Review of "Children of Chaos," parts 1-5 (NaNoWriMo)
So I'm writing this review, keeping in mind that this is a work in progress and it's part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), so my "deeper" critiques will be saved until it's all finished up.
Read the story now
Overall, it's an engaging story that--if you look past the bits that need polishing and editing because it's a first draft, people--should prove to be a solid addition to the fantasy genre in time. Avatars of the gods who made the world are called to retrieve keys and fulfill a quest to save the world, but (as usual) mortal politicking and emotions cloud the divine plan.
Some random notes for you, reading tasha:
+ Prologue: I'm enjoying your set up of the world, especially Ereb. Favorite line would be "And Ereb fled before the light, but he smiled, for he was no longer alone." He'll be an interesting character and possible antagonist/anti-hero type later, I bet. My only concern here is that you have the three first god/desses emerging from chaos at times--which is Ereb. So is he their father? And why is chaos bad, and why must it flee before the light?
+ 1st & 3rd chapters: Second person POV combined with past tense feels... it's off-putting for a reader. I don't especially enjoy being told what to do, and the combination of "you" plus past tense--as in, I already did what you're telling me I did, so why are you telling me?--creates a tension between you as the writer and us as the reader. Used deftly, this could be a powerful tool, but used as it is now (in its rough draft state), it feels a bit like a make-your-own-adventure story gone wrong. I'm offered no choices, no chance to explore. Try either putting this into first person ("I") or third ("she," I'd guess), OR using present tense in combination with the second person POV ("you walk to the door" vs "you walkED to the door"--former is suggestion and latter is current state), to see how it changes the mood/tone/atmosphere/progression of the story.
+ Grammar note: If you have a piece of dialogue ending in a question, there's no need for a comma (e.g., <"Did you go to school?" she asked> vs <"Did you go to school?", she asked>). All dialogue punctuation should also be inside the quotation marks (e.g., <"I went to school," she said> vs <"I went to school", she said>). Also, generally speaking, pronouns are not capitalized directly following dialogue UNLESS the dialogue properly ends with a period and a new line of action/thought begins as a separate sentence. (An example would be something like <"I went to school," she said> vs <"I went to school today, Grandma." She shook her head, confused. "Why do you ask?"> See the difference? :D)
+ When you go back to edit this draft, consider starting the story at "1st memory," with some woven exposition from "1st chapter" integrated, instead of at 1st chapter itself. I find myself reading 1st memory more easily and understanding what's going on better than wading through 1st chapter.
+ I'm confused about the universe in terms of clothing. Is this a parallel world to our own? If so, would they be wearing the styles found here? Sweatpants, jeans, hoodies--those are all extremely modern pieces of clothing. Every time you describe what someone's wearing, it jolts me out of the story--not due to the description, but because they seem incongruous with the world you've built.
+ Dark walking is a fascinating world structure, and I'd love to hear the story of how she "accidentally" discovered her ability to do so--though that's not a power I would traditionally/stereotypically associate with children of the sun.
+ I think you need to give Kyra's companions greater motivation to go on the quest with her. She's not exactly been welcoming or charming, and from her own monologue, the quest is her redemption--doesn't really have anything to do with the other characters.
+ You also might want to make Kyra more sympathetic as a heroine. Give me a reason to root for her, or at least make me be entertained by her and her mystery. She's been a bit too melodramatic in the intro for my taste--but then, I have the same issue with my own characters. ^^;
My absolute *favorite* part about your story is the different ways the same tale can be retold in different areas. I look forward to seeing the different interpretations--and maybe even the prologue isn't entirely true! Gotta love the unreliable narrator-characters.