|Reviews for Spirit of Snow|
| LilyHellsing chapter 42 . 7/12/2008
Oh damnit, I should have listened to that little voice inside me and wait to read this later. T_T I woke up in a foul mood and that turned into one of those 'don't-talk-to-me-or-Ill-cry' moods and now I'm bawling :\ Which means youre chapter was very good. I think I'll go be mean to Ron and try to write the sequel of that Torture thing now XD
I could just picture the whole thing...Yikes. Very yikes. I await paitently for your next update.
| VampireNaomi chapter 42 . 7/12/2008
I tell you, this was perfect. I don't know how much you kept editing this in the rewriting process or what the original was like, but it certainly was worth the effort. This was an amazing pay-off to all the tension and suspense. I tried to read as slowly as I could to be able to catch as many details as possible, and there were many occasions when I felt like clapping because you either captured some moment perfectly or avoided stepping into a common trap. I just can't praise this chapter enough.
Monty's reluctance to turn around and face Yuki was great! It would have been so easy to have him whirl around as soon as he heard her voice, but this slower reaction really let us savor the taste of the scene and his shock, fears and doubts. The bit in which he didn't want to see who was behind him because he couldn't allow himself any hope in fear of losing Yuki again was among my favourites in the chapter. I absolutely loved this reaction!
And yes, she slapped him! He definitely deserved that after everything he has done, and I think it was probably the best thing she could have done in that situation. You also didn't use the tired cliché "his eyes widened at what he saw" trick. It was much more amusing that he stumbled to the ground because of Yuki's slap, and it gave you yet another moment to keep Monty from learning the truth right away.
Speaking of Yuki, I think she was very well written in this chapter. Every line she said rang true to me. She is obviously mad at him, but yet there's so much sorrow and regret in her words that I almost wish that the story could have had a happy ending right here. No matter how much he has hurt her, she's going to miss him when he's gone. I also very much liked the point you made about how she watched him struggle on his journey and how she doesn't hate him. It would have been too easy to make this into a black and white scenario in which she has nothing good to say to him. The way you wrote her here, especially towards the end when her determination starts showing signs of cracking, really showed what a deep character she is. And by the way, did you see that "why do people forgive so soon in stories" rant at fanficrants? As soon as I saw it, I wanted to reply and point the OP to this fic. :D
In any case, the dialogue between Monty and Yuki was brilliant here. I really liked it how they were able to discuss the events, how Monty admitted his guilt and said how sorry he was and how they talked about Michio's future. It was really painful to read just how hurt and betrayed Yuki felt like when she woke up after the cave incident. All the angst, sorrow and regret were really well portrayed here for the both of them.
When she kissed him for the last time and how sad they both were really broke my heart. Even though I know that this is not the end, I just feel utterly crushed. It was such a beautiful scene, definitely the most emotional in the entire story. Those lyrics in the end of the chapter really worked together with that situation.
Overall, I loved every single sentence in this chapter and I kept hoping that it would go on forever. This was really an amazing piece of writing. I probably forgot something like thousand things worth mentioning, but I'll return to them as they keep popping into my head.
Hope you have a great time these upcoming weeks!
| VampireNaomi chapter 41 . 7/4/2008
Oh, man! How cruel can you be? That's one of the most agonizing cliffhangers I've ever seen. It pains me to think that I'm going to Germany in two weeks and won't get to read any new chapters until mid-August. ;)
I know I keep saying this every time you update, but it really feels like the chapters just keep getting better and better. I absolutely adored every single moment in this, and I was so eager to find out what would happen that I had to force myself to scroll down line by line so that I wouldn't start skipping.
The dialogue between Monkey Fist and Sensei in the beginning was a really good tie between all the development that Monty has been through and the life he is going to return to. It summed up everything important about that and made it clear that he's not going to simply become Monty Fiske again, as if nothing ever happened. Nor is he going back to the insanity and obsession, though, as Sensei said, that would be far easier than living with the consequences of his actions. I also liked how you pointed out how there is no Monkey Fist and Monty Fiske; they are the one and the same. One pet peeve of mine is that sometimes people divide their favourite villains into two halves, good and bad, and then assume that they can get rid of the bad and have only the good. I've often seen this happen with Scarecrow from Batman.
I also liked the dialogue with Yori. It was really punchy and I think they were both very in-character here. It was great how they didn't reach any sort of understanding but simply kept stabbing each other with words. Reminding us how much wrong Monty has done to Yori was also another good moment.
The test was by far the highlight of the chapter. Even though I knew whether Monty would pass or not, it was really suspenseful to read about his moment of temptation and Sensei's sorrow when it seemed like he wasn't going to make it. It was really intense, and I actually felt happy and proud when Monty made it through. Haha, I'm so sappy. :D However, I think the test scene might have been a tad more effective if Monty hadn't known beforehand that there was going to be a test. They could have somehow arranged it so that he would find that room and the Lotus Blade on his own while Sensei would be waiting in the shadows. Then there would have been absolutely no doubt and Monty really would have had to battle against his greed if he thought he could take the sword without anyone looking.
Sensei's decision to keep the information about the test from Yuki is a wise one, though it pains me that she won't know about it until later. Yet it makes sense because she still needs time and is not ready to just forgive Monty like that and go back to him.
And then we're back at the cliffhanger. Gah, it's so frustrating! First you paint this really calm image of Monty standing before the grave while wind blows, and then Yuki appears! As if it wasn't obvious, I simply cannot wait for the next chapter!
| Jane Poirot chapter 41 . 7/4/2008
YOU ARE EVIL!
Lol, seriously, can't wait for the next update.
| DJ Dubois chapter 40 . 6/30/2008
Another great chapter especially on the depth of Monkey Fist's feelings and the inner conflict over Yuki.
Concerning the Kim/Ron/Yori thing, you kind of brush over his feelings for "his favorite ninja". You definitely pegged Kim's reaction over the sitch. Maybe you didn't want to distract from the main plot but the tension needed to be reciprocated from Ron and Yori too.
And trust me, Ron might be oblivious to all of the K/Y tension but he knows Yori's there. Trust me. (Sorry, as you know, I'm a biased shipper. ) That's one of the few nit-picks I have with this piece.
Anyhow, just wanted to make sure I left some comments. Sorry it's been a while. RL's been busy lately.
| LilyHellsing chapter 40 . 6/29/2008
Omfg! So long! Yay! So sad! Sob!
XD This chapter caught me in a recovering-depression-mood and this totally sent me downhill...but I dont mind, it was beautiful and tragic. Great job on such detail
| VampireNaomi chapter 40 . 6/28/2008
It's really hard for me to write a coherent review for this chapter because even after several hours of reading it, I feel so consumed by all these emotions that I just want to keep re-reading it again and again to get my thoughts together and say something other than that this was amazing and the best chapter in the entire story so far.
Ok, let's try and see if I can manage somehow. There's something that really strikes me about the beginning of the chapter. Even after he has been injured and has had the chance to calm down a little, Monkey Fist is still thinking about revenge. He's saner now and no longer consumed by blind rage, so he's still able to put that away for the moment and concentrate on more important matters. This was a good way of showing just where his priorities are.
Though it was only a brief mention, I absolutely love the bit in which he's thinking about how he doesn't want to be captured and mocked by the Yamanouchi ninjas and especially Yuki. There's something so in-character in that short line of reasoning that it made me stop reading for a moment. Maybe it's that I love seeing him as the underdog because he's usually so dominating, or maybe it's something else, but that bit in the story really struck me. Naturally, I also loved all the injuries and pain you've inflicted on him. ;)
For a long while now your readers have been anticipating the moment when Monkey Fist realises the consequences of his actions, and it's finally here! I dare say it couldn't be much better than this. The moment when he finally sees Yuki's body was really effective in the way you turned his vengeful thoughts into shocked panic. Such drastic switches in mood are perfectly reasonable for Monty and they work for wonderfully in this context - he didn't spare Yuki a single worried thought until he could see with his own eyes what had happened. He probably didn't think it even possible that she might have got hurt. He rarely does think about the consequences of his actions, does he (again, the Yono)?
His shock and grief were wonderfully described here. Scenes such as this often go over the top or become so melodramatic that I can't read them, but I was captivated by this one all through it. It had just the right amount of narration and thoughts to be convincing. Poor, poor Monty. I felt so sorry for him here, even though I know things will get better eventually. I'll probably have to go back to the beginning of the story and start reading the flashforward scenes again to get a more linear picture of the two storylines, by the way. I can hardly wait because they will be a slightly different experience now that we know what really happened in the cave and all that.
I really liked it how you had a few scenes from other characters' point of view. I was particularly impressed by the one in which the ninjas get to the scene. Their POV was the only good choice here because Monty was in so much shock that nothing coherent could have come out of him. It's very interesting how Sensei is almost immediately on top of the game and knows what to do, even when everyone else is still battling their shock and confusion. Good thing he was, too, because I doubt Monty would have been spared under a less wise leader.
Monty's reaction to Yuki's body being taken away and to hearing the news of her death were probably my favourite moments in this chapter. Both were awesome reactions of utter shock and grief, and I just love imagining the look on his face in those scenes.
I was both surprised and pleased to see Kim and Ron make an appearance. Seeing their reaction to Monty's injuries and Sensei's plans for him was really entertaining, and I thought it was an interesting idea how you had Ron ultimately decide Monty's fate. It's fitting somehow since they're rivals and so connected through MMP. It was also a wise move from Sensei since it was obvious what Ron would do in this situation; he's such a good person, after all. It would be most interesting to see how they react to him after he has left Yamanouchi.
And finally, the story has gone a full circle and gone back to the beginning. I love it how you've decided to tell the story this way. While it would have been awesome in a completely linear order as well, I think some of the effect would have been lost. For example, I like it how the reader is from the very beginning told how tragic and almost doomed Monty and Yuki's love is because the flashforward scenes make it so obvious. If they had been saved for later, the scenes in which they fall in love and enjoy each other's company at the castle might not have been as effective as they were. No matter how happy they were, there was always a bitter sweet atmosphere because the reader knew how it would end.
Though you said the two storylines are now together, there is one more past scene that I'm wondering about. Namely, what will Yuki think and feel when she wakes up? Parts of it have been touched upon in the story already, but I would be most interested in her first reaction to everything.
To sum it up, this was the best chapter in the story so far, and I can't praise you enough for writing it. As usual, I can't wait for the next one!
| Thoughts13 chapter 39 . 6/22/2008
That was awesome! A perfect merging of the two timelines. Brilliant, and I could tell that you were really looking forward to writing this. As much as I wanted to read it I'm sure _
Can't begin to imagine what is going to heppen in the next chapter!
| Jane Poirot chapter 39 . 6/22/2008
Wow, best chapter yet. I can see how Monkey Fist would think Yuki had died since he couldn't see clearly. I can't wait to see what happens next.
| VampireNaomi chapter 39 . 6/22/2008
This was simply brilliant! I honestly don't know where to begin because this chapter delivered everything that I was expecting from it and even more. I loved every single moment of it, and I think there was something special in the dialogue and descriptions this time, especially closer to the end. But I will come back to that later.
It was a clever trick to bring back the holograms from the MFS episode. I haven't seen all eps of the series, but did they ever use the holograms again in canon? If not, it's a pity they abandoned the idea because so much could be gained with them. The use you came up with in this chapter was especially great. I really like it when authors can use ignored bits and pieces of canon to make the plot get forward.
The rest of the chapter after Kim has warned Sensei was almost physically painful to read. Yuki's hurt, doubts and guilt were really well portrayed. You did this so well that even I felt betrayed, even though I've known from the very first chapter that this is how it would go. Yuki's decision to hunt Monty down on her own and confront him was very in character for her. Even though every sign was pointing to that he had only used her, she had to make sure and hear it from himself before she could fully believe it. And then it was only justified that she would be the one to get to him first and defeat him. I almost hoped that she would beat the crap out of him after everything he said. ;)
You handled Monkey Fist just perfectly in this chapter. Every line of thought and dialogue you wrote for him was really in character and worked in the context. My two favourite points were how he said all those cruel things to Yuki because he thought it would be easier for the two of them and make things simpler. In a way he was right because it's so much easier to hate someone than deal with the fact that someone you love is wrong or trying to stop you.
Another favourite point of mine was how Monty entirely lost it and was consumed by his rage and insanity when the final piece of the Obsidian Monkey was lost to him. That was a very powerful moment and I can't get enough of your description of his madness. It's so simple and powerful and delivers everything we need to know. This is really the only plausible reaction I could see in this situation, and it's nicely similar to what he did after losing the Lotus Blade in Exchange, only more extreme.
Finally, I liked it how Yuki came to realise just how far his obsession has gone and how insane he truly is. And yet she saved his life. Again, that was the only thing I could see her do because no matter how hurt and betrayed she's feeling, I don't think Yuki has it in her to get vengeance that way. It was a nice touch how she protected the baby when the rocks were falling. Someone more bitter might have been all too happy to have Monty's child die after these events, but Yuki wouldn't take her own anger out on someone innocent.
Anyway, this was a marvellous chapter. You already know this, but I can hardly wait to see Monty's first reaction to everything that happened as a result of his insanity.
| VampireNaomi chapter 38 . 6/20/2008
This chapter was a good resting spot between all the character development, adventure and humour that has been going on in the previous chapters. It allows both Monkey Fist and the reader to sit down for a moment and think about everything that they have found out. In a way, this chapter sums up all important facts from the previous chapters so that they're in fresh memory when we continue to the following events.
The history you created for Yamanouchi and Monkey Kung Fu followers was very fascinating. I like the idea that they were once a single group but got separated and ended up in war. It adds a lot flesh to Yamanouchi and the brief mention Toshimiru got in "Exchange", and it also makes the Tai Shing Pek Kwar users seem a lot more menacing and fascinating.
I enjoyed seeing Monty sit still and ponder all these historical facts and their implications. While he is a lot of fun when he's fighting and jumping around or exploring something, I also enjoy him as a scholar. That's a side that very rarely shows up in fanfiction, probably because the other aspects of him are so dominating.
I get the feeling that he's getting close to the height of his insanity and obsession here. He no longer cares about anything but putting together the Obsidian Monkey, and he's willing to sacrifice anything to do it. How thinking about killing everyone in Yamanouchi, even if it means endangering Yuki, made him so excited illustrates his state of mind pretty well.
His little plot to get Kim and Ron off his back was fun to read because I like seeing him all clever and prepared like that. I was also more than a little amused by how they still figured out what he was up to. I wasn't expecting them to play any role in the following events, so it's going to be very interesting to see how everything goes.
As for Yuki, I liked her scene as well. She's slowly making up her mind about what she's going to do, and staying in Yamanouchi with the baby is probably the best thing she could do in this situation, even now when Monty hasn't done his worst yet. The fact that she admits to missing him makes me pretty sad because I know just how badly he will betray her trust and how her feelings will soon be turned around.
If you can't wait to have the next chapter written, you can be sure that I can't wait to read it! ;)
| LilyHellsing chapter 38 . 6/17/2008
Reading the first part made me a little sad. I mean, now that I really think about it, hes so obsessed with power that if anyone were to really fall in love with him (giving of course if he were real XDXDXDXD) then us fan girls wouldnt stand a chance.
I like the plot :O Hiding something there that they dont know about...
XD Lol, yup that sounds exactly like Ron! I could totally picture him choking...I loved the last paragraph too lol.
| Jane Poirot chapter 38 . 6/17/2008
Sorry I haven't really reviewed for the past few chapters, but I just didn't know what to say. I somehow knew that no trick Monkey Fist tried to pull would get past Kim Possible of all people.
| VampireNaomi chapter 37 . 6/8/2008
Oh, wow! This chapter was made of pure win! I didn't think you'd be able to put so much hilarious comedy into the story at this point when both the flashforward and flashback storylines are getting close to their climax, but you did it. I was grinning like an idiot all the way through the first scenes.
It was a great idea to make Monty go to Madagascar because we know it's the first time in his life. It was a good reference to an episode in the series. The way he and his monkey ninjas have to struggle to progress is fun to read about because it shows how they're working together and what their interaction is like. I loved the bit in which the fossas (had to google what kind of animal that is) attacked because it was great to see Monty defend his monkeys like that. Also, you already know how much I enjoy reading about him in pain like this, so the follow-up was just as good. Not to mention Chippy! You've really given that one monkey lots of personality in this story, and I love it how he always takes the matters into his own hands when he thinks Monty isn't doing something right. The needle scene is one of the funniest bits in the entire story! XD
I also liked it how Yori at first got the wrong idea about Yuki and Monty. Given what she experienced in "Exchange", it's no surprise that she'd jump to the worst possible conclusions. When I think about it, he was completely cuckoo in all the scenes that Yori was in, so she probably got an extremely negative impression of him. Seeing Yuki get all angry and defend Monty was also an excellent scene and shows how much the events in the cave have/will effect her. Here she's certain that he has a good side to him, but later she's going to be convinced that she cannot trust him ever again. Again, great use of opposites here.
Dun, dun, dun, it looks like Monty's quest is going to come to an end. And what an end it will be. I'm already squirming when I think about everything that's going to take place in the next few chapters.
I really like the name you chose for the baby and how you had Sensei decide it. It's a fitting name and hopefully the kid is going to walk a different path in life than his father.
| Thoughts13 chapter 36 . 6/1/2008
OMG happy ending ftw!