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for Star's Journey: The Dragon Queen

9/3/2018 c1 RwZni
Veri n1c3Mrast0riNr
4/29/2017 c1 2Caellach Tiger Eye
Well, hello again! Look who's late to the party, as usual; not fashionably late perhaps (though I wish I were so), but still... Better late than never I suppose, and hopefully on MY journey with Star of Rin, I will get at a few reviews per story until I catch up to the most recent chapters; I don't think I can stop for every individual chapter, though I will try to address what I can about the progression each time I stop for it. Anyways.

This is a solid start to the "Star's Journey" saga - rather straightforward and a little brief, but still packed with context and detail without an overload of it. Rather quickly we get our new protagonist, a clear idea of who her parents are WITHOUT needing to blatantly spell it out (while still obvious), and a fair amount of her baseline personality to start with. She is immediately likeable too, with a few characteristics that are simple yet charming; an endearing individual who is far from the insufferable young brat, yet not overbearingly intelligent or wise. It's not a huge presence as yet, the shadow she casts, but that makes sense as we're only just getting to know her - there's plenty of room for further growth from here, with enough options that for a first-timer like me it's not immediately obvious exactly how she'll end up from here. All in all, the presentation works for the story and gives us something to connect to right off the bat.

I do notice, that said, how in comparison to your later works the balance of the story - so to speak - hasn't yet reached the polish I'm used to. Because you're bringing us back into Rin some two dozen(?) years after "Bukshah"/"Ice Creepers" it's clear you want us to get familiarised with the changed setting quickly; the side-effect is plenty of telling us the state of things instead of showing it (even if just for Star's nuclear family unit, and their standing in the village). Even for an introductory chapter of reasonable brevity, there is little happening and not much of a hook for readers to get ensnared; while I admit the build-up is working well for your purposes here and is far from bad, maybe it's just slower-moving than I'm used to - I'm sure things pick up before long, but I just had to review this for a start.

Regardless of my criticisms, I'm definitely interested in the story already if only because from what I've seen thus far, Star is a protagonist I will grow to like immensely. Even before a writer needs to build audience sympathy for a character, they must first create EMPATHY, and the upside of the musings of Star is that she already feels like a complete human being WITHOUT necessitating her finer details and inner complexities; not every writer can do that, so it's good that we don't need mere adversity for character-building (though it will surely help further down the line - which is only BETTER because of a strong foundation already laid!)

Good luck with the later chapters of "Star's Journey", and here's hoping that my own coming along with her will be quite a delightful ride as well.

Gods-SPEED!
7/2/2015 c17 9PJ Blindclown
Aw, nice ending. I just love Zan's mob. Such a nice lot, and so committed to their cause.

Now, I'm off to R&R the next book in this series of yours. But you've gotten off to a really good start, so well done! :)
PJ
7/2/2015 c16 PJ Blindclown
This chapter was deffinatly something. And I'm ashamed to say that I missed the DQ refference the first time I read this. What sort of king-and-queenly things are Lief and Jasmine doing about now? ;)

Also, Habaharan kinda reminds me of Sydney, maybe around Wooloomooloo or something. Did you do that on purpose?
PJ
7/2/2015 c15 PJ Blindclown
I liked this chapter, especially the family you've introduced. I actually giggled a bit at the old man, he reminded me a bit of my grandmother...

Bot woh, you've really got all these people in a mess here, bigtime. I wonder how you're going to get them out of it.
PJ
7/2/2015 c14 PJ Blindclown
I found this one interesting, but I think my not having read the books is getting in the way a bit here... I really do need to fix that.

I do like the way you've fleshed out Zeel's situation here, and how you've especially taken note of her sir name, and her shock at not knowing she even had one.
Keep it Up,
PJ
6/27/2015 c13 PJ Blindclown
Hmm, this chapter is interesting, for loads of reasons. I don't know if I can go into them all just now, but I'll try...

Firstly, Star and Zan. I think I know what you're doing here, and I quite like it. ;)

Secondly, all the other kids, and their loyalty to Star. That's just heartwarming...

Thirdly, the interaction between Star and Sheba, those two are just so cute, and the revelation that Sheba won't live to see her again... Also heartwarming, but heartbreaking...
PJ
6/27/2015 c12 PJ Blindclown
Oh, this was so heartbreakingly sad. I mean, Rowan and Star have just lost a third of their small family, and all they want is answers.

So they get answers, and then they can't agree, when the best thing for them would be being united in this... :(

It says a lot about you as a writer that you can make your readers feel so much. I'm feeling everything that the characters do, which is brilliant. As a writer, you really need to get to know your characters, as though they are real, living people. It's obvious to me that you've spent a lot of time doing that for this story. Again, well done!
PJ
6/27/2015 c11 PJ Blindclown
I find it fascinating how the Rin people are coming to understand how their enemies really live. Again, you've done well with the storytelling. :)
PJ
6/27/2015 c10 PJ Blindclown
This Zan character is certainly interesting. The idea that kids can be forced to do things like that is not shocking to me, but I really do think it should be. You've captured Rodda's way of storytelling very well here, so well done. :)
PJ
P.S. I also find it funny that Zan shares a name with one of Thaegan's children...
6/26/2015 c9 PJ Blindclown
And this is where it all starts to happen...

I like the way you handled the kidnapping scene, and I really felt sorry for Rowan then. He's so not a fighter.
PJ
6/26/2015 c8 PJ Blindclown
Pretty amazing, that. How Star found the pen with which she would change the world... A fighting bird was trying to kill her, and dropped it.

Also interesting how you've compared the fighter birds to the people... I'm guessing this is important?
PJ
6/26/2015 c7 PJ Blindclown
Woh, this chapter is truly something.

Your story of the Bear Queen reminds me very much of Aboriginal dreaming stories, in its own way. In fact, there's a lot of refference to Indigenous Australian spirituality here. I could just be seeing things that aren't there here, but I'm guessing you've really done your research here.

Also, the spirit animals thing is still very much a part of our Aboriginal culture today. I don't know too much about it myself, but it does sorta ring true that people (all people) have some sort of spirit animal.

Anyways, good work. I shall now read and review the next chapter...
PJ
6/18/2015 c6 PJ Blindclown
Ok, so is it Iris and Forley? Hmm, I know you're doing ships here, so this is all a bit confusing!

I also love how Star is so famous in Maris, even though that's not what she wants at all, really. She just wants to write her stories, but because of who her parents are, everyone wants to know her. I like that.
PJ
6/18/2015 c5 PJ Blindclown
Good question, why does she call her that? Mahna certainly is uh, quite different to Star.

Also, I like how you've included Strong John here. He was always one of my favourite characters when I was little. I also like his attitude toward his daughters. Alanis certainly is an interesting character.
PJ
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