|Reviews for Forbidden Fruits|
| Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 1 . 6/24/2015
It's totally sweet that you'd dedicate something to the ladies of the RG :) And I can see where slash and conventional tropes would play a role here - I'm curious to see how you'll break them. Already, I think that this breaks the mold of conventional slash: first off, we're dealing with hybrids, and secondly, we've got something like MPREG (hinted at) that may not be invoked by magic or unnatural biology XD. Anyhow :3 I'll start a proper review now :D
I like the character of Julius already; he does come across as a 'weakling', but there's enough promise of character development to make that little 'flaw' irrelevant (not that it's a flaw, I dare say, it's just that conventionally, this is viewed as undesirable). If anything, I think that one thing Julius needs to learn is to stand up for himself and not allow his brother to get away with everything. And I already like how you are hinting at his dissatisfaction with Hein. He's already showing his disgust and internally criticises his brother's addiction: I like that, because it does demonstrate that Julius isn't dumb nor lacking in awareness of how the world around him operates. It also paves the path for future defiance and the possibility of him standing up against Hein. What I further like about Julius is that he seems to be a far fairer and better person than Hein; you show that through his caring nature (he misses his father a lot), and the way he doesn't immediately judge Romeo for being what he is. In fact, he seems rather eager to make friends with him, because that's what his father would have wanted. I like those elements/qualities, because they make Julius a good counterpart against his brother Hein, and overall, having a kind character in a story like this, where prejudices and social injustice rule, far more palatable. I also like how cute Julius: he seems so easily flustered and looking for advice; he also just seems lonely, which makes him someone that is easy to relate to. Overall, I'm just curious how you'll further develop him.
Romeo is a funny name, but I like how it hints at 'romance' :D (I'm silly). What I like about Romeo especially is how he defies stereotypical gender constructs: he's not ashamed of his desire to have a baby, and nonchalantly argues that's in his nature, without showing any embarrassment for it. That's not only brave, but shows how comfortable he is in own skin. Furthermore, it's nice to have a story that touches upon the boundaries of gender construct and politics like this: it's maybe a bit uncomfortable at times (because we're not used to deal with the unusual), but it's interesting, and I'm definitely up for more exploration of such themes. What I also like is how Romeo seems so charming and effortlessly kind; he's brave, but he's also not embittered, and I like how he just wants to make friends with Julius. It hints at the fact that he's not always had it easy, and that he's probably used to people looking down at him. Maybe this reaching out of his is a way to try and desperately make contact? Whatever the case, I like that he's like this, because it just makes him endearing and also makes him compatible with Julius (who also seems like such a nice guy).
I don't have much to say about Hein yet; he seems like a complete jerk who needs to lay off his fruit-taking habits, and stop being such a commanding jerk. I do like that you made him so unlikeable though, because it sets up the side-plot of Julius defying him in the future far more believable. Hmm, what else? I liked the writing style of this chapter, because it was easy to read, and detailed when necessary. I'm tired XD I'll stop the review now :P
| Timbo Slice chapter 1 . 6/23/2015
I liked the interaction of the brothers Julius and Hein, they both came across as real individuals with their own histories independent of the story and they have a realistic dynamic with each other with kind of mirrors how a relationship between brothers in this universe can be.
Speaking of universes I thought you should have placed more emphasis on the setting to really distinguish what separates our universe from there's, because I see little tidbits of sensory info that can be expanded upon to give readers more of a clearer image of he setting.
| lookingwest chapter 1 . 6/7/2015
Oh hmm, the curiosity mounts! After coming from the other story, this answers a lot of my wondering-questions about the male side of things when it comes to "breeders" and their biological urges. Very surprising to find they have the same baby-rearing urges as the women do - I think that's a huge difference form the stereotype about human males, and I think you acknowledge that when Jules feels weird about Romeo's baby in terms of what Hein would think regarding traditional gender roles. This totally makes me wonder about the slash element then too - so sexuality as far as female / male instincts are not actually "biologically" implanted like the urge to rear children and procreate is? Aka, there can be gay or non-binary identities, but all of them will still feel the instinctual need to have babies. Once again...unique themes / arguments here, heh!
I liked the ending reference with Romeo and the balcony. I think it was clear right from the get-go on Kristin's story that we were in an AU, but the Shakespeare references here really added to that imaginative world building. So yeah - the bit where Romeo leaves via the balcony was a nice little moment to reference back to that literary allusion and still give a nice lasting image for Jules and the reader on his initial feelings towards Romeo. I think the two definitley display some chemistry.
The dialogue in this was stiff to me, unfortunately. I agree with Cheddar in the sense that it felt it slipped between formal and informal, and sometimes I felt things were a little too translucent with the "showing" aspect. Like I recognize that yeah, this is happening in-world with your other stories, so to new readers, they need to be introduced - but how much do they *really* need in this first chapter? Is it, for instance, important for *this* specific chapter to know that the green peoples were genetically created in the "20th century"? Or could we scrap that detail for better placement later? Hein's paragraph where he describes the "breeders" then, felt especially the most shoe-horned in for the reader's benefit. A little transparent...
That conversation also make me wonder where Jules had come from to not know about these creatures yet? In your other story they're on the media (like Emily), and it seemed weird to me he wasn't familiar with them when they seem to live in-world? Could we get a better explanation of why he wouldn't know? I mean, even if he's never seen one IRL, surly he's heard about them from rumors or from the media in some other way, shape, or form?
I liked the description of the wolf via the VP thing - that was especially life-like and "jumped out" as far as setting descriptions so far :) I also liked the opening once again with the attention to plants and even the "grand hall" reference - we get a better understanding of class systems here, I think. Jules feels very sheltered... But I enjoyed the portrayal of his relationship with his father, even, and I thought that was a nice tough to characterize him. I also liked, in turn, the relationship portrayed between Romeo and his mother Tracy - you get the sense that Romeo is close to her if he's running such an errand for the berries. Hopefully he doesn't get caught by Jules' brother!
My fav convo was probably when Jules and Romeo were talking about Romeo's baby - again, there are some very interesting gender roles reversed here that are very "traditionalist" in your other story coming from Kristin. The playfulness of how you're handling the green peoples' instincts and their sexuality is fascinating. Thanks for the afternoon read! :)
| Cheddar-Graham chapter 1 . 6/3/2015
RG Depth review
It's brisk and to the point. I think opening with a scene works well in this piece because although you have a lot of information and world-building (this being an AU after all), you don't ambush us with it right away.
Usually I'm not too bothered about setting, or lack of thereof, but here I think maybe it might be a little more relevant, again given that this isn't the world as we know it. I suggest a bit more information on the time perhaps, or the social system - I'm getting 'not very modern, class-based' and I'm not sure if that's what you intended.
First of, I like their names, even if it's borderline cheesy (haha, that's funny coming from me with my handle). I find their interaction cute, if a little stiff. That's because of the dialogue, I think - it's not consistent in tone for me. Eg Julius starts off all formal 'Stand forth' and then later he has 'babies are over rated'.
The ideas of 'forbidden' and 'fruits' are both coming across very clearly. Some people would say subtlety is better I suppose but I don't care, I like how your title fits these themes perfectly.
There is a strong sense of resolution as well as an invitation to continue reading, so technique-wise I'd say you get an A. As an indication of which direction this story is going in, I'm not completely sure where you're going with this, but I AM interested enough to want to find out.