|Reviews for Edgeport (Nick Tate, Book 1)|
| deadaccount2019 chapter 4 . 12/8/2013
About the only negative thing I have about the setting is that it can sometimes feel a bit empty. Maybe just sprinkling in a few more sensory details here and there would help to enhance and make it feel a bit more engaging. Outside of the atmosphere, I'm finding that the small community angle makes it a bit easier to suspend some level of belief regarding how investigations are handled.
Regarding Nick, there is one thing that is bothering me about him, or rather the handling of him. There seems to be a disproportionate amount of focus put on his physical appearance, particularly where other characters are concerned.
I found the amount of conversation this chapter slowed the pace too much. The scenes didn't feel like they needed to be so long to present so much information, the the amount of dialogue felt very disproportionate to the amount of narrative used.
In a way, the relationship between Nick and Portia feels like it's being forced. Probably the biggest factor is the whole "Mom is making me be friends with Chief" thing. At her age, this doesn't seem like a compelling reason for Portia to just automatically jump into meeting Nick. There is some plausibility in the relationship growing, however. Portia fixating on Nick's looks is very shallow, but it's refreshing to see a female character who is genuinely letting appearance lead their interest. Nick seems to be driven more by circumstance than anything else, and given how forward he was with the women at the station, it was surprising that he seems to be taking a more cautious approach. I have to admit that I like the reversal of roles, in terms of gender.
| deadaccount2019 chapter 3 . 12/8/2013
This is something that pops up in other chapters, so I thought I'd go ahead mention it now while I'm here. Some polishing is needed in the grammar department to smooth most elements of the story out. More specifically, there is a couple points where conjunctions are being used to start sentences. While this is gradually becoming acceptable for emphasis usage, it doesn't work as well when the emphasis isn't needed, which I'm finding tends to be the case so far in the story.
Nick's characterization is starting to level out here. I'm feeling pretty confused on what his age is supposed to be (he can't be more than 33 at this point given the comment about being born after 1980, his station in life suggests late 20s, but his characterization suggests early 20s). Although there are some points where it seems like the writing is trying to imply that Nick is a bit girl-crazy, I'm finding his overall personality is a lot more down-to-earth.
Luke, on the other hand, is feeling a bit bland. Personally, I enjoy bland protagonists, as they tend to be more relatable and usually have the most surprising developments or twists, but so far I'm not seeing too much motivation for Luke to develop. I found this chapter I was more interested in the relationship he develops with Nick than I am with Luke himself. Again, not necessarily a bad thing, but it may cause other readers to get bored.
Speaking of relationships, I instantly loved the sibling bond between Luke and his sisters. The emotional blackmail was spot-on for children, neither being too insidious, nor being too weak. It reminded me a lot of how my nephews, nieces, and youngest sister and brother play on emotions to get what they want, so I found this to be perhaps the most relatable aspect of the story so far.
I'm a bit on the fence, as far as pacing goes. On the one hand, I think you're pacing the development of the characters quite well, so getting to know them doesn't feel like it's lagging. On the other hand, given how soon the first murder pops up, it feels like the pacing of the story itself is rather slow. Cutting down the conversations a bit and adding a bit more narrative pertaining to story progression would help to balance out the pacing a bit.
| deadaccount2019 chapter 2 . 12/8/2013
One thing that I'm finding so far with the writing is that there's no voice. It actually feels more like omni-third, and I find at times it gets rather emotionless. One thing that would help to convey a voice would be to tailor the language to the character whose pov is limited to. It would also help make the narrative more interesting.
The scene where Luke and Becca report what they saw felt very unrealistic. Even in a small town, if a body is reported somebody is going to go (or send somebody to) investigate, not push it off to the side until the end of the day. If Luke and Becca had some history with causing problems or being dramatic it might make sense, but the information presented so far doesn't indicate any reason for Nick to not send somebody out to see what was really going on.
Nick's characterization seems rather two-dimensional and inconsistent. About the only thing that really makes him stand out from other compulsive flirt protagonists is that his behavior is bordering on sexual harassment. Pulling back the reins on how far he goes with his flirting (such as sticking to a hands-off policy) would go a long way in making it more believable for him to have remained in his position for so long.
[Other - Author's Question]
Referring specifically to your last question, I would have to say that there were too many characters introduced this chapter. There's a lot of name dropping, but Saud is the only other new character who plays a role in this chapter. Cutting back and waiting to introduce characters at more relevant moments would help give the story a less scattered feel.
| deadaccount2019 chapter 1 . 12/8/2013
The opening of the chapter, I felt, works. It feels like it's just led in from a previous chapter and has a "catch your breath" quality to it.
As an overall opening to the story, the chapter takes a bit too much time getting into the story hook. By the time I was closing in on the discovery of the killer I'd forgotten I was even reading a mystery/horror. Given the subgenres, it would be worth looking at cutting down on the time spent with Luke and Becca, and adding more to the
The overall writing could use some work. There are a couple points where the sentences run on too long or cut too short. There are also points where too much attention is put into the detail (such as identifying which hand goes where when Luke and Becca spot the killer, or qualifying that the path inclines at seventy degrees).
The dialogue gets rather jarring, particularly in the first half of the chapter. The main reason is the repetitiveness of the dialogue pattern: [Name action. "Dialogue."] When doing consecutive dialogue, it isn't necessary to identify the speaker every time. That being said, you can use other things to id them, such as "his friend" or "the blonde". When I read it without the two-word action sentences, the conversation flows much more naturally and conveys better voices. Another thing you could do is add to the action lines. For example, if they had been walking you could go with something like, "He shrugged as they rounded the corner."
Although the setup for the end of the chapter is unoriginal, it does offer a sense of closure to the chapter. The thing I like about this is that it isn't forcing the reader to want to continue for the wrong reasons (cut-offs in the middle of the action, for example). It's a visible spot to break, and it limits how much confusion might arise if the reader has to take a break between chapters.
| cybersheep chapter 4 . 12/8/2013
i think i am going to answer your questions then do a little impressions thing!
-i think portia is cool actually! i am a sucker for mother daughter relationships so it was a lot of fun for me personally to hear all about her relationship with hers and the variousthings that they did/didnt do ! I especially liked the jibe about the car! hee! i will admit that, at this point, she seems more interesting when she is out of nick's company. it could be that his personality is overpowering hers, but she was much more lively in her classroom and moving in than she was at the dinner (mind you that whole bit was entertaining, esp when she wanted to know if he was dieting -dead-)
- i said it once and i'll say it again, i think the pacing of this story is fantastic and i'll sit on anyone who says otherwise. you've brought out so much of this little town in just these four chapters i can't help but be awed. i do think though you're setting up for a much longer story than is usually found on fiction press so if that is what is worrying you then it might be a little slow? but for me, purely on the story's own merit, it is perfect so far.
- i actually don't think there /is/ a nick and portia at this point. nick, for all his cavalier flirting seems to have forgoten it completely. i'm not saying this is a bad thing at all (perhaps it is a character dynamic) but it is something i noticed. it is almost as if he's entirely chosen to be professional with her all the whil talking about all the townspeople as if they are his friends. what this says to me at least is that he's not quite ready to have her in his life yet. its very cool what you're doing with the subtleties.
now to my own thoughts:
a bit of cc:
1. ((she took a moment to really get to swallow the change)) - this sentence is a bit convoluted, consider changing?
2. erm, the bit where she first sees the chie of police, before she actually talks to him needs a little read-over. i see you have some pretty giant reviews so i wont go into it a lot, but there are words missing or something?
other than that i am still thoroughly enjoying myself. loved getting more insight into luke and am about to jump out of my skin with curiosity about his "secret". Also the new cast of characters you have introduced also has me intrigued which is new for me. as a snobby ass grad student i see high schoolers and think children (lol, im terrible i know), but these particular ones have me going "hmmm!". can't wait to see what becomes of them.
lovelylovely chapter! so glad i got to find this story! i shall finish up these reviews on the morrow! appologies for being so slow
| Guest chapter 3 . 12/8/2013
sorry, this is actualy cybersheep. i'm one of the three authors on that account and i forgot to sign out of my personal. but, yes. i shall continue reviewing off of cybersheep.
| SenatorBlitz chapter 3 . 12/8/2013
still quite enjoying myself on this venture! this time, i actually have a tiny bit of cc, but no worries for it is the only one. in the beginning, nick gives are rather involved description of what the detective looks like, which i think we probably didn't really need. it almost felt like too much scrutiny as if you know luke was planing on liking the detective...which, to be fair, i wouldnt mind. but anyway, just a bit of a description deump.
other than that, i really enjoyed coming back to luke''s pov. he really is a very introspective child and i love the places that his mind goes when he thinks no one is looking. the world through his eyes also seems much more...analytical somehow and he seems world weary. i sort of want to stuff him up with hot chocolate so that he'll feel better?
interestingly, nick in nick's pov is this suave detective type, however nick in luke's pov is a little bit of a lame adult. I LOVE IT. its like how adults think they are cool but dont realise how they appear to teenagers. you're freaking clever you are! it also serves to reinforce this precocious nature of luke's. which is odd too me, because he seems very smart and yet he is struggling with college - makes you realise intelligences come in many many different forms.
"well maybe i am a work of fiction" - such an eye rolly adult thing to say. actually ive probably said something like this before. *is lame*.
also i died laughing at this: "yeah i was enver the best writer, and the year before, my English 10 teacher would give me specific feedback to improve my stuff, but al Delacore would say was vague stuff like 'your prose is immature' and give me Ds."
we ALL have that one teacher who gives back feedback that is COMPLETELY useless. so much win for characterization. here.
so in general im liking that the mystery is going along at a believable pace and that people arent acting like they were inspector fbis after one day - you've got skill letting us get to /know/ everynone and im amazed you did it without a prologue! um, i think the way luke and nick interacted was more like commarades than adult and teen, but that might be because luke behaves like an older person so he would naturally be more comfortable with them. nick came across as nice and easy going - though i can't wait to see him in action.
oh, one thing, and this is a bit premature as ive only just starte the story at this point, but the lil sisters seem a bit superfluous :/ but maybe they will be integrated more later?
anyway, ty for a lovely chapter! i shall do the next one soon!
| VelvetyCheerio chapter 10 . 12/7/2013
Oh jay-sus. O_O"
That was intensely terrifying, lol. Didn't his mother tell him to be back before dark? Look at your choices, Luke! Now you're going to end up in that cannibal's cave while he sharpens his ax for the body chopping sequence. ;-; Omg, what is this cliffhanger, I can't even!
Man, I really love how the chapter starts out so peaceful and relaxing, and then the pace just takes off running as soon as he opens his eyes. It was exhilarating. The description of when he's going down the hill and he can feel every stone cutting his skin... Gah. x_x I'm trying not to think of his face smashing into rocks and dirt full force, but I can't. It's so scary.
Please update soon. ._. Not knowing is killing me, lol. Personally, I think this chapter is fine the way it is, but that's just me. The story has been fun so far. The pacing is good. I'm mostly just interested in how you intend to tie in the characters' pasts with the plot as the pasts seem to be getting a bigger spotlight than this killer. Well, anyway, see you next update, I had fun reading these chapters!
| VelvetyCheerio chapter 9 . 12/7/2013
This incest thing is turning into a big deal. I'm really curious how you plan to utilize it later.
I like the characters introduced in this chapter. I feel like Luke's mom is pretty distant, though. Not how Alice's parent's are, though, but more I didn't get that she was going to be a character brought up again. If she is, I hope she gets more screen time. She's obviously a key player in this whole incest thing.
Alek is cool, too. I like that Luke can talk to him, and that Alek is mature enough to look past Luke's history. Luke could use more friends like that. He's obviously troubled.
[...he was way out of her league.] I think you mean, she was way out of his league.
I think you did fine with referring to Luke's mom as "Mom". I didn't even notice, it flowed so naturally. Aah, I don't have much else to say. D: Except wat, there's already a sequel? xD Dayum girl, you on a roll. Okay, let me go see this next chapter, in which I'm sure there will a maniac in the woods, because no Luke, you are not allowed to have a good day.
| cybersheep chapter 2 . 12/7/2013
i'm terribly amazed with the flow of your prose. i think i'd probably read it ust to read it - there is something flowy about the way you chose your words that doesn't rely on obvious hooks or witticsms or obnoxious symbolisms to make its point. im not sure how you do it but its lovely.
i do enjoy this new pov that you've introduced, this nick guy. i think the best thing you did was describe the way he flirts. there have been too many times when people start a story and tell me a character is a flirt but when i see him in action he's like terribly lame like he got the lines off of a b-rated rom com. not so for luke - i can see how he'd be quite the ladies man.
as far as minor characters, i really can't say yes to this as i'm intrigued by all of them thus far. also high-five for making adults sound adult! i personally do not have this skill so i give props where props are due. well done!
and the mystery continues! can't wait to see how this progresses!
| VelvetyCheerio chapter 8 . 12/7/2013
I'm just curious how all this is going to tie into the main plot. o.o So many possibilities.
Portia's class is just a bundle of fun, ain't it? xD Maybe she should have picked a lighter topic, haha. Well, I certainly wasn't expecting incest, I'll say that. I guess it explains why people avoid him. But does seem really normal. You'd think it'd be something they'd get tired of it by high school, you know? I can perfectly understand the middle school taunting, but once you hit puberty, ehhh, all that stuff is trivial. People try to portray teenagers being preoccupied with everyone else's business but their own, but every teenager knows that's not true. You're preoccupied with yourself, your friends, and anyone who is being a jerk to your friends, in that order. Everyone else is doing their own thing. The fact that these kids would hold on so tight really speaks for the town's size. It also surprises me that Luke hasn't tried to hurt himself in order to escape it. That type of day-in, day-out taunting and ridicule isn't easy on a person.
What if he snaps and turns out to be a killer? o:
I liked the reaction from the students when Portia started digging where she didn't need to. How they all just got quiet and unsure. That scene made the moment for me because it showed how secret the town is.
I actually think the way the other students talked about Luke's history was pretty cruel. I mean, he was right there. Again, that whole empathy thing. Even the assholes in my town had tact, xD. I liked that Alice and Montana tried to stick up for Luke, even though they didn't do much in the way of telling Damien to shut his pie hole. You'd think they'd have more disdain for him. He seems like the type to tell secrets when he shouldn't.
Anyway, I liked Luke's reaction, too, even though I feel bad for him. Poor dude.
I like Jillian. I blame TV for giving me the impression that she was a man in drag, lol. ._. She just seems so fabulous and sassy. If she really is as big a gossip as Nick claims, she should be an invaluable asset later on in the story when things start to get heavy.
I'm curious to see what you have planned with these next two Luke chapters. :D
| VelvetyCheerio chapter 7 . 12/7/2013
I'll admit, I'm a little disappointed by the brief interaction between Alice and Nick. :[ I suppose he's still way too annoyed with her to ask her why she acts the way she does. She probably wouldn't even tell him, anyway. Well, they have plenty of time to bond, I'm sure.
I'm confused by Alice's want for a friend, or at least her interests. Is she afraid of being typecasted as a hipster? Or is she afraid of having a hipster for a friend? Jeez, she's kind of getting on my nerves. What should she care! Actually... she comes across as really insecure. Huh. I never even thought of that. I guess it would make sense, having all the parties and stuff. Maybe being ignored by her parents makes her afraid that she'll be forgotten by everyone? But at the same time, it seems like she would like to disappear, to get away from her small town, or at least find someone who could really see her.
I thought the comments on the photo were for one, terrible, lol. All they care about is that she is in a picture with the Chief of Police? Does no one care that they are both beaten up? I guess that's pretty typical of high schoolers? I don't know. I wasn't on the internet in high school, lol. I saw them enough in school is what I figured. xD
But eh, I live in a small town too, but there's a lot more empathy where I live. Anybody could hang out with anybody because we all lived so close together. If you ended up being bullied, or being a bully, you moved county lines or went to juvie, lol. And all the popular kids blocking access to a lunch table never happened. If you had no friends it was because you were doing it to yourself. Trust me on that one, I would know. So high school stories are usually hard for me to relate to because I never experienced half of what goes down in fiction.
Anyway, I guess it was pretty realistic considering the nature of the town, anyway. I still don't like Katie, but she stayed in character, too. She seems really devious. I'm wondering what her motives are. She seems like the type that would stab Alice in the back. Hmm.
[...after waking up from a long night that she couldn't remember that...] I think the first "that" should be removed.
[The mere thought that she thought...] This sentence could probably be revised to "The mere thought of kissing someone she hardly knew..." because the two "thought"s make it redundant.
[...delusional friend think did with...] *she
Overall, nice chapter. I enjoyed it!
| VelvetyCheerio chapter 6 . 12/7/2013
I imagine things are going to get a lot more interesting from here, lol. Alice and Portia? xD Good luck, Nick.
It was curious that he had to tell himself he's not into seventeen year old girls. Hmmm. Could the lack of a female companion be driving him to desperation? What would he have done if he were drunk, too? What about if none of those cameras were around? o.o I mean, he really does seem like a guy you could take at face valule. I don't really think he has any ulterior motives. Or, well, I haven't gotten that vibe from him. You'd think in a small town like this he'd like to get in someone's pocketbook, but he continues to maintain a genuine nature. Maybe a bit confused right now at all the things happening in his life, though.
I definitely think there could have been more build-up with the introduction of Alice's family. I didn't see any mention of them leaving the pool area and going inside, so when her parents walk through the front door it feels like a sudden change of scenery.
The reaction from the parents and Gerard were interesting in how they were different. The Edgington's really do strike me as this posh, high-society family, but it was weird how collected Maggie and Benjamin were when they saw Alice. At the same time, it's nice that her parents know she does stupid stuff and gets herself in trouble instead of being so worried and thinking she's some model citizen. Not sure if their poor emotional response was intended, but I think it says a lot about them as parents and reasons for why Alice gets away for a lot of stuff.
It really seems like they're handing her off to Nick by making her his intern, too, haha. Like, "she's your problem now!"
Well, I didn't really feel like the introduction of the three Edgington adults was too much. I do feel like they could have been developed more. Maybe we could see more of the emotional disconnect from each parent. Maggie's concern seemed the most superficial, and I would have loved to see maybe Alice kind of look uncomfortable sitting next to her mother. (If the case is that her parents aren't all that interested in Alice's well-being) Or maybe Alice trying to savor the moment while her mother remains distant.
Again, I don't really think I have a grander opinion of the adults besides what I've already mentioned. I think they need more development/more screen time for me to get a feel for them. As far as I'm concerned, they just seem like rich people too wrapped up in themselves to consider their own child.
Depending on what you were trying to convey, I think the reactions were good. If what you wanted to get across was entirely different than what I've laid out, then, er... ._. Also, I didn't really get too much of a negative feel from Nick. I think he was pretty angry towards the end. It makes me wonder if he enjoys have the Edgington's as a boss. Like, maybe they make decisions like this all the time and he's forced to clean up after them. It'd be interesting to see more of that, him having to do their dirty work for them. Anyway, my opinion of him is still pretty much the same. It might change depending on how things go from here. ;D
[In fact, it had become...] *it had been, is what I think you wanted to use. Otherwise, that sentence reads awkwardly.
I liked some of the language, like "a steady stream of misdemeanors". It sucks what it says about Alice. She could be on a one way train to self-destruction. :\
Curious to see what you have planned next!
| Jitterbug Blues chapter 6 . 12/7/2013
Before I forget, I'll type it out here - I really enjoy Nick's POVs. Just to answer the question I forgot to respond to in my last review. I just like the way that man ticks.
Hmm, I'm not sure what negative side you're referring to? That he's a bit of a push-over? I think that's not admirable, but, given that Benji is one of the most powerful men in Edgeport, I think it rings true, and also just hints that, sometimes, you just have to suck up to 'authority'. I do hope he'll eventually show more assertiveness, but for now it's okay. I'm more worried about his chasing after gold-digger type girls in Aspen, or having high standards - it kind of implies that he's shallow, which I didn't think he would be. I also wonder what this means for his relationship with Portia. I still love him though, especially now that his character is being fleshed out.
I don't think there were too many characters in this chapter; Maggie and Benji seem like very arrogant people who like to do things their way. They're interesting, but it's Gerard who strikes me as important. All those little hints and the way he settles Alice's fate. That speaks volumes to me. I do wonder if something is going on there – some family secret, perhaps?
(Alice was a bit silent in this chapter - a bit too silent, perhaps? Maybe you should add some reaction on her part. But then, it does say something about her parents; they won't even *let* her talk.)
One extra thing I want to comment on: I like how to deal with transitions. You avoid being abrupt by adding little details like 'one hour later' or 'when he got home'. Sometimes, I do think your prose could need some fleshing out, but then again, for such intro chapters, I do wonder how much fleshing out is necessary in terms of imagery or setting – it might just detract unnecessarily.
| Jitterbug Blues chapter 5 . 12/7/2013
Hmm, I feel sorry for Alice - and I don't think she's a 'slut'. But then, I'm a big opponent of slut-shaming; I don't think a girl should be shamed for having sexual desires, and there's nothing wrong about being sexually active as long you are responsible about it. In all honesty, I think it's cruel of the other kids to badmouth her that much. And Kevin is a jerk for reenacting behaviour that society finds acceptable. Alice is not reprehensible for having had sex (I'm not even clear she's had sex...?); it's Kevin who is for objectifying her and making her feel bad.
Haha 'rant' done, but this chapter just stirred a lot of feelings in me. So on that front, you've done a good job :)
If anything, I just see her as a very lonely girl who's looking for attention in the wrong places. I'm not saying her actions are pardonable or even admirable, but I can see where she's coming from. I really can.
Some descriptions made me cringe in this chapter – like when you described Alice breaking her nose, with skin being peeled off from it. Wow, that was ...very visual and intense. Great job on that front, though it really did make me feel uncomfortable.
Only minor nitpick, when you refer to Nick as having been the best track runner in his high school, you should have used the past perfect tense. Nothing big, just thought I'd let you know.
Still feeling sick, but reviewing this story is fun :)