Reviews for Lever to Move the World
Martin III chapter 18 . 7/22/2010
I actually finished reading this fic 22 months ago, but couldn't make much sense of the ending, so I thought I'd wait for someone else to review the final chapters and see if that could clue me in or at least add credence to how puzzling the end is. Obviously, that never happened, so I figure I might as well go ahead and review.

Basically, there's no explanation for anything in these chapters. It's most critical that the mystery of Egress opening up a portal - the main plotline of this novella - is never satisfactorily resolved. We have no clear explanation for what the place where this portal goes to is, nor why it should open up there, and not somewhere else, at the precise moment that the Shining heroes are doing their thing.

While on the subject, the presence of all the Shining heroes at that place and time, the mysterious new hero, and the "legacy", are also baffling. There are vague hints but nothing I can draw any conclusions or even hypotheses from. It just looks like a random assemblage of Shining heroes. Maybe this would all be a bit clearer if I'd played SF3 Scenario 3, but I can't really imagine how that would be the case.

These chapters aren't unpleasant to read. The prose is solid, and I like the unexpected future you devised for Nova. But I am disappointed that this is where the story ends up.

Now, I'm not sure how to grade "Lever to Move the World" as a whole. The characterizations of Ratchet are brilliant, worth reading the whole fic for by themselves, and the action scenes are intense and exciting. Yet a resolution which doesn't tie up what the rest of the fic built up is surely a story-killer. Nonetheless, I do mean "worth reading the whole fic for by themselves". So I leave this fic with a verdict of "fundamentally flawed, but worth reading."
Martin III chapter 14 . 9/13/2008
Quite a smashing bunch of chapters, these. You've set down the characterizations perfectly in the first half of this work, and now the action moves without the slightest dalliance. There's also some of that unified direction to the plot that I noted was missing in my previous review. I look forward to seeing the mystery of Ratchet's little jumps in space unraveled.

The action sequences here are quite strong; I like how you depicted Noon's confrontation with the robots. Best of all, though, is Ratchet's encounter with the dark dwarves. The characters reacted to each other in a very believable manner - after all, what underground ruler would let a prize like Ratchet slip through her fingers? The fighting is intense, and Ratchet's dialogue is absolute brilliance. I love quotable stuff like that.

Not much to cite for problems here, except that it's a little odd that Synbios would just let Noon handle things himself. If Ratchet being missing were the only issue, I would understand, but with that portal distortion going on... Anyway, generally speaking this is a highly enjoyable continuation of this story.
Demonic Weasel chapter 10 . 8/21/2008
First, I'll just apologize for being so slow to keep up with this. Having finally read through your updates since my last review, I can confidently say that I'm fully hooked.

You still have some minor problems that I'll detail first, but do be aware that nothing seriously detracts from the writing. Your characters are generally well drawn, but I think that Medion needs serious work. To put it bluntly, I don't find any real sense of cohesion in his character... unless you intend him to be frivolous and not overly bright. Also, the Bulzome 4 seem a little weak, but that's less of problem. And you need better breaks when changing character perspectives.

All of that said, I still love this story. This is one of the only fics that I've seen actually tackle the issue of builiding on the society introduced in Shining Force I. To be sure, there are several other SF3 fics, but they don't take the overall societal developments very seriously. Your story alone is enough to keep me hooked, and I like the way you seem to be spanning fair portions of the world, with the introduction of the Odegan caves and the ancient robots. Additionally, while Medion needs work, Ratchett, Bulzome, Noon, and Obright are all very well-done. You seem to have a really good grasp on this and the story is very intriguing. On the whole, a big thumbs up.
Martin III chapter 9 . 8/18/2008
Another very nice update. The plot here is getting much harder to follow, as we now have essentially three separate threads with no clear connection between them. Even within the threads it's a little hard to interpret things; Noon's conversation with Tiamat in particular seems needlessly enigmatic.

That aside, I sense potential in everything you have stirring up here, though it's really too early to tell. The robots and their research are quite interesting, and I look forward to seeing them explained in more detail. I just hope that this all pulls together with some coherent explanation.

As always, your writing really is terrific here. The characterizations have dropped off some, but I believe that's mainly because no one character stays in the spotlight for very long this time around. Noon's solitary aloofness, however, comes off very strongly in chapter 9. The sense of his humanity(so to speak) is irresistible. And of course, all your descriptions are laid on in just the right dosages.

Once again, pretty good stuff. Still waiting for it to come together into some appreciable whole, but very enjoyable in the meantime.
Martin III chapter 6 . 7/29/2008
First off, I must confess that I have yet to play Scenario 3(stupid SF3 save corrupted my whole memory cartridge near the end of Scenario 2), so I can't comment much on Bulzome and such. With that caveat in place, my opinion is that this is an excellent continuation. You haven't lost sight of your strong, compelling depiction of Ratchet in the slightest.

The action scene is well done, and the writing continues to be strong, flowing nicely with neither too much nor too little description. You really seem to have plopped Ratchet back home awful fast, but the goblin's consistent characterizations make up for any weaknesses in the plot.

My one major gripe is with Medion Egressing Ratchet. I've always been under the impression that Egress cannot be centered on a person other than the caster. Now, I am open to varying interpretations of spells, but this makes Egress WAY too powerful. A general with Egress could simply banish all of his enemies from the battlefield under this interpretation.

Anyway, overall a very enjoyable read. I look forward to future chapters.
Demonic Weasel chapter 2 . 7/17/2008
Hmm. Intriguing. Your formatting is very awkward, but aside from that, this fic is at least technically proficient.

Really, it's hard to formulate a strong opinion on what to say about this story as I'm not certain where it's going, but I'll definitely be watching for some continuation. Your rendering of the characters is, thus far, consistent and intriguing and you blend in serious and comic elements quite skillfully. Ratchett is by far the most interesting character here, but that's to be expected; he seems to be the central character, after all.

On the whole, nice work so far.
Martin III chapter 2 . 7/16/2008
Wow... Never thought I'd chance across your name again. It's been well over a year since I've reviewed one of your fics!

Anyway, I never found Ratchet, but I can confidently say that this is an excellent start. A simple beginning to the plot, but your strong characterizations make it compelling. Masqurin is intensely perky and upbeat, but not to an overdone extent. Introducing Grace's back story in the form of an info dump is an unnecessary break in good style, but at least the background itself fits with her character. Only other problem is that you have carriage returns all through your paragraphs. Something wrong with your formatting, I presume.

Mainly, though, it's your handle of Ratchet's perspective that is so compelling. You bring together so many elements of strangeness - his feral temperament, his thinking of his machine as a living thing, his solitariness - portraying them in a convincing manner and creating a fairly distinctive character from the result. I look forward to further chapters.