Gripping and Original
THAT FIRST PARAGRAPH, THOUGH. I swear to beef, if there's anything that got me hooked about this story, it was that. Like, whoa. Massive kudos.
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There were a few grammatical errors ["May I off you a drink" rather than "offer") but honestly, I barely noticed them. I think what I mostly noticed was the dialogue. I wasn't wholly in love with it, it was very simple. But honestly? I feel like it worked. It seemed to suit the quirky and intriguing narrative. It's not often that I read a book like this one, where I'm so completely enraptured with the idea that practically everything else sits on the back-burner.
The plot was, frankly, really neat. I want to read this whole book. So you had better win this contest so I can order it from Inkitt, holy mittens.
I feel the story also could have benefited from a bit more description. I want to know more about the opulence behind the Red Door! I want to know if there are any lacquered vases or Persian carpets or silky tapestries. If there's elaborate dark wallpaper with engraved chair rails. ... Haha, this is all what I pictured! But in the prose, I only ever saw "lavish" or "extravagant." But what? Red-glass table lamps with golden tassels? I want all the deets!
This is random, but I also have a Vi in my story. ... She is not as hot as your Vi, I'm pretty sure. Also, questions in dialogue can end with a "?" like "Were you not aware?" she asked dryly. It was a little weird that they'd be missing a lot.
EDIT: ... ... When it said "he knew what he had to do," I was NOT expecting that. Haha, this read is quite a romp. Do recommend! And good luck in the contest!