|Reviews for Distorted Reality|
| Rocket Axxonu chapter 34 . 7/5
[continued from previous review, apparently ran out of characters. x3 Yeah, just call me Herman Melville.]
...hear that Aang doesn't hate Azula, and values her as the friend she's become, must have been such a release for her. And yet, from your end summary, it's clear that, as the reader, we may be left with the feeling that those feelings weren't fully resolved...when she 'betrays' them and leaves with Katara.)
But, anyway. (Back to chapter 8.) I was also very interested to seemingly learn more about Katara's motives. (That perhaps she isn't just trying to help Sokka for himself. Because there's no such thing as a girl Water Emperor, it seems perhaps she wants Sokka to rule, and hopes that she'll be able to gain power through him.) At this point, it seems unclear if that is really her objective, or if Sokka is only pessimistically seeing the worst possible explanation for her motives. Katara is clearly hungry for power and very manipulative (after being suppressed by her culture for being a girl for so long), but she also does seem to care about her family, in her own way. I liked seeing that potential side, and Sokka being his clever, pessimistic self. (Personally, I loved the idea of seeing a truly evil Katara. She is the counterpart of Azula, after all, and it felt like to me that, even if she does care about her family, ultimately she's the kind of villain that you can't expect to ever be redeemed.)
Oh, and Sokka's reaction to Hama—my thoughts exactly. (I would try to keep away from her, too. So creepy. xD)
Anyway, there were a lot of good moments throughout the chapters, but those were my favorites.
Regarding the final summary of all the remaining events—I was glad to see that. (So often writing projects get abandoned, and readers never have the opportunity to find out what happens. As much as I know you and the readers would have liked to see it get written to the end, sometimes it is time to move on from a project, and I think this gives us all some resolution.) I'll just comment on a few of my favorite bits. c:
I liked the Tale of Azula and Toph. After they were fighting so much (partially because Azula was struggling with feeling like she's suddenly on the outside of the group, and also, I suspect, being just plain jealous), I love the idea of them finding some common ground. I can completely picture this episode. (And, of course, it makes the 'betrayal' later all the worse.)
Yue and the Night spirit—ah, that just sounds awesome. (I have to remind myself to remember that black streak in her hair if I ever decide to draw the distorted!evil trio for fun. X3 A part of me is really tempted...)
Ah, I am a bit sad we don't get to see the actual scene where everyone teams up together (including Sokka) in Ba Sing Se to take down evil!Katara. That would have been epic. I'm also curious about just what kind of conversation Katara and Zuko would have had in the crystal catacombs...
Ah, Katara tries to manipulate Azula, and Azula ends up betraying them and not only letting her go free, but goes with her. For some reason, I love that twist. (I can picture Katara doing her best to manipulate Azula very clearly...But what kind of manipulative tactic is she using, I wonder? Azula's jealousy? Her growing sense of separation from the rest of the group? Or the growing influence of the spirit Princess Azula, and a new growing hunger for power? All three?)
...But, somehow, I knew it was all a ploy. (It's just the clever, sneaky, ruthless thing a good Azula would do. x3)
I liked how you finished things off with distorted Katara. (Azula was always my favorite character to watch in the original show, and likewise evil!Katara was probably my favorite to read about here, too.) Taking a shot for Aang, but solely due to the influence of canon Katara. (And her getting possessed, and canon Katara getting to play a real role in the story.) I felt like her end was a villain's end, and that was how it should be.
As for my take on the final pairings...Well, the journey of the story was so awesome I would have respected your decisions on that no matter what (even if I have my own preferences when it comes to pairings in a series, I also feel that it's the author's right and perhaps even duty to follow their own vision), but I was surprised to find all the end pairings were pretty much exactly what I would have wanted them to be.
(I know a lot of people were looking for an Aang/Azula pairing, but even if you don't consider the fact they're from different worlds, I felt like it's so hard to imagine Aang's feelings changing to love anyone other than Katara. He cared about Azula as a friend, but I didn't see it going there. I also like the idea of Azula finally being able to let go, and act selflessly; it shows her growth as a character. And honestly, I can picture a DR Sokka/Azula relationship developing over time. They're both natural strategists, so they certainly have things in common. So, I definitely agree with your decision there. And because in recent years I've gotten so I usually ship canon pairings, whatever they are, I like Aang and Katara ending up together, and Zuko and Mai.)
On your decision to leave the final fate of the real world ambiguous: honestly, I thought that was (would have been?) a stroke of genius. This story has been about the distorted reality rather than the real one, so it totally makes sense for the ending to focus on it. I think the idea that the distorted reality has found its way to a more peaceful state and things are looking up gives a feeling of resolution, but the idea that they still have another battle to fight also leaves something to readers' imaginations. (I used to hate it when stories didn't tie up all the loose ends and give a complete sense of resolution on everything, but now I'm often the opposite—I like it when the ending is, while satisfying, also gives the sense that the journey isn't over, and there's more to think about.)
Anyway, thanks so much for putting the time and effort into writing this. Sorry for rambling on so, and I'm sorry you won't be getting to the end, but just wanted to let you know I had a ton of fun reading what is there. :J (I know just how you feel—I've had long fanfiction projects that have had a huge impact on my writing. It's interesting how the simple act of putting so much time and thought and effort into something can affect, not just your writing skill, but also give you a lot of other experiences besides, and give you so much opportunity to meet new people.) Hope things are going well for you, and that you're still writing. :J Thanks again!
PS: I loved looking through the fanart related to this story. (Unfortunately, ffnet has put a block on all almost all links going out of bios, and so when you click on a link, it only takes you back to your own bio screen. [I know I had to get pretty creative so people would be able to get to the art related to my stories on my bio, and even then, it's probably a pain for them.] I was able to track down most of the pictures the long way, but a few I wasn't able to find, such as Sherr's Two Zukos and Two Kataras, and a few of the works by StasySolitude, including Princess Katara vs. the Serpent, Enma, and Dragon Shao.
I know you're probably busy with life, and I'm not sure if you even check this account anymore, but if those works are still on the internet somewhere, if you still have the links somewhere I'd love to see them. C: [I've found you can still send urls in pms (most of the time) if you just replace periods colons with [colon], and then leave it to the receiver to replace them by hand.]) I've also done a little bit of fanart of my own for this story. c: (Honestly, I'd really been wanting to do some Avatar fanart of some kind, and with this story I finally found my inspiration. Thanks for the excuse. ;9) Here's the link, in case you'd be interested to see it: http[colon] art/Distorted-Reality-619737424 C: (If this link doesn't show up correctly here, I'll send it to you in a pm until it does x3)
Thanks again for writing this, and good luck with any future projects! Hope you have a good year~ C:
| Rocket Axxonu chapter 35 . 7/5
Hey! Can I just say, it's been a pretty good while since I legitimately binge-read large portions of a fanfiction at once, but this concept was just such pure gold (good!Azula and Zuko, and bad!Sokka and Katara) that I just couldn't resist. C:
Some general comments:
I really love the way this was put together. To be honest, I'm a pretty new fan to the series and I've only watched the show clear through one time (so I can't remember the beginning well enough to be too bothered by the parts that you said were too similar), but I really enjoyed the way you rearranged the storyline to fit with the set up of the Fire Nation being equivalent to the water tribe. (Like the town with the legend of the Painted Lady. I liked how that came in so early on, and played a different role from the original. It completely made sense.)
I also like how you worked to keep the characters believable based on their original selves, while taking their new histories into account. Azula is definitely her clever self, less compassionate than Katara, and sometimes downright mean. (I love how she's always bullying Zuko. XD That is so definitely her.) She's one of the good guys, but it's in her own unique way, and I love the struggles she has that we see as the story progresses—Katara definitely had her own dark side, and it makes sense to see Azula having to work through that, too. Zuko seems to try to do the honorable thing, which seems so much like him, too. (I like how you captured his tendency to be more serious; he doesn't tell jokes the same way Sokka does. However, he still manages to fill that role of being a source of humor by being the butt of jokes a lot, thanks to Azula. XD!) I really enjoyed the dynamic between the three of them—it was a different dynamic than the original trio (Azula's personality brings a completely different atmosphere), but has it's own authentic feel of 'the three heros.' (When I say that, I'm probably looking for a tvtrope term of some kind, but I'm not as familiar with all those as I'd like to be...) I laughed so much at Toph's comment in the last chapter (Chapter 11 of book 2 [ffnet: 33], The Serpent's Pass), 'Why isn't anyone in this little group funny?' XD!
Finally, the thing I probably like most about this project is how the atmosphere just feels so much like the original show—part of that is the characters, part of that is the situations and dialogue (a good mix of serious moments and funny moments). I think some other people have commented that it's easy to picture this being part of canon, and I think so too.
Haha, I laughed a bit at what you said about people freaking out about the end pairings...(To be honest, when I've written fanfiction, for that reason I've always put the pairings there in the summary, which of course I would never do if I were writing an original work of fiction. I guess I'm too afraid of engendering reviewers' wrath. XD! However, for this kind of work, I think it worked much better not to reveal the pairings until the end—I liked the suspense of not knowing, and seeing how the story played itself out, and I think that was also part of what helped it really feel legitimately like canon.)
I guess everyone has their own ideas about what they'd like to see in an ending, so there's just no way to please everyone. X3 I guess the important thing is deciding what's best based on the story you've built and following your own vision...
Anyway, here were a few of my favorite moments:
1. Chapter 5 (ffnet: 6) of Book 1 (The King of Jie Duan): The scene where Long Feng 'requests' Aang and his friends do him a favor (ie, assassinate the king of Ba Sing Se), and Azula promptly agrees to do it, then busts them all out as soon as Long Feng is out of the room. I loved that—first, Aang's reaction, pure horror and rage, convinced that this world's Azula is just like the one from his own world, and second, seeing Azula using her natural gift for telling a good lie. (This wasn't really brought up, but I sort of wondered if the fact Azula can lie, even to earthbenders that can detect when someone is lying, played into it. That would play in nicely to the fact that Long Feng believed her so quickly, and only wanted to see a demonstration of Azula's abilities in case she was overestimating herself. Although, I feel like in the show that earthbenders good enough to do that are extremely rare, and Toph might have been one of the only ones...so maybe that wouldn't have worked.)
2. Chapter 1 (ffnet: 23) of Book 2 (Merge): The scene with Katara, undergoing a training session with her teacher...Hama. That scene seriously creeped me out. (In a good way. XD The Puppetmaster was one of my favorite episodes of the series—it was just so dark, and raised so many interesting moral questions that makes you think.) But also, as I was reading this story, the thing I was looking forward to the most was seeing an evil!Katara. So in a way, this was one of the moments I was most looking forward to. After seeing Katara off and on throughout the story, and her role and motives being somewhat clouded, this really demonstrates some of her true colors. I loved being terrified by evil Azula in the original show, and I love being terrified by an evil Katara. xD
3. Chapter 6 (ffnet: 28) of book 2 (The Blind Bandit): When Toph wanders into a town and ends up in a battle with evil!Katara and her two cronies. I love seeing Toph doing what she does best—riling up bad guys. XD!
I also enjoyed seeing Toph's very different background from the original. It was a lot darker, and it made sense how she could have ended up in a band with people like Jet and his followers. It also made a lot of sense why Toph wouldn't have a problem with just walking up to the princess of the water nation and get rid of her—after what she's experienced, even if she didn't agree with Jet's way that included hurting innocents, she would have to hate the people of the Water Nation. (Yeah, you're right, that image of what happened to Toph's parents was pretty horrific. One of the things I've liked about this story is how you've captured how the waterbenders ruin the land, leaving it barren, similar to the way the firebenders did, only the waterbenders do it in their own unique ways.)
4. Chapter 7 (ffet: 29) of book 2 (The Chase): The chapter I'd been waiting for the most. (When Aang finally meets evil!Katara.) Aang's horror and subsequent complete shutdown—Katara's general villain-yness (getting a nasty, critical hit in on Piando, trying to drown Toph and stab Zuko, then trying to stab him in the back when he's not looking, an draining the water from the trees for one final attack and to make their escape)—Sokka choosing to side with her, in a kind of throwback to Zuko's siding with Azula at Ba Sing Se—I seriously loved it all.
Side note: Ha, the scene where Zuko burns Katara in the face...You know, when I'd just started reading this story, I was already picturing in my head little scenes about when the distorted!Gaang meet evil Katara, and I pictured something kind of similar to that. (When Katara gets near Aang to attack him, Azula steps forward to protect him and attacks without thinking, and burns her in the face. [Azula's shocked at herself, using her fire to really hurt someone, or that was how the scene in my head was playing out. I think in your version, Azula gets a lot more comfortable with burning people, though. XD! And maybe that is more Azula, lol.] But Katara puts a hand to her face, and when she pulls it away, the burn is completely healed. A lot of villains in books/movies have the ability to regenerate themselves, and I think that's a pretty terrifying power. It's interesting, because there are some powers that Katara [and therefore distorted Katara] has that Azula never did. Katara can heal herself, and she can take control of other people's bodies, while Azula only had her firepower. (Well, and her keen mind, I suppose, and uncanny ability to be about ten steps ahead of everyone else. x3)
5. Chapter 8 (30) of Book 2 (Bitter Truth): Like probably about everyone else, I'd been wondering how/when Aang would tell Azula and Zuko and everyone else the truth. (Honestly, there seemed to me no good way to do it—especially where the situation with Azula was concerned. How do you tell one of your friends that, in another world, they're an insane, maniacal psychopath who murdered most of the people you care about? [Though I admit, I did like reviewer 123's approach. XD! Thanks so much for sharing that, I was literally laughing for days.])
I really loved how it was the fight with distorted!Katara that finally got Aang to tell the truth. I also enjoyed how you handled Azula's reaction—you captured just the right kind of emotion there, and timed just right. Azula doesn't like to ever show weakness, so it makes sense that she would just get up and leave to be alone, and we see more of what she's really feeling when Zuko goes after her. I also loved how you showed in bits and pieces Azula as feeling herself growing more isolated from the group. I particularly liked the scene in the next chapter (in chapter 9 [ffnet: 31]), where Azula calls him 'Twinkletoes,' like Toph always does, and after getting a weirded-out reaction from Aang, ends up in a fight with Toph. There was something about that scene—you can just see how Azula is trying to act like her usual snide self, but clearly she is affected by Aang's relationship with his other friends (who were also his friends in the previous world), and you can see her feeling kind of on the outside. (Also, I loved Toph's nickname Spicequeen. XD! That's too perfect. And her 'considering Azula was an evil psycho' comment. So like Toph to twist the knife...absolutely zero sensitivity.) I think that growing sense of isolation also made the scene in Chapter 11 (33) of book 2, The Serpent's Pass, all the more powerful. (To hear that Aang doesn't hate Az
| XilliaRuto chapter 35 . 1/4
I really like the story but seeing how you disregarded Azula's own emotional attraction towards Aang. Several times he avoided situations where he could have expressed his own growing feelings towards her better but chose not too. Now it would have added an additional twist to your story had the Aang's switched places when the balance returned. Aang having to come to terms with Katara's death, Azula there to support him. After all can her love for him give him the foundation upon which he can rise again and know that the world hasn't stopped and he can live a happy life with every one of his friends including her, as his love? (Overall a great story, would have liked to have seen you finish it)
| engineerwenlock chapter 2 . 9/25/2015
I'm disappointed that you had the opportunity to depart from the site but instead you more or less copied the first episode word for word and then changed a few things. Meh.
| Guest chapter 35 . 9/10/2015
| The Ficsmith chapter 35 . 8/4/2015
I read this fic a really long time ago, but it still held up. I always appreciated that you took the time to write out what would have happened instead of just abandoning the project
| Alan S chapter 35 . 5/15/2015
I wish that Azulaang had happened. Sokkla just seems like a waste of that beautiful characterization that Distorted!Azula has. Kataang and Maiko are already canon, so I don't see a point to them. Ty Luko is a perfectly good ship, so I don't see why you replaced it with Ty Laru later on.
| Whyhow chapter 31 . 5/3/2015
I like the Astronomer. I don't quite see the point of working out the date of the eclipse after the next one, but her random space trivia was actually quite interesting. I didn't quite believe the idea of a second moon only coming close every century, but a planet seems much more plausible.
| Whyhow chapter 29 . 5/3/2015
Why doesn't Aang just give back the sword?
| Whyhow chapter 21 . 5/3/2015
I am glad that Ty Lee survived. I wonder who Katara is going to for help. Perhaps Yue? Where is Yue?
| Whyhow chapter 18 . 5/3/2015
I was not quite sure when Ty Lee suggested make up whether it would turn out well or be a complete disaster. I like the occasional White Lotus references.
| Whyhow chapter 17 . 5/3/2015
This was fairly good, although I hope it doesn't cause too much of a delay. I like Azula's comments on the tournament.
| Whyhow chapter 16 . 5/3/2015
Ty Lee's bit was fairly funny and your characterizations of Aang and Katara are interesting.
| Whyhow chapter 16 . 5/3/2015
I thought that Batu was promoted to Admiral. Why did he insist on being addressed as commander?
| Whyhow chapter 15 . 5/3/2015
It would be interesting to see how Ty Lee would do against combustion man. Would normal chi blocking work on him?