Reviews for Chooser of the Slain Original
Mina Skywalker chapter 1 . 1/17/2007
Hey there- I really like this(I'm going to read the other version as I type!). The descriptions are very good, I would just make sure some arn't too overly done(that is my problem- I"m the Queen of purple prose and get slammed for it all the time! lol) I really can't wait to read more from you. Good job!
Lorendiac chapter 1 . 8/21/2006
I never read your previous version of COTS, so I'm starting fresh with what you call "Revision Three."

Okay, the first chapter was obviously the setup to show us these teenagers in their "normal" lifestyles and then create an excuse to move them somewhere else entirely as mentioned (very briefly!) in your story summary. So I still have no idea just what sort of serious problems they are about to face, or what kind of magic or other resources they will be able to call upon in solving whatever problems arise, etc. I get the strong impression that the setting of this chapter will have very little to do with the setting of most of the subsequent chapters. (And you did a good job of making me feel sorry for the three Amherst siblings - whatever else may happen to them, I suspect they'll feel *liberated* at spending a considerable amount of time away from their normal home life!)

I do intend to read the next chapter you post, whenever that may be, and see where things are supposed to go from here. In the meantime, here are some comments on some things that caught my eye and might stand a little improvement.

* It was a cloudy, dreary Sunday in the hometown of the Amherst’s, *

It's nitpicking time! (I have a reputation to maintain in that department.)

If the surname is "Amherst," and a group of people all belonging to that family are "the Amhersts" in the plural, then in this context you only need to say:

"The hometown of the Amhersts." You don't need to use a possessive form of the name, because the phrase "of the" already serves the function of establishing that we are talking about possession without needing to modify the noun that follows "of the". After all, we say "I like the cover of the book" and not "I like the cover of the book's."

And even if you did want to use a possessive form by phrasing the sentence a little differently, I believe this would be the correct way to do it:

"It was a cloudy, dreary Sunday in the Amhersts' hometown." Since the plural form of Amherst already ends with the letter S, I believe just adding the apostrophe at the very end of the plural noun or plural proper noun is sufficient in that case.

NOTE (added later): As I read the remainder of this chapter, I kept noticing that you would repeatedly say "the Amherst's" when you should have just said "the Amhersts," meaning "the group of people who shared the name Amherst."

* “Perhaps, dear sister, if you hadn’t taken an hour long shower *

I suspect that grammar textbooks may allow us some flexibility here, but my personal suggestion would be to punctuate that as "an hour-long shower." I think it's clearer that way.

* After sixteen years of growing up and living with Lara, Rider had learned to keep to a teasing mood with her in. *

Feels like something's missing at the end of that sentence. "With her in [what]"?

"With her in this sort of frantic condition"?

* which was swaying so hard with the dramatically increased wind that it almost touched the ground on it’s west side. *

"Its west side." Possessive nouns and possessive proper nouns use apostrophes, but possessive pronouns never do.

* and though thunder was slow to follow it its cousin’s wake,*

In its cousins wake?

* she saw cars fighting the stay on a straight path *

Fighting to stay.

* The church itself was large and imposing, with a high steeple jutting out of the slanted roof, and a large sanctuary and foyer area, the whole thing rather large and magnificent. It could not have been more pretentious. Gray brick clothed the stark walls, dotted with windows of medium lengths and width, and a dreary black roof completed the picture of abjection. *

Not that I ever claimed to know anything about the finer points of architecture, but I'm getting a little confused about how I'm supposed to visualize the church. On the one hand, this church building is large, and imposing, and magnificent, and even pretentious. On the other hand, it is a complete "picture of abjection." Those ideas seem contradictory.

* Because there was no one else in the church under the age of forty, the five had become fast and good friends, *

I blinked. I asked myself: Just how small is this congregation? Nobody else has any kids? Or everybody else's kids have *all* grown up and moved to other towns by now, instead of marrying each other to start raising a new generation of the church's membership, locally? Or some in their 20s and 30s may still live in or near the same city as the older generation, but have abandoned this church in favor of some other religious organization (or none at all)?

(I don't say you did anything wrong by writing that passage - there may be a very clear reason in your mind for why the congregation's demographics are so skewed! I just point out that it really grabbed my attention because it came as a complete surprise to hear that only two households included teenagers, or anyone under the age of 40 for that matter!)

* With a slightly avarice smile on his face, *


* As the light enshrouded them, they too disappeared. *

Are you sure light can "enshroud" something? The way I see it, a moving shadow can enshroud me. Fog can enshroud me. A blanket tossed over my head can enshroud me. Those things can make me look shadowier, darker, harder to see. But can the arrival of more light enshroud me?
mwegan chapter 1 . 10/10/2005
Hi! This is very well written. The descriptions are very good, but a bit excessive. The dialogue seems 'real'. However, I think the omnipotent POV is hard to do consistently well. You might consider just staying with Lara's POV.

The description of the people is a little too precise. It's better to say that someone is 'taller' or 'shorter', rather than give their height. And also little things like - "Despite her harmless looks, Lara could frequently be found exchanging verbal blows with her father." - is very much telling and not showing, and is out of place in this paragraph.

There is sometimes too much explanation into the characters movements, like - "She seated herself in the middle of the seat, pulled a brush out of her purse, and started brushing her hair, turning slightly so she could talk to the person next to her." Most of this can be omitted.

"...face hardened into an agonizing picture of horror..." I got the wrong impression with this phrase right away. It seems that he felt horrified, I think. Try "He contorted his face to a horrific grimace.." or something like that.

"What if what’s there is too horrifying to see?" a bit confusing to me, maybe just "What if it's too horrifying to see?"

"Before anyone could answer, an overpowering noise sounded in the air..." This is a very weak description, especially since you have set the bar so high for yourself!

And there were a few typos (an it's instead of its, and that kind of thing), but I think I've rambled on long enough. Anyway, as per your request, I was as brutal as I could be!

I look forward to reading more from you!

(PS, there's a 'per say' instead of 'per se' in there too)
Sophie August chapter 1 . 9/4/2005
Wow! This story is superb!

The premise is fascinating, with the strange storm that you describe so well and slowly build up to its climax: "The sky had changed in the five minutes since she had last glimpsed it. It was no longer pitch black, but an even odder pale green, the color of growing things, lanced with a bright red." These details are many but do not detract from the story; lines such as "the color of growing things" add to the mood and drops clues about the storm.

"Instead, they were pulled mid-strike, along with the wind, to the west, straight and true as an arrow. It gave the sky an additional oddity, the appearance of being striped." Such a strange and interesting phenomenon!

You have an amazing control of language, especially in action sequences, when the words are taut.

The structure of the words reflect the action, as in: "The pillar hovered, spinning idly, before once again omitting, twice, in quick succession, the noise, loud enough to shatter eardrums. The ground quivered like jelly in reaction. The pillar started to glow, a blindingly white light." The speed of the words and the use of commas make the reader feel the quickness of the scene.

My complaint lies in your description of the characters. As a general rule, don't describe characters unless it gives insight into the person's mind or personality. Details such as a character having long brown hair or being 5’9 - it certainly isn't necessary to tell the height of each character! - aren't important. Unless the long brown hair or great height is an instrinsic part of the character's iconic image, don't bother to write it!

Also, the characters of the parents seem oddly matched - wouldn't one be abusive and the other weak? Wouldn't an agressive person prey on a weak one? Just a thought.

The story of a group of ordinary teenagers caught in extraordinary circumstances is not an original one, but your writing style resurrects the dead plot. (For a moment I thought that the storm was the second coming of Jesus since the setting was a church - I'm glad I was wrong!) This is well-paced and well-written, with obvious care of characters and scenes. You are a wonderful writer and I encourage you to continue.
Every Thought chapter 1 . 8/24/2005
Oh wow...This is amazing. Your writing style is so fluent and easy to read...Love it.

I can relate a lot to Ali...Can't wait to see what happens next!
Lccorp2 chapter 1 . 8/24/2005

Lord Duffikus:

While the "people from normal world get sucked into a fantasy world against their will" introduction is quite often used,your work actually makes me want to read on...

I was going to say somthing, but I think Clodhopper took the words out of my mouth...some sort of retaliation is in order. You don't go around taking words out of the mouths of Demon Lords...

Well. Was the faith of the congregation shaken? :P
ice flyer chapter 1 . 8/23/2005
wow, very cool beginning. i love your descriptions of your characters. they create clear images in my mind, good job on that. i would suggest kind of separating them out a little, though - you give us every person's personality and looks all in the first chapter, and though it's really good, it's a little description-heavy. Also the first sentence of your story is a really long run-on, so just separate it out into a few sentences and it will flow much better. good job, though, i like the plot idea and the setting a lot :)
Clodhopper chapter 1 . 8/23/2005
Ooh, a long chapter. First off, thank you for your review! I will be reviewing as I read:

First paragraph is a nice beginning - I know that may seem small but it's important. "fancy shoes" however was a little vague. it isnt bad that you said "fancy" but maybe add another, more descriptive word after it. "Fancy, strapped shoes" or something.

“the Boonies”. - small mistake here: "The Boomies." period needs to be in the quotes.

numbers should be written out: "Seventeen" instead of "17"

It was good that you gave us the details of their personalities, but it was stated a little too much. sometimes its nice for the story to let us draw our own conclusions. if she has a sharp tongue, dont straight out write it - as the cliche say show us.

I liked the dashes when the father spoke, but dont overdue them. the second time they were used it wasnt needed - have commas instead.

Ech...Honeybunney. btw, that "H" should probably be in caps.

You have some very good descriptions in this. about the church etc.

"...right next to To" - why two "to"s? if you wanted two of em it should be, "" no caps. if not there is a typo for ya

“Oh, hi Tobias!” - should be "Oh, hi, Tobias!"

heh: Tobias nodded understandingly. “Another hour-long shower?” - i liked that he knew about the whole shower thing. that was a cute line

careful of smartquotes turning the way you dont want em

Lara certainally flipped out.

and a good place to leave us off. very intense. this story is quite intriguing. i liked it. the characters all seem well planned out - so far I liked Rider the best. kudos!

The Yardstick chapter 1 . 8/18/2005
E! Smarty Party! I love it. I found four typos-not mistakes, just typos. I think you get the difference. Anyway, sorry, that was rather OCD of me. Otherwise I love the thing. Good beginning. Can't wait for more! I liked this: "The walls were painted a merciless yellow-green, encouraging anyone looking at them to soon feel nauseated." That made me laugh. Anyway, keep it up, and see ya on the RH forum!~LGM1 (the Yardstick)

PS-your namesake lives forever in our hearts. :( RIP Raptora
Derdekea chapter 1 . 8/17/2005
Well, first of all, it was very well written. The vocab use is simply amazing, though the style is a little on the formal side, but that's your choice. the fifth paragraph you first describe Lara's tongue as sharp but then say she speaks bluntly.

Anyways, otherwise a very good start.

Thanks very much for reviewing my story. ande especially the cc...though the grammar problems are probably due to sheer laziness than anything else (excuses, excuses. if not then I'm in more trouble than I care to admit).
Islandbreeze chapter 1 . 8/17/2005
This is an exciting beginning, and you used a lot of great description and work on developing your characters. Especially the description of the littlest sister, voraciously reading her books, that was a really good description. I'll be happy to see the next chapter!
BlueCrystal chapter 1 . 8/17/2005
Hey! I love your story! I'm really amused by the way you write, your particular style. Please update soon!
Mascott chapter 1 . 8/17/2005
What a wonderful story! And you are so descriptive! I had to look up most of the words you had in this! So, thank you for that since I learned well over twenty more words today. I can't wait for the next chapter! XD