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The Critic's 2 cents

have I been honest and not overly critical?  

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  1. 1. have I been honest and not overly critical?

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So, what caused the hole in the bedroom floor? :D


We had bought a shotgun because my wife is just a leetle paranoid. The only one with real experience with firearms is your truly, and I still haven't gotten them out to the range to teach them.


My stepdaught is a pain and she and her boyfriend tend to do things like offer to buy things for friends, and then come up shy or don't deliver. So we had an irate woman over at our house demanding money. Unfortunately it was after my wife got home and she had a temper tantrum that matches that red hair I love so much.


Right in the middle of it I decided that having a loaded shotgun in the house with someone with that temper at that time was... unwise, so I unloaded it. However, I forgot to check the chamber. I did what they tell you to do to protect the hammer spring, which is dry fire it. Luckily I aimed it at the floor, so the charge blew a hole about the size of a quarter in the floor. At least it broke her mood, but I won't hear the end of it in my lifetime.


I'm glad you're posting reviews on fics from different sites, btw. I've been learning different things from the writers who post in these places. Each place has a different approach. Of course, the more I learn, the more I realize there's a whole lot more to learn. :)


when I first started, I decided that doing just the one site was counter productive. I had already been a member of the three sites I review at and ignoring them wouldn't have been proper. Besides, I wouldn't have had a chance to read 'a rude awakening' if I had just stuck to this site.


whoop! i really should do my research next time. ah well, you gave an honest review. thanks a lot Mach! :)


also: Happy (belated) Birthday!


Part of the reason I suggested to Jae and Darth to start the expert forum was to assure that you guys have something to look at if you're unsure. As you can tell from The Beginning and Republic Dawn, I am knowledgeable about espionage and military tactics. But you would have known I knew about fighter operations if you had read 'why we die', my Clone War short. Reforming a fighter squadron in an emergency is pretty much as I described it, and I researched how many snubs are carried aboard the different kinds of ship to make it fit as well as possible.


Just remember, research is never wasted, ever.

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Just remember, research is never wasted, ever.


yes, i see that now, Mach :). thanks.

about the X-Wings though, they arent that advanced. not even as much as in ANH, but at that time period, theyre the best. and it's 18 years, i beleve, between RotS and ANH :).

i'll be sure to check the expert forum from now on.

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Happy late Birthday, Mach, hope you had a good one. Also I swear The Crystal Of Life has already been reviewed (Then again it is a good Fic).

I think what happened was I posted it early, Pottsie.


yes, i see that now, Mach :). thanks.

about the X-Wings though, they arent that advanced. not even as much as in ANH, but at that time period, theyre the best. and it's 18 years, i beleve, between RotS and ANH :).

i'll be sure to check the expert forum from now on.

I thought the X Wing was an outgrowth of the fighters the Arc troopers used. However when it comes to aircraft design, except for more powerful engines ducted exhausts and stealh, there is nothing an F4 can't do that an F15 can.


I have a friend in Mississippi who created a play on the floor game called Basic Fighter Combat back in the 70s. I was going to do an outgrowth of it for Jets and except for heavier guns and larger payloads, there was little a jet of the early 50s could do better than a prop job. Remember that the premium fighter for the North Vietnamese during that war wasn't the mach 2 Mig 21, it was the barely mach 1 (In a dive) Mig 17. Doctor Doom, the best fighter jock they had almost outfought a brand new F4A. Yet he is credited with shooting down everything from a B52 to F4s and F104s.


and it's 18 years, i beleve, between RotS and ANH :).

i'll be sure to check the expert forum from now on.


According to the book Star Wars by George Lucas, Luke was 22 at that time. According to the New essential Chronology, he is 19. It's a matter of someone creating canon, then ignoring it. I think I mentioned that I stopped reading and watching Star Trek when the violated canon with the development of the transporter a century too early and having the Romulans using a cloaking device a century before the Star Trek Original episode 'Balance of Terror'.


My logic was this; Transporter, no biggie. The way they did it actually helped. However why would a General of say our own modern day be surprised if an enemy is using the outgrowth of technology from a century ago? I wouldn't be a bit surprised by the Luftwaffe of today using machine guns after all.

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Hey, Mach, you've posted three times in a row. Can't you Edit Posts or something? Anyway, I'm looking foward to your next Reviews. Whenever they are.


Yeah I can, but sometimes it hard to shut me up. My tombstone is going to read;



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Nice retaliation Mach. I'm glad you have reviewed Against All Odds. I read that one three or four times myself and it never fails to produce a result.

BTW: Happy Birthday (belated)

It had to come up. At this rate I will be doing this fifteen years from now and still haven't moved out of the KOTOR 1 light side female Revan category.


To all of you that wish me happy birthday; Thank you. However I was a member of the Queen's court at Faire, and Northern Faire had a song about birthdays sung to Scotland the Brave;


'when you were two or three,

your parents would always see

that you had a perty on your birth-day


But now you're older and more mature (Snicker)

at least we are pretty sure

There's no need to treat you like a baby.


Cause no one gives a S**t


your birthday anymore

no, it's not important.

And if you want the truth

it's only a good excuse

for your friend to all get drunk together


Now I'm sure you will agree

your brains starts to atrophy

each time that you celebrate your birthday


Un-fortu-nat-lely it's to remind you

The best part of life's, behind you

and soon you will throw your final party


Your teeth will rot

your hair fall out

and sex will merely

refer to your gender only


So raise a cup with me,

a toast to senility

oh please have a happy crappy birthday.


For anyone that really feels a need to say it, send a dollar to a charity, give some old bum a sandwich, or put a dollar in a fund that I can spend to make me happy.


Better yet, how about any used books?

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Thanks for the review, it's nice to think that people are still reading that :)

My question OW, is did you do the entire book? How did Revan react when she found out who she was aboard Leviathan?

Not yet, it's taking a while to do around my other obligations, it will be up some day, it's just finding time to finish it.

She didn't take it terribly well though considering her next few actions involved trying to kill someone and she had to be in a reasonably fit emotional state for that fight.

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Thanks for the review Mach. It's not done yet, but I have worked hard on it. So I am glad you at least said it was "well done." I know that my storyline is very off the wall and doesn't really hold up in the real SW universe. But that is why I wrote it, something different, yet Star wars :)

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Thanks for the review Mach. It's not done yet, but I have worked hard on it. So I am glad you at least said it was "well done." I know that my storyline is very off the wall and doesn't really hold up in the real SW universe. But that is why I wrote it, something different, yet Star wars :)



Sometimes you have to push the envelope just the see if it is really there.

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Review: Star Wars: The Beginning and Star Wars: Republic Dawn

What can I say about machievelli’s Star Wars: The Beginning and its sequel, Star Wars: Republic Dawn? A lot. I enjoyed both stories thoroughly. If you want to read something that can be fun, exciting, full of intrigue, bittersweet, and humorous at various times, then these should fit the bill. The two stories are best read in sequence, but they can stand alone quite well. You don’t need to read the first to understand the sequel, a problem that plagues some series.

SW: The Beginning covers the both the beginning of hyperspace travel and the Jedi Order. It is a time when traveling to the far reaches of the galaxy is new, the lightsaber doesn’t exist, and even the name ‘Jedi’ has to be created. Along the way we’re taken on missions to rescue a kidnapped master weapon smith and stop an unethical company from turning Ithor into a resort cash-cow. All of it is done with the action we expect to see in any Star Wars story.

There were a couple of things that might improve the story. Mach, you mention grammar, spelling, and editing frequently. I know you said it was a rough draft, but I’m going to mention it to you just the same. The issue of comma usage made it harder to read in some places. The encyclopedia entries were a little long and distracted a bit from the overall flow of the story. Perhaps these could be shortened down a bit into a few paragraphs at the beginning of a relevant chapter, rather than making them chapters all by themselves.

That being said, the problems are easily fixed, and they don’t distract much from the overall story. I particularly enjoyed the antics of Breia’s two Mandalorian charges, Anak and Sev. The attention they give to the ship Requiem had me holding my sides laughing.

Star Wars: Republic Dawn is just as entertaining. It has as much adventure as the first story. We get to see what may be the first truly dark Jedi and follow the formation of the Republic. There is plenty of intrigue and missions to gather information to save the galaxy from a madman and a group of thoroughly corrupt government officials and Navy officers.

This story took decidedly bittersweet turns, and there is a lot more death. War may be very harsh, and while I understood the losses intellectually, I found I had come to care for the characters a great deal, and their deaths were harder to take than I expected.

I can only complain about some of the grammar a tiny bit. The greater problem was near the end with the final battle scene. The action was terrific, but I had trouble sorting out which ship was where and who was doing what simply because there were so many names thrown at me at one time. It took a re-read to sort it all out.

Again, the problems were minor compared to all the terrific things. The plot twist with Landru was an interesting surprise. The A4 droid telling Breia Solo “I am not a toaster” had me chuckling even several chapters later. The ongoing practical jokes between Breia Solo and Sienna and their ‘Bad Cop/Bad Cop’ routines were priceless. The final battle is exciting and the action is well written.

I told machievelli there are not too many stories that I’ll stay up until past 1am reading. This was one of those few.

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Well, I figured the probability was low that mach would review his own stuff, and the stories were just too good not to bring to everyone's attention.


Actually in the third week I think I came to one of mine (Why We Die) and said then that I would not be proper For me to review it. I asked someone else to do it. Thank you.

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Coruscant Entertainment Center


Echo 13 vs The Element of the Force




In a parallel universe, a New Republic Marine team meets a different menace.


All right, first things first. You have problems will spelling and editing. You also have to learn to reread your work. There are words used that don’t fit, and something as simple as ‘an’ used when the following word is not a vowel. Nothing that can’t be fixed easily.


On the technical side; You have glossed over the one part I would have wanted to know. destroying the Death Star II would not have caused the Empire to collapse so readily. It was the death of the Emperor that caused the collapse.


The fleet that faced the Republic at Endor would have been only a tithe of available forces and even losing two fleet the same size (Endor then Manaan in you example) would not have crippled them.


STAR WARS The Sith Order



After murdering his father Ben Skywalker now hunts the remaining Jedi.


First you’re pushing the story too fast and too hard. In the prologue this makes sense, you have to give the reader a place to put their feet before the running begins. But then you jump from place to place as fast as your mind can go, and try to drag the reader with you.


You forget conversation breaks, and paragraphs, and the story needs serious editing for pace and content.


A minor aside. If the people that lived there are all dead, then it doesn’t matter what their name for the planet was, true. But it should have been mentioned earlier, not as an aside. The line would have read better as ‘The planet was called Skylrec now. Once it had been home to a few thousand settlers. What they might have called it before the arrival of the Sith was incidental. The dead don’t care.’


Star Wars: The Last Gray Jedi



Prologue Set 9 months before The Phantom Menace; Then jumps to a few weeks before A New Hope.


The writing style is hurried, and like a lot of others, you are trying to make a movie, and hurrying the reader along. Slow down, pace yourself.


Kid, you should have left it at years, and made it just under 11 if the ‘woman’ was supposed to be Anakin’s mother. I don’t know if the force could speed up that process, but it is possible. However to have a boy grow from birth to 9 in that many months would have been noticed not only by the Jedi but by the people around him as well. The Jedi would have detected it easily because a new born has few memories, and none of them would have been correct for a child of that age.


If the baby in question is NOT Anakin, then it’s all right.


Galactic Senate Coruscant Theater


Paths of Life

Sniper Gelgok



Set near the end of KOTOR I. Devastated by Bastila's capture, Revan has to be pushed into continuing his quest.


Spelling and editing is what the piece needs more than anything else. Slow down, go back and reread, then edit. If you ever get an answer to your question (How to indent on a web page) let me know.


The angst and diving into a bottle is perfect. Keep it up.


Star Wars - Dark Counsels




Set in the interim between Darth Bane and Phantom Menace


The piece needs some editing, but the style is clean, clear, and draws you in very readily. The interchanges between the ship’s crew is choice, and suggests a long familiarity. The lines that struck me were;

-"You know, you don't usually pay so much attention to everything I say!"

There was the sound of a restrained chuckle. "No, only if I can use it against you..."


It is worth a good look by someone with the time to read it all. Alas, as we all know, that cannot be me.


Anakin Trusted?

Obi Ben Kenobi


What if the Council had trusted Anakin and let him aid it defeating Darth Sidious?


Well written with only editing and rereading to do (It’s obedient or subservient, not obeying in chapter 2)


The writer considered a lot of things others have not. Accessing the files to discover what was happening, saying ‘He gives order 66. Does that mean he had 65 more?’.


Another of those authors I wish i had time to read to the full.





Of Loss and Leaders



Interim just after KOTOR I: With Revan gone to save the universe, All Carth has is the memories of their epic journey and his own heart break.


Fifteen people read and commented on this. Most of them said everything I would want to say. The work is excellent only needing rereading (You accidentally used the word glass when you meant gloss) to be exquisite. The memories of a lost love, and all that lead up to that loss are expressed in poignant detail, and heartbreaking clarity.


Well done.


The Critic's 2 cents


Hope’s End-Of Vao and Zaalbar

Hope’s End-Of Carth Onasi



With them literally back to back I almost reviewed JMSlayer’s works separately.


But then I read them. Both deal with the loss of Revan to an assassin, and how it would have affected two of the primary characters.


Hope’s End-Of Vao and Zaalbar


With Revan Dead, Mission become what she hates the most.


A poignant and bothersome piece. As much as I hated the story line, I have to applaud not only the guts it took to write it, but the way it was handled.


Hope’s End-Of Carth Onasi


After watching Revan’s Death at the hands of an assassin, Carth spirals down into drink.


Another piece that bothered me. But damn it was good!


Life Waves




In dreams Revan remembers everything Carth ever said to her, and comments on his words, and life.


Well done. Everyone listens to people talking, but when we do almost all of us make our own little internal often satirical dialogue to go with it. While she loves the man, I got a sense that he never really understood, and she didn’t have the heart to tell him.


The ending confused me for only one reason.

There was no explanation of what had happened to Carth. Ah but there are more chapters for you dear reader to discover that in.

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sorry for the delay, the stone knives and bearskins thing I call a computer didn't want to let me get to the internet this morning, and when it did it decided that this forum didn't exist. So for being three hours late, I am sorry.


Coruscant Entertainment Center


Darth Nihilus - The Voids of Hunger

PrometheusX 303


The thought of a disembodied Sith Lord on his return and the destruction of everything he faces.


The story had editing problems, and needs to be reread and rewritten. I got the feeling that it was stream of consciousness, but at the same time, you were trying to direct it.


Directing stream of consciousness when your writing is to have a better idea of where you intended to go. Like the reins on a horse as you ride. You can see where the path is, where you wish the animal to go, but you have to pull, giving it the signal sooner. If you will notice in the 20-30 page lumps of the stories I have been posting(All done in one day mind), I have an idea of my destination, so as the animal reaches the right point, I give it a knee or pull to redirect it, and when it comes to the right place, it floats around the corner.


But the premise is intriguing. Let me know when you take it the next step.



Korfredonn the Ecclesiastes


Right After KOTORII. The enemy of Revan and the Exile prepares to strike.


You tend to go from forgetting what a paragraph is, to nicely done ones. Perhaps it was because you had a conversation that was not a memory in the first chapter. Most schools teach a paragraph should only be five sentences, but I feel there are time more are needs. You scrunched everything into a tight lump as if you were afraid to let us stop. Again, that is the mark of someone that has not used to doing this.


This is not a contest where the winner gets to the last page first. You are trying to hold our interest. and at the same time, tell us a story that you feel needs to be told.


Slow down, remember what a paragraph is, now write it again so it is clearly flowing. Beyond that it is a good piece.


The Assassin's Sacrafice



After The Attack of the Clones: A soldier pulled from battle is sent back to Kamino to be trained as an assassin


Spelling, kid, spelling. You started in the title, and kept misspelling words from that point on. The other problem was that your scenes were jumpy, and confusing. It made sense during the battle scene in the first posting, because you are trying to see it all from one point of view, and it would be confused and jumpy. But it continued, so it is a matter of style.


Keep it up, and I hope to see more from you.


The Jedi Archives


Back on July 21st, an idea Jae and I had discussed was born, the Archives where completed stories are placed for you to read in their entirety without extraneous commentary.


The problem is I totally zoned on the idea that a lot of these are stories I had not Yet read or reviewed. This was pointed out to me by the one I review today. Jabba da Butt is not the first story, nor the last.


He is just the first one to ask, and pointed out that it was here instead of in the CEC. These will be reviewed if A: They have not been previously reviewed and B: Only one per week.


Never Trust a Hutt: Travels of Kavar Part 1

Jabba da Butt


Set during the time of KOTOR though no specific period pre or post given: While hunting a Sith a Jedi finds himself the target of assassins sent by a nervous Hutt.


The style is a little choppy, but it is because you are trying to speed the story on. Like a lot of others I have reviewed, you trying to write a movie in words, and the two forms don‘t go together smoothly. More a matter of polishing than anything else.


Good work.

Galactic Senate Coruscant Theater


The first Apprentice

Jedi Abba


Set during Yoda’s lifetime, no specific period given: A Padawan Teacher chooses her first Padawan.


The style is a bit hesitant, but the advantage of using a character you have created from a role playing game, you think of that person as you, and they maneuver more fluidly than other people’s constructs around them.


The focus of the teacher’s intent to find that one student for her to teach, the pursuit of him is the entire reason for the story, and makes it even more poignant. Like the fight masters of old, Bela Caroli’s of Gymnastics, it is a search for that one person to bring out your own art in another.



*Title coming soon*

Marko Ragnos


A retelling of the beginning of KOTOR: told from the point of view of another character not in the game.


Marko is a Swede, and makes much of the lack of English. That is true. But the story is relatively well done. The biggest problem is spelling and grammar (Easily corrected, it’s just a matter of learning it)


The biggest problem I had with it was that there was little or no character development. The main character was as much a shadow on the wall, as he was with his stealth belt.



Hate-Dawn of a new Sith

Zane Marit


What goes through the mind of a Sith Apprentice when he has won against his master?

Zane tried for and succeeded in creating a vignette of life, a mere glimpse into the mind of a Sith Apprentice. Well written.




Waiting for Her



After KOTOR 1: In an alternate reality: Carth waits for his true love to return.


The style is poignant as Carth watches his children, and hopes that Revan, his wife will return. I can’t say anything good about this that 12 reviews on the site and 19 thumbs up haven’t already said.





Very short, very sad, and very disturbing. The piece echoes my own denouement of Revan discovering her true past but does it in a way that focuses the mind on the nightmare of such a revelation.


Mother & Father

Lotus Rose


After the Star Forge, Revan goes to tell her parents what has happened; with a twist.


The great part about this story is the ending surprised me. It started out as if someone was dictating a letter. It is too short for me to tell you what happened, but if you have a few minutes, it is worth every second.

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Coruscant Entertainment Center


Two Years, Two Masters



Set after KOTOR II, The exile now searches for Revan with a stop along the way in just the wrong place...


forcefightwithme does good work and I will have to find something to complain about (Grumble)


STAR WARS The Jedi Order



Set after Jedi Academy II. New students flock to the Academy, and face the latest mark in General Grievous.


All right, first, someone had said it read like a script, and they are right. A story isn’t limited as a movie or TV show is to an exact period of time. You don’t need to drag us along. If the story is good, we’ll follow it like Hansel and Gretel with the breadcrumbs. Second conversation breaks. It gets confusing when you try to follow a conversation and it runs together. The story is rushed. If you are going to change scenes, either give the reader a clue, or make it more gentle.


Other than that it’s starting interesting.


The Galactic Scream

Sith at Peace


500 years after KOTOR, A young Padawan learns hard lessons that may drag him to darkness.


Internal monologues are good, character interaction is excellent, though why a master would berate him as he did made little sense. The Doctor has pointed out the major problem you have with the story as far as I could go, but that is an editing problem. Edit and rewrite, kid.


The Jedi Archives


Betrayal and Retribution: Potential Energy



Set during SW III and the aftermath. The circumstances that brought together the parents of a Jedi knight.


The original thread filled in and edited. Yummy!


Galactic Senate Coruscant Theater


The Kharan Liberation Army: Book 1, Beginnings

Ragoris Sirava


Directly after the end of Revenge of the Sith: A leader decides the war isn’t over yet.


Only one chapter, but already I like it. In every war there are those that are unwilling to surrender. When you honestly believe in your cause, no suffering will stay you. Considering that the hero will be facing the Empire, he has a harder row to hoe, but I’ll tell you. If I were a betting man, the Empire would get long odds.


Brothers In Arms




Time not set, though enough has passed for the New Republic to collapse, be replaced by another Empire, and is now in the fifth year of another Republic;


Good if generic work. The chapters could be longer.


Untitled post- Dark Nest story

Master Kinnon


Set during the Dark Nest Trilogy.


The story works well. Characterization could use some work, but it is minor tweaking not major redesign.





Revans Pet Duck


During KOTOR: Delving into her memories, Revan rediscovers a dark secret of her past.


The wording could use some work, but all in all an excellent piece.


Revan’s Shadow: Prologue



After the destruction of the Star Forge, Revan considers what is to come.


An excellent piece. The decision ‘there is no passion without love’ leans away from the Jedi hardline, but I agree with it.


Taking the Chance



After KOTOR I: Carth take the chance that Revan loves him.


An little vignette that fits so smoothly with the story line. Well done, well portrayed, like a good beer, a crisp and clean finish.

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