My work has moved to Wattpad! I have ASD and CPTSD. I want to write representation for others like me. For now, all of my work will take place in my world “Anuloreth”.

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A Curious Read

It has been a while since I read in science fiction or science fantasy, but I would say this particular piece of fiction is a good and thoughtful chew for a reader that enjoys a lot of characters coming together against almost literally impossible odds.

While not nearly as elaborate or complex as Dune: The Machine War, I would say this novel has echoes of that type of writing. Science that has gone so far that it is akin to magic, recollections of ancient human history, and a lot of implied worldbuilding.

Those are definitely the main strengths; it is a great foundation and start in what will likely be a vast series as the author grows. As it stands now, it does not seem to be a final plots. There are minor plot holes, worldbuilding holes, and environment holes that can be filled by the reader through mental gymnastics but it takes away from the uniqueness that I am sure lies in the potential here.

I hold other authors to about the same level I hold myself in my writing (though not to the same style and individualism, of course) and believe the pacing and style flow could be improved upon tenfold.

Here is my final advice to you, Mr. Swart: you need some people to dig in elbow deep and give you some blunt honesty. These people need to be in your ideal reader base (not just other authors looking for a review swap). Tell them the weaknesses you’ve been told about your writing and the ones you perceive and your strengths.

Ask them to
1: See if you are correct about your strengths.
2: Give you some concrete advice on how to nip your weaknesses in the bud.

These golden beta readers will most likely not be related to you. There are writing Discords, Facebook groups (though I don’t recommend these as they have a reputation for snobbishness ), and countless other places you can seek others out at.

I do hope this is helpful to you and I hope more readers in your intended audience find your work as you continue your author journey. The best of luck to you!

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An Interesting Chew

This novel offers a lot for the reader to think about.

While this novel is still in its draft stages and has a few things to iron out still, there are a lot of creative devices used. Plot wise, if you enjoy a complex story you will love this. There a lot of twists and turns that mean you have to follow carefully. However, it is not overtly confusing.

The plot twists presented are done well and definitely move the plot forward; you will ask questions, make inferences, and want more.’

There are some criticisms I have regarding the actual content, such as the handling of sexual trauma in regards to the actions of other characters in the story. They come across as rude/unrealistic. Most of my criticisms may be logical following in nature, but will most likely be ironed out in editing so my review does not cover them.

For the author:
Thank you for allowing me the chance to read over your chapters. Your plot design is quite well, and if you are at the beginning of your author journey this is a wonderful place to start!
The biggest pros to your story lie in the interesting thriller elements and the motivations of the main character, Kevin. He is written accurately for his age and in reflection of his tragic backstory. You are very descriptive and that will really draw readers in.
Your fight scenes are handled better than others I’ve seen on Inkitt and that is.a huge compliment because fight scenes are notoriously difficult!

Your biggest cons are in your dialogue and female characters. While I’ve not read the full story, the way you present them they aren’t just weak, they lack agency and personality beyond a high school-like cutout. Even Natasha comes across as annoying and unlikable, with her only redeeming quality being strength in the face of hardship. I have no, absolutely no clue why Kevin would ever spare her the time of day, even if she is pretty. In all fairness, maybe you’re writing her that way intentionally and if you are you’re doing an excellent job because I wanted to reach through the pages and shake her.

By the way, the way that the college handles punishment seemed odd; suspensions in my college weren’t really a thing given out by professors and I’ve never heard of one barring a student from a class for more than one class period because that has a direct negative impact not just on the student, but on the professor too. This could simply be a cultural difference as a result of fiction!

I hope these notes are helpful to you on your writing journey! Well done.

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A Writer’s Artistic Journey

I’d say my title is a good sum up about how I feel about this novel.

The author and I are completely different when it comes to style, structure, and writing ideologies. His book is one that is polarizing - just read his comments! (And make some yourself).

It is intended for a very specific type of ideal reader, and while I don’t fall under that category, this book does what it wants to do very well. This novel is for those that enjoy a book that brings you into a gritty, almost dystopian superpower world. Anime and manga fans will recognize the style of writing almost at once and be gripped by lengthy, detailed fight scenes, high stakes, and a relatable MC.

The plot is well thought out and planned. As I said, I am not that reader; but the powers, foods, and dynamic culture of the city were all still intriguing to me. I am also capable of recognizing when a book is not meant for me and what it is doing well.

Notes for the author:
I do not know where you want to go with The Gourmet Gladiator series moving forward. From the rest of your work, I’d say it may be a stepping stone; but you’ve put so much work into the series, it may be a culmination of larger works. I’ve read from some of your reviews that you’ve greatly improved over the course of the series.

So I’ll make my 3-3 feedback style pretty general. My suggestion, as always, is to embrace your strengths and prop up any potential weaknesses you feel you have. These are the strengths and weaknesses I picked up from reading your work. Granted, I’m not that far in but I feel like these things will be important even as far into the book as I am.

Your 3 greatest strengths:
1.) Plot. I know this may be incredibly broad, but your planning is intentional, with purpose, and unwavering. You aren’t the kind of author to be swayed by your character’s wants and needs like I am. An iron pen that will push the plot through to the end.

2.) MC. Your MC is clearly beloved by your intended readers, but he also has a clearly defined list of flaws. The iceberg effect is strong with him. I don’t specifically relate to Toby almost at all, but I know exactly what you’re trying to do with him and for the most part I feel you are successful. Relating to an MC isn’t important to me, but likability is. Sometimes I honestly kind of hate him, but he’s a well developed character and those annoyances are definitely intentional.

3.) Power development. This is a genre-specific strength. The powers and the ones you get from the different foods are all incredibly interesting and I enjoy ‘collecting’ the different foods and powers while I read. ‘This does this? Oh wow, that’s so cool!’ It’s like a soft magic system for superheroes.

Now, your 3 perceived weaknesses from me. As always, take this with salt but I’m going to be very honest with you.

1.) Environment. You have a tremendous, interesting plot here. But I don’t know what anything looks like! There’s a ton of white space. For example: we could tell a lot about Toby’s parents just by knowing what their house looks like. They’re rich, but my mind filled in the blanks and put a tiny little single-family home that pretty much just included Toby’s room and a living room. I don’t have any sense of the time period other than ‘modern’, so I fill in the blanks with a New York-like place because there’s not enough theming to help me construct a full image. I want to know what culture we have! For the most part, everything just revolves directly around Toby and the people that Toby sees. There’s so much potential in it! And you only need to hint and piecemeal it, you don’t need expositional paragraphs to accomplish it.

2.) Character cast. Iceberg effect. Your characters seem like plot devices, not plot drivers, if that makes sense. For example, when Rebecca gets upset at Toby for fighting, it seems totally not logical for the situation because - they were attacked?? Why are you mad at Toby? It just makes her seem not smart (which contradicts earlier chapters) and unlikable even if a heartbreak is what needed to happen for the plot.

3.) I don’t usually make comments specifically about the author in my reviews, but I think you could benefit from a little bit of a gentle callout because I experience the opposite of the thing you do. I cannot love my writing, no matter how many times I go back over it. It is always abhorrent to me, no matter how much fixing or compliments I get. You’re the opposite. Very confident in your work and that’s honestly something I envy you for.
When I read your book, it felt like a maybe third draft in style. Not a finished, perfected, ready for publisher novel. And once again, there is nothing wrong with that, it’s taken you so much time and effort to get here.
But I almost felt afraid to critique you at all because it felt like, despite asking for my style of feedback listed in my post, you were really just trying to get your novel in front of more eyes.

My point is, Grant, that your novel isn’t perfect, but that’s okay. If you’re happy with it, if you’re happy with all you’ve accomplished, then so am I. And I’d totally watch it if you ever made an anime adaptation.

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Emotional, Raw, Impactful Fantasy Romance

I do not often leave total five-star reviews, I consider myself difficult to impress; I hold Inkitt authors to the same standards I do traditionally published, professionally edited novels as far as plot, character development, and world building goes. (I consider minor grammar and spelling mistakes inconsequential on this platform and do not make take them into account)

But this book deserves it. Even as I write the review, my heart is still thundering from those last few, breath-taking chapters. This book holds nothing back from start to finish and is not for the weak of heart. Easily falling under new adult for the level of sheer violence and graphic honesty, Dawn Rising captivates the reader from start to finish.

The emphasis on culture, character choice, and the nature of what makes us human makes for a powerful punch. You will love and hate Aurora, the main character, but that is because you love her.
Overall, the abstract of the main plot is predictable. However, the tiny twists, callbacks, and bread crumbing feels very rewarding. Every character is important, even if you underestimate them.
I have a great admiration for this author; Amanda Underwood clearly knows her strengths and writes into them well.

I will be hungrily waiting for the second book.


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A Modern Take On The Werewolf/Vampire Genre

This story takes account the supernatural powers of its cast of main characters and modern technology well. This modern fantasy is cut from a different cloth than the rest of the werewolf/vampire genre. Even in the beginning, it promises a gritty and emotional impact with its words. You will wonder about the mingling culture of three kingdoms, their history, and see realistic depictions of grief.

While the villain characters are unredeemable, vile, and evil, the cast of heroes tread in gray area. They are not all rainbows and sparkles, battling their own demons as their world falls apart around them. Down to earth princesses, short-lived vampires, and civil unrest make this story complex.

If you want a simple story, read no further. And a complex story is just my style, so that is a plus from me! Strip away this book’s layers and promise of a rollercoaster of emotions at your own risk!

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