It was awkward because I kept trying to compare it to the original one, but I don't remember enough of the original to make definitive judgments on what was changed...so far, at least.I think that's causing me to overanalyze it...I guess this'll be a study in how mistaken people can be when they only see what they want to see...The weird poetry interjections are weird. It actually kind of ruins it because the whole poetry thing develops later. 'Course, I have no idea if this was in the original or not, but it feels random here.Maybe it's just that it's center aligned...For some reason, I'm noticing it more and it's really awkwardly jarring...Actually, I see it. There's this huge chunk that's new.And just saying, but I personally would love to have some of that "stuff that turns blood into ash." It sounds really fucking awesome.You know, the other thing is the gypsy thing.It's like the author heard someone say - or had someone come to xer and complain - about the use of the term gypsy, at which time the author, in a fit of horrified shock, immediately went to change it.I mean, idk. Maybe it doens't affect me because I'm not Romani, but I liked it. I thought it was very poetic.Honestly, I don't get it because I've never seen "gypsy" as pejorative, not even in Spanish ("gitano") when we've used it in class. I've always associated the term with wildness, exoticness, that sort of stuff.I've done a bit of internet searching and I couldn't really find its roots as a derogatory term. It does say that "some people find it derogatory," but then, "Indian" is a derogatory term coming from my mom, so...This link actually has someone (actually, several someones, now that I look closer) who is Romani and says xe doens't really consider if derogatory, if that means anything to you. Then again, this is only a small sampling, so it's not clear how representative this necessarily is...So yeah. That bit kind of annoyed me. (Cuz honestly, you can't please everyone and I feel like this was a point that really didn't need to have been made controversial =_=)The "new" ending...Eh. I don't like it.It pretty much means everything that's happened so far is useless. Pointless. The story took you somewhere, then summarily dumped you back on your ass at the very beginning. Thanks, but no thanks, b*tch. (That sort of thing.)As an AU sort of thing, okay, but as canon? I'd have hated McBride's guts. For. Ever.Vendetta.I like the ending McBride ended up going with. This alternate ending provides more insight, I guess, but not really. It was...insipid. Too accomodating. Because honestly, sometimes the readers, like small children, don't know what they want.I actually never really wanted Joel to have his original body back. I saw the sort of irony in the ending and the pain of it, but I liked the feelings it evoked. It was cool.More on the ending here.