|Reviews for Gargoyles: Timedancer Vessels|
| Spacebabie chapter 8 . 8/4/2017
Excellent story and I loved the OC's you have created. They were intriguing and well rounded. I loved the glimpses to the various times that you sent them across. Felt bad for Benny about Istet but he has his Zee now. Great story.
| Spacebabie chapter 6 . 8/3/2017
Taking a break to review this chapter and have to start with the first few lines and Swigedy Swag its the nightmare stag. Demona using the nazis no surprise there. I loved Horus and Set. Their interaction with each other was great and Set/Fu-Dog was a very spot on Dug from up. Just had a great chuckle.
| DisneyBlue02 chapter 1 . 7/13/2017
Wow! Did I pick a good place to start reading your work or what?! Easily one of the finest examples of Gargoyles history one could ever imagine, though written by a fan. Your description of Benuthet impresses me as well as the narrative, alone, and bearing witness to a great event as this was enough to leave me on the edge of my seat. Needless to say this will keep me excited for the next chapters. But for now... *yawns* I must take my leave and retire for the night. Till next time.
| Masterdramon chapter 8 . 11/4/2016
As I said on Skype, it definitely took me a little while to fully jump into the groove of this story. Not only does it center around an OC, but that OC is the viewpoint character AND written from the first-person to boot! All of these, as you know, are generally not things I much care for in fanfic.
But once I got settled firmly into Benny's head, and got fully into the swing of things? HOLY SHIT did I dig this wild ride. :D
Probably the most impressive aspect of this story is its ability to string together so many disparate elements - a handful of (initially unconnected) OCs, a metric ton of concepts salvaged from the long-sunken corpse of the Spring RP, and even an effective and thematically consistent follow-up to Algernon's "Daughter of the Night" - and make them gel like they're not only part of a single cohesive tapestry...but that they'd ALWAYS been that way.
I won't lie: at some point, maybe about halfway through the Guatemala arc, it started to feel to me as if Spring had never left. That all the blood, sweat, and tears we'd all put into constructing that beautiful hot mess of a 'verse still lived on somewhere, and you were simply picking right back up where we'd left off.
Indeed, if anything, what you and Algernon have started constructing here is in some way an IMPROVEMENT, jettisoning the more superfluous Marvel refs (which made sense at the time, but grew to be a little much for my tastes) and tying everything together just a bit more cleanly, due to the benefit of hindsight.
The Skull of Ah Puch is a fantastic example of the latter. I can't recall if it was established on Spring that it was made of Orichalcum, but I don't believe so. That little detail makes things just a little tighter, allowing for a more consistent Fantasy Kitchen Sink without sacrificing its expansive range.
And speaking of range...what an absolute TRIP, am I right? With just the simple, guiding theme of Avatars and their various Vessels - one that flows naturally from the central focus on Benny and the inevitable confrontation of his past demons - you manage to stretch a tale on the scope of EONS, a mini-World Tour that emulates the Wise Man's best work in being simultaneously episodic AND arc-based.
But none of this would work, of course, without the characters to tie it all together. Strong character writing has always been your strongest suit, and this was among your best. So, a quick word on your three central leads...
Benuthet: As I said before, it took me a little while to get fully on board with Benny, but once he started "working" he fit into the grand Gargoyles tapestry like a glove. It's nice to see a fully sympathetic gargoyle sorcerer, and his unique training and powers let's us get a much deeper glimpse into the nature of mortal magic in the Gargoyles Universe than we usually do. The influence of (among others, but especially) Riordan on his characterization and skillset is obvious but never feels gratuitous, and in general...well, I'm always gonna be a sucker for scholarly characters, with his wit and quiet confidence a distinct bonus.
Brooklyn: Seeing Brooklyn from the outside on a "Timedancer" story isn't really an angle I've seen attempted in the past (admittedly, I haven't read very many Timedancer fics in general), and it allows for a genuinely fresh take. There's not much else I can say, really; he's a character you've been writing for a long, LONG time, and it shows, with his lines flowing naturally from canon and his character progression clicking by at a steady, enjoyable pace. Indeed, perhaps the most impressive thing achieved here is that your tie-ins with Algernon's earlier fic aren't limited to mere passing references, but a genuine and natural-feeling continuation of his character growth from one piece to another. THAT was the greatest thing about the collaborative nature of Spring, and its persistence here brings me untold joy.
Zafira: As you've alluded to in chats, Zee is the lead here with the largest potential still left unexplored, but what DOES show up on the page here intrigues the hell out of me. The essential nature of the pendant-bearers as Legacy Characters makes it a lot easier for me to accept an OC right off the bat, but in any event she EASILY manages to grow beyond her initial role within just a few pages. She trades wit, charm, and well-timed jibes with the boys without missing a beat - the first big hint that she and Benny are perfect for one another - but also clearly has an emotional core we've only just scratched the surface of.
The Dances themselves, both when taken separately and considered as a whole, are delightfully varied and yet simultaneously consistent and cohesive, and the fact that each manages to reach a natural climax with genuinely felt stakes, given such (relatively) brief setup, is nothing short of astonishing. The characters and settings - canon, OC, and historical like - pop with personality and flavor, and the fact that you have clearly done your homework (well...more like focused on the areas where you've done so much homework already, but you know what I mean) brings real weight and gravity to the piece that I find endlessly refreshing.
Beyond all that, it's the little things that really make "Vessels." I'm frankly at a loss to even begin cataloguing them all, but suffice to say I lost count of the number of times I burst into a silly little grin when reading this.
The "City of Stone" spell? Explained perfectly and logically. The Eye of Odin? You basically made Greg's wish that it looked more like the Genesis game's Norse design as opposed to the "vaguely Egyptian" one in canon PART OF ITS HISTORY...and in pretty much those exact words! Wotan? A genuinely delightful little mix of Team Atlantis' Erik Hellstrom, YJ's take on the character, and a whole mess of charm and unique speech pattern (dunno if it was intentional, but I read all his lines in sing-song) that turned what by all rights SHOULD have been a total cliche into a genuinely fun little baddie.
Then in Guatemala, we've got some delightfully wonderful "magic culture clash" (if there's one scene that perfectly encapsulates what I PARTICULARLY enjoy about your writing above all others in the fandom, that argument between Benuthet and Six-Jaguar on the morality of blood-magic would likely be it), a delightfully understated and simultaneously tragic reveal on "Jade and Turqueso" (it's a small thing, but don't think for a SECOND I missed it), and the absolute GIFT of a character that is Isabella Canmore (who is perhaps the first female Hunter I've seen who doesn't feel like an Expy/retread of Robyn or Fiona). Plus...well, who doesn't love a good "welcome to the Illuminati" tag? Any cameos by Brother Duvalmont are an INSTANT way to get me salivating.
For the brief stop in Germany...I don't have much to say (apart from cracking up heartily at Zee's culture shock re: "chocolate") except THANK YOU for slipping probably my favorite Spring-added character PERIOD back into the tapestry with such a resounding bang. I've already gone into fairly intense detail with your brother on the reasons why his portrayal of Erlky resonated so thoroughly with me, and here he's bringing his A-game in terms of sheer presence and creepiosity. More than anything else, I hope this - along with the reestablishment of both his and Demona's connections to the Third Reich, without the distraction of HYDRA this time - is a herald of more things to come, from the BOTH of you.
I don't have much to add to the finale in Egypt, nor to the little post-wrap bit in Rome, that Algernon didn't already cover better, but suffice to say it was one hell of a satisfying conclusion. It worked, it DAMN worked, and it paid off everything that needed to be. And those little hints of missing Dances, man...if there's one thing I really and truly LOVED about Spring that you've managed to carry forward so victoriously here, it's the notion of how many stories there are still left untold, waiting in the wings to be realized.
Y'know, in fact...there's one in particular... ;)
| GregX chapter 8 . 10/22/2016
That was epic.
Avatar state, yip yip!
| Dr. Algae chapter 8 . 10/17/2016
Since you posted the last two chapters (plus epilogue) in a single block, I’m gonna review them as such.
The 1942 segment was a nostalgic delight, truly bringing me back the halcyon days of the Spectacular Gargolyes RP. I always thought Der Erlkonig was the breakout star of the Mab, so it’s great to see him resurrected in this format in all his creepy glory. On a similar note; Gods above, I’ve missed Horus and Set. Reading them bitch at each other like overgrown children again brought a tear of joy to my eye.
And now, the conclusion…
I just KNEW you were gonna TimeDance back to the Serpent Crown incident, sooner or later. Isfet is both intriguing and tragic based on what little we see of her. Her deathbed repentance as she realizes her whole life was a lie was particularly touching.
Apophis-Benuteth’s design puts me in mind of Yaldabaoth, the lion-serpent Demiurge of Gnosticism. Don’t know if that was intentional or not but nice touch regardless. The climax final battle within Benuteth’s soul was a very well done riff on Spec-Spidey’s “Intervention.”
And finally, we come back to where it all started in 1st century Rome. I’d love to see you flesh out some of the adventures hinted at here someday.
All in all, a strong conclusion to what’s been a fun and crazy ride.
| Dr. Algae chapter 5 . 10/15/2016
Nice quite interlude.
What's this 'bout Brooklyn having an encounter with Dracula? Wow! I bet that would be a great story. Someone should write that so folks here can read it just by entering "Daughter of Night" in the search engine up there.
| Dr. Algae chapter 4 . 10/12/2016
Benny killed the Woolly Mammoths!
Anyway, another solid chappie. As a fan of Mayan mythology, ‘twas fun seeing Ah Puch making a cameo.
I also enjoyed the nod to Gargoyle religious beliefs. It’s always been one of my favourite parts of the CiT lore.
Isabella’s change of heart felt natural and made sense. The Hunters do consider themselves the good guys after all.
Also, caught the name of Jade’s mate on a second read through. Well played, sir. Well played indeed.
Particularly intrigued to see Brother Valmont again. I take it he was the shadowy hooded figure consulting with de Landa at the end of Chapter 3?
I have some theories where you're ultimately going with all this, but I'll keep them to myself for now.
| Dr. Algae chapter 3 . 10/10/2016
Another great chapter, few random thoughts…
Fun theology (or rather demonology) debate between Isabella and de Landa. Nicely sets up their contrasting worldviews of Well Intentioned Extremism versus Cold Pragmatism.
Brooklyn trying to pull off a Gozer impression is hilarious, dorky and undeniably Brooklyn. ZUUL MOTHERFUCKER, ZUUL!
Benuteth and Zafira’s mutual culture shock over the use of Blood Magic is a neat little insight into both their worldviews.
Another tantalizing glimpse into Benny’s backstory. Based on what I know of ancient Egyptian culture, I’m guessing “Isfet” named herself. Either that or her parents REALLY didn’t like her.
I’m glad you managed to salvage the Skull of Ah Puch from the ashes of Spring. ‘Twas a fun macguffin
Eagerly awaiting more.
| Dr. Algae chapter 2 . 10/7/2016
And then Wotan joined the Injustice League! :P
In all serious, another great chapter. It was particularly nice to see some inter-clan gargoyle politics play out. Wotan's interesting for what little we see of him, though I suspect we'll see more before the story's done.
Watching Brooklyn finally lose his cool with the Phoenix was pretty powerful. I have my suspicions about where it dropped him and Benuteth but I shall keep them to myself for now.
Looking forward to chapter 2.
| Storyseeker chapter 2 . 10/7/2016
Great chapter! I wondered what had ever happened to those senators.
| Dr. Algae chapter 1 . 10/2/2016
It's nice to see you return to your roots with a Gargoyles fic, man. Your earlier stories like "The New Adventures of Old Pog" where a big inspiration for me when I was just starting out here myself.
This story gets off to a very strong start. You have a very "televisual" style that really does make it feel like I'm watching an actual animated episode.
It's a rare fanfic that makes me almost more interested in the OCs than canon characters. Benuthet's an intriguing figure who from all indications has quite the storied past himself.
On a more personal note, As a a Robert E, Howard fanboy I appreciated reference to Brooklyn as a "Pictish" gargoyle. Bran Mak Morn would be proud.