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Fanon Review: Avatar: Legend of Kuruk by AvatarCorin34

Minnichi January 29, 2013 User blog:Minnichi

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FRSimage
This review was conducted by the Fanon Review Squad and reflects our best judgment of writing and fanon authorship quality. Please don't take offense if the review wasn't positive. We always give advice!

So today I discovered that being a Bio major means being upstaged by fruit flies! When I entered lab with a horrible cough/fever, the concerns were mainly about the contamination of our fly-growing vials by disease, rather than the person inflicted with said disease... Oh, the joys of school! Anyway, today I'll be evaluating Avatar: Legend of Kuruk by AvatarCorin34, a rare fanon of its kind that focuses on the life of our previous waterbending Avatar!
Kuruk
This is Part 1 of a long project of the Avatar: History of the Avatar project of mine. In addition to all the Avatars that are explained in the link before I will also do a little mini story of Avatar Kyoshi, which will recap her early life.

It's always refreshing to read a fanon that takes on the challenge of crafting a previous Avatar's entire life, from their personalities, surroundings, and everyone they interact with. Starting a story from scratch with OC's can seem hard, but sometimes it's really things like this that are the true challenge - staying true to what you know of a certain character while expanding on it naturally. Kudos to the author!


The Scores

  • Plot - 8.0: I'm liking the plot overall, don't get me wrong. What I felt needed a little work was just the fact that it tends to be very straightforward - but most importantly, I'm getting the vibe that standard things are happening without a clear buildup to a climax or central conflict. I like the progression of events, but I'd say they should connect together more clearly so that we can get a feel of what the entire fanon revolves around. This doesn't necessarily mean that you should have a definite antagonist (though that could help). The fanon could just focus more on a central theme, something that more strongly pulls each event together than it currently does. So far the plot is presented as more of a timeline, and while I'm picking up the hints at the main theme just fine, I'd say they could use more expansion. It's things like Kuruk's growth as an Avatar or how he feels about his duties that I'm really referring to. Other than that it's a good, solid plot. Not much else to say! 
  • Organization - 8.5: As I was saying in the plot section, a slight lack of connection between each event could make the fanon feel slower and less organized due to the unclarity. Also, I would find a smoother way to transition to flashbacks. The way they were introduced in this fanon was somewhat abrupt, and I would suggest making the distinction between present and flashback more obvious (perhaps italicize them or change up the tone a bit when describing a flashback). Another little thing I'll mention is just that the dialogue  sentences should start a new paragraph whenever a new person is speaking. This makes the flow of conversation clearer for readers overall. Collectively these are pretty minor things, but still worth pointing out. 
  • Creativity – 7.9: Creativity can be challenging when basing a fanon off of a well-known canon character like Kuruk. However, the author's taken a nice spin on the tale that I really admire. What the deduction really focuses on here is mainly in the way the characters tend to act, and the kinds of conflicts they run into. While I understand Kuruk's somewhat arrogant attitude, for instance, the kind of dialogue he displays can come off as a bit stereotypical if you're not careful. Also, the conflict with the bears was nicely played out, but I would encourage the author to take an even greater creative leap and not have it be as similar to the Spirit world conflict from the show. So overall, just be sure to keep your characters' personalities unique, both for dialogue and inner reflection. 
  • Writing – 7.8 (x3): I thought the writing was done very well, with thorough and vivid descriptions. However, aside from some minor grammar slipups in dialogue, I found that said descriptions tend to be presented in a consistent list-like format. Also, while I admire the author's attention to detail in certain areas that many others have overlooked in my past evaluations, I would suggest keeping that detail consistent for everything described. It's a trend in which the main characters and setting tend to be described more thoroughly than minor characters in minor events - and everything has to be kept on the same level of detail for us to keep a clear mental picture consistently. To discuss the details themselves, I would suggest combining some of the short sentences to create smoother presentation and less of a "list" feel. Try to avoid naming events as they come, such as "and then this happened" kind of sentences. Overall, the sentence structure in the writing should be varied more to flow more naturally and appear less simplistic. In the end, though, I still love the extra mile the author goes to get in those visuals; not a common feat for a fanon. 
  • Character Development - 7.0 (x2): There's sort of a combination of two things for this deduction. While I love the cast of characters that this author has crafted, there're areas in which I see untaken opportunities for both growth and personality development. Kuruk's reaction to being the Avatar was handled well, for instance, but I would like to see more personal reflection on his feelings towards his destiny, or how his opinions of it change with each new experience. The characters that aren't the main protagonists could also be elaborated on more in the same regard, such as how they feel towards Kuruk after he's revealed to be the Avatar or what they think of his attitude towards the matter. What I'd really like to see, though, is a more complete personality for the characters around Kuruk. We're given a few strong and definite traits, but fuller grasp of their characters is what I'm really looking for; their quirks, flaws, anything in between. This may be hard for characters who only appear for one scene, but you could still give us a clearer idea of what kind of people they are through their dialogue and expressions. So overall, deeper elaboration on the character interactions and more exploration of their personalities would do great for this fanon. Looking forward to seeing where it goes from here! 
  • Action - 8.3: Now I really liked this section! The visuals were brilliant, as well as the tactics the characters come up with to defeat each other. The main issues I'm getting after here has to do with the method of description for attacks, which again ties to what I mentioned in the writing section. The fights themselves are very nicely done, but they can sound more simple than they are if you name every attack and leave it at that. Things like "water spout," "whirlpool," and all the other common names for waterbending attacks shouldn't be overused, and it would have a much more powerful effect if you could avoid naming them and just literally describe how they look like instead. Also don't forget all the various body motions involved to create each attack, which all contributes to the overall clarity of the picture. Finally, one minor thing I'll mention before moving on is that the tone in which the action is describe shouldn't sound too biased for whichever character it's describing. I'm aware of Kuruk's arrogant personality, but even the 'egotistic' attitude he has when evaluating his enemies can go overboard if you're not careful. Also beware not to let that attitude start sounding similar to other characters when you transition from describing Kuruk to his opponent. But anyway, bravo on the action scenes! Keep it goin'! 
  • Believability – 8.8: Being based on Kuruk and the Avatarverse we know, it's hard not to believe this fanon. The only thing I can think of here is the fact that I found Kuruk's handling of Avatar duties a tiny bit too convenient for him. While I'm aware that times were different then and that the Avatar was well-known and respected greatly, the excuse "I'm the Avatar" will not necessarily work for every person he disagrees with. There'll naturally be someone who doesn't fear him just because of that title, and it would make your fanon more realistic if you include that kind of conflict in the future. 

Overall Score: 7.89

My advice for AvatarCorin34: Not too many major things to improve, but I'd say just look into varying up your method of visual description some more and to spend extra time on your characters. Nice characterization of Kuruk, on that note - I'm curious to see where his tale will go. 

Who should read Avatar: The Legend of Kuruk? Fans of the original A:TLA story, go right ahead! 

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