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  • I finally finished this and have some comments. First, let me stress as emphatically as I can that I am not your target audience for this work. I haven't touched KotOR II in over five years, much less remember the intricacies of the storyline. As a companion work to KotOR II from someone who played through the game, I think it's an interesting psychological exploration of a DS Female Exile. Reading it as a standalone work from someone who played through the game once years ago, it took me re-reading most of it to follow the storyline. So, I will give you my thoughts as someone not really qualified to judge it as a companion work. You can decide whether or not those lack of qualifications invalidates my rational.

    For example, the prologue. It's an interesting hook, but not having the scene where she confronts the Council or any scene shortly there after is in a way diminishing. There are many momentous events that happen to the character offscreen as it were--mostly within the game--that don't need to be explicitly written--but I wonder if that is one jump too many to go straight from pre-KotOR II to Telos. Even more inline references to all of the events that transpired would help smooth over the transition. For someone intimately familiar with the game, it's redundant. You already know how the Exile got to Peragus.

    I also think you set up an interesting dynamic where Meetra pulls in the personal loyalty of those in her circle (especially Atton). In that sense, if the scenes on Dantooine are supposed to be the emotional fulcrum, I found it a little lacking. She believes and comes to the realization that the Jedi are misusing her and there will at best be an alliance of convenience. What throws me off is that she found these people thinking she needed them to fight the Sith. Sure, in Home she decides that she won't serve them or even help them and she's going to treat them as enemies. However, the reader never sees her rationale for why she doesn't need them, whether it's because she's strong enough to face the Sith on her own, doesn't care, etc. Any of those responses, irrational though some might be, makes sense. What is harder is when no reason is given.

    A few chapter-by-chapter comments:

    Quickening - it is interesting to me that 1) Meetra did not know why red blades were disfavored and 2) that she chose to do it out of sheer defiance. She didn't strike me as being contrary for the sake of being contrary, except possibly to Kreia. Similar with hating kinrath. It seems irrational for a Jedi to hate a simple nonsentient being driven purely by instinct.

    Condemned - Meetra goes from being too caring on Nar Shaddaa to being so callous on Dxun that she doesn't care about one Mandalorian. Of course, the difference could be that the Mandalorian is a (weak) threat whereas Lootra was helpless. Her being caring on Nar Shaddaa is the outlier. I could understand her being too caring and attached to those in her circle and distant to those without. Of course, by the end of the work, I wonder how that Meetra would react to Lootra. It would be interesting for her to reflect back on that incident after the fact and remark with a changed perspective. Home - Her relationship with Atton is so see-sawing, but I also think it works. She is disinterested in him, then reluctantly agrees to train him, then distances herself from him on Dantooine only to fall for him sort of? A lot of it is handled offscreen, perhaps too much, for my taste. I also understand your reluctance to write My KotOR II Playthrough, the Novel. Spirits - Who is the little light that Kreia senses?Hopefully these semi-coherent thoughts have some capability to spark thought, though I am doubtful. I must again stress my inadequacy in reviewing something so heavily dependent on a game that is a distant memory, but maybe there's something here. I look forward to reading the Torchbearer.

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    • MPK

      Alas, poor Ataru: no lover of KotOR II, yet I have nothing for you to read that isn't involved in it. :P

      Originally I was going to include Meetra's trial on Coruscant, but what I came up with just seemed redundant, and not distinct enough from the game's version of the scene to be worth including. There were more than a few other chapters that I ended up cutting for similar reasons.

      (Home) Meetra's initial reasons for finding the Jedi Masters are the same as in the game (unless the player goes dark side and hunts them from the get-go), so I thought that goes without saying. As for why exactly she decides she no longer needs them, I had thought that was also self-explanatory, though I may indeed have been mistaken there.

      (Quickening) You're right to be confused about the whole red blade thing. My own headcanon notion of where red lightsabers come from and what their associations were in this time period is not what you'd get from the EU (it's not Sith-related, as Tales of the Jedi established that even Sith as recent as Exar Kun didn't care what color blade they used, but I won't waste your time explaining it all here); naturally, I'd forgotten that it's entirely inside my own head.

      As for your other point, you're mistaken; I dare say that if you were to pick up either KotOR game and give it another play-through sometime, you would have no trouble at all believing that even a good and well-balanced Jedi (which Meetra is not) would have a loathing for kinrath. :P

      (Condemned) Meetra's ethical calculus is that she only really cares what happens to you if (1) you're one of her friends/companions or (2) you're an absolutely helpless schmuck like Lootra (which, as Atton is able to guess, is largely a way for Meetra to salve her own guilty conscience). Her indifference to people outside those two groups is typified by her scene with Kiph on Onderon.

      There's another layer to what goes on in the Dxun chapter, though - and I suppose it may be a case of me doing my characterization so "subtly" that what I want to portray doesn't actually make it into the story. The real reason that Meetra accepts Davrel's challenge is not simply that she doesn't care whether he lives or dies - if that's all there was to it, she might well have just told him to piss off and gone on with her day. It's really that, in him, she sees herself as she was after Malachor: someone useless, doomed to be left behind by the people he once belonged with. So when Meetra insinuates to Mira that it would be wrong to "condemn him to live," she's really talking about herself at least as much as about Davrel.

      (Spirits) Who the "little light" is will be clear when you read Torchbearer. Which tells me that I probably shouldn't have written that reference in if I wanted people to read Critical Points first.

      I must profusely thank you for your feedback. Some of it was indeed helpful. It's considerate of you to include the caveat about your distance from and/or disinterest in KotOR II, and it means a lot to me that you'd take the time to read this story and give your thoughts on it anyway. Whenever you have the time to get through Torchbearer, I'll be most eager to hear what you think of it; that was a much more ambitious and laborious project than this one.

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