Reviews for The Falling Star
TheAmateurAJ chapter 1 . 5/23/2015
Fandom blind as a bat, so apologies if I can't express my review in such a way as a fan of Pikmin can.

The beginning really drew me in to find out what was happening next. Usually I have to get in a good few paragraphs to find something interesting, but you did a good job of capturing practically any reader with just a few words.

The description of the monster is described beautifully well and it actually made me feel dread for the character. With each passing detail that feeling of remorse, no matter how small, kept getting building up as the descriptions prolonged.

The survivor personality you gave the character is also done well. The mentality of someone who is desperate to live would generally be written as something drawn out and detailed to the point that the reader would want to hurry along with the next paragraph, but you managed to make it short and sweet without losing any emotion and making a strong impact on the reader's mind.

Everything that followed after the character's injury made me hungry to read more. As the situation progressed I couldn't help but mentally cheer the main character on to reach some sort of safety, no matter how small it turns out to be.

When the star, or fire, is discovered, I had a little feeling of relief and once again cheered the character on to reach its sanctuary of light.

Overall, I enjoyed this, surprisingly more than I thought I would. Grammar is good, and the descriptions had my attention the entire time. This little one-shot managed to affect my emotions and get me to rapidly think throughout, and that's a definite plus in my book.

Keep it up. You got some good talent here :)
zanganito chapter 1 . 5/23/2015
I like how you start this piece out with simple sentences, each separated onto their own line. It really says a lot about the situation that the narrator is in. Everyone else is dead, but the narrator is alone and hiding.

/The creatures I speak of come at night, with lizards' heads and flared nostrils, rows of jagged teeth. They seek us with overlarge eyes stuck unnaturally on stick-thin antennae that sway as they move, and spindly legs which with they pursue us, causing the very ground beneath them to quake./ I absolutely love the way you’ve described the monsters. It’s descriptive enough to give a detailed image, but at the same time it’s not just a list of characteristics. The actions in with the descriptions just make them feel like they are coming to life and give a very powerful mental image. Excellent job.

The description of the monsters also works very well to highlight the narrator’s fear of these creatures. I think this line: /I place my arms over my head in a futile semblance of protection and imagine how that poor soul's last moments will be./ really shows how terrible the situation is, and how helpless the narrator feels.

/Do they even have a monster strong enough to prey on them?/ Interesting. Most things do. It seems that the narrator was injured by the larger thing, but then got to stay by its fire.

This was an intriguing one-shot, and I really enjoyed your descriptions and word choice throughout. Excellent work, and thanks for posting!
TheNotSoTalentedPoet chapter 1 . 5/23/2015
Jesus Christ... That was really dark. ...I love it!

I like the way you went about transcribing the thoughts of our lone Pikmin. It was very stream-of-consciousness, and did an excellent job of pulling me in. I felt for the poor thing more than the protagonist of a lot of stories I've read. Kudos.

The way you described the monsters was also very visceral. A standout description is "overlarge eyes stuck unnaturally on stick-thin antennae". It's an exemplary way to describe a Bulbear, and makes them seem actually threatening in appearance.

Plus, the ending was a fantastic tie-in to the first game. I can't say that I've ever wondered what the Pikmin thought when they saw Olimar's ship. I really like the little headcanon you have here.

Keep up the good work!
Lexik chapter 1 . 5/22/2015
That opening is such a fabulous hook. Three lines in and I'm all wide-eyed, 100 percent of attention snared.

I really warmed up to this humble, honest little narrator whose world looks to have never been quite right to begin with. I especially liked his personal admission: "I am not wise, nor even particularly brave. I am afraid."

And as he lies there, escaped from one death only run into a different, rather unexpected one, I can't help but wonder if he'd just been destroyed by the very thing that would save any of his people who may or may not have survived. Not being familiar with the canon, I certainly don't know, but it made me think, and I love seeing that in a story :3

Lastly, yeah, I do imagine passing away by the fire is preferable to be eaten x.o;

Kudos :)
TolkienScholar chapter 1 . 5/11/2015
Completely fandom blind, over from RLt. :) That out of the way, I really, really liked this. The stream-of-consciousness style is perfect for someone who has gone through such trauma. I like the frequent paragraph breaks and the short, choppy sentences, as they emphasize the disjointedness of the thoughts. I have no idea who this is or the gender, but it reads female to me, so I'm going to use "she." I guess that could also help give you an idea of how well you're conveying gender. :)
Her thoughts about dying, and the way she equates fear with cowardice, tell me a lot about her culture. Clearly her people are (were) warriors, and she feels ashamed to want so desperately to cling to life. The "I can't say I blame them. ... Great. Now I'm sympathizing with the most dangerous enemies I know" tells me more about her. She is, perhaps, softer than the other members of her race in other ways, too, but also sarcastic. I think she has hidden strength.
I don't know how much of this is right or whether I've totally missed the mark, but I suppose this might give you a sense of how the fic reads to fandom-blind readers. Overall, I found it a very easy read for being fandom blind. It was very good. :)

There are a couple of tense changes you might want to look at. The fic is mostly in present tense, which works really, really well, but there are a couple places where you slip into past tense:
"I hid. Huddled in the shade of a plant and tried in vain..." - should be "I hide. Huddle in the shade of a plant and try in vain..."
"I lay upon the earth" - should be "I lie upon the earth"

Otherwise, I can't find anything to criticize. I really liked the simile "like some bizarre, bloody slug." It seems to fit the context well, as well as being a good "lens." Overall, every well done fic! :)
Book 'em Again chapter 1 . 5/11/2015
Fandom blind as I’m coming over from the Reviewers’ Lounge.

I loved how you used short sentences to effectively and quickly set the tone for this piece. And part of the reason this works so well is that the short sentences are balanced out with your longer descriptive sentences which explain what is going on while the short sentences convey what your main character is feeling and thinking. For example: you used the a short sentence to show your character hiding, which convey his sense of fear and then you followed that up immediately with a longer sentence to explain to your readers what your character is afraid of.

Your description is excellent. You show that while the monsters are comical looking, their teeth are what make them scary. And I easily imagine being thrown when the ‘star’ hit and the desperation as your character crawled toward the fire. Overall, you effectively paint this picture of an innocent caught in a battlefield, of a solitary creature trapped in the middle of a slaughter. And I couldn't help but feel for your character as he faces his inevitable death.

Finally, I absolutely loved the line about your character recognizing that he is sympathizing with the enemy he knows. That really showed just how ingrained in it is in many psyches the fear the unknown is. He knows these beasts are horrible, but this new terrible looking thing could be even more horrible and that is just too much to even consider.

In all a short but effective piece about a victim caught in the midst of an inescapable horror.
rockyroad69 chapter 1 . 4/7/2015
Hello! Art here :D

It's really nice how you do the descriptions so simply - yet so powerfully.

The start of [It is night], and transitioning into [Everyone is dead], finally into [Everyone but me] paints an extremely grisly, dark imagery which pulls me into a story. You proceed to describe the monsters with such detail, and it's maddeningly whacky - until you describe the sheer fear that the MC has for the beasts.

The MC's fear is very well described, and it follows towards the silent suspense where the warning call sounds and I can't help but worry for the poor fella. And suddenly, you abruptly in one short paragraph, wrote how the MC completely got thrown off and must've been fatally wounded.

I liked how you, wrote the tension and fear very well, judging from how the MC changes it's thoughts a few times in a very short space of time. It has to be maddening, being in fear, and helpless, not to mention feeling like being close to death aye.

And I loved how he found hope. How the MC dragged himself for all his worth towards the fire in search for some forlorn hope, but hope, nonetheless. He seeks comfort in an atmosphere of fear, and death, and these short sentences, blatant descriptions does tell the story very weell, and powerfully.

And it ends with a somber thought, sealing the dark tone of this story.

In conclusion, very unique style of short descriptions and subtle emotions/circumstances, with a clear masking emotion of fear all over it. Kudos for the characterization and writing style. I especially loved how it was so dark - so tense and fearful at the start - only for it to turn into hope and silent longing.

I guess, if I were to nitpick, I would use more conjunctions like "and", "while", "as" to make the sentences flow better, as some of it seemed very abrupt. However, then again, it's a matter of style at times, so a thousand pardons if I'm wrong about it. Also, I found the sardonic parts of the Pikmin funny - and it was rather jarring because of just how serious and dark this story is so yeah XD

All the same, kudos aye!

Regards,
Art
ShadedRogue chapter 1 . 3/27/2015
Wow. I know absolutely nothing about Pikmin, but this was a very haunting and vivid piece. I liked the decision to write this piece from a first person perspective, and the short, crisp, sentences give the piece a nice visceral edge – which works very well for the dark content. The narrator is scared, and close to death, so having long sentences wouldn’t work quite as well. The short sentences emphasize the sense of urgency.

The overall story was good. I liked how you started it in media res, where the pikmin is already in the middle of the carnage – everyone around him is already dead, or soon will be. They’re being annihilated by these terrifying creatures that hunt them. It doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of hope for anybody, but then all of a sudden there’s a big cataclysm as a ship falls out of the sky and either kills the creatures, or chases them away. And we’re left at that sort of cliffhanger ending – it’s bittersweet because the pikmin is dying, although he was able to allow himself to die with some dignity, rather than being torn about – but you’re also not sure (or at least I’m not) what’s in store for this world now that this ship is here. Is there anyone on it? Is it a good thing it’s here? There’s a lot of unanswered questions, but I like that you didn’t lead the focus there, and instead kept it on the pikmin. He dies, and thus his story, and this story ends with him.

A minor nitpick for me is that I would have liked to see the use of more contractions in this piece. You use a lot of “cannot” and “I am” in this piece, which to me, sort of jams up the tone of the short and crisp sentences that were working so well to create that fast-paced sense of fear and urgency of the piece. It’s not incorrect, but it was just a little thing I noticed for myself.

Overall, very well done.
Ersatz Einstein chapter 1 . 3/7/2015
I found the tense shifts ("Everyone is dead... I hid") disconcerting, and there were some other errors ("I lay upon," "plant-life," "in the mouth of our predators," etc.).
That said, you captured the moment with a beauty and realism that I found highly attractive. It seemed to harken back to the faint pity and sadness every player feels at watching their soldiers devoured in-game. The description of "sharp teeth and a hot, blood-caked maw" was particularly evocative. The question of what will happen next, left hanging, gave the beginning of the game an interesting quality of suspense.
Midorima Kazunari chapter 1 . 3/4/2015
Hello and congratulations of being named the Story of the Week on The Review Lounge, Too. I had no earthly idea what a Pikmin was before googling it prior to reading your story.

You do a very good job of describing the monster and the scene, so good that I can picture the creatures and setting without any fandom knowledge.

“It is night. Everyone is dead. Everyone but me.” That’s a power opener that puts a reader immediately on notice that this is going to be a tragic story.

“I hid.” Be careful of changing tenses. You’ve written the rest in present tense – which imho, is the best way to write something that like this because it gives it a feel of immediacy – but hid is past tense and is jarring.

The main character has an odd juxtaposition of language skills from the sublimely complicated and florid, “futile semblance of protection” and “miniscule remnants” to the very pedestrian, “So I stay where I am.”

To whom are you referring when you say, “I can’t move, either.” Either is a comparison to something or someone else. At the beginning you established that the narrator is alone, so I was a bit confused by this part.

The ending reminds me of Michael Crichton books. All the bad stuff happens and then suddenly at the end, something cataclysmic happens to change everything up. That’s a good technique in such a short piece. I can’t say I know what the craft is, but it’s good that the narrator dies in the heat rather than in something’s mouth.

All that to say, this was a good piece and thank you for writing! Keep up the good work.
Allison Diamond chapter 1 . 3/2/2015
Fandom-blind as can be.

These small sentences are a delight to read. The opening sentence, "It's night" grasps my attention. It makes me wonder what's wrong with night? Of course, the second sentence, "Everyone is dead," is very powerful. Then the narrator says that he or she is scared, a coward... It shows the intensity and grimness of a game's universe. I like this a lot. Thanks for sharing.
MissScorp chapter 1 . 3/1/2015
Hi there and congratulations on being named as the Reviews Lounge, Too’s SOTW for the week of 3/01/2015! I am completely fandom blind here so I apologize if I make any mistakes in advance! This piece really was fascinating because while I don’t know who the character you are particularly using is, it can be universal and related to ANY walk of life really. I can take this idea and apply it to any fandom really. Why? Because it’s representative of the possibility that something like this could happen. It’s a different take on the apocalypse/end of the world scenario and fabulous for that reason.

What I loved about your opening section here: ((It is night.

Everyone is dead.

Everyone but me.)) is the way in which you wrote it. The short sentences, each on individual lines draws me in as a reader and makes me instantly empathize with what this person is going through. The opening line ((It is night.)) works as a hook because while simplistic, it feels like the first thought that the character is having. Some people might complain that it’s ‘telling’ and not ‘showing’, but there are cases where not showing work. This is it. It sets the tone for the piece and works so well in sync with the first person narrative that you use in the rest of the piece.

This: ((I am not wise, nor even particularly brave. I am afraid. Cowardly.)) is a great introspective look at the character that you are writing this piece from the POV of. It works to show how they view themselves, what they think about themselves. They don’t find themselves as singularly courageous or strong. They see themselves as being a sniveling mass cowering from the things that come in the dark. It’s a great way to tell us about the character without showing us this long and complicated back history.

I love how you show what the fire is here: ((A tangle of hard, shiny wires, plates comprised of an unfamiliar material, dented by the impact, now blackened and charred by the heat.)). This isn’t a fire per say, it’s actually a star that has fallen to the planet. A star (or ship) that has obviously seen better days by the looks of it and which provides a much needed bit of sanctuary for a character who has gone through so much and is being plagued by things that they cannot hope to fight on their own.

This: ((My last conscious thought before sleep is that it would be better to die here, beside a warm fire, than in the mouth of our predators.)) is just a fantastic way to close the piece out. It’s a simple recognition that to die alone, in the cold or being torn apart by the lizard things is no way to die. Better to die warm and somewhere reasonably safe with some dignity left to you.

In all, fantabulous job!
Mr. Skurleton chapter 1 . 2/23/2015
I think this perfectly sums up the terror filled tension that game instills almost unconsciously within the player each time night begins to fall. The description works fantastically, the picture painted is lurid and harsh. I love how this brings forward the more horrifying aspects of the game offering a glaring contrast to its bright colors and cheery style. Well done.
Surburia chapter 1 . 2/10/2015
Uoo Pikmin fanfiction. Never thought to look for that before, but I saw your story in the RLT archive and it sounded really interesting. And to have a closer view of the long suffering pikmin is too intriguing to pass up.

It’s very interesting to see the world from the perspective of a pikmin, and the image of the bulborb that the Pikmin has is horrifying.

“Despite the comical appearance” I might get rid of this part. I think it shifts perspectives a bit. To us bolborbs look comical, but to the Pikmin I think it would be hard for them to see bulborbs as anything less than monstrous. And the thought is still there anyway for any of your readers familiar with the source material. We know the bulborbs look ridiculous, so the contrast between how the pikman see them and how we interpret them is already clear.

The pikmin are pursued and defeated and killed by things that are out of their hands. It’s a bleak image, and yet I think applicable to everyday life. “Caught up in their own struggle to survive”
You make your readers think about this in their own lives. When does your life come to outweigh the lives of others? Is it so wrong to pursue something in your own self-interest? You raise a lot of interesting philosophical and moral questions.

Wow, the landscape of the pikmin world has become this horrible battlefield strewn with bodies and blood. I mean, the GC game always had that horrifying element when some creature would take a bite out of your herd of pikmin, but this takes it to a new realistic level.

Great ending. From the pikimin’s perspective the “star” brings a promise of hope. It’s better to be by that warmth than to die in the cold open. And this is the arrival of Olimer’s ship, someone who will bring some order and “safety” to their lives.
This was great!
Legendary Biologist chapter 1 . 2/9/2015
Hi! I may be fandom blind about Pikmin, but I think my fandom blindness won't detract me from enjoying this story. :)

The first three lines are quite the hooker. They are short and snappy, but such sentences make effective beginning. They give a hint of the tense, terrifying atmosphere of the story, which is about a lone Pikmin who tries to run from his predators.

The description of the creature is well-done. It's terrifying, and it shows that the predator is one scary monster.

I feel for this Pikmin (the narrator), when he admits his cowardice and questions his acts of leaving behind the others. His remark about the screams of his dying friends nails the emotions. I sympathize with him.

The Pikmin's struggle to reach the fire is touching. I especially like the description of him dragging his non-functioning lower body. I feel for him, and I'm hoping that he'll make it right now.

In the end the Pikmin fades, but it's a bittersweet ending, especially when he remarks that he dies peacefully instead of getting devoured by the predators. It's very moving indeed.

Something minor: when the Pikmin snarks, I can't help but chuckle. Maybe it's just me but it feels rather out of place for a serious story. But your mileage may vary.

Well done!
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