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Read it... It's worth it

Firstly, I like the story, I like the story a lot. The author's got a good imagination going for him. There's a couple of things to be said however:
1. What makes a film a film. It's not just 'what happens' in the film yes? It's cinematography, it's the set pieces, it's music score it's the sequence of scenes et cetera. My point is this is the same with a novel. A novel has to be more than just an excellent plot, there are so many other pleasures a novel can provide not just to be pretentious but because it makes the story better- more vivid- more alive. Give me one paragraph Grant, one paragraph that I'll read over and over and over again thinking "Wow! See that, that's a sentence right there." I need to want to swallow your sentences and keep them with me for as long as I can. Whether you're describing a character, an emotion, an ambition, make me go over that description again and again and again- this is what I prefer my novels to be like. I found this somewhat lacking here. But, and this speaks to your talent, I was willing to overlook my reader's needs to see the story through.
2. While I appreciate the emotional clarity in the story, the development of such emotion remains scattered and unfocused. What this means is that while the characters are present and engaging, something about them doesn't feel realized, they don't feel like real people, they're ideas, constructions, models, not human beings. It started with Rebecca, I was baffled by her character, not because I couldn't understand what you were doing with her, but because she felt obnoxious and gimmicky. I know you can do character well because Toby was done really well despite my grievances with his emotional structure, so why is Rebecca so sketchly drawn? It makes me consider that the author is interested only in the main character, all other characters are tools and nothing more. It's a one man show, and this adds to the feeling of unreality, if the characters to which our hero is responding are poor, then our hero's moral reactions seem weak and scattered.
3. The world. You've got a good stage here, why I am I not seeing more of it. I was so interested in the world, in the magic system, in the hierarchies. I wanted more and more of the world, the history lesson you assured me I didn't want. Give me the world. I think somewhere early on you mention a year 4075? I could be wrong forgive me. But if that's the year, and maybe this is a point not against this story specifically but the genre as a whole, am I supposed to believe that things like high school and gym are still present? In some parts it almost feels like you're about to explain these things, but then you don't. What we know from history is that whenever there's a period of technological advancement, human society changes drastically. Norms change, culture shifts... This is the human element I am missing in the story and normally I wouldn't mind except that I think the author would be really good at that sort of thing but simply isn't interested.
That episode at the school just before he almost burns it down, Epic. Your fight scenes, EPIC. this is Grant's genius: when he does something well, he really does it well. I like Toby. I want more of Toby. I will be reading more in this series, it's worth it. I have a very good feeling one day I'll see Grant giving an interview on television, here's to a future bestseller... I am rooting for you!

Also, Dan Brown struggles with some of the things I have mentioned and he is one of the bestselling authors in the world while I am nothing, so my concerns are not necessarily all that big of a deal.

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