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!
This story encompasses the events that transpired to the Northern Tribe separating and eventually leading to the migration to the South. Along the way, the waterbenders face the dangers in the North and South, as well as witness the Darkest Day in Fire Nation History while traveling the oceans. The Avatar must assist the new Water Tribe, at the risk of the Avatar's own life.
Spelling/Grammar 8.6 - There were a couple frequent mistakes, most notably capitalizations and comma splices. Other than that, the technical writing was overall consistent and solid.
General Writing 8.4 - In general, the writing was fine. There wasn't really anything that popped out at me, but there weren't glaring weaknesses. If I may make a suggestion, avoid wordiness. Avoid using too many linking verbs i.e. "was," "were," "has," "had," "have," "is." I wrote an article in the White Lotus Sentinel a couple weeks ago about how to write efficiently; I advise checking that out here. There's nothing wrong with using linking verbs, but you can easily write more efficiently and descriptively if you cut out unnecessary words. It will flow smoother. :)
Style 8.0 - Nothing about the style knocked my socks off. Like normal fanons, there's dialogue, description, and action. Some of the flashbacks were stylish, but other than that the style doesn't contribute much to the tone of the story.
Creativity 8.5 - There are a ton of creative ideas in The Water Tribes, namely the main concept of the two water tribes splitting and the reasons behind it. I just felt like the author could have expanded more on his good ideas. More elaboration on the spirit world, the characters, the conflict would have made for some excellent creativity.
Plot/Organization 7.7 - The major conflict and idea are easy to spot. The author makes the main point obvious from the very beginning. After awhile, however, the story begins to take random detours, some of which I don't understand why. I get the feeling the author has a plan, but he gets too intent on telling the story instead of fleshing out the details. For example, the Water Tribe is traveling to the South Pole(main goal), but for some reason, they end up stopping in a town full of plague victims. After that, they find themselves in the midst of a conflict with Sun Warrior people who are amassing an army. There's nothing wrong with having a lot of side plots, but the author needs to connect them together and make them coherent in the grand scheme of things.
Character Development 7.3 - I'll start off by saying Kyla is my favorite character. I think she is very interesting and her special talent gives her character a lot of potential and room for growth. I can't wait to see how she turns out. I think the problem with the character development stems from the plot. The events pass by so quickly that they don't allow time for characters to grow and reflect on what has happened. I also question a lot of characters' motives, especially Mokolo and Yinlo. I just don't think their past problems justify their goals in the story. A lot of characters get introduced, but few of them change. Putting characters through horrific, life changing events doesn't automatically make "character development." The visible turmoil, inner thought, and growth truly develops a character.
Interest Level 7.9 - I think the repetitive nature of the conflicts hurt my interest. It seemed like every new character was trying to amass an army to either take over the world or seek revenge.
Reaction 8.5 - I have to say, when I discovered Mokolo was in an affair with a man named Sokka, I was beyond surprised XD
Believability 7.7 - The premise of the story is believable: the Water Tribe splits up. I mean, yeah, that actually happened at some point. The problem lies in the fact that this account of the conflict only follows a couple of characters, only about 5-6 of which are actually part of the water tribe. The opinions of the masses aren't really taken into account, and it seems like a couple of people are the only ones that matter. I think more elaboration about how the people came to reject their traditions could have made things more believable because in the beginning the reader is thrown into this story and expected to realize this fact. I'm one of those readers who questions EVERYTHING, so if there isn't an adequate explanation for something I find it hard to believe.
Total Score = 8.0
4. My Thoughts
I think the author has a good idea. What I loved most about Avatar is the world that Bryke created, filled with so much nature and culture. I think The Water Tribes offers an interesting spin on this concept. I'm a big fan of traveling.
This is the first fanon I've seen that addresses the schism of the Northern and Southern Water Tribes so Kudos for WaterMasterFinn for providing illuminating this important event in Avatar history!
There are many minor allusions to the canon show that made me go "Oh!!! That makes so much sense!" I thought WaterMasterFinn was very creative in incorporating some of those subtle things because when I caught them I had a eureka moment more than once.
5. What stands out?
I love the effort the author puts into his story, and I can tell he loves to write. I think this story is the essence of the fanon portal. The Water Tribes is the story the author wants to tell, and I respect that so much.
6. Advice for WaterMasterFinn
Check out the article I wrote about efficiency. It gives some nice tips to improve in that area. Regarding the content, just work on fleshing out all aspects of the story. Really immerse the reader into this world you are creating!
7. Who should read this?
Any travelers should tag along for this thrilling ride!