Reviews for Trickster of Spectra
ScribbleMonkey chapter 1 . 4/5/2013
Here from Roadhouse!

Some typo and sentence structure issues:

"his rasp breathing"
I think that's a typo of 'raspy'.
"His coat soaked in tainted blood that once belonged to the king that he had once sworn to protect, and his own."
Maybe instead of 'and his own', 'as well as his own'. Or maybe make this into two sentences.
"make Laurent here it more clearly."
Should be 'hear'.
"plugged her hand"
'plunged'
"he just done"
Probably should be 'he had just done'.
"take up on your deal"
Instead, 'take you up on your deal'.

I am really curious about this world. It has a medieval vibe but also a mythological feel with the idea of a personified reaper. Your character voices are very strong and easy to differentiate between. I love it when you can read a story, and could recognize a character solely on their style of speech. That's a sign of a great writer!

You also have some powerful imagery here! I'm really curious what was pursuing Laurent and I'm relieved he wasn't killed. I can tell he isn't perfect, but that will make his interactions with the girl even more interesting! I really want to see more of that.

Great start!
Dreamers-Requiem chapter 2 . 10/2/2012
One of the main things I would suggest is to really focus on your grammar. At the moment, it really detracts from the overall story. A little cleaning up with the writing, polishing it would make a huge difference. [Jester! Where the living hell are you!"] Should have a question mark there. ["Perhaps she is in the shower room Master."] Should be a comma before 'Master'. I would also suggest if a character speaks and you then talk about a different character, put it on a seperate pargraph. I noticed you tend to use names a lot, so maybe see if there is some other way of referencing characters you could use? [ Laurent gotten a grip on her] Just 'got', not 'gotten'. Some of this seems a bit jumpy, too; maybe slow down the pace a bit, allow the reader to get a good grasp of what's going on before jumping to something else?

A fair few other things there, but like I said, you just need to brush up on grammar and polish this, really.
Vernelley chapter 3 . 6/16/2012
I think I found this chapter a lot stronger than the last. There's more characterisation on Liam here, his relationship with Maliyka and his mother, and his suicidal/masochistic tendencies. There's a pretty solid explanation of Liam's circumstances at home and about his parents, which I think is good to include.

There's also starting to be a little more difference between the way Laurent and Jester speak, but it's still quite slight at the moment. Jester is interesting too in the way she philosophises a little about being caged.

Drake is definitely depicted well as the apprentice because he shows confusion and questions when he doesn't understand, which is very typical of someone new to the job.

I also like how you go into more depth about the exact role of Spectra in the transition from death to the afterlife. This time it doesn't sound as much like author input like things last chapter might have because Laurent's in his teaching role so it sounds less unnatural.

I think the only real issue in the chapter is technical, and that's just the punctuation. It's mostly commas and such that are missing in places that would help the writing flow and the dialogue sound more natural, but without those it can be a bit distracting and jarring to read.

Anyway, overall this is going well now, and I'm curious as to where this is going.
Vernelley chapter 2 . 6/16/2012
I think I actually read this a while ago but forgot to review :s

I was kind of surprised when Jester said it was the 21st century because I wouldn't have gotten that impression at all from the first chapter. I guess they might not be in the same dimension or anything, but if the 21st century there is similar to the one in our dimension, you might want to make that more apparent. I do see the concept of purgatory though.

I like your descriptions in this chapter, but I think some of them could use a bit more explanation. Like what makes Jester's eyes 'seductive'?

Drake is an interesting character though, and I think it might say something about Jester that she's not happy with him being Laurent's student.

I have to say I don't really feel that Jester and Laurent have distinct ways of speaking from one another. Drake is kind of meek and more reserved when he talks but with Jester and Laurent, without speaker tags they could easily be confused. Just something to consider.

There are some grammatical issues but nothing outstanding and people may already have mentioned them so I'm not concerned with that this time around.

Hmm. Liam is introduced and while we don't see much of him as yet he's obviously damaged as a character and I'm guessing he has something to do with the reapers later on. Since he was bordering on suicide?

I'm not really sure if I can see the exact reason Drake chose to go with Jester in the end; he isn't that fully developed as a character in spite of everything he says in this chapter and I think it's something that needs more time. The dialogue between him and Jester in the last part feels unnatural in some parts because it sounds like telling more than showing, and it feels like telling too much at once. So for me the ending is kind of confusing.

Overall, it was pretty good. Could use a little work but it's decent writing so far.
Ryou Arubin chapter 1 . 6/16/2012
Hey there from the Roadhouse! :)

This prologue is pretty well done, especially the opening where Laurent is being pursued. Seeing that this prologue covered lots of action, it kept intrigued till the end to see what kind of decision Laurent would take, seeing that he doesn't have a very good relationship with Jester but he was a loyal servant to the fallen king.
TonyL chapter 1 . 6/12/2012
I don't read much supernatural, but I am enjoying your story. I like the way you write. You draw a vivid picture with your words and I like the fact that you don't go overboard on adjectives.

I liked the beautiful purple eyes and what they could do (I believe Elizabeth Taylor actually had purple eyes)

The following I found a little hard to envision

"Laurent chuckled softly as he sat on the floor, writhing in pain."

I am skeptical if a person can chuckle softly while writhing in pain. IF he is writhing; he most likely is yelling.

I enjoyed your prologue and I plan on continuing reading your story
this wild abyss chapter 3 . 6/11/2012
When Liam hit his mother you said he "feared for his life". Why? It was obvious that his mom wasn't in any shape to do him any damage herself. I found that a little confusing.

Ah yes, it all comes together now. I'm interested to see what kind of havoc Jester is going to wreak on the world once she gets there. Obviously Liam will be involved somehow. Should be interesting.

"her voice was sharp, a little too harsh." [Edit: you should start a new sentence here.]

"he was annoyed" [Edit: you should start a new sentence here.]

"Maliyka's eyes widen" [Edit: should be "widened"]

"Spectra's two suns brighten" [Edit: should be "brightened"]

"Jester's eyes trail off" [Edit: should be "trailed"]

"watched his drunken mother stumbled into the room" [Edit: should be "stumble"]
this wild abyss chapter 2 . 6/11/2012
Oh, wow. From the prologue I had no idea that this took place in a more modern setting. You might want to go back and clear that up. I got a distinctly medieval-type feel from the prologue, so the first few paragraphs of this were a bit unexpected. I'm also a bit unsure of where this takes place. I've gathered that Liam is on earth, but are Laurent and the rest not on earth? Some kind of parallel dimension? It's very interesting. I don't get a feel for how the two story lines are connected just yet but I'm sure you'll clear that up and bring them together. I definitely like that you're widening the plot and character pool, though. It keeps things varied.

One thing I think might help you with your writing would be to use contractions, especially in dialogue. As it is your characters sound super formal and stiff, and a lot of that is because they don't use contractions.

Other than that I think this is pretty cool so far. I like the more modern fantasy you've got going on.

"everything was fast pace" [Edit: should be "paced"]

"the bricks that helped molded the building" [Edit: should be "mold"]

"tired of the longing day he was enduring." [Edit: should be "long"]
this wild abyss chapter 1 . 6/11/2012
"revealing beautiful purple eyes" — purple? why purple?

This is a really creepy, sinister opening. You do a good job capturing the tone and atmosphere of the scene and impressing it on your readers. Your word choice helps in that area, I think. The lack of information keeps things vague and mysterious. As a reader I already want to know what's going on. Why is Laurent being chased? Why is Jester in a cage? Obviously you'll answer those things eventually, but the lack of answers seems to work for you here. Because I don't know what's going on I'm even more interested to see how you incorporate their stories into the plot.

As far as writing, I think this isn't badly written, just in need of some clean-up. It reads a little roughly and jaggedly in places. It's clear but it doesn't shine. If that makes sense. But it's definitely not terrible.

Some style/grammar things:

"His bare body, full of fresh cuts and bruises." [Edit: did you mean for this to be a fragment?]

"Laurent quickly moved faster." [Style: moving "faster" implies that he's doing it quickly. This might be a bit redundant.]

"female voice pleaded out softly" [Edit: you don't usually plead "out" in the same way you "call out"]

"plugged her hand into the stomach of the man" [Style: I'm not sure "plugged" is the right word here. It isn't exactly clear what she's doing. Is she punching him?]

"realizing what he just done by releasing" [Edit: there should be "had" after he and before done. "what he had just done"]

"the girl was facing Laurent face-to-face" [Style: this is redundant]

"Her bright eyes ready to kill again" [Edit: unless you want this to be a fragment you should say "her bright eyes were ready"]
Vivace.Assai chapter 3 . 6/3/2012
Oh yeah, I forgot to say this last chapter but I hope you feel better after your foot surgery! Now onto the review!

Anyways, I basically read this chapter straight without a pause so I could get a more overall sense of the chapter and how I felt with the story. I did notice several grammatical mistakes within the chapter – the prominent mistakes dealt with verb tenses. There were some moments when you fluctuated from past tense to present tense. And other moments, the verb tense chosen (like a part where you used to “-ing” verbs when your first verb in that three verb list was past tense) only confused me as a reader. If you want specifics about the mistakes, feel free to ask and I will comb through the chapter again looking through the examples.

Overall, though, I liked how you fluctuated between Liam and Jester. It gives this sense of rush on Liam’s part – his entire life is speeding to this climatic moment and he’s confused. The way you keep switching scenes makes it feel like time is going by quickly. It also makes me excited about seeing what will happen in each side of the story and that draws me in further. I somehow feel that the two (Jester and Liam) are connected in some way but I’m not quite sure what yet. But your focus on his life and all his suffering must mean something, so I’m definitely keeping my eye open with Liam and what happens with him. Furthermore, I think this chapter had a nice balance of dialogue and narration. It made all the dialogue within the chapter not seemed rush like a noted with the last chapter’s final piece of dialogue. There is a sense of urgency but there is also a sense of gravity to everything the characters say – it’s more natural and more believable. The narration also helps me set up a perfect image of what is happening better – I can see the characters and what they do really well and I can understand more what is happening to them.

Overall, another nice chapter. Interested to read the next update.

Signing off…
Vivace.Assai chapter 2 . 6/3/2012
Okay, usually I sometimes highlight technical concerns but looking through your reviews, you’ve pretty much gotten a lot of that so – unless you want it – I’ll just talk about my overall impression of the chapters from now on. I will mention, however, my primary concern with this chapter was my reading felt stinted and unnatural. This was mostly because of misplaced punctuation like how semi-colons were used where commas would be better or the use of a comma instead of a period created a long run-on. And sometimes the dialogue felt lacking – especially the dialogue in the last part. I just felt that the dialogue was supposed to be intense; Jester is asking for treachery towards Laurent from Drake and I’m supposed to be gripping the edge of my seat, hanging onto each and every word. But instead, I breezed through that last key scene. It might help if you emphasized some of the character’s emotions or put more descriptors or narration within the dialogue – something to draw us in more into this serious discussion.

But that aside, I did like this chapter. In fact, I found this to be a really nice chapter in developing the plot and characters. And I was surprised at how many questions it answered from the prologue and in such an unexpected way, too. For instance, I did not think Jester and Laurent would live in a spectral world. I did imagine a fantasy world but more medieval (what with the references of king and such). But when Jester said they lived in the 21st century, I was completely shocked. But I did think the choice of setting was really innovative. Most people think about the afterlife. Most think about our current life. But it’s rare to see a story about the world that goes between the afterlife and Earth and I think this world gives great set-up for a lot of future intrigue. Jester’s connection – as the reaper – to Earth and her plans to take over Spectra make me worried about the implications of her decisions on both worlds. This definitely adds more intensity towards the situation and possibilities.

Furthermore, I find the character development nice. I liked the relationship dynamics between Laurent and Jester. There is clear hatred between the two but Laurent must rely on Jester because she is the new reaper. Meanwhile, Jester seems to view Laurent as someone who forces others into submission. In that respect, I will just have to trust Drake’s and Jester’s view since I haven’t really seen Laurent do anything too bad except be bad-tempered and rude. Though with that in mind, it would be nice to witness a confirmation of how Laurent is really cruel to Drake – otherwise, I’m not sure if he is someone to be overthrown. I also liked the inclusion of Drake’s relationship with Jester; their friendliness with each other definitely complicates matters. But it also shows how Jester might not be too horrible if Drake can like her. Overall, I liked all the character relationships developed.

Overall a nice chapter. Can’t wait for the next update!

Signing off…
mingsquared chapter 3 . 6/2/2012
[She whispered[,] her voice was sharp, a little too harsh.]

[He growled[,] he was annoyed at the sight of the sudden rudeness that was bestowed on him by the wretched girl who ruined his happiness with his precious blade]

["How [native].. It's too bad they don't know the truth of it all. They're caged, just like I was." Jester whispered to herself softly.] I think you meant naive.

[ His mother threw the cigarette at the carpet and walked up to Liam and choked him with her stronger.] Choked him with her stronger what?

Not many technical mistakes, mainly just missing commas here and there.

Looking forward to Jester's first mission. That name is so unusual for a girl, maybe that's why I like her. How will Jester's and Liam's path cross?
Tsumujikaze no Soujutsu chapter 1 . 5/22/2012
Okay, so let me say something here. This is actually an improvement from your previous works. As in I can see the leaps you've made in scenario imagery. Do watch out for the verbal flow though. Some of them doesn't seem quite right to me:

[His coat soaked in tainted blood that once belonged to the king that he had once sworn to protect, and his own.]

By "his own", are you referring to Laurent's blood? If so, then the flow might sound a bit ambiguous as in people might mistaken it for his own kind rather than his own blood. I need to ask this question because I can't offer any suggestions without your confirmation. T_T

[Reminiscent to the laughter of a court jester.]

Should be 'of' instead of 'to'.

Be careful of how you place the commas. I know this is a very common mistake people made since its that one thing most easily overlooked. (Including me as well)

["I'll make this easy for you bastard, I would rather sit here covered in a rain of blood, than assist the miserable asshole that has left me to wither to dust. My answer is no."]

"I'll make this easy for you, bastard: I would rather sit here covered in a rain of blood than to assist the miserable asshole that has left me withering to dust. Simply put, my answer is no."

I'm extremely sorry for taking massive liberties with this example, but with the placement of commas changed, the readers might end up reading this far more comfortably. As for the other modifications, its down to how I perceive the girl's persona. i.e. a snarker.

Of course this is just an example I've spotted. I believe that you'll be able to spot the rest once you can have a breather. (Yes I know how ti feels to have a hectic schedule. T_T)

Now onto the characters. You did a very good job in creating the characters' emotions without using too much of a limited third person take. I'm not too sure if you can tone down the usage of "bastard" though. Don't get me wrong. I'm NOT against your decision to use such a word. But rather via my own painful experiences, using such a term would indicate an intention to shock the readers. To make them go "why that so-and-so...". If you overuse such an effect, it will numb the readers unto the extent that they will just see her as a mere anti-heroine rather than a character they can relate to.

But I'll have to say that persona planning wise, you're on the right track. Ditto for Laurent as well. In fact I do think that you've done a far better job on him despite my personal views that the girl would be the far more interesting subject to explore. I won't say its down to the focus, but rather (again!) the let's talk about Laurent a bit. To me, he might come across as the flawed hero rather than the tragic hero. Simply put, its a case of damned everything else kind of weakness I'm seeing here. There's nothing of a hint that he's doing it for the greater good. For all we know, his brand of "greater good" is merely that of personal convictions rather than caring for the world. (e.g. We can't say Osama is an altruistic fella. Sorry if this example rubs you the wrong way. T_T)

Now as for the girl, it seems that she's a product of humane atrocity more than anything else. In a very real sense, I can identify her with the common nature called hatred. Just like a wounded beast will never hesitate to strike back, likewise I don't see her playing nice after being downtrodden N times over.
mingsquared chapter 2 . 5/20/2012
Hello from the Roadhouse!

[Jester waltzed in the room with a gray lace-like shirt that covered most of her right pant leg and blue jeans. Her long hair was cleaner with tiny black flower hairclips hanging loosely [on] it.] I think you mean from it?

[He looked at the two younger ones and bluntly stated[,] "You're late."]

["You're an asshole for enslaving a [kit] like him.] Kid

[Jester slammed Laurent's head down on his desk a few times before Laurent [gotten] a grip on her and threw her over his shoulder.] Got. Wow major personality change there. I like her already.

[blood dripping from the [burse] on his forehead] I think you mean bruise.

I'm eager to see what Jester's goal is in this revolution, and how she is going to set about doing it. I also have this feeling that Liam Taylor is going to die soon. Jester's first victim? Looking forward to finding out.
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 1 . 5/19/2012
Hello from the Roadhouse. :)

As a few other people have already said, it thought your opening was very well done and really caught my attention. The imagery was vivid, and I found myself immediately wondering who was attacking Laurent and what had happened.

I thought it was interesting how Laurent had to let the Jester out of her cage in order to get her help. I'll admit, I was a little lost when getting to the end, but I think that's because it's mostly action instead of exposition and explanation. Sometimes I start wondering a little too much about who someone is/where they came from/ and other stuff like that when it's just a prologue. xD So I'll be looking forward to having those questions answered later on.

You may want to add some speaker tags to the dialogue near the end about 2/3rds down the page, when Laurent and Jester are talking about letting her out of her cage. I wasn't sure who was speaking at some points and had to backtrack.

I saw mention of a 'reaper' so I'm wondering what that might mean, like if this person is going to be along the lines of a grim reaper, or if it has a different meaning in this world.

Anyways, a very intriguing prologue. The only suggestions I have, which I mentioned above, is maybe think about adding a bit more exposition so it feels like we're reading this from Laurent's POV, because as things stand now it felt to me like more of a detached, omniscient third-person POV. Also, some speaker tags would work wonderfully near the middle. :)
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