Reviews for Caged Birds
Saki Kikkio Ohayashi chapter 1 . 11/7/2012
Please write more!
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 1 . 9/25/2012
I love the way you set the setting immediately. First with the gossip and names and "The Rakk", and then later the eunuch and mention of the "Mother". Each of things both set up the scene and set it apart (in a good way) that makes it stand out for what it is.

I also like the way you end. It's subtle, but it leaves a hint of mystery and hope and keeps the reader intrigued. Nice job. :)

- Moonstar
lookingwest chapter 1 . 6/16/2012
I have extra time this morning I was also curious about this because you mentioned it earlier. I don't know if the new story posted was the "Now" piece, or if it was this one either, but the title "Caged Birds" intrigues me.

Whenever a Favourite dies or gets too old, usually every fortnight, the Rakk chooses a new one. [This time felt a little warped to me]

This was much stronger for me that your other pieces. It felt more complete, more well rounded. There were better sized paragraphs and the pacing was better controlled. I also thought your character and subject was unique and engaging. It left me wanting more and reminded me of Arabian Nights and some of the women narrators in those stories. I would love even more out of the setting, the color of the elaborate tile, for instance. This felt a little colorless to me, yet I feel like it should be very bright because of all the women and the fabrics. Also interested to see if the narrator is a virgin or not, it was left unclear to me. I think more attention could be paid to her sexuality, she feels very innocent at the moment. If she is, you characterize her well that way. I think the theme of the caged birds was woven wonderfully throughout too. I'm not sure how I feel about this being in the Fantasy/Angst/Drama sections. I'm not feeling a Fantasy vibe at the moment, I'm feeling a much more historical one. As for Angst/Drama, I'm hoping that our main narrator becomes a strong female character instead of one who mopes about. I think, especially for young adult literature, the women characters should really be strong and resourceful. I'm not sure I'd be up to reading about how she feels angst-like and mistreated and ill-used for several chapters, but I'd be much more up to seeing her fight back or stand up or become the Mother and all-powerful. You're playing with a lot of gender themes in this, I think you should be very aware of what you say about women while you're writing, especially for your heroine, in this situation more than your other pieces of writing. I think it has strong potential for a very original first person perspective and characterization, I look forward to what you do to continue.
The Autumn Queen chapter 1 . 6/15/2012
[A string of whispers runs] - A string of whispers run...

["I'm not a girl anymore!" someone calls, probably Evanka, she has a habit of speaking without thinking.] - a little to dense of a sentence. I think you should split that into two separate sentences.

[the flowers and favourites of a man ] - I like this part. Putting human qualities to a bird. I have to wonder throughout this whole thing whether the "birds" are physical or metaphorical.

Are you planning on continuing this?
TinfoilKnight chapter 1 . 6/12/2012
Review lovin' you! :3

Interesting! It took me a couple readthroughs to get it, but now I see. Harem? That's an interesting concept. Don't think I've read a story like this before. Love your metaphor.

I'm wanting a little description, though. What does the... cage look like? What do the girls look like? I'm sure you'll describe more later. Lookin forward to reading more from this.
Rogue Energizer Bunny chapter 1 . 6/12/2012
I'm here to practice my reviewing skillz!

I keep getting distracted. Okay. Here goes.

I like the caged bird metaphor, if it is a bit overused.

Love the concept, with the sex and all that. It's cool. I'm not very articulate today, so I hope you can actually tell what I'm getting at, heh.

Could use some more development of setting. Not much, just so that we can tell where this all is going on, y'know? So it doesn't turn into talking head syndrome.

I suck at reviews too.

YAY!

COOKIE DOUGH!

*adds to alerts, goes to review moar*

-REB/Livia now.
cellophanediamond chapter 1 . 6/12/2012
You are a seriously awesome writer!

I love how she's comparing herself and everyone to birds locked in a cage. It's a really nice image.

Again, this whole Harem thing kinda disturbs me...

Oh god. I want to know what's behind the door!

And curiosity killed the Cello.

love ya!
OneOriginalThing chapter 1 . 6/11/2012
I really liked this short story. I really found it interesting, how she explains her fear and excitement to be noticed. I can't really relate to how she feels, but I can understand it. I really like how she explains her wish to be free but I feel as though you could have took it it a new level, by explaining what she did while she was free that she misses, adding in the fact that she had hardships of her own when she lived in the village, I feel like you could make this a really long and AWSOME story if you wanted too and I would love to read more if you did.
XxCliche-SpicexX chapter 1 . 6/11/2012
Hey,

I'd say it's a bit lacking in description and action, there's no detail about the setting they're in other than "Elaborately tiled hallway."

The dialogue is a little hard to read with they're strange phrasing.

Personally not my style of story, but I can see it appealing to some. There's not enough to get a feel for character yet or anything but I suspect that's to come in further chapters?

There are a few grammatical errors and comma's in places I generally wouldn't see necessary.

Cliche.x
this wild abyss chapter 1 . 6/11/2012
I liked how you started this off with a string of gossip because it sets the stage for the rest of the scene, the setting. I also liked how you've characterized this narrator with her emotions because it really speaks of her desperation and desire for change, of her past, too.
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 1 . 6/11/2012
I thought this could have used a lot more development of the setting. I understand this is a harem and they're probably in a palace, but I think if you were to step back and take the time to really flesh out her surroundings better it'll help the reader picture what's going on. What are the walls made out of? What is the floor made out of? What does the place smell like? Is it hot, cold, humid, dry? What do people normally wear in this place, and how does it reflect their status/culture? With a setting like this, something people don't normally experience or know too much about, description can be key to really pulling them in. I don't mean to go overboard in details, of course, but sometimes the setting is really worth explaining when it's in such a unique story like this. I couldn't tell if this is happening in the present, the distant past, or maybe even in another world.

I think you have a very interesting plot here, though. I really do like how you made some of the women want to be 'Favorites' and how some of them don't - I think it shows a lot about how brain washed and crazy some of these women are/have driven to be, because I can't imagine any female in her right mind would ever want to be with someone physically abusive for only sexual reasons. This makes me think a lot of the past when harems were very popular in some cultures, and it'll be exciting to see how the narrator deals with this rather bleak situation she's now in. Sounds to me like she wants freedom, so I hope to see a strong female protagonist.

One small thing I noticed is I don't think you mentioned her name in this chapter. I don't know if this was intentional or not, but sometimes it's hard to become attached to a character without a name to tack their personality onto first.

[I do not wish to be looked at, but everything in a caged bird's life depends on its master, and when all the other birds sing about him night and day it's impossible not to hope.]

Just wanted to say that I really liked this sentence, as well as the opening summary. I thought it was well phrased and provided a very accurate, thought provoking metaphor.

[probably Evanka, she has a habit of speaking without thinking.]

Edit: The comma should be either a period or a semi-colon.