|Reviews for The Peculiar Cases of Inspector Gao|
| Wendy Thompson135th chapter 2 . 8/23/2015
Paragraph 2: Even while riding mounted -redundant. The positions of horse and rider were established in P 1. ...even while riding...
P 3: A fog enraptured the low-lying hills, as if the overcast sky itself descended to earth. The two met at particular rendezvous points, updating each other on what they had seen-Does 'they' in the second sentence refer to the earth and sky? or to Gao & Su Jiao? Unclear.
P 4: slowed his mount to a comfortable trot. Is a trot ever comfortable? Nestled gently in the folds of a gently rising hill were freestanding burnt timbers reduced to mildew-covered rot from exposure to the elements. The ruined structure had once been a monastery, founded by the Song Dynasty polymath Chang Fanrui. Thinking the location otherwise easy to blunder passed, Gao was reminded of the only reliable nearby landmark. Jiao had sent other deputies to scour the monastery's ruins, but Gao only saw them return with paltry trinkets and rubble. -Sort of jumbled here. Is the ruined monastery the landmark? or is another place more reliable? Why the search of the monastery's ruins? Also, semi-homophone confusion: Past/passed; Pass is a verb; past, in this case, is an adverb. If you pass something, you have moved, or blundered, past it. You will have passed it.
5. Two stone statues stood opposing vigils atop an overgrown stone staircase. The statues were a life-sized terracotta hybrid of stone and bronze ... the likeness of Song Dynasty crossbowmen ...Terracotta(burned earth) is not stone, nor is it a hybrid of stone and bronze. The Emperor's
Army is clay down to the tassels on the Generals' armor.
If this is an invention of your own, fine, but don't use terracotta as a synonym for stone or bronze. The statues might be fitted with real weapons, perhaps. (The San Francisco Asian Art museum had an exhibition of half a dozen of the clay warriors. What I noticed. in addition to the clay tassels, was how short the statues were. I'm short, the figures were displayed on a 6 inch plinth, and they were still shorter than I am. Also, as I remember it, the crossbowman was kneeling.)
The main problem continues to be hasty editing. You might consider reading this aloud, or giving the text to a friend to read aloud to you. Too many redundancies or awkward constructions slip through under the current process, what ever it is.
| Tess and Jess chapter 1 . 8/16/2015
I found that to be a really interesting story and really enjoyed reading it! However, it felt a bit rushed to me. I would have loved to have more description about the characters (not just physical, but also mental and emotional) and more of the background story behind the characters. I think it would make it easier for a reader to remember which character is which, since in the first couple paragraphs I had to keep going back to see who each character was and what they were doing. Also, I feel like more description overall (including physical description and motivations and emotions) would help round out the story and help draw the reader into it.
| TorgoTheWhite chapter 1 . 7/21/2015
Some factual gripes about the story (otherwise impressive for an attempt at 17th century Chinese fiction):
You described Ichiro as having a "pony-tail". I am not sure whether that's the proper hairstyle for Tokugawa-era Samurai. They typically shave the front portion of their heads and wear the back portion in a "bun" similar to those of contemporary Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.
Inspector Gao's crew relied heavily on crossbows for combat. Historically, crossbows were scarcely used by the Ming military and militia (especially during late Ming Dynasty). Repeating crossbows were typically used by rich peasant households for warding off thieves and robbers.
I am not sure whether the air bladder powered dart will generate enough force to penetrate a wooden target. Maybe you should use a rudimentary air-pump instead?
| Wendy Thompson135th chapter 1 . 7/15/2015
I have long been an avid reader of R.H. van Gulik's _Judge Dee_ stories.
'...associate's uncomfortable staring at his father's sword as if expecting a sneak attack, especially as the outlander indignantly rambled.' -? who finds the deputy's staring uncomfortable, the deputy or Gao, or is the deputy just uncomfortable in the presence of the sword? What does the associate's comfort level have to do with the outlander's indignation?
'...I will talk to him, since Magistrate Fang is occupied with the ladies again," Gao said' -would Gao speak of his superior like this? especially to his deputy?
He wore his hair pulled back into a ponytail consistent with the descriptions he had heard. –He who? Too many unreferenced pronouns. -The visitor's hair was pulled back ...consistent with the descriptions Gao had heard.
'His feet were blistered and raw, which Gao's senses identified as from running across difficult terrain.' –? Gao can see the blisters, so what other senses does he use?
'...he stood paralyzed like a precariously balanced statue. Gao saw Ichiro's eyes roll up in his head just before he collapsed to the ground. '– ? In general, statues topple, remaining rigid from top to bottom; unconscious or dead humans collapse like 'a puppet with its strings cut', to use the cliche.
Be a little more parsimonious with the adjectives and adverbs. A spell check would be helpful. Good luck with this.
| Knavethefish chapter 1 . 7/3/2015
Your story is very well constructed. You demonstrate a good familiarity with your subject matter, and you appear to stay on track. Your dialogue is excellent and fits the setting soundly. While I congratulate you on your use of a foreign culture, I do have a couple suggestions to make. You should either make heavy use of context or outright tell the reader what words like jian, feng shui, and arquebus mean, as most won't be able to tell. Also you may want to take a deeper look into the culture's attitudes and behaviors, since it seems to be a goal of yours. For one, the Chinese tend to dislike foreigners as a whole, which is why it seems strange that Gao would be at all accommodating to Ichigo, given that he is considered an enemy by Chinese standards. I understand that Gao is clearly a non-typical Chinese, but it's just something to be considered.
| Demon Writer Guy chapter 1 . 7/1/2015
I really like the setting you chose for this story. Not many people go for it, so it's cool to see. I also liked your descriptions, especially the Dragon Bones. I feel like the story should be split up into separate chapters, though. It would be much easier to read that way.
Overall a good story. I enjoyed it.
| Bloody blue rose chapter 1 . 6/26/2015
As I read the chapter I kept on getting the feeling of lost and confusion because I'm not that familiar with the Ming dynasty and I could not really understand the character since he quickly got to work on a case. That maybe a chapter of explaining what he does and how does supernatural forces mix in can help to better understand.