Reviews for Chasing Immortality
Aiko Isari chapter 4 . 11/5/2018
Oh boy even more characters! there's so many to keep track of. I think I like Simone. She's got a nice head on her shoulders and a simple moral creed to keep track of.

I'm glad Tony and Boris have survived... kind of... for the moment. I am a bit surprised at how medically savvy everyone is, like terminology wise. I know a remi is but it's like,there's only so much I know about medicine and care and that sort of thing and my stepdad was a nurse.

I saw that brief mention of HeLa.

At the moment, I'm the most curious about where this is going to go. Is this going to be chasing HeLa, or the effects of him being gone? The story feels somewhat on shaky ground at this point in time. I'm not sure where this will end. Also again, too much happening per chapter but you told me why so... I'll just have to see!

What a fun ride so far remi!
Aiko Isari chapter 3 . 11/5/2018
Ooh this is the bloody chapter then. Or the rocks fall, everyone dies one. I don't get many decoy protagonist ones and those are usually fun.

I like the snippets we get of HeLa's perspective (I hope we get what his name stands for soon too!). I love the other side of rapid regeneration and recreation. It must hurt like nothing else in the world. It doesn't ever get touched on in much detail. It feels a bit repetitive but I think since HeLa is less on the conscious thought train, that would only make sense.

The chapter itself, though the action scene is really good, is kind of disorienting. SO much happens at this rapid fire pace, the pacing of the plot feels a little tattered, while the space created by the story for all the information and characters feels bloated in return. I think this fic may just need a bit more of a balance in that aspect. WIthout all of the information the fic feels a little stretched thin. THough that may just be me. XD
Aiko Isari chapter 2 . 11/4/2018
Ooffffff. And the plot begins!

I like how you manage the crisis in writing and in story. It's clearly a well weathered concept, even the inevitable can be glazed over if you're working above and that means there's no time to focus on the statistics. Or be observant.

Cause HeLa's loose and it's not pretty. Well it's never going to be. The entire concept of a monster visible for everyone to see and pin the suffering on is very much a reminder of the short story of Omelas as well as The Lottery.

I think, while the short action scenes are really good, these chapters are a little too long for the suspense they're trying to convey for the situation. I feel like this chapter could be split in two and get the same result and not cover too many topics.

Also is this the entire world? A small part? Cause one person wouldn't be the only experiment. Maybe the main one, or the remaining one, but he feels very solo and it's unclear why, which I think is my biggest concern at this point. But maybe we'll see!
Aiko Isari chapter 1 . 11/2/2018
Hihi! I'm here to knock out more reviews!

Oof this one's an old soul! I like the style though. It's much more grounded than your more recent works. You do a lot of good set up with where we start too. Not enough to have even half of the answers, but it's interesting to read all the same.

Admittedly I have not figured out all of what's going on, and I'm sure I will eventually, but I have a vague idea.

The main characters so far are really vivid. We don't know everything about them but the world building has give enough backstory to at least like them a little.

There is a lot of information in this chapter though, and it's a little hard to process. We'll need a little more information on this conflict too. Right now the summary has an idea but i don't feel like much is going to change quite yet.

Onward!
Murphy Chapelwood chapter 3 . 4/24/2017
Scene: So, now I am torn about whether or not HeLa should have point-of-view sections. I still believe they are unwarranted in the second chapter because it cuts too deeply into the suspense, but they flesh out this chapter nicely. It raises the question though if HeLa is to be cast in a sympathetic light, who is the antagonist? is it only the poison/setting? I would think if that were the case there should be more tension between the human characters during their various interactions.

Dialogue: The dialogue picks up in this chapter as opposed to previous two. The line "Who cares." when Dina is asking about the weight of the hoverbike is a nice way to Show the heavy sense of apathy many of the characters have.—I especially liked Tony's, "Once you get old, your own child could die and it feels like the wind passing by. But that's no reason to bury things when you can feel." which demonstrates more about his character than any amount of backstory.—I will say I would have preferred the Kurgan hypothesis conversation written out (real world stuff like that has an appeal for many readers, ask any fan of Dan Brown), especially with Tony getting things wrong, maybe even going on at length being wrong before Nelly starts to correct him. And the conversation could be tied in with the themes of the story as a whole, whether through Tony's erroneous recounting or Nelly's correction—maybe both.

Characters: Now, I have no problems with a large number of characters, but it can be very unwieldy at times, and characters start to meld into one another: up until this point Tony/Paulo sort of blend together, though Tony broke away in this chapter while Paulo still feels stagnant. In novels, you often have to exaggerate some character feature for the reader to latch onto: I would have liked Boris to complain more about being sent out into the wilderness, and be more pessimistic in general—especially how that would interact with Nelly's resigned stoicism, and what it says about the story/world where their attitudes are rewarded as they are (or at least as it seems by the end of this chapter).

Spelling/Grammar: The grammatical errors are getting worse. I know it's a draft, but by this point, they've increased to the point where it can start to hinder the interpretation of the material. Extra words/missing words/words replaced with other words: "if" instead "of", etc. So I would really read through this again and clean that up for any further critics; the chapters are very long. That leads me to one of the most crucial pieces of advice I know to give to any writer, young/old, amateur/veteran: "When you are rereading your work (and you should be doing so often) if there are sections that you, the author, skip over because you find them slow or boring, then those have to go. The work can have no bigger fan than the author, each part must completely enthrall them, because if the creator can't stand it, how is the audience supposed to?"

Pace: has improved in this chapter, the background asides seem to taper off a bit, perhaps because there is so much more action, or perhaps HeLa's section require more focus on the immediate sensations. Either way, despite the errors mentioned above, it feels like the book is hitting its stride. If I wasn't out of free time today, based on the ending of this chapter, I could have gone on to take a look at the next, which really is the highest praise an author can get.
Murphy Chapelwood chapter 2 . 4/24/2017
Ending: "And when Paulo shook his head, it meant things were hopeless. [And it was pretty hopeless then.]"—That bracketed sentence detracts from what would be a fairly strong closing to the chapter, and it adds nothing. It illustrates an issue I keep seeing throughout where the narration goes one step (one more sentence beyond) what is necessary to inform the reader, which leads into:

Scene: Construction. Just starting with the opening, instead of jumping the reader right into the moment (for instance, with the actual dialogue of Claire over the loudspeaker warning the residents, declaring code orange, instructing them to shelters) we instead get an expository report of what has already happened. Same with Louis' first scene which goes into background information about him and experience instead of just leaping into the narrative of him running from the earthquake (and maybe have him do something heroic? like save a child or something: an action that proves his worth to the reader, which would make the ending more tragic). Same with the sections from HeLa's point of view, which I believe all need to go (it should just be "Oh the cage has fallen, we'll get around to that." "Oh, HeLa's acting strange, or maybe it's strange because HeLa's not acting strange.") because as it is now it completely the diffuses any sort of suspense because the reader already sees the escape coming.

Pace: is where a large part of the issues arise. The tension needed for a horror story is being bled away by these interrupting history lesson/backstory/essay-like bouts of exposition that nobody wants to read. Instead of an action-packed scene of an earthquake happening, which leads into the somberness of cleanup and funerals while two guards (Ed and Nelly) overlook and perhaps have a frank/bleak conversation about their lives and their appraisal of the times they live in,—instead we get this long explanation of the history of earthquakes and the poison and how humanity has changed/not changed to their new conditions, peppered (almost off-handedly) with "oh yeah and these people are doing this."—It's even more clear when Louis is fighting for his life with HeLa, when he spots HeLa out of its cage and instead of leaping into action, having the copper taste of fear in his mouth we get a line like this "They understood all the complicated science stuff better than the layman and women, and when it came to HeLa, security guards were laymen and women as well." And again, when Louis shoots HeLa in the head and it just charges after him, he hops on his hoverbike and the narration slows again to mention how the poison might have damaged it (which was already mentioned, so the results of that could just occur without adding anything further—I mean, a monster is running at the character: at that point the narration needs to read ACTION/RESULT, ACTION/RESULT).

Setting: So the setting expanded in this chapter. Where it reads as if there's maybe a couple dozen folks at a research station in Siberia, now, in chapter two, it's a whole town or city, and I wondered what gave me the previous impression. I think it's the scene between Dina/Nelly in hydroponics because it was just the two of them quietly talking, and I got the sense it was a small facility, had there been mention of a sprawling warehouse where other workers were tending to plants while they talked (as I imagine would be needed for feeding several hundred plus people), then I believe it would have felt like a much larger community.

The setting, for me, is still the best part. Actually, the foundation of the story itself is good. I may be critical with how certain scenes play out and the writing, but the direction of the piece so far appears to be mapped out fairly well, and the double meaning in the title "Chasing Immortality" feels like it's coming into focus after the events of this chapter.
Murphy Chapelwood chapter 1 . 4/23/2017
Opening: There is no real hook in the opening, and really other than the setting it takes a long time for something to spark the reader's attention (the distant earthquake), and for a ~6000-word chapter that's far too long. I'd dump virtually every bit of backstory in the first two sections, just Nelly sitting with her rifle, admiring the harsh landscape, she makes the kill, then to Boris's section and perhaps the animal Nelly drags back has a new mutation, maybe that's why it took two shots (an early introduction of something new/dangerous to the characters). Also, it could liven the dialogue between Boris and Nelly—he teases her, she retorts, then they take a look at the thing with a new bone-casing around the torso or something and speculate about it—was it evolving specifically against their bullets?

The Writing: reads... stretched, like how a word count can be artificially inflated in a term paper/essay. (e.g. "...because her right eye was a little poorer and needed a little extra attention to back it up." and "...the three great research centers of the current world, and they did the research.") It's either unnecessary or redundant, the first for instance could entirely be replaced with "weaker."—Also, there are other spots that are way too Telling. (e.g. "Wilderness hadn't really been their forte." "And, like good little species living on planet earth, they were, on the whole, out to survive." "As far as friends went, they were pretty good friends.") All of that kind of stuff should go. The reader understands its rough beyond the research station, the other just reads like words for the sake of words, and latter should be conveyed through their interactions.

Dialogue: The two longer bits of dialogue (Dina/Nelly; Claire/Boris) have a problem of falling into the "As You Know"-style of exposition, as they are telling each other something they both already know as another way to inform the reader and makes the conversation read dry (no matter how much they laugh/grin while saying it). The early part between Claire and Boris talking about children is good and her talking over his head with scientific musings is perhaps the best stretch in the chapter, but it too falls back to exposition afterward.

Setting: So the setting is the best part. It's an interesting world with fairly clear rules. The poison, the evolved animals, the Spartan lifestyle they lead, yet all while still have access for a few nifty science fiction things like hoverbikes and regeneration makes for a good American Western Frontier meets Post-Apocolypse backdrop to the actions taking place.

Scene: There's a scene that I would liked to have seen which I think with the recommendations for the opening could carry the reader through til the end: after Dina/Nelly but before Claire/Boris, a scene involving them torturing, mutilating HeLa in a new way to test its regeneration, but without explanation as to why they're doing that to the thing in the cage, that way when the reader reaches Claire going over the notes on HeLa they feel rewarded.
Sjoorm cont chapter 1 . 12/5/2016
I think some knowledge of the average weight of a berolf is required here to make the "modest weight" bit make sense to the reader.

As far as dialogue goes, I feel like you've captured the feeling of a conversation between people who've known each other a long time pretty perfectly. Boris and aNelly clearly have history in the security team together, and it shows in the playful jabs they rib each other with.

All in all I'm very intrigued with the setting here, I want to know what happened on Earth to turn everything into a wasteland, was it natural or was it chemical or was it radioactive? These questions are bouncing around in my head the whole time I'm reading and that's a great thing, it fills me with anticipation for each new paragraph. Looking forward to seeing this completed, Whispers, good job!
Sjoorm chapter 1 . 10/30/2016
A little bit of unneeded exposition by Nelly where she is talking of how she will owe Boris a drink because of her two bullets. I think it would read more fluidly if you told the reader this information through Boris' words, a small bit of dialogue after the "lazy catch" where he tells her that's two drinks now or something, and that she's getting sloppy.

When you say that the berolf weighs "modestly", because we don't even know the average weight of a berolf we as a reader can't really picture what a modest weight for one would be. Might be better to couple this with the knowledge
lookingwest chapter 1 . 3/12/2016
So this is a novel told in 8 chapters? Great idea to get you going for NaNo and a prompt - but for FP I'm going to be that person and say break them up. You could just tell people originally that they are meant to only be 8 chapters and give us where your breaks are - but you have a ton of opportunities where this could be broken into two halves because you are changing 3rd person limited POVs often in this.

Pacing - Yes, I'll agree with other reviewers that I felt the pacing of this was slow to a level that got a little tedious by the time we reach the ending paragraphs because of their length and size and the lack of dialogue or action happening. I feel like by the ending earthquake alert we could get more from that or maybe it could come sooner and we could cut out a lot of the other musings, like the bit about her listening to music, etc. It actually kind of felt like it was getting stream of conscious in a lot of areas, which eh, not bad, but with the pacing you've got you may want to think about those moments.

Characters - You are introducing a lot for a first chapter and your'e going fairly in depth with them, but because of the 3rd person limited, I think it's working, weirdly enough, haha. I have to say though, really the only characters that I remember after all that are Boris and Nelly. Diane (I think that was her name) and her cucumbers kind of faded into the background. And Claire was okay here at the end but I kind of wanted her to hurry up and do something. Boris is so far my favorite. And Nelly. And while I have a good grasp on their jobs - sort of, and there's a ton of references to setting - you lost me in the opener a little with exactly WHERE this is taking place. Not west of Russia, or whatever (I got that) but I mean like, way smaller - are they in a biodome of some sort? Or out in the open? We know it's crazy unlivable cold but there's only really reference of Nelly taking off a helmet in front of Diane and no actual description of the harsh conditions outside - so is all of this inside some place? You may have described that in the opener, but it didn't stick out to me because I think I was too distracted trying to figure out the genetic modified animal parts and get a grasp on what her job actually is... I was kind of picturing them, by the end, in some sort of enclosed genetic research space where there's a safari-like situation going on (a national park or something) where there are these rapid animals that need to be hunted for... their meat? food? Are they really being "hunted"? All of that was getting lost on me, sorry!

Dialogue - This could be just because I'm reading this as a writer, but there were some places in dialogue that were very obvious exposition to me to the point where I was like "shouldn't the character already /know/ this information?" One of those moments was when... Diane or Claire, I forget, was explaining about the 2060s and space no longer being accessible. I think Boris is the one listening - and I thought, "Shouldn't that be a HUGE major point in history that he would already know about?" The way that the dialogue was delivered was very "this is information to the reader" and didn't feel natural as if it were being spoken to Boris. Same a bit with the moment involving the babies - that seemed to be brought up to me just so we could get a check-in with this sci-fi future baby situation. Even at the end when Claire explains to Boris "wolgers are one-hundred and fifty years old now" - shouldn't he know that if he has this job hunting them down? So there were some moments with your exposition where I felt it was a bit transparent. But that again, could be due a lot to maybe my "reading as a writer" - still, if there's any way you could make those moments more natural, maybe even putting in something like "You know as well as I do, Boris" or something - it might make it less tell-y. Maybe not exactly that line, xD but something along it! Otherwise though, I will say, I think one of my favorite conversations was with Nelly and Diane over the cucumber sogginess. I did wonder why they weren't just plastic wrapping them with airtight plastic wrap - since that's what grocery stores do and it keeps them from going soggy in a couple hours at a time... But maybe they don't have cling wrap/plastic wrap like that anymore in this future, so that's entirely possible. That convo felt really natural, though!

Enjoyment - Sci-fi stuff can be hard. Or Fantasy to. There's always gotta be that exposition and world-building mixed in with everything else. I think right now this concept is really great and I appreciated the trust that I felt with you in terms of the science. I didn't feel like any of this was out of the realm of believability while I was reading, in other words, and that's a really cool thing! I think overall your writing style tends towards exposition through not only perspectives, but also through dialogue, and sometimes you might want to ask how much the /reader/ will infer from implications about things instead of needing to super explain their background. Like for instance, it's pretty clear that there are genetically blended animals that are wild and scary in this world - do we /need/ to know that they came about 150 years ago and much more than that, through action? Maybe! But not exactly in the very first chapter. Do we NEED to know in Ch. 1 that the space program is dead because of 2060? Eh, maybe it could wait until later. You've challenged yourself to stick a novel's worth of information into 8 chapters - I'd say this world is complex and cool enough that you could "slow down" the exposition and "speed up" the going-ons of the action in this story. But besides all that, like I said, you've got a very nice grasp of main and secondary characters going on here. And I'd look forward to seeing what happens in this, maybe beyond just an earthquake. The descriptions of HeLa were TERRIFYING, haha. I loved those moments, and I really liked when Boris fed it the sandwich. Very Full Metal Alchemist all around vibes. I wonder if the earthquake might shake things up enough where HeLa is unleashed, or the monsters, and everyone has to fight through the research center to survive or something - eep! So much potential.

Thanks for the read, Ohana! Loving this chilling slice of the future you've crafted!
H.R. Aidan chapter 1 . 3/2/2016
This was a long chapter which I felt could have been broken up into at least 3 parts. I enjoyed the concept a lot, especially the dystopian poisoned world. It gives a real bleak atmosphere to everything and the threat is always constant which keeps the reader in a continuous state of unease. Good! I made notes as I went through. There are quite a lot because, I hope you don’t get upset by me saying this, I feel you could make this story ten times better with a little extra work. Again it was a long chapter so it stands to reason there will be more feedback than an average chapter! Here are my thoughts.

Scene 1:
Less baggage at the start. Kick us into the action then feed us bits of backstory (and only backstory that matters – things that are going to be key to the story’s progression). It is okay for readers not to know everything – in fact, it fuels their curiosity. Start with “A quick breeze blew in” paragraph. Let’s shoot something before we know who the shooter is or who the victim is – it makes it a lot more intriguing (but do be sure to tell us eventually!)
“Like a fish to water” – avoid clichés.
Sentences are a little clunky sometimes “And it didn’t used to be security’s job to make sure nobody was sneaking out into the wilderness.” “Boris Carter saw Nelly’s hoverbike take off just when he came to begin his shift.” Consider “Boris Carter saw Nelly’s hoverbike take off just as he arrived for his shift.” Read your work aloud or use the text-to-talk programme if you use Word. Clunky, clumsy sentences will reveal themselves.
“…the male took the time…” – sounds a bit odd, male what? Can you not call him a boy or a man, or if he isn’t human, something else?
“The scratches were barely visible, but ten years on the job had taught her the poison that pierced out of sight.” – doesn’t make sense. Where are the scratches – on her? On equipment/buildings/boundaries? The poison had taught her what? What does “pierced out of sight” mean?
“Did you feed it on your way?” Feed what? Even if you don’t tell us exactly, give us a hint that “it” is something familiar to them, perhaps a secret, something they're nervous about, curious about, afraid of. Otherwise it’s just confusing for the reader, I’m not sure if I should already know what “it” is or not.
“The horizon was unblinking.” Horizons don’t blink.
“…half the existence it was two hundred years ago.” Existence is an intangible state, I think you mean half the size it was 200… / held half the capacity it had 200… / half the force it was 200… / had half the impact it had 200...
“…which were an easier job…” should be “which was”
“It weighed modestly as well” – again, wrong word. Something can be a modest weight like it’s average, not particularly heavy, but the adverb “modestly” is used when describing someone’s demeanor, like “’I’m not that good,’ he said modestly.” When something weighs modestly I think of someone standing on the scales and looking smug that they're thinner than everyone else but pretending they're not.
“…which she sat on her hover bike.” – two things here. First, decide whether to use hoverbike or hover bike and use it consistently. Second, google the rules on “sitting” and “standing” an inanimate object on something. It’s not grammatically correct. You can place, put, set, etc. a cup down but you can’t sit it down.

Scene 2:
“And Claire was hoping there’d be a breakthrough…” – who’s Claire now? Do you mean Dina? Clarify by using a full name maybe.
You don’t need lots of scientific research to figure out if the world still goes round. If the sun rises and sets each day, then it’s going round.
“2060 was not long after the oceans drowned?” – um, I hate to ask the obvious but how does a body of water drown? I have the feeling you meant it the way you said it, that in the characters’ world it is a turn of phrase used for that event, but to me the reader, it doesn’t make any sense, it just looks like an error. Perhaps a sentence after the dialogue to explain would be helpful?
The scene with Dina and Nelly – where is it taking place? I’m finding it difficult to picture the environment. I imagine it would be a lab of some sort, but since this is a futuristic piece, I’d like you to show me what it looks like.
“The regeneration treatments left now scars nowadays” – rewrite.

Scene 3:
“Nelly had been right, as Boris picked up three more beasts his shift before the night and Louis’s arrival ended it.” – this sentence just doesn’t make sense. It feels like you’re missing out words and confusing clauses. Try “Nelly had been right. By the time Louis arrived to take over guard duties Boris had picked up three more beasts.” On another note, I’m a bit confused as to what sort of competition is going on between Nelly and Boris. I thought the more each shot the better, yet news of his three “trophies” is written negatively.
“…one wolger seemed to be the parent of the child…” – “child” is only used when referring to humans. You used “pup” earlier on which I would recommend you stick to.
“And the main factor was the creature in the cage…” This should be mentioned or at least alluded to earlier when they discuss feeding “it”.
What is a tiber? I’m struggling to picture scenes in which you refer to invented things but don’t explain what they are or what they look like.
“The torches showcased blistered arms and legs” – wrong word. Showcasing is used when referring to trophies and cups.
You are describing blistered limbs then pearly teeth and I haven’t a clue who or what we’re looking at. You seem to describe an action, then start talking about something else entirely and it’s very confusing. Are we now looking at the “creature”? If so, how did we get there? The last piece of action showed Boris throwing a tiber into the detox container.
I would clarify what part of the body the maxilla is, as not many people will recognise it. Rather use jawbone.
“It missed this time, and Boris watched until the cucumber sandwich had been devoured before taking its leave.” – the subject of this sentence is very confused. Who is taking leave? The way it is written the subject starts as Hela in the first clause, but then switches to Boris in the second clause, yet you refer to the subject as “it” when saying “before taking its leave” which makes me think it’s HeLa not Boris you’re talking about. In which case you would need to rewrite the whole sentence to keep the subject consistent.

Scene 4:
“There wasn’t a place on earth where every human was asleep at the same time…” – there never has been, and it’s nothing to do with 24 hour watches, technology, etc. Timezones. Completely natural. Midnight in Australia would be somewhere around midday in UK and always has been.
“Fourty-one degrees…” should be “Forty-one degrees”
“Pray” not “Prey”.

Overall, I like the concept. I’m sorry I found so much to criticise but I hope you’ll take it constructively. You have the bones of a good story. The concept of regeneration and of HeLa in particular was very intriguing. I like the atmosphere that the poisoned earth creates – the menace, the ongoing threat, it’s all very dystopian and the science almost has flavours of the Divergent series (Allegiant in particular). The conversation between Boris and Claire was a bit pithy and I found myself skimming over a lot of it then having to go back to reread in case I’d missed anything, and it was only when we got onto the topic of HeLa that my attention was really caught. That tells me you need more HeLa, definitely more contact with him, more questions posed, and you can slim down the rest. Mostly I feel it needs more direction. Where is this story going? Keep going. Needs some editing but you potentially have a very good story here.
Victoria Best chapter 1 . 12/21/2015
Hello!

Wow, this was just wonderful. I am a little speechless actually. The whole time I was reading I could picture it all as though it were a film or a television series. This has potential to be the next big thing, like Game of Thrones, and I mean that.

I loved the characters, particularly Boris and Nelly. Their exchange near the beginning made me chuckle: "lazy catch." "Are you watching my catch or my back?" "I don't have to do anything until handover." Their sentences just bounce off of each other like a game of tennis and I love that. I think they have natural chemistry and I would love to see how their relationship develops and whether romance will form, however I know that in his conversation with Claire, Boris was insistent that he did not feel that way for her, so maybe not. I enjoyed reading this section also because not only did it show their relationship, it also gave a glimpse into their sharp, intelligent, witty, strong-minded personalities and also offered some more information about the world they live in. Great stuff! I would love to see more interactions like this.

Boris is definitely my favourite character so far. I love the sentence "curiosity wasn't a part of his job description." Such a simple sentence yet adds so much information about his personality and it gave me the impression that he thinks everything not directly related to his job is unnecessary. Was I correct? :)

I have to say, the descriptions were excellent. This line in particular gave me chills: "staring almost unblinkingly into the land that had expelled human kind." Even the subtle descriptions, such as "frost-dusted dirt" enhanced the story and allowed me to visualise it clearly.

The world you have created is certainly fascinating and I have to say, well done for staying geographically correct and for clearly putting in your research. I have seen a lot of science fiction stories on Fictionpress where the writer has just slapped some ideas on a page without even attempting to make it realistic an believable. The attention to detail was great - I like that you described the temperature all year round, the poisoning of the earth and how it was being (not very effectively) controlled by the batteries and even the animals that had evolved, such as the wolgers. It certainly made me want to continue reading to find out more about this fascinating future, and again, well done for truly researching and intensively planning your world, covering all aspects and avoiding plot-holes.

I also found it interesting how all the characters seemed 'hardened.' For example, the way they treat hunting as an "internal competition" and Nelly's comment that you learn "when they take a bite or two out of you." Tony, particularly, struck me as a hardened soul when you described how the characters could not remember a time when he did not look "as though he had seen every scene the world had to offer." While this made for great characterisation and I can imagine all of these characters to be kick-ass and powerful, it did feel a little 'same-y.' Surely all the characters in the book would not have these shells, even in a future such as this? I would have liked to have seen at least one character with empathy and a sensitive side, maybe who feels guilty for hunting or tries to abstain, etc. The only character I got a softer vibe from was Claire, however her speech felt a combination between philosophising and moping about 'we are doomed and this is so sad' and so made the character seem a little bland. I did not warm to her.

Another comment I would have to say is that I was following the story perfectly until those last chunky few paragraphs. They are far too long, especially after an already long chapter, and they also conveyed a lot of information about the world, which was a bit of a mind-burst after you had already given us so much information throughout the chapter. If you look to published books, even the longest paragraphs will only be a handful of sentences long. Less is more and it is important to make sure the attention of readers does not drift at any point.

Overall, though, a great start and I would love to read more. You certainly have talent. Keep writing!

-Vicky
Ventracere chapter 1 . 11/30/2015
Well. That was an interesting opening. The thing I liked about it was that was that you took the time to explain the setting and the premise of the work of art. The only part that I was a bit iffy on was that it was slow. It had a slow, but picturesque opening, that gives us a good idea of where Nelly is. You don't let it stay slow for too long - you give us a taste of the action when you detail her taking off after the creature to shoot it down. Makes me kind of wonder what is going to go on on the rest of the piece. More creatures? Something is going to wrong? We'll see.

Pacing: This was a little slow for my tastes. But I can understand why it needs to be slow. You need to set up the premises for the worldbuilding. Some of the scenes i find a little bit tedious, they drag on a bit. It gives us a good insight into the character's lives, lets us know a little more about Boris, Claire, and Nelly. That said, the pacing isn't bad per se, since it does take the time to introduce us into the world that you've created with these creatures.

And that brings me to description. Sometimes I feel like it's a bit much, but overall I like your descriptors. A few squicks though. Sometimes I think you should break up the length of your sentences/descriptions a bit. This way it gives your readers a bit of a breather between overloads of descriptions. That said, they're good. They give us a good insight into the world around them, like I've already mentioned. I think my favorite has got to be the part when Boris is observing the HaLa and ends up throwing his sandwich to it. Not sure exactly why, but it was a relaxing portion of the piece and was complemented well with your descriptions.

Overall enjoyment: Despite the slowness, I think you've got a well written first chapter. It's long, but it's intriguing. I want to know what will happen to Boris, Claire, and Nelly. They've got a tight knit group, one that's close. Their work is mundane, but they've gotten the hang of it, they've got a cycle that works for them. Even then though, it's like they're waiting for the axe to drop while they're waiting. The ending gives us this ominous kind of air, which creates this tension.

Thanks for the read!