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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!
The Avatar has always been a force for balance within the world, but, as of late, it seems as if the Spirit World has been encroaching on the human world in ways that could have disastrous implications if left unchecked. Now, Avatar Argho, along with his allies, must face some of the most powerful and ancient spirits that have ever existed, spirits that have been vying for power since time immemorial. Can they face down the darkness, or will the world crumble?
We accompany Avatar Argho, Korra's predecessor, as he fights to restore balance to a world torn apart by spirits and humans, alike. Along the way, we meet all sorts of characters from bloodbenders and equalists to soundbenders and spirits. It All Ends is the epic finale to Mageddon725's well-renowned trilogy that began with Avatar: Aftermath and Burning Earth.
Spelling/Grammar 9.5 - As an experienced author, Mage has masterful control of technical skills like spelling and grammar. The only minor mistakes were edit misses that can be fixed easily.
General Writing 9.1 - The general writing was solid. The author makes great use of dialogue and other higher level techniques. While the general writing is advanced, nothing really blew me away aside from the action scenes.
Style 8.5 - The style of writing remains constant throughout the story. It All Ends is very plot-oriented; so, the style didn't really permeate into many of the characters thoughts or descriptions. Most of the time, the author described enough to set the scene, but didn't really immerse the reader into the mood. The actions scenes, however, were drop-dead intense. Out of the dozens of action scenes, no two were alike. I have never seen a character like Argho who can beat the crap out of so many people in so many different ways. For the most part, the style was objective and not too flashy.
Creativity 9.5 - Time and time again, I was impressed by the author's seemingly infinite imagination. I have to give Mage so much props for creating a whole cast of unique characters that fit into this expanded world. He takes the world, culture, and spirit lore from Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra and he adds so many dimensions. I was especially impressed with all of the subtle references to history and culture from the show.
Plot/Organization 7.9 - There are many little sub-plots that tie into "It All Ends." But, the major plot is pretty simple: evil spirit wants more power. Ok, that's all fine, except it was hard for me to understand Susanowo and Otokami's motives for killing people and amassing power. I mean, spirits, like humans, are ambitious, but does that really drive the entirety of this plot? I'm not sure if it can. This story's greatest strength may also be it's greatest inconsistency: pace. The plot rapidly progresses and leaves room only for the utmost essential thoughts and actions. It's almost like Team Avatar fight, get hurt, lose someone, try to rescue someone, or learn of a new enemy in every chapter. The pattern gets a bit repetitive and the magnitude of certain events is diminished. The rapid plot also makes it a bit hard to understand things like traveling and time progression. I found it difficult to follow where the characters where going, how they were getting there, and why they were going there. It seemed like they were fighting time and time again, in the same way, just in different places. The plot is epic and action-packed, but sometimes it's best to let the characters breath, develop, and expand without airships or bullets raining down on them.
Character Development 7.5 - I thought the most compelling arc was the relationship between Moro and Shen. I thought Mage did a brilliant job with the subtleties of the growing bond. He put in quality work crafting dialogue and interaction between the two. I really appreciated the sentimental nature between them. Shen and Moro, though they are important characters, aren't the main characters. Argho, the Avatar tasked with saving the world, runs the show. As the main character, Argho doesn't really develop much at all. Throughout the entirety of "It All Ends," he is a badass, fully realized Avatar who lays down the law. In the beginning chapters, he absolutely obliterates Susanowo, the Spirit of Tempests AKA super-villain of Book One. However, as an immortal being, Susanowo regenerates himself, but Argho doesn't really learn from this. In fact, he continues to deal with spirits in the exact same way each time: by beating the crap out of them. We never really get a good look inside Argho's thought process, and for most of the story he doesn't really display much emotion. When he does voice his opinion or has a sentimental moment, it's usually pretty predictable. The rest of the characters are static as well; they have simple motives and don't really question what they are doing, besides Shen and Moro of course. I think fleshing out the characters would greatly benefit the intense nature of this story.
Interest Level 8.5 - The blood-pumping action was what initially drew me into this story, but after awhile all the battles muddled together. I remember one fight, the sparring match between Shen and The Ancient Master, that didn't really have much of a purpose besides for there being a battle. Also, Mage uses a distinct, mysterious technique to reveal new plot twists and cliff hangers. That technique was a bit overused and lost some of it's power. The intensity kept me reading, but a bit of variation could have helped. Maybe a mood change here or there?
Reaction 8.3 - My reactions are usually tied to the characters. I never really felt attached to any of the characters, since most were pretty simple. I just don't think I knew enough about them to really merit a reaction if they got into trouble or faced adversity. It's kind of like real life, when you meet a stranger it's difficult to sympathize with their problems right away.
Believability 8.2 - It All Ends makes sense, it really does. Logically speaking the events, cause and effect, make sense, but there were a few things that I just couldn't believe, even though they were explained. First of all, Argho fights Susanowo in the early chapters, pretty much owning him. While Susanowo is down and on the verge of breaking, Argho decides "it's just not the right time." ...WHY?! Ok, I get it. You can't just kill off the main villain in the first three chapters. But, the reason Argho gives doesn't make sense: he needs to back it up with a concrete reason instead of just wise-talk. Furthermore, after he let Susanowo go, the villain went on to amass power, kill innocent people, and destroy an entire village. THEN, Argho says "I'm going to finish this now." I need a bit more explanation behind Argho's tactics, because, to me, they don't make much sense. Second of all, I just can't see the Air Nomads turning violent and waging war on the Fire Nation. I know Otokami influenced Petrine and she rallied the troops, but the Air Nomad culture doesn't just change so drastically. They are monks, people who refuse to fight unless for self defense. They are vegetarians for Pete's sake! I, personally, can't see the same culture that makes fruit pies and plays air-ball waging war with sound canons in the name of revenge of an act that happened over a century ago.
Total Score = 8.56
4. My Thoughts
Moro Kenshi had to be my favorite character. I loved following her inner conflict, and I thought she was the most complete character.
I realize there are two fanons that precede It All Ends. I hope some of the questions I had weren't answered in those two stories because then it's my fault for not understanding what already should have been known. Despite this fact, I quickly began to learn about this new Avatar world and how the old world evolved.
ACTION! I mean...it was actually inspiring how many amazing fights were in this story. My words can't even describe it; so, I'll just leave you with my favorite battle scene excerpt:
“On every level.” The Avatar rushed forward, catching him in the midsection with an incredibly powerful punch that shattered Kenshin’s breastplate and caused the spirit to cough up blood. His second blow crushed bone as his cheek crumpled, and Argho pressed two fingers against the cracks in his ceremonial blue armor. “You have no idea what power is.”
Lightning ripped through the Ice Man’s midsection, leaving a gaping, smoking hole. As the spirit collapsed, Argho turned to his team.
5. What stands out?
The greatest strength of It All Ends is the intensity. Everything about this fanon is epic. There is no moment without inherent danger or a threat waiting at Team Avatar's doorstep. A sense of urgency permeates every second of the adventure.
6. Advice for Mageddon725
Use your characters to your advantage. Go into their minds and flesh out their emotions, and not just the emotions pertaining to the war. People are multi-faceted and complex. To make "It All Ends" even more epic than it already is, expand all characters, even the minor ones, and especially the villains. Great villains make great stories. In my opinion, Amon far surpassed Ozai because he had a more complex motive, an ambition that was actually justified. To the Equalists, Amon was a hero because he fought for equality, something worth fighting for.
7. Who should read this?
Anyone interested in a fast-paced, action-packed thriller should voraciously indulge in It All Ends.