|Reviews for The Armageddon Scrolls|
| Dwynwen 5/9/13 . chapter 24
Charming's alive! Yes!
"Who was that woman, Charming? You knew her?" Prince Charming's eyes filled with bitterness. "I thought I did. - OUCH.
I really, really like Eric. Can't wait to find out what his secret is.
Nixia's faith in Wan Ting is...scary, to be honest.
For twenty years, she had served under the magician genius, who, despite his occasional quirks, had never been truly vulnerable. Vincent's weakness was intoxicating to her. - She sounds completely infatuated.
Let's hope Wan Ting doesn't return.
| Complex Variable 4/30/13 . chapter 3
Hmm... Starting this chapter off with dialogue feels a bit too sudden of a transition, IMO. If I were you, I would establish the "later that night" setting with a sentence or two about the setting, then the dialogue.
I mean, ["You should be sleeping," Eric chided, as he entered the prince's tent later that night. ] feels kind of like it's written backwards, you know?
[ Dressed in white linen, the soft white light that glowed from the prince as he made the preparations for his guest caused an involuntary gasp from Eric as the former turned colourless eyes toward the latter.] - - - Messy phrasing. The [Dressed in white linen] just dangles uselessly off the beginning of this poor, slightly-overwrought sentence. There are more curt, elegant ways of saying that PC is effectively a human glow-stick.
[The knight walked in. "There's a long march ahead tomorrow."] - - - Déjà vu. O.o
["Fire away, my prince."] - - - Weird. [Fire away] is a very informal idiom, whereas "my prince" is a very formal idiom. They don't really mix—at least, as I see it. :3
[bubbled in playful protest,] - - - Don't need that comma.
This is just me being bitchy, but, I think you could have a more elegant section break than [BREAK]. xD
["Look at me! White as snow! This isn't me. This is something else entirely. I am not this person. Why am I awake at night? The truth is, I couldn't sleep. Do you know how hard it is to sleep when light shines out from under your skin?"] - - - I feel like you should punctuate this line of dialogue with narrations of PC's motions, body language, and expressions, etc.
[Prince Charming shook his head. "You misunderstand me. I'm glad I'm alive. But coming back to life means I've already failed once, haven't I?] - - - I would but the "Prince Charming shook his head" AFTER "haven't I?"
"Worth it."] - - - Keep these in one line, in one set of quotes; new lines mean new speakers, and that's not the case here.
There could be more descriptions of the army traveling, and of the landscape, etc. I get that it's hot and sunny, but, that really doesn't satisfy me, you know? I mean, you give more description of the refugees than of the army. x3
[The Ghost Council had hinted most unsubtly that numbered among the Deathly Powers was one that the prince dared not face.] - - - Awkwardly phrased.
[Return to your humble demesnes] - - - Bad use of the word "demesnes". Used in the archaic sense, it would be correctly placed here, but, the overall language you've used so far is much too modern to allow for that meaning. Thus, "demesnes" has its contemporary meaning here, which refers to landed estates. And, I shouldn't need to tell you: peasants don't have estates. xD
Okay, so, I have mixed feelings about this chapter, especially the first half of it. I like that you're investing the time to develop PC's character like this, however, it feels to sudden, happening where and when that it does—and for several reasons. 1) Since the conflicts that developed PC from his initial state occurred in TBN (and since that work is currently in limbo), treating this as a "stand alone" feels awkward; even taking it as a sequel, it feel like you're assuming that the reader has more exposure/knowledge of this character than they do if they just read this story, and not its predecessor. 2) Scene-wise, the sincerity and "closeness" of the scene with Erica and the Prince feel too sudden of a departure from the tongue-in-cheek mode of the previous chapters; it doesn't feel believable. Maybe putting the first half of this chapter BEFORE the declaration of war would work, or, putting it off 'till later in the story, when the "I'm-not-really-a-savior" guilt builds up to critical levels in PC.
Also, mysterious ending, much: [That night, one of the soldiers felt around his neck to realise that the lock of hair his lover had given him had disappeared. Despairingly, he spent a sleepless night turning over every inch of his backpack, even going so far as to retrace his steps around the darkened camp. He gave up the search at last in the morning.] :o
| Complex Variable 4/28/13 . chapter 2
Haldoo! It's been a while. Hopefully, by now, you've gotten all your plot re-working straightened out.;)
Anyways, on with the review! :D
[common Republican soldier] - - - I think "common soldier" works just fine.
[How would he now tell them about the truths he had learned in the chamber of skulls?] - - - This could be phrased more cleanly. Especially "How would he now tell them".
[He was met only with an expectant silence] - - - 1) This should be a new paragraph. Try to keep your dialogue tags and your narration as separate as possible. It feels very congested when you don't. 2) I would do "He was met by an expectant silence".
[I don't remember going anywhere, but it appears that I have returned."] - - - Why not "It seems I have returned, but I don't remember going anywhere." ? Then, you could change B, K, and J's line from "From the dead!" to "You were dead!"
[answered Prince Charming, shouting the crowd down] - - - I think "the prince answered, shouting the crowd down." sounds better. :3
[had contributed personally to his revival. That knowledge only made their love for him greater than ever.] - - - "had personally contributed to his revival. That knowledge only made them love him more." Be careful. I see quite a few passages like this where you use more words than are necessary. Keep your eyes out for this sort of thing. While you edit, look for spots such as this where the prose grows twisted, and clarify and detangle them. It'll make the read much smoother.
["But in the depths of the earth ] - - - I would get rid of "But".
[Deathly Powers gather, to despoil our homes and fields. ] - - - the comma isn't necessary.
[The prince's declaration was met with ragged cheers, most of which subsided into uncertain murmurs. What did the prince mean?] - - - After reading over PC's speech, I don't think you should have this break in the middle of it. It messes up the flow—it pulls me out of the speech, when I should be feeling like a member of the crowd as I read it, completely immersed in PC's words.
[The resultant roar that was torn from the throats of each and every man on the filed seemed to shake the very hills. Every single heart was on fire, lit by the passion of Prince Charming's fiery oration.] - - - Do not use "fire" and "fiery" in the same sentence. xD Also, the first sentence needs to be re-worded; it's awkward.
[The unbound zombie staggered to its feet. Suddenly free of its restraints, it clawed fitfully at the slack metal chains around its neck. The sun's light seemed to recoil from the unnatural rcreature. This was darkness walking in broad daylight.] - - - Niiiiiiice. :)
[started Jacob in a low voice.] - - - xD No. Fix this. :3
[Clear, radiant eyes of] - - - "The clear, radiant eyes of"
["Rest in peace."] - - - I would put this AFTER the passage [The zombie's head]. I like the sense of closure it gives the scene.
[The prince knew that the blow he had struck was far more than a mere sword stroke. ] - - - Untwist this sentence.
All in all, nice. The prince's speech was quite good. I do think that his soldiers' comically rambunctious demeanor is a bit mismatched with the mood of the scene, and of PC himself. I know you're going for the humor angle, it's just that it feels a little forced, as is, as if the soldiers aren't taking their own story seriously.
Also, I notice that your descriptions are clustered near the beginning and end of the chapter, with little in between. It's just noticeable enough to feel awkward—but only a bit. Making PC's speech more unified—removing the interruptions—might help to make me forget that this descriptive vacuum occurs.
Also, also: what's the current status of "The Baby Necromancer"? :3
| MeanDemonAkuma 4/25/13 . chapter 5
This really reminds me if WarCraft, especially with that tower. Was necromancers name Medivh? xD
In any case, I love the way you described the clash of these two powerful beings, and emotions that Eva felt are really believable.
Well, seems like I'm much more serious than the last time I reviewed your chapters xD
| Ulquiorra9000 2/23/13 . chapter 12
So here is Wan Ting himself. (I still can't get over how his name sounds like "wanting"). Turns out he's the aristocratic villain type who at least acts like he's civil and cares deeply for others... but in Nixia's case the affections is probably genuine. Anyway, Nixia is a pretty neat villainess with her deadly, enthralling beauty and aromas and she has a killer army of skeletons on top of that. She'll make a great enemy for Prince Charming to contend with!
| Ulquiorra9000 1/18/13 . chapter 11
Typically guys like the Ghost Council use all kinds of lies and illusions to deceive the good guy, but if what Charming says is true then the Ghost Council's messages are to be believed after all. The royal famlily is in serious flux right now and Charming had better find a solution quick!
| Ulquiorra9000 1/8/13 . chapter 10
That Vermillion Angel is one tough dude. Interesting to see a horde of vermin as the invading army instead of zombies, demons, orcs, or other common foes and I appreciate that innovation. The Angel is a tricky one... he commands millions of tiny, deadly agents so it would be tough to protect a frail old woman from that! The Angel just had to sneak a few deadly spiders onto the Queen to get the job done. What will the good guys do now that their regent is dead?
| Ulquiorra9000 12/29/12 . chapter 9
The other Deathly Powers are bound to be furious that Jack White revealed so much! Still, those other bad guys are bound to test Prince Charming and his army to the limit and I'm eager to see what kind of powers they have. And I wonder what Vincent's next move will be?
| Tsumujikaze no Soujutsu 12/21/12 . chapter 9
Well, I guess this will be my last and only review for the night. Getting rather drowsy here right now. Firstly, just a few corrections to note:
Correction: Temporarily overwhelmed
Note: Tense inconsistency plus I'm not too sure about the actual past tense, hence me using an alternative term.
[like a praying mantis trying to stop an oncoming car]
Correction: like a praying mantis trying to stop an oncoming [cart]
Note: This is one of the biggest dangers in literal translation. As I've learnt via experience, you can never translate a foreign statement into English word by word. Unless you want to tell me that cars do exist in your world, but I believe it to be not since steam technology shouldn't be that advanced anyway.
Now, onto the overall picture. Firstly, while I like the way you played about with the basics of Sun Tzu's Art of War in terms of organisation and assault, I think you could have portrayed the picture clearly. At least let the readers know why the machine ended up in the wrong direction because using the miracle card will come across as a pointless deu ex machina here. That plus I got quite a bit lost on what should be the original plan since the success was supposedly conceived by a sudden screw up. This is the only beef I have here.
Of course, I do like the way you decided to play a balls-to-the-wall front pertaining to Prince Charming's hare brained plan apart from the most obvious. Interestingly enough, none of his Champions actually bit the dust, which means they must have been absurdly powerful compared to the rest. Of course this would have created a straight out have vs have not scenario, so I'll be interested to see how you planned out everything here since this is the exact concept I'm having for A Ranger's Tale.
On the duel against Jack, I think while the hardcore in me would have wished for a drawn out fight, I'll have to admit that it won't be probable anyway since this isn't about a fair one on one duel so famously extolled by the worshipers of knightly chivalry. In a very real sense, you did well here since realism in this kind of thing can be really hard unless you can set down the specific rules of honour so as to speak. And yes, the whole choreography do seem quite realistic as well. That is apart from a lopsided focus on the enemy's causalities.
As for Redemption, I assume that it can only be activated through both swords wielded together. But nevertheless, it seems pretty much interesting to see that a weapon capable of gifting even the most rotten of sinners that bail-out-for-free card being a target for corruption/destruction. Apparently, it means that there are things far more valuable than an eternity of peace unto such an extent that an eternal in hell would be deemed as a preferable fate.
On Jack's pain and fate, I'm not too sure whether it's my fatigue or otherwise, but I don't really feel anything for him. Perhaps it might be down to him getting that mercy way too cheaply albeit I can see the Christian aspect of salvation in the whole thing. In fact when I see God's name, I'm wondering whether this very plot has something to do with the actual God of Christianity. The whole thing do seem quite a tad too close for comfort if we're talking about the fairly uptight along the stereotypical rednecks.
And yeah, the part where Prince Charming kicked Jack down seemed way funnier than whatever you're expecting. I know I sound twisted for saying this out, but the whole scenario really reminds me of a certain 300 gif image where Leonidas booted some random bloke down the pit after shouting "no more pasta!"
On Quentin's part, I find it quite realistic to see the fickle nature of human courage where a sudden change can be more than enough to screw everything up. In fact, Prince Charming's weakness could be subtly hinted here as in without him, everything will collapse. In turn, this can create an emotional/mental burden onto him once far more powerful adversaries started to appear. Most notably Wan Ting of course. In fact, it will be interesting to see what Quentin can do in the grand scheme of things. No one can pull off a G.R.R Martin and I can actually foresee your very own Podrick Payne. On a certain side note, I'm starting to see Prince Charming as a literal figure of godhood. If I am to see this in a symbolic parallel, he would be your own bender version of Jeanne d'Arc.
| Ulquiorra9000 12/17/12 . chapter 8
A mechanical sea serpent? Now there's a big challenge to test Prince Charming's mettle! Easily hacking through undead armies is fun, but Jack the Black's minion should be even tougher. Also, I have to say that your visuals for the zombies and the drained lake were quite good. This chapter in particular really brought me into the scene.
| Ulquiorra9000 12/15/12 . chapter 7
That Boris guy sure knows his stuff. Should be interesting to see this lake battle take place, and I'll bet that the necromancer indeed has insidious magical means of carrying out his plans. At least Prince Charming has some competent people working for him!
| Ulquiorra9000 12/11/12 . chapter 6
So Illexmann is on Vincent's side (kind of), which is definitely good for Vincent's cause. Then there's the complication of Valagan the wraith... he served Vincent's own father and not Wan Ting? That raises all kinds of questions! Good work keeping the reader engaged. This story is definitely keeping its momentum so far.
| Ulquiorra9000 12/5/12 . chapter 5
Vincent sure as hell showed his real strength here. He pried open a zombie dragon's jaws and froze the whole creature solid! Something tells me that he won't be able to use that much power too often. Let's hope that he has enough strength to recruit this ally to his cause.
| Ulquiorra9000 12/3/12 . chapter 4
I appreciate how you're not afraid to make the villains grotesque. Some authors and other creators seem to hesitate to make anyone ugly, making a crew of angelic girls and he-men. Not here! Vincent is a cesspit of dead flesh and injuries, and even has a conscious tumor-ish growth on his shoulder. That, and the undead dragon is icky too.
So, I surmise that Wan Ting is the biggest presence around and Vincent doesn't like the thought of Wan Ting conquering the world. Vincent will need to be resourceful and gather allies in order to stand up to Wan Ting's supposed might. This won't be easy!
| Tsumujikaze no Soujutsu 11/28/12 . chapter 8
[Sir. The hill ahead is crawling with undead.]
Alteration: Sir, the hill ahead is teeming with undead.
Punctuation is an issue, changing the key word is just something of an alternative.
[Unbidden, an image came to Prince Charming's mind of a gasping fish]
Black humour ftw.
[The necromancer, the dark magician whose magic lent animation to the undead army, was both its greatest strength as well as its most glaring weakness.]
Alteration: The necromancer's dark magic lending animation to the undead was both his greatest strength and his most glaring weakness.
The original sentence seemed rather convoluted. I know you're trying to send across the impact of magic, but you might have been trying to over-elaborate here.
[However, such power came at a cost. If a necromancer was killed, the rest of his army would disintegrate with his death, effectively ending the undead threat at a single stroke. Knowing the necromancer's location was therefore of the highest priority.]
I think that while there's nothing wrong with this statement, failure to consider the most obvious seem a tad illogical. Simply put, I believe you could have reserved a statement or two for Prince Charming's reservations on Vincent's contingency defence. When you fight a war, you don't just consider the plus factors.
[Prince Charming nodded. The situation was unfolding almost exactly as he had envisioned it.]
I think if that is truly Prince Charming's strategic anticipation, you could have hinted at it earlier. A lesser reader will assume Prince Charming to be a Gary-Stu if he can't really connect the dots. And even then, I don't even have an idea on how Prince Charming managed to reach that conclusion.
[It was the press of men behind him, rather than any personal courage, that kept him marching towards the unnatural foe.]
A very realistic portrayal of war from a first person/limited third person lens. Very rarely had we read about the horrors of war or at least the mentality of the fodder. Indirectly, this is also an indication pointing to how the phalanx system works psychologically.
[Men and women of every age and occupation, the necromancer had killed indiscriminately.]
I really enjoy reading this part. It's something virtually coming out of G.R.R Martin's books where one man's villain isn't the same for another. Jaime Lannister comes to mind here.
[You've fought them before, on Grazing Hill.]
Fan reference to the Silent Hill series? Sean Bean (Eddard Stark) and Kit Harrington (Jon Snow) are part of the cast.
Now onto the general. Firstly, Why is it that Jack the Black reminds me of Jack Black? In a very comedic sense, Jack White do seem like a Jack Black parody. If not for his new "name", I wouldn't have reached that conclusion. In fact, it would actually make him far more comedic than I otherwise expected from an antagonist, so this is something you need to take note of. After all, it's extremely hard to take a parody character seriously if you want to.
On the mechanics aspect, now this is something truly Warhammer-esque together with the Melodies of Magic. Now I've said before than the One Republic was your own version of the Empire and this very fact was further strengthened here (and of course you've made it known N ages ago anyway). Ironically, the Empire's technology isn't really that advanced not to mention it's something coming from the Dwarves.
As for the difference between a commander's view and that of the frontline soldiers, I do find the contrast very sobering. You've virtually created a real life difference between a third person and first person view and I really like that. If there's anything I can suggest here, it will be the fact that maybe you can create something far more than a mere observer's view. I truly doubt Prince Charming had really gone ruthless because even bastards like Joffrey Baratheon and Tywin Lannister has feelings. What I'm seeing here is pretty much a nerfed Roose Bolton mainly because I've yet to see his sentiments as a commander having to make hard sacrifices rather than just a commander in Tolkien's works. I assume that you're gunning for a more realistic take on battles and wars due to your familiarity with the Warhammer fantasy world, so take note there.
As for Prince Charming's champions, I do see a very interesting parallel with the Kingsguard. And why I call it interesting is down to the fact that these blokes are actually far more emotionally attached with each other than their brothers in white, i.e. the Kingsguard actually wore white cloaks as symbol of their office. And let's not talk too much about why I find Prince Charming looking weirdly like Valten/Sigmar. Besides, I'm already seeing quite a lot of Prince Charming-is-Jaime Lannister memes on the internet.
Just another issue you really need to take note here though on an ending note. In battle, you don't have time for idle talk, hence if you want to make any sense out of Boris and Kalpo's verbal nonsense, Jacob's presence is not enough. You must utilize the actual situation at hand because wars and battles are extremely brutal. It's either kill or to be killed and more often than not, one split second of error can be fatal enough. The same logic goes for Prince Charming asking Boris' opinion on the underground mechanics. Granted this part would seem far more realistic due to Boris' need in disengagement, but the damage on realism by then has been done. Try to imagine how confusion in war truly works because this is a pitched battle, not a truly legitimate case of terrain warfare where time and space will be far more affordable.
P.S: Pierre and Fritz, am I seeing a parody on the whole French vs German history? I truly doubt it's just merely a World War II thing since France and Germany did have their own wranglings as early as Martin Luther's era. Although that's mainly down to France being predominantly Roman Catholic compared to Germans being the Lutheran majority.