fanfiction, but your title caught my attention. And I'm glad that it did! An intuitive and refreshing interpretation of events in the Firefly verse. My sole criticism is that the story degenerates into dialogue so often-your prose is so elegant that I regret each break for conversation! You are clearly a very bright and gifted writer, and your tale has been both engaging and enlightening to read. I appreciate the effort that you have put into this.
BlueEyedBrigadier chapter 7 . 7/2/2006
Gotta certainly have a lot of interesting eggs in one basket, SpaceAnJL. Gonna be fun to see how they get used;)

Kinda feel sorry for Inara...her natural naivete is just a juicy target for others' misuse. But I am glad she let River go without a verbal slobberknocker with Mal & co.; everyone wants what's best for River, but it's River who has to make the decisions about actions needing to be taken.

Oh...and River's little bit o'flirting? Priceless! Mal is so screwed;)

BlueEyedBrigadier chapter 6 . 6/28/2006
Much as I like Mal/Inara pairings...I have to agree with how you had things go down. Both of them are stubborn as all Hell, and neither is really suited towards each other's worlds. Compromise is possible, but I doubt either of them is ready for that bit of mature wisdom.

And Mal/River's my number #2 pairing for either Mal or River, so rock on SpaceAnJL!

brave lil lion chapter 6 . 6/28/2006
your work is always, always, worth the wait, SpaceAnJL. And far better than I could've guessed. And it breaks my heart to finally understand the gaping chasm between Mal and Inara, no one's explained it as well as you that I've read - blasphemy though this may be none of the show's writers ever did either in my opinion - but then they only had one season to love these characters, we've all had years.
GarniGal chapter 6 . 6/28/2006
This was beautiful. The words, especially the last lines, are just wonderful. You have a real talent - you've captured their feelings, their flaws and perfections in a way that one often thinks only a camera can.

dragongrrl chapter 6 . 6/28/2006
As usual, your latest chapter contains some powerful and extremely evocative writing, SpaceAnJl. My favorite imagery: "Ivory skin touched with frost, and the marks of dying bruises like pansies in snow." Simply exquisite! The confrontation between Mal and Inara, while fraught with anger, was also heartbreaking.

"They aren’t shouting any more. It’s too bad for that. Words have finally torn down the defences between them, left a divide over which they stare. One ‘verse. Two worlds."

So simply put, yet it says volumes. Kudos, SpaceAnJl. Thanks for sharing. More soon, please?

ElspethBates chapter 6 . 6/28/2006
“Rather be his albatross than a soiled dove. Or a sitting duck.”

Perfect! You had the actions and re-actions down just perfect!
PonyXpressinc chapter 6 . 6/28/2006
I can't find an awkward or badly tuned phrase anywhere in this chapter, it's sharp and the voices of the charecters are honest and true.

I do have favorite lines:

“And she feels desperately sorry for her, even as she curses the silly cow…” Largi comes through every time as a good an honourable person which is more than, in this story, you can say for Inara:

“They had no choice. And Gia...I want more from my life than to be some space pirate’s doxy, however she dresses it up.”

Hmm... Jaynes reaction to that would be interesting but Largi's would be even more so.


“Spread your wings, and still beat them against the bars. I choose to fly free.” The little click as she puts the box down on the table is so very final. “Rather be his albatross than a soiled dove. Or a sitting duck.”

Great finish, the whole situation in one sentance.

Inara seems terribly blind in this episode, but then I always have more sympathy for the 'tell 'em I ain't coming back' philosophy than than the neatly packaged, parcelled and ordered.

I'll shut up now :-)

brave lil lion chapter 1 . 6/25/2006
wow. I haven't even read the story you wrote that precedes this one, yet - but I gotta say - I love how you've built on Whedon's work. I don't like that Inara's starting to seem... Evil, much like other stories lately turning other characters bad - but it feels - real. true, and overall - I'm hooked. update soon please :-D!
BlueEyedBrigadier chapter 5 . 6/24/2006
Yep...I can only imagine how you're gonna have Mal react to Inara's offer concerning River. And everything I come up with is brilliant. So that means whatever you come up with has to be several times more exciting and spot-on:D

And Gia's thoughts on River becoming a Companion with extra work? that would be an interesting concept to explore;)

pengwin-jibberish chapter 5 . 6/24/2006
Hee. Loved the chapter and I can't wait to see Mal's reaction.
PonyXpressinc chapter 5 . 6/24/2006
I've been on holiday for a couple of weeks so got four chapters of this all in one go.

All my gushingly complimentary previous reviews for you work still apply and then some.

My breath is bated.

This is going to be interesting.

esprit noir chapter 4 . 6/22/2006
I'm intruigued. Interesting start you have here... Update soon!
Asamsaktha chapter 1 . 6/21/2006
Well written. I dig the "softer side" of Jayne perspective, surprisingly.
ArtemisPrime chapter 4 . 6/19/2006
The best chapter yet of your sequel. The conversation with Inara and Ilargia is very well done with some excellent introspection by both women.

I can't tell you how much I admire this woman you have created. She knows exactly who she is and is comfortable in her own skin. She doesn't want more than what she has and accepts those around her, even challenges them a little.

My favourite lines: "Arms wrap around her, and there is a large, warm presence at her back" and "He rests his chin on top of her head". The image you convey here is wonderfully simple and astounding. You captured one of my most favourite romantic actions. I can just see so clearly those two standing on the balconey, her being nearly enveloped by him and both at ease. Seeing Jayne that way is beautiful.

I await more of this fantastic series.
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