Review swap

#1
Specifics are: 

- First ten chapters only to a maximum of 10k words (mention if you want prologue, otherwise I'll skip). 
- Will write the review on your page if it's four stars + 

Anything below 4 stars will be posted here with a few short reasons why.


If I review your story, please review mine.  (Vice versa)

I recommend you start with chapter 1, but if you enjoy reading the prologue go for it.   

Thanks!

RE: Review swap

#3
I'll give you some feedback.



First off, presentation. Summary and cover look pretty good; not really a fan of the flavor-text at the top, but it's short enough. I'd scroll down to the chapters if I picked this off the front page... well, except that I'm getting pretty strong dystopia vibes from it, and that's a bit of a hard sell for me. That's just me, though.

Themed titles I can get behind; I do something similar. The capitalization seems a bit weird, though. Why capitalize 'the' but not 'of'? I would honestly suggest straight-up cutting the 'of' out of everything; 'All The Angels' just seems generally stronger to me than 'All of The Angels'.

Four prologues, though? Ergh. Doesn't look good, especially since you suggest skipping them in your post above. Are these things important? If not, why so many of them? If they are, why not put them in actual chapters? Gotta be honest, I don't really like the whole 'prologue' thing very much; it usually feels pointless to me.

But, here we go...

Bit of a slow start. Not really feeling a hook here. It's just narration, narration, bit of backstory and worldbuilding, until we get down to the dialogue. Sure, backstory and worldbuilding can be neat, but they're not really, you know, compelling or gripping. Well, the prose is fairly solid, and the worldbuilding and what is decent. Just feels weak, I guess.

Huh, a fight in a prologue? These feel like chapters to me. Why are these not chapters? They're fairly short, too, so I guess I was worried over nothing when seeing four prologues. The cannibalism and 'we can't die' things seem to be clashing a bit, but the interactions are nicely done.

The lightning coming after the thunder confused me. I had to re-read the beginning to understand that the lighting outside is different from the arcs in the tunnel, but even then... unless there's some sort of artificial delay between the strike and the arc, I have no idea how that would work. And if there is an artificial delay, I have no idea how that would even work, either. This just feels weird and confusing to me. The action is decent, though.

I realize 'the MC is a girl' is in the summary, but having it in the story earlier than the fourth prologue might be good. First person makes some things tricky, tho. At least you didn't have her pause in front of a mirror. :P

Man, I realize that 'men need suffering' is kinda essential to the plot here, but it bugs me on a philosophical level. Self-determination is a thing! I guess I'll just assume the imp is lying for now - although that does cast some doubt on the rules. /shrug.

Hmm, setting up some future conflict with the party split, looks good. If I skipped this, though, I wonder how confused I'd be later on...? Let's see what the actual chapters hold.

This blow-by-blow description of the room furnishings doesn't seem to be doing much.

So... they make Tom talk, but don't do anything to Poppy or the MC? Why would he talk, when they don't back up their previous threats? Feels weird.

The gun is useless, and it's three on one, and they just... follow her anyways? Hum.

Looks like you have an empty spoiler in an authors note at the top of chapter four.

Aaaand all the nasties kindly wipe themselves out. How convenient. Blech, sorry, I shouldn't be that harsh. Just... the motivations and consequences and even what all they were trying to accomplish feel jumbled, and since the MC is basically been an observer since they arrived, I found it pretty hard to be invested. The only times I've really seen super passive characters work is in horror stories, and this isn't really going far enough to be that.

What happened to Tom? Where'd he go?

Ah, a decision! Head to Gun Town. Then... a whole chapter of walking. I think I'd probably drop the story here if I was just reading for pleasure; the pacing is too slow for me, despite the action scenes you've thrown in. We've had two turning points in the story so far: get to Hell, head to Gun Town. Fighting the whites counts as a decision, I guess, as does taking the gray cube, but the only hint of overarching plot is the doppleganger foreshadow. It's been four prologues and six chapters.

You seem to have random amounts of linebreaks between the chapter titles and the body. Sometimes it's one, sometimes it's two, sometimes it's three.

And her talent/deal with the cube happens just in time to keep her from having to make a decision. I'm beginning to get a sense for your MC here, and I'm not sure I like it much.

So she can throw a drawer to attract the invaders attention, but she can't draw in the dirt to talk to Poppy. That seems like an oversight to me.

Well, that's the end.

Overall, this story has some good stuff going for it. The world is fairly interesting, despite the dystopic themes I personally dislike. The prose is pretty clean, and each chapter moves along at a good clip. Your characters have backstory, although sometimes it feels a bit like 'here's a tragic past for drama reasons'. Still, I guess angsty is better then boring. Your MC feels incredibly passive, and that really bugs me, especially since several times it seems like what's going on in the story is more driven by author fiat than character motivations - although some of that might be me simply failing to understand your intentions. The plot also seems to be very slow starting, which I'm not particularly a fan of.

On the whole, this is fairly well done, but I'm pretty certain I'm not in the audience for it.



I hope this is helpful. I apologize if I've come across as harsh here; that wasn't my intention, but I'm bad at moderating my tone at times. If you feel like I'm being unfair, or you'd like some clarification on what I've said, please let me know.

I mostly did this because I was avoiding my responsibilities, but if you'd like to take a look at my story, the link is in my sig. It started as a NaNoWriMo project, so I'm sure it's got plenty of problems to poke at. I'm not big on revising, but all feedback is appreciated, and I'll try to incorporate it moving forwards.

RE: Review swap

#4
Hey Not_a_hat, thanks for the review.  

The MC is pretty passive for the first third of the story, only becoming active as she becomes more knowledgeable which (unfortunately) only kicks in around the 20k mark. 

The oversight with the drawers was just that.  I'll have to go back and edit it through.  This is pretty much a first draft with edited prose (as I'm sure a lot of RRL stuff is :( ).  But it's good that you pointed that out, I mighta missed it when I revised everything. 

Thanks and I'm reading your story now.  Will post my review below.