|Reviews for Path Towards Absolution|
| FoadU'Pad chapter 1 . 3/3
Just finished chapter 39, and just how stupid are the Triads? They Publicly kidnap the daughter of a senior government official, the CEO of the single largest corporation on the planet, and a cop! In this world the police would have every known or suspected member of any Triad in jail inside on 6 hours. If they didn't then the remaining members of the council would have the military in under martial law to do it for them, irregardless of Tenzin's role as a council member or Avatar Korra. This isn't some shop keeper or a turf war between Triads this is a war against the rest of the society. And if the Republic government does cave to the Triad's demands the remaining 3 governments will invade to maintain "Law & Order" to keep this from happening in their nations. If there is no blood spilled on both sides then this will truly be a fantasy aimed at the preteen market and really does not deserve the "M" rating the sex has given this story. I am very unimpressed with how this is going.
Buddhist philosophy aside Lin is a career Cop, Iroh was raised to rule the Fire Nation & is a professional career Officer in the New Republic military, both trained in the use of deadly force, as well as the members of the forces they command. If you can't see where that would lead then talk to a Cop, Solider, or someone who was to find out, because I'm beginning to see Unicorns here.
| Distant-Moon chapter 26 . 8/23/2014
This chapter was intriguing for a lot of reasons. For instance, your theme of karma and how everything is connected? You managed to demonstrate that not just in the dialogue (as Eska is explaining to Korra about the creation of the Avatar and just how minute the balance is that she is tasked to protect-every action has a cause and effect, whether positive or negative), but in plot as well. And I especially love that it doesn't JUST apply to Korra-for example, Mako's current situation may arguably be attributed (at least partially) to Tahno and his grudge against Amon preventing him from obtaining crucial knowledge about what's going on.
Content-wise, this is brilliant to read. On the other hand, you tend to have the characters solely referring to Tahno as "Pretty Boy" or "the Former Waterbender." They're allowed to use his actual name, and I feel like it would feel more organic that way. If you were talking to someone about a person you knew, you'd use their name nine times out of ten, right? And while Korra does refer to Tahno as "Pretty Boy" in canon, she only does it only once or twice in the show, while in your story she seems to call him that instead of using his name at all.
I think this is because you're putting so much effort into your narration (which is good, btw!) that you let your narrator's voice bleed into the character's dialogue. You want to make sure that you keep your way of phrasing things strictly to narration (as you describe actions and plot stuff). When it comes time for a character's line, make sure they're talking like themselves. One trick I find that works really well for me is to imagine that character reading the dialogue you've written out loud. If you can actually hear their voice in your head, and it sounds genuinely like their voice in the show, then the line is a keeper. (I struggle with this sometimes, but it's also the most fun for me to try to hear the character speaking through me as I write).
Keep in mind that you have the characters actions down to something perfectly in character and in alignment with your story's theme, and that's awesome. It's just the dialogue (more so as the story progresses) that needs a bit of improvement. But you're still doing an amazing job in terms of setting up future plot points, creating drama, and getting your point across in your writing. - And you have some really positive messages, too. Like that scene with Kanani, Asami, and Shaozu explaining their bonds with Tahno, how they accept him regardless of his orientation, how Asami admits to being attacted to Korra and how she hopes things work out between Tahno and Mako (both for admittedly selfish reasons and a genuine desire to see Tahno happy with someone he loves). That whole exchange warmed my heart and served as a nice contrast to Hiroshi's hatred and prejudice. Kanani's relationship with Tahno is almost like a foil to Hiroshi's relationship with Asami, and it was well-played, Mara. I think that was my favorite scene this whole chapter!
I'm wondering (since Korrasami seems to be the direction this story is moving in) at what point Korra is going to start feeling physical attraction...or noticing her physical attraction to Asami. Not that I have anything to worry about considering how you handled Mako and Tahno's developing attraction to one another and their relationship thereafter, but it is rather late in the story, and I don't think Korra would just out of the blue fall in love with Asami given how torn up she is over Mako. Rather, I can see Asami being there for Korra after the fact, and how Korra starts to warm to Asami more as a result, and as time goes on she starts to feel not just gratitude, but a deepening emotional bond and the growing awareness of physical attraction. And maybe it would even confuse Korra since she's been isolated at the White Lotus compound since she was a kid, and probably is only just becoming aware of same-gender relationships with Mako and Tahno.
A-ha! I was right about Eska helping Korra work through her guilt. I think that was exactly what she needed to hear, too. Right now she's just beating herself up for her past mistakes, and that's not going to help anybody unless she snaps out of it and takes action. Korra also needed to understand that Tahno's dreams about Mako weren't just his own erotic fantasies towards her boyfriend. I think Korra's hurt feelings were preventing her from accepting certain realities, just like how Tahno's grudge against Amon was preventing him from listening to what he had to say. Unless she gets over it (as understandable as her feelings are) there are undoubtedly going to be consequences...ah, I love that theme! It's literally everywhere in your story!
Anyway, Korra needs to understand that Tahno isn't some perverted schemer trying to break up her and Mako. He wants to save Mako as much as she does. He is just as worried about the situation as she is. Tahno isn't the one being selfish in this instance (rather, the opposite, if you think about it; he's willing to give up his romantic ties to Mako so that he and Korra can be together-he'd even give up his own life to save him and the world). It's cool how much growth Tahno went through as a character, and I'm certain Korra is on the path for personal growth as well. It just needs time. She's making progress, though, and I'm very glad to see that. It gives me hope that things will work out in the end.
But something about Desna strikes me as a bit odd. He seems to have had very little role in everything that's happening so far, and it kind of makes me nervous for some reason. He's definitely the creepier out of the two twins...at least, in your story he is. Was he spying on the conversation?
We'll see soon enough, I guess. Maybe I'm just being paranoid. I dunno, though. Next chapter! Ahoy!
| Distant-Moon chapter 25 . 8/23/2014
I can't imagine a more tense and awkward situation than Korra and Tahno having to sit side by side and learn about spiritual matters-all with that huge elephant in the room regarding karma and Korra's choice to not return Tahno's bending back when she had the chance, all because of Mako...that's huge. Korra's definitely under a lot of pressure, knowing that if things don't play out a certain way she won't be able to fix things and give Mako and Tahno and everyone else their bending back. As the Avatar, Korra tends to put everyone's fate on her shoulders (as she arguably should, given her role in the world). And it's very in character for her to lash out under the strain of guilt and pressure. I think her blowing up during Unalaq's lesson was well played out, and even having Tahno being so distracted with worry over his mother and Mako and Asami...and everyone...it's very realistic.
Eska is also an interesting character to watch in this chapter. Her spiritual presence is almost as strong as Tahno's...just different in nature. Actually, I'd say it's more in line with Jinora's spiritual powers. They both have a keen sense of things, have a heightened awareness of spirits and the messages they are trying to impart on their human worshipers, and have the empathy to reach out and connect to both man and spirit alike. In a way, it makes me wonder if Eska was trained in healing-not as a sexist thing (though it certainly would be in alignment with the Northern Water Tribe's traditions and beliefs), but simply because I think she'd have a knack in it. I hope she can reach out to Korra and help her work through her guilt so that she can focus on the mission ahead...for her own sake and for the sake of the world.
Yeah, it definitely sucks to be the Avatar. Korra is human, VERY human, but she has to constantly put the needs of others over her own. She's not allowed to be selfish or petty in the slightest, lest the spirits strike her down for her arrogance. And it sucks for her because she's a teenage girl. Having to put so much restraint on herself is going to be a challenge for her...but maybe it's not simply about holding yourself back completely. Maybe Korra needs to find a better balance between her two selves-the human and the spirit within her. Because I think if she became completely and utterly spiritual, that would be scary bad, too. She needs the human part of her to keep her grounded in the physical plane, so she doesn't lose attachment to the world she's trying to protect.
I'm glad Tahno was able to get through to Unrak and help him break free of his possession. Too bad it was too late to save Kanani, but now we know that she's with Hiroshi and he definitely needs her alive to make use of her healing abilities. Still...I can't say that I envy her, and I especially don't envy Asami one bit. Seriously, what kind of twisted asshat uses his own daughter as a sacrifice to bring back his wife? That's as disgusting as what Shou Tucker did to his daughter Nina in Fullmetal Alchemist. O_O Good job painting Hiroshi as a fanatical villain-so consumed by hatred, revenge, and obsession that it destroys anything human and good within him. Seriously. I get chills thinking about what he's planning to do to Asami. I want Asami to get free and feed him his own teeth with that electrified glove of hers.
Ahem. Anyway, I'm moving on to the next chapter. Great job so far! I'm loving this!
| Guest chapter 2 . 8/14/2014
Everything about the way you right has me hooked. Yet, why does mako believe he has the right to make tahno prove to him he deserves his bending back? Like wtf dude? I've always felt mako was a little controlling in Lol but gosh he needs to slow his roll before someone makes his head tool.
| Lynn364 chapter 34 . 8/16/2014
This story, I love it, and I get so excited when a new chapter comes out. I found this story when it was about 30 or 31 chapters in and now, I just can't wait and see what else will happen! It has my fav sparring KorraxAsami and I'm starting to like MakoxTahno ;v; can't wait for more and see how Korea and Asami' relationship forms.
| pathogencontrol chapter 2 . 8/15/2014
I'm sick of mako thinking he has the right to make tahno earn his bending back and act all hurt over a sporting event. You don't act negative to victim especially when don't want to admit to themselves that they're one. I know mako has had it rough but not everyone is lucky to have someone like he does. I hope he quits that junk. Overall, I love your writing its has me hooked.
| Anon chapter 2 . 8/2/2014
I just don't understand why Tahno has to 'prove' himself to Mako. Cheating in a game is nothing. It's not like he killed people or terrorized anyone. Tenzin and Mako should have told him immediately that there was still hope of getting his bending back. If Zuko could be forgiven for attempting to KILL Aang several times, then Tahno can be forgiven for cheating in a stupid game. After all that Tahno appears to have gone through, he deserves that. Mako should know better than anyone else what the loss of someone's bending can do to them.
| Distant-Moon chapter 24 . 7/2/2014
This. This chapter right here tied everything together. Absolutely brilliant! -
And holy crap! Korra's confrontation with Koh was so tense-there was a lot of secrets and impending drama boiling under the skin, unable to boil over without immediate retribution from the face-stealer. When Tahno finds out that Korra and Mako deliberately didn't give him his bending back, he's going to be really, REALLY pissed. Especially since it permanently impacted Ming's karmic destiny, putting him in the position where his sacrifice was necessary. Essentially, he had to die because of their decision.
I mean, he already knew that Mako was keeping the secret initially, that it was even possible to have Tahno's bending restored. But that's completely different from Mako and Korra intentionally withholding their bending due to their unresolved grudge over the championship match. He is going to be furious.
And Korra's going to FLIP a SHIT when she finds out that Tahno slept with Mako...and will probably have to do it again to save his life. Sheesh. I hope she doesn't have to watch, too. That would just be rubbing salt in a festering wound.
But everything you put into this regarding karmic destiny and balance was very well-executed. You wove it around your entire story, which must have taken a lot if careful planning and consideration of cause and effect. I simply have to applaud you for that.
It's going to be interesting watching Korra and Tahno walk on eggshells around each other. I hope they can resolve their issues soon, before it impacts Asami's fate, as well as that of the whole world. I can't wait to find out what happens next. :)
| Distant-Moon chapter 23 . 6/25/2014
Wow. Unalaq and the twins sure are different from the show, but I really like these portrayals of them. I already accept this story as an AU, and this is honestly how I think Unalaq would be like if he had a better relationship with his brother, Tonraq, and his own children. He would still be a deeply spiritual man who would make sure to pass his teachings on to Eska and Desna. The closer bond with their father would make the twins warmer, more friendly people in general.
It was interesting to see Eska's connection to Yue, as well. Both are/were princesses of the Northern Water Tribe. I wonder if Desna has a similar connection to the Ocean spirit. I think it would be really cool if we saw more of Desna, but then again, I really want to see what happens to the other characters, too.
Like, seriously! Who nabbed Kanani this time? Will Ozai let Unraq go free? Will Korra and Tahno be able to stop Hiroshi? Will Mako be okay? Will I ever stop asking rhetorical questions? NEVER!
Another great chapter. - I love this fic.
| Distant-Moon chapter 22 . 6/23/2014
Oh, SNAP. How the heck did Hiroshi find Asami so quickly? Secret spirit spy network? (Okay, yeah, probably). It just sucks for the Krew that their enemy has resources like invisible spies who can possess people at his disposal. It's practically unfair, but then again since when are villains fair and sporting?
NICE sky battle! I finally got what I was eagerly waiting for. Getting to see Lin and Iroh going head to head against Hiroshi's mecha was just what the doctor ordered. It sucks that they lost, though. But then again, I think it's going to come down to Korra and Tahno to save the world.
And holy crap! Mako's getting weaker and is even possibly dying because he transferred energy to Tahno earlier. Which means there's a damn good chance Korra's going to find out that they slept together. I mean, you just KNOW she's going to be more than curious about why he's suddenly deteriorating and won't leave without answers. I feel really bad for her...well, for all of them, actually. Mako's sick; Tahno's losing the man he loves, his mother, and whatever fragile friendship he had with Korra (maybe even his own life depending on how all this plays out); and Korra's dealing with the potential death of her boyfriend, the truth of his betrayal, and perhaps even greater retribution from the spirits. That SUCKS and I would really hate to be them right now.
Uuuggggh! I hope they'll be okay! Ack! I have to keep reading! I just noticed you added more chapters and the timing couldn't be better. Thanks!
| Distant-Moon chapter 21 . 6/19/2014
Oh, snap. Mako's really not doing well at all. I'm getting worried that Koh's greater demand of sacrifice from Korra and Mako is coming to pass sooner than we thought. I hope the others catch up soon (but I imagine that they will since Hiroshi is getting overconfident and keeps stopping to attack random benders with his machine; what a tool that guy is).
I'm glad Korra and Tahno worked things out, but I could sense a whole heap of awkward between them. I don't think they entirely forgave each other, but they're putting their differences aside for the sake of saving their friends. I dunno, though. I feel like neither one actually gave the other an apology, so they haven't entirely moved past the Mako issue just yet.
Which is totally fine. Korra wouldn't just drop her feelings for Mako at the toss of a hat. Technically, she hasn't lost him yet. I get the feeling that she would try to struggle to keep him (because she doesn't give up without a fight) and Tahno would try to hold back his feelings for Mako's sake, and Mako is going to have to make a choice.
I am sensing a hint of Korrasami emerging soon, and I like the idea. But if you're going to have Korra end up with Asami, make sure you don't rush their relationship. I'm looking forward to seeing the slow, steady progression of their developing feelings for each other. Korra needs to get over Mako before she can move on with someone else.
Then again, you handled Mako x Tahno excellently, so I think Korra x Asami will work out fine (unless I'm wrong and reading into things too much; if so, just ignore my rambling). Anyway, I love how realistic this live triangle is. It's as complicated and confusing for them as it would be in real life. - Anyway, I'm off to read the next chapter. See you soon!
| Distant-Moon chapter 20 . 6/18/2014
Geeze. Korra! What the actual hell?
I found myself really annoyed with her this chapter. I mean, I know she's human and isn't willing to acknowledge that she and Mako screwed up and hurt Asami...that I can understand. But accusing Tahno of seducing Mako? Really, Korra? After being raped and traumatized to the brink of suicide, do you really think he just sauntered in and connived to steal your boyfriend? Are you kidding me?
I mean, at least she sort of came to her senses in the end, but she really should feel ashamed of herself for blaming Tahno given Mako's history of keeping secrets from his girlfriends. She better have one hell of an apology, that's for sure. And she better stop calling him "Pretty Boy" because Tahno asked her to before! RAWR!
Sorry. Korra's behavior just really made me mad. Kudos to you for invoking an emotional response from your readers. On the other hand, it's important not to let Korra turn into "the bad guy" in this scenario-which is why it was a good thing you had Korra reflect and, once she calmed down a bit, realize that none of this was Tahno's fault after all. Korra did have a right to be angry about the possibility of losing Mako, and that would totally make her lash out during a heated moment when she isn't thinking clearly. Her reaction was organic, even if her reasoning and accusations were a bit over the top (as a character, mind you, not in terms of what you've written; just wanted to make that distinction).
All in all, a powerful chapter. I'm waiting eagerly to see how Korra and Tahno resolve their issues. - Hope you find your creative spark again, soon! See you next update.
| Distant-Moon chapter 19 . 6/18/2014
Okay. So, Hiroshi just wants to take Asami's life and exchange it for his wife's. I guess I was a bit off the mark, there. I suppose if he was just going to possess her, he'd have done it already. But still! This isn't any better! He's still sacrificing his daughter like a used piece of trash, and that's abhorrent to me.
It all makes sense now. That scary-ass machine, Sato's plans...he wants to bring his wife back permanently, at the cost of all if the benders in the world...maybe even the world itself. Seriously, can I kick this man in the shins, please? I wonder how Hiroshi will react when he realizes that he's been sweet-talked by a vengeful spirit impersonating his wife. It'll be an eye-opener, that moment when he realizes that he's been so blinded by hate that he doesn't even tell the difference between his wife and some cheap imitation of her. Pathetic.
Also, let it be known that Pilot Lin Beifong is a very, VERY bad-ass Lin Beifong. I love that you took her and Iroh II to the skies. It makes me wonder what Aang would think of the bi-planes. Would have loved to see the actual sky battle, but when pacing your story it's important to prioritize which scenes take center stage. And you did very well with that. Tahno's revelations in limbo definitely take priority here.
- I'm serious, though. Have Koh eat Hiroshi's stupid face. He deserves it. Excellent chapter (as always).
| Distant-Moon chapter 18 . 6/18/2014
Sorry about that. I think the end of my last review got cut off (stupid iPhone). I meant to say that I love your story and I hope you continue to write it.
Now...THIS chapter. Wow.
Also, Hiroshi is a puffed up maniac. I can totally see him waxing eloquent about his evil plans like some Bond movie villain. I sense that's part of him being an inventor, that drive to have his ideas recognized by others. He wants Korra and Tahno to know how much power he has over them. I even suspect he sent out those Equalists on patrol on purpose (the ones Isshio's crew captured and whose equipment they stole) to ensure that Tahno, Kirra, and Mako would be in the crowd, watching. It was all a ploy to draw them out.
I am a bit surprised that they tried to kill Korra in the Avatar State, knowing it would spell certain death for Tahno, too. But then again, they do have Shaozu as a back-up, and for all Hiroshi knows it could have been a bluff and an excuse to smuggle the Avatar (a real, honest to goodness threat) on to the battlefield later on. And since Hiroshi is a man of opportunity...well, he might have thought it was easier to deal with a potentially bigger problem right then and there. Again, with Shaozu, it wouldn't have been that huge of a loss.
Eww, though. Is he trying to use Asami's body to bring his wife back by having her spirit possess her? That's so creepy and messed up! Like, really twisted! It wouldn't surprise me if he's crazy and hateful enough to do something like that to his own daughter...but it still makes my skin crawl. Holy crap, someone do something! Save Asami! Or better yet, have her bust out and kick Sato's slimy ass!
I could be wrong about his intentions, but you know what? Hiroshi has done more than enough to deserve a good smack-down. I hope he gets his face taken by Koh at the end. THAT would be justice.
I really like Kami, by the way. I kind of wish we had seen more of her in earlier chapters, maybe more scenes from her point of view. She's definitely got nerve sneaking up on stage to free Bolin, though. I wish there was enough time to have her really get to know the Krew better, but sadly there is Hiroshi being a jerk and causing problems. Also, I think it says a lot about the Lieutenant's character development that he's now willing to protect a little Waterbender who helped him. Maybe he's starting to come around and realize that not all benders are evil? There may be hope for him yet.
Anyway, only time will tell. We'll see gets the next chapters hold. ;)
| Distant-Moon chapter 17 . 6/18/2014
Oh, wow. I think this chapter is one of my favorites so far. I mean, come on. Tahno and Mako on a secret spy mission in drag? Pure awesomeness. That really out a smile on my face.
But, seriously! The cliffhangers after every single scene! Ack! So well done, even though it made me want to flip a table. You really know how to draw out your plot and space out reveals gradually without making the story drag like a dead weight. I really like that. It's hard to weave a good plot without getting tangled in the threads, but you handle that job well. - Fantastic!
The only critique I can think of is this: be careful not to let your narrative voice bleed into the character's dialogue. You have a good, strong writing style, but occasionally I'll notice a character referring to Tahno as "the former Waterbender" when they're more likely to just call him Tahno. If you do that, they'll sound as in character as their actions dictate.
But yeah. This was an excellent chapter! It was definitely a surprise to see Koh actually siding with Korra and Tahno (even though he still has that frustrating tendency to speak in riddles, so...I guess he hasn't entirely lost his grudge towards the Avatar just yet). And I see Ozai hasn't broken his nasty habit of taking people's mothers away, either. I suppose bad habits really do die hard, don't they?