Ambriel (yap, briquillo) [blindfold xomix]

This is the other indie Tagalog fiction release during the Komikon.

Ambriel is a mysterious young man with a bad case of amnesia: he doesn’t know who or where he is, why he is talking to otherworldly forces, or what they want from him. And apparently he finds himself in a wasteland that he may or may not have helped create. And he might have strong powers others are trying to control or release. At least, that’s how I understood it.

The major problem with the story is its lack of decent presentation of what it wants to be. So we read a lot of angst…..what is the why of it? So several powerful beings come and go and challenge Ambriel for some reason….what is the why of it? It is understood that info-dumping would not have been the right way to address this. But neither is this method they used of jumping from one scene to another, without taking sufficient time to explain concepts. Which is to say, the concepts of this booklet may have been better served in the comic format, instead of the short story, where we can see illustrations of the wasteland world and the characters, and scene-jumping is natural.

(And yes, I realize that I have been told this same comment of my own work, countless times.)

Another misgiving I have is the inconsistency of the name capitalization, and the rather-frequent typographical and/or punctuation errors that escape. Yes, to grammar nazis these things matter and may spell the difference between a sale and non-sale.

All this said, the use of the language is smooth-flowing and readable. It’s neither deep Tagalog nor casual Tagalog, but a rather good use of literary Tagalog, peppered with science fiction English loan words. It’s very easy to get immersed in the main character’s angst and confusion, reading along without tripping (besides at the aforementioned typos).
The booklet may also have been better served by a better presentation, with assistance for binding at the copy store. Even staples will do. With a text-heavy booklet, it’s easier to lose a thread of the story if the pages are arranged wrongly.

It’s my opinion that the authors might have a chance at the big publishers with their writing style, but they must, must, fix their core issues. If they do, who knows what will happen. Hopefully something really good.

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