|Reviews for Edgeport (Nick Tate, Book 1)|
| Jitterbug Blues chapter 18 . 1/2/2014
Relationship: While it's still creepy, I like how you write Alice and Gerard's relationship. There's understanding and mutual support going on there - and underlying possessiveness on Gerard's part. They are not being very subtle though, so I do wonder how long it will take before anyone catches on.
Character: I like how you characterise the Edgeport's here, especially Gerard and his brother. They are both such hypocrites but charming in their own right. I can see why they are as successful as they are.
Ending: I really liked that closing line. It's really dark and ends on the chapter on a great note, tone-wise. It also made me grin, because it's just like Alice to be this sarcastic.
Plot: You've done a great job with the plot generally. I like how this chapter advances it further and makes one eager to read more.
Enjoyment: I liked the writing and the length of this chapter - this chapter was engaging :). I loved reading the dialogue because it was funny. All in all, it was overall just fun!
| Jitterbug Blues chapter 17 . 1/2/2014
- SPOILERS AHEAD -
Opening: As I let you know in a silly PM, I only realised that Saud had been killed in this opening. I admit I was horrified and sad, because I know what he meant to Nick, and it makes all the previous things in the last chapter clearer - Nick's cold reaction, and his on the spot deduction (he knew Saud's arm well ...). I liked this opening: the emotional breakdown was realistic, and I like how you didn't make it pretty, but really showed us how horrified Nick was.
Writing: I liked the writing and I loved the details. While I've only watched a couple of episodes of Dexter, your details reminded me a lot of the show, especially in how gory you get. A lot of the descriptions of Sauf’s corpse made me cringe, but I liked how much it added to the atmosphere! So overall, I really enjoyed the writing here.
Character: I thought that Lindsay’s reactions were believable. She’s just trying to get the job done, and I think it’s great that she’s showing responsibility. I think it makes her a good employee as she’s really trying to make sure that the case be analysed objectively and not through Nick’s right now very skewered judgement. I think Nick is being realistic too – he’s desperate and his emotions in this chapter were just as desperate and off-kilter as you’d expect. I think the poor guy needs a hug.
Plot: I’m really enjoying the plot so far. I think you built up to it well, and I’m also curious what the next few chapters will reveal about Nick, Alice, the Bardicis and Luke. I do think you have a reason for having introduced so many characters, and I can’t wait to see what happens :)
| Jitterbug Blues chapter 16 . 1/2/2014
Relationships: I kind of like this love-triangle set-up. It's horribly awkward and sad, because no one is getting what they want, but I still kind of like it. Maybe, because it makes things on a personal front so interesting for the characters, especially Luke? I also just like how it makes clear how uncomfortable his life can get - poor guy, he really can't get a break. I like his little crush on Alice; I think it would only be natural for him to desire her; I like that he sees the good sides in her though - and not just her appearance.
Pacing: I think the pacing was fine for most of the chapter, but the one scene where Alek and Luke went to liquor store started a bit abruptly? Just add a sentence or two there to make the transition a bit clearer, because I didn't quite get where Alek had popped up from at first XD (but maybe I'm being particularly thick tonight).
Plot: I do think the set-up was worth it! I might not remember Mr Harbi, but I do think the tension of the previous chapters made this discovery particularly horrifying. I definitely wasn't expecting it. The only thing I'm not sure about: how does Nick know the body belonged to Mr Harbi? (I'm a huge Sherlock fan too, and I'm a big fan of deduction on the spot, but how did Nick figure it out? Maybe add a bit more detail there? 3).
Characters: I do like how Nick is showing off his toughness though. It's interesting how this contrasts with his earlier laissez-faire policy. He's suddenly very stern, and harsh - and I think it's a bit unwarranted, but I'm simply interpreting this as his shock. I don't think, even if he says so, that he's ever dealt with a case like this before. And I think his sternness is over-compensating for his lack of experience in that department.
I do wonder if there's more to his reaction though than I've been reading into...
| The Tactician chapter 1 . 1/1/2014
So, great hook in with the first line. Short, concise, great stand along line if taken out of context, all great factors of a great hook! The line after that though. Was luke talking to himself, Becca, or just thinking it in his head? That wasn't really made too clear.
To the content of the chapter. The first 3/4's of it was nicely done. It left a nice nostalgic highschool feel to it and sets up Becca and Luke's relationship nicely. However, things escalated extremely quickly when Luke saw the madman, perhaps even a little too quickly. The effect was like how I would describe shattering the image of a peaceful scene. It just tears you out. Perhaps this was your purpose (and if so, nicely done!) but if not, perhaps consider adding a bit of foreshadowing in there?
Also in regards to Luke and Becca's relationship. I'm not sure you described clearly how they were in two different leagues academically. Do you mean that they took different level classes? If so put that in there. And also put in how they still managed to stay best friends even though they were on different tiers. I feel that should round out your description of their relationship nicely.
Now to the juicy part. The Madman. As I was reading it, I did get a sense of fear (or maybe that was just the Tech N9ne music I had in the background) but as I look back on it... I don't get the same rise again. It just feels a bit, idk short? I feel you can definitely add on to your descriptions. When one is scared, you tend to notice the little details. Describe perhaps the smell of the blood mingling with the morning dew in the air. The visceral sounds of the knife tearing it's way through the woman's flesh. Oh and most importantly, get Becca's reaction! What does her face look like after that experience! Make sure to use short sentences. ;P (Oh and if you already knew all this, I'm sorry for lecturing you lol).
And finally I think I might have a plothole. Luke said that it was a small town and if their was a robber he would recognize them. So did he recognize the madman? It's probably important to put that in there somewhere.
Overall, solid chapter. I like the start of it. Didn't actually expect it to start with Luke's teenage memories but that just makes it all the better! (Oh and nice cover art. Did you make that yourself?)
| Jitterbug Blues chapter 15 . 12/29/2013
Relationship: I admit I've suspected the incest factor for a while. Does it creep me out? Yes, but it doesn't make me want to stop reading. I think it nicely fits into the story, what with the whole factor of Luke being a product of incest too and the whole small town brimming with secrets. If you think of it, the gothic novel often functions on such principles of secret, mystery and illicit relationships. So yes, it works. And I think it really works for the story, explaining why these two are so close and why the intimacy was always just a tad bit too close for comfort in the earlier chapters.
Character: Oh Alice – she’s so messed up and confused. I like how she is trying to reason/justify her relationship with Gerard, but she’s still so messed up. She’s a bright and misunderstood girl, I think, who really just needs to leave Edgeport and live a life for herself, where she’s not just seen as a ‘slut’, and where her other talents are more appreciated.
Writing: Haha, I thought while reading this last night if I should retract my comments in my earlier reviews about fleshing things out. In all honesty, I like the simplicity of your style and it works well in chapters like this where you get the point across in very few but well-picked words. I think the whole Gerard and Alice scene didn’t creep me out because it was just so straightforward and unromanticised. There was nothing gratuitous about this scene whatsoever.
Dialogue: I think the dialogue between Gerard and Alice is wonderfully creepy. You manage to show how well he manipulates her by saying that she’s special and beautiful and that no one could understand here. His tone just comes across as so affectionate in my hand – it’s seriously creepy.
Enjoyment: I liked this chapter a lot. As always the writing and wondering how this chapter will tie in with the rest of the plot made me enjoy this chapter a lot. I also just liked reading about Alice in general.
| Jitterbug Blues chapter 14 . 12/28/2013
Character: I must say, first off, that I love Nick. He's such a great guy for supporting Luke, despite the fact that no one else seems to believe him. Anyhow, to the Bardicis - I'm actually interested in them. I do think they are realistic, but I think you flesh them out a bit more? But that's generally something I'd advise you to do, once you're done with this story - just flesh out things a bit more? (I'm still amazed though how, despite your simplicity, your prose never seems rushed). In regards to fleshing out I mean - just add a bit more detail here and there 3.
Anyhow, I think the Bardicis are interesting, especially Mr Bardici. He seems very quiet, but threatening too (just the dialogue was full of underlying menace, I think? I don't know what it was, but it creeped me out. Zef himself seems ...like a nice old man, but I do wonder what he was like before.
Opening: I really liked the opening about Einstein. I also like how you fleshed that opening out, and connected it well with hospital scene - because it rings true, and also gave us nice insight into Luke's point. But no, I just really liked that Einstein line; it's gripping and makes the reader want to know why he was thinking of Einstein at that moment.
Setting: I notice you rarely address the setting, and in this chapter, I think you could have done so. Especially in regards to the hospital and timelessness when being forced to lie there. But, on the other hand, it might have dragged that scene out, and I don't see anything wrong with not mentioning the setting in full detail either, but you might want to avoid the phenomenon of having your characters floating in space. Just add a hint, sometimes, where the characters are (that's what I mean by fleshing out!)
Writing: Sometimes I think you run in danger of nearly rushing things and/or being a bit unclear. During the opening for example, I was really confused by the fact that Luke had already left the hospital (and realised that he'd been narrating this his home - maybe just clarify that? 3). I think, sometimes, a bit more detail would just make your prose just a bit richer - don't overdo it though, or you'd lose that simplicity that makes your style so much fun (and I'd generally add it for a revision anyway, and not now or the changes in prose would just be too jarring).
Pacing: I do think that you run danger of nearly rushing sometimes. I'd just add more subtle hints at time passing or making clear when a transition is taking place, but then saying this like that isn't very helpful. Generally, I think you're doing really well though.
Also, sorry for the more critical approach. I'd been wanting to tell you for a while, but struggled with how to word it. I don't just always want to praise, since that's not always helpful either!
I do like this story a lot though! And your style :)
| Jitterbug Blues chapter 13 . 12/28/2013
Character: Oddly enough, I always wonder if Gerard is up to something bad. I don't know, but he seems to have some kind of agenda? Nick observed that in one of the earlier chapters, I think? Notwithstanding that though, he seems nice enough in this chapter - very attentive towards Alice, and a nice enough for a uncle. But still: I don't entirely trust him XD.
Dialogue: I must say I really liked the exchange between Alice and Gerard here. I like how it flowed easily, and how natural it sounded? I think you could have used more reactions to it, like facial expression or gestures, but it read nicely like this too. It's just that you might want to flesh it out a bit?
Writing: Yeah, I feel like always telling you that you could flesh out your prose a bit, but I actually like the simplicity a lot. I don't mind that you *told* us Alice's feelings in this chapter; it didn't drag and it was interesting to read. But still for future suggestion: maybe try to showcase feelings without telling us directly? (But that's more something to keep in mind for future stories.) I just feel like telling you this, because I don't just want to toss praise all the time, but I do like how you write a lot! You just have a very fresh writing style.
Other (not sure how to categorise this XD Setting? Pacing?): Maybe the only thing I'd like to crit a bit is that the beginning I wasn't quite clear where Alice herself was situated, while watching Nick and Portia kiss. I'd have just made clear where she herself was situated at that time, just to make things a bit clear (I do know she was in a car, but a bit more detail would be nice).
Enjoyment: I'm still really liking this story. I like how you balance plot with character development. It makes me care more for the story, and - as always - I like your writing style. It's fun to read.
| Jitterbug Blues chapter 12 . 12/28/2013
Relationship: I must say, I was surprised by the kiss, but I liked it. You have such a gentle way of describing their relationship. It's not rushed, but it seems very natural - the way they react to each other, and just enjoy each other's company? I like how Portia and Nick just connect, and how the desire they have each other is so evident. It's sweet, but also steamy – and I do enjoy that from time to time.
Plot: I don't mind that you're taking a break from the action/drama. I think, as you said, that they develop the characters further, and also help us like them better. I enjoy the fact that you're still not totally ignoring the crime factor, but also give us a reason as to why Nick might be hesitating to believe Luke still. But yes, I don't mind the slower chapter or how the plot progresses here. It's more character-focused, but it also fleshes out the story itself - making it more emotional and gripping.
Writing: I really enjoyed the writing here too - especially during the date scene. It was just so soothing and sweetly romantic. You were never over the top, but didn't shy away from adding a bit of 'sexual tension' here and there. I think you kept it tasteful though 3.
Enjoyment: I consider this story to be one of the lighter reads for me. Not because of the plot or anything, but just because of how the prose is easy to get into, and how I can always enjoy this, no matter what the hour. It's honestly a pleasure to read this - the story is nicely paced, the characters are likeable and I'm interested in what will happen next :3
Yeah, and my last review was short - too short. I might consider this review the first of the 'in-depth reviews'. We'll see!
| Jitterbug Blues chapter 11 . 12/28/2013
Writing: I think you were nicely clear throughout this chapter, but got detailed when it was warranted. I really liked how readable this chapter was :3 There was one small error - where you mistook 'fell' for 'felt'. But that is all I caught 3.
Scene: I liked how you described Luke's wounds. I think the details were very well written here, and I liked how you likened the scene to an overambitious director. Some of the details made me cringe - poor Luke :(
Dialogue: I loved the dialogue between Nick and Wayne. It was so much fun and lively too. I think you do a great job of establishing their relationship like this too.
Other: I am not a medical expert, but I think his wounds were fine? A helm might have been an okay idea, but people often don't wear helmets no, I think you did fine :)
| carlalegre chapter 1 . 12/27/2013
Let me begin by saying that I love the way you write. It has just enough detail that we get an understanding of our surroundings but not so much so that it completely overtakes the senses. I've read a handful of stories where the author's are so concerned with establishing a physical setting that they completely disregard the emotions and gestures that comes with writing characters.
Speaking of which, Luke and Becca are very relatable, which in turn, makes them likeable. It was nice of you to explore the two kinds of people that live in small towns-those that feel trapped by it and those that are comforted by the security of its locality.
Overall, your story is enjoyable. Also, kudos on actually describing Luke's desperation when seeing the murderer. I felt as though I was with him.
| Dr. Self Destruct chapter 6 . 12/27/2013
I think I'm going to post my comments on FP when I review this story just because it's easier for me to keep track of them. I hope that's okay. Let me know if you'd rather I post them on your website instead and I'll just copy/paste this one other there. Gonna do a chapter of this tonight and then a chapter of Crowe tomorrow. :)
Ha, I love the opening of this chapter. The closing of the narrative distance works really well here, where we're reading a narration that closely resembles Nick's own thoughts. The way his stream of thinking was interrupted by the EM dash and then went on to disagree with what he just said is really clever and it made me chuckle. I love it when narration gets playful like that - I think it adds some really nice character to the third person narrator, and it helps Nick's narration stand out from the other POVs. So far I think you've done a really great job giving each character their own tone and voice.
The amount of teasing Saud pushes off on poor Nick is hilarious. I really love their interaction at the end of this chapter. It's really funny and I think it ends the chapter on a more light-hearted note, since things get a little more serious near the middle as Nick is talking to Alice's parents. Also, I feel like there's something going on with Gerards - there was a lot of focus put on some of his reactions, hmm. And while I don't really agree with all the negative things said about a younger woman seeking out an older man, I do see the reasoning behind wanting to discourage that type of attitude in Alice. But that's more just because she seems like she could be pretty gullible when it comes to a relationship and she might be taken advantage of, which is probably a result of her younger age. I definitely don't think all teens are ready for relationships with older men, but I think it depends a lot on the maturity level - and right now I'm not sure if Alice has that.
In answer to your author's note questions:
I don't think too many people were introduced with Benji, Maggie, and Gerard. It's hard to tell if they'll each be important enough to warrant their existence, though. I'll have to read more of the novel before I can give you better advice for that. I will say now that if Benji or Maggie or Gerard sort of stay in the background and aren't too important, you might want to just not give them a first name and call them Mr. or Mrs. Edgington. That way the reader won't put too much effort committing them to memory and they'll focus on the characters they *know* are important. But, like I said, I don't see a problem with them right now, and I didn't have any trouble differentiating between them although they were all introduced at once.
It think it's a little too early for me to give an in-depth opinion about the adults, but I'm definitely willing to learn more about them. Especially Gerard...I want to know what his deal is and why he was so passive aggressive to Nick.
I think the reactions are fine, yeah. I kind of felt the same way as Maggie when Nick mentioned Alice kissed him. I thought that was sort of funny how he seemed scared of it, almost. And Maggie's comment that was sort of sarcastic and making a jab at him was right along the lines of how I was thinking during that scene, haha.
I don't think this chapter really hurt his reputation in my eyes. I think it makes him seem more like a normal person: he has his own beliefs and thinks things should be handled in certain ways. He has opinions and morals, and while I might not 100% agree with them, that's fine. It makes him human. Plus I wouldn't be too happy to be jumped on when I walked into my house at night, even if it was by my best friend. And I wouldn't be too happy to be pitted with an intern like Alice either, especially after she just tried to make out with me. xD
| VelvetyCheerio chapter 16 . 12/27/2013
Aww, love triangle. I like how this is only obvious now, when all three of them are together. It's not like some weird The Hunger Games thing were two people are constantly battling for one person's affections. Though, you know, love triangles are never really love triangles, they're more like love angles, lol. At some point the line doesn't meet two people.
Everything was just so mysterious with this chapter. From the way Alek was nervous about having the party at his place, to Alice being late, to the chopped up body in the pig slop. First of all, why was Alek so nervous? Era wasn't nervous at all. She didn't put a second thought in hosting the party at the Bardici house. She couldn't have been immune to the family business. It would only make sense if she had no idea that they had dumped a body that she would choose that night of all nights. And Alek couldn't just go up and tell her, "hey, we can't host the party tonight because of the odybay in the opslay" because then he'd be even more suspicious. HmMmMm.
I thought it was weirdly cute how Luke just automatically assumed Alice was at another party when Becca suggested it. Poor boy, haha. I liked how uncertain he was of the whole situation, not knowing if he'd ever get the chance to be with someone.
The discovery was pretty crazy, especially because Luke had to be the one to do it. Couldn't that cause fingerprint confusion or something? Was that Alek's plan all along? Also who would want to kill Saud? That maniac in the woods was eating the bodies himself. Whoever did this is just a killer. I don't know if it's anyone at the party, but it's gonna be some fun the process of elimination.
I thought Nick's reaction was good. I liked how it was noted that maybe he was squashing down a great deal of pain to remain professional, even though it's his friend that has been chopped to pieces. The past fifteen chapters have definitely been an adventure, I'll say that. A lot of information and subplots have been introduced, so I'm just excited to see it all start to come together.
Overall, great work so far. Keep it up! :D
| VelvetyCheerio chapter 15 . 12/27/2013
Well I certainly wasn't expecting that ending. o.o
I'm really curious how all this is tying into the main plot. Is Alice's incestuous relationship with her Uncle supposed to in some way correlate to Luke's existence? Also, man, this just opens a whole can of worms on Alice. How could she even talk about the circumstances surrounding Luke's birth when this is what's going on with her? From all of her chapters I've read, she's not a stupid girl. She has to know what's happening here isn't right, or at the very least, it isn't something that should happen between family members.
So yeah, I don't really know what I think of Alice right now. The characteristic of seeking older men is spot-on considering, but this couldn't have started when Alice was a pre-teen. I just have a feeling she'd be too smart to Gerard's ways. So it's curious to me that he's not more controlling of her; not more abusive with her. He treats her as though she were a small child; he's essentially grooming her and saying nice things so that he can easily get what he wants.
Now if this did start relatively early, say in the past couple of months, then something traumatic had to have happened to her before that skewed her perception of what love is (or more specifically, what family love is). I'm getting this feeling that maybe you sort of hinted at this traumatic thing in this chapter, but I'm not really sure. Anyway, if Gerry were there to coddle her afterward, I could see a sort of instant attachment bond forming in the wake. Seeing as he is clearly a predator, he'd just take advantage of her emotions while they were all flimsy and tell her all sorts of things about love and stuff.
Also, if this traumatic thing *did* happen and it happened with Chase, it surprises me even more how little Alice thinks about it. Or even Chase. When Katie mentioned Chase in a previous chapter, Alice just seemed very blah over it. Too interested in Chief Tate.
Regardless, I like how Gerard's presence in the story eventually got to this point. I think you built it up fairly well, and there were definitely a lot of hints dropped.
As to your questions: again, I'm not really sure how you intend to tie it all in at the end. I really have no idea what you have planned with this, but it's certainly something for the story. Just remember to stick to your guns! Alice and Luke? Hmm. I think it's interesting that she's gravitating toward him. Can't tell if it's for real, or just a way to keep her mind of Chief Tate. If she is getting interested in guys her own age again, it'd be a nice way of exploring an attempted separation from her Uncle. That's always psychologically fun, lol.
Last note, on the sex bit. Just the choice of wording there was kind of, er, I don't know. xD
["...as she felt clothing ripped open."] *her
"Ripped open" is kind of, whoa, lol. I think you could use a different verb there, something that fits the scene. Maybe clothing was pulled off, or removed, or something tame and low-key.
Anyway, good chapter. Crazy, but good.
| VelvetyCheerio chapter 14 . 12/27/2013
Apologies beforehand if at some point I devolve into incoherent madness. I'm running on five hours of sleep right now, but I will keep my eyes open just a little longer. *twitch*
Okay, I think of all the POV's, I can honestly say that I'm enjoying Luke's the most. He always has the most going on, and I find him a lot more interesting, anyway. I mean, his role is central to what's going on right now, being the first one to encounter this killer. I'm always just curious to know what'll happen next when it comes to Luke.
This chapter was no exception. It definitely kept my attention, and I like how we see into different aspects of Luke's life, from his parents to the people he works for. It's interesting the way Luke interprets Greg's feelings towards him. I kind of wonder if that's the truth of the matter, or if Luke is really going to turn out to be an unreliable narrator and his perception of people and the world is skewed by his own personality.
I was a bit confused with the conversation between Luke and Zef, and then Luke and Mr. Bardici. When Luke is playing cards with Zef, he has this panicked moment that Zef has forgotten his "true profession", so why does he ask Mr. Bardici what Zef did in the past? He should know. He might not know the details, but he did seem to know that it was some "unspeakable act of violence" where blood was spilled and all that jazz. He knows Zef was a part of the Mob.
It's also interesting that Luke, who has secrets of his own to keep, would be so nosy. I mean, that could be a useful character flaw you could utilize later on. Also, I didn't really understand why Luke felt like a "complete and utter freak" after talking to Mr. Bardici. If "loser" were subsituted in there, I could feel some sympathy for him. I know what it's like trying to push a point only to get crushed with harsh words. Winner! isn't exactly the feeling afterward -.-
Technically, I think you could do a better job on your transitions, but I think I already mentioned taht in a previous review. Anyway, there were just two instances in this chapter that threw me for a loop.
The first was when Era takes Luke to see Zef. Era says something and they're still in the car at that point, but then all of a sudden, Luke is walking into Zef's living quarters. So I think that transition could use some work.
The second instance is less of a transition and just more of a description problem, I think. I don't really know. But it's the scene where Chief Tate pulls up by Luke who is sitting on the side of the road. Chief Tate starts talking like a tour guide (even though he has no one in the vehicle with him) and that really confused me. But more importantly, we don't even get a chance to realize a car might be pulling up next to Luke. We don't hear the crunch of gravel or anything. I didn't even realize Luke was walking on the road-road. I thought he was taking some safer backwoods trail. It can't be easy walking on asphalt with a messed up foot.
That was cruel of Era to leave him, lol.
To your question, I don't really know what to think of the Bardici's. I mean, their business is touched on so slightly that I don't actually really even have much of an idea of what it's all about. They're pig farmers, but also body farmers? Are they in the organ business, or just the kill-enemies-and-turn-them-into-pig-chow business? It also seems very mysterious and exciting. Mr. Bardici was acting very suspicious, though. He was getting so defensive about those pigs. Hmmm.
Anyway, I liked this chapter a lot. :) On to the next one!
| VelvetyCheerio chapter 13 . 12/26/2013
Also in that last chapter: ["Damn, Porsche...] *Portia
A short, sweet chapter. I like the way Alice is trying to rationalize her feelings and psyche herself out of thinking about Nick. She really does seem like she's trying, anyway. It's curious how much the idea of sex dominates her head, though. Like, she has college to think about, and getting away from her family. I mean, women are just as prone to sexual thoughts as men, but she has so much more going for her than a police chief. I'm really surprised she hasn't run away to the city and tried to hobo it up or something.
Gerard seems okay so far. Alice and he are really close, which isn't always weird, but well, I don't know much about Gerard so it's kind of weird to me, lol. It's nice that they can have such easy conversation, though. It definitely makes their relationship very believable.
[She cross her arms.] *crossed
[Her kissed her cheek.] *He
Good chapter, I enjoyed it. :)