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The Last Tribute: Chapter Sixteen - The Phantom Librarian — LiveJournal
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
The Last Tribute: Chapter Sixteen
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From: queen_bellatrix Date: October 13th, 2014 04:29 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Feedback

So sorry it took me so long to get back and leave a proper review of this.

This was a wonderful chapter in terms of cannon melding, but the things that stood out especially for me were the very subtle touches specific to your universe. You've always done really interesting things with Haymitch's narrative unreliability, and I loved how you used Danny to showcase it yet again. He was talking about Danny playing a self-deprecating gentleman who thought being a white knight was good. And I sat there going: "Erm, okay, so he's playing himself?" It only occurred to me later in one of those moments of fridge brilliance that that's not how Haymitch sees Danny. Danny, for him, is about more than rescuing damsels in distress; he's about taking incredibly dangerous risks that, at least in the beginning, were spawned more by friendship than principle. (I'm thinking specifically of the moment in Rites where he lies and tells Haymitch that of course they would have done something, even though he knows what really got people riled up were the deaths of Haymitch's family). He's a man who’s helped Haymitch stay in one piece so many times, even when Haymitch wasn't really in any fit state to return the favor. Danny's qualities as a romantic would just never register on his radar, especially the whole thing that Ruth outlines so well in NP about wanting to be a hero. It's just an excellent way of showing that, oftentimes, a narrator only sees those aspects of a person that relate to them.

And then, you started to lay the groundwork for answering a question that's had me scratching my head since GM. I suppose you started laying it in TANT with the peacekeepers looking for all the rebels after Annie's Games, but I really started noticing it here. In GM, Plutarch asks Haymitch if he has any idea how closely he's watched, and in HOC, Snow is completely casual about him being in the rebellion inner circle for years. The thing I could never figure was what got Snow's hackles up. But this right here would do it. While I'm sure Finn/Jo and Cecelia have done interviews before (with it being in the victor stipulations for being in the Capitol for the Games), but I doubt they've pushed a story like this this hard before. And then that they're doing it for Abernathy, who they're already known to be thick as thieves with, and whose tribute had a symbol that made him leery enough he may very well have interfered with the supply list prices. Yeah, that'd do it.

I also really liked how you're laying the groundwork for what a fabulous artist Peeta is with both that wonderful Effie sketch and the fact that he's actually impressing Capitolites with his skill enough to purchase his work. As much as they have a wonky sense of fashion, I imagine their sense for art, particularly portraiture, would be pretty close to ours, so that's a high compliment indeed.

Also loved, like so many others, the cameo of Peeta's granddad! The way all your characters intersect/intertwine in such complicated and unexpected ways is one of the things I've enjoyed about your stories, whatever fandom they may be in.:)

And Haymitch's line about Meer not allowing the swing because Danny might actually have somewhere to meet his friends was so spot-on and such vintage Haymitch.:d
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 16th, 2014 05:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Feedback

Sorry it took me so long to get back -- the next chapter was giving me headaches all week!

Haymitch may even think that Danny's status as a white knight for Mir is a complete act -- oh, sure, he's heroic and all, but Haymitch wasn't there when he got pulled in to be whipped. He's got himself convinced that it was about the greater rebellion.

And that's what I love about tight point of view stuff, especially when you can then flip that POV somewhere else and see an entirely different story and a different way of understanding things. Haymitch believes that Danny works for his cause. Danny actually believes in Haymitch himself. The one person Haymitch is relatively reliable on is the original unreliable narrator, Katniss, whose view of herself is almost as viewed as Haymitch's self-image.

I wish I'd been able to do more with the war, but the timeline prohibits any action from being successful. He was active during TATN, outside of Effie's sightlines (mostly), but I think that, until the 74th Games, Snow was operating under the impression that Haymitch, while still a kind of potential threat in the abstract, was really not a major concern anymore. The pickling and bad behavior (and loss of year-round contact with the other victors, since he never twigged to their mode of communication) had neutralized him. Now, suddenly, all of those silly contacts Haymitch has been making are paying off at the same time. Panic button is pressed.

Peeta's grandfather, of course, scammed the money out of people and had to make Haymitch take it before they found a way to get it back.
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