|Reviews for Where the Road Ends|
| SSGA chapter 1 . 1/4/2011
This is just COOL,AWESOME!I think you should start publishing books and whole story is genesis wasn't in it it would have been greater(Seph alone is too great!)You just rock!Like always your story is challenging,you're a great writer cause making the reader want more is a hard
task,and you've made it,like always bringing up new and different ideas,little details that are hidden in the corners,and like always guestions!XD you said this part and I couldn't get it what do you mean by :"How to make the mind
perceive that, which was outside its naturally developed boundaries? A question to the Creator himself, perhaps." the last sentence is a little confusing. The second why would seph as a god indulges himself in such activity with gen,if he's a god like Jehovah why would he like gen(I think I
would have despised him)? And also what happened to seph?Like AlexJ I really liked to see seph punish gen(laughing evilly) he sometimes deserves it.
Again a beautiful job, and awesome metaphoric scenes,looking forward for your other new cool stories.I just loved it!
| Avid Fantasy chapter 1 . 1/2/2011
Alex e-mailed me about 4 times to come and read this story. I could not any sooner, but I will tell you why in a moment. First want to say how right Alex was when she said this was a masterpiece. From the beginning to the end.
I loved the idea of Seph being an alien and Gen being half. You pulled it off so well, and the detail was crystal clear.
This story had so many great war scenes. You are really, really good at those. I LOLed at the Russians drinking vodka. I really liked when the boy asked Seph if he was God right before he went running off into battle. I almost feel bad for him, but I really don't, because he was just one kid out of thousands like him.
The creation myth was great, I loved it, but I am not happy with Jehovah, because he didn't want humans to have technology, and then he ordered all half humans to be slaughtered. He was very mean for doing that. I was glad he finally died. I notice you talked a lot about Seph's father, but when he was talking to Gen, he asked about his mother. I wonder what Seph thinks about his own mother?
You made a Hitler, a personalized one, but Hitler none the less. Great job.
My favorite part was Seph/Gen being together. You know how much I love that. It made me happy and warm.
I LOVED how you ended most humans, but made Gen the new god. I would worship Gen if he were a god, and Seph too.
P.S. I squeed when a rumor reached me about a certain co-write with a certain other writer that I love. If you guys do it, I will be able to die a happy person. ;)
Have a great New Year
| AlexJ69 chapter 1 . 1/2/2011
OMG, there is so much about this story that is just fantastic. It not only looks at humanity as a whole, and argues the human philosophy, but it views the race from an outside perspective.
One of the lovely things about this story is that it can be read straight through, and the average person will understand it, but it brings up so many different ideas, that if you want to delve deeper into this story, you can do that to.
I would call this story Sci-fi, if only due to the alien aspect of it, but it's really not. It's more a story about humanity, (even though you made it about Seph and Gen), and our failures and triumphs and what an alien race, in the predicament that Seph's race was in, would fear from us.
It also subtly brings up the questions of a Creator, and why Seph, being logical, doesn't think one exists.
As for the story itself, wow. I'm highly impressed. Not only with the creativity, but with your improved writing style. You are getting better every time you post something.
I absolutely adored your Hitler, and I know how much work you put into him. It paid off nicely in the end. And your description of the war was beautiful. You always have made writing war an art form.
However, I think my favorite part of the story had to be the part about our origins and how we were given the knowledge we had. And I also loved how we viewed Seph's father as God, because he did beneficial things for us. And I liked how Azazel was deemed a devil and an outcast for giving us knowledge and how Jehovah really hated the fact that they were sleeping with humans. (cracked me up, though it shouldn't) I for one am glad Azazel took a human wife. XD.
There were so many Biblical references in this story that I just loved it to pieces.
Now I have to say, "Poor Cloud." LOL. And if anyone misses the reference, too bad for them.
Neph, that was amazing Neph porn. XD. But seriously, Seph/Gen are just so perfect together, and I agree, it don't have to be pornographic with these two to make it beautiful and HOT! The Seph/Gen dialogue was superb, and it's wonderful how Seph does feel strongly about Gen, else he would have been unsure when answering about punishing him. (though I will say it again, I wanna see Seph punish Gen. ;p )
Yay, the end of humanity (well, mostly). I think you executed it perfectly. And the very end. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED. If anyone deserves it, it's Genesis. I think this way, because he is half human, and understands them on an emotional level that Seph don't get. And I wonder if Seph will pick up his father's mantle and cast Gen out, just like Jehovah did Azazel. You know, if Seph really, really thinks about it, if his race isn't breeding fast enough, then it might not be such a bad idea to allow half breeds, that way at least a part of his race will survive, even if the main core of their race dies out. (I'm talking like you will make a sequel *sighs*)
Personally, there are a few questions that I have, like, how do they explain humans who could work miracles or do magic, and I would be very disappointed if it was because of alien intervention. I guess I would want something that made Seph really question his own believes. (But again, I'm talking about you adding more to this story)
Ok, I'm sure I missed a few things, but you get the idea. I LOVED it.
Great story. And you know, you could always write another chapter. *wink, wink*
| Cookiecat chapter 1 . 1/2/2011
This time, I'm really positively absolutely speechless. This is a real treasure of a story, and I can't believe you dedicated it to me of all people. It's dark, it's even uncomfortable and a bit scary, but at the same time philosophical and really, really deep. I'd say it's more than a story, just like some tales in the bible are seen as more than just pieces of text. It's an allegory, a piece of writing that explores the very core of human thinking and existence, and then takes a step beyond it. It's nothing short of epic, just like DS, but epic in a different way. It's the classic way of epic, plain, direct, painful. Not the pretty, ornated images, but the dark ones; a painting not drawn in bright colours, but in shades of white, black and grey.
As you can see, I could easily rant on and on about what the story is in a general and very metaphorical sense, but I think it might be more interesting if I took a closer look at its elements and scenes. So here we go...
Already the first words set the tone for the story: *Sephiroth stood where the road ended*. This does not only tie to the title, but is also very symbolic. Sephiroth is standing at a boundary one is not supposed to cross, and most people would neither dare to nor be capable of crossing it. This very image already shows that 'normal' boundaries don't apply to Sephiroth, that he always close to them (meaning 'not really graspable') and able to move beyond them.
The rest of this opening scene is set brilliantly and in a very meaningful way, too. It starts with a positive, rather pretty description, and then - like a camera panning over a scene and gradually revealing the darker parts of - turns to the harsh and cruel reality of a war scenario.
*He was no human* This simple sentence confirms the impression the reader got from the very first lines of the story. Sephiroth seemed to detached, so aloof, so untouchable from the very first words on.
I think the fact that he was able to look at the sun also spells out much more than just the fact that his body had no human limitations. After all, the sun is - and always has been - a symbol of God. Humans took the fact that they were unable to look directly at the sun as a sign that they were unable to look directly at God. Being able to look someone in the eye is a sign of equality, which speaks volumes about Seph...
*Humans were so hopelessly sentimental.* That sentence is very sweet for some reason... (yes, I'm a romantic at heart). However, I think it's very interesting that every country in WWII had a sentimental song about a girl waiting for her beloved to return from war (the German equivalent was "Lili Marleen"). A case of 'hope dies last' or utter sentimentalism, whatever you prefer...
The next scene reminded me of one of those war movies. The dialogue, the descriptions, all was flowing so well and so natural. It's just like you had been there and were describing the scene to us... Once again, I bow before your talent.
*Sephiroth smiled to himself and took a step backwards,(...)It was pleasant as ever not to err.*
This whole passage is one again so meaningful (Seph blending with the shadows is once again a symbol of him overstepping boundaries... that seems to be a running theme here) and so very in character (Seph's evaluation of the Russian forces shows the experienced eye of a great strategist and commander).
*The city agonized, bled profusely, and yet held.*
That is another wonderful metaphor (the city representing the country and/or its people), very well picked and very meaningful. Seph's fascination with this uncanny sight is just an added bonus to make it even deeper.
*One rifle for two...* Oh, I remember that. It also gave me a sudden flashback to watching the movie "Enemy at the Gates" (with Jude Law).
Did you say you can't pick quotes? I adore the contrast made by this announcement and the very patriotic song here... it just underlines the discrepancy between reality and idealism. Extremely well done.
And I bet those poor kiddies were impressed. They were kids after all. My granddad was 16 when they insisted he should join the war during its last days...
*like Vasily Zaytsev* What a coincidence that I just mentioned "Enemy at the Gates" a few lines above... Remember our conversation about 'national heroes' yesterday? War heroes are a very related cathegory... And again, you brilliantly show the contrast between ideal and reality here... (Ironically, all those boys could be called 'heroes' for being willing to give their lives, but history doesn't even remember their names.)
*"Are you… are you God? I prayed."* That was my favourite passage from the preview you once published, and it still is one of my favourite passages in this story. It shows so much, once again Seph's superior, not-human position as well as the desperation and the blind belief of the 'masses' this boy stands for.
*How pitiful was his dying wish. His hope how laughable! And yet… how interesting.* Remember our discussion about not being able to think beyond human capacity? Another thing you do extremely well in this story is to offer a glimpse at how the world and its inhabitants might look like from the perspective of a complete outsider, a member of a higher race. I can imagine very well than even though humans might appear petty and inferior to them, there might be a certain fascination, too. It reminds me of the way we look at insects (a boy and his ant farm, to pick a common image).
The next paragraph is one of the deepest and most meaninful, yet also most difficult passages in this story. Like Sephiroth transcending the boundaries of humanity, your 'trascened' the setting and story-telling boundaries by giving us a back story so universal that it rivals the great philosophical theories. It's a very interesting approach to say that a 'higher' being (from whereever) is automatically accepted as God, even though that being might not be divine at all. I also love the tie to canon (the connection between Jenova and Jehova is very obvious, and you simply changed mother into father - making it a more 'religious' concept at the same time).
I love how you brought the fallen angels in again (reminds me of DS, but again, done in a very different way). This has to be one of my favourite parts in Christian Mythology anyway...
You manage to give both Sephiroth and Genesis (again, great play on the meaning of the name) a backstory that is very philosphical, very deep and - despite being very unusual - a great tie to canon. I could rant about the amazing amount of details and their perfect arrangement for ages, but then I would run out of signs before I even got to Hitler, so I better don't...
However, let me add that you once again cross the boundaries by taking well-known elements from both kinds of canon (religion, and FF VII) and combine than into something unique and very convincing. Once again, sheer awe at my end.
After the first few lines of the next scene, I can already see the amazing amount of effort and research you put into this. After reading so many 'bad' authors just repeating helf-truth and things they heard somewhere, this is a real pleasure to read.
*"Crescent."* I smiled. The endless discussion about Seph's last name, ended in one sentence: *was as good of a last name as any other*.
*yet Sephiroth could not be fooled by exteriors and facades* that reminds me of something... so true, so true ;)
I never though I'd say this, but I really like Hitler. Here, 'your' Hitler, that is. You manage to show him as a human being as well as a cold-hearted leader, with hints of charisma and joy about simple pleasures (like music) as well as sparks of paranoia and even insanity.
*Think of me as a hand of Providence.* Excellent, knowing that Hitler so himself as a tool of Providence.
During the entire conversation, I can't help but marvel once again at your deep insight (and the huge amount of research you put into tiny details that make the whole scene just perfect) as well as your characterization skills. I enjoyed reading it a lot.
*And yet ignorance isn't inherited or innate. Ignorance is a choice.* So true again.
The next scene has a conversation of a very different kind, yet not less meaningful. Seph's fascination for Genesis (who is half-human after all) really reflects the fascination Gen's father must have felt for their women (or one in particular). The fact that Seph even uses 'human' language (something that is actually 'below him', as he says before) just to humour Gen tells a lot about their relationship, too.
Actually, this is about quesions and answers, more precisely about how you deal with missing or non-existing answers, isn't it? If I didn't love you already, I would do so now... :)
Did you know that red, black and white are the most symbolic colours (meaning, the most used ones in symbolism)? Yet you manage to provide something that seems new and uncommon.
I think one of my very favourite parts (tough choice again) has to be the very ending of this scene. Every line here is meaningful, and so much in character. I love the image of 'ashen butterflies' and the notion of conflict here (Genesis is not the person who accepts being put into place, Seph is not the person to tolerate rebellion). In a way, they are turning into their fathers, aren't they? Which makes me wonder just how much history will repeat itself...
It's official, I need a second review this time... Back in a moment ;)
| Cookiecat ran out of space chapter 1 . 1/2/2011
Let me add something to the previous scene. There was heavily implied sexual content, which you provide in a way I have never seen before in that perfection: put entirely 'between the lines', yet very present and sensible/tangible. It's almost poetic, a mode that is my favourite way of presenting sexual tension. Love it.
The next scene is another brilliant one. Starting so harmless, as a little meeing in a cafe, and leading (in the long run) to the development of the atomic bomb. (I couldn't help noticing that while the conversation with Hitler showed Seph primality as a strategist, this shows him as a bright mind and an intellectual).
The ending is yet again the most intense passage of all, almost haunting: *"Who are you? God? Devil?" - "Neither."*
Next scene... oh, I just knew the ashen butterflies would come back...
Knowing that this story would end with the desctruction of the world, I felt a bit sorry in the beginning, yet your extremely well-done display of human cruelty and insanity makes me realize that in a way, humanity maybe deserves such an ending.
I love how you play with the notions of 'good' and 'evil' yet again, and how you (through Seph) describe morality as a choice.
Interesting (and very meaningful) to see that the real reason for wanting to destroy mankind is not that they are 'evil', but that they can use the knowledge they were given to become a threat to their 'gods'. Being afraid of such a threat makes those 'gods' human, too (and denies any idea of omnipotence).
And in the end, as Sephiroth points out in the next scene (couldn't help but think about the angels of the apocalypse here...), the humans will actually destroy themselves... So they are not innocent victims either.
*The world ended on the 12th of October, 1943, two hours after midnight.*
That simple, very plain sentence is very likely the most haunting one in your entire story. It makes the end of the world seem like another piece of news, another event like those that happen every day, while at the same time pointing out that it could happen every day, every moment.
The style you chose here - very simple and unemotional, like a description in a history book - just added to this feeling.
*After all, there was no sight more frightening than the dying world. There was no sight more beautiful.* A very haunting sentence that makes me feel like I can vaguely relate to it, yet never completely understand. Again, a great example of Seph's non-human way of thinking.
*Then the Earth called onto God.* As foreshadowed before. Ever realized that people pray much more when they are suffering?
*But the spiral made another turn, the cycle continued, the laws of change, of rebirth made the history anew.* That has to be another vfavourite sentence of mine. I really love the powerful imagery. It's an enternal spiral indeed...
I really love what you did with Genesis in the end. He reminds me of Prometheus here (who - very symbolically - brought the fire to humanity). In a way, he succeeded in becoming the new god, didn't he? However... not sure if Seph will accept that.
And then, the story ends with not one brilliant line, but two:
*After all, where the road ends, the new one begins.
Only at times, few are capable to grasp its existence and only those few are worthy to walk it.*
You are taking an old truth, and add another dimension to it. I love it.
Oh, is it over already? (*considers joining the 'write a sequel' queue*) But then again, some stories should remain stand-alones, they are deeper and more meaningful that way. (*decides to join the 'write more, no matter what' queue instead*)
Coming back to your question: Yes, this story was a real pleasure to read, as well as an intellectual and emotional challenge. And that kind is my favourite type of story. I'll add this to my favourites, so I can re-read and re-think it at least a few more times. It's like turning a diamond in the sun, or looking through a kaleidoskop, only to discover new facets every time.
In terms of depths and deep insight, one of your best works so far. But that again, all your stories are 'the best', just in different categories.
Thank you, once again (*hugs*)