Reviews for The Spider Lily and Death Angel
Monty Mason chapter 1 . 1/4/2015
Hello Midnight,

Apologies for posting this in your review section but I noticed you've disabled PMing, how come? Anyways wanted to drop you a message just asking if you've plans to update any of your stories anytime soon? Unless you're working on them in secret like I usually do :P lol.

- Monty Mason
mingsquared chapter 1 . 10/19/2014
I've always enjoyed reading strong female protagonists so this was definitely entertaining. I think you did a good job setting up the premise of the story with the prologue and introducing the main character. Oh, and the Noriko's quote is pretty badass.

That said, I'd prefer if you showed the corruption and decay rather than tell it. Since this is the prologue, I can understand if you don't want to info-dump, but do I hope subsequent chapters will have a bit more world-building in them.

Don't just use internal dialogue to tell us how bad the situation is, have the main character witness crimes. The way it is now, it makes us as readers feel disconnected from the main character. But if someone she knows or cares about was actually involved, then it changes the dynamics a bit.

Anyways, great job on the prologue!
YumehaMinakami chapter 4 . 9/28/2014
Oh? Now its a betrayal? Really interesting, I sense some link between Fuwari and the MC is about to be revealed, these are some nice and rather quick turn of events.

Also, just a little something to say, when writing dialogue its better to just put said. I saw too many hisses here but that's fine, I'm here for the great story. Well, that's all for now and I hope you update this soon! It's really getting good!
Monty Mason chapter 4 . 9/28/2014
Hi Midnight,

We're back at it again now aren't we? Time for me to pick this chapter apart ;).

First sentence, kind of is a major foreshadowing, and may give away the person to betray Nori. I haven't read through the whole chapter so don't know if that is what happens, but if it does then I recommend that you make it a little more subtle. Because if it does happen, there isn't much of a surprise left aside from in the way Sugiwara may betray Nori.

The way you mentioned about Nori's parents at the beginning, I personally thought that it was somewhat awkward. You mention sleeping parents of Fuwari on one end but then so nonchalantly say Nori's parents are dead. It's basically like Nori saying, "Yeah my parents died, you know it happens and all." lol.

Nori forgetting to strap her weapons on? Uh oh, this doesn't sound like the Nori we know who claims herself to be a "professional". Was that intentional or accidentally an out of character moment? Again not to mention, if she is a professional she shouldn't let anything get in the way as she believes anyways. So it kind of takes the reader (me anyways) out of the belief that she is actually a trained assassin out for blood granted she makes such a simple and silly mistake.

Cliche moment alert! When Fuwari slips and Nori catches her, it creates that damsel in distress to the lovey dovey moment. It's the type of moment you would normally expect to see occur between two people partaking in a dangerous job that could be a potential couple. So in that sense its a bit too cliched (obviously this little bit is my own opinion, others may beg to differ).

Spelling: I try not to feel empty and hallow.
Spot the mistake? It's the hallow word. Do you know what it means? It means holy saint. So an assassin is now a holy saint? Yikes! What is the world coming to?! lol.
Fix: I try not to feel empty and hollow.

You say: I see the neck poking his skin slightly.
Did you mean to say: I see the blade poking his skin slightly.
Because you know, skin is everywhere on the human body :P.

For future reference try avoiding terms like live knot as not everyone may know it. Or explain it in your Author's note.

Well you didn't address whether Sugiwara would betray her or not but how Fuwari betrayed her was rather interesting. However tell me this, do you really think a person would be wondering about how magical a moment was that same night when they're getting hunted down? Most likely they would wonder the reason for the betrayal and whether Erika was involved in knowing this or not. They would also tend to plan out their "vengeance" (granted they're not mature enough to think this through all the way).

So I didn't pick up on too many grammar mistakes this time around, but then again I read this right after brushing my teeth and stuff lol. The story is interesting thus far but little details here and there that could use some work to polish it up. Hopefully this review helps.

- Monty Mason
Doge chapter 3 . 9/26/2014
Woah, such plot twistXD if this was a comedy, i expect a dun dun dunnn at the end haha, but good job! Your story makes people waiting for more! uhm, i have nothing else to add..sorry
YumehaMinakami chapter 3 . 9/25/2014
That picture is interesting, now for the next chapter please. Looks like we will have more revelation next time.
Monty Mason chapter 3 . 9/25/2014

Okay new chapter. Are we ready to have me pick and prod at this one to? If not then too bad! lol, I'm going to do it anyways ;).

Opening sentence, from what I gather you mainly wanted to get the point that Fuwari is mysterious across. The sentence does do the job but the first half where you describe whether she is clad or silent or not in a sense kind of is pointless to the overall message in that one sentence (again thinking logically here as opposed to creatively). Personally that bit maybe better served to describe in a longer segment about Fuwari. I realize mentioning that may give some insight into her personality but without the story having too much focus on her so far, I don't think its going to leave a lasting effect (at least not on me anyways).

It's good you have Nori wonder why she needs a partner for a job where only a "teacher" is involved, gives a sense of mystery to the situation behind this whole partnership and shows that Nori is sensible enough to know these things despite her age.

Grammar error: "Phones away," the substitute teacher says [...]
Notice the mistake?
Fix: "Phones away", the substitute teacher says [...]

The bit where you mention about self-study. Slow down on what each student is doing to set up lol. So many names that I've yet to familiarize myself with and they're being thrown left and right here. Basically, try to make the transitions more smooth between the characters. When I read those sentences, first is okay but then we jump to another character and then another. Imagine it like a movie, you've smooth scenes and you've choppy scenes, this bit would be the latter.

Another sentence I found that could perhaps be improved: "Great" Kei says. He looks like he has sandy brown hair as the sunlight bounces on his hair [...]
Suggestion: "Great" Kei says brushing his sandy brown hair under the gaze of the sunlight, with it's red highlights visible. (You will probably have to play with breaking your sentences for a proper grammatical flow)

Again while the bit about Rin is somewhat intriguing to get a better look into Nori's psyche, I personally think that the transition wasn't as smooth perhaps. The way you dive into that scene, it just seems to happen a bit too fast without us really being able to experience the damaged mind of Nori.

The dialog: "You like nude a lot", [...] comes off as slightly awkward in reading.
Perhaps better phrasing: "You like nude a lot, don't you?" [...] this new version still says that Erika maybe into this sort of thing but Nori isn't necessarily making a solid judgement either. Plus the dialog doesn't sound as awkward as it does with the one before.

You used the first line that you had for this chapter later on when they were opening their envelopes. That's a good place to put the first bit of that sentence (obviously have the second bit in there to for the added effect). It adds more to the content of the story and does actually make sense over there.

Doesn't make much sense for Erika to be mad at Fuwari as she replies her special request question. Had it been Nori asking that question, then logically it makes sense. It was Nori after all that caused the little build up of emotions there, Fuwari was simply a watcher at most.

Grammar: Please ask him about the woman in the picture was written [...]
Notice the error?
Fix: 'Please ask him about the woman in the picture', was written [...] (I would've said to use "" but that's already being used for dialogs, so don't want to confuse anyone with that)

Ending was quite good, again darn cliffhanger! But you did bring up a slightly renewed sense of mystery when the picture turns out to be that of Nori's.

Again, some things to fix and somethings were done well. Let's see where you take this story from here on out.

- Monty Mason
Blazing Lights chapter 1 . 9/21/2014
Hello! I'm from the Roadhouse and decided to give your story a try. Just a heads up I don't read manga really ever so yeah...

I like Nori's quote even though when you think about it, it's sick and unsettling.

The prologue did its job it seems. I feel that you did set the background of the city quite well. Politicians who are corrupt and fat lazy cops sets the city up for failure, eh?

That's all I can think of really. I gave it try but honestly I didn't like it but that is my opinion. It has nothing to do with your writing though, more the genre. Your writing is quite good, the description especially but there's always room for improvement right?

Have a Wonderful Day!:)
YumehaMinakami chapter 2 . 9/19/2014
Ooooohh, interesting! I love the way you describe things and the way you tell the story. To be honest, I kind of have a hard time reading stories in present tense, it just seems a bit weird.
But this story is just awesome, even though its in present tense I can feel the story flow and the writing was good, great job.
I wanna see what happens next to their target.
Wilzx chapter 1 . 9/18/2014
Not bad for a prologue :3
Monty Mason chapter 2 . 9/17/2014

So I'm back to dissect this chapter like some mad scientist hehehe lol jk.

Opening is fine, but I found the bit about "[...] Should I call her now? It is midnight now." to be a bit awkwardly worded. I just feels a bit strange in reading (an easy mistake to make when English is our second language, I know since I've had those moments as well). Perhaps try something like this: "[...] Should I call her now? But would it be the right time? After all it is midnight."

Hmm...When I started reading the bit about the blood coated girls, I honestly couldn't follow it until we got to the scene with the blood trailing from the bed to the window. Then I understood that this was a vision. The bit from where Nori thinks about calling Erika is clear but suddenly jumping into the whole vision thing kind of threw me of. There really wasn't a transition or anything to help me as the reader follow along until I got to the end of the segment and finally understand, oh that was a vision and not just crazy stuff happening out the blue like it may happen in parodies lol.

Although it was good you put in a segment like this as it helps keep up a sense of mystery behind Nori's past. Doing more segments like these will most definitely tease the readers but also help maintain their interest in Nori granted you do them right :). One thing to say though is that perhaps you shouldn't have mentioned Fuwari's name, keep the person nameless because now it tells of a possible tragedy striking them. This could take the readers in an expected direction then, as opposed to taking us by surprise. A nameless person would've still maintained a sense of mystery and intrigue.

Grammar: A block is for the smart and studied kids.
Notice the error?
Fix: A block is for the smart and studious kids.

Grammar: D block if for the troubled teens.
Notice the error?
Fix: D block is for the troubled teens.

There are other places in that little bit, but they aren't necessarily mistakes, more along the lines of missing words here and there.

I'm confused now, you said Nori's bloody hands from last night. Was that actually a vision or did it really happen? Because if it happened, what happened then to lead up to that?! If it was a vision, you may want to make it more clear when describing it here.

I really like the idea of breaking the school off into different blocks as it can create possibilities for friction different blocks in the future. The way you also described Nori trying to fit into the "normal" high school life with other people was also well done, we get to see how much of a chore she finds it to conform to these high school social rituals (something I can relate to). Not only that, but it also helps build her character as it shows she looks for genuine social/deeper connections when she said she would trade anyone for Sugiwara.

Also the way you describe Nori's observation abilities is quite well done as it shows not only her sharp eyesight but her judgement as well when she is basically cross checking so many things from different people and how well it fits them or doesn't. And all the while this is being applied only to daily life here, I'm sure it will be handy to show during her assassination missions.

That little build up of the next victim was really well done. Although it was just gossip it was still well done as it helps you associate somewhat with Oyama's character (even if not necessarily his true character, it helps you get a perspective on him). And then when she get the information for her target, that was really well done with the last line in the chapter. Leaves of a sense of build up with the hopes of it paying off in the next chapter or so.

Again a lot I've written here, for the most part this chapter was entertaining and good. Though there are things to improve on, nothing is ever perfect after all :). Hope this review helps you somewhat.

- Monty Mason
September Reyn chapter 2 . 9/16/2014
Nori's character is more obvious in this chapter. :)
Some parts need proofreading, nothing big just interchanged letters and such (I tried scrolling back to look for them but since they're not really eye catching mistakes I had a hard time haha).
Hmm what else? Watch out for the switching tenses. They don't seem awkward in this chapter so I'll just suggest you be more careful in the future. :) (This is also a mistake I usually make haha)
Lastly, why the homeroom teacher? (well I'll know soon anyway)
update :)
Monty Mason chapter 1 . 9/16/2014

I've to say that while the opening line is somewhat intriguing to me as a reader, the follow up material defining the corruption and the decaying rate of the city is not so. The way it's all described just feels a bit too generic. You mentioned your protagonist was in school, you could've used that as an opportunity to show Nori witnessing a crime while on the way there (of course not reacting on it since there would be other people around and I'm sure she doesn't want to be labelled a freak or something lol). That would've given the increasing crime rate and corruption a far greater gravity to the topic. Because honestly, from just a few words I didn't feel much of an impact taking place. Always better to help your readers imagine what you want to convey as opposed to simply describing it in brief words.

Grammar: Smiling [...] click into Erika's email - pick up the mistake?
Fix: Smiling [...] click onto Erika's email - I get what you were trying to say with the above, saying that the character is going into that email.

Oh you missed a great opportunity to show the weight of crime in this city. Nori had said our teacher is late followed by three dots. You could've followed that up by questioning whether the next victim to this city's crime rate is the teacher or not. That also shows how aware Nori really is of the threat that always is surrounding the city (general threat anyways).

Now this was a good move where you talked about Sugiwara getting mugged possibly if she were to go out alone. This is the kind of stuff you need more often to show yes, there is real crime here. Not just politicians but other forms of crime as well. Not to mention personalizing this to your character's (since it could happen to their friends), you can also then work to play this as a much more insightful view into Nori's thinking since I'm sure she would've have pretty strong opinions about it.

Oh again a missed opportunity. Where you say Nori successfully evades Sugiwara's wrath, it would've been nice to see the chemistry between the two to get a little more insight into Nori, how she behaves with the people she knows (and perhaps cares about), you could've played at a unique chemistry here creating for some very fun and or awkward (but in a comedic way) moments.

Okay, so I picked up little things here and there on grammar (I'll let you scan it over) until the point where Nori is basically showing her determination to complete her oath. I understand that is an effort to show Nori's resolve but the way she comes off as thinking that, it just sounds like she is a bit too duty/job driven for her own good. Don't know if that was ever the intention, if not ever thought of loosening her character up a bit. It seems like you're playing at the "I'm a professional" cliche here a bit right now.

It's really good that you mentioned about emotions and work correlating, how Nori says they shouldn't get in the way of work ever again creates a sense of mystery for the reader to think about and look forward to being resolved.

I also really like the part about her character where she admits that she does want to show off a little, it shows that her years as an assassin also have helped build up her ego a bit. This is something you can play at later when working with her relationship with Fuwari (whether it be work or personal).

Now about the ending dialog, nothing wrong with it grammatically but I just didn't feel as though it left a strong after taste in my mouth. It's a good enough prologue but I'm sure you can probably do better to create a sense of intrigue not only for the characters but for their feelings/thoughts towards their upcoming job as well. You know, create a build up for it to pay off in the next or upcoming few chapters.

So somethings were done well, somethings could use improvement on. But no story is perfect, it was pretty good for a prologue. Hopefully this review here helps you think about some of the things I mentioned and implement if you choose to do so. Other than that, nice job!

- Monty Mason
M.R. Hill chapter 1 . 9/16/2014
Alright, that opening line alone hooked me! Yeah, you definitely have me as a reader for this.

The style and voice to this I really enjoy since it overall has a light novel vibe to me. I'm able to follow it with ease and overall for an opening introduction to the world, you really set the tone well. Also, you did a great job when it came to setting up mystery. You gave just enough to make the story intriguing without elaborating on all kinds of other things. For example, I'm now curious as to why this chick is an assassin and I am intrigued to learn more.

So yeah, good job! :D
September Reyn chapter 1 . 9/14/2014
Loved the tag line.
anyway, a good start to an assassin story.
the emojis were funny (I'd be teasing a friend if they ever send me one though haha)
can't wait to read about their first mission together although I have to say she seems too inclined to work with Death angel (did I get that right?) given she didn't want a partner but we'll see how it goes. :)
continue :)
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