Reviews for Out of the Shadows
Marina x Machina chapter 2 . 7/26/2017
I like how you talked about the feeling of having no purpose or identity when you become a mother and lose family. It's not something that's often talked about, but it feels very real. I also like how you described Lira and Amy's relationship - it feels very genuine and not just something motivated by hormonal lust or frenemy passion, like in a lot of F/F stories. Good work!
Marina x Machina chapter 1 . 7/26/2017
Oo, wonder what will happen
boggs chapter 30 . 5/16/2017
I'm glad they got a happy ending! They really deserve it! I can't wait to see what awaits them in the sequel.

My final thoughts about the story are overwhelmingly positive: the case was interesting and personal, the two lead characters were great, and the way they maneuvered a rough situation was admirable. It takes a bit of skill to combine romance and thriller/crime material, so hats off to you for doing so in a relatively balanced way. I really enjoyed reading this!

My criticisms are mainly that sometimes the characters' thoughts, intentions, experiences, and especially feelings are not directly shown to the reader in scenes that could be powerful and effective to the reader, but they are instead "laundry list"ed in paragraph summaries (generally after time leaps) or are expressed through intensive dialogue. So I would say a lot of the focus of the final draft should be on increasing the connection between the reader and the events and characters of the story. I know this is third person, but the narration doesn't have to be quite as distant as it is. I truly believe the story (and especially the emotional impact of the story) would greatly benefit from pulling the lens a bit closer towards the characters and their thoughts, feelings, motives, and senses.

But overall, great job! This is the first story I've felt motivated to complete on Fictionpress in a long, long time, and I really can't wait to read more of your work! All the best to you in the revision and publishing stages. It's been a pleasure!
boggs chapter 29 . 5/15/2017
And so the nightmare finally ends for these two! I'm so glad, and I can't wait to read the epilogue and see them get married!

I will save my final thoughts on the story for the epilogue, but I just want to say it's been a pleasure reading this story, and I really love these characters and am so proud of them for overcoming their many obstacles!
boggs chapter 28 . 5/12/2017
That ending definitely took me by surprise-doubly! I was so anxious that Amy was about to get hurt, and I'm so glad that Lira cracked him over the head. There's something so satisfying about that. Now I hope they can have their wedding in peace!

As for the writing, there were some moments I think you could work on to strengthen the prose. I know you are fond of taking dramatic time leaps (sometimes weeks at a time), and this can be appropriate, but sometimes I think it takes away from the emotion of the story. What I'm thinking of specifically is the moment where Amy is thinking about how she hates that Lira has to find a wedding dress that hides her scars. If this were an independent scene told from Lira's perspective, it would be very powerful.

I also think that instead of just saying that Amy has gotten more and more devastated and realized she needs a psychiatrist, it would be helpful to actually have her have these moments where she breaks away from reality right in the middle of the prose. In writing, action is more important than words (as paradoxical as that may sound).

As for the story itself, I'm really loving the direction it's taking, and I'm so glad that Lira and her mom have made up. I do wonder about Lira's dad, though. Is that something that would be addressed here, or will it be a sequel-type thing? I guess I will find out.

Keep up the great work!
boggs chapter 27 . 5/8/2017
This was a very sweet chapter, and I'm so glad that (finally!) Lira is returning to her previous self. I like them so much better when they are happy and unafraid!

I also really liked the last moment, where Amy tells Lira about her feelings. I think it's beautiful. The one note I would add is that (perhaps during revision), you go through the previous chapters and make those emotions more apparent. If the Lira abduction chapters were also that moving, I think the story would be even more effective.

And as a side note, the beginning two paragraphs read more as summary than prose. Character traits (such as Amy not being an adventurous person) should be displayed and not simply stated by the narrator. This is minor, however, in the scope of things, and I really thought this was a lovely chapter, and I just want to say again how much I love both of these characters.

Keep up the great work!
boggs chapter 26 . 5/8/2017
Apologies for the delay! I didn't get the update...

As for the chapter, I think it doe s a good job of showing Amy's interactions with her coworkers and her relief at being able to be back at work (at least temporarily). I think there could have been more description in the Luis and Wheeler scene, simply because it's a little too dialogue-heavy. I know most crime novels try to filter out those types of details, but I think they are important for building the scene.

And I do hope they have fun in Costa Rica!
boggs chapter 25 . 4/29/2017
I liked this chapter, as well, though I am crushed that Lira's had all her progress undone. I really hope this new killer has limited connection with the old one, but I have a feeling the story is going to take another dark turn.

As for style, this chapter continues a recent upward trend, but their was one sentence I would rework: "Amy looked like she was really considering it."

This feels a little too "description-y." I think saying something like "Lira watched as Amy scrunched up her face, and she could tell Amy was thinking about it" or some variation would be better. It's great to let the characters express their emotions themselves through their words and actions. Sometimes it is a good idea to let the narrator take a backseat. It can keep your prose from becoming too dry.

But all in all, a great chapter, and I'm looking forward to the next updates!
boggs chapter 24 . 4/29/2017
I found this chapter to be better at showing the character's thoughts and actions. The more I read, the more the introspection and attention to intimate detail grows

I'm glad it was just a possum outside! I hope it just goes to show them both that not everything that appears dangerous is. I want them to be able to relax and enjoy themselves, especially during their trip to Costa Rica!
boggs chapter 23 . 4/25/2017
This chapter, from start to finish, was also much better! Just the way it starts with the dialogue and pulls us in as if we are witnessing an intimate conversation between the two is nice, and I really love that Lira is finally "over" (at least in part) her ordeal.

I think there was one part in here that was particularly beautiful-the part about Amy healing Lira's wounds and making her whole again. The concept is really beautiful and touching.

I really love this, and I can't believe I'm caught up. Now I'll just have to wait for every update. lol Keep up the great work!
boggs chapter 22 . 4/25/2017
I love this chapter. The beginning is great, and it really pulls the reader into the scene. We know how Amy and Lira are feeling about this really tense moment, and this tension is kept really all throughout, which is really nice. I hadn't even thought about the pregnancy thing, but that would be awful if she were pregnant. Even then, I'm sure she would be a great mother, and if she decided not to have an abortion, she could still give the baby up for adoption. You know, I really hate that Jared guy. lol

I also liked the last scene because it feels really sweet, and I can really see Amy's protectiveness and care for Lira. Nicely done.
boggs chapter 21 . 4/24/2017
You know my biggest "complaint" is always that some parts can feel a little more like a laundry list of information instead of showing us the characters' emotions. But this chapter was much, much better, especially from the first line to the the line "She was safe here."

In that section, we get so many intimate and personal details about Lira, and we see the story through her perspective. There was one part I particularly loved. "Petrichor. That was the name of the smell. She wondered if Amy knew that."

Just that small detail "She wondered if Amy knew that" is so important and adds so much depth and quality to the writing here. In fact, this section stands out in such contrast with the way you've written similar scenes in other chapters, that it took me off guard. THIS is what you should strive for in your writing. Really, great job.

Now on to the story... I hate that Jared guy even more knowing what he did to her in detail! I'm glad Lira had the strength to fight back and not succumb to all of his demands. She's such a hero, and is, frankly, a great and inspirational character.

Keep up the great work!
boggs chapter 20 . 4/24/2017
I love how motherly Rebecca is, and I hope the ring is something Lira would like!

And I feel really apprehensive about this other killer. I'm at the point where I don't care if he kills anyone else, I just don't want him to touch Lira or Amy. Those poor girls have gone through enough, and it's so sad what Lira's having to go through.
boggs chapter 19 . 4/24/2017
I really love the closing scene to this chapter. I can really feel the way Lira loves Amy, and I could also feel in this chapter how ashamed she felt. Of course, I don't like feeling that way, but I'm glad the writing was able to convey it.

I do wonder if Lira will ever meet with her mom! It would be interesting.

Keep up the great work!
boggs chapter 18 . 4/23/2017
So there's a competition... I hope it doesn't extend to Amy or Lira! I'm just now feeling like Lira is safe, and if someone comes and ruins that...

I think this chapter was an improvement over the last one, and I think it did a little more to actually show Amy's feelings. For example, instead of just listing them, we got to see her dialogue and her running through the hallways. These actions convey to the reader how she is feeling without the narrator having to dump a bunch of information on the reader.

Great job!
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