Lauren Massuda

Fiction writer, book worm and movie/tv binge watcher

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Original vampire tale

I normally don't read vampire stories since Twilight nearly destroyed my intrigue in them, but this story--or should I say two stories--caught me by surprise since the blurb pulled me right in and when I got into the story I was engaged through out. The new vampire mythos here is a hundred times better than other origins I've read about, it's original but still has a sense of familiarity. The story of Asharru was the most interesting since the world building was so unique and the characters were fascinating. This is definitely a vampire story that deserves attention.

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The Palace Guard

This isn't something I would normally read but it was interesting nonetheless. The characters and dialogue were good, though sometimes it was hard to tell who was speaking and it did get a bit confusing. I agree with another reviewer that all the chunks of military history was a bit much, but. I'm sure other readers would be fascinated by it.. It's evident that you put a lot of effort into this and that's something you should be proud of.

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Ironwood: Annaria in Fall

I have to admit that I'm not done reading yet, but I wanted to say that I'm really enjoying this so far and might actually like this better than the first one. The characters continue to develop well and the descriptions are still pleasing to read, but there's still an issue with really large paragraphs that either need to be broken up or shortened. But overall the plot continues to be intriguing and the series is definitely something fantasy fans should read.

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Ironwood

The world and characters that you created were interesting and I just love reading fantasies that have a a lot of lore behind them. However, I do have to admit that I didn't get fully invested into the story until the shield got stolen, I dunno I felt like perhaps the story should start with the shield being stolen or have more of a build up to it so we're immediately thrown into the action but that's just a suggestion. I also notice that there's a lot of exposition thrown in in huge paragraphs and I think some characters back stories could be broken up through out the story since it can be overwhelming if you introduce a bunch of characters and immediately gave a whole info dump on them. But overall the plot was entertaining and I look forward to reading the sequel.

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Interesting premise

The prologue was very engaging and really drew me in on what was going on, but during the second chapter I got a bit confused 'cause there were these long paragraphs of exposition thrown in at us that took me a while to fully grasp. This occurs several times in the story, "telling" instead of "showing" the readers what's going on can put people off so be careful of how you want your world to be laid out.. With that said, the plot and characters are interesting and I appreciate the lore you built surrounding the world you created, just be careful on how you execute it.

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Pleasant read

These were a lovely collection of poems, they were uplifting and inspiring. My favorite was probably "Autumn's Lesson" due to the descriptive imagery through out. The poems may all be short but they tell their messages well and they're a pleasant read overall.

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Great world building

I like the concept of people obligated to wear masks and their masks represent their class status. It's interesting and so are the characters, though I felt like Ink was more of an observer for a majority of the story until the last portion. Titular characters don't always have to be the focus, but I think he's an interesting enough character that should get more more screen time. I noticed that you ended quotes with unnecessary commas, for example: "Really?," she asked wide eyed. There doesn't need to be a comma there, a question mark is enough. This is noticeable through out the story so be careful on how you end dialogue. Overall the story's very creative and I enjoyed reading it.

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Entertaining read

The term Demon Dusted and what it means is very cool, it's also a pretty cool title for the story, definitely draws you in. The concept was interesting and the character's interactions were good, though I did find parts, especially the beginning, very exposition heavy and it took me a bit to really get into it because there was just a lot of explaining and events going a bit too fast. I think there needs to be a slower build up to who Myth is so there's some mystery around her and it'll get the readers more interested in reading more, but that's just a suggestion. Overall I thought this was good.

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Great world building

The world that you created was nicely developed with interesting characters, though I did find Hawk a bit bland compared to the other characters of the Pentad, I think it was because he seemed flawless in almost everything while the other kids had flaws but that's what made them more rounded. Nonetheless I enjoyed their interactions with each other and how they grew as a team. My main issue is that I thought the pacing of the first several chapters with all the training and getting the kids together was really slow and got repetitive at times, The Pentad don't get to Injhihato until much later and I think it could've happened earlier 'cause that's when we really get the plot going, but that might just be me. The story was really interesting regardless and I liked the lead up to the next book.

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It has potential

Since this story is taking part in the nano challenge I understand that this is a really rough draft but I do want to point out some issues. For one, there's a lack of narration as a majority of the extremely short chapters are overrun by dialogue, making it difficult to know who's talking and the fact that scenes happen so fast we don't get enough time to spend with the characters and their reactions to things. For example, one chapter ends when it's revealed that Amy's parents are dying, but next chapter her reaction to it is glossed over and the only response we get from it is "Yeah but they aren't my real parents." Even if she is adopted, that's pretty harsh to think of the people who raised you , I don't know if she's hiding her feelings or really feels indifferent because we don't know what she's feeling. Does she have a heaviness in her chest? Does she feel empty? All we got is that she agrees to go back to see them. We don't spend enough time in her head and that's important to do when you're writing in first person. The story does has potential though since the concept is interesting, but keep in mind that we need to spend more time with the characters so we get a better understanding of their actions and feelings, especially Amy. Good luck with the challenge!

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Good so far

Since this is a work in progress and there's only three chapters, there's nothing much to say, but what I've read so far is good. The premise is interesting and some of the descriptions like Madalyn's appearance was visually appealing. My only grip is that you should use dialogue tags since I got confused with who was saying what at times. Good luck with the rest of the story!

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Very interesting so far

I read this pretty quickly since it was such an interesting read. It's cool that this was set during the Mesopotamian period and you added magical elements to it.. The terminology did get a bit confusing since I'm not that familiar with the culture, but as I kept reading I understood it more. It was evident that there was a lot of research put into it and it made me want to read more about the culture and mythology. Something that bugged me a bit was that you revealed who the murderer was in the summary, it would've been more suspenseful if you kept out that there's a demon involved in the summary so that more questions are raised like: is there really a disease going on? Did the Innkeeper and Irra just went mad somehow? And when the demon is revealed it's more surprising. I dunno, the mystery of what's going on kind of falters when you reveal it off the bat, but that's probably just me. Good luck with the rest of the story!

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Inspiring premise

I admit that this isn't really my genre but I can tell there was a lot of passion put into this story. It's always nice when you can tell when an author is having fun with their plot and characters, they're not just writing for the sake of it, they want to share what they've written and inspire others. The plot was interesting, though I did find some of the dialogue a bit on the cheesy side at times, and there were some grammar issues here and there, but besides that it's a nice story to share.

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Visually appealing

This was a very unique idea with beautiful descriptions that made me feel like I was there. Though sometimes there were some awkward sentences that made me go back and re-read again, so I was distracted a bit, not to mention that there were some grammar mistakes here and there. But besides that, the story was very imaginative and as someone who loves fantasy, I immensely enjoyed the world you created and thought it was one of the most visually appealing settings I've read in a while. The story just needs a touch more polishing but besides that you're good.

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Great historical fiction

I enjoy reading historical fiction and this one's no exception. The characters were developed well, especially Lydia who had been strong-willed through out the story despite the tragedies in her life. She does whatever it takes to make a living and keep her sister happy, and it makes her a pretty admirable character. The story flowed well and I liked how it switches from present to past each chapter. There were some grammar mistakes as well as really long paragraphs that definitely needed to be broken up. Some of the paragraphs were so long that I ended up skimming a bit and so I was pulled away from the story at times. But overall, I did enjoy the story.

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A fun read

It took me awhile to get into the plot, but that might be because this isn't really my type of genre, but I still thought the premise was interesting. A snake being the main focus is pretty cool and something that I haven't read before. Writing in the perspective of an animal can be hard since it can turn out cheesy easily, but you did this well. I liked Rufus's character and your descriptions of whenever he kills/eats something is both imaginative and creepy. This was a fun read.

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Pulled me right in

The opening can be the hardest part to write since readers either decide to keep reading or drop it entirely, this opening pulled me right in and I couldn't stop reading. The descriptions were eye-catching and each chapter made me want to know what was going to happen next. There were some grammatical mistakes such as missing commas and periods within quotes which kind of bugged me, but the plot was very interesting so I didn't allow that to stop me. This was a very cool premise and I'm glad I checked it out.

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Has potential but needs more work

The concept is interesting, but it was hard to follow what was going on due to the odd sentence and dialogue formatting, as well as how quickly scenes jumped around. Another issue is that the story is written almost like a play, so there wasn't much 'show don't tell' which is essentially the #1 rule every writer has to follow. Due to that, readers are being told of what characters' feel rather than getting any insight into their thoughts and actions, which made them pretty flat. I'm sorry if I sounded harsh, the story does have potential, but I strongly advise going back and polishing it.

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Very intriging

The story was very intriguing as it introduced familiar supernatural creatures like wizards, vampires and werewolves with a twist that didn't feel rehashed. I liked that you switched between the present and the past, it always felt consistent and never unnecessary. I also liked how the color crimson came to play, especially in the start and in the end. The characters were well developed and I liked the relationship between Matt and Erin, though I was kind of disappointed with how it ended but it was still a good story nonetheless.

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It's good but needs more

It's always fascinating to read about cultures that I don't have much knowledge about, so I enjoyed that part. But with romance being one of the main genres, I couldn't find chemistry between the two leads. We're told constantly that they love each other, but we're not shown why, which brings me to my second issue: 'telling' not 'showing' There is a lot of telling in this story, in order to avoid that the characters have to interact with each other more, especially Ash and Biju, and there needs to be more time to stay in one place because the story jumps from one place to another so quickly it gets a bit confusing, especially when there's a huge time jump like when Ash is pregnant and then has her kid right afterward. What happened in those months? What was Ama doing during that time? She refused to talk to Ash because she went off with Biju, but when Ash had the baby, Ama forgave her. The story does have potential, though, I liked the concept and if you develop the characters and their relationships more it would be really good.

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It was fine for what it was

The story was fine for what it was, but honestly this felt like a first draft. The chapters weren't broken up so it was hard to follow where I left off sometimes, a bunch of times the character's names weren't capitalized which I found a bit annoying since it's such an easy thing to fix, sometimes quotations weren't closed, there were missing commas and periods and other grammatical mistakes like that. The story does have potential, I liked the main character Kaiden and his arc, but I strongly advise going back and rewriting it or finding an editor to look over it. I'm sorry if I sounded harsh, the concept's interesting but it does need work.

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Good so far

This is a good start, the plot grabs you in the first chapter and makes you curious of what's going to happen next. The grammar did bug me at times so I recommend going back and fixing that before continuing forward with the story.

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Read through it in one sitting

Honestly I'm not much of a Science fiction fan, especially on stories about UFOs, but the plot and characters kept me hooked until the end, which is great because usually these kinds of stories would leave me bored but I read through it in one sitting and was left pretty satisfied!

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Dead or Alive

The concept's really interesting and the character of Jon is a very sympathetic character that immediately draws the reader in. I also liked the Door Man character and thought his interactions with Jon were some of the best parts. You're great with dialogue, though there are a bunch of grammatical and punctuation through out, like sometimes there are way too many commas in a sentence and that could really the story down. I suggest reading the story out loud to yourself to see if that helps with pacing. Overall the concept is cool and was curious on what was going to happen through out.

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Summoned

The story was intriguing through out and I liked that you switched between character's POVs, the transitions flowed well and I always like to read into other character's thoughts and learn more about them. The relationship between Hadley and Fitz was nicely developed and their dialogue was believable. Couple of grammatical mistakes here and there but overall this was an enjoyable read.

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The Fire Seal

The story's good so far and Dialla's a very likable character to follow. I did find her comparing her magic world to Harry Potter's amusing, though I do have to agree with the other reviewers that you should try not to reference it too much. Fortunately you do have a lot of creative ideas that does stray from Harry Potter, I especially liked the Extended and how they come to be. There are a couple of grammatical mistakes here and there and some long paragraphs that can be broken up, but since this is a work in progress I won't be too critical on that. Overall the story's very interesting and makes you want to know what's going to happen next.

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Has potential

The concept is interesting so far but the grammar and punctuation mistakes are pretty distracting and do take me away from the story There's misuse of tenses such as "met" and "meet", some quotations are upside down, and there are several instances of typos. I'm also confused about some things like the butler says "Couch-couch" to Elizabeth and I don't get what that means. Is it a nickname? I'm also confused on Nick's introduction and why Elizabeth doesn't question why he was a guest at the house. By how he acted he just came out as more creepy than attractive, and if this is the guy that Elizabeth falls for I think he needs to have more charm. This is also a small nitpick but no one really says "btw" unless they're texting or really close and Elizabeth and Tyler just met so it just seemed weird. There are a couple of other things but I think the story has potential and am curious to know more about the place that Elizabeth moved to.

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Good so far

A story about a hurricane and how it affects people is pretty relevant today considering the hurricane that hit Puerto Rico recently, I assume this is inspired by that event? Whether it is or isn't the plot sounds interesting, just be careful with some of the grammar and how you explain things because you do some "telling" instead of "showing" especially with the main charecter's feelings, he says that he's scared a few times but you need to show how. For example he could say "my heart was beating so fast that I swore it was going to collapse as the wind kept howling and the rain kept pounding" something like that so that the readers can feel the tension as well.

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Engaging so far

There's not much to say since it's only two chapters, but so far it sounds engaging and I'm curious to know what's going to happen next. The descriptions you use are visually appealing, especially the grandfather's house and the characters so far sound interesting, especially Nagisa. My only suggestion is to make sure you separate dialogue from paragraphs since sticking them in the middle can make the paragraph a bit clunky. Overall so far so good.

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Realistic

The story's realistic as it doesn't portray love as this perfect fairy tale, especially first love. Breaking up happens all the time and it really hurts, and I think you portrayed it and high school life very well here. The characters are relatable and act exactly like high schoolers. Even though some annoyed me, the annoyance comes from me being reminded of how obnoxious some people were back then, so this was definitely a story that brought me back to the past. I definitely felt for Par and liked how she grew through out.

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Great world building

I really liked how elements were utilized in this story. A lot of fantasy books like to toy with the elements and it can become a cliche so I was a bit nervous upon reading it at first, but my mind was changed quickly. I enjoyed how you twisted the concept around to make it your own. I also liked how Tatiana grew as a character, she was frail at first but you sympathize with her and wanted to root for her through out. It was full-filling when she overcame her obstacles and became a stronger person in the end.. Overall this was an entertaining read.

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Engrossing beginning

Like others, the beginning quickly drew me in. I liked the first draft too and had a bit of a hard time figuring which one was better since both are engaging, but I would have to go with the second draft. I liked the descriptions you used and how you introduced our main character better than in the first draft. First person is a great style to use when you want to get into the characters' thoughts and feelings, but in the end you are limited since you can't express the thoughts and feelings of other characters unless you switch POVs. Its cool that you tried to do both styles for the same story, They''re different perspectives and a good way to figure out what style you think fits the story more. I enjoyed both styles and might lean more to third person, but in the end it's up to you what you're most comfortable with. There are a couple of grammatical mistakes here and there but overall both beginnings are a good start to the story.

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Realistic premise

This is a romance I don't normally read since it's pretty gloomy for the most part, but I suppose it speaks to reality in how not everything can go the way you want it, that people want to move on or some other obstacles occur. Life is complicated and can get depressing as it shows in this novel. It's not really my type of story since I prefer to escape reality than be reminded that it can suck sometimes, but I appreciate that you wrote this story that focuses on Dude's life and his obsession to find love. It's an interesting and realistic premise that I'm sure publishers would want to get their hands on.

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Engaging read

I was engaged from start to finish, the storyline was intriguing and the characters had great interactions with each other. I especially liked that we were in the perspective of someone so young, I like reading through the stories of young main characters, you get more emotionally attached to them, especially when they face dangerous obstacles. Hanu was a great main character to follow and this was an entertaining read.

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Sweet love story

This is a sweet and simple love story between two young people. The dialogue was realistic and the characters were relatable and fun. Something that bugged me a bit was that there were a lot of really long paragraphs that needed to be broken up, it took me out of the story a couple of times since I found myself forgetting where I was. There were also some technical problems that need to be fix too, but this was an enjoyable read nonetheless.

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Fine so far

As this is a work in progress I'm not going to be too critical on it. The plot's fine, the characters are interesting, my biggest gripe is the grammar/punctuation. But since this is a work in progress these mistakes are bound to occur at this stage, but while editing watch out for typos, proper punctuation usage and make sure that long paragraphs are broken up since sometimes I found myself lost when reading them.. Another thing is at the beginning, I think the event of Leo's village getting burnt happened too quickly, it'll be a good idea to spend some more time at the village so we get to know more of its inhabitants and the place that Leo grew up so that when the village does get burnt down, readers get more of a reaction of the incident. It's good that you want to move the plot along instead of dragging, but allow us to get to know the characters first since I didn't feel much from them at the start

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Interesting premise

Honestly this isn't really my genre, stories about government and what not bore me. However, I did find the story engaging, especially since I've never read one in the perspective of a bio-terrorist before. You really get into his thoughts and reasonings, and though I didn't agree with some of his decisions, he was an intriguing character to follow through out the story. It is an interesting premise and it's nice to read something different every once in a while.

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An improvement

The story is more focused here than it was in the prequel which is a great improvement. I liked how the characters continued to grow and what paths they took this time. I especially liked how Lillian's character developed the most, However, I keep seeing them as teenagers rather than 10 year olds, I know that it's pointed out that they've matured fast, especially the prince and it makes sense that he has to mature fast since he's preparing to be king, but I still think their ages can be upped a bit, maybe 13 or 14 if you still want them to be young. There's also still a problem with grammar, for example there has to be a comma instead of a period after someone says something, and there are other things like typos and tense changes.. There is good improvement in the story, but I think grammar is the biggest that needs to be worked on.

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Very cool concept

The world building of this story was creative and I liked how there was inspirations from folklore, such as the skinstealers which I found really creepy. The characters were fleshed out well and have great interactions with each other, especially Jin and Jae. I liked Olshar's character the most since he was so mysterious at the beginning but through out the story we learn a bit more about him, but not everything. There were some moments that slowed the story down as well as some grammatical mistakes, but besides that the plot was very interesting and I'm glad this is the start of a series.

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Great world building

I do love a fantasy with great world-building, I was very much invested in the politics and the characters, though I will admit that the story starts slow and felt it doesn't pick up until Elizabeth meets Nicky. There were also some moments in the middle that the story seemed to drag a bit, but that might just be me. I liked how Elizabeth's and Nicky's relationship developed and how they learned to love and respect each other in the end. I could see this being turned to a series since I'm curious to know what'll happen next with these characters and the world you created.

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Good fantasy epic

This read like an epic which I very much enjoy, the world building was cool and I liked how hair and eye color played a role . The fight scenes were nicely descriptive and the characters were investing, although I did find myself sympathizing more with Cassidy and Jimmy than Dominic despite that he's the main character and had been lied to his whole life. Perhaps there needed to be more interactions between Dominic and the people he grew up with in Gelbraun before he discovers his true heritage, as well as more of a build up to it so that the reveal is more tragic and readers are more conflicted of Dominic's decision of leaving and fighting against them. But that's just a suggestion.

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A good fantasy/romance

To be honest I was more interested in learning about Hleo much more than the high school drama, maybe 'cause I never liked high school and I just wanted to get to the fantastical elements of the story, lol. Besides the high school stuff, I found the story and the lore behind Hleo intriguing. I really liked how Hannah's art played a pivotal role in the plot instead of it just being one of her interests, The figures she drew being linked to people from the past was really cool, and the twist with the painting that showed the future was cleverly done as well. I guess my only gripe is that I kinda wished the reveal of Hleo came sooner since I felt the story was kind of dragging a bit before, but that might just be me. Nonetheless, I had a good time reading this.

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Good potential so far

There's nothing much to say since there's only three chapters up right now, but from what I've read it sounds good. Honestly I'm not the biggest fan of reading a werewolf romance, so I'm not really the right audience here, but the characters sound interesting enough and I haven't read a story where a character has cerebral palsy before. The story has good potential so far.

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Good story about online dating

This story's relevant today since online dating is such a huge thing right now and there are a lot of people who fake their identities. I liked that this story went into that subject, but I was kind of hoping we would've focused more on Amy since she was pretty important in the first several chapters, but once it was revealed she was killed we moved to other cases.

I also felt that if Sammy Jo wasn't abducted, it wouldn't have made much difference to the story. The introduction started in what I assumed was the climax (since sometimes writers start at a pivotal point in the story to hook readers before getting back to the present), but it happened in the halfway point and was over in just a chapter, so I felt it was a bit anti-climatic. It was mentioned briefly later on, but that was it. How did that incident affect Sammy Jo? She appeared to be just fine afterwards which I find odd.

Overall, the story was fine, the message is good, I wasn't much of a fan of how the story was split into several more cases, but that's probably just me.

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Very unique world-building

Creating a whole new world that's unique is hard, but I think you did that well here. I enjoyed the world building and the names you chose for your characters, but I was taken aback by all the exposition thrown at once in the beginning. It's best to take things slow so you don't overwhelm the reader. I had to re-read some paragraphs since I got a bit confused on locations and characters. Another thing--and this is a bit more minor but it did bug me--commas are supposed to go inside the quote, not outside. The story has potential and if you polish it up it'll be great!

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Good long read

I'm not much of a fan of this genre so I couldn't get that invested in the story, but I did enjoy the characters and the writing. I thought the characters were intriguing, especially Caryssa. I couldn't relate to her struggles, but I wanted to know how she'll wind up in the end and so I was satisfied with the conclusion. I had a good time reading despite that the subject matter wasn't my thing, but it was still interesting regardless.

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Nicely written

I really loved the imagery you used through out the story, it was all visually stunning and I could imagine it as if I was there. However, the actual plot did feel choppy a bit as I had trouble following what was going on in some chapters., However, the great imagery through out was what supported this story. well. This definitely has potential to be great, just needs some more polishing,

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Another good dog story

Just like the first one, this is another good and emotional story about a woman and her dog. I liked that you introduced a new character and a new dog, it takes us on a new journey while also keeping things familiar for those who've read the first one. Though, I do kind of liked the first story a bit better (Boone was the sweetest, but Bennet does get points for attacking Drew, what a good boy!). I also thought the writing in the first story was more descriptive, but this was still enjoyable and I'm glad you wrote a second one!

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Very unique

I get a bit tired when I read something that I've seen over and over, but I found the plot very unique which was a breath of fresh air. In the fantasy genre especially it can be hard to stick to originality, but you were able to pull it off nicely. The characters were engaging and you get invested in their stories, and their stories got emotional at times. There are some hiccups in the grammar, and some paragraphs/descriptions go on a bit too long which slows things down a bit, but the story was great overall!

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A great thriller

The first chapter pulled me in right away, I always like it when a story gives a sneak peak of what's going to happen at the climax, it really makes you want to keep reading. The descriptions flowed nicely and the characters were engaging, Though, I think a couple more interactions with Courtney would've been nice so that her loss drives a much bigger impact to not just Jack, but to the readers as well. Besides that, I had a good time reading this story!

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Very engrossing

The story was very engrossing and kept me on edge through out. The suspense was well paced, it didn't feel like it was too slow or too abrupt, it was just right and that's what I like in a mystery. I haven't read such a good mystery in a while, good job!

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It has potential

The plot was interesting and I liked the themes,, however I found it a bit hard to get through with the excessive use of 'telling' and not 'showing' the audience what's going on, tons of repeatetive sentences and unrealistic dialogue. The story does have potiential and I think it would do really well if it had a couple more rewrites.

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A sweet summer read

This was such a sweet and emotional book to read. All the characters were written well and I especially liked the interactions between Sal and Megan, Their friendship was believable, but I think the best friendship here was between Sal and Boone. As a dog lover, I was happy whenever Boone showed up, He was such a good boy and his dialogue was adorable. After reading I definitely went to hug my dog. This was cute and I look forward to the next part!

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Good read for fantasy genre fans

As a fan of fantasy, I enjoyed this story. It was entertaining to read, but I think the biggest problem was its pacing. I felt like it dragged a bit too long and felt that some of the really short chapters or just some descriptions could've been taken out. But the characters and plot made me want to keep reading and so I did.

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