Reviews for Scorpio
noveltealover chapter 3 . 11/28/2021
Heya, FT! Ah, it's been a hot minute but I'm back. Yay, the end of the month has arrived so a new chapter of Scorpio is here. And ~7k words to boot, so time to delve in :D Hahah, I dunno how to play poker either, but it always seems like serious business when the stakes are high in movies lol. Song of the Day/Chapter: Poker Face. Iconic song. I might as well listen to the rest of The Fame album while I'm at it for the nostalgia. The Fame Monster is still my all-time fave album by Lady Gaga tho :)

Claren receiving a suspicious letter in his locker? Must be from Zirconia *frowns* Oh wow, I didn't know about anthrax mail but I looked it up and saw you were referencing a historic event occurring in the US back in 2001 :O I learnt something new today. Oof, making me wonder about Claren's past since he seems worried whatever happened in the past is gonna rear its ugly head and come back to haunt him. Maybe something bad he had said and it was caught in a recording? Altho, don't mind me making some guesses on the tiniest of things lol. Since the Listerine mouth wash seems kinda like the idiom of rinsing someone's mouth if they had a potty mouth or something lol. Ooh, I like the reference to T.S. Eliot's poem, The Hollow Men, with the 'This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper' line. I've seen it quoted in novels before :)

Hehe, I like the contrast in Ari and Xanexa's attire with her wearing lime green today and Xanexa in a dark hoodie. I'd like to think Ari is going to be the splash of colour in Xanexa's life. Hah, the last thing anyone could mistaken Ari for is an airhead, and if people were to judge so quickly based on someone's clothing, those are some people best avoiding.

[Everyone tells you to "put yourself out there!" But most proverbs were easier said than done... Reeling in a new acquaintance was similarly difficult as as result of social inertia and the frictions of anxiety.] Same, Ari, same aha. I love all her casual math analogies. They're second-nature to her hehe and cements her character as a math whiz, so you've done a great job in showing this aspect of her and not just stopping at her being in advanced math classes with seniors.

Aww, Ari comparing Xanexa's voice to "wintry wind". So poetic. I'd gather she must also enjoy reading poetry considering Claren recalling a specific line in the last scene. Awwh, we can see how fascinated Ari is by Xanexa and xyr's artistic talent (lol, me too). And she's possibly developing a lil crush on Xanexa. Ooh, age difference confirmed now. So, xe's a senior. Hmm, you did say the age gap wasn't significant, but I assume if there's any romance happening between them at all, either Ari will be a year or so older or the romance doesn't come to the forefront for a long while... or this could be just a platonic friendship between them? I'm down for any option either way. I dunno if you can comment on the romance unless it might be spoiler-ish? Honestly tho, if I were her at that age, I'd prob be overwhelmed too with the soul-searching gaze and a lil smitten ahaha. LOL, Ari being eager to see xyr's art: [Xe took the sketchbook and carelessly flipped it around so I could save my neck from turning into the Human Neck Pretzel.] Lol, students rubbing the shoes of the school founder's statue reminds me of how you'd rub the laughing Buddha's belly for good luck xD

Ooh, so, xe can draw a person's face from memory with utmost accuracy. (If you've heard of or read The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson, Xanexa's skills reminds me of one of the main characters with a similar talent. :P) haha, Xanexa as an Einstein Picasso as dubbed by Ari. Xe may very well be. ;P I'm liking Xanexa more and more hehe, even if xe is shrouded in a complete mystery right now. LOL, Ari's description of this is too accurate: [Xe was one fully garrisoned puzzle box—a fortress surrounded by a crocodile-infested moat, its drawbridge permanently pulled up and flaming arrows notched into taut crossbows.] Hopefully, one day that moat will lower and Ari could cross as she and xe get to know each other better :)

Man, good thing P.E. was no longer mandatory after ninth grade, at least it was for me. So, you just gotta survive another year of P.E., Ari and then you're outta the woods. Aww oh no, she got smacked in the face by a basketball. D: Those injuries are never fun. *grimace* Despite the tiny typo I noticed, this line still cracked me up when Ari's talking about Ned LOL: [Those kids can take shove their thetas up their asinine arcsin's.] Ofc, the coach doesn't discipline those boys for intentionally aiming at Ari ugh. Ned most likely receiving orders from the 'higher-up' students, no doubt, Zirconia and Killian. *angry emoji* and he has the audacity to inform Ari he'd have to mark her as absent after she asks to visit the nurse's office for an injury? How awful to have a coach like that at a prestigious school too and not be showing concern for their students. I hope the rest of Ari's teachers are not callous like that.

After P.E., thankfully she's able to get an ice pack for the bruise. I hope Ari's wrong about Rosalie and this junior is really looking out for her since I assume Ari's prob one of the youngest students enrolled or taking classes with seniors? And not Rosalie being like her mentor only so it'd look good on her resume or something. Ooh the mention of the fugitive. That must be Xanexa...

Aww, Ari's dream (I'm assuming rather than a memory) about Katrina? Aww, I hope these dreams aren't the cause of her insomnia, which I think I recall her having from the first chapter. But this does make me suspect further on Katrina's absence in the story, so something bad must've happened to her. So, Ari wakes up almost at 3 am after the dream and makes the [Well, there goes the rest of the evening.] comment. Hmm, altho it's 3 in the morning, not sure if it should still be considered as nighttime/early morning rather than evening? Just something I noticed.

Oof, the following day when Ari made the mouth rinsing joke and Claren reacted to her comment at the bus stop. And he was about to swear till Ari stopped him, so hmm, this is some supporting evidence that he does swear and it ties back to the letter in the first scene. LOL the Les Misérables and The Princess Bride references here hehe. (I haven't read either classic lit lol but loved the film adaptations/musical for Les Mis. If there's a The Princess Bride musical out there... I'm unaware of it).

Awwh, Xanexa's concerned when xe notices Ari's face first thing during Calc class. Huh, it led into an interesting segway on the talk of heaven and hell afterwards. Ooh Ari did have a point about everything having an opposite. Cue my favourite line/paragraph I need to quote for this chapter: ["I used to think that, too," xe said. "Until I stopped trying to find a place that was absent of evil and instead [...] learned to embrace the asymmetry that's inherent in the universe."] Yup, I'm just like Ari in the final paragraph of this scene where she's of describing how in awe she is of Xanexa hehe.

Now onto the last major scene this chapter with the dinner party. Lol! Ari summing up high school parties in a few sentences: [We were packed like sardines. Sweaty, grinding sardines.] to the going around saying 'hi' to everyone at the party and then finding a corner to sit (as the person being dragged to the party by their friend and not knowing anyone). Ooh, I shoulda guessed Poker Face would be referring to Ari here. At first, I guessed it might've been Xanexa before xe and Ari began talking to each other. Makes sense Ari would be good at poker. I never took the course but my uni offered an elective about poker to study the math and probability theory involved and I heard from classmates at the time that they'd play poker in class lol.

Oh no, Xanexa getting beaten up by a group of guys. Aww, Ari comparing herself to human SPAM if she tried to be a hero and intervene (especially for someone of her size and age who wouldn't be able to physically win against a group of males). But it's a good thing she quickly makes a call while keeping herself out of view from the guys and they all made like a tree and left after Xanexa kicked their asses, heck yeahh. But aww, when Ari felt the scars on xyr's wrists/forearms... ahh I hope it's not what I think it is? :'( I should be like Ari and not jump to any conclusions…. At least, Xanexa seems to not be too injured from those thugs and xe's okay if xe's able to give Ari a smile and flash her a peace sign like to reassure her? What an ending to the chapter. LOL, I love how your second a/n is a peace sign to readers just like Xanexa to Ari. Yup, like peace out for now till the next month's update. *cries*

Anyway, wonderful chapter as always, FT. Till next month then and looking forward to what happens next! :D
Princess Spider Lily chapter 1 . 11/16/2021
An intriguing first chapter. There's a good amount of mystery surrounding this "artist" character, and it'll be interesting to see how his life intersects with Aurora's. Also, the imagery is very strong.

I'm a sucker for desert settings. I absolutely love the desert, or at the very least the idea of it, so the backdrop of the first chapter being Nevada is already a huge plus for me! When I visualise the story, I can see it having a touch of the Weird Western. Sort of like a Tarantino movie (without the outlandish violence, of course :p). I hope that makes some semblance of sense haha.

Anyhow, I wish you all the best with your publishing efforts!
noveltealover chapter 2 . 11/6/2021
Hey, FT! Okie, I'm back, and will get to those PMs later, but just wanted to drop my thoughts first. :) Yay, another reference to some lyrics at the start of the chapter. Demons is a great song.

Ooh love the visuals and contrast with Ari's like splash of colour in her chosen outfit of bright pink (maybe bubblegum or cotton candy pink hehe) with her matching makeup and her pop-art backpack contrasting to the gray, bleak tones of her neighbourhood and the houses. ["Urban decay—much more appealing as a cosmetics brand than in reality."] LOL, true. And yes, make a statement, Ari anyway you can! Anything to express some individuality at school which speaking of, dress code must be strict despite no student uniforms if they even ban skinny jeans oof. I get maybe ripped jeans tho lol. And heheh, love how you just effortlessly add in like Ω and cardinality to describe Ari's grandma's choices of TV shows which is giving hints of Ari's strong proficiency and interest in math. The moment I read cardinality, it reminded me of vector spaces and my linear algebra classes in freshman year of uni xD

Aww, a bit of background about Ari's parents. So that's why she's living with her grandma if her parents are away most of the year for their jobs, but hm, I think Ari's mom has left instead? And I love this: [Funny how two points look really close on a map, and the miles that separate them don't really register until you start plodding along the route that Google Maps has highlighted in blue, and you realize how huge the world is. Then, you start wondering if you'll ever get there. If you'll ever see that person again."]

Ooh cool, the school mascot is a golden stag. I don't know if you play video games or are familiar with Fire Emblem, but I just thought of like Fire Emblem: Three Houses where one of the houses is a Golden Deer hehe. xD My high school mascot was a jaguar and my uni's mascot was a horse... lol.

Ah, Ari's childhood friend, Claren! So then he must be the guy from the end of last chapter (and you clarified in your PM that he's not the artist :P). Cool, so Claren does wrestling. Is it one of the school's popular sports like if it were football or hockey elsewhere for example? ["He was toned from all his wrestling training, but not in that head-turning, heart-swooning, hot-body way that magnetizes fangirls like iron filings."] LOL. Words from a true bestie, especially with someone you grew up with. xD Ari and Claren are so comfortable with each other and it shows from like the casual conversation with Claren grimacing thinking of math lool to ooof, his casual line to Ari of like 'win a million bucks and then marry you' and she laughs it off. xD But hmm, is their other best friend, Katrina? There seems to be some implication that something must've happened to her near the end of the first scene when Claren trails off about Katrina and there's talk of evidence. :O But now I'm kinda nervous since from your story summary, there's a talk of a best friend's death (possibly Katrina's?) and while we just met Claren (I like him a lot already ahah), so I hope nothing bad happens to him. :c

Ooh, next scene where Ari describes the typical high school ecosystem of the different kinds of cliques and such and ahah the hierarchy does compare well with royalty, since Ari and Claren attend a prestigious academy. Staglight Academy does sound cool tho. And LOL, love Ari's general descriptions and thoughts of the seniors, Killian and Zirconia (ngl, her name is so cool tho lol! Maybe her parents didn't want to name her Diamond or something hah...). Ooh, the next scene here with the seniors though and oh no, sounds like they're talking about Katrina and worried Ari might find out what they did? *angry emoji* And aackk, no don't bring Claren into your malicious schemes, Zirconia. *shakes fist*

Whoa, so they dissect cats in science class. I only had to dissect the usual frogs and rats in bio, and even then I couldn't really stomach it cuz I just felt so icky having to take the creature apart even if they were dead haha. So I'd def fail that class if I attended the academy since I wouldn't be able to dissect anythin, let alone a cat. And neat how you refer to the teacher as a 'conniving wolf' cuz they'd just really be putting out the cats in jars out on display like that for students to see *shudder* and the next line of "The better to air out the formaldehyde, my dear." GAG, indeed! xD

Omg, Ari meets a new student in calc class. Possibly the artist? (Would that make sense? Lol, my constant guessing game). Whoops, I think I might've referred to the artist as 'he/him' last chapter, so will correct my proper pronoun usage in this one with 'xe/xyr'. So cool to see some inclusivity and rep with neopronouns :) Ohh, yup, the first eye contact. Crucial. Love this: ["When I sat down, icy, keen, pale blue eyes hit me with a penetrating glare. I felt a shiver of fire, like the burn of dry ice, scorch my bones, and I had the eerie sensation that the entire history of my soul had been laid bare and digested in a single snapshot.] and adore this other line: ["Yet, from the moment I saw xyr, I knew that xe was a caged spirit—a gnarled tree bent under the wind, a phoenix frozen in a sheet of ice, an Arctic wolf dappled by the penumbral shadows of primordial evergreens, stealthily running under the indigo glow of Pluto's moonlight."] This is so beautiful and poetic aahhh. (I wish I could write prose like that LOL, but descriptions are not my forte.) ANd ajdglsd omg wait, you confirmed it as I read further in the scene and xyr's pencil transformed into a silver scorpion wrapped around xyr's ear. Hmm, so the artist escaped imprisonment and is now attending Ari's school somehow, or maybe xyr was previously attending and Ari's just meeting xyr for the first time? :O Too many questions here and xyr's prob not that much older than Ari. She's a freshman/underclassman, so I'm guessing maybe 14-15 years old? Oh, we find out xyr's name this chapter so no waiting in suspense, yay! So, it's Xanexa :) I 100% whole-heartedly agree with Ari's thoughts on the last line to this chapter hehe. The first initial encounter/Ari's first impression did not disappoint. :3 Hm, I wonder if the lyrics you selected from the song, Demons, is possibly alluding to Xanexa? :O But, it's fun guessing and seeing how snippets of songs you place at the beginning alludes to something within the chapter.

Ooh, your a/n! Anagrams yess. Those are always cool. :D Anyway, I'll def have to play around with Xanexa's name and see what names come up. :P Aside from novels you listed regarding characters and anagrams/pseudonyms, it kinda reminds me of one of my fave video games (Kingdom Hearts) where there's like an organization of people in which all their names are anagrams of their real name except an 'X' is included. It's how I came up with (well, a shortened version) of my name too that online friends call me by xD Ah, I'm going on a tangent now, so wrapping up my thoughts here. A great conclusion and till your next update, FT! Looking forward to seeing where the story goes! ;D
noveltealover chapter 1 . 10/30/2021
Hii again, FT.

Okay, the humour in your A/Ns always crack me up. Love them xD But aww, I can imagine the querying for agents is tough, but I'm wishing you all the good luck and sending good vibes in your publishing endeavours. And the most important thing is to never give up so I'm glad you decided to share some of your works even as you currently work on the traditional publishing route. I guess the silver lining in all this despite the manuscript rejects is that it led you to write Scorpio after The Green Binder. Hahah, Mamma Mia is def a film that'll boost your serotonin levels ahah. Musicals do that to you. :D LOL, I whole-heartedly agree about the music of the 2010s being loads better than today whoops. xD

Aww yay, so we get to see the full extent of your storytelling skills here in a lengthy chapter as opposed to the short scenes of The Green Binder. And so this fic will be ~80K words. That's 80K of content to look forward to :D Ooh, is this like some crossover or multiverse where you got your characters appearing in different stories and settings since we see Aurora and mentions of a Miss Catherine? And you got song lyrics quoted too which I love seeing in fic! And Carrie Underwood's 'Blown Away' nicely fits and foreshadows the sort of atmosphere of the chapter with the tornado ahah. As always, I love your prose and the vivid descriptions. My fave lines here just to simply describe a person sketching and blowing remnants of graphite off the page are: ["A head bent over the table surface, and a mouth blew gently over loose grains of graphite. Charcoal-colored dust skimmed the sheet of paper and dissipated into the air, twinkling briefly before extinguishing like nano-sized stars on the verge of death."] Like whoa. And ahh, it's a sketch of the scorpion that we saw from Aurora's dorm (and possibly dancing with a ballerina later on ahah?) I'm loving these tiny references between your works. And the artist's pencil transformed into a scorpion! I'm wondering if that's like some futuristic technology going on here or hmm if the scorpion is sentient and is like the artist's companion? And the artist has been imprisoned for who knows how long, but they must be important since after the alarms sounded and there were orders not to kill them so they're wanted alive at the very least. The blurb mentions sketches coming to life so maybe whoever has the artist imprisoned wants them for that skill? :O

And now we see Aurora here with the shift in POV! Loving her humour and it's reminiscent of her personality in The Green Binder. So, I guess my question is if she's the one and the same Ari from The Green Binder? xD But she's getting the tornado warnings on her phone already so hopefully the tornado at the prison is far, far away from her home or she has shelter to withstand the tornado in passing. But ooh, sounds like very unusual weather now if it's January and there's tornadoes in Nevada. I like how in a few sentences you already establish that she's a caring person and her first instinct is to find her grandma after the phone alert to make sure she's safe. And lol! It probably comes with age with people being able to sleep through anything. Aww, they can't go anywhere in their home and there's no basement so all they can do is huddle together with the quilt draped over their shoulders.

Ooh, the closing scene here with the young man. I'm assuming he's the sketch artist escapee? Makes me curious how long he's been locked away if he returned as a 'free person'. I like how you describe his reluctance and perhaps fear, since I think he has returned home, but is afraid to enter and seek refuge even with the threat of the ongoing storm?

Anyway, great first chapter, FT and I'm intrigued to read more. :D Tons of questions have already started forming in my head about the artist and Aurora (which I think from your blurb, she's the desert-town math whiz hehe?). I feel like I just gotta be patient and keep on reading to find out what happens ahah. Can't wait to see their first encounter. Until next time, which I hope to get to your next chapter soon-ish. :))
Emoddess chapter 1 . 10/3/2021
Hi! I finally got around to reading your new story and I'm excited. I love romance hehe but I rarely read sci-fi, so this is one of the few ones that I'm making an exception to. And I'm really hooked on this already.

I'm gonna address your A/N first and say it's awesome that you're planning on getting your stories published! It's tough that's for sure but I hope you won't be dissuaded from working at it. I heard many successful writers had their earlier manuscripts rejected, but that's one of the recipe to keep getting better, so wishing you the best in your endeavour :D Next, I was thrilled to know that you plan this story around 80K words which means it's gonna have more chapterrs! Thankfully there are good songs are out these days too although I agree with you that the past era...those 2010s, yeah they had much better songs! I'm thinking about those genre I used to listen to, man, good times. I took a peek at the Green Binder's first chapter and I'm grinning but also nodding at your creative warning. Still, it's nonetheless true and I hope people will heed that and not take advantage of other people's stories *angry emoji*

I best get into my thoughts on your story 'cause there's actually a word limit to reviews (I just found out a while back) so yeah. I can't say much since I haven't read the Green Binder but I saw "To Miss Catherine" here, and I'm assuming either Ari (saw her name in the summary) is the one recounting this tale, or Aurora (she has such a pretty name too) is the one recounting this BUT ANYWAYS, I'm gonna dive in now, for real:

I LOVE THIS FIRST CHAPTER. It's mysterious yet engaging and as someone who loves imagery descriptions, I'm in love with how you write them. It felt like I was watching a movie. I was hooked on every word, slowly peeling away layers of information beautifully - it's like art, which is ironic because writing fiction is also another form of art... the art within an art. Yeah, I think I lost myself in a maze there for a bit but what piqued my interest throughout is how you accentuate these little details like you were scrutinising them under a magnifying glass. For e.g. those lines about the artist blowing away the graphite, charcoal-coloured dust/nano-sized stars. It felt pretty poetic. The way you describe the artist on his strokes in illustrating something (What is it?) so precise and clearly, to describing his physical self (but not entirely, like a tease) is a nice perspective/angle to read from. Considering this is the first chapter, I say this is a really good intro - like a prequel haha. Also I thought there were 2 people in the cell 'cause one perspective gave an image of the artist, and another voice spoke. I knew there was only the artist but that made me doubt myself temporarily. And then when the pencil morphed into the titanium scorpion? Whoa. And he basically unlocked those shackles using that technology! It reminded me of an actual spanner but like *sci-fi* heheh. It's cool but also terrifying. I'm curious why the guard thought in this way, tho:

"The guard stared into blank space, lying beyond the Earthly blankness of the cell. How many hours had it been already? He tried to remember. Boy, these godd(amn) artists sure take their lousy a(ss) time..."

Is there a reason why the guard couldn't utter the full words in his mind? Why the censor? Like would they be found out by some telepathic authority or something? I'm probably getting ahead of myself here lol. Back to the artist! Does he have a supernatural ability to call on a tornado, or are these mother nature disasters drawn to him? How dangerous is he, if at all 'cause to these people, he seemed to be perceived as a threat :O Also how did he ended up here? I'm brimming with curiosity with questions about him haha, and I hope this will be delved more later. Also this brief sentence is nice to read and imagined as well, although the context is horrifying. I mean that I like the use of "gnashes of metals" and "gashes of lightning" - it's a pretty twist of words in a sentence.

And now we meet the female lead who is Aurora and ah, so she's 14. I'm usually used to reading YA characters aged 18 in fiction so I automatically assumed as such but oh gosh she's so young, so I wonder what's her role in this sci-fi story. Also how old is the artist, is he of similar age as her? Or maybe this story will have a time-skip and showing them as older teens? AND OH GOSH. Something just clicked in me sdjsldjslj I forgot to talk about your enigmatic but intriguing summary and I think there's some answers here: OKAY SO WHAT THE ARTIST HAS BEEN DRAWING IS EITHER A TORNADO OR THE SCORPION-SPANNER? 'Cause "...and pencil sketches that look so real they could come to life." *GASPS* I think this might be it, or something along the lines...

I like how we already know some things about Aurora: she's pretty much an insomniac which is partially telling of her character already, she's caring, she gets kinda distracted (in the first few lines about turning over) and she has a little of a dark, and dry humour. I chuckled and grinned again at some of them, including this (not dark, but at least dry):

"The cartographers must have been having a field day when they were going around dishing out names to these places in the Wild West." LOL it shows how she thought it's ridiculous not comprehending how people came to named these places. Is there a specific year to this setting, though? I'm imagining a cross of some pop culture movie settings but they're likely not accurate...maybe it's just a different AU hmm. I wonder who Katrina is: seemed like they were close before something happened :O Oh yeah I'm just grateful that I am exposed to more vocabularies here, I'm always happy to improve on my lexicon and I came across some that I wasn't familiar nor had any idea IS A WORD haha, so thanks!

Lastly, he's there omgg. So this is where they would first meet! I like how the first half of the story is an omniscient point of view when setting the scene and information about the artist, before going to 1st POV for Aurora, and while it's back to the omniscient POV, I like that I'm now getting to know a bit what he thinks or feel; shivering, palms clammy and he wondered why Aurora and her granny was still there. Also those next sentences - he's becoming more of a person with some character and depth from just a 2D subject coming into the scene. But oh no, those last parts: Unable to move, ice running in his veins, cottons filled his mouth etc. Either he is an artificial human or those are just figurative descriptions in explaining how he felt after running for miles and possibly used some of his powers. Anyway, these descriptions are spot on to evoke a sense of feeling or images to connect to.

All in all, I really enjoyed and am hooked to this story already, so I'll be following and favouriting it! As I said before, I usually don't read sci-fi since it's not my cup of tea, but this is now an exception. I can't wait to see how this story will unfold. Keep up the excellent work, Folding Turtles! :D