Reviews for Awakening to Dreams
Lucrecia LeVrai chapter 8 . 8/14/2012
I like this chapter as it is. Sure, I haven't seen all of the other versions, but the current one is okay. Your writing style is still great. As for the contents of the chapter, the first half wasn't as emotionally moving as the rest of your fic so far, but the second half more than made up for it.

Just when I thought that Kuja and his reactions have become more or less 'normal' and adjusted, THIS happens. The first visit to Gaia. Kuja's confusion, his utter lack of comprehension (in spite of the dictionary definitions Garland provided him with), his emotional responses - all of that reminded me strongly of the first chapter. And damn, did I like it.
The best part for me was Kuja's reaction to grass: "Kuja jumped back with a small shriek of horror only to find his landing cushioned by more green life." It was cute, sweet, but also incredibly sad at the same time, because it showed just how /wrong/ Kuja's life and surrounding have been up to this point. (And to think that he wanted to go back to the sterile Terra at first, and only learnt to smile at Gaian beauty after he got used to it...)

The part with Kuja being reminded of what happened to Gemones "who did not fulfill their purpose" was chilling.

And I haven't mentioned it before, but I also like the concept of Kuja having a dual soul, and and the resulting implications.

Many thanks for this chapter! As usual, I'm eagerly looking forward to an update.
Lucrecia LeVrai chapter 7 . 8/6/2012
I've always assumed that Kuja went through 'training from hell', literally. That's because he's such a formidable opponent in the game and because Garland /had/ to be a harsh, demanding teacher who would constantly push Kuja past the limit of his abilities - regardless of methods used.
I just love how you make Garland seem so cruel to Kuja at times (okay, most of the time) without turning him into a sadist. Garland doesn't abuse his creation out of spite, he's merely being pragmatic, and also unable to see how his earlier experiments or current training methods can be considered wrong (and counterproductive in the future, once Kuja turns on him).

I enjoyed this chapter a lot, just like the previous ones. I really, really hope that you'll eventually overcome your problems with the next one - yeah, I read the info in your profile. If you ever need a beta, or an opportunity to discuss certain issues with another person, feel free to contact me. For now, I'll just keep my thumbs crossed for you. Remember, this story's been awesome so far and it'd be a great pity to abandon it.
Elia41 chapter 7 . 7/18/2012
Do what you do to master those powers. That was hard but it worked ... and Kuja is on his way to become a powerful spellcaster.

Loved that chapter. It was great and I like the way you're developping Kuja's persona. You understood the character quite well.
Lucrecia LeVrai chapter 6 . 7/13/2012
First of all, let me tell you that writing this review is very hard for me. I usually have a fair idea of what I want to say in my comments, but this time, I'm pretty much lost. How do I put in words my appreciation for your story?

Basically, I loved the contents of this fic, the way you portray Kuja and Garland, your descriptions of Terra, the way you tie everything with canon, and also your writing style.

Now, let me be more specific:

Not many people write about Kuja's origins, and when they do, it's usually with reference to Zidane. You, on the other hand, concentrate on Kuja alone (though I suppose Zidane's is bound to show up sooner or later), and for that you win extra originality points. Your vision of Kuja's past is detailed and very plausible, plus it fits the canon really well. I don't think it's mentioned in the game specifically that Kuja was created as an adult - and personally, I'm fond of Atom2000's version of Kuja's childhood, which shows him as a boy not only in spirit - but this doesn't make your version any less true.

I loved the way you showed Kuja's awakening - his preprogrammed dictionary knowledge giving him instant answers to each and every question, except that it didn't alleviate any of his confusion. His reactions and emotions were human, but the way he experienced them was not, and you showed this extremely well, as well as his growing awareness of himself, his emotions and his situation. I liked the way he would feel things at first, or act upon these feelings, without even having proper names for them. Later, I liked the way he experimented with fake facial expressions, learning not how to feel certain things, but how to lie and hide his true feelings.

I liked the way you portrayed Garland, too - almost like a machine, a golem ruled by cold logic, but not soulless and entirely unfeeling. While most feelings Kuja's evokes in him aren't exactly positive - and the 'positive' ones obviously weren't enough to keep him from putting the boy in stasis - he doesn't seem 'evil' to me, even if the things he does can hardly be considered humane.
Actually, what I see here is an almost tragic cycle. Garland creator - not the best, kindest person ever, was he? - creates Garland, who creates Kuja, who in turn creates the Black Waltzes... They all have an 'evil' destiny set before them, an 'evil' purpose to fulfill, but are they really to blame for what has become of them?

In any case, all interactions between Garland and Kuja were great. I loved the way Garland wouldn't treat Kuja as a real person should be treated, yet still feel so much unease after his 'termination'. I loved the way you wrote about painful, inhumane experiments in such a cool, offhand manner, without forcing pity down your readers' throats. This said, of course I felt plenty of empathy for Kuja in this story. His insecurity, his so-called narcissism and a desperate desire to be 'different', his growing hatred for his creator, his overwhelming fear of death - you show and explain these incredibly well. I mean... Garland had all but killed him once, already! No wonder Kuja will do /everything/ in his power to escape such fate in the future.

Geez. Sorry about this chaotic review. The bottom line is, I was awed by everything I could see in your story so far, from your writing style to characterization, and I'm clearly looking forward for more. Your regular updates make me truly happy, I hope you'll be able to keep them up!

Of course, I'm adding your fic to Sable's "Of Silver Feathers and Dragons", a Kuja-centric C2 where I put only the best stories I find on this site.
Taney chapter 6 . 7/13/2012
Hmm...I was expecting Kuja to be more angry than hurt over Garland's betrayal, but I realize that Kuja is not yet as cynical as he will become later on. He still has the ability to trust other people, like his creator, and a violation of that trust would wound more than infuriate. There is plenty of time for his resentment to grow, especially as he becomes more empowered and therefore defiant.

Speaking of empowerment, I LOVE how you describe Kuja's first experiences with magic - the exhilaration and triumph he feels, the fact that his ability to cast is drawn from the connection between his conscious mind and his soul. I also liked that the first spell he learns is one of destruction. At the end of this chapter, when he is smiling at the fire in his hand, I could just see Alexandria burning and him looking out over it all, with that expression on his face...gives me chills! I just love a good foreshadowing.

Anyway! It was a pleasure to read yet another awesome chapter. :) I'm in awe of your ability to turn out such lengthy, well-written chapters in the span of only a few days. I wish I could do the same! Looking forward your next update, of course.
Elia41 chapter 6 . 7/13/2012
Great chapter. I really liked the part where Kuja masters the Fire spell.
Taney chapter 5 . 7/9/2012
This was a fascinating chapter to read. Somehow, your brilliant writing has turned Garland into a character I can actually sympathize with! I've never read a backstory for Garland, but the one you've written in this chapter is so richly detailed and believable. I'm also very curious as to whom Garland's creator was arguing with...perhaps you'll reveal more about this other Guardian in the future?

It's interesting to take a peek into Garland's mind, and I enjoyed how you built up to Garland's conclusion that he should restore Kuja's soul to his body. Garland is so logical in his thinking, but he cannot fully suppress his emotions, the stirrings in his soul that cause him to be troubled by the genomes' deaths. You've crafted a very complex character here. I think this is my favorite chapter so far. :)

Please update soon! I'll try not to be so sluggish in reviewing from now on.
Taney chapter 4 . 7/9/2012
Wow...I really didn't expect Garland to actually go through with the extraction of Kuja's soul. That being said, I'm intrigued by the fact that his own soul protests his actions. Garland's soul being troubled makes sense though, considering the fact that he allowed Kuja to run amok on Gaia in the game, when reason would have prompted him to put an end to the pesky, defective genome...
Taney chapter 3 . 7/9/2012
Sorry I'm late in reviewing. What a sad and poignant chapter. Kuja's preoccupation with his reflection serves as, perhaps, the origin of the narcissistic personality he demonstrates in the game, and his feelings of isolation are heartbreaking.

I love how you've shown the evolution of Kuja's sense of self. Moving on to the next chapter now!
Elia41 chapter 5 . 7/7/2012
And so, Kuja awakens. Beware Garland, Kuja may be powerful, but he is unstable ... and he is going to blow in your hands. Hard.

Excellent chapter.
Elia41 chapter 4 . 7/3/2012
Ouch, no wonder Kuja hates Garland's guts. I think I would be just as mad if my parents did such thing to me. Nice chapter, by the way.

And I wonder how Kuja will wake up, but I don't do it out loud. I know you will tell it one chapter, otherwise there would be no story.
Elia41 chapter 3 . 6/28/2012
Kuja undergoes the Mirror Stage and his narcissic personality develops. Poor Kuja. He really didn't grow up in a healthy environment. Maybe, if things would have been different ... But how could they? It's not like there was another himself to kidnap him out of Terra, like he did with Zidane!

Anyway, great chapter as always. I think I'll drop my idea of wanting to write Kuja's past and take yor own version as a cannon for my series ... If you agree, of course!
Taney chapter 2 . 6/25/2012
This chapter was...kind of scary, actually! Kuja's dream and his trip to the Soul Scanner were described in such vivid, chilling detail - nicely done, but definitely a little unsettling (which was your intent, I'm sure!).

Anyway - great job again! I'm becoming emotionally invested in this story, so you'd better update soon! Haha, but seriously, looking forward to your next chapter! :)
Elia41 chapter 2 . 6/24/2012
A nice chapter once again. Too bad Kuja's first experience with a dream was that of a nightmare ... but I guess Garland's experiments on him aren't exactly subject to be the source of sweet and nice dreams. So, poor Kuja.

And it's interesting to see he is slowly 'growing' away from the other Genomes.
Elia41 chapter 1 . 6/22/2012
Nice first chapter. I have seem some other fanfics trying to deal with Kuja's past but none went very far. I hope yours do, because it's well-written and it has a nice style. Very ... special.
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