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for Uncomfortable Truths

7/10/2020 c1 2Iakobos
Lots to like here! I am a big fan of Avatar stories where the cost of war is a real concern. I can certainly believe that Aang would be naïve enough to assume that there were no Fire Nation casualties during the Siege of the North. I also think your characterization is pretty solid throughout. Aang gliding away at the end rather than confronting the reality of the Siege is very him, as is Zuko’s brusque blundering into a touchy subject that needs to be discussed.

On the level of the prose itself: similes such as “fire-lit hand” and “Katara felt like her heart was being torn into by a particularly vindictive bloodbender” are cumbersome, especially in the latter case when the tone of the scene wants to be serious. I also think Katara’s internal monologue tends to be a little explainy/telly rather than conversational or naturalistic, which does not make for an engaging reading experience. I think there are also some moments where word choice could be betterwith which the people covered themselves” is less awkward to parse than “with which the beings covered themselves.”

Overall, this first chapter was a fun read, and I look forward to an update!
7/3/2020 c1 73Atarah Derekh
I was waiting for the direct reference to the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. When you mentioned the shrinking wood and the ship, I thought, "Zuko's gonna bite himself, isn't he?" I never did understand why Iroh didn't just ask Pakku to secure them a canoe that could at least get them to EK shores. He didn't have to tell Zuko where he got it. And I have no doubt Iroh knows some bare bones basics about wayfinding, even if he's no ancient mariner himself.

As for Aang, I have to say, the avatar does not have a very good track record for grasping the concept of cause to effect. Aang's impulsiveness is seen in basically all of the past avatars that we know of - and Korra inherits it too. The avatar in general doesn't comprehend that their actions have both immediate and long term consequences and impacts on human life. Maybe that's what Yangchen really meant when she said the avatar couldn't detach like an airbender guru. She knew what that detachment would result in; widespread death by the hand of an unwitting and uninterested avatar. She had seen that possibility while facing Old Iron. Aang has to remain attached to the world so he can restrain himself from harming the world. The avatar's physical body serves as a restraint for Raava, who is more than powerful enough to destroy whole environments. Facing this existential crisis regarding Ozai is exactly what Aang needs to understand that. And he masters the avatar state because of it.
7/3/2020 c1 7nithman
Beautifully written! You switch between perspectives effortlessly while staying faithful to the characters and their personalities. And the points you make are solid. I've wondered the same things, especially Aang's blatant hypocrisy. Granted, he is a kid, so he doesn't realize it, but he is responsible for his actions all the same.
7/2/2020 c1 askthedusk1001
Thank you for writing this. I feel like a lot of people forget that Aang has killed before. Yes, he wasn’t himself but he still did it. Why have qualms about killing Ozai, an actual evil person when you already killed random soldiers who were probably drafted and didn’t want the war.

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