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MEFA Reviews, Evening, December 31 2007 (Part 3)

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    Title: An Apple for Your Thoughts? · Author: Demus · Races: Cross-Cultural: The Fellowship · ID: 716 Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-12-29 17:57:02 Score: 3 A
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 31, 2007
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      Title: An Apple for Your Thoughts? · Author: Demus · Races:
      Cross-Cultural: The Fellowship · ID: 716
      Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-12-29 17:57:02 Score: 3
      A nice scene between Boromir and Frodo in the early days of the
      Fellowship. The difference between Frodo and his two young cousins
      becomes clear in the discussion between Frodo and Boromir about the
      rate of maturity for hobbits and men while Merry and Pippin prove the
      point.

      Title: When the King Comes Back · Author: shirebound · Genres:
      Alternate Universe: The Shire or Buckland · ID: 361
      Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-12-29 17:58:14 Score: 4
      [spoilers]
      This is another story of heartwarming fluff in the Quarantine
      universe. Little Scamp gets pups and has the gaffer wrapped around her
      finger ;-). Poor Aragorn! That was a nasty hit on the head. I like it
      that Halbarad had to step in for Aragorn and I can understand that he
      was scared when Aragorn showed signs of a very selective amnesia. The
      way you had Aragorn connect with himself again was very convincingly
      written.

      Title: Blooded · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Drama: Youth · ID: 3
      Reviewer: EdorasLass · 2007-12-29 18:00:32 Score: 6
      Ah, poor young Faramir, faced with the reality of battle. Of course he
      would never be one of those young men who was eager to get out there
      and in the midst of a melee, who considered fighting the most
      wonderful and romantic occupation imaginable, and it's only natural
      that, with his introspective turn of mind, that Faramir would fall
      into numbness and doubt as to whether he could kill another man again.
      This story shows very well that introspection and also hints at the
      inherent sympathy for others Faramir always seems to have, though I'm
      hard put to say how. This line is particularly stark [ No artistry nor
      courage, merely his own quickness, his refusal to die, had saved him],
      for I imagine Faramir had thought that skill would win over base
      instinct, and realizing that's not always true would have been quite
      startling to him.

      Title: The Tolkienian War on Science · Author: Doc Bushwell · Genres:
      Non-Fiction · ID: 444
      Reviewer: TrekQueen · 2007-12-29 18:00:56 Score: 5
      I found this dissertation thanks to a mutual e-friend Rhapsody and I
      am glad I read it! I had moments of bursting out in laughter and quiet
      giggling to myself only to cackle endlessly again. Being a computer
      engineer by trade, I finally understand why I love the Noldor so much
      and I never thought to look at the story of Feanor in a technological
      sense either until now. Many have discussed the thoughts and feelings
      of Tolkien concerning technology and mechanization but Doc makes it
      truly insightful and hilarious in ways that scientists and engineers
      can identify with, yet can also have non-tech related folks follow
      along with understanding it all, too. Great work!

      Title: Youngest Son · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Romance: Second Age or
      Earlier · ID: 406
      Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2007-12-29 18:11:00 Score: 8
      (Possible spoilers within:)

      Bodkin's stories are always a joy to read, and this one is no
      exception. She writes of the Elves of Aman so thoughtfully that I
      compare all stories about the Blessed Lands to hers.

      This one is about Finarfin, the youngest son of Finwe, meeting Earwen,
      the daughter of Olwe, and the very tentative beginnings of their
      courtship... facilitated by a younger brother of Earwen's, who is
      conveniently injured and must be jointly rescued.

      Bodkin has a talent for dialog that is spare, but sparkles, and so
      clearly illustrates each of her characters, whether canon or original.

      And her descriptions are truly extraordinary, making us "see" the
      landscape in our mind's eye. Just as one example, I thought this
      passage so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes and inspired me with
      a drabble that I was struggling to write: [As Telperion turned the
      water silver, the wind changed and a soft breeze blew off the sea,
      singing of the endless renewal of the tides and the relentless erosion
      of barriers, bringing with it the aching cries of a thousand
      homecoming birds seeking their refuges in the rugged cliffs.] If *I*
      tried to write something that evocative, it would just sound like so
      much purple prose. In Bodkin's hands, it is sheer poetry, a paean to
      beauty.

      This is a sweet story that leaves readers with love and hope in their
      hearts. Well done!

      Title: The Accidental King: Five Reasons Why Finarfin Deserves an
      Appreciation Month · Author: Dawn Felagund · Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 5
      Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-12-29 18:19:56 Score: 10
      Well okay, I think in a way Finarfin never has had that appeal to
      fanfic writers as his elusive kin has and Dawn clearly illustrates the
      why in this essay by tackling the most often used reasons why people
      don’t write him. Personally, truth to be told with all those Fin's out
      there, the thought will pop up like: who was he again? For a while, I
      was glad to know all family members of Finwe's first house (although I
      can keep all the fin’s apart now). Now many months later after I read
      this essay (or lj post of nearly two years ago), I do have a different
      view on him (perhaps also because after this essay a lot of Finarfin
      stories authored by different writers popped up). With great quotes
      and canonical facts (as few as there are about this character) Dawn
      tells the reader very convincingly that when it comes down to this
      character, a lot is still to be discovered about him, let alone to
      explore in writing. I think besides these five, more can be said in
      favour of Finarfin, especially regarding his leadership, who played
      his own role within Tolkien's mythology. Dawn's essay is very well
      constructed and can of course stir up a debate (the lj post back then
      only had very enthusiastic replies), nonetheless she somehow dusts of
      this often forgotten character and places him in a well-deserved
      spotlight. An absolute extra bonus still is that we now do have more
      Finarfin stories to enjoy! I would say: mission accomplished Dawn!

      Title: Mettarë · Author: Galadriel · Races: Men · ID: 34
      Reviewer: EdorasLass · 2007-12-29 18:24:34 Score: 6
      This is lovely, if in a rather painful way. As always, Boromir is
      thinking of home and the troubles there, unable to let his worries go
      even for a moment during a Mettarë celebration. Personally I've found
      that it's often much harder to stop thinking about the things that
      worry you during the holiday season; when everyone else is joyous and
      merry, one's anxieties and fears seem much heavier. Boromir seems to
      be of the same mind here, thinking of past Mettarë-nights, which are
      no longer a celebration to him, but only a reminder of the endless
      battle being fought, and those who have fallen over the past year.

      I quite like how Aragorn and the others leave Boromir alone to his
      pain, and the fact that it's Aragorn's song that reaches Boromir and
      brings him to tears is wonderfully poignant and touching, and gives
      hope that perhaps Boromir will not sink completely back into his despair.

      Title: Finding a Way · Author: Elfique · Genres: Drama: Second Age or
      Earlier · ID: 496
      Reviewer: TrekQueen · 2007-12-29 18:24:45 Score: 6
      [spoilers]

      The story of Celeglin returns here as a sequel to [From Evil to
      Sorrow]. The young elf's life has been difficult but he has been
      surrounded by caring family and has risen high and accomplished much,
      yet he is still missing something. Then enters Elemiriel who turns
      this story of self-discovery into romance and soul-searching. Neatly
      placing the characters in their lives in Imladris and Lorien, Elfique
      has the two lovers intermingle with many with whom we are familiar
      with from Tolkien's work but lets it still remain central to these two
      elves who fatefully came together.

      A wonderfully refreshing yet heart-wrenching piece, one cannot help
      but be swept away by it and the innocent love of Elemiriel and
      Celeglin. We suffer with them and love with them as events pass but in
      the end, they survive and continue with love. Bravo!

      Title: From Evil to Sorrow · Author: Elfique · Genres: Drama: Second
      Age or Earlier · ID: 781
      Reviewer: TrekQueen · 2007-12-29 18:29:55 Score: 5
      [spoilers]

      This short piece begins with Celeglin, an elf of Eregion, in the midst
      of the attack of Sauron's forces on the elf-lands. In the midst of
      battle, he loses his life and his wife and love, Mithlin, suffers and
      fades upon learning of his death after she fled to Lorien. Yet, from
      this grief is born a son, Celeglin named for his father. Elfique sets
      this scene beautifully for the following sequel [Finding a Way]
      depicting younger Celeglin's life coming to terms with the events of
      [From Evil to Sorrow]. The author tells the bone-chilling fear and
      worries of those caught in the middle of terror and the uncertainty
      that comes with fleeing to safety but leaving loved ones behind. But
      from this sorrow, new hope will be born.

      Title: Elf, Interrupted: Book One: Glorfindel Redux · Author: Fiondil
      · Genres: Drama: Elves in Later Ages · ID: 77
      Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-12-29 18:31:36 Score: 10
      I follow this story for quite some time, now and I hope the sequel
      starts soon;-). I was intrigued by the summary originally. Stories
      about elves are not what I usually read. But once I started reading, I
      couldn't stop.

      Fiondil weaves an entertaining tale about the reborn elves in Aman. We
      follow a trio of 3 reborn elves, Glorfindel, Sador and Finrod from the
      time they are rehoused, still in Namos care, until they are released
      into the loving care of their family in Aman and then trying to find
      their places in this society.

      It seems that life in Aman hasn't changed in centuries, everything had
      their place and the inhabitants have become kind of set in their ways.
      But now that more and more reborn elves show up things become
      unsettled. New customs are introduced, old traditions are changed and
      not everyone is happy about that.

      What I find so fascinating about this story is the interaction between
      the elves of Aman, the Valar, the Maiar and the reborn elves who have
      vastly different remembered experiences than the elves of Aman. The
      Valar are not passive godlike beings behind the scenes. They take on
      quirky characteristics and become real characters. They have kind of a
      parent-child relationship with the elves and especially with the
      reborn elves.


      Title: ...To the Edge of Night: Seven Tells of a Moment · Author: Elen
      Kortirion · Races: Men: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 439
      Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-12-29 18:39:58 Score: 3
      A deeply moving and beautifully written series of drabbles concerning
      Denethor's decision to send Faramir to Osgiliath. I loved the way the
      writer explores the situation from the different viewpoints of the
      people who were there and brilliantly conveys their sadness and despair.

      Title: Could Will Have Its Way · Author: Nancy Brooke · Races: Men:
      Gondor Drabble · ID: 286
      Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-12-29 18:42:23 Score: 2
      A vivid and bleak drabble exploring Denethor's thoughts as he looks
      into the palantir,fearful to look yet compelled to.Poor Denethor !This
      makes me pity the Steward.

      Title: Escape · Author: Bodkin · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 - 3017 TA
      · ID: 24
      Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2007-12-29 18:42:44 Score: 8
      (Possible spoilers within:)

      This is the tale of an unidentified Dunadan of the North who barely
      evades a rabble of Orcs who wound his leg and kill his horse, hooks up
      involuntarily with a patrol of Mirkwood Elves, and delivers a message
      from Gandalf to Radagast. It is decidedly entertaining!

      At the beginning, the Ranger is up a tree, injured, out of arrows,
      with a bunch of Orcs lurking below him and a poisonous caterpillar
      inching its way towards him. The Orcs leave, but an Elven patrol
      arrives and surprises him asleep. They are unhappy that he laid a
      false trail for the Orcs, inadvertently leading towards an Elven
      settlement.

      This prickly Ranger and these prickly wild Elves do not know or like
      each other, but they slowly begin to learn about each other. What I
      liked most were the observations that there was much in common between
      them, like a distaste for paperwork and an annoyance at Gandalf's more
      coercive habits. There was clearly a growing respect between them, and
      I was a bit sad that they probably would never meet again.

      A meaty and satisfying vignette... well done!


      Title: Reflections of the Past · Author: shirebound · Genres:
      Alternate Universe: The Shire or Buckland · ID: 359
      Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-12-29 18:44:11 Score: 4
      [spoilers]
      This story is part of Shirebounds Quarantine universe. In this story
      Frodo gets a dog he names Scamp. The little one is aptly named. She is
      a very smart and cute dog. I love it how she seems to know exactly
      what to do to get on the good side of Frodo. I would never have
      guessed what treasures are hidden in Bag End. No wonder Aragorn is
      awestruck at the discovery. The story is heartwarming fluff without
      going over the top into the too sugary sweet realm. I think the mood
      describes the Shire perfectly and Aragorn can relax in the hole of his
      friends.

      Title: Letting Go · Author: Ellie · Times: First Age and Prior · ID: 790
      Reviewer: TrekQueen · 2007-12-29 18:44:40 Score: 4
      Ellfine tells a beautiful rendition of Ingwë. Wonderfully woven
      together, the High King of the elves is ever concerned about his
      people, the many thoughts of any leader passing through his mind. One
      cannot blame him with the troubles that have plagued Valinor in the
      past and the evils that may possibly visit again. Yet, he finds some
      peace in his love's arms for the night at least, reminding him that a
      respite is needed for every king once in a while.

      Title: Clothes Make the Man · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres:
      Humor: Drabble · ID: 625
      Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-12-29 18:44:47 Score: 3
      A delightful drabble in which Aragorn is kitted out with new clothes
      in Lothlorien.I especially loved Aragorn's disdain for the finery that
      Galadriel and Celeborn wish him to wear !

      Title: Mardil Goes A-Courting · Author: Le Rouret · Genres: Humor:
      Gondor or Rohan · ID: 366
      Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-12-29 18:45:26 Score: 3
      This is a lighthearted tale of Legolas trying to help his friends find
      a suitable marriage partner. Legolas as matchmaker is hilarious. What
      are a few years more or less to an elf. No wonder his friends are
      upset. But the women are ahead of the men.

      Title: Friendship of Their Kind · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Early
      Third Age: 1-2850 TA · ID: 425
      Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-12-29 18:48:39 Score: 3
      Three Rangers have the misfortune to get assigned to clear out a
      dragon's nest. Poor Halandor getting saddled with two rookies and then
      having to guide them through this dangerous undertaking. The stench of
      a dragon really had to be awful. At least the picture you paint from
      the actions and reactions of the rangers to it brought it vividly to
      my mind.

      Title: This Present Darkness · Author: Lamiel · Genres: Drama:
      Incomplete · ID: 808
      Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-12-29 18:48:42 Score: 3
      I cannot say I agree with the characterisation of Aragorn here,as I do
      not think anything could so influence such a strong will to sink so
      low. However,this is a highly compelling and well written story,which
      held my attention throughout.

      Title: Not Fade Away · Author: Jael · Genres: Drama: Elves in Later
      Ages · ID: 127
      Reviewer: Oshun · 2007-12-29 18:52:19 Score: 10
      I am not a fan of elves-in-the-modern day stories, with a few notable
      exceptions. There are some angsty Maedhros and Fingon stories that I
      like simply because I adore the characters. In this case, I was drawn
      in because Jael is such a careful and accomplished writer, who gets
      under my skin with her unfailing warmth and passionate partisanship
      that she always transmits for her characters of Thranduil and Legolas
      throughout her entire spectrum of work. One cannot but be infected by
      her sympathy and enthusiasm. I like to see thoughtful well-developed
      characters and backstory and this is also present in Jael's work. Even
      in this genre, which is a leap for me. Jael also tells a good yarn in
      the old-fashion sense of presenting a story in such a way that she
      forces the reader to want to hang on until the end. (The old
      I-couldn't-put-it-down-until-I-finished quality, which, for me, is the
      basis upon which I judge the value of any story, is always present in
      Jael's work.)

      The blatant and honest wish-fulfillment elements of the story are what
      initially hooked me. I wanted to work for them. Wouldn't that just be
      great? Hey, I deserve it, I’ve been kicked around long enough! But,
      I'd settle for just looking at them if they couldn't find me a job. On
      a higher and more principled level, the world certainly does need more
      decent, humane and socially conscious sorts like the elves in this
      story. For those who are just coming across this story, you will be
      delighted to know that she has already written its sequel.


      Title: Requiem · Author: Rhapsody · Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 280
      Reviewer: TrekQueen · 2007-12-29 18:53:15 Score: 5
      {spolers}

      At last the muses played nicely and Requiem has been completed. This
      beautiful collection of stories tracing Celegorm and Huan through life
      in the beginning to their separation and finally their reunion. Yet,
      all is not quite finished in Valinor. Answers are given to long sought
      questions and feelings of betrayal are quieted as sorrow at their
      parting reunites them through the help of the Valar. And finally they
      are at peace and redemption has come, Valinor has healed them and they
      are whole. Absolutely breathtaking and a gorgeous intertwining pieces
      of vinigrettes!

      Title: Capturing the Moonlight · Author: Rhapsody · Genres: Romance:
      Second Age or Earlier · ID: 279
      Reviewer: TrekQueen · 2007-12-29 18:57:56 Score: 3
      What an unexpected pairing of Melian and Beleg, yet they mesh together
      so wonderfully in Rhapsody's tale. Even if it is a mature read, it
      hardly is PWP in my opinion, it is a story of temptation, the unknown,
      and lusting for the forbidden chance to join together. Poetic and
      enchanting, not to mention smut-tastic!

      Title: First Among Equals · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Adventure:
      Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 564
      Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2007-12-29 18:58:31 Score: 5

      (Possible spoilers within:)

      This pair of drabbles shows the first time Faramir kills as Orc as a
      young soldier. It realistically portrays him feeling jittery while
      anticipating the battle beforehand, but quickly getting into the
      rhythm of shooting at the enemy, as training overcomes initial
      nervousness. Then, they seek their base at Henneth-Annun, where he
      falls into the routine of meals and cleaning his equipment -- and
      being congratulated by the captain.

      Though beforehand, Faramir seems to feel the weight of his father's
      past judgmentalism, he seems to quickly gain confidence in his skill.
      Well done!


      Title: I'm Your Pain When You Can't Feel · Author: Robinka · Genres:
      Drama: General Drabble · ID: 103
      Reviewer: TrekQueen · 2007-12-29 19:00:42 Score: 3
      A beautiful piece between Finrod and Beren. This is one such case
      where a bond between friendship requires no words spoken to convey
      feelings and intensity. With a poetic flair, Robinka weaves a touching
      moment with the limited strains of the 100-word challenge and masters
      it amazingly.

      Title: Not Fade Away · Author: Jael · Genres: Drama: Elves in Later
      Ages · ID: 127
      Reviewer: Súlriel · 2007-12-29 19:19:57 Score: 5
      While I find this tale to be self-indulgent, I find it delightfully so
      and can't resist re-reading on occasion. Who, after reading this, can
      help but watch the local papers for help wanted ads from the Dale Toy
      company - or anything even remotely similar. Of course, we know, in
      our heads, that it can't be true... but our hearts cry that it must be.

      Jael presents this most amazing story in a heart-breakingly believable
      fashion. It's a smooth and easy read, pulling the reader along, page
      after page as the protag suspects and then finds out the truth and her
      heart's desire.

      Thank you Jael, for giving me a thread of hope and making me believe.
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