Reviews for Child of Fire
Guest chapter 1 . 7/18/2014
I enjoy your use of action. :) If you ever feel like it, this would be a fun thing to see updated.
Rabbitearsblog chapter 1 . 11/20/2011
Great and intense story!
ComicsNix chapter 1 . 1/1/2010
Woah! I got a little depressed reading this story, but I really liked it. It's very tragic...
Pat Mengis chapter 1 . 12/29/2009
An impressive and strong start to what promises to be an engaging story. You have a good eye for description and vividly paint both scenery and characters. I also enjoyed your use of mood and action in this. The fight scene in particular was easy to follow, had good pacing and used powerful imagery. Every blow Piotr rained on those backwoods thugs resounded with brutal clarity. The intensity of Piotr’s loss as he contemplates the sunset was palpable and genuine, and his frustration and misery come across with powerful effectiveness. I’m also intrigued by the subtle hints about the girl he rescues and look forward to what will be revealed about her and what directions it might take Piotr.

There are some places where the writing could stand a bit of improvement. For starters, there are a number of minor typos. A few examples include: “trans-lights speeds,” “The girl tried to step pass Johnny,” “She tried to run pass,” “Johnny let out a high-pitch, whickering cry” “The remaining four back away in surprise.” A good beta reader can be invaluable in catching these mistakes, especially since they will not be noticed by spell-check. You also shift from ‘Piotr’ in the opening section to ‘Peter’ in the third (I suspect each section was written at different times). It would be better to either stay with one or the other, or to alternate the name you use within each segment so that the connection is reinforced.

Your use of dialogue tags is another trouble spot. Drawled, replied, screamed, quipped, shouted, wailed, whispered, wheezed and ‘warned him mildly,’ are unnecessary substitutes for the much more functional ‘said.’ Keep in mind that the purpose of a tag is to identify the speaker and nothing else, and as such should generally go unnoticed by the reader. Flashy words, especially those accompanied by adverbs, jump up and scream for the reader to pay attention to them when they should be focusing on what the characters are saying. If the dialogue and the scene are strong enough, there shouldn’t be a need to reinforce how it was said with a tag. This use of disposable words shows up in other areas as well, such as when Piotr is presented to race across ‘the saloon parking lot.’ It’s previously established that there’s nothing other than woods for miles around the saloon. Saying he ran across the parking lot is enough; the reader will know that it belongs to the saloon.

It would probably be a good idea to eliminate the vulgarities in this story. There’s no need for them. The behavior of Johnny and his friends is crude enough as it is, making the more colorful terms he uses gratuitous. Unless there’s some other, long term reason for this story to have a mature rating, you’d be better off rephrasing the language to achieve the same effect while opening the story to a wider audience.

Piotr himself comes across as curiously out of character in this chapter. It’s possible this is a deliberate attempt to illustrate how deeply the loss of Kitty has affected him, but it goes in directions which don’t resemble him under any circumstances. His behavior during the fight, especially the way he speaks, deviates radically from what those familiar with Piotr’s personality would typically expect of him, regardless of how it’s justified. This is particularly true in the case where he threatens to kill Johnny for vomiting on his boots. There is no reason someone like Piotr would care about such a trivial thing, much less threaten a beheading over it. Especially when his concerns would lie squarely on protecting the girl, not to mention it’s been previously established that he’s become so apathetic about most things that he can’t even remember his last meal. There are glimmers of Piotr here and there, such as the reference to his artistic side and the way he speaks to the girl, and as this is only the first chapter, I’m willing to gloss over some of the more extreme issues here in the expectation that as the story continues they will make more sense in retrospect.

This story has a lot of potential and I’m sure that with a little work it will turn out highly enjoyable and satisfying. I hope you continue this and update soon.