Reviews for In Shades of Red
MidnightAngel1095 chapter 6 . 6/12/2013
the ending is sad, but still the story is excellent!
DayDreamer03 chapter 6 . 2/13/2013
I actually thought there was going to be another chapter where Jamie was going to be alive. I guess i was just hoping that was the case as I'm a loser who likes happy endings even though I don't always write them myself.
When I got over the fact that Jamie was dead, I thought over the ending and found it really fitting. It perfectly captures a Turk and his or her duty, especially back when Veld was commander. I feel like there should always be that underlying notion of a Turk being exceptionally dangerous to a civilian, even when there is a potential romance being brought about. I think you captured that perfectly, and put it in the foregrounds, something that a reader like me needs to understand. That's why I like reading stories about the Turks. Well done!
I really hope you write more with this character. I liked how you wrote him, as not many people actually write Nunchaku because he isn't as popular. Just message me on Tumblr if you do, as I am generally on there nowadays and not here due to my busy schedule!
redcherryamber chapter 6 . 2/2/2013
Wow. So sad, and so well done. The structure of this whole story was incredibly effective, and the whole way through you kept my sympathy for both of them, even with the shock of the opening here, when I realised that it was all over and we weren't going to see Jamie again.

"At the very least, he had spared her what pain he could". Asher gave her the only thing he could give her without sacrificing his own life and his career. Although you describe what happens very factually - almost like a mission report - I can see the whole scene unfolding, with poor Jamie never knowing what happened.

Making the other Turk Legend was inspired. He's exactly what you needed there - the opposite of Asher - a hardened old hand who just gets on with the job and get back to his retirement. He seems human, but his matter-of-fact attitude is chilling compared to Asher's anguish, and the fact that he came so close to betraying the Turks for Jamie's sake. All of Asher's self-questioning and justification of what he's done seemed psychologically true.

Veld is perfect in his hard attitude. "None of the Turks could afford to be weak, Veld more than any of them, because they depended on him." I think this is the crux of understanding his whole character. He seems so unyielding but underneath is his secret and the one mistake that changed his life. He has to convince himself that sometimes killings are mistakes, but that Turks "do what we have to do" in any event, because it's the only way he can live with the guilt of his own mistake. That line "If it had been his daughter he would have…his daughter…He pushed the thought away and focused on his work" is tragic. Work is all he has now. That makes him an effective leader for a group of people who need to be able to kill, but it also leaves no room for questions or compassion. That "don't be so weak" (which Reno also uses to Elena in the original game) makes people more effective Turks, but it makes them less human too.

And oh that line "her only crime was being born to the wrong father"! How that must have resonated with Veld!

I also loved the line "There were some who insisted on doing everything on their own as though being a Turk were a competition they came to win". I'd say Rod, Shotgun and possibly Two Guns fit into this category. Elena has elements of it. It's interesting to think about the various type of Turk...

Asher is a team player, and although he longs for approval I don't think he'll ever quite subscribe to Veld's view that "all there was in life was carrying on". He's learning exactly what he signed up for, and the job is much harder than he probably expected, but I doubt he'll lose all his compassion.

You did a wonderful job with this challenge, keeping suspense and action and sympathy for both sides so well balanced. Thank you for writing this story.
redcherryamber chapter 5 . 2/2/2013
The way Jamie's choice of ink reflects here mood is so teenaged and so realistic that it's very touching. That theme of red builds very subtly - I hadn't even linked it with the title until this point, but the whole story is saturated with it - a gradually intensifying shade. It's really effective.

You keep the tension building with Jamie's suspicions. I kept willing her to get it - to act on what her gut tells her - but of course she wants so much to believe that 'Skeeter' is everything he seems to be. I was so pleased when she did decide to investigate - I thought she might have a chance to get away, but Asher played it so cleverly that she came back to trusting him. I love the way you control the reader's feelings for Asher - keeping us wanting Jamie to survive, but never losing sympathy for Asher at the same time. That's a difficult balance to strike, and you do it masterfully.

"Asher knew he'd never have to worry about money, but the knowledge didn't make him feel freer, it made him feel…lost. When you could never earn more than you'd been handed...did achievement mean anything?" This is a great insight into his character. It must be a hard position to be in, because no one from a background where money is an issue is going to have much sympathy with someone who's been handed too much! And yet finding a direction when you can do anything must be very hard. It makes Asher's decision to join the Turks so much more understandable; something that will be a serious challenge, and where his background won't help him.

I like the detail of Asher having 'worthless' oil land! That's going to put him in an interesting position post ACC.

The tragic thing about this chapter is the way Jamie is so quick to believe that Asher wants to help her. Of course, he's convincing because he really does want to - even the reader isn't completely sure about what he's going to do in the end. It's so sad that he's also innocent in a way - innocent about the truth of what happened in Kalm. Although I knew, really, from the last paragraph, that Jamie was going to carry out his original mission there was still a part of me that hoped he'd changed him mind, and that 'his mission' was his own 'save Jamie' mission.

This story is so compelling!
Shagi Tigori chapter 6 . 2/1/2013
This was an intense read. I feel conflicted. I kinda feel bad for Asher. He had to betray an innocent girl that was beginning to fall in love with him and had done nothing wrong because it was his orders... he had to let her get killed, but he made sure to knock her out so she wouldn't suffer.
findthetiger129 chapter 6 . 2/1/2013
That was awesome. Asher's feeling on the matter came across really well, as did Veld's. Great job!
findthetiger129 chapter 5 . 1/30/2013
This is just so tragic... I really feel for Asher all over again. ;-;
Shagi Tigori chapter 5 . 1/25/2013
I'm not sure who I feel more sorry for in this moment... But wait... if he can get the names of the possible Avalanche members maybe he can say that it was part of the mission and they won't have to kill them...
redcherryamber chapter 4 . 1/25/2013
Oh the tension is getting unbearable!

I love the way you describe Jamie's first kiss from her gushing point of view, and yet show us Asher's reactions, his Turk side and his personal side, in his doubtful response, that then becomes certain. Poor Asher's already way too caught up in this. He may be a Turk but he's still a young man with a young woman he clearly likes a lot more than he should.

There's so much going on beneath the surface here. Asher going to lie down, clearly disturbed by the way things are going even before you show us his thoughts, and the chilling nature of the text Jamie gets from her father: "That didn't sound like her father at all.

Jamie replayed the message. He sounded worried…shaken…had something happened to him?"

Her gut instincts tell her that something's wrong, but she doesn't want the romantic dream to end, so she tries to convince herself that everything's okay. It's interesting that she does think about her father's emergency provision for her though - she's not the complete ingenue she sometimes seems.

Bringing in Kalm and it's foreshadowing of Nibelheim during Veld's conversation with Tseng works really well in reminding us that it's not a good idea to be a bystander when Shinra gets involved in anything, and just adds to the tension surrounding Jamie. I love the cold contrast of the discussion about what to do with Jamie and the seeming romance going on in Costa.

Asher's shock at Tseng's order is very powerful. He's so genuinely conflicted. The plot with the two fishing boats is convincingly Turk-like - so much less suspicious than if the father alone was killed on the road. (I have to say "use a Seal to knock her out" gave me an interesting mental image of a seal! Maybe say Sleep or Sleepel, in such a watery context?) Seriously though, I think you make Tseng and/or Veld very clever to give Asher an assignment that doesn't involve the actual 'pulling of the trigger'. "You just need to get her there" is so terribly insidious. I do love Turk v. Turk stories.

Asher's initial gut instinct to save Jamie is perfect. He's so torn! Such a compelling story. I can't wait to see what happens, even if the prospect is still scary!
redcherryamber chapter 3 . 1/25/2013
It's so good to read this chapter when surrounded by snow. You've transported me to such a lovely location I actually feel warmer! What I love about the effect you've created here is the constant tension between Jamie's innocence and romantic dreams, which sweep you away along with her enthusiasm, and the knowledge of who "Skeeter" really is, and what a perilous situation Jamie's in.

All the details of the hotel and the food are wonderful. I'd love to go there. I like the way Jamie gradually realises just how well-off "Skeeter" is; the designer clothes, the way he's happy to pay for everything, then the extravagance of the menu and the fact he leaves a 200 gil tip when they go elsewhere. I also love his sensitivity to her feelings; knowing that she's uncomfortable with the formality and expense. Fish tacos on the beach sound so romantic. It seems as though Asher does really like Jamie, and that his sensitivity is a part of him (he seems a thorough gentleman) rather than only an act to win her trust.

The exchange between them when they discuss their father's eccentricities and belief in the Lifestream is touching and real - they do seem to be forming a genuine bond. The way you include the world of the game works really well too - "Monsters," said Skeeter. "I'm sorry to hear that…" - Monsters are just an accepted hazard of living in their world.

The last section is a great insight into Asher's real feelings. He's so young, and so sweet, in spite of being a Turk. The fact that he wants to make up to Jamie for her weekend being spoiled and that he'll use his own money to do so is lovely, but also sad, because he's letting his feelings get in the way of his professional duty.

The surprise breakfast is another great touch - and I loved the inclusion of "She made a face when she sipped the champagne. "Don't worry," said Asher, "I think it's an acquired taste."" A touch of bitterness in the fairytale romance, like a warning. Subtle and effective.

Lovely chapter. If only there was a world where they could be together.
TheSecondOtherGuy chapter 3 . 1/19/2013
YAY you did another Nunchaky fic!
Krimea River chapter 3 . 1/17/2013
DON'T FALL FOR HIS LIES!

(this one's very good too o.o)

ReviewthingwhereImakeyoufeel badforscrewingup: Nothing that I noticed...
Shagi chapter 3 . 1/11/2013
I think I love Asher even more now... And I really can't wait for the next chapter! That was awesome... and expensive... very expensive...
findthetiger129 chapter 2 . 1/8/2013
Well I finally got around to it. Took a little longer than I planned but anyway... It looks good! I'll be looking forward to seeing the rest of it come out!
redcherryamber chapter 2 . 1/8/2013
"So things went from bad to worse, but then turned out all right!" Oh Jamie! You know, I almost wish I could change the challenge now and just put 'give them a happy ending' instead. Poor Jamie with her purple gel pen! I love her whole romantic view of 'Skeeter' (yay Skeet! You know, it's strange, but I see your Asher and Licorice's Skeeter as two different people. They even look a bit different in my head! And now I'm thinking of some weird crack fic in which different versions of the BC Turks meet each other, rather like the whole Axel and Reno thing!) "Oh great! A cute guy was talking to her and she looked like an absolute disaster!" If only that were the least of Jamie's problems. Her view of Skeeter makes him such a romance hero that I actually got chills when he said, ""Take a picture of me on your PHS and send it along with my name to your dad. That way he knows who you're with and that I'm not a serial killer". No, Ash - not *serial* anyway.

I love the detail of all Asher's aliases. I'm sure I saw him called Tristan once as well - or was that just me? (Not that the meaning would be at all appropriate for his personality!)

That brutal shift from the sun of Costa del Sol, with Jamie calling her 'daddy' and Asher being so perfectly charming, so the handcuffs and steel chair of the interrogation room just works perfectly. Tseng is so ruthless and cold - I'm glad you humanised him by showing his relationship with Veld, even if it did also reveal Shinra's duplicity over Kalm. Tseng's "We're even keeping an eye on her for you" is so chilling. I just hope Downing's uncharacteristically loving message is enough to give poor Jamie a clue! But even if it does, she'll probably just tell her hero "Skeeter" all about it!

I did wonder whether Tseng would admit that the destruction of Kalm was one of the 'grains of truth' Downing had uncovered. He could have questioned Downing about the theory without admitting that he'd got it right. I can't see Turks giving away anything they don't have to. I really like the fact that no one's fully in the picture, even within the Turks. That seems right. Asher doesn't know the full truth of Kalm; Tseng doesn't know about what happened to Vincent Valentine. The sense of mistrust and danger is so strong. The way you end with Tseng's reflections on the death of Veld's family, when they're busy threatening Downing's surviving family is really effective.

Thank you so much for taking on this challenge. I'm both thrilled and nervous to find out what's going to happen.
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