|Reviews for TLOS: Sparx the Dragon|
| Soulfire72 chapter 22 . 10/6
So now you decide to introduce a few new characters... this is the biggest problem with the chapter I can see, but first is Malefor's training with Spyro. I thought it was interesting, but it got more and annoying and confusing the more Malefor seemed to be trying to kill him. Up until this point, Malefor hadn't done anything even remotely evil or callous to Spyro or his family, and now he is suddenly doing malicious stuff that you describe as evil yet not evil in some parts. Malefor slipping back to the Dark Master's control is possible, but neither of them mention that when it's the most obvious explanation for his behaviour. And hasn't Spyro already lost a wing and a horn already? And just lost another one? How is he healing fast to replace missing limbs? I know he can regenerate to a degree, but that's just freaky. And no one's acknowledging that. And after that, Spyro should return to being distrustful of Malefor, given his unexplained actions this time around. He uses the Dark Master's return as an excuse, but I don't buy it. By the way, some random character says to Spyro 'It's your father.' Wait, Spyro's father is alive? What's his name? Where has he been all his life? Or did you mix that up with Spyro's son aka Sparx?
And for introducing a bunch of characters, it would be fine if they had been set up or mentioned at all previously. Neither Sapphire nor Tycor, or even Stryder, were even hinted at or mentioned before this chapter, and the writing acts like we should now who they are already. Sapphire obviously was born recently, but you should have mentioned that in narration before now. Stryder is just described as 'Hunter's son' without mentioning Hunter, marriage, a wife or children at all. And Tycor is the worst reveal of all. He's obviously supposed to be a secondary antagonist or whatever, but the last sentence acts like we should now who this "two-tone brown, black wings' dragon is. You haven't mentioned him once, so how could we know? Why would it strike fear when we've never even heard of him? Your author's note makes this worse by establishing that he's only there to anger the reader, and yet you seem to think this is a good thing. Really? You should be more careful with your author's notes; you've spoiled the fact that Tycor is an antagonist and is going to be callous; therefore any callous actions he make will have no impact on the reader.
Well, whatever, I'll have to see why you were excited to write about this character.
| Soulfire72 chapter 21 . 9/29
This chapter was a bit of a mixed bag. Some parts were good, some were bad, and there were numerous confusing instances. First... Spyro and Cynder are suddenly bickering like the married couple that they are, except they've never done that before; therefore you should explain why they would be bickering at all. It's quite unlike either of them to bicker, either. Then this bickering is supposed to set up Sparx's weird delusions throughout the chapter. But more on that later.
Cynder also somehow goes back to hating Malefor's guts... and suddenly goes back to accepting him again. Was this a different Cynder? Did the last scene between them even happen? Continuity problem here. Her reactions to him are also unrealistic. It would take quite a few tries from Malefor before she even lets him get close to her. If she really hated him as much as she claims, she would shift uncomfortably when Malefor approached, or something along those lines.
Then Sparx's scenes... were the worst part of the chapter. This is mainly because you don't elaborate upon what his parents are arguing about, and his motivation to talk to them about it is just turned down without anyone stating what they want to talk about. Basically, everyone being non-communicative and stupid. The most obvious solution to this is him hearing some of the words they say - he obviously would hear some of it, given how upset he seems to get. And then he suddenly gets the idea that Cynder is cheating on Spyro with Malefor - what? Is Sparx high or something? He knows both Malefor and Cynder; Malefor more than anyone else. Therefore, he should know by now that Malefor doesn't want to interfere with his family at all. And as far as he knows, Cynder hates Malefor's guts. So him thinking this just makes him look insane. I don't know what Sparx is supposed to be; he doesn't have much character because it keeps getting jumbled between contradictory values.
And also - Malefor suddenly states that Cynder killed Spyro's parents. This revelation is supposed to provoke emotion, but it doesn't, because it comes out of nowhere. A better way to do this would be to only reveal it when Cynder tells it to Spyro's face. And it NOT come out of nowhere - like in a previous chapter: Spyro wondering out loud who his parents were, then Cynder reacting by looking away sadly or guiltily or something. And not to mention that the conversation between Malefor and Cynder just sharply turns towards this subject which makes it feel very out of place.
Apart from these inconsistent character quips, there are quite a few typos here and there, as well as some missing or misused words. This can be fixed by editing and/or a beta reader, but I'm sure that isn't as big of a problem.
| Soulfire72 chapter 20 . 9/25
This chapter was alright, as there wasn't any glaring issues with the plot or any new grammar problems. The only thing I can really say is that Cynder's behaviour is somewhat weird. Up until she embraces Malefor, it's quite clear she doesn't trust him. She made no signs that she was misleading him up until that point, so when she apparently accepts Malefor it is far too abrupt. She should still be reluctant, but it's like she's suddenly full friends with Malefor - the same thing that happened to Spyro. She's also shouting too much, but at least it fits her character better than it does Spyro. But her reaction would depend on whatever happened with her on the red planet when Sparx was growing up... and whether this Cynder is the real one or the past one or the one that actually spent years near Malefor and blah blah blah that crap's still confusing.
| Soulfire72 chapter 19 . 9/23
Hm, well this chapter was a bit better to read. While I'm still confused as to why omnipotent energy beings have butts and shoulders, at least you handled Thomas and Gerald's encounter quite well. Apart from the normal grammar mistakes you've got, I think that scene couldn't have been better otherwise. Calling their race Azerians was in contrast a good name, and at least gives some backstory to Thomas and Gerald. But Gerald is still a stupid evil idiot for even mentioning ruling the galaxy... like I haven't heard that line a million times already from other stories.
Volteer was very OOC though. He talked to Spyro so unlike himself. He wouldn't get angry about Spyro being guilt ridden, and even if Spyro's done it a lot, Cyril would lose his temper first. He talks more like Ignitus should.
And it's pretty obvious from the chapter count that the questions you ask in the A/N at the end can be guessed. Yes (eventually), yes (otherwise we'll have to put up with wangst), doesn't matter (who says Sparx has to choose?), yes (unless you want to put Cynder on a bus, which doesn't make sense given her popularity with fanfic writers and readers) and finally big NO. Gerald is not dead, which makes me question whether Thomas' sacrifice was worthwhile in the end. Careful with doing that, especially when innocents are likely to die in the future because of a botched sacrifice.
| Soulfire72 chapter 18 . 9/23
So only two things I can say about this chapter, really. One was when Spyro recounted his father Flash rescuing from an auction or something; that a dragon had captured him? This wouldn't make any sense, really, as all dragons would know about the purple dragon of prophecy at any time after Spyro's egg was saved, at least being near enough to capture him. Seriously, what dragon would capture other dragons to sell at auctions at any time?
The other thing is the exchange between Spyro and Sparx. While it's nice building upon their relationship, they repeat themselves and say too much without doing anything. If Sparx and/or Spyro really were that concerned, one of them would have had a physical urge to move, or at least more than you portrayed here, as they'd rather spout sentences of how the feel about each other while ignoring Malefor possibly dying in front of them. It would be more efficient for Spyro to communicate his feelings with gestures and expressions rather than saying repeated sentences. You also should combine some sentences together into a longer paragraph instead of starting a new line for almost every new line of dialogue.
And I'm not even going to bother talking about Thomas and Gerald. That'll have to wait until another time when they've ingrained themselves into the story.
| Soulfire72 chapter 17 . 9/18
Unfortunately, this chapter took me out of the experience for many reasons. This is mainly to do with the dark master; but there a few things that stick out in the writing that quickly makes me question how much thought you put into them.
First - Thomas!? That was really the best name you could think of for the Guardian of the Universe? Also, he came out of nowhere and doesn't appear to do anything except appear briefly. What is he? What are his abilities? Why hasn't anyone mentioned someone that sounds so influential? This name reminds me of Spore's ending, in the same trollish fashion, but here it doesn't fit. Just calling it The Guardian would be better. It sounds like he sacrifices himself or something, but we have no idea who his brother is (maybe the Dark Master) and since he just came in, there is no point trying to make his sacrifice meaningful, because instead I'm just hearing in my head "I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHO YOU ARE!"
Also, you mispelled Terrador again. Speaking of which, the Guardians just showed up out of nowhere too, without them ever being mentioned in this story; such as the means actually used to travel there (a portal?), what has happened to them since DotD (nothing?) and Volteer apparently being used as a battery, but to what? You could at least mention what this is supposed to achieve, instead of leaving me scratching my head.
And finally is the Dark Master himself. While he hasn't been in the story this much until now, now that he is, I'm already tired of him. It's like every word out of his mouth is stereotypical stupid evil. Does he even have a backstory of any sort? Isn't he supposed to be an elemental being (and he sweats? really?)? Sometimes he uses shape shifting in a clever way, and a lot of others he just sits there and takes the attack from Spyro or Malefor with no explanation. Even if the Dark Master is more powerful than any of the characters, the way he's written makes him just as intimidating as a fly. He's annoying, and completely unworthy of respect that a powerful villain is supposed to be. Having such a cheap and stupid villain will make any outcome less satisfying, because the heroes conquered something annoying rather than threatening. You could at least have the more knowledgeable characters (like Gaven, Ignitus, Spyro and the apparent Thomas) speculate as to what he is and why he's doing any of this. Having any character fill a pre-determined role with no further thought required does not make for good reading, unfortunately.
Yet, still I keep hoping that I'll get answers to my questions, but I'm not holding my breath.
In short, you need more setup for powerful emotional scenes to be... well, powerful. Have Thomas (I strongly suggest rethinking this name) appear before this chapter and actually set him up and what his role is. Have Ignitus actually interacting with the other Guardians before this chapter, perhaps preparing for future attacks. Outline the purpose for Thomas' sacrifice and Volteer being used as a battery. Most importantly, you need to think about what the Dark Master is and set him up appropriately and keep it consistent.
| Soulfire72 chapter 16 . 9/15
While I liked the battle scenes between Spyro/Malefor and the Dark Master, a lot of what's happening doesn't make immediate sense. Sparx once reacted to the portal flickering like Gaven had blown someone up or killed someone! Why does a portal flickering mean anything? I'm confused.
As for Spyro and Malefor - it's only been one chapter. How could they already be acting like old friends/pals? Spyro was just regarding him with fully justified suspicion in the last chapter, and suddenly it's all gone. Spyro shouldn't be full friends with Malefor so quickly. This feels out of place and sloppy.
Also, when it transfers to them from Sparx and Gaven, I have no idea where they are or how they're suddenly fighting the Dark Master. While they're still in the red planet, you should at least mention them surveying the red planet and seeing the Dark Master approach, or something that marks the beginning of the battle before it happens, rather than jumping straight into it.
| Soulfire72 chapter 15 . 9/10
I have to say I like the direction you took with Malefor. I've never been big on villains who are evil and want to destroy everything for no reason, and since Malefor's motivations in the games did not add up, I'm happy that you interpreted his actions as extensions of a real Dark Master. But then the problem becomes the new Dark Master being evil and wanting to destroy everything for no reason - I have yet to see if this is the case, so whatever.
However, I am very annoyed at Sparx for lying to Spyro about loving him like a father. After all that talk last chapter about how he knows Spyro is his real father, and how he didn't get that feeling from Malefor, it turns out he was lying the entire time. This chapter, he openly calls Malefor his father! Why would he lie to Spyro like that, when all this time he's been wary of lying to his parents about anything, even hiding the truth from Spyro? Now I see Sparx as a dishonest and inexperienced dragon who doesn't understand truth and its importance, and who will break promises regularly. In other words, I can't trust Sparx to actually do anything he promises to do. If there's anything Spyro should be angry about, this is it. Why wasn't he angry at Sparx for this? In fact, given that he openly says he's not angry at Sparx about keeping the truth from him (despite his contradictory actions) he shouldn't have been much angry at all until now! He should have called Sparx out on it!
| Soulfire72 chapter 14 . 9/10
I'd say this was the best chapter so far, funnily enough because of the "love and feelings and crap". It's quite obvious that the relationship between Sparx and his father is important, so I don't see the need to tone it down or limit it in any way. Unless... well, unless you cheapen any other father-son relationships in the future. But that remains to be seen. Don't see a need to cater to people who would rather have senseless carnage rather than plot relevant relationships.
A couple of typos I noticed:
"Duff" - what is duff? Did you mean butt?
You used "Your" instead of you're a couple of times. Though I haven't noticed you using this word at all in this story yet, which is kind of strange.
It's also funny that Spyro says he's not angry when he's been constantly getting angry and yelling. Rather contradictory, saying something but doing another right in front of us.
| Soulfire72 chapter 13 . 9/9
I can see you put a lot of effort into this chapter, as most of the chapter was spent talking and feeling, especially for Sparx being torn between promises and common sense. This might have been dragging on a little bit, but at least Spyro figures it out on his own - how inconvenient it is for Cynder to be out of it. How long will that last, I wonder?
I have one suggestion about dialogue that you seem to use quite a bit... after a sentence of dialogue, you sometimes says "x says (adjective)". Example, He says with humor. He says condescendingly. He says smugly. He say with a great deal of pride. All of these feel clunky to read. For the humor one, it would be better word use to say 'he joked'. For "He says condescendingly" say "He sneers". It's not always simple, though - for "He says smugly" I would replace it with something longer: "Spyro reveals, a smug look on his face." For the pride one, I wouldn't use "says" at all, rather I would say like "He eyed his son proudly." Sometimes saying "says" just doesn't fit. This is just my interpretation, however, as simply putting "said" is fine for most sentences that aren't affected much my emotions or expressions. This is hard, I admit; I would suggest studying professional novels about how to write dialogue. No matter how incoherent the story may be, it's generally known that published novels have their dialogue flow without feeling clunky.
| Soulfire72 chapter 12 . 9/9
Yay, Sonic actually talks!
You know, the whole time Gaven and Spyro were arguing about whether Sparx should reveal the secret - well, this goes on way too long before anyone mentions an alternative or solution. Sparx, Spyro or Gaven should have mentioned Sparx simply not going to the main room if he's not willing to tell. Only at the end does Sparx mention this... he should mention it at the start of the argument.
The whole thousand ring thing was pretty funny, but if it's that easy to lose all Sonic's rings, it shouldn't be hard to pick them up again! Can't they just run over them like they would in a game? Lol.
| Soulfire72 chapter 11 . 9/9
OK, so from what this chapter seems to establish, is that Cynder and Sparx were trapped in another dimension with Malefor for many years, but no time at all passed where Spyro was. That's a lot of time lost, and must feel weird...
Not much to say about this chapter, I liked the interaction between the members of the family. Though, Spyro and Sparx were yelling at each other way too much, and in the midst of it neither of them were angry! Spyro, especially, would not yell suddenly like that. Raise his voice, maybe, but not yell.
Also, a few typos:
"The young women" - The young woman
"I sure of it!" - I'm sure of it
"Terridor" - Terrador
"And you mother will have to learn that too!" - And your mother will have to learn that too!
| Soulfire72 chapter 10 . 9/8
So Cynder's Statue still exist? The statue was still there!? This is the problem; there was no mention that she'd actually become a statue when that whole business with the wall happened. Can you explain exactly what happened? Maybe PM me about it? If this issue lingers much longer, I think I'm going to freak out. I'm constantly asking what's going on when I should be enjoying the story.
"Cynder is overcome with raw emotion" - this sentence is redundant as you go directly into how she feels when Malefor leaves. You can remove this with no problem, I think.
Wait, that was all a nightmare? What? Or was she returning to the present tense? I don't know. And when Cynder and Malefor saw Spyro in the reflection, wasn't that just when he lost her? And yet 9 months have passed? Can you explain to me how time works in these dimensions? It's very annoying that no one even mentions or thinks about this, giving me no connection to what's happening in front of me.
| Soulfire72 chapter 9 . 9/6
I liked this chapter most for the scenes with Malefor, actually. It makes me interested to see whether this Malefor is in the past or future or whatever dimension he is.
I still have no idea what happened in the last two chapters, though. Somehow the present Cynder was sent to another dimension while the grown-up Sparx and Cynder (2 years older) somehow come back through? I still have no idea how that happened, nor was there any explanation, only that it happened. Again, you should explain how these dimension portals work before you actually use them. And as for the 2 year older Cynder, you should make it more obvious that she's from the future, and call her a different name, because it felt very jarring to read about the first Cynder leaving Malefor's lair, then the next scene she's suddenly with Spyro and in need of medical attention.
| Soulfire72 chapter 8 . 9/4
This was quite an intense chapter, if not for the complications of pregnancy being a compounding factor. And it was good that Spyro lost a horn (though I hate to see that) because at least that means he's not so ridiculously invincible as he was portrayed previously. I just hope it grows back... one day.
But I was consistently confused with the whole situation in the stone wall. Cynder was being pulled in and out of it - what, being turned half to stone and half not? At some point she becomes completely stone, and somehow she survives fine in the end? I find this hard to believe. In fact, I don't ever remember reading any explanation for how she got turned back to normal. Nor do I remember any explanation for how she was planted in the wall in the first place. And during this, she seems to get scars and physical injuries seemingly from nowhere. Was there a portal behind her? I don't understand. What kind of portal? Wouldn't the solid rock make it useless? And how, HOW did the egg/baby survive? That makes no sense, even though I'm glad they did. And if they didn't, that would be unacceptable since I have no idea why the Dark Master is doing this, really, and for Spyro to so inconveniently turn on the Guardian (still confused as to who he is) just as he was pulling on Cynder's wing. So does this mean that Cynder cannot fly for the rest of her life? That's a pretty big deal for something inconvenient to cause, ie. A lifelong, crippling injury because of bad luck. To Cynder, no less. I'm not sure what's happening with that. It's quite hard to feel for Spyro and/or Cynder when the situation before them is so damn confusing.
And on a different note... the baby's name definitely does NOT suit him. Guess I'll have to get used to it. Wait - why is the Guardian naming the baby, and not Spyro or Cynder? What right does he have to do that?