|Reviews for Goodbye, Blue Sky|
| True Talker chapter 53 . 10/19/2012
I read this and found certain parts interesting. This is written quite well and it is sad the scenario that they are in.
| Complex Variable chapter 5 . 10/11/2012
["Come with us."] - - - "Come with us," he says.
[We walk for what seems like ages, weaving through alleys, dark narrow gaps between buildings, diving deeper and deeper into the heart of the city. Every once in a while a space of ruins opens up on one side, throwing us into moonlight. It's like a sleepwalk or a dream, and I want to look around more. But I don't dare.] - - - NIIIIICE. :D Try and do something like this at the end of Chapter 4; this is a very well written group of sentences.
[I sit up, dazed, and glance around.] - - - maybe this should be "I sit up in a daze, and glance around."
Not much else to say here. The rhythm of your last few sentences is quite nice. Although, I would say that you're taking the pace of the plot a little too quickly in this chapter, but, that's just me.
| Complex Variable chapter 4 . 10/11/2012
Very nicely executed info-dumping—the Dragon flag remarks, I mean.
[carrying a flag with a dragon perched on top.] - - - this is probably me just being obsessive, but, I would like to see this worded better. The phrase "perched on top" makes me see a plain red flag with a little baby dragon (is it Zack? ;D) perched on tope of the pole, staring at all the passerby. I assume that you meant to say a flag DEPICTING a dragon—the image of a dragon, not a real live one.
[He looks like he wants to say something, but doesn't. I glance back, and they're already past. He releases me, and I let the can fall out of my hand. We listen to it bounce down the roof.] This is choppy—and not in the good way that you excel at; it comes off weirdly on my tongue.
Once again—dialogue tags. I want to see more dialogue tags.
["In which the Empire was founded." ] - - - - "The month our glorious Empire was founded." (it sounds more sarcastic, and in line with Andrei's character, this way.
[He takes a breath, and gathers all his resolution.] - - - "all his resolve." You can't gather "resolution". XD
[A crack of fire in the ice encasing my heart.] - - - This isn't a sentence... and I'm not sure how to fix it.
[The sound of boxes falling behind me. I freeze.] - - - "I freeze at the sound of boxes falling behind me."
The section after the line break is not your best writing; I think you can do a little better. What you have is the kind of writing you should use when dealing with many characters doing things at once—it conveys information clearly and simply. However, in this case—Andrei wandering through an alley—you are missing out on a large poetical opportunity. Descriptions, descriptions, descriptions: the where is just as important as the how.
| Complex Variable chapter 3 . 10/11/2012
[So I only reach our apartment after darkness falls. Barely dragging my feet up the steps.] - - - "So, I only... falls, barely dragging..."
[Sure enough, there he is. Seated at the kitchen table.] - - - You use "seated"—past tense. I would write "Sure enough, there he is, sitting at the kitchen table."
["One of the casualties was General Mireau." He adds.] - - - should be ["One of the casualties was General Mireau," he adds.] You do this quite often: setting off the dialogue tag as a separate sentence when it shouldn't be. Just put a comma at the end of the dialogue sentence and then continue to the dialogue tag outside of the quotes—THEN, you put the period in place.
["I was on patrol." Alex says quietly. I open the fridge, feel him studying me. "Mother. Perhaps you'd better leave for a moment."] - - - Should be:
"I was on patrol," Alex says quietly.
I open the fridge, feel him studying me.
"Mother. Perhaps you'd better leave for a moment," he says.
[That sound rings, echoes a long time. Through this room. Through my head. As I sit down at the table, staring into space.
Trying not to think.]
I would make it:
"The sound rings, echoing for a long time. Echoing through this room; echoing through my head.
I sit down at the table, staring into space.
I try not to think about (it/anything). (choose one)
Okay, you need to be careful about this: WHENEVER a different character starts speaking, you HAVE to press RETURN, and set it off on a new line. (you need to do this in the paragraph that begins "Oh. You'll be forced to take action." Or—as part of me suspects—if this is just miscommunication, you need to add more dialogue tags, especially whenever the speaker changes.
[Well, tell Them I said 'hi'."] - - - "Them" shouldn't be capitalized.
[The anger that's been smoldering suddenly leaps up.] - - - Okay, so: although your poetic style works great in descriptive passages, it can get annoying in more mundane situations such as this. You need to add a "in him" or "in me" between "smoldering" and "suddenly", just because I can't tell who this description is describing. Especially in situations like this—where lots of little things are happening—lyricism cannot be allowed to get in the way of clarity. Furthermore, by giving the reader's brains and tongues a little variety—a respite from your lyrical abstractions—it makes the return to that writing style far more poignant and noticeable.
The plot is developing; good, I now have more of an inkling as to what a Reaper is.
| Complex Variable chapter 2 . 10/11/2012
[It screams again, earsplittingly.] - - - some people are more insistent about not using adverbs in this way. Normally, I'm not one of them—however, "earsplittingly" is rather painful to read/see. XD
I have faith that you'll be able to repair this by indecency by using a nice bit of figurative language in the first person—for example "It screams again; the sound bites at my ears." or something like that.
[just a dream.I ] - - - Sometimes on FP, spaces after italics don't register; you might need to insert an extra space just to make sure that it works out.
The surreal qualities of this chapter's plot resonates well with the dream-like quality of your prose, and, of the mood you establish.
From the scant world-building information you've given ("with the Dragon in front", "District Headquarters", "Twisted Cross") I sense that this is taking place in a dystopia of some sort, or another. If that is what you intended, then, good—your writing style helps to reinforce that image; if you had something else in mind, though, you should change the mood of your prose in places, if only to convey a different "attitude" about the story's setting.
I like the... the Cultists (the fox-mask-people). Very weird, surreal, and strangely ominous. Just, be warned: it is very difficult to keep up this level of crypticness (both in terms of the amount of information presented, and, the manner/mood in which it is presented) for long stretches without rubbing the reader the wrong way. So far, (at least, by chapter 2) it still feels fresh; just make sure to vary the mood now and again, just to prevent things from becoming monotonous.
Well, anyways—on to chapter 3.
| Complex Variable chapter 1 . 10/11/2012
(I'm assuming that text in italics are thoughts.)
First off: why are "Reapers" and "Only the Wall" NOT in italics?
If I go by the rule that italicized text is thoughts/memories, then almost all of this chapter is, presumably, a flash-back or a dream or something. The non-italicized text stands out; it's non-italicized-ness implies that it is part of the narration, implying that it takes place "in the present"—in the real world—rather than in the mental world of the italicized text.
You definitely have a characteristic writing style: your prose fluctuates between true "prose" and honest-to-goodness poetry. This is both a great strength and a great weakness. When executed properly, it gives a beautiful, haunting lyricism to your writing, filled evocative imagery and description. When executed improperly (too much; with mistakes; etc.), it is greatly confusing to read—both in terms of understanding what you are saying in each sentences, and—more importantly—in forming a general image of the story that you are trying to tell. Also, it can make it sound like you're writing gibberish—e.g., [Slowly they scan the ground, scan the ruined walls, approach the mass.] - - - I would change it to say "Slowly, the scan the ground, and the ruined walls as they approach the mass.]
[Nobody wants to admit, to realize.] - - - I would write "Nobody wants to admit; nobody wants to realize." Additionally, I would recommend including "anything" between "admit" and the semi-colon.
[A breath of wind flutters a poster briefly, stirs the branches of a burnt tree; in its last movement it seems to reach up to the heavens.] - - - I would add a comma between "movement" and "it", and change "stirs" to "stirring".
Be careful with your tenses. You tend to use the present tense most often, but you occasionally shift tenses:
[Every once in a while pulling somebody up and taking him with them.
And after they've gathered them, they move away.] - - - The second sentence is in the past tense, I think (I'm clueless to the mechanics of grammar; I just know them instinctively). I would fix it to say "And, after gathering them, they move away." Additionally, I would change that first sentence to say "Pulling somebody up, every once in a while, and taking him with them."
So, the gist of this chapter is that people were/are executed by a firing squad?
| J.Kuzzey chapter 43 . 10/7/2012
...Wow. Not sure if it was your intention, but this was a pretty - emotional? I guess that's the right word - chapter.
Loved the conversation about masks. It's true that most people, if not all, are hiding themselves behind a facade. Actually, that entire string of dialogue was awesome. I loved the rhythm you had going for it. Definitely something I could hear in a movie or read in a comic. Great scene, probably my favorite in this chapter.
"Two serpents; can't tell if they're fighting or just playing with each other.
'I dreamt they were brothers.'"
That's totally a reference to Andrei and Alex, right?
| Shining Dahlia chapter 1 . 10/6/2012
Your fic name reminded me of a Pink Floyd song...
| J.Kuzzey chapter 42 . 10/6/2012
I felt like I got inside Andrei's head for a little bit there. I actually feel pretty bad for the kid, he's been through a lot. Aaron seems almost like he wishes everything was just normal again, reaching out to the Andrei like it's his anchor or something. So I have to ask... was the man in the dream... his father? That was my initial reaction to reading it.
I feel like something's about to go down. Everyone is restless and getting ready. With that, I feel like big changes might happen. I'm ready for the next chapter. Will Andrei go with them? Hm... time to read and find out.
| J.Kuzzey chapter 41 . 10/6/2012
Love the fact that everyone has their own voice. I noticed it in Ras and then realized it was really that way for everyone. Every character speaks a way that its easy to imagine in my mind. After all, real people don't all structure sentences the same way or say words in the same sequence or tone. I feel like I'm searching for my part in a script, trying to find the voice that fits me the best. Pretty cool.
Speaking of Ras, loved the conversation between him and Shuri. "Man, fuck those guys. Nothing. Silence..." was a great little blurb that illustrated how frustrating this probably is for them. Then, the part about how their disorganization is their strongest point; that's probably true. Most structured forces can't figure out how to take on wild groups.
Aaron! Holy crap! When was he last seen? Chapter one or two? Mm curious a bit more as to why he joined. Wonder if this will make Andrei a bit more sociable.
| J.Kuzzey chapter 40 . 10/5/2012
When I first started reading this story in August, I wasn't quite sure how I would feel about your writing style going forward. It was intriguing and very different, but would that last for me in the long run? As I was reading this chapter, I realized I stopped noticing that you had a unique style, because I expected it; if you had suddenly started writing differently, I would be very annoyed. In other words, I really appericate your style.
The specific point where I realized this was right here:
'He picks up the flashlight again. "Looks like that chapter of our story's done with."
This may sound odd, but it's like you wasted no time with other details that are - in the end - completely irrelevant. So it creates a voice that I hear in my head when I'm reading something other than dialogue. Like a narrator, almost. It sets this pace that makes reading it a lot like reading a poem. I get a rhythm while I'm reading. It's pretty awesome.
One more thing on this rather long review! I thought the conversation between Ciel and Gabe about the air raids was interesting. It showed just how naive and innocent people can be when they are young. Then later when they conversed and she told him not to go away... uh nothing bad is going to happen, right? Please? Happy endings? haha!
| True Talker chapter 47 . 9/28/2012
This is interesting and done quite well.
| J.Kuzzey chapter 39 . 9/20/2012
Hmm I wonder who this "K" is. I doubt he's just a regular street sweeper. The first thing that popped into my mind when I saw K was King. I had such a surreal image of my mind reading this entire chapter, with the primary colors grey, black and orange; wind pushing ash into the air, making the skyline thick and dark... I'm telling you, this would make such a great comic! I'm curious as to what kind of crazy weapons are around, considering its not easy to burn stone to ash.
I really liked this chapter. I love this group of guys; they're so chill around each other despite their jobs. It feels like a group of dysfunctional friends (though they may not realize they are friends!). I enjoyed the small bit of backstory on this world. I feel like I'm learning more and more about it as the story goes on, but not too much is ever revealed so I also feel the need to continue on.
| J.Kuzzey chapter 38 . 9/19/2012
Whew this chapter was a mind trip. Hmm I feel like things are about to go down. Textbooks? Interesting choice, I didn't quite picture that being something he would enjoy. But when I think about the kind of lives they're living... Imagine how boring that would get after awhile? It's probably a good source of entertainment.
I liked this: "Why don't you go over then?" That's such a good... motto?... almost anyway, for the real world. You know, if there's a wall in the way, it's just a wall. You can go over it if you try. Is it better on the other side? You won't be sure until you see for yourself. Am I reading too much into this, because I feel like I do that a lot, haha! Also this: "Or maybe this is the dream? And I wake up in the other place?" I had to stop and think about it for awhile... your writing has a tendency to do that to me!
| J.Kuzzey chapter 37 . 9/14/2012
Pierrot's story was very interesting. For a moment, I'm going to take it at face value and just say that I loved the interaction between him and the kids. On the surface, it's entertaining. However, I think by now I should know better than to take anything at face value! So I'm curious then as to what represents what (both in the story and in real life, too). I'm going to dwell on this a tad in the my spare time and see what kind of theories I could possibly come up with.
Also very much the same about the brief story of the clock. I'm sure I've said it before, but I love how these little stories and tales are woven throughout this as a way to help paint pictures or present metaphors; sometimes they even inch the plot along or help dig up some character development. I think it works great with your type of prose, too. I feel like it's one of the defining features of this story.
That being said, it seems like Andrei is in a bit of a half-state in this chapter. Like he's kind of drifting through the day. But it's mentioned: "He's having on of his quiet days." So he obviously does this somewhat often. Then again, who wouldn't after what he'd been through. But I know there's still a little bit of ol' Andrei under the surface.