Mr. Death and Me: PrologueThe world swirled, shrouded in black mist mixed with white and grey as the putrid smell of sewers, smoke, and exhaust permeated the air. There was no ground beneath him and he felt as if he floated, or perhaps, his consciousness swayed on the brink of waking and sleeping. Or life and death, a thought interrupted. It scared him because he'd rather not die. So he struggled to open his eyes and the strange swirls met his gaze.
All righty, then here you go with the critique you've been awaiting for quite some time now. The ratings came to be easily... now I just need to explain my thoughts. Forgive if I turn out to be a bit ramble-y, yes?
Vision: I tend to imagine vision as how I see the writing painting a picture in my head. And to be honest, I felt tugged back and forth. It was confusing to me, in all honesty, that he was talking about the voices, then wondering about the shapeless darkness around him, then imagining what they looked like, and then oh, he has a form! And the shift to birds and trees and... I reread this piece maybe 3-4 times... and I still don't clearly... get a sense of what we're supposed to see (if anything). I know Thanatos has this way of wondering about everything and anything, but that hinders the vision in this piece, in my opinion, and thus drew away from enjoying the prologue overall....
I do get the feel it's an... awake dream, though, when I think about it enough. The swirling shadows being the sight of light behind his eyelids, and the glimpse of the other world with the birds and such a flicker of him opening his eyes. But it took me 4 rereadings and a lot of thought to get there. Most people would probably stop there, confusion isn't what readers like.
Originality: As soon as I started reading this, I immediately thought of the opening to Kuroshitsuji, or rather Black Butler, in which Ciel is floating in a world of darkness and speaking to a disembodied voice of a demon, merely represented by a raven. It continued to pop up in my mind as I continued to read it, and it bugged me. A lot. The 3 stars comes from that, as well as it's been done before. Not as much as one would believe or think, but heck, even I've done it. Adding into the vision of it being black swirls and such makes it even more... used. I don't feel anything unique from this situation, really.
How to make it unique and truly original, though, is up to you. If I was right in my vision about it being an awake dream, maybe a bit more obviousness for the readers, to give them a refreshing take on a scene such as this. If I was wrong... well, I'm sure you'll think of something. (=
Technique: Highest rating, mainly because I really enjoy your voice and the way you weave your words together. Though the confusion mounting in the description of everything going on still draws from it - and you have said sometimes you word oddly. I didn't find anything extremely bad or drawing away from your technique, though, and personally I think it's a lot better than your Bonevine series - you've shown development, I'm a little jealous, actually.
Though there is a line in here "I defeated over then thousand years ago." I had to stop and blink. I think you missed a "you" in the sentence. May wanna fix that.
Impact: Overall, it's a good start, but in my opinion, it can do a lot better. Or rather, you can do a lot better. To rehash, the vision of where Thanatos and Life and Death are can be made a bit clearer, without all of the extra wandering thoughts of Thanatos - or at least lessen it. The originality... not sure, because I've done scenes like this before, I'm just as guilty, and in the end I just dropped them. Technique has improved since I've last read things from you, but sometimes wording is off and the scene painting is... eugh.
Anyway, there you are. It may be a bit harsh, but I went all out for you.