Book Jacket

 

rank 59
word count 33781
date submitted 07.05.2010
date updated 11.09.2013
genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Children's, Young...
classification: universal
incomplete

Iniko's Children: Pandora's Box

Danielle M. Thomas

Dear President Garmon,
I hate to inform you that the last Oracle,..... has died.

 

Oracle is a wizard or witch whom posses great power, knowledge and is a prophet of their kind. The wizard world had four Oracles and when The Being killed the last Oracle, Jill Breese, he vanished soon after. The wizard world began to recover not knowing if the Being will return and if so who will protect them. Soon a prophecy was made about the next generation of Oracles, that might actually be able to defeat The Being once and for all. The only problem is the next generation of Oracles doesn’t know they exist and The Being is slowly gaining power and followers.

 
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tags

children, dark, dark arts, family, fantasy, fiction, magic, school, spells, witch, wizard, young adult

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759 comments

 

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CoraMay wrote 474 days ago

Wow move over J.K Rowling's theirs a new and better wizard book coming to town! This is appended and enjoyable, I did read all the Harry Potter books and none of them has been as good as this and here I say bravo!
Your character are compiling your world is just beyond what I had expected and as I write this review I can't help but smilie at my satisfaction in reading this grand book!

I wish you all the luck in getting this fantastic Novel published!

-Cora-

AunaJune wrote 833 days ago

Your pitch is great. Short, precise, and and excellent catch for readers. Your prelude is fresh and has great voice for your reader's. A great pace for anyone. The dialogue is interesting, the characters are intriguing, and the world envelops the reader right away. I like how you switch styles as you enter chapter 1. It is a great way to add texture to the reader's eyes and gives them some nice details. Your sentences look like they are staggered for lengths, which is always nice to find and it seems you don't over use the adverbs. Overall I am glad to be keeping this on my watchlist and bookshelf. I wish you the best of luck reaching the Editor's Desk and getting published. You have a nice refreshing story here for people to enjoy.

Auna June
Catalaysia: The Curse of Five

Azhurelee wrote 888 days ago

Just finished the entire book and I thought it was great! Yes there are some similarities to J.K Rowlings, but I also believe that it is also unique in itself and an stand on its own!

Laura Bailey wrote 920 days ago

I think you have an interesting premise and I think you write well, in keeping with the genre. I think the intensity at the beginning doesn't quite fit with the boy having been missing for 3 weeks, I think perhaps if the boy had just gone missing then the intensity would be at this level. I do think you could do more with the opening to make it worthy of the fanatstic job you have done elsewhere in the book.

I like this a lot. Best of luck.

Laura
Beneath The Blossom Tree

GCleare wrote 915 days ago

Hi Danielle! I have read the beginning of your book and found it very well written. Backed, and will read more. I am fussy, so this is unusual! Good luck on this, it has big potential. I'd love it if you would take a quick look at mine...either one that appeals to you. Looking for feedback from good writers! ~Gail

Sheena Macleod wrote 179 days ago

Iniko's Children - Pandora's Box by Danielle M Thomas

Danielle, I thought this was very powerfully written. For me, the strength of your writing is in all the little details that make the story come to life for the reader. It was very easy to imagine the events as you describe them, I have a feeling that you will do well with this.

A polish and some final editing is all that is needed to complete this great book.
A contender in the genre for adults and children alike.

Sheena
Carnival of Lies

Suggested edits
Chapter one
The hope for a good response was (dashed)
Should Natmage be capitalised?

L.Lombard wrote 195 days ago

Iniko’s Children: Pandora’s Box

I’ve read the first three chapters. I love most things having to do with wizards and magic, and your book certainly kept me interested. I would consider, though, changing some things so that readers won’t relate this to HP. For example, could the grandma not turn into an animal and watch him? Alan could be notified of what he is without receiving a letter. The Justice of Magic rings too close to The Ministry of Magic, as does E. J. Garmon to the minister himself. I think you have a strong imagination and can do without these things; as can be seen in the prelude.

Prelude:
- The bodies that lay motionless and wearing the blue uniform were… (The motionless bodies of those wearing blue uniforms were…)
- The men and women that (who) wore the blue uniforms who still had breath in their bodies and who wore their uniforms with pride were sent to … (hmmm, sounds a little clunky… maybe: The men and women who wore the blue uniforms with pride and still had breath in their bodies were sent…”- or something like that)

Ch.1:
- On the floor of the office, there is (was) a rug just – you went from past to present.
- Robert stood up… Robert was wearing… Robert opened his mouth. (I’d change some for “he”)

Ch.3:
- Long first paragraph.
- “Yes, does (those) were exciting times….”

I enjoyed reading Iniko’s children (love the word “Iniko”) and wish you the best of luck with it.
L-
EBO

KristinVan26 wrote 206 days ago

I read the first 5 chapters. You could have something with this as I'm not sure where the plot is going to go. It kept my interest and will read the rest you posted later.

Overall: Just be super careful that you don't have too many parallels with the HP series. Lots of 'was/were' used for your verb. Try changing it up a bit. Lots of description in the same paragraph. I would like to see this spread out more and given to the read all at once. Also would like a better word than "Mortals". Long dialogues needs to be broken up with action or internal thoughts. Break sections using ***.

Prologue/Ch 1- just be careful. Not all agents like using Prologues

Ch 3- Grandpa's name is John but so is a character in the Prologue (unless this is on purpose)
Jill's eyes like Alan's- HP were just like his mom, Lily's - need to be careful. Could have too much like HP.

Ch 4- opening paragraph switched to present tense and then back to past.
Using years will date your book
Lots of classes for the reader to remember (a lot for an 11 yo to take, too)
Limus power - very much like the floo powder in HP

Ch 5-
keep the time consistent throughout
6 statues are a lot. try 3-4 (unless it's important to the story)

Good Luck and best wishes!

Kristin
The Guardian

Lillian Collins wrote 367 days ago

Hi Danielle,

You've got exceptional talent. This is very well written. The plot is interesting and I just love the flow of it. You've done a good job with the characters and the world you've created here. Some editing, however, is needed, but the story itself has hooked me in. I hope to read more as soon as I can!

Best,
Lily
Miles to Go/Relative Design

Pippa Whitethorn wrote 406 days ago

Hi Danielle,

First let me say you have an amazing imagination. I really liked the idea of a school created to educate all regardless of skin colour or bloodline. You have created a complete fantasy world but I thought it might be nice for you to describe it, and Alan’s reaction to it, a bit more than you do.

For example in Chapter 10 you wrote
‘There was a weird creature in a dark muddy glass container behind her. That let out a terrible stretch.’
(I might have written this as one sentence. And did you mean stretch?) Anyway Alan’s teacher tells him that he doesn’t want to know what it is and he accepts that. Personally, if that was me, I would have gone over to take a good look. I wanted to know how Alan felt when he saw it. I kind of understand why you don’t do that – you want to keep the plot moving and Alan needs his pass to get into the restricted section of the library, but I would like to know a bit more about the weird creature. Why is it weird? What’s it doing?

Alan does seem very laid back, taking a lot of things in his stride, such as his gran being able to turn into a squirrel. He doesn’t want to know if she can change into other animals or things, or why she has been sat outside his house as a squirrel when, because she is his gran, she could have just sat inside with him.

I think your basic plot is great. Someone else commented on here that it might be good for you to read the whole thing out loud because that really helps to spot all the times where the tense changes in the middle of a paragraph and where you might have the odd wrong word. I do this myself because I am always getting things muddled up and it really helps.

Good luck with this

Pippa

Matthew J.D. Evans wrote 408 days ago

Wow, I really wont this book, this is incredibly well written and from the moment you begin to read you get a sense that their is a sizable world behind the page. I have only read the prelude for the moment but the detail in which you write is incredible, for some reason it wont let me back this so for the moment I will add this to my watch list, I will most certainly be reading more when I have time.

I wish you all the best in getting this on the editors desk!

-Matthew JD Evans-

My2Cents wrote 413 days ago

This is a really nice piece of work. For me it flowed naturally and the story was well constructed. I read some other reviews and most of the changes recommended would be done by an editor anyway. Overall it was outstanding and I enjoyed reading it which, to me, is the purpose of a story like this in the first place. Outstanding!
Ken Spears

Marco Grabinfeld wrote 423 days ago

Hi Danielle;

I've finished and here are my overall thoughts;

Grammar and structure need a lot of work here. I see reviews here that are over a year old! Take a month (or less) and read it back to yourself out loud; or hand it to someone like me in Word format and have them rewrite it. I don't think you need to change anything else - but the story gets lost behind the slogging pace the writing enforces. Your only hurdle will be getting around the "Another Harry Potter" mentality. It won't be easy, but it is doable!

I'm not trying to be mean, here. But this book shouldn't be languishing here - get it fixed up and shop it to an agent! It's plenty good enough to get a publishing deal - once it's readable. I wouldn't recommend getting anyone with a literary degree, mind you. What you want is a high school graduate with good marks in English.

Now stop being a writer and become an author!!! :D

Andrea Taylor wrote 424 days ago

A really excellent prologue/first chapter. Great idea having the woman showing a picture of her son, then following on with the bar owner....clever way of carrying the story along. Only slight criticism is maybe to use something more imaginative than a wand...think of something unique and you have a humdinger of a story!
Andrea
The de Amerley Affair
I'd appreciate a return read if you have time

Marco Grabinfeld wrote 427 days ago

Hi Danielle;

First chapter down, I will continue, though. Just a couple of notes;

Story - great setup so far
Characters - Believable so far and interesting
Voice - Very confusing. Dialogue is often stilted and verb tenses are not consistent. This needs a grammatic review.

Great work so far!

Marco Grabinfeld wrote 427 days ago

Hi Danielle;

First chapter down, I will continue, though. Just a couple of notes;

Story - great setup so far
Characters - Believable so far and interesting
Voice - Very confusing. Dialogue is often stilted and verb tenses are not consistent. This needs a grammatic review.

Great work so far!

Darkangelrawr wrote 428 days ago

When I first started reading this I was a little put off as I believed that it would be another wannabe harry potter concept however just with this first chapter you've really proved me wrong. I love the way you've woven the greek myth of Pandora's box into the story to create a unique plotline, I wish you the best in getting published :)

Wulffrancu wrote 432 days ago

Hello there
I read your story. I enjoyed it somewhat but and I'm sorry to say, it poorly written and needs a lot of work, it lacks the magic , there was no suspense (no holding your breath waiting for the next moment.) The children got the information to quickly and things just went to easily for them, you could do with explaining the surroundings in a bit more detail, and the constant telling of how there day was going and what classes they had at what time seemed to get annoying. I'd much have love to see more interaction be tween them or between them and the teachers and last but not least to many similarities with Harry Potter to such a extent it irritated me . If you work at it more babe you could make this in to something special and make it unique story on to its own . I wish you good luck but I'm also willing to say that I'm looking forward as to what happens next!! Your prelude was captivating and I was hoping you could bring that to the rest of the story as well. As for a story and concept as a howl looking past everything ells high stars babe.
Wulf Godgluck
The Wulf Chronicles

Benjamin Orion wrote 436 days ago

Hi Danielle,

I'm glad I found some spare time today to read and comment re the first part of your novel.

Honestly at first, I was so prepared to read an author's version of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter because of the earlier comments I chanced upon posted about your work. Hence, I was also very mindful of the similarities and uniqueness this book of yours has with J.K.'s.

& to my delight, minus the obvious 'magic-themed' plot and genre similarities, your proposed story came across to me as having a fresh voice and not as alike to Harry Potter as I anticipated. Thumbs up! :)

Below are some of my more detailed observations:

Prelude:
1.) 5th paragraph
...holding the picture tighter, asking the same question "Have you seen my son?"
I think there's a colon missing after the word 'question' and before the dialogue.
2.) 8th paragraph
I understand that the man (Elroy) is drunk and probably in sorrow as well, reasons for his rude response. However, I just found the end of his introductory line too forceful: repeating the word 'dead' and asking 'you hear me?'
Based on my personal experiences (hehe!), no one is naturally that crude during the first conversation with a stranger and yes I subscribe to the same belief for drunks as well. :)
Even without those blunt words, I feel you already succeeded in delivering your intended impression for the character.
3.) 9th paragraph
I feel this can be broken up to two. After Jim yelled: "CLOSING TIME!"
(I was feeling unsure of adding this comment since I, myself, have a problem with creating a paragraph and cramping too many words in it. hehe!)
4.) I would have wanted to see more description for Ben's appearance before Jim called him.
(For more suspenseful scene, maybe?)
5.) In the exchange of dialogues between Earl, Jim and Ben. There was a line: "Not him to Jim."
I must be wrong but maybe you meant to write: "Not him, Jim! Poor Mrs. Reem, first her husband..."

Chapter 1:
1.) Loved the name you gave The Being- Maleficium. That name is an immediate villain for me even without description.
2.) The four globes... what a neat idea!
3.) I totally pictured the office. Great imagery.
(If you will read my novel, you will notice I'm fond of using lights and shadows in setting the mood and describing the scene. So, I felt at ease with the images you described in that paragraph.)
4.) The succeeding lines were good. Maybe you can just consider changing 'OK' to 'okay'. :)
5.) The headmistress has a cool name. :)


Overall, I found your novel quite interesting because of your characters and their memorable names, the pitch and a style of writing all your own.

As I go along reading more chapters, I'll add more comments.


Thank you for sharing this.


All the best,

Benjamin Orion
Blanket & The Serpentine Zodiac

HariPatience wrote 437 days ago

Your pitch is really strong and your first chapter starts well but I'm afraid I kept getting tripped up by the changing tenses - sometimes things are 'was' and sometimes 'is'. I have a habit if getting mixed up with tenses myself, especially when rewriting so I know how annoying it can be to miss one. I'm sure it's a fairly simple fix, just needs an tense-proof.

Hope this comment is helpful

Ryne Tipton wrote 439 days ago

This is definitely interesting...reminiscent of the Harry Potter series. There is some grammar issues that you probably will need to brush over, and some areas where the prose is just a bit awkward, but there is a good, solid story line here. I'm glad that you have finished this and now you can go in and start editing full time. I would say this could definitely be publishable; it just needs a bit of work. And, there's of course plenty of people here on this site who can help you with that...me included, I guess. But, I'm very young...I'm not published and I'm still learning...so I'm not exactly your premier, top-of-the-line editor so to speak. I am glad you messaged me, because this has a lot of potential. Just keep on trucking and hopefully this will get published!

cbewellauthor wrote 444 days ago

Not really my thing (not much into fantasy) but its good. Will read more soon.

Cathy Hardy wrote 455 days ago

I'm not a Harry Potter fan and I think your book is very different. It is written better and is more interesting, with less contrived gimmickry. It has more of a concrete story line and is really enjoyable for young and old. I like the pitch, otherwise I probably wouldn't have read it - it is original and just enough to make the reader want to follow your story. Lovely dialogue too.

Seringapatam wrote 456 days ago

I am always jealous when I read these books. I have no idea how your imagination can go anywhere near this kind of write. I take my hat of to you Danielle as this amasing. I wouldnt know where to start. I give this top marks just for the story alone, but its more than that. The characters, the flow the depth of the writing. The hookability is off the scale. So well done you should be proud of it.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) please consider me for a read or watch list wont you? Happy New Year. Sean

GUSHARRIS wrote 456 days ago

I really don't know too much about the Harry Potter genre, though I have seen bits and pieces of the movies. I have read a little bit, and I think the writing is great, but (and it could be just me) the story telling seem to be a bit rushed, and I found myslef trying to figure certain things out that were assumes the reader know,s and I think it messed with the flow a little bit. Again it could be just me, but great writing.

Etienne Hanratty wrote 460 days ago

I thought the premise was strong and I like the prologue a lot. You've created a very believable world and, after reading one chapter, I'm intrigued to know how it will develop. I see this book is doing very well here and, in my view, it's success is deserved.

That said, I do think it needs a bit of a polish before it's ready for publication. There are some grammatical errors but these will probably be picked up in editing. What was for me a bigger problem was the structure of chapter 1-in particular, I thought the jump to a point 10 years in the future wasn't treated with the emphasis it needed. I'd've suggested this deserved it's own chapter-or at least a visual break in the text to ensure readers don't miss the significant even. I'd also echo the comment from another reviewer that it can be difficult at times to tell who's saying what to whom in your dialogue-see the exchange between Dan and Ben for an example. That said, the dialogue itself is very good so it'd be a pity if you can't address this. Finally, I'm not a fan of the use of parentheses in fiction to provide explanation (eg where you define 'mortals') as I think it jars and takes the reader out of the fictional world.

I should add that I'm not much of a one for this genre so my comments may be of less value than any coming from someone who reads this type of thing regularly. I did like it, though, and the constructive criticism is only being offered because I think the story had the potential to do very well.

E_Edgar_Price wrote 467 days ago

The Good: This is an author with a solid vision of her characters. She’s got an ear for good lines and a lot of unique ideas (like the Oracles) which just need a bit more focus and emphasis. There is a lot of raw talent here, so stay tuned!

The Bad: The grammatical errors are distracting and overuse of the passive slows the narrative down and confuses the tense (ex. “He had been there” could be “He went there”). It is often hard to ascertain exactly who is speaking to whom. And the similarities to Harry Potter are far too striking.

My advice (and please don’t take offense, I’m only trying to be helpful): Streamline your descriptions and dialogue. You have a wonderful imagination; don’t let it get bogged down with excess and unnecessary words. Focus on the elements that make this work different from Harry Potter. The idea of Oracles is wonderful and I was more than a little disappointed when they turned into wizards with prophetic power. Oracles/Soothsayers/Prophets have many different roots in various cultures. I would love to see what you could come up with if you took a big step back from the wizarding world.

E. Edgar Price (YARG, WTF)

August74 wrote 469 days ago

Hello,

You asked me to have a look at your book and I have just read the first chapter. The opening is great, I felt for the woman, her desperation, and I was immediately upset when the man in the bar is cruel to her. Its shows you are a very empathic writer. I also think, from reading the rest of the chapter that not only do you have a fantastic imagination but you clearly have an epic, grand story to tell.
In places you have a tendency to give too much information in one go. For example, when Jim meets Ben and tells him his sister is like him, Jim immmediately explains to Ben that she is a Natmage, a witch born to a house with no magical history. We assume Ben would know this as she is his sister, so you are using Jim to tell the reader what a natmage is. This is awkward. Where possible you should always try to show the information we need rather than just tell us in exposition.
There is a lot going on in this tale and I can see you have created a whole world with many laws and rules and layers and this in itself is very impressive. I'm sorry I haven't had more time to read but I will certainly back you and come back to it when I have more time. Your writing is good, but it needs editing. Don't go in to too much detail too early on, let the story unfold.
Thank you for asking me to read, I'm very glad I took the time and good luck with it.
Alethea

Katrina_Allardyce wrote 469 days ago

Amazing opening lines, very catching and excellent writing over all - kids are lucky you are writing for them and adults will be jealous.

emarie wrote 470 days ago

DT, this is has a good storyline and I've enjoyed what I've read so far. I think this could be even better if you would show the action more than tell it. This is the first review/comments that I've given (pardon me if I'm overstepping a bit). Here's what I mean: He was so wicked, so evil.... His wickedness knew no bounds, he was too evil to even be considered human. Or something that-- pushes your writing up a notch. Also, take out any extra ands or thats (I have trouble with this too). This is good and I enjoyed it, just see it you can tighten it up a bit to make a good story even greater. And if I've overstepped forgive me. :-) Best of Luck on this and every piece.--emarie

Madeagle wrote 474 days ago

Not a bad pitch at all, I have always been a fan of magic, I will most certainly be reading more of this!


Great job! Starred High!

http://authonomy.com/books/49602/finding-mary/

CoraMay wrote 474 days ago

Wow move over J.K Rowling's theirs a new and better wizard book coming to town! This is appended and enjoyable, I did read all the Harry Potter books and none of them has been as good as this and here I say bravo!
Your character are compiling your world is just beyond what I had expected and as I write this review I can't help but smilie at my satisfaction in reading this grand book!

I wish you all the luck in getting this fantastic Novel published!

-Cora-

Celine Zabel wrote 476 days ago

Danielle,

Wizardry is in. Your book should do well! I liked the plot. It was easy to follow. Your writing flows nicely. I skipped ahead to some later chapters, and found that there is editing still needed for spelling and such. But over all, very nicely done. Congratulations!

Celine Zabel
Lives Shattered: One Mother's Loss at the Hands of the Legal System

SJ Bell wrote 477 days ago

Hi Danielle- Thank you for inviting me to read a portion of Iniko's Children: Pandora's Box. I read chapters one, nine, ten, and eleven. There are many aspects of the story that I like- you have a good balance of characters, a developing sense of mystery, and lots of enjoyable dialog.

For me, though, the similarities with Harry Potter are just too striking. For example, in chapter eleven, the students are given instruction on how to fly a broom. Later in the chapter, they attend a sporting event where the teams are flying around on brooms and tossing balls into cauldrons. Throw on top of this the entire concept of "The Being", an evil wizard that everyone fears is going to return (Voldemort?), and the premise is simply too familiar.

I have only read four chapters, though. If there is something in your book that I have not seen, something that is unique and interesting, I propose that you focus on it while throwing out all the Potter-like stuff.

Your writing style shows promise but there are troublesome grammatical issues, starting with the first sentence of your pitch, where you write: "In a world where mortals don't believe in magic." First of all, I do not think that you should use a contraction in a pitch ('don't' should be 'do not'). Second, this sentence is not complete. Unfortunately, similar issues abound in the chapters that I read.

Ah, but this is alright! Please do not get discouraged. Writing is difficult and requires practice. One tip I can suggest is that you read your stuff out loud while doing re-writes and listen to how it sounds. This may help you "hear" your mistakes. We all struggle with such issues. I hope that you keep at it, Danielle. Good luck!

Ben Dikko wrote 481 days ago

Hey Danielle,

Firstly, it is never easy to come up with a story in such a genre; yet you carved out one, and tells is so finely. This is a well written piece. From the intro; you leave the reader dangling. I have only read half of this project, yet I am completely blown by its depth and quality. The story-line is so intriguing too. It`s definitely high stars for me. Your style is unique too. Maintain that.

Ben Dikko:
Run For Your Pencil.

Matthew_JD_Evans wrote 485 days ago

When I read your pitch I was intrigued, personally I'm a big fan magical stories and I found this refreshing, your prelude was gripping and it almost certainly pulled me into the story. For myself I felt slightly scared for the characters of the prelude as my mind ran riot imagining this war in the background. I like how you change your style just a little when we first enter the first chapter and I like the detailed description of the President, I'm glad you asked me to take a look at this and I would love to give you my support. I wish you all the best in reaching the editors desk.

Matthew JD Evans
Trial of the Golden Puzzle Box

JB Wilson wrote 489 days ago

Hi Danielle,

I have dipped into a few chapters and come across the same problems with grammar and structure, which another edit through distant eyes would probably catch, as in your 'About Me' section, where you have written, 'I have being writing..."
Small errors like this distract the reader and disrupt the flow. Agents will probably be put off at this point. Simple attention to detail will make all the difference. Editing, editing and editing and then editing some more, this is where good writing comes from. You have the story down, albeit open to changes as necessary, now is the time to go through it and check those sentences. Find better words. Change things around.

One immediate problem is continuity. We follow Mrs. Reem, into Jim's bar, obviously a frequent visitor in her search for her son. Jim knows why she is there, yet he asks the question, "What are you doing here?" [being near curfew] Then she responds by telling him that she hasn't seen her son for weeks. We can assume since he has seen her doing the same rounds, that he knows the reason she is there. Giving the reader information this way needs to ring true or it feels like you are giving backstory. Why not have Jim give us that information of why she is there, and have the stranger be the one that needs to be told since he knows as little as the reader about her purpose. Or just leave it unstated, let the action and dialogue hint at the reason. Sometimes less is more. For example:

"Make it quick, Mrs. Reem. Curfew soon, and you got to get home."
She nodded without taking her eyes of the stranger, holding the picture to his face.
"He's probably dead." The man slammed his empty glass on the bar and raised his chin at the barman, "That what you want to hear? Just like my brother, God rest his soul."

This section also suffers from repetition, that is, saying something twice although differently, or telling us first what is about to happen before it happens, as here:
'She was hoping for a good response from Jim but got a rude one from the man sitting beside her.'

Telling us she is about to get a rude response spoils the rude response. Aim to shock. Let us the reader feel what she feels.

Also be careful of leading the reader the wrong way. We follow her to the bar and we are directed to the stranger with:
'Her eyes met the stranger's sitting by her."

But instead of hearing her ask the stranger, or the stranger asking her what she wants, the next dialogue is the unexpected voice of Jim. Repetition again here, sitting by her.

Most of what I have said here will be picked up on by an editor if you don't wish to re-edit yourself. Your prose is actually good, and the story progresses well and you have strong storytelling skills, just a bit more practice to catch those glitches and make it perfect.

redwallnut wrote 491 days ago

It's an intriguing storyline, but to me, it seems somewhat bogged down. It's nice to know where all of the characters are going, but it's not entirely necessary most of the time. Also, I'm afraid that it resonates a little too closely to Harry Potter, at least in my mind. It's really tough to write this type of work and not be compared to Harry Potter, and I applaud you for getting to this point. My only suggestions are to try and push yourself further from Potter if possible, and tighten up your prose, trimming some of the extra information that doesn't make a lot of difference to the plot progression. You've got a promising story, it just needs a bit of work.

Software wrote 493 days ago

No surprise that Iniko's Children: Pandora's Box is one of the most successful books on Authonomy. Danielle has employed a very convincing approach to capture the essence of the plot succinctly without detracting from painting a rich and powerful set of background scenes in which the fantasy is played out by its well defined characters. Recommended and starred highly. It will end up on my bookshelf.

Clive Radford
Doghouse Blues

OEJC wrote 496 days ago

Hey, I have just read the first few chapters. I like it so far. I think it is cool that you kind of have a whole world here for your characters.

Sasha Lee wrote 499 days ago

I like the concept but find it very close to Harry Potter so my opinion would be to change a few things, like maybe instead of the wizards having wands they can have magic stones, circlets or some other personal item. You could also change what they witches and wizards are called, like warlocks and sorceress's but this is just my opinion and you don't have to necessarily follow it. It is a good story and I like the way you have written it. I have only read the first chapter but look forward to reading more ^.^

Sasha
MERCY

Leesha McCoy wrote 503 days ago

Hey,

Just a suggestion but I think maybe the opening paragraph would sound better re-written like this - or similar:

"Have you seen my son?" the woman asked frantically; holding up a picture of a smiling... etc

I think this will allow the reader feel the panic of the situation straight away. When I read, 'Her voice was frantic', I didn't really feel it because I already had a nice image of the son in my head. If i had read it the other way around then I would have felt her desperation first, enabling the description of her son to make more of an impact. Iykwim.

I only read chapter 1 and I did enjoy it. I think some of the sentences could do with a little re-working to make it flow a bit better. A previous reviewer mentioned about the 'responded' and I agree.

Overall though I wish you luck with this and I could see it doing well.

Leesha

Jay O'Maille wrote 504 days ago

Hello DThomas! I have read some of your book and thought I would share some of my thoughts:

So far so good... But you seem to have a small problem with punctuation (welcome to the club):

"She is fine. We have her in hiding." Ben reassured.

It should be:

"She is fine. We have her in hiding," Ben reassured.

Also, "reassured" could be seen as unnecessary and a hinderance to the reading experience. Many great writers would say you should just say "said":

"She is fine. We have her in hiding," Ben said.

Even though it says "said" reassured is implied. I know it's implied from the context, but I come to my own conclusion without being spoon-fed.

All that said, it's an engaging prelude. So I want to read the first chapter... I will have to get to it later, but I WILL get to it, and give you more feedback...

I have rated your book generously because it more than deserves it, judging from what I've read so far! If you wouldn't mind giving mine a look, I'd much appreciate it! I trust if you like it perhaps you'll rate it and shelf it as well. Thanks so much!

Best of wishes,

Jay O'Maille - The Geldings of Eidolon

sprayoncrayon wrote 505 days ago

With the popularity of so many urban fantasy novels, the difficulty arises from creatin an original, inventive storyline. Unfortunately you haven't shown anything in the first chapter that either presents as a unique idea, plot point ot character worth caring about. As an author, it may be hard to hear, but you pet project sounds derivative of other published works that have gone before. I hate to simply be a critic, so I will provide what I hope will be helpful advice:
1) The villain's name is terrible. I understand the desire for a name that sounds sinister, but as I imagine that the title is self-styled, I would hope he'd pick something that didn't make him sound like the bastard son of a Disney villain.
2) Generally speaking for juvenile fiction, the target audience is the same age as the protagonists. Here I am assuming that they are the four that are prophesied about. If they are going to be 11 years old, then the language, chapter length and narrative needs to be appropriate for the readers.
3) There is barely anything about the prospective protagonists in this chapter. So fat the only thing we know is that they are one year olds, burdened by a prophecy and the children of Oracles. If they aren't going to be the central figures in the chapter, then it needs to be far shorter. There is a lot that happens that doesn't need to be told - at least, not yet.
4) This is the most important. You need to look at the other mainstream urban fantasy novels and see what you have that is similar. If it is absolutely necessary that you keep those elements, then you need to figure out what makes them different from what has already been published. Otherwise, it comes across as fanfic with names changed. I am sure you have a exceelent mind and an active imagination. Use them well.

I hope that by making these comments, you are encouraged to improve your writing, not discouraged and hurt. Please feel free to comment on any of my work to offer suggestions to how I may improve as well. To paraphrase, "As iron sharpens iron, so one author sharpens another."

NowSpeakTruth wrote 516 days ago

Well I'm stumped. I'm not sure if this is a CHIRG, or a YARG, or a CWOG, or a whatever other groups we have started here, or if you're one of those magically talented writers who earned a spot on my wl just by your pitch.

By the looks of your pitch I'm going to say yes, oh that and while I was scrolling through the first chapter to begin my comment m eyes caught the first line and I read the first few paragraphs. Clearly a writer who knows how to captivate your audience.

Judging by size I'm only going to have time for chapter 1 tonight, but I'll try to be as detailed, honest, and helpful as I can be.

Oh my Elroy's unpleasant. Or just drunk? Or an unpleasant drunk? Any way you look at it his snide remark shows a glimpse into the brutality of the world your characters have been conjured into. I nearly forgot this book suggested magic until the bar owner began tidying up in such an unnatural fashion.

Oh no, the unpleasant drunk was right. You could not have staged this a better way.

"Not him to[o] Jim"

Maleficium is a really cool name, but I'm not entirely sure I'm pronouncing it right. Perhaps you could put in parenthesis the correct enunciation the first time you mention the name so we won't be guessing every time it comes up.

"And his followers[,] the dark shadows."

The Being doesn't sound like an entirely frightening name. Maybe play it up a bit more about how the name strikes fear into etc. etc. By the way, I'm sure you've heard this already but this anti-non wizard/not being called by name thing seems highly similar to the patterns of Lord Voldemort in J.K Rowlings, "Harry Potter".

"They did not want children to live in fear and discriminated against each other" Should be discrimination.

"On the calmest night with no clouds in the [night] sky" I would remove the second 'night' Saying it once in this sentence is enough.

"To a regular human..... they cannot see it" This sentence doesn't line up properly. Consider, "To a regular human...it cannot be seen." etc.

What tense are you aiming for here, because it seems to switch off and on a lot in this first chapter. It's very distracting to the story (Which is a great idea) So I would suggest that you take a look into that specifically.

There are a lot of grammatical quirks with the paragraph talking about the four globes. It's a really cool idea and I'm intrigued, just had to read it more than once to get the full picture.

"And an old object that looked like a boat and swing combined that was about four feet tall" This is too wordy. It could be condensed to say, "An old four feet object that was the combination of a boat and swing."

"Michael looked confused at Edward, not knowing where was all this coming from" This doesn't make sense. Consider, "Michael looked confused at Edward, not knowing where all this was coming from."

"Some nights you [can] hear the screams of tortured wizards. (Should be could.)

Chief of security Robert Thompson is mentioned by his full name and title twice in the span of two paragraphs. That's not entirely necessary.

"Youngest to hold the chief of security position ever" this sentence ends awkwardly. It may be better if put, "Youngest ever to hold the chief of security position."

"Robert I['ll] talk to you later"
"I [will] like to give the prophecy" Should be would.
"Mahala[,] read the prophecy to me
"Until the time come[s]"
"Their discussion on [all] that might happen.

Okay, I like the idea of this but like I said, there's an awful lot here that resembles Harry Potter. Even down to people keeping a protective eye over children that are destined to one day grow up and re-defeat the once-powerful dark wizard who is currently god knows where 'regaining strength'. If you can prove this work becomes more original as the story progresses, you've got a real winner here and obvious market potential.

I would just take into consideration how alike this is to other wizard-world stories as you write and edit.

God bless

U.B. Harper21 wrote 518 days ago

This is an interesting read. I like the way you start off and the action is definitely there. Great job of absorbing the reader in and keeping their interest. The only thing that's tough about these kinds of books is that with Harry Potter being practically the staple of wizarding books, it's kinda of hard to separate and find your own voice. However, I think you are definitely on the right track in doing so with this one and the best of wishes with this and your writing career moving foward.- Uriel Harper, Author of Spark

JC William wrote 519 days ago

I always admire this genre due to the amount of imagination required. The writing style fits perfectly and what I have read gives me the impression of a very good book in this genre.
All the best

Wristé wrote 520 days ago

I've read the Prelude and most of the first chapter. I see this is a bit old, a couple years in the works, and I'm unsure if you've changed/grown/altered your style.

With that in mind: The story itself feels functional, and the intro was promising. I did have a few issues with it. First, you tell a lot. Tell as opposed to show. In the Prelude, the barman somehow observed that the mother had been crying for days; you just straight-up told us The Being was absolutely, positively the most evil thing around; a lot of information was dumped onto us through dialogue. It creates stagnant story and makes dialogue hard to work through. Not necessarily wrong to tell us these things, but there needs to be some subtlety.

On a technical level, there's nothing particularly wrong with the writing. Trim the fat; remove the stuff you simply don't need, and I think that what's left will be of high quality. There's good stuff in here. Your way of bringing to mind the height of the building (as high as a giant) will be something I use, since I've been looking for something like that. But it's fairly muddled.

I hope this was helpful. Good luck.

FRB wrote 533 days ago

I'll admit, I'm not the best person to consult with magic as that's not really my genre. However, I like your pacing and you writing is good and not hard to follow. Good writing should be rewarded, so you have my backing.

Nik.Vukoja wrote 536 days ago

Hi Danielle,

I’ve had a chance to read the prelude and first few chapters & wanted to get some feedback through to you.

Firstly, I think the storyline will appeal to your target age group and there is a lovely voice and pace that is ideal for your reader. Some of the descriptions are stunning and totally draw the reader in, something very important with younger readers because lets face it; they have no patience at all!

As this is not intended for my audience, I am not going to comment much more because I think that each genre and each age-group target has its own niche requirements. The last thing I would want is to suggest you stray from your target audience because of my tastes. I will finish with saying that I would be more than happy to have any of my niece and nephews read this book.

ibholdvictory wrote 539 days ago

Hi Danielle,
I have just had time to read the Prelude and the start of Chapter 1. However, the book sound interesting and as I read the book I feel that I want to know more. It is a book that will grip your readers. I have not looked at anything else as I want to enjoy the story first. However, I vowed to return to the book again to read more chapters. I would assume that you are trying to take up some of the comments that people would have made. I shall be looking at the flavour of this book which makes good reading. Your story line is great so far. Lots of best wishes.
My book is online and if you could browse it and let me know what you think. I have been doing a lot of editing and still doing so.

Catherine
"If Only You Could Tell"

RickardoW wrote 547 days ago

I just read the Prelude and your book is on my watchlist. I love this genre and the story is one that has already got me hooked. You write a lot like I do and so it's actually easy for me to suggest a few things that I also have problems with and point out a few little things to clean up. I understand if I got the tone of your story wrong and in that case perhaps some of the things I mention you meant to do it that way if so then disregard my comments. I love the storyline so far and it intrigues me and makes me want to know more. What I would say is that you seem a bit hurried and need to expand a little more on things. You are taking the reader into your world so you need to be a little more detailed about things and make the atmosphere of the moment come to life. An example would be when Jim left the bar it's night time and he's going to see a dead body is the atmosphere or tone spooky, scary, cautious?

These are some of the things I spotted while reading that you might want to revise if you agree
"thought the man who had answered the door..." the story is in the present and the had is just adding unnecessarily. I would suggest reading it without the had and see which one you prefer.
"realizing she had been crying for days..." I have a problem when writing with leaving out words that will add to the sentence. In this case I think realizing that she had been crying... would sound better.
"walking from house to house-probably for weeks now." this is joined to the thoughts of the man at the door. He obviously hasn't seen her for weeks but by joining the two sentences that is how it sounds. I would consider breaking them apart.
"She was hoping for a good response from Jim" good doesn't fit with the tone of the story. She lost her son and she is frantically searching you need something like "any little morsel that might give her hope"
"I haven't seen him for three weeks and I'm sorry" again I think " haven't seen him for three weeks now..." flows a bit better.
"but got a rude one from the man sitting beside her" again rude doesn't really fit in it downplays the whole situation and especially the response. "but got a shocking/unwanted response from the man...."
"He slammed his empty whiskey glass down..." again it's flat add a little more emotion to his drunken state.
"She was born a witch in a family with no magical history" Sometimes rearranging the way it's written flows a little better "She was born a witch in a family with no history of magical ability"
"Behind the dumpster was the body of a young man, handsome, curly hair, and a peaceful look on his face." It is disconnected because of the description not fitting the words before it. You could perhaps change it "Behind the dumpster was the body of a young man, with a handsome face, curly hair and a peaceful look on his face." Also since Jim was following him to the body you might want to put something before the Behind the dumpster like "Sure enough behind the dumpster..."

Gabriel's Destiny

Thatguypk wrote 547 days ago

Hi Danielle, I've just read a couple of chapters of your book, and am enjoying the story. Several people seem to have already pointed out the grammatical errors, so I won't spend time doing the same. The story and the setting have a lot of potential, and I do intend to keep reading, but you will need someone to go through the whole book with a very thorough eye to eradicate the errors before you think about trying to get published. I look forward to talking to you again.

You might like to check out my book "My Secret Life". I'd be interested in getting some feedback too.
Best wishes, Peter.

superostah wrote 550 days ago

I don't generally get into fantasy writing all that often, but this has the flavor of something a bit more interesting than most. I was only able to give time for one chapter at the moment, but your first chapter was enough for me to want to come back and check out more when time permits.
The prologue has a certain noir stylism about it that I would have though would fit with this genre, but you have crafted so well. The first chapter keeps pieces of that voice, but shifts into something different, something I can't quite put my finger on, but appreciate.
I wish you well.

myownwords wrote 552 days ago

Hi Ms. Thomas,
Thank you for bringing your work to my attention. I've never really read fantasy or children's and young adult, but I found found your style very intriguing. Kids and adults will be drawn in. I generated a number of questions as I read, but I feel that these would be answered as we get into the story more.
One thing to note is consistency of point of view. My little knowledge of writing is that we need to stay---unless there is a specific purpose or device being employed---withing the same POV. Although you seemed to be working with a 3rd person omniscient POV, once or twice I found a "you" in the narative, or second person.
Also, I tried to give you 6 stars, but it seems to have come up 3 1/2 or 4. Do you know how to correct that?
Thanks again,
Best,
Ron (Blank Slate)