The following is a part by part review of Time Waits, by Darinost… one of my favorite stories I’ve ever read.
That said… I also have some not-so-nice things to say about it, mostly towards the beginning. Darinost is largely aware of them around, but I feel I owe clarification, and to also make it clear that despite my reservations I FULL HEARTEDLY recommend this story. It is brutal, humiliating, sexy as hell from rape/domination kink perspective… but it is also a deeply uplifting story that emotionally affected me strongly. Read it!
Ok, going from there…
I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend this story. If anything I have to say about it immediately intrigues you, I advise you to STOP READING and go read it.
Edit: Somehow, in posting this, I forgot something rather important – the Link!
I am not not going to lie, no matter how much of an idiot it makes me look in hindsight. I went into this story really excited… I had just started frequently talking with Darinost at the time, and was coming off Family Ties which was one of my favorite stories I’d ever read to date at that point. By the time I finished the part, however, I was…
I was fairly Meh.
It isn’t that the story is bad – far from it. It’s well written, and the pathology of the main villain was pretty obviously to me immediately and enjoyable in a guilty, this-guy-makes-me-uncomfortable sort of way. But it was… it was kinda boring. And silly. Really silly. I am not the target audience for this story, to be honest… Time Stop as a genre of porn has never done anything for me, and in between Family Ties and this one I read a few still-unreleased stories of Darinosts and I would be lying to say I wasn’t way, way, way more excited about all of them than I was about this. That said, the sex and degradating was fun and as well written as usual. I was going to probably get through the story, ignore most of the plot, stroke at the sexy bits, and hope it would be done in four or five updates.
How little I knew.
Darinost knows I didn’t much like the start of this story, but this was the point where I got interested because I met Christine for the first time. I am not going to beat around the bush here – Christine is an incredibly relatable character. She is intensely sympathetic and believable and lovely, and the only reason that she isn’t my favorite character from Darinost’s stories so far is that my favorite cheats.
This chapter was by far my favorite of the start, but it was also where I started to seriously doubt the premise. This chapter by far has the least to do with time travel of any chapter in the entire story… and for a long time, I thought it was the best one by a significant margin. As I said, I am really not the target audience for that genre. It was also where I began to grow… sort of detached from the story because I had was young and foolish and didn’t realize where the story was headed, and I was developing a genuine, bitter hatred for Jordan already and I knew (thought) that I was not going to enjoy where this was going AT ALL.
This part has a few of my favorite bits of the early story… and might be the weakest chapter of the three IMO. Characterization in this chapter is a… it’s a little messy. Jordan, I think, slips a bit too easily into the role of a monster here. It doesn’t matter much if he’s faking now or not… it’s a huge step down the slope he is obviously on, all at once, and it isn’t super believable to me. However, it also has the moment where I knew my love of Christine was justified, where she thinks through her situation and comes up with a solution.
Full disclosure… this is the last chapter of the story I didn’t like, because after I read this one and before it was posted, I spoke with Darinost about my issues with the story, and I was shown a scene from several chapters down the line. In short, I was introduced to the character of Rebecca and learned more about what kind of story this is… and it changed EVERYTHING for me, so this was the last chapter I read without some advanced knowledge.
Wow this was hard to read. Not because it was bad, either, but because it was just so TRAGIC. Everything goes wrong BECAUSE she tries to do everything right.
The sex was fun, even if a bit too scat-filled for me, but the most important thing that happened here was that I began to detest both of her parents. Like… a lot. I think Darinost would agree that if he could go back to this chapter, he probably would have written about her father at least a little differently, because his character morphed over time, but this is where I developed a deep, seething hatred for Helen that never went away. If I had a daughter, until I was presented with deep, undeniable, incredible evidence, I would believe my daughter over anything anyone told me, and if it was proven to be a lie I would like to think I would be insightful enough to realize that even if what she’s saying isn’t true, the TRAUMA is still real and SOMETHING is wrong.
Don’t get me wrong. Nothing Helen could have done here could have saved her daughter from Jordan… but she instead made everything so much worse.
Full disclaimer. This is where I started editing the story and contributing to it in ideas and characterizaton, so I am not an unbiased source. That said…
God this chapter was good. I think, after the tweaking we did, it shows a very believable descent into misery and hopelessness for a very sexy girl. Still more scat than I want but we’ll burn that bridge when we get to it because it is going to get a LOT worse before it gets better.
This might be my least favorite chapter in the story, just because it was so… plain. It’s really short… I think it was the shortest update, but what stands out the most about it was this is where I became absolutely fucking positive that I despised her parents. Coming from update 4, the events of this chapter should have sent off alarm bells like a fucking air raid… and they didn’t seem to really even notice, much less care.
This is also where I BEGAN hating Nadine. I’m very glad I became a creative voice on this story, because my deep hatred for her lead to some very sexy places.
And we’re here. Where I got to skip ahead to when I wasn’t digging the story… and where this story begins its transformation from “OK” to “Fucking incredible.” This one basically required no editing or rewriting, it was already done before I started working with Darinost, so I was free to just enjoy the ride. My hate for her parents grew… and maybe it was because of that that the contrast immediately snared me when Rebecca showed up and has what is hands down my favorite scene of the entire story.
“Christine, you’re a lousy liar.”
And just like that… I was in love.
Alicja, I am sorry. You are a huge reason for the proliferations of sisters throughout my published works, but… this right here? This scene? This is THE main reason.
I intend to keep writing them until I capture a feeling like this.
I want to reiterate. I had basically nothing at all to do with this chapter. I didn’t even edit this one, it was already done. I don’t think a word changed between when he let me read it back at update 3 and publishing it. This was all Darinost’s genius, and he instantly had me incredibly invested in a story that I had initially found quite silly and empty calories.
Now we are at where my editing and suggestions start coming in much more, because this part, and the two that follow it, originally started as basically one update. I believe my insistence on how the character of Rebecca MAKES the story and the ending lead to something like 20,000 words of additional content being created. Sorry not sorry.
I swear, though, that I had nothing to do with all the breath control. That existed in the first draft before I got there. Really, I mean it!
I also picked up immediately on the hint as to the ending in this chapter – this is really where the beginning of the end gets started, and where you get the critical information to understand how it works. Time travel logic!
I CORRUPTED HIM. I CORRUPTED HIM I CORRUPTED HIM I CORRUPTED HIM!
God this chapter was fun. From a sheer smut perspective, this was my second favorite in the story. It’s dark. It’s brutal. It’s extreme… and we haven’t gotten to the super depressing parts in Part 10 yet so it still is kinda innocent and carefree. I can enjoy the incredibly high quality smut without the baggage of depression! Yay!
Ok, Depression is here. Still some of my absolute favorite smut… third favorite in the story. This might be the chapter I was the most involved in creatively until the VERY end where I outright wrote a part, as we designed the tortures together line by line – most of my other involvements were suggestions or prereading or editing, but this one I had the most direct input into. I also Hate this chapter. Not because its bad but because its EXCELLENT. Because the characterization is brilliant. Because I believe it the whole way. And this is where Jordan truly becomes the full monster we see for the rest of the series, I think. The one who hurts for no particular reason… the one who simply wants to make things as bad as possible just because there is room to do it.
This is the first part that was 100% new since I started working with Darinost… all of the previous chapters were written to some degree or another before we started talking. Many were changed significantly, but they already existed. This is where it starts being all new.
…and the chapter is, unfortunately, not one of my favorites to be honest. It’s fine. Nothing is wrong with it. It’s just sandwiched between much more interesting chapters. Rebecca is at the least interesting she ever gets in the whole story right here, and don’t get me wrong, that is still fairly interesting… it just isn’t the best.
It’s still good. Really. In the same way an A- is a good score.
If part 6 is where I began to realize I kinda didn’t like Nadine, here is where the subtext bled into the maintext. Oh my god, fuck this character. Fuck her to death with a hot poker.
The chapter doesn’t really move the plot forward, it is just an excuse for some fun smut with the premise, but it does show just how much further Jordan is willing to go now. We also meet innocent-victim #3 in Sandy, whom I adore.
Another short one, but this is where I think Darinost would go back earlier and rewrite some bits if he had known back then what he knew by now. Christine’s father Randall stops being a prop here and starts actually being explained… and I no longer hate him. I am, instead, somewhat disappointed… and even that is mollified by how much more disappointed he is in himself than I am. Helen, on the other hand…
Fuck that cunt.
You and Nadine deserve what you get.
There, I said it.
This is my favorite smut in the whole series. Umm, if I’m recalling correctly, this chapter basically didn’t exist at all in the outline when I started working on this with him – I asked what his plans for prom where, and he didn’t have any? I could be remembering wrong… that feels suspicious, but it’s how I remember it. Anyway, I didn’t really write any of this, and in fact he caught me off guard with quite a bit beyond my expectations – including innocent victim #4 – and NOT SO INNOCENT victim #2 in Nadine. I bear full responsibility for the fact that she is even mentioned by name after chapter 12, and I feel bad about this not at all. The bottom layer of hell is reserved for traitors, Nadine.
This is also a critical chapter characterization-wise, because of the ending. We seeing again concrete proof of how much Jordan underestimates Christine, and more important, how little he has actually grown. He’s become a monster… but he has gained actually less than zero self confidence or actual strength. He is still as pathetic and weak as he was at the start, and here is the first time that REALLY shines through.
I still remember how I got involved in editing/contributing to this story.
Darinost asked me one day, after we started talking about it, “do you have any ideas for Christine’s wedding?”
When he asked, I had no idea just how far in the future that was. Probably 4th favorite smut, more of Randall seriously redeeming himself in my eyes, and some excellent fates for the extra victims.
No real plot or characterization here, so not a lot to say – I just love it. That is all.
SCAT! SCAT SCAT SCAT A DAT DAT.
Way. Too. Much. Scat.
Now, before I got involved, Helen was always planned to end up a victim, and Darinost already disliked her and thought she was a terrible mother. I think I largely helped him confirm his suspicious and let him really cut loose on Helen here. Her fate, while not especially EROTIC to me, still worked as a depiction of hell for the sins of not trying to help her daughter.
Strangely, I didn’t remember that Helen’s exit from the story was immediately after her big intro. It doesn’t help that I read a lot of these bits out of order as we were trying to decide what went where, but you know I am a fan of the emotional suffering n this chapter.
This one also is a CRITICAL plot chapter because it sows the seeds of how Christine can win… and it does so right in front of your face. This is especially haunting to me, because of the next chapter…
This is the chapter I wrote some of as fanfiction that got added into the chapter… I wrote it months before we got to this point, because so much of this scene captured my imagination from the instant I learned some of the details all the way back at update 3. I would like to think my imagination for how this update goes helped shape Darinost’s vision for it a little bit.
Danny returns to the story, something I recall insisting had to happen, and it couldn’t happen to a better dude.
The details of Sandy (poor sandy) and Nadine (fuck you cunt) are satisfying and tragic… but they really are just appetizers for the main course… what, to me, is the emotional core of the story.
A lot of this scene I know started life in my head, but in the transition over to Darinost’s head it got even better. The idea that what she finally begs for is mercy for her sister and not for herself was INSPIRED. The single moment, where her sister reclaims her sanity just enough to show her sister she’s still there…
I’m literally crying writing this review.
This is where the real beauty of chapter 17 comes in, for me. It means that three years ago, Christine already knew how she could have beaten Jordan. Three years ago she knew everything that she does by the end… and she was too scared to use it. It seemed like too big a risk. And because of her “cowardice,” her sister is gone.
Christine would never be able to forgive herself for that, never stop hating herself for that. If she had been braver, maybe she could have saved her. And that is the true emotional core that makes this story become something truly special to me.
This is the end. I am not going to spoil it for anyone, but if you are reading this, you probably know the type of stories I enjoy. You can make a guess how it ends.
The epilogue though…
I like to think I made the story stronger in helping, but maybe I just made the bits with Rebecca more poignent, and that for me and me alone makes the story so much better. Other people’s mileage may very. In any mind, that is what this story is about – it’s not Jordan’s story at all. It’s the story of the love of two sisters. So if you don’t see the story that way, I can’t be sure you found the same power in the story I did. What I am very sure about is that my involvement, my absolute insistence on Christine getting to remember, made it better. This one… I never could have made it through writing such a chapter. Darinost did. He gave himself an incredible difficult landing to stick, and for my money he fucking NAILED it. A bit of symmetry that should be appreciated is that, in the end, they save one another.
Because that’s what sisters should do.
Sorry Alicja 🙂
I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend this story. If anything I have to say about it immediately intrigues you, I advise you to STOP READING and go read it.