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Hey again, Minnichi signing in late for a review here x_x This fanon was a refreshing break from my tortuous summer chemistry studying, and I'm sure it'll do the same for all you potential readers out there! (So go read it cough) Here’s my commentary on To BE but Not to BE by Omar067.
To BE but Not to BE is a fanon series written by Omar067. It tells the story of a boy named Elquiorra that has a lot of nihilistic views on life. He is the successor of Avatar Korra and has already mastered Earth, Water, Firebending and Airbending. Now he must attempt to face a man named the Death God who has overthrown the King of Republic City. The Death God and special members of his army uses an ability called Biobending that allows them to control a living things life. Elquiorra will meet many friends on his journey that will change his nihilistic views on the world...
Omar067's fanon definitely incorporates some of the most interesting ideas I've seen so far. The characters are pretty believable, and his protagonist is certainly not your everyday Avatar. I'm curious to learn more about The Death God and where exactly his freaky powers come from! Like I said, a very interesting read. Kudos to the author for that!
- Plot - 8.5: The overall mood of this fanon is dark, and Omar crafts the plot very nicely in regards to that. There are times, though, when I feel the darkness is overplayed a bit. I believe it's due to lack of elaboration, but in general the reader is presented with pretty deep and depressing statements that seem like they're there just to be there. I understand the kind of world this fanon takes place in as well as the need for these ominous vibes, but they just don't connect sometimes. To sum it up, the plot's flaw is its tendency to suggest that this fanon's purpose is to talk about death and darkness, which I know it's not. Note that I said SOMETIMES though and that Omar067 keeps a good sense of plot most of the way through.
- Organization - 9.0: Just looking at the Author's Notes, I know that Omar has this fanon planned out pretty well. I was never confused about where the story was going, and the scene shifts felt very smooth and natural.
- Creativity – 9.0: Like I said, this story is just overflowing with creative ideas. Omar presents a very unique image of the Avatar and creates a whole different world than what we're used to. What tends to happen, however, is that the villains' purpose in life becomes somewhat stereotypical. From what I've read, their motive so far just seems to be all-powerful and/or torture others for fun. Realistically, there are people like that who exist, but in this case we aren't presented with much anything other than their evil speeches and low tolerance for resistance. I just feel like the villain side of the story could be a little more colorful than it currently is. Other than that, VERY creative, no doubt.
- Writing – 7.0 (x3): The one thing I must mention here is repetition. The same kind appears constantly in every scene I read. The format is something like..."He walked into a shop. In the shop was a bar. Behind the bar was a man." This isn't quoted exactly from the fanon but in general there are a ton of side-by-side sentences that will repeat the same exact noun. This creates a "list" feel, in which the story becomes dulled because the information is presented point by point in almost identical format every time. In a single paragraph, a reader only needs to be told once where a conversation is taking place, what a character is holding, or what everything in general looks like. In times of extra elaboration (and inevitable repetition of a noun), synonyms are the key to keeping things fresh - which leads to my biggest suggestion regarding writing: incorporate those synonyms. Many repeated words can also be avoided by combining sentences. Aside from this, there are occasional but notable grammar mistakes that could be improved on as well. The important part, though, is that Omar does write well enough to get his message across, and I was able connect well to the fanon in the end. That alone is not an easy feat for a writer!
- Character Development - 7.5 (x2) I'm aware that the fanon is still in its early stages, but there's a lack of elaboration on most of the characters besides the protagonist. Looking at Elquiorra, I can already see his inner conflict and probable growth as a character, but those around him seem to have very simple and vague personalities. Their physical descriptions also follow the same trend, and I can hardly picture them sometimes (while Elquiorra stands out crystal clear in my mind). Overall, the minor characters need more attention in this area to make the story more engaging and believable.
- Action - 8.2: I feel like the action is described kind of simply in general. What the characters are actually doing is very intense and exciting, but the vocabulary chosen to capture those moments falls just a little short. There's a lot of "tell" and not enough "show," in my opinion. Someone can be punched in the face, but what exactly does that mean to them? They fell to the ground, but was it because they were barely conscious and numbed with pain, or did they just stumble over from the unexpected blow? The impact of each action isn't described quite enough, and because of that the scenes leave a little too much to the reader's imagination. I can see what's actually happening, though, which is always good for a fanon. These gripes honestly can be counted as minor in Omar's case, but it's just something I'd like to see.
- Believability – 9.0: I really get why everything's the way it is. The only reason why there's deduction here is because there's a lot of explanations that Omar hasn't gotten around to yet. They'll probably appear in later chapters, but for now the story is really focused on creating that bizarre world before revealing how it was made in the first place. I'm looking forward to hearing more about it!
Overall Score: 7.97
My advice for Omar067: Avoid repeating things, describe and pay a little more attention to your minor characters, and I think your fanon would do great. I applaud you for your creativity!
Who should read To BE but Not to BE? Anyone who's looking for something entirely new and refreshing on this wiki should give this fanon a shot. I guarantee there's no other like it.