Reviews for The Starting Gate
Little Kunai chapter 10 . 8/29/2013
aww thats it? :(
Little Kunai chapter 8 . 8/29/2013
she makes a lot of valid points. i hope she can save him
Little Kunai chapter 7 . 8/29/2013
whats going on here?
Little Kunai chapter 6 . 8/29/2013
prowl knows somethings not right just not what. so is starscream really in it for himself? or does he genuinely feel a kinship to poor dart
Little Kunai chapter 5 . 8/29/2013
ravage knows something. i wonder what. one chapter feels like several. ah poor dart. interesting that they were willing to save each others lives. somethings up. and what did starscream expect? that megatron wouldn't put her in the front line. he knows somethings going on.
Little Kunai chapter 4 . 8/29/2013
saved by starscream? or doomed by him?
Little Kunai chapter 3 . 8/29/2013
this is fascinating
Little Kunai chapter 2 . 8/29/2013
aww shit shes dead
Little Kunai chapter 1 . 8/29/2013
this was an excellent chapter, fun, well detailed
Ghost of the Dawn chapter 10 . 7/10/2010
I think this is an interesting story you have going so far. I really like Dart. I think you've done some things with her that no one else has done in a human-turned-transformer fic. You also have an intelligent writing style, which is refreshing to see in fanfiction.

However, despite the quality of your writing, I feel like you write too much. You have purple prose all over the place and the fanfic is just so wordy it's almost painful to get through. I was skipping paragraphs and paragraphs of words that weren't even important to the story and not missing a single part of the plot. I seriously think you could cut this story size in half by getting rid of all the purple prose and not miss any of the important plot stuff.

As far as plot and characters go, you had some great dialog in here. Some if it was really fun to read. I liked the interaction between Starscream and Dart. But as far as the plot and where the character's motivation are, it's really muddy and kind of aimless.

Dart gets so many opportunities to grow as a character in this story, but I feel like she comes out in the end without any character growth whatsoever. What is the point of putting her through these things if she doesn't learn from them? By the end of this fic I was really expecting more for the climax and some kind of conclusion. But I'm hoping we'll be able to see the direction of this story clearer in the second part.

Either way, this is still quite a bit better than many other fanfics I have seen. And I give you these comments because I see talent in this story and I hope my feedback helps you with your writing skills. Good luck!
Queen of the Red Skittle chapter 10 . 2/15/2010
First of all, let me say how outstandingly addictive this story was - I was completely fascinated with your character Dart. What I really like was you didn't make her a super power - you showed that by having her lose nearly every fight she had with the Autobots. Your eye for details is extraordinary, though it sometimes slows down the pace, it lends to a magnificantly delightful read.

My biggest concern was the many plot holes - e.g. why was Dart still tied to the Decepticons? (Peacewish said everything best.) When I came to the end of the story, I felt dissatisfied. I wanted a conclusion, or at least, some sort of resolution on Dart's part to show her growth as a character, yet all we see is her skirting the sidelines. True, she's not heavily armored. True, she's only been a Transformer for six months and she's practically part-dog.

Still, you have her as a compelling character. Loved the way she interacted with the Autobots (loved Prowl and the Twins scenes with her). And here's my hypothesis why she's still with the Cons: 1) Starscream is there, 2) it's all she knows, 3) she hasn't encountered a big enough crisis of faith to leave yet (though I had thought her lack of rescue and Prowl's near-exucution would have triggered *something*).

Love your work on MirrorVerse, and I really hope you continue expanding on Dart's character after The Starting Gate. I'd love to see her transition from Con to ex-Con, or whatever you have planned for her. You may not. Who knows. I'll keep a weather eye out.

Take care,

mar33 chapter 1 . 9/8/2009
Excellent story. I would love to see more about Dart.
Peacewish chapter 1 . 8/3/2009
I'll reply here; might as well keep boosting your review count. I had a great time reading your response (at work) this morning. I'm pleased that you confirmed what I'd more or less sensed already, about the overall structure of the plot. The end had a fairly choppy it's-done-but-not-done feel to it, like the end of the first movie in Lord of the Rings. I had to check twice to make sure you'd actually labeled it 'complete', before I wrote that review.

And as for grammar problems, I'd guessed that too. I've done heavy editing on a chapter before, shifting around entire sentences, and I know that patchwork look when I see it. The best solution, coming from one who never ever uses proofreaders, is to copy and paste the entire text into a new space - preferably one narrower or wider than the original one. When words are suddenly shifted from their normal place on the screen, suddenly the eyes stop 'remembering' and start actually reading again. Little trick I figured out at work.

Now then, you old timer. Jeez, who has to look up 'shipping'? Sideswipe would laugh. But never fear, because it is after all only an abbreviation for relationship, and it doesn't have to be a romantic one. I guess it could be cute if he actually fell for Dart, but Prowl's a little too old for that... right? I'm actually just happy watching this platonic closeness develop between the two of them, a kind of strange trust that nobody else really understands and they don't feel the need to explain. He's like a wise foster brother, patiently holding out his hand and waiting for Dart to quit this f*ed up abusive family she's currently trapped in. I don't know your plans for the sequel, but I'd really love to see a possessive showdown between Starscream and Prowl (the two vice-commanders, how appropriate) for the prize of Dart. How interesting that would be.

It may or may not happen, and I wouldn't blame you if it didn't, with such low numbers of reviews to compel your creativity, but these are my thoughts. I'm available for help if you decide you want it; call anytime.
Peacewish chapter 5 . 8/1/2009
Well, what a curiosity of a story this is. It's quite the novel, with lively style and prose, yet for some reason seems to have attracted almost zero attention from the TF fans. You certainly put the work in, and I'm baffled by the low number of reviews.

On the other hand, I'm baffled by other things. Like, the lack of cohesion in overall plot - we went from sympathetic Dart/Starscream vignettes to Starscream/Dart romance, to internal Decepticon politics to Dart/Prowl exchanges in philosophy. That Dart spent her whole life as a human being on planet Earth seems to factor into her processors very little by the end of the story. Why she chooses to remain with the Decepticons when she's known for years that they are a hostile threat to her home planet is a mystery. It's not as if she had amnesia; if that happened during the body crossover I could have understood her mental dilemma a little more. As it is, I spent the entire span of her captivity wondering why she just didn't tell the Autobots the truth about her circumstances and ditch the Decepticons for good. There's some factor of her personal loyalty to Starscream in there, accentuated by the scene in which she involuntarily tried to defend him from Megatron, but by the end of the story that hadn't really gone anywhere either.

For someone with a strong grasp of sentence structure, you also had an inordinate number of mistakes. It would be courtesy to list them, but it's so very late and I'm so very tired. For example, though: "It sad and bubbled with the handful he’d extracted already; waves of odd sulfur smell wisped up and caused Dart to draw back and snort twice to get the scent out of her olfactory sensors."

It sad and bubbled? What is that even supposed to mean? Usually I can deduce typos, but I really have no clue what you were trying to describe. That tells me you didn't proofread too much. Your grammar also frequently puts the proper noun and the pronoun right next to one another, as if you were deciding which one to go with and then forgot to delete the other.

On the other hand, your fight choreography was excellent, and I know how very difficult such scenes are. And you made great use of humor too - for that kelp getting splattered against Jazz's windshield alone, you held my attention. A pity that only Ravage witnessed that, because I am sure that every Transformer on the beach, Decepticon or Autobot, would have fallen helplessly on the sand in throes of laughter had they seen. Truly great.

The ending was a disappointment. You left out some serious plot threads, such as a resolution on Dart's internal conflict about treatment of Prowl. I fully expected her to point in the direction of the dam at the first sign of an Autobot; hell, I expected her to run and FIND the Autobots so to at least try and help him. When she was quizzing TC about how to get out of the base, I thought she was trying to help Prowl escape. In the end, not only did she not actively try to help him, she didn't even passively try to help in the final battle scene. Also, you left the question of why the Dinobots let her escape hanging in midair. A fairly important point, considering that such a decision is what led Prowl to getting captured in the first place. I can guess it had something to do with sympathy between animals, but it was left too vague. And in the end, she didn't defect to the Autobots, truly the only rational course to anyone with half a brain cell. She doesn't seem to enjoy life in the Nemesis very much. Puzzling.

But I've read your profile, and I know this is the first in the series. Maybe you address these questions later; I don't know. What I do know is that the story was interesting and engaging enough to keep me up until 4:00 in the morning, no small feat for a strictly diurnal girl. I can rant and rave all I like about plot holes and grammer blips, but you've made me a passionate Prowl/Dart shipper, and that's nothing to sneeze at. Thank you for all your hard work.
Cybernetic Mango chapter 10 . 2/2/2009

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