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Review of chapter "Reality" from DofEire
Review:
WHOA.
Review By [DofEire] • Date [11 Sep 13] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Reality" from BrownFinderth
Review:
Most diabolical!! I would not have thought it possible to write such a well done story with such subject matter!!
Review By [BrownFinderth] • Date [30 Oct 12] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Reality" from eriktheviking
Review:
Wow! A wonderfully dark depressing story with a real twist on the end. Excellent writing.
Review By [eriktheviking] • Date [4 Sep 12] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Reality" from Jaisan
Review:
I loved this story! It was great if chapter 7 had been the ending, but I have to say I liked the addition of Chapter 8. Took it from great to fabulous! I cried, I laughed, I said "Doh!" Truly brilliant.

I loved the out of characterness of Xander. I don't see a lot of Dark!Xander out there. And it was great to see it disguised as canon for the first 7 chapters.
Review By [Jaisan] • Date [20 Feb 12] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Reality" from (Current Donor)vidicon
Review:
I fear that to me the final chapter made the story much less enjoyable. (And slightly less believable.) Then again, I'm a sucker for happy endings so this isn't really my sort of thing.
Review By [(Current Donor)vidicon] • Date [22 Nov 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Reality" from BlueEyedBrigadier
Review:
Ooooh boy....I honestly have been left speechless by this story, Poe1911, especially by the "epilogue" with the reveal of Buffy's death being caused by what appears to be a completely non-magical medical issue, one mirroring her own mother's tumour, that was really brought on by Xander fulfilling his daughter's wish for vengeance. I'm truthfully split down the middle, emotionally, over whether to praise just how well you captured the darker elements of both Xander and Buffy - Joyce is an OC that you can have act in a variety of ways - or remark that you've gone a bit too far in adding on a twist ending.

On the former side of the coin, the presentation of both Buffy and Xander definitely felt like extensions of their series canonical selves post-"Chosen" and while I don't think it would be the ONLY reason, Buffy's admission that her own understanding of love was tainted by her father's acts when she was younger definitely works as part of the explanation of why Angel and Spike got the nod while Riley and Xander got the boot for being a bit too "white picket fence." I do have to note that while the concept of Xander and Buffy hooking up, then having Buffy bugger off into the sunset for a decade or so makes for good angst, I did have to wonder at why you failed to make the angst actually worth Xander basically helping to commit matricide/uxorcide (think that would be a word for wife-killing) by not really exploring how Xander and Buffy repaired or re-purposed their relationship after Xander had given up on actively going after Buffy long before they would have married. Great, they got hitched and had a kid, which eventually drove Buffy away due to her foibles...so what? Xander by the end of S7 would be at best close friends with Buffy, but I think he would have at least had a inkling of comprehension about Buffy's psychological issues when it came to relationships. Still, you did an amazing job at telling a compact story about Buffy facing her death with the knowledge she saved lives and kept the world spinning, but she lost so very badly when it came to having things to make all that service for the greater good worth it, so I can't call this story crap in the slightest.

Now, as I noted before, the latter side of the coin - the epilogue providing exposition for Xander calling on demonic vengeance as punishment for Buffy's abandonment of himself and Joyce - for this story? It's a great concept in itself and Xander would certainly go the extra mile in the name of someone he cares for deeply, especially a daughter...but you took it a step or three too far past what IMO Xander would presumably consider worth tainting a soul over. He will obfuscate the the truth or lie to ensure personal feelings are kept to the background if there's a dangerous enemy or event afoot. He will break the laws of a temporal entity like the US government to procure supplied and weapons needed to fight Big Bads. He will risk his life and health to face down highly dangerous supernatural beings and creatures to protect loved ones. But I have issues believing that Xander Harris, after something like 25 years of being involved with Slaying and the supernatural and his exposure to the consequences of doing magic to get revenge or mete out justice, would be for the use of magics to do something like cause a brain tumour to form in Buffy's brain...especially when the fact the tumour is presented as something that only fairly recently presented itself and is going to kill her slowly by having the Slayer essence focus more on keeping the growth manageable than allowing Buffy overall protection and enhanced abilities. Yeah, Xander's not incapable of being cruel or act like an ass, he's human after all...but I guess that while I can fathom verbally laying Buffy to waste or never talking to her or even inadvertently poisoning Joyce the Younger against her mom, I can't see him basically cross the line into committing murder out of what would really amount to pride and embarrassment fuelled rage.
Comments from author:
First things first, thank you so much for the review. I really appreciate it when a reader puts as much thought as you obviously have into a review. When I first wrote the story, there was no epilogue. It was a kind of sad and angsty story about how "Happily ever After" rarely is. I wrote it and posted it on FF.net and it sat there for about a year. When I decided to post it here, I re-read the thing after a long layoff and one thing struck me, that at times Xander could be just as ruthless and amoral as the things that they fought on the show. It was a side he kept hidden for the most part, but it was definitely in his personality, but that side wasn't in the story. I decided to show this side and made minor adjustments to the original text and added the epilogue. Even when I did, I wasn't sure if it really fit or not; but I liked the effect. The original story is there, the epilogue just puts a new spin on things, like one of those optical illusions where you think you're looking at a cup until someone points out to you that it is really two faces.

As to murdering his wife; Joyce (younger) was going to Cleveland soon to become a fully trained slayer. Xander would have seen Buffy's 'indiscretions' and her 'companions as threats to Joyce once she was in the field, someone could use that knowledge to apply leverage on Buffy to Joyce's detriment. Xander simply acted to remove the potential treat as he has done so many times, at least that was what was going through my head when I wrote the last chapter.

Anyway, thanks again, I appreciate the thought and effort you put forth.
Review By [BlueEyedBrigadier] • Date [4 Jun 11] • Rating [8 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Reality" from Gideon
Review:
I'm not sure about the last chapter. The story could work either way but either way there are some questions that remain unanswered. Without the last chapter it seems that Xander is being exceptionally forgiving, and the daughter is too. Even with a terminal illness it is difficult to make up for the past, especially when it is left too late. The question there is how is Xander able to forgive her?
But with the last chapter we know that the whole story has been an act, designed to give Buffy the closure that she wanted before her end. Maybe that is how Xander justified it to himself, giving his daughter and Buffy's friends a last memory of her seeking forgiveness and reconciliation. But the question here is why now? Why after ten years of ignoring her existance does Xander suddenly want Buffy dead? What would he achieve by getting her killed? I didn't really see an answer to this question in your story, even though his behaviour is not completly out of character.
I generally prefer happy stories so I will say that overall I prefer leaving off the last chapter, but well done either way.
Review By [Gideon] • Date [29 May 11] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Reality" from Teucrian
Review:
Wow. That was excellent. Amazing twist at the end; often that sort of thing comes across as somewhat contrived, but it worked in your story.
Review By [Teucrian] • Date [12 Apr 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Reality" from skiingpug
Review:
Wow. With the last chapter, you managed to turn a beautiful, poignant story of forgiveness and redemption into a cheap tale of cynical revenge. What a bad aftertaste. I guess this is a good example of how twisting a plot for the twisting's sake can ruin a perfectly good story.
Review By [skiingpug] • Date [17 Feb 11] • Rating [1 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Reality" from BarefootXO
Review:
Wow... Just wow...

That last chapter was chilling.

Very nice...

Jasper
Review By [BarefootXO] • Date [9 Jan 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Reality" from Mcspender
Review:
"Living well is the best revenge". George Herbert, english clergyman & metaphysical poet (1593 - 1633).
Very Noir turn with Joyce being the one who wished for her mother's death, but that's life fer ya, when you live in a universe where there's no angels, only demons and the rage of a wronged teenager (who should've known better) can be used to destroy somebody.
Cool fic mate, see ya!.
Review By [Mcspender] • Date [29 Dec 10] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Reality" from Elleria
Review:
Wow, that last bit was just....wow. So totally unexpected but I can so see Xander like that. And any kid of his would be a bit like him too, especially if he was the only one raising her/him.
Review By [Elleria] • Date [18 Nov 10] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Reality" from TroyGuffey
Review:
I agree with Xovervore, and ACS, Xander is probably going to be in deep doo-doo. He should have just COMPLETELY given up on Buffy, and forgotten about her totally. Vengeance is BAD, doofus. (speaking to Xander)

The last chapter ruins the chapters before. Without the last chapter I would have given an 8.
Comments from author:
Thank you for the review. I appreciate you sharing your opinion. The original version is on ff.net if that is the version you prefer.
Review By [TroyGuffey] • Date [16 Nov 10] • Rating [6 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Reality" from Xovervore
Review:
In regard to the last chapter - many couples have marriages that fail, but then get on with their separate lives. This Xander hasn't moved on, but seems to be consumed with an obsession about Buffy, that eventually led him to murder by proxy.
If Dawn or Willow find out what he has done, he'll know deep pain. If the slayers find out that he hired a demon to kill a slayer [which is effectively what he did] he'll be in trouble with them too, and have nowhere to hide. He is responsible for what happened; they'll consider his daughter only partially guilty because of her age and being under his influence.
Comments from author:
The disagreement that I have with your point of view is the second sentence. All through the series we have seen that Xander will not kill for himself, if he were willing to do so, then both Angel and Spike would be sitting inside a dustbuster. But, when those he cares about are threatened, then he's pretty much "no holds barred". The question you have to ask, given this behavior pattern, is who would Xander be willing to kill Buffy for? If he was bent out of shape about her various affairs, wouldn't he have knocked the lovers off earlier? Since he didn't, we are forced to conclude that something changed which necessitated him taking the drastic action of removing Buffy from the picture. Who would he kill for and what changed; answer those questions and you'll have an understanding of what I felt his motives and reasons were. Thanks for sharing your opinion and I appreciate the time and effort you put into your review.
Review By [Xovervore] • Date [16 Nov 10] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Reality" from (Moderator)acs
Review:
I'm not a huge fan of dark fics like this, especially when the darkness is a surprise plot twist I didn't expect. So, I believe this would be better as an angst piece without the final chapter with Evil!Xander (And conspiring to kill the mother of his daughter? That's evil in my book, no matter how wronged he felt. And corrupting a slayer in the process ( that's the only word I can think of for this Xander encouraged matricide) - the only one who benefits here is D'Hoffran. )

Anyway... In the Buffyverse, vengeance is always depicted as a bad thing. No matter what the reason. The vengee usually suffers at least as much as the venged. Thats just the way it works. So I would expect something bad to happen to Xander and his daughter for their actions. I suspect that brain tumor would really become hereditary for all of Joyce's female descendants. Not just Buffy.

I'll spare you my thoughts on how I think this is actually very in character for Xander but I thought you correctly depicted his ability to go dark/ evil that we saw hints of in the show.
Review By [(Moderator)acs] • Date [15 Nov 10] • Not Rated
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