|Reviews for Antilla: Tides of War|
| MiroFTW 2/14/13 . chapter 9
Random notes from reading this and previous chapters:
Everyone smiles. And grins.
Everyone runs a hand through their hair. There are other ways to convey nervousness. If this was intended as a mannerism, everyone shares it then.
Enygma, Izzy and Antes really seem like the same character. They have famous fathers. Only Enygma has a chip on his shoulder but he's still on speaking terms with his father, so it can't be all that bad.
All fathers seem to love and be on (generally) good speaking terms with their sons.
I think I realized why sims bother me as much as they do. It's akin to playing video games. There's no tension there - at least not for me. This chapter just seemed to have a "going through the motions" feel. Michan needs to get his head together. Plays a sim. All is good again.
Hoping things picks up soon.
| MiroFTW 2/12/13 . chapter 5
Been a while since I posted here. Everything up to this chapter seems alright. Grammatical mistakes here and there, but those can be fixed with one or two read-throughs.
Up until this point, it seemed as if the book was geared more towards a teenage/young-adult audience. Most of the characters spoke like your target audience and if that's not true, I apologize, but that's what I envisioned. The action, while over-the-top and perhaps better on-screen than in writing, is also geared towards the same audience. I could accept all of that.
And then I read this chapter.
The "race" between Izzy and Enygma, although seemingly innocent, is farcical. Izzy treats it as a pissing match. Enygma, someone who I thought would be a little bit mature, turns out, really isn't.
I understand the need for downtime between missions, even after such an ordeal. But this sim makes little sense to me. The point of such a sim, in my mind, would be to make it to the endpoint in as fast a time as possible. That would also mean making it there. Alive.
If this were a real scenario, and say they were being chased by enemy fighters, and had to enter this canyon run, he shouldn't be proud he survived 5 minutes and forty two seconds. He should be more focused on how to navigate it successfully. Time speaks little of piloting skills if the pilot dies in such a scenario. And yet Izzy is smiling (although this might just be a knee-jerk reaction by your characters :P) at the thought.
It makes flying a starfighter somewhat of a joke. To Izzy, it means just getting a low time. You don't mention how he's analyzing the course, or comparing his flight patterns with Enygma. To him it's just a time score. And his second reaction is to find out how Enygma did relative to him. Pissing match.
The only solace from this is that at least Enygma makes a comment on how it's different from the usual fighters he's used to.
Maybe I'm just missing the point of this exercise. Maybe they just want to blow steam. Maybe they just want to see how many G's they can take before their bodies can handle. In which case, why not just turn the dampeners off and go from there?
Anyways, I'd expect these pilots to take a little more pride in their flying besides a time/score. I'd also expect that they be drilled that staying alive is pretty important, despite how reckless their flying may be. And at the speeds they traveled, it was pretty damn reckless.
The exercise isn't the biggest problem to me really though - it's the way the characters go about this exercise. This only reinforces that Izzy is a hot-shot pilot. I was hoping there would be a bit more, but at this point, he's just pretty one-dimensional. Sure, there's probably a soldier, a friend, a lover, and perhaps even a leader in there somewhere. But he is seemingly doomed to this archetype. There's still some hope in Enygma, but he mirrors similar (imo childish) behavior
The other part of this chapter that I have to comment on is the meeting. The transition is a little awkward and I'd expect a page break somewhere in there. Minor qualm though.
The conversation is mostly as Myles said, "we all gotta cover our asses". But then Enygma makes a profound comment. They can all be enemies on the battlefield the next day. So this would be where Enygma stands up and makes a suggestion as to how to avoid that... right?
Nope. He just stands up and leaves. He brings up a real problem, makes a big fuss over it, doesn't offer a solution, and leaves. Thiiiiiis guy...
Now it's entirely possible that there might not be a solution, but I think that needs to be fleshed out at least a little more. Enygma is a leader and a thinker. Even if he doesn't have an answer, you can show that he's human and doesn't have all the answers, but that he hates this political bullshit.
It'd also give a point to this meeting, because it seemed that they were all just all going to go their separate ways even WITHOUT the meeting. In other words, they accomplished nothing except acknowledge that they gotta cover their asses. A solution would give it some more meaning, but I suspect it might be too hard to come up with one. That's up to the author. :P
Anyways, hope this all helps.
| That'sNotMe 1/6/13 . chapter 3
Another great chapter. I've got lots of notes, some of them rather specific, so bear with me.
The line "probably to blink back the emotion" felt weak. You know your character, you should know what he was really doing. Maybe say instead "he closed his green eyes. If someone had asked, he would say he was just tired, but in reality, he was holding the burning threat of tears at bay." From the rest of your descriptions of him, I really like him, but this line just feels a little like a cop-out.
There's some clunky wording, too. Look out for repetition and run-on sentences and too many prepositions. It can all easily be cleaned up.
I would like to know more about his defection. Perhaps this would be a good moment to remind us of some of the backstory. It doesn't have to be long, and if you're worried about repetition, maybe show us something from the previous books, but in a new light? It's just such a throwaway line, but it could be so much more. What memories are sticking with him about it? Does he have any lingering regrets? If so, what are they? If not, then why?
How does Enygma get in to what I assume is an Alliance military location without any problems at all? Surely intel would know who he is enough that security would stop him. Or is there some sort of upper echelon of diplomacy where they are able to interact with each other? Also, is there more to his consulting Cyrrin than just that Lawson respected him?
I like that Cyrrin isn't a stereotypical military man. Coming from a military family (my dad calls the air force "the family business"), it's refreshing to see a variety in your characters.
Your introduction of Indelli is really good, too. We see her turning these worries and stresses and fears over and over in her head, so it's surprising but still believable when she punches Stenson. Even though I know little about the backstory, that still made sense to me.
I'm still a little confused about Alliance and Confederate forces mingling. Are they on some sort of common ground? Or is there a special political circumstance? It just feels odd for sworn enemies to just be chilling together...
That said, I like the characters and the world, and I'm looking forward to seeing what's in store for them in this novel.
| That'sNotMe 12/30/12 . chapter 1
I like this first chapter - throws us right into the action, with just enough Jace-specific background to make us feel like we know him. Lopez's section was a little short - it felt kind of like a space filler, so we could cut ahead in time about without sticking with Jace. Especially if Lopez is just going to die later. Is there something you can reveal in that scene to give it a specific purpose?
Your writing is strong, descriptive, and interesting - I found it very easy and enjoyable to read for the most part. There were a few things that were unclear about this chapter, which is probably my only complaint besides Lopez's section. Did the corporal kill himself? Or did someone throw those grenades? I'm assuming he sacrificed himself so that Jace would leave him and focus on the battle, but I'm not sure. Also, what happened to Martinez and Lopez? Were they actually shot? The “waiting for orders” line makes it unclear. Maybe include a line about their faces being unblemished or something so we realize it was a hallucination. Or if they were shot, include a line about them falling/bleeding etc.
All that said, I really like the mystery of the Royal Flush. I'm assuming that they have something to do with the unusual tenacity and fearlessness of the Confederates in this battle. Perhaps? :)
| Bamawm 7/26/10 . chapter 1
I really like the tone of the piece. It has a drive and energy that kept me reading. I have reservations about the dialogue as it seems contrived to some extent. The end of the piece is wonderful. Wanted to be there (as an observer)! I would like to see smell and color and texture within the story. Jungle has that and it would add to the context of the drama. There is a rider to that observation that in moments of tension and exhaustion the world can seem grayed out...but that lack (of color) can be highlighted. Sorry this is brief.