Reviews for Easier to run
noonetofake chapter 48 . 6/12/2015
I think I'm broke
SgtGinger chapter 48 . 5/28/2015
Well, it's finally over. I'll admit I'm not particularly happy they couldn't end up together, but of course that wouldn't fit with the overall theme, and the existing canon (not that that ever matters in fanfiction). Don't worry about what's being said about FF in general, this was a great story. Won't lie, there's always room for improvement, but you took that step and let yourself publish it, so way to go! Good luck on the rest of your stories, hopefully I can follow those (if FF doesn't monumentally f*** up my subscriptions like last time!).

Would love to see more Tomb Raider, or maybe even some Far Cry *wink wink nudge nudge*
Mia Void chapter 48 . 5/10/2015
The thing that gets me, honestly, is that Lara's still a coward, unable to let go of Sam, or even attempt to find someone else. Tomb Raiding is easy, it's when interpersonal relationships come into play that she takes issue with. Perhaps that's the point, but it feels unsatisfying.

She's 'matured enough' via her trials and tribulations, but it feels like the pre-reboot 'lonely/aloof' attitude was manufactured, of sorts, in order to get her to the point where she sees leaving Sam for her own good.

Yet, unless I'm very much mistaken/have a faulty memory, pre-reboot Lara never had the same sort of connection with anyone the way she does with Sam in the reboot. It's trying to take two separate universes and merge them together, only it feels like too much weight/priority is being given to the former, in order to make new Lara 'fit' with her stereotypical image. I can understand the desire to do so, and that tying Lara down with Sam would run the risk of both limiting her tomb raiding/neutering her admitted dark side, and that there's a danger to Sam, but...

I dunno. It feels weird to have it both ways here, Lara as the Tomb Raider, off living a life of adventure, but still pining like for her best friend (which is perhaps more specifically annoying here in the sense that it's a common recurring trope in stories with female-female relationships, only we never see her break out of it, and DO see it happen, and get rewound). She's never going to be able to 'let go', it seems, and that's honestly just depressing, especially for someone who's gone through as much as she has in regards to being forced to mature (or at least examine her motives and aspirations) throughout this story.

To be frank, I don't care that Sam ended up with Steven, per se. It's Lara's behavior here, and the rationale that it's supposedly her growing up (when she's clearly unable to let go), that gives me pause. If Lara had really cared about Sam, and was unwilling to risk Sam's life for the price that had been paid, she'd have not let herself get as attached as she is. She'd have tried to keep contact, but with some distance, even with Sam's loss of their fight and previous history. Instead, she's greedily sipping away at whatever scraps of affection Sam places her way, spaced in between gallivanting off tomb-raiding as an escape from said pining.

It's not 'avoidance' of Sam the same way she was at the beginning of the fic, but it doesn't feel like anything really changed, either. She's matured only in being able to 'accept' her loss of Sam rather than run from it, but the reset button to the prior status quo just feels like a twist to make sure things happen the way they do in the epilogue.

The scene with Lara classifying Sam's friendship as a precious treasure, to me, makes it seem like she's putting Sam on a pedestal of virtue, one that Lara can never match up to, because of her actions on Yamatai and afterwords, hence the stepping away and handing Sam over to Steven. But Sam had, before using the Aegis, tried (and I'd thought partially succeeded) of showing Lara how stupid that was. And yet, Lara disregards that, and just refuses to give that information when it's not just important to her, it's important to Sam.

It feels like it's condescending/patronizing, and thematically, a shift from all of Sam's previously displayed agency/arguments on why Lara is being stupid. Some of that is referring to cutting Sam out of Lara's life completely, sure, but another portion of that is related insofar as the physical closeness was a part of their life, and that it by itself wasn't the sole thing that made their previous relationship untenable.

Granted, I know that Lara's the principal character here, and it's her journey we're focusing on, and her thoughts and emotions, boneheaded though they may be, but at the end of the story, the only thing that's fixed is her being back to being friends with Sam, yet still pining for more. Yet, that's exactly what we had at the beginning of the story. The only other thing that's changed is her 'acceptance' of her status at the Tomb Raider/killer she knows she can be, but that was only half of the focus, otherwise Sam wouldn't have been tied to it in the first place.

It feels like a long journey that's come full circle...but it feels like the end of the circle is the same spot in which we've started, or at least similar enough to it to make it feel like little has changed. Perhaps the Greek theme/influence was more poignant than first anticipated, but it doesn't feel like a good way to end things on, with the monkey's paw/diabolus ex machina nature of the aegis determining (or at least strongly influencing) Lara's decision, rather than actually having that one last heart-to-heart, and letting the characters come to their own conclusion.

Some of this ties back to an interesting article describing a comment by developer Noah Hughes I once read regarding the newest game's 'alternate ending', in which Sam was sacrificed to save the rest of the crew, and Lara loses, which is her sacrifice. Yet instead, the developers chose for you as the protagonist to be able to 'win'. (Incidentally, having read the comments this time around and seeing accompanying name therein, makes certain elements of the fic make more sense now, I suppose)

Obviously, playing a game and reading fiction are vastly different things in terms of agency on behalf of the protagonist and the accompanying sense of control over the character's destiny, but in the end, I think this left me unsatisfied in a similar way had the most recent game ended as described above. It's the feeling of building up, of creating that tension...and then left wanting.

Other than that, enjoyed the narrative, though it seemed like Lara took more of a beating here than she ever did in any of the games, but that could be attached to the sense that reading is a bit more visceral, especially when game sustain traumatic injuries and then have the protagonist walk it off when the cutscene ends. Natla was suitably villainous, and Lara's bad habits getting the rival mercs involved tied in nicely.
residentsmoker chapter 1 . 5/1/2015
So I thought about writing a long drawn out comment about my love for your story, style, research, blah, blah youre an amazing writer...but in the end I figured it'd just be unecessary and a bit ramblely so I'll leave it at...
Omfg thank you for giving me a week of perfection.
Tictoczinha chapter 48 . 4/22/2015
I just loved it with all my heart! I love your writings, thank you for this!
Tipplynne chapter 48 . 4/18/2015
Ahhh, my darling! I'm sorry I did not get round to this review sooner, I needed some time to cope with the ending and gather my thoughts.

I suppose I am biased and will always view this story as one of the most life changing ones I've ever read because it was the story that brought me to you, but I'm writing this anyway. To your angst-y, dramatic playlist, lalalalaaa ;)

From the first moment, your Lara was more real to me and closer to the classic Lara in my head than to the new Lara. And this is why she broke my heart and caused me to instantly fell in love with her after reading chapter one of Easier to Run. I sat up, took notice, devoured Can't go Home and started paying more attention to this random, cute cosplayer in my twitter feed. Being a survivor of real life, I felt that you gave a voice to the torment of a survivor's soul with a clarity I have never come across in fiction before.

Of all the fanfic genres/themes you you labelled this story with, the most accurate by far is the hurt/healing one. While this story deals with adventure and homosexuality, and some people have fixated on the breaking and healing of the Lara/Sam bond, I feel that this was far from your purpose. However, it took me a long time to see that. As someone who has seen enough of life's cruelty and how many people never get their happy endings (and therefore only reads happy-ending stories these days) I'm surprised how well you put up with my whining about you torturing Lara emotionally and physically. I must admit, at times I even secretly feared I was getting into a relationship with a sadomasochist ;) and I was convinced you were going to kill Lara/Sam and leave the other one hurting and alone.

But as always, you are full of surprises. For me this story is ultimately about growing up. When we are young, our greatest hurt/fear is from not getting/achieving what we deeply desire or losing the things we jealously guard and possess. Our greatest failing is desperately fighting to have our cake and eat it. This is Lara, in Can't go Home and during her five years of running in Easier. Deep down she is a loner, leader and a hero, she relishes the carefree isolation of her existence, she jealously wants all the responsibility and glory of being the classic Tomb Raider. She is tortured by the impossible dream of reconciling her dangerous "living only for herself/ the prestige" lifestyle and the domestic bliss of being in a partnership with Sam. She is like a baby, crying over her own spilled milk and yet wallowing in it as it rots.

Then circumstances bring her back to the source of her pain, forcing her to face the consequences of combining these two opposing realities. The whole experience with Natla and the Aegis is like the ghost of Christmas future, showing her what will happen if she insists on having everything she wants. In the end she does what is right, putting all her effort into stopping Natla, not saving Sam, even though she is aware that Sam may probably die in the process. She has the intellect to understand the weight of this, of not fighting for Sam by trying get her to remember their love. But she is also freed from this by understanding intimately what she is giving up, there is no wondering about what could have been - she knows exactly what could have been.

This is for me true enlightenment, the doorway to maturity and happiness. This is responsible sacrifice, acceptance of loss and true love for Sam. She also forgives herself for being who and what she wants to be which is true self love.

I am so proud of you, baby. It may be a fanfic, but the plot, concept and character development were truly your own. As I've read your earlier attempts at original fiction, I can't wait to see how you combine the mastery of storytelling and confidence you've developed with this fanfic, with your already fantastic skills of conjuring up original, believable characters.
xxx
Your little black cat
Silverandgrey chapter 48 . 4/13/2015
I can't lie. The ending just absolutely wrecked me. Even now I still feel a little choked up and distressed in general.

First up, let me just say that you are a fan-fucking-tastic writer. Reading through your work, it's undeniable that you have a way with words and dedication to what you do and I commend you for it. If I could throw gold medals at you I would (in a way that wouldn't hurt of course ;). Part of what makes your writing so compelling is the way you perfectly balanced action, adventure, romance, character development and relationship dynamics, all the while providing a genuinely interesting plot to back it up. I like it, I like the fuck out of your writing.

That being said, I don't think you would appreciate what I have to say next about the way you ended this epic story.

I have nothing against bittersweet endings, truly. I even like reading angst filled tragic endings where people not necessarily die, but just never get what they want. So believe me when I say that I understand the direction and choice you took with the ending. Lara's coming to her own, acceptance of the duality of her nature, and the whole thing on sacrifice. I think my biggest beef with the ending was that it felt contradictory to me.

Yes, Lara is her own person now. No more running, check. Then she decides to never tell Sam at all but remains in her life, taking what she can get, eternally pining after what could have been. Is this what not running really means? How is this any different from when she was repeatedly running away from Sam's love and her own emotions in the beginning because of her 'she would be safer without me' pigheaded reasoning? So not running means Lara never attempts to speak of her feelings to Sam and instead, relegates herself to remaining in the peripherals of Sam's life and suffering in silence. By never telling Sam, Lara had effectively taken away a choice that should have been presented to Sam, regardless of what Sam might choose. Lara made the decision FOR her and that's what irks me the most. Last two chapters aside, everything you wrote indicated that Sam consciously chose Lara. That her heart was set on Lara irrespective of whoever else may be in her life. So when you pulled that memory wipe card it felt like a cop out to me.

Reading through some of the other reviews, I have to say I'm in the same boat as Anon and Metroidvania. Metroidvania articulated his thoughts on the matter more eloquently then I've phrased mine and I agree with what he/she said about the ending wholeheartedly.

I hope this didn't sound accusatory or judgemental or make you feel bad in any way cause that wasn't my intention at all. I love this story and while I am not exactly happy with how it ended, it doesn't detract from the fact that it was still an amazingly well written story that I enjoyed.

Personally, I'm choosing to remember this story as ending at the point where Lara dies in Sam's arms just to comfort myself. I do look forward to whatever you choose to write next, original work or otherwise. Keep up the good work :)

Cheers
Guest chapter 48 . 4/12/2015
Fantastic read, but such a sad ending.
nomuse chapter 48 . 4/10/2015
Poor Winston. Always with the freezer.

Didn't expect it to go this way. Kudos on carrying through with "sacrifice" and making it stick.
Sevatarion chapter 48 . 4/9/2015
I am very happy that you went with what you thought was the "Right" ending. For what it is worth, I believe it was. You are a wonderful example of how great fanfiction can be. You wove this tale with profound, well balanced emotion. Your ending was superb and perfectly fit the story, especially as I see the central theme of the story being LC's evolution. It was a privilege to read your hardwork and I am glad you are proud.

I will say this again: your writing is excellent. You deserve recognition. Keep writing and honing your talent. I sincerly hope you find further success in both literature and life.

Best of luck.
harlequin320 chapter 48 . 4/8/2015
interesting, I can definitely say I didn't see that coming, I don't know if I'm just too used to the characters always getting the happy ending in fanfiction, but I got to admit this was interesting for a change, very believable with how you played things out, ending things on a happy yet sour note, a much more realistic ending, anyways, great story, keep writing
Ziiek chapter 48 . 4/8/2015
i can't believe you ended like that I can NOT but its okay it still feels complete. Thank you for all of the work you put in on this story I loved reading it :")
HeidiW chapter 48 . 4/8/2015
I have to say it, I had decidedly mixed feelings while waiting for this chapter to go up - not because of what it might contain, but rather balancing the anticipation of another great chapter with the knowledge that this was the end of the road. But as a late Vulcan once sagely remarked, All Things End.

And what an end. This chapter is both heart-wrenching yet beautiful, but in the end we don't really get the sense that doors are closing, but that rather Lara's journey will continue, both with and without Sam. I've never played any of the original TR games but this chapter seems to merge her reboot and classic persona, with lovely details like the re-establishment of Croft Manor as Lara's true home. Sad to see Winston is gone, but Lara and the Croft name will continue.

And Lara as an "auntie"? Bril - that is definitely a side of herself that she will enjoy exploring :)

I've said it before, but this story is a masterpiece both in epic scope and emotional profoundness: now that's it's over I'm doubly chagrined that this could have been the canonical book rather than the mush that was offered to the fandom, but hopefully this opens some eyes in official circles and opportunities come your way because of it, as you are obviously mega-talented.

Okay, I guess it technically couldn't have been canonical as it wasn't set to bridge the gap between the two games, but you know what I mean.

Oh, and I was silently hoping there might be future fluffy one-shots from you involving Lara and Sam, so your closing statements really made my day. :D

And hey, it was only eight years later. It's all good.

Be proud, girl. You deserve it :D
guest chapter 48 . 4/8/2015
This whole thing was epic. Thank you.

And I agree with you about refusing fan-service. I'll have to take some time to cool my mind off and absorb it all before I re-read. Hopefully, you'll write a few fics by then.
Anon chapter 48 . 4/8/2015
The only thing I don't get is why have all the time spent on Lara and Sam being forced to slowly come to terms, and the latest chapters (aside from the last 3/4) being Sam finally getting it through to Lara to have her accept things as they could be...and then take that all away with a wave of a magical, plot-induced artifact?

If the two ladies had merely come to a detente, or even worked out a friendship i.e. Sam admitting to Lara that it couldn't work, and Lara making peace with that, so be it, it wasn't meant to be, but having Sam admit she'd choose Lara, (or at least not leave her out in regards to Steven) only to come to the particular conclusion with Natla...it feels like a reverse Deus Ex Machina to make sure Lara can still 'fit' into her old universe, unburdened by the 'noose around her neck' of Sam, and anything that would come afterwards which would interfere with the tomb raiding. It feels like a giant bait and switch.

Good story overall, though I don't think I'll be able to stomach future college shenanigans if they stay part of this universe, and the ending as it stands.
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