Reviews for Missing Pieces
Mhelisis chapter 1 . 3/3/2013
I enjoyed reading this story. I will try to return the favour and make a helpful review.

First, I spotted some repetitions:

"twittering elf", "chickenlike twitters", "twittering protests", "Aerie twittered"

"insipid snorings", "insipid circus girl", "Aerie; an insipid"

Then, it seems that the conjurers' test is about spell memorisation. It might be a poor test subject because it only takes a few hours to memorise spells. For a mage, it's equivalent to brushing their teeth. I also don't think that a roll of parchment has pages.

Last, considering Aeriel's stats block, she shouldn't be insipid or slavish (The avariel jumped up with alacrity to follow orders—there was something in that voice of command.)

16 INT means that she has Einstein-like intelligence (16 INT is usually considered equivalent to an IQ of 160)
16 WIS means that her strength of character is equally high
14 CHA means that she should have the upper hand in most social situations, especially combined with her other mental stats
Eleve Osirian chapter 1 . 2/6/2013
My review for WA : First of all, I am not familiar with canon. However, the opening of this story caught my attention more than Gate Light or the second story listed on your profile, so that is why I decided to review this one.

First paragraph: The brief description of Edwin’s nightmare is what initially hooked me. The fact that he is having a nightmare about taking a test that he hasn‘t prepared for is definitely something I can identify with. Through your descriptions, I could feel his stress, a stress that wasn’t relieved even when he awakened.

“The vapid little narrow-faced chit stood over his bed with a lit candle in her hands, and a heavy nightgown and cloak over herself."

Personally, I enjoy the descriptions that you use - they definitely enhance your characters, and helped me to understand what the characters are like - however, this sentence feels like a run-on, with too many descriptive words. Maybe breaking it up into more sentences would help make it smoother? Or use commas instead of so many and's?

"The light sent eerie shadows into the hollows of the girl's thin bird's skull, but Aerie was hardly a lich waiting with blue fire in empty eyesockets in the graveyard”

This sentence was confusing; I found that I stumbled over “girl’s thin bird’s skull” and was left a bit confused as to what was meant by the second portion of the sentence.

"And the other part to Aerie, Edwin thought, was that she like other wouldbe do-gooders was ever stupidly, foolishly led along by the power of her vain self-image."

Something is needed after do-gooders to connect those two thoughts; otherwise, it doesn’t look right (I am not the best at grammar, so I suppose you could either say “do-gooders: she was…” or something to that affect.

Minor niggle: I personally prefer using italics instead of brackets; to me, brackets seem to disrupt the flow of a story, whereas italics are not as jarring.

I found that although Edwin seems like an arrogant and selfish wizard in his conversations with the elf, I liked him. Despite the fact that he is trapped in this body that he doesn’t feel does him justice, doesn’t feel like his own, I still picked up subtle hints that somewhere inside of him he has feelings for the elf, that he can be nice, despite how he came across for the majority of this chapter. It would be interesting to read further and learn more about these two.

Overall, it’s clear that you are a great writer. You seem to have done research prior to writing this, you have a vast vocabulary bank at your disposal, and you have a natural talent for writing a scene like this, in a way that has meaning and makes me want to know more about the characters (after all, this is just a scene where they are just talking and no real action occurs).

I think what was most difficult to get past was the amount of detail you included. While you held my attention for the first portion, I found that it began to wane as I read on, just because it felt like you had too much detail and the sentences felt like they were too long. I had to take a short break before continuing on to the second part. Perhaps choosing a few descriptive words would keep things concise and hold the reader’s interest, or varying up your syntax.

Thanks for the read!
Arpho chapter 1 . 1/21/2013
I adore this story. You've made Edwin and Aerie just sitting on a bed and talking into something really special. I really like that you've made a jerk like Edwin interesting and relatable without him getting out of character and being too nice.

If I'm going to give constructive criticism then yes, it could have been a bit easier to read. But I think you should keep the (...) you use for Edwin's thoughts/mutterings since that's how it is done in the game. And I think think both Aerie's revelation and the ending were great.
bavaria44 chapter 1 . 1/17/2013
Hello there!

First of all, being a descriptive author myself, I liked your scene setting. Everything from the moment Edwin woke up from his nightmare to Adrian combing her beard (I had to chuckle at that) - every single thing I could imagine easily and this is important. Without it, it's just words. You even didn't have to describe the characters directly. You did it through their actions, their behavior.

I have to tell you though, your story is very hard to read. And not everyone can. You've got a great talent to tell a story, don't get me wrong. The vocabulary that you use, is impressive indeed. But 2-3 times, I had to simply pause and take a break. Considering that your story is a not very much long one-shot, 2-3 times is a lot. Maybe, your writing could use a little bit of weeding to make if flow better, to make it just... lighter.

“A familiar nightmare. Damn them! (Damn them all! All!) Clammy cool sweat coated him and the sheets were twisted around his body, and worst of all he awakened now and the other Thing was still in and of him—“

- Somewhere on FFN, I've already said that I like italics that represent the character's thoughts, inner voice etc. more than anything else. I think it's a better option than (…) to react to his/hers inside struggles, cunning, memories and such. However, the aforementioned is one example of few in your fic, where I've got confused. Using parentheses inside that inner voice/thought I find redundant. Your words written in the italics would have done the job well enough.

Edwin is an arrogant, selfish red wizard and the dialogues with the poor elf just confirm it. You've characterized him absolutely perfectly. Moreover, the RPG made me hate him, you made me adore him. On the other hand, Aerie could use more space: you've mentioned...

“"Missing parts," the formerly feathered flibbertigibbet repeated, and a slight smile played about her small lips. "Edwin, I do not know nothing about that."
He startled. The detail had slipped his mind. Amazingly so, given her endless whining on the subject. Why she did not understand the principles of stoicism and not disturbing her betters with the flapping of her mouth he had no idea. "Yes, yes, those wings. Prattle if you desire about your trivial complaint."
"They can n-never be replaced because I have grown and the wounds w-were long sealed...”

… loosing wings, a part of her body, like someone loses a hand, a leg... the memory of her wings, first atrophied, then removed forcibly, must be still fresh and painful like a wound. Maybe you could give it a try and elaborate that one scene. It was something I truly missed. Speaking of which, every time I read a story, I have expectations: what is going to happen? Being it a romantic novel, will the pair be together in the end? Being it a war-drama, is he going to die? I admit, it is cliche – but cliches are cliches for a reason. In case of “Missing Pieces” - there is this tense, awkward relationship between Edwin and Aerie. And I was expecting a revelation, a milestone, something. When I reached the end of your story, I wanted to know more. I want to know more! In a good way, of course.

Hopefully, I could help you. It would truly make my day, if I did. You strike me as a writer who does a severe research and is thoughtful about his work. For what is worth, I am fed up with all those sugary-coated, happy-ending, fluff-rubbish out there. And you just might struck a chord with me... I believe is the expression.