Reviews for Passage to Ithorah
Smonorkith chapter 2 . 12/17/2013
[Languid, orange light...] This whole sentence seemed a little off to me. I think it was because of the way you ordered it. I think it might have sounded better to word it more like this: "Languid orange light pooled dimly around the bases of the hanging lamp spheres, rising up on poles every few paces."

Aeroships, eh? I like the sound of those.

[soothing his bones and muscled] 'Muscled' should be 'muscles' here.

So this chapter was really good, I liked the introduction of Zaeden and Ryne. They seem like they could work really well as a pair. Ryne kind of reminded me of Joker from the Mass Effect games, he seems like he has some kind of illness. I'm guessing that this red stuff is a kind of opiate drug that he's hooked on to get over whatever ails him, though that said I could be wrong.

Either way, I liked it, this idea of Aeroships and pilots kind of reminds me of something like Firefly or Mass Effect meets fantasy/steampunk so I'm sold!

-From the roadhouse
lookingwest chapter 3 . 9/18/2013
from the Roadhouse

"We know your name already, Roeve. [missing an end quote]

Ah, no! I was scrolling down and reading each section before scrolling again, and at the very end I thought there was more and there wasn't any more, lol. So - obviously, you did a good job pulling me into the story this chapter! I was really curious to find out who Roe actually is and why Zaeden recognizes her, so I might just have to read the next chapter right after this! You did a good job building up that mystery, so I enjoyed it.

I will say the only thing that confused me about this chapter was the second section from Roe's POV when she describes the two men that she gives the drinks too. I thought in previous chapters either Zaeden or Ryne was described has having fair skin that had that red glow to it - so I thought that the two men she was serving were in fact, Zaeden and Ryne. Then when we go back to Zaeden's perspective I think it becomes clear that he hadn't been their earlier - so I think I just kind of got lost making associations. Maybe I got the physical skin description of Ryne and Zaeden mixed up with someone else.

At any rate, the second part with Roe did a good job detailing how bored out of her mind she was. I thought you did good with that at the end too. The more I hear about Jep the more annoying he becomes. I also thought your description of the bar in the second part was well done, I liked the attention played to the lighting and where that was reflecting off the wood. Good stuff!

I enjoyed watching our separate characters finally interact in this chapter. "Discovery" as the title is clever for this. I was almost surprised to see that Kole still had his strange rock with him - I thought maybe Jep would've taken it from him after their meeting in the first chapter, so I guess that means that Jep didn't know what it was and didn't care so much about it if he just let Kole keep walking around, haha. But anyway, I liked that Zaeden apparently knows what it is and how you used the technique of switching perspectives to delay the reader finding out - it's a great way to keep us reading for curiosity's sake!

I get a good feel in this chapter for Zaeden's character too. He seems to do a lot of nice things for Ryne and I liked the scene where he was there trying to buy things to help Ryne. It all fit really well together (with Kole coming into the store after him - though I wonder why they were there.)

Also, I liked that through this whole chapter there was a theme of Quasam ale, haha. How clever! It not only gives a nice little biting bit of humor in the opening when the men are shocked at how much it costs and then in the end when Zaeden thinks "that's nothing!", but it also strings together a better idea of your world building and the other cultures and places that are beyond where they are now. I also liked the attention paid to everyone's accent. Doing different languages is challenging - I feel like you have a good approach to it here, and I am getting the sense of how vast your world is while we're at it.

Overall, a chapter with some great strengths regarding pacing and how to allure the reader into wanting more! :) I'm still surprised I haven't delved into this sooner than now since I know you've been around for awhile. But I'm enjoying the read!
lookingwest chapter 2 . 9/14/2013
from the Roadhouse

This opening for this chapter shows Jausep in true form and I liked that, I wasn't exactly getting what other people were saying about him as a first impression from the last chapter, but here I definitely understood why everyone thinks he's a butthole, so well done. Eleven hours would've been awful, and then to have him snap like that, it's no good! I could get a really good sense of Roe's frustration from their exchange, and not to mention how unfair Jausep is with the money, as detailed in the next part. What an ass!

The next part, while not only establishing Jausep as an ass, also did a good job laying more groundwork for the setting in your story. I'm also picking up a bit of a steampunk vibe in this, as of course, Roe was wearing goggles in the last chapter, and we get a full description of aeroships here. I'm curious to see how they'll fit into things, but as for now you do a great job giving us basic information - it doesn't overwhelm, and I think you place it in good spots where you're also detailing the immediate setting (like the lamp light.)

New characters in the next part - interesting, too, because you start narrating into third person omniscent, where you change from Zaeden's POV into Ryne's by the end of the part. It was a smooth transition, but at the same time, it's not something that you're doing in Roe's POV, you tend to say limited with her, so I'm wondering if we'll see it change. Also, Ryne didn't get very much of an equal time of narration compared to Zaeden, but perhaps we'll see more of his perspective in the future. The pain he's feeling quipped my interest. OH, and of course, very interested for more information about this Archon business.

Good detail learning about Roe's background and what I'm guessing was the potential loss of her mother at a young age. Her father perhaps, too. But it made me curious as to what emotional baggage she might be bringing. I remember she said that Jaseup has known her since she was twelve, so I'm guessing that's when the big-bad happened to her mother, whatever it was. Definitely picked up her feelings of uneasiness, but I'm sure we'll learn more as the story continues. Good way to develop her, and you also managed to work in the bit about the anthem, which serves to characterize your setting. Great technique.

Ah, so we do get more of Ryne. You know - since you broke up Ryne and Zaeden here at the end into limited third person, I'm almost thinking that perhaps you should go back to their first scene together and just cut out the bit with Ryne at the end so you keep your perspective (the way you're writing the story narrative-wise) consistent. I don't think you would really lose anything if you did this, since we get to linger with Ryne more in the second to last section, anyway. It might be worth doing. Otherwise, great characterization with him, I get the feeling like he's quite the gloomy character, which contrasts well with Roe's previous perspective, especially because of the state that Zaeden finds him in at the end. Hmm, curious. Another well done chapter, overall!
lookingwest chapter 1 . 9/14/2013
from the Roadhouse

For a first chapter I think this does an excellent job setting up things for a novel - we're presented with character, opening conflict, and what I'm guessing is an artifact from Ithorah, which will probably prompt the overall novel plot to move forward. So I think you encompassed everything in this chapter that a reader needs to get a flavor for your writing and for the world-building.

The opening was really fun - I mean, it was nerve-wrecking but I figured Roe would manage to get out of it right away, not often the MC dies in the first few paragraphs, haha. That made the chase scene pretty entertaining and the entire opening really had this feeling of an African safari deal. When she got out into the road I was almost thinking the people who saw her might've been tourists - but then I figured that wasn't the case. But it did really evoke that setting for me, and I think it's a cool allusion. It also kind of reminded me of that hunter guy in Jurassic Park too, lol. Which, he really had a safari vibe going for him. ANYWAY, yeah.

I was curious regarding Roe's characterization when she almost feels bad for the animal that was pursuing her. It makes me wonder if that wasn't in fact the animal that she was going after, or if it was, if she truly is cut out for this hunter gig since there did seem to feel like there was an air of remorse when she asked what would happen to the beast. That being said, maybe the hunters use ever part of the animal or are more respectful to them than just throwing them in the Arena for practice, who know. There were some questions raised and I look forward to seeing them developed as the novel moves along.

The next scene was easy to follow, which was great, because you introduced a few more characters into the mix. Sometimes in first chapters if there's too many new characters I have a tendency to get overwhelmed if the writer isn't giving the time to introduce everyone, but I found that you did allow that time and that the characters you were introducing would be important in the future. Seeing the dynamic between Roe and Kole created a good amount of opening conflict, and I like how you hinted everyone's distrust of Roe and Jausep's relationship right away before she even goes to see him. Since the summary hints that they might be working as a team to discover Ithorah, I'm wondering if any of these introduced characters might end up on the expedition. Also, Devette functioned as a good foil for Roe, so well done.

The whole scene with Jausep, you know, I actually felt like I was more on his side during the entire exchange. I mean, I'm not 100% of course on what a payment is, but I can make a guess that she owes money and the more "beasts" she kills will bring in more money for her - like however much a head. But if she's behind by 3 weeks and it's run like a business, I can see why wanting her debt paid would be smart.

I think Jausep's ruling seemed fair, especially because she gets to go back out into the field afterwards and it isn't like he's firing her, which is what I was afraid of BUT who knows how terrible the bar is to work at - maybe it's god awful and it would be nicer to be out and about. That could be the case too - at any rate, there was a good dynamic going on in that scene where I actually felt like yes, Roe has flaws, which is so great with main characters because sometimes people don't create them with flaws.

Ending on Kole going in to show Jausep what he found was a good choice - since the stone seems so important (which, btw, I really liked Kole's body language when it was sitting on the table, well done) I'm guessing that this might become a big deal in the next chapter, and it's cause for me to want to keep reading :) Overall, great opening, I'm impressed and look forward to checking out more!
Indravyn chapter 3 . 8/24/2013
"watching Ryne huff and brood for a moment before he cooled again went back to staring at the table." and went back?
""I'm done looking... just let me be, Zaeden." Is the J in just supposed to be caps becuase of one sentence ending and another beginning? (Trying my hand at this gramma correction thing, if I'm wrong, please tell me)
So what was this liquid he had to take that insteaf of making him feel better, only made him feel like shit? You've got me really curious.
"His slightly lifting accent and told her" remove the and.
Some of the descriptions you've given of Ryne have been quite moody and grumpy and then he is describe as stroking and kissing the pilot panel or being acting giddy if he were in the Engineering District with Zaeden. I'm wondering when we are going to see this side of Ryne?
"rumored to be next in line as the guild leader when Jausep retires from it" tense break. Should be retired.

I feel like the first bar scene is kind of unnecessary in this chapter, as if it was just thrown in there as an after thought. We already know Roeve is working at the bar and the information about it being more expensive inf Quasam is repeated by Zaeden.
Now you've really got me curious about just who Roeve is, I already had a feeling that she was set somehow apart from the others. Is she supposed to be the new Archon you mentioned in the previous chapter?
I really like Zaedens character, I think he is my favorite person by far in the story.
I definitely love this story so far, I think its the best fantasy plot I've read so far. Certain aspects still tug at the back of my mind that alight memeories of playing World of Warcraft (I know, I regret it too), when you mentioned the Engineering District. Overall, this story has a lot of potential. I would love to see it finished.
Indravyn chapter 2 . 8/22/2013
"eying the other ship docking just in front of them, as air below it swirled aggressively from the thrusters." Recommend revising. Maybe to eying the other ship docking in front of them and air blew aggressively from its thrusters or something to that effect.
"It didn't get past him, the pain that flitted across Ryne's face at the movement." Recommend revising
"the musician's tune lulled her quite a bit." Lulled her to sleep?
You have me very curious about this glowing things you mention. First the stone in the previous chapter, now the glow in her locket and the glowing liquid rocking through Ryne as he'd ingested liquid icy-hot. Better question is, what is wrong with him that he needs to suffer through such pain in order to feel better to a point?
Now the world reminds me of a cross between Hunger Games, World of Warcraft and a bit of Dragonlance.
Great way to continue pulling the reader in. I can tell you've spent a lot of time on this story, dreaming up the names and the world and Aeroship. That ship seriously reminded me of Final Fantasy, too bad the pilot isnt name Cid (but then that would be copyright infringement). Anyways, digging so far. May get the next chapter reviewed tonight or it might have to wait till Saturday morning.
Indravyn chapter 1 . 8/22/2013
"The plains were dangerous; beasts roamed the open lands freely, only kept at bay when they lurked too close to the city walls, and wild foliage with razor edged grass" Maybe rewrite as "The plains were dangerous, filled with razor edge grass is it was. Beasts roamed the open lands freely, only kept at bay by the high city walls." Or something to that effect.
"stuffing it between his the white metals of his chest piece" remove his.
" A large, well-kept building, seemingly out of place in the district, with its sleek shale colored stones, covered in vibrant, climbing vines which dangled off the edges of the roof, swinging lazily in the light breeze." I would recommended revising this or breaking it into two separate descriptive sentences.
"continued for the looming wooden" continued towards?
" thought mostly just disappointed in herself." though.
So far I like, it kind of reminds me of a something I'd see in World of Warcraft or one of the many books to go along with the game. Its not often I really read fantasy stories anymore, though I used to be super into them. Great beginning, want to know more about the Arena and especially more about Jausep and their relationship which I'm sure will come into play as I read more.
Dreamers-Requiem chapter 1 . 8/18/2013
I really like this. You’ve set up the world nicely without giving too much of an info-dump. The story feels like it flows naturally, and we learn things in a way that makes it feel like it’s not just there for the reader’s sake. Good stuff. The only things I would suggest are to watch out for overly long sentences and try not to use italics for emphasis too much, if at all. The majority of the time it’s not needed, and the sentences will read easier for readers if they can put the emphasis in place themselves (otherwise, some words may sound awkward to readers because they’re in italics, if that makes sense). As for long sentences, things like [Jausep came from behind and she glanced up at him, a flash of annoyance pass over his eyes at the sight of Kole before he covered it with a blank face.] You could cut it down to (Jausep came from behind. She glanced at him. A flash of annoyance passed over his eyes at the sight of Kole, before he covered it with a blank face.) Just things like that where you could cut the longer sentence down by dropping a few words, or changing it to multiple sentences. Good luck.
Vladvonbounce chapter 2 . 8/15/2013
I really enjoyed this. I find your writing very captivating. You create a very realistic world and your characters are very engaging as they come across to me as being very realistic. Your descriptions were also really good, I particularly liked how you described Ryne's pain when de drank that potion or whatever it was.

Very use to his anger and not much bothered by it at the moment- used

"You're supposed to be helping." Not really necessary, but I felt like he should say 'helping find my beloved bottles' or something more specific. After all she is helping to clean. I like the way Roeve is just oblivious to his anger. Sounds like my boss and me.

"both of which she could could be using to pay off her rent" doubled could be

"grabbed her pack in which she kept small things she had necessity for"- "grabbed her pack in which she kept small necessary things" perhaps?

grumptastic friend- Nice phrase!

"He crouched and looked over the unconscious male" Using male like this makes it sound like you are describing an animal not a person, let alone a friend to me. I would swap it for friend.
Vladvonbounce chapter 1 . 8/11/2013
This was great. You immediately set up a richly detailed world without confusing the reader. Although I found the very first paragraph a bit tricky. If a giant monster suddenly appeared out of nowhere I wouldn't use words like impeccable. You could maybe expand the opening scene a little bit more?

Lots of dramatic action coupled with dialogue. I liked the way you spaced things to add more impact.
One question, how is Roeve pronounced just out of curiosity.
Smonorkith chapter 1 . 8/3/2013
[ A fat maw with canine teeth the length of her head.] I think this sentence really detracts from the flow of this description. I don't think it's a powerful enough sentence to stand on its own, so I'd think about ways to connect to either the previous sentence, or the next sentence.

[She fought to keep still as her fingers, twitched in apprehension.] The comma is in the wrong place here, should probably be "She fought to keep still, as her fingers twitched in apprehension."

[he traffic of people caused her to squeeze through and push passed,] "passed" should be either "past", or "by".

[A large building seemingly out of place in the district, with its sleek shale colored stones, like the Arena, covered in climbing vines that once running out of wall to cling to, dangled off the edges of the roof and hung lazily in the light breeze. ] There's a lot of stuff to take in here, and it's just too much for one sentence. I'd break it down into two sentences. "A large building, it was seemingly out of place in the district, with its sleek shale colored stones. Like the Arena it was covered in climbing vines, which dangled off the edges of the roof when they ran out of wall to cling to, blowing lazily in the breeze."

Other than those things I didn't see anything too bad grammar or spelling wise. An interesting first chapter, I'm curious as to where this is going to go. I expect the stone that Kole found is going to play a fairly important part in what happens next. Look forward to finding out!

-from the roadhouse
DutchAver chapter 1 . 8/2/2013
I'm not sure if I like your beginning. I made that same mistake in a story of mine(not on this website) where I immediately 'attack' the reader with a lot of names and a lot of readers, and I do it in such a fast pace that the reader can't really catch up. At the start, I was like 'what the heck?' because I got so many names at me. I was able to catch up later, but your start was a little too much of an info dump, to my liking. Maybe it's better to draw us in more in the story at first, and then do descriptions after the beast is dead, and tell us what's happening in there. Then, it might feel more like an action prologue, really drawing us in without a lot of questionmarks. And it might be a good idea to spread out some of the information you're giving in that first bit too, and maybe cut down on the names, unless it's really necessary for us to know those names.
Anyway, when I was drawn in, I did begin to like the story a lot! Your characters - Zeke, Jausep, Roeve - feel very fleshed out and realistic so far. The dialogues are good, and your descriptions work really well. (Better than mine!) You certainly did draw my attention with your story and I hope to review the second chapter some time in the future. Just look a bit at your beginning.
Oh, and I found a mistake:

'their wares to the passerbys' English is funny like this, but I believe the plural of passer-by is passers-by and not passer-bys.

Hope I was helpful!
aFistFullOfPeanuts chapter 1 . 8/2/2013
This is a strong first chapter. The names that you've come up with feel right and belong in this type of fantasy setting, after all you don't hear many people called Dave with these lands. Your main character Roeve is a good one. She's likeable and described perfectly, I can really picture what she looks like. The supporting characters such and Jausep and Kole stand out as well.

I really like your opening, straight into the action and slowly explaining the world that this story is set in. Not too much information but evenly distributed. All in all this is a great opening chapter. Well done and keep up the work.
Unxious Custard chapter 3 . 7/30/2013
I think perhaps the paragraph with the physcial desciptions could perhaps have moved into the previous chapter, just to give poor souls like me a hook to hang your characters on. I get that you don't want to go overboard on description, and I don't think you have. I have already invested a lot in Roeve, by reading about her, caring about her welfare, wanting to learn more about her. By the time i got onto Zaeden, on your third switch of point of view I was disappointed. I really wanted to stay with Roeve, and it wasn't helped by the fact that Zaeden started with three densely packed paragraphs. I wonder if the story wouldn't work better if you stayed in one person's viewpoint for longer periods - dare I suggest it, whole chapters even. At this stage, I am still learning to cherish each one, so need a bit more time to get to know them before jumping to the next. What can I say about the quality of the writing though other than you are a real master.
Unxious Custard chapter 2 . 7/30/2013
Oh I really liked the dialogue in this chapter. It's full of snappy returns, and rings true. I love Jaesup's things about which he has a thing. He really got me grinning. Your writing is very smooth, with a mixture of different length sentences, just enough dialogue against description, and an easy readability. This has been a pleasure to read. I like the end of this chapter too. I am, however, beginning to get a bit confused about the number of characters you have already introduced. The human brain can't really hold more than 7 main characters in an entire book, and you've already introduced most of them. Unless Ryne is actually dead - and that's one less for me to worry about.
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