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Hiya everyone, just popping in randomly from another period of activity-drought to continue my reviews. The usual! (Though I really hope to improve that habit this summer @_@) No matter how nonexistent I seem, the Fanon Review Squad show must always go on! There are just too many good writers I still need to rave about, and today I've fallen in love with's talent after reading his work, . Yes everyone, watch out for this guy. He's good. Very good o_o
Kyoshidude practically had me in tears from the beauty of this work. It's a shame neither you guys or the author seem to be glancing back towards this gem very much, because it's one to be proud of! Let's see the breakdown of his beautiful writing...
- Plot - 9.5: To throw it out there, I am absolutely a fan of authors who take on the challenge of filling in stories behind characters with limited screen time. It's even more awesome to see authors who can fill in a story so that you will never look at those minor characters the same again. The characters become major after you're through with the reading, and Kyoshidude has managed to make me feel so about Lo and Li. Wonderful, wonderful job. My only tip here would be to get the readers on the plot-track more quickly in your introductory chapter. I will describe soon how well Kyoshidude writes visuals, but plot-wise I believe that the visuals can be swayed towards the sisterly theme more than they are currently. Given the main idea of the story is to explore their connection, everything you write should be able to tie to it in some way. As of now I feel that a reader could have a bit of trouble feeling "where this is all leading" at the start of the story. Make your details really show off that lovely plot!
- Organization - 8.7: I had a pretty clear idea where things stood throughout the story. I can see that the nature of the way things are presented is to be abstract, but I would say that there are times it barely crosses the line of vagueness. The pattern I notice with the chapters is that each one often starts with a person reflecting deeply on a connection to some physical aspect of Ember Island. While it's done beautifully each time, as I mentioned earlier it's hard to pick up what big idea it's leading to. Aside from the effect of the visuals on the vagueness of the plot though, another thing I would look into is the way people are introduced a tad too briefly. Their names tend to appear, accompanied by a few blunt facts about them before the chapter moves back to its abstract flow. This creates a slight abruptness in the reading experience that I'll describe in further detail in the character development section, but in general the organization of this story is pretty solid.
- Creativity - 9.5: Well, what can be more creative than creating a story where there wasn't one before? Kyoshidude's got this down! I actually wouldn't have found something to pick at here at all, if it hadn't been for that trend with brief character introductions again. The other effect that brief intros and summaries of characters (Hozon, for example) creates is that you don't have enough to learn about them to know that they're unique. Vagueness also takes away from the creative identity of a character, when you don't know the little details that sets them apart from any other OC - and that's literally all I can say here. Kyoshidude's work is one of the most creative I've seen in a while.
- Writing – 9.0 (x3): I'm blown away by the quality here.The visuals are captivating, and the emotions run as freely as the tears down your face as you read through the turmoils that the twins face throughout their lifetime. One thing I would advise the author to change is simply the formatting of speech, especially in 'Smoothened Salt, Iron Heart' (AWESOME title, btw). The abstractness of the story isn't taken away from if you use the standard quotations format rather than the current list-of-bullets style. Instead, it gives readers the standard format that they are used to so that nothing unusual distracts them from the story and the characters. The reading experience feels a tad more unnatural when reading quotations from a list-like series of text, and more like a script. Technical issues aside though, I'd also suggest that the author look into descriptions of facial expression now and then, or more physical descriptions of emotions in general. He's captured the inner aspect of deep emotions epically, but what really completes that feeling you convey to readers is if you show them a character inside and out. I feel that this story could tug even more powerfully at our heartstrings if we could just see the look on the faces of the twins sometimes during their most tearful moments. Overall though, this author has some serious talent, and I invite you all not to miss out on it.
- Character Development - 8.3 (x2): The development of the twins is just tearjerking...especially that last chapter. *Sniffles and blows nose* I love seeing how they grow throughout their lives and how they come back together eventually. What I believe the main issue here, as I mentioned earlier, is that we simply don't have enough time to get to know the characters completely. I know that this fanon naturally has to jump through different periods of their lives and can't dwell too long on any one chapter's setting, but there are certain things - for example, when someone mentions that someone else was 'broken' - that just need more time than a mention. I would suggest that the author give just a tad more elaboration on the characters outside of Lo and Li, especially the males. Though not protagonists, they all add to the story and will make it deeper if you take the time to dig out their unique personalities and let us truly feel who they are. All that aside, I guarantee you readers that you will feel for all the people you meet in this story. You've just gotta go see it for yourself. Beautiful.
- Believability – 9.5: I would've gone ahead and said I can't find anything at all that I'd doubt could happen in this story. The deduction here is not so much about the "if" something can happen, but about the "how." The unknown caused by vagueness, per se. The twins experience very big and powerful events in their lives, from romance to royal service opportunities. I just want to hear more literally about what led to each event. More in depth elaborations than just that one mention of why it happened. You've told us why a lot of things were possible, but I believe the "show" - letting us see the actual event instead of referring to it - will just make it that more real in our eyes. This is all very weird and abstract critique I'm making here though, I ain't complaining about Kyoshidude's realistic credibility at the end of the day!
My advice for Kyoshidude: You're doing wonderfully on your own, but just remember to spend more time for those things in your story. Minor characters are important too!
Who should read My Imago? Anyone who appreciates a great tearjerker, and anyone interested in finding out what kind of lives Lo and Li led.