|Reviews for Aĉaĵego|
| Ckh chapter 9 . 7/31/2019
Even Floreca's optimism has its limits, I take it. Poor girl, she just wants to live a normal life. It's nice to know that the villagers appreciate Floreca's sacrifice; I honestly thought that they would respond negatively to her, for the Acajego's vow of not killing humans contradicts its god-given role in their religion. I guess they are good people after all. It just goes to show you that their fear of the Acajego was what drove them into believing the Acajego religion, not the other way around. They can praise its role all they want, but deep down inside they still fear it. A religion based on fear will not persist for long. Its cracks will soon show; If only Floreca's mother saw them.
I haven't given a technical review so far, so here are some spare thoughts:
"...Though she was happy for her" - Though feels a bit weird in a short sentence. Maybe words like 'Regardless' or 'That said' might work better.
"Karesema let here cry wordlessly, kept her arms wrapped around her loosely and stroked her hair, but her grip was loose." - Loose is repeated twice here. Its redundant, and it makes the sentence too long. The sentence might flow better if it was split into two.
Something like this might be good: "Karesema let Floreca cry wordlessly. She wrapped her arms around her loosely and stroked her hair..."
The ending feels a little abrupt, like it a chapter cut short. Its still servicable, but some impact is lost from this deeply emotive chapter. The chapter would had ended well with Karesema comforting Floreca, or her promising to find a way to help Floreca, futile as her attempts might be.
All in all, this was still a great chapter. If I try, I might be able to finish the rest of the story today, but no promises.
| Ckh chapter 8 . 7/30/2019
I thought this was going to be another flashback chapter, and I was pleasantly surprised when you switched gears to the present. I like the smooth transition - Floreca's life then contrasted with her life now. Its great that you keep the flashback relevant near the end, when Floreca uses her past experiences to reflect on her current situation.
Its apparent that she has taken all of her family's teachings to heart, for better and worse. She really is a pure individual. Her purity allows her to be optimistic and move the acajego, yet she is too naive, still unable to tell the difference between the acajego of myth, and the real acajego. She still believes that both are the same, letting her doubts drown below the surface. I fully expect that Floreca will come to terms with reality by the end of the story, I just hope that it won't happen right at the very end.
I enjoyed reading about Floreca learning more about the acajego's mannerisms. Shes slowly becoming accustomed to the acajego, understanding its behaviour more than ever before. She knows when to speak now, what requests she can make, making their growing connection feel even more believe.
I thought the reply 'yea' was a little jarring coming from the acajego, who is always depicted as using formal, traditional english. It just seems a little informal, though that might be the intention.
The writing is still good, your sentences are not blatantly awkward. A few of them might be a little long, but I find them perfectly acceptable. I agree with tealover about breaking up your paragraphs - it'll read better that way.
| Ckh chapter 7 . 7/30/2019
The acajego has really warmed up to Floreca, huh. I suppose its only natural. From the acajego's point of view, Floreca is the first sacrifice to be genuinely interested in it. That alone is enough to make it 'love' her, short as their time together might be. It even goes as far as to swear off killing humans for her, a development I didn't expect to occur this soon.
By the story's pace, I thought it would bond more with Floreca first - but I suppose its behaviour is natural. The acajego is a childish creature, in every sense of the word. It has never had meaningful interaction with other beings besides eating them. Floreca's interaction with the acajego has shifted its worldview. Alone before, it now wishes to maintain its relationship with Floreca, and if it has to compromise, it will.
But how long till before the compromise becomes unbearable? How long till Floreca inevitably dies and it loses its only company? The story could diverge into a number of ways, but I cannot foresee a happy ending for the acajego. How the tragedy will play out, I don't know. I'm interested to find out.
Your writing is still good, so I assume you applied the technical advice given to you by other, more competent reviewers.
| Ckh chapter 6 . 7/29/2019
What an unfortunate series of events. The fact that Karesema parents were unable to raise a boy to adulthood is only coincidence. There is no magic at work here, no punishment from Terdiino. All there is, is a religion founded on lies, lies that the mother is all too willing to swallow.
The acajego myth is false, yet the mother is content with sacrificing herself to please false deities. In the attempt to create a myth that sugercoats the harsh reality of death, an unnecessary human life is sacrificed, not even for the sake of the greater good. Was it really necessary to create a religion around the acajego? The mother's death begs to differ.
Its a little heartbreaking seeing young Karesema interact with her mother, considering that we, the readers, are already clued in about the mother's demise. This event will later serve as a catalyst for Karesema's rejection of the acajego myth, at least from what I infer.
I wonder if their father abandoned his kids soon after. From the various flashbacks in the story, it was Karesema and Floreca who took responsibility for taking care of their sibling. The father was nowhere to be seen.
All in all, a fantastic chapter like always.
Single typo thread:
"tightened her grip around (the) Karesema" - Remove the, er, "the".
| Ckh chapter 5 . 7/28/2019
The 1001 nights comparison that lirianstar brought up was accurate. Huh, I haven't heard that title in a long while now.
This chapter was the longest chapter by far, though it still flowed nicely. Floreca might be an idiot for trying to comfort the acajego, but Karesema is even more of a idiot for trying to agitate the monster in the first place. Karesema being a non-believer matches up with her earlier actions in the story. It might explain why she's so hostile towards her mother; did her mother sacrifice herself to help another in the name of tradition? Only time will tell.
Floreca's denial of the acajego's true nature is frustrating but believable. On one hand, she's starting to unmask the facade of her village's religion. On another hand, she is still trying to rationalise the acajego's actions from the viewpoint of her religion, despite evidence showing otherwise. Floreca's way of life is so ingrained with her religion, she cannot see her religion as anything other than fact, a fact that is slowly crumbling the more time she spends with the acajego.
Speaking of the acajego, I like that its described as childish. That description just seems all too accurate. However, childish as it might be, its still trying to learn about itself, demonstrating its capacity for growth. Too bad it snaps at the end and threatens both girls with death. Hopefully its ominous warning won't come to pass.
| Ckh chapter 4 . 7/28/2019
"...but suddenly Acajego snatched up Karesema with its tail and slammed her into the ground." - ouch, that was unexpected. The way the Acajego treats its captives is interesting. It seems to have a semblance of respect towards those who willingly sacrifice themselves; reinforced by how it choose to take the parent who volunteered instead of the child in chapter one. It's not far fetched for the Acajego to show interest towards Floreca then, especially when Floreca displays such an exceptional interest towards it.
No amount of interest or respect will save Floreca from being gobbled up by the Acajego though, so I'm interested to see how things eventually pan out.
At the end of the chapter, Floreca recollects fond memories about her mother, which is in direct contrast with Karesema's apparent hatred of her. What did their mother do that so wrong? And why does Floreca still keep her as her role model? I guess I'll have to find out by reading more.
| Ckh chapter 3 . 7/28/2019
"They were supposed to be asleep but Floreca's eyes were eager and opened wide enough to clue their mother into the fact that they haven't even been trying to do so." - I love how kid Floreca doesn't put on a pretense; she wants her mother's attention, and she makes sure her mother knows it. In general, the dynamic between the two kids and their mother is well done here. "Pacjo is an ugly creature!" wins the award for being the most quippy retort a child can say to their parent.
The myth in the middle portion gets my stamp of folk tale approval. I have no qualms here. It puts into context the beliefs of the villagers and I'm looking forward for Floreca's beliefs to be challenged in the upcoming chapters.
| Ckh chapter 2 . 7/28/2019
Welp, here I am, reviewing chapter 2 a year later.
Oh boy was this chapter a dense one. Various plot elements like Floreca's sickness and the Acajego's attitude towards humans are revealed, and I look forward to seeing these plot threads pay off in future chapters. The chapter flowed nicely in spite of it being dense; no plot point felt dragged out.
Additionally, I felt that it was only appropriate that the acajego, a creature that mankind cannot make sense of (except by making a myth around it) is, in fact, a monstrous chimera that is unnatural even by mother nature's standard. Just a wry observation.
Other than that, your descriptions were nice to follow and you bring up an interesting moral conundrum in Floreca's sacrifice; if a sick individual was going to die anyways, would it only be right to sacrifice them now, instead of a healthy human being with a future ahead of them? The objective answer would be yes, but I suppose life is only interesting because of our subjective answers.
All in all, this was an excellent chapter. Expect chapter 3's review in two years.
| Detective Desire chapter 1 . 5/18/2019
ntro: I really like the way you begin your story with the monster and then describe its exploration of the world as a means of filling its hunger. It learns about the world through its hunger, and through these descriptions we don't exactly sympathize with the monster but we also don't completely hate it for fulfilling its needs. After all, to the monster, eating a human is probably about as normal as you or I eating an animal.
You then go on to describe the world in terms of its hunger and explain that it experiences different kinds of hunger-physical, intellectual, and (I'm guessing) emotional. This is good foreshadowing.
I also like the way your describe the interactions and weapons to really give us the idea that it is indeed from the monster's perspective, such as the weapons the humans made that "scratch" the monster and encourage it not to linger in villages but instead snatch prey so that it can eat it in peace. This monster seems to behave like a normal creature from nature, with the exception of having a rudimentary understanding of human speech.
Characters: You introduce the story by telling it from the perspectives of two characters, the monster in the introduction, and one of the village inhabitants. The monster's perspective really helps us establish the universe the characters inhabit. Here, there is a village that gives sacrifices to an intelligent, yet savage, monster to satiate its physical hunger and live in peace with it.
I like how you subtly give us the idea that the monster perhaps doesn't exactly like his nature, because we see in the first paragraph that he first tried not to be destructive and then resorted to eating meat because meat is the only thing that would stop the pain.
Then, after the introduction, you give us the perspective of someone living in the village and having to help with the human sacrifices. I like how you point out that they are aware of flaws in the system with the deal they've worked out with the monster.
Writing: Your writing is on point. The descriptions are vivid and colored with adjectives that really help the reader "feel" what's going on, such as the "gnawing pain" of the monster's physical hunger, or the "scratches" he receives from the humans' weapons; this indicates to us that the monster is far too powerful to be stopped by the humans and they are more or less at its mercy. Every sentence seems to paint a vivid picture. You don't rely on the passive voice and you use plenty of action verbs. This is a good technique to keep writing from seeming "boring."
Dialogue: What few bits of dialogue we have in this introduction is believable and meaningful. The woman's words of "take me instead," and even the monster's slow understanding of language all help solidify the universe the characters inhabit and the possible conflicts they will encounter. Words also aren't wasted. Characters seem to have dialogue that is an extension of themselves, to the point that, if there were no dialogue tags, we might even be able to guess who was speaking.
On that note, though, you use dialogue tags effectively, but the dialogue itself also helps establish who the character is. This is sometimes hard to pull off in fiction; good work.
Other: Maybe I just missed because I wasn't paying attention, but, at first, I wasn't sure who was speaking in the last parts of the chapter.
There are a few pieces of dialogue without dialogue tags, and it makes it hard for me to tell who is speaking. Maybe it's not that important to the story, or maybe I just overlooked something because the tags weren't right behind the quoted dialogue, but that little detail may entice a curious reader to re-read or get confused. Too much of this could make the story less enjoyable, in my opinion.
If I just overlooked something, though, that is a possibility.
Overall, I think it is a solid beginning to an awesome story
| Electrumquill chapter 10 . 4/21/2019
Interesting comparison, with the sickness likened to a spiritual sickness. I suppose it would be the sort of comparison Floreca would make with her religious background, even though her preconceived notions have been challenged somewhat with the Aĉaĵego turning out to be a sentient beast.
That’s really cute, the reminiscence of how close she and Karesema were as siblings. They were each so lucky to have one another as a sister.
The Aĉaĵego sounds catlike, with its tail flickering like that. It is childlike in that it is not emotionally mature, but really that’s the effect of it not being socialised. I suppose Floreca wants to think of it as childlike to stay sympathetic to it.
Good to know you’ve thought about the Aĉaĵego’s anatomy and how it works. If its tail serves as its one and only dextrous limb, it’s like Fat Dog Mendoza. Especially as it also looks like something from a bad dream. I’m thinking the Aĉaĵego could do anything he could do in a story. Difficult to imagine the Aĉaĵego in the role of a human hero though, unless it was a character like Beowulf.
Perfectly understandable that the Aĉaĵego should be depressed. No laughing matter, having to feed on the flesh of other sentient beings to survive. That’s sweet, how Floreca needs there to be a purpose to the events that led her to this point. That’s the exact opposite of taking a nihilistic view (I wonder what she would make of Sam Beckett or Kafka?)
So the priests have woven her into their theology? Not unexpected, if they could weave in the Aĉaĵego. Floreca’s definitely more what an angel ought to be.
| Electrumquill chapter 9 . 4/8/2019
There’s definitely the potential for wider world building with explaining how commerce works in this context and how isolated the community is. Do they get frequent visits from merchants, or just the occasional visit from an enterprising (or greedy) merchant?
Floreca’s story telling journey sounds like something I can relate to. I’d like to be able to be consistent as well. I think she’s mastered the art of story telling if she can fashion new stories from her existing ones.
It sounds like Karesema hasn’t quite realised that the Aĉaĵego is sentient, if she doesn’t realise it can be afraid. It may say something about how sensitive or astute she is. That is a good method of conveying things about a character. So is the sisters conversation where Karesema has no patience at all with other people being dumb. I prefer Floreca, but Karesema is more like me.
That’s really cute, the vignette with the doll and the happy memories it brings.
It makes perfect sense that Floreca would be emotional at this time. I like how we can see that Floreca is the smarter because she can pick up that the blacksmith must be a generous man, whereas Karesema apparently can’t quite tell why her sister would be sad.
| YasuRan chapter 16 . 3/30/2019
I was not expecting this. This ending was a sucker punch. You really did that, huh, making me care so much for these sisters and even the Acajego to an extent, only to have things turn out the way they did. And I mean all this is a good way. That there is the power of good, compelling storytelling.
I think the greatest tragedy is how the priest's cover-up in the previous chapters has now come true, though we might never know what is to become of Floreca's soul. It's such tragic irony which really sits in my mind. This is definitely a story I will remember for a long time.
| YasuRan chapter 12 . 3/30/2019
Oh, I'm totally living for Karesema's moment of triumph here, perfectly encapsulated in the last line of this chapter. We're now getting to see the fallout from the Acajego's revelations and it's possible that the power the priests held over the community will be usurped in the light of the truth.
Again, I really appreciate the details you interweave in your narratives. Here, it's the voice in Karesema's head and the sway it's had over her entire life. While completely the opposite of her sister in both personality and beliefs, she's an equally strong character as she works to protect her sister and keep her head held high in the chaos that unfolds after returning from the dead, so to speak.
| YasuRan chapter 8 . 3/30/2019
Floreca is really coming into her own as a character. She's noble and kind to a fault, and these two traits help her earn the favor of the Acajego and offer us a glimpse into what might just be. There's obviously more than meets the eye to the creature, as evidenced by Floreca's observations.
I also like how more and more of Floreca and Karesema's background is revealed here. The abuse they suffered from their father greatly shaped them into the persons they are at this point of their lives. It's quite realistic how most of Karesema's anger and hostility stems from her hatred of their father, while Floreca tries to take after her mother in trying to understand his anger and now, the Acajego.
| YasuRan chapter 4 . 3/30/2019
How fascinating of a world and mythos you've built so far. The previous chapter served as good set-up for the backstory of the Acajego as well as for the two sisters, Floreca and Karesema, and gave us an insight into their personalities.
There were also some interesting revelations within this chapter, especially pertaining to the true origins of the Acajego and its own beliefs. While Floreca is clearly in awe of its presence, she's also curious enough to ask questions, a trait I always enjoy in a protagonist. In doing so, I too am now more curious to read more.
On to the next chapters!