|Reviews for Calder: The Daisy's Albatross: April 2020|
| Scriber08 8/14/12 . chapter 1
I didn't know what to expect, which is a good thing. One of the things that stood out me was your strong use of description throughout your chapter. You really helped paint a picture of the scene in the reader's mind. Some parts were a little difficult follow considering there are other stories in the series and I would have to read more on the background of the characters to know whose who. Other than that this was nicely written.
| Vivace.Assai 7/6/12 . chapter 1
Long time no see, huh? Sorry. I have a rather poor memory and I keep forgetting authors I’ve promised to read and then remembering them again a few months later. Just a lot on my mind that I can never keep things straight. :} But let’s begin the review!
[As he munched another bite, he leaned elbows on the wood and said] The flow of this sentence doesn’t seem right to me. I think it’s because you lack a proper article with elbows; “leaned elbows” just doesn’t read right. I think “leaned HIS elbows” would sound more appropriate.
["Amelia Lynn Carroll," he slapped a photo down… / ...drives this," he slapped down a second photo] In about the same paragraph, you use “slapped” twice. And though sometimes, using the same word helps emphasize a point, this time it felt a slight less vibrant. I think it would be more interesting if you varied your word choice, but this is just a suggestion.
[Eagan came around the car and dropped into the passenger seat, almost thrown against the seat as his brother sped toward the street. / The heavens almost cleared by the time the sun was in the middle of the sky] I feel that you need a scene break between the two sections I’ve separated with “/” – this is just because you switched scenes and it was kind of an abrupt change when you suddenly came to Amelia. I had expected you were still on Calder and Eagan as the two left.
But anyways, I found the plot of this story to be rather intense. You certainly covered a lot in a short story and like another reviewer said, I feel the flow of this story is a tad rushed. You’re dealing with really big issues here: there’s abuse and there’s also a mugging crime coupled in with the main events. I feel that you could have expanded this into two or three chapters, and this would have better built up suspense and made the flow more natural. Put small suggestions of Killian’s terror from the very beginning before he suddenly goes on an abusive streak – Calder is an observant man so it makes more sense if he noticed something was amiss since the very beginning than when he received the phone call from Killian’s mom. Also, I’m not really sure what the relevance of the mugging attack is since you never really expanded on the story and I’m left feeling slightly confused. I just feel that if you slowed down the pacing with this complicated plot, the read would have been more engrossing and you could have better developed all the characters.
However, I did find that you captured the character of Calder really nicely. He’s a serious man and he’s also pretty observant and brilliant at his job. However, he is simply a human being who makes mistakes and tries to atone for them. His guilt at shooting Killian – even though it appears like the only thing he can do – shows this; he gives a realistic and understandable reaction to what he has done. Thus, Calder – for all his coldness and detachment from the readers – is a relatable character because his reactions are true to human nature. But also your writing at that moment was very nice – it really showed his despair and his disbelief and his confusion at all that has happened. So you captured that moment well.
I also found your dialogue nice. Sometimes it felt a tad unnatural, but the dialogue did show a lot about the characters. Dialogue is a great way for characters to be developed so I liked how you did your dialogue. Killian’s rough dialogue immediately defines him as brusque, while Calder possesses icier and more reformed dialogue – defining him as a man who uses his wits more than his brute.
Overall, this was an intriguing story and I think you did well in getting exposition, climax, and resolution into everything. Hopefully I’ll find more time over the summer to get to your other works.
| Small Wings Flying 6/4/12 . chapter 1
Dialogue – It’s rather informative and quite detailed – evidently a main focus as opposed to a background tool. For the most part it flows rather well, but there are places, particularly when the writing gets blocked, that makes the dialogue rather tilted and emotionless. That first paragraph for instance; it sounds like he’s reading off a paper in sixth grade. Some parts did read a little odd (for conversations that shouldn’t be completely formal – considering the setting, a café), eg. "I teach part of the time, too.”.
Setting – I rather like how fluidly you’ve changed settings here, and each in turn. Particularly the warm atmosphere of the café as opposed to the bench outside that seemed…colder almost. And your descriptions are good as well, actually incorporating the setting, describing it in detail and making it actually mean something rather than simply being the paper you’re writing on. Well done.
Off topic, but there were several sentences where, Eg. "Go raibh maith agat," she released a smile, you’re using commas at the end of dialogue where a fullstop would be more suitable.
Character – Calder seems to be the main focus, particularly considering the title. Interesting definitely, if a little cold and detached from his surroundings. Reminds me a little of L in DeathNote, minus the percentages of course. His character (particularly the formality he exhibits) is complemented by the appearance of other characters. And that scene at the end serves to further complement it, making it more realistic really.
Flow – I think, while your writing is quite detailed, you’ve rushed the later events a little. Considering the length of your chapter, you could have easily split that into two chapters and would have probably worked better. The ending came upon me a little too fast for my liking – didn’t let the fluid beginning really sink in. If anything, at least that last scene should have been separate. It would have been more suspenseful, waiting for a new chapter. There was more you could have done with the ending; the first three quarters or so read far more like a multichaptered fic than a oneshot to be honest. Not to say I didn’t like it, but the ending made me torn between “it’s over and dragging towards the epilogue” and “I want to see how it all wraps up”.