An American Hunger Games
I started reading this story and just couldn't put it down. It has a lot of parallels to the "Hunger Games" series, but it has a really nice American, political, realistic twist to it. I love the idea of the volunteers having to climb the tower. The simplicity and horror of it is really striking. One of my favorite aspects of this story was the world-building involved. Most people - when going for a fallen-nation type setting - take it to the extreme, but this just took the world back to a simpler life. I really liked that Richard was a farmer doing normal, every-day things with relatable relationships and goals. This real, vivid world made the story far more impacting. I especially liked the political elements that you included into it. They were very thought-provoking. The characters in this were also quite good. Richard was likable from the start and continued to be even more so. I loved his relationship with Jenny, and one of my favorite scenes was when he told her about the tower. I was expecting some big dramatic argument with lots of self-righteous vigor, but instead I saw two real, honest, broken-hearted people, and that was really touching. I also found myself becoming attached to all the climbers even over such a short period of time. I would have liked to have seen more distinction between the characters - some like Kris and Own seemed very very similar to one another. Even so, I really liked them, and I enjoyed the almost fatherly scene between Owen and Richard during their first night. Charlie was very intriguing, but I never felt like I got to understand him, and the same goes for Alex. I think they would be more impacting if you developed them a little more. Plot-wise, this is pretty solid. I enjoyed it all the way through, and it really held my attention. The ending seemed a little abrupt. I was surprised that he ended up taking the job. It almost left the story with a foreboding tone about diminishing lower class and the greed of society. I would have liked to know more about his thoughts in that area. Did he feel guilty? Like he deserved what he was getting? Like he could make a difference through his position? You don't have to include this, but I was very curious in that last chapter. Also, I as I was reading the scene with the actual climb, I was thinking that you might want to add in more details to make it more vivid. You could include things like the way his limbs feel as he climbs, the way his clothing rubs, the feeling of the wind dragging across his sweat-soaked back. That sort of thing. That scene is your opportunity to paint the true horrors of the climb, and while Jeremiah and all his dead friends definitely do that, I think you could take it a step farther by including more of what Richard is physically feeling. The writing itself was enjoyable. I liked Richard's voice, and I didn't catch very many typos. I noticed a few formatting issues; 1) In the first several chapters, there were areas where the paragraphs kind of mushed together - Inkitt sometimes does this for some reason, but it's not hard to fix. 2) I think there were some scenes missing in chapters 15 and 16 that led up to fights with Charlie and Richard. Since some of the information seemed to be missing, these chapters seemed kind of fragmented. 3) There were those swirly scene-break symbols (for lack of a better descriptor) in places where they didn't need to be (especially in fifteen and sixteen). I think you mostly just want to use those for scene breaks and for times when the perspective shifts. Sometimes they were just in random places, and it confused me a bit. I hope this helps! The story was really super enjoyable, and I pretty much had to nit-pick to find things to critique. I really like your writing. Personally, I like this story better than the "Hunger Games" because you have a really nice, likable protagonist, and I really like the political elements that you worked in. I hope that you get lots of reads on here. Great work!
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