Revan and Bastila Manaan
KOTOR orbiting Manaan: Revan and Bastila have to face their emotions, and it does not go well
The only real negative I have to say is why are they just orbiting, looking for a spot to land? A world with a civilization would have beacons to direct you as to where to land, so Ahto City would be broadcasting so traders can find it.
I was looking at it, and thinking they were both fools. But after thinking about it, I had to admit any pair of young teenagers would go through the same thing. Face it, while the Jedi could have implanted memories of all sorts, the one thing they could not implant would be emotional responses. Every kid who ever had their first kiss only had examples, parents, older siblings, and of course movies in our day. A lot of kids kiss for the first time just to see what it is like.
So they are acting like someone four or five years younger than Bastila's given age of nineteen, and trying to be 'adult' about it at the same time. That means Revan's 'oh she doesn't love me' is true to form for that age, though his anger after she rejects him at the end is a bit over the top.
KOTOR on Lehon after the Star Forge: The survivors of the assault receive their medals in bitter silence.
The piece was perfect in it's hauteur. The one who is thinking of this ceremony is coldly furious at the publicity of the act, and mourns the losses. Every man who has ever had to stand there in the spotlight after a horrendous battle would understand exactly what she feels. The most tragic thought is that until the end, you don't know who she is, and that I will leave to you to find out.
You have got to read this.
Best of the Week
KOTOR aboard Ebon Hawk: It's not what you think!
The piece is very short, and the situation something you can see happening without a problem. It's just the perceptions of it. I just wish we'd seen what Zaalbar was going to do about it.
The Hunt for the Masters
TSL on Nar Shaddaa:
The logic that each of the Masters had handled part of the removal of her powers originally does make some sense, but you've set up a situation like the old story the Four Feathers here. I don't know if you have ever read it (They did make a movie in 2002 based on it) but when a British officer resigns before a battle, he receives a white feather from three of his friends and his fiancee, the symbolism being that he was a coward. The story is about his proving to each that it isn't true, so they will take back their silent condemnation.
Considering two of the masters; Vrook and Atris as she is shown at the start, the chances that they will admit they are wrong are somewhere around no way in hell. The other three, Vash, Zez-Kai Ell and Kavar at least seemed sympathetic.
Yet your Exile is going about it the wrong way if she is going to stay on the Light Side, and if she is supposed to be a Dark Jedi, she's being a bit too timid about asking.
The idea of using the Force of the Moon itself as a weapon was an interesting touch.
One thing, why call your Exile by that title? Benedict Arnold may have been America's first traitor, but he didn't spend the rest of his days announcing himself by the title.
Is This Our Farwell
Minion of Sehkmet
TSL on Onderon: Kavar says goodbye to Talia
Remember to sight edit, even if you have a beta reader. The word 'be' was left out of the sentence, 'Kavar didn't seem to (Be) at all like', then again the word 'a' in 'it is also (a) lightsabre crystal'.
The piece had a really fun point, Kavar talking about doing a 'Bindo', because of that old man's stance about emotional involvement, which I used in my own Genesis of a Jedi, because he was right. The only real surprise in the piece was at the end.
Pick of the Week
Fall of a Jedi
Follow on to Diplomacy of a Jedi: When Cade finally admits his intent, there is blood and pain
The piece pulls you through the scenes, splashing the occasional blood trail to keep you interested, and I will admit, I followed that scent with interest.
I can't remember the name of the style, but in one of the EU books, Mace Windu used a style like Revan's at the end here, where you use all of those negative emotions in combat.
The villain unlike a lot of them at least started out rationally, though by the end he was too busy rationalizing why he was right. The 'show trial' is a nice touch, from Arianna telling him when he asks if he is a liar, 'If you say I said something I did not, then yes', to Revan's refusing to accept the authority of the 'court'.
The only negative I saw was the same one I have for every bad guy who goes to the Dark Side; that plaintive cry at the end 'I am so much more powerful now, so how can you beat me?'.
Very, very good
First Combined best of the year
Always My Sister
Pre KOTOR on Taris: Love blooms for Griff, but what about Mission?
The piece is a bit of fun because we get to see a snippet of Mission's early life, before being abandoned by her brother, and before Zaalbar. Having been an elder sibling in a household with revolving door 'stepfathers', I know the feeling of clinging to your brothers and sisters because they are the only stable thing in your lives.
The only negative I had was with the Character of Griff, but we all share that. The glib liar who will say what he thinks will make the person he is talking to happy, but never reveal his real feelings.
A nice bit of fun. Like a dessert, something to make you feel good.
Pre TSL: Carth is reunited with his brother, though that is not a happy event
The idea that Carth had a brother makes sense, though it is a bit stereotypical for it to be good boy/ bad boy. I was immediately caught up in the idea of Carth having a drinking problem after Revan left, and running up debts because of it, though the idea that he's run up enough to cause the old debt collector breaking your kneecaps in a short time is a bit of a stretch. The problem with any military is that as long as an officer doesn't do anything stupid in public to blot his copybook, it's ignored.
But having the government commission special teams to find Jedi? Considering the situation we face at the beginning of TSL, that makes a lot of sense.
Eight chapters long, but just the first was enough for me to recommend it.
Pick of the Week
Spies of the Old Republic
AU on Dantooine: Revan, Just Revan
The intro was a bit trite, but fun anyway. I had wondered if the man was Rahasia's father, but maybe it's because the name is almost spelled the same. The only negative I see is that a scan for weapons should have detected the lightsaber as well, unless he had something to conceal the power cell and metal. But that could be covered in a later chapter.
The piece is a lot of fun, with the villain one of those urbane bad guys the Bond Genre is replete with, and the end comment, repeated above, made it very interesting.
Pick of the Week
I Don't Care
Three years post TSL: He says he doesn't care, but...
The piece is a nice little slice of Atton's life. His wandering around, being at odds with the new Jedi council, and his old shipmates is perfectly portrayed. I liked it except for the brevity of his time in the places he was. The girl carrying the drink he had bought was choice, because in most cases, the bartender would merely palm it off on the next customer, so we know what she had in mind chasing him down.
Now the character name... I have spent 45 years honing my craft and hoping to sell something, so I know how hard that can be sometimes. An author needs more than a description, and so do we as your readers. As an example when I wrote Genesis of a Jedi back in 2005, I just used the first name of Dannika Patrick, and made up a last name (Wordweaver). When I wrote Return From Exile a year later, I just felt that Marai Devos was good. Both are here if you want to see what I did with them, you may. (Try full novelizations before they had decided on 'Canon' for Revan's sex, and the comments about the Echani race [Which in my version includes Revan, but with red hair] in the Wookiepedia which I denigrated because I'd created all of it long before the entry was ever created, and my version of them is nothing like the 'oh let's make them exact duplicates' crap.)
If you really want help with this, PM me after you read the review, and we'll brainstorm. As for Songs, how about Bring Me Back to Life from Evanescence if their love goes well? And if you want to have their love end badly, you could use What a Fool I am By Lou Bonnevie.
Pick of the Week
Post TROS: You should really read the sign before you sign anything...
All right, basics. Remember to sight edit. You had several confusing sentences, such as 'something has to make with our lives'. You also forgot conversation breaks, where the speaker is a different person. Also remember to check grammar, there are four different ways to spell the word 'to' from the one used which is merely a bridge, to the start of the word Tuesday. If you use the wrong one, it causes the reader to go back and read the sentence again.
Think of a story as a river. You have white water sometimes, which is the action happening fast and furious, but mostly you just have placid water flowing from here to there where the people in the boat, on the raft (Readers), ETC are watching the scenery flow by. The problems I addressed in the comments above are unnecessarily white water, distracting the reader from the scenes you are creating
Don't feel too bad about the things I have dinged you on. When I write, I sometimes use what I call 'flow of consciousness', letting the scenes play out in my head, and I have forgotten words, made confusing sentences, forgotten conversation breaks, even used the wrong word. Even professionals make these mistakes. That is why my standard mantra is 'reread, edit, repeat, and polish until smooth.
The scenes where one of the character went to the wrong place to 'enlist' caused me to remember the darker side of it from a Japanese Anime series (With two movies) named Area 88, when the main character signs a form while drunk, and finds himself enlisted in a Foreign Legion when he sobers up. The two clueless boys end up joining up to be stormtroopers, and the only negative I saw was that they received no training at all before they end up on the Death Star. It reminded me of a story I read back in my first year as a critic where a pair of young boys break into the Imperial Navy's bureau of design, and add things like deep pits for no discernible reason, which we see in all the original movies.
Pick of the Week
The Final Journey
Follow on to Fall of a Jedi and concluding chapter: With his love dead, Revan must now find a way to go on.
The piece is poignant and sad. The idea that he blames himself makes perfect sense, as the author pointed out, if he had not been so busy taking revenge, she would have lived. His actions in a way, reminds me of the end of the book Kahless in the Star Trek Universe where the Klingon hero leaves his capital alone rather than merely dying in his bed.
First Combined best of the year