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Hey there,here, reviewing by on behalf of the Fanon Review Squad.
Set 650 years before Aang's awakening. The Earth Kingdom's Avatar Ku Tei's, time has passed, an era of both war and peace during his time. The cycle continues on, and the Avatar Spirit reincarnates into a child within the Fire Nation. The new Avatar Rong Yan, the Fire Nation Avatar prior Avatar Roku learns of his status at the age of sixteen, and starts his Avatar journey to master the other three elements in order Air, Water, and Earth.
This sort of story seems to be cropping up more and more, with the Avatars before Aang getting fanon treatment. The Legacy of Rong Yan touches on the Fire Nation Avatar prior to Roku; unfortunately, it is filled with choppy sentence structure, little to no character building, and other such things that detract from what has the opportunity to be a great story.
Story – 8.0: I feel like the plot has the pacing all wrong. It moves slowly when it should be more fluid, and it moves far too quickly in areas when it needs to slow down. Plot elements themselves are kind of just patched together, and that makes it difficult to get into the story.
Action – 7.0: It seems that this piece of advice is one that I’ve had to give out a lot lately, and that is: vary your action descriptors. Words like: hit, fly, blast, etc. are all great to use, but mix it up so that the action doesn’t seem repetitive.
Writing – 5.8: This was a stumbling block for me as I read, honestly. The sentence structure, while technically correct, was basic and not at all fluid. One of the more annoying problems was perspective; I couldn’t tell what perspective he was writing from half of the time, as he switched between tenses and such. Another flaw was this recurring element of “the scene begins” or “the scene fades to black”. This isn’t a play, so the idea that you have to tell us when a scene ends is not good.
Creativity – 7.5: The story is original enough, but I feel that it lacks something to make it stand apart from the rest.
Believability – 6.5: Everything moves so quickly, without explanation or exposition, that I find it hard to relate to the situation. I can’t see it happening; it doesn’t feel realistic to me.
Character Development – 5.5: Honestly, the characters are hardly even built, much less developed. Rong Yan feels like a John Doe, and the supporting cast just seems like they’re there to move the story along.
Average Score: 6.7
Note: All scores are out of ten
Advice for King Bumi’s Heir: Maintain your verb tenses and perspective when writing, and attempt to make your sentence structure more fluid. I would suggest that you get an editor; it would help. Another thing: get rid of the “scene” thing; it doesn’t fit and is mainly a distraction. Try to build characters with distinct and relatable personalities, as well, not just John Does and Mary Sues that we as readers couldn’t care less about.
Who should read Avatar: The Legacy of Rong Yan? Anyone who enjoys exploring Aang’s past lives should give this one a go.