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for Angelium: From the Depths

12/1/2014 c7 ReaderNWriter
Ha, the Rahk'Shar's 'Mother of God' moment.
12/1/2014 c3 ReaderNWriter
Really like this chapter and the way that the aliens are making me shit myself.
7/22/2014 c1 Gorilla0132
at first i wasn't going to review this story when i first tried to read it. after a few days i decided i needed to tell you what turned me off with this story.
first off, this review is not intended to offend you in any way. it is just my opinion, and you can take it how it is or ignore it if you feel i'm being ridiculous.
now, i looooved the concept for the story in the summary. instant interest and hook to attract readers. great job on that. now unfortunately, i didnt read past the first few paragraphs. the story failed to keep my interest pretty quickly. because you chose to start the story off with describing some techno spacey elevator. your description of the elevator is so long and exhausting, and i realized that your writing would be alot like that going forward. normally a story pulls a reader in with action and suspense, but instead you went the opposite direction with the elevator description.
i dont know. maybe its just me, but starting a story off learning about an elevator id have no reason to care about is a little off-putting.
6/18/2014 c6 31TanteLiz
Manatee, your battle flow is excellent - this is really a strength for you as a writer. You go through some awkwardness getting there - paragraph, structure, punctuation, and run-ons in the description, but that's editing. Common, consistent error bugging the shit out of me: ANGEL's. An apostrophe followed by an 's' means either a possessive or a contraction, NOT a plural. Should be ANGELs.
So - purpose of this scene... Other than showing us what an awesome, kick-ass thing these Angel suits are, we see Fairburn first being told he doesn't get to play, then he ends up in a super-suit. Accurate? And if it is, what was the point? What did I miss?
How big are the ANGELS, anyway? I originally envisioned them about double Human-size, but if there are several Leviathans glomming on to one at once, are they quite a bit bigger? Or are the Leviathans smaller than I pictured? And are they just out there in space, suitless? You know it's a vacuum out there, right...? Just saying, you're thumping on my willing suspension of disbelief button again. :)
6/16/2014 c5 TanteLiz
Okay, on we go to pick up another member of the crew. I'm getting, more and more, the impression of a world where the form and structure of civilization are crumbling - good image.
Kaon - more of the same initial sound problem, You may want to look at some name changes, especially in characters we're going to see a lot of.
Dude, listen to me right now. If you call a adult female soldier a 'girl' - or *any* grown woman, for that matter - I will personally reach right across this ocean and wring your neck. You go on to refer to the female soldier by her first name, while the males are generally referred to by last name, and then refer to the soldiers in general as 'gentlemen and Miss Yoshida'. As you demonstrated by having Greaves call Matthew 'boy' in the first few lines of this scene, to refer to an adult as a child is insulting and infantilizing - it is used to establish a power gradient. Differentiations like that aren't appropriate *now*, much less 400 years in the future, Get out of the habit, both as a writer and as a man.
6/16/2014 c4 TanteLiz
Reality checks: Why is a sergeant a pilot? Ditto, a cadet? Even in the middle of a battle, I doubt the security of the Black Box facility would fail so spectacularly that a civilian could run right in. And that an engineering student could hop right into a prototype weapon system and intuitively know how to operate it? Even if that student had knowledge of the instrumentation, this exceeds believability. However...
Once again, battle scenes move well, flow is excellent, description is vivid. LOVE the shift in POV to the other side!

NOTE: Carl, Callisto, Callum, Captain, Colton, Kehlrahrn, Krygiss - read your work out-loud and see about making some alterations.
6/16/2014 c2 TanteLiz
Hold on - if the leap through the tunnel only lasts a second or two before it zips its fly back into place, why are they floating around the bridge admiring the view in quantum space? And the liability issues of doing the jump without a *required* strap-down? Oh, I'd love to be the lawyer on *that* case!
In this chapter, I'm distracted by consistency issues like that one. For instance, is there a reason to establish that the pre-fab housing is rickety and unstable? It was mentioned more than once, so it sounds as if it might be significant, even though it feels unlikely (again, for liability if for nothing else) Why would so much time/energy/money be spent on colonies without giving them sturdy housing? Doesn't make sense. A thin mattress (watch spelling, too, BTW) also makes no sense when they can be air-filled, nor does white carpeting. Still seeing (as also in Ch 1) standard imperial measurements (feet, miles) instead of metric.
On the plus side, you've got your protagonist settled in on location. and have established a clear visual.
6/16/2014 c1 TanteLiz
First up - I can't believe I didn't review this when we first talked about it - my bad. And thanks for the shout-out, Manatee, I'm honored!
Nice world building - you've established the time and place and some of the circumstances, along with getting your main character hooked into a central question. Well done. I'm not familiar with Halo or Gundam, so I'm coming at this with a clean slate and no awareness of your sources, but I like the premise.
Name choice - I like it. Carl, meaning man, and Vega, a pole star important to all world cultures, the name coming from the Arabic for landing, as in a bird landing from the sky. Well thought-out.
Character - Carl has no personality per se yet, but it's early. See if you can find a way to jump-start some interest in who he is as a person; that will help hold onto a reader who might otherwise click onto the next link.
Structure - Dude, it's called a PARAGRAPH. Break them up! If you have more than three or four sentences in a paragraph, take a hard look at it and make sure they really belong together. Watch your structural basics in terms of commas and periods - for example:' ...followed McCarthy towards the ship, "It's not a...' the comma after ship should be a period. Several of those in this chapter, go back and take a look.
Description - cut, cut, cut. Seriously - take this first chapter, cut it to the bare bones, then add back in until it makes sense but stays tight. I have this problem, too, which is why I spend far, far longer editing than I do writing.
End cap - Ping! Love ending a scene with a dialogue to thought drop; this one may be a little self-consciously deliberate (i.e., you've just stuck a big sign in the front yard saying 'Mystery on Callisto - Come on in!', but why the hell not? Who says SF has to be subtle?
5/13/2014 c10 26augie.toaste
I was just going to power through this story before reviewing, but I just had to pipe up at this Rahk'Shar perspective and say I was smiling when I read this. So sinister. So cool. The aliens still have my vote so far... the humans don't have their sh*t together at all.

The suits are pretty cool, and your characterization is coming along very, very nicely. I think you could trim some of the fat from this story by cutting out some of the gasbagging between the characters. I feel that some of the dialogue halts the story in favour of world building, which interrupts the flow.
5/10/2014 c15 25Master Chief
OK... so let me just say I read that chapter listening to music that ranged from Gundam to the Dark Knight to Avatar: the Last Airbender... and it rocked.

I'll probably have to reread for grammar and what not, but I enjoyed it. A lot. There's a lot to go over so i'll try to cover it as succinct as possible.

I knew Colton was going to die right after the first joke he made. Kimi too. Gag me with the too-cute banter from them. Huge tone shift for me. I hope you massage their relationship in the next draft.

Kaon was a complete surprise, but he died a good death. I had a problem with Matt issuing out orders, he's a Corporal issuing orders to a Sergeant. That's a quick fix... have him get a promotion or two. Could've happened in the chapter where they returned to earth and met with the council.

Also, the vaunted Angellum team didn't do much in this battle to end all battles. They took out a cruiser, had a few running duels (one of which destroyed the orbital elevator) and that's it. With their power sets, I would have expected them to do much more damage. Instead, they bascially get mopped up by the Rahk Shar's Arc-Angel equivalent.

Actually, despite the pre-battle speech... i didn't really feel like this was as big a battle that you were trying to convey. It was definitely the biggest battle you've done so far... but nothing really happened. It lacked the true epicness of a finale, and it didn't seem to have a point. Defend Earth sure, I got that. But there was nothing beyond that. No goal beyond slowing down the enemy, which after a while, I almost feel like everyone on the TSU side knew there was no way they could win.

Also, there was no enemy perspective here. You were pretty good all throughout showing their perspective. They were faceless, and that took away a lot of the tension for me.

My biggest issue, though, was the lack of an ending to Matt's character arc. He was the protagonist, and I feel like he didn't have a complete arc. When we meet him, he is a natural pilot and brought into the Angellum program. Then he undergoes multiple trials by fire to become the second coming of Amuro Ray, only with no Char to overcome, no personal crucible to face. And that's it! He go into God Mode (which i was half expecting) and take the fight to the Dreadnaught. He basically fails at everything. He lets Colton die saving him. He lets Kimi make the big sacrifice.

And then it ends... To be continued? I'm throwing popcorn at the screen with this Halo 2 ending.

Only Matt is no Master Chief, or Luke Skywalker, or Solid Snake. At this point, I don't see him being able to right the ship and save the galaxy (or at least humanity).

All of that probably sounds really negative, but it's not. You built an amazing universe with characters i care about and the fact that i want a resolution speaks volumes to you as a writer. A part of me just feels like you might have just wanted to finish, and that's cool, but there's clearly more. Do you think you might have written yourself into a corner or was this always the plan? If the latter, how do you plan on finishing the story?

That said, let me say again. I really enjoyed the chapter. It was exciting and written well. But as a part of the whole, i feel robbed. You might as well have gone and switched this chapter where Matt boarded the mothership and fought Dr Dre. Anyway.

What's next? a rewrite? or Chapter 2?

M.C.
3/26/2014 c14 Master Chief
"A good death can serve countless." - Love that line.

The Kimiko/Matt stuff was amazing. I laughed out loud, legitimately. Although I think that scene could've had a much, much better payoff. For one, I had NO idea that Matthew had a thing for Kimiko AT ALL. (I had to go back) There was a little bit in Chapter 8. But nothing that stuck out to me. But, I think when/if you redraft, build up Kim/Matt along the way ending each encounter with one of the awkward double entendre jokes, and then here in this chapter after the final battle have her still leave him high and dry (or not). For comedy's purpose, I think that would be hilarious. As I see it now, the romance seems a bit unearned. Plus the way Kimiko is characterized, she doesn't seem like the type to blatantly seduce anyone. I half thought she was hooking up with Kaon.

I loved the scene with them on the bridge of the Gaia and their first sight of Earth. It's just interesting how they're laying their lives down for a homeworld that not many of them have ever been to. I wish you dove into that more.

It's nice to see who runs the TSU. Not sure why they needed to see the Angellum team in person if all they were going to do is order them to help in the defense of the homeworld... I feel like the same thing could've happened over video conference or something, probably before they jumped back to earth. In my humble opinion, maybe this stuff, the return to Earth and the meeting with the TSU leaders would've been better off happening at the very end of the story - a victory tour of sorts.

I think you can tighten up the characterizations a little more. In later drafts, I'd love to see you flesh out the characters a lot more so they have distinct voices.

Does this mean you're writing one last battle? Or is this a jump off point into a followup?

M.C.
3/12/2014 c6 26augie.toaste
...huh. I must have missed the part where he was a psychopath. I though he was a pretty ok guy. Maybe I just have very lenient standards.
3/12/2014 c5 augie.toaste
This is totally a Gundam story, except Sunrise has stopped producing anything worth watching. Matthew's likable enough - ye olde hero type.

Interesting incorporation of the alien's POV. So sinister. I'm still rooting for them.
3/12/2014 c4 augie.toaste
...or not? I'm sure he's survived by his work or something. Wow, not afraid to play fast and loose with your characters, huh? Should I not get attached to people? Or is there going to be some sort of big reveal/twist at the end?
Ooooooh... a mecha story.
Fire everything. A command I always hang out for. Love it.
I can't tell if I'm rooting for the humans or the Rahk'Shar, who seem pretty darn awesome.

A small error I noticed. Faught should be fought?
3/12/2014 c3 augie.toaste
Losing track of scout ships is always bad news.
Wow, you don't mess around. Chapter 3 and average joe Carl is already in the fray.
And when I call you the Master of Escalation, I'm referring to the last paragraph and the last 3 words. Shiiiiiit.
But our protagonist has survived his trial by fire... I think. ;)
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