Holy crap, that was an emotional rollercoaster. Almost every shred of free time I’ve had over the past two months has been dedicated to reading this series, and let me tell you it was SO worth it! I just finished “25 Days and 25 Steps” five minutes ago, and almost immediately afterwards I went to register an account so I could review this. And right now there is so much I want to say that I can’t even possibly try to express it all at once without writing you an essay, so here we go:
The original trilogy was so unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I usually find hurt/comfort a bit hit-and-miss, but I now see why so many of your other reviewers say that you own the genre. You do. Epically. You made me feel so much for Rose and the Doctor, and there were several times where I had to stop reading purely because I was crying too hard to continue (I’m looking at you in particular, “The Finish Line”…)
I also admire your characterization soooo much! Your takes on everyone were so perfect, especially the Doctor. It takes skill to write a character so utterly crushed, and then to bring him back up in such a graceful – if tragic – way. Congratulations. One scene that really stands out to me is the scene in the field at the end of TFL, when they confess their love for each other. Despite both being so broken at that point in time, they were still both so beautifully themselves. And when they admitted they loved each other, I actually felt a feeling of pure elation. Powerful stuff. And when they returned there in “25 Days…” to watch the sunrise, I got SO many feels! xD
On a slightly different note, I feel I have to mention Amara. Where do I even begin with that woman? She’s one of those characters I love to hate- every time she popped up in a chapter I could feel the dread of the other characters. She’s so sadistic and unpredictable, and her insanity just makes her all the more terrifying… Wow. Hate-able villains really are a strong point of yours, huh?
(I’ll also have you know I actually cheered aloud when Rose punched Amara in the face. Hell yes!)
…while on the subject of OCs, don’t even mention Mishell. I loved that girl, and her death scene still hurts to think about!
Aside from the original trilogy, I loved both “Flanders Mare” and “Winner Takes All”. WTA was actually the first of your stories I read, having had it shoved in my face by my Whovian sister, who insisted I had to read it despite not even being in the Doctor Who fandom. That has all changed now – I read WTA in three days, got way too invested in the characters, binge-watched the entirety of modern-Who when I really should have been revising for my exams, and when I was done with that, I then read the entire “Step By Step”-verse from start to finish in two months. …I would now call myself a bit of a Doctor Who fan. Much to my sister’s amusement.
WTA was even better on the second read; mostly because we got to see the characters fall in love all over again. Also Ten’s initial innocence was one of the most bittersweet things ever – when he noticed his scars and began questioning whether he even wanted his memories back, I just wanted to jump into the story and hug him! And brilliant as it was when they did eventually get their memories back, it was still sad to see the end of Five and Ten and their little section of this story.
…I also haven’t forgiven you for killing off Two. Out of all the deaths in your stories, Mishell and Two hurt the most.
The concept of the Control in “Mind Over Matter” has to be one of the most unique things I’ve seen in a long time. Mind-control itself is nothing new, but your take on how it works was really quite something. Especially when Rose took Control – the scene where she made him run away from here was so painful to read! As was the one where she removed the Control. The description of the inside of the Doctor’s mind was so him, although seeing it all broken like that…aaaaah! …I swear, I shouldn’t enjoy angst as much as I do.
Lastly, “Two Roads Diverged”. When I realized it was the SBS version of Canary Wharf, I didn’t know whether to feel dread or excitement. As it was, I ended up preferring your version to the original (mainly because of the lack of a certain wall scene)!
Then, of course, we had that total mind-twister that was the baby. I’ll admit, at first I was skeptical. I don’t usually like pregnancy fics, but over the course of TRD I came to like the idea through how the other characters reacted. You managed to make the baby important, without letting her overshadow the main plot of the story, and by the end I started to think, “yeah, this could actually work.” (the tie-back to the colours in MOM also helped, I think. I’m total trash for continuity stuff like that!), then she appeared throughout “25 Days…” and I fell in love with her as a character. And Hope really is the perfect name!
There’s about a million other things that deserve saying here – so many more moments that I adored. Reading this saga has been an absolute pleasure, and I’m more than thrilled that you might be continuing it! Thank you for this journey – it’s been incredible! xx
Author's Response: Okay, let's work through this piece by piece. :)
The original trilogy is still a very, very special group of stories. Step by Step, purely by virtue of being the first. Moving Forward for being the point when I realized that I story I'd always seen as standalone could actually be a trilogy, and, of course, TFL for being the most heartbreaking and triumphant thing I've probably ever written. That scene in the field is one of my favorites even after all this time, and I'm so, so glad you liked it so much. I'm so glad you liked ALL of this so much.
Amara. Yeah, hate-able villains seem to be my forte, which should probably concern me more than it does. (I'm looking at you, Cas, don't think I've forgotten you. And Leeja...creep.) Punching Amara was long-overdue, and sort of needed to be there so that the readers didn't go insane. It felt good, though. Really good.
Mishell. My poor, poor OC who managed to succeed as a character a bit too well, and left a trail of shattered hearts in her wake. And that's all I'll say about her.
That's so, so cool that you read WTA without even knowing the series, and that it then got you to watch it. That's...that's just unspeakably awesome. I have a huge soft spot for that gigantic and very different story of mine, and yes, killing Two hurt. But I couldn't save all the characters we liked. :(
Mind Over Matter. Mind control has always freaked me out, so I figured I might as well work with it and produce a story that could freak everyone out along with me. I think I spent way too much time working out exactly how it worked, but it paid off in the end, and again (I sound like a broken record) I'm so glad you liked it.
Two Roads Diverged was a giant series of risks I took, and I'm relieved they seemed to have gone over well. Especially the baby. Full disclosure: I dislike pregnancy fics too. I really, really do. So imagine my reaction when I realized where this story was going. I left myself loopholes in order to get out of it right up until the moment of the revelation, but I figured if I was going to do this, I might as well try to do it right. Or at least, as right as I could be. (And the colors in MOM made me irrationally pleased with myself, especially because no one picked up on it until TRD!) And then Hope started becoming her own little character, and I started to come around to liking her, especially in 25 Days. I'm honestly really relieved to hear that you grew to like her so much too. She's a risk, but I think she's worth it.
There, now I've written you an essay as well! Thank you, thank you, thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to read and to leave such a wonderful review. I'm always floored when I read about what an impact these stories have had, and I'm forever grateful to people like you who read and enjoyed this crazy adventure with me! Thanks for coming along on the journey! <3
A truly amazing series! Outstanding!!!
Author's Response: Thank you so much!!!
I'm rereading the series right now, and I have a question to ask: Do you mind if I translate it in Russian? (I won't promise it will be fast though because it will take time to make it sound at least half as good as original :)... ) Or maybe it's already being translated and I just didn't find it?
Author's Response: Oh, wow! That would be awesome if it could be translated. No one has done that yet, so if you want to do it, feel free! Thanks so much, and by all means, take your time!
Just finished this series - I put it on my Nook to read it, and there it will stay, because it's well worth revisiting. I basically love everything about this fic - incredible OCs who fit in seamlessly, great character development for OCs and canon characters alike, detailed worldbuilding... and, on a personal level, the entire premise and plot was exactly the sort of thing that appeals to me, up to and including the pairing. ;) Even though your Doctor's reactions often differed from how I'd write him in such a scenario, everything was still 100% believable. And Rose? Fantastic.
Also, even though I don't usually read fic where OCs take a major role, you got me caring about what would happen to Mishell just as much as I cared about what would happen to Rose and the Doctor, and your other OCs were also amazing.
I certainly hope to see more oneshots from this world, and I'll be sure to check out your unrelated fics too!
Author's Response: Thank you so much for reading this, and I\'m so, so happy that you loved it so much. This is definately the most I\'ve ever invested in a series, and I am so, so thrilled and humbled by how it\'s gone over.
To be perfectly honest, I don\'t read fics where OCs take a major role either, which made it all the more important that I write Mishell in such a way that people cared about her. I\'m still floored at the reception she received, and I\'m as proud of her as I am of the Doctor and Rose.
Thank you again for taking the time to read this, and I\'m so, so glad that you enjoyed it so much!
Just read all three parts of this in one fell swoop. So different than any other Who story I've read. Your handle on the characters is brilliant, as is your ability to put them through completely unexpected situations for which we have no reference as viewers of the show, and still keep them in character. I'm beyond impressed. Brilliantly done!
Author's Response: Wow! Thank you so much!!! And I have to say, I\'m beyond impressed that you read all three in one fell swoop! So glad you liked it!