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DESCENDANTS AND CHAMPIONS

Good ideas in search of lots of polish

By theredsheep, author of Pyrebound

Feb 24, 2019: The blurb sounds cool. The author came up with loads of lore, all available on the story’s website. It seems like it could be the basis of an awesome story—but it needs a lot of work. The story, as it currently stands, sounds very rough and stream-of-consciousness, like it was typed out all at once and not edited. It’s not always clear what’s going on, and moments that should have heavy emotional resonance aren’t given the weight they need by the slapdash narrative. The chapter titles ("With Great Responsibility Comes a Whole Lot of Death," "A Body Falls Out of the Sky and they Get Chased by Demon Dogs") sound tongue-in-cheek, but the story plays it totally straight. Honestly, I’m just confused there.

It seems like the author had a bunch of cool ideas, got excited about them, worked them all out . . . and then wrote the story itself as something of an afterthought. You can’t really tell what a Protadon is from the text (etymology suggests "first tooth"); you have to lean on the glossary and other supplements. Supplements need to be supplementary—either a courtesy to readers who forget a term introduced and made clear a few chapters back, or else a little addendum for people who understand the story but wouldn’t mind learning more about the world. They can’t do the heavy lifting.

I don’t want to discourage this writer, because there’s something to work with here. I would advise her to give it a sentence-by-sentence overhaul, making sure the story is self-sufficient and slows down when it needs to. As-is, it’s an embryo.

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