|Reviews for Reign of Chains|
| lookingwest 8/28/11 . chapter 2
The biggest thing about this chapter is the action, definitely. Because of the action it speeds the reading up as far as pacing, which isn't a bad thing but it's a lot of action! I liked how you kept describing different things that were going on but I would have liked to have seen some more thought to Andy's narrations. Also, remember how to use grammar for speaker tags, I'm just going to explain it a bit so it might stick when you're doing the writing. For example:
"Andy, Redford." He replied. "What do we do now?"
There are three sentences here. "Andy, Redford.", He replied., and "What do we do now?" There should be two. Reading "He replied" as one sentence is a bit jarring and grammatically incorrect, so the sentence should read:
"Andy, Redford," he replied. "What do we do now?"
Then the speaker tag flows with the dialogue of the first sentence and supports the dialogue as well. Another example of a similar situation is:
"Grab his weapon!" He barked as he scrambled to his feet.
This also reads as two sentences. "Grab his weapon!" and "He barked as he scrambled to his feet." The second sentence doesn't make much sense, unless the character is actually barking, which it is implying. Instead to edit this one, you would format:
"Grab his weapon!" he barked... and then stylistically you could go "he barked, scrambling to his feet" but that's totally your call : )
This happened quite a few times, I know again with Teller "replying" instead of Andy later on. Hope this can help with editing, and it makes sense. I know it seems really nit-picky but yeah I think it works to point things out then they can stick.
Despite that, though, I mean, this was really well edited and I didn't catch any typos or anything and I definitely like being presented with something quite polished so thanks for that!
I liked getting introduced to Andy and I did really enjoy how you introduced Teller to this too. At first I thought maybe it was a little impractical that he would pause to introduce himself, but the way you then followed the scene with him taking some control and getting everyone in the store that he could, etc., that made it much more realistic for me. I would just say, when you are doing so much action, make sure to break up some of the sentences so it doesn't sound like, "This happened. And then this happened. And this happened. This happened." etc, but I only really saw that towards the ending with something like this:
"They burst out into an alley. Andy toppled over a trash can. Teller turned and fired two shots back at the doorway. Another soldier fell. The cop pulled the youth to his feet. They both ran. The crowd that had gathered in the store had fled in all directions. The duo ran as fast as their feet would carry them."
That little section started to get almost a rhythm with it for me, but not in a way that I wanted. I like that you broke it up at the end of the paragraph but it kind of starts up again in the next and in the last, so maybe just finding a way to combine some of that or break up with dialogue or thought on Andy's part-though I do know there wouldn't be much of that in such a high stakes situation. I think this kind of thing with balance of action is also something I should be working on too, so it's definitely kind of a challenge to find that balance sometimes.
Overall though, I can't wait to see what happens next because you've ended at a cliff! At the same time, I do know that Andy, if he's the main character, probably won't be threatened in any way that would be fatal, but stranger things have happened, I suppose, XD. That's always just the downside for doing cliffs like that so early on. But really, update soon, as they say, and I'm really enjoying the high stakes of this so far!
| Dr. Self Destruct 8/27/11 . chapter 2
I like the short, to-the-point sentences in this chapter. It really adds to the action and the pandemonium, bombarding the reader from every direction with carnage and destruction. The way everyone is running and screaming really adds to the discord and pulls the reader in, leaving them on the edge of their seat.
Now, near the beginning I notice you have yet to tell us the identity of what I'm assuming is going to be the main protagonist of this story (the guy in the prologue). Referring to him as 'he' in the midst of the police officers and the other people running down the streets made it a little hard to place who indeed was doing what. I understand you probably want to abstain from going into the details of his identity as of yet, but it's going to be difficult to clear up this confusion by leaving him nameless in the beginning. Just thought I'd point that out. I think an easy way to rectify this would maybe give him a physical feature, or an article of clothing, that makes him stick out from all the others. That way you can address that instead of just calling him 'him'.
I hope that made sense. xD
Another chapter with a whole bunch of action. It's a great way to keep people's attentions. I had a feeling those aliens were going to spot the people as the ship flew overhead. I'm beginning to wonder what the incentive is for these aliens to land on earth and start purging all the people - they obviously don't want to bother with a diplomatic solution. I'm thinking they maybe want some of our resources, or maybe the entire planet in general.
Nice cliff-hanger at the end. Hopefully, for Andy's sake, we'll get some answers on what's going on. I don't think the poor guy can take anymore of this chaos, haha.
[The street echoed with the applause of running feet.]
I really enjoyed this metaphor. It shows the panic, but from the verb 'applauding' it also gives this sinister, sadistic twist to the sentence which I really appreciated. I thought it was a clever description in and of itself as well.
I have a few suggestions:
[The crowd stampeded; in all directions.]
Style: I'd recommend taking out the semi-colon because it disrupts the flow of the sentence. If you want to put emphasis on the 'in all directions', I think a dash might better suit it since a dash doesn't serve as a break, but kinda links two things together:
"The crowd stampeded-in all directions."
[Bolts tore through his door, his vest and his body. He was dead before he could blink.]
Considering in the previous sentence you said the officers jumped out of the car, I would mention him crouching behind the opened door for cover because I was a bit confused from the mention of bolts going through a door.
[He turned left; and stopped.]
Style: This is the same as the example at the top. I would suggest using a dash instead of a semi-colon.
| Natalia 8/27/11 . chapter 2
Alright, so hell is unleashed. People are dying helplessly, so we pretty much now that the police won't be able to do much about it. Now this is very well emphasised by "The police officer was only feet away. He looked as terrified as the rest." The police here can't protect anybody against these aliens, they are as human as the rest of us. The same happens when officer Tellers gathers people in the store, even though they are different, they are human, they have that and their fear in common, that unites them.
I like the sounds in your stories, this one is no exception. "It sounded like a beehive. The street echoed with the applause of running feet."
I was waiting for some names :) It's good that you don't take things for granted when it comes to aliens, even if they can look like humans, you never know how their world has developed, so giving little details like "The alien weapon fired just like a human one; with a trigger." allow us to gather more information. (It also solved the trouble of Andy having to figure out how to work the alien gun if it didn't have a trigger). I would have used a colon instead of a semicolon in that sentence.
"He saw dust, asphalt and limbs fly past him; were they his?" This is one hell of an image, especially the limbs part, but totally appropriate for the situation.
I think this chapter follows the 1st one well, keep up the good work, don't let it fade :)
| Rider 8/26/11 . chapter 2
Very detailed stuff for a brief chapter, it reminds me of the game Prey with the aliens, but I'm looking forward to the next chapter. Keep it up.
| A. Gray 8/26/11 . chapter 1
Strong opening; it hooked my attention and drew me in. I have to say I had to resist skipping ahead of the descriptions about the faces wanting to read what they were saying. I found myself not caring about the faces of these people, only about what they were saying.
I find it slightly odd that aliens would make us and then leave us to evolve. They could have come 100 years ago, and caught us nearly defenseless against them. Why wait until we are so advanced, and could put up a fight? The only reason I could think of is to crush our spirit. (I assume that this os our world and timeline as you say Earth.)
The other thing that I found off was that they would start in an suburban area. (that's what I pictured with all the people coming out of their houses.) Why not EMP us and then take out the major cities from above? Actually coming into our atmosphere exposes them greatly. Not only would they be subject to viruses that have evolved with us, (think of the Spaniards killing off tons of Native Americans in this way) but they also lose a lot of their advantage over our technology. Now we can hit them with fighter jets and a nuke to really mess them up. In space we have very few ways to strike back.
Sorry, but I am a stickler for my sci-fi, and those bits I found a little unbelievable.
Your descriptions were good enough to easily visualize what you must be seeing. It was intriguing to think these aliens have done this before several times. This is a good start to a good story, but to me there are a few points that might need explained a bit better.
| DarkFairy 8/26/11 . chapter 2
Haaaaaate cliff hangers. Had a Tomorrow When the War Began feel to it, except it's not our own kind this time around. Must put more into the next chapter I'm on the edge of my seat right now wondering what's going on :)
| lookingwest 8/24/11 . chapter 1
Her face, he couldn't be certain but he was.
-This is more stylistic with this sentence than anything, but why say he couldn't be certain, when he is certain? Maybe just clearing it with, "Her face...he was certain it was her. This was her." And then you still get the drawn hesitation and then the absolute certainty, because I like the "This is her." sentence, I think it has a flavor of absolution to it.
She faded away again.
-Style again, but would omit "again" because it's kind of unneeded.
Then the screams came, a woman's scream first, shrill and scared. Children screeched, a deafening sound that pierced his ears and seized hold of his mind. It was too familiar, too real, it couldn't be. He must still be dreaming.
-I get the repetition being from the dream and everything, but I don't like that you did just use the same sentence-it feels too soon to really just repeat what was already described in the dream because the dream is still so fresh in the reader's mind. I could see this kind of technique working better if he woke up, went about his day, and then this happened again at the end of the day or further from where the reader was confronted with the dream descriptions-but so soon just didn't work (in my opinion, though). A suggestion I would give is maybe either lengthening his day, and not bringing the terror this soon to keep the technique, or just drop it and describe the screams in a different way so it's not 100% exact. Also I think here, since he's awake "seized hold of his mind" doesn't make a lot of sense to me because he's not sleeping anymore, perhaps it would make more sense if it was something like, "seized hold of him" and then you get the ambiguity of the mind or the body? Just suggestions!
He threw back the blanket
-Edit: I think this is just a format thing, but make sure you keep it consistent and put a space between this paragraph and the last paragraph, this happens again at the paragraph that starts with "The explosions"-not a hard fix and doesn't really effect the writing, just maybe the ease of reading here online : )
...blinking back the shock he peered around, examining the sky but he saw nothing.
-Edit: comma after "sky"
Ohhhh so this beginning chapter realllly makes me think of Chronicles of Riddick just with the whole invading other planets and then forcing them to assimilate with their cultures. I look forward to seeing how you'll change that, but it's clearly an influence, I think. It's a good idea and it makes me wonder what you'll do to change that kind of plot and make it your own.
I liked how you started and thank you so much for not putting the entire dream in italics or something, haha. It was clear and concise and I could really visualize everything in my mind. The descriptions made sense and it kind of reminded me of a start of a movie, the idea of the voices fading in and out like that is kind of familiar, I'm not sure where I've seen it before-but I've never seen it done in fiction so that was unique for a narrative.
The prologue is really full of action which is cool, I like that because it grabs my attention, of course. Makes me want to read more. Very cool start and I look forward to seeing where you'll take it!
| Natalia 8/24/11 . chapter 1
Overall it looks promising, I think it's the first time I read a piece of yours about aliens attacking the Earth, but still it is you, the style is there. However, the lines in between paragraphs with the voice set it apart from your other stuff.
From the title I'd say humans won't be having a very good time, but they will be fighting back as much as possible. The idea that this was just a dream plays with the typical cliche, because it ends up being a dream that comes true, which, at the same time links the chapter to its title (Premonitions). I think that it presents the storyline very well to be developed later on.
Some details - I would have included the word "echo" at some point at the beginning to give the "thoughts" more force. I like the use of the word "armada" as a historical reference that makes even more sense with "some combination of medieval and samurai".
You've got a good start again, use it wisely :)
| Dr. Self Destruct 8/24/11 . chapter 1
Well, I have to say this story sure as hell started off with a bang, haha. You had my attention right from the very beginning. The images of fire and destruction that you painted were very vivid and realistic. The italicized words really intrigue me, and I'm wondering where they're coming from. Perhaps the woman he saw in his dream? I'm sure she must be significant.
I wasn't expecting the attack to happen so soon after he woke up, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it occur out of the blue. The way it was eerily identical to his dream makes me think this guy is very important in that perhaps he's meant to stand up and fight against these aliens for the good of mankind.
I really liked how you slowly focused in on Earth and his house there near the end. It felt almost like his consciousness was falling out of the sky and back into his body - a very disconcerting feeling, I'm sure.
I did notice toward the end, when the aliens are jumping out of their ships and attacking people, there were some very long sentences that could have been broken down into a few shorter ones. From what I've seen/read, it's generally a good practice to keep sentences very short and to the point during action scenes.
I have a few suggestions/corrections:
[The woman's voice echoed, it was a whisper inside his head ]
Style: To be grammatically correct, the comma should be either a period of a semi-colon. I'd recommend a semi-colon.
[Other faces swam behind her, floating, fading[,] faces he didn't know.]
Style: To be grammatically correct, the bracketed comma should be a period or a semi-colon. I'd recommend a period to make the sentence "Faces he didn't know" more dramatic.
[The images never stopped, they were overwhelming, coming and going too soon.]
Style: I'd recommend changing the first comma to a period.
[They began to speak but not to him, to each other, distant voices that warned each other.]
Style: The wording of this sentence seems a little awkward. If I may make a suggestion, I'd move the 'but' a little further into the sentence so it reads: "They began to speak not to him but to each other; distant voices that warned each other."
[The flames grew, the worlds fell dark and the faces ran with blood but their voices didn't change.]
Edit: There should be a comma before 'but'.
[The tears had dried, in their place her face was smeared with dirt.]
Style: The comma should be either a period or a semi-colon. I'd recommend a semi-colon so the pause isn't as drastic as a period.
Overall I think this is a great start to an active-packed sci-fi story. I'm eager to see what happens next, and I think you created enough questions/tension to make the reader (me) keep come back begging for more. Keep up the good work!
| DarkFairy 8/24/11 . chapter 1
Okay, I'm intrigued. Where are you going, and where is the next chapter :D
| Rider 8/24/11 . chapter 1
The whole thing was pretty damn ominous, then just as we think you're saving the attack for a later chapter it just happens.
Has George Martin rubbed off on you with that one? lol
But jokes aside, good work, I'm looking forward to the rest of it.