Reviews for The Vila
V-rcingetorix chapter 2 . 6/23/2014
I like the descriptions you've used for this work. The vegetation is pretty different from where I hail, which adds to the verisimilitude. Colors and shapes all add up to the overall effect, which you've done pretty well here.

One addition I would suggest is sound. It's my pet peeve, so it may be a little off, but I really appreciate works that include the audio realism. For example, is the brass bell "ding" or "clang"? Will the shotguns cough, roar or boom? Rifles usually have a dull thunder, while pistols bark; adding emotion to the sounds can sometimes help as well. For example: "The pistol barked angrily, spitting lead at Shepards' targets."

The example is kinda bad, but I think it makes my point. Of course, I'll have to read the rest of this work to see if you just added it later ;)

I have to ask, where do you get some of this stuff? E.G. "stared at her as if a cuckoo were popping out of her forehead," it's plenty descriptive, but I don't recognize the origin. You guys have imagination, and that's good.

Last thing, you've made Shepard a round character. I think I may have mentioned that earlier, but it's still a good thing.

Keep it up!
V-rcingetorix chapter 3 . 6/22/2014
Interesting how the better genetics require more calories; wouldn't they be more efficient with the same amount of energy? I mean, if it's a more even mix of fast vs slow twitch muscles. Kinda like weight lifters vs marathon runners, if you watch the Olympics? Some of the weight lifters can jump over their own height, while some of the marathoners can run practically forever ... based on their development and muscle type.

Grammar/Style: Not much to say, except a divider between the story body and the W/N and Codex would help out a lot. The science is solid; consider any complaints just to be from a biology geek :)

Keep it up!
V-rcingetorix chapter 1 . 6/22/2014
An interesting story! I have never been in the program, but I've heard the horror stories.

Having Shepard a bit smug at the start is a good thing; I don't really like reading about perfection getting better. Having a start point to work from gives the entire story a focus point, and makes it easier for the reader to get involved.

A few style suggestions:

* Could you add lines between the Writers Notes and the story proper? It would be helpful for me as a reader to have a break between the scene changes too. The date was a good divider, but the lines flow together, especially in a chapter this long.

* Would it be possible to center the headings? I.e. The Villa, February 12, 2176 could be centered/w or w/o the break line. Alternatively, you could leave it where it is and just "bold" the line, which would possibly replace the need for a break line as well.

*Could you emphasize certain words or phrases with italics/bold? Vila Militar is spanish I'm pretty sure, which means as a foreign language (in an english based chapter), it could be italicized.

That's all I can think of, though. You have fantastic spelling, a good grasp of how to tell a story, and a great set of characters. Looking forward to reading more!
Aeternix chapter 15 . 6/22/2014
"'Never say never, bud. The colonel let me in on some Cerberus shit. Listen to this...he says they are working on reforming brains ...spines...it's fucking science fiction!'"

Interesting ideas here! I always thought Cerberus was one of the most poorly utilized ideas in the Mass Effect storyline. Them going full evil made not much sense and I wished for a morally grey organization rather than crazed Reaper hybrids. It felt too simple. Here? Here it looks like you're building them up fur something exciting.

I also love how you used historical references in your battles. The trench warfare transitioned well into the Mass Effect universe and the reference to Vietnam really set the tone of the situation. As a lover of history, it really authenticates the world when you include historical allusions like that.

The problem I have lies with understanding the current conflict. From the last chapter, I still have no idea what is going on and why they are at the Firebase. I mean, I understand they are under attack but by who? Pirates? Batarians? A rogue human faction? What makes it more aggravating is how that now we finally realize the red alert in the last chapter was real (at least, I assume it was) we could know what is going on. All the characters seem to know why they are fighting and who they are fighting and it seems like this conflict had occurred over a long stretch of time, so they are used to it. But to an audience this is all new. If the character's don't know why they are fighting then this would be a good technique as we could sympathize with their plight. However, without this knowledge and with the character's knowing of the conflict, it saps all the tension out of scene. I'm not sure if I missed something important, but from what I read it was all battle tactics and warfare.

Overall, the chapter had spectacular action, some intriguing comments about the world at large, and some great character moments. However, the lack of understanding really hampers my enjoyment of an otherwise fantastic chapter.
TheWerdna chapter 4 . 6/21/2014
Right, so now having read this chapter, the next one makes so much more sense. I should have realized I skipped this chapter, given how sudden the next one felt went i read it.

Anyhow, my stupidiy aside, this was another good chapter. Writting was solid, dialogue specifically worked well here. Got through the set up of this training mission well, and introduced some of the other characters Shepard will need to interact with. The one thing I feel could have had more off was description to really set up the scene and the "action" (so to speak) of the chapter, but it was not lacking to the level where it hurt the chapter. More of a bit more would have just made it a bit better, IMO
Aeternix chapter 14 . 6/21/2014
"'Za tvoyo zdorovie!'"

And so the final test for the N7 honour ends with trimuph and remorse. I knew from the beginning that some wouldn't pass the final test and Kim surprised me as someone who I swore would pass and didn't. I half expected Amanda to (for dramatic purposes) or Yuri to (as she's a bit more minor) but Kim was a good twist. Really drove home the theme of "remorse in victory".

I really liked Shepard's duel with the krogan as it actually felt like a training mission and not an actual extraction. The past chapters have dipped between knowing that this is a test to the characters treating this as if their lives depended on it. I mean, I know it's like a final exam and such, but I don't think everyone would be this hardcore at times. The scene with the krogan solidified that perfect balanced between an exam and the tensions that come with it. I also liked the descriptions in the battle - nicely done

My biggest grievance comes with how they finished. I mean, the whole "Code Red" bit made me think that they were under attack or something, but then I find out that no, that's just how they decided to end it. It felt anticlimactic and that I was missing something important. If Hartmann had declared it to be over, or that Delta team successfully finished, then I would've understood that the exam's over. But here it felt like something more serious would happen and it didn't.

Overall, another solid chapter with the only hiccup being how you ended the final exam. I look forward to reading more and seeing where you take Golden Girl Shepard.
TheWerdna chapter 5 . 6/20/2014
Good mix of action and characterization here. Backstory on Amanda was welcome, with her experiences on Mindoir really explaining her overall attitude. Seeing people die like that would defiantly be a motivation to try to make sure it never happens again. Still, it also makes perfect sense for her to be afraid, trauma and all that. I imagine she was having PTSD flashbacks though that whole thing.

Action and dialogue flowed fell, nothing really for me to complain about here. Great job, so now, onto the next one!
Chopped Bread chapter 1 . 6/20/2014
It's Chopped Bread Review Time!

I've always had a soft spot for stories like this; you know, the ones about the training and formation of character values and everything else that goes into a hero. Not entirely sure why, maybe because it's the sort of thing that would be absolutely impossible for me to get through in one piece.

I definitely enjoyed this intro, and it certainly looks to be an awesome story through and through. Shepard certainly looks, sounds, and feels like the cocky young soldier you promised in the summary, which makes me curious to see how she changes over time. And she definitely will have to change, with how she's being singled out.

I liked how you used the little conversation between Shep and Amanda to reveal stuff about both of the characters, and the world they live in. The details about genetic enhancement, Amanda's reactions to pretty much everything Shep says, they all point to a this gaping social gap between Shep and pretty much everyone else.

Then how Hartmann treats Shep . . . well, that's going to be a fair chunk of future conflict, I'm sure. At the same time, I'm almost certain that Hartman has a lot more depth to him than being a grumpy drill-sergeant man. What he'll end up being, I guess we'll have to see.

Yeah, I really enjoyed reading this story. Definitely looking forward to reading more!

Chopped Bread
TheWerdna chapter 3 . 6/19/2014
So, good deal revealed here on Shepard's background. Even though it wasn't a huge surprise, it was hinted at afterall before now, it was still nice to see it explained. The pressure her father has on her and the expectations explains her attitude a great deal, for Shepard failure is literally not an option. Also, very fitting giving Shepard daddy issues, since basically every other character in the series does to, hehe XD

Overall, good solid chapter here. Looking forward to reading more!
Aeternix chapter 13 . 6/18/2014
"'The motto of the N's...who dares, wins.'"

It has been a long time since I've read this story, but I'm so very glad you are continuing it. I've enjoyed the progression of your "Golden Girl" Shepard here and I especially enjoy her continued realization of her place in the universe. Sure she's still in N7 training, but you can see the mature captain she will be one day. It's fantastic when a character arc is so strong in a story.

Action was described efficiently and with a nice amount of tension. You used words like "plunged", "drilled", "staggered", "bolted", ect. to describe the intensity of the conflict. All these words have weight, a palpability to them that sticks and connects to the situation on a moment to moment basis. The effect of a battle scene should be to engross the reader in the tension and reality of the moment. Every second should be a fight for survival, the constant threat of extermination against an assault. You get this tension across, however I think adding more senses - instead of just auditory and visual - into the battle would only help the immersion. Quick sentences and fragments also help covey the chaos of a battle situation.

From a grammar perspective, the quote above ("'The motto of the N's...who dares, wins.'") should have a colon after "N's" instead of an ellipsis to be more grammatically correct. As well, when employing an ellipsis be sure to make it ". . ." and not "...". This rule is still in the air though and I still haven't found a concrete literary analysis of the rule (published works both use "..." and ". . .") so take that comment as a nitpick or food for thought.

Overall I'm glad there are more chapters out for this story! I'm always engaged by what goes on with this Shepard and her journey into a mature captain. Look forward to reading more.
TheWerdna chapter 2 . 6/18/2014
So a good chapter overall, excellent setup for Shepard having to eventually learn some humility and drop the lone wolf crap if she's to make it in N7 training. The only criticism in this regard is that I wish you let us into Shepard's head a tad bit more. You tell us what she's feeling and thinking, but show it. The fact that I want more means you've pulled me in, so keep it up by letting me see the world more through Shepard.
Thug-4-Less chapter 15 . 6/3/2014
Welcome back to the party, KG!

It was a good chapter, start to finish. I never get enough of how your Shepard isn't always super confident and sure of herself anymore and is willing to let others take over.

Powers continues to crack me up with his schtick.

You did forget to capitalize Marine a few times. I blame autocorrect!

Thanks for writing.
PadawanMage chapter 14 . 1/13/2014
Damn, I finally got to read this last chapter! Great stuff, especially the final 'boss' battle with Runt.

Nice little prophecy about Claire winding up on some Matriarch's lap...maybe a quick fic somewhere there?

Yeah, even I got a little sad at those who didn't make it, especially Kim.

Is that it, or is there more coming? )
Jenna53 chapter 14 . 11/5/2013
I'm hating for this to end. Thanks.
Orifiel chapter 8 . 11/1/2013
Ohh snap, Oleg Petrovsky! I love how you brought him in and embedded the beginning of his work with Cerberus as part of your plot. I thought you captured his personality very well, and I'm wondering how Hartmann would react if he found out Petrovsky was recruiting some of the cadre on TIM's behalf.

This was another awesome action-packed chapter. I love your descriptions of these field exercises; the way you write them is so engaging, and I feel like I'm right there in the middle of the fight. Delta Team is doing really well lately, and I especially like how Adam is improving as the OIC. I also like how Hartmann doesn't let up no matter how better they're getting. His determination to make them the best of the best is realistic and well-portrayed.

I was glad for the hint on his daughter (I'm guessing the woman in the picture), though the point Grimaldi brought her up seemed a tad out of place. Maybe a brief line leading up to the subject (such as, say, types of girls Powers likes, or girls Claire's age, etc.) would have tied it in a little more smoothly. Still, it evoked my curiosity on what potential role Hartmann's daughter will play in the story, and it will be interesting to see what kind of father Hartmann is, especially compared to Claire's father.

Claire herself continues to impress me as far as her personality growth and physical ability. She seems fully part of the team now, no longer griping vocally or inwardly about Adam in charge. I also like how Adam is willing to go with her plans when they run out of options, such as her improv with Joe to take out the remaining mechs. I hope to see her keep up her progress!

Overall, another fantastic chapter! :D
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