|Reviews for Age of Pretense|
| Flying Banana Dinosaur 4/3/13 . chapter 11
I really love your shift in writing styles between Randie and Sheno's points of view. That's one of the things that makes this such an interesting read. Glad to see more of this side of the story; the expanded worldbuilding you've done really shines through in these parts! I am really curious to see how Kamilo ties into the story in the long run.
| Flying Banana Dinosaur 3/10/13 . chapter 10
Lionel and Fae's discussion was so powerful. The title drop was what really struck me; it was so beautiful and sad at the same time. Lionel is really growing on me.
I was also afraid that Elijah wouldn't be going with them, so the scene with their departure made me incredibly happy. He's like... a really bad and awesome babysitter. Hahah! I cannot wait for their travels to start, and to see the character dynamics come to fruition.
| JamesBCrazy 2/17/13 . chapter 9
The plot seems to have slowed down a bit - just keep it going and you'll be fine.
| Flying Banana Dinosaur 2/10/13 . chapter 9
Oh wow. I had always toyed with the idea of writing something like this myself, but I was never sure where to go with it or how to put any sort of relevant plot together. But THIS. This is amazing. As the first 'fic I've read since coming back to the FE fandom, I've gotta say this is probably one of the most interesting things I've read in a long, long time for this series, and I'm so happy that I've gotten the chance to do so.
As for concrit... sometimes, the descriptive paragraphs tend to drag on, or seem unnecessary. The intro to Sacae in Chapter Five was exceptionally well-done in my opinion; it flowed very well and didn't bog down the flow of the story. But your character descriptions, I feel like they could be worked into the story more instead of feeling like mini info-dumps. Please don't take that the wrong way! You have done much better than most people, but sometimes description gets tedious. It's actually kind of hit-and-miss, because you do very well most of the time. I also remember seeing both “Etrurian” and “Etruscan” used at different times throughout the story thus far, so there's a little inconsistency there, but that's me being nitpicky.
And now the positive: I love what you've done with this and can't wait to read more. You're an amazing writer, and your grammar is spot-on, so it's an easy read as well as an interesting one. I'm also really loving Elijah and Sheno; they're both very likeable and well-written OCs. Especially Elijah, because he seems to have inherited that good-natured Pheraen nonsense from his ancestors. Which is always a good thing. Another thing - all the allusions to history are very entertaining.
I can't wait to see where you take the rest of the story!
| JamesBCrazy 1/27/13 . chapter 8
I never got far in FE6, though this looks great, and keep it up.
| LordEphidel 12/2/12 . chapter 6
Be carefully how you introduce characters; the way you dealt with Felix implicitly suggests some sort of future romantic relationship between him and Irene. Even if she finds his presence irritating, the fact that he is described to the reader as physically attractive and sociable will by default lead them to expect some significant relationship to arise. Unless you are particularly skilled at handling such a situation, this may result in either unmet expectations for the reader if ignored, or a sense of platitude if followed up on. I usually find it simpler to introduce the character as a bit more varied than that [or just as an outright terrible person, more often than not, but you already know that]. Alternatively you could introduce some fact that tends to deny such a relationship, such as shared blood, a wide age gap, etc.
I may or may not have mentioned this in the past [I mention it to everyone at some point or another, so it is difficult to keep track], but your sentence fluency could be improved. I would give some specific suggestions, but because there are so many ways to go about it, it feels as though that would be forcing my particularly strange writing style on you, causing a whole host of issues on its own. Just form some more compound sentences.
I am somewhat confused as to how Irene ended up where she is now, and even if it was explained elsewhere, it was somewhat too far back for me to recall. For scenarios like this where there are multiple characters involved in largely non-intersecting stories, I might suggest closely following one particular character up to where they do intersect with the others before moving onto the next one. This also helps to reduce the confusion caused by the multiple point of view changes in every chapter. It is far from an adamant rule, of course, and can be easily abused, but you might find it helpful.
I am also unclear as to whether or not people are aware of the magical properties of staves. I would imagine not, considering how they are unfamiliar with tomes, but it seems odd for Irene to be carrying one around with her if that is the case, not even considering how she managed to acquire it.
You are making good use of the brief introductory text in your chapters now; they add an interesting bit of historical information that is relevant to the story without being overly verbose.
My review feels so lackluster after the great lengths you went to for my story; perhaps I should wait until I am not so tired to leave a review next time, but I do have difficulty resisting the urge to begin reading the moment I see an update.
| LordEphidel 11/21/12 . chapter 5
"Teru vied for her attention." [comes with the connotation of action, but Teru is not doing anything at the time]
"The roads were congested, and with the occasional ruffian darting inconsiderately between objects in traffic, progress was especially slow." [Makes it seem as though ruffians are the primary cause, while the word 'occasional' contradicts this. Pick one or the other.]
"All around there were brown faces and legs, walls and signs." [Awkwardly grouped]
"What an awesome sight." [somewhat cliche. This should be evident to the reader without having to state it so bluntly.]
Are there any traces of differing languages in canon? I do not recall any, unless it was lost in the translation [which is thoroughly possible, considering the various dialects in Japanese]. Then again, you could justify it with the large time gap, and it is an interesting touch regardless.
"The boy let out a string of colorful language. Though his own mind was reeling with what had just happened, Sheno's gentle instincts urged him…" [Abrupt subject change is confusing at first glance]
This chapter was a bit difficult for me to follow, but I suspect that a large reason for that is that I read this with terrible jazz pianist making something he identified as music in the background. It also might have been that this chapter seems slightly out of place; every character and setting mentioned here is entirely new, and it might help if you could occasionally tie it back to the previous chapters somehow. This is particularly important when considering how much plot development is going on in this chapter–explaining to the reader how this affects the characters they already know and care about, particularly Fa, makes it far more meaningful.
That is not to say that these new characters are lacking; while I do not yet fully understand Sheno just yet, he seems quite interesting to me and I hope to see more of him. Of course you already know about my eccentric preference in characters, though, so take it as you will.
There are also quite a bit of interesting cultural tidbits that you manage to work in rather well. It is interesting to see how Elibe has changed over the centuries.
| Naglfar 11/20/12 . chapter 5
Did you repost chapter five? I know I already read this chapter, and yet it is at the top of the story list...
| Gunlord500 10/22/12 . chapter 1
Hmm...I wonder why I never reviewed this before? This seems like a really cool idea, I'm always up for FE "in the future" fics :D I hope you continue this, I enjoyed the first chappy :D
| Maxxus Herald 10/9/12 . chapter 4
I like what I'm seeing so far! Keep up the good work! D
I have a ton of questions about the "modern" world, but it seems like something you plan to reveal later. That is the feeling I get from the first chapter, anyway.
I am eagerly awaiting the next chapter. .
... That is all.
| LordEphidel 10/6/12 . chapter 4
"To report any suspicious activity, please contact the police immediately." [I am honestly not sure why I dislike this phrasing, but I feel as though it ought to be "Please report any suspicious activity to the police."]
"…back when the Nabatean wilderness had been her home…" [should read "…Nabatan wilderness…"]
"The towers stood straight up into the air, many of them perhaps half a mile up…" [This is unfeasible. The tallest tower today is only barely that height.]
"Fae, there is a city to which you must go. It is full of many people. You must go..." [This does not sound much like Sophia. Adding random ellipses should easily remedy that]
"… Rolana was immediately taken in by her large green eyes." [Everything else is in Ezekiel's point of view, but this phrase in in Rolana's]
"The University of Ostia was old…" [This has a negative connotation. 'Venerable' seems like a good word here, but others would work as well]
"She liked Rolana as well, despite the unusual first impression. She liked Rolana in the same way she liked Ezekiel. They were frank and deeply intelligent." [Repetitive and choppy. Try combining at least the first two sentences and perhaps the third as well]
"Rolana, who had been unsatisfied with the answers she was receiving, forgot her dissatisfaction…" [Try replacing unsatisfied or dissatisfaction with a synonym.]
"That's why he can be so open about flaunting it." [Redundant. If you are flaunting something, you are by definition doing so openly.]
"The younger girl turned around…" [Fa is not younger.]
"...is she there with you?" [Capitalize 'is'.]
Make sure that your point of view changes only at page breaks. That means you cannot say "person X was angry" when the surrounding text is from person Y's point of view, because thoughts and emotions can only be certainly known by the one thinking or feeling. Instead try things like "X appeared amused" or "X was clearly indifferent". This kind of phrasing works because it is now conceivable that person Y made this observation himself and is now conveying it to the reader, thus preserving point of view continuity.
I believe that I have mentioned something of this nature before, but try to ensure that Fa's speech pattern is believable for somebody who refers to herself in third person and stomps on leaves for fun. Yes she is old, but for purposes of characterization, the only significant factor is her mental age. I refer specifically to her conversation with Hector, where she is exceedingly formal and using relatively obscure words, but it may occasionally appear elsewhere.
You did a particularly good job characterizing Ezekiel by using Rolana.
I feel as though I ought to mention more things you did well, but that is not something I am terribly good at. Just rest assured that despite my countless paragraphs of criticism, I thoroughly enjoyed this. This is one of my favorite pieces here, and I expect to read it to its completion.
As always, let me know if something I said was unclear or blatantly wrong.
| Doctor Robert 9/6/12 . chapter 1
I must say I'm pleased to see you've decided to expand this. I read the first chapter ages ago, thinking it some sort of forgotten story... (like mine...)
It's a very interesting take on the Elibe universe, certainly. I don't believe I've seen another Modern fic that isn't AU. This certainly could fit into the universe nicely.
I think you've rendered Elibe 2000 years on very well. I like the European way you've taken in painting what Elibe is like (eg: trains are primary transportation rather than cars, etc), it's much more accurate than trying to pass Elibe off as being Americanized seeing as both Europe and Elibe have been occupied by humans who like to write things and wield swords for some time (ages). I'm glad certain bits of old Elibe have survived through the ages here as well (the stereotypical *Ima kidnap you and sell you off 'cus and only 'cus your face happens to be pretty* bandit was really a treat to see)
In short, keep it up 'cus I like it. XD
| LordEphidel 9/5/12 . chapter 3
You seem to be fairly skilled as a writer, and I find it a bit odd that this has so few reviews at this time. Here is an obnoxiously long one for you, filled from beginning to end with nitpickings, because that is all I know.
"The brother noticed the goose bumps…" [should read 'goosebumps']
"Perhaps she was not as helpless and naïve as he had originally accessed." [should read "…originally assessed."]
"Many of the Etruscan scholars believe…" [Is Etruscan the term for people from Etruria? I am fairly sure that the proper conjugation is Etrurian, at least in canon.]
At first it seemed as though you were attempting to write from an omniscient point of view, but in Chapter 3 you switched to first-person intimate. Omniscient is almost impossible to execute well [though the first chapter is the closest to a good job that I have seen in quite a while], and I think that first person intimate is better suited for this kind of story, but it should be consistent.
Your characterization could be improved. You generally tend to have the narrator, or occasionally a character, state "person X is Y", and though that does quickly communicate it to the reader, it is far more natural, believable, and memorable if you have the reader somehow observe whoever you are characterizing. For example, rather than having Fa say "[Lysander] is very bad", you could show him kick a puppy or something and leave it at that [please do something more reasonable than that].
Related to that, I am unsure what Fa's mental maturity is supposed to be here. I would imagine something close to fifteen or however old she appears physically, but from what little characterization of her we have seen thus far, it is difficult to tell with certainty.
I have yet to fathom the purpose of the Lycian Bureau of Residence identification that you leave at the bottom of this chapter. It is logical for Fa, to remind the reader that people do not know what she is, but I cannot understand why you might for Zeke, or anyone else, for that matter.
You tend to overuse commas; the general rule is to use them only to separate distinct clauses and lists of three or more things.
Ordinarily I despise such meaningless things as imagery, but I think you did a fairly good job of it.
I do very much like the story premise; it is quite original and has the potential to deal with some very good themes.
And I think that I have to say for the moment, save for that I look forward to the following chapters. If anything mentioned in this review is either unclear or obnoxiously blunt, please inform me and I will do my best to correct the situation.
| Anon 9/5/12 . chapter 1
This... doesn't have a single review?
When I first read this I got the idea this was a oneshot... but it isn't
I think this will turn out very interesting. Can't wait to read more!