Reviews for Just Beneath the Surface
Zero Unit RGB chapter 43 . 11/15/2013
Wow, the story is really progressing now and we can see a little more of the real Fola which is a very nice touch. I think that not only the story, but the characters, have progressed and developed so far and it's truly an amazing thing to follow. It's a fantastic chapter and very well written. I feel that some parts were a little choppy but those can be easily overlooked. I was just watching X Factor USA and now I feel like I'm reviewing like one of the judges. Anyway, I love the chapter, great job, keep up the awesome work!
Incarnate Firefly chapter 43 . 11/15/2013
Finally, Asuma's salvation is here! I was kinda hoping that Fola's fall from the tree would cripple her, but I guess that would've been an even easier death than Sauda's.

One common thread I've seen connecting all the characters in this chapter is the self-blame. The plot looks like it's reached that point where the main characters realize that nearly all of them hold part of the blame. Even though it's clearly left its mark on the youngest generation of lions (Asuma, Tanga, Natin), this is good because it will draw the resolution more easily when the time comes for acceptance.

To best honest, I'm not feeling profoundly interested in Iken, and I don't know if you're going to reveal him in this story. I wouldn't mind if you do though. All in all, great chapter! Looking forward to more!
Kusa chapter 42 . 11/6/2013
Well, finally got around to reading the new chapters since last time and I'm eagerly looking foward to how this plays out.

Keep up the great work.
Zero Unit RGB chapter 42 . 10/2/2013
Wow, three years, seriously? This is a fantastic story though. I really liked the conversation between Kovu and Kiara, it's nothing unrealistic but nothing too casual. It's pretty much how a reunion between two former lovers would act. Seeing the difference between Kovu now and Kovu in the middle of this story is quite amazing, he's developed so much from rogue, prince, murderer, and now sorry sinner. The one thing I'm mainly wondering is what's going to happen when they return to the Pride Lands, assuming they all return safely, I feel as though Kovu might decide to leave or something although that might not be good on the pride's conscience since he did come with Fola and the lionesses. But I like Chaka's compromise, with having the lionesses lead, that'll be fun.
tmh1022 chapter 42 . 10/1/2013
The moment I was waiting for! And it was beautifully authored. Very clear with the emotions. I guess I was really wrong about Kovu wanting to forgive his mother lol. His hate seems excessive, but it makes me wonder why he abominates his mother so much. His adolescence is still shrouded in mystery, I wonder if Zira succeeded in getting him to kill that sick cub...and if there were more.
Tanga surprised me a bit. I wasn't expecting her to be so protective but it certainly does make sense.
Chaka has seemed to regress little without Tojo's guidance. Kovu's very right about how tojo scolds Chaka like a cub.
Oh and I'm really liking the suspense building up for Asuma! Especially obvious in this chapter because he was mentioned so often.
Good luck with classes!
Emerald dreamer96 chapter 42 . 9/30/2013
This was fantastic as usual.

Seems that the beginnings of something approaching reconciliation are starting to appear. I really, really hope that nobody messes it up at this point.
Chaka has made a lot of progress even if it isn't quite even.

I really loved the emotion and complicated relationships in this chapter. The writing is fluid and beautiful and really fits in well with the brilliant plot.

Great chapter, really looking forwards to the next one, whenever it is. Good luck with your studies and congratulations on the three year anniversary.
readsmanyfavsfew chapter 41 . 8/23/2013
Man, I'm a big dummy for not noticing the potential connection sooner. I've always felt it a bit strange that these lionesses that came into the story so quickly and became so vital seemingly came out of nowhere, and had no former connection to the pridelands other than kovu just finding them and using them for his purposes. But now that it's revealed that they were the same ones that took in Chaka they suddenly have a much stronger tie to the pridelands, the characters, and the story. Before Kovu had alot of relationship tied problems back to his home, so there was an desire for the reader to see him return. The posse that he collected though didn't really have any character based problems other than going to the pride lands to fulfill basic needs for food and shelter, and while that works fine, it's still somewhat disappointing or uninteresting for the main goal of a key faction.

By linking them to Chaka though, suddenly conflicts are opened up by them meeting with Chaka, along with some really nice potential for maybe shedding some more less biased background on Chaka's past coming from someone other than himself. Overall I'm pleasently surprised at this new and (and immensely obvious now that I think about it) turn of events. Fola's group wasn't necessarily written poorly, it just feels like they fit much better into the story now.

Big development for Fola's pride in general now actually. Fola really established herself as BADASS in this pride. Her development was A, and I now actually care about what happens to her group now too. Well, not as much as the other characters, but still. It's a breath of fresh air to have a strong, smart, sensible female character that is bad ass, and not completely crazy or stupid. Like Suada for instance.

The better and more developed Fola is written, the more I can't help but feel how unnecessary Suada was as a character. If Fola was their leader this whole time it would strengthen their arc considerably in my opinion. Suada's death could have easily have been replaced with a generic lioness, whom Fola would swear to take revenge for and then the story would continue to where it is now. It's just the better Fola gets as a leader, and the more developed and reasonable she gets, the more pointless suada seems. That's just me nitpicking though, so don't mind me.

I again like that Fola's group can't really be called villans, as they're only trying to do justice for their murdered friend, oh I like how consistent that theme is. No true villains.

On the seemingly random massacre with Kovu and Chaka. Felt kinda random. I see why it's there, and I see what's it's trying to accomplish, but it's just such an odd break and an odd time to try and do character development, in addition to introducing new characters. I thought we were like two chapters away from the completion of the story, and I feel like there's alot of main conflict that still needs to be resolved, so why are subplots being introduced now? The section itself was written well enough, it's why it's there at all that bugs me.

I like how confused Natin was this chapter at letting the two lions who were not seconds away from killing each other the day before are going on a trip together. It was a nice touch and reminder of just how much he had missed. Good banter between him and Chaka as well.

Whelp that's all hungrily awaiting the next chapter.

P.S: I almost forgot, WHAT HAPPENED TO ASUMA? AAAAAAAGHHHH PAIN. Longest cliff hanger ever.
Incarnate Firefly chapter 41 . 8/18/2013
Well, this is getting very interesting. And now Kiara finally knows that Kovu is back. I wonder what they'll say to each other when they meet, even if you're going to delay that occurrence for a while.

The flashback with Nala is very sobering. It's been a while since I've had my thoughts on her part in this story, but I feel bad that her life ended in such misery like that. I hope that when everything is resolved, she will see that from the heavens.

As weird as it may sound, it looks like Kovu is starting to cheer up overall. His relationship with Chaka is also slowly improving, though I doubt they'll ever be firm friends. Suki, on the other hand, may be capable of saving Chaka from himself, or am I presuming too much?
Emerald dreamer96 chapter 41 . 8/17/2013
Very interesting chapter.

Kovu seems oddly naïve/out of place. He really seems to have become rather

Chaka is showing some disturbing signs but the bloodlust might come in handy given what is coming. He seems determined to get a grip so that is good and he's definitely improved.

Poor Nala, and Kiara isn't doing so well either. Maybe she and her daughter can get some type of closure over the whole mess. So much damage coming from a single mistake, who would have guessed?
Zero Unit RGB chapter 41 . 8/16/2013
Yeah, I can definitely see the large amounts of character development. You know, I had forgotten large portions of the story but as I kept reading, I was able to remember pretty much everything. When that lioness mentioned 'maned lioness', I thought that it was such a weird coincidence because I just read Asante's new chapter on his story which has a maned lioness in it. That group of scavengers was a new one, I never thought I'd hear of so many different animals working together for food. Chaka's little...'episode'...was disturbing, really, really disturbing. That was an amazing job you did though. And Chaka with Suki? That's a little hard to imagine and yet pretty easy too. I really missed your work though, keep it up! I wish you only the best of luck!
tmh1022 chapter 41 . 8/16/2013
Worth the wait! Really liked this chapter!
Ugh tbh Natin is my least favorite character in JBtS...it was him being a brat when he was a cub that's caused so much trouble. But I guess seeing his mother slaughtered when he was so young gives him every reason to be so pessimistic...
I feel sorry for Kiara...if her mother really was disappointed in her, then she must really feel unloved. Now that I think about it, while we know a lot about Kovu's relationship with his kids, and Kiara's relationship with Tanga, we haven't seen much mother-son interaction between Kiara and Asuma.
Soon will come the moment of truth, I hope! Kiara seeing her mate for the first time in two years...going to be pretty bittersweet...
It was cool to see some of Chaka's life with the warriors...and now I have to wonder if Fola really was his girlfriend or if the unnamed lioness was just taunting...could be a real game-changer...
Chaka is a sadist! I knew it! Honestly I was starting to like him last chapter, but seeing the way he still insults Kovu and now this...eh.
Btw I loved the way you shifted from Chaka's POV to Kovu's.
And finally, still no update on Asuma? Oh dear...beginning to feel a little scared for him...an acacia branch can't hold an adult male lion for long...
Holy crap this is a long review. lol Sorry, this chapter had a lot of development, as you said!
Kusa chapter 40 . 6/29/2013
I'm hoping you go with B. This story has had me hooked since I started reading and B is sounding like a good option.
readsmanyfavsfew chapter 40 . 6/21/2013
Yay an update! This one took awhile, I was getting used to the month-lyish fix of this story. Subtle guilt trips aside, time for the reviewing!

This chapter was...odd. At first, and at the surface. The main focus is on Tanga and Kiara. And Kovu and Chaka. Big relationship changing dialogue is passed between the two. One was introduced strangely, the other had a more systematic oddness to it.

Kiara and Tanga. We as readers know exactly why kiara ran away. It was told to us in her point of view. And still, at least to me, even now, it seems kinda inexplicable that she would need to leave for a few moments. Even the characters were kinda taken aback by it. I mirror Timon in witnessing that. But really I'm left to ask; what exactly was the point of her running off? That she suddenly left isn't of any significance or brought up again, nothing happens to her while she leaves, she doesn't appear to discover any new reasoning with which to explain to tanga while she's gone...it looks to me to be wholly unnecessary for Kiara to just run off. Running away is a big BIG emotive action for a character to take. There should be big reasons for it. But a mother running away from her recently discovered child almost presumed dead is just really quite something else. I don't think what kiara feels guilty of would be enough to warrant such action for her. Hell I don't think anythingwould warrant fleeing from your child in such a case. Okay this really is minor so I'll get off of it. But I think the same guilt could have been conveyed much for succinctly. Just having kiara hesitate a moment before rushing to Tanga, and having Tanga notice that, would serve much better to demonstrate that interaction, and would certainly give Kiara a bit more subtlety. This was the only odd part in this section.

Their discussion is more or less exactly how it should have gone. Tanga is pissed at being kept blissfully ignorant of the giant elephant in the family, and I agree with all her points. Kiara really shows how she just wanted to protect her from the horrid truth, and you can see why a mother would go to those lengths, even if it's not necessarily the best for Tanga. She just wanted Tanga to be happy, and while she accomplished that for a short while, it kinda backfired too. I liked that dynamic.

Kovu and Chaka. MAN did this one feel weird. There was nothing wrong with it, it just developed Chaka leaps and bounds beyond what I was anticipating. Chaka has always been an extremely easy character to understand. Tragic past. Immensely hurt by it. Cloaks himself in rage and uses it to deal with the past as well as the present. This chapter really saw him peel away that cloak though and I realized...I have absolutely no idea what kinda character he would be underneath that. His anger hasn't just been his most defining trait to me, but also one of his only ones. Lot's of what he's done so far seems to have been motivated by it, and I'm starting to wonder what he'd be like if he was truly let it go. I've never been really fair to Chaka as a character, he was always easy to understand. I tended to dismis him. He's the angry one. He makes violent rash decisions that aren't always the smartest, and causes alot of problems. Easy to sum up. Without that though he begins to show some room to mature. I really liked this line, it stuck out to me the most.

"All of you have been acting like cubs. Chaka's just the biggest,"

A fun line, a witty one, and a truthful one. And it demonstrates the section with Chaka and Kovu the most. Speaking of which...

Kovu just absolutely cemented his change from the one who runs away from everything to the one who takes responsibility for everything. Even some things he may not have thought he did. I've mentioned time and time again how I don't really think Kovu murdered Simba, and how it was the push that started the whole story, but regardless of his innocence or guilt Kovu seems to have just accepted it for what it is and is taking responsibility. That one act has always seemed to have had a looming effect on the story. Even up to now, despite all that's happened, that's what I think about first when trying to analyze Kovu's character. If he's leaving that behind himself now, in a way I kinda have to too. And without that act constantly coming up to judge him by, it really does seem like he's truly changed.

Hrm. The Kovu Chaka talk felt strange to me because of how important they hate eachother has been to driving the conflict so far. I definitely understand now what you mean when you say a big conflict resolving itself with a bit of discussion can feel a bit flat. Still, lot's and lots of pushing was needed for this, and they didn't exactly make peace yet. It felt odd to see these two former arch nemesis's talk to one another, but it makes sense given that they're not really the same characters anymore, given all their growth.

The two qoutes you began this story with so long ago grow more and more relevant. I wonder; how much of this general outline did you plan ahead for? While specifics I'm sure weren't solid, how much of the general outline of the story has remained the same? I'm left to wonder.

Can't wait for the next update!

P.S- OH geeze I almost forgot to mention! No Asuma section!? Is he alive?! How could you torture your readers with a long cliff hanger on a main character's life!? Who do you think you are? George R.R Martin?!
saintgat1999 chapter 40 . 6/20/2013
B! B! B,my lord!
tmh1022 chapter 40 . 6/18/2013
Nice job!
So Tanga's doubting the power of forgiveness...lol, it was Kovu wanting to forgive his mother that started this whole mess.
Hurray for Chaka keeping a hold of himself...I am starting to like his character a bit more.
BTW, was the character death warning always in the summary? I only just noticed it.
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