|Reviews for The Living Flame|
| Solemn Coyote 4/15/13 . chapter 1
You have a great rhythm to your writing, and the concept here is really engaging. The dialog feels a little anime, but that's not really a bad thing. You've also got some excellent descriptive writing once you wind up to it, and the combined effect of all this is some fine storytelling.
Do keep writing. :)
| the-lovely-anomaly 6/9/12 . chapter 1
Very nice description and dialogue. Everything is perfectly succinct. Each word counts. The only problem I have with this piece is this line: "I'm not flirting with you, if that's what your saying." The line itself is fine, but "your" should be "you're."
| Meyou 9/10/11 . chapter 1
Man I really enjoyed this. Actually giggled slightly to myself reading the part about War and Peace. I really liked the Bartender, a lot. I feel he made this piece more than any other character, I'd rather follow the Bartenders story than Pim's! Even if it involves sitting here reading about a man reading a book...
Soul Trader is an interesting occupation.
Really enjoyed this story, like I said earlier. Hoping to read more!
| sophiesix 9/1/11 . chapter 1
love this image of the bartender reading War and Peace. That's my kind o bartender! :D And your description got me too - normally I'd be oh god, strings of character description in teh 2nd sentence? but it totally worked. Maybe i'd consider dropping one clause. maybe.
Love teh dialogue and teh tension between them, how pim's not flirting but is put out not to be noticed, haha!
"Heavy hands closed around her thin shoulders, and before she could scream her feet left the floor and she was pulled backwards onto the bar." this is my favourite sentence. its awesome. it shiws so much. it des plot, characterisation, action, intrigue, emotion... yeah, love it
"The teenage assassin from the Shadow Mountains." less keen on that. felt a bit too much of a tell? love her comeback though, that fits well.
and yay for quiertly heroic bartenders and shotguns! :D Love teh wstern feel and teh twists to that too, really looking forward to where you'll take us with this one!
| Jealous Rage 8/28/11 . chapter 1
Great start here, Xen.
Even though it's short, I got a fairly good impression of Pim and the bartender, Pim especially. She acts pretty confident, and apparently has a reputation, but she still seems a little more scared? vulnerable? than one would usually expect an assassin to be. Interesting dichotomy. With the bartender, I personally found his dialogue to be hilarious. I think because of how I use quite a few bars and bartenders in my stories, as sources of information who always tell my characters what they want to know, seeing one who is completely uncooperative is a refreshing change for me. Nicely done.
Also, I'm not usually a fan of a lot of commas in one sentence, but I like how it works for you here, in your first paragraph. Even though you were essentially listing the bartender's description, I still liked it. It didn't seem too... I don't know what the word I'm looking for here is. Lately I've been seeing a lot of stories where commas are used in places where a period or even a semi-colon would work much better. I didn't get that sense here. Let's just say it worked and leave it at that. Good job.
The ending was very intriguing as well. Not sure how you're planning to run with it, going into the next chapter, but I can imagine a couple different ways to go about it already. And I really like that. It gets my mind working, wondering, and makes me want to read on. I mean, you could have easily ended the chapter with the line '"You're hardly in a position to make demands. I could slit you in a second and drain your blood into a pint glass."', and that would have given you a pretty decent cliffhanger. But I'm finding those types of endings less and less compelling the more I read. Unless the reader is willing to believe the main character could actually be killed off in the second chapter, it's pretty obvious how it'll turn out. By extending past that, you leave it open, give yourself more options and give the reader a little more to think about. Very nice.
There were a couple places where I noticed some stuff you could change, but it's mostly a matter of personal style. Do with it what you will.
"You're no different to any of the others who come in here."
Suggest replacing 'to' with 'than'. It just sounds a little off when I read it, as it is.
"He raised his eyebrows a little, and smirked."
The comma seems unnecessary to me. I didn't pause there when I was reading.
"She whet her lips."
I'm not really sure what you're going for here. Did she lick her lips, wet them? To me, whet means 'to sharpen' or 'to stimulate', which doesn't seem right, in context.
"She waited for him to say something, and he didn't."
Suggest replacing 'and' with 'but'. Again, 'and' just seems a little off when I read the sentence.
"They stilled; which meant he was thinking."
Semi-colon should be a comma here.
"The bartender stared at her, she raised her chin and stared back."
Comma should be a semi-colon.
"Looking around again she tried to find another lead. "
Suggest adding a comma after 'again'.
"...and before she could scream her feet left the floor and she was pulled backwards onto the bar."
Suggest adding a comma after 'scream'.
"A sombre face peering down at her."
Suggest replacing 'peering' with 'peered'. Consistent tense.
Not sure of the spelling on 'sombre'. Is that one of the ones that the r and e are switched? If not, should be 'somber'.
"Cole stiffened, and half-turned."
Again, I don't feel like this comma is necessary.
Overall, a very solid start. It's been a long time since I've read any Fantasy other than Urban/Modern Fantasy, but this seems like a good piece to jump back into the pool with, so to speak. Hope you update soon.
| lookingwest 8/28/11 . chapter 1
Ozmg so excited :3
He was young, under thirty... [This kind of seems like a repeat of the same facts or...hmm, I guess it wound depend on what the author thinks is young, but I think maybe just "under thirty" would do?]
"Pendergast," she added. [Well that's the most kick ass name and nickname I've come across in awhile, XD, Love it! The nickname does remind me a lot of the Hunger Games' Primrose, or "Prim" too.]
Short! But amazing. I really love the introduction to this world, and even if this is a work in progress and an experiment, please do continue at least for awhile! I really love the setting, your old-west-vibe stuff is the best, and the main character of Pim that's been introduced is really cool, I love her. The whole tone has a great suspicion about it, and I love how you carried that throughout.
I really liked the introduction with the man reading, and then how you kept going with the setting for the bar, and how to find it, that was well written and probably one of my favorite paragraphs. Liked the name, The Boilderhouse, too.
The theme of bartenders-a favorite, I've never even thought about that sort of archetype as a character, and I think you did a great job uniquely bringing attention to it and then keeping the theme to the end and looping it back around. That made the ending really snappy and perfect for an opening.
Very curious about the romance and supernatural factors too, I can't wait to see it unfold, do continue!
| YasuRan 8/28/11 . chapter 1
The atmosphere is *clicks fingers* right down pat. I really enjoyed the introductory line: short, sharp, and sexy. I also like that your on-point characterization is making itself known here. Barely a thousand words and I already have a strong sense of who Pim and the bartender are as people (or what kind of people they'll turn out to be). The dialogue is snappy and quite cool, I must say. I especially liked the 'I'm a traditionalist' part. While I'm sure I've heard that line before, you managed to make it sound refreshing in the stand-off.
Great job on this, xen. I'm sure this will go on to become something awesome :)