Date: 03/27/2011 8:37 PM Title: Chapter 1
The writing here, as always, is superb. I wondered how you were going to keep the tension going through the bout but still have Mark pass. I think you did very well. I know next to nothing about karate, so seeing the terms bandied about was fun. I hope your husband and especially your son enjoyed their stint as reviewers. :)
Personally, I enjoyed the bantering between Grant and Jason. It was nice to see them interacting in a non-combative way for a change -- it makes me think I'd like to see a story from you exploring that relationship.
Date: 03/23/2011 7:29 PM Title: Chapter 1
I finally found a chance to review this. I don’t know anything about karate, only what I have read in books, online or in other fanfictions, so it sounded genuine to me.
I liked this look at the friendship between Mark and Jason and how you showed Jason knowing Mark’s strengths and weaknesses and that it wasn’t just Mark, because he was their Commander, who noticed these things about the others.
Date: 03/15/2011 12:24 PM Title: Chapter 1
I read this the day it was posted. Finally have time to say something. [grin]
Well done, as usual. What little I know about karate I got from a 60's era book, so no worries about critiques there. (Funny timing, a co-worker's son just tested for his next belt [orange I think] level the day before this showed up, so I had fun seeing the results of two tests) I felt sorry for Mark and Jason. It couldn't have been easy for either one.
I don't know where you got the idea for the 'grey' belt, but I love it.
The grey belt is all my own as far as I'm aware, inspired by browsing round forums researching for this story and seeing posts by people unsure what belt they should wear when showing up somewhere new to train. It really should exist :)
Date: 03/13/2011 5:01 PM Title: Chapter 1
Why bother making a list of differences? We know there will be some, even between dojos of the same style. I smiled knowingly and comradely (is that a word?) at the familiar bits and thought about the bits that were different.
Laughed when Jason pointed out that the 2-day endurance trial wasn't required in this case.
Date: 03/13/2011 2:30 PM Title: Chapter 1
Absolutely will not let the karate people in the family read this. Husband's stuck in the long, slow, middle kyus, terrified that if he works too hard Sensei will insist he go all the way to black.
20 night shifts for a chance to spar with the Eagle. LOL.
I like the ref saying at the end that he let the sparring be harder than usual. He wanted the other fighters to have a good turn, but he also knows both the judges and the fighters are evaluating him. He wants a reputation for fairness and knowing what's appropriate for each level, not for making the tests too hard.
More evidence that your minor characters are still people.
(grins) I suspect that what will happen if a karate person reads this will be that they'll be mentally making a list of Things Our School Does Not Do Like That :) My eleven year old beta caught one... it hadn't occurred to me that you'd give pass, merit, distinction for every belt except black, which is pass/fail only...
Yup, they all know why Mark's there and how good he really is, so the ref's between a rock and a hard place as far as both making it a fair test and making it a decent bout goes. Hence it not being Jason reffing. No whispers of Mark getting special treatment from his second if the balance is a bit off either way.
Many thanks for reviewing - much appreciated.
Date: 03/07/2011 8:39 AM Title: Chapter 1
Nice one Cath. I know nothing about martial arts and all this sounded good to me. Not too over the top or made-up sounding. I can see this happening too. In your AU it's pretty clear that Mark's childhood was so different from the others. Trained as a child, yes. Just not using conventional methods in my opinion.
A lot of this AU comes from me growing up in the 70s and 80s and superposing what I knew about the real world onto BotP. And I didn't know anyone who'd trained from birth, at anything. I also knew that the Soviet gymnasts started pretty darn young. Hence Mark's background. There's a story in there which I really must write sometime.
Glad you enjoyed it, and many thanks for taking the time to comment :)
Date: 03/05/2011 4:36 PM Title: Chapter 1
Wow! I love being the first to review here. It's always a treat to read anything you write, Catherine. You have a way of getting into your characters' heads that's unique and makes you feel as if you're right there. Mark having to 'fight' for what he does in his sleep shows hoe hard keeping cover can be. Loved it!
Author's Response: Thanks Becky! Yup, poor old Mark really has nothing to gain and everything to lose...