|Reviews for The Last Library|
| mikey magee 1/6/12 . chapter 1
First I want to commend you on the use and consistency of the charactr's voice. He has a tone that's seedy and jaded, and it comes across well for his character.
Second, I want to tell you that you've done a great job building this world of Eudora. You slowly introduced the pecking order of the planet through the (jaded) eyes of the character and it worked well. It allows me to know both at the same time, and that's important for a sci-fi or fantasy world because it keeps the story moving.
" I shrugged uncomfortably under " I would delete the word "uncomfortably", it's not just a useless adverb and makes the scene seem redundant.
Good ending too. I liked how you introduced the new character Elspeth so subtly.
| Findus 1/6/12 . chapter 31
Hi from the RG,
It feels a little strange to review a chapter so late in into a novel that I haven't read but since this is what you requested I will do my best and apologies if I misunderstand something. It's out of pure ignorance.
I liked the tone of your narrator, the subtle humor when describing his work. The narrator being male, I love that he stays up all night to plow through Pride and Prejudice. The whole description about the risks involved in the transportation missions sounds very cool and nonchalant but the reading of a classical romance novel on the sly added quite an endearing quality to him.
The bumping into the Vega peoples is probably my favorite part of this chapter, how they walk through the tunnel. You used great painting descriptions here, as you do all throughout. It's very easy to picture the various scenes and settings in spite of this being a very new world for me. It's a tad heavy with the long sections at the beginning of this chapter and I wouldn't have minded to see it broken up a little, maybe adding some more interaction and dialogue between the narrator and the Vega's folks when they first meet.
"I wish you joy of your neutrality" This sentence sound a little odd... In, on, with?
Or is it a language thing? Is Demetrius some strange creature? As for the rest, I t found no glaring mistakes with grammar or spelling. (So this is finnishied? How awesome are you? :) - Congrats!)
| Naomi Chick 1/5/12 . chapter 1
So far, I found the story interesting. There is a lot of information for one chapter which suddenly went straight through my mind. Though, I find nothing wrong with the information since it give a better view on everything. The main character Kurt has a tough time finding business since Eudora is run by the Boss. The unique display of when he describe the Boss is like a horse who control everything. I liked when characters have a special quality about them which stand out.
I'm curious about the work this girl suddenly has offer. Why is she in need for a transporter?
| YasuRan 1/3/12 . chapter 38
Congrats on finishing your first novel :)
Overall, looking back on The Last Library, I'd say this story works best as prequel to a much bigger, grander epic that you might have planned. Although certain chapters lacked enough crucial detail to make Kurt's experiences all the more harrowing, your characterization and narration were solid throughout. The development of Kurt and Elspeth's relationship was a joy to behold, with them going from a mutual understanding to learning from each other to finally, the promise of something more than friendship. Plot-wise, there were some loose ends that could use some tidying up, such as Demetrius' sudden appearance which did have some of that deus ex machina effect in how he came off as a bit of a plot device to avoid too much trouble for our protagonists.
I also thought the action scenes could have been more fleshed out, just to add more of dramatic effect. The extra imagery would have been great to visualize as a reader. You could work on this in the sequel you have planned. I also wouldn't mind seeing more of Arthur, since you put so much effort into his characterization here. Given how mysterious a figure he has been throughout, seeing him caught in a moment of vulnerability in the epilogue really makes me eager to find out how he plans to redeem himself.
Good luck with Worlds' End. I look forward to reading it :)
| jinx1764 1/2/12 . chapter 3
Long time no review, lol! I've got some free time (work injury, long story) and I'm laid up at home, so I figured I do some reading and in-depth reviewing between my writing. Your story was one of them on my interested list. :o)
Since I stopped at Ch 2 (not counted the jump ahead to ch 23 I think) I'll continue reading to enjoy it sequentially, duh right?
-I do enjoy your character's casual tone of voice. It's fun and relaxed and easily draws me into his mindset.
I was able to pick up where I left off them meeting and this chapter felt like a natural progression, not too far, not too much detail. The pacing was good, while nothing exciting happened it wasn't filler either. Important character/story building occurred and a few mildly humorous moments. Even though I know more about what will happen later, it's still nice to be getting to know them. And this is how this chapter felt, meeting them, seeing their distrust, push and pull with each other.
Your dialogue is far stronger than I think you give yourself credit for; perhaps I'm wrong, but I sense you're nervous that your information isn't coming across to your readers. That's usually why redundant dialogue or writing comes into play. A lot of banal information can be assumed or implied by the reader (unless in your world sitting-for example-is done so differently that it must be explained in detail) When these normal, boring activities or things which you've already addressed come into play, you can often gloss over them and move to the next topic of interest. It helps keep the pace/plot from sagging. I give a few examples below. I tell you things especially because you have lines of writing which are lovely, original and often brilliant then you couple them with something redundant or passive which weakens the over tone.
Your story is enjoyable, and stuck in my head and was the first on my list to read when my free time started, fyi. I'll get to more chapters later. :o)
Edits: if you're interested:
["That is the ship that you want to pay ten thousand dollars to gain the privilege of entering.] You could shorten this by using contractions for 'That's and dropping the second 'that' given that your character is so casual, having him not use contractions sounds too formal.
["But can it fly?" she asked doubtfully] You could drop the 'doubtfully' Her dialogue is strong enough to imply what you add in the dialogue tag. Generally you only want to add descriptors/adverbs/etcs to your dialogue tags when there's some doubt to your character's dialogue. Like when a character is being sarcastic or there could be a misunderstanding in the bland dialogue between the reader/characters. This is a good thing, it means you're writing strong dialogue. If you want add clarity, it's better to write physical action/description of your character's reaction rather than telling us she's doubtful.
[The Seaswan (had) the same blunt, bullet-shaped profile as most other ships meant for more than atmospheric travel, but (that's) where its similarity to other ships stopped and its similarity to a pregnant hippo began. It (had) originally (been) a Class 22X freighter, its former owner told me—(that was) long before his time, of course. Somewhere along the way it (had had) a run-in with an asteroid (that) left its port side needing to be replaced with the leftovers of a Class 30 passenger shuttle, and a little later its hold (had been) torn out in favor of a much larger custom-made one. I myself (had had) to replace both stabilizer fins—at two different times, of course, which meant two different models—and completely rework most of the engine. The result (was) a huge, ungainly ship held together with a few wads of spit and a prayer, but she got me from planet to planet, and (that was) really all (that) mattered.] Lots of passive voice used in this description- makes it awkward and wordy. You could trim it down and strengthen by dropping/reworking it with active voice.
[One short, twisting passage way and two bangs of the head on exposed pipe later, she was seated at my kitchen table and I was scrutinizing her.] This is a perfect example of the contrast of what I love about your writing and what needs work. I love the first half, fun and descriptive-I wouldn't change a thing! The second half-passive voice, wordy and could be stronger after that great opening. Ex:...she sat at my kitchen table as I scrutinized her.
["Now, you say you want passage. Where to, and when do you have to get there?"] First part is redundant, we already know that. Book dialogue isn't real life dialogue, you can skip parts so as not to bore the reader. Certain natural assumptions are made.
["I need to get to Arbel, as soon as possible.] no comma
[So maybe I'm not as calm about the whole insult thing as I just said.]LOL! Loved this! Tells so much about his character, but is about him talking insults or his reaction to Elspeth?
[Good. Don't ask questions, then.] I love her snappy response here, but I'd drop the comma as it implies a pause before then. I hear her saying it all in a rush, no pause.
[then forced a laugh. It didn't sound very real.] I'd either dropped the 'forced' or rephrased the next sentence. Forced laugh already states that she's faking it and since he's the narrator he by him telling us that he obvious realizes it's fake.
[She looked at me, saw that I wasn't buying it, and sighed.] Again, same problem, drop the 'looked me' as saw that I wasn't buying implies that she's looking at him otherwise how would she know he wasn't convinced?
[ fiancé] THANK YOU for getting this right! How many people don't remember male/female differences, :o) (unless she's gay, lol!)
[I looked at her closely] you could shorten this to - I studied her...if you want to condense and strengthen.
See ya later!
| Deedee Elle 12/17/11 . chapter 8
I think he sounds far too eloquent for someone who has been drugged, I'd go for shorter sentences and a bit of disassociation to make the effect clearer. I liked your description of how he felt, you described the effects well. I assumed at the end of the last chapter that either the ship had been hit or he had been hit over the head, I'm not sure at which point Elspeth slipped him the drugs - I went back and read chapter 7 again and he wasn't eating or drinking anything- so you might want to foreshadow it a bit when you revise chapter 7.
I like the dialogue between Kurt and Elspeth, the fact that she is so matter of fact about things and still concerned about him is a good character hint, but I'd expect him to be more worried if he thinks he's going to be sold into slavery or something, he seems to take it very calmly. The fact that he is only concerned with money even after she has tried to hijack him is nice and fits in with what we know about him already.
I thought the second half worked really well- the dialogue flowed smoothly and the technical stuff all sounded very convincing.
This chapter was longer and I think it worked better for that as it allowed you the space for a bit more plot development. good work.
| Deedee Elle 12/14/11 . chapter 7
I loved the opening, very poetic descriptions which you then completely turned upside-down by having the narrator admit it was a load of balls. It was a really humourous way of reminding us what a straightforward character he seems to be. I also like the fact you echoed it a few paragraphs later by having him spin a story of his origins. You're building up a really convincing character, I like his cynicism as it gives him a very clear starting point to change from as the story progresses.
Elspeth is interesting and I'm guessing that the Little House on the Prairie type background isn't going to turn out to be true.
The ending seemed too abrupt. I like the fact that you are trying to create the element of surprise but it isn't clear whether it is the ship that has been hit or Kurt himself. I think you could signal that a bit better by having him sense Elspeth (I'm assuming she is his assailant) behind him, or see something out of the window if the danger is outside. Either way it is a good cliffhanger.
| The Hiddenworlder 12/13/11 . chapter 38
I really enjoyed how the story was written, it is intriguing and draws you to keep on reading. The characters draw in and want to keep following them in the journey. They communicate clearly, I wasn’t getting confused on who was speaking. It had a good communication of the characters emotions in the different scenes that wasn’t random and all over. It wasn’t confusing me. Sometimes its hard to separate with lots of dialogue, but I think you did a great job. It was a clear way of communication what was going on. I love detail :D … I read some of the chapters after 30 like you requested, and I liked the pace. It kept you drawn in and interested. I think it’s a good thing to keep things exiting so you keep and capture those who are reading. So that was good for me. I really enjoy how the characters communicate, it was really good between Elspeth and Arthur in Chapter 32. It helps me to understand some more of their relationship. It also helps flesh out more the scene that’s going on. I really liked what you did. Very nice story. I will read all of it when I get a chance. Very nice plot
| Dragon made me do it 12/13/11 . chapter 2
Hello from the RG!
I really like the way you have used this space ship setting to really get down to deconstructing the nature of human relations. Life on the frontier challenges the human psyche, puts it to its limits, to see what happens when you stretch it to breaking point. You have really nailed the quirks of the characters nicely. there is also a nice element of humour that bobs its head up every now and then. terrorist librarians, what an idea! seriously, such a beautiful concept.
Some sentences were a little on the long side, particularly the first one, where it is most important to have clarity. a combination of splitting up sentences, and shaving away details that don't add to the narrative would help here.
I would also consider more dialogue/action and less description of character traits. You have nailed the understanding of the characters well, but revealing these traits through their words and actions more will make the characters more vivid, take them off the page and bring them to life. And when Arthur is talking in monologues, you would expect at least the odd nod in reply, even in a formal setting. This helps to break up the text a bit.
'and get settled with their breakfasts' - I realise you have made the plural of breakfast because this applies to multiple people, but I think 'and settled down to breakfast' sounds better.
| Josephine Grace 12/8/11 . chapter 38
I'm glad to hear you're writing more! This has been a great story.
In the sequel, I'd perhaps want to learn more about the Shadows. And Arthur's past. Otherwise, I can't think of anything offhand.
I look forward to the sequel!
| Deedee Elle 12/7/11 . chapter 6
I'm glad the characters are finally starting to make links to each other as up to now the story has felt like two separate ones. The fact that Arthur stumbles upon the other characters' illicit leaving was a nice surprise as I was expecting him to already have some connection. If this means there are two groups after them for separate things it will really increase the tension. The fact that he's so obsessed with 'Maggie' is slightly odd, maybe a few more of his internal thoughts about why the discrepancy is so important would make it clearer-I know it is something about the Librarians but I'm not sure how or why he made the link, or why it is such a big deal to find them.
The description of the building at the start was great, really clear imagery. I'm not sure about some of your punctuation though, the dash before vigour seemed wrong, maybe it would work better in italics or inverted commas.
| wisedec4u 12/3/11 . chapter 26
For RG - Easy:
I coming in the middle of this so I went back to scan the chapter 1 and chapt 25, so I can get feel for what's going on. I like how you characterized Arthur in this chapter. He seems like a sheep in wolf's clothing. I also like that he doesn't seem like your typical villain and his methods of interrogation leave you wondering if he's genuine are just waiting to find a weakness he can exploit once he gains her trust. The dialogue and descriptions were well done and made me feel that was right there with them. I found one error: "Look, Elspeth, I don't want to make this harder than [delete: you than] it has to be. Great job!
| Josephine Grace 12/3/11 . chapter 37
Nice chapter, but it seems like the story's coming to an end. I hope not, because I've been loving it so far!
| Josephine Grace 12/2/11 . chapter 36
I love it that Elpseth came back for him. She's awesome. You really kept the tension up great at the end - I thought for sure they'd be locked up again.
| Josephine Grace 12/2/11 . chapter 35
Way to go Kurt! He's finally changed.