Reviews for Within Reach
Thyme In Her Eyes chapter 8 . 2/1/2012
As I said in my PM, I have no idea how I failed to notice this chapter before now. It must have been the holidays distracting me - but as always, it's great to see a new chapter posted! I'm only sorry I didn't get to review it sooner!

Anyway, this instalment was *really* interesting, and I was feeling more and more gripped as I went along. You wrote the build-up to the banquet scene very well, and it made for a very tense climax (and I felt so pained for Schala, having to sit through that humiliation! it seemed even more cruel considering how modest and delicate she is!). I can't wait for the payoff and to see how far the suitor-subplot goes. I also think the way you wrote Schala's mixed shyness and excitement about being courted in a very real well, and I loved reading Magus' ambiguous response to it.

Speaking of Magus, his scenes with Schala just get more and more touching (the forest scene was sweet and I especially loved his subtle protectiveness of her after the banquet - I also really liked how you wrote Janus in this scene too), and I'm really enjoying how you write their dialogue - you make his cynical humour play very well against her natural sweetness and shyness. It's also interesting that his feelings are getting more complicated and that he's beginning to be mired in doubts and second-thoughts. I only hope his decision at the end of this chapter doesn't last!

One part of the romance I guess I'd be interested in seeing more of is *how* and *when* exactly his feelings for Schala changed from brotherly love into romantic longing, because I don't think it's totally clear so far. Was it since he came back to Zeal? Or before? Always? His reaction to his own feelings seems a little under-explored so far imho, and it's the only thing I really hope you'll address more later.

But anyway, this was another great chapter and your writing style is getting better and better. I'm enjoying this so much, and hope you'll post more soon!

PS: Chapter 9 finally appeared! I don't know what the problem was before, but it's showing up now! _
Dove chapter 8 . 1/30/2012
How did i miss this? I am so happy you updated! That was such an ugly scene with Queen Zeal, I really hate her and felt so bad for poor that flashback Magus had! Horror. I know things are going to ger worse for them but i wish it could be different.
niisan99 chapter 8 . 1/28/2012
Ooh, very nice and intriguing story you have here. I feel so sorry for them both and hope you give it a happy ending. Please continue.
Dove chapter 7 . 12/12/2011
Awesome new chapters. Keep going, its really good so far. the Romance is so addictive lol.
Thyme In Her Eyes chapter 7 . 12/8/2011
Another lovely chapter. The tenderness here was really beautiful and moving, and I love how you wrote Magus' shifting emotions throughout. Even the small moments seemed perfectly IC - my favourite being Magus' observations on Janus, and his jealousy of himself. It really shows how little he's changed in some ways, and how both Magus and Janus share this trait of wanting Schala all to themselves and any interlopers out of the way. XD

There's so much lovely, sexy chemistry here too, and it's a joy to read. The love here is just so tender and gentle and caring. The gloves/hands moment was so sweetly touching and full of tension and longing, and the kiss near the end was wonderful, and the build-up to it very romantic and entrancing. Schala's words to him were heartbreaking in their goodness and innocence. I loved the discussion on the nature of magic too, and Schala's curiosity about Magus' origins. As I said in an earlier review, her wish to reach out to him feels so IC, and you portray it beautifully. Your skill with these characters keeps improving - with each chapter they feel more real, more human, and more fleshed-out, and I find myself caring about them more with each new installment. I'm absolutely dying to see what happens next between them. *_*

Your development of Queen Zeal's fall into obssession and the growth of Lavos' power and influence is also really intriguing and 's great to see all the pieces start to come together, and everyone advancing towards destruction. I'm very interested in how you'll describe the building of the Ocean Palace, and how Schala will be persuaded (or forced?) into continuing to power the Mammon Machine.

The encounter between Magus and Dalton at the end was soooo promising too. Great potential conflict you have brewing there, even with Magus refusing to rise to Dalton's provocations. Especially considering how roughly Dalton treats Schala in the game. I can't WAIT to see where this leads. You really nailed Dalton's pompous arrogance and aggression too, and how he's perhaps more instictively suspicious and cunning than truly intelligent. What a jerk. XD

Any room for impovement? Well, some formatting for the scene-break between the Magus/Schala scene and the meeting with Queen Zeal would have been good. It's easier on the eyes. But other than that, I can feel you getting better, taking your time more, and becoming more descriptive and making the scenes fuller, so I feel I don't have much to add. XD You're improving plenty on your own! Keep up the good work, and I can't wait to read the next chapter! _
Thyme In Her Eyes chapter 6 . 12/8/2011
Alright, hopefully this review will be less epic in length than the last one. XD

This was such a dramatic and creepy chapter! Short, but intense. I could just feel this sense of something bad about to happen building and building...

There were so many little moments to love here, and so many intricate details that really build the characterization - Queen Zeal's manic energy and the reference to her passion for education before her will was taken over by Lavos (I never imagined it before, but now I can totally see it XD), Magus' encounter with Alfador (so cute!), and I especially loved how you wrote and described Janus. You really captured his petulance as well as his protectiveness and love so well. I also really loved the tension of the encounter between Magus and Janus, and the strange antagonism between them. The mutual hostility feels so natural, and you write it well. I wish there'll be more of it in later chapters!

As always, the interaction between Magus and Schala is very well done - you write her gentleness and kindness well, and how much of a calming and humanising influence on Magus really shines.

The gems of this chapter *have* to be your descriptions of the black wind and the cry of Lavus though - SUCH powerful images and disturbing descriptions, and they set the tone and mood of this chapter so well. I felt such a sense of horror and foreboding by the end, and your cliffhanger ending was brilliant. I was hooked wanting to read more, and it feels like the story is really moving now! You built the tension so very well, and I loved how you imagined Schala's ability to to power the Mammon Machine was first discovered. Very dark and appropraitely fearsome.
Thyme In Her Eyes chapter 5 . 12/8/2011
YES! Three for the price of one! Where have I been all week to miss this? XD Now where to even begin...? I guess I should tackle them one at a time, but before I start, I just have to say that with each chapter, you're getting better and better. The writing becomes smoother, the details become richer, and your grasp on the characters (and what looks like your comfort and confidence in writing them) becomes stronger. It's really great to feel that from another writer.

Okay, Chapter 5... First of all, don't worry about taking a long time to update this one. It was worth the wait. It was your longest chapter so far, and it's worth taking a little extra time to fill a chapter with details and development. It feels really great to have a nice, long chapter to read, with a lot going on in it, so don't feel bad in taking your time over them. _

And I really enjoyed this. As always, Magus' thoughts were very well-written, and I especially liked his resentment towards his younger self. I think you nailed the psychology there.

I absolutely loved his visit to Enhasa with Scahala too. You just got everything right here, and I confess that I squeeed a bit. XD The relationship development is soooo intriguing to read. I'm liking how you write their interactions more and more - how he enjoys flustering her and getting a reaction from her, and how much he really enjoys her company and feels understood by her, even when she has no idea of the truth of who he really is. Schala's attempts to reach out to him are very touching as well, and her dialogue felt perfect in this scene, especially when she questioned him about his hood. This whole scene was just so lovely - the flying, the accidental unmasking, the kiss, and then him choosing a book for was all so sweet and romantic and peaceful, genuinely touching, without being too fluffy or sugary. It was just a really magical, happy sequence, and your dialogue was great too (especially, "You can know me" *MELT*).

For some con crit now, and I think there were some more spelling mistakes and typos here than in previous chapters (reading 'incredulously', hios voice 'interred' that he meant it, 'blusehd', etc), but I think it's a problem to can solve just by reading over it more carefully before posting (everyone makes mistakes like this, it's inevitable) or by getting a friend to beta-read your chapters, just to have a second opinion and another pair of eyes checking things.

If you want some general advice (your note at the end DID ask for comments... XD), I'd just recommend taking your time more with scenes - the longer it is, the more emotional connection you get - to be a bit more descriptive, and to remember the rule of "show, don't tell" ( /authors/articles/show_not_ ). I think it'll definitely strengthen your writing. _

I hope those comments were helpful! Again, this was such an enjoyable chapter, and you're getting better and better as you progress. WHY does this 'fic not have more reviews yet?
Dove chapter 5 . 12/6/2011
Cool, an update. This chapter was the best so far, and so detailed. i loved the kiss scene. it was very sweet. Keep going! you'r doing great.
Dove chapter 4 . 12/1/2011
Great story, and i love this pairing! Magus is awesome. will there be more soon?
Thyme In Her Eyes chapter 4 . 11/12/2011
Yay, the formatting looks great in this chapter!Good job! _

Anyway, it really makes me happy to see a new chapter here so soon. You always update so quickly, and this was another strong instalment, and I love that you're taking time to build a world and background. You definitely covered Magus' incorporation into Zeal well. And I didn't think this chapter was too humorous at all! Magus' interactions with the Guardians, the Gurus and Dalton were all amusing, but also had a definite serious element too (well, his talks with the Gurus and dealing with Dalton's suspicion anyway XD), and also very IC for everyone. I'm really interested in how Dalton will end up losing his eye, and if it'll tie in with your plot.

My favourite part of this by far though was the meeting between Magus and Queen Zeal. I think you've done a great job of characterizing her so far - she's dangerously powerful and intelligent, but still at this point a good ruler deeply concerned about the future welfare of her people, and worried about how much longer they can sustain their way of life. It's very sad to think how her fear and noble intentions will become a consuming obsession, and will ultimately turn her into Lavos' puppet, and yet it looks so natural and inevitable.

Anyway, I can't wait for more. I'd love to see more interactions between Magus and his family - with Queen Zeal, with Schala (naturally), and with his former self (and Alfador!). Keep it up! _
Thyme In Her Eyes chapter 3 . 11/7/2011
Don't worry about needing to take the chapter to get your introductions and settings done properly - they're very important details! It's good to focus on them plenty.

Anyway, another good chapter. The power conversation between Magus and Schala was very interesting, and I only wish it could have gone on for longer (and that maybe Schala could have contributed more to it, because she seems a very wise and intelligent character, but then again, she is a few years younger than her game-self here). It was really funny to picture Magus with the Nu too! XD

Again, I enjoyed this very much, and I'm really intrigued to see Magus fitting in with Zeal Kingdom and how he starts putting his plans into motion.
Thyme In Her Eyes chapter 2 . 11/4/2011
Yay, it's great to see an update so soon! _ And again, I really enjoyed this, and am starting to feel pretty hooked. I wish for more already. I couldn't see any spelling/grammar errors, your writing style flows so smoothly, and I really like how you write Magus. It's spot-on characterization, particularly his utter hostility and contempt for the Earthbound even as they were trying to help him. I'm just dying to see more interaction between him and Schala now.

I'm also really intrigued that you chose to send him back *years* before the Ocean Palace was completed. I think most other Zeal fics I've seen only send him back a few months at most before Crono and the gang arrive (though I don't remember if the game gives any hint about how long he spent as the Prophet...darn, I should play it again someday soon, lol). Anyway, I find your different idea really interesting and I'm so curious about where you're planning to take it.

One minor criticism I have is that although the passage where Schala appears is really beautifully written (seriously, loved the dawn metaphors), it isn't actually made totally clear what happened and that Schala is there until she speaks. So it was a bit confusing at first. I definitely think that such a big moment could use more detail, that's all. But other than that, this was another great chapter. Keep up the good work!
Thyme In Her Eyes chapter 1 . 11/2/2011
An intriguing, descriptive and well-written prologue. I also think you captured Magus' character and inner-voice really well. Great work! This is such a promising start, and I can't wait to see where you take this story! I absolutely love Magus/Schala too, so it's always a treat to find good stories with this pairing, as they're so hard to come across. I'm really interested in how you'll portray this relationship and how it develops.

There isn't much I can say as constructive criticism yet, as this chapter was so short, except that it'd be a good idea to format your author's notes so that they're easily distinguished from your story, or that there's some kind of gap separating the two. It just makes it easier to read.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this little teaser, and I'm soooo looking forward to the next chapter! Hope you update soon! _
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