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Wow. By far the most action packed novel I have read. These scenes are pulled off very well. Extremely entertaining, especially if you like action. Only a couple critiques and one suggestion. There is very little going on other than exhilarating fight sequences. Try giving your readers a little breather from the action. This doesn't mean you have to slow it down and write boring filler, just that you can add some low-stake, conversational, and relationship/character developing scenes. For instance, my favorite scene in your story was actually not a fight scene at all. It was Ling Fei's nightmare, because I felt that it added some insight into her character. That scene was a good example of a scene that was still thought-provoking without physical conflict. Without scenes like these, there is little room for expanding what we know about the characters, other than their proficiency in combat. Additionally, you could allow for more injuries, more close calls, and more narrow escapes, to you action/combat sequences to make your characters seem a bit more vulnerable and lacking of plot-armor. Lastly, if you change your dialogue from being written italicized to being written within quotations, your novel would be in a standard format that most people wouldn't have to adjust to. Seriously, I can not stress enough how well you write Action / Sci-Fi. I love the time structure in the beginning. It throws the reader write into the thick of it, allowing for the reader to see the characters first as a team. It almost felt like I was watching a movie and not reading a book. Great job!Read the story now
Great so far!
Great stuff. I can’t find anything to improve really, accept to write more. I’d like to see a more interesting plot, but it’s just so early on to make any judgements. The dialogue is great and the characters are relatable. Good work. Please write more :)Read the story now
A Real Page Turner!
Very engaging story.There is incredible world building that establishes well-defined, yet thought-provoking, lore. The dialogue feels natural and unforced. I found myself laughing at times because of the witty, sly, tongue-in-cheek humor, which is difficult to pull off.
Start a new paragraph when another character starts talking. Also try using more words for said (i.e. replied, snapped, agreed, insisted, stuttered, hissed, warned, explained, cried, etc.). As far as the actual content of the dialogue, I have no qualms. Lastly, there is one part in chapter 5 (Aftermath), where Malachai goes from pushing Max up against a wall, demanding answers, to completely trusting him. It doesn't seem like he would have any obligation to divulge anything to Max. Maybe just revisit that part of the story and make it more obvious that the characters are coerced into cooperating out of necessity.
Outstanding plot so far. Anything that has to do with an occult or demonic forces always gives me the heebie jeebies, but that didn't stop me from enjoying your novel. It is just so well written. The setting is well described and character descriptions are precise. I have very little trouble placing myself into the world you have made. I really like how you do not just exposition dump the various complexities of your universe. You let the reader figure it out for themselves. Great job.
Absolutely wonderful. Great diction. Dialogue is incredible. Despite characters being introduced at a rapid rate, the character traits are portrayed incredibly well and their personalities are memorable. I cannot stress enough how skillful your dialogue is written; however, your dialogue to exposition ratio is very high. Consider breaking up dialogue with descriptions of the setting, characters, or character actions. If you describe the scenery with the same incredible word choice you have used throughout, it would be a stone-throw away from a masterpiece.
I know this is your first work, so the following critiques are entirely intended to be constructive:
There is some punctuation errors (they do improve in later chapters though) when it comes to separating dependent and independent clauses. This leads to either run-on sentences, in some cases, or sentences without sufficient commas. This is easily fixed by reading over your chapters, sentence by sentence, and counting the amount of dependent/independent clauses found in each. This also allows you to find small spelling, spacing, and word use errors. Your synopsis has inconsistent spacing at the end of sentences, for example. Also, the POV change in chapter 9 is very abrupt. There are several ways to improve this. You can remove it by having Luella eavesdrop, having another character provide a "flashback" (having the scene written in 2nd person perspective), or improving the transition/making POV changes more common throughout the story so it doesn't seem like a unique exception. This, of course, is nitpicking but correcting these errors will provide a professional sheen to your work.
Also, the time-period in which this story takes place was not known for the economic empowerment of women (i.e. women didn't often pursue private careers). This wouldn't occur until the late 1920s, or arguably WW2. This isn't really an issue as there were women who had careers at the time, but they were not incredibly common. Nothing really has to change in your novel, I just thought that seeing some character conflict arising from this social issue would be interesting to see in your story.
I love the title (just make sure to capitalize every word except "the"); it fits very well with the plot thus far. I also really like the story format when you include the date after the page break, in the beginning of chapter on. That would be awesome to see you continue with that throughout your story.
I seriously cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed this story. It isn't very often that an author makes me enjoy a genre a do not read frequently. The relationship building is fantastic and creative. I cannot wait to see more. I will definitely be returning to this story in the future!
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