5 Reviews Found

Review #1, by water_lily43175 

9th December 2015:
IT'S ALL GOING TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET and my brain has turned to mush so I can't write proper reviews but I CAN'T STOP READING. Oh well, at least you'll find it easier to reply to these one liners.

Author's Response: You're super right, I'm not making an enormous dent in my reviews. :-D

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Review #2, by Whimsical Diva 

16th July 2015:
Ugh - Lockett's so dodgy that I wouldn't put it past her to have been the one to have first created the initial Phlegethon(sp) plague, followed by Eridanos and Lethe, just out of academic curiosity, and then found the cures for these as well. Astoria's another one who's always been very shady, more so than Draco.

I'd also be surprised if Geiger doesn't have some sort of counter-mechanism against the Invisibility Cloak, especially after what happened on the Naglfar. Also, I'm surprised Thane/Scorpius didn't kill Geiger when they got the chance to do so - or am I missing something here. Part of me thinks Albus is going to be rumbled - then again, the Thornweavers aren't too bright, so maybe he'll get away this time around as well.

Update soon?

Author's Response: Lockett has her various messy priorities and desires - and emotional disconnects, you're not wrong. I don't know if Astoria's been more SHADY than Draco, it seems rather cut and dry that he was associated with the worldwide terrorists. Astoria's just been way more mysterious.

Did I cut a scene from the Naglfar fight about not killing Geiger? Oops. In summary, Thane would have wanted to, Matt and even Albus would have opposed it (maybe Rose if she'd been compus mentis) and, wanting to get out before possible reinforcements, Thane wouldn't have pushed it, so Geiger lived. The team may live to regret it.


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Review #3, by RelentlessFire 

16th July 2015:
Oh oh no! That's very bad! Eva, Albus, Selena and Matt are all in deep shit! Update soon

Author's Response: The absolute deepest. :-D Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #4, by whykay 

13th July 2015:
I do not trust Astoria. At all. So only Rose and Scorpius are good now - they may really find reinforcements to counter the Thornweavers. So, is England also out?

Now, we will know the real stakes in the game.. I hope.

Author's Response: Everyone doubts poor Astoria. England isn't out, though I can see why you think that (it's weird, it never occurred to me as something to clarify when I was writing; guess this is what a second pair of eyes can do!). It's just one team striking at Matt and Selena.

Stakes only get higher from here! Thanks for reviewing.

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Review #5, by Manila_traveler 

12th July 2015:
It's been quite a while since your last action/adventure sequence, so I guess you're expecting this chapter to elicit a positive response. And wow, you're kicking off not one, not two, but three sequences in different locations and with different pacing (for lack of a better word)! You already had me exclaiming "Finally! Finally!" in my headspace at the end of the first scene, and now I'm eagerly anticipating what comes next.

I don't think I've given a review on how you've executed these sequences thus far, so here goes.

- When it comes to describing the setting, you were better at fleshing out organizations in Anguis, but you're doing a better job of sketching out Places with a capital P in the Stygian trilogy. I do agree that if you had to flesh out just one of the two, your choice was the one that suits the narrative in both series; but if I were to give you constructive criticism on this subject, I'd say that you have more room to improve on developing the first skill.

A couple of negative examples:
World-building an organization - The IMC in Niemandhorn. Even if Rose and Scorpius had a specific objective in going there; I couldn't help but compare this with Harry's elevator ride in OotP.
World-building a place - Moscow in Falls the Shadow. For me, Dimitri was the only one who gave the setting a sense of "place".

- In the Stygian trilogy, I think you've done a great job in plotting out the action/adventure sequences and with two exceptions, all of them hooked my interest. And considering you're in the third story of a trilogy already, it's a testament to your writing skill that most of them are memorable and distinctive.

One reason why I like your action/adventure sequences is that -- particularly in the best ones -- the setting complements the narrative really well. Some examples which I like: Brillig, the Judgment Hall (as I like to call it), the Three Broomsticks. I really like the setting of the dementor attack in Starfall -- I picture a rocky desert whose barrenness is a source of despair in itself.

The two sequences that I didn't really like: Tomar, the first Ager Sanguinis skirmish (where Scorpius killed a man for the first time) and Selena's rescue. Apart from the cleverness of Scorp's gambit, his 2nd confrontation with Thane is pretty meh as well.

- Speaking of cleverness, your action/adventure sequences haven't really featured an inventive use of magic. (Well, Scorpius holding the Chalice as he fell through the Veil was instrumental to his resurrection, but that couldn't have been intentional on his part.) It's not that your characters aren't clever (I particularly remember how Rose and Scorpius got Harley and the house-elves to help out)... perhaps it's just that your characters haven't been "matched" with an artifact/spell that can draw that out?

The most we've seen is Selena taking a third option by stabbing the Chalice guardian with Matt's Templar sword. Scorpius blasting the door of the Headmaster's Office would qualify if it had been an action/adventure scene. (Does breaking into the Office count as an adventure?)

I don't know if the narrative you already have in mind can feature this, but if you will, well I'd be pretty interested.

Wow this has been pretty long. Anyway, thanks for continuing to share these stories with us, and even if the cliffhangers aren't as dramatic as others have been in the past, well, the wait between chapters is becoming cruel to bear once again!

Author's Response: I'm inordinately excited by a review with critical elements, it's ridiculous. :D Yes, Oblivion's pacing hasn't been everything I wanted it to be (I'm learning lessons on PLANNING in writing this story), however from this point I think we're through the worst of the turgid emotional elements and it should be pretty constant Stuff until the end. I've had a few too many balls in the air for this story; I felt obligated in Starfall, with all 6 characters together, to stop and give everyone's reaction to everything. I'd thought splitting up my plot threads in Oblivion would let some characters/plotlines take a backseat for chapters at a time (like how Selena and Methuselah weren't a presence in every Ignite chapter). Somehow it's not worked out that way! So that's a pest, but it should A: Be better from here on in the story, and B: Be better in future stories (I have plans, oh yes).

Anguis required the characters to LIVE with the horrid things going on; Stygian has them moving around and tackling them, so the different emphases worked for both stories. BUT, yeah, there are things I'd do different with my time again with Anguis (it has been 3 years). And in upcoming stories more like Anguis, your points are noted.

I've learnt a lot about depicting places since I wrote FTS, especially early FTS. Moscow was not one of the high points.

Niemandhorn - weeelll, there's a reason it's been introduced as it has, but that doesn't mean I couldn't have made it more fun/dynamic. Noted.

The fight in Ager Sanguinis, first time, was one of those things which didn't quite translate from my head to paper as I imagined. Unhelpfully, I'm not sure why. Tomar - UGH, Tomar, I have never had a more difficult sequence to write than Tomar. If I had my time again, Portugal wouldn't have even happened; I would have just expanded Ager Sanguinis somehow. A lot of my story planning can consist of, 'Go to X, do Y.' And often that works; as I write more and get closer, more ideas appear, and when I sit down to do it, it comes together. Brillig's a fine example of that. 'Zombie Island!' says Slide at conception, and then it became more as time went on. Tomar, however, did not come together. I got to Tomar and I had NO IDEA what was happening. So I, uh, Michael Bay'd it.

I suppose I've had powerful displays of magic - Rose with her shields against the golem-dragon is one of her more outstanding moments, and Al and Scorp shone in their aerial battle - and some moments of grit, like Scorp and Rose escaping from the Rabbit's Foot, but you're right, not as much Inventive magic. We might see more of it in the upcoming sequences. ;) Amusingly, Scorpius blasting the doors open was a completely useless contribution, an Alohomora would have done fine!

Anyway, this has been a brilliantly helpful and wonderfully insightful review! I must say I don't really disagree with any of the criticisms you've levelled, and I'll continue to try to tighten things up. A lot of it boils down to bad planning on my part; if I rush less and plan sequences better, it's easier to be inventive rather than just going, 'Oh God, what happens now?'

Cliffhangers may become crueller soon. *cough*

Thanks for reviewing!

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