Reviews for Can't go home
PalindromeIsntOne chapter 3 . 1/17
Ow. Wow.
anon chapter 1 . 1/11
Have you ever heard the song Icarus by Bastille? It was running through my head as I was reading this.
Anyway, this is probably one of my favourite Tomb Raider fics I've read so far. I loved your characterizations and I loved that they were consistent. Heading over to read the sequel now.
wunderwolfer chapter 3 . 12/26/2014
Was not expecting that ending!

Beautifully written, witty, love how you depicted their relationship. A very sad ending, but I think Lara's (very realistic) PTS and her inability to cope with the trauma she experienced made it inevitable. So the ending was unexpected but felt right under the circumstances.

See you've got a sequel so I'm looking forward to reading that too.
Vicky Strife chapter 3 . 12/20/2014
Noooooo I don't want it to end . It's really rare for me to feel like this at the end of a fic, so it really proves that yours is awesome ! I really love how you described Lara and her duality, it's so beautiful. The way she felt about Sam too. The sex scenes weren't at all undue...
In short, thank you very much for this fic !
Vicky Strife chapter 2 . 12/19/2014
Oh my god WHAT IS HAPPENING
This is breathtaking, you really know how to structure your story and keep the suspense going !
Vicky Strife chapter 1 . 12/14/2014
Wow, excellent fic ! I usually don't read femslash, but since I've played TR, I love Sam and Lara, they're so cute and Lara is so freakin in love with her, I mean, I wouldn't have done half the things she did for a "friend" XD
I love how you described Lara as a lioness and a rose whose beauty was more defined by thorns than petals, really accurate :)
Moon-Safari chapter 1 . 11/10/2014
I am a die-hard fan of your work now after just one chapter. You've effortlessly, boldly and apologetically humanized Lara more than the game did. This blows the comics out of the water. I now see what's missing from the comics. Gail isn't cool enough. You are so cool and smart and that's why you can write for Lara. Bravo. I am so excited to read the rest of this. I'm deciding to count this as cannon for myself because I believe every word of it.
Guest chapter 3 . 10/17/2014
That was some of the deepest character development I have ever read. Really got into the core of each of them. Great job.
Rosaline chapter 1 . 9/1/2014
Lara is NOT a lesbian; even if Rhianna Pratchett decides to show her as one.
Ziiek chapter 3 . 6/15/2014
This is REALLY good thanks for sharing! I love how dynamic this is and how you tie in the flashbacks and have a sort of free flowing narrative that is kind of informal but still feels professional and polished and makes sense. Very very good. Love the Lara characterization. Super sexy. Heartbreaking. Can't wait for the next update.
harlequin320 chapter 3 . 6/13/2014
nicely done, now I'm on to read the subsequent story
cutecumbers chapter 3 . 5/26/2014
This fanfiction was probably one of the best I've ever read. Flawless dialogue, interaction, characters matching their actual personalities perfectly. It also gave me such a rollercoaster of emotions, I might wind up shooting myself.
TM chapter 1 . 4/9/2014
Your Lara is such a vivid but balanced creation. Many authors create characters with over the top personality traits with only minimal grey to balance their overblown positive or negative aspects. It pulls the reader out of the narrative. Here Lara is largely a wonderful grey speckled with well balanced moments where she swings between her darker self and her pre yamatai persona. As well, you are able to really weave the PTSD in. It makes the character more human in this regard; her strength is obvious but so are her cracks. PTSD colours everything, not just moments when a person has a legitimate reason to be hateful or angry. It makes both good and bad moments unpredictable. I think you have been able to do that.

Again, I hope you continue writing TR for awhile. You are a great author.
Malcolm chapter 3 . 4/2/2014
Hi Pfangirl,

I have just finished reading Can't Go Home after finding it via your interview on The Archaeology of Tomb Raider website. I thought I would write these words to say, first of all, how much I enjoyed reading your story.

I must admit, it feels odd writing the above as there is a sense in which your story is very un-enjoyable. How can one enjoy reading about the emotional collapse of a person suffering from PTSD, after all?

What makes the story not only bearable but very rewarding to read, though, is the way in which you have woven together the two narrative threads: Lara Croft's breakdown and her relationship with Sam Nishimura.

At first, it does not appear that any such thing has happened. I must admit that to begin with I thought that what I was reading here was two-and-a-bit chapters of Lara Croft being an emotional mess and then the sex scene at the end.

However, it takes only a little bit of thought to realise that the sex scene is actually the culmination of the story - the crown rather than simply another part of the 'body-narrative'. The sex scene gains its meaning from what has preceeded it. In fact, I am probably being unfair calling it a 'sex scene' as while it is that it is has much deeper currents.

I have already written more than I meant to or that you have time to read but in case you are still reading, I really wanted to say the following:

1. You had some great turns-of-phrase. My particular favourites were 'Sam cried her climax into her, and Lara claimed it' and 'Yamatai had sandblasted these qulities' - very evocative phrases that I wish I had thought of!

2. Further to (1) I sometimes felt that you referred to Lara and Sam as 'the archaeologist' or 'the American girl' etc a little more often than was necessary?

3. I really liked the on-edgeness of the story. Not only was it there during the first two chapters but also the sex scene in C3. It is not nice to not be comfortable while reading as you want everything to go well for the characters but it makes for a very exciting story!

4. Related to (3) I was alternately frustrated, bemused and anxious for Sam's repeated faux pas. It would have been very easy to make her a more stable character but only at the cost of her being a more bland one too. Well done for not giving in!

5. The sex scene was really well written. Lara's apprehensiveness throughout was a great touch (no pun intended) and felt (ditto) very authentic. I am sure many writers would not have been able to write such a contained scene. It was a high point of the story.

6. Speaking of high points, please forgive me if I am being dumb, but I did not understand the final scene where Lara gets high. I presume it takes place before the letter but I'm still not sure how it fits in to the overall narrative.

7. I almost forgot the thing I most wanted to say: your vision of Lara Croft, emotionally ruined by Yamatai, was a very challenging one for me. I read the story having watched a Play through of the game on You Tube. (by the bye, that was my first exposure to her). If I had written a story based after the game I would never have written the Lara that you did. At first, this did make reading the story difficult, but as it progressed I came to see the value in your interpretation. I am quite certain that your Lara is worth an awful lot more than any version of her that I could ever create.

8. Further to (7) the best writers are those who are not afraid to put their characters through the wringer (although in certain respects, Tolkien defies this fact). You certainly do that with Lara Croft. From my perspective, what is best is that you do not do so in an unkind fashion, meaning that the qualities of hope and love remain to sustain the reader as they do the characters.

Okay, I have tried your patience long enough. In short - thank you for writing this super story. I look forward to reading the next one!

Malcolm
thesecondachilles chapter 3 . 4/2/2014
Hi Pfangirl,

This is the second version of my comment so I hope it comes through to you alright. If you get both versions, please feel free to delete one.

I just wanted to say thank you and well done for your story. It was very intense but also very engaging. I thought you held the two main narrative threads - Lara Croft's emotional trauma and her relationship with Sam - in perfect balance, allowing the former to inform the latter very well indeed.

The intensity of the story made it uncomfortable reading at times. For this reason, I can't say that I always "enjoyed" reading the three chapters. Indeed, up to the sex scene it was sometimes very difficult to read - and even then, it did not let off.

This is not a criticism of your writing. Rather, a recognition that - for me - Can't Go Home was not so much a story to enjoy as one enjoys a light hearted romance or comedy, but a journey to be taken with a person deep in pain. Having said that, it would certainly be true to say that at the end of this journey I felt pleasure at having been through the tunnel with Lara and come out with her and Sam the other end, but more meaningfully I also felt a deep satisfaction that despite her pain, despite her brokenness, she endured.

Here are a few thoughts that have occurred to me as a result of reading Can't Go Home

1. I saw the first Tomb Raider film a few years ago but paid the video game series no mind until recently when I watched a play-through of the 2013 game on You Tube. If I had written a 'what happened after' story I am quite certain that I would never have thought to make Lara such an emotion wreck.

When I started reading CGH this was a problem. Your take was so unexpected it just didn't feel right. As the story progressed, however, I began to see the authenticity in your interpretation. I'm sure it is not the only interpretation but it is a valid one and, moreover, a very good one. I think it is also a brave one to take - unless, of course, you are the kind of writer who likes to put your characters through the wringer!

For my part, I am now very glad that you took this direction with Lara. It not only made for a great story but challenged me as the reader. Whether I like it or not I know that I need to be challenged. When it comes to literature, being challenged is how one grows.

2. I really liked the way you wrote the sex scene. Many other writers would have written something far simpler, more earthier. Here, there was real tenderness - an appreciation of the value of sex and the other person. What made the scene particularly stand out is the fact that you never lost sight of Lara's pain. Sex scenes being what they are I am sure it would have been easy to get lost in the moment and forgotten Lara's character. Here, it is always in the foreground, for example, in her apprehensiveness, which remains even after she and Sam have had sex. This, I thought, was (heart) achingly authentic and a high point of the story.

3. One thing I was not quite so sure about was what felt like a slight overuse of titles as alternatives to names. "The archaeologist" and "the American girl" for example. They didn't get in the way of the story but I did feel sometimes that they were a little too present.

4. Against (3) you used some brilliant turns-of-phrases, which I wish I had thought of - 'Sam cried her climax into her, and Lara claimed it' and 'Yamatai had sandblasted these qualities' were particular favourites. The first is particularly good given how hard sex scenes can be to write (here in the UK one of our literary magazines has a Bad Sex Award every year to 'honour' bad examples of this writing!)

5. As I think about the story now, I can't think of many scenes that didn't fit in. Only one occurs to me - the very last. I presume that it is a flashback? I wasn't sure, though.

6. Going back to (1) I should have said that reading Can't Go Home has taken me back to the game to see if I can match your Lara with the one who appears in the game. Three episodes in, I am appreciating the continuity between the two more and more.

7. Sam's faux-pas alternately amused, bemused and frustrated me. Nevertheless, she remained an engaging person. For me this is a good achievement as I think it would have been easy to focus one's imagination on Lara and leave Sam, as it were, in the dark (such as often happens in films, albeit because of time constraints).

Well, I'm sure I could write more but I have gone on long enough. Thank you again for the story. I look forward to starting Easier to Run!

Malcolm
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