|Reviews for Shadows of the Second Time War|
| Will9035 chapter 8 . 7/15/2017
From a prose standpoint, this was as strong as many of your other battle-centric chapters. The descriptions were quick, carried punch, and had some solid imagery behind them. The part about the crimson blood splattering onto the parched stand stood out to me in particular. The deprecating dialogue at the end was a nice touch as well.
The only downside is that it was difficult for me to get too emotionally involved. Not having a lot of context as to who these characters are and what led to this quick skirmish didn't make it as easy to root for Mark and co. as it is for other battle scenes.
That said, I did notice Theresa Donahue making an appearance, so at least that was one familiar face. Although I did have to go back and check to see why I knew her and what she had done in her previous appearance, but I guess that's just one of the drawbacks to this sort of episodic format you have going with these shorts.
| Will9035 chapter 7 . 7/9/2017
Now there's something you don't see very much: the villain's perspective and the toll that his plans have taken on him. Were you trying to make Salem sympathetic? Because I can't really say that I found myself feeling for the guy. Sure it humanized him a little and put into perspective just how much strain it's putting on him and his family-both the people themselves, and their relationships with one another-but I still look forward to seeing the new SG kicking his butt. But, then again, maybe making him sympathetic wasn't the point. If nothing else, it was certainly a neat way to gain some insight into Salem's life and what's going on in his head. I can't say I ever found myself wondering that, but I certainly appreciated it more after this chapter.
| Will9035 chapter 6 . 7/5/2017
Two questions: first, we're not supposed to know what an Arc-Gate is, right? If you hadn't mentioned that little detail about how it was obviously related to a Slip-Gate, I would've just inferred that the two were interchangeable. And second: why was Sophie angry at Dakota for indirectly leading her to the former warzone where she had that flashback, and why did she feel like she knew too much just by being on the site and seeing those brief images? (Okay, so I guess that's three questions) I'm not sure I entirely understood the ending.
Those questions aside, this was a good chapter. For some reason I found the hearing a little amusing. For being manned with such brilliant scientific and militaristic minds, those guys sure were bad at pretending that they wanted to cover up the existence of Arc-Gates once they realized Sophie didn't actually know about them. I don't know why, but that deliberately awkward conclusion struck me as humorous. And I liked the bits at the end, especially the visceral images that Sophie saw. I'm not sure I've ever read something where a character experienced something like that-I think I've only seen that in movies. I wouldn't be sure how such a scene could translate to the written word, but you definitely made it work.
| Will9035 chapter 5 . 6/26/2017
With all these chapters taking place in the future, I'd be very tempted to think that you were planning a fourth installment in the Epochal Chronicles if you hadn't told me otherwise.
Anyway, this was quite the busy chapter. I liked the way you had Liz handle Prasenjit's betrayal: that is, showing us some of the emotions spilling into her actions while keeping herself totally composed. That's precisely what I would expect of someone in Liz's position. On that note, the way Prasenjit handled the bust was pretty believable too. Passionate when Liz talked to the root of the matter, but otherwise stoic and partly-shamed, partly-proud. That's definitely how I would imagine a general reacting if his entire proud career just went up in smoke while he was still genuinely convinced that he was doing the right thing. That conclusion was obviously the crux of the chapter, and I would say you nailed the human element of it.
And now I'm wondering if Liz is going to have a certain surprise in nine months. It certainly wouldn't be the first time one of your characters got unintentionally knocked up.
| Will9035 chapter 4 . 6/20/2017
There's no denying that this chapter was written very well. I could vividly picture the stealth aspects of Dante's infiltration at first, and I thought you did a stellar job explaining the character of Elsa. She seems like a really fun character to follow on her own adventures.
But the thing that had me scratching my head during previous chapters here is rearing its head again: I don't know if I entirely understand how this fits into the bigger picture of the Epochal Chronicle...especially since it's set three and a half centuries after the main events.
That said, there's clearly a connection somewhere. Cartonius and OMEGA were both mentioned, though I got the implication here that Cartonius was a place rather than an AI. But, as we both know, this wouldn't be the first time I wildly misunderstood something in this series.
| Will9035 chapter 3 . 6/14/2017
Rock on, Skylar!
The confrontation and tension between him and Carrie was so well done that it actually made me tune out everything else that was going on in this chapter. Although I guess that was pretty easy, seeing as how nothing else really *was* going on. Normally an entire scene focusing strictly on a relationship would run the risk of being too melodramatic or soapy for my tastes, but here it was handled very believably. I like how you had Skylar give Carrie plenty of chances to drop the subject and just accept reality, as much as she didn't like it. And the way he shut her down was perfect. I think that's exactly how a character like him would handle a situation like this from beginning to end. So kudos for how you wrote this terse exchange.
The only thing I'll say is, I don't know if I entirely understand Carrie's animosity. I get that she doesn't think Skylar is anything special, but he's not someone like a drug dealer or a mooch. A misfit and someone who's not as physically strong as everyone else around him, sure. But Maggie could be doing far worse. Eh, I guess it's just the threat of a war against a god with the fate of an alternate universe hanging in the balance. I can imagine that would stress some people out.
| Will9035 chapter 2 . 6/9/2017
Okay, I'd be lying if I said I fully understood this chapter, but I think I got the basic, *basic* gist of it. For starters, I just want to make sure I'm clear on the nature of our characters here: Theresa and Jessica are humans, and Robby is indeed a robot. Right? On a side note, is Robby supposed to be kind of like a robot version of you? The robot is Robby Evans, and the name you use here is Bob Evans. It almost seemed too coincidental to be unintentional. (And yes, I'm aware that that's not your actual name.)
Even though the techno-terminology left me re-reading and re-re-reading multiple parts, the whole point of this chapter is that Theresa has used her real brain to make an AI program named Cartonius, right? And Cartonius is supposed to be even more advantageous than having chronometrics, right? He has the ability to see what's happening in multiple places in multiple timelines? I'm not quite sure I understand what purpose Cartonius will serve, since, unless I'm mistaken, this takes place after the final battle with Salem. But I noticed Cartonius's name popped up a lot in "Battlefields" at the start of chapters during those cryptic conversation snippets. So I'm assuming there is some connection.
And normally I'd let a typo go, but there was one particularly confusing part about two-thirds of the way through when you had Skylar saying something. I know now, after multiple times scrolling back up, that you meant to say either Jessica or Robby (I'm assuming you meant Robby). But since I was already struggling to keep up with what the characters were talking about, suddenly having a totally different character pop up had me worried that I was losing my mind.
But like I said above-despite how confused I was for most of this chapter, the fact that I could understand the end-result and some possible implications (I think) of Cartonius coming into existence is a testament to your ability to sum up the important parts. Maybe you've gotten better at "dumbing it down," for people like me who don't typically read science fiction, or maybe I'm just better now at understanding these concepts after having you explain them so many times. Either way, that's a testament to your ability to explain these highly speculative topics.
| LDF chapter 1 . 6/5/2017
I suppose I should've read the other parts before this, as coming in this blind I was a little confused as to what's going on (or at least this in relation to anything aside from a moment of normalcy in the midst of a war). Then again, according to the previous reviewer, it's a little hard to pin down the purpose of the shorts even to someone who is familiar with the series. It's good regardless! The only criticism I can offer is that I kinda wish the topic was on something aside from women and getting laid (as this feels almost like a stereotype that guys have to think about their dick even in situations like this). Still, it flowed nice and there was a lot of uncertainty so I can't complain too much ;)
| Will9035 chapter 1 . 6/5/2017
These two guys here, Tom and Chris, were super easy to relate to. I guess it's easier to empathize with two dudes when they're sitting at a boring post talking about typical guy stuff than it is to be in the middle of a gigantic war against a superhuman monster like Salem. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing more of these guys in action like this, although since you said it was a series of shorts I'm guessing we're going to jump over to other lesser soldiers in this Second Time War.
I'm wondering what the purpose of these shorts are. Unless there was something I'm really missing, I don't think your last short between parts 1 and 2 contained anything too essential to understand or more greatly appreciate this story's events. But they make for an enjoyable read, so no complaints there!