parkertallan

parkertallan

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Reviews
Fish on a stick - A Redmist Story

It's Not Gourmet Food, But it's Quite Satisfying

Fish on a Stick isn't fancy, but it's quite a bit of fun. It's like that greasy burger you get at 2 in the morning after a night out with friends. Imaginative and clever, this story made me laugh out loud.

Style Score 5/5: Written in an easy going style that fits the story perfectly. Lots of humorous touches takes readers for a fun ride without over taxing their brains.

Story 5/5: On the surface, this merely appears to be a story about a cooking competition. However, there are plenty of twists and turns along the way to keep the reader guessing as to what's going to happen next.

Grammar 4/5: A number of typos litter the story. Although they don't tarnish the story itself, it was something I noticed.

Character 5/5: A splendid group of characters is what makes Fish on a Stick such a good story. Chip and his cohorts work so well together and play off each other to produce much of the humor in the story. The story provides enough background and personality for each character to make them stand out.

Overall 5/5: Despite the grammar issues, this is one great story. A fun and entertaining plot, an imaginative world, and great characters all work together to make this "trashy" story outshine more gourmet offerings.


Red Mist

A Wonderful Fairy Tale, But Even More.

Red Mist is something I would've read to my kids when they were younger. A wonderous well thought out world, unique and fun characters, and an entertaining story all combine to form a great fairy tale. And yet, beneath the surface is something more.

Style 5/5: Written in an easy going style with just the right amount of description to fully develop a world of mice, rabbits, foxes, and other assorted creatures. 

Story 5/5: An entertaining plot which some might consider too slow moving, but I thought the pacing was right on. However, mixed in with the story are subtle events and observations which hint at something else going on. A nice touch.

Grammar 5/5: Grammar was excellent.

Character 4.5/5: The primary characters are detailed and well developed. In particular, Freya, the main character. We see everything through her eyes and her complexity and uniqueness really shines through. There is more to her than meets the eye. The secondary characters are for the most part well done, but in places they do tend to fade into the background.

Overall 5/5: With the exception of a few secondary characters, this story is hitting on all cylinders. A wonderfully detailed world, a main character you want to root for, and an entertaining story make Red Mist worthy of an overall score of 5 stars.


For Irision - Book One Complete!

For Irision is a wonderful story filled with well thought out details and emotions which make the world and characters feel so real. The way the author weaves all this so seamlessly into the story makes it a joy to read. 

Style: The story is written in first person POV which surprisingly works very well here. Often in first person POV you get to know a great deal about the narrator, but little about the other characters. That isn't the case with For Isirion. Through conversations, events, and back story we gain an intimate understanding of the other dominant characters. The only real issue I have with the story is an initial lack of description. This does improve over the course of the story however. 

Grammar: The gammar is uniformly good. Only found a few instances where the work choice was a little odd.

Story: The story begins in the aftermath of events which have made the members of Crew 761 traitors and they try to reestablish their lives. The actual events are slowly revealed over the course of the story providing a strong sense of mystery and character development as we see how each member of the crew deals with the ramifications of their actions. The book is represented as a means of telling their side of the story and revealing the lies told about them. There are time jumps within the story which might at first seem jarring, but they end up making perfect sense and are consistent with the book's purpose.

Character: This is where For Irision really shines. Through conversation and events the backstory and personalities of each character are revealed. In the process, we also learn about the world which shaped them. The five members of the crew are represented as unique individuals and the interaction between them rings true to their individual personalities. It's these interactions that reveal the emotional consequences of their actions and how their lives have changed.

Overall: Although I did give Style only 4 stars, my overall rating for this story is 5 stars. I think the exceptional performance in the other three categories more than makes up for the lower mark in Style. If you're looking for a unique sci-fi story with a wonderfuly detailed world and characters, then read For Irision.


Endeavour

Entertaining Story and Interesting Characters

Endeavor is an entertaining read that mixes space opera and character driven sci-fi. Although the story has a Star Trek feel, the author adds additional elements to craft a unique story and characters.

Style: The story is well written in an easy to read style. The text is descriptive, but not cloyingly so. Only issue I had is some instances of finding the wording a bit cumbersome.

Grammar: Overall, the grammar is quite good. Few minor issue here are there, certainly nothing that would interfere with enjoying the story.

Story: The plot is well developed with sufficient back story to explain what's at stake. The story moves along at a good pace without neglecting character development. Did notice a few minor inconsistencies in the plot, but these didn't adversely affect the overall storyline.

Character: This is where Endeavor shines. Although within the first two chapters we are introduced to multiple characters, each is provided enough background to keep them from becoming an after thought. Within the story there are sufficient events and conversations to learn the back stories of the main chracters allowing the reader to gain a better understanding of them

Overall: Although I dinged the story slightly on Style, Grammar, and Story, I'm still giving it an overall rating of 5 stars. The entertaining story and well developed characters far outweigh these minor issues.


Psy

From the start, readers are immersed into a contemporary world where those with paranormal abilities (parapsychs) and those without (laterals) live side by side. However, as the story progresses there are hints that not all is as it seems. Amidst the trappings of a typical Y/A story (high school life, friendships, and rivalries) the author weaves the tale of a dark secret.

Not only is the world well-developed, but so are the characters. Jessa, the main character, is particularly well done as she deals with not only typical teenaged problems, but also faces unusual feelings and perceptions that she can't explain or understand. You can feel the tension building in her as unexpected events cause persistent suspicions and fear to grow within her.

The writing flows smoothly with detailed descriptions and character interactions which make sense in the story. For me, one of the author's strengths is that even within seemingly mundane events, the seeds for what is to come are being planted. Plus, the grammar is near perfect.

Overall, I highly recommend this story not only to Y/A fans, but to anyone who enjoys a well-crafted story. This may be Y/A, but its Y/A with an edge.

 


We can't give you a short story, so here's this mess instead

I actually laughed out loud reading this. Love the randomness and the interaction between the characters. This may be a mess, but it's one hilarious mess.


Survey Report of System AQ275-43L-991

What makes this short story special is how the author is able to tell such a rich tale through the eyes of a single character. Through the clever use of mission reports, we see the evolution of not just a star system, but of the probe as well. Sadness, regret, curiousity, wonder, and a desire for a new purpose emerge as the probe continues it's observations. The story ends on just the right note leaving it up to the reader to imagine what happens next. A truly wonderful story that will leave readers with something to ponder.


Hilda Finds a Home

If you enjoy D&D or any type of role playing game, you'll definitely enjoy Hilda Finds a Home. This clever spoof of a D&D dungeon campaign is loaded with laughs. We meet Hilda, the not quite perfect dwarf paladin who wants nothing more than to have a home of her own (to decorate). To get this she undertakes a quest into the dirtiest and strangest dungeon in the kingdom. Let's just say it's not your conventional campaign.

Hilda is a character I enjoy, particularly the way she has of pushing the envelope of paladin rules and the way she interacts with the unusual characters she encounters. The humor of Hilda's misadventures is enhanced by clever narrator asides. 

Although not perfect, the grammar is quite good. For this kind of story I wouldn't expect significant character development, but Hilda is well fleshed out and I find myself rooting for her.

Overall, this is an entertaining story story that will give readers a laugh and bring back fond memories of past D&D campaigns.


Synth

Science Fiction with an Emotional Bite

The Synth exist for one purpose; to follow King Decon's every command. In Episode 0 we see what happens to Synth who fail to obey. Silence and duty represent the life of a Synth. However, some Synth want something more; conversation and even friendship. This is the world the author vividly portrays in this story. 

09T07 is one such Synth. They yearn to speak with other Synth, yet is either ignored or treated with distain. The author does a wonderful job of showing the hurt and confusion 09T07 experiences. However, it's when 09T07 finally meets another Synth like themselves that the ability of the author to develop emotional depth in the characters really shines. Even the movements of the batlike Synths' ears are used to portray emotions. That's what really makes this story stand out. 

One thing about the Synth; they're the ultimate conformists. Those like 09T07 who are different are considered "strange" and are often treated as an embarrassment, physically assaulted, or could end up being "corrected." The author handles this tension very well. 

Grammar overall is quite good with a few minor issues here and there. The story is well written. One aspect the reader needs to adjust to is the use of gender-expansive pronouns (they for example) when referring to the Synth. However, within a chapter I didn't have any issues.

So if you want some sci-fi with an emotional bite, then "Synth" is the story for you


The Parallel Timeline: Time Loop Rebel

This author clearly has a knack for taking your standard person transported to a new world story and turning it on its head. The MC Gaus is not only likable, but has a good head on his shoulders. His character hadn't been fully fleshed out yet, but we learn enough about him to see his frustration and confusion about the mysterious situation he finds himself in.

And this mysterious situation isn't your usual monster of wizard, but something much more entertaining. I'll not spoil anything, but I guarantee you'll enjoy it.

Although there is much we still don't know about the new world Gaus finds himself in, the small glimpses we've seen so far show great promise.

I must admit the grammar is a little rough in places, but overall the story reads well. In terms of writing style there is much to like. My only quibble would be when the author provides too many details. 

Overall, "Parallel Timeline" is a fun and interesting read. Certainly if you're looking for something a little different, then this story is for you.