Spirit of Fire
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Too short? Doesn’t offer a lot of specifics. Doesn’t specify conflict. Maybe tell us a little more about the world.
Page 1: 10/15
Dream sequence and waking up, maybe cliché. I understand the dream is supposed to be a warning to future events but it kind of disconnects me from the character and I don’t know if it adds much to the first chapter other than a sense of foreboding.
Chapter 1: 12/15
Good character and scene/environment descriptions, might be a little too detailed, though. Separate, defined personalities. Saffire is relatable, in the sense that she doesn’t think she is “leader-material” and that she doesn’t want to be responsible for leading people astray or failing them.
First 1/3 of book: 16/20
Chapters too long? Paragraphs could be shorter? I like the scene when Jaxson appears after the ceremony, it was both suspected and a surprise, like I expected he’d be mad that they picked her and not him but to show up directly after and inside the HQ was a surprise. I enjoy when people use multiple perspectives and when it doesn’t distract from the story. Seeing Coburn’s perspective is interesting and makes him more likeable, relatable and human. From Saffire perspective he seems so mysterious and quiet. Antagonist seems pretty clear, whatever killed Ryker (maybe Nox and Midnight?), (I just think it’s funny that one of my characters in one of my books is also named this) and is threatening their world and Jaxson intentions in the future. Seeing Ana from Coburn’s perspective makes her seem more personable too, you can see she cares for people like Ryker. You can definitely sense the love and trust that Coburn and Saffire had and continue to develop during the fifth chapter, after finding out about Coburn’s sexual assault I understand why he’s so distant from others, that trauma most likely hurt his trust with others and he mentioned made him feel weak, as a male who was sexually assaulted by a woman, which is a touchy subject in society. Going back and facing her time and time again probably isn’t helping either. It makes sense that Nox or Midnight would be able to possess or take over Jaxson, with his temper and the added anger from not being chosen as the Spirit of fire makes sense. Distinct and developed characters. Plot is starting to emerge. Plot is slowly being driven forward.
The slow burn in terms of romance seems to pay off. I also like the combination of learning Ana and Ryker’s relationship as Saffire confesses her feelings for Coburn. The way Ana talks about Ryker also reminds me of my character by the same name. There is a small gap where Saffire and Coburn go from being in his bedroom to being in the main room but it isn’t told they moved locations or it isn’t made obvious. I happy to see Jaxson’s character development of apologizing for his emotions and actions even if he believes they weren’t totally his fault. Didn’t Katya already know about Coburn and Saffire before Ch.18? I think Saf went to talk to her about it. Saf only learned she could make fireworks in Ch.18, her mother didn’t teach her, that a small plot I noticed in Ch.19. The more I read the more real and relatable the characters feel. The time gaps bother me a little bit. I understand the chapters are long but it’s odd to just have week gaps, too. I have a slight issue with us jumping from Midnight and Nox can’t leave the shadow realm to they have left the Shadow Realm. I think the possession scene would be more interesting from Saf’s perspective, too. I do like the mystery of their father disappearing just after attacking Saf’s parents and becoming too weak to get back to the Shadow Realm and then the eclipse giving him his power back. One plot hole that might be glaringly obvious is how often eclipses happen. You are suggesting one hasn’t happened in thirteen years. But eclipses, at least a solar one can happen at least every six months, well full eclipses happen every eighteen months and lunar eclipses once every two and a half years. At least in relation to their father being able to travel back to the Shadow Realm, I understand the twins could have been waiting and training to possess people before traveling Earth.
Overall Writing Style: 7/10
Editing/Technical Skill: 17/20
Some missing words, punctuation, and reusing of shudders and shivers in the same sentence in Ch. 12 but other than that, it’s pretty clean of spelling mistakes and grammar errors. Consistent switching of POVs between Saf and Coburn.
Overall Score: 86/95