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for Shadow Knight: The Dark Avenger: Book One: The Rise of The Mastermind

11/10/2019 c6 13The Spectacular SpiderDom
Gotta say, Shadow Knight has some badass vehicles. Wonder what superhero he inspired them from. ;)

Wonder what Dark Shadow is planning. Let's hope what he has up his sleeve isn't anything too drastic.

I love the interaction between Kairi and Rene. I can tell those two will be quite a pair.

Some errors I see throughout are capital letters and lowercased letters, particularly in Shadow Knight's name. Sometimes it's shadow Knight or vice versa. Same goes for Dark Shadow.

Other than that, awesome chapter, dude! ;)

~SD321 (SpiderDom321)
10/5/2019 c3 The Spectacular SpiderDom
So, I’ve read this for a while now and at this moment I am only on the third chapter and I am in the middle of the fourth chapter. I do apologize for not reading this in a while because I have been busy with college, Stop Motion, my own original stories and other things.

I am digging the plot of this story so far. Shadow Knight seems like a interesting character. He must have some huge mental issues because the way I imagine this dude laugh is pretty creepy. The way he fights people also shows that he’s got some issues. Wonder what his deal is.

I’m also intrigued by Rene. She seems to be that one person who Shadow Knight respects. I look forward to seeing more of her.

Overall, I am hooked onto this plot so far. I do wonder why it drags out to over 80 chapters but I guess I will have to find out and see. Until then, my friend. See ya next time!

By the way, I hope my OC character, who’s name is Night Shadow, doesn’t cause any confusion with Shadow Knight. Despite having similar names, they are different characters, so I hope that won’t cause confusion.

~SD321 (SpiderDom321)
5/2/2019 c23 7Daniel Affaro
This was a shorter chapter than some of your others, but because this was quite exhibition-heavy, I liked that it was kept brief.

I like that he's starting to put things together, and so far the way he is going about it all is very methodical, which I like. The way the ninjazons' camouflage tec works is also really cool, and I like that it's able to get around his ability to perceive invisible objects.

I have my own theories about what exactly is going on (the women on the dig crew maybe being some of the ninjazons/the CEO of Shogunate Corp. being the Shogun) but as for the how, or the why it is happening I'm still not sure, so I like that there's still a good amount of mystery, and it wasn't all just dumped out at once.

If I had to say one thing I didn't like, it was that SK saw the kanji and was able to remember it because of a photographic memory. It almost makes the inclusion of the camera in his mask redundant. I would have preferred if the mask camera caught a glimpse of the symbol in one frame, and he noticed it on the re-watch. Then the mask camera would have had a story-based purpose, rather than just being a cool piece of tec.
4/20/2019 c22 Daniel Affaro
It's really good to finally get back into this.

I'm interested to see how the kidnapping of Tatiana connects to the Romero murder. SK getting properly involved in it all now is also really good, so I'm looking forward to seeing how things go now. The tec that the ninjas use seems interesting, and I'd like to know how they're able to bypass SK's sensing. If this is anything like DC, where its a case of magic beats everything that isn't magic, maybe this is a kind of sorcerytechnology type deal.

Really happy where this seems to be going and excited to get to the next chapter!
1/20/2019 c21 Daniel Affaro
It was cool that this chapter gave us a bit of time in his regular life, what with him returning home. There was also a good amount of exposition about his past in the Heroes Legion which (not having read any of those stories) I was grateful for and found quite interesting.

It's good that he's now getting involved in what seems to be the main mystery of this story, and I'm quite interested to see how the ninja links back to the first chapter.
1/20/2019 c20 Daniel Affaro
This chapter was a good set up for The Shadow Knight in this story; it showed how he operated well and I liked reading about how he first got involved with Harry Vincent. I also liked how it shows SK's hatred for rapists since, knowing what I now know from the previous story, it's a core part of his character. I felt bad for the girl going along with the plan, but was glad with the outcome. I can tell that this is before SK got a bit more sensitive with regards to how he works; a big part of his character in the last story.

A downside to this chapter would be that I felt like it did drag on a bit too long... I would have preferred if it ended when SK let Harry out of his car, and then another chapter continued the chain of events into its conclusion. I will admit that I did have to set it down at points, but that's mostly due to lack of time on my part.

I look forward to continue reading, and I'm sorry this review was (more than) a bit late.
12/18/2018 c19 Daniel Affaro
I like how this chapter is set up more as a prelude for what is to come. I doubt I'm going to be seeing these characters again, but I like that. It's a nice self contained story and all of them had a good amount of character.

It was also interesting to see this set up more as a horror kind of story.
11/27/2018 c18 Daniel Affaro
This was a nice way to begin this latest chapter, and I really like how it seems like it's going to be framed as a story being told to Kairi. It's a good way of having the story be set in the past, but still keeping with the current continuity, so that it doesn't get confusing.

I was really surprised by how many people seem to know his secret identity, but I think that mostly comes from me starting with this series, and not reading the previous instalments.

I'm excited to see where the story about the past goes, and how (if at all) it ties in with the present.
11/26/2018 c17 Daniel Affaro
This was a really nice and satisfying end.

The reveal that he was still around was something that I expected, but you pulled it off very well.

I also liked the interaction with the girl at the end; it was a nice way of confirming that it is all worth it for him.

Looking forward to the next case!
11/1/2018 c16 Daniel Affaro
That was an extremely intense action romp!

The fight felt suitably brutal, and the twists and turns were amazing. The climax of their shared history came across really well, and tied in amazingly with the chapter title.

At the beginning of the chapter, the scene between Dark Shadow and Kairi was really unsettling. When he just came out and said very candidly what he was going to do, in any other story I would have found it a bit ham-fisted... But here it worked really well. The fact that its been well established that he loves to monologue and just revels in how evil he is gave the scene a lot of good weight, and did a really effective job of informing just how you're supposed to feel about him.

The ending of this chapter I think leaves a bit to be desired. I think I've just read too many of these kind of stories to know that he isnt actually gone, and the fact that I'm only on chapter sixteen also informs this. *However* if I'm right and assume that each "Arc" of this story is intended as a different standalone book, then only reading this one would definitely not have the same effect.

All in all, very well done, and I'm looking forward to reading the next chapter.
11/1/2018 c15 Daniel Affaro
Really exciting chapter! I enjoyed the aerial combat scene very much, and the plan for getting onto the ship was very well executed.

I cant wait to see what happens next, so I'm going to move on to the next chapter right now.
10/26/2018 c14 Daniel Affaro
That was a roller coaster from start to finish. I really like the idea of Shadow Knight using creative means to fight back, without his powers, and the inclusion of the suit was very cool. I got an Ironman vibe from it; in particular the scene in the first movie where he uses the first suit to escape the cave.

The fight with Black Widow was action-packed and intense; the flow of action progressing really nicely. I was a bit disappointed that SK was only saved by his powers slightly coming back, though. It just seemed a bit convenient. I personally would have changed it so that, instead of Alvarez saving him from falling, the fight progressing like this:
SK is pinned to the I beam, with Black Widow on top of him, but she hasn't stabbed him yet. She loves to gloat, and he's defenceless, so she holds her nails to his chest and starts taunting him. Then she's shot by Alvarez. As she goes down, SK snags the bio stick from her and she grabs him by the arm. Then the I beam gives way and she falls, while SK is caught by Alvarez.

Alvarez is my favourite character, and I just felt like it was a bit of a wasted moment where she could have done something really cool.

Another bit of an issue I found in this chapter was that there were some points where sentences were either too long, or a bit redundant. The best example I can think of off the top of my head is:
'As he brought it up to the suit's vocal processors so that he could speak into it, he could hear Black Widow's voice coming through on the other side trying to get a hold of someone to get an update on the situation "Hello? What's happening down there? Is someone going to answer me?"'
It would have flowed a lot better if it was instead: 'Bringing the radio up to the suit's vocal processors, the device suddenly crackled to life. "Hello? What's happening down there?" Black Widow screeched. "Is someone going to answer me?"'
We, as the readers, can already infer that he was going to speak into the radio, and that Black Widow is looking for an update, due to the context. Changing it around just tidied up the presentation and makes for a bit of easier reading.

I really liked the reveal that Dark Shadow cares for Black Widow, and I'm really looking forward to the eventual clash between SK and DS now. The fact that it's personal for them both now adds a really nice dynamic to the conflict.

I also really liked the bookend of the TV clip. I've noticed quite a bit of that in the recent chapters, and it's a really cool running theme.

On to the next one!
10/25/2018 c13 Daniel Affaro
Sorry it's been so long, since my last review, but *what* a chapter to come back to.

At first I was a bit daunted by the length of it, but once I started reading I couldn't put it down.

I'm so excited to see how Shadow Knight pulls through this, and how this is all resolved.

I really liked how the situation has gotten to Shadow Knight; him feeling responsible is definitely fitting and nicely tied in to his back story, and who he is as a character. I was a bit worried about a certain character's fate, but was relieved to find out they'd survived.

One thing I didn't like, that I'm not sure you've done before (but I might be wrong), was the censoring of the word "f#%ing". Your story is rated M, so don't feel like you need to censor yourself. At the end of the day, you're writing this and it's your vision, so don't feel bad about leaving in things like swears.

Can't wait to read more!
9/10/2018 c11 Daniel Affaro
I got so into these chapters that I had to read them both consecutively, so sorry for only one review, but it is of both of them.

The details of SK's investigation were really well thought out, and it was great to see him doing some more detective work. Finding the company supplying Dark Shadow was really well done, and the inclusion of the secret door was so cool and retro. That being said, Essex explaining everything in a video log seemed a little bit like a cheat reveal. The security footage of Dark Shadow, however, was really good. I like the idea that he was paranoid enough to secretly tape him. So perhaps the reveal could have included more of that, rather than him just talking to a camera.

I loved the part where Kairi and SK talked about reading, and generally just the whole library scene was great. And her part in the mystery being explained was really cool. I'd pretty much guessed that was why Dark Shadow wanted her, but getting confirmation was nice.

I also liked the news clips at the start of chapter 10, and Essex's death was gruesome but also surprisingly funny, with the fourth wall break where you address the reader. It was a kind of return to the narration in the first chapter, where it was like you were casually telling a story. Very nice through line.

On the negative side, I didn't much care for the scenes with Black Widow. She came across as way too trusting of SK and quite gullible. Like she just expected him to do what she wanted. I found that it took me out of it as I think until now she had been presented as a legitimate threat. The sex scene I also thought was a bit unnecessary, and a bit of an immersion break.

I almost feel like all of her scenes could have been gotten rid of, as even in terms of revealing details, she didn't really tell him anything more than he had already discovered. It could have been re-written so that she was with the Goons and Essex in the hidden basement and the details of the next attack were overheard. That way she could have still been captured, and if this does end up being a trap it could have been her deliberately saying the information, knowing SK was listening in.

All in all though, these two chapters had me completely hooked. More is revealed, and it seems like everything is going to escalate soon.

I'm really looking forward to reading more!
9/9/2018 c9 Daniel Affaro
Man that was intense. I didn't expect this chapter to take the turn that it did at the end. It was very dark, and shocking.

Again Dark Shadow is extremely intriguing, and the cliffhanger the chapter was left on was very effective. The mystery deepens.

One thing that I will say, though, is that there was a bit too much "fluff" in this chapter. Things that happened that seemed to serve no purpose other than to bulk out the word count. The most prominent example I can think of is SK's conversation with the young "waitress". It could be argued that it showed off his deduction abilities, but at this point in the story we've seen him figure stuff out a lot. He could have just as easily gone up to the room, without speaking to her, and the story would not have been any different for it.

I really like the story, but maybe consider trimming some things that aren't essential, to keep the pace up.

Really looking forward to reading on!
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