Critique of A Meeting At Saint Abney's Park by Raz Fox
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I rather liked the Noir feeling, once I got past the adjective overload. I think that were a few of the adjectives removed that the mood would actually be more clearly set. A bit of alliteration crept into some of the lines and I too often find myself wondering if it is intentional or accidental (in general, not specifically referring to your story), so unless it occurs in conversation, I think it best avoided. Two nitpicks:

  • Airships would always be in dry-dock when docked, wouldn't they? Or is the intention that these are multi-media vehicles (air and sea)?


  • If it was "already past the twilight hour" one would expected the lamp-lighters to have been well-started on their work, as opposed to "already", so I would recommend removal of that word when mentioning the streets aglow.


I enjoyed the park - play up the duality just a bit more, though. The fountain is only lonely at night. Though you show the contrast later, I think reworking the second sentence would drive it right home.

It is my opinion that the lady shouldn't use contractions when speaking - something about the way you have describer her makes me think she would view them as a bit lazy and lacking in form. I think you achieved what you wanted with her, and this is just a little tweak to complete the picture.

The arrival of Goodfellow is mood-appropriate, though I'm not sure he should be calling out Cinders on a point of honor after he tried to attack him from behind...unless, of course, that is an intentional contradiction. Otherwise, simply delay the initial blow until Cinders completes his turn.

Two small elements of the action that I didn't think fit quite right:

  • When Cinders approaches the Lady, it is from beyond the hedge wall, so he is moving toward the fountain. The subsequent attack from Goodfellow propels him into the Lady's bench...he turns and charges Goodfellow, only to be passed on into the fountain itself. Cinders should have been nearer the fountain than Goodfellow, so the vector is incorrect to end with a splash. Is my sense of the geography incorrect?


  • The grappel - why, beyond mood/cinematic effect, would it curl around Cinders' legs and trip him up? Straight line, so it shouldn't wrap up...again, a nitpick, I grant, but something that gave me pause.


In describing the conversation between the Lady and Goodfellow, I think that again we see too many adjectives ("...quick, terse, to-the-point and ever so slightly condescending...") - pick two, three at the most; and one mischaracterization - the Lady's lie is barely that, perhaps more a gilding, and isn't really flustered by definition - she was smooth and calm.

All in all, I liked it - the mood was clearly defined and the sequence (with the one exception) played out without any jarring camera shifts. Had you not represented it as fanfiction, I wouldn't have known that it was (though the link between Robin Goodfellow and Robin/Batman is clear, its an established archetype)...and given many people's immediate reaction to that "genre"...well, you see where I'm going.