Reviews for Though Hell Should Bar The Way
PFCDontKnow chapter 3 . 4/17/2016
This story deserves to be published.
theundermole chapter 1 . 10/30/2015
Your writing style is...interesting. It feels a lot more natural, personal, than standard methods. I must admit it was a little difficult to adjust to at first, but you manage to paint some very nice pictures with your words.
Katsuhiro chapter 3 . 8/19/2015
Absolutely brilliant. Though Hell Should Bar the Way, I would still find a way to read this. Melancholic, grim-faced and poetically written, stand proud 125: you go from despairing to hopeful in the blink of a eye, and every bit of that is genuinely heartfelt. If I'm Ridley Scott (ahem, probably more akin to Michael Bay to my eternal shame) when it comes to Halo stories, then you're most certainly Terrence Malick.

Delighted you continued with it. More please!
Electromotive Force chapter 3 . 8/10/2015
This story is full to the brim with excellent characterization - to me this is its core attribute.

And if I could single out a character (or even the pair of characters) that had the highest impact personally, it would be Lake/Thompson, if not for the ending alone. But I get more than a sense of closure with the ending (which was a really nice touch, btw); because it comes full circle with the first chapter when the two initially meet. The omens in the 1st were brilliant and you knew what was coming, though Lake knew her role and played it well right up until 449, or so abouts. It's around that time where she finally sees things for what they really are. And the vividness of it all, man, it's like I was there. Just a great, sobering tale full of messages.

I've not come across any story that had such amount of unique characterization, and all of it was incredibly detailed. It's like a giant Venn diagram with overlapping stories and characters, some which never overlap and others that do. And what a unique wildcard in the ODST/Boadicea/biological weapon plot as well. That's gotta be a first. The third chapter, I must say, was highly subjective when compared to the ones before, but I think its place was deserving as it's a chapter of reflection and insight for each of the main characters. It really was a journey for each.

I see the parallels of 'gap-crossing', what with Boadicea representing that falling through the event horizon. Like I said, each character was unique and fascinating and creatively strange. Such a vivid read by any measure. And the pondering of morality, consequence and human nature throughout is a hallmark of yours, at least of the stories I've read so far. I'm a huge fan of it all. Actually, these sorts of writing aspects seem almost obligatory because if they're not present in a story, it just feels lacking in a major way - but your stories always prevail and never leave me unsatisfied.

I'd have to say that there are soooo many memorable scenes that were not combat-related. While the combat was vivid and visceral, I extracted so much out of the ones that were solely character-derived. One such that really plays out is Reed and Thompson hanging out on the river bank just before the big engagement there. They're pondering the Covenant, their reasons for fighting them, and their way forward in life - if there is one. It brought me back to Blunt and his crossing of the gap, just like the ODSTs, and maybe to some smaller extent, Reed himself. I think Reed will be okay, though. It's been established. Lake sort of stands out as the ballast against all the madness that war can wreak on people.

And Stern...wow. The Captain might just be the most unique of all to me. Sounds weird at first because he comes off as the single-minded glory hound with tunnel vision. But then, suddenly, it was really hard to pin him down after he took part in engaging the Covenant personally after all his subordinates basically said "No, sir."

I have to admit, after he went in with the fighters, I stared to change my opinion of him for a while, even when he sided with the ODSTs in their game plan. He was no longer that loud-mouthed coach leading from the sidelines - he was in the thick of it, putting his money where his mouth is. It didn't last long, I guess, what with the closing chapter. But there, too, I found him unique again in his final conversation with Lake. The Captain does seem to have valid points, albeit with the grander picture compared to Lake's family-oriented style of teamwork. The Captain is incredibly objective and it somehow lends him a sense of understanding from me, the reader. Maybe even some respect. And how you ended it with Briar, I can only assume that Reed finds his place in short order, so to speak.

All this happening only means that 10 Days in Mombasa will be MUCH more challenging to write for, but I guess that's the kind of challenge you want to live up to, eh? Makes the effort much more worthwhile and rewarding in the end.

So, in conclusion, I can only give this the highest praise after experiencing it. It's vivid, memorable, horrifically real, and it feels complete in its own right. It could be entirely left alone if need be, but I'm also excited (and rather honored) that it has some continuation with what we've collaborated on.
EmF chapter 3 . 8/9/2015
Ok, I see the new chapter is up but I must go to work. Damn modern monetary/wage system and morbid human acceptance! Why can't I have the day off!

So, I read ch1 a few days ago actually (coincidence!), so I'll have to marathon this today when I get back from the office (ch2, ch3). Really good to see it up again and I can't wait to see the finale.

-EmF
cannonfodder43 chapter 3 . 8/9/2015
After much wait I and Katsuhiro have been rewarded. While I have a problem with how you incorporate what I believe to be unmarked past-tense dialogue (makes identifying it while reading difficult) this was a 10/10 story.

The imagery, the dialogue, the action and the way you explored the many ways humans react and interact with each other while enduring such suffering in just three chapters is just excellent.

I loved your compelling characters especially Lake (my favorite), Thompson, Boadicea, Reed and Stern and so on. The confrontation between Lake and Stern was a great scene but it is the section where Reed finds Lake standing beside Thompson to steady and help him that just filled my heart with happiness. It is hard for me to describe how much I liked this short, good and deep story of yours. Thank you for making it and I look forward to more of your work.
Katsuhiro chapter 1 . 5/14/2015
Well where's the rest of it, 125? This first chapter's superb.

You have an excellent eye for detail - the only constructive observation I could make is to reproof it and consider that less can be more. Quick example, and this purely stylistic interpretation on my part (and feel free to disregard):

"You saw what a couple of squads with small arms did to a platoon and a warthog today." reads a bit clunkier than "You saw what a couple of squads did today." - for dialogue as natural as yours, the moments where it doesn't flow become all the more jarring.

Beyond that, the only other comments I could make is that the scene setting leaps in some places - (Reed and Thompson washing up at the base of the river could probably do with a small amount of separation); and the conversation between Moyer and Stern feels less like a confessional conversation, more like an info-dump.

These are very minor points - stand proud; it's criminal that this story hasn't received more recognition.
cannonfodder43 chapter 2 . 12/30/2014
This is great, will be waiting for more. Happy New Year by the way.
cannonfodder43 chapter 1 . 12/30/2014
This is extremely nice, some of the best I have ever read.
Guest chapter 2 . 6/19/2014
This has been amazing so far. Its crazy there not more positive reviews on this because its one of the best here! The next chapter should be great. I love this!
Electromotive Force chapter 2 . 6/16/2014
Man, 125, so much happened in this chapter. So many unexpected things. For once, I have a hard time putting thoughts together, there was so much to cover. What I can say for sure is that the multiple battle scenes were vivid and intense, and there was so much entropy that comes to be expected in real battles-but when it hits...it just hits with that unpredictability and tenacity. Very well put, all of those scenes. The counterweights were just as strong, with the directions the reader comes to find some characters taking, and the subtle hints from them delivered in dialogue and expression.

Another excellent piece.

These new plot twists were just like the battle scenes and I can't wait (again) for the next installment.

-EmF
Electromotive Force chapter 1 . 5/24/2014
Whoa. Honestly, I wasn't expecting this. It's amazing.

Please, let there be more!
Jaeger Gipsy Danger chapter 1 . 5/24/2014
I don't actually know what to say. I have tears in my eyes. This was amazing, touching and terrifying, and horryfingly accurate. You could not have made this up, so I will say thank for your service to this wonderful country of ours. I look forward to reading more of your writing, even if it does make me cry. Well done!
Guest chapter 1 . 5/24/2014
You are very good. Every time I read one of your stories I'm impressed.