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Where Good Men Stand Chapter One: Ashes

 
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hboff
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Joined: 25 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:54 am    Post subject: Where Good Men Stand Chapter One: Ashes Reply with quote

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Where Good Men Stand Chapter One: Ashes
Posted by Archangel_7 (x_archangel7_x@yahoo.com)
25 July 2008, 8:38 am

http://halosn.bungie.org/fanfic/?story=Archangel_70725080838471.html
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Arthur Wellesley
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Joined: 30 Jun 2006
Posts: 306
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My review of both chapters:

1. Very good. I really liked the introductory chapter to this series because it showed what so few other fics here do. I don't even refer to the extended attention paid to the main character's civilian life, which, though a rarity, has been seen from time to time. Rather, I refer to the scene in Aleksander's workplace. With the understandable focus on the military in HBOFF, one might forget that there's a whole human society behind the scenes, affected in various ways by the Covenant War. Alex's conversation with the receptionist did a great job in conveying this reality.

I wasn't entirely sure about the breakup conversation with Cassandra. It seemed a little contrived as a plot device to get Alex to enlist. The emotion was well conveyed, but the dialogue didn't ring 100% true.

Overall, though, very good.

2. Great follow-up. I like how the somewhat peaceful bus-ride, with muted voices and nervous greetings suddenly morphed into the noise and confusion of the drill-sergeant's commands. The disorientation was palpable for the reader and Alex alike. It served as a great transition from the undoing of Alex's civilian life and his hurtling into the life of a soldier.

My one complaint was this passage, during the "bus-ride:"

Quote:
Most of them would probably sooner put the other in the path of a bullet to save themselves. The real question was, would that change by the end of the twelve weeks? Aleksander wanted to trust in the basic goodness of these men, but again he couldn't give a straight answer.


This is more of a philosophical question than a legitimate criticism, but I wonder if one's willingness to take a bullet for a stranger can be defined as "goodness." Lord knows I wouldn't - hell, I don't know if I would for most of the people that I know. In any event, it doesn't strike me as a thought that would occur to someone on their way to boot camp.

Great stuff, Archangel. I like your writing style, too. It's very clean, but at the same time descriptive and emotional. It is an eminently readable style.

Excellent.

- Arthur
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