Ciara Ballintyne

Sydney, Australia

Fantasy writer and lawyer. Contents explosive in the presence of idiocy. Chaotic Good. INTJ. Defender of the Oxford comma. http://ciaraballintyne.com

No published stories yet

Overall Rating
Plot
Writing Style
Grammar Punctuation

Lacking in Conflict

This story piqued my interest when I saw it had garnered 31 votes in 11 hours, so I decided to give it a go. Sadly, I was disappointed.

While the author's grasp of sentence use is reasonably sound, and grammar is solid enough that I didn't notice any glaring errors, the plot and characterisation were sorely lacking. The opening was painfully slow (it took 14 paragraphs before any element of actual conflict was introduced, which I think equates to pages in an actual book) and I still don't properly understand Noss's motivations. He picked up and followed after the girl without the reader being given any insight into why, which made it very difficult for me to invest in the story in any meaningful way. Much of what followed was Noss behaving in a paternalistic manner towards a girl he didn't know and, so far as I knew, had no reason to care about. I assume it had something to do with his sister, but the revelation came far too late with little to no foreshadowing. The character interactions were lacklustre and unrealistic. She didn't even ask him why he followed her!

The author has a good grasp of scene-setting, such as in the opening, where many other authors fall down, but unfortunately the imagery couldn't compensate for the lack of story, and often it was overly detailed and detracted from the story - in other places it vanished entirely in long sections of dialogue. I did like the name 'Embercrown' for the volcano - evocative, and so far as I know, original.

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Top 10% in Fated Paradox
Top 10% in Epic Worlds

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