|Reviews for Sovereign: Ascension|
| Hibbidyhai chapter 73 . 3/21/2018
Cool chapter. It was fun to hear the other apprentices stories, or at least snippets of them, to get a glimpse of the world outside of the confines of this stories apprentices. My guess after reading the earlier chapter was correct, that the eight apprentices, wrapped up in their own struggles, might have their outlook shifted by Syrosks influence and their own experience, earned or not. The shift in understanding when Lorrik has the eccentricities of the others pointed out to him, how his companions are indeed unusual, but everyone else is too, was a nice touch.
You have great skills at characterization. These new characters we've just been introduced to seem just as interesting and fully developed as the ones we've spent seventy chapters with. Everyone has a past, everyone has depth. And the man whose partner is a suit of armor carrying the memories of his dead love, I really hope that is a fullmetal alchemist reference, haha. Good chapter. Can't wait to see what Syrosk's reaction to their disobedience is.
| Hibbidyhai chapter 72 . 3/15/2018
I really like the WWI vibe going on, although I suppose its more 1930's at this point with the metal skinned monoplanes. Although the Dominions relentless sense of progress seems to be what keeps them so dominant, I'm betting that down the road they are going to have severe resource issues. That kind of relentless consumption isn't great for the environment or natural resources. I would also assume that, among the lands that they've conquered, are agricultural centers that replace what they've paved over and mined out.
Getting back to the story, you do a good job of painting a picture of the environment. You can feel the buzz of activity across the base. You also see how the character's attitudes are shaped. Syrosk is the most paranoid amongst the group, followed by his apprentices. Their paranoia is earned, but it interesting to see how it bumps into the reaction they get from the other apprentices. Curiosity rather than fear and revulsion. Of course, they were only reacting to the two most 'acceptable' apprentices. I'm guessing we will see how they react to the rest.
Good work on this chapter. Its a transition scene, but you give it the same amount of attention as the rest of the story.
| Hibbidyhai chapter 71 . 2/14/2018
Good chapter. It's been a bit but it was very easy to get back into things. It seems like the group is pretty ready to get into the invasion. I liked the slow reveal of the Leviathan. Although the concept of this ship is basically a Nimitz aircraft carrier amongst WW1 era cruisers and destroyers, I thought it might be a bit bigger than it actually turned out to be. I also imagined it as an airship (perhaps propelled by magic?), a huge mobile base that could float over an enemy city. My favorite character at this point is Geron. I don't know what his fate will be, but I like the idea of this ancient being trying to find a life in a modern era.
You still play Bradic close the chest. That ambiguity makes you question the protagonists. Sometimes he might be a little too enigmatic, but you've built up such a background with this character and his relationship with Syrosk that it doesn't weigh him down, at this point.
| Hibbidyhai chapter 70 . 12/1/2017
You made a good decision opting to go over the planning session, rather than jumping into the battles and explaining things as you go along. There are going to be a lot of moving parts. My favorite part of this chapter was Lord Geron marvelling at the changes since his time. The tidbits of info he conveys make it seem like some interesting stuff was going on during his time as well. Geron is somewhat of a late addition to the story, not counting his appearance when Lorrik and Halsten attack his tomb. But I think the character injects a lot of new energy into the story.
I'm hoping the Leviathan is a giant airship. Please let it be a giant airship. The story is rightly focused on the Sovereigns apprentices and Bradic, but I still feel that the opposition they'll face from the Templar is pretty vague. I'm sure that won't remain the case once the fighting starts.
Another fine chapter. This story seems set up for an exciting final sprint.
| Hibbidyhai chapter 65 . 11/27/2017
It's been awhile since I've read the previous chapter, yet I can quickly pick up on what's going and where things are heading. That speaks to the quality of your writing...despite the complexity of the world and the characters you describe things well enough that I never felt lost. You also find new wrinkles to toss in, such as Lorrik returning to the Lost Valley. I really like his conversation with the phantom Sovereign Lord. I feel sorry for Bradic and his forces...he's not going to know whats coming for him. Great work!
| mikey magee chapter 2 . 11/13/2017
Hello from the What That Fosh Forum.
First off, I love your opening paragraph. I love the interplay with words, and how you built up the “importance” and mysticism of the trinket, only to shatter that illusion with Lorrik’s pragmatism.
I also loved how you slowly revealed Lorrick’s character as the chapter went on. At first he seemed cooled headed, almost a little jaded with how he viewed his room (“little more than three walls…” had a very jaded connotation to it).
The one thing that did bother me though was we didn’t learn Lorrick’s name until the 8th paragraph. Constantly referring to him as “The Acolyte” became tiring.
I love the dialogue for Jora, but I felt like her introduction was a little rushed. The only description we get of her is her blonde hair. When we were introduced to Lorrick we got long and wonderful descriptions that described his state of mind (which is easy to do because he’s the main character) but with Jora, I didn’t feel like we got as much time to really ground her in the story. What I mean is, perhaps you could have added a few more lines about how Lorrick felt about Jora before we went into the dialogue of the Lords coming to the academy.
Ex: Jora had been at the academy for as long as Lorrick could remember. Whatever spell he mastered, she managed to do it twice as strong, and twice as fast. Where Lorrick was content to look at the world through pragmatic eyes, Jora was insistent on staying positive. When she spoke, it seemed as if all the world’s problems were just small trivialities. It’d be annoying if it wasn’t so endearing.
But regardless of that, I think you did a great job showing their current relationship through their dialogue. It felt natural and it showed that they had been friends (and even rivals) for a long time. It was also a great way to introduce the plot points of the story without slowing the pace down.
And the blossoming relationship between Halsten and Lorrick peaked my interest. Halsten’s monologue on what he expected out of a partner was quite chilling (being challenged every day, and expecting pain and hardship). Lorrick is quite right, both of those men are nothing like their comrades.
I’m not really a fan of fantasy type stories, but this one was very nice. Good plot and good characterization. Nice job.
| Aminta.defender chapter 28 . 10/13/2017
This feels like a welcome break from the previous chapter. The pacing feels more relaxed and the writing exudes a sense of relief. The acolytes are home. I really like the interactions between Lorrik and Halsten as they bond and become better partners. You've built up a very dynamic cue although Halsten seems to be falling in the gentle muscle stereotype. Maybe something you could expand on, but not very problematic.
The one scene that could be expanded more is when Syrosk interacts with Doran. It feels rather stilted and lacks much depth. There's a slight talking into the abyss feeling.
Overall a solid chapter.
| Hibbidyhai chapter 64 . 10/10/2017
We finally learn what Bradic's plan is! That was exciting, although we were told about it through dialogue instead of being with the character as they discovered it. This is still active instead of passive voice, but we could have dived into that teacher's head with Syrosk. There is nothing wrong with the way you chose to reveal it, from the apprentices perspective, but with all the build up in the plot I think you could use a more exciting reveal. For example, Syrosk could discover a memory of a meeting between the teacher and Bradic. Or maybe the teacher was spying on his master and Bradic doesn't know his plot has leaked.
Everything else is excellent, from the characters continually evolving and developing relationships with each other. They really feel like a team now. I feel like they've developed a bond with each other, and not just with their partners. I also like how they assume the Dominion is going to roll over the Federation, making Bradic's plans possible. I suppose the Dominion is strong enough compared to their enemy that victory seems inevitable, but I wonder if maybe its not.
" 'Are you saying I can dodge bullets?' 'No, I'm saying that when you're ready, you won't have to.' I like that they are preparing to fight against mundane soldiers, and not just mystically empowered enemies. I'm sure they will all accomplish this in their own way, from getting into the heads of the soldiers firing at them, to using hallucinations, to using brute force. It looks like a lot of awesome stuff is coming up. Great work.
| Aminta.defender chapter 27 . 10/6/2017
Once again an excellent chapter. You've managed to craft an excellent world. I loved the line "And Raz please put back the knife." It makes his character seem less trustful and sneaky, while also demonstrating Syrosk general awareness. He isn't to be messed with and makes the reader feel that Bradic just pissed someone off he shouldn't have pissed off.
Your ending and beginning of every chapter is quite good, but you often let the pacing drop in the middle of the chapter. While there is important dialogue happening concerning Bradic's plan, it also isn't that interesting. I'd suggest trying to vary your pacing slightly more so you can have greater contrast between slow and fast moments.
| Hibbidyhai chapter 61 . 9/27/2017
And we reach the end of Part IV. The Last pair of the apprentices gets their revenge. I was wondering how they would escape the restraints that Zorzan puts on them, if they would do it the same way as it was done previously. But no, Lorrik tricked him. Zorzan was almost unbelievably dumb. I that can come from complacency, from believing that you are superior than everyone else around for years and years. Of course, what should remind him that isn't the case has been removed from his mind.
I'm looking forward towards the next part. This is a big story with many plotlines, and you've seemingly wrapped up a lot of story arcs for many characters, although I'm sure that they aren't finished developing. It does feel at times that some of the characters have plot armor. One section was devoted towards their recruitment, and because that was a flashback we know they make it. We didn't know that they made it through okay in this section, but it was easy to tell that each character would wrapping up the cycle of their life in turn. Some took more than one chapter to do that, but most didn't. The outcome of each bit was surprising, but there was a sense of knowing what was coming before it happened.
As the story progresses the characters only get stronger and more layered. They have true depth and are believable as living and breathing people. The world also has that quality. A feeling of history, depth, and change. On to the next part!
| Hibbidyhai chapter 60 . 9/21/2017
This chapter keeps up the flow of the story. We see the aftereffects of Arlia's encounter while setting up the next encounter with Lorrik and Halsten. We learn a little about what comes after revenge. I'm interested to find out what happens with the kids, what the sovereigns will do with them. The comparisons between now and nine years previous, showing how society has advanced and changed while the characters were off at the Academy, is very well done. It makes the world seem alive. This chapter is more of a collection of 'smaller' moments, in relation to the overall world. But that is okay, because the strength of this story is the depth and fully fleshed nature of the characters. Its fun seeing them grow and deal with each of their pasts. Each character reacts differently, each one looks at the world from a slightly different perspective.
You also do a good job of showing us what is happening without ruining the surprise. For example, it is clear that Lorrik and Halsten have a plan, they even discuss it is the right strategy, yet nothing is given away, keeping the reader in suspense.
There is also an interesting parallel happening between the current day and nine years previous. Many of the characters mirror the one who rescued them when they confront their past, yet things turn out differently. I can't wait to see how Halsten and Lorrik deal with Zorzan's 'safeguard' differently than the man dressed in red did. Good work! On to the next chapter.
| Hibbidyhai chapter 59 . 8/30/2017
Revenge time! Arlia is an interesting character, having a mix of intellectual and reckless qualities. I though her method of selling off the gems from the tomb to be a little clumsy and rushed, especially since she doesn't seem to have any idea what her treasure is worth. I hope the 'mark' she put on the dealer was real and not just a bluff.
The part in the brothel was satisfying. The way that they had shut down business for the day, I wonder if they knew she was coming. And I liked how she stopped part way through telling all the enslaved workers that they would have to figure out it for themselves just like she did...oh wait, nope, Doran got her out and immediately escorted her to the false academy, haha.
The other section reminded me of a samurai movie. A silent black and white one with almost no dialogue. It wasn't super long but it got the point across.
Also worth noting that I like how you compare and contrast the locations to other places that we've already visited, like Capital vs the other two cities. It's a pretty effective way to get a sense of a place. Good chapter! I'm looking forward to Halsten and Lorrik getting their turn.
| Hibbidyhai chapter 58 . 8/29/2017
In the other chapters Ikard seemed the most one dimensional out of the group. He seemed the most 'typical.' After this chapter I don't think that is any longer the case. His conversation with his father is excellent. It's both revealing and intriguing. Now I want to know more about Ikard's mother. I want to know how Bradic helped Kuno get rid of his master. The fact that each chapter usually leaves me wanting more is fantastic.
This chapter also had a steampunk vibe, the descriptions of the city also reminded me a bit of Blade Runner, if a bit more muted. I don't know if I'm a fan of naming the city just 'Capital' although I think I know where the influence comes from. I think I would prefer something less generic. If the city was built from scratch to be the capital of the dominion perhaps the would have named it after their immortal leader or the palace at the center of the city. Regardless, this was another great chapter in a story that impresses me more and more with each new chapter that I read. Good work.
| Hibbidyhai chapter 46 . 8/4/2017
The end of part three does a lot to tie things together, and fill in missing gaps. The payoff with the broken relationship between Syrosk and Bradic works well. The very end is also good, recalling an event from earlier. The circular kind of storytelling is a great way to remind a reader that to these characters the past is very real. It also makes everything feel more complete, like a cycle.
My only addition to this chapter would be getting a bit more from Syrosk. Doran and Bradic are now extremely well fleshed out, as was Syrosk in his younger days. But from his passive (from the narratives perspective) role in the recruitment, a bit more of his motivations would add to his agency. But as this chapter is still very much in the middle, I think all of that is not a huge concern. This story is excellent. The depth to the characters, the world, the lore, it transcends the source inspiration and is very much its own creature. I'm looking forward to the next chapter, as always.
| Hibbidyhai chapter 31 . 8/3/2017
This is a great ending for part II, even if it doesn't feel like an ending. The twist with Lorrik is hilarious, although I wonder if it could lead to trouble later on. What happens if the other Sovereigns start asking questions about the Templar he has supposedly killed? And with the weapon and clothing choices from the rest of the group it seems clear that none of them are going to be blending in.
I enjoy how you always seem to find a new way of making every character unique and different. Part II has really transformed the expectations I had about the story, all for the better. Everything, from the world to the characters, to the minor details, is layered and seems important. Looking forward to the next part!