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Review Topic: Glatorian Chronicles #9: Reluctant Allies

Glatorian Chronicles Reviews

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#1 Offline TNTOS

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Posted Mar 01 2012 - 09:59 AM

Welcome to the review topic of my latest short epic, Reluctant Allies. This story follows Ackar and Kiina as they are stranded in the Northern Frost during the Core War, forced to rely on each to survive, despite their lack of trust in each other.The epic itself is 6 chapters long. It's one of the shorter epics I've ever written, but I worked on it just as hard as I do with my longer works. Hopefully y'all will like it :) .As for what the Glatorian Chronicles is, here's the brief explanation from the story topic:

The Glatorian Chronicles is a series of Bionicle fanfiction short stories/short epics that star each of the twelve Glatorian characters released as sets in 2009. All are written in first person point of view from the point of view of the starring Glatorian. Each story is completely independent of the others, so a new reader can jump in at any point in the series with little-to-no confusion on the reader's part.

You can read the epic itself right here.Comments, criticisms, reviews, etc. are all welcomed :) .-TNTOS-

Edited by TNTOS, Apr 05 2012 - 08:54 AM.

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"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt

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The Biological Chronicle: (2001) (2002) (2003) (2004) (2005) (2006) (2007) (2008) (2009) (2010)


#2 Offline Steelsheen

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Posted Mar 06 2013 - 10:16 PM

ECC Charity Review

[color=#0040BF;][font="'trebuchet ms';"]TNTOS,First off, I have a very good reason for turning this in so late - I have a job in real life. :P But seriously, sorry about how long you've waited for this, and I've tried to make it worth your extra time.Let's start with dialogue, which is generally one of your strongest points. In the first two chapters, Ackar and his fellow fire soldiers speak with a refined, somewhat old-fashioned tone. By contrast, Kiina uses a lot of contractions and slang. This is a great way to show a cultural difference and up until Ackar starts using occasional slang as well (I believe that's in chapter 3) it works. Beyond tone, each of your characters have a lot of logical reactions or responses in their dialogue - I read it aloud and it flowed like a real conversation. Of course there are a few rough spots, but overall, you did well here. Your original insults between Ackar and Kiina are particularly good.Next, your characters come under the microscope. Ackar, being the narrator, is naturally the most fully developed character and has a balanced personality that varies between dedicated soldier and sarcastic satirist. He has his faults, too - impatience, chiefly - but he at least tries to minimize those.By contrast, Kiina has more of a bluntly written character, but then again, this may be just how the narrator see her. She has less of a balanced air, seeming to be quite uncivilized and at times obnoxious.And of course there's the sadistic and confusing Ice Lord, Xocion. He says he values honesty and provides his "pawns" with enough food to tantalize their hopes, then attacks a day before he promised. He saves their lives just to watch them die. He freezes his own Agori and leaves them around for centuries. I'm not an expert, but he might need to see a psychiatrist. As a villain, he's alright, but I would have really loved to have seen more real motivation from him, instead of Arkham Asylum bloodlust.There is one thing I think make this epic not quite up to your usual standards, and sadly, it's Ackar's fault. While I have no complaints about chapters four through six, I have to say that some of the narration in one through three is a bit grating. This is mostly because he thinks in "quantum time". For example, in the middle of a battle, where he's about to die by enemy attack or an avalanche, Ackar still manages to analyze every single detail of the surroundings while it's happening. He thinks about the logical reaction of his soldiers, his enemies' natural assumption that the fire soldiers are retreating, and even analyzes his own analysis.If you've read The Hunger Games you'll remember that Katniss hardly ever analyzes her actions while she's making them. It's afterwards that she stops to think why she did just what she did. Now, granted, Ackar is much more of a soldier and has a gift for noticing detail. But that doesn't make him Sherlock Holmes; many of his reflections would feel much more natural if he thought them while trudging for hours through the snow.Generally, this is where I have two pages worth of quotes pulled from your story, but this time, I picked out just a few little nuggets of goodness that I liked, or had questions about.[/color][/font]From chapter 1:

Then again, I thought, there wasnt much to question about this plan, except perhaps the wisdom of it.

[color=#0040BF;][font="'trebuchet ms';"]Isn't that exactly what people generally have concerns about when they question plans?[/color][/font]

Assuming nothing will go wrong, as soon as the Water army reaches the center of the canyon, my men will use their elementally-powered weapons to create an avalanche.

[color=#0040BF;][font="'trebuchet ms';"]I'm not an expert on Glatorian canon, but I thought no one but the Elemental Lords wielded elemental powers up until Mata Nui came? It's not an issue, however, if you simply don't want to follow canon - I hardly ever do. :) Just thought I'd bring it up.[/color][/font]

I looked around the place. Aside from the occasional dead tree dotting the landscape, there really didnt seem to be any life at all. I saw no footprints in the snow and heard no animals. Killing all of the life in a place just to protect the environment . . . somehow that seemed backwards to me, but I was careful to keep my opinions to myself lest Xocion decided to make me a part of his palace statuary.

[color=#0040BF;][font="'trebuchet ms';"]I loved this bit - a reversal (or perhaps a logical end?) of extreme environmental protection. Maybe you weren't going for satire, but the dry wit here is great.[/color][/font]From chapter 3:

Supplies, Xocion replied. It should be enough for one day, maybe a day and a half if gluttony is not your sin. There are also two full bottles of hot water; cold water would freeze in this weather.

[color=#0040BF;][font="'trebuchet ms';"]Two questions; first, I realize that Elemental Lords can do a lot, but how did the Elemental Lord of Ice manage to keep the water hot if it was hidden under a dead tree? Second, couldn't Ackar and Kiina just drink melted snow (which they wouldn't have to carry) or use Kiina's elemental power?[/color][/font]

And then, without warning, we suddenly dropped like stones. I hate to admit it, but I started screaming for my life as we fell, but Kiina did too, and arguably her screams of terror were worse than mine.

[color=#0040BF;][font="'trebuchet ms';"]Heh, a guy's gotta have some self-respect when falling several hundred feet and screaming like a little girl.[/color][/font]

As I doubted any of my words could pierce that thick, stubborn skull of hers, I chose not to explain it to her. Shed have to learn from the master teacher: Experience.

[color=#0040BF;][font="'trebuchet ms';"]She really is a stubborn nut.[/color][/font]

The water itself was easy enough to deal with; we just filled our empty bottles with water from Kiinas trident and then I heated them up to a drinkable temperature with my sword.

[color=#0040BF;][font="'trebuchet ms';"]Ah! Earlier question answered.[/color][/font]From chapter 6-

We could run away together, Kiina suggested. Run away from the armies, the war, everything, just so we can be together and not have to fight each other.Whoa, Kiina, I said, feeling alarmed and, for some reason, embarrassed. Thats a little extreme, isnt it? I mean, I like you, Kiina, but the way youre talking, we might be lovers.Oh, said Kiina, looking very embarrassed. Oh, er, youre right, Ackar. I . . . sorry. It was a stupid idea. I didnt really mean it. It was just a joke, you know?

[color=#0040BF;][font="'trebuchet ms';"]Someone, please give this girl lessons in tact!Altogether, your characters are really what makes this one a good story, and I liked the open ending - neither too much foreshadowing or too little closure.-Steelsheen[/color][/font]

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#3 Offline TNTOS

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Posted Mar 07 2013 - 09:07 AM

Thank you for the review, Hahli :) . I would like to address a few points:

 

First off, I have a very good reason for turning this in so late - I have a job in real life. :P But seriously, sorry about how long you've waited for this, and I've tried to make it worth your extra time.

 

Completely understandable, although I admit I'm relieved now that you've finally done it, heh.

 

By contrast, Kiina has more of a bluntly written character, but then again, this may be just how the narrator see her. She has less of a balanced air, seeming to be quite uncivilized and at times obnoxious.

 

I was trying to contrast Ackar's experience and age with Kiina's inexperience and youth, although at least part of it is Ackar's personal, fairly prejudiced view of her. A fellow Water Tribe soldier might have a different view of Kiina than Ackar, for example.

 

And of course there's the sadistic and confusing Ice Lord, Xocion. He says he values honesty and provides his "pawns" with enough food to tantalize their hopes, then attacks a day before he promised. He saves their lives just to watch them die. He freezes his own Agori and leaves them around for centuries. I'm not an expert, but he might need to see a psychiatrist. As a villain, he's alright, but I would have really loved to have seen more real motivation from him, instead of Arkham Asylum bloodlust.

 

Xocion was one of my favorite characters to write and I would love to expand upon his character in a future epic.

 

I'll admit, though, that he wasn't quite as well written as maybe Ackar or Kiina were. I intended to have him show up at the end to talk to Ackar and Kiina again, but I couldn't figure out why he'd spare them again, so I changed the ending.

 

If you've read The Hunger Games you'll remember that Katniss hardly ever analyzes her actions while she's making them. It's afterwards that she stops to think why she did just what she did. Now, granted, Ackar is much more of a soldier and has a gift for noticing detail. But that doesn't make him Sherlock Holmes; many of his reflections would feel much more natural if he thought them while trudging for hours through the snow.

 

Good point.

 

[color=#0040bf;][font="'trebuchet ms';"]I'm not an expert on Glatorian canon, but I thought no one but the Elemental Lords wielded elemental powers up until Mata Nui came? It's not an issue, however, if you simply don't want to follow canon - I hardly ever do. :) Just thought I'd bring it up.[/color][/font][font="'trebuchet ms';"][color=#000000;][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"][/color][/font][/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms';"][color=#000000;][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Actually, in the Core War, Glatorian did have elemental weapons. They didn't have powers like Toa do, but their weapons could fire elements.[/color][/font][/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms';"][color=#000000;][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]But yeah, I tend to disregard canon too, when I feel it's constricting my storytelling.[/color][/font][/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms';"][color=#000000;][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"][/color][/font][/font]

[color=#0040bf;][font="'trebuchet ms';"]Two questions; first, I realize that Elemental Lords can do a lot, but how did the Elemental Lord of Ice manage to keep the water hot if it was hidden under a dead tree[/color][/font]?

 

[font="'trebuchet ms';"][color=#000000;][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]That never occurred to me. If I remember correctly, Xocion did create that fire for Ackar and Kiina when they woke up in that cave, so maybe he did something similar to keep the water hot. I'm surprised I didn't notice that.[/color][/font][/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms';"][color=#000000;][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Again, thank you for the review. I know I assigned it to you, but you did a really good job and I really do appreciate it :) .[/color][/font][/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms';"][color=#000000;][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]-TNTOS-[/color][/font][/font]


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"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt

A Writerly Blog
The Tasty Library of Sugary Goodness
(My Little BIONICLE: Friendship is Explosive Completed 01/05/14)
{The Shika Trilogy Omnibus Completed 03/31/14) (Review Topic)
(In the End Completed 09/01/14) (Review Topic)
The Biological Chronicle: (2001) (2002) (2003) (2004) (2005) (2006) (2007) (2008) (2009) (2010)





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