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!
My name is Nalia, and I'm both my government's deadliest weapon and an enemy of the state. One year ago, the Fire Nation military, under the orders of our pathetically imbecilic Fire Lord Sozin, disrupted my life and destroyed everything I loved. My father was murdered point blank by the same men who captured me and my sister. I was given an option: I could either have had both of us executed along with our dad, or I could have joined the Fire Nation's most elite warriors, lethal assassins meant to terminate any member of the government or military who showed signs of opposition to The War. I chose the latter.
My ultimate goal: to make Sozin regret the day he made me an orphan. It's simple. He shaped my life, so I'll end his. Do not judge me for what I have done. If you wouldn't do the same things to protect your sister and avenge your father, then you owe them an apology. - Crossfire
Spelling/Grammar 9.6 - Having read a great deal of this author's works, I have come to expect excellence with regard to technical spelling and grammar. He's one of the best. Besides a few typos and minor slip-ups, the writing is controlled and clear.
General Writing 9.5 - The author has a knack for this genre of story-telling, and it shows by the amount of specific details that go into the writing. The dialogue is solid, and the descriptions are top-notch. I've seen fanons that reflect the beautiful, idyllic side of emotion, but Crossfire is different. The imagery and descriptions are laden with relentless passion, drive, and ambition. It's a cruel world; that much is evident from the very first chapters.
Style 9.3 - The style is what I really want to talk about, and it's what sets Crossfire apart. 1st person: it's the closest a reader can possibly get to a character. The first person style from Nalia's point of view immerses the reader directly into the story. Her blunt, sarcastic, and vulgar commentary is the source of unparalleled characterization. Because of this, she quickly evolves into a character real as day. I feel like she's actually with me during the story. The style is just so very creative and unique, but it has a few drawbacks. The narrow view does help the reader know Nalia, but it creates a biased effect towards the world and other characters. The 1st person style is just so Nalia-centric that it slightly downgrades the importance of plot developments. There's nothing wrong with a single voice carrying a story, but I'll delve into this more later.
Creativity 9.4 - The concepts in Crossfire are derived from other types of action adventures. Inspiration from Assassin's Creed, The Bourne Trilogy, and other undercover types of stories is evident, at least in my opinion. That doesn't make Omashu Rock's work any less creative. The way he weaves all these elements into the Avatar World into a compelling story is truly astounding.
Plot/Organization 8.5 - Knowing Omashu Rocks, I know he (most likely) has the story planned out, but, from what I've read so far, it's hard to gauge where this story is going. The plot events don't add up quite yet. There are different concepts such as the Shepherds and Wolves revolving around Nalia's undercover operations. The latest chapter is an interesting reveal that gives the reader a scope of the magnitude of the conflict. With all that being said, I still think the plot organization is lacking slightly. I get it, not all stories make sense right off the bat; settings, characters, and themes need to be laid down. I just think the story is straying away from its roots a bit. The major conflict, above all else, is that Nalia must save her sister, Ming. The conflict is very Hunger Games-esque in that Nalia is the elder sister (Katniss) who has to literally murder and survive to save her timid, younger sister Ming (Prim). As the events unfold, I think Nalia begins to lose sight of her goals, internally. Her personality is blunt, bad-ass, and headstrong, but in the case of the plot, it gets in the way of her "want." It's not that there isn't enough reflection and pointing back to the reason she kills. There is, however, a disparity between her inner thoughts and her motives. At times her thoughts can be too blatant and unrealistic. It comes across as if she isn't taking her own motives seriously. Making sassy jokes, unintentionally, takes the edge off the conflict. Because of this, the reader is left in a state of floating, in that he or she reads the action-packed plot events, but takes a step back and wonders "Why is Nalia doing this again?" In the case of Avatar, the episodes literally reference the reason of the conflict in the opening theme of every single episode. One way to fix this problem is to write some chapters about Ming and prison. That would cause the reader to feel both sympathy and passion for Nalia's cause, and at the same time, it creates a sense of urgency.
Character Development 8.8 - I'll say it now, and I'll say it again: Nalia is one of the best original characters I've ever read in fanon. Seriously, her dialogue and inner thoughts are just incredible. She says the funniest things, and just the way she thinks about the world makes you root for her. On the other hand, she is really the only character in this fanon. She's the dynamic character, and everyone around her is static. That's fine, but so far, Nalia hasn't changed all too much. It's just too early for me to see real development. I have no fear that Omashu Rocks has plenty of character development planned and ready to go, but for now she is just as reckless as she was in the beginning. Her attitude towards people, killing, and the world is just as bitter as ever. She hasn't really matured from her experiences yet, although I can definitely see (I hope) where the story is going. The author has set up a really gripping struggle between what Nalia wants to accomplish and what is morally correct. I can't wait to see how it turns out!
Interest Level 9.7 - Blood-pumping. Action-packed. Spine-tingling. This story, without a sliver of exaggeration, hooks the reader right from the beginning. The author has outstanding story-telling talent. The way he progresses the plot just sucks the reader in. I want to know what happens next. It's almost like I'm watching "24" (TV Show) in how the clock keeps ticking and that even though it's super late at night I just have to keep going. Sleep or Crossfire? - Crossfire it is.
Reaction 8.8 - I root for Nalia. Whenever something bad happens to her, I feel it. That being said, not many bad things have happened yet. "But Ty...Nalia has literally had her family, her entire world taken away from her! What else could possibly go wrong?" Well, the fact is that Nalia confronts these perilous obstacles with such defiance that it comes across as if they don't affect her all too much. Either way, the attachment and buildup is right under the surface and it's only a matter of time until it just breaks down.
Believability 8.8 - The story hasn't progressed too far yet, so it remains to be seen if the plot makes sense with regards to logic. Though the scenes do shift around in a rather chaotic manner, and it's difficult for the reader to get his or her bearings. Just a minor deduction because I'm still in the dark on a few topics (The Social Experiment), though that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Total Score = 9.15
4. My Thoughts
If this was a movie, it would most certainly be rated R. XD But, I do love its maturity. When I first started reading, I thought to myself, "Thank goodness someone finally has the confidence to go this route for a fanon. It is about time the fanon portal has received an edgy story like this." It really is a new breed of fanon, and there's no better author to try it than Omashu Rocks.
5. What stands out?
I contemplated just leaving her name there with no explanation, but I simply could not. I can't possibly explain how freaking awesome she is in my own words, so I'll just leave a quote.
I usually spent my hours in school envisioning different methods of violently murdering my teachers in ironic ways. Today I fantasized that Mr. Kwon, who was constantly spitting to "clear his throat" was chained to a table where all of his students would go spit in his mouth until he drowned in saliva. After learning about how the people of the Southern Water Tribe were savages who needed to be educated by our glorious military, I was sent to lunch. The most interesting feature of the cafeteria was undoubtedly the barred windows. This place is a prison, I always thought to myself. I sat with the same group of girls every day. Bitches. All of them. Sometimes I'd just stare furiously into their soul as they ate.
6. Advice for Omashu Rocks
Nalia's greatest strength is her personality, but be careful. You walk the line between making her too blunt and uncaring to the point that it takes away from the urgency of the plot. It becomes a bit like her own skeptical commentary on everything she sees. It may just be me, but it begins to feel like the point of the story isn't for Nalia to accomplish her goals, but rather to simply portray her character. You need to find the balance of revealing her character through her actions instead of her insight and observations. That way, the reader witnesses actual character development instead of taking it for granted based on what Nalia says or thinks.
7. Who should read this?
I don't say this about many fanons: everyone should read this. That is, if you are mature enough to handle some(massive amounts) of profanity and a few(copious) sexual references. XD