|Reviews for Book I: Apoptosis|
| Argentum Vir 12/18/12 . chapter 1
The beginning of this chapter was interesting to say the least. I wanted to find out why this beautiful woman looked so dead. So I read on and the hook did its job. With the end of the chapter, I find myself wanting to follow this Necromancer. To see where he goes and what he'll do next. So I decided to read on and the hook yet again does its job. Bravo.
Though the concept of White Magic vs. Necromancy has been done many times over, I feel you bring a small amount of freshness to the mix. You don't just say he takes their soul or body, you tell it in real time. You don't just say he's evil, you make the reader feel it. While it's a fresh take on an overdone concept, I feel it needs to provide a bit more to keep me interested. I'll keep reading in hope it continues to "wow" me.
The vivid imagery you write makes the read a bit of a chore at times. While it isn't anything major, the issue is there. Something like ["After a moment it swirled within, filling the confines like gas spread evenly in all dimensions available to it."] is a bit too descriptive for the action at hand. If I were writing it, I would simplify it to it to: ["After a moment it stirred within; the white filled the container completely like a gas."] This way the imagery is still there. I mean when I imagine a gas, I automatically think of it spreading around the container.
| Anihyr Moonstar 12/14/12 . chapter 5
Oh, I really like several things about this chapter. I think you handled Col's talk with his grandmother magnificently, for one. It felt so realistic in most parts I felt like I could feel her tired voice speaking right there in the warm night air. The tone was perfect for it, and many of the things she said really felt brimming with hard-earned insight and wisdom.
I especially liked the way she explained living in the future, present, and past as one ages. When she first said "not all people are meant to live in the present" I was confused, but I think the way she spelled it out is really neat, accurate, and a thought-provoking way of looking at things.
I also liked one of the last few things she says to him about "choosing" and how he "chose" her and Col's grandfather over death alongside his parents. An interesting simile to set up with his current situation.
I still felt like this chapter did drag in places and could do with a little condensing to keep the pace of it up, but not nearly so much as some of the earlier chapters and this one is probably my favorite so far just for all the little gems of wisdom in their chat. All around, very nice job. :)
| Highway Unicorn 12/14/12 . chapter 1
Howdy there! :D I owe you a review, so here I go!
[She could have been beautiful, if she didn't look so dead.] I really like this opening line. Not only is it beautiful, it's packed with emotion and a hook that instantly draws the reader in. As of now, I'm already highly curious about who this 'she' is and how she came to looking so dead. :D Overall, I think that was a wonderful opening line.
I also really liked your level of imagery in this. It was very descriptive and very errie/creepy, making it even more interesting to read, at least for me. I just found that your usage of imagery and diction so alluring and just sucking me into the drama/action. :DDD
This is a very interesting plot. I'm curious as to who this man is, and the priestess, and how they are connected.
| GiveItTime 12/13/12 . chapter 2
Ok, so your first sentence is something i find i'm having the same trouble with at the moment, trying to cram too much into one sentence and it comes of a little confusing.
"A tan face swam in the water amidst the reeds before fading into ripples as a hand snapped the stalk and pulled it to the surface, adding it to the pile he already carried" You could separate this and still convey the same message :)
"The river's saline water kept it most and somewhat softened;" I assume you meant MOIST and somewhat softened. :)
"His grandmother looked at him. 'Those reeds won't clean themselves, Col,' she said.
'I know, Grandmother.' He picked up the first reed, then paused to brush fair hair from his forehead.
His grandmother looked at him. 'Those reeds won't clean themselves, Col,' she said.
'I know, Grandmother.' He picked up the first reed, then brushed fair hair from his forehead." You repeated yourself :)
I felt at times it was a little info-dumpy. There was a lot to understand and perhaps, a little too much for the first chapter. Also on occasion you tried to put too much in the one sentence and i had to read over it several times to understand it.
However, this story has loads of potential. It's interesting, intriguing. There seems to be a magic element which i like. I also like Col. I'm keen to see what happens with him and choosing the 'right girl'. I look forward to reading more :)
| Legion Plateado 12/12/12 . chapter 2
I think it is great in many ways like how it explanes the almost every detail and yet it does not subtract from the story line.
The only thing that i can say keep it up and you could write novels.
| Vagrance 12/12/12 . chapter 2
Hello again; as usual, reading your work is a real pleasure.
Opening: strong, crisp narration; could you perhaps find another word for stalk in the opening paragraph?
Style: the narration is detailed and vivid; could consider going back and trimming a few adverbs but in general, it’s very clean and easy to follow. Also, you could try searching for synonyms to avoid using the same word in a paragraph.
“The river's saline water kept it most and somewhat softened;” – I think you mean moist.
“All children were restless, unable to sit still for long and the periods wherein they left the confines of the village with their fathers to hunt burnt brightly like a flame in the normal occurrence of their lives.” – maybe you could break this up into two sentences; had to read it a few times before I understood it fully. Not a mistake, but a minor annoyance.
“…a leper caught off guard. And leapers themselves were vicious” – by leapers, did you mean lepers?
“She remembered when, years ago, she watched her own daughter dance that dance…” – I take it you mean the grandmother; please specify as the change in point of view felt rather sudden.
Setting: luscious and vibrant, you have painted a very beautiful world; learning about it was interesting. It made very good foreshadowing for the topic of their conversation.
| lookingwest 12/10/12 . chapter 1
He grabbed the makeshaft weapon... [Makeshift?]
The smaller form backed away... [I found there to be some awkward imagery in this paragraph, mostly with the forms - you mean to suggest that they aren't human right? Otherwise it gives me the odd indication that the narrator doesn't know what a human is - why call them "forms"? Why not "the woman"? Unless of course - these people aren't human. Think about your narrator and what they would actually see and don't be so vague and mysterious about it. "Broom between her fingers" is another awkward image - I couldn't balance a broom between my fingers - I think you mean to give us the image of her taking the broom up into her hands and using it as a weapon? The imagery didn't match. Up until this point you were doing pretty well but your language got very muddled here and stayed that way. Be clearer. Ask yourself what your narrator knows - does he know human forms? He knows female children so indicators say yes.]
The old croon [Crone? Croon is a synonym for humming, like "to croon the tune of a song"]
The woman glared but let no sound of pain escape. [When you have a big panic scene like this, stay clear with character names. You right now have several implicated women (or girls?) running around in a panic, a girl on a mat, and old woman on the floor. Who is this woman? Is it "the old woman"? If you call a character "old woman", "broom woman", whatever you want to call her - keep calling her that. Especially when you're dealing with a bunch of characters that are all the same gender. I would recommend that for clarity. Also - is this woman the same woman that was described in the first twoish paragraphs of the story or a different one that came rushing in when the first girl saw him and screamed? It's unclear.]
Within the next moment, the blade slashed down and was diverted thrice before clattering to the floor. [What am I picturing here? The necromancer slashes down the balde three times and three times it's diverted? By who? Who is he slashing? The air? The Priestess girl? The old woman? And who is diverting the slashes three times? Magic?]
'Shall I take this old croon...' [Crone?]
of the art [Art is capitalized earlier before this instance - should it be capitalized here too?]
The old croon [Crone?]
I think things became clearer towards the ending than they were in the beginning - I could follow the white/red magic dynamic and I thought that had some nice imagery and I could follow what he was doing to the Priestess, basically killing her and taking control of her pure magic or something to that effect. This got better as you wrote - the beginning bit with the knife and broom got abstract in what the reader is supposed to be picturing. Really take time to reflect on what each image means and portrays.
I also liked the ending - I thought the Priestess would suddenly fight back and win, so I liked how it had a sadder ending that was left negative without hope. It went against my expectations.
| VelvetyCheerio 12/7/12 . chapter 4
So it's Col's grandfather against Kieran's? Interesting.
I thought the philosophy of sleep and what it means to this culture was intriguing. I was also surprised by the ageism.
[we people too begin to lose our function and worth as we grow old.']
I don't know if the parallels between this world's culture and Western culture is intentional, but I do enjoy seeing how they deal with certain things like orphans and death. Especially when the teacher said that eternal sleep could be considered a reward, it surprised me then that the worth of the old declines.
Though, I'm probably misinterpreting the definition of "worth" in this context. Still, it's eye-opening to see it used in a society that wouldn't be considered industrialized today.
So far, I'm not sure where the plot is going, but I like that you've been able to maintain an atmosphere of suspense throughout these four chapters. At the end of every chapter I am left with the question of "What happens next?" Keeping the reader engaged is a must in any situation, so good job on that.
| VelvetyCheerio 12/7/12 . chapter 3
Fantastic cliffhanger! I anticipate what happened that caused the Elder to die. Was he poisoned? Die of natural causes? What if someone poisoned him and tried to make it look like natural causes? Hmm. The snake venom extraction has really got me thinking. Plus, after all the festivities, I think this helps keep the plot rolling right along.
As much as these last two chapters have sort of been more focused on Col, though not exclusively, of course, I don't really feel like I know anything about his character still. It makes it hard to enjoy the story entirely when I know nothing about the main character. I'm a little odd in that I can't visualize a character until they are developed in the story, and while your description of the world is wonderful and fantastic, I think you compromise character development by focusing too heavily on detail.
| VelvetyCheerio 12/7/12 . chapter 2
I feel like too much of this chapter's content went into describing and pointing out things that, in my opinion, were not very necessary. Such as the fish and Col sweeping hair out of his eyes and the nature of the reeds. It made reading this chapter very difficult, because I felt like I was learning about things that weren't going to matter in the long run of the story.
The reeds and the fish, especially. I felt like even if those things were going to be given a spotlight, it didn't have to go in such detail. It made me wonder, "Are the reeds and the fish going to have great significance later on in the story?" I don't think the story is about fish so far, I could be wrong, so it just confused me that so much effort was put into describing them.
However, I did like the part about the Wolves and the lepers. It wasn't given as much of a physical description as the other parts, but it was interesting. It was something I figured might come up later in the story because of their attributes: "hunger for meat and blood" and "impenetrable fur".
Another thing I liked about this chapter was the culture expressed through the story Col's grandmother tells. It's definitely a sharp contrast from the prologue, where it would seem that women were running the Temple and had something of title and power. I wonder if the settings of these first two chapters are in the same time period, or perhaps they reflect different cities altogether.
Either way it made for a nice change of pace and I think it reflects how culture and tradition can vary across the land.
| VelvetyCheerio 12/7/12 . chapter 1
The imagery was a little hard to get into with this first chapter. The opening paragraph was fine, but it was the part where this visitor notices the shadow of the girl that started to confuse me.
[The smaller form backed away; a larger form gave a start before rushing at him with a broom between her fingers. He grabbed the makeshaft weapon with ease, his boots firmly planted upon the wooden floor and the other's bare feet slipped. A smirk played upon his lips before he tugged on the handle, causing the woman to stumble into better light.]
This particular paragraph was the most confusing because of how you used the word "form". I couldn't tell if he was turned around and could see the woman, or if he was still staring at the Priestess and just had a sixth sense. It made it difficult for me to get into the action scenes.
I did like how you set up the suspense in this chapter. It makes me want to read on and find exactly what this visitor took and why he took it. I also want to know more about this world's magic system. I think you did a good job of establishing the idea of magic and some aspects of how it works.
| TequilaMockingbird19 12/7/12 . chapter 1
Great start to a story I'm sure I won't be able to stop reading! I think the way you describe almost every single small detail grabs me out of my seat and into the story. Being a newborn writer here, I think it's really cool that you can mention every detail of their actions and the setting without making it sound too draggy or boring.
There were a few spelling errors along the way, but I'm guessing they're typos. But if not, I think others have pointed them out (I.e. Croon-crone)
Also, I do think that there were a few punctuation mark-related lapses plus, the apostrophes for quotation marks.
Then, I'm not too sure if you meant for almost all the paragraphs to start with 'the *insert noun*. I think it's fine for a span of a few sentences but it gets a tad bit monotonous once overused.
Over all, I think this is a great story and of course, I'll be reading more of it. It's a shame I only have time for Ch. 1 tonight, though but I WILL keep reading this. :)
| Chromatic 12/6/12 . chapter 1
I really enjoy your use of language specifically your skill of imagery and painting a picture. I found the suspense and intriguing quite compelling. My vocab sadly isn't as wide ranged so I found a little difficult to understood a few words like siphoned. Anyways I felt like this first chapter was strong enough to make an impact on a reader.
| RisanF 12/4/12 . chapter 1
(for the Review Game)
The language is very elaborate, and adds suitable menace to the necromancer's intent. However, there's a few grammar errors you should attend to (some sentences need commas, and you call the old woman "croon" when it should be "crone")
I'm a little confused by this part (unless I read it wrong):
And each of the seventeen Priestesses he had the pleasure of meeting were the same. Clinging to white magic in its weakness and infertility while it drained them of their strength and sped their inevitable meeting with death. To each he displayed his own trade for longevity, and each rejected it.
He left the other sixteen. To hold the soul of a skilled practitioner of the art was a dangerous affair, particularly that of a grown adult. It was the first time his visit came prematurely, and it would have been at least another four years before their paths crossed had circumstances not forced his hand.
His business with the current Priestess, still in the throes of girlhood, was of a somewhat different nature though. And with that in mind he dove deeper into the tendrils of her magic and soul, allowing his mind to fill with new sensations: kaleidoscopic shades of grey, the smell of salt water, the sound of thunder and lightning and the cracking of wood –
In the second paragraph, is he talking about a priestess he attacked before, or is he talking about the one he's attacking now? It's actually not clear whether the priestess he's attacking is the seventeenth one. You say "It was the first time his visit came prematurely", but I'm not sure what "it" is. If "it" is referring to what he's doing now, then why does the next paragraph state that this "was of a somewhat different nature" than "it"?
I'm also not sure about what you mean by "he left the other sixteen." Does that mean he left them alive, or left them with the white magic still inside?
Anyways, I think this story had a lot of potential, but the narration sometimes speaks in a way that only the necromancer understands. I know you want to build intrigue, but we need to know a little bit more about what's going on.
| AJ 96 12/3/12 . chapter 1
First off, this story sucked me in and kept me interested, so well-done! :) The descriptions and detail was impeccable and I couldn't find any errors. There is a good deal of intrigue and suspense that makes me want to continue reading! :)
The only thing I found a bit difficult to follow was the background story. But I assume that you will go into more detail about the surroundings and background in the coming chapters, so that really isn't an issue :)
Overall, it was a great read! :)