|Reviews for Oddest Sea|
| Jave Harron 6/6/10 . chapter 8
I have to say, I really liked this one. Tarsby was one of my favorite characters, and it's good to see him develop a bit. The battle was cool, with the motley army assembling and fighting. The magic dolphins were particularly cool to me. The chapter was well paced, and glad to see some development all around.
| Jave Harron 6/6/10 . chapter 7
This chapter seemed a bit slow paced compared to your others. The zombies seemed kind of lacking, and the villains might have employed some better tactics here.
| Jave Harron 6/6/10 . chapter 6
Okay, a nice fast paced chapter. Getting some vibes of "Armada" here. Still, I hope we see more of the Conch club. They were fun. I think the Diemans needed a bit more description, given as we haven't seen them before.
| dreamshell 5/29/10 . chapter 7
Well, not my favorite chapter, but nautical zombies are never a bad thing.
| dreamshell 5/16/10 . chapter 6
This was a good, jam-packed chapter. I liked a lot of things in it; the sea elephants, the chamortoise, the fights, seeing Vermillion and Rayne again, the Conch Club, Old McGill, and the descriptions of Sea Shanty Town and its denizens. It reminded me of the flavor and diversity this setting has and made me think of Armada from The Scar. Another thing it-and this whole series-vaguely brings to mind is that Cartoon Network show, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. I also enjoyed seeing Pliny becoming a more able swimmer and a braver, quicker-witted member of the crew, and the quiet moment he had reflecting on his parents.
Smithy could’ve been introduced/explained a little more, as well as the Diemans in general. They’ve been mentioned before, but I don’t really know what they are outside of another gang of pirates. Maybe I missed something in an earlier chapter…
More just me being curious than a writerly concern, but what do your sea monkeys look like? Actual aquatically-featured simians or something else? Just wondering. I also thought the sea elephants might reappear or be of some use somehow, but I guess not. Maybe they’ll pop up again in a future chapter.
| dreamshell 5/10/10 . chapter 5
Interesting premise, if also vaguely reminiscent of certain elements from the Pan chapter of The Governess (an island, clockwork such-and-such, and prolonged life, though I’ll admit I’m quibbling on more or less all of them and it’s not really a complaint). I wish the villains would come off as more of a legitimate threat, though; the Blackcoats are kind of laughable at this point. The most compelling part of this chapter was the description of the island itself, as well as its inhabitants, and Dr. Wizzenstein’s backstory. And Tarsby’s comment to Pliny was, uh… yeah…
There were a few distracting typos here, like once or twice where the wrong character’s name was in the place of the another’s ("Pliny" where it should have been Tarsby and "Grim" where I believe it should have been Od.)
It was also a bit confusing at the start when the Fancy crew was first evading the Remora and then, out of nowhere, the Holy Navy ships are brought up. At first, I thought it was another typo or the remnant of a rougher version of the chapter you'd overlooked.
| Jave Harron 5/8/10 . chapter 5
I really liked this chapter here! The action was pretty nice, I liked the clockwork island, and I liked the pirate hunter and the friendly mad scientist. Still, I think the battle scenes were a bit brief, and some could have used more detail. I liked Pliny actually fighting (a bit) and seeing more of Tarsby.
| dreamshell 5/4/10 . chapter 4
Well, this had some cool Norse mythological stuff, which I love (you might think I get that from Jave, but actually it'd be more accurate to say he got that from me). The setting and some ideas, like the coldbows/frost cannon and riding giant wolves, were all great.
However, I'm disappointed there wasn't more of the Jotuns, especially since your initial description of them was so enthralling. As well, the "Aesop" of this chapter was really heavy-handed (if also mostly well-written and a legit message), and probably helped to make Pliny even more unlikeable to me. Od's backstory leaves a little to be desired, but I guess I'm more or less satisfied with it. Again, though, the ending felt rushed.
I hope you spread them out if/when you reveal the stories behind the rest of the Fancy crew. The idea of them following too soon after one another irks me for some reason.
| dreamshell 5/1/10 . chapter 3
The descriptions of Asadullah were very vivid; I could imagine it quite well. Likewise, the shellman Ali, the Marids, and the Spartoi caught my interest. Nice use of different mythologies.
At first, I was obviously confused about why or how Pliny was on the palace/ship, but you eventually revealed it and it was actually pretty nice in retrospect not to get everything revealed to me upfront. Keep that up.
I’m glad the plot of the vizier and the Greeks became sort of moot with the release of the Eight-Limbed One, since it really wasn’t that interesting or secretive. Though I wish something more had been revealed about what the hell that eight-limbed thing was, as well as the others who came for it.
Also, the very end seemed a tad bit rushed. I would’ve prefered slightly more resolution with Pliny and Yasima. And, similarly to the Eight-Limbed dudes, I really wanna know more about Ali and what he/it is.
| Jave Harron 4/28/10 . chapter 4
Okay, I noticed a bunch of typos in this story, but I'm always a sucker for Viking things.
| dreamshell 4/28/10 . chapter 2
Again, an edit would improve this, but it is a pretty damn fine chapter on it’s own.
Pliny is still the weak link in the cast to me, but at least he was pivotal in the battle’s outcome. I think if Pliny (and related characters) developed into less overt scaredy-cats as a whole, I’d have less of a problem. The thing is this character type always turns more courageous by chapter’s end (which is good), but then seems to revert to their aggravatingly faint-hearted self by the start of the next one and has to rediscover their innate heroism. This repetitive arc can get tiresome if it goes on within the same series for too long.
Anyway, cool premise, great descriptions of Barabbas, some fun battles and banter between characters. The Yahoos were neat, though I was a bit disappointed they didn’t get a callback like the Bloodvine and Rocs did (each of which were also very cool). Ruthven and Vermillion were interesting additions; I wonder if we’ll see them again. I also hope more light is shed on the pasts of the Fancy’s crew.
| dreamshell 4/27/10 . chapter 1
Well, “Cripes” rubs me the wrong way, and I’m wondering similarly to Jave why you keep using the same young boy character who’s, honestly, kind of hard to like and I don't think ever really the main attraction of a series, especially when he’s rehashed into virtually every one of them you write. Likewise, the savior-victim dynamic you recreate a lot of the time (often with the aforementioned boy as the victim in need of rescue) is a bit worn-out. But despite these (really minor) issues, the premise and supporting characters are very endearing. I like the dynamics Burns and his crew have, as well as the Jolly Codfish owner(s), and I’m curious about the different factions of the Oddest Sea the Captain (clumsily) brought up.
I agree with the other reviewer about Pliny taking the news of being marooned in the Oddest Sea a bit too well too soon. Then again, everything he’ll miss is referred to indirectly, so it’d also be a bit hard to care about any of that if he was sad about it. I dunno, maybe an opening or flashback scene with him and his uncle together or something would help. Was his uncle even with him on the shipwrecked yacht or was he on his way to meet him? That was never very clear to me.
Snit and his goals sound reminiscent of the baddie(s) in the first chap of The Voyages of Cpt. Sullivan Dice. Still, a colorful character and some nice body horror there with the Sea Spider erupting out of Snit’s, um, everything. Though I have a little trouble suspending my disbelief when a monstrous spider-thing can take a Viking battleaxe like it’s nothing, but then gets pwned by some kid’s flare gun.
But yeah, a pretty cool setup. I’ll definitely read more.
| Jave Harron 4/25/10 . chapter 3
I loved the different threads going on here: Political intrigue, the artifact in question, the fun variety of challenges for them to face. Hopefully, we can see some more of the Neocadians.
| Jave Harron 4/15/10 . chapter 2
Cool creatures, pirate-viking action, and fun action scenes. The Rocs were very cool.
| Halcyon Nights 4/9/10 . chapter 1
I don't usually review stories on fictionpress, but this is one of the few stories that demands a review.
I love the setting. The way you can mix pirates with floating dolphins and Tarsby is exciting, new, and refreshing from what I usually see on this site. The descriptions are rich and the world you're trying to portray can easily be seen in my mind while I'm reading. Such things as the clothing, and the way you describe the inn and pirate ship show that you really put a lot of thought into the settings. As for the pirates themselves, I love the dialog, and how each one of them is clearly different and unique.
In terms of grammar and spelling, I only noticed one error, where Pliny is introducing himself and says: "I guess I'm knew here."
My only concern is that Pliny seems to accept his arrival in the Oddest Sea too quickly.
"He had friends back in New England he would never see again. There was his uncle too, and his parents' grave, and a few favorite teachers. And there was no way he would inherit the family business now, or find any kind of decent career. But beside all of those hardships, Pliny felt a tiny glimmer of happiness to be free and lost in this fantastic new ocean."
I think it would have been a bit more realistic if there were a longer transition between Pliny arriving in the Oddest Sea and actually accepting that he was there. But that's just my opinion, and all things considered, it's a minor concern of mine in an otherwise fantastic chapter.
I hope this story is updated soon.