D.M. Riddle

Aeronautical engineer who simply loves to read and write.. Follow me @d.marie08 on Instagram for updates.

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A Good Start

We follow Dialla, a young girl transitioning from a human into a sorceress. Faced with the daily obstacle of learning how to control her capabilities in a magical school, she is required to learn by the end how to contribute to a magical community faced with the constant threat of the Extended; an evil organization of sorcerer's and sorceresses who see things in a darker light. However, small twist... she isn't like all sorcerers or sorceresses in this school, displaying a fire seal.

Dialla is a petulant character displaying characteristics of immaturity and impatience. She is not one would expect of a heroine and I am hoping through the series, the reader will have a chance to see her grow into her own. Cast amidst a group of secondary characters, the reader has a chance to see some growth in some of the characters while others need a bit more love. Dimitri and Roselia were two that stood out to having some displayed growth throughout the novel, but other characters felt as if they were introduced if only to perform a certain action to propel the story forward, but weren't seen again. A little love is needed to really flesh those types of characters out. All characters have a purpose and while the purpose was displayed their momentary appearance leaves the reader asking, "Who was that?" "Where did they go?" etc.

Also, remember when creating conversations between adult and child characters, take a breath before writing their responses and questions. Some of the comments made by professors were reminders of things that could be said by Dialla. Differentiate between personalities. I think it will help to show off Dialla a bit more as well or at least bring her forward further as the immature heroine learning as she goes.

The resolution of the story was a good resolution giving the reader a feeling of concluding most of the major events that had happened in the story. Unfortunately, the beginning is not yet at that level having thrust the reader straight into the major change for the MC. A few chapters to pull the reader into what normal life is like for the MC will really help to give the reader a feeling for what is normal and also try to attach the reader to the bond shared between Tracy and the MC. Due to having been thrust into the story so abruptly, the reader fails to feel a bond with the MC and her best friend. When the best friend is pulled back into the story later on, it's more of a... here she is... there she goes... As a reader, I really want to feel the connection between Tracy and the MC.

One last thing I would suggest was intermingling the romance and the major events a bit more. While reading the novel, it felt like the initial focus of the story was just on the fire seal. And then once the fire seal was dealt with... in a manner... the focus became on romance.. And then back to the climax. Try not to focus on one over the other. Mingling the love aspect into the events leading up to the major event is what makes a novel flow and helps avoid chapters that feel like filler chapters. You know which ones I'm talking about haha. Yes, it is nice to see Dialla training, but if there are multiple chapters with just that... you could lose your reader. Perhaps some mix and matching might be helpful? Or perhaps pushing the dealing with the fire seal back a bit instead of at Chapter 13?

Also, I would advise taking out the Harry Potter references. Mostly, it time stamps your novel. You kind of want your book to live on infinitely, if that makes sense. Also, it reminds the reader of what was done before. And Harry Potter was done very well. It's not something a budding author wants.... to create their new work, add in hints of a novel series about a wizard in a magical school into their current novel series about a sorceress in a magical school. Do you see the small issue there haha? You want a reader to feel the uniqueness of your novel. The idea you have is your own. Build off of that. I think it can be really good.

Overall, the novel is a good start into something that can be an intriguing series. I hope to see more of Dialla out in the field going on missions and learning more about how her father became an Extended and what real threats exist in the real world for sorcerers and sorceresses. Wishing you all the luck!

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Loving it so Far

I am writing this review based off of the first seven chapters.

Simply put, I am extremely interested to see where this story goes. The MC is a character easily liked by the reader and her past warrants appropriate sympathies. She has great power and an admirable amount of stubbornness which is entertaining to see reveal itself in her personal belligerence against her mother. At this point in the story, it feels as if everyone is being set up still and the reader is still in the stage of understanding where we are starting in the story and who everyone is in relation to everyone else. Pieces of the plot are leaking through steadily and hints of information are given in well timed areas to keep the reader on the edge of their seat wanting to know more.

There are areas in need of some clean up and a few more pieces of depth to be added, emotions, detailed imagery etc..., but all in all it is a great start to a novel that will surely be fantastic once it is completed. Excited to see where the book goes and what lies in store for our MC and supporting characters. ;)

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Intriguing, beautifully detailed, with some confusion

I decided to write my review now upon the completion of chapter 6 because the amount of notes I've taken have reached 8 pages haha. The chapters that I will be reviewing are the rewritten chapters 1-6.

Alright to start off: upon reading the blurb, no real plot is known. Going into the story, the reader is aware the novel is of the sci-fi/ fantasy genre, but beyond that nothing mentioned in the blurb about what to expect. Chapter 1 opens on a boy exploring a swamp and continuing something he personally, enjoys doing. While it may not be safe or expected of him to do, he is curious of the land and what it out there. This leads up to an important discovery which is the inciting incident of moving the story along. The detail is well thought out from the very beginning. It is clear the author has fleshed this world out completely from top to bottom and if asked a question in a Q & A about any pieces of this world, I'm sure they could answer in depth every time. A job well done on that. It is hard for many authors to completely flesh out everything, but from the beginning it feels like the reader is transported to another world to follow the adventure of this young boy.

The youthful tone of the boy is well captured. He is of 15 years, and from his first words, his first actions, talking to himself... you can tell his youth. A hard thing to capture is age in characters, but this was well shown.

Only thing I could suggest about chapter 1 is splitting this up into two chapters. I could also make this suggestion about all of your chapters because of how long they are. They are exceptionally long and more than once there is an abrupt transition to another location or place. It easily confuses the reader and jolts them from enjoying the story as a whole, but more on that in the next paragraph.

Chapter 2: One moment father and son are discussing ancient power creatures. The next, Killigan is waking up to his village being attacked. It would make sense if there were a chapter split here, but these events occur in back to back paragraphs. There isn't a symbol to indicate a time skip either. Which could also be used if you would like to keep both events in one chapter. Considering the length of each chapter, I would advise splitting them up, but that is your choice.

The fighting scenes need a little more love. When reading the first real fighting scene of the novel, it is told from the perspective of everyone it feels like. It moves from Killigan, to dad. to the berserker, and back again. I understand the need to show how everything is happening, but as a reader, we are like children going into a novel without any information and relying on the author to detail everything in a way that is easily understandable. In the fight scene, the details kept jumping around to try to show who was doing what and when all at the same time. It helps if one PoV is chosen and followed throughout a fighting scene. I would recommend Killigans. When the reader follows the main character of the story through a fight, they become more bonded with the main character, they start to feel for them, and understand their internal thoughts about WTF is happening. Also, the fighting scene feels a little rushed. Don't be afraid to expand on it. There was 1 paragraph for the ambush of Killigan. Pull the reader in more with details. How the berserkers moved into place, how they made noise alerting Killigan that something was going to happen, etc. I will say the next paragraph following was much smoother. I want to feel the rage of the berserker, not just through his words, through the blood lust in his eyes, the hard grip on his weapon, the amped up sounds he's making.

One more thing about this fight, during this fight, it reads as if Killigan is a pro. He's 15 years old. Just found these amazing gauntlets and suddenly, first fight with them, he's a winner, proficient, and walks away without a scratch? If this is his first fight, add some stumbling. Make it more realistic for the reader to connect with a 15 year old using these all mighty gauntlets for the first time. Give him some mistakes to make. Add some running away in there. These berserkers are twice this kids size... why doesn't he run? Why does he just suddenly thing, oh hey come at me bro? Where does his confidence come from?

When Killigan makes his choice to become a pillar, he just says yes and they move on. This is the most important choice this kid could make, the most important choice that happens in this story! Its the choice the ignites everything from here on out. A little more thought and emotion from Killigan would be huge in this moment and will continue to draw the reader in. It also gives the character depth. Also, didn't feel sympathy for him when he left home. Details and further insight into what emotions he is feeling would be extremely helpful. Thus far, Killigan is surface based at most by chapter 3.

Grammar.... Grammar... Grammar. More than once I found grammatical errors. Semi colons were used twice, back to back in the same sentence. Commas were missing. Words weren't capitalized when they started sentences. Run on sentences, etc. Needs some love for grammar.

In chapter 3, there was a great separation of detail vs. the events.

Chapter 4: He's being dragged around by his head and there is no indication what Killigan is feeling. He feels pain, but what are his emotions? We don't really see any indication of panic until he is placed on the table. I'd be panicked if someone grabbed my head and dragged me around. It is a great detail at showing how small Killigan is to the others though. Just some more detail and emotion for Killigan would be welcome. Flesh Killigan out more. What are his hopes? Dreams? Fears? What is he thinking? I've yet to feel connected to this 15 year old boy going through hell in a hand basket to become a great warrior. He is the main character right?

Great detail in creating the over bearing medic. Really felt her personality in the chapter. Enjoyed that and how Levitum has been established as a character. Feels as if they are really coming alive. Which is good. Unfortunately, Killigan is being overpowered by their personalities and overshadowed. I enjoyed reading about the actions of the medic and Levitum more than Killigan and often forgot Killigan was a part of the story he'd become part of the background. If he is the main character, this shouldn't happen. He should always be at the forefront. The reader doesn't know what Killigan's thinking a lot of the time because the author details everything else, It feels the author forgets to keep his main character as part of the story. This happens often in chapters 3-6.

Would love to see Killigan more fleshed out. The author did a great job in the first chapter with Killigan, but all we know is he is a boy mapping out a swamp. As a reader, I want to now what the kid is thinking at all times. He is being placed in new situations continuously; show his thoughts, show his emotions, show everything about this 15 year old boy. Make the reader tear up a bit when he makes the choice to leave his father. Make the reader sit on the edge of their seat, anxious to keep reading to see if he survives the Puwandese. I've yet to feel that anxiety. What I feel, is awe for the world. The author has captured that element of world building excellently. Just need to get the main character fleshed out on the same level, it feels like. The supporting characters have also been fleshed out nicely. And it gives the feeling that Killigan is lagging behind.

There is no separation between when the medic and her assistant at the end of Killigans injection and when Killigan and Levitum have moved on. Would be good to start a new chapter or put a symbol indicating a scene jump. Abrupt transition without it.

Use "very" often in front of adjectives that don't need it. "Very messy" "Very rare" The word "messy" and "rare" are enough on their own to give the imagery needed for the reader to create the scene.

At one point you describe the tone of the drone annoying in general. Who is it annoying to? Annoying can be categorized as an opinion. Some people feel some thing are annoying where others may not see them as the same. This is something where picking a PoV to tell the story would help. As in, it was annoying to Killigan.

Love the detail.
Again the world building is fantastic.

Chapter 5:

I've notice you have some awkward sentences scattered throughout. Ex. "The boy couldn't finish his thoughts that he was thrust forward against a table and fell over." This is a sentence that could be split up into two. "The boy couldn't finish his thoughts. He was abruptly thrust forward against a table causing him to fall over." Try to go back through and see if you can find the other sentences of a similar nature to the one above. The sentences would flow a little smoother if they were split.

You state Killigans never fought before in this chapter. He fought against the berserkers in Chapter 2. Conflicting statements.

Dialogue feels awkward with Killigan and the others in the pod. Take some time to expand on this interaction and smooth it out. Flesh out the relationship between these characters. Don't feel so eager to get on to the action and what's about to happen next. Give a moment for the reader to understand where Killigan is and who he is dealing with in the pod. Create the connection between Killigan and the characters. And follow it up by pulling the reader in to be intrigued by these characters and their actions/ personalities.

"The others but stayed near the pod..." Why is there a but? This happens a few times.

At one point Jeffer trails off with his thoughts during this chapter. Ends on ."..but..." Next paragraph goes into detail and doesn't come back to explain what Jeffer was going to say. Did he just stop talking? Confusing.

Killigan vs. Puwandese.

The scene feels awkward. PoV jumps around again and it is hard to keep track of what is going on. As a reader, I was also confused when he said "Crap.." after he defeated the Puwandese. Why did he say crap? Nothing is coming for him and later he admits he killed the Puwandese, why not grin or be like "oh... hey... wow..." kind of like a revelation for himself?

Details get a little awkward after the first Puwandese attack. Ex. How they hid Killigan when they continued on. Feels like you're trying to detail how and the details are a bit disorganized. Killigans trying to talk to Black. An explosion happens. You detail the Puwandese towering over the two humans nearby. Who are the two humans? Is it Black and Killigan? If so, this is another example of PoV confusion. It would be helpful if you described things from one PoV in this case. Ex.... "Towering over him, a Puwandese leered at Killigan and the semi-unconcious form of Black."

The scene with the magus. I would like to see more emotion from Killigan. The magus connects to the reader easily, fantastic job. But Killigan is just reacting. What are his thoughts? What are his emotions? Give more to the reader. We are after all, following this boy through all of this. Maybe it could help if you detail Killigan forcing himself to leave and him contemplating what might happen next to the magus which is why he didn't want to leave?

Chapter 6:

When Killigan is engulfed in a blue light, the teleportation moment, he takes a moment to examine his surroundings before the sickness occurs. Wouldn't the sickness happen immediately after being teleported?

"He was smiling, excited, and looking to something behind him." It reads awkwardly. Might help to re-examine sentences like this and feel out a different way of saying what you're trying to show.

Watch your tenses. "The behemoth sweeped his arm back...." Should be... "The behemoth swept his arm back..."

During the fight, you tell the reader the consequences that could happen. Don't lay everything out on the table for the reader. Allow your words to create the image and show, allow the reader to do a bit of the imagining themselves. Describe the sweat on their brow. The nervous tick to some of their fingers. The tightened muscles. The jittery gaze. Use that to describe the anxiety they might be feeling to convey the possible consequences.

There is also one moment during the fight you put reaction before action. The pillars and Puwandese stop what they're doing. Then you mention because of explosions. It would read more smoothly to put the action first. "Explosions littered the ground forcing the puwandese and pillars to stop what they are doing."

Another instance you write... "ceased almost instantly the moment..." When you put instantly and the moment together you are reiterating the same thing. Choose "Ceased the moment" or "ceased almost instantly".

"The tower should have paid more attention..." This is another instance where you tell not show. This is a statement the reader can come to a conclusion on their own. Instead of telling the reader what they should be thinking, describe the scene. Focus on the tower reacting to the generator thrown and suddenly finding Slackjaw there on the attack. It is more fun for the reader to come to their own conclusions and think to themselves... "Heh... he should've paid more attention..." You know?

There was another instance where you wrote... "Instead he brought his hammer down, but the tower stood his ground..." But isn't needed because it isn't a contrast or an exception. The one bringing the hammer down is the Puwandese. If it were the tower, it would be different, but you have two subjects here. This is a sentence that could be split into two.

Have you considered capitalizing Pillar and Tower? Both words can be interchangeable with pillar and tower. As in, the pillar is there to hold up the ceiling or he was as tall as a tower. It might help with the confusion for the reader in the case you choose to use pillar and tower in the object sense and not in the sense of titles.

There were a few times I got confused as to who was talking as well. Might help to go back through and give some more detail.

HUGE transition upset when Jeffer is mumbling to himself. I was getting ready to read about this man's mental break on reality and the author ripped that away by transporting us to another place. Take that moment and detail the mental break. Show the reader the difficulties of war. Detail why it is so hard and not everyone can do it. The scene detailing Jeffer's mental break to the reader and Killigan is another huge moment. You touch on it later on, but really get into that scene. It could be a really good one.

Another transition upset when Killigan is talking to the bregu and then he is talking about his life in general. Could be where you start a chapter? A time skip? Something would be helpful there. It is up to the reader to realize the scene has changed mid chapter. It feels awkward.

Oh, and then we skip forward 50 years haha. In the middle of a chapter. This would definitely be a good start to a new chapter. Also, use detail to show Killigans new height. Don't tell us. You started off great with him towering over someone. That is a great sentence to show. But then you say "He's big..." Continue with the first sentence of showing by use of comparison. It was a great start on that.

Question... If 50 years have passed... Does he look 65? Does he look a different age? It would help if you describe that for the reader to understand what kind of man they should be picturing, because at this moment I am picturing my grandpa haha.

Question 2: Have you considered splitting this into 2 novels? One novel to capture his adventures as a 15 year old? And another to show him grown? Or maybe split it into 2 parts?

Okay. So overall, great world building. It is very clear the author has thought through every intricate detail of the world and the people who live within it. I love that. However, it feels that in his excitement of building this world, he loses Killigan. Also, what is the plot? I could be at the point where things are going right and they're about to go wrong again. I thought when Killigan was fighting the puwandese he was about to be placed in the middle of conflict there, but it transitioned to him becoming a bregu and earning his title. Which is nice... but I am curious.... will more problems arise that he has to solve? Guess I will have to continue reading to find out!!

Its a great scifi/ fantasy novel. Really captures both genres. Just needs a little more work. Keep it up!!! I think this can be a great novel with some more work.

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Fantastic Start

The story is wonderful to say the least.. I think you have a great idea on your hands that can develop into something amazing when this book is finished. The scenery is fantastic. When you describe the various scenes, your chapters are filled with vivid detail. Well done with that. I could place myself in the book itself and that is rare for me to find when reviewing novels. The characters are extremely intriguing as well. They are what pull the reader in more so than the plot in the beginning.

There are a lot of good elements in this novel. They feel a bit scattered, but pulling them together is the fun part. Great detail, imagery could use some work. Intriguing characters, excited to see the growth throughout the novel. Some dropped terms that have kept me reading in an attempt of find out more, great sense of keeping the mystery alive. All good things. And now on to why I rated this a 4.

The detail is well described but, one thing I caution, going overboard with the detail. I understand that what you see is what you want to show to the reader and it is very easy to get lost describing in detail what you see in your mind. A good example of this is chapter 2. The majority of chapter 2 feels as if it is detail surrounding the Sondeliers. It drags on a bit, and then the chapter ends with Odium and company arriving. You could get rid of the chapter completely and split the detail up in Chapter 3. Gives something more for the reader to soak up in a chapter instead of 80% detail and 20% conversation. Or perhaps something of interest to happen in Chapter 2. That could also add to your plot perhaps? Chapter 4... great divide of detail and activity. Take that and apply to chapter 2. Fantastic divide between detail and action.. I enjoyed going back and forth, learning about a character and then reading them react or act. Loved. If felt as if things were flowing and I wasn't stuck reading continuously about one thing.

Following with chapter 4, this is more something I was thinking about, I noticed Harold speaks with the chef and they have a small interaction. The chef isn't mentioned in the future. What is the purpose of the interaction? Does it come up later? Does Odium ask about the chef? How do all of the pieces connect? Is it all simply to show how much of a flurry of activity there is in the castle before Odium's arrival? If so, that's great, but I was curious if there was a deeper purpose to all of the character's interactions, even the small ones like the chef, and how they propelled the story forward. In chapter 5, when the archbishop is eating and praising Antonio, a small sentence or paragraph noting a subtle interaction between Antonio and Harold would bring their interaction full circle as an example. Kind of one of those, those two know something the archbishop doesn't. Foreshadowing!!!! A good novel easily changes to a great novel with some foreshadowing!!!

Demeter is shaping up to be a character I will enjoy watching develop from start to finish. I cannot wait to see how he turns out through character growth.

This is more a thought... In chapter 3, Demeter walks in front of the captive... would it be wiser to consider the captive walking in front of him? So he could see if she tries anything? Also you wrote, "He would just try to avoid..." Would ... "He tried to avoid..." work better? Kind of getting more to the point of the statement? I think this is a personal preference honestly though. It depends on how you feel when you read what you wrote, but I thought I would offer it up as a suggestion!

When Demeter went into the cell to help the prisoner with the broken arm, what was the woman feeling during the moment? Why didn't she try to escape? What kept her there? Personally, I would've tried to make a break for it, or tried something, if left alone for too long. What keeps her from doing anything mischievous? Following up with this... I want to know more about Ayla. You've left me intrigued. She seems odd and thus far, anything with regards to her countenance is surface level at most. I can't wait to see her depth and what her purpose in the story is to be.

And Isabella!! I must know more about her as well! Another intriguing character you've introduced. I enjoyed how, from the start, she stood out. I hope to see more of her and to understand a little bit of what she wants out of the life she current leads. I understand her want for the decree, but is it solely a want based off of what she was taught? Or did she experience something at a young age? I'm not sure, but I am excited to find out more.

Grammar. Grammar. Grammar. haha. An easy thing to work through after going through another read through and I'm pretty sure every author has a problem with it. In your writing,. I spotted some missing commas, periods, etc. But it will get there.

Watch using extra words to lengthen sentences. Ex. Very. "It was very rare." Stating "It was rare" has the same effect of emphasizing how rare something is in my mind. I feel very isn't needed. I noticed a few run on sentences and found myself wondering when a sentence would end. In chapter 4, there was a small paragraph that was only one sentence for example. Easily fixable. It didn't happen often and a quick read through will help you find them. Adding a few periods here and there will fix the concern giving the reader a variety of sentences to read and keep them moving.

Watch the word as. You use it a lot. "When" or "while" could be used to replace it, or a multitude of others, if as is being used in a sentence more than once. I noticed this happens a few times. Again, grammar and adjusting words, easy thing to adjust. And a read through will help you see these things.

In chapter 5, I think this is a good example of you telling me rather than showing me... "Odium brought his hand to his chin and began to think intently." I want you to show me he is thinking. "Bringing an age ridden hand to his chin, Odium's eyes glazed over momentarily." What do you think? Perhaps, something to keep an eye out for? Small note, the interaction between him and Isabella following this sentence is a little awkward. Clean it up a bit and I think it will smooth better.

Isabella said and laughed, her voice sounding like the chiming of bells... this could be altered to say, "... Isabella said and laughed, the chiming of bells emitting from her luscious lips." Opinion??

In chapter 6... there is a bit of a conflict in character. Where Odium asks, "this early?" And Isabella explains she just wanted to see him just because... Instead of exasperation or even a sigh to indicate this could possibly be something he experiences often, it goes straight in to "Of course, come in"... Adding emotion would be helpful here I think.

Wine in the morning!!! Love it!!!

Monotone = monotonous. --> Chapter 6

Overall... It is really good. I loved how chapter 6 ended. I love the beginning pieces of the plot start pulling themselves together and how the characters are starting to relate to each other. I gave the novel an overall rating of 4 because I know this is the beginning. The plot isn't yet established, but it exists. I want to know more about how it started, how did the war go without the help of the Drakken and how are things going to go now with the characters having been introduced? What are their personal objectives? I am excited to read more and this is why I rated the story a 4. It is raw, but it is good. A lot of potential and it's been added to my reading list. (1 of 2 I'll have you know) And I can't wait to read more!

Keep working and keep up the good work! I am excited to see where this goes for you and how the novel will come to fruition. Great work so far.

P.S. This is not my final review!!!! ;)

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Addicted

This review is being written for the first 6 chapters.

I can't even begin to describe how much I am enjoying this story so far. The detail, the characters, and especially the thought put into the world have me engrossed and anxious to read more. With every chapter, the characters come to life even more. Friendships are elegantly described and already the reader feels sympathies for the MC and the daily deception he is forced to partake in to survive. Thought behind the deception is well thought out and the author has covered all of his bases in explaining why questions aren't constantly asked or why the MC hasn't been found out. Support characters are introduced expertly well and the writing flows smoothly with each interaction.

The writing style is amazing and I love it.

Detailed paragraphs are long, but they are worth the read. The words are not simply put there to be there, they each contribute to the overall meaning which will either have the reader laughing at some points or feeling moments of concern. The information is clear and concise and I am looking forward to many more chapters to come. Keep up the great work!

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Hooked

This novel was my random novel of January.

I try to branch out and find something to read which hasn't been asked of me to read and this was my choice.

I was hooked from the beginning. I started the novel yesterday and finished it this morning. I, honestly, couldn't put it down. The characters were engaging and kept the reader intrigued. They were thought out enough to have their own diversity throughout the novel. There was a clear and steady plot wrapped tightly within multiple plot twists the reader wasn't expecting. All in all, it is a great piece of work.

The one thing I would advise, to make it better, is, of course, grammar. ;) And, I would like to see a few chapters in the beginning detailing the MC's life before she was ordered by the mandate to go to the castle. In the first few chapters she talks about how she is leaving behind a great life that she loved. Unfortunately, there weren't enough chapters to detail what kind of life that was. In my opinion, it would really connect the reader more to the MC if some further detail was given as to what her daily chores were and how her relationship with her parents was.

Another thing I was a little confused about, was how the "game was played" as was mentioned. Thelonious, the true evil behind it all was suspected of murdering the royal family in the beginning. I would love to see more depth behind how, while it is rumored, he isn't under suspicion of the council despite a lot of people suspecting him. It gave me the impression he had influence and power in the castle, but that impression was given more through rumors. Which was great. I would love to see more depth behind his interaction with the council though throughout, if that makes sense.

Those would be the only two things I could comment on. Beyond that, it is a great novel with engaging characteristics all the way around. The plot kept me hooked and I am really really really excited for the second novel.

Well done.

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The beginning

This review is of the first chapter and future chapters have yet to be released.

It's a really, really, great first chapter. The beginning is told from the PoV from the MC and pulls the reader into wondering "what comes next" by basically starting at the end. Having ended the chapter, I feel intrigued as to what comes next and that's a great feeling for a reader to have. I'm looking forward to where this book will go.

Tone was wonderful from start to finish for the MC. Details expand on a life the MC has created and how he got to where he is. It's a taste of history, but it's enough to build a solid base for the reader to stand on in knowing where the story is going to start and who they will be following.

Another thing I appreciated was that the author edited the chapter. It is nice to read something without pausing every few sentences and thinking, "oh, that needs a period." Great work with the grammar and the plot sounds original, unique, and intriguing. Three things an author really needs to make their novel stand out and I am excited to read this one to the end.

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Enjoyable

The imagery and the sensory descriptions used within the short story are well used and not over done. A subtle comparison between the hawk and the snake and the boys and the man was a great added touch. Perhaps one sentence stood out as awkward to me. "Laying in waiting..." Would it be, "Laying in wait?" Honestly, the only thing I could find to mention and that was me being picky.

Overall, I really enjoyed how the author introduced the characters and carried the story from start to finish. The tone of voice with the boys was steady and nothing felt out of place. Their conversations were deep and to the point, giving the reader something further to think about. The characters felt solid and the moment of interaction between all three left how the situation ended to the readers imagination. A really good ending and a really good short story.

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Unknown Shores

'Waves break on Unknown Shores' is a novel one would expect to find on any bookshelf under the genre of Thiller. The tone, the pace, the setting, breathe as a classic suspenseful mystery from start to finish. With flashbacks intermingled with present events, the author presents a skill of keeping the reader engaged through an array of historical events dating back to the MC's early life. An array of characters to support the MC keep the reader continuously searching for more information with every page and aching for another piece of information to drop if only to make another guess as to the real culprit of the crime was. There is substantial build up and personality leaping from the pages the further in a reader goes.

The grammar is of course not perfect, there are a few cases here and there that another read through won't fix, but out of all of the novels I have come across, this one is one of the few where the punctuation and grammar is very near perfect. Kudos to the author on this achievement.

Overall, the story as a whole is engaging from chapter to chapter. The way the author uses the PoV of the MC to drive the story forward is a great choice for this type of novel. Gives it a classic and realistic feel. Very much enjoyed the story as a whole and hope to see more work by this author.

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Plot
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Grammar Punctuation

Needs some Work

Hey there. I understand the rating is low, but hear me out on the reasoning behind it. I noticed quite a few things that could be improved upon. I will start with the praise and work my way into criticisms and I hope you are willing to be open minded about the opinion that has been generated for your piece of work.

The novel is off to a slow start, but the character seems intriguing to the point a reader feels a need to get to know Jamie better. The details surrounding her are interesting and her background is unique. Two great qualities for a main character. The introduction of Elijah adds in a different tone to the story. He seems to be her complete opposite and a great character to introduce drama and problems around. A good element to add to a story.

Unfortunately, the only thing I can comment on here though are the characters. I've yet to see a real plot develop and it could be because of how early on the author is in the chapters, but the basis of the first three chapters have been, introduce main character and her life, introduce a secondary character and his friend, and have secondary character and main character meet. It's very classic boy meets girl, which isn't a problem, I am just wondering, what is the inciting incident to start the plot of the story? What happens to make Jamie change her normal daily routine?

The blurb is also unfortunately, not much of a help to help describe the plot that will unfold. Instead, the blurb is more of a description of the main character. I would like to see something added to introduce what the problem starts off to be.

Secondly, for all of the characters, all of them are very surface based. The reader is told each character is this or that, but there isn't much detail to give the adjectives substance. I would love to see more detail added to give the character's depth.

Another thing I saw was that while Jamie starts off a bit stand offish, by chapter 2, she is snuggling with a complete stranger. Where is the logic here? If this is set in modern times, which I am guessing yes through the hints of Nike and instagram (bravo on those hints), what makes Jamie so comfortable around a stranger so suddenly in chapter 2? During the time I was a college student, a female college studen, I was constantly on guard on campus. If I didn't know someone, I kept my distance because of the possibilities that could happen, especially if I was alone. I think it would help to give more reasoning behind why all of a sudden we are introduced to a stand offish female college student and in chapter 2 she is reduced to a shy, yet obedient female when confronted with a complete stranger. I loved the stand offish part of the MC, I would hope this characteristic would be something she can grow out of or come to a personal reckoning with throughout the novel.

When describing how a character talks, in chapter 2, you state Elijah is yelling a lot. He is in an enclosed space with the MC (his car) and it is already stated he has a strange attraction to the girl, so why is he yelling? Music isn't blaring, she isn't yelling at him, what is the cause? Perhaps the word yell could be replaced by other descriptive words to indicate more sarcastic responses or perhaps exasperation. The yelling portion seemed illogical.

The author's writing is very choppy and very much tell instead of show. It follows the guidelines of "The character did this. And now the character is doing that because she was raised like this." I would enjoy seeing more descriptive paragraphs that include subtle hints similar to how you dropped "Nike" and "Instagram". Also, instead of telling us she isn't the richest because of where she lives, show us. Show us what she walks out of her house to everyday. Show us the emotions she feels when she leaves her house. Make a character feel! Give her passion, hopes and fears. I would love to get to know Jamie better through her dreams and what she wants for her future. And if she is a girl in college, her dreams have got to be huge. I would love to read more about them. Also, I think re reading the first three chapters will help notice the choppiness. The details of what is going on do not flow very smoothly and could use some work. It might help to read what you are writing aloud. What is being said verbally can sound very different than what is read and can help you see where things could be added to help induce flow.

Last, but not least.... grammar... grammar... grammar. It is something I personally struggle with and I know it is something every author struggles with. You are not the only one. Again, re reading will help find the errors, but there were enough that I was noticing them every couple of sentences. Also, run on sentences. A lot of the paragraphs blurred together because a period was missing and two things were smooshed into one sentence. Also, something that can be cured through a re read.

Overall, it is okay, but I know it is just a start. I hope to see more substance and depth to the characters and the plot and wish you luck on your writing journey. With some work added to the flow of one sentence to another, I think it will drift through a reader's mind like butter on bread. I know you can do it and hope you continue with it. There is a lot of work to be done and I hope you're prepared!!

Ps. This is not my final review and I am excited to see you grow as a writer. :) Also, it reminds me more of a set up for a play. Have you considered creating a manuscript out of this?

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