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7/19/2012 c6 13VelvetyCheerio
From the perspective of a reader just jumping into this story without reading the previous chapters, I'll admit I wasn't really feeling any of the characters. I think this is because there are quite a few of them. I'm sure in previous chapters, each character was given time to develop, and I will say that I understand the problem of having more than two-three central characters in a story. Sometimes in-depth writing for each character is pushed to the wayside for progression of the plot.

I'm just going to say I don't like it, anyway, because it makes it hard for me to understand the motivations of the characters.

I did like the ending for this chapter, though. I think you created a good sense of intrigue and wonder as to what will happen next. Especially in connection to what Juliana was saying, it makes me wonder if there are any dark secrets Roxana is hiding from the group. Good work on that.

7/18/2012 c6 Rogue Energizer Bunny
Hello from the Review Game!

I like Max's injury, and the way the other characters react to it. You downplay the drama enough for readers to want more of it. It's good that nobody's all "oh you poor baby!" or anything stupid like that, because this story is set during a war, and people get shot every day in wars. I think the mixed reaction from the characters fits well, too. Leo's annoyed about it because he's slowing him down, and Lizzie's all concerned and shit. It's what would happen in real life. Some people want to save everybody, and other people are totally logical about it.

I don't like the name of the group. Hurr. Bear with me. It just seems so dramatic and way too loud to be connected to a military operation. I get the whole "Pheonix" part, but coupled with the "Rising"? I can't imagine any group running around with such a poetic name, and not feeling totally stupid about it. It doesn't seem to fit with the older setting, given the Axis and Allied forces, and then there's the "Pheonix Rising". It's too ultracool and modern.
7/16/2012 c7 76The Autumn Queen
I like the ending scene of this, because it's a nice balance between suspense and expectancy; by that stage, we're expecting the other shoe to drop, but you've still managed to keep me on my toes, with a good mix between description and action.

I don't like you being so specific about who's where at each stage of this chapter though. It's a little detaching when you have to read through several names before getting to an action, particularly when that can be inferred. It's a little too much "telling" to keep interest there. Eg. [Leo, Roxana, Lizzie and Natalya couldn't share his optimism.] - could just be "the others couldn't share his optimism."
7/16/2012 c2 Guest
Hey there, sorry for taking a while to review this. This looks pretty good. The plot looks well thought out and the characterization is quite good in this. The only thing 'negative' thing I'd say is that the beginning didn't really 'catch' me if you know what I mean (I mean in terms of chapter 1, not the prologue). Other than that, good story.
7/12/2012 c6 The Autumn Queen
I really like the impact that Max's wound has on this chapter. The realistic image of balancing between pride/selflessness (not letting Lizzie see the pain) and having to swallow that and ask for breathers is nicely done. The misaimed guilt and frustration is nicely employed as well; it really serves to solidly hammer in the physical wound. It also works well with the ending, and especially the line "we must attack Phoenix Rising where it hurts". That was a nice touch.

I find some of your sentences in the beginning few paragraphs to be a little long, even broken down with commas. For example, the line [He didn't know what time the sun was scheduled to rise, but the horizon had grown ever lighter, now a brighter hue of blue than the darkness that clothed the team earlier] - simply drags. I'd recommend splitting that one before 'now' and rewording the next bit as "Now, it was a brighter hue of blue..."
5/23/2012 c5 The Autumn Queen
And this one's from the review game. :)

"Not like breathing would have helped, anyway, the tension seemed to thicken the air until nothing usable remained for human consumption." - I think a semi-colon would work better after "anyway" than a comma. Both phrases can stand on their own. Also, I don't think the first comma is necessary at all. This isn't the situation you want to be inviting unwanted pauses into.

"Still, she couldn't but feel like there were no true winners in a battle. There were only varying degrees of loss." - I love that line.

Your dialogue throughout the fight is somewhat questionable - the length, not the content. ""It will have to do," Leo said, charging off down the hallway." - you could shorten that to "It'll have to" and that'll make more sense, considering he's running, she's running and they don't have time for small talk, all things considered.

I rather like the development of the soldier in Roxane here. The interplay between the war-field and the sideline, emotion and the required apathy...and the inter-fighting too. Considering the placement, I can't help but wonder if you'll go deeper into either Leo or Max's perspectives in the following chapter. Max really doesn't match up to the image I had of him at the beginning of the first chapter.
5/23/2012 c4 The Autumn Queen
Spy rat? Cool…and eww. Not exactly murophobic, but they’re nothing on spiders. So cute and adorable…

*ahem* back to fic.

“He drug the woman” – why does everyone type drug? The noun is quite obvious. The verb is administering the drug unless the dictionary’s completely off. Should be dragged, shouldn’t it? In any case, that would flow better with your particular statement.

And more Leo character. He seriously thinks Max is arrogant.

And as usual, we have trust issues at times of war.
5/23/2012 c3 The Autumn Queen
“Natalya Daly sighed, pushing her wire-rimmed glasses back on the bridge of her nose, continuing to scrawl further notation on a clipboard” – I think this line would work better with an “and” after “nose” rather than a second comma. It gets somewhat jerky towards the end. Apart from that, I like how you’ve structured this story. Varying from view to view and yet making it sound completely natural.

“Life had simply ceased. In the search for true freedom, the rulers of the nations had overlooked the fundamental definition of the word” – I love this line.

“determined to figure out just what was going on.

The team walked, cautiously,” – should there be a page-break there?

“followed suit” – you forgot the fullstop there.

“It frustrated Roxana, always preferred to be in the middle of the action.” – “who” instead of the comma Another jerky thing.
5/23/2012 c2 The Autumn Queen
Max’s reaction to Davis seems to change a little too drastically. One minute, he’s grumbling over the fact he wasn’t greeted equally to Leo, and the next he’s “liked him already”. Other than that though, I like the interaction between the team. How we first get it from Leo’s view, and then later from Max’s. He would be a softie deep inside. :) And your technical info - I take it this took quite a bit of research, or else you really know your war stuff. Kudos.
5/23/2012 c1 The Autumn Queen
I like the way you’ve summarised the main points of history into a single paragraph. It’s almost like the few minute introductions one sees before the titles page comes up. Short, concise, and not beating around the bush with details like I have a habit of doing. I did find it rather unusual for the word “villages” to be mentioned. If it stems off from WW2, cities/towns were already established by that time. The way you’ve phrased it suggests the divergence from our world began long before that. Perhaps WW1 era, or pre-WW1, however the brief account suggests it stemmed from around 1944. That’s well after the Union Rebellion in Munich, isn’t it? And wasn’t London in some trouble too? My knowledge of the war is mostly limited to fiction, but Fullmetal alchemist explained the uprising in some detail in the movie which was in 1923 and both Munich and London were definitely there. Also, in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the Pensieves were shipped out to the country because of the effect of the war in London. A minor nitprick though – just a thought.

I thought Russia’s winter defeated the German forces? Leo Tolstoy or something? I didn’t know they were allies. Shows how bad my history is.
5/23/2012 c5 5Whirlymerle

So while I'm going to be reviewing chapter 4, I read through your other chapters so that I know what's going on. Found a typo in chapter 3:

[He drug the woman along as he approached his team] I'm pretty sure the past tense of drag is "dragged"

I really enjoy your story thus far because I can tell it's really well thought out. There's an excellent balance of action and plot. I like how Leo and Max continue their rivalry even when they are in a risky situation—and I like how Roxana makes note of the men's tendency to do foolish, risky things. The women all seem more levelheaded- ha!

One thing I noticed is that your sentence structure seem a tad monotonous. Most of the sentences were on the long side, oftentimes composed of more than one clause. I'd suggest that you try and vary them a bit. Especially during action scenes, I think the piece would benefit from having shorter sentences among the long ones for emphasis. Otherwise though, your wording is beautiful. I look forward to reading more from you.

5/22/2012 c5 4lookingwest
He tumbled down the stairs, lying in a heap on the ground... ["Ground" should be "floor" since they're inside.]

Absolutely LOVED that you had a woman with a gun because that just does not happen enough, even with women in military positions, and the moment with Roxane and the rifle was awesome, haha. Makes me wonder in what year they let women be on the front lines...

Interesting technique of using a third-person omniscient and going back and forth between all the characters in one chapter. I also don't see that done often, so I found it unique.

Even though I don't know the characters or why they were fighting (save for noticing something about WWII and the year 2037 in your prologue) I liked how you had some discord in the squad between Leo and Max. The tenseness of the situation reflected in the way they reacted about Max's leg wound.

I liked your description of all the action in the first few paragraphs, they captured my attention and I think action scenes, especially involving shooting, can be really difficult to pin down and write. You had a good balance of focusing on the setting in the basement, the lights for instance, and also focusing on noise and the action of what was happening. In other words, it had a great balance of different senses, and I enjoyed reading that.

This had a very Saving-private-ryan-in-the-future feel to it, just because I don't know what the mission is, I think, but you did a good job giving every person in the squad a good moment to have some characterization, which is great to do with a larger cast. Your balance was wonderful. Intrigued by this Phoenix Rising idea ;)
5/19/2012 c2 5Whirlymerle
Hi from the review game! So I was really intrigued by the premise of this—I find alternate histories so fascinating.

It seems like you've established four central characters and I like the detail you put into their characterization. I think you've made yours very distinguishable from one another- and I especially like the detail about how Leo and Max have reservations against each other.

That being said, I did not enjoy the way you opened up your story by launching almost immediately into solid paragraphs detailing each character. While your chapter was certainly action packed, I thought there was too much info deposit packed in the first couple of paragraphs.

5/18/2012 c4 1Samsonet
I know it was supposed to be her inner monologue, but I liked how Natalya responded to the 'narration'. The way her thoughts are phrased displayed her character to me really well. While the grammar is mostly good in this piece, I noticed you used the word 'drug' where 'dragged' is the proper word. I may be wrong though. In conclusion I like the premise. It's very interesting to read about. I wish I could write as well as you do.
5/18/2012 c4 5EightxLivesxLeft
I really enjoyed reading this, honestly this is one of the most innovative plots that I've come across on this site- great work. :) I really like the direct way that you write in and I feel like pulling off your plot in some a realistic way, is incredibly. Your narration is so tight that the idea wage of World War II continue on a hundred years seems plausible (would suck about Germany I have a lot of my family there haha).
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