Reviews for The Opal Guard
The Autumn Queen chapter 1 . 6/8/2012
I really like the way you started this. "Someone must be out of their Sector" - immediately spells trouble. Actually, I like the whole first paragraph. Not exactly what I'm used to, but effective for sure. Just throws everything out before easing into the details. Nice.

[Then we beat down on the slum parasites when they just wanna scrape by, and no one ever pays attention to the Opal because they're like streetlights or doors, they're friggen' everywhere] - this sentence seems a little long. I think the last phrase can be separated from it.

[aged wood] - nice imagery.

[Citizens are so irritable, even the dirtiest patron has the right to get us kicked out.] - I'm not entirely sure what you mean here. Somehow, the sentence is lost on me.

Nice politics with an almost casual discussion. That is so true though, even in countries where it's supposed to be free voice.

I'm a little lost as to how he wound up in sector nine...but it seems that the narrator is too, so it's all cool. In any case, it's as effective as ever. Was he dreaming or something? For some reason, it took a while to click.

Nice ending too. Harsh. I wonder if it was necessary to rate M though.

My apologies for the delay.
lookingwest chapter 1 . 3/20/2012
Interesting beginning, I really liked all the action because it drew me right in and I don't get that too often with first chapters. I did feel like because of the dialogue, though, this chapter moved quiet quickly, I wanted to linger a little more on some scenes with perhaps a bit more description for the setting. We get it in the bar and I like how you worked in different details like the "aged wood" that you snuck in in one sentence. I thought that completed the picture for the first scene but once we move after describing the streets and the bike, everything became a little blank for me.

I like the idea of the Sectors though-the bit towards the end when Sam was electrocuted also went a bit fast because I thought we were in Sector 9 but then we end up at Sector 4's barrier. Which might make sense and everything, I just don't know if I have a complete map of it all in my head just yet. Overall though I enjoyed the action and everything that was happening, and I think you did a great job with the dialogue, it was natural and I didn't find any problems with the flow!
D.J Wu chapter 1 . 3/19/2012
I like the setting of your story. Even though it is a bit short, you still paint the setting very well.

Kind of relating to this, your character development is also exremely well done, especially given the length. That Derrick character was especially good.

That leads me into my favorite part of your story: dialogue. Your dialogue flows so naturally, so believeably, so well that I am green with envy ;) the dialogue really complemented characters, like the sorta timid Sam, the brazen Derrick, and the cold authority of the Opal Guard.
Stephanie M. Moore chapter 1 . 3/9/2012
Oh, very interesting use of the prompt. The idea of layered worlds or realities was a good idea for this month's quote.

I think this piece could easily be expanded into a larger work. The futuristic world has some very interesting imagery with the sectors and the way you describe them. For some reason, I thought of the bar on Tatooine from the original Star Wars trilogy in the early scene with Derek.

I would try to clarify the transition between the two worlds. I didn't realize what had happened the first time, and though the change should be jarring for the main character, I think it could use some refining for the reader.

All in all, though, the piece is well written, and I enjoyed reading it. Good luck with the WCC.
SeinenReader chapter 1 . 3/9/2012
I can't really say much about this story; mainly because it's not a series or it isn't climactic enough to keep my attention. I did enjoy the future-esque, oppressive government setting; it reminded me of the Jak series sequels. Although, while I do enjoy the memories this brought of that game series; I really can't seem to care for the Shyamalan like twist ending. The whole plot changing endings are, in my opinion, just ways to quickly end a story without contradicting most of the originally planned plot.
this wild abyss chapter 1 . 3/7/2012
I think that you could have added a lot more to the world building here. Dystopian fiction is so big now that there've become certain clich├ęs and common elements, so it would have been nice to see something new here, rather than a bunch of old fallbacks.

I do like your narrator's voice. I think he's clear and tells the audience what's going on without too much trouble.
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 1 . 3/7/2012
You know what this made me think of? That skit in the Animatrix movie where they happen across a glitch in The Matrix and a bunch of weird stuff starts happening in the otherwise ordinary world. A very cool concept, and it makes me wonder if this world is indeed fake, considering how drab everything is. Perhaps this is the beginning of someone awakening to learning the truth. Very interesting stuff.

Though, I did think the glitch itself was a little anti-climatic. I would have liked to have seen more of a scenery change going from one place to another. I hope you don't mind me making a suggestion, but if this is a glitch in their world then it means it doesn't have to follow any laws of science. Why not have Sam land in the middle of a rain forest or a jungle? Perhaps on the top of a forested mountain with an amazing view? I think it might contrast well with the dystopia he's stuck within, as well as leave a bigger impact and really fuck with his mind after that. Perhaps give him something to obsess over and try to find again, since it would be an escape from the mundane. It would also give you the opportunity to really delve into the description of an environmentally rich place - which could be fun!

Just a suggestion, of course. Good luck in the WCC. :)
SmashedIce.X chapter 1 . 3/7/2012
This is really good, I enjoyed reading! Yeah, you do get the occasional glitch in video games, strange how they happen! :)
Saeyre chapter 1 . 3/6/2012
Oh, this was fun! I like the fact that it was based on a game glitch-how would it feel, to encounter a glitch in real life? Probably very painful and disorienting, I think you have the right of it. The description of the crash and the shooting is nicely effective.

I was left with one question, though: why are they called Opal guards? You mentioned their helmets were black, so it isn't their color. Is Opal the name of the city?

One other thing that I think could be improved is the general atmosphere of the city. It seems a little...stock. Dystopian, grey, etc, and contrasted with a white Greco-Roman opulence. What are some of the little things that make your image of this world unique? Perhaps borrow some of the style of the video game that inspired you, or add primitive or medieval touches amidst the cybertech. For the upper levels, what about a vision of Arabian splendor, or a place filled with bright animal and plant life, a valuable menagerie in the midst of environmental desolation? I must admit I was a little disappointed when we got to the marble columns.

Overall, the structure is sound and the world is easy to access-I enjoyed reading this one!