Reviews for A Puppet in the Hand
Dragon made me do it chapter 1 . 6/3/2011
In addition to the comments I have already e-mailed you, I would just like to add that I really enjoyed reading this book and I just flew through the chapters. The main character, Tam, was somebody you could really like, and you were sad to leave her and the others behind when the book ended.

I like the way you have used your expert knowledge of dog behaviour to inform the plot. I like your use of quirky one-liners.

You managed to do that complicated characters turning from black into gray thing in a way that was in no way cliched. I also thought the silent presence of background characters, such as the Flauvel or Marcus' father was nicely done.

I think I may have already mentioned something about the sort of ideal archetypes of the urban, the pastoral, and different social classes and how while each of them have their merits, to be accepted into any of these social groupings, you also have to do stomach some nasty stuff.

Nice ending too. Positive without being unrealistic.
Maria Gracia chapter 27 . 1/7/2011
Hey! What you are going to see down here is NOT spam, nor is it me copying "project fiction"'s review. I work with them as a story reviewer so I was log'd into our work account when I sent the review.

I am SO sorry about this mess. I added you to my fav's, too (though I think you're already there) but since I was log'd into their account, it added you there. I had to delete it because we only favorite authors and stories that we feature/list in our website. Again, I'm so sorry about this & I hope it didn't cause any trouble. I'mma repost it, so that if someone checks, we'll they'll see why it looks like a personal review.

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Hey! I read this story sometime ago. These were my notes/comments on it after I finished reading. I thought maybe I should send them your way.

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I really enjoyed reading this story. It catches attention with the Ward at first, and it keeps the reader curious with the "circular" time.

It was catching, absorbing, and it left a small smile in face when I finally did finish.

Tam is an inspiring character, because despite things going wrong, she keeps on going. She does not give up. She's flawed and, yes, she IS afraid. But, we'll see her dealing with her issues and working around these things, of course, not always by herself.

The cast was good, *real*, and inspiring as well. It wasn't just her.

Harry because of how she dealt with things, Marcus on his resolve to help our MC, her father in the helping and the finding his child.

The last two chapters were definitely different than the tone of the story, and the pre-election scene came out of no-where and felt a bit rushed. There was romance in the story, but it was pretty subtle. At least until the epilogue, which the story could have done without.

Overall, it was a VERY good reading, and in my opinion it fits the category.

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Hey! I'm MaGa & I judged this story last cycle for Inspirational character. This were my notes on your story - I write them as soon as I read along with my vote, so that when the author ask (in case it was rejected) I can tell them what I thought. Leaving things to the memory isn't always the best. I really liked your story & I thought that I should go back & get this note.

I'm sorry I can't give you a more detailed review; I was just making the comments for myself, my co-judge, and LilyAnna, really. And the story has been taken down.

Congratulations on that, by the way! I hope that all goes well with it. _

-

SORRY! *is a very, very, very, very big idiot* I completely understand if you want to delete this (though I don't think you can) & if you don't ever reply, either.

Have a good day,

MaGa
Project Fiction chapter 27 . 1/7/2011
Hey! I read this story sometime ago. These were my notes/comments on it after I finished reading. I thought maybe I should send them your way.

-

I really enjoyed reading this story. It catches attention with the Ward at first, and it keeps the reader curious with the "circular" time.

It was catching, absorbing, and it left a small smile in face when I finally did finish.

Tam is an inspiring character, because despite things going wrong, she keeps on going. She does not give up. She's flawed and, yes, she IS afraid. But, we'll see her dealing with her issues and working around these things, of course, not always by herself.

The cast was good, *real*, and inspiring as well. It wasn't just her.

Harry because of how she dealt with things, Marcus on his resolve to help our MC, her father in the helping and the finding his child.

The last two chapters were definitely different than the tone of the story, and the pre-election scene came out of no-where and felt a bit rushed. There was romance in the story, but it was pretty subtle. At least until the epilogue, which the story could have done without.

Overall, it was a VERY good reading, and in my opinion it fits the category.

-

Hey! I'm MaGa & I judged this story last cycle for Inspirational character. This were my notes on your story - I write them as soon as I read along with my vote, so that when the author ask (in case it was rejected) I can tell them what I thought. Leaving things to the memory isn't always the best. I really liked your story & I thought that I should go back & get this note.

I'm sorry I can't give you a more detailed review; I was just making the comments for myself, my co-judge, and LilyAnna, really. And the story has been taken down.

Congratulations on that, by the way! I hope that all goes well with it. _

-MaGa
Lianoid chapter 27 . 10/3/2010
Final Review Part 2 of 2

Relationships

I touched upon them briefly in character category, but I thought I’d take a moment to let you know that you did an excellent job at writing different sorts of relationships. You had a relationship between father and daughter (Jonas and Tam), caregiver figure and daughter figure (Mercedes and Tam), father and son (Commodore and Marcus), doctor and patient (Flauvel and Tam, doctor and Tam and doctor and Harry), authority figure and citizen (too many to list) and many more. I really enjoyed the variety and especially enjoyed the interactions between the women.

Speaking of which, you had a great deal of women interacting with one another. You had girlfriends (Harry and Tam), a relationship where one was more dependent upon the other (Tam for Mercedes), and even interdependent relationships (the captured women making themselves more presentable). I really enjoyed the interactions between Mercedes and Tam, actually. Since Tam didn’t have a living mother, I think Mercedes’ roll is especially important in this piece. In her own way, she teaches Tam how important it is to be independent, all the while making her aware of the reality of female dependence on men. I thought that was a really clever way of educating Tam and an incredibly realistic one, as well. There is just so much in this story; too much, really, for me to analyze in one sitting and one review. I love this. I absolutely love this about the story; this piece is a banquet for my mind to feast upon.

The relationship between Tam and Harry was a truly endearing one. In the beginning, I was worried Harry would tire of Tam and move onto something or someone else, but I’m glad to see that they grew on each other and formed a strong friendship. Although Harry was the stronger female in the start, I feel that over time, Tam caught up to her in wit, intelligence, wisdom, and class. Harry certainly helped Tam become a more refined member of society, but I like how Tam still kept a bit of her rawness, it was only polished to adjust so as not to shock social norms and whatnot.

The relationship between Tam and Marcus was always a bit in the background, but you brought it a little more to the forefront through Tam; a wise decision and highly effective. I never suspected they had such strong feelings for one another, to be honest, so I’m pleased to find out there was more to each of their characters than I had originally thought. You’ve done a wicked job at characterizing everyone (I keep saying it, and it’s true!) in a way that fits in quite nicely with the other relationships and dynamics. My hat’s off to you, my dear. I certainly need to take a leaf out of your book soon.

Writing

Last, but certainly not least, your writing. Always inspiring, always refined, and always a joy to read. Descriptions (which I won’t dedicate a section to otherwise I’ll be here for days on end), were brilliant. The way you word things sometimes is just so inspiring; one could make a quote book out of all the wonderful lines in this piece, there are just so many. I think I’ve broken down all the reasons I find your work to be so brilliant, so forgive this section for being so much shorter than the others. :3

Overall, in case you hadn’t gathered already, I adore this piece and I adore your writing. This is such a strong story with strong characters, believable motivations, dynamic interactions, smooth dialogue, brilliant descriptions, memorable lines, endearing characters, vivid settings, and a unique plot to boot. This was such a wonderful read, Sophie. This piece really made me so happy; when Tam succeeded I felt like I was the one succeeding. I can’t say it enough, but I love, love, love the strong female characters you have in this story. I love seeing strong women in strong stories written by strong writers. This, without a doubt, is one of those pieces.

I’m beginning to get that feeling. That slightly sinking feeling when I’ve come to the end of a book. It’s sadness mixed with excitement; I read something inspiring. Something that makes me want to write. Something that makes me happy when I think about it and is an endless fountain of inspiration. Oh, Sophie, this piece is just so wonderful. All of these words I’ve written don’t even come close to conveying why and how much I adore this piece. It’s really all just blather compared to what I’m trying to get across.

With sincerest hope that this story will be made available for purchase in print,

Liana Galbraith
C. Tattiana H-H chapter 27 . 10/3/2010
Final Review Part 1 of 2

Alas we come to the conclusion of this wonderful tale. I feel like I should do an overall review for this, just to summarize my thoughts throughout. Let’s see how well I do.

Characters

Tam, of course, is an endearing character. You managed to convey that curious spark within her character from early on, and carry it through the entire piece. Through nervous dialogue, traumatic events and changing settings, you’ve done a brilliant, brilliant job at characterizing her. I never felt like there was a *sudden* change in her, even when there might have been, it always felt justified and fitting for the scene and time. I am so proud of her as a person, and although there was no doubt, I fully understand why you won L’inspirational Character at La Camp. Many congratulations for that; it was certainly well deserved.

I had doubts about Harry in the beginning, but I must say, you did such a wonderful job at characterizing her character, as well, that I couldn’t help but to take to her. She’s feisty and strong and sharp tongued and I love it. She’s an incredibly likable character, despite some of her frivolous behaviour, but I find that elevates her person all the more. I love how she challenges societies ideals of women, and I thought it tied in quite nicely with Tam’s final transformation. I’m glad that Harry turned out to be a reliable friend and shoulder for Tam because I really think they make a wonderful pair.

Marcus, of course, is a doll. He’s a bit brooding, but not so much that’s it’s unbearable. He can be moody and strong and at times a bit difficult, but I like this about him; it contrasts nicely with the other characters, for sure. I adore how you introduced him as being a person with hair. I think it was rather clever how you did that, and very effective in regards to conveying Tam’s perception of the world. I’m glad that Marcus and Harry finally ended up together (although, I would be lying if I said I didn’t hope that Tam would end up with him). Alas, I’m glad to see he’s finally broken out of his dark mood; it seems happiness is on the horizon for him.

Mercedes was another wonderful character. You never told us about her, really, you merely conveyed her character through actions; which I thought was highly effective and wonderful. She was another strong female character, and I adore you all the more for having so many of them in this story. I like how she had a bit of a trying life, but she never complained about it; she simply did what had to get done in order to survive. I think this is incredibly mature, and suits her age and character brilliantly.

Jonas we didn’t get to learn *too* much about, but I think you conveyed as much was necessary while still keeping the story close to Tam. You know how I felt about him through much of this story, but I suppose I can forgive him for being a bit... well, himself, I suppose. Ha-ha. He certainly has been through a lot, so I guess his grumbling ways can be forgiven. In retrospect, I think the tough-love he gave to Tam worked for the better. If I was in his shoes, I would have gone with comforting and lulling Tam into reality, but I guess his method struck a stronger chord with her and proved to be more effective. You did a brilliant job and writing this father character, and I commend you, once again, for even more solid characterization.

The Guardian was an incredibly, incredibly engaging character. He really stuck out at me because he was the only one of the bunch who seemed to care about the prisoners’ well-being. I love you for this because it was so realistic and it kept me hoping for the best. There’s something a bit heartbreaking about his character, though, as well. I’m not suggesting you do any more with him—I think his placement was perfect, but I guess I was hoping he would see the world as Tam sees it and perhaps stop being a Guardian and join forces with Tam. Ha-ha. A little unrealistic, I think, but a girl can still dream, no?

Flauvel. Oh, my, what a frightening character. We didn’t get to meet him in the present, but you certainly managed to convey what a twisted person he was. I was honestly quite horrified during the memory sequences where he was present. Even though he wasn’t an active character, I think you did a marvellous job at making him relative to the present. I don’t know how to explain it thoroughly, I’m afraid, but I hope I’ve explained clearly enough how solid this character was, as well.

The other characters, were as brilliant as the rest. I’m thinking of the Commodore, the bird, the dogs, the guests during the parties, the doctor who mended Tam’s hand, and the groundskeeper(?) who was with Harry when they found Tam in the guesthouse. These were minor characters, some more so than others, but you never let their personalities pale in comparison to the main ones. You characterized each and every person you brought into this story extremely well, and you did a brilliant, I repeat brilliant, job at giving them their own motivations that further solidified the story, their characters, and their relationship and impact on Tam.

Plot

Thoroughly intriguing from the beginning, I must say, I wasn’t expecting so many wonderful elements to shine through. You have incorporated so many things into this story that I don’t think I can recall them all and arrange them nicely to analyze. What I do recall is the recurring theme of puppets and free will augmented with strong female characters and their roles in society. Free will, feminism, politics, guilt, self-discovery, social classes, retrograde thinking... the list is endless, really. I don’t know how you do it, Sophie, but you’ve written a highly engaging, well rounded, multi-layered piece that, in my eyes, is solid all around. Nothing feels out of place; everything fits in nicely with each other to create an incredibly strong story.

I feel like there’s more I should comment on about the plot, but my mind is going a bit blank here. It certainly was a unique plot, in my eyes, and although the time and place may be different, I think your themes could be applied to our times in many ways. I felt the pacing was absolutely perfect; you first several chapters gently introduced us to the characters, settings and structures, your middle chapters were relatively calm with enough excitement and activity to propel the story forward, and the final few chapters wrapped everything up nicely, while still keeping things lively.

I’m afraid I can’t figure out exactly when the rising action hit its climax, though. I don’t think this story follows that traditional plot of intro, rising action, climax, falling action, conclusion (I can’t even remember the correct terms for the middle three, either. Ha-ha). I felt there were several moments of high energy, or climax, in this piece. These mostly happened when Tam found out something about her past; when she went to Flauvel’s abandoned lab, when she was captured by the Guardians and escaped, when the doctor explained her heart condition, and when she finally realized how much of an impact she could make.

Perhaps the “real” climax was at that last moment, but I felt there were so many other small things going on internally and externally, that there were several climaxes, each for a different minor plot or problem. I think this is the reason your story is so engaging. There were internal conflicts that gradually popped up and gradually resolved, and that continued to propel the story forward and keep it interesting. Each issue and self-revelation tied in nicely with the others, and created an incredibly well-polished, well-rounded, and well written piece.

Dialogue

I’ve turned into a bit of a dialogue-tag hater, but I, surprisingly, never encountered (not that I recall, anyhow) any dialogue tags I didn’t like. This speaks highly of your writing. I wouldn’t describe myself as being erudite, but one of my strengths, I feel, is dialogue; which is why I must let you know how much I enjoyed yours. Your dialogue always read smoothly, and although I sometimes didn’t pick up on the more relaxed tone of Marcus, looking back, I think you did a wonderful job with that, and the many other elements of dialogue writing.

Tam’s dialogue in particular was extremely well done. This goes hand-in-hand with characterization, really. In the beginning she either didn’t speak very much, asked a lot of vague, open, or simple questions, but as the story progressed, her vocabulary and wording progressed with it. Her voice became more refined the more time she spent with Harry, and she even knew how to speak to the Commodore and people of influence later on in the piece. You did a brilliant job with that, Sophie. Really, you did.

All of the other characters’ voices remained relatively the same (but, of course, distinct from one another), which is perfect because their characters don’t undergo as great a transformation as Tam’s, and when they each interacted with one another, I could hear the change in their tones. When Marcus spoke to Tam, it was slightly more relaxed and open. Yet, when he spoke with Harry, it was a little more sharp and reserved. I adore this careful attention to group dynamic, and I shower you with praises for pulling it off so brilliantly. Your dialogue always read smoothly and always felt realistic to me. There’s really nothing more I can ask for when it comes to dialogue. Ha-ha. So, major props for doing an excellent job with it.

(My review is being cut off, so I've broken it up into two parts. I'm still finishing the final section of it, so it might take a bit before it's posted-my Internet is also acting rather funky right now, so forgive me if it's extremely delayed. Also, congratulations on 300 reviews!)
C. Tattiana H-H chapter 26 . 10/3/2010
You only saved me. Because you thought I had something special.

-Edit: I think this could be all one sentence.

Tam turned on her heel, her curls flying our behind her from the force of her spin "What about-"

-Edit: I believe you want “our” to be “out”.

And for the first time in her life, she was proud of her short hair.

-OH! Such progress! I love, love, love this part, Sophie! The sentence had a wonderful tone to it and it hit me pretty hard when I read it. it was just so damn perfect!

She knew exactly what they mean.

-Edit: I believe you want a “t” at the end of “mean”.

If you doubt a village women can state her mind, perhaps let me be an example to you.

-Edit: I believe you want “women” to be “woman”.

Another solid chapter all around. The dialogue was smooth, I thoroughly enjoyed Tam’s confidence and cunning, and I especially adored Tam’s speech/dialogue at Parliament. It was just such an awesome scene! She’s such a strong and inspiring character here, and I love how clever she’s become. She’s made such strides and I’m really so very proud of her. I really feel like she’s a real person to me, much credit being to your brilliant characterization.

I think you captured each characters tone and mood perfectly in this chapter; especially when Tam addressed Parliament and the men were discriminating against her for being a woman. I thought you captured all of this brilliantly, I really do. This is such a solid chapter and I commend you for writing such a brilliant piece.
C. Tattiana H-H chapter 25 . 10/3/2010
Oh! This is one of my favourite quotes! Bonus points to you for including it. :D

Brilliant opening line.

"I don't why he's never given them to you."

-Edit: I believe you want to toss “know” before” why”.

“We are just dolls of convenience to them. Conscious dolls. Barely conscious, mind. Charming puppets. Pretty parrots.”

-And again the theme is tied in nicely. Brilliant job with this, Sophie! This entire piece seems incredibly well thought out, and it really shows! :D

The ending of this chapter was perfect. I love how you lead the reader through her inner thoughts as she thinks of a problem and then the solution for it. I found it to be highly engaging and really got me excited for the last two chapters. This was highly effective and well played. Fantastic work here, Sophie.
C. Tattiana H-H chapter 24 . 10/3/2010
Oh, dear. The title of this chapter has me deeply worried. :(

That scene with the doctor had my heart racing. Oh, my.

The distance between her wrists was miraculous after being tied for so long.

-Love the attention to detail here.

"Enough for the minute," she laughed, "you'll exhaust yourself just trying to carry these." She examined the spines. "Empowerment and disempowerment. A Critically Informed View of Freedom. Hung by the Strings of Society. Hmm, not what I would have chosen. They're a bit dry for the sick bed, don't you think?"

-XXDD

"You don't care about my scars?" she said when Harry came up for air./"Not really," Harry murmured, still contained by a far off look and slightly pink cheeks.

-Ha-ha. I wonder what she was reading. :3

"You can't guess?" Harry's face was still directed tea-wards.

-Oh, I adore this direction here with “tea-wards”. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that used before; I quite like it.

"Not he like he did."

-Edit: Remove the first “he”.

Under Harry and the doctor's careful care, Tam got better quickly.

-“careful care” and “got better” aren’t as refined a phrase as I would expect from you.

"It does look very well on you, I'll give you that. You're allowed to have favourites I suppose, so long as they are practical, not just sentimental old rags."

-Before I read this line, I suspected it was a sentimental piece. I’m thinking Marcus bought her it... and perhaps even the yellow butterfly clips—only he didn’t give her the clips for some reason. Hmm...

She took a breath and unstuck her stiff jaw. "It's wrong what you did to Ariana," she managed to state.

-Oh! Silly, Tam. Ha-ha. I was wondering why she was so cross with him.

"I stuffed it thoroughly though, didn't I? He was never interested in me after that."

-Oh, my. That’s... Ha-ha. Sorry. Quite the image.

What a lovely scene between these two women here. I’m glad the chapter title wasn’t some nasty foreshadowing. Ha-ha. I really do like Ariana.

Oh, I also noticed several spacing issues with this chapter; you have double spaces between a lot of sentences. I know some people have been taught to put double spaces between sentences when they write, so perhaps you use hat method of writing, but simply forgot to edit them out. :)
C. Tattiana H-H chapter 23 . 10/3/2010
Her chest burned like she had a glowing coal instead of a heart.

-Such wonderful imagery here, my goodness! I think this is one of my favourite descriptions.

"The Guardians are my family," the Guardian said, turning away from her. "I don't have any other."

-This, right here, is so perfect. This reminds me faintly of early Tam and the Ward. Her only family was the caretakers there, and I think his line contrasts brilliantly with her past. They are (or were) both stuck in the system in a way that isolated them from “regular” interaction, and so the only family they’ve known is the government workers. I don’t know how to fully explain it, unfortunately, but I thought this part was so brilliant.

What an escape! So simple, so sly, so smooth. I love that contrast!
C. Tattiana H-H chapter 22 . 10/3/2010
Chapter title has an extra ‘n’ in it.

She surfaced cautiously.

-I adore this. Another seamless transition. Brilliant work here.

You slip into present tense during part of this chapter, I believe. It works surprisingly well, actually. Just thought I’d mention how wonderful I found that to be.

A few more barked orders, and the Guardians encircled a group of mothers, pointing their rifles so they forming the spokes of a wheel with the woman in the centre.

-Edit: “so they forming” should be “so they formed” I believe.

It is always so much worse to be cold and hungry at the same time. The cold digs its icy fingers deeper into a hungry body.

-Brilliant. This present tense sticks out a bit more, I find, but it’s still brilliant.

Oh, god, Sophie. This chapter is of such a high calibre of writing, my goodness! It’s just SO, so, so, so perfect. Words cannot even describe. I just really can’t even form coherent enough sentences right now to do this brilliance justice. Oh, man. I love how one of the Guardians sympathizes with them, or at the least, seems to regard them as still being human. I think that added a wonderful realistic element to this part in the story, and reinforced one of the other themes of no true evil vs. true good.
C. Tattiana H-H chapter 21 . 10/3/2010
"It is, though," Mercedes replied. "She died when your brother was born."

-Oh my god. No way. No, friggan way, Sophie. Is Marcus her brother? He better not be her brother? Who was her brother then? Did like, her father give her up so he could keep the son? Oh, gawd, what’s going on?

Okay, phew. I was worried there for a moment. So intense. XD

"You've left that nancy boy Marcus, then?"

-lmfao. Nancy boy.

"Well ,it doesn't matter what it was. It didn't work. The others died."

-Edit: Bit of a spacing issue at the beginning here.

This entire chapter is wonderful, Sophie. I especially enjoyed the interaction between Mercedes and Tam. Their dialogue was smooth, realistic and highly engaging. (More on this in my final review for this, I promise).

Oh, man, and the final line? So good. So intense. So perfect. This whole chapter, Sophie, this entire chapter is just brilliant. The interactions are dead on and endearing, and the use of suspense actually made me read on until the end without reviewing! Ha-ha. I’m back now, though, and I’m almost finished writing up my final review (it’s kinda epic). :D
C. Tattiana H-H chapter 20 . 9/30/2010
The present evaporated instantly.

-Excellent transition here, Sophie!

"Why did you try to do this alone?" His voice broke her thoughts. No, he was here. Flauvel was there. Separate. Safe. Inside. Outside. The concepts blurred in confusion in her mind.

-Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. This scene is so chilling, my goodness.

"Yes," she whispered back. No: not your home. Mine. " tonight. Can I sleep, tonight, please?"

-Edit: Tiny mistake here; remove the space between the opening quotation and “tonight”.

Wow. This chapter was SO intense. Oh my gawd. You did a seriously inspiring job at blending the past with the present and bleeding between the two. Like, wow. I can’t even say, Sophie. This was just... another favourite chapter of mine. Ha-ha. So good. SO GOOD! Y_Y
C. Tattiana H-H chapter 19 . 9/30/2010
I’m constantly surprised by Harry. I love how our first impression of her in the Museum didn’t shine a golden light on her; you gradually, through small actions or the voicing of her strong opinions, show us a strong, fun-loving, and kind woman. You have done a killer, I repeat killer, job at characterizing her. My goodness, I certainly wasn’t expecting to like her character as much as I do now. This scene with them buying fruit is what made me suddenly realize how taken I am to her. Excellent work here, Sophie!

Tam realised time had looped; that parties at Ariana's house were caught in a circle, the same faces and relationship and acquaintances going through the same rituals over and over. She made a mental note to stay away from the pool room.

-Interesting thought process here. I like it!

The acid of Ariana's words dripped onto his hand and his touch was removed instantly.

-Brilliant, brilliant description! Wow, what an image!

But she didn't want to offend Harry, and in fact the longer Harry's warmth rested on hers, the less she came to mind it

-Edit: Comma after “fact” I believe.

Lmfao, Sophie, that AN threw me for a second; I thought one of the characters was speaking without quotations for a moment. In regards to your question, I certainly do not think your characters are a bit cardboard. In fact, they’re so three dimensional, I feel as if they’re living, breathing people walking around in my city. The lack of information about their political set-up is fine by me. You’ve hinted a little at how things are run (i.e. who’s in charge, who enforces the law), and I think you’ve done a good job and not letting that bog down the story, or detract from the main plot. I am definitely still intrigued by the remaining backstory. (lmfao drip feed. You really are too brilliant).
C. Tattiana H-H chapter 18 . 9/30/2010
"No, they were your mothers and now-"

-Edit: Change “mothers” to “mother’s”.

She pulled out the butterfly pins, admiring tehm for a moment before tidying Tam's hair.

-Edit: Change “tehm” to “them”.

Another favourite chapter of mine, for sure. I thought the opening paragraphs were so perfect and really helped set the scene. Reading this, I felt rather peaceful, myself, and I like how I feel relaxed when the characters feel relaxed, tense when the characters are tense, and worried when the characters are worried. You are a queen at doing this, by the way.

I especially enjoyed Marcus and Tam’s interaction here. The mood was relaxed, but it contrasted quite nicely with the somewhat touchy topic they discussed. I think it’s rather clever how you did that, actually. Another carefully executed scene that is, as expected, top notch.

Overall, another awesome chapter! Oh, man, Sophie, I love this story so damn much. Everything about it is so wonderful. I wasn’t having the greatest day yesterday (when I began power-reviewing this piece), but reading this story made me feel so much better. Not because Tam’s life is more unstable than my own, mind you. No, I find your writing and this story to be as comforting as a good novel on a cold and dreary day. There’s so many wonderful elements to this piece that are so comforting and enjoyable to read. As far as enjoyment goes, I honestly feel like I’m reading a published piece. This story is incredibly engrossing, and I rarely encounter anything I would change. Even then, it’s just a simple grammatical mistake that has been overlooked.

Such a brilliant piece, Sophie—I’m having so much fun reading it. :D
C. Tattiana H-H chapter 17 . 9/30/2010
"I think its best Tam stays inside today,"

-Edit: Change “its” to “it’s”.

I actually went ahead and read this and the next chapter without reviewing. I’m sorry! I was just so into the story I couldn’t wait. Plus, it was 1:30am and I was rather tired, so I knew my reviews would be seriously lacking.

I adore the opening dialogue between Marcus and the men and women, because I thought it was another great moment that conveyed their lifestyle and class quite well. The descriptions were marvellous, as usual, and everything was extremely easy to picture.

I loved the little moment where Marcus was telling Tam she couldn’t follow him into the room. For a moment, I wondered if he was going into a gentlemen’s [can’t think of word], so I’m glad to find out my initial thoughts were true. I thought it was rather cute, actually; she’s still quite innocent, and I like to see that innocence still come into play during various moments.

I feel so bad for Tam, though. She’s still adjusting quite a bit. She’s made so many great strides in her conditioning, but her experience with Duncan has really stifled that progress. I like how you’ve included that bump along her road because it provides for a little more internal conflict that helps fuel this wonderful story.
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