|Reviews for Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave it Motion|
| Ckh chapter 1 . 4/14/2016
Well, that was a read. Real good one indeed.
The action and intensity of the piece remained strong even as it progressed, and it stays relevant thorough. All dem mysteries. All dem short stories ending like this.
Like the way you have your MC handle things. Things don't transpire into one of those typical confrontations/plot twist: you were doing the wrong thing, and its great how he deals with the situation. Theres this guy to kill? Oh. I have a reason too? Well, time to kill him then.
The descriptions are good as always, and I think this piece is the one that really showcases your action scenes. For a little read, the execution was quite good.
| Encore19 chapter 1 . 1/10/2016
Yay he got his revenge! Okay onto the review.
One thing I really like about this is your wording. You're very skilled at descriptions, metaphors and overall setting the scene. Your writing style is fluid and enjoyable. The main example being how you opened the chapter with the lightning storm and gun chase, it's a great way to start a story and show the readers that it's not some amateur writing and that they're gonna enjoy it.
Another thing I liked was how you build tension. There was a scene where you told instead of shown where they were playing hide and seek in the dark warehouse for a few minutes, and that's good because you know how to pace it right as well as what's mundane/unnecessary to describe and you kept the tension right.
Sorry I can't give much negative critique, I suppose the ending wasn't as satisfying for me as the rest, but I'm pretty sure that's just personal opinion. I do like how he got his revenge though. Good job.
| Whirlymerle chapter 1 . 1/10/2016
Hi from the RG EF!
[The first slug bored through the night air] should be bore, I’m pretty sure
I like the opening a lot! It’s really vivid, and I absolutely love some of your images, like “lightning pulsed” and “paved with broken mirrors.” It’s really beautiful. One thing I would suggest, (and this is a nitpick), is that when you introduce the machine gun fire, because it’s so surprising, I suggest you use active voice instead of passive, which I think is more evocative of the “shattering” of this moment.
Huh, this was definitely an engaging story with a few wonderful twists. I definitely felt a sense of dread when Ming’s cop identity was proven to be true, but then learning Sammy’s perspective, that Ming has probably succumbed to corruption and definitely killed his brother made the morals of the story all the more complex.
This does feel like the beginning of a much longer story (I see that you’ve marked it as complete), and while they don’t have to, I think your complex characters can really flourish with more story.
| Ventracere chapter 1 . 7/14/2015
Oh. This was one action packed story.
This was a fun read! You started the story off running and you don't exactly give us time to breath. While you do give us some background on Ming and Sammy (and how Sammy's brother is involved with all of this), it doesn't slow down the pace of the story one bit.
"Officer Wei Shin Ming may have one been a good man" - I think you mean once.
You know, for a moment I thought this would have had a different ending. But I liked how you went the unpredicatable route. For a second I thought you were going to have Sam act in despair that he knocked out one of his own, but then with a nice plot twist, you reveal that yes, Sam was right all along, and even the superintendent is corrupted as hell. That got my attention, and is definitely a plus for me.
Thanks for the read!
| m. b. whitlock chapter 1 . 7/13/2015
I really like how you set up this really deep noir atmosphere at the beginning. Lots of great imagery like the raindrops being suspended above the street and audio elements like this:
“The relentless howl of the wind assailing upon industrial tarps and canvases, combined with the rumbling thunder, muffled the shots.”
Great little bit of background info for Sammy Yuen here:
“It was a reputation that preceded his police career and even as a kid growing up in San Francisco's Chinatown he would often find himself finishing fights his little brother started by running his mouth.”
He is quite a character.
I like how you build up to this reveal about Sammy’s little brother:
“Even if that gangster was your little brother.”
The cool thing about structuring the plot like this is that by the time we learn that a notorious gangster is Sammy’s little brother we know enough about Sammy to care. Good technique.
“So this shit is about revenge then huh? Look, it's not my fault your brother was an a**hole who couldn't keep his mouth shut, he had to be eliminated."
Guess I should say a his little brother *was* a notorious gangster. I like how this story is developing. Cool how you really pull us along via Sammy’s personal family history, and one of the most powerful motivations in drama, revenge.
I like how you depict the Pendergast character, especially how you describe his manner as being like a CEO. Makes me think he’s a calm, cool professional with a lizard-like personality. Like this initial exchange between Penderghast and Yuen:
“For a moment Sammy said nothing, his breathing ragged and heavy against the line.
"Hello? Who is this?"
"I...this is Detective Samuel Yuen out of the Kowloon East Precinct.””
What an action-filled moment to close on!:
“The chilled interior of the warehouse seemed to become colder, its walls restricting, suffocating. Sammy stood over Ming and placed his foot into his throat.”
I really want to see what happens next!
Great atmosphere and cool characters! Like to see you do more with them. I think you did a great job giving the setting of Hong Kong a truly epic, iconic feel. The story seems bigger then the relatively small window you give us in this story so, again, I could totally see you taking this further.
| Walkerfan chapter 1 . 5/28/2015
Ok, for the review game: what I like and what I like.
I liked your writing. It was descriptive without been overbearing. Poetic, in places. It really helped me visualise the scne and the characters. Everything about your writing, from the presentation to the word usage, speak of talent.
I also liked the scene at the end. The reveal that The bad guy was/is a cop may be a little cliched in some stories, but you handled it very well. You made it so that we can see how far down the path of revenge Sammy us, that he is beyond the point of no return in that, he dosnt care he killed another cop. This scene made me feel that Sammy has the potential to be as bad as the guys he is fighting, if he isn't already there, and he dosnt see it.
Overall, great job.
| Electrumwriter chapter 1 . 5/26/2015
OK, here are my thoughts on this one shot.
It does feel like it is the beginning of a novella and for a really fast paced novella it’s the right speed.
I like the comparison of lightning with a celestial blade, first of all. It is quite a poignant image on second reading when one takes into account Sammy’s own idea of his self-importance. Your auditory descriptions are all well done as it happens, I can’t find anything to fault in the first segment.
Now regarding the description of Ming – it’s a solid description of an unsavoury fellow, but I feel it would have been best of all to show it, rather than tell it. This can be done, but at the moment I’m not sure how it would have been best, so maybe sometime I’ll get back to you on that.
Again, I like the comparison of Sammy with a graceful predator, but his stature could have been worked in without telling it directly.
I like the inclusion of Chinese, but I happened to glance over the other reviews and another member said it was the wrong Chinese language – you know the old joke about a Chinaman from the North not understanding a Chinaman from the South?
I really like how Sammy let’s Ming psych him up…
OK, when Ming has entered the spotlight of the dim bulbs you describe him there as well. I think that this description should have been expanded and the other one cut.
As for the twist which Ming sets up with his standard villain rap “we’re not so different you and I,” as long as it gets to Sammy I think it is a success. Despite his cynicism, Sammy clearly didn’t have any inkling as to Penderghast’s scheme, whether it really is for the Greater Good or for Penderghast’s personal glory. This is very open ended. There’s scope for more twists.
I like the comparison of Ming with a broken snake.
| Anihyr Moonstar chapter 1 . 5/24/2015
Love the opening lines - very vivid. But then, I've always been a fan of short, abrupt but catching starters.
The whole paragraph there, though, does a great job in setting the scene very starkly without overusing language.
[Clenching his teeth, squinting against the gloom...] I really feel the need for an 'and' in there after that first comma, since you don't add an 'and' and then a third thing after. Also: [shattered merchants] should be [merchant's].
I enjoy the introduction of characters and the detail you put into helping the reader picture Wei Ming. The 'reveal' of why Sammy is out for him, though, felt very...abrupt? Very "tell" the reader as opposed to show. Obviously, there are some instances where that is fitting and even necessary, and I'm not sure what I'd recommend in this instance, but I felt, when reading it, that maybe it could have been lead into more.
Still, overall - other than a few minor technical errors here and there - I feel like this had great delivery, a fast pace, strong and vivid vocabulary and presentation, and characters and action I could all visualize as it went along. Nice writing.
| lookingwest chapter 1 . 5/24/2015
Ohhh, I was reading this with the impression that it was the first chapter of a novel because you don't have it labeled as "Complete" on your summary info - but when I got to the end, this must be another short story, huh? Haha, I'm almost kinda disappointed, I thought maybe it would open up to a story about Sammy getting his revenge. I mean, I think you've got a setup for a novel if you wanted one, anyway. But I suppose it works as a short story too, just one that doesn't feel like it quite has any resolution. Though more information is found out by Sammy - I would say it kinda feels hopeful.
Let's see. I liked all the action sequences, and I think my favorite part was when Sammy was climbing the crates of boxes because you did such a good job staying attentive to his wounds and that stab on his side. I also liked that he did indeed sneak up on Ming, though I have to wonder, due to Ming's reaction (or lack of one), if Ming really knew the whole time anyway. It's intriguing. I lean towards the inclination that Ming was a dirty cop just because otherwise - I'd guess he would've said something to Sammy to not get shot? But I like that you complicate that aspect with Penderghast.
I think perhaps the only thing I wasn't totally on board with though, were just two things - 1. when Ming actually starts giving the villain speech of "we're not so different, you and I" just because I feel like it's slightly cliche and so overdone that I was expecting some sort of...different take on it, but it didn't seem to have any unique thing part of it I haven't seen before. And then 2. when Sammy immediately calls Penderghast. If this was a novel, I think I'd urge you to reconsider having him call the head right away - and instead make sure he could find more evidence than just splitting away so quickly. It feels like a rash move that could get Sammy killed, honestly, especially if there are more dirty cops. But that's what I was thinking when I was reading this like a novel - so if it's a short story, I feel it's kind of one of those necessary things you've gotta do I suppose, because you have such a limited time to accomplish things.
Otherwise, enjoyed all the intrigue here. Actually - question: do you have Netflix, and if so, have you watched Daredevil yet? I'd recommend it, I was kinda reminded of it a little bit in this story because it has a noir feel! Thanks for the read!
| alltheeagles chapter 1 . 5/22/2015
I think you did the hardboiled action-crime narrating voice very well. There are a few sentences that are a bit too long - shorter sentences keep things tenser, I think, but on the whole, it reads very smoothly. I appreciate the attempt to use the Chinese swearword - not sure what dialect you're going for, because that word is not Mandarin. Cantonese would be more suitable for HK based gangs. Maybe some research there would help. While you're at it, you could add in a couple more, for extra flavour. Plot-wise, well done on the twist. I've come to expect that of your pieces and you didn't disappoint with this one. In fact, you could have the first chapter of a series right here. There's no humour this time round but that fits right in with the theme.
| Jalux chapter 1 . 5/22/2015
This is a change of pace from your usual horror stories but I think you make it work. For example your action is a little different from conventional action writing but it works extremely well here, like the use of short sentences in the midst of the action to kind of refocus the reader. Dialogue was nice, adding bits of Chinese into it gave it a greater sense of realism with this taking place in Hong Kong. You do feel for Sam as well with his brother choosing to mix with the wrong crowd, it's a great theme as well. The idea of trying to guide someone but ultimately they make the decision of where to go. Good stuff.
| TheSilencedOne chapter 1 . 5/21/2015
Very intriguing, interesting use of vocabulary, great imagery and overall excellent execution of the story, I would probably read more if there was any more to be read :)
Interestingly enough, the title of the story is what drew my attention. All I could think of was the Meshuggah song of the same name haha
Also, the part about there being a "cosmic joke" in which Sammy couldn't begin to "fathom the punchline" also made me think of the Slipknot song "Three Nil" where you hear the line "I'm sick of being the butt end of a cosmic joke and I don't get the punchline"
I'm not sure if those references were made on purpose or not, but honestly they kept me glued to the screen haha
Overall, your story is well written
Keep it up!
| Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 1 . 5/21/2015
I doubt that this is the end of this story, but you've got me excited. You really do. I'm not even going to bother typing this review in Word like usually do, because there a lot of things I just want to say straight off the bat:
*Your action scenes are awesome: sure, it took me a couple of minutes to get past the prose - because I was distracted - but when I did, I really appreciated the fluidity of your action scenes, the way you make them so visual, and how you use the atmosphere of the warehouse to your utmost advantage. I could feel the danger of the place, the darkness and how it obscured the two men, but I could also feel the thrill of their cat and mouse game, and I appreciated how both men were more or less equal to each other in terms of strength. Fun :D :D :D
*I’m enjoying Sam already. You can tell he’s a tough guy, and you can tell that he’s been through a lot of crap in his life. You can also tell that he’s got morals and sense of honour that is, however, not held back by his determination. I feel he’s brutal, but for a good reason. I want to know more about him: how did he become the man he was? How did the death of his brother further affect than what you show us here? Whatever the case, he’s already a man I feel I want to read and know more about: I’ve always been a fan of cops who do their own thing, and this is definitely up my alley.
*I enjoy the plot: I grew up with Hong Kong based movies, and this reminds of story of my childhood: corrupt cops and gangs, undercover missions … I like how the chapter already pretty much places us in the throes of the action, makes us already aware of what a dangerous place this is. You not only manage to introduce the corruptness of this world, but also make us story for the ‘villain’ of this chapter, because you realise that this men was more or less made to become like this. It’s interesting. It’s gritty, but I also think it’s very honest and – sadly – realistic.
*I love your prose for this. It’s very rich and splendid, and maybe the only thing I’d cut down is the character descriptions a bit, because they do detract from the general awesauce of your prose. But yeah. Pretty good stuff.