Reviews for Inventions and a Decision
The Real F'n Scorp chapter 1 . 5/13
Hi there! I am a moderator at the Reviews Lounge, Too where your story has been archived in our Archives. I’m reviewing your story today because it is definitely under reviewed and in need of some love. I'm completely fandom blind, painfully so, I’m afraid, but I don’t foresee that stopping me. With that said, on with the review!

I really love the use of the first person narration here: ((As long as I can remember I have been fascinated as to how things work.)) because it makes this piece feel as if it is something being read aloud or which was written as a conversational piece. The voice that comes off the page makes me think that I am listening to the story as it is being told to me and that makes me connect so much more with the narration and what is going on.

((Tante and Oncle))—I really like that you used the German names for Aunt and Uncle in this story. It adds a whole new dimension to the characters and tells us something of their cultural heritage. You use a lot of linguistics throughout the chapter, many that I don’t know but which work to tell us something more about the character of Jean-Paul/Beanpole.

This here: ((If someone looks at a boat they can see that it floats. I on the other hand like to know why it floats.)) works well at showing us how Beanpole is different from the people around him. He doesn’t look at something and take it at its face value. He looks for the hidden why, for the how.

((I ignored him. Mistake.))—Again, the conversational tone of this piece just leaps off the page. The honesty in how he admits that he ignored the bully mixes with the dry humor of his admission to tell us how Jean-Paul/Beanpole is looking back upon this time and seeing where he caused his own misery.

Again, the conversational aspect here: ((I didn't know it then, but these two boys and one other who'd we meet later on would become my best friends and together we'd have the adventures of a lifetime and save the world in the process.)) really makes me imagine that Beanpole is telling his story to someone (me if we want to go there) and remembering all the details of his life as he’s recounting them. I can also see this as being a journal type piece where Beanpole recorded his recounting and they are being played by some traveler who has found the recordings locked away in some drawer or cabinet.

In all, this was a very interesting piece. Great job!
Edhla chapter 1 . 7/6/2013
Hi :) I enjoyed this, even though I'm not familiar with the source material... and I like any reference to Tesla, really ;)

The first thing that jumped out at me were the bolded headlines. This is probably completely down to personal taste, but they didn't quite work for me as internal headlines, partly becuase I kept thinking that those sections deserved to be their own chapters (very short chapters, I know, but still...) In any case, the "little" has a capital letter, which seems odd when the other words don't.

I really love your vivid visuals and descriptions in general- the Schmand-Fair really comes to life (though I thought that aside about the cousin's ages was a little distracting and didn't really add much to the plot; though later you do present Genevieve's being close in age as a reason for her affinity with your narrator, so there's that.)

"A pig's bladder..." this is completely pedantic of me, but I frowned here and went, "naaaah, wouldn't work." :D

"I can tell what a building is." I have no idea why, but this gave me feels, as well as "maybe Juliet would notice me now!" and "they help me see!" I dunno, visual impairment just breaks my heart.

"She didn't." That's... *sniffle*

"Promptly broke." OWCH. But I do like his grim sense of humour about it.

I absolutely love Jean-Paul, and this fic. And that's why I'm favouriting it :)
krono069 chapter 1 . 12/22/2012
Interesting stories you've told here. One thing I would criticize, however, is the preachy and somewhat arrogant way you come across. It just feels a little . . . insecure to me. This is just my opinion, but I feel you could have delivered the same points without all the ego inflating fluff. Everyone feels like they're different. Everyone, at times, feel special. There are a lot of really intelligent and amazing people in this world. Not that I don't like the message of your writings, I just feel you could cut out the self inflating a bit. It was kind of a turn off for me.
_
Tune4Toons chapter 1 . 11/29/2012
Hi there! Quick mention before I start: I’m not familiar with the Tripod Series to comment on anything canon, so that’s there for ya. I’m here from Review’s Lounge Too, a community dedicated to reviewing and spotlighting quality, under-reviewed works, and one of our members recommended your story there. And let me say, this is very different from the stuff I have come across (right from the moment it said: [A Little bit about me-]). Like a self bio, and then later, like a journal. We get a nice bit of history—and I like the Beanpole’s voice. It’s so calm, nostalgic as he’s just talking about the fair and his life as a kid. It’s also nice to see how he can get kinda cute-quirky, like: [Maybe if my ballon worked then Juliet Renault would notice me and I can take her with me, wouldn't that be great!]
The only thing I got for you are grammar bits, but I won’t mention them all. Some missing commas such as here:

[If something is up close than I have no problem seeing it but if something is more than twenty feet away I have to squint really hard to make out what I am looking at, small things I mean or a person's identity, I can tell what a building is so I am not blind like some of the other children mockingly say.] where it’s a run-on sentence (can be split up), and word use bits like:

[If something is up close than I have no problem seeing] for example where [than] should be [then] and here:

["What is that-," he paused a moment then continued, "Thing on your face?"] where if there is action in between dialogue and it ends with a comma [continued,], then the next word in the next dialogue [“Thing] shouldn’t be capitalised.

This bio-style is an unusual, risky use of first-person (almost confused it for an author’s note at first glance haha), so that was an eye-opener for me. I really like the way he has these inventions. Especially with Les Lunettes—I liked how he got made fun for it—and Les Echasses too, it’s interesting how each one had some trial and error or con to it. Nice work. Cheers!

Tune
Guest chapter 1 . 10/9/2012
Sorry. I accidentally hit the Post Review button. That was not a complete review.

Here's the rest.

Excellent insights here- I love the way you examine and expose the way Beanpole's mind works. Very well written. I enjoyed reading this.

Nitpicking:
"I noticed from watching the kettle in the kitchen that hot air rises so I decided to take a pig's bladder, dried of course, and place it over the kettle."
I think that scene lost some impact because you already used the kettle/steam image earlier when you had him contemplating steam engines.

"If something is up close than I have no problem seeing it but if something is more than twenty feet away I have to squint really hard to make out what I am looking at, small things I mean or a person's identity, I can tell what a building is so I am not blind like some of the other children mockingly say."
If that were mine, I'd change it to: "If something is up close, then I have no problem seeing it, but if something is more than twenty feet away I have to squint really hard to make out what I am looking at. Small things or a person's identity are particularly difficult. I can see buildings, is so I am not blind like some of the other children mockingly say."
truthsetfree chapter 1 . 10/9/2012
Extra credit for beginning the fic with a Tesla quote.

This reads like a mini-autobiography, which is interesting. The tone is formal, which works for Beanpole.

Nitpicking:
You use "noticed" 4 times in this fic. If this fic were mine, I'd re-examine those sentences and substitute other words.

"When I was a baby a terrible fever swept through the area and my parents succumbed to it."
Should have commas: "When I was a baby, a terrible fever swept through the area, and my parents succumbed to it."

"I am not a loud or rowdy person, soccer is fun but I admittedly am not very good at it, and instead of fishing I work at my Tante and Oncle's Tavern."
If that were mine, I'd change it to: "I am not a loud or rowdy person. Soccer is fun, but I admittedly am not very good at it, and instead of fishing I work at my Tante and Oncle's Tavern."
zealousfreak27 chapter 1 . 12/16/2011
Nicely written! I really like how you wrote Jean-Paul, or Bean-Pole, or... Whatever. Anyway, great story.
Helena Dax chapter 1 . 8/22/2011
Oh, I loved those books! And Jean-Paul was my favourite character, I'm so glad you've written this story... It's nice to read something from his point of view.
Woodcrafter chapter 1 . 5/26/2011
I enjoyed reading this story. Using first person perspective connects this story well with the original books. Jean-Paul is, I think, much the cleverest of the three boys and it is interesting to see a little of his mental perspective. A good short story, giving more depth to Jean-Paul without loosing characterisation.

Have you considered writing more about Jean-Paul? Perhaps some adventures after he joined the scientists?
slytherinsal chapter 1 . 5/26/2011
Excellent! How nice to see things from Jean-Paul's perspective. It's ages since I read the books and I have to say the third was disappointingly thin and hurried and...incomplete; If you're considering re-writing it, I'd be very interested to read your take. You have got so very well under Jean-Paul's skin I think.