Minding Others' Business
In a world of magic, monsters and violence, sometimes you need strong, valiant heroes to champion your cause, to fight the good fight, and to rise up against tyranny.
Sometimes you just need your favourite mop found, or want to know who your wife went home from the tavern with.
Of the two kinds of jobs, Gabriel and his team would always much rather take the latter.
The mercenary life is all well and good, but it's so much the better when you get to sleep in a soft, fluffy bed each night and wake up without any troublesome perforations in the morning.
They might live life on the safe side, but the team is not without their merits. Their archer is a passable shot, their brawler is feisty, their leader is, well, also there, and, most importantly, they have a mind-mapper.
A mind-mapper is a wielder of a rare and ancient power. With his unique understanding of the soul, and how it can be manipulated, he alone could change the course of history, influence global politics, and bring fame and fortune to himself and his allies.
Unfortunately for everyone, he's just a bit of a d***.
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Please excuse my use of vulgar language in the review title, I was having trouble finding words strong enough to describe how much I love what you have so far. God damn... Or should I say, by the Aether, Gods damn!
Seriously, I was more engaged reading this than I've been with anything in a long time. The characters, the world, the banter between Vish and Gabby that fluctuates between playful to spitefule. You have an amazing ability to make a person laugh out loud and then be on the edge of their seats in suspense, sometimes even doing both at once. And the characters, the characters.
Bling is by far my favorite. I knew there was more to her from chapter one, but I didn't expect that. She makes me feel sorrow at her incompetence and situation, only to be gleefully cheering as she deftly murders a small army and dances through obstacles with finesse.
Gabriel is pretty awesome too. As someone who is clumsy and often feels like I'm barely controlling the situations I find myself in, I relate to Gabriel in a spiritual way. I can also understand where some of his resentment for Vish comes from, even if Vish isn't really to blame (sorry trying not to spoil anything so I'm trying to be specifically vague).
Figo is the balance between them, keeping the chaos of the other two men in check while also being a damn good shot. I wonder if he feels guilty over the crow and if that's why he stayed with the group.
Edit: I forgot to mention the power of Vish. What an interesting and unique concept and the way he uses it offensively is pretty darn awesome (and somewhat terrifying)
And Lydia. Mother-fucking-badass Lydia is more like it. The one armed woman has captured my heart and my imagination and I really hope she becomes a permanent member of the group.
I love your use of descriptors and especially your insults. You use paragraph breaks extremely efficiently and wield suspense and humor masterfully. You, my internet friend, have an extreme talent for wordcraft and I want you to know that. I found a few spelling and punctuation errors that could be edited, I can message you a Google docs link to the ones I've found if you would like. Other than that though, this is one of the most interesting stories I've had the pleasure of enjoying in years. My only major gripe is that you use apostrophes as quotation marks. It makes it hard to discern speech at first sometimes. Other than that, color me extremely impressed. Keep up the good work and consider yourself favorited.
The world itself is a pretty generic fantasy setting, with fat, walrus dukes, corrupt town guards, and dysfunctional mercenary bands... Wait, did I say generic?
Mind Others' Buisness takes a very interesting concept, magic that can map peoples consciousness elsewhere, and does the exact opposite of what you'd expect with it. The characters are witty, and dialogue between them is punchy. It never feels like characters are talking at each other, but rather with each other.
From the hilariously nearly inept Gabrial to his surprising sister, there will be a character you can relate to in this story.
The only area where I believe the author can improve would be setup and execution of longer jokes. The author has a great sense of foresight, setting up the start of a joke long in advance, and drawing the reader into it until the punchline hits, however, sometimes the punchline isn't worth the time it took to setup. This is only a minor nitpick, though, as I found myself laughing out loud on two occasions in the first three chapters.
Sometimes syntax makes events dificult to follow without a quick re-read, but its a minor gripe.
Overall a great budding story and I can't wait to see how it develops.
I had trouble getting into the first two chapters I read of ‘Minding Others Business’, but the concept and characters intrigued me, so I kept going. Hell, anything with magic is an almost certain read for me. I’m glad I kept reading as it drew me in with the comedic touches the author offered. ‘Minding Others Business’ is an adventure fantasy with strong comedic elements. Some comedy was dark, but that is to be expected with most fantasy subgenres. Gabriel trying to explain Vish’s situation was a great opening and really kept me invested when I wasn’t sure where the story was going. Instead of a typical adventure quest, you get a group of flawed mercenaries. Things don’t always go right for our group of heroes. While some punchlines are predictable, they were always delivered in an entertaining and amusing way. While the author's sense of humour isn’t fully compatible with my own, I enjoyed the characters and story enough to overlook it. It’s easy to get lost in the world of ‘Minding Others Business’. Every time I opened the story it took only a couple of paragraphs before I was lost in the absurd and amusing logic of the main characters.
I enjoyed the story, and it was one of the major reasons I kept reading even though I felt overwhelmed. Once I understood who everyone was and the basic rules of their world, I sunk into the story and enjoyed it.
I got lost every now and again at the start, but once I learnt more about the world and characters, it was easier to keep up. It was just a lot to take in all at once. Because of the story’s tendency to skip around, I would have liked it to be more obvious that Chapters 7.1/7.2 were a flashback/story. Maybe that’s just me, though.
Although there were a couple of typos, I found the grammar in this story good.
The characters were the best part of ‘Minding Others Business’. I found myself lost in the characters' personalities and abilities. I really enjoyed Vish as a character and waited for what absurdity would leave his mouth next. I also loved what the writer did with Vish’s magic and thoroughly enjoyed the creative ways the character used his magic.
‘Minding Others Business’ is a story I’d recommend to anyone. Even though I rarely read this fantasy subgenre, I found it easy to get into once I took the time to focus and relax into the world. Though it had a slower start than I expected, the story made up for it in later chapters. I will definitely keep reading ‘Minding Others Business’.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable work that comes close to being dang near perfect (as far as any story can be called that).
The Characters are where this story really stands out as you follow a cast of flawed misfits who enjoy making jibes at each other and are a beautiful mic of inept and hilarious ass-hole. They also possess the kind of common sense rare in fantasy MC's. On top of that, the characters have dimension: Even the most Assholish of the lot, Vish, gives the impression that there might be more to him than being a skeevy selfish bastard.
The humour is a bit on the darker side may be, let's just call it British, but the story is not griim-dark. Sometimes it may fall a little flat or a bit may drag on, But I did find myself at least chuckling every chapter, if not laughing aloud (it's a good thing my mic was on mute for my online class today)
The only area that the story can improve on for me would be to make the plot a little more engrossing or expand on the character motivations, Right now it's very "slice-of-life of inept mercenaries" for which the motivation of comfort and money is serviceable and that's fine really. It just feels to me that there's something missing though I'm not sure what.
But that's just me.
TLDR: this is a great story to scratch your funny bone, need for reality within fantastical worlds, and desire for some down-to-earth (if somewhat flawed) characters
If comedy was easy, everyone would do it. To be clear, the everybody ain't. Fielding serious funny takes a precision sense of timing, a careful gardening of context, and some quick witted turns of phrase.
This is doubly true of Fantasy, where you've got to manage niche expectations and some real contrived scenarios. I tell you, it's hard to conjure up solid laughs and situational humor when 'wearing leather' is an occupational precaution instead of the setup for a dirty joke.
I hope Anjin will forgive me when I say, they are no Terry Pratchet. There's room to improve, especially when tightening up the setup for longer jokes. But there's only one test worth passing, and that's in the laughing. Verdict: I did chuckle. Like out loud. (Chapters 3 and 6 got me)
And that's a rare thing in this space.
Often I notice it's too easy for a promising showing to get lost in wacky highjinks or non-sequitors, but the Author is working to weave in some sober elements. There's the kernel of a real story in here. And so far it's working. They're thinking ahead, they're responsive, and they're willing to do the hard work to refine a gag when it needs just a little extra.
There are some minor logistical inconsistencies, and a few homonym mispellings, but I'm confident they'll come out in the editing. As long as MOB continues to build and sharpen on what it's got so far, I see real promise from this fiction ahead.
This part of a review series in which I read the early segment of a book and give a verdict on if I wish to continue reading and the overall quality of the fiction. Unlike the other reviews in this series this will be an advanced review, per the author's request.
Minding Other's Business is an adventure story with a liberal dose of black comedy, and a healthy pinch of the absurd. Ultimately, I didn't find the comedy funny an,d robbed of its humour, I didn't find the story engaging enough to want to continue reading. However, if you're at all in the market for what Anjin is selling, I'd strongly suggest diving into the first few chapters. Because if you find yourself chuckling, you're in for a real treat.
Style Score: 3.5/5
Stylistically I've got some bones to pick with this story. There is liberal use of creative dialogue tags, which once I noticed I couldn't stop noticing, taking me out of the reading flow.
Additionally, I find that the sentence construction sometimes slides into being either awkward or distracting, either due to repetition of words or unusual stylistic choices.
However, despite my gripes, the author does do a magnificent job of conjuring the tone of the world. Words are chosen with delightful aplomb the convey the exact sort of dark, twisted, weird world these people live in.
Furthermore, there are some fantastic lines that are evocative in a way that only perfectly chosen prose can be.
Much like with the comedy, even my gripes are the result of intentional choices the author has made to give the prose the exact feel desired. Unfortunately, like the comedy I found not all of these decisions paid off.
Grammar Score: 4.5/5
Grammar errors were minimal. Most sentences are flawless, although an occasional missing word, or in one case, a rogue quotation mark lurking in the middle of a passage, left me scratching my head.
Story Score: 4.5/5
In general the pacing and progression of the story is excellent. No chapter feels like filler.
Furthermore, despite the chaotic nature of the characters and situations, most of the time the natural progression between things feels perfect.
However, I did occasionally find the transitions between chapters awkward. Twice I had to flip back to the previous chapters to figure out what had just happened and make sure I hadn't missed something, or accidentally jumped an extra chapter ahead. In both cases, events became clear slightly later in the chapter, however I'd have appreciated smoother transitions between chapters in each of these instances.
Character Score: 4.5/5
A lot of the characters have really strong personalities, with relationships with other members of the group and the rest of the world that are established quickly through poignant interactions.
Furthermore, every time something new is revealed about a character it is interesting, (potentially funny idk), and at the same time feels natural to the setting.
My only real gripe is that we spend the first few chapters being told how much of a jerk one of the character's is, however I was often unconvinced. I felt like the jerkish-ness was oversold in the telling compared to how it was portrayed. Quirks of an unreliable narrator I suppose. In any event, I sometimes found that juxtaposition more distracting than interesting, because I felt like I was meant to be agreeing with the narrators assessement.
Minding Other's Business does an excellent job crafting the sort of story it sets out to be. If you're in the market for a dark comedic adventure with a jabberwoky flair look no further, because this is your book.
Amazing work, I'm very impressed by the author's way with words.
So this story is about a band of misfits doing jobs as mercenaries in a fantasy world.
The stellar point for me is the interactions between characters. They are diverse and alive with personality, the author did a good job delivering that in writing. I guarantee you'll get a laugh, even the most stoic of you.
Grammar is good, some typos but no writer is immune to that. He also in the proses of improving his " " which is a plus.
Overall, this is a really solid work.
Overall the story is enjoyable. The main characters are dynamic and their relationships and personalities become more established as the story progresses.
The magic system is creative and I enjoy the innovative way the mc uses it and am excited to see how else it gets used.
I do find myself wanting to get more into the background of the world being established but I can see that developing as I get further into reading.
Few stories on this site make me sit there and think 'This is the work of a wordsmith' This story is beautiful. I cant wait to keep reading!
Dang, I was impressed with this one right off the bat. From the comments, looks like the first chapters have had quite a lot of work, so makes sense why it reads smooth, grammatically solid, and best of all, stylistically superb.
The author has definitely been writing for years, whether they will admit it or not, and I want to give them a shove to start cranking out novels for the benefit of the world.
Want to hear this produced by Soundbooth Theater. Jeff Hays would kill reading this book. The cover art left me wondering what the story would be about and same with title. Title makes sense when you get started though, and the concept of the "mind" aspect of the book is genius.
Best of all was the quaint and quietly hilarious humor and situational irony. Spot freaking on!