Reviews for Xanadu
DjinniFires chapter 1 . 11/17/2015
Back to your favorite milieu.

This story begins well with tension (I recently read that, rather than high action, is the best way to open): [Then Locke threw one knife after another into the post which held up the front porch of his house. The ringing metal clank sounded in Kate's ears like a death-knell. Today the knife might shiver in wood. Tomorrow, who knows, maybe it would stick in you.] And the backstory is brought in deftly to give depth to Kate's tension (and make her immediately sympathetic). Kate's nervous for Claire but it's supportive to know she's listening. Also, I like when a scene gets a context previous events: ["So, he's going to banish you? For just talking to Miles?"] Bringing in this info makes sense, doesn't come off as "As you know, Bob..." And the comparison to Jones Town is good. (BTW, Googled it and saw it made the Australian news; the Sydney Daily Telegraph even had a 30th anniversary article, but good to explain it for the young folk.)

The end of the scene confuses me a wee bit, but I'm assuming Kate's thought [This just might work] will be explained. If she's just thinking about Hurley protecting Claire you may need to clarify that that's her concern; otherwise, I'm assuming she's hoping she's found a way to stay with the group, which appears to be her concern at that moment. Also, not sure why Claire brings up nappies; would she otherwise be leaving their house that night to pick up some elsewhere?

Nice intro to Hurley with the music and the sweet awkwardness I've come to know and love from your other stories. His relationship with Kate is delicately stated with her acknowledgement and apology for tricking him into letting her talk to Miles and his sad acceptance that even people who like him will continue to treat him that way. Hurley can't help Kate put Locke in his place, but in a roundabout way, she's telling him, "Stay with her." [Nor had Kate missed the quiet moment when, earlier that day, Claire and Hugo had made small talk under the spreading beeches as Hugo hung up his and Sawyer's laundry. He handed her pins, basking in her presence like a plant in the new spring sun. Or how Hugo had washed the dust of decades from an old toy, and presented it to Claire for the baby.]

I'm also curious whether this story will explore the relationship between Kate and Jack [Nice jealousy: Anyway, everyone knew that Juliet was a liar, and that Jack was more eager than anyone to believe her lies.] or Kate and Sawyer [It didn't bother Kate, though. She tossed her head, all flirtation and mischief. "I wouldn't have him any other way." ].

Nits: scene 1, paragraph 5: [...trying to look {{as}} small and inconspicuous as possible.]
Scene 2, paragraph 21: [...and all at once the {{"the" is repeated}} hymn...]
Gamemakers chapter 6 . 10/15/2015
Oh dear, I'm not quite sure how to review this. I really like how there's a conclusion but not really - it seems more like the end of one act than the end of the story, but I suppose that's why there's a sequel :-)

I loved the awkward Sawyer/Hugo/Locke moment at the end. You can really feel that they're all trying to put on their nice faces but that Sawyer and Hugo don't like Locke much at all.

Really, this chapter, much like all the others, was very cute. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel :-)
Gamemakers chapter 5 . 10/7/2015
Well, this is quite the change, isn't it? I really like what you've managed to do here - you give a reason for John Locke's dickishness in the first chapter and make Hugo and Claire seem even cuter in comparison to this creep. I also think you've managed a nice balance here between making John Locke evil enough that you really can't like him while not turning him into the mustache-twirling ridiculously evil guy. Oh gosh, now I'm really excited for that last chapter. I can't wait to see how this all turns out. Great work!
schizelle chapter 1 . 10/3/2015
I know nothing about this, but that introduction is definitely helpful.

I love your style, it's very descriptive and your characterization is great. Makes me wish I knew more so I could fully understand the fic.
I love Kate's character or at least how you portray her. That sass and mischief is all it is about. Lovely stuff.
Gamemakers chapter 4 . 10/3/2015
Aww, cute. I feel like I say that every chapter, but it's true. I don't know why I thought this story was going to be more plot-focused rather than character driven, but I'm rather happy I was wrong. I also really like that Hugo's insecurities didn't come out until now - I think it would have been very easy to make that the focus of this story from the first chapter on, but this made it feel more organic. And they're just so sweet together that I can't even. Absolutely darling chapter!
Gamemakers chapter 3 . 9/24/2015
Another neat chapter. At first, I was kind of bored, thinking it was some kind of filler, but the suggestion that something really weird is going on, just like the movie (BTW, is that a real movie? That sounds too weird to be an actual film, but also too real to be made up, y'know?) brought a lot of interest to this chapter. Lovely.

Very sweet little ending. If this ends how I hope it will, they'll make a darling family.
Gamemakers chapter 2 . 9/21/2015
Ack, this is so cute. Hugo's adorable, Claire's adorable, and together, they're extra super sweet.

I think my favorite part of this chapter was their discussion of Australia vs. LA. I felt that it really expanded on both of their characters, as it gave them both a bit of backstory in a nice, subtle way. And I'm pretty sure I've heard exactly those comments from LA friends before, so that felt quite true to life as well ;-)

The one thing that had me screaming was that Aaron slept with a blanket, but I suppose that's as much a compliment as a criticism - if you hadn't already made me like Claire so much, I doubt I would care that she's not putting her baby down for bed the right way.

Lovely chapter!
Gamemakers chapter 1 . 9/18/2015
Just an FYI, I know nothing about Lost beyond the very basic premise. The little guide at the top was quite handy.

I adore the characterization here - I really feel like I get a good grasp on who Kate (and to a lesser extent, the other characters) is after only a few paragraphs. Lovely work here. The sassiness at the end of the chapter makes me like her so much more :-)

This John Locke character is rather shady, isn't he? I'm interested to know more about whatever it is that he's planning. Fingers crossed Kate doesn't actually leave (or viewpoints shift) so I'll get to learn more about it later.

Lovely chapter! It definitely makes me want to click on the next button.
PWAAH chapter 1 . 9/14/2015
The opening lacks a hook. It was also a little confusing but I got the meaning after reading it a second time.
Characters: Although it might be harder because there are so many characters, the story might have flowed better with greater description of the motivations and/or description/explanation for behaviour and emotions.
Writing: I didn’t get some of the references, or the explanation was spaced far away from when it is first mentioned (Miles and Kate). The story relies a little much on the reader having watched (and still remembering) Lost. However, I get that a fanfic in the Lost fandom is hard to write (so much plot xD)
Spelling/Grammar: was good, I didn't spot any mistakes. I suppose maybe stick to the same tense – but I’m awful at doing that myself xD and it doesn't effect the reader's ability to understand your meaning that much
I hope I didn't sound arrogant. For the most part I enjoyed reading this :)
Kieran Wespell chapter 1 . 9/4/2015
I’m from the WA Short Review Game and I’m coming in relatively fandom blind (seen the commercials when I was a kid, never sat down to watch an episode)
As other reviewers have said, I loved the opening. The way you described John’s walk and Kate’s reaction in the first sentence is just so perfect and it hooked me in to read the rest of the chapter. There’s something wonderful when a writer can describe so much emotion in one single sentence, which is something I’m trying to do in my fic.
Your ability to Show, not tell is apparent in this chapter. I write in a fandom where the age of the audience is in the mid-teens, and they don’t seem to grasp that concept there.
For instance, if someone else would’ve written this, when you were describing John Locke’s instability, they would have written this:
“John Locke was an unstable man.”
Instead, you showed how unstable John Locke is like this:
“Today the knife might shiver in wood. Tomorrow, who knows, maybe it would stick in you.”
That paints a much better picture, and I know Show, not Tell is a basic writer’s concept, but I appreciate what you have done here.
Also your prose is much better than mine. It’s nice and varied, with different sentence lengths, which to me, makes it very nice to read.
One minor nit, and this is because I’m not familiar with the fandom, is that throughout the fic, I was wondering how Hurley was able to watch a VHS tape without electricity to power the VCR. I know that LOST takes place in an uninhabited island, so I’d always assume there would be no electricity. Or maybe there is, I’m not sure.
Anyways, great work with this fic, and I’ll be reading more of it before I go to bed.
sinistercutlass chapter 1 . 6/9/2015
OK, first of all: your prose is so annoyingly sexy compared to mine. ;) It flows and expresses so easily. I hope to be able to write that well in my future.

The beginning scenes with John Locke were gripping. You chose very strong details: "stink like a barroom floor", the "ringing metal clank" sounding "like a death knell", "today the knife might shiver in wood", etc. The hairs on my arms almost stood on end :)

"Like a hunted creature creeping out of its hole after the fox leaves, Claire sank down next to Kate on the dark French grey sofa." Suggestions on this line: would it do to name an actual creature that a fox might hunt? After all, if you're going to specify an analogy predator, why not specify analogy prey? Also, I think it would make more sense to reverse the positions of the words "dark" and "French". What do you think? A paragraph break after "Kool-aid" would also make sense (or not; matter of stylistic choice).

I really liked the description of how Claire is "settling in for the long haul", with the potatoes and chickens, and the "radiating a quiet and calm sense of peace". It was beautifully sensitive, especially the line "It was as if something deep inside Claire had worked its way to the surface, where she turned it over a few times for examination, then laid it to rest for good." When I looked up Claire Littleton and found out Emilie de Ravin played her, it only enhanced your description, because I can totally see her in this role.

Another great, sensitive description: "He handed her pins, basking in her presence like a plant in the new spring sun." I can see everything you describe very well, even though I never watched Lost (it's apparently helping me to have watched Once Upon A Time, though).

I definitely pick up consistent traits from these characters; if this chapter were a drawing, I would say that they "read well". This is something I struggle with in my own writing, so I can recognize what a good job you did here.

Thanks for the well-written and interesting read!
T. Alana M chapter 1 . 6/3/2015
Hi, I'm Alana from the Writer's Anonymous game. Fandom blind here, although I am aware of the general premise. so I apologize in advance for any mistakes or misunderstandings regarding canon.

The opening was great. A threatening man striding in unannounced and the implications of former rape (at least, I think that's what is being implied about Kate's stepdad?) in a dangerous world like LOST provided for a gripping opening scene. The rest of the scene did well to uphold that level of tension.

This line was especially good, and served to convey the expected danger Kate and Claire are in - "Today the knife might shiver in wood. Tomorrow, who knows, maybe it stuck in you." (Just noticed SPAG error - you could rephrase it like this: "Tomorrow it [would/could be] stuck in you") The Jim Jones reference was brilliant and chilling. I watched a documentary on that case... psychotic bastard, he was.

The second scene was good - it connected well with the dark tone of the first, and the interactions between the characters were portrayed extremely well. The writing in general was great, with minor SPAG errors. A few metaphors to here and there, such as the turtle-Hurley imagery, made things fun, but the writing didn't delve into purple prose or an overuse of metaphors. The descriptions help readers imagine the scene well without, again, being purple prose.

I quite liked the ending. It wasn't exactly a cliffhanger, but it piqued my curiosity anyway.

Good story, keep writing!
Theodore Hawkwood chapter 1 . 4/22/2015
Hi. It's Theodore Hawkwood from Writer's Anonymous' Shorter Review Game.

I must say the opening sentence did catch my eye. It clearly and concisely shows that John Locke is clearly not a well liked character by Kate. The fact that she clenched a fist preparing to fight shows a feisty side to Kate's personality as well.

As far as characterization with the second paragraph were Kate compares John to Wayne (her obviously disliked stepfather) and her reactions to it, you certainly showed that John isn't a very likable sort of guy by any stretch of the imagination. It's a compelling thing if you can get a canon blind reader to dislike a character within two paragraphs of a story, so you clearly did well with characterizing.

Based on the pairings in your other fanfics in the Lost category that I've read and reviewed, I definitely was able to understand Hugo's disappointment when he saw that it was Kate knocking at the door as opposed to Claire, whom I'm presuming he was expecting/wanting to see at his doorstop.

Though I'm not familiar with Xanadu at all, the reference to it being part of the disco era gives me at least some idea of sort of film it was/might be. So bravo for showing and not telling what that meant by Hugo referring to Sawyer's dislike of that genre of music. The reference to the music showed me Xanadu is a 70s era film (and a subsequent wikipedia search turned up it being a 1980 film). But the fact that Sawyer's reaction to the film showed what era it came from and let me at least extrapolate what the film was out without needing to consult wikipedia until curiosity got the better of me. That's good technique on your part.

I also liked how that little scene where Hurley and Claire were hanging up the laundry together, shows a little hint on a growing relationship that makes me want to look further into this particular story arc.

Good job, all in all.
Donna Vito Frutti chapter 1 . 3/15/2015
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. Exactly what I needed.
Left Sharker chapter 6 . 7/10/2014
This is just the story I'm looking for :D
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