(#) AccountingNinja 2008-07-19Wow. Just, wow. This was so disturbing, I don't think I can read it again for a long time. So wonderfully, beautifully disturbing.
I will try to keep any spoilers to a minimum, and that's why this review is on the epilogue page, but I must express my thoughts on this superbly crafted story.
LUTHANE: A thin thread connected to the past, he represents what Boss longs for. I enjoyed his "straight man" to Boss's clown, and I love how he never betrayed himself, not once.
THE MODERNITY: At first I was quite taken aback by the modern references. As each Chapter went on, I felt more and more dismayed. It started to feel like a gritty, filthy crime drama. Though the story was always entertaining, I SORELY missed Gaia, how it used to be. Then, the thought struck me: pure GENIUS! You did this on purpose! What a brilliant way to contrast the nobility and innocence of the old Gaia with the defilment of the new. You made the reader feel what Boss probably feels every day: a keen longing for the past, so painful and all-consuming that he must numb himself consistently, because he doesn't have the option of a "way out" if you catch my drift...
THE "TWIST": I knew it. When Boss said, "Older than I look", I knew. Still, it was fascinating. No one had ever done anything like this. And the reason WHY left me thunderstruck. So, Necron did indeed have his revenge on the poor boy.
THE, UM, INCIDENT: Okay. I was actually dreading this part. I felt it coming. BUT, when it happened, it was natural and stayed within character. No fluffy, OOC romance or any such nonsense developed. Upon further reflection, it made perfect sense: sex was all Boss had left. Dead on the inside, his life was a numbing parade of drugs, violence and sex. Sex was the only way he could express intimacy with anyone, and it seemed the other person understood this and treated the broken man tenderly. "Love" and closeness had proven too painful and dangerous. BRILLIANT!
BOSS ULTIMA: How my heart broke for him. Oh, what he had become. His body lived on, but the boy he used to be had long vanished. It makes my eyes water, to remember the word "Virtue" blazenly written above the boy's head and realize that their were no more high ideals, no more brave struggles, no more love. Everything Maroon had said about him was right. I'm glad, at the end, Boss briefly gained back the man he used to be. My only quibble is I wish you would have given more snippets of memories of family life, so that Mery and Alfy seem more real, and thus their loss more tragic, but frankly I'm almost glad to be spared the additional tears.
I can't say enough to everyone: READ THIS NOW. Yes, it's different. Yes, it's sometimes uncomfortably different BUT YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.
Author's responseThank you tons for the extremely thoughtful review! I'm glad such an unusual and "disturbing" (as you said) fic idea managed to be entertaining in a provocative way.
Yes, I regret not elucidating Mery and Alfy's backstories (Julia's too.) For most of the fic being in Luth's POV, I didn't get much opportunity (Luth is way too shy to approach women and Boss doesn't like to talk about that stuff, after all!) but that's a sorry excuse, and I could have found a way if I tried. Perhaps I can correct that some day.
I am happy and relieved that the characters were well understood, especially poor Boss. He really took a bite off the tragic stick there, and my time writing him was eerily fun and depressing at once. Like a sad clown.
Usually when I see FF9 fics pull out the immortality card, they recycle Garland or some other Terran plot device, but I wanted to give Necron his fair slice. He's a real hack of a villain, but that's no reason not to put him to good use somehow ;)
At any rate, thanks again! You made my whole weekend.
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