holliefur

A twenty-something teacher and an avid lover of mystery thrillers.

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Emerging Fantasy

Thanks for bringing your work to my attention. You are obviously a creative writer, and I applaud anyone that can create their own world and rules. It may be because I’m not a fantasy fiction reader myself, but I am struggling to follow the plot. I think it is because the chapters seems to skim the surface of what is going on and the scenes move at a rapid rate with shifting POV. I want to immerse myself in your world and see things unravel at a slower pace, so that I can better understand the world and its characters. Most of what we learn is through blocks of speech, rather than through actions and setting description. You know your world, but as a reader it is information overload. Drop feeding such points and unravelling the nuances of your world over time would give them room to shine and help the reader digest them better. Although, I have to say that the description and dialogue you have included are very good, and you provide excellent characterisation. The story needs a few edits. To help, I’ve left in-depth feedback on key chapters regarding ways to improve spelling errors. I hope you find this useful. I know that I’ve provided lots of feedback, but I did enjoy reading your work and feel the premise has oodles of potential! Looking at your previous reviews, you obviously have fans as it stands, so you have lots to be proud of :)

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Fantastical!

This is an original story with interesting characters. My favourite being Sunday! Your range of characters is diverse, in age and ethnicity. Something I will certainly considered in future stories. The story doesn’t read like a typical thriller. I think the main theme here is self-discovery and friendship. There is a romance too but it doesn’t take over the narrative. They story ends satisfyingly too - with just a hint of a cliff hanger, helping to pave the way for any future sequels.

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Poignant

This fable unfolds like a diary, intimate and emotive. I loved how the beauty and simplicity of the wilderness mirrored the sweet innocence of the children. I think the story could translate well into a poem too - it has that romantic and dream-like quality. Well done!

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Artistic

Wow! I couldn't disagree more with some of the critics of your other reviews. Unless you have edited your work since their input? I enjoy mythology and personally would feel intimidated to base a story around such a premise, but what you've done is take an ancient fable and brought it into the modern-day. The story is imaginative, full of gorgeous description AND emotion. I wasn't bored one bit. I think you intended the story to unfold with the protagonist. We are confused as to what is going on when the main character is confused. We discover things through her eyes. Some sentences can be a little too embellished and long, but I think that is the style you are going for. Keep doing you!

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Gorgeously written

This story has real promise. As soon as I read the overarching plot I felt intrigued. The premise here is striking, and potentially heart-breaking. There is no doubt the description is expertly written. I like how we see an event from each character's perspective. Reminds me of 'The Affair'. I too like short chapters, I think it helps build tension. I think adding in more internal dialogue to flesh out their inner thoughts and feelings would help bring depth to their connection. Why are they drawn to each other? The flashback illustrates why she doesn't mourn her husband, but what of her children? This is my only critic! Everything else is beautifully done, and the fact you are fitting this around studies is even more impressive. You have a natural flair for prose :)

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Frantic and fearless

This on-going mystery is more about survival than a who-done-it but worth the ride anyway! The writing style is fast-paced and each chapter pushes the plot on. I would have liked to have seen more backstory or flashbacks of memories between Maddy and Sadie to really understand the intensity of their bond as Maddy goes to extreme lengths to find out what has happened to her best friend. Maddy as a protagonist is bold and adventurous beyond her years, making her a very likeable character. It’s hard to feel sympathy for Sadie when we know next to nothing about her. Adding in some chapters on their friendship to slow down the building anticipation and instead focus on character development would make us root for Maddy all the more. Prior interactions with Sadie could also help to make the suicide angle more viable. Was she sometimes depressive? We need those red herrings to make it believable. Also, what really drove Sadie to meet up with someone on that fateful night? Fully exploring this would help to make the story feel more robust. I did like the intensity of the chapters when action did take hold. You really get a sense of the frenzied panic felt by Maddy and how smart this chick actually is. I’m hoping there are more twists to come and some type of retribution at the end too. Grammatically, I can tell the author writes with the same fury and speed as Maddy as there were some mistakes throughout, but the author is open and accepting to making these changes which is nice to see. My star ratings reflect how I feel this story is still in its raw stages and although an exciting read, would benefit from a bit more depth. I’ll be sure to keep following :)

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Absorbing and Intelligent

This ongoing story depicts a world of elemental wielders in an almost post-apocalyptic backdrop where Earth as we know it has altered. I thoroughly enjoyed how the author gradually revealed more and more about this premise over the chapters. Take for instance Chapter 1. We learn something isn’t quite right when Saffire (a lovely play on words) begins to talk about rationing. The author holds back an explanation to this, leaving the reader guessing. Something this author does in abundance and demonstrates adept skill in is her use of world-building. Descriptions are rich and detailed, drawing you in.

Despite the fantasy genre, at its heart, this is a story many can relate to. Saffire strives to overcome challenges in her life, both on a personal level and a grander scale. Being thrust into the role of a Fire Spirit Elemental Leader is empowering but brings a lot of hardship to her life. It is nice to see peppers of light-hearted and even humorous notes woven throughout the drama. It breaks up the arduous core of the writing and makes the characters all the more dimensional. I too love to use the notion of good and evil, dark and light, as a central theme, so I enjoyed the trials and tribulations. You aren’t afraid to tackle challenging subjects head-on, knowing how integral they are to the characterisation of your cast and backstory. Abuse is a powerful tool when used sympathetically and you did this superbly. I also love (bias here) stories written from a first-person perspective as I find them immersive. The connection I had for Saffire made me feel for her all the more intensely.

On a personal level, I like fast-paced fiction, so I do agree with the feedback around breaking up your chapters so that they are punchier. We tend to read until the end of a chapter and sometimes I found myself wanting a break before I reached the end. Not because of your plot but it just felt a little overwhelming. Like the concept of being over faced at a meal even when you are starving! Relating to grammar and punctuation, everything is close to perfection. The main issue I found was specific to speech. I was always taught to begin dialogue with a capital letter even if it starts mid-sentence. The only exception to this being when you do broken speech and the tag goes in the middle. I noticed that the author often places the tag before the speech, which is a nice alternative but then begins the speech with a lowercase letter. It could be that there are different preferences for different countries (I’m from the UK), but I thought I’d raise it all the same.

I’m not surprised this creative and fascinating tale has so many positive reviews. You have crafted a well-rounded story with a clear story arc and character development. I’m intrigued to see how things progress and ultimately end.

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Energetic and youthful

Unfamiliar with fanfiction, I didn’t know what to expect. Regardless of genre, what strikes me about this author and her writing is her ability to bring characters to life. She authentically develops a cast of young, effervescent people that jump off the page with panache. Her use of wit and humour shines through with confidence. The plot lingers in the background, and this could frustrate readers that want a clear and linear storyline. As I settled in, I found myself just enjoying the dialogue and entertaining scenes without expectation, allowing them to unfold in their own time. There is fulfilment in the details and relationships alone. The plot fizzles along with a satisfying end, but the journey is a gentle meander rather than being full of turbulent rapids.

It’s an easy-going and fun read. A summer beach companion. In many ways, it could translate to a screen play. The banter is so life-like and dynamic. Consistency with tense was an occasional flaw, but overall this is a unique story with strong ambition and personality. When words bring a smile to your face, what more can you ask?

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Touching and thought-provoking

I really like how this author maximises the potential of a short story. He manages to compress so much atmosphere, character development, and emotion in so few words. I loved his first romantic story so jumped at the chance of reviewing his second instalment. This time around the premise tackles deeper and more sorrowful themes. I loved the wartime era and how this turbulent backdrop acts as a metaphor for the character's struggles. The inclusion of the letters gave the prose such a raw and intimate touch. It was a refreshing change to dialogue and perfect for the setting. Just when you think the story arc is complete, the author delves a layer further. The ending was so satisfying and heart-breaking at the same time. Everything comes full circle and you are left reflecting on the words with a new perspective. I really feel you have a true gift for storytelling.

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Brilliantly organised

I can’t begin to imagine how much time and effort went into putting this competition together. I just want to say a huge thanks for letting me be a part of it, and a big thank you to all of the judges that took the time to review my work. I am extremely grateful.

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An exciting and original adventure

Lord Ultio is awoken from his slumber for reasons not yet known to the reader or his sons. This opening chapter had me instantly hooked. The pace slows down as Hector and Runi’s journey takes centre stage. Now, as a new reader to this franchise, I don’t know all that has previously happened in this magical world so beautifully crafted by the author, but it doesn’t matter. I still understood and enjoyed every chapter as it unfolded. In particular, I really enjoyed the in-depth dialogue that immerses you into the character’s life. The writing is fluid and entertaining. I look forward to reading future chapters!

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Absorbing and thought provoking

From the very first line, I felt a connection to this author’s writing style. When reading, all I want is to be transported elsewhere. I didn’t need to force myself here as I was instantly sucked in and that is a rare find on Inkitt. The tale begins in the midst of the narrator’s mind, my favourite place to be when writing for myself, and this introverted perspective continues to rise its confident head throughout, as the story unfolds. Each character is clearly defined, and I love how Hallmark brings joy and humour to the darkness. His contrasting personality brings so much to the plot. It too is so refreshing to read about an alternative romantic encounter to mainstream literary. I only ever read and write thrillers, so I was curious to see where the twists would surface. They develop subtly and leave many questions lingering off the page. As a short story, it achieves everything it set out to accomplish. However, the only reason I’ve pulled back a star for the plot is because I wish the story was longer! Quiet frankly, I didn’t want it to finish so soon, and I would have loved to explore more of Hallmark, Advay and Valencia’s personalities.

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Breathtaking

This is a fantastic thriller! The concept of a character entering other people’s dreams is so unique and enthralling. When I came across the blurb I knew this was my type of story. I am fascinated by dreams and suffer from sleep paralysis, so I felt invested from the onset. The characters are so developed and the plot unfolds meticulously. I felt connected to the story with the use of such exquisite writing, and by the end I was truly moved. The book could easily translate to publishing. I urge this author to do so if they haven’t already!

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Fun and frightful

What entertaining mini-stories! What you’ve created is ambitious and exciting fables. Your passion for prose shines through and I credit your creativity and imagination. Good job!

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Refreshing

This is my first time reviewing poetry on Inkitt. It isn't my area of expertise by any means, but let me start by saying they were a pleasant variant. You obviously write with more directness than other poems (those that are so descriptive, you need a PHD to understand them). I enjoyed how each how a specific theme and intention - mostly that of optimism and positivity (again a nice change to most poems that grovel in self-pity). It could be interesting to play around with the order of your poems, maybe create some that link together and tackle the different stages of life? Like a teenage series. Lots of potential! I need to say, check out your spelling of 'remember' for your first poem. I can't believe nobody has brought this up yet and it feels like such a quick change that will help validate your work pronto. I hope you don't mind me pointing this out! I'm the type of person who lets a stranger know if they are walking around with toilet paper under their shoe, or that their skirt is tucked into their knickers! Anyway, thank you for bringing your work to my attention.

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Beautiful

A short, bittersweet tale of missed chances and unspoken truths. Beautiful.

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Full of twists and turns

Well what an adventure ride this turned out to be. I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns in this tale of jealousy and lunacy. There are lots of differing characters to keep track of and plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing along the way. The flashbacks eventually help fill in the blanks and I really enjoyed how the story ended. A satisfying read :)

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Enticing read

After recently finishing Game of Thrones (I know I am really late to the party), this story reminds me of such fantasy drama. It has the majesty of a period plot but with a magical edge. You definitely need to keep developing this story! Looking forward to seeing more chapters in the future :)

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So interesting!

I love this! So nice being able to gain further insight on other Inkitt writers :)

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A digital Hunger Games

This story has an engaging plot, it reminds me of season 2 of The OA where teens go missing when playing an addictive, cryptic game. Think a digital version of The Hunger Games. Looking briefly at the the writer’s other story it is clear they have a creative mind! There are definitely moments of magic where the writer beautifully describes a scene or character, but you have to persevere. A fellow Inkitt user pointed out some mistakes in my writing and it has made my story so much better! I hope you don’t think me doing the same is trying to be negative - I really want your story to be as good as possible! The main areas of development of the first 2 chapters, especially chapter 2 where so much goes on and I couldn’t keep up or understand everything. As the author you know your story inside and out but don’t expect your readers to read between the lines. A good tip is can someone summarise what has happened in a single chapter? If they can’t then split it into 2 chapters and flesh them out a bit more. For grammatical/punctuation errors websites like Grammarly are free and would quickly highlight the little mistakes that are holding this story back. You are an imaginative and talented writer (and an extremely nice person), just keep rereading and editing :)

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Captivating

This story is all about the characters and what well-crafted characters they are. Each come with their own personalities and back stories. Some are still emerging and mysterious, but each one brings something unique to the tale. I imagine these misfits will all bring out the best and worst of one another. The character building here is woven so strategically too - just take the flashback in chapter 1 and late arrival Peter for instance. So far, there are characters we feel empathy for, those we are rooting for and those we don’t trust. The varying dynamics make for a compelling read. Set against the backdrop of the visceral and emotive Wild West, the combination is as comforting as a heady tonic in front of an open fire. Although Wild Westerns are a genre that can feel a little predictable, when the people are interesting enough, like this, you enjoy the ride.

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A mini treat!

These short stories are such sweet reads! Each story is diverse and themed around a moment in time. My favourite being the second story about the 'trip'... I don't want to spoil the ending, but I loved how the reveal came at the end. The characters encapsulated pure adolescent fun. It made me think about my teenage days. The writing I enjoy best is either words that take you away or words that take you back. These do both :)

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How has no one reviewed this!

This story is brilliantly written, I can't believe no one has reviewed it yet. The sign of a good author is someone who can pull you in from the very first sentence, and this story did just that. I'm normally not into pop culture romance novels, but the dry humour and sheer personality of the protagonist radiates off the page. No damsel-in-distress here and thank goodness! I love the inner dialogue, that reveals the main character's real feelings, compared to the outward persona she presents on the show. It makes her feel more real.

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Full of personality

The speech in this story is what brings it to life! You get a real sense of the character's age, connection and emotions. I love these types of stories filled with mystery. I was also pleasantly surprised when I discovered the time setting was present day. The plot made this sound like a period drama - could be something you play around with in flashbacks or something? The plot is really interesting, but so much happens in a single chapter. Or perhaps this is a mini story? If not, you could have built tension by spreading out the description of the mansion on approach. There is almost a supernatural or paranormal aspect to the story, which could be really exploited. An excellent first chapter, well done!

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Effortless

I love descriptive writing, and those are the magical moments for me in this story. The writer feels one with the page, making this an easy read to digest. Although the genre isn't my go-to, I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and their individual personalities. Dialogue is something I have to try hard at, and this writer embeds idioms and dialect wonderfully.

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