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Only A Game
by:JunoMagic
 [1] Reviewer:Radbooks Date:June 11, 2005 9:10 AM
Junomagic,

I am really enjoying your story so far. Who wouldn't like to have the experience of going to middle earth through a game like that? Though I would like to meet Aragorn :), but meeting Elrohir and Elladan would be high on my list as well. But it would be sad to be there at that time. You have captured the sadness of Elrohir as well as the mood shifts of elves that you read about. It's an interesting concept and an enjoyable read and I'm looking forward to finishing the story to see what happens. With the arrival of summer, and break from my job, I will finally have time to finish up Lothriel! Radbooks

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 [2] Reviewer:Aranel Took Date:June 11, 2005 3:13 PM
Hmmm...that was an interesting ending. I was wondering how you would get her into the other world permanently. That's pretty permanent! ;-)

I liked visiting the new (or not often visited) places--Lake Town and the people of Rhûn and the lost elves...good stuff!

You know I was most of the way through the story, wondering "OMG, what's Elrohir going to choooooose?!"--then I remembered they used his boat in 'Tides'. D'oh! :-D

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 [3] Reviewer:radbooks Date:June 11, 2005 11:30 PM
I loved the ending! Great job on this story, Juno! :)

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 [4] Reviewer:dita Date:September 14, 2005 8:52 PM
I read your story yesterday, and I liked it very much. I will try to answer several of the questions you wished to have answered. So: I found a link to this story in your LJ where I sometimes check whether you have made any progress on the story about Lothiriel - I do like that story too, obviously. Anyway. The characters of Elladan and Elrohir intrigue me, which was primarily why I opened the story about Jarro. The plot with the computer game was definitely original. I liked the interludes with the computer freaks controlling Jarro's condition, that really brought me back to realize what this story was built on, especially later on when it was so emotional with Elrohir looking for his brother (like I said, I love the characters of the twins).
I dont want to get this review too confused, may I just say that I did enjoy most of the characters, they seemed very much alive to me, even Jarro, though she seemed a little subdued in the later chapter. I kinda went quickly through the first couple chapters of the search for Elladan, but gradually you got me more hooked up than ever and I was almost crying when Elladan was leaving for his ship, or when the twins had the long conversation on the beach, I think it was on the beach. When Elladan sailed away I could perfectly picture the two solitary figures on the sea shore, it did feel real, and your descriptive parts were never boring, they helped to get into the atmosphere of the story. Anyway, the ending was sad at first, when Elladan did sail off over the sea, then it was happy when Jarro found a way to stay in Middle-Earth, and then sad again when it concluded the lives of Jarro and Elrohir. Well, it was a very, very enjoyable story and well written! I wish I could remember more of your questions, but I hope my review served some purpose even though I did not criticise anything.
Well in the very end, I did not feel sorry that Jarro died in our world, because we all know that Middle-Earth is the place to be.

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 [5] Reviewer:mordeme Date:September 15, 2005 9:37 PM
I actually found out about this from Arandil's livejournal. I thought it was wonderful, and I would love to read a sequel to this. Maybe you could write about the others who tested the game?

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 [6] Reviewer:Lady Masterblott Date:February 17, 2006 1:31 AM
I found this tale utterly delightful.

A very colourful, intensive and fascinating trip to Middle Earth.

What I found most remarkable is that you manage to create, in one go, both the atmosphere of a real (and strangely different from ours) world and that of a computer game, with a defined mission (as the journey our couple undergoes is a rather linear one, even though it may seem differently at first sight - and there are always maps or a dwarf in the right moment, to "set the party on the correct way w/o much fussing" - just like in a good game).

In a sense, both the structure as well as your colourful style of narration remind me of the "Brothers Lionheart" - only that the tale told is less dark if not less sad.

Character development:
I guess your approach to how Jarro would do in Middle Earth is a realistic one. Both with respect to her physical and her state of mind. As a person BEFORE she enters the 'game' remains somewhat flat - OTOH, I think this effect is inevitable - once in ME, she hardly feels like pondering too much of her old life at first, and then, she's got a new one. I found it utmost fitting that all we basically learn about her is that she was never really 'there' with respect to her former life - her choice hence is only consequent.

And who'd have thought that Elrohir was an Elf who needed a kick in his backside by an enthusiastic girl to get going? ;-)

A pleasant read. Really.
Another night without sleep.

Ah, well... the sacrficices we bring for the sake of literature...

Margit

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 [7] Reviewer:Madietta Date:June 1, 2006 10:43 PM
I haven't enjoyed this story quite as much as the others in your little series, somehow I found it much less credible. The storyline as such is interesting and straightforward, but the character of Jarro (what an obscure name :-) seemed curiously flat to me. It was hard to see what Elrohir might have found attractive in her. He seemed peculiarly uninterested in anything about her, considering that she turned out to be from a parallel universe. I just didn't see how a love affair could have developed between those two, which ultimately spoiled the story as such for me. Maybe if you elaborated on Jarro's character a bit more?

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 [8] Reviewer:Rachel Date:November 18, 2008 12:05 AM
Overall I really enjoyed reading this story and really couldn’t wait to read what was going to happen next. I enjoy the stories that are told through modern eyes in Middle Earth and this story really hits the point. I also enjoyed the setting of the story being after the reign of Aragon as I have read little on this time period and this story really adds to the whole notion of Middle Earth. Below I have tried to answer some of your questions:

- Why did you start reading the story? How did you find it?

By looking under your name in the library section. I have enjoyed some of your previous your other stories and plan to continue reading all your wonderful work.

- What do you think of the original characters in my story? Do you like them or not? Why? Are they “rounded” characters or do they stay “flat”?

I liked the character Jarro I became attached to her and cared what happened to her in the story. Jarro’s personality is detailed in the story and is real enough to visualize her existing off the page. I also liked how the reader gets a modern view on the world of Tolkien; there can be an existing distant world but seen with the eyes of today.

- What do you think of my presentation of canon characters? Are they in character? Believable? Interesting? Or mere repetitions of the original?

I liked the adding of characters such as those in the Inn’s that Jarro travels to as well as the people she meets on the way.

- Did you read every chapter/part of my story? If not, which ones did you skip? Why?
- Which chapter/scene did you like most of all/least of all? Why?

I read through every chapter all were interesting and important to the development of the story, I especially like the epilogue because it puts the whole story in perspective and finishes of the story nicely. I also really liked the ending of the story which ends in happiness and leaves the reader able to imagine a long and fulfilling life of love.

- What do you think about the plot of the story? Was it balanced? Boring? Were some turns surprising? Which ones? Why?

I enjoyed the plot of the story it was believable and interesting, the excitement was well built up first with the quest to meet elves and then for the quest to find the other elven brother. I also liked the side parts to the story with the details such as the food and drink described as well as the descriptions on the environment and details about the weather and road conditions. Details such as why Jarro does not get her periods as well as the conversations that she has with other characters add to the plot.

- Do you like the descriptions I have in my story? Do they add to the atmosphere or are they boring?

I liked the descriptions it helps form the image of the type of country that Jarro is travelling through and I think it really adds to the story and atmosphere intended. I also particularly like the description of the food eaten, smells and touch, they are all vital to the full development of the plot and adding believability to the story.

- How about the dialogue? Too much? Not enough?

I thought the dialogue was just right; I like how the reader can understand Jarro’s motivation before she speaks. The dialogue also fits the individual characters, a Hobbit speaks like a Hobbit, as with Dwarfs and Elves, and they speak differently from each other which adds to the story.

- What would you like to change in the story?

I would like to see more on the developments in the relationships of characters such as that of Jarro and Elrohir, more on why they fell in love and saw in each other as partners.

- Did the story make you laugh? At which point? Why?
- Did the story make you cry? At which point? Why?

I really enjoyed the story over all, the bits like the interaction of the horses amusing and the tragedy of the brother splitting and with the reality of mortality bringing sadness gives a range of emotional responses from the reader.

Thanks,

I hope to read more of your work soon.

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