|Reviews for Convict's Blood|
| Whirlymerle 10/18/12 . chapter 1
Hi there! Just curious, did you reupload this? I swear I feel like I've read the first part of the first chapter before…
[the moon would peer it's face during the day] "its face"
[His brown eyes were blood stained and dull, probably from working out in the fields all day] I'm wondering if you mean "bloodshot" here? How can working in the fields make eyes bloodstained?
I really loved the humor of this peace, especially with the Grandpa losing a fight to a duck part. I feel like it adds to your narrator's characterization.
One thing I didn't really get a sense of was why Pa felt like he needed to cleanse their blood, so I was surprised when that's the reason he gave Alice for why he needed to go to the war, especially since in the beginning, I thought he was pretty proud of his blood, so I hadn't thought he had previous problems with it until the end of the chapter. Perhaps if you dropped in some more hints as to Pa's perspective on his blood, the ending would be more powerful.
| stuck in bed 10/16/12 . chapter 1
I really enjoyed reading your introduction, especially the second line. I was quite surprised to find that the man who was "piss poor, drunk and not in the proper mind" was the narrator's father. I also liked the contrast in your fourth sentence. It really interests the reader, because it's hard to imagine what's envied by both saints and sinners.
It was also interesting to read your dialogue. I think it was the accent that mainly interested me; however, it wasn't only that. Your dialogue was nicely paced and very realistic.
Note: "No where" is one word.
[My destination was no where in particular, I just enjoyed the feeling of my heart thumping like thunder in my chest] - the comma after particular should become a semicolon
| A Fire Rose 10/15/12 . chapter 2
Oh, goodness, I was afraid he was going to die. Plotwise, I should commend this because I imagine it gets the story rolling, but emotionally, I would count this as a dislike :-P I don't do sad stories well. Very nice details with the letter, the blood, the dust, the horse, and the mannerisms of the deliverer. I'm totally jealous of your writing style. It seems odd that she called her uncle just plain "Levi," then only "uncle," but that could just be my own brain. All right, I feel a little awkward about that next scene. I know this is rated M, but I was hoping to byspass that in the first couple chapters since she's still a kid. Nevermind! Oh, you also used a singular possessive form of "coyote" even though there are two of them. Oh, hey, he's alive! Sweet. I actually like that twist, since I assumed he was dead by the blood. Surprised Alice didn't assume that. I suspect "pass his lips" probably should have been "past his lips." Why did he blow on her face? Love the closeness of this family. "I felt bad for the man, I never meant for him to get hurt" should be separated by a period or a semi-colin (sp?) or a dash. The owner's daughter pointing seemed like one detail too many, since most don't point to people as they talk to them. The "afterwards" mentioned after her expression also seems unnecessary. Need a comma between "others" and "not so much." Nice back story. Not sure "all that" was a phrase back then. You said that Adam's "bread" was shaved, but I think you meant "beard." Can't picture why you described the son's skin as "tight," and when Alive "told" him why they could not marry, I suspect you meant "asked." Comma after "well." Wasn't sure who the "latter" was Alice helped up. Geesh, some creepers in this story. Love the details of the rain and the stories of the characters!
| Loraine Wentworth 10/11/12 . chapter 4
Again, the description is wonderful- I love how you tie in emotions, the landscape and the weather. It creates really powerful imagery and a memorable setting which gives this story its uniqueness. The description of the dream was beautifully done. It was clear what was happening, but it was written in a very 'dream-like' way, indistinguishable from the normal prose of the story.
And it wasn't none [typo?]
In some cases the use of dialect seemed a bit jarring- for example the omission of 'the' in some places. However, in other places, it worked really well and contributed to Alice's unique voice, so I'm not really sure what to say about it.
Overall this was a great chapter- the encounter with the teacher was really exciting, because now I feel like Alice has some hope! I'll be interested to see what happens with her lessons. The last line, about the weather, gave me shivers- I really like the way you use descriptions of the weather in this story.
| Tsumujikaze no Soujutsu 10/10/12 . chapter 1
Wow, finally I'm back. :) Okay so where should I start? Maybe I'll start on the accent first. I'm a stranger to the Aussie accent, but yet I can see that you've done a unique job on it. Alice, her father and uncle didn't have such a glaring trait. But the Grandpa did have that and you've done a good job on the whole thing.
Now onto the characters, let me just start on Alice. So far so good, it seems that she's your typical free lass. It's extremely easy to relate to her since you're using a commonplace character archetype. Hence it will be interesting to see how her character will develop. But for now, I guess I'll have to just read on. :)
Secondly on her dad, I find him far more interesting than his daughter and this is mainly due to his inner demons. His persona is quite single layered just like most to every character in fiction upon their debut. But still what truly defined his existence is down to the fact that he got seemingly betrayed and we can see the scars still there. At the same time, it's really interesting to see him being so over-protective towards Alice where in fact the environment at Australasia back then was one of the harshest shit ever. And yes, I do know about English convicts being sent there. I don't know the details, but I know it's there.
Thirdly, and I won't go onto Levi, is the grandpa. In him, you've created a character called a jerk. Racist, retired hooligan and delusional coot. He fitted into every mold. In fact, I truly feel like hating him, but I can't. Why? I think I'm starting to have a weakness for flawed characters and Jaime Lannister is a good example on how I get started onto this thrice damned journey (and it doesn't help that Aeranath's personality is somewhat similiar as well). Of course I do like heroic characters, but that's actually far towards a selective nature albeit you won't find me hating on such characters unless the plot is really lame.
So enough about the digressing. Let's talk about what made Grandpa so Grandpa. Firstly, I'm not a xenophobic person. But yet, this aspect of realism truly appealed to me. In a very funny sense, such portrayals might be the reason why Aussies are stereotyped as racists. ABC actually made a documentary of sorts on that, you know. Hence, I can really relate myself to his character far more than the rest. It's like meeting an annoying asshole and you really feel like smashing his face in like the Hulk himself. Grandpa managed to create such a fleeting fantasy in me, but yet I am right now looking forward to lighthearted moments where his flaws will make an ass out of him. I think it's extremely easy to call him a racist where in fact the rest are equally guilty as well. Hence my curiosity on where you can take him on that part.
Another thing that define a jerk is someone so bloody self-absorbed, he's far more likely to score a knife or bullet instead of the actual scoring if you get what I mean. I can really feel for Levi and Seth here, and it's down to a very simple, yet poignant family conflict. I'd like to believe Levi's case was that of annoyance, but Seth is a whole different kind of monster altogether. I truly doubt we will see him again, but it will be interesting to see whether you can conjure up ghosts from the past via other characters' POVs. In particular, Grandpa shooting his mouth off on Alice and Seth is a major flashpoint. That it's intended as the clockwork to start the gears moving. It's really subtle, but once I think about it, I realised that being a convict in the eyes of his son would mean something so much more than a petty mention. Interestingly enough, his claims of royal persecution might have some semblance of truth in it as in it might not be the real story, but some parts of it that is.
P.S: I also want to add in "narcissist" to Grandpa. And I know it will sound so perverted imagery wise.
- From the RH aka you-know-who.
| Persevera 10/9/12 . chapter 5
[smirking a yellowed version of his son's white smile.] I especially like this line. It's descriptive, distinctive and grabbed my attention.
I don't like how all the males in that town seem to take an interest in what is still a young girl. I know they married young and men probably set their sights on the ones that they wanted before it was actually appropriate but.. If you're writing for me to be grossed out, it's working.
| Luckycool9 10/9/12 . chapter 5
I like how the begining and end are ciruclar, she starts off talking about her father, talks about her day and then back to Pa. it gives the chapter a flow which makes it enjoyable. I dislike Adam's pa...he is a stubborn man who won't admit his sons faults and take hte blame. He is truly evil. UPDATE WHEN you get better.
| Small Wings Flying 10/9/12 . chapter 4
Nice opening. I like how the directness moves into more description because it forms a nice hook and a nice lead-on from there, and I think you've written your second line concisely enough to flow well from the first without having them too different in style.
For some really weird reason, I also like the tutor, but my favourite bits are the symbolisms that crawl into this piece. Perhaps because I'm Australian so there's that level of country-empathy, but the mentions of the dry wind blowing away the rain is really the bane of our existence (in my area anyway - hence why we're still in water restrictons). The mention of east, the direction of the rising sun, was nice too particularly when you think of the relation with US (I think - I;m remembering Sugar Sugar) here. And I laughed at the name Victoria, as that's the state I live in. :) Anyway, there was also the coyote which helped along the context, and it's nice to see how you've balanced a bloody history in with a more "ordinary" atmosphere because that makes the emotions more powerful think, and more personal.
And I cannot believe I hadn't read this earlier and wound up two chapters behind. I'm sorry; I didn't see.
Time to fix that with the alert button.
| Anihyr Moonstar 10/7/12 . chapter 5
Alrighty! Said I would review this right after I beta'd and then got totally sidetracked, pshhhh... Well, here goes nothin'.
I was extremely irritated with Mary-Ellen this chapter. On the one hand, I'm glad she's getting Alice to read, but the worst way *imaginable* to teach anyone *anything* is to teach them to hate it as you force it on them and not only that but to SHAME them as you do it. Ughhhh, pissed me off so bad. Reading should be a fun experience. Yes, it's hard, but you need to be guided through it patiently so you *can* enjoy the story, but Mary-Ellen didn't do that at all. She forced Alice - on her *first time reading aloud ever* to go through pages and pages for two hours...
What a way to make the experience horrible. I think Alice's comment summed it up perfectly. "I don't want to read it again, ever." And I was irritated with Mary-Ellen for her responses, too. "Oh dear, I understand that you must be frustrated..." NO SHIT. Grrrrrr.
Sorry, I need to stop ranting about this. I just think she's an intelligent woman, but she went about that in a very stupid way. *Never* laugh at your students when they're struggling, *don't* make them feel stupid, and *encourage* them - don't thrust them in head first and drown them. It's a sure fire way to make them associate negative experience and bad emotions with the very things you're trying to get them to enjoy.
I really like Cullah. He seems sweet, mature for his age, and a good protective friend for Alice. I was worried for him right off the bat after she started telling him what was going on between her and Adam. Of course, the dread got progressively worse as he went up to speak to Adam's father. Poor kid.
I was mildly irritated with Alice for not seeing that he was just going to get himself in trouble for her sake and not achieve anything, but I suppose she's young and hopeful and couldn't have seen that far ahead. I think you handled the build-up of tension and anxiety in the reader as the scene unfolded there very well. Adam's Pa is the sort of perfect pre-requisite to Adam, and obviously their whole family is skin-crawl-worthy. Nasty bunch.
I hope Cullah's okay out there in that storm. D: And I look forward to seeing Alice grow up some (I assume we'll be going up in years soon, since she can't be a kid forever and we have to see her start her own adventures eventually). ;) It's good at least that - even if it's painful - she's gotten some closure on her father. I wonder if Cullah will be important in her later life...
| Luckycool9 10/6/12 . chapter 4
I like how the chapter opened. The first sentence tells us the chapter will e intruging... It set u the chapter up and the nightmare made sense and was intresting. I also like Mary-Ellen, she is giving Alice a chance for intellignece which is good. I hope something bad happens to Adam soon!
| improvementneeded 10/6/12 . chapter 5
Could somebody please hand me an axe so that I can cut those guys' heads off? Please, just let me butcher them in peace.
When will Adam (and his father) die? Please, can it be soon? Please!
I smiled at the fact that Alice was reading Alice in Wonderland, the picture of the rabbit actually gave it away so quickly that I didn't need her to start reading, hehe!
I would say that I have enjoyed this chapter, but I will wait until you put Adam down to say anything like that...
Well done, anyway!
PS: I think you deleted a lot more subjects than usual, in your sentences... It disturbed me a bit.
| Loraine Wentworth 10/6/12 . chapter 3
The opening for this chapter is really effective. By mentioning the burial straight away, and the small number of mourners, and then describing it, you set an ominous tone. The description of the weather and landscape really adds to this.
As with earlier chapters, the scene-setting and world-building is really fantastic. It's easy to get a strong sense of the people and landscape from your writing.
You've set up Adam to be a really bad guy- there is definitely a sinister tone to his conversation with Levi. Hopefully Alice will escape him.
| Luckycool9 10/6/12 . chapter 3
I liked how the scence reflects the mood. The hail is the sorrow of everyone there and the grieving for the black man. I dislike Adam even more, he is a disgusting pig. He wants to marry Alice who is way too young for him and he is extrememly evil. I can't wait for hi to get his end's meet.
| Luckycool9 10/3/12 . chapter 2
I loved Alice and her excitement. She is a great narrator and makes the most complex thing sound simple which is funny. I dislike Adam... I don't like his character, he is too arrognant and jerk-like and it bugs me...This is a good story...
| Manny Terwilliger 9/30/12 . chapter 4
I'm liking where this is going. You have well-defined, realistic conflicts set up that are clearly driving the little girl we've been following towards becoming the woman who introduced the story. Speaking of which, that introduction was a good hook; it gives out a little information-we know Alice'll see her father again, at least once-but doesn't give any of the details up. I really liked that.
Outside of that, I like the way the characters are written, though I think it's unfortunate that, so far, very few are given much characterization. Alice, her father, and Adam are all well-written; most other characters are sort of left by the wayside. While I do understand that this is a first-person story so we shouldn't know what EVERYONE is thinking/feeling, there are certainly ways around that to more clearly show a bit more about these people. This is, however, only four chapters in, so I'm hoping that we'll see more of everyone and get a better feel for them.
As far as grammar/spelling mistakes, there are a few weird things in every chapter. I didn't notice much wrong in the way of spelling, but there are certainly some grammar mistakes that don't seem to be part of your style and a few other errors. You use "must OF" instead of "must've" (contraction of "must have") in one spot. These are the kinds of things that I noticed, so it's nothing major so far.