Reviews for Avatar: Last Firebender
Whyhow chapter 13 . 4/29
I am curious about Azula's quote: whose death (or apparent death) angers her so much that she feels that a city has equal value?
Whyhow chapter 9 . 4/29
It's nice to see that not everything's black and white...
Whyhow chapter 7 . 4/29
Something was funny about the pacing of the tasks, but I like your interpretation of Bumi.
Whyhow chapter 5 . 4/29
If the captain regularly took the wheel, what did the helmsman do? The action scene was good, though.
Whyhow chapter 4 . 4/29
The OCs seem mostly plausible, if a bit flat. It's probably fine as long as the plot doesn't focus too much on them, but that would worry me with all but the best OCs.
Ganheim chapter 2 . 3/29
Chapter 4
He had been waiting
[Passive]

some lights?" Azula
[Source Mixing. The first agent after dialog marks the dialog’s owner, and that makes this confusing]

doubt we have any or at least not enough we can risk it
[Confusing phrasing. I’d think she’d give a more terse ‘we don’t have enough’]

she had actually seen
[she saw]

Opening the door she
[, she]

hired incredibly large amounts of workers
[In the socio-technological level of the avatarverse? All 3 farms would be grabbing for people, but all you’ve got is word of mouth spread by convenient foot travel (and given the delivery date, they’re not going to go far to get help)]

in her capturing
[capture]

is the damage."
[?”]

ship is relatively intact
[Worst report ever. Reports are intended to be succinct and precise as possible]

get to work, dismissed
[The former segment is an interaction, the latter a cessation. Different topics, should be different sentences]

village she was
[, she]

had hit a snag before it had
[hadverb]

Follow me" she
[me,”]

Sokka really could
[couldn’t]

the fight quickly
[-adverb]

knocked her weapons back with a block
[A block halts motion, it doesn’t redirect it (that’s a parry)]

had blown it
[blew it]

his defenses she
[, she]

a dead run he
[, he]

as he was is that you learn
[Jumping from third-person to second-person pronouns]

she had still
there had not been
farmers who had
farmer had actually
but she had
[hadverb]

she had been expecting
[she expected]

the Kyoshi Warrior s
[Warriors]

fried turkey-duck
[I know the series used fused animals frequently, but you’re using almost exclusively animals that are almost the same anyway. Turtle-ducks, boar-q-pines, jackalopes, sparrowkeets…these are all easy to look up online if you can’t think of any yourself (and it’s probably better to do so, not only to maintain stronger links with canon but so your world is more consistent than making things up on the fly)]

Chapter 5
CRUNCH!
The sound of metal twisting
[The onomatopoeia is good After the sound is described, before there are so many variations that the context can’t help us puzzle it out without slowing down the action]

really bad on the boilers
[bad hit?]

Azula had escaped
[hadverb]

fire was even…it was only
[Passive. Show us the chunks of rock (or whatever they use, in more industrialized, supplied societies it might be ceramic or shaped wood) splashing closer and closer, scoring glancing blows and then directly impacting the conning tower or whatever you chose to call it]

YOU IDIOTS?" Zhao screamed
[Overdone: capitalization is intended to set apart words (such as proper nouns), capitalizing whole words is fine in situations where emphasis is needed but the medium will not support formatting like italics or bold (as some blogs). However, in narrative it looks like you forgot to take off the caps lock. The exclamation point alone indicates the whole sentence was yelled/screamed (at least if you’re using it sparingly like you should be, overuse dulls the effect), and speech tags can do the same purpose (sometimes being used together if you NEED to indicate a particular degree of yell/scream). Use a few of those tools sparingly and your audience will usually be smart enough to pick up on it, and often appreciate the punch]

OVER 100
[In dialog, numbers should be written out]

WANT EXCUSES I
[, I]

spectacular;, an
[, an]

hope that Zhao
[Identifying people is good, but you’re repeating the same sentence structure a lot. Here perhaps you could just say ‘he’ and since no other males are identified we’ll follow along]

preferably painfully
[Author Intrusion? Weak and unneeded adverbs, in any case]

Sun had caused it
[‘swung it into a collision course’ is more concise and active]

groaned as they streaked by each other
[There’s no noise unless there’s contact, and that’s a graze at best (likely a squealing collision that might be powerful enough to rip whole side plates off the smaller cruiser)]

the semi-impact
[“semi hit” only matters with horseshoes and hand grenades, that was a collision]

is perfectly survivable
[While rules are normally looser in dialog, I think this implies a more fixed absolute than Azula would say (she’s too cunning to blab an absolute because she can’t weave around her words later)]

Another common saying
[Author Intrusion]

the cause Katara
[cause,]

shewas no longer tired
[she was…though there’s a difference between no longer being tired and pushing it aside as inner reserves of energy burst forth]

she'd been enduring
[she endured]

mind was able to take note
[mind took note]

coughing up the water
[That she already bent out of his lungs?]

I don't have the energy or supplies
[If she doesn’t have the energy, why’s she creating flame? Just supplies reminds us that the ship is destroyed and the right kind of dry wood isn’t easily available]

burn the bodies'
[That should be plural, not plural possessive]

Pole had turned
It had started
ship had been
she had actually been
She had seen
oceans she'd never
the storm had
Nomad's had attacked[also singular possessive instead of plural]
Though she had learned
it had been
[hadverb]

more than a fun adventure
[During the storm? I’d think it would only be running from the fleet that she felt danger]

Sokka had barely
could barely remember
It had almost seemed
it seemed like
week he had learned
Then this had happened
he had been killed
[Passive]

been somewhat off it
[Runon, slightly awkward sentence. The phrasing also feels like Author Intrusion instead of Sokka’s thoughts. “Why couldn’t that catapult have been just a little less calibrated” might be something character-focal]

captured which had
If they had just had
they had just been
[passive]

being caught the ships
[caught by?]

she had assumed Zhao
then she could have
[passive]

It she had thought
[If she thought]

crew I have scavenge
[. I have to]

going to go
[She’s not actually going anywhere, she’s picking through debris. Though after this tirade she might dump that in order to just walk]

arms had been bandaged
[arms bandaged]

physician had told
heavy had landed on the deck
[Deck, or floor outside his cabin? He’s probably not on the same floor as the deck, there’s a lot of need to place important equipment there]

"Hmmm." Rather
[A ‘hm’ is more often a sound of consternation, and I can’t twist that into a laugh. This creates a sense of disparity between your speech tags and the dialog]

were sent to the sea when buried
[Whose POV is this? It started with Azula, but she should still be simmering with rage such that she’s not going to pick up random threads of cultural knowledge of her current unwanted allies]
Ganheim chapter 1 . 3/29
I know you will make the right choice
[Like beating people up and saying “act like this because I’m the Avatar” and then expecting it to stick when you leave]

capital was burning
[The “was/were/had verb” is a passive construction making the passage weaker. Just “burned” would’ve done fine]

capital had finally ended
[had-adverb]

"No thanks" without
[.” Without]

the second seeming to dance
[Is it so quick the author doesn’t know? Seeming lends question and doubt to what happens. Just “second danced” would’ve been clear and concise]

they managed to arrive
[they arrived’ would’ve been more concise]

to the ship; we'll
[Semicolons are things to be avoided even in technical writing. In narrative they separate whole ideas, better done with a period to emphasize separation or comma to emphasize connection]

she only went in only to
[Repetition. The first could be cut with no loss of meaning]

working with the Avatar
[By this point, isn’t it at least as likely that Aang has died of old age and a water tribesman is the new Avatar? Just noting when the Air Tribe is brought up again]

boiler rooms Azula
[rooms,]

around; her smile
[, her]

Azula was seriously reconsidering
[Wordy, passive. Just “Azula reconsidered” would work, though the ‘serious’ could add to emphasize]

icebergs began to crack
[‘began to’ isn’t as intimidating as just ‘cracked’]

Thanks to the Soap Operus Board for helping with storyline and conception.
Special thanks to posters chuckg and heretic.
Heretic wrote the "set a course" scene used with permission
Special thanks to my Beta reader, Avocadolove/Voodooweasel, whose patience and thoughtful comments are infinitely appreciated, and without whom this story would probably be barely readable.

Chapter 2
The ship had prepared
[The ship itself prepared? Or others prepared it? The latter should read ‘was’]

They had spent
[hadverb]

looked back, while
[Topic change, should include a sentence break]

raiding season; and people
[These are part of the same idea, so either use a comma to join or a period to separate]

over it Sokka
[it,]

could impale them
[Them is plural. There’s only one, so you could say ‘the stranger’]

It had taken
[It took]
men had spotted
So Azula had spent
[hadverb]
barbarian had come
[came]

nowhere near them
[Near who? Nobody’s been mentioned approaching (as far as the water tribe in general knows). With things having changed in your story, you need to describe what ‘them’ might be. In canon we just SEE it]

realized that it was female
[-that]

This girl was staring
[stared]

She had known
[knew]

she had glimpsed
[hadverb]

got closer Azula
[closer,]

had wanted to
who had refused
[hadverb]

could train me."
[I sense this is a question, an invitation, request. Those need a question mark]

Azula had seen
[‘saw’ is more concise]

irony, she'd traded
[hadverb]

unheard of." Katara smiled
[Source Mixing: when you break from one character (as Azula) to another (as Katara here), you need to break to a new paragraph or you confuse the agent of the action/dialog]

Katara was fuming
[fumed]

From what I heard
[She heard nothing, she saw a single display]

over the hill Katara
[hill,]

She had heard
[hadverb]

So far it had been going perfectly
[Passive, feels as much like Author Intrusion as one of the characters]

that the captain had insisted on sending
[the captain sent]

Azula had left
[hadverb]

Katara he had been tempted
[was]

Gran had halted
[hadverb]

He had only heard
[Passive, you also implied he saw nothing so I’d think his paranoia would drive him to check it out without pausing to think]

As the best claimant, most of the others
[Phrasing indicates it’s the others that are ‘best claimant’ somehow]

had begun by
the raids had
She had considered
that she had
She was shaken
nothing wrong" Katara
[Missing closing punctuation]

Azula, thank you
[By the way, are we expected to believe Azula sits back and says and does nothing through this whole exchange? She’s somewhat your main character, so we should be getting bits and pieces of her doing things like following Kanna or rolling her eyes at Sokka]

! you can't
[You]
just-" Katara was cut off
[Backpedalling, always an awkward method of writing. Give us the action that creates the cause, then the effect it generates. Don’t do it the other way or we have to go through gymnastics to follow your story and that just drives readers away]

find a way, and
[Topic break]

Azula had said
she had finally
times she had
[hadverb]

So at least she had something right
[Passive and confusing. Is this going against the past 2 paragraphs to say she does have control? Or “at least she has something going for her”?]

able to control fire like another hand
[Confusing. Katara’s seen other great firebenders? Or ‘control fire like she didn’t think possible’?]

Gran was always respecting Sokka
[Awkward. “Gran preferred Sokka,]

this is the best way
[Then why bother Sokka instead of holding in her woes like canon (and your story earlier) implied? She only seemed to wail when it would do some good]

leaving behind everything you know behind
[Repetition]

ice remaining obviously frozen
[Um…duh]

Take me to him
[The guard never identified the stowaway’s gender]

"What else, looking
[? Looking]

Chapter 3
that had been let on
[Passive]

saw an over muscled soldier
[over-muscled]

Swab the decks
[But that’s only done on wood ships (or, using swab in a different sense, the cleaning done to cannons in-between shots, but that doesn’t exist at this point in the avatarverse). As far as I could tell from the series (and double-checking online), their decks are metal]

Sokka had heard
[hadverb]
guards had has much
[as]

Southern Air temple."
"Princess
[You give us no narrative, no indication that Azula does anything. Based on your pattern of breaking up paragraphs, ‘princess’ is spoken by Azula]

"PRINCESS
[Who says this? Give attributions, speech tags if necessary]

he could we
[, we]

He'd been thrown out
[passive]

filled room; wasting
[room,]

Sokka resolved to explore the ship more once he got a chance
[I like this establishing indication that he’s paying attention to detail and engineering in a manner like his canon character’s attentiveness, but with an alertness that your more chaotic southern world would have]

least do this…."
[this…?”]

their own, but what did
[own. What]

She had thought
Now that she had
Azula was interrupted
[passive]

Turning around she
[, she]

Get on out" one
[You have a recurring problem of forgetting to use full closing punctuation at the end of dialog]

Azula had ordered
[ordered is already past tense, the ‘had’ is superfluous]

ever seen; a water blizzard
[A blizzard already contains water. You could just cut the latter segment and get into the description rather than an awkward term]

now Katara had never really met
[now, Karara never met]

Azula she had been
[she was]

He had followed
all she had
[hadverb]

not passed away, and was quickly descending
[Continuation of one idea, passive]

get away.
"Wait…
[Incomplete paragraph break?]

pain echoed throughout the ship
[Wait, from the ship? Or from above?]

Gran had knitted
[hadverb]

well no I still don't
[Your narrative is fairly fixed in third-person focused, which makes this sudden first-person odd]

KID!" the mechanic growled
[Why? You never told us he opened or did anything to it]

tattoos of master's
[either a particular master’s, or ‘of masters’]

he'd heard a
[hadverb]

Azula shouted. Realizing
[Source Mixing]

Azula had already fired
[Passive. Show us the bolt lancing out, don’t say ‘oh, by the way, something interesting happened, I just didn’t show you’]

I don't want corpses on my ship
[No body, no crime. Or closure]

storm had finally broke
captain had said
She had felt obligated
ones who had knocked
[passive]

expecting to be burnt
[Author Intrusion. Azula is the focal character here, just the squinting is enough. She’s not a mind-reader, so don’t give us their thoughts]

had proven her
[proved her]

given Azula had
[passive]

for or "
[or—”]

in RL it would not take up 6 rooms
[Depends on the partitions]

Chapter 4
Though I may not stay that way for long
[I see foreshadowing]

they had originally thought
[they thought]

is completely overlooked
[Unneeded adverb]

"….."
[This does not describe anything. Is she smiling? Frowning? Crossing her arms and pacing? Show us what she does, don’t use bad comic book conventions that only existed because that’s the medium’s option for indicating time passage. We have better methods in narrative]

Sokka swung the hammer.
"Get up
[This makes no sense. He’s been portrayed as a somewhat competent engineer, but apparently you add in a ‘sokka’s in pain’ joke and fail to make it clear until PARAGRAPHS LATER. That is far too much backpedaling]

dress…imitates Avatar Kyoshi, and serve as the Air Nomad's enforcers
[The dress serve as the Air Nomad enforcers? That’s some magic clothing]

up her hand Azula
[hand,]

suspicious."
"Sokka, I don't think
[If you’re going to have an action after dialog, you need to show us instead of hoping we pick it up by telepathy. Backpedaling is awkward, forgetting to add the punchline and/or setup of a joke makes it not funny]

money was replaced by a single gold coin
[A gold coin is money. Does the old woman make change with a transaction not even having been discussed? Does Azula pocket most of it and hand over one coin to start? Show us the specifics]

unnecessary annoyances."
[Question missing its mark]

such plant life; what had really
[This whole sentence is very confusing, though it made sense until the semicolon (a punctuation to avoid anyway)]

say so earlier, young master.
[While the last segment is a honorific identifier, the sentence is still a question and in English the sentence needs to end in the mark]

now where was the idiot?
[I’m reminded of the English Dub of Tai Chi Hero (by far funnier than the more plain Mandarin original), where everybody calls the hero “The Idiot”]
Guest chapter 16 . 3/8
Is the Blue spirt Aang?
BrazeRancor chapter 17 . 2/18
Ah it was a good ride while it lasted. Thanks for your efforts.
engineerwenlock chapter 17 . 1/7
I loved this story. So sad you didn't finish it.
engineerwenlock chapter 7 . 1/7
I almost stopped reading this story when Katara was arguing with her grandmother. I'm really glad I didn't. This is a unique story, fairly well written. I love your characterizations, especially of Sokka. And your Azula is fascinating. Great job, though I would recommend giving the first couple if chapters a bit of polishing.
Whyhow chapter 15 . 5/2/2015
I like the flashbacks a lot more than the scenes in the present, where not much seems to be happening other than her weaker bending. I am glad that you put in the part about the fish: people actually having to survive as well as whatever their other goals are makes it seem much more realistic.
Whyhow chapter 14 . 5/2/2015
I think that you missed the word "does" when Jamyang was asking about Nyla's tracking ability. Sokka also used the wrong sent/scent when they were discussing tracking and the apostrophes are wrong in the preview. This is a very good story, but you might want to recheck this chapter for spelling and grammar, since there are probably things that I didn't see.
Whyhow chapter 13 . 5/2/2015
Um...
Whyhow chapter 12 . 5/2/2015
I'm pretty much indifferent about the Xuan Feng.
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