Reviews for The God Slave (Prev: To Walk in the Wind)
Faithless Juliet chapter 7 . 3/8/2013
I don’t care for the odd dialogue tags. It was awkward when I read it, and I don’t think they help the story by having them. I get the notion of wanting to show that there are two different languages going on here, but I think there may be a better way to handle that than what you have here. I do think that things like “switching to _” makes since, so you may want to adopt that method.

I really loved that ending snippet where you tease us with Bas playing with Daja’s name in his mind. It sets up a lot of potential between these two. That final “Whatever I want” was utterly chilling, but also suspenseful enough to leave it open ended which I enjoyed. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

Much love,
Juliet.
Faithless Juliet chapter 6 . 3/8/2013
I liked how you showed the tender moment between Asseo and Daja when he found out it was Asseo’s name day. It was a nice distraction from the panic that was going on around them, and I also think it shows the depths of their connection with each other that even in this situation they can share a private/tender moment with each other.

I also really liked how you described Asseo’s mother *wanting* her son to be the gift. It was a startling contrast about we learned about Daja’s mother in the previous chapter- where she wept at the loss of her baby. One thing I would actually like to see more of at this point is the culture of this world - yes, you’ve shown us quite a bit, but I feel like there’s a substantial divide between Daja’s life and Bas’ life and I haven’t come to terms with how the two will connect. It seems like a deeply devote culture, but also an industrial culture. I suppose, more side details and things of that nature would help enrich it more.

Isoba dying was a bit of a shock, I did not see that coming. I did enjoy the father/son aspect that you gave us though. This world and its relationships are very grey, which I like, it is not simply master and slave but something more. I also liked how Daja (at that point) was ready and wanted to die, that too is a unique statement, although completely justified. Like I said, all grey.

Much love,
Juliet.
Faithless Juliet chapter 5 . 3/8/2013
I really enjoyed the back story with Isoba in this chapter. I like the idea of a priest (or any religious figure) repenting what he’s done in the name of his face. It’s unique and taboo and I think you use it to your advantage here by way of showing us who Isoba is. I liked how you showed his regret, and how he’s done ill-fated things, yet he understands, and shows atonement.

I was honestly a bit surprised to find Bas with Ismene (love that name by the way) I was picturing him as a guy on guy type of character. I wouldn’t say that I disliked the fact, I was just surprised. I loved the way you described the scene where she got off the bed, about her hair and her naked back. It was crisp, tasteful, and very poetic.

“They 'ruin' the impossible standard women are held up to, but you…" – and she’s a feminist, what more could you ask for in a female character.

Much love,
Juliet.
Faithless Juliet chapter 4 . 3/8/2013
I like the truth of Daja wondering what it would be like to be dominate rather than submissive, however when I read most of that scene between himself and Asseo it seemed that he was dominate. Asseo was clearly enjoying himself and while reading it it felt like Daja was leading rather than following. You might want to tweak that just a bit. I felt like it worked, but I kept thinking that Asseo was liking what he was getting, and Daja, being the one who was giving it to him was in control. Maybe if you let Daja thick/express more shock with Asseo’s reactions, as though this were the first time Daja was essentially not reigned in but set loose.

I feel like the sex scene was so-so, which I’m not used to seeing from you, I’m used to Bas and Kedean although the two of them together are a bit of a powerhouse. What I did notice about this – not sure if you meant it to come off this way or not – but I liked how awkward and formalized it was. They are not in love and Daja has very little passion for Asseo (admiration, maybe, but not passion or attraction) and I think it actually fit more in line with the scene than something a reader would see as enjoyment. Off to read more.

Much love,
Juliet.
VelvetyCheerio chapter 9 . 3/8/2013
WAT.

Uhm. *takes several breaths* Okay, you know what Asseo, you had your chance to run for your life, to hide, to come up with a plan, to wait for the caravan to pass and follow it like a thief in the night and you chose to stay.

*heavy sigh*

Welp, he made his bed this time and he will continue to make his choices.

Gahd, I had such hopes for him to escape, too. xD I was all excited and happy about Balasar being a gentlemen and then Asseo just ruined the moment. This is somehow Balasar's fault, lol! No, I kid.

I do feel bad for Asseo, despite this stupid decision of his. Something good has to happen. What if he doesn't see Daja? What if they sell Asseo before then? D: Worried for the fates of Daja and Asseo. ;-; But excited for the next chapter. :D Good work, Tooth!

Velvet.
VelvetyCheerio chapter 8 . 3/8/2013
Oh my, oh my. So where are they now? Obviously they can't just be hanging around in the open. They could get ambushed by other marauders. I think there will be a lot of excitement when it comes time to move Daja from hiding.

I'm curious how dynamics will change, as they are already changing. I'll believe that Balasar is curious right now, but I wonder how long it will take before his curiosity becomes something else. Hehe, I think he gives in too readily to his emotions. I can't really tell if he's the type to get invested in everything he comes by through his raids. I suppose there's the added, "well, this is a person I kidnapped and not a statue", but it's still entertaining to me. He's like the kid who got a puppy but doesn't want to seem like he's interested in having got a puppy.

Jaleah to the rescue, even though Balasar wouldn't do anything. Jerk. Didn't I already not like Balasar to begin with, lol? Y U NO UPDATE SOONER SO THAT I DON'T FORGET? D: Anyway, I do remember I didn't like Ira. When is he going to die? Balasar is a jerk. I hope he knows that.

Will there be panic as people realize what has happened? I'm ready for some panicking. And oh look, another chapter, all lined up pretty for me. :D

I liked this chapter. Also, just to give you some reassurance, I do think Balasar's decision was somewhat justified.

[Out here, the only person who will look out for your interests is you.] I mean, look at that ideology. xD Trust issues, much?
FiggThe3rd chapter 9 . 3/8/2013
Please write and update soon! (as well as your other stories)
Katy
TawneyEverett chapter 2 . 3/7/2013
First, just want to make it clear I know nothing of this genre.

I really appreciate this chapter because it gives the reader a true sense of Daja's hardships past, present, and future. I think this is a great way to give the reader a rapport with the main character. I really felt for him the way you described how his "trainers" (not sure if that is the correct term) would beat him and he just had to take it.

"It teased through his hair, scooping it up around his chin and face like the chasing fingers of a playful lover." I love this description!

Honestly, I think you are doing a phenomenal job with the story. Keep up the good work!
Michodell chapter 1 . 3/7/2013
I really like your writing style. The descriptions are great and your dialogue is natural.

I would say that though this has the start of a great plot, it did not grab me until the end. That could simply be my impatience. However, the quality of your writing kept me interested. It was easy to get pulled into the story though the plot did not interest me in the beginning.

Great start!
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 5 . 3/7/2013
[The earth rooted him. Plants, and caring for them as they cared for all other creatures of the earth,]

omg I love this line. It's one of those triumphant "I see what you did there!" moments because of how you use the word "rooted" and then go into descriptions of the plants and stuff. Very well thought-out, and it's a great phrase that really carried through with the rest of the metaphor.

The following paragraphs focused on Isoba are a great example of how telling isn't always bad, and a good writer knows how to use a nice balance of showing and telling. My creative writing professor calls it "narrative telling," where you impart information in an obvious, stepped-back manner (telling) in a way that makes it both interesting and enjoyable. Which I think is what you pull off very nicely here where Isoba is thinking about his guilt in picking Daja out for the next sacrifice. It's some great character development through narrative telling, and the way you impart the information from their past never makes it feel like an info-dump or too much - it comes across very naturally and organically to the situation.

[And now, as he stooped in his garden, letting the dying soil sift through his aged fingers, he saw glimpses of memories.]

Such a pretty line. You do such a great job writing really immersive and interesting reflective scenes. I especially enjoy how you pull the setting into his musings as well. It gives me the impression that he's rather close to nature and the earth itself.

[His also pants showed more than they hid.]

Typo - his pants also

I really like this extensive description of Daja standing there in his ceremonial outfit. I think the detail you go into is incredible, and I can easily picture him. It's a huge contrast to how I normally imagine him.

I think telling this scene from Isoba's POV is an interesting decision, and I think a wise one. It's always interesting to see how someone reacts to knowing they're going to die from the eyes of another person. I can already tell what Daja is thinking and feeling, but it's nice to get a more outside perspective of it. It also keeps the prose from being too melodramatic or sentimental, I think.

[the defining colors of we end up being.]

I think you're missing a "who" in there after "of."

I really like this conversation about scars between Balasar and Ismene. It's a unique subject, and the way Balasar addresses it is so fresh and really cool. The ending line is also great - not really a cliff-hanger in the immediate sense of what's happening to him this very second, but still a cliff-hanger by promising what's coming in the next chapter. Really gives the drive to want to continue right away.
Unweighted Book Author chapter 3 . 3/7/2013
Very nice and strong opening. Different readers naturally have different interests, and it's pretty difficult to capture everyone's attention at the same time. The opening to this chapter is one of those rare passages that have the ability to do just that. For those who judge a work based on the strength of the writing, the prose is solid and description is very powerful, attacking the senses of hearing and smell in addition to sight. For those more interested in characterization, they get treated to a more in-depth view of Balasar's character, and we also get a couple of dropped hints regarding his past and why his current personality turns out the way it is.

You probably already know this, but it's not very effective to introduce several characters at once. The number of characters who actually make an appearance in this chapter is okay, but at the same time you make mention of quite a few other characters in Balasar's gang. If your aim is only to provide more verisimilitude and establish them as characters for later, then there's no problem, but don't expect your readers to remember that so-and-so was mentioned in Chapter 3. That's something that's very unlikely to happen, and I just wanted to make sure you're aware of it.

Jaleah is an interestingly crafted character. This is a slash story, meaning that the females in this story can't even rely on their age-old standby of being the love interest to maintain their role in the story. Keeping that in mind, Jaleah, as the first female character to appear, gives your readers a good idea of what to expect from the female characters in this story. Are they going to be relegated to the side, or will they have their place? Frankly speaking, Jaleah's strong and realistic personality gives me quite some hope, but I don't think I'm wrong to say that the main focus of this story will still stay on the male characters. Not, I must emphasize, that there is much wrong with that, but you'll probably want to remind yourself to not let your female characters fade into the background.
lovesyoumore chapter 8 . 3/6/2013
Liked it. Cant wait for more!
lookingwest chapter 3 . 3/6/2013
Character - Ahhh yeauh. I like Jaleah and Oz. But mostly Jaleah. Like one of my beefs with some slash stories is that women are completely cut out as characters and it's very man-centric. Which is just fine and all but also not really realistic sometimes (imo), and it was cool to see an inclusion of a woman character in this story right off the bat, especially a spunky strong one. The differences between the cultures of women in these two societies is interesting to me too - it makes me wonder what the opinion on homosexuality is in this culture because I think it could actually go either way, very anti-homosexual or very Greek as far as "we don't really care b/c men are great!". So I'm looking forward to seeing how those issues unfold in the worlds you've created. It's a very Western culture means Eastern culture vibe too, which I like. And Jaleah's uselessness feeling was accurate and realistic for her, I think. Also Oz feels like a good foil for Balasar and I look forward to seeing their relationship develop too. Oz feels a little more light-hearted and I think Balasar needs that to balance him out. It's cool that he leads a group of people who work underneath him (I didn't quite pick that up in the first chapter - that's not a bad thing) and it's cool to see the interworkings of his daily life and job presented here in a really smooth and easy to understand manner. I don't remember who the other two characters that were mentioned are quite yet, and I'm very thankful you didn't introduce them in this chapter because it might've been too many new characters for me to handle. I think you strike a good balance with what you have here.

Enjoyment - I enjoyed this chapter for some of the reasons of character that I mentioned above. Another thing I enjoyed about this chapter was the inclusion of Oz's story about the storm god and his sister. That was a creative way to give some backstory to what might foil the larger plot here, or the relationship between Balasar and Daja. I'm interested to see things play out and also verrryyy interested to find out if the gods are actually real in this story or if they're just mythical and legends. That's still up in the air here, which I like. But I did notice a fleeting comment made by Asseo in the previous chapter about the wind "doing strange things" in the presence of Daja. I've got my eye on that comment and wonder if it might tie in further with the storm god and what powers Daja might find that he has - although maybe I did read into it a little too much, heh. Oh well, definitely enjoying figuring out what might happen!

Setting - Good sense of setting in this chapter with the market and the opening descriptions of the gardens with the white stones. The inclusion of sensory imagery like smell is also appreciated and I think it really adds to the atmosphere of everything. I liked Oz's different props he uses, like the stone goddess he shows Balasar to prompt the story of the sister and brother storm god. The technique worked really well. I also liked the inclusion description of Jaleah's stallion and the different snippets of the market culture we get too. Per the first and second chapter, this story has a really good sense of world building that still stretches into this third chapter. Still really impressed with it - I could never write something like this in a million years and I love the mythologies you've created to blend with these cultures as well. Looking forward to seeing what's going to unfold next in Daja's perspective.

Plot - So far I think this chapter moves the plot along really well. We get the introduction of Balasar's team, which moves us along and gets us prepping for a dangerous journey. I like that you do have Oz setting up that the trip is going to be dangerous and doubting the decision to move ahead with it. That then prompts the conversation about the gods and repeats that Balasar doesn't believe in them. I can't wait to find out if he's right or not. I get the sense that Daja leans towards not completely believing either - so it'll be interesting to see if heathen Balasar will change his mind. Plot-wise as far as the romance I'm still a little iffy about the age difference between Balasar and Daja (Balasar is a lot older right, or was that maybe changed?). But I think I can see where the romance is heading and I look forward to what cogs you'll throw into the plot machine in that sense. So far so good with the setup though! Interested to see where this story goes!
lookingwest chapter 2 . 3/6/2013
I'm once again impressed by the world building in this story and how it carries over into Daja's daily life as well as Balasar in the previous chapter. They are certainly characters that have their differences, so it's cool to see them contrasted in the first two chapters of the story - I think that was a good perspective and technique to execute. I like Daja so far, which is good - he comes across as being sympathetic, though his doubts about his place and his duties comes across very expected. I would've assumed he has doubts - is what I mean, so it didn't surprise me about his character that he did. I almost wonder if it would've been a funner dynamic between Balasar and Daja if Daja really wanted to be sacrificed and was backing the idea 100%. It would definitely create a more headstrong character - but I like his passiveness in a way too. I'm interested to see what will bloom relationship-wise between him and Balasar.

One of the unique details of Daja's life in this chapter was certainly the sex ed, and I thought the concept matched up pretty accurately with older cultures I've learned about in the past, or even akin to some of the Magna Matar teachings (basically the same idea but for women). The reasons for his sex ed made sense to me too, so I liked that the devices set in place that foster the homoeroticism of the story are well justified and backed with plausible foundations. It also helped a lot with the world building too.

One thing - how long exactly is Daja's hair? I had a difficult time exactly picturing it in the paragraph about his hair being shaved every so often and how it hadn't been for his entire year thus far. I noted he was playing with his hair now, but I think I would've liked a little more detail sine we were on the subject. We of course could get that later though and I should probably shut my mouth - I'm sure Balasar's perspective when they meet will yield a more complete picture, which will be a good opportunity I think.

I liked Daja's run through all of his teachers and I think that shows his relationships with those he lives with and his experiences with them on an intimiate level. Asseo was interesting since he was so much younger. I liked that it was clear Asseo is somewhat in love or lust with him and Daja isn't picking that up and if he is, doesn't really care or feel the same way about Asseo. I think that puts Daja in a dynamic position and I liked how the chapter ended that way for those reasons.

The tension with the sandals was built up well. It again makes me question exactly why Daja isn't completely brainwashed by this point into believing what he's doing is right and just. He's grown up in this lifestyle - it is a little odd that he doesn't subscribe to it completely and already shows doubts this far in, even if the system was in some cases abusive towards him. These people are also the only family/father/mother figures he's ever seen and I get the sense that he wouldn't follow them to the grave necessarily. From our perspective - yes this is extremely radical and crazy and he should doubt having to die as a sacrifice at the age of 16 - but at the same time, this is a radical lifestyle that he's grown up into and he knows no different (or does he?). We don't get the sense of his cultural learned scope here, so perhaps that's where he seems a bit odd to me in this chapter too.

At any rate though, I still like these developments and like I mentioned, your world-building is phenomenal so far. Really well done, especially for a NaNo novel in my opinion. I might keep reading and hit this up in the depth thread too...
Unweighted Book Author chapter 2 . 3/5/2013
As an author who writes in the fantasy genre, I often run into a problem of not knowing how my characters will react in certain fantastical situations. Daja is an example of a character in such a situation. He's doomed to die, but he's also spent his entire life preparing for it and has been taught to accept and embrace it. Having said that, I'm very much impressed by the way you've handled his characterization. It is all very believable and reasonable. He doesn't want to die, but he has a small amount of peace of mind due to his training. In addition, his various emotions and human sides are portrayed very well. His natural curiosity that he finds difficult to curb as someone who has been trapped his whole life, his personal preference for martial pursuits, his gratitude to Asseo for being kind...Brilliant job done on that account.

I'd say that this chapter dragged on slightly, however. I feel as though you wanted to get the main aspects of Daja's experiences in the temple out of the way first, and also impress his character on the readers, but it's all compressed into this chapter and it can be a little dry for the readers. Contrast this with chapter 1 where the information given for world building is very cleverly interwoven with the conversation between Balasar and the Minister.

From a technical aspect, the writing is good as usual. I'll probably refrain from mentioning it any more in future reviews unless I spot a particularly good or bad passage.
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