Reviews for The Beast and The Monster
Argentum Vir chapter 2 . 3/8/2013
A few things to start off. One is that like some of your other work, you tend to be redundant. While it isn't too bad, and most people will not notice it, I'd like for you to try and fix it. For example, you describe the old woman as "elderly" after establishing that she's old when you introduce her. We know that she's old, and there haven't been any other new characters introduced, so it's better to leave the reader to remember that.

The character interaction between the Old Mayor and Axe seems to be off to me. You have painted the Mayor to be fairly wise, so it's not as awkward as it could be, but for the Mayor to have observed and seen enough of the monster to give the detailed advice he gave, I'd think he'd be kinda suspicious (to me he is at least). If he isn't a villain (I'll have to find that out), then you might want to consider just having him give the info to Axe and not advice. I'm sure he knows more about battle than the mayor does.

The friendship between Taroh and Axe seems far too quick as well. I mean the "good Samaritan" routine would move it along quicker, but I don't think they should be so trusting at this point.

The story so far seems solid. We have Axe the wandering warrior. A tradesman named Taroh. Then we have a mysterious conflict that involves a monster and a wicked magician. Although at this point the only character I'm really interested in is Axe, and that's simply because I know a bit of his lore and origins. We'll see how this all plays out.
Argentum Vir chapter 1 . 2/24/2013
Hmm, this reminds me of the opening to another story of yours. Death and destruction is never too far away in your world is it? So far so good. Aside from some minor niggles about your prose, I found myself engrossed in the story. Mad Axe? Sounds pretty epic. After I heard his friend's name was Steve, I thought the scene you described when he buried something sounded like something right out of Minecraft. I have to admit it added to the depth.

[If it wasn't for the large tradesman, things would be even worse for the young warrior that was laying on the side of the road. As a vulture flew slowly above him, the warrior lay in the hot soil, his lips cracked and his throat was dry as a bone. An old leather pack and a large lochaber axe lay on the ground nearby; the axe's long, curved blade carried many nicks beneath the fine layer of long dried blood and the tall shaft was weathered from many uses, as was the leather pack. Just inches from his head, a black, wide-brimmed hat lay. He had no provisions and was laying in the blazing sun when the tradesman and his beast of burden rolled down the road.]

This first passage seems fairly confused. While the detail is pretty clear, its presentation is not.

[...the axe's long, curved blade carried many nicks beneath the fine layer of long dried blood, and the tall shaft was weathered from many uses as was the leather pack.]

This is too long winded and confusing. It took me a few seconds to decipher it. You should consider chopping it down to this with a bit of clarification:

[...the axe's long, curved blade carried many nicks under a stain of long dried blood. Its tall shaft was weathered from many uses, much like the dry leather leather pack.]
The Swan chapter 5 . 12/23/2012
Axe becomes even more enigmatic at the conclusion. Personally, I quite like characters like this, although I know it does frustrate some readers. So, Steve's a skull? OK, didn't see that coming! (Actually, Axe is a tad creepy, if i may say so.) Actually, I think that Axe seems more concerned about other people than he lets on. I like that Axe honours Taroh at the end. All in all, a very well formulated and entertaining story. Keep up the good work, and write more like this soon!
The Swan chapter 4 . 12/23/2012
Great monster! It's a good plot twist. You really use the battle setting effectively. I laughed when poor Axe had to see more of Gram than he bargained for, since it came out so suddenly. I had wondered if Axe was done for, since he seemed to be doing rather well with the toxic fumes, and I thought that his exit from the belly of the beast was a brilliant climax! This is my favourite chapter so far, and I found it very entertaining.
The Swan chapter 3 . 12/23/2012
Well, Axe doesn't seem to have trusted Gram from the start, but I'm guessing Gram's the master of the beast. The skeleton's probably a bit cliched, but it's effective anyway. It was fun to read about Axe's greeting, though. (I suppose that the bone to the head does justify the skeleton ;) It's good to read a story like this, were the protagonist has clear ideas about how to fight well, and talks about it. There is one detail which gets to me a bit when it happens, though, so I'll just make this one suggestion: Stories are more effective if adjectives and adverbs aren't repeated a lot, like when you say that something 'hard' hit Axe on the head 'hard'. If you vary your descriptive words more, it'll make the story even more interesting.
The Swan chapter 2 . 12/23/2012
Waldon is another good name. (Just my opinion :) Hystao is a great name for the setting you've created, and this chapter really sets up the coming conflict nicely. The idea that the monster kills with its breath is an interesting one, which makes the monster dangerous on principal, and not just because its big. Axe is even more mysterious now; his disinterest in other people is interesting, and I'm wondering how it's going to develop. The mine pit seems like an interesting place for combat.
The Swan chapter 1 . 12/23/2012
An intriguing start to the story! I do like this wacky character named Axe. I'm interested to learn more about him. The setting seems quite desolate (in a good way! It's interesting.) For some strange reason, I'm seeing an ancient version of a post - apocalyptic wasteland. Fun little bit of confusion about Axe's name, too! I got sucked in immediately by this first chapter. Just one thing that seemed odd: with the imaginative names for Axe and Taroh, why Steve? (Oh, and I do wonder what Axe buried?)
Kay Iscah chapter 5 . 12/21/2012
Good start but feels like it's missing something. I appreciate Axe's show of respect, but Taroh's death still feels really pointless. There were scads of other ways to get the knife in there, no clear reason for the dragon to go after Taroh, no clear reason why Taroh would be wandering around on his lonesome at this time, some confusion with the timeline, and Axe didn't gain any insights from the death.

Gramzon got a bit too canned evil at some points, which was a pity, cause he had enough initial quirkiness to him to prove more than that. I half expect Gram to be the beast's master but for him to actually be the beast caught me pleasantly off guard.

I wanted to know something more about Axe though...He had a rough childhood therefore he was tough was not sufficient explanation for Axe's super-human strength, disappearing skills, or level of crazy. It made me wonder if I was supposed to have read another story before this one...if so, that should probably be noted at the beginning. Apparently you have several Tellus tales...might help to work up a timeline or something, so readers know how they fit together. Otherwise the story needs to be self-contained.
Kay Iscah chapter 4 . 12/21/2012
I'm assuming there's something behind Axe's super-human stamina, so I'm just rolling with that.

This chapter was less fun. I'm not okay with you killing Taroh. There were other ways to get a knife in the dragon's belly...also when the dragon shrinks, what happens to his stomach contents?...I'm mean if he swallows spears and swords and stuff and then shrinks... yeah, I'm over thinking that...

Gramzon did a massive overshare. We really don't need so much of his backstory...

PM for this one too... The punctuation... run on sentences...
Kay Iscah chapter 3 . 12/21/2012
Comma misbehaving again in this chapter, and some sentence fragments...details in the PM.

Axe remains delightfully dumb. Humor and pacing stay good, but sending a list of all the little details that need tighening up.
Kay Iscah chapter 2 . 12/21/2012
Axe isn't too bright, but that's okay it fits him. There's a likability to him. But there's also some logical holes in this chapter. I think you're envisioning a burnt rather than burning village, but the last chapter left me thinking the fires were active. Which makes the first paragraph read strangely...needs more show and less tell...not tons of extra description, but something to let us know the state of the fires and when/why they went into a building...

Also where'd the tradesman go? It's not clear why they split up.
Kay Iscah chapter 1 . 12/18/2012
For the most part I think there's a very nice natural flow to the dialogue. Strong opening, interesting characters.

I think the descriptors you use need fine tuning, you use at least five different terms to describe the same character before you actually describe the character. So I'd either simplify or move the physical description up earlier.

Lots of minor comma and punctuation issues, I'll send you a PM detailing those.
GiveItTime chapter 2 . 12/14/2012
The only problem i found with this chapter really was:

"Waldon stopped gazing out the window he stood in front of and cast him a side glance." - i don't think this flows that well. Having 'he stood in front of' probably isn't necessary. just having 'Waldon stopped gazing out the window and cast him a sidelong glance' would be more effective :)

Also, i think at time it could be more beneficial to use more descriptive language and perhaps give us a bit more input on body language, facial expression, appearance, the surroundings. Just a bit more description.

Also, i found the change from slightly insane Axe to warrior Axe a little to quick. It was a fairly dramatic change.

Though it is another great chapter. I'm really enjoying this story and look forward to seeing what happens for these people :)
GiveItTime chapter 1 . 12/14/2012
"You're weapon?" - you mean 'your weapon'

"as it began to cling to is flesh" - i assume you meant 'as it began to cling to his flesh"

They're the only issues i noticed though. I like it so far. It's really interesting! I love that its a world unlike our own and i love the kind of insanity issue. Insanity makes a story interesting. I'm really keen to find out who Axe is and what happened to the keep :P

I look forward to reading more! :)
Jax Creation chapter 1 . 10/10/2012
First off, I'd like to say welcome to FP and to the Roadhouse!

Now, as a diehard fan of fantasy tales, I really enjoyed this. Monsters... wastelands... mysterious objects in sacks... classic elements in a fantasy setting :D

Best thing here would have to be your characterisation of Axe. Mad, or gifted with some talent that we have yet to discover? I'm inclined to lean towards the latter. He's clearly a child - or a youth, judging from his actions (I think could be made a little clearer), but he seems very responsible... in a very odd sense of the word—which is a good thing :3 His oddities are what makes him likeable.

The ending is good, makes me wonder what's going on in this town that's out in the middle of a place commonly known as the "Badlands" (why on earth would you want to live there?), but I'm *really* curious about what's in that sack! I want to guess it's Steven... but I'm probably wrong XD

Small critique about the beginning. I feel that it's lacking that punch to really reel in the reader. The first sentence even seems a little superfluous. The next sentence makes it clear that Axe is in a pretty bad situation... I mean, he's about to become vulture chow! :S

But on that note, really good use of imagery in that section. I really loved your description of Axe; "As a vulture flew slowly above him, the wanderer lay in the hot soil, his lips cracked and his throat was dry as a bone." — Wonderful, simply wonderful :3 If I were the tradesman the first thing I would've done is poke him to check that he's not dead XD

Anyway, good job! I'll look forward to reading more of your work :3

- Jax
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