Reviews for Below the Surface
Spongyllama chapter 1 . 3/11/2014
Basically, this story is incredible. The idea of Anakin being trapped as an almost separate consciousness inside Vader's mind is an idea I've seen before that intrigues me to no end, and I think you really hit home. The characterization of Anakin as being the fuel to the fire at first is really realistic, as is the idea that throughout time he grows and grows into the Jedi he always could have been, figures Vader out, and manages to take over when the time comes. And the characterization of Vader is excellent, too, because I think the way you wrote it showcases how he really is just a darker side of Anakin, but at the same time a separate entity who seized power while he could and ultimately lost the battle because that same lust for power is his own weakness. I'd also like to add that I'm impressed with how much content, emotion, and cleverness you manage to squeeze into such a short fic. Very good fic!
zanganito chapter 1 . 12/30/2013
I like how you characterized Vader and Anakin as two different people - it highlights the struggle he's having within himself. I also think it's interesting that you wrote from Vader's POV. I think my favorite part was that Anakin had learned enough about Vader over the years to trick him and then take control.
Rosawyn chapter 1 . 11/28/2013
I love the description of Anakin as "whiny and infuriating" right at the beginning of this, because it is so true! Even though it's Vader's thoughts, and he's the bad guy, we all know he's right about this! Comparing Anakin to a toddler throwing a tantrum is also epic win. And the fact that Vader feeds off Anakin's hatred and anger is just so true. I love Vader's frustration when Anakin finally learned to calm himself.

I love the idea of Vader and Anakin constantly bickering, a fight no one else can see or hear. :) It makes sense, though, that eventually Vader would be able to ignore that part of himself effectively. The image of the ship's engine as dull "background noise" is great. :D

I absolutely love the whole part about finding Luke and Anakin's reaction.

Vader trying to use Anakin's love for his son by turning it into fear as he had done before...yes, but it seems Anakin has learned from his mistakes, gotten wiser over the years.

It really does sound logical and reasonable, heh. But I've always thought he had a more personal reason for wanting to turn Luke rather than kill him.

The ending of this is amazing. I think it's pretty much a "Crowning Moment of Awesome" combined with a "Crowning Moment of Heartwarming." I makes me grin so wide it hurts. I want to yell, "Yes! Exactly!" because it's just so RIGHT. I know that it's what happened in canon, but seeing it here, told from Vader's pov is lovely. Thank you so much for writing this; I very much enjoyed it. :)
MissScorp chapter 1 . 9/11/2013
For starters, I'm a Star Wars geek, so when I saw this I immediately forgot all about my goal of reading part 1 of the John Locke series heh And I absolutely love that the voice that you are using to tell this whole pieces shifts between Anakin and Vader. It really shows how integrated these two are, how Vader always existed inside Anakin and how honestly, Anakin couldn't exist without Vader within him. It is really nice that you continue the theme of this being only from Anakin/Vader's POV. And you announce the shifts between their POV's by contrasting polar opposite themes like love-hate, light/dark, etc. You also manage to sum up the entirety of Anakin's life, his becoming of a Jedi and his eventual slide into the darkside without hampering the piece with a showy retelling of what we already know. You essentially focus on telling us about his personality, about his fall, about his reasons for redemption. Really awesome job!

Some lines that I really liked:

((He was always there, just below the surface, at the edge of my sight: whiny and infuriating. In the beginning, he was a tempest of violence and tears, a toddler throwing himself on the floor in a desperate attempt to get his way and, of course, he hated me.))-I love that you started with Vader's voice here (at least, that's how I am interpreting it). What this piece signifies to me is that *Anakin* is aware that this dark presence lives within him, that he knows that it is there and that he hates it but is dependent upon it. And I love that you have Vader essentially define that Anakin is an annoyance to him, a whiny kid that you wanna slap to shut up.

((The silence stretched for several days, and I began to wonder if he was finally gone. Then he spoke two words: "My son." His voice was choked with tears. I tried to shut him up, but somehow I couldn't. The anger and hate that fueled and sustained me was draining away, and in its place was the one thing that was the most toxic to my existence: love.))-Love the shift from Vader now to Anakin. Again you shift the POV by using polar opposites to signify the switch-this time using love to signify that you have gone from Vader's POV to Anakin's. Absolutely fantastic that you define love as something toxic to Vader. Really empowers just how dark and twisted that Vader is.

((His only concern was to preserve his son's life. And when the boy wouldn't fall, and my master was giving him the proper punishment befitting his actions, Anakin rose up, snatched control from me, and banished me to oblivion.))-Fantastic closing lines. Using Luke as the means by which Anakin rises up and finally casts Vader into the fires of nothingness just really punches up the power of love, and even of a father finally deciding to step forward and be the father that he should be (and could have been had it not for a Vader living in his head).

Really awesome piece again. Love that you incorporate Yoda's words to Anakin in the first prequel movie but utilize Vader's voice to repeat the phrase. Makes those words have even greater significance because they define ultimately who Vaderkin was at the end of it all: someone bent by fear and who allowed anger to become hate. And hate led Anakin to the darkside. Absolutely fantastic job!
Obsidian The Ghost Faced chapter 1 . 2/8/2013
This story is very good, I mean just seeing the inner conflict within Darth Vader was compelling...But the line where Anakin wrenched his soul back from Vader was a nice touch...
imnotraven16 chapter 1 . 12/22/2012
great story
lovely-logic chapter 1 . 12/22/2012
This is awesome! At first, I wasn't too sure who 'he' was; that immediately caught my attention. But it became obvious when Vader "found the boy". I love the fact that you made Darth Vader and Anakin two separate people, because they really are. You got his powerful, reserved character down to a T, especially when you described Anakin as a whiny toddler. I love the description of Anakin's internal conflict as he "he tried to replay his happier memories", but got slapped down by Vader.

The last line was amazing, and it really captured the scene's emotion perfectly:

And when the boy wouldn't fall, and my master was giving him the proper punishment befitting his actions, Anakin rose up, snatched control from me, and banished me to oblivion.

Simple, but so powerful. Thanks for writing this, I really enjoyed it!