Malcolm Twigg

Torquay

Humorous sci-fi and fantasy is the mainstay of Malcolm Twigg's writing, for which he has received a number of awards in the past.

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Kindhearted - Review

Strange approach to this. Is it a play or a novel approach to a story? It doesn't actually work as either, I feel.
A play needs to be much longer anyway and contain more action prompts and scene settings; a story needs to have the action prompts and scene settings incorporated in the body of the text. I have no real beef with the language, although it seems a typical YA attempt at humour and, as a Brit, the American youth culture leaves me a bit bemused. Overall, I felt it was trying to be funny for comedy's sake and failing because of that. It would have worked much better as a regular story, although it doesn't actually go anywhere. There is a beginning, there is sort of a middle and the end just kind of hangs there leaving me wondering what the point was.

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The Palace Guard - Review

The quality of the writing in this story is impeccable although it does need tidying, but it is only a first draft after all. It is a complex story, with many layers and I suspect it would take a lot of very careful reading to make sense of it all. I wonder, does the average reader want to expend so much mental energy in getting an initial grasp of what is, after all, an adventure story? There is an awful lot of backstory to take in, and a plethora of characters to pin down in those backstories. There are two things that immediately stand out on even a cursory reading and those are the ease with which the author deals with dialogue, whether that be colloquial or official, and the amount of knowledgeable military Jargon that is used. The author seems very much at home with this, although I doubt that the average reader would be: I certainly got lost and I think that this, together with the backstory exposition, gets in the way of the story per se.
I am not a fan of stories that flit back and forth in history and this is a tale that seems to make frequent use of this device. To my mind this is another hindrance to understanding the story. I found myself wanting to get to the point. It seems to me that any one of the backstories would have been very acceptable in isolation: it is almost as if a whole series featuring Joe Fazio has been compressed into the one novel.
I believe that the author is a psychiatrist and there is a lot of psychiatric detail. Of course, you need to ‘write about what you know’, but I have to confess that I did find the detail – like the military jargon – a little obtrusive.
In short, I admire the quality of the writing in this piece and the far sighted vision of the author. I’m sure that there is a good story here, but it does need a severe editing to make it reader friendly

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Captivating!

In my opinion, this challenge has brought out some great writing and this work in progress is one of them. A brilliantly original concept, it merges fantasy with scientific plausibility in an, as yet, un-named world , peopled with highly believable characters – and that specifically includes the half-men/half-stone creations around which the novel revolves. There is some great world-building in this novel and the prologue brings us right into the action of this atmospheric story. Unlike a lot of prologues, this one is necessary but I can’t help feeling that it would have been better had it been a simple narrative rather than introducing dialogue between characters I would have expected to encounter further into the work. It almost merits expanding into a Part I, in which case the dialogue could be retained. This would allow the author room to particularise further on her creations a lot earlier since, to a certain degree, the reader is left to envisage the various creatures that are introduced. To some extent, I am left feeling that I almost need a glossary to fully envision what is being described. For instance, a detailed description of what a Grak is does not surface until Chapter 10.
I would have liked some better introduction to the world that has been created here: where am I? humans are mentioned so am I to believe that this is a colonised world of the future reduced to barbarity and competing with the native life forms, or some future earth rising from the ashes after Armageddon and species mutation? To that extent the suspension of my disbelief has been taken just one step too far, at the moment – I need some sort of validation to allow me fully to accept what is happening, although I am going along with it so far because I like theme, love the story and empathise with every single one of the characters, even the walk-ons. The rationale of the world is eventually introduced – but not until chapter 14 or thereabouts.
One thing that is left unexplained is why the Stonemen go barefoot. Given the events that later pan out, it becomes apparent, but just a hint of the reason would have prepared me better for what followed.
However I was totally involved with the story. I am accepting much of what is explained to me on faith at the moment but very happy to go along with it
One thing that did work against my acceptance at the moment is the way in which they dealt with the hive. Given their supernormal powers, surely they would not have needed to go hunting inside. I think that needs thinking through a little better. Could they not have used their powers to demolish the hive.

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Hectic Holidy - revew

Good start. I assume this is a YA book in which case the humour should appeal. It is well written, with an intrinsic humorous feel that sounds natural. The protagonist's laconic character is beginning to show and, whist some of the sentences and punctuation need sharpening up, this is a highly readable story so far. There is a bit of glitch in the POV (where the protagonist is lying on the settee amidlst the mess in the kitchen).. Writing in the first person is always difficult and this POV aspect should be watched. But, overall, I enjoyed reading this and I really like the approach that the author is taking which is radically different.

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Iceman's Lament - Review

Wow! Asimov quality John. I sat and read this for pure enjoyment with not a thought of criticism. Reminded me of one of my own but mine is nowhere near the quality of this. Superb job. No superlative is too excessive. Good luck with finishing it.

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Twisted - Review

Of all the contributions I have read by this author so far, this is by far the best However, like the others, the piece is not fully realised. As they stand, they are not short stories, but collectively they serve as the outline for what promises to be a cracking good dystopian novel along the lines of The Handmaid's Tale, They could actually pretty much form the beginning, middle and end sections of the novel or novelette: all that needs to be done is to expand each of the chapters presented into three or four more chapters each, and I I believe there is more than enough material and implied background to do that,. There is obviously a lot of backstory here, which the author seems to have clear in her mind, Unfortunately this is not presented well to the reader. I think a Prologue would be an ideal vehicle for focusing both the reader's and the author's mind on what that backstory is, without giving the game away. Again, tenses and presentation needs to be addressed.Although she obviously has a lively imagination, I feel that the author lets her enthusiasm for the story - and the knowledge of where she wants it to go - get in the way of her pacing it as a vehicle to hold the reader's interest. Characters are introduced as though plucked from the air: I have no knowledge of who they are or their relationship to each otherbut, as far as the story itself is concerned - shortcomings notwithstanding - I was taken enough with it to want to read on and I am still wondering how it will end.

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Superleg - Review

This is an enjoyable ‘what if’ left-field sort of story. It was somewhat spoilt by a clumsy layout (ie no line spaces between different dialogues. There were also a number of typos and some mis-spellings that really needed to be corrected before presentation – the editor’s head always gets the better of me in these situations. And, speaking of heads, I laughed out loud when Superman said he kicked Lex Luther’s head off and where he had become a laughing stock dangling off his flying leg: that is something you always need in a humorous story. As it stands, however, those two little gems apart, there was just not enough intrinsic humour in this for me. It is understandable that Superman would need a psychiatrist in that situation: but Superman always kept his identity secret, which gives rise to a wealth of other possibilities. Personally, although it would remove some of the central backstory, I would have given it a different treatment. Perhaps have the psychiatrist unaware of who his patient actually is, have his identity emerge gradually during the consultation to the psychiatrist’s confusion and, perhaps, disbelief. Have him offer a placebo of advice to who he assumes to be some sort of nutjob – and then have Superman fly out of the consultation room dangling off his leg at the conclusion to the psychiatrist’s discombobulation.

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Welcome to the Show - Review

This is certainly different from any other offering so far seen on Inkitt. It’s almost surreal in places. The author has chosen to write this story as a screen play. That is perhaps a mistake – it would work much better as a story and I understand that is the intention at some point. It is labelled as ‘Humour and Thriller’: I’m not certain that either of these categories quite fit. There’s quite a lot of slapstick in there however– practically every ‘scene’ contains a brawl and there is a ‘message’ in there at the end. The main protagonist is not a particularly likeable character, which I believe is the whole point of the piece because by the end he does learn his lesson. The author seems to have had a lot of fun constructing this screenplay and I found it to be a creditable effort but it does need a lot of work to make it fit for pitching to anyone, if that is the purpose. The ending is a bit obscure and doesn’t exactly fit with the rest of the piece although it does leave the way open for a sequel. Best to leave this out and just write the sequel if that is the intention. Overall the story is quite a lot of fun - it just needs to be worked on to make the plot come together better These thoughts are further expanded in the comments section to avoid cluttering the review box up.

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Could it be Destined - Review

Like the author, I could not really place this story, either in terms of genre or age grouping. The language is very unsophisticated and the opening line is the classic fairy story opening, so one has to assume that this is going towards 7-10 year olds. But do these children read classic fairy stories any more? I can't judge because I am not into children's fiction.

Actually, the writing is not that bad, even if it is unsophisticated although the dialogue is quite good. The name of the protagonist does not actually fit the feel of the story, however, He should be called something like Alain de Dandridge. I do like the fact of his coming across his betrothed bride by accident but doing it so early in the story seems to limit your options a bit, I would have thought. I do like the feisty bride-to-be.

I hesitate to say it, but the story has the feel of a bit of a parody but that is maybe the way my mind works because I write humour into everything, When the Prince ran away to avoid marrying, my humour button immediately clicked: 'Ah, a member of the LGBT community'. Now, at the risk of offending a few of the more sensitive souls in the world (and no offence intended to members of that community at all), that would be a good story and a real different slant on the traditional fairy story, Obviously, this would lift it to adult readership,.

Only the author knows where this story is going, but the language and the, dare I say, somewhat hackneyed storyline definitely slants it towards a children's story,

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Jane - Review

This is a highly entertaining, well written and cogent piece of writing. I’m undecided whether it is tongue-in-cheek or not but, either way, it moves at a pace and, to be honest, deserves a bigger platform than a short story. As presented at the moment it requires extensive editing on the Inkitt platform, but a thoroughly enjoyable read once those glitches are sorted out.

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Virtue and Sin - Revew

This is only a work in progress, so it's too early to make a proper value judgement. However, the premise sounds interesting, although the author needs to pay close attention to comprehension and sentence structure and, perhaps, run it through some sort of editing application to highlight textual and grammatical errors. That said, I am intrigued to find out where this is going so, on that score, at least the author has scored reasonably well,

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Xander - Review

This is an extremely well written and ordered piece of work with an interesting concept lying behind it and I’m sure it would appeal to female fans of the genre. It does, however, need some tweaking, particularly in respect of POV and a careful consideration of the style of language adopted,

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Review

As a glance at the body of this author's work will show, it is apparent that her forte is short Children's books. In their present form on Inkitt, they don't come over as well as they should because they do cry out for illustration,. The language is simple, direct and to the point but there could be a lot less use of exclamation marks!!! That does detract from the work. I know that the work is intended for children and to epitomise a child's innocent wonder, but it does mar the writing. One thing that the author does need to work on is a satisfying ending - all the work just seems to peter out, which is a pity,

The level of writing is deliberately focused towards children without being 'written down to', as it should be', of course, But I would like to see her write a larger work for adults because I believe she is more than capable.

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Fate - Review

Chapters 1 and 2: This should be a mainstream book as soon as possible. It is absolutely on point, deals with the sensitivity of the issue at point remarkably well and makes time travel absolutely plausible. The only possible criticism I could make is that there seems to have been a much faster and more extensive quantum leap in technology in 15 years than sits well with me. I would rather have set the start of the novel in the near future where technological advances had already started. I don’t usually like poetry or song lyrics in a novel, but these fit the theme perfectly.
There are a small number of editing issues:
Paragraph at ‘His Alarm’
Don’t like the divisions 1,2, 3 etc. Best to use the line division that Inkitt provides in their editing tool
Past time should be pastime
Lead should be led in a number of places
Oh shit handle, should be ‘oh shit’
‘Although, North Korea was getting rowdier all the time.’ Bit of a clumsy construction. Seems to hang somehow,.
They rhythmic bass = the
From the people carrying on ... needs to be a continuation of the previous sentence, not a new one. Disjointed otherwise.
Bulk – bulky
Other than this absolutely no criticism. I would buy this book in a flash.

Chapter 3: Practically faultless and my brain is now starting to hurt. I love Edvard's character - he could be nothing else but an order freak. Ingenious characterisation,.

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Fat Cat Review

Hmmm. Surreal or what? I read it twice and I'm afraid I'm none the wiser. Didn't do it for me - I just couldn't get a handle on it at all.

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Cryptic - Review

It was an absolutely chilling start to this book which set the scene straight away. However, I did wonder how someone so young would have acquired the knowledge to avoid capture right at the start. This is answered in the second chapter, of course, but that seemed too much like a Deus ex Machina moment to me – I’m sure that this paranormal element could have been introduced in some less obtrusive way, essential though it may be to the story.

I think that the story does deal quite well with the dichotomy of a diseased mind living a normal life, but I have to say that I do find the subject matter very distasteful. It is almost as if it glories in the actual act of killing for killing’s sake. This has to be a consequence of the story, not the story itself.

I like the way that the story jumps from Gus to Gage and back again, but this split needs to be clearly demarcated in the test – it isn’t at the moment. I did think it a bit convenient that he could get at Terri Jo’s car so easily. I also found it strange that Gus’s wife was so accommodating with his living in his apartment and only visiting home, and I generally found that there was too much inconsequential dialogue (which was sometimes too stilted) which did not really carry the story forward. That apart, the writing was competent, but it does need a lot of tightening up.

With the crux being Gage’s involvement with Gus, I felt that it was way too long before that became fully established. I read with some interest for a few chapters, but as the killings became simply episodic I’m afraid I lost interest quickly. I didn’t really see the point of introducing Charles Manson into the story
I did find the concept interesting but exceedingly creepy in the wrong sort of way – almost pedophilic in places and I’m sure that isn’t what you intended.

To my mind the story concentrates too much on Gus. Sure the story is all about Gus and his murderous activities to start with, but I feel it would be a better story if the main protagonist was Gage and his attempts to solve the crimes rather than his becoming a serial killer – although I can appreciate the twist that this gives the story.

In short: a good concept but wrongly inflectioned in my view that would benefit from a severe editing and a radical change in direction
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If you should feel able to give any feedback on any of the following, that would be appreciated, although you will find any of them the polar opposite of Cryptic:

To Hell with the Harp! www.inkitt.com/stories/149100
Slippered! www.inkitt.com/stories/148145
Hair of the Dog www.inkitt.com/stories/147116

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Billy Bob's BBQ - Review

It is notoriously difficult to write a cogent Flash fiction piece, especially when also using humour, but I think this one almost makes it. I must say I was puzzled by the ending which could have been made clearer. However, it does make me want to read a lengthier work, because this writer obviously has the latent skills.

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Luftdyn's Night Off - Review

Nail on the head! Fantasy that doesn’t take itself too seriously and well worth a look if only for that reason. But there are plenty more reasons as well because your imagination can run riot with a super-hearing hero and an invisible brother. This is a good idea and useful as a first draft to work on, but it does need some work.

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The Waves - Review

I have added this one straight onto my reading and hope to get on it soon - I have a lot more to do yet. But I just wanted to say, at this stage, that this is a remarkable piece of writing for one so young. Keep it up! I have thoroughly enjoyed what I have read so far and the rating probably deserves more, but I need to see how the rest pans out.

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Cowardly Soul - Revew

I am lost in admiration at the quality of the writing in this piece. This has to be the most profound thing I have read in a long time. I cannot begin to imagine the amount of research that has gone into producing this work which graphically transports the reader into the horrors of the Great War, and one can only hope that Jacque finds his peace by the end of it. Superb work.

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Half Orphan - Review

As a male I do not read romances and expected not to enjoy this. But I did. I read it in two sittings. The author has an easy style and builds up a convincing if distressing picture of the dilemma created by traditional and modern life in Indian society. It is an easy read and creates a vibrant picture of life in India and, in fact, is much too short. I could well have been drawn further into the story had the author expanded it. Apart from a few misplaced idioms that is about the only fault I could find - it is almost as if the author has rushed the ending, particularly when the reconciliation takes place in the final chapter. There are, in fact, two stories going on here, one in first person and the other in third person. That is unusual but it does work, although the novel does need to be split in some way to reflect that. Overall, a good read.

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Not Long Now - Review

Oh Boy! I sat transfixed by this story as much by the elegant language as anything else. this is Steampunk meets H,. G. Wells with a liberal helping of Edgar Allan Poe. I stand in admiration of the author's literary skills, the level of research that went into creating a short story and the sheer inventiveness and imagination. It was easy to forget a few inconsistencies. 'Deli' and 'Boutique' made an appearance in the story, both words that would not be known in the era that I assume is represented here. I did wonder just what period we are talking about. The language assumes that it is late 19th century, but references elsewhere suggest that it is at least post 1918 and the two do not necessarily correlate. I did wonder also at the age of the narrator and exactly why he was put to work with the orphans when one would expect that he would assume some greater role given his relationship with the founder. But these are irrelevancies really compared with the splendour of this story and the chilling ending. Superb!

If you should feel inclined to reciprocate:the following novels up for the contest could do with some attention

To Hell with the Harp! www.inkitt.com/stories/149100
Slippered! www.inkitt.com/stories/148145
Hair of the Dog www.inkitt.com/stories/147116

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Puppeteer - Review

You appear to be writing this in first person present i.e recounting events as they happen to the individual concerned. First off, this is very difficult to do even for an accomplished writer because you can only see events unfolding from the protagonist’s point of view, which doesn’t give you any scope to bring third parties’ view points into the story. Secondly, you keep slipping from present tense to past tense and back again throughout – it all needs to be consistent.
I have to say that I am intrigued by the story and the construction that you have adopted – apart from the first person present. I believe that the whole story would be much more believable in third person narrative. You seem to have the vision and the ideas, but you do need to work on dialogue, sentence construction and choice of words – there are some words and phrases that do not sound very mature. The Matthew character seems far too sympathetic for what he is there to do. What I think you need to do is go back over the work, try it in third person narrative and take out words and phrases that don’t carry the story forward. One superfluous point that springs to mind is when her hair falls over her eyes and she describes the colour – although the reader will eventually want to know this, in the shock of discovering her predicament this is not something that would immediately spring to mind to her to register. It could be built into some later writing.
You also describe her as being partially unclothed. Given that this is a horror story I think you really need to go further than that – it doesn’t have to have any sinister connotations, there might be a simple explanation, but to have her unclothed wearing just an unfamiliar robe might inject a frisson of intrigue. Good ideas, but needs reworking somewhat. Good luck with it.
If you feel like reciprocating, I have the following novels up for the contest which could do with a download and chapter read. Wouldn’t mind reviews as well.
To Hell with the Harp! www.inkitt.com/stories/149100
Slippered! www.inkitt.com/stories/148145
Hair of the Dog www.inkitt.com/stories/147116

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Lost - Review

This is an interesting approach. I believe that this is what is termed ‘metafiction’ where you are deliberately making the reader aware that this is just a story rather than just telling a story. You have Kelly as the narrator in this story with the writer actually being inside Kelly’s head. I’m not sure if this is going to work or whether you will be able to sustain it through a whole novel. But how about if the writer is the narrator but is speaking directly to her character, Kelly as the story progresses? In other words turn the whole premise on its head and – just a suggestion – somehow have the writer assume the persona of Kelly (or vice versa) as the story progresses. I would suggest you aim for a short story rather than a novel. However you choose to do it I think you have the bones of an intriguing story here, but be sure to hone your words and dialogue to the appropriate context. You are attempting a very ambitious approach here and I applaud you for it. This would come under the heading of ‘literary’ if it comes off.

In accordance with the approach I have just suggested I have attempted a rewrite which I will reproduce as a comment to this review to avoid clogging the box up.
Hope this helps.

If you feel like reciprocating I have the following novels up for the contest that could do with a download and chapter read. Wouldn’t mind a review or two as well. Don’t seem to be getting many although I’m getting a lot of reads.

To Hell with the Harp! www.inkitt.com/stories/149100
Slippered! www.inkitt.com/stories/148145
Hair of the Dog www.inkitt.com/stories/147116

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My Neighbour ,,, Review

Hi Roua
Rather than itemise things in your first chapter, I have taken the liberty of roughing up a full edit that you might care to look at and compare. I didn't find it too bad, actually. I like your writing style, but you do need to use diminutives a little more ie. you're instead of you are etc - it gives it a more natural feel.
There was a tendency to have dialogue that didn't perform any real function other than to pad the story out - I hope I have identified this in the draft edit. All in all, quite creditable. I don't know where it's going but I am interested to find out, Two things I didn't like: the title (how about Hooker or something simple like that) and the Blurb which really sounds like nothing more than a first paragraph. The blurb needs to summarise the story and this doesn't really,
'The first time I met my neighbour she seemed like a nice girl. We chatted for a few minutes and went our separate ways. I would never have expected her to do what she did for a living, She was a prostitute. I couldn’t tell her that late at night I would sometimes wake up because of the sounds coming from her apartment – I don’t think she knew that I could hear her.
I had just moved to the neighbourhood. I’m not usually a people person – I like my ‘me’ time more than anything else but when I saw my neighbour for the first time, she seemed like someone I could be friends with. She smiled as she extended her hand to me and said: “You’re new here! I’m Gena.”
“Yeah. I just moved her last week,” I said, taking her hand. “I’m Matilda.”
“Lovely name,” she said as we left the elevator, “have a great evening,”
Our paths didn’t cross for a while after that first time. I had just moved to the city to start a dream job as a magazine editor. It meant long hours at the office and I spent the next couple of weeks focused entirely on my work. When I had some free time I spent it trying to get to know my co-workers over dinner or a cup of coffee. I literally had no social life whatsoever and although I wanted to fit in as quickly as possible, I didn’t feel I could become friends with any of them. Frankly, I think it would have been a mistake anyway. Mixing work and friendship is often unwise – it deters you from making the right decisions when you have to do something that might impact on a friendship with colleagues.
I wasn’t always like that but some bad experiences in the past had persuaded me otherwise. You don’t have anything in common with workplace friendship apart from work: not like real friends.
Our next meeting was serendipitous, as it happens. I like to buy things in bulk, cook them up and freeze them, and I sometimes go overboard, so I was carrying this heavy load of groceries and couldn’t open the street door properly. Gena was walking behind me and she jumped in front of me and held the door for me. I noticed that she was wearing a substantial amount of makeup this time: her face had been bare when we first met.
As we both waited for the elevator it was Gena who started the conversation again “Long time, no see,” she said. “Looks like you’re preparing for hibernation by the amount of stuff you’re carrying.”
“Oh yeah, I like to buy things in bulk,” I said. “I think it’s more efficient.”
I told her that I usually precooked my meals and froze what I could and it transpired that she didn’t cook, herself – couldn’t cook, in fact. She generally ordered in all her food, so I suggested she come over some time. I could use the company.
“I would love that!” she said. “When?”
“Tomorrow?” I said.
“Afraid not,” she said. “I’m working until late. Maybe the day after?”
“Sure. Sounds good,” I said.'

I have a number of novels up for the novel contest if you would care to reciprocate,. Take your pick.
'To Hell with the Harp! www.inkitt.com/stories/149100
Slippered! www.inkitt.com/stories/148145
Hair of the Dog www.inkitt.com/stories/147116

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Review - I should have bought better friends

OK. The style of this book – the American feel apart – reminds me very much of the Peter Pook series of humorous novels that were a minor cult thing in the UK back in the 60s where outlandish things happen to the protagonist on a regular basis, generally caused by the actions of his reckless best friend: I have read every one of these and have actually been placed twice in the Peter Pook Humorous Novel contest initiated in his honour (both books are on site at the moment To Hell with the Harp! www.inkitt.com/stories/149100 Slippered! www.inkitt.com/stories/148145). Not that the book is dated. Far from it – it’s bang up to date. However there are a lot of references in there that only an American would recognise, which therefore dilutes its appeal to a wider audience somewhat, although you can put those to one side because of the general appeal.
There is a lot of madcap humour in here on the positive side. But on the negative side there is too much of it, jokes come thick and fast and tumble over themselves to be heard – a bit like the interaction between the four protagonists. In my opinion there is a lot too much of that to sustain the humour to the level that it is evident could be achieved. My mind is constantly in a whirl trying to keep up. There needs to be a lot less banter (a lot of which is superfluous, really) and a lot more business to even the banter out. At times it makes these 30 something guys seem like stroppy, mindless, teenagers.
I enjoyed the concept of the book and the general feel and the humour (when rationed) is first class. I also like the meta-fictional approach that the narrator adopts – sometimes. Again this is very much overplayed as is the word play: points made are laboured over again and again and this just doesn’t work for me. I also liked the chapter headings. What I did not really get to grips with was the episodic feel and overall there seemed to be a lack of a definite plot. The payoff, when the trail of destruction left behind by this irresponsible quartet gets revealed, seems to be laboured and not really believable, although it does fit in with insanity that prevails throughout the book.
Where it lost its appeal for me was with the death of one of the protagonists: that did not change the madcap whirl of banter one iota and, although I had been willing to suspend disbelief up until then, I’m afraid I stopped believing at all after that – I was actually waiting for the guy to come back to life or to be declared not dead at all: now, that would have been funny.
This is an interesting read and is my type of humour and I was really enjoying it for a few chapters, but I’m afraid it all got too much for me. it would really benefit from a ruthless edit and a good slap around the face to knock some sense into these guys. The humour needs to be pruned, and it all needs to be paced out some with less cut and thrust and more action. But this author can write. There’s no doubt about that, as some of the saner passages show.

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Hearts of Silver - Review

What a fantastic concept.
I suspect, from the way the book is written, that it is for the younger generation, who would tend to see such an ability through rose-tinted spectacles, and the book does seem to be presented in this way. I don’t write for young adults so perhaps I am not the best judge of the work which, in the form that it is presented, is well written for the specific audience in mind.
But it is worthwhile considering how this would be if it were to happen in real life. Heart Readers would be a race apart. They would be reviled for their special abilities by the public. They would need protection. They would need to hide and they would need psychological counselling, to counteract all the evil they would encounter. They would need to have some way of blocking it out.
Also, rather than being employed, they would have the potential, through their abilities to mould events to their own liking. In addition, since they were not able to reproduce, they would be psychologically damaged.
I know that you try to explain how the 1st generation heart readers came to be accepted, but I don;t think it would have turned out so well as you premise.
This is a well written story, but treated much too lightly, I feel. There is potentially a much, much, darker side that is just begging to be released.

If you feel so inclined I have a number of novels up for the novel contest that could do with a download and r&r as follows:

To Hell with the Harp! www.inkitt.com/stories/149100
Slippered! www.inkitt.com/stories/148145
Hair of the Dog www.inkitt.com/stories/147116

Good luck with your writing

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The Kestrel - Review

August: I have downloaded this and added it to my reading list and it is probably the first that I will get to. As an entry to the contest this has to be a leading contender. I totally believe in the setting, the characters and the treatment. The writing is sharp, concise, meaningful and professional. So far, I can find nothing to fault with this, nor do I expect to do so if the writing maintains the same quality as the first couple of chapters as I fully anticipate it will. Good job and good luck.

September: Took me longer than anticipated to get around to this but I'm glad I did. When you read something like this, it does make you wonder why you, yourself, should consider yourself a writer. This is a cracking good yarn, masterfully written, intricately plotted, brilliantly executed and immaculately researched right down to the last belaying pin. Can’t say a lot more really. Fantastic job. And it looks as though the story is set to continue as well.

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Suicidal Love = Review

Hi Felipe

Let me say straight away that I am not at all into poetry, but I did find the central theme of your work so sad. That much comes over and I wonder whether it is a reflection of some personal tragedy

I can't begin to say that I understood your introduction at all, or felt that it had any relevance to the poem itself and the poem itself I felt could have done with a good editing to tidy up some of the images. I see your name and I do wonder if English is your 1st language. If not then this is a very creditable attempt at a prose poem.

I did attempt to rewrite the poem as I think you were meaning to put it over and I will send this over as a comment to avoid putting it on a public platform. But I have to say it makes a change to see something different on Inkitt to the usual Tales of Fantasy that seem to predominate.

Good luck with your writing.

In the meantime, I have the following novels up for the novel writing contest at the moment. If you are so inclined I would invite you to download them and skip through a chapter or two. I wouldn't mind a review as well if possible. I will send the link through with the comment,

Sincerely
Malcolm Twigg

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Mini mis-adventures of Raft

Hey Curaq
This is my kind of story and I set to reading it with some enthusiasm. However, as it stands at the moment, I don't think it is well realised. The concept is good and you've got a wealth of material to work with as Raft travels the world. I'm not sure whether the medieval aspect would work well - you would have to have some pretty good knowledge of history, but with the current state of the modern world Raft would have an awful lot to report on! Had I conceptualised this - and I wish I had - I would have set it in the modern world.

What really grated with me was the labouring of the central theme of this piece where he is taking a shit. 'Dump' would have been better. I know what you are trying to do here but incongruity of the situation is just a tad misplaced I feel and over-laboured to the point of absurdity and that is a pity because this story has immense possibilities to my mind. I think that what I would have done if you wanted to keep the shit theme, was to have this supernatural being take his annual dump (which I assume would have been on the world) and then take a big stick and stir it a la 'shit stirring'. That would set you up to explore the rest of the work. Just a suggestion,

The title itself needs reworking. At the moment it sounds as if it's a kids' story - which it obviously isn't. And why Raft? I would have been tempted to make Raft some sort of acronym to explain it - or at least invent an acronym that would neatly summarise his purpose which would probably entail you giving him another name As it stands I am wondering why people call him Raft,

I know that this is a draft but you do need to look carefully at your punctuation and style. I have had a brief look at some of your other blurbs etc and they display the same lack of punctility.

I don't find the actions of the priest funny where he is hitting people over the head. I believe you meant it to be. Rather than focussing on the actions of the priest, focus on the priest's foibles himself. For instance, have him so worked up about the situation that he trips over, walks into a wall etc - something slapstick, something that negates his whole purpose as a priest (if I'm not mistaken you are having a dig at religion here). And I applaud that.

Might I ask you to look at my offerings in Inkitt:

To Hell with the Harp! www.inkitt.com/stories/149100
Slippered! www.inkitt.com/stories/148145
Hair of the Dog www.inkitt.com/stories/147116

All of these are written to the same sort of style that I think you are trying to achieve here and the first of them sort of deals with the theme you are exploring in Raft, . Two of them are place winners in the Peter Pook Humorous Novel contest here in the UK. I think that a scan of the style adopted here will explain what I am trying to say about Raft.

In fact, most of the stuff I have on Inkitt is written more or less in the same vein - I try not to take myself too seriously, I find that Fantasy writing is itself a bit of a cliché, so I like to send it up rather than write it straight.

Despite its shortcomings I am going to keep an eye on this because I believe it has unique possibilities,.

By the way, the above novels are currently in the Inkitt novel contest so if would care to download them and at least skip through them you would be doing me an immense favour.

Good luck with this but get out your editing pen,.

Regards
Malcolm Twigg

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The Heiress: review

The plot thickens in this high-flying A Lister tale of romance, big business and spying. The storyline is good and there is an underlying air of intrigue, but it is a work in progress and does need the author to give it a thorough shake-up in terms of order and terminology.

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Slave of Fire - Review

Hi Cati

Just picked this up to see if I could read it, although I'm not necessarily the best judge since I don't read fantasy. I actually haven't got beyond the first couple of pages simply because you haven't made me believe in the world. You obviously do believe in it, because I see that this is a completed work and to have got that far you must have a great deal of tenacity and vision,

What I do believe in is the concept, or as much of it as I deduce from this initial read and I understand (I think) that here is a world that is suffering some sort of climactic crisis. That much seems to be evident - perhaps too evident, since the point is laboured long enough.

The trouble, I think, is that the prose is trying to be just too worthy. You are adopting the classic fantasy style (what I call 'hand- on-forehead' declamatory style) where everything that has happened or will happen is potentially momentous or fearsome. In the 'real' fantasy world that you are trying to create, the speech patterns of everyday people would not necessarily have this foresight. They would interact normally whilst momentous events go on above their heads and I know that you attempt to recognise this when the two girls are going to wash clothes at the river At the same time you are using a lot of modern-day colloquialisms that just don't gell with the overdramatic style of the rest of the writing. You need to decide on how you really want to present this,

References to 'the great one' and phrases like that are a fantasy cliché and should be avoided (unless you are trying to do a pastiche) which I don't think that you are. Who is the great one? Name him. Actually, forget the prologue altogether because I don't think it adds anything. The story starts when it starts.

Basically, I think you are trying too hard to emulate the fantasy writing that you so obviously love. Forget the old clichés. Be yourself. Don't try and write the fantasy that you think people want to read, write the fantasy that you want to write in your own style - but be sparse. As it stands your words are tripping over themselves to make themselves heard. Take a look at the first couple of pages and do a ruthless edit, and I think you will find that it reads easier.

I hope this doesn't come over as too negative because it is meant to be constructive - and I speak as a former magazine editor. Just regard this as your first draft and rework it. I think you will be happier with it in the long run.

Good luck with it and do feel free to rip any of my stuff to shreds!

Sincerely,

Malcolm Twigg

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Prodigy Review

OK. I'm well and truly hooked. In my opinion this is a tour de force. I don't normally read thrillers, but I would say that this would hold its own in the genre any day of the week. I can see that you do need to introduce Eve in some way, just not in such a graphic manner. The test of good writing, I feel, is dialogue and yours drips off the page like honey. I am thoroughly engaged with the characters, although I haven't a clue what is going on - only that it is something momentous. You need to finish this. It is not just another Indie novel. This shows real skill in storytelling, characterisation, dialogue, intrigue and action: everything you need to make a good read. If the powers that be at Inkitt have any sense, they should snap this one up,. Some work still to do on grammar and punctuation but nothing that a good edit won't fix, but maybe my British mind doesn't cope with the Americanisms so well, Good job!

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Killer Fantasy - Review

This has the potential to be a good story. As it stands. it reads more like a synopsis for a pretty good supernatural tale. The way I read it, it is the protagonist who is subconsciously actually causing all these weird events to happen. Having lost a son only a few days earlier, I doubt whether the protagonist would have resumed his normal work cycle. The treatment needs to be sorted out, because there are all sorts of tenses involved here. Basically this breaks down into three sections:
Death of the infant by furniture falling on it: why did this happen, what background circumstance in the life of the protagonist might have caused it to happen (if, indeed, his subconscious is to blame, although the story doesn not need to suggest this at this point)
Death of the wife: again why - what circumstances might have contributed to this;
The protagonist's arrest and the subsequent denouement.,
The ending is probably OK as it stands, but I wonder if it would be better if objects started attacking the police?
There is the basis for an original story here but it does need recasting.

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The Survival Job - Review

Although the blurb doesn’t do the novel much justice, even a brief look at the opening paragraph shows that this is a novel written with real maturity and respect for language: the sort that you immediately know you will want to engage with, even if only for that fact. And this proved to be the case. As a Brit, I had originally thought that the author himself was British, but it seems that he is Eastern Seaboard, and the language used – apart from the obvious Americanisms - seems very similar and familiar, which is perhaps why I was so drawn to it. Every single character was well drawn and sympathetic – I really wanted to be a part of this little group and actually felt that I was. It is a curiously constructed sort of book: there are no real peaks and troughs, there are no real cliff-hangers – there is not much of a plot - and yet you are drawn to each chapter, albeit that you realise it will just be a description of another aspect of the protagonist’s training to be butler. The appeal of the book, I think, lies in the use of language and the exchange of dialogue which is flawlessly executed, and the gentle delivery (apart from a lot of irritating typos and a few misplaced words that really ought to be addressed) . All the time I was reading this (and I did so in three sessions only) I had a warm glow and felt enveloped in the protagonist’s life. I felt that there were a few times in the narrative when the novel could have been spiced up a little, but that would have detracted from the overall feel and I can see why the author chose not to take that route. The novel is tagged as ‘humor’. I would not actually class it as ‘fall-about’ humor: there are no belly laughs, for instance, instead there is a sense of entertainment. If you love language and if you like to see it used correctly and sagely, then this is a book that is well worth a read.

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Through the Wormhole - Review

Shades of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy in this one: Douglas Adams himself might have been proud of some of the symbology used here,. I wouldn't have wanted it to go on much longer, however - as it was I found it just a tad overlong and padded out in places with some forced humour which might have been funny in isolation but lost its appeal in the interplay between the two main protagonists. I loved the whole concept, however, and read it with a half-smile on my face but, sadly, no guffaws which is a shame, because this kind of zany story deserves that sort of reaction,.Looking forward to seeing some more from this author in due course because we seem to speak the same language, literally and metaphorically.

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The Sight - Review

I am assuming that this is a work in progress since the ending suggests that. The author professes to be new to writing. If so, then the quality of this submission augurs well for the future,. First person present has been chosen for the narrative, for the most part. This is never a good idea for a first attempt at writing since it limits the options somewhat, but the author handles this remarkably well, even when the narrative shifts to third person past for the reminiscing section.. Again this is handled remarkably well and gells perfectly with the remainder of the narrative,

I have only one critical comment to make and that is that we do not learn of the protagonist's name until some way into the piece,. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but when his mother drags him out of bed right at the start of the piece would be a good place to identify him to the reader. Apart from that, and a few typos that need to be sorted, this is a cogent, literal and highly readable piece of writing ideally pitched to the young adult reader. I wouldn't normally read and enjoy such writing, but this proves to be an exception to the rule,. I am intrigued to find out what happens next.

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Ace - revew

Ace is the title and Ace is the attribute that can be attached to this. I don't read Fantasy, period, but this is one Fantasy that I would read. I bought into it straight away, which is saying something for someone who doesn't read fantasy at all, I loved the characters, I loved the language and I sort of loved the dialogue, although it is too young for me to identify with. Not a lot of criticism to offer here except that in the first Chapter Mr Who-Gives-A-Crap would be better written like that. There are a number of typos and misspellings elsewhere that need to be sorted,.

First person present narrative has been chosen to tell this story. I'm not sure this is a good idea because it does sort of fall down when Chrissie goes out to the woodshed and the author is then forced to adopt 1st person narrative for another character to carry the story forward,. I had to read back two or three times to make sense of where I was. Overall, a good job and an intriguing storyline that displays some originality.

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The Isaac Story = Revew

I found this an intriguing concept, exceedingly well-written and entirely symptomatic of the times in which we live. Time is Money is a phrase I have always abhorred and the author dissects this aphorism with almost surgical precision. I;m not quite sure that I have hooked into the author's mindset as yet, but I am intrigued to read more about Isaac. A first-class start to a work in progress.

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Lost in Glory - Revew

Overall, this is a creditable effort with frequent flashes of inspiration and a highly original storyline told very tongue in cheek.I read the first paragraph and immediately wanted to give a five star review. This is my kind of story and I suspect, like me, the author eats Terry Pratchett cornflakes for breakfast and swills them down with dwarf beer.

Sadly, it got downgraded as I read on, not for lack of ingenuity or incipient humour but for trying much too hard. Although I thoroughly enjoyed it, and read it with a half-smile permanently on my face, and outright guffawed on occasion, a lot of the comedy was a bit forced – and that was only because there was far too much of it. This is very much a case of less would be infinitely better. One joke follows so hard on the heels of another that you forget to take a breath and lose track of where you are. It sort of gets exhausting and needs to be paced out a bit which, I know, is difficult when you are having fun and the author had a lot of fun with this story.

Although I appreciated the absurdity of the White Rabbit bit, this was a case in point – it didn’t need to be there - as was the incident with the bandit scratching his head, and a lot more like that could well have been left out without harming the story. I do like this meta-fictional approach where the author is actually kind of mocking his own story occasionally, but that kind of took over towards the end of the book.
There is an awful lot to like about this story and there are some really good ideas that Pratchett himself would have been proud of. The character and mannerisms of the Paladin is absolutely spot-on. The exchange between the ogres was funny, for instance, but it was a bit too derivative of Pratchett’s Trolls. Also, although the characters are well drawn, they do seem to speak with the same voice – just a bit. Sometimes it is a bit difficult to determine whether it is the Paladin, the dwarf or the princess speaking, for instance and the same can be said for other characters. Again, it is the superfluity of jokes and banter that account for this where the comedy is the centre of attention rather than the task of taking the story forward.

I get the impression that the author is also trying too hard with the various names to make them amusing, although I do like the description of how the city got its name and I did actually laugh out loud at the bit where it was said that the ‘lesser generals job was just to repeat the general’s orders but a bit louder’. That was a classic! Similarly the Rabid squirrel pit was a nice touch (to paraphrase) but that whole section about the pits was just too ... well ...pitty.

‘Jeffery’s not home’. I almost fell off my chair at that one.

The Sillysquid play on words went on a bit too long for me and, in fact this whole section about the Lord seemed rather too inconclusive; the second set of guards, for instance, was not necessary, and later, the Magical nut of fertility in the forest seemed like another joke placed in there for no reason.
In a few places the author misplaces tenses: he says things like ‘knight did come from’ instead of ‘knight came from’ and that pulls the reader up short. Only can – should be can only; get over with it – should be get it over with; know where is the oracle – should be know where the oracle is, for instance.
Love the not killing for mercy bit and sticking the dagger in the peasant!. The snake was good but out of place since nothing came of it, another instance of stuff that could usefully be left out. In fact, there is enough stuff that could be left out of this piece that would make a useful sequel.

The ghost’s conversation is really difficult to follow and that should be put more into common English with just a hint of wooo hoooo.

I think that that beginning of chapter 4 had the kind of narrative thread that would benefit the rest of the book, but again, following that very readable extract, there are just too many jokes and the descriptions of the Lords which, whilst amusing doesn’t really take the story forward and, in fact the whole process of the choosing of the candidate was overlong with comedy for comedy’s sake. Really, the book is essentially a series of set pieces and sketches brilliantly visualised but, in the end, gets rather surreal with the fish when it starts to smack of Douglas Adams. Not a bad comparison, I suppose but I felt that didn’t weave into the weft of the story very well.

I really liked the interplay between Vannard and the sorceress – good characterisation there, but again it went on too long each time. It was overplayed, and the reader began to lose interest in what should have been very rewarding exchanges.

Actually, what needs to happen here is for the author to let Vannard loose among the pages to ‘murder the author’s darlings’. Thus suitably pruned it would be a corker of a story well worthy of five stars even though you can feel the ghost of Sir Terry orchestrating events from afar all the time, even down to the thinly disguised pastiches of his characters. .

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The Wrong Mark - Review

I really enjoyed reading this submission, which motors into action from the first page and keeps up the momentum throughout. I wouldn’t necessarily class this as erotica – it seems more like a damn good adventure yarn to me with a bit of erotica thrown in. I think it should stay that way because the writing is just too good to restrict itself to descriptions of sex, good as though I suspect that might be from the quality of the writing so far. But, what do I know? I don’t read erotica so I have nothing to compare it with.
There are a couple of points I would make: there seems to be a time anomaly – chapter one says that it would take cops 7 minutes to get there, chapter two says twelve; I don’t know how the American system works but could she not just use the electoral register to find out who is living at the property. Frankly, I would lose the masturbation scene. It doesn’t really add anything to the story and, in my opinion, cheapens it.
Nothing to criticise otherwise. Superb writing, great suspense, interesting characters, page turning potential. Keep it up. To coin a phrase.

If you feel able to reciprocate here are a few links you may care to consider:

To Hell with the Harp! www.inkitt.com/stories/149100
Slippered! www.inkitt.com/stories/148145
Hair of the Dog www.inkitt.com/stories/147116
Family Matters www.inkitt.com/stories/151046 (Work in progress)

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Glass corridors - Review

Loved this little story although I must say the Glass Corridor analogy escaped me and the ending sort of begged the question of who was going to miss the girls and who would come looking. But, I am willing to suspend my disbelief for a creepy little story told with utter conviction.

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Magic in Manhattan - Review

This author has a distinctive style - I suspect you could spot a David Frenkel anywhere. In this one there's a hint of Mickey Spillane and more than a hint of Tom Holt. I don't read straight fantasy, but this is wacky and tongue in cheek and that intrigues me - I do want to know how this works out, OK, it needs work stylistically and syntactically but this is a draft. I'm torn on the treatment - do I want the explanation of the fliers where the author has put it, or do I want it at the very beginning of the piece? At the beginning it might give me a bit more of an idea what is going on but the author likes to do his own thing. However, as a reader, I am confused at the beginning so perhaps I need to be fed a bit of a raison d'etre somewhere. Interesting. A lot of tightening up needed but could have possibilities,

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The Lady and The Prince - Review

Let me say straight off that I am not the best person to review this. I don’t read romance and I absolutely cannot read straight fantasy, so all I can really do is concentrate on writing style and setting. To start with, the title pinpoints the genre and the theme and targets the readership precisely and what the author has here is a highly readable if highly romanticised story on the cusp of romance and fantasy. As such I have no doubt that it will appeal to the readership to which it is targeted because the writing is clear, direct and to the point and the characters certainly have reader appeal.

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A Darker Magic - Review

I don't read Fantasy because I need at least some pseudo-scientific basis for the story, but I didn't mind this at all. It was a pleasant read, pleasantly written, with characters that I could believe in if I suspended my disbelief in fantasy. It has all the hallmarks of a modern Grimms Fairy Tale and the ending was unexpected. All in all quite a charming little tale albeit in a genre that does no credit to the author's obvious writing skills

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Fort in a Storm - Review

This is a remarkable piece of writing. The words just flow off the page and into the reader's psyche as if they had always been there. I got a warm glow just reading it - despite the seriousness of the subject matter. This is yet another story that I have put onto my reading list and one I hope to get back too soon. For now, I am content with having read 6 chapters and having those 6 chapters keep me company for a while. This is a great story.

If you should feel able to respond any of the following could do with attention.
To Hell with the Harp! www.inkitt.com/stories/149100
Slippered! www.inkitt.com/stories/148145
Hair of the Dog www.inkitt.com/stories/147116

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The Immortality Plot - Revew

You only need to read the blurb to realise that here is an author who knows what he is about. The first two chapters only serve to reinforce that opinion. This is promising to be a cracking read and for the life of me I cannot understand why this is not a mainstream novel Superb job! Looking forward to reading the rest at some point.

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Enigma of the Universe - review

You obviously have some sort of clear idea in your mind where your story is going but, unfortunately, you don’t set it up well, either in the introduction or the prologue. In fact, I don’t quite get the relevance of the intergalactic theme you introduce in the prologue. I would forget that and introduce it elsewhere in the story. As far as the introduction to Humaroos is concerned, that is for you only: you don’t need to explain this to the reader in an info-dump like this – build it into the story when it might occur naturally ie in conversation with someone. You appear to be predicating a species of humanoid inhabiting earth alongside humans, but I don’t know, from your story, whether humans know about them or not – I assume from the old woman’s action in welcoming Brenda that they do. If so, that sets up a problem in my mind if you are setting this in the present day world, because where are the humaroos now? Their appearance seems quite distinctive so they would obviously be noticed in human society. I think they need to be secretive creatures if they have been cohabiting alongside humans, hiding in the shadows. Perhaps, in the past, they have been taken as some sort of demon by humans and persecuted? I don’t really buy the premise. I think that what you ought to do is to have a clear idea in your mind of what your story is about and where you want it to go. You also need to decide just what the relationship between humans and humaroos is. You seem to be suggesting that humans are out to destroy the humaroos. Can they, in fact, pass for humans – I think they need to – but perhaps when their existence is finally discovered through whatever means you decide, then the very natural human fear of the unknown kicks in and they begin to be hunted down. You need to have a Beginning and an Ending clear in your mind. You need to decide what the central conflict in the story is going to be and how the various characters are going to get this conflict resolved – this will form the central part of the story. Do bullet points in summary of how you want the story to pan out (these could well be summaries of each chapter).
I think you are trying to run before you can walk with a story as expansive as this is probably going to need to be. Forget about writing a novel. Write a short story instead, but adopt the same approach. Keep your language simple, but not infantile, take out all the adjectives that don’t take the story forward (and dialogue) and just have fun with it. You can always go back later and change it. Hope this helps. BTW the title does';t do a lot for me.
Please have a look at some of my stuff. I’ve got three novels up for the novel contest at the moment.
To Hell with the Harp! www.inkitt.com/stories/149100
Slippered! www.inkitt.com/stories/148145
Hair of the Dog www.inkitt.com/stories/147116

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Painted with Tears - Review

I picked this one up because I was intrigued by the theme: South against North again. I know little of American politics but it seems to me over the pond that there is a very real danger of that sort of thing happening again in some form,.

Technical point first: I would have had the dream section in italic script, that would have indicated to the reader that the story proper had not started - or at least put an alert out that something different was going on,

Second point: I want some sort of info dump, in keeping, to wise me up to time and background. I am assuming that this is some time in the future and maybe a post apocalyptic scenario - I do hope so. You've got Kim Jong-Un to help you with that!

Third point: I would just use the prologue as first chapter.

Forth point: you mention armour and I am wondering what you mean - body armour i.e medieval or kevlar. Do';t need to name it, I just want to be aware in my own mind what I am looking at here,

There's not much to go on here yet hence the rating so far, but I am certainly intrigued to look at some more, I think there are rich pickings here and the writing is lucid and unambiguous. Promising start,.

If you feel like reciprocating I could do with some downloads and chapter reads:

To Hell with the Harp! www.inkitt.com/stories/149100
Slippered! www.inkitt.com/stories/148145
Hair of the Dog www.inkitt.com/stories/147116

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Wicked little thing - review

I love this. I have some reservations but I love the insanity of it. What does concern me is, if the boy has been shut up in a monastery all his life, how did he get to be so sassy and worldly-wise. I think it probably needs another setting, I assume that now he is out of the monastery with Meriella that part of his life has changed in which case ditching the monastery might be easy? I don't know. That whole premise bothers me. I do feel that the protagonist is a bit too mouthy. This might get tiring as the novel progresses. However, the writing is tight, sharp and pretty damn near perfect and anything that has a go at organised religion ticks my boxes any time,. Interested to see how this develops but have a think about the monastery angle. Would some other religious institution do?
Good work. Definitely well worth pursuing.

If you feel like reciprocating check out the following:
To Hell with the Harp! www.inkitt.com/stories/149100
Slippered! www.inkitt.com/stories/148145
Hair of the Dog www.inkitt.com/stories/147116

Last two chapters: Like a good wine this improves as it gets older. I really love your style and I am really enjoying reading this. I still have a few reservations about how sassy Grin is - it does seem to be overplayed on occasion, which dilutes the comedy. However I read it with a half-smile on my face and actually laughed out loud at one point: at quite an innocuous little remark really, but perfectly p[aced in context to make maximum impact. Comedy is probably one of the hardest things to pull off but this does it for me,

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Once upon a flash drive - review

I've only just started to read this but already I've rated it top marks. There isn't a lot more to say. This is a thoroughly professional job with good characterisation, faultless dialogue, excellent construction ... more superlatives anyone? This is going on my reading list for updates as and when,

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Ancient Magic - review

Hi there
Let me say right away that I am absolutely not the right person to be reading a y/a fantasy novel. I cannot understand the modern day fascination with high level fantasy. I feel that it has been done to death and you can’t top Lord of the Rings or Narnia anyway, and I’m not even a fan of those. However, that said, I do have to say also that the writing in this present work is very accomplished and sets the right tone for your target audience.
In my opinion, the prologue needs to hit the wastepaper basket soonish. You have set the novel up adequately enough in the Blurb. Readers know what they are going to get. Once I start reading high flown immensely ‘meaningful’ language such as you present me with in the prologue here, then the novel itself beats the prologue to the waste bin.
However, once the novel itself starts, I am somewhat mollified. As I said the writing is accomplished and well directed. I see that you have chosen to write in first person and present tense for the modern day pieces and past tense for the ancient elements. You’re probably right for the ancient element, I’m not so sure about the modern day sections. You could find this limiting in that Chloe will only be able to describe events taking place from her own perspective at a later stage when, I assume, you will want to have her interacting with mystic beings and you may need more scope.
As for the mythical element, I didn’t quite buy it but that may just be my prejudice against high fantasy. Do I understand that everyone in both of these tribes have mystic powers? And, if so, what happened to them all? Surely Japan would have become a much more different country. Or is it just the ruling elements of the tribes who possess these powers? I favour the latter approach which would explain better their need to hide throughout history. Don’t know. I’m just clutching at floating straws here.
What you have here is a historical novel and a modern romance woven together with magic and I think you are probably handling this about right for your target audience.
Good luck with it.
Please feel free to reciprocate if you so wish – I have very little of reviews on any of my stuff. I have a number of offerings against my name on site but have three novels up for the contest at the moment: To Hell with the Harp! www.inkitt.com/stories/149100
Slippered! www.inkitt.com/stories/148145
Hair of the Dog www.inkitt.com/stories/147116

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Better than That - Review

This is a story that doesn't actually need any review - just a scan of the first page should tell anyone that. This is an author who knows her subject, knows her characters, knows her story and - above all - knows how to write. Words and dialogue flow like honey. Romance is obviously her forte but I would really like to see her stretch her talents to other genres. I believe she could storm it. Flora is a writer to watch, in my opinion.

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Day and Night - Review

Hi Flora
WOW! Let me say first off that I’m a guy – I don’t read love stories. Period. I started to read this simply because you say it’s a work in progress and I also have a work in progress on site at the moment. I had to go out shopping part way through reading and I couldn’t wait to get back to get started again – in fact, I purposely curtailed the shopping trip so I could get started again. That is how much it grabbed me.
This is so visual. I can only best describe it – despite the grave subject matter – as being like a cosy night in front of the fire with a bottle of wine and watching a TV adaptation of the novel with a voice-over narration by an A list actor – that is how visual it is. It is absolutely stunning. I believe that you have the male viewpoint absolutely spot on – I cannot for the life of me write from a female perspective at all.
Treatment, pace,dialogue I cannot fault at all. I did find myself a tad confused at some of the terms you use, probably because I am a Brit:
What is choler, for instance? When there is a white-out and the protagonist is stuck at home, would there be fast food available -I guess Canada keeps going no matter what? ESPN? Don’t know what that is. Co-workers: I suppose this is accepted terminology – we would use colleagues in the UK. You say ‘the night of the city’ at one point: this seems a clumsy construction. You mention Riley as cooking a stir-fry when they first meet but this later turns out just to be tomatoes and eggs – probably what we would call a fry-up in the UK. Stir fry is used correctly later on when they go the restaurant. I was confused at the ethnicity of all the protagonists – I assume them to be all Chinese or Asian extraction. That doesn’t matter I suppose but when the realisation hit me it did come as a surprise.
I did find the initial conversation with the nurse just a tad too formal and ‘diagnostic’. There are some minor grammatical inconsistencies which do need to be addressed. These are mainly probably typo errors caused by editing incorrectly and occur throughout the piece where definite and indefinite articles are missing and words are given the plural form and vice versa or expressed in the perfect tense when they should be present – and again vice versa. At one point you use ‘either’ when it should be ‘neither’ (or the other way round – I can’t read my notes properly). At one point you say ‘us guys all’ when I think you mean ‘all us guys’. These are all small nit-picks that a thorough read-through will pick out.
All in all I am lost in admiration for this piece of work and, guy or not, will probably follow this through. It’s on my reading list.
Good luck with it – not that you need it.
If you feel able to reciprocate my work in progress is Family Matters www.inkitt.com/stories/151046 - a bit of a departure from my usual style of writing and wanting some reassurance accordingly.
I also have three novels up for the novel contest that could at least do with a download and if you felt able to r and r, so much the better.
To Hell with the Harp! www.inkitt.com/stories/149100
Slippered! www.inkitt.com/stories/148145
Hair of the Dog www.inkitt.com/stories/147116

Again, good job.

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Cyber Match - Review

The prologue is a bit of a spoiler. I think the story stands as it is without the need for that, particularly since Sammy Jo doesn’t make an appearance until a few chapters in and I am therefore left wondering what on earth she has to do with it all. But then, I am reading this as a one off and I believe that Sammy Jo features in all the other books so other readers may already be familiar with her.
It is certainly fast paced – perhaps too fast. I would have preferred it to slow down some. To a large extent the action moves forward through dialogue, which is fine, but to my mind there is just too much dialogue of an inconsequential nature. It needs to be broken up with descriptions of actions taking place within a setting i.e. People moving about as they speak, picking things up, pregnant pauses and such. My mind is in a whirl trying to keep up with the exchange of conversation. The dialogue itself is faultless, apart from the inconsequentialities, and the characterisation is good.
I would slightly doubt Amy though. She sounds too put together and intelligent to be two-timing Ken and Erik through a dating agency and I doubt that, given that she agreed to meet Erik at his place on such short acquaintance, she would have been quite so chaste during the encounter. It does begin to sound a bit too clean-cut, squeaky-clean, all-American homespun in places. I think it needs to be a bit grittier.
One thing that did slightly grate on me was the frequent descriptions of food – at least three in the first few chapters. I’m not really interested in the menu as in the development of the characters and the progress of the story. One other thing that occurs to me is that the development of the plot seems to have too much of a docu-soap treatment and, with so much dialogue, it does sometimes have the appearance of being a script or screenplay, particularly since you have given it a diaried approach.
I know that you are trying to build up the suspense with the first few chapters, but I do think that the novel would be better off starting with Ken’s visit to the police with Amy’s disappearance and then build up the story in flashback thereafter.
Incidentally, I did suspect the culprit very early on.
Overall, though, a well-written and logically thought-out piece of work that would have benefitted from a different treatment.

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Chosen - Review

Hi there
I have to admit that I have not read all of this book. That is simply because it is not the style of book I think I can usefully pass comment on. However, what I did read I read with enthusiasm. I am thoroughly engaged with all the characters and although I generally don't like fiction with the present tense, I had no difficulty in coping with it here, I found myself transported to High School - and, being a Brit with no experience of an American High School, that is some skill in writing,

I have absolutely no faults I can point out and I am sure it would be a thoroughly good read for anyone who can relate to this, hence the ratings, A thoroughly good job - you don't have to read the whole of a work to appreciate that there is a genuine talent here.

If you should feel so inclined I have a number of novels up for the novel contest which could do with a download and a review:

To Hell with the Harp! www.inkitt.com/stories/149100
Slippered! www.inkitt.com/stories/148145
Hair of the Dog www.inkitt.com/stories/147116
Regards
Malcolm Twigg

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