Graptopetalum

Calgary

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A Story Well Traveled

Only read the first chapter but I may read more as this is intriguing. I'm not sure about the use of the present tense. It's unusual but it may add to the somewhat uncomfortable feeling you seem to be going for. There may be a better way to start, it's good to have a hook at the beginning. It's clear we're in some strange world although not your classic medieval fantasy type world. There's a combination of the familiar and the weird. Your descriptions are very vivid.

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First two chapters

A future dystopian story. A lot of information. People don't like being given information - if you have stuff happening without an explanation, they don't like it, if you explain stuff they complain about info dumps. If you drop in information as it becomes relevant, they complain about it breaking up the action. The first chapter is mostly info dump. Should try to spread this information out a lot more.

A story really starts when the main character(s) decide to something difficult and ends when they succeed or definitely fail. However you need some preamble to explain the situation but the first two chapters are all preamble. I don't know what the main character's main objective is. I would suggest you start where things get exciting and flash back to other stuff if needed.

This could be a good story but the opening needs a re-think.

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Prologue and first chapter

I only read the prologue and first chapter. Therefore I don't know where the storie's going or how cleaver the plot is or if the author has been sneaking in Chekhov's guns.

I'm not a fan of writing in the present tense. Perhaps there are some cases where this is good but I'm not sure this one of them.

Calling the two groups "Ebonies" and "Ivories" doesn't really sit right with me. As the main character is both, I guess we're going for some anti-racist message. These group names are bit obvious, or are being mislead here? They clearly look different, but we're not told what they look like (I had an early version a "Tales of Midbar" story critted once and people really didn't like me having different races but not describing them) and seem to very rarely interbreed. The rarity of interbreeding would suggest that either these groups have only come into contact recently or have some biological barrier to interbreeding, which would make them different species rather than races. People don't normally refer to people of mixed race as "both", perhaps this is something different from interbreeding between species and races (two dominant genes one giving people antlers and the other fur, so Naomi would have fur and antlers or something).

The normal names of the characters would suggest that we're a future version of our world, which makes the Ebonies and Ivories even more puzzling.

I found it strange how Naomi didn't seem to know what the area around her house looked like. It was also odd how she described her parents(?) as "him" and "her". She also seemed to recover very quickly from a horrific trauma. She tells us about different types of trees and wood. Perhaps there are explanations for these things.

I think it's obvious that the disease the children are supposed to have isn't what it appears and doctors are lying to them. If this is going to involve medical technicalities, how well researched is it? I couldn't tell from what I read.

There are also some issues with spelling and grammar.

Might be a good idea but perhaps needs more work.

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Massacring rules?

Absolutely hilarious. This is a very silly comedy and so can get away with breaking normal writing rules. This doesn't so much as break them as massacre them.

This is set in modern day Africa, a setting I don't think I've ever seen used in a fantasy before. Unless the author is a black African, this could lead to accusations of cultural appropriation. Then perhaps that's a rule a silly comedy can ignore and cultural appropriation itself tends to get silly. I admit to knowing more about African plants than African culture so perhaps I'm missing things but this didn't seem to be written by somebody who knew much about Africa. Most glaringly, the main character is described as “gay” but many Africans are either Christians or Muslims and both these religions have issues with homosexuals. There was no sign of homophobia is the villagers and nothing to indicate their religion.

There's a reference to sea monsters including “hens and frangipanis” - frangipanis are plants! I did a quick Google search to make sure and there was nothing about the word being ambiguous. Might be mixing up Plumerias (frangipanis) and Sempervivums (hens and chicks) here. Neither Plumerias nor Sempervivums are native to Africa but they do have some interesting African relatives. Loch Ness monsters aren't native to Africa either (I think) although Africa does have at least one dinosaur-like X creature.

OK, perhaps I shouldn't expect a novel this silly to contain any factual accuracy.

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Hollow's Charge

I've only read the prologue and first chapter. The writing was mostly OK but I didn't find it that gripping or original. Takes a while to get any action, not much had happened by the end of the first chapter but we had set up the apparent main baddie. It would have been better to have a fight or something and then flash back to other stuff if it's needed.

Nit picks:

I know one publisher hates stories that start with somebody waking up.

Red hair is recessive and normally doesn't run in families in obvious ways but fantasy world and perhaps made up genetics.

Ten years is quiet a big age difference, particularly in fairly young people. Perhaps in this culture men normally marry women ten years younger than them.

The situation with Astra seems reminiscent of “Game of Thrones”. I don't think monarchies allow a king's widow to become the monarch. However, there is a similar situation in the Bible where Athalia takes the throne of Judah but she's the mother of the previous king as well as the widow of his predecessor. She's also evil. Of course this is a fantasy world so the rules can be made up.

The whole situation with Rosaleen having to take her mother's place seems awkward but that could work well if it looks like fate won't allow a happy ending.

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Some issues but intriguing

I've only read the first chapter. There were some grammatical problems. Who was the view-point character? If it was the girl or another local, she or he should have known the names of the old man, little girl etc. None of them are named. It didn't really sound as if Cur was the view-point character either.

Seemed to be giving backstory, when the old man spoke of their history but then Cur claimed it wasn't true. Cur seemed overly brutal but perhaps there are reasons for this. I don't think he's a very likeable character, perhaps he gets redeemed or this is understandable if know his, probably horrific story. Is he the villain or the hero or neither? Then the villagers didn't seem very nice either.

Not at all sure where this is going. Not sure if I'll read any more but I am a bit intrigued.

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