|Reviews for SUBJECT ZER0|
| Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 1 . 3/28/2016
You know, all throughout, I was expecting something horrible to happen, because that is a common theme in your story – although usually, it is the wicked and the deserving who get punished. I never saw Nina as someone who deserved to be punished, and I did not want her to become dark, because your characterisation of her depicts her as someone who would only be corrupted as such (and I did not want her to be corrupted :3).
I did not want Nina to be corrupted, because I love how you write her in this – as this compassionate, lively child who has overcome sadness and managed to find happiness within herself and her skills perhaps. I not only found that admirable, but something I see far too rarely in fiction: namely turning a negative past / background into something that rather than turning one embittered makes a person stronger and less prone to violence. I like that Nina is shown to be as such; it makes her a character you want to root for, and I am glad that, till the end, you kept her innocence.
It does not detract from the darkness of the story, of course, and I love the world-building in this. As short as the piece is, you get a very keen idea of what Nina's background is like – soulless, totally unforgiving and where the other orphans are seen as nothing but test subjects. I think that makes it the events towards the end more than rewarding: because you know that Nina was pulled out of this world, before she was forced to use her powers against human nature and before any harm came to her (and you definitely implied that this would have been inevitable, despite the fact that they had changed her upbringing). I think that is what I like about this piece – that is thought-provoking and has made me write you a bit of an mini essay, about why I am pleased that you took this route rather than the other.
Essentially, it just means that the plot works for this story: it has enough substance to pull the reader into the story, and for them to feel invested. I do think there could be more – should be more even, but that is more of a desire to just find out what will happen to Nina in the end. It does work as a standalone too though.
The writing is very good: I especially liked your descriptions in the beginning, because they gave me a good idea of what the place looked like and also set up a rather haunting beginning. Strong beginnings are definitely my jam, and your good beginning is what drew me into the story into the first place :3
I guess the only complaint I would have is that ... this could be longer? XD I am a bit reluctant to say 'complaint', because this does work as a one-shot, but I do wonder if other readers might see the turning point of the story - the girl being rescued - as rushed. I did not XD, because it worked for me, given how you set up everything :) I dunno - your pieces have a lot of amazing world-building and creativity, and it never stops surprising just how how you manage to pack into a short story without it feeling contrived or so.
| Victoria Best chapter 1 . 2/3/2016
I really liked this :) I thought it was going to go in a different direction to where it did - with the girl either making herself vanish into The Bad Place, or somehow channeling her power to kill them all. Both those endings would have been interesting, but this ending was much better and allowed for a bit of happiness, a bit of light, at the end. Having said that, it did feel a little random. I would have liked some hints or something at the ending, otherwise it really does come out of nowhere. Remember in complex novels like this with elements of mystery, there are always little hints, to allow readers to make guesses about the final outcome. Perhaps this story could do with some of that so the ending isn't so jarring, and because readers may feel cheated "oh, well, I was never going to predict that happening." If that makes sense.
"Unauthorised persons are shot, no questions asked." Loved this line! This is the part of the story that made me sit up and take notice, and I love the sentence structure you have used. Felt sharp, immediate and eye-grabbing. Great job :)
I'm not too keen on the first two sentences. Both felt too long. I think the first needs to be punctuated (bit of a mouthful to say) and the second needs to be broken up into two.
"Then there is her," this is missing a full stop at the end.
Anyway, I just love the idea in general, of this girl locked away who can make objects come to life. You've pulled it off well, I think. I particularly love the line, "as if adrift in the furthest reaches of a forlorn dream. Thanks for the read and keep writing!
| MariaTJackson chapter 1 . 10/19/2015
Oh wow, this was just brilliant. The descriptive language was amazing, I felt as if I were really there with her. I would try to add some sound and smell as part of the description, but other wise this was amazing. The first paragraph drew me in from the beginning with the powerful language techniques. The plot twist at the end was, beautiful and unexpected. I look forward to reading some more of your work!
~Jay of MTJ
| Jalux chapter 1 . 10/13/2015
Given it was your piece I expected the poor girl to end up in a tragic situation but I was pleasantly surprised. This is a very strong piece mainly I feel because it was written so fluidly, especially the start and the sense of detachment you feel with SUBJECT ZERO when compared to the world around her. You really do make the reader feel sympathy for her in such a short time and that's effective pacing imo. Nice to see a satisfying conclusion too, you feel SUBJECT ZERO deserves it after everything she's gone through. I do wonder if those powers can be used for something though...
| LuckycoolHawk9 chapter 1 . 10/12/2015
I really liked the way that you handled the descriptions towards the faciliaty and towards Subject zero's growth as an individual because it gave readers a clear visual idea of what was happening. I also liked the idea that there she was rescued by her original self because it shows that she was made from a powerful woman and also gives her a unique trait. I also loved the ending because it shows that she can still love and trust and left with Nina.
| Virtuella chapter 1 . 10/12/2015
Excellent story! The opening paragraph sets the scene very firmly. It’s a complete no-nonsense approach and he reader knows exactly what kind of things to expect from this kind of facility.
The description of the girl, kept isolated and neglected like one of those Romanian orphans and yet with such uncommon abilities, hits home right away. It is touching that she makes the teddy bear come and cuddle her, a sign of her humanity in spite of whatever “they” intended her to be.
“would not see her as a precious gift that she is, rather they would see her as a commodity, one to be exploited and used for their own perverted pleasures, or worse” Ah, the irony of this! Of course this is exactly her current reality and she doesn’t realise this.
The arrival of the woman is unexpected and wondrous. Nice touch that we immediately hear her name. I wonder whether she will name the girl or whether the girl will name herself.
A number of typos: laboratory, otherworldly, authorative, camoflague, monsteres, existence, increduously
| LittleAlchemist chapter 1 . 10/10/2015
This was so well done that I'm giving it a favorite!
First thing you did that I really liked was mentioning the connection older Nina has with her clone. You mentioned pure synergy and a connection like no other and that was very poignant to me and got me thinking. A mother feels a bond with her child but the child only shares half of her DNA. Perhaps there would be a deeper and more uplifting love and connection for one's own complete clone. I found it a nice idea to ponder.
Another thing I liked was your use of medical terms, it made this story so much more clinical and realistic. Saying she was catatonic and incontinent as a child. It's interesting how she became so powerful and healthy while starting off so weak. This whole idea is very creative.
Although I wonder why she thought people were going to exploit her when that's what the facility that created her was obviously doing anyway. She seemed to know things. You say 'monsteres' instead of 'monsters'. Great job!
| Ventracere chapter 1 . 10/5/2015
Interesting beginning that you got here. Something I liked was how you took the time to give us an idea of Subject Zer0's background. You did it in a way that didn't make the chapter drag on and feel like background - it was clean cut without wasting words and time with too much description. That said, there was enough description to get the idea of the blandness and the terror she felt while she was in the orphanage.
There should be a period after, "And then there was her".
Something else I liked was Nina's introduction. The dialogue helped cut through the drier parts of the piece and all the description, and brought a bit more life to the piece. Nina's character is wowed by Subject Zer0, as all of us are, which helped to drive the tone and mood. At the same time, I'm a bit wary of her, kind of like Zer0 is going to be trading one prison for another. I don't know what's giving me that vibe, but huh. You leave your ending open, undefinitive which allows us to imagine whether or not Zer0 gets out of it or not, which I liked since we don't know exactly what will happen. Maybe she'll end up using her powers for good - not gonna lie, it makes me think of Avengers.
| tronks chapter 1 . 10/4/2015
Your second sentence is a little too long, and it might benefit being split. There's a lot of telling at the start of your story-these details would draw the reader in better if shown in action, moving the plot forward as well as detailing descriptions of the facility. For more information on showing vs telling, give it a google search. If you were able to show all this through constant action, your reader would really be hooked from the start.
The aspects of the story itself are pretty interesting though. The experiments being done are intriguing, and the subject's abilities enhancing have me curious what they'll be used for as the story goes on. I like the way she's able to make things vanish, but she isn't certain where they go. Is it like a black hole in a sense?
I enjoyed the scene towards the end where the subject meets Nina, and realizes she is a clone. Is the story done after this point, though? I end up having a lot of questions about where it'll go from here, and this would make an interesting start to a longer piece. If it's a short story and it does end here, then maybe a more conclusive ending should be tacked on.
| pumadelic chapter 1 . 10/4/2015
Find the subject matter and the setting potentially very gripping. The opening paragraph does feel heavily expositional, wordy and perhaps a bit too formal in its style - I might have liked a more casual 'thriller' diction.
I think it takes off when you get to the description of subject zero, her powers and abilities. The image of the unloved, isolated, exploited child is emotive and potent. It reminded me of that horrendous footage of Romanian orphanages that hit the news years back. The fact that she has psychic abilities despite her condition is spooky and well rendered in your description.
The transition from catatonic, incontinent child to high function, even super functioning as a result of love and attention is a point well made but I might have liked to have seen more of the transition and the motivations behind it: obviously she is still there to be used.
The final third strained my credulity a little - does subject zero recognise Nina because of her own psychic powers? How do you recognise your own genes in someone else? The ending just feels too happy for such an environment - I don't object to happy endings by the way - I was concerned that the extreme cruelty of the story just doesn't fit with this close. The other children have been terminated with extreme prejudice. subject zero expects to be a tool. Then suddenly this woman walks in and she reverts to being a child with a teddy bear. Again, I think this might work if this was a longer story and there was more of a transition period before the rescue, perhaps with some hints about what kind of society we are dealing with here.
| alltheeagles chapter 1 . 10/3/2015
I like the upbeat ending. All too often stories with themes of genetic modification by the army end on unhappy or ominous notes, so this 'happy ending' is a nice change. While it is definitely hopeful (I loved the teddy bear coming along on its own two feet! So sweet!) it also doesn't feel badly out of place because you leave things open ie Subject Zero could still turn into a monster later if this is the beginning of a longer piece, but nevertheless for now I liked the smiley close.
I like as well that you don't make SZ too powerful, or completely emotionless, because that would make her harder to identify or sympathise with. On the other hand, I also think that maybe giving her some flaws would perhaps make her a little more interesting because she does come across as a little one-dimensional. It won't take very much, just a little quirk or two. It's our imperfections that make us who we are after all.