|Reviews for Dancing in the Shadows|
| Daughter of Olorin chapter 26 . 11/11/2008
Beautiful: “The distance separating him from his son seemed suddenly vast, the single stride required to bridge it the culmination of a lifetime of hopes and fears, dreams and possibilities.” Loved this too: “There were no doubts, no questions in his mind, as he stared down at the final, absolute proof of his humanity.” I wondered how Catherine was going to find Diana given the vastness of the city but it’s a brilliant idea having everyone connected with the tunnels on the lookout as well. I love the interaction between Diana, Catherine, and all the people Below. A well-written scene. “And he was starting to think the damned sandwich guy knew more about what went on in this city than he did.”—Well, maybe because he generally does. _ Great line.
| Daughter of Olorin chapter 24 . 11/10/2008
Nice line: “His stride as he crossed the room to open the door made her think of a panther, or maybe a mountain lion—elegant, silent, and deadly.” At first, I was rather bothered that Vincent didn’t bother to tell Catherine about him leaving to confront Gabriel or at least tell her ‘goodbye.’ But then, I realized that I don’t think she would have let him go without her. No matter what he said or did, I believe she would have found a way to follow and he knows that. So, I definitely wasn’t surprised when she went to Joe to find Diana.
Btw, I think Catherine’s character is absolutely fine for what she’s been through. Lord, the woman was held captive for, what was it, six months, gave birth, had the baby taken away, then literally died and came back to life, almost died again, has probably been going through post-partum depression not to mention having her entire life turned upside down, and then dealing with her child missing. Yes, I would say she would be “weak” both physically and emotionally.
| Daughter of Olorin chapter 22 . 11/10/2008
As a LOTR fan, I adored this line: “Only Tolkein could give a ring that much power.” This a great line after the waking dream: “And found himself alone in his chamber as the single candle flickered and went out.” Given this line, I find it rather interesting that the next task that Catherine takes on Below is candle-making—and that it’s a “very forgiving craft.” Finally, the “what happens next. . .” conversation. The way Catherine has slowly made her way into the underground community doesn’t surprise me that she wants to remain there and be a part of them. For over six months, anything that identified her was taken away and now she has a clean slate to either identify herself as being a part of Below or identifying herself with Above. When all that matters, though, is taken away, she finds out what actually mattered and what she thought mattered and that’s exactly what I see her saying and what I see in her decision. Now the tricky part is staying “dead” or revealing herself as being alive. Beautiful: “only to return almost immediately for a sensual opening bid in a mating ritual both as old as time and as new as possibility.” This was great writing too: “she stretched out her arms toward it, arching against him as her soul shattered into a million pieces that sparkled like diamonds in the candlelight.”
Thanks for all the review replies. I want to reply back to some of things in them, so I’ll get to them a little along the way. Btw, in regards to my surprise of Diana being in the fic, that was before I knew that you were sticking as close to canon as possible. Had I known that, I wouldn’t be surprised at all.
| Daughter of Olorin chapter 21 . 11/8/2008
Nice reunion at the beginning. I completely agree with Vincent about Diana being their only hope but that they can also trust her. Of course, I already know the rest of the story but I can see how he’s thinking this at this point. I’m so glad that he finally decided to tell her and accept her help. (Btw, that scene was superb and blended into canon so well.) I practically squealed when Father asked Vincent if he would ask Catherine to marry him. If she remains ‘dead,’ it would only be a natural extension of their relationship. If she returns to Above, then it could be very tricky. I was surprised at the birth certificate and ss number myself but I love the idea of Peter doing this and putting the papers away to practically forget about them. At least Peter gets to find out that Catherine is still alive. But, hmm, what to do about the will? I supposed it doesn’t hurt to execute it since technically Catherine gets the majority of it back through Vincent.
| Daughter of Olorin chapter 20 . 11/8/2008
I loved this exchange, even if it’s sad and despairing: “What kind of legacy is that to leave our people?" "It's a legacy of love," Mary said. "The capacity to love ourselves, and to love each other." "I'm afraid love holds no sway where fate has taken Vincent and Catherine." Why exactly did Vincent go to her grave if she was alive? Is it because the cemetery is on the way to Below and he could only seek out her grave before he collapsed? Or if he thought he’d die, he’d die “with her”? I suppose Catherine went to the grave because that’s where she felt him? I loved Joe’s excitement and the way you described it when he tells Diana what happened in the cab. I just wish he didn’t have to feel so disappointed when she didn’t respond the way he wanted.
| Daughter of Olorin chapter 18 . 11/4/2008
Wonderful statement on Vincent’s part: “He felt blessed. Complete. As though, for the first time in his life, he truly knew who he was and where he belonged.” He so deserves that and yet it all has to be broken if he leaves. I loved how Catherine talked about her captivity and how she survived by talking to the baby and such. It was so well done. I wonder if there’s symbolism behind Catherine choosing to help in the clothing storeroom. Clothes are what covers us—after being stripped of all she had in captivity, she’s now clothing herself in love and community. Just as well, clothing hides and she’s hiding her despair behind them. Or even so, learning to quilt or remaking the clothes is her remaking her life with the tattered remains. And maybe, I’m reading way too much into it. _ I know you said in your reply that you were sticking as close to canon as possible, but I had hoped, just maybe, maybe that Eliot would survive and we could still do this. But alas, it was not in the stars. But, wait, I just got it! I realized that we are meant to think that the comets blaze forth for Vincent and be deceived but they are really heralding Eliot’s. Wow, I couldn’t have missed that more when I watched it. At least he got heaven’s send-off.
| Daughter of Olorin chapter 16 . 11/3/2008
I would love it if Joe and Diana hook up. Joe has been interested in Catherine for far too long and a few too many bad dates, he really needs a good woman who understands his work and vice versa. Diana’s so serious, she needs someone like Joe who can be serious when necessary but still be a relaxed, light-hearted guy. Beautiful line: “A young man, standing on the cusp of adulthood, and an old one, the panoply of life drifting behind him like the wake of a great ship—that men such as these should have met such brutal ends seemed profoundly unjust.” Another great line: “He was Catherine's possibility, and she was his. It was a breathtaking revelation—as if a small stone whose form he'd admired and which he'd carried in his pocket like a talisman had suddenly revealed itself to be a flawless diamond.” As to the rest of the chapter, so beautifully done. I’m very impressed. I loved it!
| Daughter of Olorin chapter 15 . 10/30/2008
Good line: “Why, he wondered, did girls always scream? It was such a useless waste of energy, and it always gave away their position.” Sounds exactly like him. And this one too: “There were tears in her voice. And terror. He liked the terror. Relished it. It gave him power.” Nice imagery of there being tears in her voice. I’m not surprised that Catherine needs to feel useful. The fact that she’s sat still for so long is rather amazing. _ Still loving the theme of reversal of the opposite one being Above or Below.
| Daughter of Olorin chapter 13 . 10/27/2008
I had mostly forgotten about Steven and Brooke, mostly through willful desire to forget the tragedy of his death. The episode with Snow is one of my least favorite, mainly because of the disturbing images and the heightening of loss for them all. Still, it has to happen, esp. if we’re to taste the sweet moment that of Gabriel being presented with Snow’s ring. I suppose we can give Moreno some slack in not realizing how much he was being manipulated. Of course, the fact of the matter is, he allowed it to happen. Nice image: “The plant sat on a little table at the end of the couch, and Diana couldn't help but think it looked a little like an aged and neglected queen.” I like this change: "Perhaps something happened to him, something that made him believe he had no other choice." "There are always choices, Vincent." "Yes, but sometimes the choices are hidden," he said. "And we only become aware of them when it is too late."
| Daughter of Olorin chapter 11 . 10/24/2008
I find it so impressive that it would be almost impossible for someone who’s never seen the third season to know the difference between the canonical scenes you retell and the new ones you insert in between. Their dancing was beautiful. While the physical was not so much of a concern prior to their son’s conception (or at that’s how I’m taking it), they have to be painfully aware of it now. It’s not something that can be ignored now or their relationship be simply spiritual. Beautiful: “But as her heart surged and she tangled her fingers in his hair, no longer denying her body's demands, he explored the juncture of her lips, asking a question without words.”
| Daughter of Olorin chapter 10 . 10/17/2008
Love this exchange: “Where’s Vincent?" "Above." "Strange," Pascal said. "Him up there and you down here." Your fic makes me want to watch the end of the 2nd season and the beginning of the 3rd again so bad! The cloak sounds beautiful! While I can’t say I even care about Gabriel’s past, I do find it interesting with all the backstory you’ve created for him and the way you’ve conveyed what we already know. Since Elliot ‘confirmed’ Catherine’s death, I’m a bit surprised you didn’t do more introspection on Joe’s part that he no longer had hope of finding her alive. Again, I am so impressed with your characterizations—all of them, from Joe and Elliot to Vincent and Catherine.
| Daughter of Olorin chapter 8 . 10/17/2008
I like Vincent’s musing on Catherine’s regression of self-confidence, etc. After that ordeal, one can’t exactly expect her toreturn to who she was before or after when she met Vincent. Loved this: “yet he had no memory of what it had been like to love her—of how she had felt in his arms, or the texture of her skin against his, or the womanly secrets that he'd read about but never thought to experience for himself. . .And suddenly he wanted to experience that pleasure first hand, to take her in his arms and lose himself in her softness.” I wondered if you’d deal with this (just as how you would deal with how she got pregnant in the first place) and I like it. It’s not like he’s thinking, well, I’ve apparently done it before, let’s do it again, or finally, now I’m gonna know. I appreciate the delicateness and sensitivity you’ve shown but also the reality of it—he is indeed a man. Hearing the heartbeat was a good way to get them started on the search as soon as possible. At first, I was so excited that Elliot would know Catherine isn’t dead (I really like the guy, bless his heart) but then again, it might be best that he doesn’t know she’s alive. That might complicate things even more, even I wish for the opposite.
| Daughter of Olorin chapter 7 . 10/16/2008
Wonderful line—“She must have been an extraordinary woman to captivate three such men—one who gave her a fulfilling career, one who gave her Shakespeare, and one who would have given her the world. Had it been difficult for her to choose among them?” I like how Diana considered why Vincent would not have shown up at the funeral b/c he would not have accepted her death. Beautiful how Vincent presented Catherine with her necklace—if only he had been able to find memories there rather than shadows. But at least it gave him the strength to go on. I love this: "I wanted to weep. But you turned. And you looked at me. Your eyes were filled with dancing light, and I was bathed in your warmth. And I believed, in that moment, that even for me all things were possible. In that moment, in your light, I felt what it means to be beautiful." And the last line. . .sigh. Just beautiful.
| Daughter of Olorin chapter 6 . 10/15/2008
There is absolutely nothing like a shower and being clean to make you feel like a whole human being again. Like the idea of the ways the baths work and feeling like a Roman princess is very fitting. I love your writing: “It was a gentle kiss, over almost as soon as it had begun, and yet it made her heart stumble and then race ahead so that all she could do afterward was bury her head against his shoulder and cling to him. Such a simple thing it was. A sweet gesture that, for any ordinary couple, would have provoked no more than a passing thought. But for them it was a milestone, and Catherine knew she would treasure it always.” Nice touch bringing up ‘300 Days’—it was very nearly their story to an extent. Great imagery: “The room was large, with the desk positioned at the far end so that visitors had to approach him like peasants seeking an audience with their king.” They may have publicly affirmed their relationship, but I think everyone was well aware and was finally glad they did. Took them long enough. _ Have a safe trip!
| Daughter of Olorin chapter 5 . 10/15/2008
You’ve probably figured out by now that I love to point out specific lines that I love or think are exceptionally written. So I hope you don’ t mind when I get all quote happy. _ Like now. Love this: “Somehow saying the words to Father made it all real in ways it hadn't been before, as though by not talking about it she had almost been able to pretend it hadn't happened. Only it had. And somewhere out there, she had a son—an extraordinary son who needed her as much as she needed him.” The how and why of the pregnancy was well done and so tasteful—I was wondering if you would address it. The explanation fits so well. Very nice image: “She'd failed in her most basic obligation to her child: to protect. She moved away, stopping at the statue of Lady Justice that guarded the entrance to the chamber, running her fingers over the edge of the weighted scales. Were it her life being measured, would she be found wanting?” Great writing! In regards to Diana visiting the apartment, I don’t suppose the search for Catherine would change much than if she died. Whatever happened to her prior before being brought to her apartment could very well explain where she’s at or maybe who’s got her if she’s been taken again. You just keep tearing my heart up: "And I love you," he murmured. "With all that I am, all that I have been, and all that I will ever be." Every time you write them in a chapter, I want to cry, it’s so beautiful.