Reviews for crackers
Dreamers-Requiem chapter 1 . 11/29/2011
Loved it. Great opening line, with a strong hook to it, and I loved her interactions with the others - especially Rani, and the way she reacts to simple things like him saying her name. Throughout, you give a really strong idea of the character - I especially loved the part where she went through the different things she wanted to be, and how, in some way, they're all linked. Wonderful to read, great ending and great way of tying it in with the start. Amazing stuff :)
Dragon made me do it chapter 1 . 11/8/2011
Another enjoyable, well constructed story from you. I like the way it was paced, starting slowly and subtly, easing you in to the scenery, then accelerating rapidly towards the climax. I thought this was a great choice of location and he depicted the scene well.

Your writing style makes for a very smooth trajectory through the story, but there were a lot of cleverly thought out ideas like:

'still a right angle over his jeweller's screwdrivers, bent on making everything just perfect.' - the double meaning of 'bent on' as he is at a right angle.

'Every good thief is constantly on the prowl for anything shiny – forget an eagle's eyes, I was a devoted magpie.' - I loved the magpie metaphor.

'All good safecrackers know that stress is key. It is under constant pressure, not violent force, that everything will eventually break open.

Sometimes, I like to sit quietly and wonder when my mind is going to do the same.' This was great, particularly with the title 'crackers' also meaning crazy, so many levels to these two lines.

I liked the little bit of character development that went into the series of childhood dream careers. Reminds me of someone I know ... not mentioning any names.

'being a pop star, adored by fans everywhere, would be my nirvana'- the pedant in me wants to say that the Buddhist concept of Nirvana is not equivalent to the Christian heaven and would involve quite the opposite of being adored by fans, but the writer in me is impressed by your play on words with the band Nirvana.

A doctor way you developed the relationship between Lucy and Rani was very subtle and well done. At first I thought she seemed more interested in him than he is in her, even though she generally has more of a cold attitude towards the world that comes from being deceptive and plotting a heist. then later he seems to be doting over her. the power dynamic between the two ebbs and flows. it is nice to see this in a genre piece!

'Metaphorically speaking, this is the bush.' - I didn't get what you meant here.


As another review mentioned, there were cases of mixing up tenses, I have outlined all the ones I picked up here:

The other part of my childhood introspective rose to the surface like a corpse. - This is in past tense when the rest of the paragraph appears to be in present tense.

twirling the bolt cutters around in his hand as he opened the door. - This sentence switches from present to past tense.

I want to be reborn as a housecat. To eat, and sleep, and bathe in sunlight; but only if I felt like it. - also mixes tenses.

as I watch them work, the tedious nature of the process reminded me of foreplay.- also mixes tenses

The other main issue I picked up was the use of 'its' in the possessive. in this context it should be 'its', the only time you need an apostrophe is when it is a contraction of it is, and then it is spelt 'it's'.

These are all the examples I picked up, take the apostrophe out:

feeling its' give

aware of its' balanced

slides from its' housing

Overall, a great read, good luck in the contest :-)
Findus chapter 1 . 11/7/2011
Hi there, dropping in to return the review favor and to check out your wcc piece.

I loved your opening line."Nothign is ever safe." I think it goes for most things in life because I nodded an automatical "yeah, that's right" as I read it.

"forget an eagle's eyes, I was a devoted magpie" I liked this line in connection to the thief theme.

I find your two cat burglar instantly likable. The obvious infatuation of your narrator and I laughed at the line where she mentiones that she has to take everything Rani says literally. I find this typical for middle Europeans (though I though German instantly when you wrote that, not Dutch. :))
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 1 . 11/7/2011
The title of this one-shot threw me for a loop at first, because when I saw 'crackers' I was thinking of the crackers you eat. But then I saw they're cracking into a safe and I thought to myself 'oh... yeah, that makes a lot more sense!' xD

I enjoy your take on the prompt, how you took the literal route the word 'safe' from provided sentence. That was the word which stuck out to me as well, and if I actually had found some inspiration, I probably would have taken a similar route, though not with jewel thieves. I think this plot was very interesting, had a great amount of suspense and I thought the pacing was very nice.

I'm wondering what this fetish is in the beginning that Lucy mentions, but after reading all the way through this, I think we (the reader) finally get our answers near the end. She obviously gets off on the adrenaline of stealing, and I really love that about her personality. You don't normally find that in women as much as a man (at least, I don't think one does; I'm hardly an expert on that subject), and I think it gives her an interesting twist. I also enjoy her somewhat perverted little comments, especially the one about foreplay. I thought it was well placed and gave her a unique voice - far from the typical feminine protagonist. Lucy definitely promises the potential of continuing to surprise the reader merely because of her personality.

I enjoyed the repetition of the lines that mention "all good do-and-do know..." because it kept bringing me back to the beginning and the opening line. I think using it there at the end was a good way of concluding things as well, made it feel like the events all came around in full circle.

I liked the end there too where they got discovered. Very suspenseful.

Found myself chuckling when Lucy mentioned how she wanted to sit on a pile of gold bars while someone less important than her paints her toes, haha. I think everyone feels like that at least once in their lives - and it's a dirty, greedy little desire people often deny.

My only issue in this entire thing is more technical than anything else. I noticed that quite often you would switch between present tense and past tense in the middle of your paragraphs, sometimes in the same sentence. Let me see if I can find an example:

[Rani said, bringing out the trademark smile. So damned charismatic. He turns to the door, pressing his fingers to the wall where the alarm cable pulsed.]

Right here you have the past tense verb 'said' in the beginning, then switch to a present tense verb 'turns', then turn back to the past tense verb 'pulsed'. I would suggest picking one of the two to keep the content consistent and to avoid confusing the reader. If I may make a suggestion, I think a present tense narrative will give you the suspense you're aiming for with this - but then again, I'm a huge fan of present tense, so my opinion could be biased. :D

If you were to reword this with present tense verbs only, it would be something like this:

[Rani says, bringing out the trademark smile. So damned charismatic. He turns to the door, pressing his fingers to the wall where the alarm cable pulses.]

You'd only have to change the 'said' to 'says' and the 'pulsed' to 'pulses'.

I hope you found this review helpful, and good luck in the WCC!
Lara Bykirk chapter 1 . 11/7/2011
I really like this story. It was exciting, and tense, and best of all, the descriptions were really well written. I loved the way that the extreme cold wove its way all through this story-it made me so glad to be cozily inside. I think that believable cold is pretty hard to convey, so props to you.

I have two bits of constructive criticism for you. First, I wanted more about the relationship between Rani and Lucy-I couldn't quite work out whether they'd been together for a long time or not, and I think that really would change the dynamic that they work with. You don't need to go into their whole history together in this short little piece, but a little bit more would be helpful, I think. Second, I had a hard time reading the narrator's voice as a female voice. I'm not sure what it is about Lucy's voice-and I might just be reading something into your story that's not there. But it was a persistent impression for me, and I thought you should know. I loved the voice, however. The paragraph starting "I'm not going to be coy" was absolutely fabulous.
cerebral1 chapter 1 . 11/6/2011
Neat premise; a little like a Mission Impossible on the other side of the law!

I could visualize the scene as it unfolds; very cinematic in your descriptions.

I'm glad they got away; you had me rooting for the thieves, so, kudos for that.

Well written and interesting take on the prompt. Good luck!