|Reviews for Hurricane Warning|
| Guest chapter 11 . 3/25
I love this story so much! It's one the few evo fanfiction I've really enjoyed. I would write a longer review but I need sleep lol. Excellent job, I can't wait to see more!
| Verthril chapter 8 . 11/13/2012
Once again a very enjoyable chapter. Boom Boom playing Matchmaker with her reluctant helper was spiffy, and Jubilee standing up against Bobby was awesome :)
Here's me eagerly waiting for more, toodles!
| Verthril chapter 7 . 8/27/2012
Quite enjoyed the story, looks to have a lot of room for some moving around with the plot, curious to see where you'll take it. Looking forward to more, toodles!
| La Licorne chapter 7 . 8/25/2012
Continuing onward, I like the development you’ve given Arial, and I like how on the fence he seems as far as good or evil. You’ve managed to make him salvageable, but in a believable way. He’s starting to grow up, which I like a lot. People tend to either make their characters too nasty (and too difficult to connect with), or much too easy to talk sense back into. You’ve managed to walk Arial right up to that line and he’s hovering there, just waiting for a push in the right (or wrong) direction. But you’re not forgetting that he’s still a teen. A child, really. He wants to meet the cute girl and impress his new father figure. You’re very good at writing solid characters.
I know this will sound mean, but I sort of want to see Pietro outshine Arial at some point in this story. I think Arial needs a wakeup call to help him realize that he’s starting to become the bully in exchange for Pietro, who is now the victim. But I also adore the Brotherhood, so I tend to cheer for them by nature.
I wonder if Jubilee shouldn’t feel a little conflicted about pursuing answers from Arial. If everyone who knew him from before is telling her to stay away, shouldn’t there be some red flags?
| La Licorne chapter 5 . 8/25/2012
Thanks for understanding the sanctity of a sketchbook. I’m more a visual artist than a literary one, and in highschool I cannot even tell you how many people would just snatch it from me and start flipping through pages. It’s painful!
So, I’ve been thinking hard about something that’s been feeling a little empty to me. Something about Jubilee’s desire to meet Arial because “he might be cute” is falling flat to me in a big, but vague way. And I don’t think it’s worth bothering fixing at this point (you’ve moved on it’d be better to focus your attention forward), but in the future try to think about high stakes and serious motivations. I’ll try to show you what I mean:
Jubilee is a troublemaker and jokester. Her powers are more cute and silly than they are good in a fight, and people probably don’t take her very seriously. Let’s give her something to prove. She’s not one to take a little light teasing too seriously, but maybe one day Bobby gets too harsh without meaning to. And maybe it gets her thinking that she needs a way to earn her stripes. And now we hear about this Arial guy. We’ve only heard snippets in passing, but we know he’s with Magneto, goes to our school, needs our help, and owns this sketchbook. What better way to prove ourselves than to find him and rescue him from his predicament and bring him back where he belongs? Now people will have to us seriously.
We only just so happen to find him attractive and appealing.
Do you see what I mean? It feels more believable if she’s got a solid purpose to find this guy. Only being curious and hoping he’s cute just makes her come off as silly and irresponsible. And I know she’s like fourteen or fifteen, and that real girls that age are about a shallow as that, but when we write them it’s best to make them more mature, if for no reason other than it’s more fun to read about mature and thoughtful people than the superficial spontaneous ones.
Again, not worth the effort of revising now, because it’s not a huge deal, but try to think about it as you progress. (In fact, most anything I write in any review should be read as such.)
| La Licorne chapter 4 . 8/25/2012
I got a long one for ya. And I’ll comment on anything else I see once I’ve caught up.
You’re a pretty good writer. In fact, I like your material a LOT. You don’t waste time, but you still flesh everything out in all the right places (for the most part, and I’ll get to that). You keep it canon, but build on it. You balance the conflict externally and internally. You have good grammar and structure. Your character is both broken, but active.
Let’s talk a little bit about pacing and consolidation. I’ll start with pacing, focusing on Tempest Fury. Things opened with a very smooth and steady pace, but very suddenly we were under attack and learning disturbing family secrets. I think your story might have benefitted from perhaps another couple of chapters just to build up some suspense, though I don’t think you should bother editing anything. I’m only bringing it up to give you some food for thought as you proceed with Hurricane Warning. Think about setup and payoff. Think of the Act structure. Your Act One lasted until around chapter five, when his revealed his mutation. Act Two took us halfway through chapter nine, and Act Three finished out from there. A general rule of thumb is that Act One should take up no more than twenty to thirty percent of a story, and yours took up nearly fifty. I will say that had you pushed Arial’s reveal up to chapter two or three things would have felt terribly rushed (we actually needed that time to get to know Arial), but this is what I’m suggesting when I say add more material (specifically to your second act).
Consolidation: Not as much in story, because you were very good at keeping that to the point, but I am talking about the OCs. There are a lot. I mean, in the first installment of your series, the OCs outnumber the canon team by chapter five (and you add MORE in the sequel). Nothing wrong with OCs—hell, I rarely even read a story without them—but unless they serve to advance the story, they are not needed. And as cute as it is that Chase and Todd have a thing, and as endearing as Yana’s motherly instincts are, they have been unnecessary characters to this point, as are Petrov or Yarin. In fact, those two only get a few lines, really. Taris and Ashton don’t play much of a role either, but I can see that they have room to expand and become more important as the series progresses. So, have you ever heard of the 80-20 rule? In fantasy novels and film, this rule refers to how much you are able to deviate from reality before your audience will get annoyed and leave. I think in this case, you need to consider applying this to OCs. How many are you allowed to add before people get confused and walk away? Keep the number as small as you can.
If you’re very attached to a character, include them in very small doses, almost in passing. I do think Chase and Todd tiptoeing around each other is adorable, and if it’s something you really want to build on, perhaps consider a brief four to five chapter spinoff. You can touch on it in your series, but keep the things that might distract from the real point on the sidelines. You might also pull in more readers that way. Fans of Toad and the Brotherhood might be inclined to read the spinoff, and curiosity will pull them into the real meat of your material. Not a rule, just a consideration. Or you might also simply invest in longer chapters and more chapters per story arc, and there’s nothing wrong with that either.
A more personal critique, but I wish the others had given Kurt more credit. At the end of the day, a joke (however tasteless) does not warrant being smashed into a tabletop. Arial seems to be given a lot of leeway for his behavior, whereas Kurt is being pushed and prodded into apologizing to the one who physically assaulted him. I know this is an extreme parallel, but it’s like telling that girl who got drunk and hit on this one dude to apologize to him for sending the wrong idea when he’s the one who raped her after that party. Was Kurt doing the right thing? Not entirely. But was Arial’s reaction really something so many people would sympathize with? Everyone seems eager to help him, when Kurt’s efforts have only ended in a bloody nose and lectures—if I were in that house I’d be praying for Arial to be sent away. I’m actually frustrated more people don’t side with Kurt. Although he’s not been abused by his parents, can you imagine the kind of torture his peers would have put him through, looking like he does? He uses humor as a shield, whereas Arial uses violence. One is harmless and the other is destructive. Why does Kurt get the short end of the stick?
In fact, I’m a little bemused by everyone’s apparent connection with Arial. Most of the time he spent with them he was moping and locked in his room, being mean with Kurt, or being attacked/attacking someone with blind rage. I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but I think if perhaps you’d narrowed it down to only a couple students feeling any sort of responsibility for him it could amp up the mystery of the entire event. Imagine if most students had nothing nice to say. Oh, that Arial was more trouble than he was worth. Man, that guy was beyond helping—let Magneto HAVE him! And the odd, Arial is troubled, and we let him down when we needed him most. Somehow a smaller amount of sadness is more impactful than a great deal of it. Ever head the saying, “Six people die a house fire and it’s a tragedy. Six million people die and it’s a statistic”? It can be applied to more than just death.
I love Arial’s reaction to Magneto. He’s a tough character to write because he’s terrifying, yet, as you phrased it, prophetic. He oozes intimidation and charisma, he’s a champion manipulator. So many people make their characters see right through him, but he’d be so difficult to say no to in real life. Because he’s not evil. And his viewpoint isn’t even WRONG, necessarily, just extreme. You nailed him.
I notice that Hurricane Warning is not getting much attention review wise (a pity, because it’s a GOOD STORY). I can’t promise you this is a reason, but I think a potential block for you is your summary. Whenever you put in there “a sequel to….” you run the risk of alienating new people. Sad but true, people are lazy. And I won’t lie, I have actually opened this up before, but put it down because in the first chapter there is no catch up from your earlier work. What happens is, even patient people will say, “I’ll read this once I finish the last one,” but it gives them room to procrastinate and put it off in favor of something more recent, and before you know it they’ve completely forgotten about your series to begin with. Which is what happened with me.
As I mentioned, you have a lot of OCs. I don’t think having many OCs is a bad thing, but if you’re going to throw a lot of new people at us you need to pace it out. Introduce them one by one in the future, and keep it to no more than one new person every two or three chapters. It’s easy for someone to feel overwhelmed by too much new stuff and it might scare away a new audience. Also consider some of my suggestions on spinoffs.
Again, not saying either of these are for sure a problem, but I definitely think it would benefit you to pull “a sequel to…” out of the summary. Because you actually fill in most of the blanks by the second chapter (or first? The one after the prologue), assuming someone had not read the first one (though I’d add more backstory to Ariel’s relationship with Kurt and the Institute on a whole). And really, anything to get your story noticed is a good thing. People could learn a thing or two from you.
Also, as a sidenote, I love Tiras. Was she an OC of your creation? I know you mentioned using some from others and I’d love to know where she’s come from and if she’s involved in other works. I am also mad about you biology teacher. He’s wonderful, I mean it. You put as much thought into characterizing him as anyone else in your story, and so many people miss the mark on that.
| jack chapter 1 . 6/14/2012
Yay! I just finished reading Tempest Fury and this chapter, and I can say that I eagerly look forward to more. Your story is really easy to get into and interested in.
But who is Katy? Is that one of your OCs?