Posted Nov 20 2012 - 09:58 PM
Geez. I read this thing... like A WEEK ago and then just sat on it. I knew I wanted to write a review, but I just never felt like it. Well, I guess if it's been about two years since you finished it, you could put up with an extra week after I finished reading!OK, one thing that really worked. The tone. You can feel that Tanu is trying to keep this record as an objective depiction of the events that have occured. Likewise, you can see where he starts to break and how this subjectivity bleeds into the narration.Next thing: foreshadowing... and lack of were necessary. You wiped out two of the team. The first is foreshadowed. That built a sense of dread as I approached what I was starting to fear was an inevitable conclusion. After that comes to pass, I start to look for trends in the characters' actions when Gareki get taken out with no warning whatsoever. This completelely destabilizes any preconceptions about who might make it and who might not. More importantly, this really brings home the point about just how unpredictable and cruel this war is.Overall, I get the sense that you were trying to use this 'interlude,' as you've called it, to shift the paradigms of your heroes... or those that remain, I should say. In that much, you have excelled. This epic describes a litany of events that would be bound to alter the attitudes of even the most unshakeable individuals. The first-person narration by a narrator trying (and failing) to write a completely objective account was a new feel.Now, I also felt there were some points where you passed up good opportunities to expand (though you might have already done so in Fate and End, but I've yet to read those). For one thing, the ending came... abruptly. (Now why would this complaint seem familiar? Oh yeah! I've been accused of it plenty. ) I think it could have ended, quite literally, only a few days later on the timeline for the Matoran Universe. If Tanu really was keeping a record for the inhabitants of Yrenta, it would make sense that the final entry would take place not just after the war had ended, but as he took the transport to return. As the reader, I got the feeling that Tanu was giving up on any attempt of stoicism at that point, so it only would have made sense to break away from the otherwise omnipresent "facts-of-the-war" narrative for some final introspection from our morose hero. For one thing, he's supposed to be returning Ilikia's sword to Yrenta. I don't know about Tanu, but I would have a final "subconscious delusion" shattered upon seeing that sword yet again: the possibility that this ordeal might finally be over. For your team, it can never be over. They've lost two friends. Yet again begging for expansion is what the death of Ilikia specifically represents: a final crushing blow to the morale of the Lightning Village. They lost tens in the thunder troll attack, including the esteemed and heroic Kuchapi. Now they've lost their Toa. Essentially, all the heroic elements of their village have been wiped out. That could have serious political ramifications in the upcoming plot. Anyway, I'm just saying that Tanu seems like the bright type and I'd expect him to forsee this sort of mess. Having a final introspective as he loads her sword onto the transport could be a nice way to actually draw the reader away from what has otherwise just been an unending description of incessant death and put it all in perspective.Woah, that was way longer than it was meant to be, as usual. I'm not going to delete it all, but let me squeeze out the essence: This was a good piece of writing because you effectively used literary elements to intrigue the reader and leave them with a believable series of deaths on the battlefield. The only thing it lacked that was necessary to make it profound rather than good was perspective. By the end, there was little to make all these deaths relatable despite the fact that two of the dead were characters we'd learned to cherish in Tale of Yrenta.It was a difficult point to work. You were trying to show how desensitized (and demoralized) Tanu was becoming after seeing so much death. Simultaneously, you were trying to show how his objective account began to falter into subjectivity. End result, the two strongest points of this epic actually worked to mitigate one another becuase they were somewhat exclusive of one another. The introspective finale I offered works toward the second point you were trying to get across and less so with the desensitization point. So even that "improvement" trades one of them off for the other.At this point, I've realized to things: 1) I'm on the verge of devolving into nonsensical babbling. 2) I need to read Fate and End in order to actually see if you did pick up on these opportunities I'm claiming you missed. Both of these realizations indicate it's time for me to stop typing, so here's the two-sentence summary:I really liked this installment as well (don't get me wrong just because I went on all day about 'missed potential' or whatever - it was good!), but I felt you could have worked with it more, so Tale of Yrenta is still holding my heart for now. It served exactly the purpose you wrote it for: being an interlude in your saga - no more, no less.Bah. I'm spent.
Now released, Lightfall's spinoff, The Sordid Shafts:...everything will change for the war-torn city of Modos.