|Reviews for Soldier Girl|
| RedactedNoLongerWriting chapter 1 . 3/11/2011
Other(Question/Content/Purpose): I do have one question about this: Is this meant as a stand-alone or is it a spinoff of a larger story? Some of the details seemed to hint there was something I was missing (particularly the bit about the cross and working with demons) but you also seemed to want this to read as a standalone. As a spinoff piece, it probably works well, though I can't judge having obviously not read said piece. To make it work as a standalone, however, you'd need to explain a lot of stuff that may seem obvious to people who have read the larger story. Treat the reader like a newbie, basically, but in such a way that it doesn't insult the intelligence of those that have read the larger story, heh. Like a refresher course. :)
Character: Zoja's quite the badass, I see, heh. I liked how she saw the Lord's Agent as a mere nuisance rather than a threat or anything resembling a respectable creature. You did a good job showing her annoyance when he ruined her jacket. Her thoughts on that matter were fitting and also quite amusing.
Ending: The one thing I was a little disappointed about here was that you set up the idea that she will be quite the sadist but I didn't quite get that feeling from her actions in the end. You started out there, doing a good job with the fingers-in-scalp thing and crushing his hand. Those were good touches. However, the end was a bit anticlimactic because she says she's going to make him suffer, will enjoy seeing him suffer, etc., and then...doesn't take the time to describe him dying. :/ I wanted gruesome details! She seems the type to delight in every gasp, every whimper, every waning beat of the heart...so it'd only be fitting to have her muse on each detail.
Enjoyment: Overall, I liked this. It was written well, edited well, and had a cool main character. I was really interested in Zoja and the world you managed to set up/hint at in such a short piece. My only problem was with the ending, and that wasn't too big of a deal. What can I say? I'm bloodthirsty. ;)
| Liya Smith chapter 1 . 12/30/2010
I think you've opened my eyes. I had been stuck inside the world of Romance for so long, I'd never realized there were so many good stories outside of it. This was so creepy and sadistic but I really enjoyed it! I think I might browse around this genre as well. Zoja is one hell of a character, but I think everyone enjoys a tough, spunky vampire here and there.
Great job once again!
| macabre thoughts chapter 1 . 12/13/2010
I'd say it's a success, as far as character development goes. Zoja has a distinctive voice, a personality, a style of dialogie, and the introduction of her name was done casually and clearly, establishing her as the main character; but she had one flaw.
The flaw is, I sort of liked her.
I'm not saying Zoja is 'really a good person deep down' or anything, because it's made quite clear she's a dominating, sadistic vampire and all-round nasty person who will do horrible things to people for trivial or obscure reasons. (And that, in turn, is not my usual list of reasons to like a character.)
Yes, she was awful, but she didn't seem all that mindlessly bent on doing specific evil. Her side was unclear - whether she was loyal to the army she served or if she was doing it for some other reason.
As a character, she had too much depth, too much humanity. She was dry, personal, a little bit reflective, and spent a whole paragraph appreciating the aesthetics of her captive's voice and whether or not she could keep him.
Mind you, it wasn't specified what she was keeping him for (food, torture, pet etc.) but it implied that she was sad to see her victim go. The Agent was subjected to a lot of pain and everything, but not a lot of effort went into making the reader feel immediately sorry for him. I understand that this is a oneshot and it's hard to cause that in such a short time, but to illustrate a villain you have to make his/her victims innocent or deserving of sympathy. For all I know, he would have been just as prepared to do the same to her, if for different reasons (for his 'side' of the battle, rather than a coat, etc.)
So use her. She's brilliant. But if you can, pit her against someone or something that proves her to be a heartless, murderous monster. Otherwise somebody might get the wrong idea.
| lianoid chapter 1 . 7/28/2010
Aha, excellent first line. Definitely got my attention and pulled me into the scene.
I like how you start this off with an injury to her coat. I think it says a little bit about her personality, and was a really creative way to begin. If you had began with a description of a physical injury to her form, I might have not been as interested in the piece. I still would have kept reading, of course, I just especially like the creativity here.
Zoja, now that’s an interesting name. I like that. Very unique.
I like how she’s so upset about her coat. The paragraph about her searching so long to find a jacket that worked for her made me nod my head. It’s damn difficult finding clothing that suits me; so I was able to relate to her at that moment, and I could definitely feel her anger.
Your description of the Agent’s face was perfect! My goodness, you painted the image so clearly in my mind and you described her face in such a fresh way. I’m horrible with facial descriptions, but you, my friend, are quite marvellous at it.
His scream made her shiver.
-I love this line. You don’t explain whether she’s shivering from joy or from repulsion, but I have a feeling it’s not the latter.
I love her dialogue. When she calls him “darling” or “sweetheart” I get a good feel for her character. Ignoring the title, she seems like a strong female character. I like strong female characters. I love how she said, “Be a good boy for me, and you might still die pretty.” It had this really cool vibe to it that showed who was in charge (as if there was any doubt, really), as well a hint of mockery in it. It was just so badass. Ha-ha. She has such a great tone that I’m really diggin.
Be a good boy for me, and you might still die pretty
-XD Love it. Love it. So wonderful.
Seeing her actions provoke those feelings in another sent her as high as a kite, and if she had it her way, she would never come down.
-For some reason the first part of this line isn’t making sense to me. I understand what you’re trying to convey here, but I have a feeling “provoke” should be “provoked” and “in another” should be “as another”. I could be wrong, though.
Oh, the last line was as perfect as the first. You carried her tone so skilfully throughout this entire piece. This is a really solid story and I’m thoroughly impressed with you. The style of this was perfect; I have no complaints whatsoever. I didn’t find this creepy at all, actually. I quite enjoyed Zoja’s character.
Overall, this is a marvellous piece. Your descriptions were clear and never wordy or gratuitous, the action was handled perfect and easy to visualize, and the character of Zoja is one that I’m thoroughly interested in. This was posted several months back, so I’m not sure if you’re still planning on writing anything else with Zoja in it, but I for one would be down to read another piece(s) with her in it. Excellent work, Austen, I’m very impressed.
| Your-Magpie chapter 1 . 6/23/2010
Zoja kicks frikkin ass. so i think you got the point across with your using this as character building. great stuff, showed me a thing or two.;)
i just love the swear word fucker being used in a good way, so you got me first sentence (second word ;D)
i like your descriptions as well. i liked how your method of description is kind of like panning in a film- how it focuses on one thing, and zooms out/ around and fills some other detail in. i really like that kind of story telling.
i like how she cooly said how she was going to enjoy killing him. that was chilling.
the description of the lilt being like a worn down scottish accent had a nice depth and roundness to it.
the ending was pretty punchy, and i liked how it started again from the beginning about the jacket.
i liked that.
all in all, i like this very much. sincerely hope you use Zoja in something else
shes so kickass!
| Sercus Kaynine chapter 1 . 6/20/2010
Coming to you from the Review Game's Review Marathon! (link on profile)
I loved the narrator, Zoja. She just made things so fun. Her voice was memorable and quirky. I especially liked the first and last sentences. It seemed a fitting way to bring the story full circle. Your descriptions work well for this story, too. They're brisk and sharp. Perfect.
The one thing I can think to change is the tense of the first few paragraphs. I know you're describing 'what had happened', but I almost feel it would have more impact if you brought it into the same tense as the rest of the story. But then you might have to change the awesome first sentence... :( Ah, well, if you can figure it out, props to you. Otherwise, loved it.
| dragonflydreamer chapter 1 . 4/12/2010
(On a scale from 1-10, how lame is it that the title reminded me of something from Avatar: The Last Airbender? XD)
I like the opening. It's really tough, but vain. Eye-catching and I already have an idea of her character.
[The seam where the close-fit rise of the arm met with the hard line of the shoulder etc.] I like the description of this action. It stood out in my mind as particularly clear and flowing.
[Zoja sucked in one cheek as she observed the damage to the seam.] Nice little idiosyncratic trait to her character.
[clamping it at the roots tight between her fingers and digging her short, hard nails into the soft, flaking scalp] Great description!
[How selfish of him. "There's only one God who listens to this world now,"] I loved those two lines. Really chilling.
[Zoja knew others like her who liked to take away the pain of the bite, etc.] I didn't understand what this sentence was saying. It could just be because I haven't read the whole work, but I figured it was worth pointing out.
Great ending! Ties into the same kind of vanity as the beginning.
For such a short piece, I really enjoyed this. It had a very complete plot structure despite it only being a single scene and, as you said, a lot of interesting character development.
Speaking of character, I really like how Zoja was presented. The tough, no-nonsense, cruel female isn't entirely original, but you made her so extreme and unforgiving that I really liked it. Her hidden girly nature also gave her a nice twist.
As for your style, I found it quite excellent. Like I said in a note above, it was very smooth. Nothing caught me up as I was reading and I could clearly understand both the action and emotions of what was going on.
You said you're having difficulty particularly with "story-telling." If by that you mean creating a distinct and unique narration voice, I'd say you're on the right road, but not quite there with this. The narrative style of this is nearly flawless in my opinion as I said above. It executes everything that would be expected, but doesn't have any particular flash to it other than just being well done. It's completely effetive this way, but could still go further if that's what you're going for.
All in all, a very well-written piece. I can tell just by this short sample that you have a lot of talent. I'd be interested in reading the full piece this goes to!
~From the WRR Forum
| Mizzuz Spock chapter 1 . 4/6/2010
Payback from WRR:
This is an awesome piece.
Zoja is a totally badass vampire, and I love her personality. I really like how she isn't exactly a conventional vampire, and, of course, I love how she isn't one of these stupid emo modern day bloodsuckers. She has a very well-developed personality, even in such a short word-span.
The pace of this piece was near-perfect. The flow was natural, and the whole scene (like the way you described her attacking the Agent, grabbing his hair, etc.) was done masterfully. I could totally picture her actions in my head.
Like I said, an awesome piece. Very fun to read, but there are so many questions left unanswered. Who's this Lord that the Agents are working for? How did Zoja get the way she is? Who IS her God? What is this world coming to? :o
Should you decide to take this story further, it would certainly be epic.
Gratz on a job well done. I didn't find any errors. Then again, I was enjoying the story too much to even bother looking for them. I'd offer you some better concrit, but I really can't think of anything. Ya done real good here. :D
| White Carnation chapter 1 . 3/30/2010
Really nice hook, LOL. First time I've seen it before. I kinda expected to see the whole fight, but that's okay. Your description is yet again clear, providing vivid imagery, although in some places a little too much. The tear sounded way too complex then needed be, for example. But you truly did great on setting the atmesphere, and character personality. Especially personality, you conveyed her as one tough girl without having to reveal anything about her, which is always good.
| Mintiee chapter 1 . 3/30/2010
Ahha, after reading the summary and seeing the words "contains mild swearing", i found it quite funny that the very first sentence was "the fucker had ripped her jacket" XD. Still, nice hook to start off the chapter and it definitely grabbed my interest right away.
The first paragraph confused me a little bit. The detailed description of the tear in the jacket semed a bit unnecessary and was a bit difficult to understand, so i had to read it a couple times to make it sink in. Maybe if you simplified it, it would be easier to read. :)
I loved your description of the lord's agent. You got his fear down really well and it painted a very vivid picture of what was going on. Same goes for when Zoja bit him. The emotion was very clear and came across great in the dialougue and the body language. This was a really well written peice, and i enjoyed reading. :)
| Sparkling Sploosh chapter 1 . 3/27/2010
What an interesting piece.
I liked the way you revealed the different traits about Zoja. I could get a good grasp on her character, and what she is all about. I am interested to see who sent her, actually.
I also liked the mood in this piece. You created a nice balance of description and actions, in order to give me just the right amount of shivers up my spine.
| xenolith chapter 1 . 3/22/2010
Creepy! Zoja is a kickass name. Plus she's sadistic, and a vampire as well? Nice.
I really, really enjoy your narrative. It's so easily descriptive, eg - 'His only movement was the jack-hammering rise and fall of his chest as he sucked in breath after breath, and the angry twitching of his mouth' and you do disgusting so well - 'When she reached the end, she gouged her nail into the fleshy tip, right between the nostrils.' It actually made me shudder!
Also, the dialogue seemed really natural, and gave some good insight into the character of Zoja.
- '"There's only one God who listens to this world now," she said, bringing her face to the curve of his neck, right above the carotid. "And its mine."'
That was probably my fav part. All in all, a twisted, excellent start ;)
| sophiesix chapter 1 . 3/21/2010
very true on the creepy-sadistic front, but i love her non chalance and obsession with her jacket. What a shame she can't keep him! i love that concept, and wonder what seh'd do with the ones she was allowed to keep?
| Dahlia Wolffe chapter 1 . 3/21/2010
I always enjoy action stories, so it goes without saying i liked this one. The only thing that kinda dissapointed me was that I would've loved to see the actual fight. It was an original way of breaking into the story though, bold. Zoja's got some bass in her voice too, and I like that! :) I would love to know more about her background though, and to see a second chapter, perhaps more than that. Keep writing!
| Jess Megan chapter 1 . 3/21/2010
I liked your opening line, it is not typical opening line. I also liked the structure of it. I noticed in your author’s note that you were writing this on the basis of character development. She came off as very animalistic, but there was still something remotely human about her. I also liked how you started out with talking about how her jacket ripped and then finished with Zoja not wanting to stain it with his blood, which seems like a concern that would belong to someone quite evil.
I think if you allowed her to have something more human to her, that that would make her an interesting villain. At one point in time, she was human and was good. It would be interesting to learn more about that aspect of her. Who was she before she was a vampire?
Also, this line: “The seam where the close-fit rise of the arm met with the hard line of the shoulder had buckled and torn when the Lord's Agent had tried to throw her, settling for a grip on one brocaded cuff rather than her actual wrist.”
It was a little long and hard to follow. That’s just my opinion, but I feel like something like this would be better:
“The seam where the sleeve met the hard line of the shoulder had torn when the Lord’s Agent had tried to throw her.”
Not that exactly, but still.
I hope I was of some help. Happy writing!