Reviews for While the Stars Burn
Edhla chapter 17 . 2/25
Marina, I/we have missed you too! Welcome back and please, please never leave again... xx

As usual, thoughts in order of chronology, not necessarily importance :)

"Smooth..." I've been sitting thinking on this one for a few minutes and I'm not sure if I think it's awkward or ingenius. I suppose it's not necessarily a place where you want the reader to pause and think it out. Could be just me, though.

"... idea at the time." I absolutely love this. Why does anyone invent anything? It's always a good idea at the time, and almost invariably a weapon in the hands of evil geniuses or good geniuses desperately trying to save people like Zara.

"... for Hank." You know, in all this mess I'd barely considered Hank, and it was a genuine punch when you did. I felt as guilty as I'm sure you meant me to be, and I'm not even strictly speaking canon-savvy. Great work there x

The connections between hindsight and Hank's literal occular difficulties was great. And I understood (as I don't often do :p) what the college professor of his past was getting at. It's one thing to recognise, and another to see and to adjust your mind or attitude in relation to what you have seen.

"He saw Zara's light..." Oh, God, the entire sentence there was just so utterly beautiful. The one following it is gorgeous, too. I am totally on board with Charles and Zara. They are awesome and amazing.

"Hello, Azazel..." Perfect reaction from Charles. I did note the use of Azazel's name five times in two sentences, though. Perhaps a couple of swapped out pronouns?

"Enjoying the sight..." I love that you don't specify exactly what he's enjoying there. Is it pure sadism, a bit of boyish immaturity...?

"... do with you." I'm a little confused, but it seems you have Erik's dialogue on two different lines, making it seem as though a different character is speaking. I really like that you've got that rapid-fire dialogue happening, though. Let's get down to business, no flowery descriptions! x

For all I know it's canon, but I'm not familiar with Erik's star/missile stopping stunt and it is AWESOME.

"Fear jumped..." This expression seemed a little awkward to me, but as always, your mileage may vary.

Oh, my God. The tension of that scene... Zara's protest that she can't get up, Erik making her, her scream, the realisation he's not wearing the helmet, "calling" (!) the metal, and the revelation that Charles has arrived... oh. Marina. That is just a perfect scene. One of the most perfect and effective I have ever seen in a fanfic.

"Things that were meant to help." How is it that you reduce me to a puddle of overemotional mush with such an emotionally restrained sentence? Please teach me how to do this. I'm regularly a mess when I read your beautiful work.

The emphasis on Zara not behaving as "a heroine" (when she really is, in a way) is delicious. I love her so much. I never thought I would love an OC so much.

And now we have Charles and Erik, face to face. Shivers. PLEASE MARINA, PLEASE WRITE THE NEXT BIT SOON AND NEVER LEAVE AGAIN. XX
Dominus Tenebrosus chapter 17 . 2/20
Rolling Commentary:

Holy crap! Haven't seen an update by you in like, forever! XD

At the A/N: Hey, shift happens, you know?

"save him from himself." -Why do I have a feel that'll end up poorly?

"Careful what you wish for..." -Amen to that, for sure. I'm guessing this is all something from canon, though?

"noble intentions. And he" -Ominous!

"still herself, thank God." -Hopefully not just a temporary state of affairs, but you never know...

"the unearthly popping sound." -... Well, that happened. We'll see if it's a good happened or a bad happened!

"after a while. A" -lulz. Everyone's gotta deal with that sort of thing, it seems.

"eye). She had not," -lulz at the bit in parentheses. :P

"It was, he admitted" -Heh. Hindsight?

"He shut off the" -Well, that's one way to wake someone up, anyway.

""Don't say it again."" -Just because you don't want to hear it doesn't make it untrue...

"he still wouldn't see."" -I have to admit, I'm a bit lost here. Canon thing?

"paused. "And it's the" -Perhaps.

"was here. That was" -Return might be an issue, though...

"ring. He stared at" -Ahh, had almost forgotten about that bit.

"I thought you would" -There's a missing quotation mark here, but eh. Heh. Either way, that happened. Interesting to see who helped, if not really that surprising, considering.

"out of the room." -With or without further pain?

"into something. Then, he" -Well, sometimes, you just gotta go a bit further.

"on him. He visualized" -Hmm... One has to wonder what happened to said fog. Ahh, metaphor.

"barbs into his hand." -Does that count as dignity, defiance, or a snappy attitude? Because I think it does!

"the door between them." -Hrm. Ominous...

"There weren't any" -Well, there is the one... :P

"He turned and looked" -Oh my, this is gonna be interesting...

General Thoughts:

Dang cliffhangers! Seriously, you and your cliffhangers. XD Ah, well. Anyway, so I can understand his issues with the controlling, but it's hard to deny that it worked out for him in this instance. Of course, that's possibly a slippery slope... Hm.

Either way, that next to last bit was... ominous. Better hope he wins the confrontation, because otherwise... yeah. Hm. In either case, I think everything is working well, as it is. So kudos on that! :D

Good stuff. :)
Crystalskies14 chapter 17 . 2/19
It is so beyond good to have you back! Is it too much to ask you to update again soon?
persevera chapter 17 . 2/19
I've missed the story and the writer.
I love the intelligent statements, like Erik's re: trust. That is the opinion of someone who is bitter and changed by what he sees as betrayal.
I was surprised by his casual cruelty, not because it was OOC (it wasn't) but because I thought that you were going to write him as a little more tortured and a tad more caring. Then I remembered that he'd already mentally tortured Zara so no, we shouldn't expect anything more.
I like Hank's memory and his misgivings about his invention and I loved Zara's asserting herself against Erik.
[ A superior being shouldn't have to deal with something so mundane. Then again, he was still doing his own laundry]- hilarious.
[ "Hello, Azazel," Charles said, as though Azazel had simply decided to join them for tea. Azazel stepped quickly to Charles' side; he grasped Azazel's arm firmly and said: "You're going to take me to see Erik, Azazel. Right now."]- Unless you did it purposely, I think Azazel's name was used to many times.
Hope you stick around for a while
Edhla chapter 16 . 10/25/2013
I don't usually beg this pathetically, but... update...? Pretty please? I miss you! I miss this story. It's amazing. xx
Esykan chapter 16 . 8/4/2013
Oh my, you just make XavierOC my new favourite OTP :') Please continue! I have no critics for you so I'll give my everything to support you!
The One and Only chapter 16 . 7/21/2013
I can't help to think where the time went. One moment I find your wonderful fan fiction at 5 in the afternoon, the next it's 1 in the morning. Words cannot describe how attached I have become with this story. I applaud you for creating something like this out of the fabric of your mind. I can not wait for the next chapter.
kishe chapter 16 . 7/10/2013
plz update! plz!
252020 chapter 16 . 6/19/2013
Wow, brilliant! Absolutly brilliant!
SkywardDiamond chapter 14 . 4/16/2013
Is the ending supposed to be Charles speaking through Zara?
I loved the beginning. Lordies, Charles is so sexy and the way you describe him is fabulous. "He drizzled his voice with a lazy sweetness, like caramel." Ugh, yes, please.
As sexy as that was I knew it was either a dream or a trick. I waited intently for his "aha!" moment where he saw through it. So creepy!
Man, Emma is something else. I love and hate her. She's so ruthless I can barely contain myself. She could easily be the main villain, because she's just that bad-ass.
And poor beat up Charles meets more resistance.
Zara's technique to dull the pain reminds me of how some people purposely bring pain on themselves in order to feel better somehow.
Zara and Charles' connection at the moment and the way that Emma can toy with it is quite interesting. I'm seriously dying to know what this psycho is gonna do next to get what she wants. Loving it!
GalaxyInfinite chapter 16 . 4/15/2013
This story is amazing. Like that phenomenon where a book is so good, and so engaging, that you can't put it down. Please write more soon.

- GalaxyInfinite
MasterSpy chapter 5 . 4/9/2013
I've definitely been hooked by your story. It is great; the characters are lovely and I enjoy your writing style.

[The school had become his own sun, blotting out his own stars, until he also had forgotten that they burned.] I love this reference back to the last chapter. I also think this sentence was very well formed. It had quite a big impact, not only showing that his advice applied to him as well, but also he (a Professor everyone thought could make no mistake) had done something harmful.

Oh I loved the bit in which Zara gets the images bleeding over from Charles. I love how you've used very short sentences, and made them into their own paragraphs. It not only adds to the disjointed feeling of the thoughts—that she's not getting the complete picture—but isolates them and adds more emphasis on each fragment. Very powerful.

Charles' paragraphs were very well-written as well. I love your explanation of the Lamplighter and how it applied to Charles. I thought the detailed description really added to understanding how this character had been overcome by his obsession, forgetting about everything else including himself, which is the road Charles seemed to have been travelling.

Here are just a few things I noticed, along with my humble suggestions:

Since I've already mentioned it before, I won't mention the hyphens thing again in this chapter. I know that fanfiction editing can be a pain, especially for em-dashes, so don't worry.

-["He nodded thoughtfully] Just a minor typo. There's an extra unnecessary quotation mark at the start of the sentence.

-[Actually-I am.] In this case, I think a comma might be more suited than an em-dash, although I see why you might want to use one here.

-['She can help us, and maybe we can help her," he said."] Just another very minor typo. The second quotation mark should be a single one [maybe we can help her,' he said."]

Another lovely chapter to read. Can't wait till I read the next one :) Kay
MasterSpy chapter 4 . 4/9/2013
Another lovely chapter to read.

I enjoyed reading about Zara's greater understading of the other mutants because she had more to connect with them. The comparison between this and being diagnosed was clever, I thought, because it showed the mixed feelings she had about her mutations. Likening it to a degenerative disease also showed how she didn't consider it a "power" but more of something that had control over her.

Charles swearing in his head came as a surprise. It was perfect to show how much he couldn't deal with this situation, how much he ached and how deep his pain was.

I liked the ending, especially the "comprehended but didn't understand" phrase. It was clever to point out the subtle differences between the two. I also loved how you ended the chapter on "Erik..." further emphasising just how real and true the pain Charles goes through constantly is.

Here are a couple of lines I liked and wrote comments about:

-[It was as if she had smacked him in the face with a cricket bat.] Loved that expression! I could almost picture his stricken face, but more importantly, it was hilarious! :P

-[turning her head slightly as though the light was too bright for her eyes.] I liked that description. I imagine that is how it would feel to suddenly have thoughts and emotions blasting through your head. I appreciated the physical response—her flinching away from it—to show how it felt for her through Charles' perspective.

Here are a few things I noticed, along with my humble suggestions:

-[Yes. Just-skip over anything labeled "high school", all right?"] I think single quotation marks are usually used when you're quoting within dialogue ["Yes. Just skip over anything labeled 'high school,' all right?"] Also, the m-dash seems a little out of place here.

-[Charles-what are-you doing to me?] Again, the hyphens/m-dashes seem a little out of place.

-["Where-did you-go?"] Perhaps you could avoid using m-dashes and hyphens within dialogue because eventually, the almost detract away from the great content and dialogue. If you're going for hesitation, I think ellipsis would be more suitable (don't overuse them though). If you want to portray stammering, place the hyphens within the word and repeat to show the stutter.

-[before this." she sighed] should either be [before this," she sighed.] or [before this." She sighed.] It depends on whether you want to use "sighed" as a dialogue tag describing the speech or as an individual, separate action :)

Again, a great chapter to read. I am definitely intrigued by your characters. I always enjoy their interactions and can't wait to read more! :) Kay
DjinniFires chapter 2 . 4/8/2013
First, my overall impression. I loved this story because Zara is so sympathetic and you're so clearly inside her head. The slow reveal - always firmly situated in her experiences - that she's some sort of telepath-empath was interesting because the anecdotes built up (from her experiencing Kitty's school girl emotions to finally experiencing Charle's joy when she enters his office). Her confession at the end to Charles - a confession she wouldn't evne have made to herself a few minutes before - is a good end to the chapter and hook to whatever is coming next.

Individually, I enjoyed a lot of specific turns of thought. I liked her whole self-talk about Charles' way of courteously avoiding her being "so British" (amusing); her self-talk putting herself down for being the "glass half-empty expert"; her trying to deal with the fact she thought she heard talking behind her back from her class yet believing them when they tell her nobody talked; this transition sentence "She spent an unpleasant half-hour lurking down the hall from his office, making sure other teachers with issues had come and gone"; and a lot more I didn't quote.

Some nits: some sentences seemed like run-ons to me (though maybe you intend it), i.e., paragraph 2 "Charles had a mutation too, he said straight ot that he was a telepath"; paragraph 17 "'I know, it seems impossible'" (which could either be one sentence if the comma is removed or two with a period or a compound with a semicolon); paragraph 34 "It might be worth simply hearing his opinion, it didn't mean she had to agree."

In paragraph 18 "Zara wasn't sure why that realization annoyed her rather than comforting her," the parallel verb form should be "...rather than comforted her." In paragraph 35 "back" appears in two sentences (back-to-back, as it were). I don't know what "Discretion, meet window" means (but maybe that's common and I'm just clueless).

Storywise, I'd have liked to see the source of the "shame" emotion in the cafeteria anecdote (like we saw the source of the giddiness emotion earlier); I, at least, think it would have been more effective if at least the reader could identify it even though Zara was trying to come up with a reason why the emotion was hers.

Last comment: use the FFN scene break instead of "xxx." More scene breaks could have been added, but up to you; the chapter isn't that long.

Looking forward to reading more about Zara.
SkywardDiamond chapter 13 . 4/8/2013
Whoa, the number of follows for this story exploded while I was gone, congrats on that, coolness.
Wow, this was so intense. My eyes were glued the whole time. So they're trying to draw Charles through Zara?
I find Emma utterly fascinating and so wonderfully evil. I love that she's angelic and depraved at the same time, a cold, calculated beauty. I wonder if what she said about her and Charles is true... She's a nasty one.
I felt so bad for Zara throughout this whole chapter. Charles too.
This fic has some of the best descriptions-"She laughed, the sound like tiny bells jingling on silk ribbons,"
Great chapter, I shall be back soon!
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