An Exciting Start
Overall, I enjoyed quite a bit of "8th Round." Though I have only read 3/4 of the work so far, I wanted to go ahead and give a review while my thoughts on the story are still fresh. First off, I think the plot is highly original--another reviewer stated that it was reminiscent of such films as "Groundhog Day" and "Edge of Tomorrow," and in many ways, yes, it is similar. However, I like the notion of getting a longer "round" each time, progressing further into the future before the reset occurs so that more information can be learned. This is different from those two films in that the main character has a constantly expanding set of time to work with.
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I also liked the backwards storytelling--I liked how we started out on the last round of the protagonist's run, and we sort of have to keep up as he fills us in on other characters and what they mean to the plot. It reminded me a bit of Christopher Nolan's "Memento," in which not everything is clear at first and we slowly put the pieces together. However--I would recommend letting those pieces stay on the sidelines for a bit longer than you do. Exposition is just sort of thrown at the reader, and by the time we get a few chapters in, there's almost no mystery. Rather than having the main character outline everything for us about time travel, have it be a bit more of a mystery. It also doesn't make sense for him to know certain things--how does he know he only has eight rounds to save the world? Focus more on character building initially, then gradually throw in the explanations for the time travel stuff.
I love how the plot takes place in a ton of different settings all around the globe--let us live in these places, let us read about them, let us read about how the characters react to them, and propel the plot forward without explaining yourself constantly. There will be time to explain later, no need to worry about it right from the word "go." You have some great rapport between characters--let's see more of that! You have some genuinely funny lines in here. I also think the romantic tension between Jakes and Danielle is heartbreaking, especially given the note in the beginning. Can he live this new round without her, even though he loves her? It's a really good setup for some serious drama.
There's also an awesome sense of buildup here--much like Steven Spielberg did with "Jaws," you're sort of holding off from showing the main event (in this case, the apocalypse), instead focusing on building up the suspense. This makes it different from a lot of other apocalyptic stories (for instance, "The Walking Dead"), in that you don't start out with the event in question. The story is more about the mechanisms of the event than the event itself, and that's refreshing.
Two quick fixes--I'd change the name of Jakes' investment company, as "Equinox" I believe is also the name of a fitness organization. Also, is "Jakes" a common name in South Africa? I keep wanting to say "Jake," and I don't know if the "s" is intentional or not (I know another reviewer pointed this out already). I might consider just changing it to "Jake."
The biggest issue with the story is not really in the story itself, but some of the more technical aspects of the writing--grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. There are some misspellings and some awkward phrasings scattered throughout, making it feel like a rough draft rather than a final product. You are writing (mostly) in present tense, but every now and then you fall back into past tense. I would pick one and stick with it--if I were you, I'd change it to past tense just because that's how most stories are told, and I think it would flow better. Then again, it is a time travel story, so if you can make present tense work for that in the moment stuff, go for it--just be consistent.
Another reviewer stated that they disliked the quotes at the beginning of each chapter--I would actually disagree. I think they're a good way to set up the next part of the story, and it's something that a lot of professional writers do. I loved how you started out with a quote from "Doctor Who." Very fitting.
PROS: High-concept, original, complex, globe-spanning plot with a focus on build-up over the climactic event. Good rapport between characters.
CONS: Grammar, punctuation, writing style, past versus present tense, some minor plot holes.
Again, I think this is an exciting start to something that could be really good--if you just go through this draft and do some heavy-lifting with revision, it could be awesome. Hope this helps.