Reviews for Hostages to Fortune
charmony chapter 6 . 7/22/2012
Okay, for most of this I was on the edge of my seat, wailing in my head at the injustice of it all, and then cheering loudly when the crew came to Mal's rescue and River and Zoe got the bad guys. I love how these guys always triumph in the end. Just brilliant!
Marcus S. Lazarus chapter 6 . 2/18/2012
The intervening stories created a simple but effective picture of Mal and River’s developing relationship- nice touch with your idea about the need to draw a line between what Mal thinks and what he says in arguments-, and this one continues to create an intriguing continuation of the series.

The opening scene with Mal and River’s new relationship being analysed in depth was certainly effective, and Mal’s subsequent abduction created a worrying twist even before you revealed what they were after, to say nothing of the fundamental pointlessness of their goals; believing that they can analyse what makes Mal the man he is and scientifically duplicate it is like trying to isolate what made Shakespeare or Van Gogh the artists they were (Success in changing River’s physical capabilities isn’t the same as manipulating a man’s basic personality traits).

There might be a bit of work to do as far as the healing process goes in the aftermath, but they’ve made some definite progress, and things look like they’ll definitely continue to be interesting.
lje100smith chapter 6 . 10/12/2011
This chapter was something of an emotional rollorcoaster. From the humor at the beginning to the tension and anguish in the middle, ending with some hope for the future, I have to admit that my eyes sting slightly while reading this chapter even now.

Mal's little back and forth with Simon at the beginning was a good way to slightly offset the angst of this chapter. Even though I knew what was likely coming in this chapter, I still laughed the first time I read Mal's punchline about practice as a patient.

The details of Mal's feelings show how much he has been scarred by this encounter. Your descriptions of what Mal is used to are very consistent with his actions in the series. Also, River's determination to help Mal show how far she has come since she first escaped the Academy.

What Mal did in this chapter was a little shocking. It isn't difficult to imagine how Mal must have felt when he realized what had happened. I was even more surprised by how understanding River was the next morning. Finally, I liked how this chapter ended with both hope for Mal's recovery and him finding his faith again. Good job for your first multichapter story!
lje100smith chapter 5 . 10/12/2011
That was a clever way of bringing Inara into this story. Even now when Mal's life is in danger, it's obvious that the idea of Mal and River being together is painful for her. Honestly, I'm curious as to how Kaylee telling Inara would play out, and I wonder if you would be willing to write a short which addresses that storyline.

I had forgotten that Mal gained the ability to hear River in his head this early in your series. After the brief but detailed description of his torment, this was probably the only thing that kept him sane. Knowing how bad this was for Mal for just a few hours when he knew rescue was coming, he really can start to comprehend just how unbearable it was for a fourteen-year-old River who endured this for years and wasn't sure help was coming.

When you decide to portray someone as amoral and sadistic, you don't pull any punches. I was rather stunned when I read that Holmes drugged Chang to use in his experiment. Not only is it telling how BlueSun employees have no boundaries whatsoever, it also speaks to how much power they have in the government. Using a high-ranking military officer as a lab rat means that Holmes doesn't have fear of consequences.

River actually smiling when she saw Chang strapped to a table was slightly alarming, but she probably felt that it was fitting for the man who gave Mal to BlueSun's scientists for experiments would end up as an experiment himself. Also, she probably let him be because she wasn't feeling merciful. While I've never experienced it myself, I can imagine that a person will behave differently when someone they love is in danger.

At the very end we see that, unlike Niska's torture which was only physical, Mal has suffered severe mental wounds. These do not heal as easily, and Mal will need River's help more than ever.

I'd like to comment on River praying. In the pilot of the series, we saw that Mal was once religious from the cross he wore around his neck during the Battle of Serenity Valley. We also saw that he lost his faith between the war and when he took on Book and the Tams. In real life, many Jews who survived the Holocaust became atheist because they felt God had abandoned them. I was pleasantly surprised that River held onto faith even after her ordeal. On my account page I make a joke, but I really am a Christian. It was only a few words, but River praying was a significant detail to me.
lje100smith chapter 4 . 10/12/2011
I like the detail at the beginning, where you really show how each crew member is handling Mal's disappearance. I think it follows very closely how they behaved in the original series.

I'm glad that you included Mal's sharp wit given any situation. While I'm not one to watch graphic torture scenes, I'm pretty sure Firefly is the only series that had torture scenes which were made funny by the dialogue. I'm glad that you kept that detail.

Once again, I like how you made River's connection to Mal's mind a significant part of your story. It's not only very useful, but romantic in a strange way.
lje100smith chapter 3 . 10/10/2011
I didn't mention this in my last review, but I like how you make River being able to sense Mal's mind a major component of your story, along with how you expanded it in later stories.

Back to the here and now, I thought it was rather unrealistic that River was able to calm herself down so easily. However, I attribute that to this being the first time something serious has happened in the year since they got together, and how it would easily seem like that was a month ago if you didn't include the time in the description.

At the beginning of this story, the glitch that was talked about made me think that River was the one who would have been taken. This was certainly an interesting plot twist, and a good way to set up the next chapter.
lje100smith chapter 2 . 10/10/2011
It's always nice to get a good dose of fluffy drama mixed with some smut. The little banter between the couple combined with what Mal got River made me smile.

Of course, we get the dreaded cliffhanger in the last two sentences. It made my stomach drop the first time I read it.
lje100smith chapter 1 . 10/5/2011
Sinister foreshadowing mixed with fluffy happiness is a great way to open any story, and you pull that off many times with this being the first time. Not only do we get to see part of what the Alliance is planning, we also get to see how well Mal and River have fared since entering a relationship.
littlefaerychild chapter 6 . 10/4/2010
I absolutely loved it! You did a wonderful job,

"You do know you're my worst patient, don't you?"

"Huh. Thought I'da' got better with all the practice."

D
yesimadramaqueen chapter 6 . 1/28/2009
once again great job ]
Dirt Rider 712 chapter 6 . 12/19/2008
Another awesome story!

Dirt Rider
Boombaye1 chapter 2 . 10/11/2008
Read this 'un.

Gonna move on to the next ones.
Boombaye1 chapter 1 . 10/11/2008
Reading this things bring about a bout of nostalgia.

Please, man, don't you care about us ?

Just 3 updates a week and I'll bye happy !
librarywitch chapter 6 . 8/16/2008
Oh I wish this one could have been a script! Would have loved to see this one on the screen. This was awesome! Well done. You have the'verse down to a T. Techno, speech patterns, everything. A Pleasure to read.
librarywitch chapter 3 . 8/15/2008
Swear I am going to sleep now. This is awesome, fantastic, shall I continue? Great job, well written, true to the characters, I would go on but my pillow is calling.
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