Reviews: The Life

It is not perfect, but it is very good.

The Life by casquis is a very good story. It is certainly one of the best Hale fanfictions I have ever read but it is not without its flaws and not what it could be.

For his first story the writing quality as mentioned by the rather painfully mediocre beginning was poor, but as he improved, things got better. Typos and grammatical errors and the very rare consistency error dropped in overall frequency (especially when Beta readers were recruited) but still appeared from time to time. Battle scenes and action overall is pretty good from Chapters 64 onward; although I am critical of how sterile, repetitive and detail heavy the combat feels at times and is portrayed despite his best attempts to make it both realistic and cool. Other times the fights the characters get into go a bit over the top. And the lingo and procedures and tactics of combat are also sort of lacking in the authenticity department. It was bad at first but improved over time, but never quite to what it could be. It did not need to be super authentic and realistic in this regard but it certainly feels sort of half-baked at times. That said, he does a pretty decent job with them in this story.

The environments and worlds have also been written quite well. With planets and environments described nicely, and the technology described in enough detail to give the reader an idea of world they live in. Although not perfect (working within the restrictions of Halo), the universe they inhabit still feels real, tactile and relatable.

Frank and Pavel both started out and were introduced into the story quite poorly (no surprise) but over time actually developed into good characters. Other characters introduced over time were also fairly well developed, being distinct individuals with their own quirks and personalities and relationship with everyone. For many however they could have been better introduced and expanded on. The way he went about introducing them to us was hit or miss in some cases.

The Life as whole is a great story. For three years, casquis hammered out this story; rising from just above mediocre to surprisingly good and strong writing. For someone who began writing when they were about fifteen, the overall product that emerged at the end of three years is nothing short of extraordinary. It was a story created with love and care. The Life is not perfect, it has flaws in virtually every area conceivable. But it is a good read and one that I recommend that others read if they wish. I am certain that if concerted effort was made to correct the problems talked about previously, and its strengths expanded upon; that we would have wonderful multi book length series.

The Life

I really enjoy this Halo fanfic. It's the only fanfic I read, and I've been reading it since I stumbled across it.

The story revolves around Francisco Castillo, known as Frank, and his time in the UNSC. Almost all of the story is told from his point of view, in first person. I am not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to Halo lore, but at the very least the story is internally consistent.

The main problem with The Life is the writing. English does not appear to be the author's first language and in the earlier chapters, there are many errors in spelling, grammar, and word usage. After a few dozen chapters (there are 194 as I write this), the author makes use of different proof-readers and quality increases. After so many chapters, author's knowledge and usage of the English language has greatly improved and there are few errors.

The focus of the story, as I already said, is Frank, who is quite the badass and pulls off a number of remarkable escapades, first solo or with his partner Pavel (the supporting cast plays a much more minor role in the beginning of the story) and later in the story the escapades often involve multiple soldiers in Frank's team and other soldiers. This has resulted in much longer battles.

The story has a lot of action. I find it not to be a heavy read and while knowledge of the Halo world helps, even just having played a game or two in the series is enough to understand the overarching idea of the Human Covenant War. The recurring cast of characters are fairly well developed, but are simple enough to just read a couple chapters a week and retain an understanding of the character. I enjoy all the characters, even the ones I hate.

As a cautionary note, there is strong language, alcohol use, lots of violence, and suggestive themes. Basically it fits the T rating it has.