Cameron Forrest

A life is a story worth the telling.

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Green Exchange Awards Round 1 Review

The first chapter (i.e. the Prologue) is quite strong. It is suspenseful and draws the reader into the story. It is a really nice touch to reiterate the prologue as the same thing happens to Maddy in Ch. 6. The first few chapters set up the story well and we gain insight into Maddy's character through her thoughts and feelings as revealed through the use of first person POV.The piece has a good combination of showing and telling, with the plot revealed through Maddy's thoughts, as well as text messages and minimal dialogue. The action sequences are the strongest parts, with some real suspense generated in some sections.

For this reader, a number of implausible occurrences detract from the plot, including one major one where the author really lost me (details in the extended review). These made it difficult for this reader to be absorbed by the story.

Unfortunately, the text contains very frequent spelling and grammatical errors, problems with tense, problems with sentence structure, awkward sentence construction and formatting errors. Examples are provided in the extended review. Again these really detracted from this reader's enjoyment of the story. I strongly recommend a thorough editing of the text.

The story has possibilities, but it needs some work before it could be considered for formal publication.

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Well done, but I won’t be reading more

I am in a bit of a quandary about this book…

No question, it is a worthy winner of a Roadmap Award. It is well written, with good character development (except in one case). The writing is simple and clear, with no ornamentation. If anything I thought the language could be a bit more descriptive.

The structure is interesting, with multiple points of view and an at times confusing array of characters, some of whom have very tenuous connections so far. I am sure it is difficult to write this way. In most cases it seems quite effective, although I am left wondering at this point in the story why some of the characters are even there.

It is quite obvious that this is the first volume of a series, as we don’t yet really have a grasp of where the story is going or even how some of the characters interconnect. For the reader this is somewhat problematic, because she might find the book unsatisfying, with no resolution of any of the interconnected plots. That was certainly the case for me, particularly at the end, when none of the plot threads seemed to have any sort of resolution.

The depictions of domestic violence, rape and forced prostitution are quite disturbing. While I recognize that these things happen and such stories need to be told, not every reader wants to read them. I read for entertainment, and I simply didn’t feel anything remotely positive after reading these sections. So for that reason alone I won’t be continuing. However I recognize that others will find something valuable to take away from reading such things.

As I mentioned, most of the character development is well done. The one exception to this is that of Kermit and Flannagan’s father. He emerges practically out of nowhere as the absolute epitome of evil: a man who would murder his wife and young son, torture his children, force them into a life of crime, and apparently sell one off as a sex slave. In short, he is almost comically evil, rather like a comic book villain. The problem is that this doesn’t seem to mesh with the few other things we know about him, for example that he has a wife and two children who seem relatively happy, and that he is a practicing lawyer. I’m not saying the situation is implausible, but I think we really need to know more about this character, and how he came to be like he is. Otherwise he just seems like an evil plot instrument. After all, he plays an important role in the story.

There’s a lot to like here, but in the end it is not for me. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good piece of writing. I wish you success.

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Not hooked yet...

I found the pace of this story to be a bit slow. There are quite a few characters and each gets an introduction. There doesn't seem to be a main character, and with the focus constantly shifting, it becomes confusing.

This purports to be SciFi,, but it is very weak on the Sci component. A civilization apparently capable of interstellar travel seems to otherwise use technology that is very similar to what we have now. Even their medical equipment seems very basic. I can't help but wonder that such a civilization would apparently bring along a completely conventional ship to do ocean exploration, rather than observe from orbit or use drones or something. Maybe other readers won't question these things, but they really bother this one. Perhaps some of this will be clarified later, but if not I would suggest that the author think through what a truly interstellar civilization might be like.

I did like some of the character development, and there does seem to be some real "characters" on the ship. I also like the fact that a large proportion of the crew are women, and that there is quite a bit of diversity.

The writing style is fair to good. There are quite a few grammatical errors and some instances where the author switches tense within a paragraph. Some of the paragraphs are overly long and could use division. This is particularly important for this format because most readers are using small-screen devices, and it is hard to follow if the paragraph is larger than a single screen. The work could use a careful edit.

To summarize, I think the story needs improvement. I hope I have not been discouraging, but I only do honest reviews.

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Green Exchange Awards Review

(up to Inkitt Ch. 10 inclusive) This will be a short review because the story, even at this early stage, is very strong and well executed, and I am struggling to identify areas where it could be improved significantly.

The use of first person narration enhances the development of Hanna’s character. That said, I thought she could reference her thoughts and feelings more. As it is her narration is a little flat, and some more emotional description would help. Cole’s character is less well-developed, but that is surely deliberate on the part of the author. Already we see hints that he may have a bad temper and a controlling nature. For me the character of Prina came across very strongly, which is odd since she is not a major player in the story so far. I hope she features more in future chapters.

The writing is technically excellent. Most of the errors I saw (see detailed review) are minor and some are just typos. Great work here.

The writing style is excellent. The descriptive passages are quite elegant and evocative. The author makes skillful use of dialogue, but does not over-use it, which is something I like. Again, great work here.

With only 10 chapters behind us, there is (I hope) a long way to go in this story, so it is difficult to say anything definitive about the plot. So far, the pacing is good and the storyline has retained my interest. The first chapter is really effective in drawing the reader into the story: we need to find out more! In terms of writing style, storyline and technical structure, this is one of the best things I have read on Inkitt. There is a long way to go, but so far the work is very promising. I look forward to reading the rest.

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Review for Green Exchange and MVP Awards

The cover and blurb are both excellent and do exactly what they should do. To this point, I am not sure how the title connects to the story, but perhaps that will become clear later on.

The story is at an early stage so it is difficult to say much about the plot. But so far, so good! There is an obvious conflict developing between Mina and her feelings towards Caleb, and his emergence as a rebel, going in a direction she cannot, or will not follow. I like the depiction of a post-nuclear-holocaust society as it seems very familiar to this (older) reader: no computers, no cell phones, friendships based solely on personal interactions, etc. It is a very interesting mix of the old and the futuristic, not the typical SF trope of the ultra-high-tech spacefaring civilization: in fact the society has overt Luddite tendencies. This is quite original I think.

That said I think some aspects of the plot could be improved. Although it is obvious that the characters live under an authoritarian regime, more detail about this would improve our understanding of the apparent violent schism in their society. Similarly, the reaction to a very violent terrorist attack on the part of some characters seemed a bit off. These issues are explained further in the detailed review.

The work is well-edited but some grammatical issues remain. There area also some cases of "awkward" language, which are not technically wrong, but seem nevertheless out of place in the context in which they occur. I have provided examples in the detailed review.

I have enjoyed the story to this point. The characters are well-realized, the post-apocalyptic setting is interesting and original, and the plot is moving along at a good pace. I am invested in the story and will certainly read the rest of it when it comes out. Great work!

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Green Exchange Rnd 2

This is a good piece of writing. The blurb is excellent—fairly short but conveys just the right amount of information, and intriguing enough to make the reader read on. The story moves along quite well and left this reader wanting more. By and large, the characters are developed effectively through dialogue and some inner dialogue as well. By Ch. 9 we have a good idea of who these people are. Already I have a theory of how the plot will pan out, which indicates that it has made me think (although having to write a review is certainly a factor too!).

The writing itself is generally well done, but there are some grammatical and other technical issues as outlined in the detailed review. It therefore needs additional editing. I would also recommend that the author address the issues with the Prologue timeline and POV shifts outlined in the detailed review.

Good work, and I look forward to reading the rest!

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Green Exchange Awards Rnd 2

(up to Inkitt Ch. 12)

You have obviously put a great deal of effort into capturing period settings, sensibilities, language and conversational modes. I can't judge the accuracy of your portrayal, but it seems largely believable to me. Good work on this.

That said, the attempt to use period language in narration resulted, at times, in what seemed to this reader to be awkward sentence structures and a certain degree of discursiveness that slowed things down somewhat. A more direct approach to narration might be preferable, while maintaining period language in the parts where it is appropriate, such as in dialogue and correspondence.

This reader was not really hooked into the plot, which for me was just too slow, with not enough conflict or action to keep me interested. However I recognize that many readers do prefer a pace like this, so perhaps it is appropriate for that audience.

The moderate frequency of grammatical issues and some cases of awkward sentence structure (see detailed review) detracted from the reading experience for me. The piece needs a thorough edit to catch and correct these.

I think this novel will appeal to many, and there is obviously a large audience for romances like this. And I have learned that there is an actual genre of Titanic novels—who knew? With some cleanup and perhaps tightening up the plot a bit to make it flow more quickly, it should attract many readers.

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Original and innovative

This is a really good piece of work. The premise is original and innovative, and the execution is excellent. In fact one of my criticisms is that it ends too soon and too suddenly.

I liked the way the plot was set up, with El experiencing recurring assaults by dream-assailants, who nonetheless leave unequivocal evidence of their reality. This is an excellent premise that I think can be taken further than it is here. The author tries to “solve” their mystery by identifying them as some sort of Greek deities, but in my opinion this is not necessary and actually detracts from the story. This explanation doesn’t really “explain” anything and could better be left out. Leave it as a mystery!

I also think the story ends too soon and suddenly. For example, some additional dream sequences featuring both protagonists could have been very gripping if executed well. The premise involves mystery-beings as well as space and time travel, a potent combination that could well be explored further.

It is perhaps finicky to discuss issues of plausibility in a story such as this, but that won’t stop me from doing so. I thought the love interest between the two protagonists developed perhaps a little too quickly. I also found that they were portrayed as recovering far too easily from serious assaults, all ending in them being knocked unconscious. These would likely result in concussion and have lasting effects. For example in Ch. 4 they go on a tour of the university hours after being assaulted, and in Ch. 7 they make love immediately after El experiences a vicious attack. I find this unlikely.

The writing style is very good. There are occasional sentence fragments, but they are not frequent and usually used effectively. Errors in spelling and grammar are very rare. I did notice that there are some within-chapter scene changes that are very sudden and take the reader by surprise. One example is in Ch. 8 when there is an unmarked transition from Dillon administering first aid to El, to a week later when they are departing for the cabin. I recommend that the author identify these shifts with some sort of change-of-scene character, if not a chapter break.

All in all this is a very good story. I hope the author will take the premise further in the future.

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Green Exchange Awards Round One

The character development in this piece is generally very effective. I liked the way David was portrayed not as a celebrity jock but rather as a thoughtful, considerate man with real feelings. Similarly Destiny evolves as a feisty, fiercely independent woman who, for the most part, knows what she wants and is unafraid to seek it out. Pat and Dale are also interesting side characters and add life to the scenes in which they feature.

The story is unfinished but it seems obvious from the blurb on that the two protagonists will end up together. Perhaps that is the way of romance novels, but it takes some tension away from the story. It is obvious that the author is aiming for a ""slow burn"" erotic romance, perhaps a little too slow. Sometimes the plot seems contrived to slow things down.

Some parts of the plot seemed a bit implausible to me as mentioned above; e.g. Destiny's reactions in Ch. 19-20 and Ch. 24. It is important that we can understand and empathize with the motivations of these characters, and these reactions do not seem to mesh with what we know about them.

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Green Exchange Awards Round One

I have to confess that I read this entire work not realizing that it was fan fiction, and that there was an entire body of assumed prior knowledge that I didn't have. I have never read Naruto, or any other manga for that matter. In a sense, I think that gives me an unique perspective that should be valuable to the author if she wants this work to appeal to non-fans like me. Therefore, I present this as a review of a piece of fan fiction by a non-fan.

It is perhaps not surprising that I found much of the plot to be very confusing. There was just too much information given, yet so much was missing: for example, the strange and apparently tragic histories of Naruto and Sasuke. They seemed to live in a strange world combining modernity (e.g. styrofoam cups) with people apparently having magic powers. With no background at all, I really had a difficult time understanding what was going on. I therefore recommend that the author include a prologue that gives some background information about the characters, their powers and the world they inhabit. I also recommend that the author include more ""telling"" in the text, rather than just having the characters act with no context or explanation.

Rather frequent spelling and grammatical errors, as well as awkward constructions, detracted from my connection to the story, as did the very frequent use of sentence fragments in the text. Examples are provided in the detailed review. That said, the author has an interesting prose style that seems to capture a feel for the setting. Some ruthless editing would greatly improve the text.

The piece presents an interesting fantasy world that has piqued my attention. As it is written, however, I do not think it will be something that non-fans will find comprehensible or compelling. If the author wishes to include this potential audience, some changes as noted above are required.

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Review for MVP Awards

I will start by saying that I don’t generally read fantasy, so my knowledge of the genre is not extensive.

To start with some positives: I appreciate that the author addresses the issue of male sexual trauma with sensitivity and compassion. This is not often presented in fiction, and I applaud the author for having the courage to do so. Along the same lines, it is refreshing to see a male character (Coburn) who is open about his vulnerabilities and able to express emotions that are often suppressed by men.

I also appreciate the portrayal of Saffire’s struggles with anxiety. To me they ring true: the constant questioning of one’s own abilities, self deprecation, and the tendency to obsess about the worst possible outcomes. I think many readers will see a bit of themselves in this.

The fantasy genre allows an author to build a world with different rules and even different physical laws than the one we live in. However I was disappointed in the world-building here. Some very brief explanation is given in Chapter 1 almost casually, but the reader will struggle to understand very basic things, such as: What do elemental wielders do from day to day? Where are the other (non-wielding) humans, and what interactions do they have with the elemental wielders? Do only two people live in the Shadow Realm (for that is all we see)? Why is there conflict between the Shadow Realm and the Elemental Wielders? As it is, it just seems like a very simple conflict between good and evil, but things are rarely that simple—we need some background here. For this reader, much more information about the novel-world would make the story more compelling in that it would better allow me to understand the motivations of the characters. This would not have to be presented all at once, but could be introduced in conversations between characters, extra scenes, etc.

The author uses italics to show what I take to be inner (thought) monologues by the main characters, Coburn and Saffire. However, I find this to be unnecessary and indeed distracting considering that the book is narrated in the first person, and the narrator is free to explain his or her thoughts without distinguishing them from the rest of the prose. With a few very simple changes, the italics would become unnecessary. I could understand if the monologues were presented as something that happened in the past, and indeed that is the case sometimes, but not all the time. Perhaps this is a standard in the genre, but it is just distracting for this reader.

The author has a tendency to use commas in cases where a semicolon or em-dash would be better. As an example, in Ch. 2: “Something about the smell, the sound, I don’t know what it is.” The third comma should be a semi-colon or em-dash. This occurs frequently in the text.

There are issues with capitalization in some sections of dialogue. In some cases, the beginning of a section in quotes is not capitalized when it should be.

In some sections there are many unnecessary paragraph divisions, which make the text choppy and less readable. If successive paragraphs are a continuation of the same idea or theme, they should be combined.

There are a moderate number of spelling mistakes throughout the piece. I do wish that Inkitt had a simple way of recording these, but it doesn’t. One example: the character Jaxson is spelled Jaxon at least once.

All that said, I enjoyed reading this novel. I hope the points I raise above can help the author make it even better.

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Well done!

Really I don’t have a lot to say about this novel. It was very well written, the plot was interesting and emotionally captivating, the characters were well developed and well rounded. Reviews are most useful to authors when they include criticism, but there is little to criticise here.

A few plot points struck me as a little off. Charlene’s parents were killed when she was nine years old, and I don’t think it is adequately explained how she became what would seem to be a world-class skater, since her father was her main coach. Obviously she must have had intensive training after losing her father, which would have taken up a large proportion of her time, as is usual with elite athletes, but that is not touched in the novel. I think it should be.

I was a bit confused about your description of figure skating events. Elizabeth and Charlene’s father must have done pairs skating, as do Charlene and Doug. But it is mentioned a couple of times that Elizabeth won her Olympic medal in “dance” as a solo skater. In figure skating, ice dance is done by couples and is an Olympic event. Mens and Ladies Single skating is referred to as Singles, not dance. A minor point but it might be important to skating fans.

Finally, I don’t think it is ever mentioned whether Charlene uses sign language. Would it not be natural for her to have learned that? It would certainly make for easier communication than a notepad, at least with those who knew it. Much is made of Melanie and Doug using a notepad to communicate with Charlene, but to my mind, it would have been much more impressive if they had begun to learn ASL so they could better communicate with her.

These are minor points, just things you may or may not want to look at. In fact I had to think hard to find anything to criticize here. The Silent Skater is an excellent story and a worthy winner of the Roadmap Award. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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Fast burn, slow burn...

(contains plot spoilers)

The story is very well written. There were no spelling or grammatical errors that I could detect, and that is a remarkable achievement in such a long piece. I found the present-tense narration a bit strange at first—just haven’t encountered it before—but I got used to it after a while and stopped noticing it, so I guess it works. I would be interested in hearing the motivation for using this style.

The story develops slowly. I understand the urge to put in a lot of detail about a subject on which you are an expert, but you have to keep the interests of your audience foremost. I quite liked learning some details about an archeological dig, but others might find it less interesting.

The pacing of the romance seems a bit off to me. Development of sexual tension between James and Samantha seems too rapid, especially on her part. Given her situation, her most plausible conclusion would be that she has been drugged and kidnapped by a madman. She is also very sick and nauseated, hardly conducive to romantic attraction I should think. I found the “Kiss bet” a bit creepy and her acceptance of it rather implausible. In contrast, I found later development of the romance to be too slow (see below).

The big fight in Chap 18 just doesn’t ring true to me. On her part it is totally unreasonable, to the point where it seems implausible that someone who has previously seemed entirely reasonable should react this way. The water is too cold? How could she not have been aware of the water temperature in England at this time of year? Then his reaction seems too omniscient to me, as he attributes her outburst to a reaction to her previous relationship, which he can’t possibly know anything about, beyond that she is divorced. I just don’t see how he could reach these conclusions without further information. A more plausible reaction to an outburst like this would be for him to conclude she was just a nutcase.

As mentioned I found later development of the physical side of the romance to be slow. These are adults, both in their mid to late thirties, both with sexual experience. I found the “pants stay on” rule to counter the remote risk of pregnancy (given that she was diagnosed as infertile) to be extreme. Personally I think you could have made the initial physical encounters much more compelling if you had discarded this rule and substituted a “no coitus” rule instead. There is so much they could do, and it could increase the erotic tension a lot if done right I think. But that is just me: perhaps a very slow burn approach like this is more conventional in the genre.

I found the ending a bit confusing. I was surprised that people who purported to be scientists would take supposed prophecies from the spirit world so seriously, almost without question. Shouldn’t appeals to magic be the last resort, rather than the first? I would have preferred at least some effort to come up with a more rational explanation for all that happened; it just seems a bit implausible to me that otherwise reasonable people would suddenly decide to hold a fire ceremony in a cave. Also I am still trying to work out the timeline in my mind, which I suppose is a good thing.

All this might sound a bit negative, but I enjoyed the story! In general I just think it is more productive in a review to focus on the problematic issues rather than the positive, because those are the areas that might require attention. You don’t have to work on the good parts! Also I realize that some of these issues, such as romantic pacing, are matters of subjective taste. But hey, that’s literary criticism I guess…

As always, I would be happy to remove this review if you don’t want it on your site. Just let me know.

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Lots to like, but issues...

There is a lot to like in this story. The characters are interesting and well-developed, particularly Alice and Sam. The action scenes at Fort Rutner are exciting and compelling to the reader. The author has a knack or revealing plot points through dialogue and action, rather than just having the narrator explain them, which makes the story more interesting.

While the piece is generally well written, there are number of spelling and grammatical errors. Some of these may be deliberate and stylistic, but more on that later. These include, in general: word omissions, as in “a couple (of) beaded hide vests”; outright word substitutions, such as “envigeration”, should be invigoration (I guess), and “antidote”, should be anecdote; sentence fragments, usually sentences lacking a subject—this is not necessarily wrong, and many authors use them occasionally, but here they are used excessively; and changes in tense, as in “Clearly he was scared. And he should be.”

The writing style is generally good, but I find the use of the vernacular by an omniscient author to be distracting and unnecessary. If the narrator was speaking in the first person, or was a known character, I could understand this, but as it is it just seems like an affectation. It is also applied inconsistently. Examples occur throughout, but consist mainly of making false contractions by dropping the final “g” on “ing” words. I understand that the author is perhaps trying to sound as his characters might speak, but I just don’t see why an anonymous omniscient narrator would do this. Maybe this adds something for some readers, but it is just jarring for this one.

The first chapter, while very well written, does not seem to bear any relationship to the rest of the novel so far. While I understand that the novel is unfinished, it seems strange to have a first chapter that does not really introduce anything for what must be a substantial part of the plot. I think it needs something to anchor it to the earlier portion of the novel which is reviewed here.

One of the central plot points, that they are going to retrieve a document that grants rights to black people, is not well explained and seems completely implausible to me. The reader just doesn’t know why this would matter so much. Couldn’t they just get another one? Why would someone take it? Why would it have any value? Why is it in an army fort? Why does it matter that it was taken? I found this so unbelievable that I think this must be a fabrication by Bill and that there will be a reveal of the true goal of the heist at some point, but that hasn’t come yet. But even if that is the case, it leaves open the question: why would any of the characters believe such an outlandish story, particularly Peter who apparently sacrificed his life to retrieve this document? The premise is never questioned by any of the characters or explained in any rational way. I just don’t get it.

I found the pace of the story to be a little slow. Really, there is not much action until they start bombing Fort Rutner, and that is thirty-odd chapters in. The author spends much of the time on character development, but that happens rather slowly too. There are lots of hints about the terrible things the characters have done, but they are not really revealed until late in the story. The pace is presumably geared to a longer work, but even so I had trouble maintaining interest in the story.

To conclude, I think the story has possibilities but there are issues which need to be addressed, as outlined above.

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How it's done!

I really liked the story, mainly because it goes into a lot of physical detail about how this woman masturbates, and it seems very realistic. That is something you don't often read: real and detailed descriptions of sexual practices, almost unembellished by excess or exageration.

You might consider adding a bit more about what the subject is thinking. Does she have detailed fantasies or just vague, ephemeral thoughts? I think that could add more spice to the story.

Personally I don't like the last line, when we are told that someone is coming in the door. Before that it had been so positive, and peaceful in a way. Given the level of shame our society loads onto masturbation, the last line delivers a negative tension that kind of spoils what came before. It would be different if there was another chapter; then the story could reach a resolution. But as it is, I think it just leaves a negative residue on a story that was otherwise so positive.

I really like your work! Take the above as an attempt at constructive criticism.

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Promising, but...

For this reader, the story was not very compelling. I found the beginning to be good, but the rest of the story did not really make me sweat the way erotic writing should.

I think what is missing for me is more about how things actually feel. Most of this is told from the female/sub's perspective, but the story lacks explanation of why she finds this kind of relationship to be so stimulating for her. What is it about the relationship that so excites her, that makes her want to submit? I don't get a good sense of that.

Along the same lines, the sex scenes had a good physical description, but lacked much insight into how it actually felt for the participants, particularly the sub. Physical sensation is notoriously difficult to describe, but I think you have to make more of an effort to with this story. The physical and the emotional.

There are many grammatical issues here: poor sentence structure, run-on sentences, issues with comma use etc. This needs a thorough editing. Many of the paragraphs are too long and should be broken. This is an issue when reading on a small screen. With my screen there is a formatting issue in the second chapter where many word pairs are combined into a single word, e.g. "Showme", "tugginglightly".

There is promise here, but it needs work. I hope this is helpful.

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Promising start to the series

In general fantasy is not my favourite genre. Nevertheless I enjoyed reading this novella.

I really liked the main character, Alieda. I love how she is such a strong and free spirit, going out alone into the mountains for days on end. She is so talented and skillful, as a dancer, as a woodswoman, as a farmer. I am sure she will be a great character to develop, as what is sure to be a long series of novels is written and published.

The novel introduces an entire world which resembles our own but has some obvious and important differences. One criticism I do have is that at this early stage in the series, the reader knows little about this world, its history or inhabitants, and that hinders the reader’s understanding of what is going on. For example, the Summary mentions several things; the “Seal of Silence”, a former evil ruler; that are not touched upon at all in the story. Of course I understand that these things will be explained at some point, but for this novella the Summary does not seem to relate to the story that is actually told.

As a further example, the Prologue introduces a character, Grey, who we barely meet again until the Epilogue. It seems also that the world is shared with at least one other intelligent (sort of) species, grakken gnomes, with whom humans seem to be in a state of conflict. This seems like a fairly important thing, but is barely touched upon in the novella. And again, the importance and powers of Grey’s staff remain unknown to us.

Of course I understand that this is only the beginning, and there is merit to leaving room for the characters and the setting to develop, rather than locking them early on. Still, this is the novella I read, and for me the set and setting were not developed enough for me to really get a handle on the plot, and to understand the motivations of some of the characters. I also found the plot a bit slow for the first several chapters. The pace of the novella seems more in line with a much longer piece, rather than the short one we have. I am sure these issues will be resolved as the series continues, but I would suggest that publishing this piece as a complete novel in the series would not be the best idea, because to me at least it seems underdeveloped.

The writing style is excellent: simple and direct with some stylistic and vocabulary flourishes, which I actually liked. Grammar and spelling are all but perfect. I noticed only one typo, in chapter 23 where “brought” is misspelled and “brough”.

All in all an impressive work and I can see how it could develop into a long and successful series.

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Great so far...

(up to chapter 4)
The story certainly starts out quickly! You really hook the reader with that first hook-up. The sex scene is quite good. My one criticism is that it could be longer and more detailed, but that is a personal preference.

The voice of the story seems a little strange to me. Mostly it is told from Olivia's point of view, but a few times it switches to one of the male characters. This is okay but I find it a bit jarring, and prefer it when the world is seen from one character, at least within a chapter.

The plot seems to be progressing well. Since a review should offer constructive criticism, I will say that I find some aspects of the plot to lack plausibility. For example, Olivia is sent off on assignment for the CIA without even being given a file on the person who is supposed to be her husband. Another example: at the end of chapter 4, her boyfriend suddenly appears in her hotel room, apparently able to bypass security and presumably locked doors. I suggest that you could do a better job of explaining these things, and that would make the story more plausible.

Technically the piece is very well written and I noticed very few errors in spelling or grammar.

All in all a good job so far, and I look forward to reading the rest.

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Not sure what the point is...

First some positives: You are a good writer. Your prose is generally easy to understand yet quite expressive. Technically the writing is very good, with few (but some) errors in grammar and spelling.

Unfortunately I found the story to be relentlessly depressing. Of course I don't expect my fiction to be all about heroes saving the victims and slaying the monsters, but there has to be a reason to keep reading.

As it was, I barely made it through the 20 chapters. Nothing much happens as the protagonist recites his endless litany of pain, tedium and pointlessness. Given his situation, that is not so surprising, but we lack context as to how all this came about, and that would have made it far more interesting to me. Of course we know it is the result of a nuclear holocaust, but that is about all we know: no details are provided. A backstory would have made the whole thing much more palatable to me.

In addition, the narrator is not a very sympathetic character, and in the end I can't make myself care what happens to him. The fact that he is the only character with any development in the story does not help matters.

I guess what I am saying is that you have to give the reader a reason to read on. In this story, there is simply no hope for any sort of a resolution beyond slow, relentless decline and death. So I won't be reading any more of it.

I realize this is a negative review, but I have resolved to be honest in my reviews. There seems no point otherwise. However I understand if you do not want this review to remain, and I don't want to drag you down as a writer. Therefore I will remove this review if you ask me to.

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Quality work

(up to Chapter 18)
It is very refreshing to find such a well-written piece of work on this site. The story seems to be progressing well, the characters are well-founded, and the setting is nicely described.

Technically the writing is very good, and there is little to find fault with. However, a review is supposed to be helpful, so here are a few things:

There are some minor grammatical errors, but they usually occur within dialogue, which may make them intentional.

Some of the paragraphs are overly long in my opinion, and there are obvious points where they could be divided. This is important particularly for this medium, because many are reading this on a very small screen, so it makes scrolling inconvenient.

Some of the chapter divisions did not make sense to me, i.e. they seem to occur at a point in the plot where there is no obvious need for a division.

I noticed a few paragraphs where the tense changes within the paragraph, from present to past, for no obvious reason, and I found it a bit jarring. One example occurs when old Mr Smith comes into the pub, and I think there were a couple of others.

These are minor points in an otherwise well-written piece.

Even though this is not my preferred genre, I will probably keep reading this piece. It reminds me a bit of authors like Conan-Doyle, who I have not read since school. I think many would love this story if they get to read it. I hope it finds an audience.

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Great start!

The story has a strong opening! I don't recall ever reading a story that started quite in this way. I also like the way it is structured so far, shifting the POV between her and him.

Another thing that I like is the use of first person in a story like this, and I think it is a courageous thing to do. This opens up possibilities in erotic fiction to really express the sensual in these encounters, something that can be incredibly hot. I hope you do that more in later chapters.

The first sex scene was moderately hot, but I would have preferred more detail and a happier ending for her. However I realize that the hotter stuff is likely to come later in the story. As I said above I suggest you try to describe how it feels for both partners. This can be difficult but also very effective.

There is a problem with tense in parts of the story. Some parts are written in present tense, then suddenly shift to past tense mid-paragraph. This is jarring for the reader and I am not sure what the intention is with this.

I noted several mistakes in spelling and grammar, and I wish I could point them out for you, but unfortunately this platform does not seem to have an easy way to do that.

All in all a good start, keep it up!

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Never liked MMF, but...

I've never been attracted to the idea of MMF, but I really enjoyed this, I think because it is told from the woman's perspective.

The storyline was quite good. My only criticism was that it lacked a a bit of tension. The one main theme was her discomfort with how others might perceive her relationship with the two men. While this is certainly relatable, it is, perhaps, a bit thin to build an entire novella around. At times it seemed like it was just a way to link the sex scenes. However this is a minor criticism, and this is a far more complete story than most erotic fiction I have read.

The sex scenes were well done. I might have preferred a bit more detail, but that is just me. They were definitely...stimulating.

Technically this is very well written. I found no spelling or punctuation errors. There is a formatting error in one of the chapters where the paragraphs are not separated by spaces, whereas they are in the others. In chapter 11 there is one line where "Caleb ran his hand lovingly down Caleb's back." which I think must be wrong.

All in all a really enjoyable read.

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Poetry for those who think they don't like poetry

I don't read poetry, generally, but I really liked this!
I found it quite moving in the way it evokes the straitjacket of gender norms, and how we often feel incapable of deviating from these, even when we want to. I remember feeling the same way as a young man, over 40 years ago now. In fact I may even have written a poem or two about it (smiley face).
I really don't know how to judge the writing style in a piece like this, beyond saying that I liked it. As I said I know little about poetry and how it is structured. But it worked for me.
I did not see any issues with spelling, punctuation or grammar.

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Promising

Overall I like this story so far. It caught my attention and I can easily relate to the main characters for whom books and reading are so important.

The writing is simple, not flowery, and quite direct. Perhaps a little spare: it would`not hurt to put a bit more description in. After all the world of 1940`s England is foreign to almost everyone now. I don`t really have a visual picture of the characters in my mind, which is something I like to have when I read.

On a technical level there is an overuse of commas, i.e. there are many cases where there are commas when they are not necessary. Also, I question the paragraph structure in some instances of dialogue. There are paragraph breaks when one character is speaking, which to me are distracting and unnecessary. For example (not from the book!):

```Hi,`` said Julie.

``Want to go to the cafe with me?"

I would write the above in one paragraph, even continuing on the same line, whereas in many cases you do not. For me it makes it difficult to determine who is speaking if it is written as above.

I did find some other spelling and grammatical errors, but I couldn't figure out a way to mark them within Inkitt. Is there one? That would be very useful for reviewers and authors...

I like the plot so far and will continue to read it if more chapters become available. I am particularly intrigued by acquisition of a sailing dinghy as I was a keen sailor in my youth. Keep it up!

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Not ready...

The story might be improved structurally by being less direct, and focusing on the experiences of the main human character (Alma) rather than switching between the supernatural and human character. This could be done by, for example, focussing more on Alma's story and telling the supernatural background through dialogue with the angel. To me this would make the story more relatable.

I am afraid I find the writing style to be quite awkward. Sometimes there are differences in tense within a sentence, or structural subject/object problems. The story will require careful editing probably by an outside editor to improve the style.

Similarly there are quite a few grammatical errors in the piece.

On a positive not the story is quite original and it does leave me wondering how things will progress. The story has a fast pace that keeps the reader interested.

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Stories that left me wondering...

These stories are very well written. They have a "slow burn" quality that I like, but I fear won't be too popular on this platform, which seems to be dominated by fantasy and simple romance. Some of them seem incomplete to me, but I understand some of them are sequels and prequels to stories I haven't read.

The first story seemed to go nowhere to me, at first, but then I found myself thinking about it hours later. The relationship that might-have-been. I think all of us recognize the situation.

The second story made me think of the Beetles song Norwegian Wood for some reason. Just a quality I guess. Left me wondering where things would go. Same with the fourth and fifth stories, but it does say "to be continued".

The final story I didn't really like. It all seemed rather contrived and unlikely, that she would just leave like that, with no further contact, then suddenly reappear and that would work out. Seems to stretch credibility to me. I realize this is a follow-up to something I haven't read but it didn't engage me like some of the other stories.

Technically I find the writing and style to be very good. There are a few spelling and grammatical errors but these seem like typos mainly and can be easily addressed with a careful edit. I would prefer it if related stories were published together, or maybe re-arranged into a novel, because now I might never know what happens, or what happened before. So you might consider doing that at some point.

I enjoyed your work. Thanks.

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