Reviews for Turbulent Alliance
NiceThorn chapter 3 . 4/4/2013
I like this story a lot, thanks for writing it! I am a little surprised you describe Azula's hair as auburn, though.
Fail Man X chapter 3 . 8/1/2012
Great story. Very well written. Loved the last chapter, especially how Azula returned Mai's blade from chapter one and the tension between the two of them.
LadyBluePhoenix chapter 3 . 7/19/2010
This is really good you did Azula and Ty Lee's personalitys really well.
Silvereyes12 chapter 1 . 3/16/2009
Keep up the good work! I can't wait to read the next chapter!
amalli chapter 3 . 7/20/2008
Nice!
Big Man Bryan chapter 3 . 6/14/2008
My Rating (out of four): Four stars

Like all the best fanfictions, “Turbulent Alliance” sets its story within the framework of the original show’s canon, but merely uses it as a springboard into the deeper, unexplored depths.

I loved the story, not just because it was well-written and character driven, but because it addresses an issue I’ve always had with the “Avatar” series: Did at any point Mai or Ty Lee ponder on exactly what their mission was and why their assistance was needed? Blackfire 18, the author, finds an eloquent explanation for this, but then goes on to explore many other questions I probably should have considered: Just how “friendly” are these three young women, them being Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee? Seeing them all in the same proximity, you don’t get the sense of a warm friendship than a soldiers’ debriefing. And just how well did Azula’s plan to recruit to Ty Lee work? How does Azula think she trust Mai, if their target is indeed Zuko, whom Mai has loved since they first met?

The most important one, though, is posed by Ty Lee in the final chapter: When it’s all said and done, and Azula has finally captured the Avatar, and Iroh and Zuko, what use will Ty Lee and Mai be of her then? Will she still be their “friends,” or will she disregard them?

These are very good questions, but they’d never be asked in the original series. One of the flaws of the show is that it doesn’t truly explore the depths of its characters to really know them or the themes that transpire around them; we only get broad, sanitized strokes, most likely to keep the younger edge of the demographic oriented. “Turbulent Alliance” puts much of the writers’ work on the show to shame. It’s willing to make the characters unexceptionally human and fully fresh out their fears, desires, and flaws.

This is most evident in its portrayal of Mai, a character whose passivity has made her very unpopular with the “Avatar” fanbase. Here she shines with the restrained cynical aggression of someone who wants to be heard, but finds more pleasure in not saying or emoting anything at all. She’s not as sly with her mannerisms as Azula, but the two of them share some pretty intense moments. One of the great achievements of this story is that there’s no physical action (you can watch the actual episode for that), but so much emotional tension going between each of these characters.

Even Ty Lee, a standard ditz in the series, comes across as sincerely well rounded. Her attitude is as childish as always. On the surface, anyway, but the final chapter, which depicts her and Mai have a conversation liberated from the ears of Azula, shows her to be much more thoughtful, in her own naïve way, than you’d think. It’s this moment that most of the significant questions are asked, and while they’re not answered, there’s a grim undertone that indicates that the two girls may know exactly what the answers would be.

I’m quite surprised at how few people had read “Turbulent Alliance.” It’s been on the website for two years, and received only twenty-four reviews. It’s probably a testament to how strong the dislike is for Mai or Ty Lee, which reinforces just how underdeveloped they are in the series. If the writers had taken more time for moments of humanity, like Blackfire did, maybe Mai and Ty Lee would receive more empathy.

Then again, that’s why we have fanfiction. The basic premise behind them is to reach out into aspects of the original story that the creators didn’t find time (or need) to reach into themselves. To a very large extent, “Turbulent Alliance” succeeds; this is one of the best “Avatar” fanfictions ever written.
talonlee chapter 3 . 5/14/2008
_ Good job. I wish I could find more Mai fics out there... she's been my favorite character for ages now. TBR only served to increase my love of her. :P Ty Lee is great too. Too pink most of the time, (I hate pink), but other than her pinkness she's hilarious.

I love how Mai never aims to kill. She's always set on capturing her prey. Otherwise the GAang would have been dead a long time ago. (Of course, those blades Katara blocked in "Return to Omashu" were headed straight for her face - but they had her brother) I think she wouldn't hesitate to kill animals though.

I always wondered just what Azula would say or do after various failures, like this one or when they lose the fight in "The Drill" or "Return to Omashu." Afterall, Azula is not the sort to take failure lightly.
Backinafew chapter 1 . 5/11/2008
I just love finding an Avatar fanfic like this one that manages to keep the characters IN character and provide insight into their relationships. I thought your interpretation of Mai, Ty Lee, and Azula's friendship was perfect and I really like how much you developed Mai's character. It's nice to see things from her point of view. The best part is that I image her attitude towards Azula towards Azula to be the exact same way: cautious but not nearly as fearful of her as Ty Lee. And I think Mai still protective of her acrobatic friend despite appearances. Overall fnatastic story, definately a fav. Can't wait to see what else you do with these characters!
Crazylobo chapter 3 . 4/28/2008
A beautiful, well-written (and complete! XD) story which provides plenty of insight into some of the more intriguing recurring characters of Avatar.

The characterization and pacing of the story is superbly done, and so are the emotions - the tension between Azula and Mai is breathtaking to behold, Mai's little crush on Zuko embarrassingly cute, and a new, more intimate spin on Mai's and Ty Lee's friendship is brought out to light in this piece.

The character dynamics between Mai and Ty Lee are especially entertaining, with the 'clumps' eliciting a genuine smile from me - the light touches of humour to accompany some of the darker themes in this story were nice indeed.

I really do look forward to more of your work in the future.

Crazylobo

(This will sound conceited, but... Bravo and congratulations also for convincing me that there IS some good Avatar fanfiction out there XD Yours is one of the few I've found. I hope to find more treasures like this)
swan-swan chapter 2 . 2/24/2007
Okay, since this is the chapter in question:

-

Please go ahead and give me your opinions about the dying lizard bit, I'd be interested to know.

-

Okay, yeah, I wasn't exactly too certain about this, mainly because of the fact that it made this harder to work into the frame of the show; there was really no sliding that bit into the show. A twisted leg or something, that would work just as well. Or having run off...it just seems to be a bit too much to go killing the lizard right there.

Story was pretty good, though, I always like the "meanwhile" fics.

Always keep dialogue in mind, and I'll check out what else you write. :)
swan-swan chapter 3 . 2/24/2007
Okay, this is a review for two and three...

I enjoyed it a lot. The "clumps" scene was very well-written, I loved your transcription of it. No simple "thank-you," but another inescapable hug...kudos to you.

Pretty believable, nothing too impacting on the canon...the lizard's death was a bit of a stretch, but not too major. The tie-up at the end with Mai hearing the same thoughts she'd been thinking at the start was a tremendous finish.

I did, however, have a big problem here. Namely, the dialogue. A lot of it seemed too...well...dramatic. Old. I can't picture Ty Lee saying, "only to be tossed aside when our purpose is met" or Mai saying "are we not all friends?" Remember that dialogue is the abridged version of narration. A lot of the narrative rules are discarded upon entering those quotation marks.

"Why didn't you just ask Azula of her intentions?"

"Well, I...I didn't want to upset her."

"You shouldn't behave that way; aren't we all friends?"

Etc.

Picture the characters saying the dialogue as it would be in the show, because that is how they talk.

"Please tell me you're here to kill me."

"What about those big muscle-y guys down there?"

"Come on, you heard Azula!"

"I thought that when Ty Lee and I finally caught you guys, it would be more exciting. Oh, well, victory is boring."

Ty Lee has a more casual, light demeanor to her-she never says anything in distress, really. She keeps her attitude smooth and focused, without showing a lot of bother. Mai is more flat-lined, speaking in a good grammatical sense, but willing to throw in contractions and simple phrases. Unless you're emphasizing, you really should use contractions-"don't," "can't," or "won't," or whatever-in dialogue. "Hey, you can't do that!" That's usual use. More formal would be, "Remember, you can NOT use my name while we're in the city."

Don't slangitize all of the dialogue, but remember to keep it smooth and talkative. When a character is talking, the reader needs to hear it, not read it.

That was pretty much the only thing you need to correct. Excellent form, or, if I were using dialogue, nice work.
swan-swan chapter 1 . 2/24/2007
Okay, this bit...it held another scene that I want to see...Ty Lee going "BUG!" She probably DOES freak out over big bugs...in-character non-canon stuff. Me likey.
blueskiesahead chapter 1 . 11/19/2006
Mai centered? I LUV MAI! I wish more people liked her.
piemanmoo chapter 3 . 8/10/2006
hey, that was pretty good. i enjoyed reading it.
nerdgonewrongxx chapter 3 . 8/8/2006
YOU. MUST. UPDATE.

This story is fantastic, the characters are incredibly canon. It makes my heart weep with joy. Wel..Not really, but you get the point.

I love the tension between Mai and Azula, and Mai's answer about Zuko. I am hoping you might make this a Maiko story.D
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