|Reviews for Birds of a Feather|
| Lady Eleanor Boleyn chapter 1 . 1/6
I like this very much, there's an underlying current of threat right from the very start, what with Pigeon almost trying to rationalise his fear of the darker sides of Crane’s nature, yet constantly finding them mirrored in himself, as shown by this quote: ‘His work tended to have a dark streak to it... That wasn’t it, though. Pigeon also had a suppressed taste for that kind of thing.’
The threat only darkens as we go through. I found the little talk that Pigeon had with Crane in his office very intriguing...I got the feeling that Pigeon almost saw a younger version of himself in Crane and wanted to rescue the lad from spiralling out of control, the way someone must have stopped him, as the quote ‘Whatever darkness was in Crane’s past, it didn’t have to define him, as Pigeon himself knew’ hints. Crane reminds me very much of the way I see a young Tom Riddle, in a way...always polite to his superiors, too polite – almost spine-chillingly so...
And then the gun incident...I knew something like that was going to happen, but I couldn’t help but jump when I read about it...I’d been reading the whole thing with my heart in my mouth, so it was almost a relief to have it finally come, yet, I was almost disappointed. It seemed a little anti-climatic...of course, that is because it builds up into the whole ‘fear toxin’ and Roman amphitheatre hallucination thing right at the end, but I almost wonder whether you might not have been better just to cut out the bit between Jonathon’s dismissal and his attack on Pigeon...it makes the ending of the story lose a bit of power, I think...
Nonetheless, considering I don’t know this fandom at all, you’ve done a marvellous job of drawing me into the character’s world and keeping me on the edge of my seat throughout.
| GGMK chapter 1 . 11/22/2014
Is it safe to assume that Professor Pigeon is an OC character? I think its cool that you used an original character as the narrator; I've read too many Batman fics where the title character, or Joker, are the main characters. Its a good change of pace to see from the perspective of someone new.
Huh, Crane began with the whole fear obsession at a young age. The kids and teachers all noticed, so it was apparently obvious. I wonder how many villains in Gotham could have received help if people had noticed behavioral tics.
The teacher seems like a nice person, showing interest in Crane, and trying to get him to talk. I can't help but feel this will come back to bite him later. The story has a grim atmosphere that seems to give my theory credence.
I smirked when Crane found the book; the teacher getting a bit embarrassed is understandable, especially considering the...interesting paper he apparently wrote about it.
And we see another glimpse of Crane's dark interests. Even the Pigeon tries to dissuade Jonathan from focusing so much on fear, but it didn't go so well. You give Crane a menacing presence, from his eyes, to the way he talks, like when you said he had "acid" in his voice.
That stunt with the gun was going way too far, especially nowadays, when school gun violence is such a feared thing. I totally agree with Pigeon's decision to not defend his former student. With that said, I can't blame Pigeon for being conflicted about it; Crane was one of his best friends. That couldn't have been easy.
I feel bad that Pigeon felt he had to leave Gotham for awhile; it was hardly his fault that Crane turned out to be off his rocker! I think its a bit unfair that the other teachers gave him mean looks.
The final bunch of paragraphs are very effective in showing how much of a monster Crane has become - only, he was a monster to begin with, as far back as his school days!
I also like how you don't even need to use dialogue - all of the emotion, and general things they discussed - are conveyed anyway, through prose.
The way that Crane dispatches Pigeon is horrifying, but it isn't random; you previously tell us that Pigeon used to be a huge fan of some of the nastier things that the Romans did, so his fear makes a lot of sense.
I enjoyed the story. You went deep into the psyche of Scarecrow, and a person who knew him well before he became a villain. I also didn't notice any obvious spelling errors. Two thumbs up!
| wouldyouliketoseemymask chapter 1 . 11/7/2013
Ooh, this was so good! It's a great companion to Year One, and I could tell that you put a great deal of effort into making it as accurate as possible-for example, the little details peppered throughout the story, the way it followed Year One's timeline, etc. I enjoyed the way you expanded on Year One's events, including Crane and Pigeon's relationship. It made it even more understandable that Crane would feel betrayed after Pigeon declined to take up for him and participated in his dismissal-he wasn't just his mentor, he was Crane's only friend in Gotham.
I liked the bit about Pigeon's fascination with Ancient Rome, as it explained his frightening hallucination at the end of the story (fantastic closing, by the way!). Leave it to Crane to bring up the most morbid aspects of a culture, haha. I also liked that Pigeon could sense Crane's weariness with the world, and the darkness about him. It's both sad and unsurprising that he would have such a misanthropic nature after the horrendous childhood he had. The mention of the Little Albert experiment was a nice touch, as I can imagine that Crane would have an appreciate for that experiment, given his own later experiment with the gun.
But most of all, I liked the question Pigeon posed: was Crane born "bad", or was he made that way after years and years of abuse? The classic nature versus nurture debate. It's a very good question, and one I explore in my own fics.
Excellent job! I think I might even like this more than Modes of Distress. :)
| Bovineorbitor1 chapter 1 . 11/4/2013
Yeah, this was great :D You‘ve built the sense of slipping into dangerous territory well, and I really liked the not-quite poetic justice of the end. I liked what you did with Pigeon’s character all through, really, he feels very moderate and academic, but the dark side is believable too. His reactions to things made him likable but kept him in an appropriate sort of area of grey. The mentor gone wrong is a really interesting perspective from which to show Jon’s descent: it’s close but not too close, and it feels like a really good pov from which to be evaluative. The overview style worked great with that sense of character.
If I have a point of crit, it’s that because of the evaluative approach Pigeon takes to things, and the mass of time covered in the story, there are points where it slips a bit into telling rather than showing. The various confrontations between Pigeon and Crane are good examples of the opposite, but there are moments in between when it feels a little like we’re being brought up to speed with the story so it can proceed. I really like the style of dipping in and out of focus, with moments of intensity held between vaguer bits of narrative exposition, but I think for that to be most effective the less intense bits have to be a bit more elliptical, even meandering – just slightly more stream of consciousness-esque, not in style but in structure. If that makes sense. Move with the character’s sense of time as well as hitting all the relevant information.
In general, though, really good! You got it feeling very dark, but still with a slow build of tension, and likable moments for the characters. I enjoy that you’re given Jon his sympathetic background showing without using it even implicitly to excuse his actions. It also feels very Original Flavour, so well done with that too.
| AnnaMNR chapter 1 . 3/5/2013
| GothicWraith chapter 1 . 2/12/2013
Very well written and a great concept to enrich Crane's history with the university.
| FairyHedgehog chapter 1 . 1/24/2013
I would like to start by saying wow. Pigeon is a very under-represented character in fanfiction, which is slightly saddening; because he has so much potential, as you have proved in your oneshot. Pigeon has a large impact upon Crane in the Year One backstory, and you've really gotten this across in your fic.
Stylistically this is wonderful, your prose works really well with this. You've captured the tone of Year One: Scarecrow perfectly, and create mood seamlessly as usual. There are no errors, as far as I can see and it reads totally fluidly as well. The description helps scenes and characters really come to life, like in the beautifully-written ending scene. A in that area.
Speaking of staying true to Year One, I really enjoyed the way you expanded upon and analysed the parallels it drew between Crane and Pigeon, as well as looking at the way their paths varied. The line, "It was like looking into a mirror and seeing a cracked reflection" has to be one of my favourites in this fic.
Pigeon is well-treated in this. You establish him as an intriguing and sympathetic character. He acts as a kind of foil for Crane here, but he's a character in his own right as well. Crane is similarly well-developed, I wish more authors had the ability to write him as you do. His relationship with Pigeon and the way you describe it is one of my favourite aspects of this fic. The way Pigeon "takes Crane under his wing" and slowly becomes more and more wary of him as his true colours begin to show is really well conveyed and developed.
In case I haven't already communicated this in my review already, I loved this. It's well-written, polished, examines its central characters clearly and accurately, and stays true to the source material as well as being your own piece. Well done, it's amazing :).