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for Children of Winata

2/6/2011 c23 99Dreamers-Requiem
Good chapter- the action was quite gripping and you built it up really well, made it feel tense enough just before he was about to shoot and I like how you held back on saying who the soldier was until Zared noticed it. Ugh, it kind of annoys me that Zared questioned Will like that - it fits in with his character though, but Zared doesn't know him! He doesn't know what he's been through! But yeah, great way of having tension between the pair. I think you could have built up the scene a bit more, maybe add in some more description of the area, have Zared notice one or two people or even the soldiers if they are around? Just some suggestions. Anyway, great stuff, as always.
1/31/2011 c52 4lookingwest
I think you handled all of that action pretty well, I did get a little disoriented as Tawny was describing but I think overall it worked, and I understood Sheruna was shot because of the last chapter and everything, but I was worried for Lillian there for a bit, definitley. I liked the calling of the Moon Bear, I think that was my favorite part of this chapter, it was just really cool and had a great description when the dogs started coming.

I'm amazed they were able to push them back, but I think you did pull it off as far as making it believable, with enough description and everything, it made sense and I could visually see things pretty well.

Overall-encompassing the entire story, I have to truthfully admit that the only thing that I was never sold on 100% were the nicknames for everyone. It wasn't that it got confusing-I got that, but it never completely settled with me, at least not for Black Dove or Silent One-it just erred on a side of cheesy in some parts-I understand why they're there, and I've even used nicknames, but the heaviness and the fact that almost everyone had one was a bit jarring.

But it's sad that this story has come to an end, especially with the deaths that happened, but I really do like how you created all the characters, and you really won me over with it, I liked it a lot and reading was a wonderful experience. As a whole, this story has woven plots that work well together, the action waxes and wanes and it builds great tension. I'm so glad I was given the opportunity to read this, and I look forward to taking a peek at some of your new fiction as well.

Congratulations on finishing this!
1/31/2011 c51 lookingwest
...where the same liquid flowed freely down.

-Style: I know you might have been avoiding the overuse of 'blood' here, but I still think that 'blood' would work better than 'liquid'

AH! Cliffhanger ending! You built up to it wonderfully. I like how we've brought all these characters together and it was awesome to get to see Lillian again, I'm glad she intended to go out with a bang, I always had a soft spot for her. I think she's always my favorite!

It's interesting that pistols started getting involved in this scene, I just never saw them used as heavily in earlier chapters, but I think it's appropriate here. This V. guy was a little frightening, I thought they were goners for sure. Glad you introduced him, it kind of shows there's a bigger, badder guy than even Max, who they've been fighting with the entire time.

Also liked that you gave both Max and Zeen sounds from their fight, etc. I thought it was very realistic.
1/31/2011 c50 lookingwest
Why are you here?"

-Edit: needs an opening quotation

"...Would you have me wait forever?"

-Great line

Rain sodden, her clothes clung to her skin.

-Enjoyed this detail

Huzzah! Great ending on this chapter. The tension is building!

I liked the descriptions of the warrior woman, I especially liked how you put in description about the setting and the hillside. I kind of wanted more visual of the sea and everything, and the ships, but the scene as a whole was well done and it felt complete. Good chapter, once again, enjoying what you've done with character here, and Will remembering the past. All of the sudden, everything his hearkening back to those first few chapters! I love the ties!
1/31/2011 c49 lookingwest
Home stretch! Woo!

Phew, close call there on that first part. I liked it a lot but I feel it was a tiny rushed as far as the action and could have perhaps supported more description about scenery and setting, I was a little out of sorts there, but like I said, I think it overall achieved what it meant to-and there was a nice balance of tension with Will.

Wow! Wow. I did not expect that with Zeen. I feel like you've finally come full circle with his character-it's great. I was always wondering what happened to his motivations concerning Sheruna and it's clear that he's been hiding them very well, and for a purpose, which was cool. I also liked to see Sheruna again, and the way she's fallen in love with Max, in a way, it's pretty scary.

A favorite line here was "my Sheruna"-something Zeen said, I liked that line because it highlighted how possessive he is, he acts like Sheruna was always his-an object. I don't really like him as a moral character, but I like how you highlighted and brought that in about his characterization here.
1/25/2011 c22 99Dreamers-Requiem
Firstly, I have an essay due in later today but I decided to read this chapter first :P Yay for distractions!

Anyway, I like how this is from Maximilian's POV. You, as always, don't give too much away but show the reader just enough to make them really want to read on. I like how Claire and Sheruna are kind of changing the way he thinks about things like the State and Winata. You show that change really well - it's not sudden, or too quick, it seems to happen at a really good pace. So yeah, great job with that.
1/21/2011 c21 Dreamers-Requiem
Yay for Zared! I've got my fingers crossed that they save Jack. Although, I think you could have maybe made Zared's speeches a little longer? Based on what the length and their contents, I can't see why they would now turn to him as a leader?

The scene with Pan and the soildiers was quite clever, although it was a bit confusing; was it the twins who were manhandling her or someone else? Maybe just make that a little bit clearer?

[The three of them exchanged glances and as if they thought Zared had gone mad] sounds a bit odd, maybe take out the and?

Anyway, great chapter as always; I'm really loving this and I'm very eagerly looking forward to the rescue mission. Great stuff.
1/12/2011 c20 Dreamers-Requiem
As always, another great chapter; the excitment Pan feels over seeing the Black Dove is clear from the very first line, and the scene between them and the baby is veryh touching - it's sweet, and you manage to convey the complicated emotions involved in that very well without having to overstate it.

Zared is an interesting character; I like how he revealed parts of himself to Jack, and the way Jack responded was done well - their interaction was great, and the dialogue was perfect considering what we know of both their characters.

I wondered when Marco's 'plan' was going to come back into it, and Wolf's reasoning for speaking to Pan was an interesting one and believeable for his character :P "I'm not cold" was a great line, and it brings back into the reader's mind Pan's past and the sort of thing Wolf likes to do. Basically, a great chapter as always.
1/3/2011 c19 Dreamers-Requiem
I like how you're interlinking the characters; it's done really well, and doesn't seem forced or just for the sake of the story so great job with that. I love the way you portray the different emotions each character goes through; as usual, it keeps in with what we know of the characters so far, especially when dealing with The Black Dove and Lillian, who is perhaps the most interesting character. Her strong, independent character is convincing, but you can see Jack almost slowly breaking through, and because it contrasts with her independentness, her vulnerabily comes across that bit more effectively.

Argh! Why won't Pan just mention that she knew someone called 'Captain'? It's frustrating! (But in a good way)

And, good on Lillian for telling Jack to do something!

The dialogue is great, especially with the different accents you use and the way you use them, so yeah, awesome stuff there.

The ONLY thing I noticed was [She gave start, wondering if he was serious] which, I'm guessing, is meant to be "She gave a start"? A very minor thing but I felt like there had to be SOMETHING except pure praise. :P
12/27/2010 c52 Tawny Owl
Yeah, I knew will would come good.

One thing to point out though. I think it might partly be a while since I read the last chapter, but coming into this one I felt really disorientated. Maybe don't be shy of using character names alot 9especially because you have al ot of them about) or just repeating where they are coming from. I thought Lil was one of the Cinah's prisoners, and even with V dead would she really beable to run far enough for Zared to grab her?

And I had to double take when Sherunna was shot, at first i thought it was Lilian becasue that was who Zared was holding, and that his legs liquified because her weight was pulling him down. Perhaps let us know that the shooting has started before someone else gets hit?

I liked the idea of Lil going wild and calling the moon bear - when she gets hit though I think she'd still be angry rather than weak. It's not a word that fits well with her. A reiterate that she has run away from Zared, or that Zared has gone to Sheruna. When he does get to her in the next paragraph use her name. I'd be quite interested to know how she feels about her end as well. She's always struck me as a bit weak and whiny. I wonder if she thinks it has all been worth it?

I'm not quite sure how the dogs mobilised to sweep teh Cinah back at the end. It was like the country itself was fighting though. Made me wonder where the magpies where though? It was like they were waiting fro Will to finally pick a side for good.

Black's question about how you define yourself afterwards was what really made the end for me though. I want to know what the answer is for him, or all of them? Maybe if you'res still looking for one of the charatcers to narrate that could be craftily answered.

How do you feel now you've finished? Have a cuppa.
12/20/2010 c52 6Devil's Playground
First of all, I love the opening line. I love the suspense, the structure of the sentence, the use of it as the start to the chapter... it's a great hook and a great line in itself.

And ah, man. D: I really like that you had the sense of relief as V was shot, closely followed by poor Max's death, and then Sheruna. It all happened very quickly, but I think that adds to it rather than detracts from it; I love the fast pacing, it really keeps me in the moment as a reader and makes it seem more realistic and harrowing.

All that chaos juxtaposed with the subsequent silence is also very powerful; you described the quiet really well, I could feel the tension.

"Her last bark ended in a pained, weak scream." - I know it's very nitpicky of me, but I don't really like this line. It doesn't seem very Lillian-like to let out a 'weak scream' like that.

Wow, did not expect the dogs as well. It's a nice twist, and the fighting was nice and brutal, very well-written. I feel like if you rewrite this, though, you should have some more hints about the native dogs and such earlier. I remember you having some focus on them (like with Gleo's dog), but I think you could add more so this seems even more fitting.

"did it matter? He'd lost them both." - This line is so good. And poor Zared. :(

Nice to see Wolf, and I'm glad he's okay! :)

"How does one who has defined himself by his struggle find an identity afterwards?" - Another excellent line. I like the reflections towards the end, and the themes brought up; it calls to mind a lot of the important points that have come up in the rest of the story. I feel like everything is tied together nicely. It's not over-emotional and too-sentimental, which I appreciate. The ending lines are also very, very well done - they're very beautiful and very haunting, and capture the mood very accordingly.

The one thing I would change is that there's no mention of Jack here; I feel like someone should bring him up, or he should at least be mentioned, since he was such an important character and a huge part of everything that's happened.

Overall, I absolutely loved this story. I love the characters, I love the plot, and I love how you ended it. It's bittersweet and powerful, and really left me thinking. It's been a pleasure reading this, and I look forward to your future work. :)
12/16/2010 c15 this wild abyss
Chapter 20:

I really liked the interaction between Max and Marcos. A lot of the time, it feels like you skip the crucial moment in a rising action, but this time you didn't nicely done, with that. And the bit with Claire at the end about her son was great. I think it's interesting how she still manages to keep faith throughout all of this.

Chapter 21:

I'm not quite sure what to make of this chapter. Up until you revealed Pan's identity, I was really engaged in your characterization of the boy. I thought you perfectly portrayed a terrorized simpleton, but now that he is a she, my opinion has changed. To me, it's seems like a neat cliche to have employed, and I'm not fond of the technique. It just didn't seem to live up the rest of the story. I mean, obviously now, Will is going to fall in love with her, kill Max, then ride off into the sunset with his girl. Or maybe she will die a tragic death, and Will is going to lash out at Max in anger. Now, there are obviously other ways of moving this plot point forward, but at this moment, it just seems too neat and perfect.
12/11/2010 c18 99Dreamers-Requiem
I love the way you describe the base, the entrance to it, and the inside, it's really clear to see it all. Great work with that. The interactions, as always, work really well and nothing seems pointless or too much like it could be thrown away - we learn more about the characters with everything they say and the way they say it, so yeah, great job with that. Great scene between Lillian and Black Dove, she's such an interesting character.

Absolutly lovely scene with Will teaching Pan how to fight, I like how her confidence is slowly building and her realisation that she doesn't always have to be the victim.

Just a question - I thought Wolf was heading to a different base? or did I get that wrong?

Again, I have to say that the last scene is written really well - I can see why Jack is weary of her and Will being around each other, and the way he approches it...I don't know. It's kind of cruel to be kind attitude. And, bless, he's jaded after Lillian left him! Poor guy, Anyway great chapters, as always.
12/11/2010 c29 1esthaelum
I noticed this story was finished... So I had a peak at the end to see what would become of Black. Then I saw he doesnt end up with Pan.

*heart breaks*



Hehe. I can tell Lillian is softening up to Jack. Now here's a paring that I love. It's wonderful how he brings out the good side in her. I love it! They both need each other!

12/11/2010 c52 6The Saturday Storytellers
"The details of the next moment: the angle of the falling man, his shirt billowing behind him, the strange coolness of the air, was etched by a sound. A gun shot." I wasn't sure at first whether this was your notes for the chapter, but I think you're simply relaying facts, as if everybody watching was too shocked to do anything but take in the reality of what happened. If that was your aim - it's a good idea! Maybe it just needs filling out a bit so that it doesn't look so much like a 'note to self', but other than that it's a great idea.

Aha, so Will managed to shoot after all. And he picked the right man.

Oh dear. Max...

And Sheruna. Can we assume that, as you've been less graphic about the nature of her injury, she might survive? If she does, there's going to be some major fireworks from Zeen.

"The air was tense, as tense as a bow stretched taut." You're not kidding.

"Their triangular faces met the new Cinah army. Lips lifted to show gleaming white incisors." Definitely incisors? I'm not entirely clear what a Moon Bear is, although if these newcomers are actually dogs then I'm guessing their canines would be of greater threat than their incisors.

My god - an army attacked by enough dogs to be a real problem? Now that's not an ending I thought I'd see!

"All the while, the inlanders froze until their limbs were stiff and their breath came uneven. But no – they remembered just in the nick of time – still, but not too stiff. Stiff was to fight." I don't understand what you're driving at, here. What does this bit mean?

Oh, so the Cinah decided to look relaxed so the dogs wouldn't attack? But why would they know this, and why would so many people on the verge of panic decide all together to look relaxed? I'm not quite sure I buy this.

So Sheruna died after all. I feel that, as you spared her long enough for this scene to happen at all, you might want to extend it a bit. It feels like she was snatched away before the reader could really get into the emotions Zeen must be feeling.

And then we move from Zeen's loss to Will's revelation that revenge isn't everything. This is a very different emotional trail to Zeen's, so I feel these should be different scenes, just to capture the fullness of both their POVs. I'd like to see both done thoroughly - you've gone a long way to lead up to this point.

Aha, Wolf! Good to see Wolf again!

Again, I'm feeling that emotions are flagged up and then passed by too quickly before you've exploited them properly. We are relieved to see Wolf alive (if not well), and then we see Black starting to feel hopeless that anyone'll be the same again after all of this. And he's right, for definite. The warring will change everyone even more than they've already changed, as they readjust to normal life.

That's a point - of all people, Black will struggle to find a new place in society.

I feel that the wrap-up for this chapter doesn't feel quite appropriate, given the fact that it's the end of such a long story. It's evocative, but it feels like the end of a chapter only, and that you'd have another chapter to wrap this story up.

But either way, this has been an interesting story!

- From We Return Reviews.
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