Reviews for Antilla: Tides of War
MiroFTW chapter 18 . 10/2/2014
14 - I'm going to assume CR-X have minute recoil, because otherwise, their weapons would send them hurtling backwards in the equal force in the opposite direction in a zero-G environment, which is what I'm assuming this zero-G insertion is. Lots of assumptions, but physics yo.

Your male characters certainly don't lack ego/cockiness. Gotta say, I don't understand McCloud's motivations. He just so happens to be in the right place right time for a fight and his train of thought is "hey, let's steal a Tigershark and go for some target practice"?

15 - If Branson originally thought Onyx was going to be taken out, why did he make Onyx CO of the Valkyries? Sure, it's really just the illusion of control, but I'm sure Branson could've found a more capable guy for the job. Unless your intention is of the Valkyries killing Onyx before the mission is over - as a way of wrapping up loose ends. I just don't see a point for this Onyx character except to marvel at how awesome the Valkyrie Unit is.

Yeah, don't really see a point for McCloud joining into this space fray either. He becomes Just Another Ace Pilot, who joins Yet Another Space Battle, who will predictably live through the fight and rack up some kills along the way. He was more interesting of a character when you had him trying to find his brother Ace, and John Falcon. Here, although you've managed to show that he's got capable flying skills, and there's a space battle going on when these pirates, both of which could frankly be accomplished in two lines.

16 - I should mention the law of diminishing returns when it comes repeated exposure to not just fighter-based space battles, but other action scenes you intend to use through this story. It's exciting the first couple times around, but keep throwing the same things at the reader and, to quote one of the lines from McCloud's scenes, "As far as he was concerned, that was business as usual." I mean, it might be able to slide if you provide good suspense/tension to the scenes, but really, there's no way McCloud isn't surviving this battle.

You should make a distinction that it's the Wildcard pirates attacking Colony 1313 because I had to doublecheck that it wasn't Falcon's pirates. All the readers know is that there's pirate attacks going on (not by whom), and there’s no mention why they're attacking the colony. Maybe it's a key strategic point, or the colony has an abundance of resources that’s attractive to the pirates. Something to give the reader an understanding why this colony needs to be protected, and why the pirates are attacking instead of "just cause they're pirates"

McCloud is Gonzo. Well played.

Yup, wrapping up loose ends. Called it. Does this mean Onyx will be joining the Valkyrie Unit? I think you’ve used up your “recast supersoldiers” quota with Jace though although I know I'm cheating with that. Either way, Onyx’s role in the mission was puzzling. Seems like he was put through the motions just cause the writer/Branson could.
MiroFTW chapter 15 . 10/1/2014
11 - I'm curious to know if there's a minimum drinking age in this universe. These kids sure do drink a lot.

12 - Conversation from the stakeout team sounds very amateur-ish. They should've confirmed audio and visuals long before McCloud stepped into the bar, and they should've been briefed long before the mission started, instead of having to clarify details mid-mission.

I was confused at first - is McCloud getting paid, then paying that sum for information? The way the dialogue is phrased, it sounds like McCloud is paying for information, instead of just receiving payment in the form of information.

I like how a couple of henchmen executed some Spec Ops guys, then dragged their dead bodies from all around the bar to intimdate McCloud, all without making final sweeps to see if there were any other members of this entourage still alive.

I'm really not sure why a Spec Ops guy is shooting up a bar. Or not pursuing his intended target, but taking out the Marsden brothers instead. Or why McCloud scrambled for his guns first before trying to look for the datacard that he came here for.

13 - Lesson learned - never hire discount mercs, especially when they're led by a man named Onyx. Inevitable disappointment awaits. If you're going to label them as "Spec Ops conscripts", you might as well just call it Ops. Ain't nothing special about them.

Oh man, Agent Onyx has to single-handedly stop all these pirate attacks? This seems waaay above his pay grade.

The mid-flight debriefing with Valkyrie Team is one of the few times the story should be "Told, don't shown". The dialogue sounds forced, like as if it was something out of GI Joe movie where each team mate has to explain to the audience their role and plan of attack for the mission. Just re-word it so that Onyx is going over the mission in his thoughts.
MiroFTW chapter 12 . 10/1/2014

8 - the whole scene with Myles and Doctor Scott seems necessary. The romantic undertones doesn’t add a whole lot to his character, and unless you anticipate in making this story something akin to the Love Boat, I’d suggest taking it out. Keep the relationships to a select few.

It’s almost like you were tempted to put Myles “Bad MF” Warren, but decided to keep the story a bit cleaner.

9 – ‘perfect formation at Zone Five-full afterburner ‘– please elaborate. Anything other than a Flying V, you’ll have to explain to most readers.

Doctor Mendel seems very open in informing Antes about the nanomachines. I would’ve thought he would be a bit more secretive about it – as to not mess with Antes’ head that he’s got machines tracking his every movement. Unless pilots sign away their privacy rights when they enlist?

10 – I’m wondering what the ratio of attractive to average to ugly looking people is in this universe.

What does Antes see in Kendrix again? Is his attraction to her merely physical, or does he connect with her on a personal level as well? Right now, it just seems like the former, and I’m hoping it’s a bit deeper than teenage hormones.

“…they’re heroes or have the potential to be heroes” – Sorry, that made me cringe a bit. I get you’re trying to say the potential of these misfits has been untapped, but how about something more along the lines of “giving these kids a place and purpose”.
SuitedManatee chapter 18 . 9/27/2014
Ooooh, it was Gonzo. Wasn't expecting that. Honestly, I kind of forgot about him. Thought you might have too :p
And Onyx. I was starting to get used to him. Now he's all stabbed up and dead. And I have to wonder where exactly events are going to take Valkyrie squadron.
On a side note, I like the exo-frames (get away from her you bitch, etc.) I feel I'm detecting proto-mechas.
It's all pretty cool, I'm looking forward to finding out more about what Ace has been doing. Among other things.
LightningBolt21 chapter 3 . 7/23/2014

Personally I feel like the lines “For those who gave their lives valiantly.” “For those who wasted their lives foolishly.” ”For those we have lost.” And the rest of those lines, should be in italics to make it stand out more.

I thought the line “For those who wasted their lives foolishly.” Was kind of funny, although I know it is supposed to be sad, but to say that some of the dead wasted their lives was odd. But I like it.

{probably to blink back the emotion.} Seemed kind of odd wording, maybe try {to blink back emotion.}

{Among the numerous faces he didn’t recognize were a handful that he did} This was confusing. I understand what you were saying after reading it a few times but it was an odd way of saying it. {Among the numerous faces, only a handful he recognized}

{“So essentially you talking to me right now is tantamount to treason.”} I didn’t understand this line.

Other notes:

I really did like Cyrrin, since he doesn’t seem like your typical military man. I’ve never read any or known any, but I can tell he’s different. It seems that Izzy and Cyrrin have a fairly good relationship, I did think it was kind of odd that, in one line Izzy calls Cyrrin “pop” I feel like you kind of need to stick one or the other. Just personally preference.

Indelli seems, well, we’ve hardly met her expect her playing with her food. I did like the ending, “There a problem now, bitch?” That was epic, I mean, I can’t wait to see more from her. Quick question, where do you come up with the names?
spark n' Jetz chapter 1 . 4/20/2014
This is awesome :) Great job! The last line "And then all hell broke loose," is one of the best finishing chapter lines out there.
SuitedManatee chapter 13 . 3/8/2014
Nice job on the speedy update, keep up the good work :)
SuitedManatee chapter 10 . 11/29/2013
Little confusing with so many names being changed, but I'm guessing this is at a different stage of development to book 1.
Anyway, looking forward to more, especially with what's going to happen to Gonzo.
MiroFTW chapter 9 . 2/14/2013
Random notes from reading this and previous chapters:

Everyone smiles. And grins.

Everyone runs a hand through their hair. There are other ways to convey nervousness. If this was intended as a mannerism, everyone shares it then.

Enygma, Izzy and Antes really seem like the same character. They have famous fathers. Only Enygma has a chip on his shoulder but he's still on speaking terms with his father, so it can't be all that bad.

All fathers seem to love and be on (generally) good speaking terms with their sons.

I think I realized why sims bother me as much as they do. It's akin to playing video games. There's no tension there - at least not for me. This chapter just seemed to have a "going through the motions" feel. Michan needs to get his head together. Plays a sim. All is good again.

Hoping things picks up soon.
MiroFTW chapter 5 . 2/12/2013
Been a while since I posted here. Everything up to this chapter seems alright. Grammatical mistakes here and there, but those can be fixed with one or two read-throughs.

Up until this point, it seemed as if the book was geared more towards a teenage/young-adult audience. Most of the characters spoke like your target audience and if that's not true, I apologize, but that's what I envisioned. The action, while over-the-top and perhaps better on-screen than in writing, is also geared towards the same audience. I could accept all of that.

And then I read this chapter.

The "race" between Izzy and Enygma, although seemingly innocent, is farcical. Izzy treats it as a pissing match. Enygma, someone who I thought would be a little bit mature, turns out, really isn't.

I understand the need for downtime between missions, even after such an ordeal. But this sim makes little sense to me. The point of such a sim, in my mind, would be to make it to the endpoint in as fast a time as possible. That would also mean making it there. Alive.

If this were a real scenario, and say they were being chased by enemy fighters, and had to enter this canyon run, he shouldn't be proud he survived 5 minutes and forty two seconds. He should be more focused on how to navigate it successfully. Time speaks little of piloting skills if the pilot dies in such a scenario. And yet Izzy is smiling (although this might just be a knee-jerk reaction by your characters :P) at the thought.

It makes flying a starfighter somewhat of a joke. To Izzy, it means just getting a low time. You don't mention how he's analyzing the course, or comparing his flight patterns with Enygma. To him it's just a time score. And his second reaction is to find out how Enygma did relative to him. Pissing match.

The only solace from this is that at least Enygma makes a comment on how it's different from the usual fighters he's used to.

Maybe I'm just missing the point of this exercise. Maybe they just want to blow steam. Maybe they just want to see how many G's they can take before their bodies can handle. In which case, why not just turn the dampeners off and go from there?

Anyways, I'd expect these pilots to take a little more pride in their flying besides a time/score. I'd also expect that they be drilled that staying alive is pretty important, despite how reckless their flying may be. And at the speeds they traveled, it was pretty damn reckless.

The exercise isn't the biggest problem to me really though - it's the way the characters go about this exercise. This only reinforces that Izzy is a hot-shot pilot. I was hoping there would be a bit more, but at this point, he's just pretty one-dimensional. Sure, there's probably a soldier, a friend, a lover, and perhaps even a leader in there somewhere. But he is seemingly doomed to this archetype. There's still some hope in Enygma, but he mirrors similar (imo childish) behavior

The other part of this chapter that I have to comment on is the meeting. The transition is a little awkward and I'd expect a page break somewhere in there. Minor qualm though.

The conversation is mostly as Myles said, "we all gotta cover our asses". But then Enygma makes a profound comment. They can all be enemies on the battlefield the next day. So this would be where Enygma stands up and makes a suggestion as to how to avoid that... right?

Nope. He just stands up and leaves. He brings up a real problem, makes a big fuss over it, doesn't offer a solution, and leaves. Thiiiiiis guy...

Now it's entirely possible that there might not be a solution, but I think that needs to be fleshed out at least a little more. Enygma is a leader and a thinker. Even if he doesn't have an answer, you can show that he's human and doesn't have all the answers, but that he hates this political bullshit.

It'd also give a point to this meeting, because it seemed that they were all just all going to go their separate ways even WITHOUT the meeting. In other words, they accomplished nothing except acknowledge that they gotta cover their asses. A solution would give it some more meaning, but I suspect it might be too hard to come up with one. That's up to the author. :P

Anyways, hope this all helps.
That'sNotMe chapter 3 . 1/6/2013
Another great chapter. I've got lots of notes, some of them rather specific, so bear with me.

The line "probably to blink back the emotion" felt weak. You know your character, you should know what he was really doing. Maybe say instead "he closed his green eyes. If someone had asked, he would say he was just tired, but in reality, he was holding the burning threat of tears at bay." From the rest of your descriptions of him, I really like him, but this line just feels a little like a cop-out.

There's some clunky wording, too. Look out for repetition and run-on sentences and too many prepositions. It can all easily be cleaned up.

I would like to know more about his defection. Perhaps this would be a good moment to remind us of some of the backstory. It doesn't have to be long, and if you're worried about repetition, maybe show us something from the previous books, but in a new light? It's just such a throwaway line, but it could be so much more. What memories are sticking with him about it? Does he have any lingering regrets? If so, what are they? If not, then why?

How does Enygma get in to what I assume is an Alliance military location without any problems at all? Surely intel would know who he is enough that security would stop him. Or is there some sort of upper echelon of diplomacy where they are able to interact with each other? Also, is there more to his consulting Cyrrin than just that Lawson respected him?

I like that Cyrrin isn't a stereotypical military man. Coming from a military family (my dad calls the air force "the family business"), it's refreshing to see a variety in your characters.

Your introduction of Indelli is really good, too. We see her turning these worries and stresses and fears over and over in her head, so it's surprising but still believable when she punches Stenson. Even though I know little about the backstory, that still made sense to me.

I'm still a little confused about Alliance and Confederate forces mingling. Are they on some sort of common ground? Or is there a special political circumstance? It just feels odd for sworn enemies to just be chilling together...

That said, I like the characters and the world, and I'm looking forward to seeing what's in store for them in this novel.
That'sNotMe chapter 1 . 12/30/2012
I like this first chapter - throws us right into the action, with just enough Jace-specific background to make us feel like we know him. Lopez's section was a little short - it felt kind of like a space filler, so we could cut ahead in time about without sticking with Jace. Especially if Lopez is just going to die later. Is there something you can reveal in that scene to give it a specific purpose?

Your writing is strong, descriptive, and interesting - I found it very easy and enjoyable to read for the most part. There were a few things that were unclear about this chapter, which is probably my only complaint besides Lopez's section. Did the corporal kill himself? Or did someone throw those grenades? I'm assuming he sacrificed himself so that Jace would leave him and focus on the battle, but I'm not sure. Also, what happened to Martinez and Lopez? Were they actually shot? The “waiting for orders” line makes it unclear. Maybe include a line about their faces being unblemished or something so we realize it was a hallucination. Or if they were shot, include a line about them falling/bleeding etc.

All that said, I really like the mystery of the Royal Flush. I'm assuming that they have something to do with the unusual tenacity and fearlessness of the Confederates in this battle. Perhaps? :)
Bamawm chapter 1 . 7/26/2010
I really like the tone of the piece. It has a drive and energy that kept me reading. I have reservations about the dialogue as it seems contrived to some extent. The end of the piece is wonderful. Wanted to be there (as an observer)! I would like to see smell and color and texture within the story. Jungle has that and it would add to the context of the drama. There is a rider to that observation that in moments of tension and exhaustion the world can seem grayed out...but that lack (of color) can be highlighted. Sorry this is brief.

Bill (Bamawm)