Reviews for Mal'ethil
sophiesix chapter 3 . 12/5/2009
I liked this chaper even better than teh last two: it had all my favourite characters and some lovely development of tehm :)

“He hesitated, and tucked his head into his wing. ‘Well, let’s just say you wouldn’t be here right now.’ AWW! I loved that little touch, it made me like Warwing so much

But Alicia is definitely my favourite character so far

“The girl looked away, in the direction of where her house once stood. “I’m just a girl,” she repeated quietly. The way she said it sounded as if she were trying to convince herself of that.” (though I don’t think you needed ‘of that’). her character comes across really strong and clear, and its easy to develop a rapport with her. With Mal, it feels like she’s holding a lot back from the reader, her past for instance, which creates a distance, but you don’t get this feeling with Alicia, perhaps because she was so upfront with her questions initially and her direct answers about the medicine. Though the roc is really amusing and sweet, he doesn’t at this stage have as defined a presence for me.

One thing I would’ve liked here though was an earlier and more complete description of where she was when she woke up – afterall, roc could have taken them anywhere.

“It was empty and void of expression. Her eyes were dulled and it seemed as if she weren’t really looking at anything. Her braids blew softly in the breeze. She did not at all come across as a girl whose entire family had just been murdered.” Actually to me that describes very nicely a girl in shock, who has seen too much death and is holding herself numb so she doesn’t have to deal with it and risk mental collapse. That Mal doesn’t see that further distances me from her. gee I’m really getting an Alicia bias, aren’t i!

““You’ve survived, it seems. Did anyone else?”

It took all her restraint not to audibly growl. “Unfortunately, no. The only survivor was the eldest daughter.”

She says no, but then contradicts herself: yes, someone else did survive…?

Why doesn’t she have a talking stone for farol, why does she need to find harolds? Surely if its necessary for communication she would have one herself?

“The sensation of air whipping against her face, her skin, and through every strand of her hair gave her the feeling of being weightless (though she was fairly light-weight already), and without a trouble in the world.” I thought the ‘though she was fairly light-weight already’ would be better placed at the start of the sentence.

“As her bird left the Lun Province and entered the Howler, with Lake Howler staring knowingly up at them, Mal left behind all her anger at Farol, all of the nostalgia and sadness she gained from her dream, all the gnawing interest in the strange human girl sitting in front of her, and anything else that invaded her thoughts” I like each individual element here, but didn’t like the exhausting length of the sentence.

“Nothing mattered, nothing existed, except for the wind.” Just lovely!
sophiesix chapter 2 . 12/5/2009
nice start to this chapter, i liked it better than the last, it was more engaging.

“Mal hadn’t seen Ly for several years now anyway, and presumed the sister to be dead.” The wording of that I found really cold, like she had no emotions whatsoever about the fact. But then later she seems to feel guilt, so that jarred for me

“Slowly, peeking out from between the trees, the dark shapes scuttled toward them. There were five of them.” Thus was great, but I wanted more of an impression of how scary these things are. Maybe a a reaction from Harold that makes us see how much the sight of them puts dread into his heart?

“Having shot all fifteen of her bullets, she dropped the clip and thrust another magazine up inside to reload the pistol. The air smelled thickly of sulfur and rotting flesh. Mal could only describe the chilling taste it left her mouth as pure, raw death.

“ last two sentences: awesomely evocative and gruesome. First sentence I thought contained unnecessary detail. Why not just say either “Having shot all fifteen of her bullets, she dropped the clip and reloaded” or “clicking on empty, she [adjective] reloaded.” Or “Having shot all fifteen of her bullets, she dropped the clip and thrust another magazine inside.” Or something?

Really good description of the magic battle, I t was chilling and suspenseful. I did wonder why she didn’t just burn them all like she did with the corpses?

The skeleton and bodies of the kids at the end was really nicely done too – chilling, and nice to have a MC that basically fails at her mission the first time we meet her :)
sophiesix chapter 1 . 12/5/2009
Finally got some time for the review game and I see your 6 chapter request is up. Was meaning to get around to your story anyway, so here goes :)

For me, the beginning would better if you changed either the first ‘she’, or swapped the first two paras around so you know who’s speaking, and you got that picture in your head first.

“As if Farol would trust anything with a dirty half-elf.” Trust anything *to* a…?

““M… You sure you want the help of a ‘half-elf’?” she asked sarcastically./ “Forgive me, Gysse’lylth. I meant arthi’al. Of course I did.”

Maybe it should be ‘Of course I do?’

“That was why she was well known in the army, and police networks, because despite all her insistance on the contrary, she really did like, and sometimes went out of her way, to help people./ The man, named Harold, led her inside of his small home and locked the door tight.“ watch your comma use. I like more commas than less, but this was too much in a row even for me!

“He returned his face to his hands and began to sob.” This seemed very sudden when previously he had only paused to recollect himself. It made ‘sob' sound overdone. Maybe consider leading up to it a bit more, showing more of his battle to be strong, or try something softer like ‘weep’

I like your Mal and Roc, they are interesting, amusing and insightful. I like how you make mal albino without the usual stigma an albino character has. And Alicia is intriguing, though we don’t know much about her yet, but I assume she’ll get fleshed out later. Howard I found a little 2D though, i'm not sure why.
Kristin Li chapter 6 . 12/5/2009
I'm glad that reader finally gets to know something about Alica. For a while you weren't giving her any traits, but now that the story has progressed a lot bit, I can feel the suspense building. Another thing I'd like to add is that the scene was very well structured. You had the set up, the disaster, then the reflection, and it was very organized. I have yet to find something you need to improve upon. :P
Mizzuz Spock chapter 2 . 12/5/2009
You do a great job with the action scenes here. They're done in such a way that I can picture almost clearly what's going on and, more importantly, I wasn't lost! :]

For some reason, I really liked the part where you described Mal stabbing the ant and then running with the knife, so that the blood spills out. (Jeez. I'm so morbid, I know.) But I really felt that was expertly described.

I like how you included that some of the ants were clones and only a few were real. It was an interesting twist, and it raised a lot of questions.

One thing I didn't like: Mal passes out at the end of the chapter. It's a pet peeve, but I, personally, don't like it when the main character passes out and then wakes up to the "next scene" as it were.

Also, I was a bit skeptical of the ants would hang around until Mal woke up. So she could conveniently watch them scuttle off into the forest? xD

All in all, good chapter, and, like I said, excellent job with the fighting. Really nice cliffhanger, too. :]
Mizzuz Spock chapter 1 . 12/2/2009
(Decided to actually start from the beginning and catch up on all I've missed. xD)

So. As beginnings go, I can't say that I'm immediately drawn in. I don't normally like books that start with direct quotes. (It's just a personal pet peeve. You know those weird little things that just bother you for no apparent reason?)

But, that said, I do like the interaction between Mal and Warwing. It really gives an insight into both their personalities, especially Mal's. Also, it gives the reader a brief glimpse into your world. (They have cars? In a fantasy realm? Pretty neat, actually.)

I would have preferred a better description of the roc, but as it stands, with the basics (talons, wings, etc.) I get a decent picture.

In the scene where Mal confronts Harold, I felt Harold gave in way too easily. Maybe a little more dialogue between the two of them would be nice, to set up the situation better, so we can SEE how desperate Harold is for help, though he isn't willing to admit it.

I like Alicia's introduction and the confusion and mystery she brings into the picture. Nice touch there, though it felt a bit rushed. Though I suppose that in-your-face interrogation is a show of Alicia's personality, it just went a bit too fast for my tastes. Maybe a little more hesitation on both sides?

This was an interesting chapter, though I don't know if it's as strong as your later chapters, where the writing has matured a lot.

Oh, and I found a typo:

How did she get of the house? Mal wondered briefly.

:]
Mizzuz Spock chapter 9 . 11/29/2009
I'm finding it oddly fun reading this story backwards. x]

So. First thing's first. I haven't read the eight chapters before this, BUT I still think that even if I had, I might find Ly's little BF with Mal still to be needlessly melodramatic. The problem is, I don't feel enough mood through actions to show how pissed off she is. She storms on the scene, dropping F-bombs and S-grenades, creating World War I, but it's just too sudden for me and too dialogue heavy.

Mal's reaction to the whole thing feels real and isn't forced, but some of Ly's dialogue just didn't seem to ring the bell of believability. Especially when she gets into the little pity-fest of demanding why she doesn't have everything Mal has. As a reader, I would like to see Ly build up to this. Through actions as well as dialogue. Being a theatre student, I always have my teacher yelling at me about "inner dialogue," which is the things that are said without actually being said. (If that makes any since at all.)

I would really prefer to see more development in this memory between the two sisters. Right now it just feels rushed and overly dramatic.

However, that being said, I really like the character development between Mal and Alicia. There are no problems with dialogue here and, again, I can feel that growing bond between the two of them. Here you've done a nice job of showing their relationship.

The tale with Mirabelle and Evan was interesting. I'm still not sure if I like that little tidbit of the fairytale slapped in there randomly, interrupting the story, and then continued without narration. I've reread it twice and I still have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I like the tale, but on the other, I don't like how it disturbs the flow of the story. I think you should choose one way or another to tell it: All detail or through narration.

I also really like the way you handled the ending to this chapter. Even though I know how it ended before, the chapter ended smoothly and it was one of those spot-on cliffhangers realization moments.

Good job with this! :]
Mizzuz Spock chapter 10 . 11/29/2009
(From the Review Game)

So. I was a bit hesitant in reviewing this chapter, since I haven't read the nine that came before it. (Of course I missed a bunch, but hey. It's like tuning into a movie that's already thirty-minutes in.) But, I have to say, I don't feel completely lost. I can already feel that bond between Alicia and Mal. It's growing, yet a bit hesitant (at least, on Mal's part).

I didn't particularly care for the blocks of dialogue in the opening of this chapter. Even though I felt your dialogue was solid and believable (especially for Alicia), there didn't seem to be enough going on in between the words to help balance the scene and give away emotion, thought process, character development, etc. It half-felt like info-dumping through dialogue.

Other than that, I didn't really find much else I didn't like. When I have more free time, I will definitely check out the rest of these chapters. (Good thing I don't mind spoilers! xD)

Good job so far and happy writing! :]
anti-climax chapter 1 . 11/27/2009
Hey there, just doing some random trawling through FP when I stumbled across this piece heh.

I enjoyed the interactions between Warwing and Mal and the world you've crafted here is interesting - I've always had a preference for a blend of modern world and traditional fantasy so this suits me fine with hints of cars and rocs being mashed up together and the racism touched here also hints at a darker background.

About a bunch of ants being the villains here... It's unique certainly but in my opinion, somewhat underwhelming. But then again this is only chapter 1 I suppose and I don't think they'll be the major villains permanently.

Good work with fitting the intrigue about Alicia's background. She looks to be a promising character indeed.

All in all, a good solid opening chapter. Nice work.
3M2R chapter 1 . 10/16/2009
Verbal interactions bore me. I don't really like chapters with a lot of talking, I prefer a starting chapter with more description, like creating the atmosphere first. I'm still not very sure of the location of the characters even after reading to the 10th, maybe 20th paragraph (up till this line: "Mal'ethil Gyssee'lyth.")

I like chapters with a lot of actions or good settings at the very beginning.

However, you did a good job with the conversation. I like the telepathy conversation between the roc and Mal’ethil Gysse’lylth. I can feel the tone.

peace.

~Ger.
Nonlinear chapter 9 . 9/27/2009
Hmm, I like the way you manage to move the story forward despite the lack of real physical action through emotional turmoil and revelation. I was especially there with Alicia at the end of the chapter. The way you wrote it, the revelation for the reader doesn't come too soon but rather hits right at the end and, like Mal say, all the pieces begin to fall into place.

The one thing that bothered me in this chapter was the story. It felt less like a story and more like necessary foreshadowing. It certainly didn't feel like something children would beg for, the way it was told. I think it would be more interesting for the reader (and the children) if it was modeled after a fairy tale or fable, one with a central character and some drama in it.

Nonetheless interesting,

C.E.
Devil's Playground chapter 9 . 9/27/2009
This was a great read. The only flaw I can find is that some parts seem a bit rushed. There are a bunch of scenes in this one chapter, and the transitions between them are a bit chapter. I really liked the dialogue, though; it was very realistic. I especially enjoyed the part with Nator's story. Awesome job!
silverbluu chapter 9 . 9/15/2009
The interaction between characters is a very good portrayal of ordinary conversation. Despite not being human they are very accessible.

Some of your dialog has more quotations then necessary. For example when the father is telling to story you don't need " in front of each new paragraph. Just one at the beginning and one at the end of the story, otherwise I think someone else beside the father is speaking/telling the story.
Luuk chapter 4 . 9/11/2009
It's been a while since I went back to reading this story and I am going to catch up, I swear! I really hope Alicia and Mal do stay together. It will eb sad to see them part, from littlei s known of Alicia. The vampire interaction was very amusing. It made me smile.

I only found one possibly typo of sorts, and I might have just read it wrong but:

The vampire woman laughed. The sound rang like a sweet melody. “I would think an arthi’al would know not use stereotypes,” she replied sweetly, “considering all the nasty ones floating around about them.”

shouldn't the line "I would think an arthi'al would know not use" should be "not to use"?

Anyway, I like that you give information at the end of each chapter so we don't feel ignorant to this world you are creating. Keep up the good work!
loolabell chapter 5 . 9/8/2009
Your sentence fluency is very well done; it flows and creates a rhythm in your story. I really do love how Mal has such personality, despite the fact you are using third person (that must be quite a job to do!). Again, the 'voice' is very pronounced.

In the last sentence, you used the words 'anger' and 'hurt', the same words you had used in a previous paragraph. Those two words had stuck out in my mind as REPEATED, so I recommend that you leave it at 'embarrased', or 'fury', or another word of the same meaning. You were also overly-decriptive when it came to Farol was slightly overexagerrated. After the sentence, 'He looked like neither', there should be a paragraph break, since it is a different idea.
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