|Reviews for Dark Wings Spreading|
| Arrow's Flight 10/1/06 . chapter 1
Whoa! That curse was amazing. I love the lines "Cry, eagles, cry, for your daughter has fallen! Cry, ravens, cry, for your sister is dying!" Great prologue, and I hope to read more soon. Congrats!
I'm BACK! Totally revamped Avalon Tre and feeling special.
'till next review. Adios.
| diamond-dust08 8/13/06 . chapter 4
i actually tried to put a chapter-by-chapter review, but considering that your chapters were quite short and there are minimal things that i'd like to call your attention to, i'd rather put up a general review for all four chapters.
first thing that came to me when i read this one was Aes Sedai. in case you don't know them, they're a group of all-female mages in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, who wore differently-colored robes to signify the specialty (or branch of learning) that they are expert in. also, after reading the first two chapters i was surprised that the chapter structures of 3 and 4 were very much better than the last ones, which tend to be crammed and have whole contiguous blocks of words. there are no spaces between paragraphs there, and worse, responses of a different character is on the same paragraph as the speech of another character, or separate ideas/thoughts/actions are on the same paragraph. i was quite relieved and delighted that by chapter 3 you were able to correct this with neat spacing and separation of differing events, but i regret to say that as chapter 1 and 2 are the first chapters readers would naturally go over, it's not really appealing to have those blobs of letters without a definable division. that means, if you had the time to edit the last two chapters, why not edit the first two as well? (though i understand that FP's alignment system in the document preview page is nothing perfect.)
actually, though, you have a very interesting world, one which is believable in the sense that you can present this 'world' using the that world's denizens' own terms. for example, you use the word "cycles" to mean months, and "Treia eren" to correspond to our 'good luck' or 'God bless'. the calendar is also intriguing, and though almost all fantasy stories employ some kind of a new calendar system (like for mine, it's called Winter Age), yours are one of those that seem to have been really worked and thought out. there's nothing exceptional in it, though, just that i noticed that it's created good, as i have yet to see a calendar that doesn't resemble our own Gregorian in any way. the Elves here go against the normal fantasy tradition of being pure-blooded and generally of one race only. here we see a lot of Elven subspecies: Storm Elves, Night Elves, and all the lot, and they seem to be able to interbreed with other races and their own subspecies as well (just like Wren, who in my mind's eye look like Mirri from Magic: The Gathering). and of course, Elves generally don't have wings, but here we see a bevy of wing styles and wing colors that they possess. this is very jarring a notion for the hardcore and conservative fantasy fan, but i actually find it entertaining as it's the first type i've read. Elves having wings... now that's a good one.
grammar and diction is great; no complaints, because from what i see you do know how to write unlike most of FP's trying-hard wannabes. and as i've said there are minimal errors in the text itself and even those 'errors' seem to be just typos, and all people i've reviewed (yay this is my hundredth review LOLX) know that i hate pointing out typos unless they're so abundant in a story. your writing style is also good, not flashy but very effective, and you seem not to mince words but write them as you'd probably think of it. while this may risk having the narration sound like babbling i haven't seen an instance of this 'risk' in your story so i guess you've been successful in that at least. also, the names you've thought up, while not exactly under the domain of critiquing a writing style, are quite imaginative and appealing, and i like how it sounds. they're pleasing.
the pacing is alright, but there are instances when more elaboration would have been nicer as it gave the story something like "lost time" (alien abduction LOL) or a sequence skip feel. these instances give the impression that the author was bored with what happens next so he/she "skips" the next event and goes on narrating the more interesting scene after that event. although i'm not talking about telling the entire 24-hour cycle of a certain character there should be enough transition, a believable one, that should connect the time bridging what happened before and what happened after. a good example of lost time is at Chapter 1 where Darkraven somehow survived and the next event shifted to her being the amnesiac Traveler, without anything in between. however 'pacing' in its broad sense not only considers the passage of events but how you place these events and how you develop the story. as far as i can say, the scenes in the story are short and quick, almost having a rushed feel, but their distribution is quite even and proportional. generally speaking, it has nice developmental trend, but it does show some holes in it that it'd be probably best to stanch and correct.
characters are by far not the strongest point in this story. even Traveler herself, while the story appears to have been trying to give her a mysterious aura, does seem like just any ordinary girl. she doesn't have any kind of outstanding features, aside from her similarity with a gifted student before (who i am guessing is actually her), and that similarity is only nominal because there was no material that we could use to judge Darkraven's personality-she didn't even do anything but be clobbered by werewolves! Daran meanwhile is also the same, but with much less feature... in fact, the only one with real character here is Wren, with her physical characteristics that set her apart from the rest and her love of dance (and her hate against her roommates, of course). it's all right to shift focus on characters other than the lead, but it's bad if the readers find that the story in fact develops another one more than the main character.
it's just like what a particular frequenter at a forum i go to said, "look at this one, this one is the main character, i like you to like the main character because he's the main character" then suddenly the plot actually develops another who was supposed to be just in a supporting role. this called 'baiting' and it's not generally good unless you have a plot device coming, and soon. XD
as for the plot it's not bad, it's not thin, it's not trivial, but it lacks some sort of spunk or power to it. it's too early to judge at this time but there was a time when i thought to myself, "a missing student?" but smacked my head right after asking that. i would like to remind you that even if the plot seemed frivolous at first the readers would naturally tend to expect more depth to this story rather than just an amnesiac's struggle to recover her lost memories. with the construction of the story and thanks to you, you can develop the plot into many branching avenues-for example, why are the Elves battling with werewolves? why was the Trian Academy built and what is it's darker and truer purpose? stuff like that. there's quite a hooking mystery at the first chapter so i suggest you capitalize on it.
there are sufficient amounts of descriptive work here, but sometimes not enough as you tend to focus more on character interaction and scenes where action is needed more than a lavish painting. a scene where i felt needed more coloring was the dinner hall (chapter 3, where Daran rushed to it after reading about the Water Swirl spell), since it felt drab and featureless compared to the other settings. however, you DO turn out some nice paintings of environment once in a while, of which a good example is chapter 4's garden where Wren first talked with Daran. try to integrate these moments of vivid detail to the other parts of your story and it would shine.
i'll probably cut this short now as i've ranted on and on, but i do so hope that you don't mind an honest review. i tried my best to be detached and objective as possible so that's that.
i also hope that you update soon (and before that edit the first two chapters so it would appeal to new reviewers); i will be making trips here every now and then to see what else you're brewing.
keep up the good work!
| Momo Rhoades 7/11/06 . chapter 2
Interesting ;p. I like the twin aspect alot. My contacts are messing up my eyes and so it was a little hard to follow along. Weirdest comment you'd get, eh? Anywho I won't bother you with the format stuff .* -ouchies- keep going, i like it.
| Troubled Flux 7/11/06 . chapter 1
Interesting. You are weaving a new world, a new reality, with interesting tactics. Keep it up.
| Kinetic Wolf 7/10/06 . chapter 2
Interesting, but more paragraphing would help a lot, nothing else to say i guesskeep it up
| Move Mercury 7/10/06 . chapter 2
The mystery here is very intriguing, and I like that you're not telling us too much. Additionally, I really like the idea of the Deepsea Circle (plus, the name is cool).
However, I think it might help you to try spacing out your paragraphs more. Every time someone speaks, they should have a paragraph of dialogue to themselves.
| Mireille Caelarily 7/10/06 . chapter 1
Good. Creative. Interesting. You have a wide vocabulary and you use it well. The one thing I would recommend is that you include more than just dialogue in the second part. The mood shifts several times there and it isn't very obvious from the dialogue alone.