Trial Of Iron: Review
Posted Oct 17 2011 - 06:05 PM
—Narrator, The Last Avengers Story
Posted Oct 17 2011 - 09:42 PM
Posted Oct 17 2011 - 10:37 PM
Posted Oct 18 2011 - 04:10 AM
Posted Sep 20 2012 - 09:22 PM
I would usually say nitpicks first, meaning grammar and spelling slip ups, but you didn't have many of those. For that, I commend you. But the quotable criticisms that focus more on content and word choice etc. etc., I found a nice bunch of those, that was fun. Lets get those out of the way first.
The man was in his mid-thirties, standing a little over six feet in height. He was wearing a black business suit with bits of silver armor covering his torso, shoulders, elbows, and knees. He was light-skinned with mid-length brown hair over his head and a short beard on his chin. His eyes were hazel, weathered with experience. He was walking through a forest in the area designated “the Green Region”.
The enormous continent of the west, Uteara, was divided into seven of these regions, five inhabited by the native Murtuans. The furthest north was the Ice Region, containing one of Murtua’s two poles, and the least populous. South of it was a giant desert, the Great Barren. Below it was the City Sector, comprised of the Central and Industry Cities. The remaining land was split into the dreary Storm Sector to the southwest, the Green Region, and the Volcanic Sector in the southeast. Along the western coast was a territory that spanned for hundreds of miles that was comprised of bare land – appropriately nicknamed the “Deadlands”. Nothing lived there, no flora or fauna. There were great cliffs grafted of black rock directly west of the Central City, upon which rested Castle Pravús, and the remains of a small village, but otherwise, there was nothing in sight.
His name was Netruhl. He was exhausted from hours of patrolling the area. It was a necessary evil, he knew, but he was bored and rapidly fatiguing. Despite the fact that two of his friends – Bakovu and Harveil – had disappeared, he found himself preferring to take the fight to the enemy as opposed to continue with this peacekeeping. He sighed. No, this wasn’t the way to think right now. He would talk to Ujama before doing something rash. After all, he was an Alio, the first Earth Alio on planet Murtua. He knew the responsibility of having such power.
Something needs to be said in advocation for organization of narrative text here. The paragraph in the middle, the one starting 'The enormous continent of the west...' just seems to come in and interrupt the two paragraphs describing Netruhl. I, personally would switch the middle and last paragraphs.
What is this speaker replying to?
"And there is," a voice said, a grating metallic sound.
'he' to 'his'
Given that his comrades had "disappeared" at the hands fo the dark warriors, he fear was justified.
Okay, well you've used 'his' about 90% of the time in this description, why suddenly switch to 'its'? It just struck me as weird. In a bad way.
His arms ended in sharp beastly claws. Over his body was a long black cloak, a customary garment amongst a number of his kind. Lastly, he had a mask that was fused to his head, a diamond-shaped object with small slanted slits for his dark blood red eyes. Its “mouth” was a thin hexagonal shape with small mandibles inside. In his right hand, he carried a long bladed staff.
Was this teleportation? Say what you mean, don't beat around the bush, especially if you're only just introducing the character and his or her powers and abilities.
His form faded away from view, appearing in the air above Ujama.
Hey, some backstory! Finally!! But one thing I must say. The middle of a battle is a -horrible- time to let your mind wander back to the past. The middle of an action scene is also not a good place to put backstory, although I'm glad you have some.
He found his mind wandering back to the past, remembering all that had happened.
I get that this is dialogue and all, and people talk like that, but 'there's' should still be 'there are', since it is written out dialogue.
“It appears we’ve reached an impasse,” Ujama said at last. He sighed and set his machete weapon at his side. Wheicr made no move to attack. “There’s too many of you to beat, but too few of us for you to find.”
Why would somebody tell his enemy exactly how many resources and allies he doesn't have anymore? It just doesn't make sense to me. If he thinks he has friends in the world still, and they'll have his back, he'll be more at ease. But tell him that, and he'll become desperate and dangerous. Which isn't a good thing for anyone.
“Oh, and I have been informed that there are only four Alio remaining. The tides have turned, Ujama. It is only a matter of time before you and Lasi are nothing but shattered corpses.”
Most conspicuous what? I understand what you're trying to say, but just say it.
Most conspicuous of the Pravús was his mask.
Now is as good a time as any to bring up something that had been bugging me while reading the story up to this point. In the story, you seemed to be writing with different thrid person limited points of view. First one character, but then without warning, another. It's confusing, and not quite omniscient. I really just kind of noticed it when Netruhl was killed in the prologue. It seemed to me that he would be a key character, a protagonist if you will. You said things like, describing Vraal's voice as 'a voice', unknown to Netruhl, and making the perspective third person limited, from Nethrul's perspective. But then you kill him off and there is a perspective shift that throws the reader off balance.
From Chapter II
Okay, cool, cool. Kid in early 20's, nice and fresh, six feet with long hair, lovely. Blue-evening-sky colored eyes, although I usually picture the evening sky as orange not blue. He's a city kid and...wait what?
His name was Iro, a kid in his early twenties. He was about six feet tall with a long dark brown hair and blue eyes that were the same shade as the late evening sky. For much of his life, he had lived in Uteara’s Central City, working as a blacksmith and carpenter.
He's a blacksmith -and- a carpenter? I have issues with that. It's improbable. Both trades take much time, years upon years, to beocme decent in. They take focus and dedication and honest hard work. Iron and wood are two very different materials. To have a child of only 20 be a carpenter and a blacksmith is just absurd, I'm sorry. Even if he was a novice, it would still be unrealistic. A carpenter's shop takes up a lot of space. A forge, even moreso. Not to mention the blantant fire hazard, having molten metals near sawdust and unspecified amounts of wood.
Oh. Wow. Yesterday, out of the 7000+ days he's been alive, he made this discovery. How quaint.
Yesterday, he had made a discovery.
And then conveniently his best friend has developed powers and has also learned to control them? Great, great.
I'm sorry for the sarcasm, but that entire section came off as unconvincing and sudden to me. The details about the characters are lacking at this point. We've barely learned Iro's name, then you're dumping us with newfound powers of his, and then on top of that, his best friend and his friend's new powers too? Insight into the characters, their thoughts, emotions, etc. etc. are in need. Having superpowers develop overnight is a big thing, but the reaction to this isn't reflected in the characters very realistically.
He felt himself grasped by the spine.
Umm...what? How is this possible, I'm just wondering.
Pfffthahahaha, I'm sorry, but I pictured the character trying to use the mace to hunt. That's not what you meant, right? Because, I mean, it's 1) a more or less predatory and animalistic character who shouldn't need a weapon to hunt and 2) killing small animals with a spiked mace wouldn't leave much of the small animal to eat.
To the west he would head, perhaps to find some small creature to hunt and make a meal of. He armed himself with a spiked mace and began his walk.
Who are you to meddle through my business? Zha-xar replied. I reject your entry into my mind, yet attempt to overpower me.
This was a peculiar little sentence. Depending on what you may or may not have meant, there is more than one way I would edit it.
a ) "I rejected your entry into my mind, and attempt to overpower me."
b ) "I reject your entry into my mind, yet you attempt to overpower me."
c ) "I rejected your entry into my mind and yet you attempt to overpower me."
d ) All of the above
e ) None of the above
Again, you need clarity. Was this teleportation? There's no shame in saying so. Also. I hope Zha-xar has a great time killing scampering deer with a spiked mace.
The world around the Atreu blurred, the desert around him fading. When his vision cleared, he was in a forest. Here and there, a deer would scamper about, no doubt some sort of enticement from this Ulreq.
Okay, so now that those are done. So far, you do have an interesting plot, although not the most original. It has potential, I can say that. Your spelling and grammar overall were decent. Your dialog was fine, except for that one last bit when that Harbringer of Darkness and his willing servant were talking over the telepathy phone. I know it's thoughts, talking inside minds, all that jazz, but it didn't feel very conversational to me. Just to point out in more detail:
Perhaps I do not know you so well. I sense a great power in you, greater than anything I have known. Yet I know nothing of you. Is that to say I am to trust you?
I don't think like that. I don't talk like that. I certainly don't think/talk to other people like that. But that's the only complaint I had about the dialog. Everything else was flow-y, more or less.
Another thing. A big thing that really got on my nerves. This is a story with what looks like all original characters. And not only that, original species, locations, the whole shebang. And hey, that's totally fine. The part that's not fine is that you dumped all the names for characters, species, and locations on the reader at once. I had no clue in a Pravus was a tree species, or Alio was the name of a specific character. Kudos for jumping on the creative initiative and coming up with a gazillion custom names, yeah. But it was kinda ruined by the lack of detail and backstory to back up those gazillion names. Again, example time.
Three names introduced here, only one of them really explained. Also, the fact that I'm still not completely grasping what a Murtuan is. I feel like Murtuan=Matoran, Alio=Toa, Pravus= Makuta, roughly. This may be your expanded universe, but expand it beyond just your own imagination. Flesh it out in details so that readers know what you're talking about, because, frankly, all the names had me lost and subsequently disinterested.
Zha-xar lived a desolate life. He was an Atreu, which didn’t mean much to the average Murtuan. That particular species had been wiped off the face of the planet years ago by the maddened titan named Yzaa, an event that somehow went unnoticed by every other being.
Another thing to work on, besides fleshing out your universe and not dumping readers with mountains of proper nouns that have significant meaning to only you, is giving those proper nouns, characters more specifically, emotion. Let the reader connect with them, since I haven't yet. Pace yourself when introducing characters, places, and other custom-created things in your universe. And weed out any unecessary names and characters, focus on only a few (one or two) at a time. Like, in the prologue, I thought Netruhl was going to be a protagonist or something, but within the chapter, you'd killed him off. A waste of a good name, I thought.
Anyways, I'm not sure if you plan to continue this epic or not. But if you do, I'll be interested to see how you improve it. Until next time.
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