|Reviews for Monster Child|
| Ventracere chapter 4 . 7/4/2016
It's been a while since I've been around, but here we go.
I'm a fan of the setting, how rich the details were to create the world and the terror that you are aiming for. It was easy to imagine where she was, and the troll she asked for help. He was an interesting character - in the sense that he was easy to convince to help her. For some reason, I was surprised with the ease she got to know him, and how she wanted him to remember her always. Wasn't that a little quick? For me, that's something more intimate and I was surprised she wanted him to do so so early within capturing his allegiance.
That brings me to another point. For me, lots of her emotions didn't carry through. While I can understand that she was scared, it didn't come across through the chapter. The one thing that I did get while reading the piece was how much she wished Addie to be okay. But the fear and the tears didn't exactly translate over for me.
Thanks for the read!
| R.M.Spencer chapter 1 . 6/18/2016
I like the world that you are begining to establish. The diversity of characters is a nice touch.
The dialogue needs a lot of work. Even when using language and syntax from an older time, it needs to sounds natural. Try reading it out loud and listen to how it sounds.
I would also take some time to expand some descriptions and motives. In the begining, Jalon is described as riff raff. Why? What is he doing/wearing/etc that makes the guard think that about him? Close your eyes, imagine the scene and describe it in detail. Then you can trim it down from there.
| Timbo Slice chapter 3 . 6/16/2016
This chapter certainly has a "dungeons and dragons" vibe to it that feels as if it could take place in any role playing game. I liked how you used popular tropes like skeleton enemies and even what felt like a boss battle with Mortis to further reinforce the setting, but as far as the scenery went I felt as if the sensory descriptions could of been more vivid to truly capture the experience of the dungeon. The action sequences as well felt somewhat flat, even more so than them using slingshots as weapons, but it lacked a critical punch to the prose that kind of flattened the tension. I'm not trying to be too critical as I feel the story and characters are strong points but I feel some extra versatility to the prose would make a good story even better!
| R.M.Spencer chapter 6 . 6/12/2016
I like the storyline you have going here. This is the only chapter I have read, but for the most part it stands on its own. The description of them in the water tethered to the ship was nicely done.
I want more descriptions like that. There is a lot of dialogue, but it wouldn't seem like so much if there were more imagery in between. I would add some sensory detail. What do things smell like, how does it feel when their cheeks touch? Ships are loud, what does it sound like? Does he seem sad when he is about to tell the story or is she overreacting?
You have a really great scene here, it just needs to be pumped up.
| Timbo Slice chapter 2 . 1/29/2016
I think you do a marvelous job at world building in this chapter, I definitely admire the enthusiasm of of the mythology of your story because it shows you've done your homework on the particular genre and its unique tropes. The relationship between Karla and Addie was also well done because of their different dynamics in interacting with one another, I can get a feel for both their characters through their words and actions, which is the hallmark of great characterization.
On a more critical note, it seems like poor Jalon has been left on the backburner in favor of a flashback chapter too early in the story, which kind of trips the pacing up IMO. Still an engaging chapter!
| kumamon chapter 1 . 1/23/2016
I see a theme in your writing, they're mostly medieval, and you do a good job in bringing out that aspect. Your writing isn't all in Old English, but there's a medieval quality to it. I also notice that you like to incorporate different races in your writing. Well, on with the review!
I like Karla as a person, she seems understanding, empowered and independent - the type of woman I would like to be. Jalon, however, is cute as depicted when he develops a tiny crush on Karla. His narrative voice also further strengthen my point. Karla also seems very sincere, but also mysterious at the same time. She sounds like someone who keeps her distance.
Kora is shy, and must be very conscious of her mixed heritage. I will assume she's pretty, because if her mother is Karla, her gene-pool shouldn't be too bad. I like the way you describe things, you make it short and cut out unneeded words - leaving most of it up to the reader's imagination. You also have a large vocabulary.
All in all, keep up the good work. Cheers!
| Timbo Slice chapter 1 . 1/21/2016
This story has a very unique fantasy vibe to it. Nothing too ground breaking or extraordinary but you do a good job of bringing your interpretation of this quasi medieval world to life with the appearance of trolls and magic to really give this a mystical flair. On the other hand I would've liked to seen more backstory on Jalon and how he fits into the story. I know it's just the first chapter so this still plenty of room for his story but first impressions go a long way, so maybe it would've been best to drop some characterization and history on our protagonist before delving into the cities history and Karla.
And a side note, but I noticed that you love having characters with green skin! It's s trademark that's been in a lot of your other stories and I think it's pretty cool to have a consistent theme like that, no matter your personal choice.
| Victoria Best chapter 5 . 1/14/2016
Wonderful chapter, very intense and beautifully written, and I am looking forward to reading more.
"Intense green light." You love the colour green :p It's my favourite too!
"Tess floated towards it." This sentence was nice to bring us back to the fact that Tess is not human.
"Giddy, unreal feeling." Nice piece of description.
I love the way you capture the language of the piece, for example sentences like "Carcescu's infernal flame." The dialogue is articulate and descriptive, which is exactly how the characters would be speaking in this world, and even the narrative is like this, which reminds the reader that Karla is retelling all of this. This ensures the piece is placed within the world you are creating and never takes us out of it, for example if you accidentally slipped in slang, that would immediately be distracting. This does two things: it keeps the story believable and also keeps us immersed in the world.
Some lovely lines in this, such as the line, "Clear and cloudless with tiny stars," and the description of Carcescu before his fiery form, with his "semi-decayed" appearance, his "desiccated skin stretched tight," and "empty sockets that burned with a Hellish light." I do think, however, that you need to cut down this sentence with all the description in. It's quite long and becomes difficult to read, especially because there is so much description in it. Just break it up into two or three sentences and this should be fine :) Also, be careful of the words "Hellish light." I think you have used this about three times in this chapter.
And finally, let me finish by saying wow, that ending! I was speechless. You certainly know how to write action scenes, and this was no exception. It had me holding my breath right up until the end, especially the description of Carcescu with his body of "bloody, malicious flames with fiery wings." The ending certainly encouraged me to continue reading, because even though Addie is safe, I know there is still so much more left to find out! I am looking forward to reading more, particularly to see when the child will be coming into the story and what the future holds in store for Addie and Karla's relationship. As he does not appear in the first chapter, I have a feeling that it will not be a happy ending for them.
Thrilling chapter. Keep writing!
| alltheeagles chapter 5 . 1/6/2016
An attention grabber of an opening! In the case of a reader returning to this after hiatus (like me), it immediately sets up the right mood, and in the case of somebody reading it continuously, it continues very smoothly. Repeating the end of my last review, the impersonal air makes her sound much more like she’s in a documentary than in the throes of passion.
Writing-wise, I think you are consistent in your narrating voice. I rather like Kay’s very formal style with all her big words. However, you could do with some editing. Some examples to get you started: SIGHT not site (though I suppose site does make sense as well), the creature (singular) spews, A lady’s makeup (or LADIES’ makeup).
Kay is her old self, and she’s starting to become quite acceptable to me if not exactly loveable yet. She’s very much more open with her affections for Addie now! The creature and Tess don’t have much personality right now, so they don’t really feel like characters, more like background, especially since they both left the scene so quickly.
That line of dialogue... I made shocking love to him in an orgiastic celebration of life... made a bit impression on me. Firstly because of its mix of styles - the relatively informal 'make love' juxtaposed with the almost literary 'orgiastic celebration'. And secondly because I'm wondering how Addie took it at that moment and will take it later on, particularly since he seems a little grossed out by the thing.
| Victoria Best chapter 4 . 1/2/2016
I like that Karla was immediately focused on trying to establish her whereabouts and a plan of action. This line was great at showing us her ambitious personality and the need for her to take control, "Now was not the time for weeping. Now was the time for action." This determination is a really likeable trait to give her, I think, and it certainly made me want to continue reading about her.
Nice dialogue, by the way, I forgot to mention in previous chapters. It does sound very fitting to the fantastical setting, particularly with lines such as "you deserve great repute." It was also very consistent, which I know can be difficult when writing everything in a very specific sort of setting that does not allow the writer to get it wrong or it can completely disrupt the credibility of the piece, for example accidentally slipping in slang words. So yeah, this was powerful and I can tell that you have taken a lot of time to write the dialogue and keep it consistent and appropriate for the setting.
I liked the development with the relationship between her and Addie, even though he isn't in the scene. The line detailing the "wretched nights" spent thinking about him shows us the extent of her feelings for him. There is clearly a lot of built up desire and frustration there and I am interested in seeing whether Addie will make another reappearance in this story.
The ending won't be to everyone's tastes, but I personally can see why you have put it in. I am guessing that this is how the monster is created? So she is pregnant with the monster at just the age of sixteen? I guess I will just have to read on.
I do have a question - is Karla still retelling this all to Jalon? If she was explaining this to Jalon, would she be explaining this last part in so much detail, as she has done? I think this would have been a bit personal to just tell someone she has only just met. Please forgive me if I have misread. I am just not a hundred per cent sure whether Karla is retelling this to Jalon and or if it is a stand-alone story about Karla's past, if that makes sense.
| Victoria Best chapter 3 . 1/2/2016
Wow, Mortis pretty much is the most atrocious, evil creature I have seen in a story in a while. You have created a monster that does not sip from its enemies (like vampires) but really does rip and tear and is just completely and utterly evil. You wrote the action scenes excellently - I could picture everything - and I know that can be really hard. My heart was pounding throughout the whole scene, so great job on writing a truly nail-biting chapter.
Lovely description in this, "Air felt chill and dank," and, "The living grey hue of decay." That last sentence was so chilling. It gave me the shudders. Eurgh.
That ending was phenomenal. I was happy they were able to crush his shell, and this was an awesome cliffhanger. I cannot wait to see where she has ended up, and also, if she is going to end up in the same place as Addie, because, (I hope I haven't misunderstood) he has ended up somewhere else.
Finally, I loved when you describe the tears flowing down her cheeks. I think a lot of fantasy stories (this also goes for action stories) treat their characters like some kind of inhuman creatures and they do not show emotion, even in really awful situations, in which any human would. They sort of treat their characters like they are super-human. So this simple line showed us a human side to the character. She can feel emotion, and this was a very natural response to what was happening, making both the story and the character realistic. Nicely done.
One thing I didn't like was the letter 's' everywhere. I think you have put too many of them in. In fact, I would encourage you to get rid of these, because this villain voice has been done many times before, especially for villains that are snake-like. Think of all the snakes in Harry Potter and the snake in The Jungle Book and it has been done in lots of kids shows with talking animals. I also think there is a snake villain in the superhero universe too (but don't quote me on that.) I would recommend thinking of a more original way for him to speak, or just having him speak normally. Of course, that's just my opinion.
| Victoria Best chapter 2 . 1/2/2016
Lovely first chapter. Some gorgeous description in this, such as, "Swirling jade mist appeared in the orb," and "Room was plunged into darkness." I also liked when you described the tower, with the black clouds around it and the way it looked blackened and crumbling. Well-written and clearly enabled me to visualise it.
I think it says a lot about Karla that she copes with the situation by singing. Addie's comment made me smile :P I like that there is this subtle humour in this, because in a story with dark chapters such as this, there needs to be something lighter to lift the mood, even just a little.
I like the song she sings, and its medieval-tune-feel fits the setting of the story perfectly.
Karla continues to be an awesome character, and I am impressed that at the age of sixteen her skills were so developed. However, I am not so sure about Addie. He strikes me as a little jealous, the way he digs at her for her skill. I'm just not getting good vibes from him. I hope he isn't going to turn into an antagonist.
| Victoria Best chapter 1 . 1/2/2016
I enjoyed this chapter. It set the plot up nicely and the ending acted as a great hook. I really like Karla. She's cool and powerful, a fierce woman who has clearly seen a lot, and I am looking forward to reading her first adventure. There was also an element of mystery here, in terms of why she retired at such a young age. The fact that she seemed reluctant to explain why suggests to me that something serious may have happened. So great job with working in mystery so subtly into the story.
Jalon is a cool character also. A strong protagonist, certainly ambitious, and I think I will enjoy reading about him and his journey. I liked the subtle chemistry between the two of them, such as the line, "She was so gorgeous and obviously had many talents," showing the respect he has for her straight off the bat. I I didn't think it was a romantic chemistry, just a friendly chemistry, like the pleasant instant connection you get when you meet someone with a similar personality.
The description of the house was well done. You haven't explicitly told her that she is rich, (and therefore letting us know that she either had a wonderful career, was born rich or married into wealth) but we could infer this from the gorgeous description of the "white-carved house," with its "expansive laws and vibrant flowerbeds." So yeah, great job at showing and not telling, and for writing in such lovely imagery.
As a side note, I also enjoyed the mention of the ghost at the end, reminding us that this is a fantasy story. This also added a sense of originality - I have ever seen a ghost described as being green before, so good unique idea.
No constructive stuff really. It all felt crisp.
On to the next chapter I go...
| Sjoorm chapter 1 . 12/15/2015
The opening could use a bit of touching up, so to speak. I suggest using the name of this city port, as just reading "the cityport" doesn't intrigue me in a hook. You could attempt to spice up the rest of the paragraph as honestly I was kind of turned off from continuing to read it, but I did anyway (a closing suggestion would be to try and convey why he was impressed, or show it visually rather then just saying that's how he felt).
The dialogue. Oh the dialogue. I have found that quite a few authors struggle to create compelling or believable dialogue (something you could see yourself saying in a sentence, for example). Jalon attempting to sound "polite" or more well-mannered is futile in my opinion, as you have already described him as a man from a small village (and presumably this is medieval fantasy, so he will clearly be uneducated as well). If he is an uneducated fool from a village, you should have him talk like one, as it is unlikely for him to have come into contact with anyone who may sound educated or well-bred.
I suppose this gripe would be classified under "other", but I have to let you know that gnolls are not stonelike, or close in appearance to trolls at all. They are humanoid hyenas (walk on two legs but that is about as human as they go). They are beasts who love raiding, raping, killing etc. and I find it hard to believe that they coexist in this city port peacefully, as I have read 5 or 6 paragraphs and have already read that at least three races inhabit this city. Gnolls are very warlike, and unless you convey the fact that this human woman is clearly powerful, I don't see why they should back down from that confrontation (being simple-minded, they would likely believe 4 vs 2 as being excellent odds).
One thing that did intrigue me was the obvious intelligence of Quartz. I can already tell that she will be a prominent character, and one that I will like by her demeanour, and I found it particularly interesting that while many trolls are dim-witted or aggressive, it has been noted for them to be born intelligent in other literary works and general canon. The rock is a nice touch, as trolls have been described in many different ways, but I rarely read about the earthlike properties of their hide.
Overall, while the beginning was a little weak, I will more then likely continue to read this when I find the time, and I hope you don't takey criticisms too harshly :)
| WaterBudget chapter 2 . 12/7/2015
It appears Karla has matured greatly since this first adventure, but she maintains the same ideals. At sixteen, she's earnest but acts like a fool around Addie, and I felt a bit of secondhand embarrassment. Though, I was amused by their conversation about silicone-based creatures. The rest of their interactions made Addie seem like a jerk...or perhaps he's cranky because he's afraid?
The plot is moving along. You introduce the danger effectively with Rebecca's dire words. Gangritch Carcescu is a terrifying (but epic) name, and the problem of the dead rising is a classic made more interesting by the concept of different worlds.