|Reviews for Calder: Libertas: July 2017|
| haylee.jalyn 5/10/12 . chapter 1
I really like your writing. It's clean (yay!), sophisticated, and you obviously know how to put words together. I enjoyed reading this quite a lot.
I feel like the final scene where he is discovered by her, and when he takes her home, is way too rushed. I wanted a little more time with Calder and the girl, just because his interaction with her could reveal a lot of character. Not to mention, she has the potential to be an interesting character (even if she never reappears again, I never feel like even the most minor characters should be rushed over) but our time with her is very short.
If this is all we get of the girl and her psycho boyfriend, I want more from them. I want to hate him more. Right now, he's just a punk-ass kid, and I don't really feel like he's that much of a threat. I want to see that threatening side beyond what Lisa tells me.
Adore the last line. (It seems that those last few lines are unintentionally bold. Just watch text formatting)
"Calder sneaked back through" ... There is nothing wrong with using the term 'sneaked.' It is actually the correct past tense for 'sneak,' but I mention it only because you'll want to keep in mind who your audience is. If you're writing to a British crowd, it's fine. If your writing in America, however, I might suggest using 'snuck.' Mostly because of flow when our American brains are reading it. I realize that your story is taking place in Ireland, so it makes sense of dialogue to be very Irish/English. However, the sentence can slow an American reader down. It's about flow here. Sometimes, even in narrative, using something slightly more colloquial and slightly less correct is a better choice. It all depends on audience. I also don't know where you're from, so this might all be pointless. Anyway, still a thing to keep in mind.
"stove to muss his coffee hair" ... Strove, perhaps? And do you mean coffee-colored hair? I assume so, but the wording is ever so slightly confusing.
"could not be detected with hearing" ... Slightly awkward. Perhaps simply, "could not be heard"?
"smiled of youths through the shattered windows" ... Should be "smiles." And also, you might try another encompassing noun other than "youths." Using it scattered among a few "kids" or "teenagers" or whatever is fine. It just seems to be the only term used. Gets a bit redundant.
"Dónal" ... You sometimes put the accent over the a. I'm not sure which way it's supposed to be, but pick one or the other.
"Go raibh maith agat, mate" ... Is this Gaelic I don't know, or is he slurring his speech? If it's Gaelic, that's fine, though I'd like to know, even by context, what he's saying. If he's talking weird, it's inconsistent with the latter part of this paragraph.
"at a residence at the middle of the countryside" ... Change that second "at" to "in."
| lookingwest 5/8/12 . chapter 1
Opening- The first two lines, while they were dialogue, did lay out the situation right away, and I liked that. I liked how you were able to get across the plot and what it would be within the first few paragraphs and give us a lot of information through that beginning dialogue.
Characters- I think you did a good job making Calder a believable detective-like character, and I didn't have any moments of doubt with him. I think you also do a good job showing his own value system in the things that he does and always keep in mind his faith, it keeps him consistent.
Setting- I would've liked more description of the party as far as actual tangible things pertaining to the setting other than just dancing people, etc. I did like though, when Calder walked in, he mentioned the pine needles and the window sills and stuff-I would've enjoyed more of that. Sometimes though, I feel that your descriptions can err on purple-prose, but you manage to balance it in a way that isn't too heavy so it wasn't a big problem for me, maybe just something to be aware of.
Pacing- I think this story had good pacing. You start quick with the plot introduction and the tension and then release it a little when Calder goes out to find her, and then bring the tension back up when he's invited into the party. I liked the way you were able to command the attention of the reader through the pace and I think you did a great job with that-it didn't lag for me at any point.