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for The Father of Lights: An Alternative History

7/12/2009 c2 THE BNZ
Pirates! Mages! Irish people! All of these things are things that I like very much. I'm fascinated already, and can't wait to find out what's next!

I always try to give constructive criticism in every review, but I don't have any. Your writing is sound, grammatically and plotwise.
1/1/2009 c63 48Michael Panush
A very nice ending, with a good climax that was a bit more than just a big old honking battle. I do look forward to see the Napoleonic Wars, or maybe the adventures of the occult mercanaries led by Paul Date (sounds kind of like an Enlightenment Age BPRD) which would make a great serial. The only problem I really have with this was that your values are kind of blatant, and it seems that some parts of the story just turned into a talking points session where you explain your personal beliefs. It's good that you know where you stand, but all the talk of Deism and the Values of the Founding Fathers kind of hampers the story. A writer should deal with important questions, but if they answer them, the story turns into didactic propaganda. I don't want to criticize your personal beliefs either, but I felt the rage building when I read that capitalism "works better than the alternatives" and that you support capitalism and individualsm, as well as the Deism business of a God that sets up earth, fills it with suffering, and then heads off somewhere while humanity and all of life struggles to survive. If God is a watchmaker, he's made the crappiest watch there is. Anyway, I really enjoyed this story, and I think if it was written without some of the lessons on 'isms' and if it was written in a more invigorating style than a dry history book, it would be an absolute masterpiece.

And I would love to play a mod for any game set in this universe.
12/17/2008 c52 Michael Panush
Very nice developments here. It's interesting to follow the war and see alliances take shape and new weapons being invented and used on the battlefield. The pre-human creatures are very cool, as is the promise of Cthulhu. The only thing I would really like would be more up close views of the crazy battles. You get a few of them, like chapter 50, but most of it is vague descriptions of what's going on, sort of like watching a news report from far away. The battles just seem so cool that I'd prefer an up close view to witness them. Also, why would Alejandra be sent as an ambassador to a big peace meeting? Wouldn't the Spanish send some viceroy or noble, someone who is actually in charge, instead of a lowly medic? Or has Alejandra moved up in the ranks or something? Anyway, this is a very good story and I look forward to finishing it soon.
12/14/2008 c36 Michael Panush
This world just gets better and better. Lovecraftian elements, mind-control trees, and I liked the description of the gruesome Sadist Navy. The prose is a little too infodumpy sometimes, and the characters do sound awful similar and act kind of wierd from time to time(free time in a battle = sex time?) (talking about the captain's politics is good after sex conversation?) but I think the biggest problem is how they sound. They are 1700s characters, even if it is in an alternate history, and hearing them say things like 'fuck yes!' and 'okay' just sound wierd. Words like 'fuck' and 'shit' existed of course, but they weren't used exactly as we use them today, and they had others 'frig' and 'pistel' come to mind, that we do not. Watch HBO's Deadwood to see how cursing can be done very well without sounding anachronistic, or maybe try reading some period literature, Casanova' memoirs or Henry Fielding's books, to get the feeling of the time. Other than that, I'm really liking this series and I look forward to reading more.
12/12/2008 c18 Michael Panush
I do like the way the story is progressing and I love finding out more about this crazy world. The Sadist Empire is very cool, and I love the Franco-Voodoo thing going on, but I think making De Sade the villain was a little off. The Marquis de Sade was not actually a sadist, and the books he wrote, such as 120 Days of Sodom, were satires meant to show the corruption of the French clergy, nobility and bussinessmen. Hell, De Sade was more an X-rated Stephen Colbert than the Lich King you got going here. A better canidate might be the Comte de St. Germain, a real French occultist, who you might have mentioned earlier, or maybe the Italian con man and mystic Alessandro Cagliostro. Another thing that seems a little off is having the Catholic Church being progressive. I think in a world where dark magic exists and Rome has actually been destroyed, the Inqusition Arm of the Church would be much more powerful. I see something similar to the Imperium of Man from Warhammer 40,0 appearing, much more than a Catholic Democracy. Still, it is an alternate history, so things can always turn out differently. I'll certainly keep reading and watching the action develop.
12/11/2008 c11 Michael Panush
I like this series a lot. The setting and plot are excellent, I love all of the nods to esoteric historic tidbits, and the technologies, creatures, magicks, and everything else is just too cool for words. My only conplaint would be that you don't take enough time to fully describe the look and feel of things. The description of Sean watching the Hong Kong skyline was amazing, and gave me a very cool picture of the exotic steampunk city. More scenes like that would be appreciated, also dealing with the clothing, weapons features and such of the characters would be helpful. Other than that, this is fantastic series and I will certainly continue reading.
2/20/2008 c63 6The Crazy Talk Kid
*applause* Very well done! I'd give it an 7.5 out of 10 for an overall work. Just my opinion but it could have used a bit more direct action and I'm upset that you didn't go more into the destruction of the Entity. Still, your tech is awesome and your plot is original.

Correct me if I am wrong, but this universe uses alchemy correct? If so, maybe for the follow up some of Napoleons minions could be Homunculi. Just a thought.

2/19/2008 c58 The Crazy Talk Kid
"The Marquis' plan had been deceptive, twisted, cowardly, and fundamentally French in all respects." Rotflol! That's awesome! Your tech is so cool and it gets better. I do have one question though, what's to stop the Entity from messing with the Mu tech that Bantay is using? Kdh.
2/10/2008 c36 The Crazy Talk Kid
Well that can't be good. I must say that you have a very... unique talent to make twisted evil even more twisted and evil. That's a valuable talent. If you already have this forgive me, I think it would be cool to give your Mu culture the ability to use pots as recording devices. Kdh.
2/5/2008 c10 The Crazy Talk Kid
I saw you know of turtle ships though you didn't mention the spikes. They have potential. You do a very good job of showing the different points of view. Though a little wordy at times it's very immersive. Kdh.
2/4/2008 c4 The Crazy Talk Kid
Nothing about the Art of War? ^-^ I must say that I'm enjoying this story immensely and I like your mix of Thaumatology, science, and strange creatures. It works rather well together. I noticed some spelling errors but other than that it was good. I'm not great with grammar though. Kdh.
11/11/2007 c63 11Fabian Beswick
A wonderful end, and it seems only appropriate to the rest of the story, bringing in the Corsican. A sequel in this universe during the Napoleonic Wars would be fascinating, as this was. Good job!
10/13/2007 c58 7Haku
Two words: oh shit!

I'm loving the level of elevation in this story. Just when you think it can't get any worse, the enemy yanks the carpet out from under the protagonists' feet and they're screwed even further. And you also have a very believable villain i.e. one who uses the powers and weapons at their disposal at the right time, rather than waiting until some later point simply because it's "more fun".
10/8/2007 c57 dreamshell
Cross-shaped ab-dead explosives = Awesome. Pure, unadulterated awesome.

Yay! Fallen space cadaver!

Heh. Shen seems like something of a sociopath. Which rocks, of course.

And damn. They get attacked before finishing up? That wouldn't be fun at all. XD

9/22/2007 c52 Skulled
Talk about one odd history.
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