|Reviews for Morally Ambiguous|
| Demur 4/3/12 . chapter 1
So yeah, I guess I really, really, really do owe you an honest review - though I can't honestly say I've read Morally Ambiguous recently, and have thus forgotten some things worth pointing out - since I was immensely awed by your skill and I am also (shamelessly) dying for a review on my own works (which cannot compare to yours, and so I believe you deserve a review way more than I do).
I don't know what to say. I mean, I believe all the review-worthy things that I have to say have already been pointed out by other reviewers, and then some. I hate to sound repititive, so I shall not do so.
I definitely do not want to sound like one of those whingeing girls who gush over how great a fluffy fic is either, though there is a faint temptation to do so, but... Aw shucks, you're the kind of good that makes me want to give up on being able to write good, ever.
Nodammo, Miss Annoyed, Agnurlin... Heck, even the planning seems to be hitting all the green lights for a great, publish-worthy novel, given that you make some little changes here and there to clarify the focus of the plot. As someone before me mentioned, it really sounds good enough to raise reason for a sequel, and the ending really leaves room to wonder and desire more. It must have taken either a very rich imagination or a great deal of patience and commitment to pull off such beautifully (convincingly) structured characters and rich settings which fall into their places with such ease - something I am hard-pressed to accomplish with the meagre amount of time I have outside of obsessively editing what little I do have down.
What impressed me most, to add on to the grandmother's tale I've just spun, was that you (if the information on your profile did not deceive me,) live in Singapore, where the spoken and written English is so substandard that the crowd drags any talent down before it can become anything of note. Maybe that's just my opinion as a Singaporean student in a Chinese school, but to rise above something so ingrained into language in Singapore is an amazing feat, and one that I've seen only one person in my life so far achieve, aside from myself (and I'm not even that flawless, yet). I know I have a very blatant prejudice against Singaporeans' ability to do well in the arts (I am aware Singapore isn't the only one, but one tends to jibe at one's own country at this age...), and I know it is a rather demeaning opinion to have, but I am sure I'm not entirely wrong, and so I've come to admire those who, despite the obvious lack of a proper arts platform, have managed to develop their abilities so beautifully.
I guess the crux of my review is this:
You command a beautiful talent for writing. Keep doing so, and may the love and talent for the arts never die out, come what may. Wonderful story, thank you for sharing it with us, mediocre FictionPress audience. Now share it with the world! You will hardly go wrong when you aim for (literature) world dominance!
(I sound so much more enthusiastic towards the end...)
| CalliScribbles 3/31/12 . chapter 1
Okay, first off, the tea and cider elementals? Epic. I'm getting to be fond of Jete, and of course the whole thing, what with the theme park, the Nef-Mart, the dreams of cake, is totally epic. Miss Annoyed is a really interesting antagonist - especially as most traditional stories would make her the hero due to the whole "transported into fantasy because she was dying young" thing - and because you can't completely hate her. And of course, I love Victor. How can you not love a thirty foot long smartass that breathes fire?
Brommus and Nodammo should certainly continue on with their journey, especially now that they've helped the Kingdom of Apples onto it's feet. It's not as if they can't visit (privilege of being a wise old mentor who isn't dead) and I think that with the uncle back in charge of the books, things will straighten themselves out quickly enough. It could take a year or so, but at least the fighting didn't last long.
As a girl, I can't even imagine what Arthess goes through with the armor. I'd imagine that one week out of the month she reeks enough that she finds it hard to put up with herself. Now there's an inconvenient curse.
You know, the "heroes" are as faceless as your average villian here, (and given that the company goes to great lengths to keep their organization so, one wonders) but Verra is quite interesting, and Quest(TM) is definitely sneaky. Have you ever read Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones? I think you'd like it, because it's about the exploitation of a fantasy world too. Also it, like this, is very funny.
One must wonder if there is a sequel forthcoming.
| Lost.Luck 5/3/11 . chapter 1
You have ruined many stories that I have both read in the past and am reading now. Great job with this!
Hm... after trying to find something to say... great job! Lol, the only complaints that I have here are:
1. Chapter dividing. On the risk of sounding repetitive, it does make a difference in the overall readability.
2. I also admit that I do see some things that are all too familiar. Not sure in a good or bad way. It's too late at night for me to decide. Maybe I should shut up now.
3. I felt like we didn't get to see enough of Nodammo and what she could do, especially with her being your starting/main perspective focus. Brommus began to overshadow her not too long after he first showed up, the Victor-Jete twist also commanded much of the focus, and Agnurlin didn't exactly do any hiding behind the scene, either.
4. Personally, it felt a bit self-defeating to me to have Nodammo and co. end up being "heroes" after all, and not in the context that the Company uses either! Although it does have a use and say something about the Company, it's not my tea kettle.
Great show of creativity! Loved the tea elementals and grumbling from the wizards about it during the last battle! And probably the most I loved how the villagers reacted to heroes and how oblivious the heroes seemed to it! I honestly loved the Dank Dark Tower of Doom and Despair, just a great name! You are obviously dedicated to your writing and it shows very much and makes me feel all nice and fluffy inside! Great stuff coming from you, keep it up!
| Violet Sarblew 4/22/11 . chapter 1
...There are no words to express just how fucking EPIC this story is.
No words at all.
Incredible job, Lccorp2. INCREDIBLE job. You are truly a storyteller of epic proportions.
(Between you and me, my favorite part was when Story spoke to Miss Annoyed. The realization part...that was amazing.)
| Wings of Fenrir 1/21/11 . chapter 1
Wow. I don't know what to say.
This is amazing. Breaking the fourth wall, tearing down conventions? Amazing.
| dragonarya 12/29/10 . chapter 1
That was a wonderful story.
I don't even know where to start- the characters were all terrifically developed, all empathetic, the writing and expositing through speech was great, and it was all so funny! Butler-space, dragon kibble, tea and apple juice elementals... All of it had me giggling.
Halfway through I started wondering why this wasn't published, and I can say with complete, 100%
certainty, that this story, and you sir, deserve to be published.
The best compliment I can give you is that, and that in my mind you did everything perfectly: created memorable characters and a memorable story mixed perfectly with a brilliant parody.
| Will of the Wood 10/17/10 . chapter 1
I really liked this story. Suspended myself in it, lost track of time and stayed up all night to read it from beginning to end.
I shall be thinking about it in the future.
| qyqihotmail.com 10/8/10 . chapter 1
Now, seriously, why are there so few reviews for so fine a story? It simply doesn't make sense. I mean, there are some crappy fanfics that managed to get over 30 reviews when their content is just basically two men gaying out together.
And surely the length of the story merits some credit at the very least? After all, many authors simply lose interest in their half-written stories and allowed it to fester and rot in fictionpress. It gets kind of annoying after a while.
Moving on, I would like to suggest that the story be broken down into small chapters. Not the chapters in this current format, but rather, you know, the little button you can press in order to bring you on to the next page AKA next chapter. After all, people get pretty put off when faced with that huge, really HUGE, chunk of text. Besides, it makes it easier for bookmarking purposes.
All in all, it's virtually flawless . It's evident that you have placed plenty of effort crafting this lovely story. Thanks for providing a few hours of great entertainment!
| dizzy fire 10/3/10 . chapter 1
Whew, took me a few days to finish this. Overall, I think it was time well spent, and I figure I owe you a review in return.
Like I said, I enjoyed reading this story, but the fact that it was novel-length and that you're obviously a dedicated writer - well, it got me thinking. Would I still have enjoyed your story if I had bought and paid for it as a dead-tree book? And, you know, I don't think I would. I don't think I would have bought it at all in the first place.
At first glance, "Morally Ambiguous" is a parody of bad fantasy tropes. Fine with me - not groundbreaking, but has potential for originality. Looking more closely, however, it's more of a... well, more of something that straddles the thin line between Discworld homage and Discworld ripoff, with added bits of Diana Wynne Jones's "Tough Guide to Fantasyland". While reading, I rarely nodded and thought, "Oh right, I remember a crappy book where something like that happened." Instead I nodded and thought, "Oh right, I remember Pratchett's piss-take on this." Everything felt familiar - Fairbanks was Lancre with a little of Sto Plains thrown in (with the apples standing in for cabbage); the bit with calculating the exact odds on a chance I've already seen in "Guards! Guards!"; the whole idea of a company that sends people on fantasy quests is of course taken straight from Diana Wynne Jones... I could make a list of Discworld and TGTF tropes and plot points, but then the review would be even longer than it's already shaping up to be.
Even worse than that, there were places where you borrowed a little more than just a concept. Observe:
/"So the hero Siegfried went up, and in an utterly narcissistic fit of egotism lopped off the dead dragon's head, adding illegal possession and trafficking in parts of an endangered species to his list of crimes [...] in addition to breaking and entering, extortion, burglary during the night, murder, kidnapping, outraging the modesty of a young human woman-if you'll remember the virgin tied to the stake-and plenty more. Still, he managed to get away with all that and be universally loved by people within his silly little generic kingdom, which only goes to show what depths of self-absorption, criminality, and general sociopathic behaviour you can be forgiven for if you're a hero. That's enough for this morning. It's already light outside; you should be asleep by now."/
Now, where did I read this before? Oh, yeah, Terry Pratchett's "Hogfather":
/'...and then Jack chopped down the beanstalk, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and trespass charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks inconvenient questions. And now,' she closed the book with a snap, 'it's time for bed.'/
This isn't homage. "Rince's Essential Wizzard's Guide" is homage, and a rather clever one at that. The passage I quoted is, sadly, quite firmly on the plagiarism side of things.
There are other, less damning issues with "Morally Ambiguous", the biggest one of which is that you tend to hand-hold your readers too much. In the passage about the hero Siegfried above, I snipped a predictable, unfunny and didactic passage comparing the hero to Victor and pointing out the former's hypocrisy (overexplaining really ruins the joke). In other places, Nodammo gets chewed out for acting like she's the centre of the universe, when she's doing nothing of the sort, just because you want your reader to know that creating Author's Darlings is BAD. Think of it like this: the Discworld books parody many things (fantasy is but one of them), but not every line is an extended Take That against genre tropes. (Well, the first two novels *are* kind of like that, but there's a reason why most people consider them to be relatively weak.)
I'm re-reading this review, and it sounds like I hated your story, which I really didn't. I rather enjoyed it overall, although the homage-cum-ripoff parts were annoying. You obviously have skills and dedication, even if your ideas could maybe use some working on. Hey, if you want to write an original parody, how about parodying Pratchett? You seem to have *his* tropes down pat, after all.
| TG 9/15/10 . chapter 1
''Kittens had to be eaten...''
KITTENS, NO! Take all the heroes, torture and kill them in most imaginable way but LEAVE THE KITTENS ALONE! WHAT DID THEY EVER DO TO YOU! T_T
Otherwise, (to quote Miss Annoyed) fukkin EPIC!
Nyah nyah nyah nyah... *regains dignity* Yeah, good story.
| Dryad7 9/13/10 . chapter 1
This was a very enjoyable story. In order to make it easier to enjoy, it might be nice if it was divided into chapters.
| Erisah Mae 9/3/10 . chapter 1
This was just epic. Loved the Tea Elemental.
| xXbunnyholicXx 8/29/10 . chapter 1
Wonderful. The blend of fantasy and parody was very refreshing, and the stereotypes of heroes and whatnot really made me laugh. Victor and his logical (yet sometimes brutal) thinking was very...humane? Should I say? Probably my favorite character. Jete and her mischievous ways made me laugh too.
You put just the right amount of humor in this, yet twisted it to create a satisfying plot as well. There was no major romance, no 'OMG! TOTAL FAIRYTALE ROMANCE THERE!' That was a relief. (Do you know how many stories that are this long have some major romance and completely mess up the plot with "THE POWER OF LOVE!" or some crap like that?)
The only thing that almost put me off was the length. It would have been better to divide it, since some readers get put off if its too long. But I'm glad I followed through.
If you ever get this published, I am so buying it. Keep writing! You have a real talent and cleverness for it.
| Cinnia Aine 8/25/10 . chapter 1
It took me quite a while to read this story, but I'm glad I did. It's the perfect combination of Fantasy and Parody. I loved the humor and the plot and I really liked the way characterization was handled. Morally Ambiguous made me a little bit sad in the sense that I recognized far too many of the fantasy stereotypes that Quest(TM) used. That being said, I liked how the characters fought the stereotypes. Thanks for writing the story. I've been inspired to make changes to my own prospective Fantasy stories and research a bit more before I write a story like Quest(TM)'s. If there's a sequel to this, I'm looking forward to reading it!
| Timpani 8/24/10 . chapter 1
This is amazing. I read all of it in two sittings (do you realize how bleeping long that took?) and it was entirely worth it. There were some plot elements that lost me, and it moved extremely quickly. The humor, however, more than made up for it. Love how you managed to throw in some seriousness and character-fleshing while staying ridiculously clever. And I am GLAD there was no major romancing here. I get sick of it.
I wonder, though, why you posted all of it as one gigantic chapter. Too lazy to separate them?
I'm going to go read your other stuff now. (: