|Reviews for Mage's Crest|
| alltheeagles chapter 2 . 8/30/2015
I did the rewrite and came here and then I just realized I’ve done chp 1 of this a long time ago. So anyway, I re-read chp 1 to refresh my memory and here goes… I like the futuristic touches like the solar-powered taxi, and the agglutination of nations. Even though this isn’t a sci-fi piece per se, it’s set in the future and the future world needs to be both different from ours and sufficiently ‘forward’ in terms of tech and so on. I think you did a good job on that in general, would love more hi-tech bits! Tech and magic makes me sit up and pay attention.
The MC is solidly introduced. She’s inherently interesting as a mage in what seems to be a not very magical world, but at the moment she’s rather vanilla since she doesn’t have very many outstanding traits or quirks. I’m not saying that all MCs have to be psychos or have neon mohawks or whatever, but well, Iris just doesn’t pop right now. She doesn’t even come across as particularly bitter to me, though she has the ‘cold’ down pat.
| Virtuella chapter 21 . 8/30/2015
Seeing Iris develop a philanthropist streak is a nice twist. ;-) A little sudden, maybe, but you've built up her change over several chapters, and she's just had a traumatic experience even by her standards, so I guess it's fine.
And, oooh, new mysteries! Obviously I am curious now as to what it is with the vessel and the Divine Cradle.
Regarding tips for your rewrite, I think I've mentioned what stands out most to me in my previous reviews, but here's a recap:
World building: a) the mega cities are not plausible b) if sanctum is really oppressing the people that badly, then there should be more evidence of hardship c) a little more description of settings here and there wouldn't come amiss.
Prose style: Watch out for those repetitive expressions.
| Ventracere chapter 21 . 8/25/2015
In response to your author's notes, I definitely like Iris a lot better than she began. This chapter alone we get to see her growth from the beginning of the arc. She's a lot less callus, and even though she's blunt with the idea that "this is war", she is a lot more... understanding than she was before? It's a far cry compared to when she was talking to the mother in the prologue/first chapter. I'm a bit sad to see this is where you end, but this is a good hook for the next arc, especially since we want to see where Erlos and the other people are, how they are going to take to falling in Seraph's hands. This chapter alone, we get to see both sides of the battle. While Seraph's side isn't suffering as many casualties, we see that they still have to reinforce and regroup. I have to say though, I definitely like that you show us that, since you are able to give us a sense of balance that no one group is invincible. Plotwise, I think you're solid, you've clearly got a plan, and I'm looking forward to the twists and turns you have under your sleeve. One thing I think that could be reworked is more emotion and more energy. This chapter lacks a bit, even though we get to see Iris interact with Tony and we get a little more than we have before. I think as a reader, I lose out of some of the tenser parts. In that sense, give us a little more detail there.
Thanks for the read!
| lookingwest chapter 21 . 8/9/2015
Oh! This is the last chapter of this book? Kind of caught me off guard a little to see "END" - I think that would make sense and looking back on this chapter, I think it does seem fitting to end a first book or a first "arc" as you call it, but I'd add more to Iris as far as her feelings in the first part, for sure. She doesn't seem that wholly effected by losing Erlos, which, I agree with Cheddar, seems a little out of character right now. I know Iris has always had trouble warming up to people and is generally very emotionless in her response to things - but I think it would be nice to maybe see some sort of "change" that occurred from the Iris we knew in Ch. 1 to the one we know now. In that vein, yes, she does donate a crap ton of her money to Claire and the medical bills, but should she be a bit more somber in some way due to the events that unfolded between her and her brother? Inconsolable? Not sure if that make sense. I also don't want to shoehorn Iris into becoming more of 'likable' character because I don't think she should be - she should stay true to her more reserved personality, I'm just wondering if there's a way we could get more out of her from what's happened to Erlos than what we have here - though it might take more pondering on.
As far as questions, I did enjoy the approach of Iris in this story as, like I said above, someone who is unlikable in a likeable way, if that makes sense. It created her as a complex character that really stands out from other works I'm reading on FP right now, so that was nice. Dud-wise, I'm not sure. Nobody comes to mind right now. You've got a vast cast, but another nice thing about your styling of this story is that I feel like I remember most of them, even characters like Franco who were not actually *in it* beyond flashback areas, etc. If I had to pick one moment that could use a bit of work though, it might be the death of Elros's father. That still came off a little staged in the end.
Plot-wise, I liked the magical world you've created. It manages to be unique and give a unique take on magic ability. I especially liked choosing to do this in a very dystopic setting. I suppose that doesn't have a whole lot to do with "plot" - but in general, I liked the introduction of the "Eyes" and Aria the most, I think. Adding in the history of Auyti also helped with world building. The plot of Zeiten being Iris's brother is also a fun, I liked that - though I'm uncertain why the mention of this "Vessel" he killed back in his village even needs to be brought into that scene - it felt unnecessary.
Who wins out? Well, Primor seems like he knows a lot more - even in the conversation we just had between them, Primor seems like the one who is "in charge" more than Zeiten. Not sure if you mean, who would win in a fight? Probably Zeiten. Or if we like one over the other as a reader? Zeiten, too, then, I suppose :) Can't beat the troubled childhood trope, though I still have no idea why Zeiten blew up his village as a child or what led him to become really evil (was that explicitly ever touched on, or just through different smaller scenes? If I missed that, I apologize, ugh FP reading! But also I could see that something that would be built upon in the 2nd arc or book in the series, too).
Congrats on finishing this! That's quite a feat! Not often I get to finish "arcs/books" on FP, either. Looking forward to the next in the series and I hope you celebrated accordingly after finishing :)
| Ventracere chapter 20 . 8/7/2015
Well, this was a lot of fun to read. You have solid action, that makes it easy and quick to read as well as keep the pacing going. Sometimes the pace does lag a bit, but those parts are understandable because you have to go and explain what is going. Which, is always a bit tough. There are a couple parts in the piece I think you've dropped a couple commas, but those aren't too big of a detractor, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. As for the emotion, you've certainly come a long way when it comes to developing Iris. Instead of the original detached character we had, we now have someone who we can see obviously cares. And I liked that because it's easy to see the growth and development of Iris as a character. Something else that I liked what the scene with her brother. I have a few nitpicks with that, but overall, I enjoyed it because it was fast paced and it was understandable. Further more, you're beginning to tie up some lose ends with Zeiten, who you had previously noted as someone that we should watch for. And now it's come to a head.
Thanks for the read!
| BeeSkeez chapter 1 . 8/3/2015
I really love the premise of this! I've always been really into the corrupt organisation/political side of fantasy stories, where a real world setting has these dark undertones to it. That's the sense I'm getting from this so far, and I think it's a really great idea. Because of that, I'm really keen to keep reading, but I do have a bit of constructive criticism.
In terms of dialogue, I think maybe it was a bit overused. The conversation between Iris and the mother at the end, for example, didn't necessarily all need to be there. The information about who Sanctum is, for example, I think would have fit better earlier on in the chapter, as some exposition - it didn't really need to be dialogue. That way, I think it would enhance Iris' character too - she seems like someone who is not much of one for wasting time. She doesn't seem mean, but she seems to be pretty into efficiency, and so to me, it didn't make sense for her to stay and chat with this woman for quite so long.
Also, I think just be a bit careful with certain things coming across a bit cliche. It was just the part where she was like 'don't you remember me', to the point where he eventually did. The whole conversation came off a bit like a cheesy action movie (sorry if that sounds harsh), and because the rest of it really didn't come across that way, I think it wouldn't hurt to revise it a little.
Overall, I'm really interested and definitely plan to keep reading (lol this was meant to be an easy fix review for RG, I went a little overboard).
| Liya Smith chapter 1 . 8/3/2015
Hey! I'm from the Review Game! I guess we posted at the same time, so I decided to review your story to make it fair!
I'm impressed. I was hooked by the first few lines, which a lot of writers can't do well. You gave a really great start to this plot.
I couldn't really see anything wrong with this first chapter. There were a few errors:
"No," insisted the mother, "I can find him," should be "I can find him."
That was the most I could find, really. So great job and good luck!
| Ventracere chapter 19 . 7/28/2015
Opening: Short, sweet, and to the point. I liked how you didn't waste time to let us know that this is going to be the culimination of the past few chapters. They're about to enter the fray and even though you don't take the time to really show or tell us Erlos's feelings, it's easy to see that he's ready for the fight. It's a little fun to see that Tony brushes a few nerves here and there (or that the other guy does), but what's a chapter without a little fun?
Setting-wise, I think you don't do too much describing here, which I definitely appreciated. You give us enough so we have an idea of what to picture, but you don't give us so much that we would be bogged down and bored. That said, I'm a fan of your use of gothic arches and facades. The images stick out - those are things that are easy to picture and don't need too much description.
Ending: Good last punch at the end. For some reason, when Seraph asked what was going on, I felt like he was so clueless for a second. That has nothing to do with your writing, haha, just what was goign through my mind at the moment. Anyways, it's a great hook at the end, definitely makes me want to see how Seraph is going to react to Zeiten in the next chapter. Or rather, if he is going to make the two of them fight to the death.
Scene: I'm a fan of the fight between Lance and Livia. Everything was hopeless from Erlos's POV, and I liked how we got to see it from a back point of view. Previously in the other fights, we saw it from the perspective of the fighter. Here we get to take a step back and see just how dire it is and how Liva was slaughtering people like they were lambs. Good description and good touch. When Iris steps in, it's like all the doors are blown wide. She's the wildcard, and definitely makes her step into the battle count.
| Virtuella chapter 20 . 7/28/2015
Ah, a family reunion of the less amicable kind! This is a nice, fast-paced chapter with a lot of action. You might remember me saying that generally I don’t care much for action, but you are doing it well and don’t draw it out too much. I could easily imagine this as a movie scene.
You give Iris an opportunity here to indicate how she has moved on from her earlier cynical stance. That brings up the interesting question whether she will go the other way now and pursue the rescue of Erlos in spite of rational reasons against it. We shall see!
| mikey magee chapter 1 . 7/26/2015
I love your opening. It's great that you simply jumped into the action, it was a wonderful hook.
I also love the simple conversation in this chapter. Alfred stated that the child could use magic, and you went forward as if it were common knowledge. When I say that, what I mean is you never stopped to explain the rules of the world, you kept all of the info in dialog and it sounded natural and clean. Very well done :)
Typo: "I'm afraid its none of business" replied Iris.
"I'm afraid its none of MY business..."
Great story so far.
| Ventracere chapter 18 . 7/24/2015
I liked the way they were able to coerce Jackson into working with them. He's a hardworking guy with a good heart, someone who wants to keep his family safe. It definitely gives him a depth that other people in Sanctum lack - or as far as we've seen him. And Erlos is right about that they don't see everything and he's willing to learn from that, which is something I liked about this chapter. We are able to see the growth of Erlos in the chapter especially when he is able to come to the conclusion and is willing to "argue" with Alan. I like how he's becoming more aware of things around him, and he's no longer just completely following Veras.
Just a bit of nitpicking, I felt like Jackson didn't have that much of a fight - which considering his position, is understandable. The opening of the chapter felt a bit rushed. It was a bit of a "review" so to speak, then jumped right into who Erin Walter. I can understand that you wanted to get into Jackson's dilemma, but perhaps flushing out that part will give that section a bit more "3-D" feel.
Thanks for the read!
| Ventracere chapter 17 . 7/22/2015
Strong opening. One thing I would look for is your repetition of "tied up" in the first couple of paragraphs. It gets a bit weird after seeing it too many times, and then you repeat that Thomas is wrapped up in blue chains. Perhaps chain a couple of them?
In regards to your author's note, I don't think it was much of a slog. You were able to interject enough life into the chapter using Iris's interrogation scene, which honestly was a lot of fun. It was fast paced and quick, as well as easy to get through. One note about that though. While it is fast, I think it might help to interject a little more description for that part. You lose a bit of thomas's pain, though you do capture his panic well.
Zieten is an interesting character. I would describe him as having a bland outlook? Bland probably isn't the right word for it. Anyways, he was a bit passive, though it's interesting to see that he let them go. Here, we can see the connection between him and Iris. Neither of them are willing to kill, yet they're more than willing to wound in order to get their points across. Cool connections, especially since it tells us and gives us a bit more depth to Z's character.
Thanks for the read!
| Ventracere chapter 16 . 7/20/2015
Solid chapter! There were a few points here and there I think you were missing a few commas, but it didn't detract from the chapter. The action scenes were solid here, if a bit quick. At the same time, if you dragged them on, they would have lost the flair and the impact that they brought to the narrative. Aria bothers me a bit to be honest, haha. It's just her character, not the way you've written her. I understand that you needed to have her act starkly different from Iris in order to create a distinguishable difference between the two of them. What ticks me a bit is how she "fake" (not the best word, sorry) she is when she goes through the acts. I think that is due to the fact that my brain keeps lumping her and Iris together, which, sorry :(
Something else that I liked was the pacing of the chapter. It was quick and flitted from scene to scene. The time jumps weren't a problem here either. It was a much smoother than previous, and that I liked. The fast pacing of the chapter made it easy to read and get through as well as retain all the information you needed for the story. There were parts of the story that lagged a bit, but those were necessary in order to introduce what was supposed to happen during the infiltration.
Thanks for the read!
| Cheddar-Graham chapter 21 . 7/19/2015
I don’t know what to make of Iris’ reaction to what happened. Generally, I think she’s being too blasé about it in general – I thought she was fonder of Erlos than indicated by the ‘I didn’t manage to save him, oops. Oh well, too bad about that’ sentiment that she seemed to be expressing. On the other hand, with your writing style of not touching very much on characters’ inner thoughts, it could also be interpreted as Iris might feel differently inside but has to keep up her tough-guy image. I liked the tidbit about the Vessel though. Immediately it sets off speculations, following on to what I said previously about Iris being surprisingly wimpy for somebody with a crest. Maybe she’s a vessel, huh? Well not the vessel in this village, presumably, but an unknowing vessel and that’s how she’ll grow strong enough to defeat Zeiten? If she’s supposed to defeat him, that is. Wait wait, maybe Erlos is a Vessel. Haha… I sound like one of those Ancient Alien people, clutching at theories.
| Kakikomi chapter 1 . 7/17/2015
I like the way you used the little narrative asides to introduce the Magic because it was easy to understand.
I also like the asides because they seem conversational in nature and provide a good amount of humour (especially with the explanation of Magic)
I dislike none of the story (though I'll admit that I'm not a huge fan of fantasy)