Reviews for Spirit of Snow
Jane Poirot chapter 46 . 9/7/2008
Yay! Updates are coming in quicker! :-)
LilyHellsing chapter 46 . 9/7/2008
Poor Monty, having been haunted when he roamed through his house...mansion...castle...that building he lives in XD I loved how he visited the cementary...Sorry Im not saying much, just got up and wont be able to read any stories for a few days so wanted to squeeze this in.
VampireNaomi chapter 46 . 9/7/2008
Oh, great. The alert bot is down again. I would have probably missed this update if I hadn't seen you talk about the bot in your LJ. Have fun in Greece, by the way.

Anyway, onwards to the chapter. Opening it with that brief scene about the monkey ninjas was a clever way to hint at what was going on without stating it. The reader can guess just what Monty is up to, and at least for me it was fun (especially since I guessed right! :P).

The scene in which he's rummaging around to find the frame works in several different ways, which makes it a very interesting and complext scene. Firstly, the frame with the article ties this chapter back to the previous one and Kim and Ron's mission with the statue. While continuity between chapters has never been a problem with this fic, I like it how this item that was rather insignificant in the previous chapter is now playing a major role in this one - especially towards the end.

Secondly, looking at the article and an old picture of himself gives Monty a chance to reflect on what he has become and what he has done. I very much enjoy these inner monologues the characters have with themselves in your story. It often feels like they're having an argument with themselves, and their treacherous inner voice is usually very blunt with the difficult issues, moving the story onwards when it might become too slow otherwise. When I write about characters being in doubt, I always dance around the main issue and get nothing resolved, but in your story the characters never contemplate without reaching at least some sort of conclusion.

I liked how Monty's inner voice pointed out that Michio would only hear the truth about him. It was a nice line, and it made me feel oddly sad.

Thirdly, the scene with the frame brought Yuki's presence back to Monty's mind, even if it was brief. The family potrait and what she had said about it was yet again a nice way to tie two separate chapters together. I can just imagine how sad that room must have been for Monty; not only did it remind him of Yuki but also of his family.

It was great to see a scene from Yuki's point of view, too. I don't know if you did it on purpose or not, but not writing anything about her during Monty's angstiest chapters was a nice way to show just how lonely he is without her. You kind of forced the reader to take distance to her as well.

I enjoyed the conversation she had with Sensei and especially that she was letting her emotions get the better of her with her teaching. In some ways she's very similar to Monty. Having her act somewhat disrespectful towards him was also nice. It was good of Sensei to be blunt and suggest to her that maybe taking the risk would be worth it after all. She really needs to stop and think about what she's going to do. I can't wait to see her change her mind about all this! :)

I totally cracked up at Manfred's tombstone! That was stroke of genious! Even though you basically said nothing about this character, I instantly fell in love with him. Now I'm sad that he's dead.

And massive yay at Bates's appearance! The whole scene between them was wonderfully awkward from both sides, which isn't really surprising at all. By the way, I think calling someone "milord" isn't related to whether they work for them or not. I haven't looked it up or anything, but in this British drama series I sometimes watch, everyone regardless of their own social status or position keeps calling the lord character "milord" and "His Lordship". Then again, considering how Monty has been feeling about himself lately, it makes perfect sense that he'd tell Bates not to address him like that anymore.

In some ways that whole scene was insaly frustrating since I kept wanting to throttle them both and make them talk things through, but it wouldn't have made sense. I'm surprised they were able to talk even that amount after everything that has happened. Still, the feeling the last bits of the scene gave me was an odd mix of frustration and hope. On one hand, not much got resolved, but on the other hand, Monty was reassured of his parents's opinion on him and it can now be a tad easier for him to move on with his life. I'd say that conversation with Bates, as brief as it was, was an important stepping stone for him.

After all this angst that has been consuming Monty, it was great to see some humour in the end. Heh, the first aid kit has become an awesome running gag in this fic! :D
Donteatacowman chapter 46 . 9/6/2008
Didn't like the minor crude language, but loved the chapter.

For some reason, reading this, I saw in my mind's eye a picture of the scene right before Monty turned around: A close-up of Monkey Fist, his eyes closed tightly, facing the right, and an awkward-looking but emotional Bates behind (visible between Monty's face and the end of the picture), holding some sparse flowers. It was drawn in Slyrr's style... Too bad it's not drawn...
Donteatacowman chapter 45 . 8/30/2008
In your author's notes you said this was a hard chapter for you to write, but you did immaculately with it. This was written well; please, keep it up.
VampireNaomi chapter 45 . 8/30/2008
I was so certain that this time I would be the one to update first, but you beat me again. :D Just a tad more time and my next chapter would have been done. I wasn't expectig an update from you yet, but I'm certainly not complaining. This is one of the best chapters in the fic, definitely in my top-five.

It was the right decision to skim a little in the beginning. As you said, it might have been a bit tedious to read pages upon pages about Monty's descend into depression and how he is shutting himself away from the rest of the world. You said everything that needed to be said about this with the bits you wrote, and any more would have felt like a filler.

The idea that he's spending more and more time meditating in order to escape his thoughts and memories of what has happened and what he has lost was a clever trick. Meditating is like alcohol to him. Small doses are good for you, but only trouble follows if you start burying your sorrows into it.

Another thing I liked about the early bits of the chapter was how you didn't have to specifically state that Monty was depressed. His actions and thoughts were more than enough to show that, especially his disinterest in eating and how passive he is about everything. It made me recall how this issue was once discussed at GAFF. Most people agreed that extreme (and popular) signs of angst and depression, such as cutting yourself, are often way over the top. Just not feeling like taking the trash out is often enough to show that someone is depressed, and also a lot more realistic.

Sorry, I'm rambling. I just wanted to say that I love the way you're handling Monty's state of mind here. He doesn't need to cut himself or cry waterfalls for us to know that he's hurting. It wouldn't be in character for him, and extreme reactions are always more effective when they're saved for extreme situations.

Another honourable mention to the monkey ninjas. How can they be so utterly adorable? :3 It was a nice idea to send them out for a walk; that way Monty could observe them and how much they seemed to be enjoying themselves, and it also gave him a chance to speak with Kim and Ron without interruptions.

And speaking of Kim and Ron, their encounter was brilliant! I wasn't expecting it to happen yet, so I almost squealed when it turned out that they had entered the castle.

I love it how they came to accuse him of the crime. Firstly, it was a perfectly justified action considering how much trouble Monty has caused them in the past. Secondly, it was a good way to show just at what state his life really is. As you pointed out, he is only a monkey-obsessed psycho to almost eveyrone in the world. Building a new life while fighting against those ods isn't going to be easy.

It was a nice touch that the stolen statue was one that he had actually discovered in his youth. It gave him the excuse to care about it and give some info to Kim and Ron, which he probably wouldn't have done if it had been just any random statue. I like the imagenary here; Kim and Ron going on a quest to retrieve part from Monty's youth and innocence.

Another detail I liked was how Monty thought it was humiliating how Kim and Ron had seen him injured and helpless. It's very in-character for him, especially his dread about them possibly knowing everything.

Monty's insane rage when he found out what part Kim and Ron had played in the grand scheme of things was delightful to read. Another brilliant scene and a clear sign of that no matter what has happened, he's still himself. I doubt he's ever really going to get rid of his anger management problems, and I wouldn't have it any other way. He wouldn't be Monty if he suddenly turned into a pacifist. ;) I love it how he's blaming everything on Kim and Ron, even though they only did what was right and the real blame lies on his own shoulders - and he knows it, too, it's just so much easier to accuse someone else.

Argh, there are so many awesome details near the end of the chapter that I think I'm going to sit here the entire night writing my thoughts down. I loved Monty's shock at Ron using MMP, how he wanted to start laughing hysterically at the delicious irony of the situation, Ron's slow realisation of how much the whole thing is bothering Monty, how Monty just let his head fall back on the floor like all fight had been kicked out of him... Honestly, this scene here was a masterpiece.

In one of the PMs I mentioned how it's often difficult to find the balance between rightful judgement and worry/pity from the good guys' POV, but I think you did a good job here. They're suspicious for as long as they have a reason to, but they aren't blinded from cold facts and quickly accept that Monty is innocent this time. They also show enough signs of worry for his condition for it to be believable. It's natural that they have to be wondering what has happened, but at the same time they aren't super concerned about him. It wouldn't make sense after everything they have been through.

Monty's desperation to get them out and be finally alone again made me really sad. The poor guy is hurting so much, and I honestly can't think how anything could get better, other than Yuki returning, of course. I kind of wish he's going to come up with something to fill his life with because it would be kind of pitiful if Yuki came back, only to discover a wreck of a man. Monty probably wouldn't want that either.

Ron's pity was a nice way to end the chapter. It made me so sad and eager to see Monty happy again.
VampireNaomi chapter 44 . 8/26/2008
There were so many awesome moments in this chapter that I honestly don't know how I could express my glee. This was a brilliant way to conclude Monty's stay in Yamanouchi and show how utterly hopeless his life feels outside it.

I liked how you briefly showed how Sensei was certain that things will turn good for everyone in the end. It was a nice contrast to Monty's depressed acceptance of everything he has done and what has happened to him. In a way it was a small glimmer of hope that reassured that reader that no matter how much Monty might be suffering right now, he'll be alright in the end - and the best part was that Monty has no idea about this.

I also liked the mirror image between Monty telling Sensei to take care of Yuki and the baby and how his father said almost the same thing to Bates in his time. This really caught my attention for a moment because I started thinking about the parallels between these scenes. I was going to write about it in this review, but I realised that we don't really know enough about Bates either in canon or in this fic to make any assumptios and that all I was going to say was based on my own version of him. :P

Monty's bow was a brilliant way to end that scene. No spoken words were needed, just that one hesitant gesture to show that even though he might be angry and hurt by how he was lied to, he at least partly understands the necessity of it and has respect for Sensei.

Heh, Monty's secret alias at the hotel was funny, but at the same time it made me a little sad. He's using a mixture of his parents' names, which is kind of ironic considering that he turned out to be the kind of man that his parents probably wouldn't have approved of.

It was good to see the monkey ninjas back in the story. Their unconditional love and care for Monty made me go "aww" every time, and then I wanted to slap Monty for not giving them the proper reward. At some point, he had better tell the monkeys just how much they mean to him. The little conversation with Chippy was cute. It does make sense that the monkeys would be afraid of being abandoned after everything that happened. Monty could have been a tad more considerate when telling them it was not going to happen, but since this is he we're talking about, I guess he was as polite as he could be in that situation. XD

The image of Monty letting the monkeys share his bed is just adorable! I'd love to see that as fanart some day.

Getting back home was melancholy not only for Monty but me, too. I had been expecting it to happen, but when it did I was suddenly sad as well. The castle feels so empty and gloomy now, and I'm afraid the monkeys won't be able to cheer Monty up in the long run.

Monty's doubts about whether he should go back to archaeology were very interesting. All this time, I've only wondered about the reaction of the academic circle, but I never even considered the temptation he would be subjecting himself to. It's pretty reasonable to assume that he would run into other mystical items, and then he would have to keep battling with himself for the rest of his life. It might be easier to avoid the risks entirely and stay away from that part of his life. But then again, what else does he have? Decisions, decisions...

It'll be very interesting to see what his life is going to be like from now on and what he's going to do. At least he's back to training, so there's some familiarity to keep it all together. I'll be eagerly waiting for the next chapter!
Donteatacowman chapter 44 . 8/25/2008
Awesome chapter! More of an angsty Monkey Fist; really well-written! Thanks for posting.
LilyHellsing chapter 44 . 8/25/2008
Just got back from my first day which seemed to drag on since the classes were all rules and such (even though laughing with my friends helped) so I'll be brief and quick; I loved it, it gave me a sense of sorrow yet a little warmth of 'aww' when the monkeys gave him the tea. Now, Im off to do some homework!
Jen Rock chapter 43 . 8/24/2008
I'm so glad to see this updated. Monty's anger is understandable as is his acceptance of Sensei's reasoning. I liked how calm and logical Yori was even as Monty was attacking her. I love every chapter so I hope there will be another one soon.
VampireNaomi chapter 43 . 8/18/2008
Yay, an update! I guess it was a good thing I was occupied with something during the time between this and the previous one because otherwise it would have been real pain to be so long without reading this fic.

This chapter is again one of those necessary in-between moments that I think make your fic so enjoyable. I can imagine many other authors skipping to the moment of Monty leaving Yamanouchi and saving all this drama to be resolved later, but I think it was a very good decision to have him confront Sensei and Yori here. I guess Sensei was an obvious choice, but the talk he had with Yori was also insightful and it really prepared him for the talk he later had with Sensei.

I'm absolutely loving Monty's reaction to everything here, especially his horrible rage at what has been done to him. You really got to me through this chapter because I actually got angry at Sensei and especially Yori, for some reason, even though I knew that Monty had maybe deserved everything, that it was necessary and though I had really enjoyed reading about his suffering.

The debate he was having with himself regarding his life and whether he has a reason to keep going was really entertaining to read. I guess that treacherous voice inside him does sound logical and maybe a little tempting, too. I also liked it how Sensei made it obvious that from this point onward, Monty's life is in his own hands and that he has to find a reason for existing himself. I have no idea what you've planned for the following chapters, but it will certainly be worth reading.

That Monty attacked Sensei was a given, but I really liked the moment that he did it. You could have made it happen after any of Sensei's lines, but you made a good choice. That one line works in several ways as it points out the dishonourable acts Monty has committed and how he really isn't one to be talking about injustice.

After all the rage, it was good to see Monty calm down a little and come to accept that what was done to him might have been the right thing. It was so painful for him, but it really did change him for the better. Poor thing, I can only imagine all the hardships that he's going to face from now on. I feel so sorry for him even though I know that it'll get better eventually.

Yuki's reaction was very believable, too. I find it a good thing that she and Monty probably aren't going to see each other again before he leaves the school. Both of them really need some time alone right now. It's going to hurt, but they couldn't get any better if they were artificially pushed together right now.
LilyHellsing chapter 43 . 8/18/2008
Welcome back!

I loved the talk between Monty & Sensei, I could picture everything and the rain outside of my house made it all dramatic! XD

I loved how Yuki snapped at Yori "Cant I cry" thing...Reminds me! I cant wait for more, hopefully less angst soon and more fluff.

I should go, I have to deal with some wanna-be-gangsters that are talking crap about white people so Im about to turn my head and give them a bitch fit till they eihter shut up, walk off...or shoot me XD
Jane Poirot chapter 43 . 8/18/2008
In truth, there's a part of me that doesn't want this fanfic to end; I'm enjoying it too much. :-)
Thoughts13 chapter 42 . 7/31/2008
So is it like over?

It was a great fic though, bloody brilliant. I like the ending
Jen Rock chapter 42 . 7/13/2008
I loved this. Every chapter just gets better and better. Both Yuki and Monty's reactions were perfect, in my opinion. It wouldn't be believable if Yuki went running back into his arms. She still loves him but he hurt her deeply enough that she may never be able to forgive him completely. And Monty doesn't think he deserves to be forgiven. I don't want this fic to end but I know it's getting there. I'm eagerly looking forward to however many chapters there are before the end. I just hope it's a large number.
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