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for The Quest: Being Part One of the Armanx Trilogy

8/15/2005 c26 1oh-so-spifffy
Two updates in less than a week- how absolutely awesome is that?

I love this chapter. After reading it, I kinda looked at the title and laughted- not a hyperactive humor laugh; more of a "what a coincidence" (though I know it's not) and the metaphoric irony of it. I don't think that's what I mean to say, but that's the idea.

But, this review wouldn't be much use if I absolutely adored the whole thing. There were some small things that could be modified, or analyzed, or whatever you want to do with my comments and what they're commenting on.

First off. The dream. It's... just a bit cliche. Suddenly sucked into some dramatic vortex, invisible until peril strikes. It also has a sort of... too much of an obvious point feel to it, so to speak. Although I suppose I'm a bit picky; the only fictional dreams that I've wholeheartedly approved of are the type that J. K. Rowling employs- a chaotic mixture of the randomness common in dreams, sprinkled with significance, and for a still deeper effect switching from the nonsensical this-thats to something significant, powerful, starkly contrasting. Dreams (I feel) are the place for an author to exercise their creativity in a world completely without logic- try having a dream where Kari is watching her dream self from afar, one where she is the antagonist watching herself being mangled (bwahaha...) or something, maybe, where she's somehow incapacitated and so has to watch /others/ being put through pain or whatever because she should have been able to help them but couldn't in the dream... I mean, just things beyond being herself, I guess you could say. Like for the gryphinx dream, she might have been watching the Shape-Shifter, in her origional form of a woman, enter its cave and be devoured by the gryphinx, which would establish the connection between the two, though the connection wouldn't be in a way that Kari expects. You know... have some fun, be creative! And speaking of Ms. Purple & Black, that brings me to another point.

Yes, Vascala. I think she's quite an interesting character, but a bit... eh. A bit same-ish, a bit predictible. I also didn't like how Kari ended up acting around her; seemed vaguely out of character. Too sharp-tongued, too quick, both of them feigning ignorance, disbelief. I mean, I know I'm not Kari, and I don't know her or anything, but I know that I wouldn't be so cool and thinking of how I love infuriating infuriating people while I'm bound to a bed with Lady standing over me (sorry for stretching the screen, by the way, if it does that. It stretched it just a couple of letters here, so I'm hoping it won't do anything on the reviews page...) But anyways. Back to Vascala. (I do love her name, by the way. It reminds me of the evil witch Ursula/Vanessa in The Little Mermaid... I used to love that movie so much and jump around wearing a pillowcase over my feet and waist. But that's beside the point. Vascala is prettier, more sophisticated, and somehow more ominous than Ursula or Vanessa, too... but anyways. Back to Vascala (again).) She's a bit predictible. She's gorgeous, with sharp nails, cold eyes, black hair, stiff pride, a falsely sweet but most definitely cool, aloof voice. Kari also naturally distrusts her. I know you may not have too much extra writing time, but the scenes with Vascala could become more suspenseful, "meatier," and more of a plot if, say, she first came to Kari looking like a Mary-Sue like beautiful, tortured girl, who warns Kari that she has to leave this place, she'll let her out, etc., acting along while trying to coax answers out of Kari- until, of course, she loses her temper and releases the fear snake. Or better yet, releases it and pretends that the evil rulers of the castle (or whoever...) while Kari slowly begins to grow suspicious... hey, why's there an open wound on her left, the same side I cut the Gryphinx on? Why do her eyes seem to have a reddish flash to them every now and then? Why is she so interested in my quest? or something to build up suspicion, the reader and Kari together. Or better yet, make the Specter have to force Kari, still convinced by some magic or some weird trust, that Vascala is innocent and needs to be rescued from her abusive masters too- what, that lioness fighting? Her masters can force her into any shape, make her fight for them! She's innocent! She needs rescuing! That could provide an excellent stumbling block or plot point if she never realized the truth until much later, when the magic wore off.

Well, those were just some random ideas. Not supposed to critisize; just encourage you to "think outside the box." Or the bun, if you work at Taco Bell. Some of them, of course, wouldn't really fit Kari, but still. The idea is to get you to think- yes, even more than you are! ;) By the way, there's a typo... anyways, ordinarily I wouldn't point it out to you, but it's under a fairly suspenseful segment and is just a bit anti-climactic. So then.

This one was a man He sprinted towards the shadow, cloak billowing behind him- /Rhyes/.

And that's it. Not much, but even though you can tell what it means, it just doesn't flow. Well, obviously. It just seems like it's missing a period, although you could probably tweak it if you'd like to make it more dramatical. ^^

By the way, do Shapeshifters have varying levels of power? Or are they just really rare or have a fatal weakness or something? What I'm wondering is why they haven't taken over Armanx by now!

There's a couple of questions and suspicions that I don't want to put here, because if correct they may ruin it for other readers, but I think I'll email them to you or something. I'm really starting to wonder, because one of my theories was (maybe) crushed.

By the way, does the fact that Kari was annoyed (well, you could put it that way; I'm not sure how I would describe what she was really feeling...) that she only has male traveling companions mean that she gets some girl friends? I'm sure she's more upset about being away from home and all than she lets on and is shunting the thoughts away to avoid pain, considering how tempted she was by the Blue Orb's offer to go home. If Kari is like Frodo and her conversations with herself are like Smeagol-Gollum, you still need an Eowyn! ;)

Overall, as I said, an excellent chapter! Some real plot progress- well, not progress, but a "stumbling block"/rising action. I definitely enjoyed it. Definitely, definitely, definitely. Or is it defenitely? I never know. But I infintely enjoyed this chapter. And I know it's infinitely, not infinetely. And I'm definitely (...defenitely?) eagerly anticipating your next update! On the other hand, don't update too soon or it'll all be over too fast. That would not be good; not good at all.
8/14/2005 c26 14Lassuel Tyme
Your welcome. I forgot to mention last time.


Still a few mistakes, but not as many. Very nice, but didn't you use Valasca as a name in Horse Whisperer? KRKR

8/13/2005 c1 Silvone Elestahr
From what I've read of it, this is a very good, well thought out story. I can't say I really like your style of writing, as you don't seem to want to take long enough to show the feelings of the characters. You say what they feel and what they do, but you don't let them say it, and you don't show what they are thinking. You just tell the reader. You have done a good job in writing this in the first person perspective. That's usually quite hard for me. Hopefully I can force myself to sit here and read the whole thing (not that its bad, just that I don't have much patience for reading long things on computer screens). Good job!
8/12/2005 c25 Lassuel Tyme
Thank you for telling me that, but I think I knew it. Now only if I could date him ::starts muttering to self:: Anyways, I enjoyed this chapter, but you might want to re-read to look for edit mistakes. I saw a few, not many, but just thought you might want to keep tabs on that. Otherwise keep updating please. KRKR

8/10/2005 c25 1oh-so-spifffy
Ooh! An update! I love it; really I do. Anyways, I did enjoy this chapter quite a bit, although at first I found it a bit hard to get into. In several places, the description was a bit choppy, so I got a literal (as opposed to artistic) sense of setting, so to speak.

Well. Not a thrilling, edge-of-the-seat chapter, but most, MOST intriqing- I'd forgotten what the Grey Sisters had said, and now I've figured out a way for every character to be deceitful; the problem now is figuring out who is completely honest... ooh, the drama.

Anyways, keep writing! I was very very happy to find the "[FictionPress.Com] Author Alert!" message in my email inbox; this story is too good to let die.

7/3/2005 c24 14Lassuel Tyme
NO Jant is just supposed to be insane. GR to that blasted author. Whoops, ignore that and keep updating.

6/27/2005 c24 teagen
god finally...and nobody dies in this chapter...It's so difficult, Jant being a leprechaun. Tell me secret...pop...anyway...ya
6/27/2005 c24 1oh-so-spifffy
Wow. That was an amazing chapter. Not much crazy action, but excellent for character development. Nearly every character was moved on to a new level of depth, revealing their character- I mean, who would have expected Jant to cover Kari with his cloak? I admit I was slightly surprised when Rhyes suddenly "rebelled," as you could say, against Jant, but it brought him away from the stereotype wise, knowledgeable scholar persona. You have effectively aroused a sort of mystery, setting everybody on guard, the readers wary of any character. I would, however, reccomend telling a bit more about them- getting the group closer together, learning about them, talking to them, trusting- so that it doesn't seem so randomly done.

I only recently realized that your writing, in its way, is beginning to remind me of Tolkien's- not the style, since yours is a bit fresher and easier to read, I think just the flavor of the setting, etc. is what reminds me, since your characters are more modern. The plot is distantly similar, if only for a powerful corruptive object, though Kari is anything but a Frodo.

Anyways, I'm done with my speculation and rambling! Eagerly awaiting your next update!
6/27/2005 c24 5precariousbeing13
Great chapter! Update soon!
6/18/2005 c23 Psycho AT
Very nice.. now update!
5/15/2005 c23 1oh-so-spifffy
Okay. Me again. I finally started using my account. Anyways, I have something to say that the last review kinda sparked...

There is something about Rhys, I know there is. In the beginning, you kinda kept people guessing, but after a while it got lost. I think he's one of those peoples that came back after they were dead to finish something and they can only been seen as what they are in moonlight... which is why Rhys was avoiding it... Ya.

By the way, why's he named Marc? Is it something special or fairly random?
5/14/2005 c23 Zaq
I warned you that it might be a while before I had time to read the new chapeters, but I have to admit that I was guessing a few days at the time. Ah well, at least I didn't forget. I'm not sure I'm actually capable of forgetting, come to think of it. Wait, I'm babbling. This is supposed to be a review... Very good chapter, very good chapter indeed(I'm feeling a little british today). You know, I have a felling that at age seven Daniel will be instructing Marc in the correct way to fake the brushing of teeth and the best ways to get dirty. I'm about to start making guesses about the story, and I know you won't tell me even if I'm close, but I'm going to say it anyway. I think that Aras is lying about something, but I have no idea what. Rhyes has more he could be saying as well, but I can't even attempt to fathom what their secrets might be. Jant, I'm begining to think, isn't exactly who he says he is. So far, Jason seems to be pretty straight-foward, but it might be safe to guess that that will change.
5/3/2005 c22 Tara
Okay, I found out I couldn't review the same chapter twice, so this is actually for the The Blue Orb.

Oh, my gosh. I knew Jant had this diabolical thing, but... *blinks* Poor innocent maniacal leprechaun taken over by a truly denomic power! Now that is scary. Kinda sad, too. I can't wait for more.

The only complaint I have is the name of the portal. I mean, the Blue Orb? Come on. Orb is good- great, actually- but Blue just lacks the uumph needed for such a dramatic role. Maybe the Sapphire Orb or the Indigo Ring or the Sky Glass. Heh.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a phrase that is the equivelant of Between a Rock and a Hard Place. It made me think of this story.
5/3/2005 c23 Tara
I'm just through half of The Blue Orb, but I must say that I find it quite unfair that you said only Jant would fine pleasure in annoying others. I do, you know; its one of my favorite hobbies, as darling Vincenzo (my older brother) can readily tell you.

I love the harpy speech! Although the part where the crystal spoke through the harpy...? That confused me.
5/3/2005 c23 14Lassuel Tyme
More. There's a boy in my school named Marc. He has a nice jaw line. KRKR

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