|Reviews for Retroactive|
| Ivar Hugo chapter 31 . 12/29/2014
An ingenious concept, executed brilliantly. I find myself struggling to find things to criticise, so I'll just say one thing I would have liked to see a little bit more: it would have been nice if you could've explored the character of Shingyung a little further.
Anyway, fantastic read. Favorited.
| Maran Zelde chapter 4 . 11/7/2014
I'm finally re-reading this fannovel and I'm noticing how many plot threads you started setting up early on, like Captain Toru and the fake Azulas. It's very well-planned.
I can't help pointing out this typo: "Or I'll you'll learn first-hand what I did to my father." Should be just "Or you'll learn..."
Other than that, it's flawless so far.
| erisol chapter 3 . 10/15/2014
wasn't expecting this. This is a real psychological fanfiction.
| Righteousham chapter 31 . 3/26/2014
So draws to a close a surprisingly engaging and taut read. I say surprising because once I figured out who Suki was, I knew it would take some clever writing to both resolve the conflict of the story but also hold my interest for the long run. I submit that you've achieved both of those things in this story.
The former demonstrated your skills as a storyteller and showed that this was a thoroughly well planned adventure leaving nearly nothing to chance, while the latter-admittedly a more subjective point on my part-showed you had the chops to actually take on this tale with creative flair and dynamic prose.
That's not to say that your story is flawless. I found several instances where you used a word in its incorrect form and several more places where a certain word suggested that you'd written one sentence, changed your mind deleted (most) of it and rephrased, only to leave part of the previous sentence in place. While certainly annoying, these issues stacked atop one anther were not nearly tall enough to overcome the rest of your work and disappear into the shadows of the positive aspects similarly stacked.
This is certainly one of the most ambitious projects I've read in the Fandom and to see that it was finished as I began reading was a delight as well. Far to many stories with strong potential end up stagnating as the authors either move on or lose interest 's hoping that you decided to stick with this fandom for a long time to come.
Going back to the ambitious part; I felt that there were certain sections that weren't as fleshed out as they should've been. The period where-let's call her Azuki-was moving about the Colonies gathering her army. I felt this would have been a great time to further delve into both world building and character development. As an example the Rough Rhinos, for all their importance to the story hardly felt like characters at all. In fact, the only reason I could picture them as individuals and pick them apart was due to being somewhat familiar with them from the show.
Too your original characters, while certainly having had more development and screen time felt underutilized. The long march presented you with the perfect opportunity to really let those characters out to shine. I felt this was a missed opportunity.
That section could have also been used to better define the feelings of the colonies in general. You could have shown us what amount of people Azuki was getting through to and which ones thought her still a monster. As the colonies was at the heart of the matter and what, ultimately, all major parties were zoning in on I felt more time should have been given over to their development. I will say that what development was there made me hunger for more. I especially enjoyed the names you came up with.
At the heart of your story is the character of Suki/Azula. This is the singular area in which you were allowed no leeway in which to fail. Happily, I can declare you handled her development and screen time brilliantly. Her character is clearly where you expended the most effort in your craft and it shows profoundly. Azuki's emotional turmoil was horrendous without straying into overwrought. Her physical struggles harsh without bordering on the ridiculous, and despite what she herself believes, she's very clearly not perfect.
It would have been so easy to stray into an endless world of angst with the tale you sought to tell for her, and it's something I've seen lesser authors do on many an occasion. I felt you handled the troubling waters of Azula's death, Suki's birth then death, and the rebirth of someone not quite the same but no lesser than the previous two magnificently.
This entire tale was covered in a near delicious amount of moral ambiguity, and for the most part I think you did a job in presenting the varying sides evenly. I do feel as if you had some personal bias for the Fire Nation though as it seemed their side was the better represent throughout the story. This is another area in which further developing up the colonies and your side characters would have been beneficial. I recall Azuki gaining an Earth Bender army at one point but outside of a single section nothing is really done with them. I felt, this too, was another missed opportunity.
Sokka and Azuki's relationship deserves special mention. I love what you did with it and I'm not referring to your epilogue here. I knew throughout the story that there was going to be a moment when Sokka finally caught up to her, and I wasn't sure how you planned on handing it. Many of the more, let's call them ship-centric writers, on this site would have eroded Azuki's agency and character in favor of having her fall back head-over-heels for Sokka.
However, you had her get mad, slap him, and make it very clear she felt violated; and rightly so as what Sokka perpetrated, welling meaning as it was-was rape. That she then went on to claim her life for herself was a beautifully fulfilling character moment for her and I silently cheered. That moment is something she'd earned by that point and it was hard won. Her whole life she was never anything but a puppet to other people's desires and whims, and finally here in the streets of Yang she declared the cycle broken.
I'm ambivalent about the Epilogue. On the one hand she lived, and while I'm happy that she was able to escape a past that was no longer, by any rights hers, I feel as if thematically it would've worked better for her to have died. She sought Freedom and rest, and death symbolized that best here I felt. On the other hand, the years traveling helped her further develop into a fully realized human being. A process that only began after her experience with Iroh, and while we aren't privy to who that person is truly, we're given a glimpse well enough to see a healed soul. That Sokka finds her, that she lets him, and his subsequent introduction to her shows that both have moved into phase of their lives were acknowledging and exploring the mutual feeling between them is now possible.
Some might suggest this is an excellent redemption story, but I submit that is not the case. It is however, a remarkable exploration of identity and what exactly that means on a personal level.
Bravo; keep writing.
| StrangePointOfView chapter 31 . 3/13/2014
Okay, so this is amazing! This is off the charts fantastic! It takes some true skill to pull off a properly suspenseful thriller like this. And the gambits and schemes going on between Azula and Long Feng were first rate. This is great enough to be canon.
| TexasDreamer01 chapter 31 . 2/25/2014
That was such a lovely, lovely story to read, and I am glad to have spent the time reading it.
| themergitonian chapter 1 . 2/22/2014
| William X chapter 1 . 2/18/2014
I was brought here by TV-Tropes and this looks like a good idea. It's interesting to see Suki and Ty Lee's interaction which we did not see in canon. I'll keep reading.
| POKESPE-FAN chapter 31 . 1/13/2014
This story is absolutely stunning! The description, the action, the world building..:
I especially love the way you describe the characters and there struggles and your word choice seems lovely!
| joegood2003 chapter 12 . 11/24/2013
Nicely done! Of course Long Feng wasn't going to tell Azula the truth. Or at least much of it.
| joegood2003 chapter 10 . 11/18/2013
Wow! Just Wow. Another great chapter, and you just keep surprising me, although Long Feng really shouldn't have been a surprise, considering the brain washing. Too bad about June, but her death showed just how dangerous these people are.
| guyw1tn0nam3 chapter 31 . 11/14/2013
Ah, now I see why there's an epilogue. Hmm...can't say I'm too happy about it considering the last chapter ended so well. I think it's interesting to see all these pieces fall together and at the very least see that there's ONE of the Victims that turned out to be just as badass as Azula (I'm assuming that's what you were getting at).
I guess what I'm saying is Sokka finding the Helping Hand was the most interesting, but everything else in between was kind of...eh?
Anyway, I've been debating with myself whether I like Retroactive more or if I liked the Last Stand of the Freedom Fighters more. This one had tons of more content, so I'm hard pressed to say no to Retroactive, but regardless of my final decision, both of these stories are definitely top fanfics in my book.
Great job. It was a pleasure to marathon this FINALLY.
| guyw1tn0nam3 chapter 30 . 11/14/2013
Great ending. It's great how a story ties together into canon at a time like this. Really liking the progression that caused everyone to come to the conclusion that Republic City was a necessity. I can always admire good political intrigue when it's multifaceted as presented here. So many factions with different goals, and some of them have noble intentions too. That's good writing in my opinion.
I'm actually quite surprised that Azula's "goodness" is so believable. I would have thought that halfway through I would've been like "Yeah no she wouldn't act like this at all." Her legacy is also super impactful. Even with her death Azula manages to hold great influence over people, and including Iroh at the very end was a great cherry on top of an already wonderfully baked cake.
I don't know why there's an epilogue as I think this ended the story near perfectly, but I'll provide a few last thoughts there when I read it right now.
| guyw1tn0nam3 chapter 29 . 11/14/2013
I know there's two chapters left...but damn what a way to end this thing on a high note. Long Feng was a pretty good villain in the series but you've managed to capture that and so much more too. Things varying from his insecurities, wily ways, and tactical maneuvers all came together and I loved how Long Feng kind of stuttered in his final fight against Azula. A rare slip up from our austere friend.
| guyw1tn0nam3 chapter 28 . 11/14/2013
I love how Aang is always unfazed by everything potentially malicious that Azula says.
Azula also wears the pants in this relationship. Standard.
"What the slush " is a great phrase
It looks like the action is about to go down! I'm so excited to read the conclusion. I was actually wondering throughout the last few chapters why Azula had not used lightning, but the way you presented it in the story was great. It tied really well to Azula's character, her identity, and internal struggles. That added a lot of depth to the scene, which...to be honest was super action packed but had a zing of emotional impact which makes everything even better.