Reviews for The Art of Losing
Carikube chapter 2 . 10/11/2006
Between you posting this chapter and the last, I could not get this story out of my head. I imagined what would happen when Dean found Sam. I imagined how he would react, what he would do, how he would get help for his brother. But all of my imagination fell so short of what you actually presented. And for that I thank you!

This story is shockingly powerful. Something I would NEVER want to see on screen… but that in fiction is an incredible snapshot of the strength of the human spirit. Sam is so strong and it takes a lot to break someone who is that strong. But once broken… it takes love and the strength of another to put the pieces back into place.

I’m rambling, but I can’t even begin to describe how powerful this story is. This chapter exceeded all of my wildest expectations. I’ve now read it several times and each time it leaves me with raw hope. Strangely enough, this story helps me to deal with the new season and all the angst that Kripke is dishing out. I sometimes lose sight of the strength of the characters – I fear that they could be irreparably broken. Then a story like this comes along and it paints in such vividness the reason why this series is so powerful – and the reason why these characters are so loved for their strength, their devotion to each other and their courage in the face of adversity that would break lesser beings.

Dean’s search for his brother is realistic and played out at just the right pace to make brutally known the time that has already passed. All that Sam experienced in the last chapter is replayed in my mind as Dean searches, and I grow increasingly fearful of what Dean will find. But mostly, how he will deal with what has been done to his brother.

When Dean finds Sam – that is where your fiction crosses the boundary and becomes real. You have avoided all clichés and driven home to the psychological centre of us all. Dean’s recognition of the figure on the table, the way his mind processes it but doesn’t process it. Shocked – not too crippled to be effective – but crippled enough to make it blindingly real for me as a reader and it makes me FEEL. I mean, really FEEL.

Through Dean’s escape from the mine, to the rescue and then the hospital, my mind is numb but my heart screams for release from the painful constriction. I find myself clutching at that thin line of hope that now that Dean has Sam, that all will be okay. But there’s no false fictional tie up here, it’s real life and real life is brutal and raw and heart-breaking. And things get worse before they get better, and that line of hope wears thin.

If I were to truly pick out lines, I would be repeating the whole chapter. But there is one that particularly caught me.

** They shush him, talk quietly to him, lulling him so carefully into a stupor that Dean doesn’t resist when they pull Sam from his arms.

I’ve read so many rescue scenes across fandoms but never have I read one as powerful as this. In one simple sentence you capture Dean’s shock, Sam’s helplessness and the paramedic’s solid training in dealing with traumatized victims. One simple sentence. That, my friend, is a gift!

The need for Sam to be continually sedated almost brings me entirely undone. In all my imaginings this occurred to me, but didn’t become brutal and real until I read it on the page. Then, it broke my heart. For both boys, but mostly for Dean – I couldn’t imagine experiencing that and being able to go on. Once again, the resilience of the human spirit is hammered home to me in all its beautiful glory. But just how far can that thin line of hope stretch before it breaks and all is lost.

Then Sam wakes up – really wakes up and I feel that I have a chance.

And, of course, I have read the last chapter (wherein you delivered beyond my wildest expecations). I will review it soon.
Jellicle chapter 3 . 10/11/2006
That was painful and sometimes I had to skip some parts, but yeah, you had a purpose for it, and it all made sense, your idea made sense in the end.

Great writing.
onemediumdrip chapter 3 . 10/11/2006
That is quite possibly the best thing I have ever read in all my time of being obsessed with fanfiction. I applaud you greatly.

That was... inspiring! Wow... Very good job with this one! I'm looking forward to your next story!
princess serena chapter 3 . 10/11/2006
my god, that was a brilliantly written story. Really ppowerful, amazing (yet slightly disturbing!) imagery, and a fantastic storyline! You did a great job and i cried so much! Well done!
ChloeNyme chapter 3 . 10/10/2006
It took me a while to phrase what I wanted to say in this review. Actually at first I couldn't even describe how I felt after reading this chapter.

To be honest the feelings portrayed by this chapter took me by suprise, I wasn't prepared for this particular style of writing. Unlike the previous chapters and many of your other stories I felt no connection to the Sam. I felt more like an observer to this chapter while I was reading it. I felt no emotional connection to the Sam or his conflicts. And, I'm not going to lie, at first i was disappointed. I usually easily get into the mindset of the characters (especially with the help of your fabulous writing). But then I started thinking about it. Without even realizing it I in fact WAS emotionally tied to Sam. I felt nothing much like he felt nothing. I felt like an observer because he felt like an observer to his life. I didn't care that the thing was dead nor it's background because Sam didn't care, the damage was done.

And because of this I must say you have truly WOWed me once again. I still have no idea how you did it, but you honestly have taken me to a level of empathy I never thought possible. (And I do mean empathy, not sympathy) Through reading this story, I have FELT Sam's pain and road to recovery like it was my own (a bit overly dramatic i realize...and I know i could never comprehend the pain of being stretched...okay moving on...)

I do not know if this is what you had planned. But I must say you have without a doubt succeeded in creating the one of the most insightful stories i have ever read.

And I must say, thank you for writing this marvelous piece. I still can't get over how great it was.

PS: You are now without a doubt my absolute favorite author
Starliteyes17 chapter 3 . 10/10/2006
Limp!Sam is now Redeemed!Sam! *cheers in appreciation*

I loved how you ended this without making everything perfect again. Too often I see fics that feel so real - at least real enough to fit into the world of Supernatural - until you get to the end, when suddenly - poof! - everything is all right again. Kudos to you for being brave enough not to completely fix the boys, and especially Sam, who deserves it so much. Not that you haven't shown us before that you can do this (Death's Other Kingdom gave me PTSD, myself), but I don't think I've ever told let you know I appreciate that about your writing.

I love how you portray Dean here, too. You make his need for revenge so subtle, but still prevalent. Dean needs to be fixing something all the time, and you stick straight with canon but without going too far, which is a tough to uphold, but rare and wonderful gift.

This is hopeful and hopeless at the same time. It's going to take me a while to shake the shivers in my soul out, but that's why I love it so much. Thanks Faye.
Riana1 chapter 3 . 10/10/2006
Beautiful. You move me.
carocali chapter 3 . 10/10/2006
Um, wow! I'm just in pain! Poor boys! They both are tortured in this story! I love Dean and his puppy dog way to do everything to try and make Sam smile. And Sam trying to do the right thing and make Dean happy by pretending everything is alright. Ah!

I really liked this:

"The demon has always tested him in this, taking the things he holds dearest and taunting him with dreams and powers he'll never truly understand. And Sam knows there will come a day when he and the demon will stand face to face and Sam will be tested beyond what he can now comprehend and that his success or failure will dictate the future for all of them."

Oh God, I can't wait for that day! I can't wait to see how Sam reacts the next time he and the Demon meet. Until then, I have your wonderful fics to get me through!


IMTheresa chapter 3 . 10/10/2006
I like how the thing that got Sam wasn't really the star of the story. And it's not Sam or Dean who is the star either. It's the idea of survival, which may be all the Winchesters ever have.
Stefanie Dale chapter 3 . 10/10/2006
Very, very good! I liked the subsequent focus on Sam's recovery, so to speak - the "what happens next" after Dean rescues him. Because that's where the heart of the story is. Yes, he was tortured, but it's really about how he deals with what he went through and whether or not he can go on (and yes, he can! Woo!). The detail-geek in me was happy - well, not "happy," but you know - that you brought up the breathing difficulty on the rack, not just the stretching, and how both brothers are coping. The reference to Sam's height with the knowledge of what he went through was a nice touch. I like how you found simple, everyday things like that which reminded Sam and Dean of what happened and they then had to deal with. Very, very good!
angel679 chapter 3 . 10/10/2006
Great chapter Im guessing the end cause it had that feel and a perfect place to leave it. Yes Sam is definitly strong and although hes probably been broken more than once he is a survivor even though sometimes Im sure he wonders why. Loved the story.
LoveJeter chapter 3 . 10/10/2006
I really wanted to go to bed after reading the first chapter cause I figured it would take me a while to read but I just had to see what happened next. Oh the torture, oh the pain. What a great and thought provoking story.
amy jonas chapter 3 . 10/10/2006
I'm so sorry I freaked in my last review. I really thought this was going to be a senseless torture fic (knowing how you love Limp!Sam). But it's you and I should have trusted you.

I was blown away by how you connected what happened to Sam to the bigger picture with the demon.

And honestly...with Devil's Trap and how Season 2 is progressing I think they may be progressing to have Sam learn this same important lessen and prepare him for the battle with the demon.

This story was incredibly brilliant. You are incredidibly brilliant and now I understand why Sam's torure and pain had to be so vivid and disturbing. The reader needed to understand Sam's journey and come with him to his realization at the end.

thnak you Faye

JJ Phoenix chapter 3 . 10/10/2006

Thanks for letting Dean kill it. :D

I don't know what to tell you other than I adore this! But you already knew that.

- me
PointOfView chapter 3 . 10/10/2006
You know I love limpSam but *redeemed* Sam is the best Sam of all! And I *so* think you captured strong Sam in this last chapter! The guy doesn't just take a licking and keep on ticking he actually grows out of an experience like this. GROWS! FINDS STRENGTH! What an amazing person you've captured in the character of Sam Winchester! I LOVE IT!

((Yes, now there is justice.

But justice isn’t peace.

Vengeance isn’t healing.

But that’s a lesson that Sam isn’t sure any of them are ready to learn.))

Please mail this to Kripke. PLEASE!

((Next time...

Next time Sam will cling to the story of his mother, the goodness that Jess represented, the power and steadfastness of his brother. He will cling to who those things made him, the person he was and is and would forever be.

Because maybe winning isn't about what he gains, but about what he doesn't lose.))

*sigh* How do you know just what to write? I am in total awe of your talent! Seriously beautiful stuff!

Thanks so much for writing such an excellent fic!
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