Continuing through Chapters 7 - 10, I've gone back and read some of the early reviews. I have to delay them a bit since some might mention content from a group of chapters, spoiling something for me, but I'm reading pretty fast so I may be caught up this weekend!
I agree somewhat with the common critique that the protagonist seemed too artificial. The argument doesn't totally work, though, since that is the intent in a way - being suddenly created with tons of knowledge but no life experience. There's "naturally" going to be some awkward narration as the narrator himself adjusts to his existence and the dissonance between his knowledge, his life experience, his body, his expressions, his still-developing personality, etc. What makes this work for me is that you have to read further on to his near-death encounter with the protodermis in the Northern Frost to see him really take a shift toward living with purpose. His character seems to take on more definite form in a matter of sentences in that chapter - what we would call a "pivotal character development moment."
And hey, if we want to go even further than this, we could say that the awkwardness in the beginning is part of a meta-commentary on the artificiality of consciousness itself. Hey, if you wanna run with that argument, knock yourself out.
Chapter 10: "Mental gender identities were included, though there was no physical purpose to them, apparently just because the Great Beings were accustomed to thinking of beings in terms of gender."
Neat way to tell us more about the Great Beings - they do have gender, and also that they might not have fully dissociated from that construct when creating new beings. The more this story develops, the more obvious it becomes how flawed they are and how they really are just scientists and hardly even philosophers.
"Clouds curled around its ankles."
Great depiction of the Shattering. For me after being a few years away from the story, it's actually very refreshing to be reading the entire story in true chronological order. Getting some of that old excitement.
Chapter 11: Very enjoyable and sweeping journey through the Matoran Universe (and we've made it this far! Well done, Koronga.) Some of this was new to me, especially the Toa with the ground-shaping staff. Also had somewhat forgotten about the original giant sea Rahi. Big beasties are always fun to write.
Chapter 13: I didn't expect the detailed journey or his exposure to the Toa Mata, but I enjoyed it. Felt like his first real connection with the Matoran and what is arguably his true home. That does make me think, however... has the story actually confirmed that Koronga was created in that very moment at the clifftop on Spherus Magna? If not, then it's entirely possible that there's a third universe involved. I also wonder if Koronga is going to find out where the Great Beings went after the Shattering. If I recall correctly, they didn't stay on the planet but went somewhere else.
Chapter 14: I personally approve of your non-canon exploration of the "Inner Workings" of the robot. It all pretty much makes sense from what we already have confirmed, anyway. Cool sketch of the maintenance robots - the "wheels" remind me of the electric airships from The Matrix and I wonder if that was an inspiration? Seems like the most efficient way to travel through narrow tubes anyway, which was also proven by the movies.
"A transcendant version of it was present already in natural protodermis" - Did you mean "transcendent"?
Some good ol' nutty bonesiii physics theory right here (and in Chapter 15) with the protodermis molecules. Love it.
"It listed them by Mata Nui's priority of current focus, so the one at the top was always the one that took up the most space on the huge screen."
Clever reference to the Great Beings' equivalent of RAM and an activity monitor!
Interesting speculation at the end about the nature of good, and its relationship to longevity. In my view, the shorter one knows one will live, the more likely they will resort to evil actions in order to gain more for themselves more quickly. The basic mentality of I'm dying soon so I deserve this. And the longer one lives, the more likely they will either go evil or good, because the potential for leaving a greater legacy of good or evil is greater over a longer period of time. So in my view, evil is highly possible in both scenarios, but in the longer life scenario good is just as possible.
Thus, it's better to live longer as you'll have more time to build your legacy of good... as well as more time to commit evil deeds and later feel remorse and make amends by turning back to good. This is kind of why I seriously advocate scientific immortality for humans, as it means we would need to adapt to a new life of living with the consequences of our actions rather than passing them onto future generations.
Chapter 15: "Language, identity, and similar things would be essentially for a being to be able to survive in his world." - Think you meant "essential."
3D printing wasn't something I expected to see here, but the concept works very well for solving the problem of how to create a complex biomechanical being with the same base material. Well done - loving your style of filling in the unanswered bits of Bionicle while keeping it on the path of significant events.
I swept through 16-20 because it was way too engrossing to watch the Makuta come into being. Nice description of the antidermis' physics too. It was a bit bizarre but very appropriate to portray the Makuta as morally balanced, since that was how they were at first. It'll make their evil turn later on more impactful (as well as more dramatic to the newcomer).
I definitely did not expect Koronga's secret to spill out as early as it did in the Matoran Universe, but I agree with your decision to steer the plot in that direction. I imagine it steered itself a bit - for him to continue escaping the Great Spirit and now the Makuta even after they knew of him and began to hunt him would have stretched credibility too far. Sign of a good twist - it's unexpected when it comes, but makes sense when other things are taken in account.
Great description of Karzahni. I had forgotten just how bad that place was, and this certainly reminded me. It's a little jarring, however, since I thought a lot less time had passed since the Shattering, but I do realize that many of these events are taking place over years rather than days. Still, I had thought Karzahni went bad a bit later.