Hey there,here, reviewing by on behalf of the Fanon Review Squad.
The year was 12 BG when an Air Nomad was born at the Southern Air Temple. The monks gave the young boy a name: Aang.
We all know how this story starts, and we know how it ends. However, this fanon piece brings us to a ‘What If?’ scenario, as the title suggests. Aang, as opposed to running away from his duties, stays because of a vision. Because of this, the entire history of the world is changed. Now, I felt that this idea had potential, but much of it was lost in the actual story we’ve been given. I feel like this one-shot isn’t able to truly capture the spirit of this story; it feels like reading a synopsis, rather than a full-fledged narrative.
Story – 6.0: The story is rather basic, not bothering with any details and seemingly hitting only the high points. It reads like a history book with out-of-place dialogue thrown in.
Action – 2.0: Action is present, but it is so overlooked. No care goes into the action ‘scenes’ we read. They are simply a vague description of battles that, had they been fully fleshed out, could’ve been awesome.
Writing – 6.5: The writing is choppy and unfocused at best, despite the fact that this story has an editor. The grammar errors were especially evident throughout, and it took away from the overall experience.
Creativity – 6.8: The idea is creative enough; not many people do ‘What If?’ stories. However, the execution of said narrative lacks in creativity. There is nothing that identifies it as something unique beyond the idea.
Believability – 5.0: I have no issue with the ‘What If?’ scenario, but way in which the events occur—without exposition, I might add—make it difficult to feel that any of these interactions have meaning and substance. None of the occurrences are truly believable because none of them have anything to give beyond a simple dictation.
Character Development – 1.0: There is hardly any at all, and what is present is contrived, caused more by a ham-handed passage of time than anything else. For instance, Aang converses with Gyatso like an adult when he’s only six years old! Apart from that, characters appear to be poor cardboard cut-outs of what we saw in A:TLA. The only ‘development’ that happens is when Aang grows up, and that is done via time skips.
Average Score/Final Verdict – 4.6: I apologize if I came off harsh in this review; I really did like the idea. The execution, however, was lacking in almost every way. This story could definitely be improved, I think, by making it into a multi-chapter story that can be fully expanded on. Take time to flesh out characters, battles, and concepts. Another thing: seeing as Fruipit is your editor on this, allow her freedom to critique and better your writing. She has received excellent scores in that department from me in the past, and I’m sure if you truly make use of her skills, the writing can improve dramatically. My advice: don’t give up on this idea. Work on it and build something out of it.