J. Alleyn

Virginia Beach

Inspired by my dad's bedtime adventures, I want to share my own stories with the world. Proud Pagan/Trans Man. Check my Patreon for content! I don't review drama, romance, erotica, or fanfic.

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Out of a Grimm Classic

I enjoyed this short story. I don't see many of them that read the way this one did. The plot was direct and fascinating. I was reminded of one of my favorite authors and how he felt about Children Thrillers and Horror. He felt there wasn't enough of it. This has the making of a great Children's book, but this gem could use some polishing.

It needs proofreading for technical writing and style. While the pacing was fine, some of the sentences were difficult to follow because of how they were arranged. My reading experience made it easier, but for someone else, this could take away from the story for them. Once this is cleaned up, I think Only the Edge Knows will be an incredible read! Good work!

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A Nostalgic Read

I must applaud this book for reminding me of the vampire romances I used to read in high school. The primal descriptions are intensely captivating, and the characters' haunting pasts make their longing to escape into something disapproving realistic and relatable. I recommend this kind of story to anyone that likes a good Dracula, forbidden romance. It was a pleasant taste of nostalgia for me.

My only gripe is in technicalities that are making the style suffer. I would recommend a grammar check in a word processor - like Microsoft Word or Google Docs - to straighten out the tense and spelling. Take it one chapter at a time, but that's the only revision I can think to tell you. Well done otherwise!

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Lion Shifter so far...

First and foremost, this story has amazing bones! You have set up a great foundation and characters to play with, and I'm curious to see what happens after these two chapters. That being said, I noticed a lot of run on sentences. This is easily fixed though, and its common in early drafts. Can't wait to have Mr. Tiger's Eye come back!

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Fey and Wild

This poem brought me back to reads with my father as a child. He loved the Arthurian legends, and I could just hear his voice as I read over these enchanting words. Well done! I was awestruck as the majestic events playing out and emotional at the fate of the Lady. I highly recommend this to anyone that appreciates the poetic storytelling of the classics!

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Cracked Mirrors Never Been So Fun

For a work in progress, this heart-racing macabre of a plot flows excellently! The movement from the ordinary world of humans to the unearthly realm of demonkind is creative and simple. The depiction of the immortals is dark and ghastly, adding to the layers of dread the protagonist feels while in their presence. The unfurling of events is natural and in real-time, and I felt myself transversing long chapters in moments. The suspension of belief and time is a fascinating escape for any Dark Fantasy lover.

I highly recommend this title to anyone that enjoys supernatural adventures. I cannot wait to see where the rest of this tale leads!

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First Draft Wrinkles

While the story seems interesting, there are several bumps that need to be evened out to carry the reader through the plot. As the book is in its infancy, there's plenty of time to sort them out. The characters are believable enough, but if the narrative keeps jumping around, it doesn't do them much to connect with.

Consistency seems to be the biggest challenge. From perspective to description, the author has to maintain a steady narrative, or the reader will just keep getting lost. The first-person and third-person perspective are both used correctly, but using both is jarring to read. Either would work well for this story, but the author needs to decide on one and proceed from there. Also, the author needs to consider the environment they are writing in to establish a connection to the readers' senses, like remembering what actions make sense for underwater versus above. I really think that once these details are remedied, both the writing style and technical writing rating would improve for me.

Again, this is a first draft, so these issues are understandable. However, they need to be addressed to improve the overall reading experience.

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Caught up in her feelings

Primal is a take on real people living in a world next to us, but not with us. This woman - trying to live a life driven by her passions - is forced to reevaluate herself, and not a moment too soon! As fanciful as this other world she never dreamed she could be a part of is, there is danger and adventure waiting to begin.

Unfortunately, there is so much thought and not enough environment to immerse into, making the story more emotional than adventurous. I believe if the author could reel in the overwhelming reactions and share more sensory information the character is experiencing the story's flow would improve. There isn't much movement displayed, and I often wasn't sure where I was because the character didn't think about it. I also got lost multiple times with what was going on: a busted lightbulb she never heard breaking, a lightning strike without any visual description, etc. The first-person perspective is solely dependent upon what the character perceives around them, so it's important to describe what they are experiencing outside of their head as well as inside.

That being said, the pace is too slow for MY liking in a fantasy story. The first two chapters alone could have been condensed to one, and I would have been more engaged to begin with. If we are focusing so intensely on the protagonist's romantic feelings about her breakup, it's not really surprising that this is going to lead into a spontaneous - albeit reckless - one next. Her negative opinion of a group of men she's about to run into just sounds like she's describing her next bad decision in love. This follows a romance-driven formula, and if this was not the author's intention, the focus should be reevaluated on what could be edited down to speed up the story to reach more action and conflict. I honestly believe this has incredible potential as a romantic fantasy novel, using this introspective approach, but if the aim is a dark fantasy with a revenge twist, they should consider revisiting their description and pacing.

All in all, not a bad read. It just isn't for everyone.

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Fascinating World

My favorite part of this book is the universe the author created. Oftentimes, I see Fantasy world-building fall to the wayside for the sake of presenting the stakes of the plot. While conflict is how we transverse a story, we cannot truly submerse without a world to escape into. Scorned Love has a great backdrop of history and culture that I believe is the shining star. We wouldn't connect with Lucinda's struggles so intimately if not for the effort on the author's behalf to paint such a vivid array of diversity in this universe. It isn't just a werewolf story. It's a real fantasy journey!

My only critic is that the shifting of tense and perspective seems to hinder the author's writing style. Truthfully, if this were revised, it would be an easy full-5 star from me!

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Promising read

With only two chapters submitted, I definitely think this is a promising plot. It sounds like an intriguing conspiracy is about to unfold, and the main character is hellbent on getting to the bottom of it!

That being said, my only caution is to not skim over the emotional journey of this young lady. Grief can be very compelling in the first-person perspective, so take some time to explore it. It might help readers identify with her. Just some advice from my experience.

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A Tale for the Depths

As a lover of myth-based stories, this is a lovely adaptation from its source material. The use of mythology to paint the backdrop of this world is spectacular, and I find it all too easy to immerse into the environment - above and below the waves. The characters are honest and beautifully flawed, making them hauntingly real in some dark places. No story about the sea is complete without darkness in both places. I am whole-heartedly invested in this merman's emotional struggle, and I can't wait to see his path unfold as the young woman's has. The plot is engaging and rich with conflict, making this an easy 5-star in my book!

While the transitions and pacing are a bit choppy, my biggest concern lies in grammar and spelling. Having looked at both versions of this draft on Inkitt and Wattpad, I understand it is in its infancy, so I'll try not to be too harsh. However, there are several homonyms or similar sounding words being misused. I don't normally recommend using automated grammar checkers, but Grammarly is the best one I've heard of. Once those are addressed, the reading flow will improve drastically.

I hope that helps, and I look forward to more chapters in the future! You've turned me onto merfolk stories!

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An Epic in the Making

I can definitely see the inspiration going into this book. While 'end of the world' and dystopian themes are hardly new, the characters are fresh and realistic. Instead of the gray angst clouds of other similar stories, they laugh and live like they plan on winning this fight. I like that, and that sets this plot at an easy 5 star for me.

The author's vision is conveyed well enough, but that's where I would point out the biggest struggle in fiction. When writing action, it's easy to get caught up in the energy and write in a blitz. I had to reread several times to understand what was going on. While I completely understand first drafts are a hot mess, I would caution about focusing on description, so your reader doesn't get lost. If you want others to see what you do, sometimes, you have to slow down. Just because the action is quick doesn't mean the words have to be. By all means, though, get the ideas down, so you can flesh them out later.

I hope that helps! There's a great foundation as far as world-building and mechanics here, so keep going!

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Intriguing story

I don't normally care for first person perspective books, but I will say that this POV is well written. The description of what Selene observes is exactly how I would imagine a person processing it. Great starting draft.

There were grammatical issues that made it a bit difficult to follow, but for a first draft, that's to be expected. However, I would recommend revisiting transitions after you finish writing. It's always best to finish laying the foundation before building up the details. The book is off to a good start though. Keep at it!

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A Sudden Change begins

I can tell this story is in its first draft, and those are always going to be full of grammatical and spelling errors. I don't really want to focus on that though. What I will say is that this book has good bones. There is a great plot going on here that is developing well. I am a little confused by the chapter lengths and pacing of details, but again, this is a first draft. Keep writing. Once you reach the destination, you can fine tune details along the way. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

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Paranormal Agency Book 1 The Soulless

Thus far, the story is fascinating! The characters are very real and honest. The only trouble I've faced is the paragraphs. Having dialogue start in the middle of a paragraph makes me back up to see if I missed something. I find it better to start a new line when dialogue begins, even if it's just a sentance. That could just be my old habits from English class though. Other than that, it's just some little things, like a spelling error or missing comma, that come to mind.

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