|Reviews for Book I: Apoptosis|
| professional griefer 11/16/12 . chapter 2
First thing: did you mean to repeat [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.] twice? Because you did, and it was confusing and distracting.
I didn't really like your first paragraph, the wording seemed a bit strange and muddled. I would try to clear that up a bit.
I also didn't care for the use of apostrophes instead of quotes, it always distracts me and has the tendency to confuse me. I know that's a total stylistic thing, but as a suggestion I would use quotes.
I liked the pace, the dialogue and action blended very well together. Normally I would consider a chapter that's almost all dialogue to be boring, but it worked well for this.
You had a few (correct count: 17) paragraphs in the middle though where I thought you could have summed the information up a lot more easily and clearly without those 17 paragraphs. They were just overwordy and a bit aggravating. I understand the whole word count thing really well, but when you go back and edit I would look out for those.
Nice work, really for a NaNo story it's extremely good. It's just kinda early where I am and I'm taking the tiredness out on your story. (Sorry about that)
| professional griefer 11/14/12 . chapter 1
I loved the first sentence. While things that have a first sentence that include the words 'she' and 'beautiful' usually immediately turn me off, the second half was kind of a surprise, and actually gave me an immediate mental image. I don't actually think you need the rest of that paragraph, it feels like unnecessary description and was a bit overwordy. I just think that since you summed it up so well in the first sentence, the rest is just filler.
I'm not a great fan of your style with this piece, however. You may just be doing it for the word count (in which case I understand completely) but I just think there are too many adjectives, it's too much and it kind of weighs this down. It's a really interesting prologue, but it's just far too much description, more than you need.
On the other hand, your descriptions are beautiful, the words you use are amazing at planting pictures in my head and feel really poetic. So I don't know, I think it's kind of a tossup between being semi-poetic or making the plot go faster.
Overall, great work. Good luck with NaNo!
| Complex Variable 11/13/12 . chapter 1
[For those of you not familiar with the biology,] - - - I would remove the "the". And yes, even your A/N's need to be perfect. XD
[Her hair likewise was raked with dust,] - - - why not try "Her hair was likewise raked with", instead?
[of blood that clung to his coat.] - - - "that clung" should be "clinging", I think.
[There was a blade at the altar, recently washed and stabbed into clay but worn and incapable of cutting through anything more tightly woven than a net.] - - - I would put a comma between "clay" and "but".
[The wrinkled skin and slightly hunched back told all, as did the white Temple robes she wore.] - - - I think the starting "The" should be a "Her".
You really like these enigmatic openings, don't you, Ohana? XD
[The old croon backed away, cloth sweeping the floor] - - - "crone" not "croon".
['Priestess –' He silenced the young speaker with a flick of his wrist, knife leaving his sheath and hand and sailing through the air in a fluid arc before slashing skin. ] - - - Nice sentence.
[Valiant, but useless. Like a baby unable to leave its crib.] - - - once again, nice sentence/image. Your writing is much more powerful when you alternate the length/rhythmic structure of your sentences. I would make the first period a semicolon, though.
I like your description/evocation of the soul extracting. It's quite effective, and wonderfully imaginative. A question though—and this is important: in this story-world, what distinguishes "white magic" from "black magic"? Is it merely a social stigma—i.e., black magic is the socially unacceptable variety of magic—or is black magic actually "evil" in it of itself? If so, why/how? Even if you're not going to ever include this kind of information in the story, it's important that you, as the author/creator, know the answer to such questions.
[A bead of sweat rolled down his neck as he completed the annotated task.] - - - "annotated task"? What does that even MEAN? XD
[And so he departed, leaving behind a Priestess with a living soul and a dying body, and an old woman to the contrary.] - - - wait, but, didn't he take out the girl-priestess' soul? That's a bit of a conundrum, there; you should really give the important characters a better identifier than simply "Priestess"—you have SEVENTEEN of them, for crying out loud! XD. Giving them names, or something, would really help make the action more easy to follow.
There's a lot of very nice writing in this, though. Smooth flowing, and not too stilted. Your purple tendencies are almost completely domesticated to serve this story's needs. Now, just be a little more concrete in places—with actions, characters, and identifiers—and, especially in the descriptions of magic—and I think it will be really great. :)
| Redz 11/13/12 . chapter 1
Interesting beginning, though a bit confusing because what the necromancer has done isn't really clear until the last sentence. At first we don't know if he's trying to steal the magic of the priestess, her soul or her life or the difference between them.
(Of course, all beginnings are confusing, and it isn't bad that you keep those things to reveal them later.)
A couple typos:
"either fear of uselessness," you mean "or".
"the other extended a hand and clenched his throat." I'm assuming it's "her" throat.
This prologue was intriguing; it made me want to read the following chapters, but unfortunately you haven't put them up yet. Anyway, good luck in NaNoWriMo. Keep it up!
| Katsurou Shimizu 11/12/12 . chapter 1
I like your poetic prose, but the over ambiguous nature of it probably detracted the readers from the story itself. Perhaps you might want to consider adding more clarity in your rewrite? But hey, it's NaNoWriMo at the moment, so you should just focus on adding more words!
That said, I like the dark atmosphere and theme that you have imbued in this piece, with the battles between magic juxtaposed with the wielder of said powers.
Good luck to you too by the way :)
[The smirked widened.]: Typo error here?
| kedros 11/12/12 . chapter 1
i found it hard to read. the beginning wasn't really clear to me and as i got abstracted i lost focus and didn't understand anything at all anymore.
then i read again and still found it hard to follow. it didn't appeal me either because of this.
later as i got a bit accustomed to how you built up your sentences, i found it pleasant. the actions are described almost poetical.
but i can't say much more actually. i didn't find something that i particulary dislike, nor something that stood out. in a way i don't want to stop reading this but it's not the kind of story which i would die to read. but that's my taste.
| Whirlymerle 11/10/12 . chapter 1
Hi from the RG depth,
Opening: I really loved the opening line. It was bold and attention grabbing and the subsequent descriptions were really well done. On a nitpicky note, I'd leave out the "so" before dead, to make the statement more impactful, but it's also fine as is.
Grammar/Spelling: [doing nothing from either fear of uselessness.], I feel like you mean "fear or uselessness"
[Such dolls had no place in such a scene, good only for polishing floors and dusting ornaments or so it appeared.] Subject confusion. Your sentence as it reads right now implies that the scene is "good only for polishing…" One way to remedy this is if you take the part after comma and but it before "Such dolls."
[And the Priestess was yet to lift a metaphorical finger against him.] Not really a mistake, but I feel like "metaphorical finger" reads awkwardly and the word "metaphorical" denotes a lot of things other than the opposite of physical
Scene: This may sound weird, but I feel like there are too many hands floating around in the action scene. I know the Priestess, Croon, and Necromancer all have to use their hands, but you oftentimes refer to them by themselves that I'm not sure who was doing what.
Overall: I enjoyed the opening and the ending because I thought they were well written and I got a clear idea of what was going on. But the Necromancer's introspective musing and the fight scene in the middle pretty much went over my head. But then again, this is the prologue so a little bit of confusion isn't a problem in the scheme of things. The ending sentence was very powerful, I think.
Oh, and I think your title is awesome. :) Good luck with Nano
| Nesasio 11/9/12 . chapter 1
I liked the opening to this. It was strong, action-wise, and I was interested in what might happen next. I wanted to know what the guy was up to, so it was effective at getting me to read on.
I was confused by the action here. I couldn't figure out exactly what was going on with the man and the old woman. Someone had a knife and he sort of did something with that knife and I think killed the woman but I honestly couldn't point to the moment in the writing that said that. It was like the actions were left open-ended but intended to be spelled out so I didn't know what I was supposed to 'see' here.
| Annything 11/8/12 . chapter 1
[Her skin was a pallor that rivalled ] Rivaled?
[another disciple caught her injured comrade, blood dripping onto the.] You didn't finish this sentence.
I like your ending. I feel like you wrap it up well enough to make the reader want to read more without leaving any loose ends to tie up. I also like your beginning, it's really interesting, but I didn't like how much description it had. It was kind of flooded with it, and it wasn't really interesting enough.
It was also rather confusing because you're writing about a priestess and a necromancer, and I'm not really able to keep up with the way you approach. Maybe if you gave the reader a bit more time to let the plot sink in, it might've helped made it really interesting.
But, I do like the idea you have so far. It's a really unique plot, and I'm interested as a reader how this will continue. Great work! :D
| Persevera 11/7/12 . chapter 1
I really like the last line. It's delivered clinically but still evokes strong feeling. Nice trick when we can pull that off.
The introduction of the "visitor" seemed a little too vague. I understand that it was supposed to be mysterious but by giving more details about other things, such as the knife or the shadow of the young girl, it made the passages about him confusing, at least on the first reading. Of course I understood it better the second time.