Rowan Carver

I am an educator and researcher from NC where I am currently finishing my MA in Professional Writing and working toward a Ph.D. in English. I write science fiction in my free time.

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Shocking Tale that Grips You from the Start

There are no heroes in this story and that's what makes it so gripping. The characters indulge in debauchery and mischief and it's all written in a delightfully engaging manner. The characters feel real. They have vices and bad habits and ultimately there's a sense that they're just trying to do what they have to in order to survive no matter how gray their morals must be to do so...and they're not afraid to enjoy pleasure along the way.

You gave me this compliment in my review and I want to say the same about your work: it's clear that you enjoy language and you have an extensive vocabulary that serves your storytelling well. I really enjoyed the prose and the descriptions most of all. I love to see authors exploring with their prose.

The one note I have is that sometimes you use personification on body parts and it makes some awkward sentences like for example: "his fingertips curiously exploring her body" vs. "he explored her body with his fingertips..." and "her lips motioned to speak until she'd felt Elijah's touch" and "Lillian's eyes and body gestured toward the door" rather than "Lillian looked at the door and gestured to it..." When you separate body parts from the characters using personification it gives these inanimate objects minds of their own when it's best to allow the characters to command them. This is called "Pathetic Fallacy" and it's when you use personification on objects that shouldn't be personified...in this instance, it's because it separates characters' body parts from themselves.

Thank you for sharing your story with us! It's a pleasure to read

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You Will Never Read a Sci-Fi Like Guardium

Guardium is perhaps the most unique science fiction story you will ever read. Space cowboys teaming up with ancient Greek Gods to save what remains of post-apocalyptic Earth from extinction...now tell me if you've heard a story like that before. This world is gigantic. It challenges Star Wars and Dune in scope. Reading the story feels like going on a massive adventure and it's perfect for fans of traditional sci-fi and hard sci-fi. It's honestly the hard sci-fi story that we've been missing.

This story is really hard to understand though. The prose is extremely dense. That's one area that could be improved the most. Oftentimes the author will throw terms at the reader as if assuming that the reader lives in this world along with the strange alien characters. Unfortunately, we don't and while this method of minimalism exposition works for some kinds of sci-fi stories, in a world this expansive and different, it leaves the reader lagging behind. I found myself completely lost for several paragraphs at times. This isn't a passive read and you really have to pay attention. Sometimes it's too literary for its own good and the complex prose hurts itself rather than elevates the story to the level that I think the author is trying to reach. I just think that the KISS rule could be implemented a little more in future drafts.

It's still a really great addition to the science fiction genre. It's a great story for fans of Dune and Childhood's End and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Do give this one a read.

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It's Anime House of the Dragon

As an anime fan, I feel as if this story were written for me. The characters are fantastic and I absolutely love them. Two female leads pitted against one another over conflicts with succession...it's like House of the Dragon but anime and I love it so much. I love the immediacy of the first-person narration and the play-by-play action scenes. And the emotional writing is steller. "I close my eyes and imagine two waves colliding with each other. One belongs to her and the other is mine." This is such fantastic emotional craft and I have to say that I'm jealous of it. You truly feel the rift between the sisters and it's what makes the drama and conflict of the story so juicy. It's a great opening, a great premise, great world-building, and great character work. I'm looking forward to reading more!

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Great world building and characters

This is a really fun story that has fantastic characters. The dynamic between the cast members reminds me a lot of the cast of CowboyBe op. Valen is a complex main character who’s extremely likable with a difficult past that he has to overcome. You’re rooting from him from the start. My favorite character is Don. This story has its strength in its characters for sure and you will fall in love with all of them.

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Unique Short Stories that are Great for Ray Bradbury Fans

This is such an excellent collection. The preface is such a lovely idea and so childlike and wonderful in tone. I love that this is a collection of stories that children are reading from a mysterious story book in the woods. It makes everything seem so fantastical. But the stories are not childlike in tone they’re quite intense and serious. Most characters face desperate situations and sometimes they don’t make it out. There’s a constant threat of death. That’s what keeps the tension up and makes these stories so exciting. I like that the author isn’t afraid to write endings where not everything works out for the characters and they don’t get what they want (in some cases they don’t even survive). It reminds me a lot of the stories in Ray Bradbury’s Illustrated Man and The Martian Chronicles.

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Intense Sci-Fi Story with Vivid Imagery and Fascinating World Building

This is a great story for thriller fans in addition to science fiction fans. The first few chapters don't delay in getting into the thick of things. The descriptions are heavy and vivid. You feel the emotions of the characters on a very personal level. The author does a great job of showing the sheer terror that the characters experience in the midst of the more intense moments of the book. This is extremely hard to do and I was really impressed with that particular aspect of it. The two main characters are engaging and they complement one another well. The main character is arrogant to a fault, but she's wickedly intelligent and she depends on her smarts to get her through tough situations. The line "I had never felt so weak and useless" was particularly powerful to read from her perspective because she has this reputation of being the strong, "don't f with me" member of the cast. The other character is sweet and kind but her naivety gets her in trouble. I loved their dynamic. I think it was the character work that was the most attractive part of this story.

There are some grammar errors and spelling errors. Sometimes there are cliches like "chilling scream" and 'I watched in horror" that felt more like placeholders rather than creative sections of the prose.

Otherwise, this is an extremely intense story that deals with some difficult topics well and in a way that serves the story best. It reminded me of some of Nnedi Okorafor's literature which used difficult topics like sexual assault and violence to illuminate the struggles of marginalized peoples through the science fiction medium. If you haven't read any of her works, author, I would recommend Who Fears Death. I think it'd be a good comp for this story.

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Gripping from the Start

This is a lovely story that really does hook you from the first page. The characters are so easy to relate to and you love them from the start. I love the conflict of this story: an arranged marriage in the 21st century causes all sorts of mayhem that the reader truly does not expect. I think that what I love most about this story is that all the characters are friends with one another but the conflict is slowly pitting them against one another in a delicious, Game of Thrones-worthy level of drama. Alex is an unbelievably talented author and Inkitt is so, so privileged to have her work here on the platform.

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Great Story for Readers who Aren't Normally Werewolf Fans

I don't usually read werewolf stories but I'm glad I read this one. It grabs you from the start and doesn't let go. It is an absolutely wild ride starting from the first paragraph. Werewolves have taken over and humans are not in control...and the main character is caught up in the madness. You root for her from the start and you want her to be okay, and you're constantly wanting to learn more about the mysterious Prince. I also really love the premise of the story, it's so bold and so incredibly fun. This is a great story for people who aren't usually fans of the werewolf genre but want something that surprises them and exceeds their expectations.

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