Strong plot led by interesting characters
Oh, those four chapters flew by! I was really intrigued both by the plot, the characters and the world. But I'll . start with some constructive criticism first, which I hope is helpful:
Read the story now
- I thought the paragraphs were too often separated. It made it harder to get carried away by the story when the paragraphs were cut short so quickly (although they can of course get too long).
- You use adverbs a lot more often than you need to. The rule of thumb that I've found among writing blogs is to never use adverbs, although I personally think they can serve a purpose. Most of the time, though, they fall flat when you're reading – that's because usually they compensate for a lack of description, or they are made superfluous by sufficient description. Even if they do sometimes work, it's a fun experiment to make a hard no-adverb rule because you're forced to find other ways of conveying whatever you're writing.
- In the same vein, you start a lot of sentences with "yet" or similar words, and you always sometimes repeat words close to each other/repeat actions done by the characters.
- I sometimes missed descriptions, not so much in the flashback as in the rest of the story. Without descriptions of the surroundings or mood, it can be hard to follow the story.
- Lastly, I felt like the flashback didn't need to be divided into two chapters. Since it's a flashback, I feel like it'd be easier for the reader to have it all in one chapter, but that's of course a question of taste.
Ok so that was a lot of small points of criticism, but it's important to note that they are small. The story had so much else going for it, things that are much more important. The plot fx was interesting from the get-go, you had an interesting start that didn't feel predictable, the flashback was nicely done, the world seems fascinating and the introduction to it is slow and keeps the reader in suspense, but not so slow that it gets boring or confusing. The characters seem sympathetic and interesting, and especially the bond between MC and Vera was nicely executed. It felt very tender and loving.
For all of those reasons, you get 5 stars for plot. I wish there was the possibility to rate stuff like world building or character development, because that'd be 5 stars, too. Really good story, and I enjoyed reading it!