Reviews for Good Fences
Vera Silvertooth chapter 9 . 9/3/2015
Hey, mate! Just wanted to pop by and let you know I really enjoyed what you've written so far. I know you're busy with Redwall Survivor right now, but I sure hope you can get back into this when the competition is over. :-) I'm looking forward to the next chapter!
Hissing Willows chapter 9 . 8/23/2014
I'm glad Helk and Strong are finally friends :D! I'm also very glad you finally updated! Funny, I was just thinking about this story the other day XD.

Looking forward to more!
Quaver Ava chapter 8 . 6/25/2014
Oh God, I've only now gotten back to you. I'm sorry I didn't review all the other chapters. You had a couple all together and I really got into the story, wanting to read the next chapter then and now. You'll forgive my lack of reviews... But then again, I'm here visiting. I did leave the archive for a bit. :P

I love how the story has progressed. It seems the men's pride is still the conflict here. The feeling of uselessness and hopelessness is spreading through the whole family, even into their son. I can only imagine how Lorena may feel if she finds Red's shoulder isn't fixable. We're given hints about each family's past life. Lorena's had issues with taking care of her patients, far to selfless for her own good to the point she loses her wits. Django has been revealed to have lost his father in a brutally BLOODY manner. We even get little snid bits of backstory for Red and his family. Down to that last detail of Helk possibly not being Red's child... It could easily help fuel any father's already abusive nature into hurting that child even more. Your own son being a constant reminder you weren't good enough or SOMETHING for your mate. Perhaps she got drunk, raped, made a mistake, or perhaps Helk is his son, we may never know. :/

All of the little details on top of the fantasy like landscape and fairy tale feeling of the current world builds up into this fantastic story you have here. If I had kept up with the updates as were, I would have been able to pick up and review so much more. But all I really have now is my appreciation for your hard work and beautiful talent with words. You've captured my attention and held me to this story even after I've left the archive for a little while.

Things that I expect to happen is the two boys becoming friends. Possibly the wives? I ain't to sure about the house hold men though. Their head strong pride and ways are clashing with one another. One's a good father who's simply trying to be protective. Heck, he's even concerned now for Helk. The other is injured, crippled, and useless. He's actually getting in the way of his son learning how to shoot, getting in the way of his own home's construction. I imagine he'll get in the way of many more things. I don't wanna call him the antagonist of the story just yet, but he's lost a lot of likability with his abuse towards his son. The rough nature of him and his wife slapping each other and getting into a fight was fun, it showed that she wasn't afraid of him. Him slapping his son around a little is fine, I can see some unorthodox corporal discipline for vermin like him. You know, the grey vermin! He's acting a little darker than I'm comfortable with and my vermin meter is slowly pushing it. -_-

The story progresses with each chapter, showing us more character development and the past for each one. I love the parts with the boys, having held onto their perspective for a while I imagine. Are we going with years or seasons with how they age by the way? Little curious about this.

Aside form you being an awesome writer I just want to say, good luck. I wish you the best with your school and work. I know school can be really rough, especially when you think you're not getting it. It sucks. But you can do it. Good luck and keep at it. Stay safe and you'll have plenty of time to write stories throughout your life. :3

Quaver Ava
MetallicTaste chapter 8 . 6/13/2014
Wow! I love this story. The characters are so vivid and colorful. I really can't wait for more. Splendid Job!
Brown chapter 1 . 5/15/2014
Awwww, cutsie-wootsie widdle otter! Spinsie-winsies!
Freya Thorine chapter 8 . 4/2/2014
That's right, Review #50 right here. ;)

Well, Hello Airan! Great to see you back on the scene again.

This version of the chapter read a lot more smoothly than its predecessor. It's flow was much improved and though Red's aggression towards Helk is still unacceptable, you can at least see Red's reasons behind it. He's not exactly a 'bad-guy' but rather a 'guy that does bad-things,' if that makes sense.
And it looks like Helk and Strong are going to meet finally and I hope they become great friends. :D

Looking forward to the next update,
Yours in writing,
FT

PS - just a question. Red may not be able to /shoot/ a woodpigeon, but could he not hold a fishing rod and /fish/ for some food if they have to have meat?
minkspit chapter 8 . 4/1/2014
Things escalate. Rederick's mental state isn't the best, but it's driving him to be an absolutely awful father who will be lucky to ever have a fully functional relationship with his son again and a husband who, while he cares for his wife and the unborn child she carries, also doesn't display much love and loads on the stress of the child abuse going on to the point where Konin has prepared to physically fight him more than once. Fun.

It will be interesting to see Rederick once he gets out of this whole "I am useless / so much pent up anger" funk, because I have no idea what the fuck he's like when he's normal and being an actually functional being and father and husband.

Sorry for the short review; school work has destroyed much of my energy. Glad to see this update.

-MS
Blackish chapter 8 . 4/1/2014
Well, from Rederick's POV, his abuse of Helk is more understandable. Not justifiable, but understandable, considering his emotional state. Does this cave thing mean Helk's finally going to meet Strong?

Their house sounds pretty nice considering the circumstances it was built under. I was like O.O when it said Helk had his own room. I expected they'd get basically just a sturdy shack with a rudimentary fireplace, since building in winter isn't easy, but it's pretty impressive that Django took the time to make actual rooms.

Um, Rederick, dude, you do know there's this thing called foraging, right? I know it's not as glamorous as hunting, but c'mon. There are edible plants around in winter, and while the foxes wouldn't be having feasts anytime soon, they could probably stave off starvation with just those. Maybe it's that they're carnivores and they need meat in particular?

And if he has a huge problem asking for charity, why not just offer to trade for food? I assumed that's where you were going with the furniture-making, that Rederick could trade his furniture and provide for his family that way.

I have to wonder what Lorena is thinking. It's obvious to any casual observer that the foxes can't get food of their own, that both adults are incapacitated, which begs the question: do the otters comprehend that their neighbors are starving? If so, why doesn't Lorena try to help more, like dividing up what food they have so that the foxes can have their own store of it? Don't tell me that's too much to ask - she got Django to build a house for them in winter. They're already deeply invested in the foxes' survival. What was the point of building that house if you're just going to let the pregnant lady go hungry?

In fact, the otters have showed that they will share food, but only when Konin asks, and only in limited amounts. So this leaves two possibilities as to why the otters can't seem to anticipate destitution: either the otters don't understand that the foxes have nothing, or the otters are willing to give up food only when begged on a regular basis. The second one would just be cruel, but the first has some interesting potential. You could feasibly say that the otters have such a sheltered and comfortable life that Lorena thinks she's just being nice by giving the foxes stuff whenever they ask, but doesn't think about their needs any further than that.

(...which is still pretty awful...)
loneliest baby chapter 8 . 3/31/2014
Poor Helk.

Rederick's fathering skills leave much to be desired. He's also too proud for his own good.

I'm seeing some parallels between Django and Red, though Django definitely treats his son better.
Guest chapter 8 . 3/31/2014
Good chapter. Indeed it is an interesting story overall. I like the fact that you've included what's going through Rederick's mind at the moment as, while his attitude is unacceptable, it humanizes him and makes him a bit more sympathetic. After all, watching one's life implode before one' eyes and seeing constant reminders of one's inability to take care of one's family does not take a person to anywhere good. And Rederick wasn't the greatest person to begin with. Hopefully having his shoulder fixed will cause him to mellow out. I'm also looking forward to seeing how further interactions with each other will change and shape the two families, especially how much it might improve Rederick's attitude and how much it might pull Django out of his prejudice.
Shadow of the Nights chapter 7 . 1/15/2014
I'm so far liking the story and some of the drama coming from it. Sorry for the quick review. This was my 'bedtime story' and thus that equals my brain is ready for sleep. Can't wait for the next update though!
Shade the Hero chapter 1 . 12/19/2013
D'awww What a sweet chapter and a great start. I love otters, they're my favorite creatures in the Redwall series.
Freya Thorine chapter 7 . 12/11/2013
This was an interesting chapter. It didn't really move things along plot wise - I mean they are still on the same track (still waiting until Lorena can operate on Red) - but it read deep into the characters, well, characters!
The scene with Django and Strong was cute. Gotta love those father-son moments and I like how you set up the contrast between the two fathers. Django encourages and Red discourages. I'm not surprised that Red is beating on Helk, really. He's pretty much following the typical 'no-good-father' cutout so why not throw in some child abuse. Poor Helk. Red better watch out - the way he's worsening, Helk's going to be strong enough to beat him up soon. Yep, payback is a b***h.
And Korna (?) must be close to having her kit, no? I can imagine she doesn't like the fact that Red is swatting at Helk, but she's probably the size of their shack and not really able to defend him much. I'm kinda surprised that Red hasn't just taken off on his own, but I suppose he just really wants his shoulder fixed.
The exchange between Lorena and Django is well written, but I think Lorena is brushing off Django's concerns a little too easily. Perhaps she is just downplaying everything because she knows if she gets worked up about it, Django might just take matters into his own paws and run the foxes out. And yay! Strong is going to go see Helk! :) I bet they become the best of friends, eventually. Love the childhood innocence here.

And don't worry about taking a while to get the next chapter up - I think everyone on the Redwall Archive is on semi-hibernation from writing/reviewing (myself included).

Well, cheers and sharp quills!
Happy holidays!
FT
Blackish chapter 7 . 12/7/2013
Sounds like Strong's going to go try and get to know the foxes himself. I've been waiting since the second chapter to see him interact with Helk, so this should be exciting. And good god, Rederick. Child abuse? I knew he wasn't father of the year or anything but...geez.

Still, I'm inclined to agree with Lorena's thinking about vermin as a whole. Even though it's presented as if Django and Lorena are on two sides of a spectrum, what Lorena says doesn't strike me as her being too forgiving or sympathetic. What Django says about her spending her life at Redwall while he was in the patrol means she has more distance from the situation. Unlike Django, she isn't taking it personally, and so her standpoint on vermin is actually more neutral than soft, though I'm surprised she's so easy on Rederick for hurting his kid. She seems to care a great deal about helping creatures, yet she's turning a blind eye to /that/?

Anyway, good to see you back, and good luck with the internship!
raven bunina chapter 7 . 12/7/2013
Okay, so I decided to finally review! I'm so bad about reviewing, honestly. XD Bu-u-ut I did promise I would, so yeah. Finally got around to it. Heh.

I reread your entire story, so I'm all packed and ready for my review! *slings traveling sack over my shoulder* Oh, that? That's just some food and supplies. I never know how long my review is going to be, so I need a LOT of necessities to keep me going. :P

"All right, all right! Enough stalling, Carlee!"

OKAY, FINE! Ah! And that reminds me: I noticed you write the word "alright" throughout your story. This, good sir, is actually the /incorrect/ spelling of "all right". A while back people began slurring the two words together and was spelled by some as "alright" because of it. If you'll notice in published books, "alright" is always spelled "all right".

And while we're on the topic of grammar and spelling, I suggest that, after you finish writing a paragraph, you look over what you wrote to check for any typos or missing words. I noticed you accidentally squish two words together a few times (e.g. in "A Place To Call Our Own", paragraph one, you write "varietyof"). You also seem to skip over letters in a word (e.g. in "Monsters", I think it was, in one of the last few paragraphs you write "h" instead of "he" (as in Django Riverdeep)) or even entire words altogether (e.g. in "Monsters" you write in one of the first paragraphs "three" instead of "three seasons").

Also, you tend to overuse commas a bit, especially in some of your earlier chapters (mostly because you occasionally write long sentences). In one chapter (can't remember which, but I could have sworn it was "First Impressions") you separate the word "was" from another "was" using a comma; this made the sentence read incorrectly, as the "doubled" words were both in the same fraction of the sentence. I know "doubled" words can look messy when placed side-by-side, but sometimes there's just nothing you can do about it.

On the other hand, in "A Place To Call Our Own", in one of the first few paragraphs you write "had had". One of these "had"s could be omitted without affecting the rest of the sentence. The best thing to do when you write a "doubled" word is to omit one and see if the sentence makes sense; even better would be to have someone else read it, because it might look better to someone with fresh eyes.

Oh, and I have another grammatical error to point out: the use of commas before conjunctions. I noticed that, for the most part, you put a comma before your conjunctions. This comma usage is only correct if the sentence connected to the conjunction is an independent clause WITHOUT the and, but or – *cough* – /or/ before it. Dependent clauses, however, need to be connected to the rest of the sentence.

For example, in your author's notes you write "I decided I'd go ahead and get this chapter posted just to say that I wasn't dead, and do intend to keep writing and finish the story." Omit the "and" and make the halves into two sentences:

"I decided I'd go ahead and get this chapter posted just to say that I wasn't dead. Do intend to keep writing and finish the story."

ERT! Dependent clause alert! Comma /must/ be omitted: "I decided I'd go ahead and get this chapter posted just to say that I wasn't dead and do intend to keep writing and finish the story."

Surprisingly enough, in the same author's notes, you have correct usage of the comma-conjunction relationship: "My next update may take a little longer than this one did, but that's only because I've recently gotten the chance to apply for a very important internship."

First of all, congrats! Secondly, if you take this sentence apart, it still makes sense: "My next update may take a little longer than this one did. That's only because I've recently gotten the chance to apply for a very important internship."

DING DING DING! You've won Carlee Tobin's Grammatical Quiz Fun Show! Here's your prize: a carton of milk! *audience cheers*

*coughs* Right. Now that THAT'S over with, thank heavens, I'll get on to my next part: your actual story!

I've got to say, this is definitely one of the best Redwall fan fictions I've ever read. Your writing is clear and full of emotion, and your descriptions play out perfectly in my mind. The characters in your story have such diverse characters, and you can really see their personalities shine through. And holy Apollo's cows, you write emotion fantastically! It never seems out-of-place according to each character, and you can really feel it as you read on.

Out of all the otters, I think I like Strong best, mostly for his innocence and childish tendencies. That's another thing – your characters feel... /real/. Their thoughts, their personalities and emotions all come together to make them feel /real/.

Like the way Strong eavesdrops on his parents' conversation – not once, but twice! Once when they're talking with the foxes and the other time alone. That's something a real kid would do. And I just love it when he interacts with his father; he's just so cute. XD

Also, your story has REALLY good flow. It's hard to see it when you're reading it after every update, but after reading it all at once, however, it really clicks together in a concise way.

OH, and I'd like to give you a hearty, big THANK YOU for making the vermin have a shade of grey but not following along the lines of another stinkin' cliche.

Ha, that rhymed.

Anyway, yes, thank you. I'm tired of reading a story where vermin and woodlanders interact mutually-ish with each other and the vermin always end of being really polite and kind and the woodlanders either completely ignoring or accepting this behavior with surprise. I mean honestly, reformed vermin are nice, but I'm tired of reading about vermin-woodlander interactions that are either completely black or completely white, or have the reformed vermin character "angsting" over how no one trusts them.

Phew! But yeah. It's nice to see a story where the woodlanders are helping the vermin, but, for the most part (meaning Rederick), the vermin don't act all that grateful, and some of the woodlanders (meaning Django) wish that they really, really didn't have to help them and could just see the vermin off already.

Also, I just thought I should mention that Lorena and Konin feel... I don't know, that they share the same purpose at times. Lorena wishes to help the foxes, Konin accepts the otters' help. Lorena is always there to say "Django..." when he starts arguing with Rederick, and Konin does likewise with her own husb– er, mate. (Sorry, Konin! Just a little slip-up, heh heh.) I don't know if this was done intentionally, but they both serve as the "soft spot" of either family. Willing to give or accept help regardless of species.

...Dear me, this turned out to be... long. Gads, I'm sorry... Got carried away, I guess! Should stop now... And see? It's a good thing I packed all those snacks! I'm really hungry. D: Really. I haven't eaten breakfast yet and it's 9:30.

*opens box of crackers* Ah-h-h calories! How I've missed you!

Carlee Tobin, signing off! :3

Carlee Tobin
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