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!
In Inheritance, the story begins with the birth of Tenzin, Katara and Aang's third child, and the only airbender of the three. The entirety of the plot deals with the trials and tribulations of Tenzin in his younger years. From his birth, exploring his past, and all the way to roaming Republic City, Inheritance delves deep into the young airbender's life, providing the tale that molded Tenzin into the amazing person, talented bender, and trustworthy friend he is today.
We accompany Tenzin on his journey as he learns about his Air Nomad culture. This story focuses on the close bond between Aang and Tenzin. We see the world through Tenzin's young eyes, and we share his deep emotions and thoughts.
Spelling/Grammar 9.5 - Bray has an impressive knowledge of grammar. Where I expected dangling or misplaced modifiers, he correctly related his verbs back to the subject performing the action. I spotted minor errors in comma usage. Sometimes he got a bit comma happy. A comma combined with a conjunction is used to link two independent clauses. For example: Lin took her stance, and Tenzin exhaled a deep breath. That is an example of a compound sentence using a comma with the conjunction "and." Here is an example of a sentence that doesn't need a comma: Lin took her stance and exhaled a deep breath.
General Writing 9.7 - WOW. The author is a very talented and high level writer. Inheritance makes use of many complex sentence structures and figures of speech. The general writing is very poetic at times, and it reminds me a bit of my own writing style, which was very cool.
Style 8.8 - The descriptions are gorgeous; they truly are. The problem lies in overuse of description and detail. Most of the time I get on someone's case to include more description, but in this case I think Bray needs to tone it down a bit. He has an extensive vocabulary, which is great, but there is a difference between using a descriptive word and using it correctly. Once a writer has mastered grammar and spelling, then it's time to master the techniques of style. There is a time and place for certain words. I suggest toning down the lenghthy descriptions a bit and being more subtle. Then, when you do need a life-changing, poetic line, it will carry more weight.
Creativity 8.9 - Inheritance is written from Tenzin's point of view. It's an interesting take on his young years. There wasn't much that knocked me out of my seat, but it's still unique in its concept.
Plot/Organization 8.6 - I completely understand the premise of the story here, which is the important first step. Bray knows what he's doing, and he has his story planned pretty well. The problem with the plot is the flow. The link between events sometimes confused me. Here we are practicing airbending. Then, we are looking at the ocean. Oh, there's Bumi! The one example that I remember the most clearly was when Tenzin leaves the diner, and Lin somehow appears, and they go for a stroll; I didn't get that. I understand that it's from Tenzin's point of view, but it's crucial to explain WHY things happen instead of just describing. Sometimes it's difficult to figure out what time of day it is or how long time lapses. The weighty descriptions cover the plot a bit. One way to improve the plot clarity is to focus not soley on Tenzin, but on the happenings of Republic City, his family, Air Temple Island, the sky bison, and Lin as well. Build a complex world around Tenzin instead of separating his complexities from it.
Character Development 8.2 - The score doesn't reflect a lack of character development. Tenzin, the main character, and Aang develop immensely in the first few chapters. The problem lies within the portrayal of the two characters' development. In many cases they act "out of character." Tenzin constantly looks out over the ocean, Yue Bay, or Republic City in extremely deep thought, which is fine, but in some cases it goes overboard. I know Aang as a wise, optimistic, funny, and light-hearted guy, even when he was a kid. In Inheritance he is extremely serious and emotional all the time. I feel like they are always crying, hugging, or apologizing. These moments are fine, but if used too often they will lose their power. Character development is not easy to write, not at all. To accurately depict Aang and Tenzin, I suggest paying attention to their mannerisms and dialogue in episodes. The other character development lies within the relationship between Tenzin and Lin. To put it bluntly, it developed too quickly. It was unclear at what point in life they started "dating" or if they are really dating. In "Inheritance" Lin was soft, sweet, and caring. In reality, she is a metalbending tank and probably the most talented bender in Season 1 of Korra (not including Amon). It's perfectly fine to show her softer side, but just remember, she's Toph freaking Bei Fong's daughter! Lin is blunt, aggressive, and stubborn; she values bravery. Don't force romance just for the sake of romance. In real life, you can't force romance....many people try, but it won't work; fanon is the same way. There wasn't enough to justify Lin's crying and professing her love for Tenzin when she is 13 years old. I have ideas to improve this relationship, just message me :)
Interest Level 9.2 - The story flows differently than other stories. The beautiful writing kept my attention.
Reaction 8.7 - There are some heavy emotional scenes....everywhere. I was constantly feeling for Tenzin and Aang. I felt very close to them. Despite this, there wasn't a distinct event that I could say, "That scene made me sob my eyes out." The reactions were more subtle.
Believability 8.8 - As a whole, Inheritance is completely believable. ByBray writes in a way that makes me believe in Tenzin and the undertakings that surround him. The plot makes total sense. Minor deduction here for character believability. Katara violently scolds Aang for bending at Tenzin during airbending training. Wait a moment...Katara is afraid Aang will push Tenzin too hard to learn airbending? Katara is perhaps the most dedicated bender in the show. She worked harder than anyone else and cared about learning that lost part of her culture. Her dream was to be a bender. I don't think she would be too concerned with Aang's earthbending at Tenzin during training, considering Toph, as the Melon Lord, flung molten boulders at the Gaang a few days before Sozin's Comet. Katara has traveled around the world and back. She fought in heated battles, so I can't believe that she would react that way. It was just something I noticed while reading. Other than that, the believability was spot on, plotwise.
Total Score = 8.93
4. My Thoughts
This is a beautiful piece of writing. The descriptions touched my senses and painted works of art. It's like poetry, and I love it.
ByBray's attention to inner thoughts was outstanding. It's one thing to write action, meaning what is happening. It's another to expand to another dimension and include thought. Character emotion adds a whole new element to a story, and Inheritance succeeds in this regard. Tenzin is a very complex human being who has the weight of the world on his shoulders. It's a testament to ByBray as a writer that he was able to write such a complex character and accurately describe every facet of Tenzin's inner turmoil. *Ty applauds
While reading, I noticed the depth of the story right away. Inheritance deals with personal issues and takes on a serious vibe. When I say it's a mature fanon, I don't mean it is explicit, I mean it is mature in tone. It carries the realities of life: mistakes, problems, imperfection.
5. What stands out?
The greatest strength of Inheritance is the meaning behind the story. It's not just a story of Tenzin. It carries such a powerful message because the message is real. I clearly see the author's own emotions and beliefs permeating through the writing. ByBray puts his heart and soul into Inheritance and that's something everyone should appreciate.
6. Advice for ByBray
You're a hell of a writer already; therefore, my advice isn't going to be as straightforward as "learn how to spell." I noticed the unchanging tone of the story. Although life is serious, it's also fun and light. Over the past few weeks, I've been learning about writers like Dryden, Pope, and Swift in English class. In "The Spectator," an 18th century English newspaper, Addison and Steele sought to "Enliven morality with wit, and temper wit with morality." Inject some lighter tones to enliven Inheritance, whether it be comedy or action. But, on the flipside, don't go overboard. You just have to find that balance. Just give the readers a breather from the serious nature. If you do this, the morals behind your story will speak even louder. Like I said, you're a talented writer already; so, now you need to focus on the little things.
7. Who should read this?
If you are looking for a deep, complex read, then Inheritance is definitely for you. But, it's a great piece of writing in its own right so it can be enjoyed by anyone.