Reviews for Painted Angels
Edcrab chapter 23 . 10/21/2006
Now, I do a lot of weird things on this site- most notably I tend to shy away from giving R&R on stories that have already got some decent feedback, and I'm also famous for taking goddamn months to read anything.

Anyway. Breaking from tradition, this is basically my way of saying that Painted Angels is worth a read, and also to remind past readers to give this another look: there's been a very interesting rewrite in the meantime! This is going to be a long review, but this is in praise of quality rather than touching on the plot. For once no one can call me a spoiler, heh...

As with any project this size I felt I could actually see the author's quality of writing increasing as the chapters went on- to the point that any early slip-ups became forgiveable and then later forgettable. As with real people, the characters grow on you no matter what part of the sci-fi sector you first think they've been pulled from. They act realistically and absorbingly, and despite any initial misgivings on their personalities you soon find out that each one is a fresh and original property and that they're as worthy of your time as any classical literary figure. With the added bonus that none of their dialogue is wannabe-Shakespearian angst-tripe. Woo!

And as for the villains... jeez. Their actions are described vividly enough that you find yourself sitting in their victim's place (or the disturbingly attractive position of the villians themselves, for that matter). And of course the whole idea of a villian is debatable considering how fleshed out each and every presence has been...

Bluntly, IDoC was started up because of pieces like this: stories that touch on expected (and accepted) "standards" of science-fiction, but go on to do weird and wonderful things with those staples of the genre. And it's annoying whenever someone decides that a name or setting is cliche and that it's not worthy of their time. In response to some guy's review on another of Alankria's pieces: the names "Trifmara" and "Fox" aren't remotely cliche in my eyes because I know 14 John Smiths and one Hamarijia Tolomnte. You could throw real words/random characters at a screen and get a name that a real person has for goodness sake. And the characters themselves are hardly cliche, so stop focusing on the goddamn names, people!

Ahem. The only, *only* criticism I could level at PA is that, just ocassionally, it takes a while to get to the next part of the plot. But when it does make the move you feel so rewarded that, to be honest, you couldn't give a flying profanity. The setting is epic (and I mean *real* epic, as in vast and absorbing and breathtaking) and the characters, as mentioned, don't feel like they've been stolen from the latest overrated bestseller. Considering everything that's going on, it's amazing that the cast's antics aren't clunkier- the pacing is impressively good. yeah. Basically, give this a read, guys! You won't regret it!

Now I just need to *ahem* remind myself of the last few chapters...
Arej chapter 30 . 10/7/2006
Well, that was certainly unexpected. I do like the fact that Trifmara wasn't the only survivor...even if she was the only conscious one, the survival of others makes it more realistic. Now, if she'd been the only survivor period, and conscious at that, it would have created an aura of incredulity that you managed to bypass by creating three other survivors.

It wasn't very intelligent of her to leave the Roc at all...and less intelligent to have wandered so far away, but her restlessness and reasoning do make perfect sense. Having her fall was a nice twist...although I wonder. She fell through the ice, yes? As in, into something else? It really isn't clear if she fell through and into something or not...after all, earlier you mentioned that the snow was frozen before it could create deep banks, which implies that there are layers of ice. Which makes her fall suspicious, as if she fell into a hidden area underground or something. If not, you might want to make it clear.

The battle was realistic...not a lot of resistance description, but it was alright, because it wasn't the sort of attack where I would expect to read about a titanic struggle to reach the amplifier. might be me, but I feel like the amplifier wasn't really well guarded. If I were in charge of those soldiers on Mimas defending said amplifier, I'd certainly have stationed a large amount of soldiers in and just outside the room the amplifier was in. Even if I didn't expect an attack. Just food for thought, really...but it came across as if there was resistance in the hallways and then nothing when they reached the amplifier. Surely some soldiers would have realized what they were after...

I like the intrigue with Ben and why he wants to go rescue Trifmara. It adds a question to the story - a friendly one, or in the minds of those more paranoid, a less than friendly one. Meaning, I'm betting that if I let myself, I could be sitting here wondering if Ben wants to assure himself that Trifmara really is dead...or go and kill her to be sure that she is.

Now, I know better - at least, I hope that I'm right in believing better of him than that - but the fact remains that it adds a question to his motives. Adds a depth to his character (not that he's lacking) that also adds a depth to the story as well.

I do like that Fox was willing - if uncomfortable - to leave, instead of pulling the 'no man left behind' attitude that a lot of protgonists are crafted with. It makes him human, makes him realistic. Not that that's been much of an issue either, in my eyes...but it does it all the same.

And especially nice is that Fox and Ben are going to rescue Trifmara. One half of me questions the necessity of would certainly be a surprising twist if they left her there. But the other half is cheering for them doing the right thing.

Alright! Alright alright, I think you infused me with the drive to write! Woo! I have too much energy now...anyway! I'll bother you later about other stuff. Yeah. So, I'll go now.

BB- Arej
Arej chapter 29 . 10/7/2006
Hey Alex...finally got around to this. I've been meaning to do it since I got the alert, but I've had exams all week...nasty things, exams. Anyway.

It's really awesome of you to have put this, I know, it's an author's note and doing a review is probably, no, it is pointless, but...yeah. Felt like I had to, for some reason. I dunno. I'd forgotten what reviewing was like...haven't done it in months.


I'll most definitely prod you about the excerpts and such. And even more obviously about the final draft...just 'cause I'm addicted to this story. Which you probably already know.

Anyway! Thanks for clearing up the not-yet-confusing confusions...and, on to the chapter!

BB- Arej
JaveHarron chapter 30 . 10/1/2006
Awesome chapter. The pace has really picked up, and about time you've updated. So each of the lancers was fairly experienced, I take it? Might that include more medical skills?
Master Chief chapter 22 . 8/10/2006
Best chapter in a long while, despite being the shortest. The only gripe, if you can call it that, is that you wait so late to divulge this bit of info about Nakem. Twenty-some chapters in, casual readers might not even last half that long to get to such stunning revelations.

Psia energy, mind control, diabolical genetic experiments.

Now things are starting to pick up, big time.

Master Chief chapter 21 . 8/10/2006
An interesting couple of chapters. Not much happened in the previous one, although I'm noticing a pattern of behavior for the mercs. They don't really act or talk like mercs mercs until their in trouble and/or pissed off. That's not a good or bad thing, just an observation.

Initially i thought this chapter (21) was unnecessary and thought it drew on for far too long. In the end though it proved me wrong by sweeping Casey up into, what i assume is, the war effort on Carrenei's side.

I'm sorta baffled though. From a writer's standpoint, it seems as if you used Casey's mom's death to get Casey to his home planet (not sure if you mentioned the name).

Unless you plan on using her death for some character dev, I'd suggest trimming it just a little bit, seeing as Lilia had an alterior motive in with her invite as it was. I also thought the whole bit about Lilia asking Case about his "job" was a bit redundant if her whole reason for calling her there was to set him up with a job.

That said, I just want to reiterate that you have a way of immersing the reader in your world with such vivid imagery. I'm actually jealous... :-p

Master Chief chapter 18 . 8/10/2006
I'm thinking I've read this chapter before and just haven't reviewed it. Mind you, it's been a while so my memory is a little off. Anyway, another good chapter here.

"Sudden crescendoing roaring noise." It looks to be missing at the very least a comma. Possibly reword this.

Content, I'm seeing a whole lot of foreshadowing going on. Casey's leaving now provides him an avenue to return later and save the day. I'm interested to find out if you're going to connect with the Nicessen thread. I'm also catching a hint of a yet-developed love triangle.

Casey and Trif are pretty audacious walking back into the house with the General there.

On to 19

Abigail Radle chapter 1 . 7/8/2006
Yes, I am Finally getting to this. I hope you've not become agitated or given up on me. *lol*

When it comes to works of depth such as yours I tend to read through a chapter once to get a feel for overall flow and intent, then read again to assess those spots where I felt the prose tripped me up. Please disregard any comments you feel are negligible due to grammatical inconsistencies of language idiosyncracies. :)And hopefully you find my input and comments helpful and constructive.

"the first colony on the moon" - phrasing this as "the first lunar colony" would convey a stronger sense of intellect in the speaker and maintain the intent. The same for "Colonists on the moon" in the following sentence: "Lunar colonists" would be a less wordy and more educated means of structure.

"There are some who still say that we will perish, [even now that it has been] ten years since that dreadful year, 10 After Separation (AS)."[This fragment] is especially wordy, and while the intent of the sentence is clear, it could viably be more easily reproduced if altered.

A short intro, but it does a highly commendable job of grounding the reader solidly into your alternate future reality, into the world you are creating.
Jave Harron chapter 1 . 6/21/2006
Okay, looking forward to some updates.
Arkash chapter 15 . 6/19/2006

Very nice chapter with some revelations.

"What's happened?" I'd prefer, "What happened?"

"The guy who hired me told me to send a copy back to him so that Nakem could see it-to find out..." I had to read this sentence a few times and it still doesn't make sense. Did Trif send a copy to Nakem?

"Despite the protest of her many advisors that the ship to take them..." This sentence is not as elegant as your others are. You might want to consider rephrasing it.

Nothing else that glares at me.

Good job, as always. *_*
JaveHarron chapter 28 . 6/19/2006
Comment: "His essence a kind of hybrid between electromagnetic and link signals—able to travel faster than light by bending space in a way that solid matter could not—he moved around this corner of the Alliance star system in search of the amplifiers’ echoes." A comma goes after essence. Nice to see some more drama added. Black Dragon's updated.
Arej chapter 28 . 6/19/2006
Okay...I would have done an as-I-go if I'd seen anything that stuck out. But I didn't, so...yeah. Basic overview here, I guess.

The backstory on Xeline (btw, how do you pronounce that? Like Selene, or different? Just curious.) was great - not everything is easy. Her power isn't simply a means to a gain but also a hindrance of sorts, having hurt her as it has.

As for the possible didn't strike me until you said something about it. But, and I could be wrong, if Xeline was on Carrenei (I checked, and that's where you placed her for twenty years)...was Nakem somewhere else? If so, then you can explain away the difference in their venting. Just a possibility, there.

As for the rest of it...Casey...he has to be insane to do that. That's just crazy. Sweet sounding, really interesting, but crazy.

Not to mention apparently against the rules. I wonder if he'll be reprimanded for doing it.

And Falnec is leaving...I'll kinda miss seeing him working with Fox and Trifmara. But seeing as they're now on Saisanai, where Casey is...well, it'll be interesting to see the interactions. Interesting all over again.

In any case, great chapter. Really enjoyed it.

BB- Arej
Chagan chapter 7 . 6/17/2006
Awesome, action's starting. I was wondering if this was going to be a fighter battle sort of thing (although it seems like you'll have a bit of everything, lets see).One thing - wasn't he panicking because he didn't know how to exit non-space? He seemed to overcome that problem with a flick of a on.
Chagan chapter 6 . 6/17/2006
I liked this chapter quite a bit, it sets up some interesting points of Trifmara's character. However, I'd recommend setting up her lack of memory in an earlier chapter- the fact that her encounter with Begbie happens almost immediately after we find out about it makes it feel like it was just thought up while this was being written or something. Also, I found her level of comfort with him a bit odd- don't think a veteran mercenary would divulge information so , good stuff otherwise, curiosu to see where it goes.
Chagan chapter 5 . 6/17/2006
"But we can only enter invited if we think your life’s in peril.” - Should that be 'uninvited'?

"I have to eat breakfast and be ready for physically training by 0800" - Physical training

Not much to point out otherwise. I've never been too fond of explaining backstory through history lessons, as it seems a bit too convenient, but thats a matter of taste. Good chapter otherwise.
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