Reviews for Drax
Tawny Owl chapter 1 . 5/5/2010
Chess board seems a bit neat if it’s over – or is this the next wave? I’m only asking because you mention the blood and that to start. Oh, dramatic, bring the thunder and lightening in sooner! It’s not something that can be ignored until the next paragraph. Is there rain too? Can she still smell the blood over it? (I'm hoping she can becasue there's that much of it )The battle and thunder storm runs the risk of being cliché – but the weather mage gives it a reason, and what the hell, I think it’s a great image having the power of the weather and the fighting all mixed up. I also like the circles of unburned grass. I’m guessing because they’ve been shielding themselves from enemy magic. Although it makes me think of the weaker ones popping like corn kernals.

Grinned madly – is the lady getting off on that lightening? You could build up the thrill she gets from it a bit. And I like the mention of the generals – it set’s her up as an absolute power corrupts absolutely type of person.

The lineage bit waters the impact of the opening down somewhat. You might have to cherry pick what’s needed. People who have read Opal Fox should be able to fill in the important bits and any new readers probably won’t benefit from the details. The comment on her daughter’s marriage was an insightful character clue. It’s also not that long, actually, but it does still take the edge off because this piece is focused on the action and the rest of it is quite fast paced (which is what you want) the lineage bit feels like a speed bump, but you could probably lower it if you played about a bit. Maybe more of an emotion reaction to those useless Marielle boys - she clearly wants to pull herself out of the obscurity they provided her with. The descendant of a goddess is good though and a blinding way to round it off – it reinforces the potential crazy. I’m now going to be a complete hypocrite now and say that when you first mention Noakes maybe give us a clue about who she is beyond the great adversary. Just a sentence so we have a context for her. Is she from a prestigous magical family which gives Drax a further reason to resent her? Or does she have more humble origins which lead to some sort or recognition between the two of them?

Ants for crushing leans towards cliché a bit too, maybe expand the sentiment, or curl round the idea instead.

her hair flowing in the light breeze of death and her ceremonial robes fighting the wind's coarse grasp – really liked the image of this but the breeze and wind do feel contradictory.

The bodies confused me at first. Are they staked to the ground by wrists and ankles? And are some of them dead already? References to glassy eyes staring at the sky (unblinking while the rain hits the eyeballs) might do it. And is it raining? You say the mud and rocks splatter down like rain – maybe ‘the’ rain if it’s raining already. (Yes, I am obsessed with the rain) And do they make a mess, hurt any of the people watching? Do the people standing round shy away from them are all they all standing grimly to the purpose. You mention they were shocked by the numbers of victims for the spells. You could maybe show us more of how they react? Especially to Drax? I’m imagining there's a lot of avoiding eye contact with her.

Is death magic selective or accurate? If she could kill the horse and the men behind him but save sacrifice number one?

Oh – the kiss was creepy. To build it up though make it more sensual maybe, how he reacts to it. Brave rebellious last stand? Or does he mew like a girl? And tell us what he looks like – is he as fresh faced and golden as I’m thinking? You need to make the reader have a sense of his appearance/personality so they react when he’s brutally murdered. I like that you show he has all this people worried for him and that he is liked, but you need to show us more of him not giving up so we like/admire him too.

As always liking the way you write the spell weaving. I love the way you draw in the elements. And is there a reason both Drax and Noakes have quite masculine sounding names? I’m just curious.

The change in perspective jumps a bit. After the blade flashes red maybe have the narrative carried up with the abomination so that we leave Drax and when we come down again it’s with Noakes. Does that make any sense? It sounds good in my head at any rate. Or just put a paragraph break in. Another thought is that the invoking of gods and goddesses is a stage above average magic and you might want to make that distinction more obvious so that the reader knows that this is the really dark and dangerous stuff. (just in case the human sacrifice doesn’t give it away) When you say Noakes calls to the gods it makes it seem a bit run of the mill, like a standard prayer rather than something stronger. How easy is it to get the gods to respond? Aura feels the brunt of her magic sometimes, are they starting to feel physically drained at all? Noakes mentions gods and then a goddess answers her. From Opal Fox I got the impression there was just one that the sorceress built the relationship with. And how doe sit feel to have that much power coursing through you? It must be wonderful and terrible.

I like that Noakes has sacrifices laying around as well. It makes it less simple than Dax being the knife wielding bad ass. Maybe highlight that more – although Noakes seems ‘nicer’ she’s still prepared to spill blood for her people, which is a more positive way of looking at it even though it ends in lots of death. I think that kind of contradiction is always good to get your teeth into. You illustrate that they are different characters but they are in the same line of work so you also want to highlight the similarities. Maybe have Noakes holding the knife and how it feels to her in her hand?

The image of all the dead soldiers still holding their weapons was a nice creepy one too. It would have benefited from more of an emotional reaction from Noakes as I get the feeling she doesn’t feel the as immune to the fate of the ants as Drax does. It would have added clout to her promise to herself at the end too.

I kept thinking of the scene in The Fellowship of the Ring when Gandalf and Sauruman are having it out on that snowy mountain and doing the long distance magic. It reminded me of that a bit – only with less beards.

Another thing you might want to consider is expanding on the gore. There’s probably lots of it knocking about. I’m betting Drax and Noakes have potentially got blood drying on them somewhere, and when Noakes sees the aftermath of Drax’s attack it could be more visual. Can she smell the urine, is there writhing, is there a particular person or instance of pain that catches her eye and reinforces her need to kill Drax? It’s up to you but I think you could make it grittier. There’s a lot powerful emotion in this that could be complemented by that sort of detail.

Sorry, I’ve written a lot – but I liked this and got carried away. It had a faster pace and a very dramatic energy that you don’t usually use, and there were some fantastic visual images what with the lightening and the knife. Really good.
Akhdar chapter 1 . 1/31/2010
Very nice. I like the level of detail you put into this, hinting that this is more than just a short segment but a window into a world as complex and convoluted as ours.

Granted, from just this small segment, I'm not sure who's the villian in this. Drax is our main focus, so I'd normally assume that she's the protagonist, but then she cast that spell with blood, something that heroes don't do. It creates a very dark feel for the piece and lets me know that this isn't a typical good vs. evil piece, but something more.

Good job.
Sercus Kaynine chapter 1 . 12/18/2009
I love the high fantasy feel to this piece. It's a great mood to set for this harsh of a piece.

I also liked the description you used. You were able to cover a lot of ground for such a short piece and it worked well for you.

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Icyfire4w5 chapter 1 . 10/23/2009
It's really, really challenging to write battle scenes, but congratulations, you've succeeded! Wow, Drax is such a fearsome warrior. She reminds me of a lioness.