Book Jacket

 

rank 1313
word count 21953
date submitted 22.02.2012
date updated 15.06.2014
genres: Thriller, Fantasy, Young Adult
classification: universal
incomplete

Dragonraptor 1 - Vision Quest

Kestrelraptorial

A young winged velociraptor seeks to begin a journey that will shape him into a powerful apex predator

 

Kyeran is fourteen years old, growing up on the archosaur-dominated planet Kiryu. Around this age, young raptors begin a 'vision quest', a many year long solitary quest to find their own way to survive and rule in a world that tests them with unpredictable and apocalyptic dangers. Facing rivals, dangerous prey, violent storms, and an ancient enemy of their species, Kyeran and his friends are ravaged even before they scatter, before their journeys even begin. Alone, a small raptor is little against a huge dinosaur or legendary dragon, yet alone they will be and must find a way to fight back.

 
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tags

adventure, children, dinosaurs, dragons, fantasy, legends, lost world, mystery, mythology, predators, raptors, terror birds, warriors, wilderness

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155 comments

 

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C.O'shea wrote 6 days ago

Dragonraptor 1 - Vision Quest

YARG/return review

Chap. 1-3

I think there interesting and original ideas here. I'm bit out of my depth genre wise (I'm a boring reader of ordinary lives being led without anything really happening- except endless possibly meaningless conversation...obviously this is not that kind of story :) ) However what I liked was...I thought the dinosaur - dragon combo was unusual and therefore enticing. The description and world building seemed to be very well written and fitting of the genre. A lot of thought has been put into the creatures of this world and there is a some really good imagery. The opening with the moons being 'eaten' was nice and very visual.

I wasn't keen on the lack dialogue. It's a personal preference but a previous reader suggested combining the first two chapt. I think that might be a good idea because the first is very short and a bit abrupt I felt. There didn't seem to be anything to pull at the reader in a more personal sense until the second chapt. Sometimes I feel like dialogue helps with that and you get some going in the second.

It can be slightly confusing at times but I think this is largely because you're building your own unique world. The glossary like notes at the end of some chapters are helpful. I wasn't sure about them at first but I think actually that they work. Its something that once the reader is truly immersed into the story will work even better I think.

I'm not sure that helps any.

All the best,

Cj

MOK wrote 20 days ago

I find the writing very colourful and descriptive, but also very confusing. It starts off beautifully but then I found myself having to reread the attack, because it didn't make sense. I wonder if it's the introduction of the new terms. I find myself wondering are there two dragons? A Bakunawa and another dragon? Or was the Bakunawa attacked by something that you don't mention? Sorry I am sleep deprived at the moment so forgive me for asking stupid questions.
Beautiful imagery though :)

CatMcConville wrote 24 days ago

Chapter 1

Para 1. I like this opening. Its very visual, almost cinematic. The sea, the moons, the sea-dragon on the water. a peaceful world then, Snap, the sea-dragon is no more. Death on a peaceful sea. Perfect

But I had to read the end of the para twice. I didn't quite follow the sequence. Did the sea dragon leap because she was under attack or was she just leaping and was then attacked? Did she plunge and was then attacked or was she attacked and pulled under? Also you segue straight from the crunch to the carcass without any eating by the preditor. Is that intentional?

Para 2 The kill draws in the scavengers, again beautifully visual with the dinosaurs and the sea-birds fighting over the carcass. I couldn't visualise "running talons.." but that's probably lack of dinosaur knowledge on my part.

Para 3 I loved "silver cloud-patterned feathers.." great description of Kyeran. Sorry now I understand: the raptors were chasing the pterosaurs.

Para 4 And the streams, splashing down the mountains to the sea, carry the raptors down to the sea and the sea-dragon carcass. Again wonderful, the imagery pulls the story along.

Para 5 Kyeran takes flight. Great chapter ending.

I think this is a very well crafted chapter, both visually and structurally. You have great descriptive skills and your world building is almost perfect.

I think perhaps the reason I got lost in places is that in presenting a world that is almost entirely without points of reference for your reader its very difficult to write elliptically (i.e. the visual switch from the pterosaur to the raptor talons, without introducing the raptor first) without confusing the reader.

I also think, because you do know these creatures, your visual images are far more fully imagined than your readers' so again because of the lack of shared imagery every creature has to be finely detailed for the reader. Which is annoying, I know and where cinema does have the edge, but as I/ the reader read on I/we should soon have a fully visualised raptor in our heads, talons and all and it won't be a problem.

Hope this is helpful. If it is I'll critique chapter 2 tomorrow.

Cat


RonParker wrote 26 days ago

Hi,

Time prevents me from reading more than the first couple of chapters, but based on what I have read you have a great story here perfect for the YA market. The writing on the whole is fine, though there are a few grammatical errors, such as a 'was' that should be 'were'.

It was also hard to keep track of who was who in these two first chapters which wasn't helped by the unfamiliar names. While it doesn't bovver me personally, pov might also be an issue for some people.

Ron

CatMcConville wrote 38 days ago

A Yarg review.Chapter 1 and 2

Wonderful writing. A whole world full of iridescent colour and light. The sea dragon is beautifully imagined. A peaceful start and beautifully drawn. The spacing is a little odd - is this deliberate?

I had always imagined the flying dinosaurs might be as bright and colourful as the tropical birds of today and here they are.

I love the way you start with the kill in chapter 1 and draw the characters to the site, introducing them as you go. I love fantasy, (I was going to suggest you join their site but I see you already have) but this is up with the best.

I read onto chapter 3 to see where you where going with the story and yes, a group family/friends and a threat of hunger. I don't think I'm going to be much use with the criticisms as I truly love it too much. I am aware this sound gushy but I don't normally praise, certainly never to this extent.

Backed and six stars. i will read more later tonight, I hope.

Chris.

Neuravinci wrote 39 days ago

Hey, this is nice. What I've noticed in this first chapter is good description. And it's not overbearing! Sometimes people describe too much or too little, but you have the Goldilocks amount of description. good.

Andrew P wrote 69 days ago

Hi,

Sorry it took so long to get to this, and I am glad that I finally did.
Your writing flourishes with detail descriptions, and the imagery is a strong point. I also feel that the elements of dialogue are great, The banter between the kids and amekeaha is excellent.
You have introduced alot of different elements fairly quickly but I don't really feel overwhelmed. I guess Dragons and dinosaurs have that effect on me, they are such inherintly magical creatures that you want to keep reading about them.

The only part that confounds me a bit is all of the different conflicts, which I assume are tribal, although I assume these are explained in the coming chapters.

Well done overall. Your world creation is top notch, and i will read on to see if the story reaches those same high levels.
Andrew.

Josephine O Brien wrote 80 days ago

Hi there,
Finally getting around to new reviews, sorry about the delay.

Short pitch: Maybe that could read 'begins a journey' rather than 'seeks to begin' because I'm sure the book goes beyond him wanting to start his journey.

Long pitch: No need to repeat 'winged velociraptor' we've just read it in the short pitch. How about ' At fourteen, Kyeran is at the age when raptors begin their 'vision quest'.......
All the rest works well and I'm curious to see how you develop it.

Chapter 1: Small point, the use of the word 'wave' to refer to the storm is a bit confusing, as it's in the same sentence as sea. How about ' A shallow sea thrashed in the wake of the season's first tropical storms.'?

What ate the sea dragon, even if we don't need to know, this yet, how was the thundering crunch heard as the dragon had been pulled into the deep?

I like the scene setting, well done.

Chap 2: I'm wondering at the 'shaky branch'. Why shaky? This raptor seems magnificent and powerful, somehow just landing on a shaky branch diminishes her. How about '...she landed on a wide gnarled limb overhanging....'

No need for 'visibly'

Maybe ' A red raptor followed THEM? This makes us more involved with Kyeran and Kaminariko, rather than referring to them just as ' the other two'

I really wanted some rapport between the two raptors. They0ve been friends since childhood, surly there0d have been more communication?

Who saw a flash of silver? Could read as either Kyeran or the turquoise raptor.

I like the way you introduce all the species, it's well done and not overkill.

Chap 3: Maybe no need to still identify Kaminariko as a raptor. We know her now and describing her as 'the raptor' takes away our feeling for her.

Love the playful interaction, really helps build a connection between the reader and the raptors.

Chap 3: Maybe '....prey animals BECOME more wary...' as this is a general fact needing the present simple, or 'THE prey animals became more wary...' as these specific ones did that then.

This chapter drew me all the way through, great action.

I feel , as I said earlier, you could stop calling them raptors all the time. We know what they are, so the reinforcing of them as distant animals we're being told about, doesn't help our bonding with them. How about 'He forgot about Kaminariko FOR a lethal second. She launched herself, a brass-striped fury and dodging a swipe aimed at Kyeran, slashed the Therizinosaur's throat. '

That's all I've time for now, but I really like the premise and am keen to see where you go with it. If you don't mind my reviewing style ( I get quite involved, and some people think my suggestions are intrusive. )
I'm very happy to continue with your book.
All the best for now,
Josephine





JosephIsaacs wrote 84 days ago

WTF review.

Very beautiful imagery- some of the most stunning descriptive writing I've seen. Your vocabulary is strong and well used. A very interesting idea combining dinosaurs and dragons.

You had formatting issues that distracted me a bit. For some reason it went from single spaced to double spaced, not sure why, and the spacing became odd. I am guessing it wasn’t deliberate. You might want to repost it to get rid of that.

The first chapter ends kind of abruptly was kind of hoping the first part of it was just a build up and we would meet the characters and have some dialogue. In chapter two we do meet the characters and have some dialogue. Consider combining chapters 1 and 2?

Also the way its set up is a bit confusing, you have to go to file 2 to get to chapter 1. I just don’t want you to lose readers who might otherwise have loved your wonderfully crafted writing

. Also, don’t forget the heart of story telling is characters and emotions. You have a beautifully rendered world, now lets place someone in it we can connect to. You had me at first and I would have definitely kept reading if I had some more characters in situations. It doesn’t have to be anything extreme, but you need to get Kyeran and his quest into the story way sooner. I like your descriptions but give it one or two paragraphs and then we need Kyeran. Just my opinion.

I think you have a lot of good stuff here, its just a matter of rendering it accessible to the reader so we can enjoy it. Hope my crit helps, use what is helpful and ignore the rest. The best of luck to you.

Phillip N. Smith wrote 85 days ago

Hey,
That was certainly interesting, I don't think I've read anything quite like this before. I was initially worried that you would disappear too far into your "world", leaving us readers who don't usually read this style a little lost but you didn't. I don't know why or if you intended to do so but I was reminded of the "Avatar" movie and seemed to have that world forming in my head as I read. My only real concern (I don't do grammar issues like other posters here!) is that there was some of the terminology that was used. I could see a younger reader becoming a little frustrated with it but, then again, if it's aimed at the older reader then it really isn't going to matter much. Or perhaps that I couldn't discern this might also be an issue... who knows? LOL!
Keep up the good work and high marks indeed.
Phil

Roger Laurence wrote 88 days ago

Your message regarding Music Man reminded me, Augh, that I had not yet reviewed your book! I’m getting hopelessly behind. I hope you find a few of the thoughts below helpful, though perhaps many will not be. This is not my genre, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

I don’t give fluff reviews, so right to a few points after reading the first three chapters.

Short Pitch: Is this a novel a bout seeking to begin about a journey or about beginning a journey? Big difference in how interesting it sounds. Otherwise its good.

Long Pitch: Hmmm, not sure this sells it to me. What is your hook? Then what two or three other really interesting things are you going to structure into the hook to make us want to read. We should have a big question in our head after we read the long pitch, and I’m not sure what it is in the case of your pitch.

Opening scene: You start with setting description. Not commenting on the artistic merit of this approach, but it is true that agents and editors hate that. I’d consider starting with something that is directly plot related. Why not try starting with the third sentence ‘A lone Bakunawa sea dragon floated near the surface of the shallow sea.” My response is really? What’s a Bakunawa sea dragon, and why am I interested in seeing him here? I better read on - which is the only thing you want your first sentence to do. Get your reader to the rest of the paragraph. Flowery description does not help with plot development, so it can really get in the way in the beginning when people want to know what’s gonna be happening, else they but the book down. Same thought with the sentence “Its deep blue mass…” The next sentence “The dragon leapt…” is much better. Can you work the most important parts of the description into the action “The blue dragon leapt…” Then at the end of paragraph one something eats the Bajunawa? But you don’t describe this very well at all. Does that make sense? What does that gain in terms of plot or character development? Or is it just me not understanding?

There is a lot of telling us vice showing us through the action and the dialog.

You need to fix the formatting problem as it is very difficult to read with the sentence length paragraph breaks.

Chapter two. I feel like there is too much description that is not related to action or character development. Maybe it’s a genre thing. But for instance, you mention a red raptor, then two sentences later mention that he was a dark red color with black and violet flame-shaped stripes down his back.

I kind of like the footnoted descriptions, but then I’m a science guy and I’m used to them. If you go that route, number them and use them religiously as you introduce new creatures. That said, you are introducing new creatures at a rapid rate. An alternative approach might be to introduce the velociraptors and specifically develop the personality of the main velociraptors we’re going to be following, then introduce the other species after we have a good grip on the central character. At the end of chapter two I really have no idea what the protagonist is like, or even, really, who that is.

Chapter three: Does the lightning come from the velociraptors? If so you should make that clear early on by describing the action.
The action at the top of the chapter is not clear. First they are battling 3 to one against a Spinosuchus, then it’s 5 to one, then the Spiosuchus just retreats? Why? And nobody seems to care. They just move along to eating something else.

Then, finally, we have some dialog and your characters begin to have some character. I think you need to move this up. Maybe to the very close to the beginning.

July's World wrote 109 days ago

WTF and CWOG review

Hi Kestrelraptorial!

Your story is unusual and interesting but after I read the first 3 chapters (one of which is to be considered as the book's title) I only know from the pitches about Kyeran's quest. It would've been nice if you gave us (a least) hints to where your story is going. And I don't really understand the thing with the lightning. Did Kyeran or any of the other raptors cause it? I haven't read the previous comments so I don't know if anyone has already suggested that (if so, don't listen to my blahblah).
Although you introduce so many different species, you don't lose yourself in descriptions so that I could follow the story easily.

Some suggestions:
- Between “Kyeran rushed out from the underbrush … and rose into the sky.” (chap 2) there's a paragraph for each sentence. The whole paragraph doesn't appear as if you wanted it that way.
- “He was visibly smaller and lighter, even though they was the same age.” (chap 3) “was” should be “were” here.

I think your book will be a winner if you work on your beginning :)

July
Midwinter Nights

Eric R. Jackson wrote 112 days ago

WTF Review --

Prologue and Chapter One review.

This is a smooth read. Other than a few isolated instances of body parts doing actions I followed all the action with ease. I often found myself starting to critique a sentence or delivery but once I got to the end of a paragraph my concerns dwindled.

The same phenomenon occurs with the mention of new species. You go on to explain them with nice, crisp descriptions but you make habit to do so after a few sentences (or the next paragraph down). I wonder if you should try pulling the description closer to the name.

My biggest recurring problem with the piece is how it doesn't ground me to Kaminariko immediately. I don't get a firm sense of her 'character'. As mentioned by some of the other comments the names (combined with Dinosaur names) are daunting. You may want to consider making your opening chapters limited to Kamin, so the story is easier to digest.

The presentation of the lightning is well handled but I get no sense of what Kamin does to do this. It just happens. I think this would be naturally addressed by pulling a bit closer to the MC.

My other major issue is how the primary conflict isn't introduced in chapter one. It smells of 'look how neat a flying raptor is' and less 'this raptor has a purpose'. The piece falls into the fantasy pitfall of pouring on the lavish details while hopping over the substance.

Regardless I think it's a cool read and you tiptoe around some dangerous pitfalls successfully. Rated and watched.

Thrash D. Sal wrote 114 days ago

Thrash here, reviewing Chapter Four!

Lots of action here. :D Nice stuff. I'll give my suggestions first before I forget them. Near the end, where everyone but Kyeran attack the sides and belly, you list their names off, all four of them, and it's kind of jarring and long. I think it'd be quicker and more effective to say "the remaining four jumped with full force..." or something like that. I'm starting to get used to the names, they were kind of hard at first, but they're getting better. I'm now starting to recognize one raptor from another. I like that you gave them names that we wouldn't use. They're not humans. They're raptors. :D

Another suggestion I have is one of your last sentences. "He forgot about Kaminariko for a lethal second." That sounds...funny to me. I don't necessarily have a suggestion for improvement yet, but it just doesn't sound quite right. I understand what you mean. Maybe something like: "His lethal mistake wasn't his retaliation, but forgetting Kaminariko." I don't know. *shrug* take it for what it's worth. :P

The biologist in me got all giddy when you were describing how the battle took place. It wasn't a battle "for survival" in the sense that the raptors were in danger. They needed to eat. So like wolves, they take down something large. It was awesome! :D I wonder how the raptors interact with competition, mutualists, and other sorts of prey. Fun stuff! Will definitely be reading more soon.
~Thrash

Thrash D. Sal wrote 123 days ago

WTF review of the first three chapters.
So...this was one of the most original things I've read. I'll be returning to read more for sure. It's so cool, because it's almost a cross between a story, and scientific observation (the italics for the species). Documentary and story. It's so cool to see the species interact with other species, and then with each other. I studied a lot of biology, so I have a odd reverence for that. I like how all of these species are pretty much stuff we have evidence for too. It adds a level a mythology, and realism.

As of the third chapter, there hasn't been much story as much as interaction, so I don't feel I can comment on that so much yet. I'll be commenting more as I continue in the story (and I will). :) Smile. It was good.

RVH wrote 134 days ago

This is a WTF review

First thoughts: VERY interesting and original premise!

Suggestions: (As with all of these, feel free to take or leave what you wish)

~ I don't really look too hard for grammar mistakes and typos, that being said, I didn't find too many in what I read, just keep an eye out for the odd out-of-place comma here and there.

~ Some have commented on the use of italics in the names. Although I lean more to their side, and think they can be regular font, at the same time I don't think it's a deal breaker. Imo, keep them if you feel they are necessary and if an editor tells you to omit the italics then it's easy enough to do. The same goes for the descriptions. Some areas had a lot of description and heavy on the adjectives in places but I think it just comes down to preference as well as necessity. The fantasy genre tends to need more description.

~ As for the footnotes, perhaps a collection at the back of the book? - skipping from fantasy to textbook-like information was rather jarring and I lost the flow.

Favorite lines:
~ Electrifying her feathers into quill-like spikes...
~ "Eating dragon eggs if fun....i like to eat the little ones, Keitaluah sang. (I really liked this line)
~ In the distance, ziggurats trimmed in vibrant colors stood at the center of a large village within an ancient crater.

All in all: I enjoyed it very much. Well done!

RVH

Elendra - Tides of Easthaven
Don't Speak
Sethos - the prince's tomb

Stories-have-souls wrote 163 days ago

WTF review

Finished episode 1.

Well, THAT was certainly different! I love dinosaurs hence why this piqued my interest.

Your writing style is really vivid, and you're clearly having a lot of fun with this (and I had fun reading it). However, I do think it would need a lot of refinement before submission to publishers (if that indeed is your goal). I found it a little hard to follow, with all manner of names (often long and difficult to pronounce - I'd simplify them, personally) and characters being thrown at me in short succession. I'd also cut down on the rather anachronistic terms like "kiddies" - it just doesn't work for me in the prehistoric setting.

I'd also maybe make more explicit the 'supernatural' abilities of the raptors. I assumed that apart from their intelligence, they were pretty 'ordinary' animals - until stuff like "elemental" started getting thrown around. Weave a bit more world-building/back story in.

All in all, a nice start.

Hermione's Ghost wrote 165 days ago

Cute reading, but I found the beginning a bit convoluted. You may want to shorten it a bit. Either way, so much work deserves recognition. Best of luck!

rikasworld wrote 177 days ago

Animal Crackers Review

I can definitely see your interests/job reflected in your story. The details of the dragons and dinosaurs and the natural descriptions are very impressive. I've got a vivid picture of what they look like and the world they inhabit. Some great descriptions of their turbulent world and the colours of their bodies. I can see the manga influence too, in the Japanese names obviously but also in the all action writing style.
I know that I like character based stories so this is probably just my idea but I didn't really get a feel of what any of the young characters or older characters were like and people (or whatever), including the hero. Ch. 6 does bring them together more and there is some generation strife but before that I got a bit confused. As I say this is just me and there are lots of popular books, films etc. which are not character based so feel free to ignore!

The Imagineer wrote 191 days ago

YALF review:

**** Message me when you've made changes/defended your writing, and I will make changes to the comment.

Dragons? Dinosaurs? Dragon-Dinosaur hybrids? Wait... Dragon-Dinosaur hybrids breathing fire and lightning?... a;oiejw
Sorry, passed out from over-excitement. There are so many books with human protagonists (including mine) that this should get more looks because of this strange world you are crafting. It needs work, as it is a book-type rarely touched, but it is highly imaginative and eye-catching. Below are some quips.


"Band of the Five Elements" Chapter 4:

P1: The Spinosuchus dodged the lighting to see the raptor... [I don't think he dodged the lightning to see Kami do anything.] Perhaps make it two sentences: "The Spinosuchus dodged the lightning. Kaminariko hissed at him, electricifying..."

P2: Three raptors. [Are you missing something here?]

P3: About Aneirain [You already mention that he is smaller than Kyeran, I'm not sure it's good to keep bringing it up.]

P5: You mentioned in the notes of the previous chapter about their evolution. Is there a meaning to this reiterance?

"Therizodactylus" Chapter 5:

P3: Nakama? Now I have One Piece going through my head. (Which isn't bad.)

I can picture the battle quite clearly. Whatever you did between this chapter and the previous is quite apparent.
END REVIEW:

Good Fortune in your Authoring,
Author of "Thanalosian" and "The Midnight Hotel"

Andreea Daia wrote 196 days ago

Based on the first eight chapters, I think kids and teenagers would love your story—who wouldn’t like dinosaurs vs. dragons? But… I’m going to be very honest with you, so please take this as a very friendly suggestion and nothing more. I think you need to reorganize your story!

Let me give you some background to make you understand why I suggest this. I start my own book with a full action chapter then in chapter two I build my world. Chapter two wasn’t even very long—I would say about 3K words. Yet, because of it, I’ve been hanged, drawn and quartered! Why? Because people didn’t want to read a “data dump,” even if technically speaking my story couldn’t start without that information. So I went and either deleted everything non-essential or moved it to the subsequent chapters. Everything left in that chapter is necessary to understand why my characters behave the way they do in chapter three and later. The result? People still complain that whatever is left from that chapter is too much information!

The only reason I told you my experience is to make you understand how short-attention span and flitting patience readers have. Your true story starts in chapter five, after Keyran breaks the rules. It is also in that chapter where you explain the pack organization and rules. My suggestion—and this is only a suggestion—is to begin your book either with that chapter, or with an account of his rule-breaking. You don’t need to delete the previous chapters, just to move them later on in the book. You can present them as flashbacks of your MC (dreams, reminiscings, etc). You clearly have an incredible imagination and your grasp of zoology is amazing (I don’t know much about dinosaurs, but once I started reading I did some googling and checked out the scientific terminology. Some other times, as it was the case with the coloring, I remembered some articles I read last year exactly about this topic, and I was aware that you didn’t embellish for the sake of the story.) You clearly have a good grasp of your “characters” and I think it would be a pity to lose that information and talent because you start your book too slowly.

And here are my random notes, jutted down as I read—though some of them (like the dialogue in chapter one) become obsolete with regards to my previous suggestion.
• This sentence is not very clear (I understand its meaning and I understand your figure of speech, but maybe you’ll consider rephrasing it a bit): “When they descended to a few feet above the waters, running talons gave chase.” I think I stumbled at “gave chase.”
• When you describe Kyeran, the author’s voice comes through somehow harsh (as in “telling not showing”). For instance consider: “His eyes were large in proportion…” vs. “He (blinked, or some other verb related to eyes) his huge eyes, too large in proportion…”
• You’ve obviously documented well your writing. The term “arm” associated with the velociraptor made me pause and run a google query (dinosaurs are not my specialty)—and yes, that’s the anatomical term for their “forearms.” Well done!
• I’m at chapter two and… I think you should include a hint (maybe a slab of dialogue or inner monologue) in chapter one that your dinosaurs think and communicate. You’ll raise the stakes of story and warn the reader than these are intelligent beings (I expected them to be anyways, but some other readers may not).
• “… and the others appeared as little more than a prism of sunset colors between the trees”—very beautiful!
• I understand your intention about the names (the packs share very similar names), but be aware that at least in the beginning, it’s a confusing to keep track of your characters. In chapter four (Authonomy numbering #5), there is a line in which you have four different names, two-by-two sounding very much alike, and two lines before this, you have yet a fifth name, also similar.
• “Her lights were soon met with a thundering aurora from the pack, seen by every creature for miles around”—that’s a very visually powerful image. Same for the stalagmites of ribs from chapter six.

I read chapters 1-8 (your numbering) and I really, REALLY ツ think that if you start at chapter 5, you’ll “trap” your audience much tighter. Beginning with chapter 5 you offer the readers everything they usually seek—dialogue, interaction between characters, an unexpected society, plus danger and high stakes for your main characters.

Overall your writing flows nice and smooth. There were the occasional instances of telling not showing, but I think those are easy fixes, if you write another draft. I personally like your vocabulary and your lavish prose.

I hope you’ll find something useful in my comments. I wish you good luck with it!
Andreea

(Duplicity)

L.M.Bell wrote 198 days ago

Hi Kes,

Sorry this has taken me so long, but I’m now finally back from my holiday!

I have read the first six Autho chapters. Overall I like the idea of dinosaurs and dragons together in the same story, it puts a fresh spin on the dinosaur-migration trope.

You have built a very rich world and I am not surprised to find out that you are an ecologist, it shines through in your narration. Your writing is particularly strong when describing the appearance and flight of the raptors, especially in the way you paint their colours with vivid brushstrokes, e.g. when you describe Kaminariko by saying that ‘deep mint-green highlights of her mane rolled like thunderclouds.”

Below are some overall thoughts for your consideration, of course just take what feels right:
- I would suggest avoiding the footnotes as they can pull your reader out of the story and burst the suspension of disbelief bubble (even though they are explaining your fictional world, they break the flow of the story and make it feel like non-fiction). If the info is a nice to know then take it out. If it is a must have then try to weave it into the narrative.
- At times it’s difficult to keep track of who is who, because you vary your characters’ description throughout the story. For example, sometimes you refer to Kaminariko as ‘yellow’, sometime as ‘gold’ and sometimes ‘brass striped’. I guess you want to add variety to your writing, but in a very kinetic scene, where there’s a lot of choreography and characters to keep track of, I think you would be better off sticking to one identifying feature.
- You tend to use ‘very’ quite a bit. It’s worth doing a search within the document and see how many you can remove.
- I’ve noticed a bit of ‘head-hopping’ in the story – that is you switch POV from one character to the other. There are a few instances where this is quite jarring (I have more detailed notes for this). Perhaps you could stick with third omniscient? Alternatively, you could make the distinction from one POV and the other more clear, e.g. by introducing a line break, or by telling the reader which character is thinking what.
- There’s certainly a lot of action, though I think perhaps you can add deeper characterisation. I know I have only read the first six chapters, so the characters might develop more as we progress, but it would be good to get more at least of Kyeran’s thoughts in the opening scenes of the story.

And here are some specifics by chapter:

Autho Chapter two
- I liked your first scene, I think it sets well the contrast between the beauty of your world and its dangerous and merciless nature.
- The name of the world – Kiryu– is quite similar to the name of the MC – Kyeran – (which I know from the blurb) so my first thought when starting the chapter was that we were talking about the MC. This made the very first sentence a little odd (the reference to the sea) and I had to read it twice. In the end I kept going and realized that we were in fact talking about a planet, but I wonder if you could make this name more distinctive.
- I wouldn’t use quotation mark on the words “lost world.” I would just leave it normal.
- 3rd paragraph: “one of them very few gentle dragons…” Here there is a typo, it should be one of the very few… Also, the value judgment in this sentence (the gentle dragon) pulled me out of the story as it is you, the author, making that judgment (not one of your characters). This is so called ‘author intrusion’, which again bursts the bubble of suspended disbelief.
- “Who were usually hunters of only insects…”Perhaps “who usually only hunted insects” is simpler?

Autho Chapter three
- Therizodactylus does not need to be in italics, as you did not put any of the other species names in italics.
- “Aneirain,” what is it?” he asked – there’ an extra set of quotation marks

Autho Chapter four
- Here we seem to be in the Spinosuchus’ POV. I am not too sure if this is done on purpose, but I find it a little jarring. Plus the Spinosuchus would not know the names of the raptors, which makes the following scene a bit inconsistent.
- “Likely it is also whatever killed the Bakunawa.” After this it appears that the Spinosuchus is gone but I wasn’t too clear about it – I can only tell because he’s no longer mentioned. Perhaps you can clarify this with an additional sentence (e.g. the Spinosuchus said before disappearing in the thick of the forest).

Autho Chapter five
- Again, a bit of head-hopping here, e.g. we are getting the panic of the largest theryzodactylus, which I found a little confusing.
- Actually I thought the hunt scene was a little gory for young teen readers? Especially the killing of the subadult and the involvement of a chick, which even I found quite sad. But you certainly convey how ruthless this world is.

Autho Chapter six
- I found it a little strange that a dinosaur would use a Japanese honorific, seems an anachronism? In fact, now that I think about it we are not even on planet earth?

And that’s it! I hope it helps.

Laura

Squirrely wrote 201 days ago

YARG Review

I understand the overall ideas of what is going on, but a lot of it is confusing. But the parts I do understand are very mysterious and exciting sorts of things. I think this story would do well with lots of moody illustrations. I actually like the lack of clarity at some points in the story, such as the giant beach monster and the ritual to send them out, because it makes everything more weird and impossible to understand.

In other, more ordinary parts of the story, being too unknown bogs down the dialogue and actions of the many many raptors. I think illustrations would clear all of this up though, because then the readers could see each character separately, and even the other dinosaurs. Having a lot of characters is good in itself though, it's just harder to keep track of what they look like and who they are sometimes.

In any case this is a fun thing to read. Perhaps you could actually play on the reader's dis-orientation in the rich world by going into a more poetic form at times? Having a straightforward, serious voice all the time with such an unfamiliar world is a bit of a clash I think.

Well hopefully these are helpful comments.

singfam wrote 212 days ago

A YALF review!
Dragonraptor 1 Vision Quest
by Kestral
So! this is a very unique story!  IT is very hard to write a story that we imagine, but even hugely more difficult to write a story where you are creating EVERYTHING.  To be able to portray the world that is in your head where the reader sees what you see is a very difficult thing to do. You have done well there.  It is a beautiful and terrifying world you have created. Good job. The biggest thing I would give you to work on is the characterization-partially explained in more detail below, but basically, I want to become friends with your characters. I want to know them. Let them talk to me more. What are their personalities like? Let me into their minds, their hearts. I want to be afraid when they are attacked and be thrilled when they are safe. I want to cry when they get hurt. They are creatures, but you have them talking. They are the heroes and heroines of your story. I want their vision quest to be important to me. In order for this to happen, you need to give me more depth into each one of our friends. If I cant connect with your characters, the story, no matter how wild and crazy, will just be words on a page.
So here are a few detailed thoughts I had while reading:
Chapter 2
The first few paragraphs are kind of confusing and a little ornate. For example: “The coastline here was scarred by the ruins of shattered cliffs and coral reefs” –Nice but you can tighten it up by eliminating “here was.” And “picked-clean bones of great predators’ victims of years recent and past” is really hard to read. Try it out loud.  Then try rearranging so that it flows more easily. Here is one idea: “bones picked clean from great predators lay scattered along the coastline’s shattered cliffs and coral reefs.” I don’t mean to re-write your stuff, it’s just something to compare with what is written so you can try different sounds and different feels to what you write. Read your stuff out loud so you can experience how they trip off the tongue. If you have a hard time speaking them outloud, they will be hard to read silently as well. I can tell you have a good way with words, but you tend to over think your writing, using too much decorative words. I do that too and have to consciously simplify after I write. Sometimes when I write faster, from the heart, it comes out in my “natural voice” and those are the parts that really read smoothly. Find your “voice” become familiar with it and your writing will sail.
More examples of too much:
“one of them very few gentle dragons of its world,” try taking out “them very”
“opening massive jaws that, from a creature watching, seemed to swallow the moons,” you don’t need “from a creature watching.”
“carved in half” gives me a different picture, like a turkey being carved- kind of see slices, not halves. Try “sliced in half” or another word that means there are only two pieces.

“and pterosaurs swarmed the floating debris, the corpse of the giant sea dragon.” You could remove “the floating debris.” “The corpse of the giant sea dragon” does the job for me, especially with the next sentence going into more detail about the scavengers attacking the clumps of meat.
The next section of writing flows beautifully.  NICE! 
“Turbulent rapids were born from merging streams and sharpened rocks, and Kyeran increased his splashing strides. . .” You could make these two separate sentences. They aren’t really connected enough to need to be connected. “then the waterfalls edge came into view.” “Then” slows your story. Try not to start sentences with “then.” Your writing is very creative! You can come up with a way to describe that picture without using “then.” 

Chapter 3
“as the beast waded upstream as it browsed on overhanging vines and leaves”
( two “as”s in one sentence, confusing, stops the reader) ( I think there is a better word for eating as he goes, “browsed” is more like looking casually through books.)
“delta mouth” I don’t think you need both of those.
“The widening waters were awash “wish” floating debris” (probably meant “with”)

Chapter 4
WHEn you first introduce me to the raptors through description, then suddently have them a voice, I get confused. It seems like there needs to be some kind of additional introduction to the fact that it is the animals that will be telling this story.
The long conversations in Chapter 4 helps with this with. By the end of the chapter I have relaxed with the premise of talking raptors. But it would really help to have a little more right at the beginning to help the readers brain adjust to the idea. Maybe it is point of View. I’m not really good at point of view, but I think that is where the trouble is. Your story at the beginning is from the point of view of the outside narrator, and then when your dinosaur talks it surprises me. But if you wrote from the point of view of your dinosaur right from the beginning, if I knew he was seeing things and thinking and processing what was happening in his violent world, I wouldn’t be so surprised when he starts talking.

Chapt5
Your writing is much clearer this chapter. It is fun to “see” a writer have so much fun with what they are writing. It is obvious you really know a lot about these animals and enjoy writing “their story.” 

Chapter 6
Even better. Getting to “know” your characters now. Nice. Seeing the plot come out. 

Chapter 7 and 8
Nice writing. I am reading faster and “seeing more,” but I was thinking there would be a ceremony or something, where they see something that points them in a certain direction or something. ??? I guess they just head out? It feels like I am watching a movie where scenes have been chopped out.

I like how in the second episode you introduce the characters by name, giving us the definition of their names. That would be very helpful at the beginning of your first episode. It opens my eyes to the personalities of these unique characters.

I will end with that for now. It is fun to see the unique and varied stories that people on this website come up with! Amazing you have a very creative mind and I can tell you have really done a lot of research on these types of animals! It is a great and exciting project.  You have some good solid talent. Work on your characters. Open them up to me right from the beginning. Let the reader connect with them just like they are people, and you will have a great story. :-)
Good luck!
Jeannette Singleton
Journey to Kalado're

kabiba wrote 223 days ago

YALF review

This was a vivid world of dinosaurs of all colours,in a beautifully described natural setting. I found it difficult to follow all the names and keep track of them all. The opening with the Bakunawa was deceptively calm before he was slaughtered. I think your greatest asset is in description, but I felt this could do with more characterization and narrative - although having only read the first three chapters, it may speed up after the part I have read. It is very original to have dinosaurs as characters, and I wish you well with this. High stars,

Kate
Stone Circle

jc_intz wrote 249 days ago

YARG review

The world I'm stepping into is full of new creatures to me, with most often detailed descriptions. Still i struggle to grasp what creature is which, but dragon/dinosaurs/raptors are simply not my thing. Although I believe for those that are into this genre, this book will be great! I thank you for the extra descriptions in chapter two as for me, it was well needed.

Your writing is superb and mysterious, in a way that want me to continue to read on, but the unusual name and species are slightly too confusing to keep track of. If some of the names were shortened it might be easier for the reader, but then that would remove part of the Kiryu world.

The only thing to point out could be missunderstanding but it made me paus in my reading so I thought I should mention it.
C1,P4: Then the quiet broke (silence?)

I admire your ability to create a world from scratch and your book will be receiving high stars, good luck!

JC

Olivia Boothe wrote 253 days ago

This would have been a WOS review, but alas, you haven't joined :-(

I've read the first few chapters and I must say, for such a young person, you have a very elegant way of writing. Your work is well polished and your imagination is beyond boarders. You created a beautiful world, I could almost feel I was there. Everything is well described and your character's while not human, have similar personality attributes to that of our own species.

I've never read a book from the perspective of a non-human character, so this was a brand new experience. It feels as if your target audience is a very distinct audience and one that particularly enjoys this genre. My opinion is that this book would do very well in the fantasy realm of story books.

I think technically, you have the talent for writing, you seem to know and follow the rules well. Creating worlds from scratch is a talent I don't possess. When I write, I draw from things and places I know, so i admire your ability to mold such beauty from sheer thought. Congrats on a vivid imagination and on being able to put it to "paper".

Cheers on a wonderfully crafted original story. Highly ranked!

Liv


Heidi Whatcott wrote 288 days ago

YARG review

The world you have created is amazing in its richness and detail. The opening few scenes read like a movie. I am betting that you have made a lot of drawings of these creatures. You do an excellent job of describing the peaceful, giant Bakunawa. It's death is a big shock. I liked that the raptors hunted everyone, and that they had developed terrifying new abilities and strategies, and every species in the world knew it.

The greatest difficulty is following the many names of the characters and species you've created. To make this more accessible to your audience, you need to introduce them more slowly and let us get used to each one before the next one shows up. Perhaps show us the Bakunawa and its death and then just Kyeran and one of his friends. Then the conversation with Spinochus, which adds a great hint of mystery. Then Kyeran and his one friend eat the dragon pearls and talk about meeting up with their friends. Then we see the other two and watch them following the herd. That would give us time to place each species and start remembering the main characters.

I do love the dragon pearls. Small scenes like that make it feel very realistic.You've put a lot of work into this, and I think the definitions are great. When they can be accompanied by pictures that will even be better.

Heidi Whatcott--Crayton House

Juliana S. wrote 308 days ago

CHIRG review
Hi, Kestrelraptorial - I've read through chapter 5 of Dragonraptor 1 - Vision Quest. I was a little sad to see the Bakunawa meet the fate it did, especially since you said it was a gentle dragon. I could visualize the world these dragons lived in and the challenges they meet to survive. You paint a very colorful description of your animals. I like the "swallowed the moons," plural. Your story has a lot of action going on so it kept me interested. I have two comments to make for your consideration. The name of the place is Kiryu and the young velociraptor is named Kyeran. Maybe another name of the place? The two "K" sounding names was a little distracting. In chapter 2, paragraph 1, you referred to Kyeran as "his" four wings, and in paragraph 3, you say "she" charged her body with the airs gathering..." Is Kyeran a he or a she? I like the dragon pearls idea. I think you have a good story here, just needs a little touch up here and there. Best wishes, Juliana

Jane Law wrote 343 days ago

Hi Kestrel Raptorial
You made some helpful comments about my book 'Follow My Dreams' ages ago and I wanted to return the read.
I haven't read all your book chapters as this sci-fi / fantasy is not really to my taste but I do know that younger fans are still intrigued by dinosaurs and such like and I am sure this could become a big hit. It would also lend itself to video and other outlets. It is an interesting concept to write from an imaginary animal's point of view. You have obviously done a lot of background research to develop your 'characters'
I wish your book well and that you develop this genre and be successful.
Jane Law.

Blackrosidhe wrote 356 days ago

Wow, this is quite a story. I can tell that it’s still in its rough draft, but a new anime would be awesome! There aren’t many dinosaur series out there, so you may want to flesh out the humans a bit more, or make the dinosaurs more relatable to humans. I’m not sure, again, there’s not much to compare this to yet, so keep playing around with what works and what doesn’t. I’ll be back for another read.

Charles Knightley wrote 359 days ago

Dragonraptor 1 - Vision Quest
Kestrelraptorial

You paint quite an image in the first chapter, very vivid. I then read the next five chapters which I thought were very well written. I was amazed how I could visualise what you wrote. It all seemed so real, even the animals talking. A minor problem I had was the words which were new to me. I read some of the text out aloud to Yasmina, I stumbled on some of the words, but we had a laugh. I'm glad you explained some of the terms like Therizodactylus.

All in all a fun read which I've highly starred.

Charles Knightley
The Secret of Netley Abbey

W.D. Frank wrote 385 days ago

CWOG/WTF REVIEW:

I finished the first five chapters and there is a bit that I actually really like here... especially The references to Japanese culture and mythology (Examples: Amaterasu, Susanoo, and the use of the title "Sama")
I really like these references as I am a huge anime/JRPG nerd however they do seem incredibly out of place at the moment. I will keep reading before I allow this criticism to subtract from your overall score as there might be a perfect explanation for this waiting around the corner.
I read a book on this site that involved a planet of supernatural, otherworldly entities that eventually became the various deities, angels, and demons of man. Is this perhaps what you are aiming for? Well, whatever.
I suppose I will figure it out eventually.

While not currently perfect, your writing style is rather refined for a person who is writing a story for children.
I find this refreshing as I would very much like to see you write something beyond this age group sometime. Not that there is anything wrong with books like this, mind you. As I have said before I absolutely adore stuff about dinosaurs and dragons... however I also believe that you are capable of writing a lot more than this and I would like to see it sometime.


In terms of story, there isn't a whole lot here at the moment. The raptors are hunting, chatting, playing, and surviving however not much else has happened yet. At the end of chapter 5 it looks like something interesting is going to happen however since I have yet to read past chapter 5 I cannot be sure quite yet.
Watching dinosaurs kill and chill with each other can only be entertaining on its own for so long.
To make things worse, none of the characters seem to stand out to me as interesting. So I am left solely with the flawed beauty of your writing style and the fading awesomeness of watching dinosaurs rip stuff open.
I hope you introduce some plot soon as I have begun to get quite bored with these youngsters.
I always wanted to use that word to refer to velociraptors and now I have... :)

Anyway, to sum things up:

There is a lot wrong with this novel so far, however there is also so much that is either just plain awesome, or at least promising. I would definitely work on refining your writing style and considering ways to make the impact of these characters more effective. If possible find a way to introduce the plot sooner than you have, so that the children don't simply feel like they are watching a nature program with talking dinosaurs.
Remember who your audience is, they will want a chaotic spectacle and you will want to wow them with it.
I can wait until chapter 6 to pass judgement however the attention span of most children is absolutely pathetic.

I am sorry if it seems like I am bossing you around however I should remind you that full creative freedom does not belong in the children's genre. Unfortunately, writing books like this is an infuriating game of seemingly non-stop compromise.

Keep working on it however and I am sure you will have a true hit on your hands.




W.D. Frank wrote 386 days ago

Oh my mothertrucking god!! A story about dragons fighting mothertrucking dinosaurs!!!
Excuse me while I faint from excitement... Anyway, I haven't read any yet however my inner psychopathic eight year old thought you might need a boost in the rankings.

I am not even kidding when I say this: SO MOTHERTRUCKING AWESOME!!!! This story absolutely had to be told! Thank you so mothertrucking much!!

Okay, now I am fainting...

J Greene wrote 396 days ago

J.R.R Tolkien said once that to be a fantasy writer, one needs to imagine a world in all its details and immerse oneself with belief. I think your language and descriptions fit this mold. Good job.

andycp1999 wrote 402 days ago

N/YARG review of Vision Quest

Read eight chapters. Read reviews. I'd say this book is for an esoteric cult of dragon/dinosaur lovers. I just found it difficult to warm up to a fourteen-year-old winged velociraptor who takes off with his friends to become a powerful apex predator. Who is this guy and why is his quest so important? For kids especially, the main character and the plot are begging to be clarified. But maybe I'm just one of those who don't get it.

lauraemmons wrote 403 days ago

YARG/CWOG Review of Dragonraptor - Season One - Vision Quest

The opening chapter was beautifully written. I love the way you've brought us into this world. I was hooked the minute the sea dragon was killed, because I expected it to be the predator in the scene.

In chapter 2 I found a few things. The line "Huge, jagged teeth snarled..." confused me as to who snarled at whom. I'm not sure the action of the scene is obvious. Perhaps a line in the first paragraph explaining that Kyeran was joining a group of his fellows in pursuit of the pterosaurs would eliminate any possibility of confusion.

I think it would sound better if you eliminated the 'the' before 'electricity' in the third paragraph.

My understanding is that pterosaurs obtained flight because their bones were hollow, like a birds. If your winged velociraptor species also flies, their bones must also be hollow. You may want to mention that in your footnote. It would be a clear indication that your raptors are not genetically related to velociraptors as we know them.

In chapter 3, the first four paragraphs seem to be from the Spinosuchus' point of view. If so, he shouldn't refer to Keitaluah by name.

I like the foreshadowing of other dangers in this chapter, i.e. Rukhs and whatever killed the Bakanawa.

The world you've created reminds me of James Cameron's Avatar. It is an exciting, colorful, and breathtaking world to visit. I hope to come back soon for more.

Laura Emmons
Seeing Magic

BeeJoy wrote 405 days ago

You have great intelligence in telling this story. You paint the story well with memorable scenes. Great descriptive writing. 5 stars from me.

KMac23 wrote 429 days ago

Kestrelraptorial,
I read through chapter three. I really liked your descriptions and think you have a real talent for creating imagery, as the pictures in my mind were very vivid and detailed. I think you are also wonderful at portraying action as I could see and feel it as I read.

I had some trouble following your plot. I wasn’t sure which dragon leapt out of the water at the beginning and how the other got killed. Also, I wanted to connect with one of your characters, to know their feelings, etc. You might set a goal in the reader earlier on in regards to the characters, their needs and wants to push the story forward. I wasn’t sure what the fighting was over and would have liked to know a little sooner if this was hunting for food or maybe a battle over territory.

That saying, I think your story is interesting and the land you’ve created colorful. I enjoyed what I read and wish you the best with your work.

Kara
A Gate Called Beautiful

Pippa Whitethorn wrote 430 days ago

YARG review

First I have to say this is not my normal read, but I think it is something that my son would enjoy, so I have written this with him in mind.

I like the idea of enhanced dinosaurs with the ability to perform elemental attacks. I would like to know a bit more about that. All their attacks seem different, so what determines that? - is it just something they're born with? Perhaps you explain that later - I have only read episode 1. This part reminded me of some manga type trading cards my son had a couple of years ago.

You have some nice descriptive writing, lots of action ( which would be incredibly important to my son - the gorier the better!). I liked the interaction between the sibling dinosaurs and all the rules and rituals. I thought the way you built up the menace of what is lurking in the swamp was good. The end of the episode is exciting and makes me want to read on. There seems to be a chapter between this episode and the next which follows on - then we have humans in episode 2...interesting.

A great deal of imagination has gone into this. I think the dragons and dinosaurs will appeal to boys and anything that gets older boys reading more has to be a good thing.

Best of luck with it

Pippa

DJ-Gargoyle Chronicles wrote 433 days ago

Dragonraptor – Season One – Vision quest – YARG/YALF/CWoG review Chapters 1 – 13

Well straight into the action. I quite liked the first paragraph, but then a lot happened without much explanation. The descriptions were great, but I didn’t feel I’d been invited into the action as yet… the second of your chapters repeats the feel (perhaps these two could be combined as there is no discernible reason for them being separated) action aplenty, lots of fine descriptions of scenery and raptors (etc) but I still do not feel a part of the story and wonder what the plot actually is. Nice footnotes at the end of chapter 3 BTW. I like the fact that you have a very distinct world in your own mind and you have obviously created a detailed backstory.
The other thing missing is place and time… you need to make this clear to your reader, especially if this s a created world. Lots of notes per chapter below, hope this helps, and so sorry for being late on this, I haven’t really been on Autho for the past 3 weeks. :DJ

Chapter 3:
“…lay in wait for both them and bigger fish.” – just a bit clumsy, had to read it twice to get what you were saying
“…as the beast…vines and leaves.” – two instances of AS here which is also clumsy
“..slice through the water…” – SLICE should be SLICING or AS IT SLICED

Chapter 4:
Should wyverns and rukhs begin with capitals?
Another chapter with lots of action, yet I still feel it is lacking a traceable plot. Sorry. It is the one thing missing.

Chapter 5:
I know what it is... you spend a lot of time creating your world (which is fab BTW) and your creatures and their names (which are all unique) and throw in lots of action. It is almost like a David Attenborough of Raptor world... we lack the voices of the characters and their overall intention... this might be difficult with your subject matter I know... the question is, how human can yo make them without it being unbelievable and ridiculous. I’m not sure what the answer is and I may just be getting old... I love Jurassic Park BTW, just bought the Bluray version... the human interaction in those movies allowed the beasts to be beasts, and you’re trying something different, so kudos, but how do you weave in the story while building the detail and giving the beasts characters... that’s a lot to think about...
Just rambling here, but perhaps after the initial action – chapter one, you need to introduce us to the pack without action, just to build the characters a bit... just a thought as I read...
“...you’re the fastest of us.” – don’t need OF US here
“herdwatched” – need a space here
The joint attack was nicely framed and setup here (reminded me of JP) best of the action so far and actually gave us a little more character, but maybe there is just too much action to this point...

Chapter 6:
“…arose into the sky…” – just ROSE into the sky
Prismatic display – very nice line
I like the fact that the chicks are playing games
I like the rules of prey aspect
“…of our own(,) but…” - characters in brackets are missing
I feel the pieces are slowly coming together now. With less flat out action in this chapter you/ve brought us all into your world a little more.

Chapter 7:
“Within this five years’ time…” – a bit awkward, might want to revisit that
Short but neat chapter. Setting up the Vision Quest and the rite of passage as such. Perhaps this could have been earlier… or at least something in this vein, to draw the reader in. Now that I’m there, let’s see what you’re up to next… (music from the Girl from Ipanema plays jauntily in the background…)

Chapter 8:
Another similar chapter with a bit of adventure sneaking in, so well done… the plot is developing.

Chapter 9:
“Can’t sleepy” – is this supposed to be ‘Can’t sleep…’
“Don’t play with predatory children…” – how racist!
More adventure sneaking in and then danger… again these chapters are more subtle and build character and sense of time and place better. Maybe you just tried to do too much and introduce too many beast earlier on. The story is much better now.

Chapter 10:
You probably need to elaborate on the breath weapon and lightning things that these raptors seem capable. Remember that you are creating something new; we don’t know what is on your mind so give us all of it.
MAW – is this JAW???
You use manoeuvred (sorry English version) a lot, maybe try other words like duck dive swerve, these would also give more definition to the action. Manoeuvred is vague
Prismatic web – nice line. You know, you slip these in every now and again, but not often enough. It really elevates your prose.
Good ending – page turner. You should use this more often.
Nice wrap with all the info at the end, but even for a anime series, I don’t think you would give a hint of what is to happen… leave your readers on the edge of their seat… make them turn the page!

Chapter 11:
Wet all round – should be wet all over
The sky was shrouded… lineage.” – nice paragraph
Now see… that was a good chapter. Tight. Not over packed with action. Brings the reader into a personal struggle and loneliness and a hint of fear… really good and nicely written.

Chapter 12:
Human???
Now we’re talking about the planet in detail and I feel at home… there was a note about this earlier…
“Have you heard anything about your father at all yet…” – don’t require AT ALL YET here
You have MAW again… goes off to google… OK, got it, so ignore what I thought was a typo earlier – sorry
Interesting twist here. Wasn’t expecting the humans, but it was good. I’m surprised they could survive out in the open with all those dinosaurs… LOL. You’d get a sore neck from all the ducking and weaving…

Chapter 13:
Quetzalcoatl - that’s an interesting use of a Mesoamerican deity!
“usually quiet” – should be unusually quiet
Moa birds – from New Zealand… I don’t mind these two names I’ve found, but you have been so inventive with your own, perhaps you shouldn’t use these. Just a thought. You may have an alternate reasoning, which I would be interested in knowing.
Again a tight chapter though. Yu seem to have finally found a rhythm between action and story-telling that flows nicely. Well done

:DJ

Douglas York wrote 436 days ago

YALF Review

Chapter Three

"Millions of years ago, a team this small..." In such an intense action scene, I felt like input from the narrator detracted from the suspense.

I did really like the dialogue in this chapter - I've noticed some qualities in the creatures that characterize them differently, which is always helpful when there's this many (nonhuman) characters in a chapter.

Chapter Four

I know you said each of these raptors' names had meaning, but I do think the length and complexity of their names complicate things for the reader. As mere suggestion, have you thought about shortening their names in subsequent chapters? (e.g. Keitaluah = Keit, Akhikaji = Kaji or Akhi). I think shorter names would bring them closer to the reader.

"He looked down, and realized the raptors' plan." I think this POV shift detracts from the continuity and perspective of the raptors, which dominates the chapter.

Chapter Five

Love the foreshadowing of the "red eyes" and the imagery in that particular section is great.

I feel like the scenes are zooming forward, which is always enjoyable. I do wish we had some more insight into the heads of these creatures instead of just descriptions of what is occurring. I think this all comes back to a tight POV, perhaps from Kyeran's or, when he's not present, another creature's POV. This would ground the scene, develop the character, and make the reader really care who wins these attacks.

Chapter Six

"The raptor eyries were a patchwork village of nests built from sticks and jungle leaves in the trees, logs and rock gardens..." This was great.

I felt like this chapter was one of the strongest, and really set up the future plot shift. The dialogue was great, though I would have liked some narrative of the reactions as Susanoo spoke to them.

Overall I enjoyed this more than your first two chapters, which I read a week or two ago. I think this was because I grew more familiar with the characters. Kyeran is still my favorite though.

Oceana wrote 440 days ago

YARG (III)
I read up to chp 11 to give you a YARG as well as a YALF. I agree with most of the other comments that the characters/names and action is still hard to follow, but as we get to know them a little more some things do become clearer. Here are just a few details for consideration.

Chp 5
Careful of repeat adjectives. You used “scythe hands” over 4 times in this chapter, and “killing talons” at least 3. They’re good describers which means we’ll remember them and notice when they are repeated.

Chp 6
I know this is planned for an anime, but borrowing “sama” directly from modern Japanese jolted me out of the fantasy pretty hard. This may entirely be the way my mind works, but it felt inconsistent with your beautiful, primal world. Having the hierarchy, even an honorific, seems like a good idea to me, but one so recognizable may do you more harm than good in this case. (I guess you just can’t please me: make your names more recognizable, make your honorifics less recognizable, *said in nagging voice :D). Just remember it’s all opinion anyway.

Chp 9
“the crushing of logs and leaf litter” – I have been TRYING to figure out to describe just that sound. You have beaten me to it and pegged it exactly. Congrats!

Jaclyn Aurore wrote 441 days ago

CWOG/YARG/WTF/NYARG review

I think my favourite thing about this book was trying to pronounce all the names and then feeling successful (even though I might not be) - like it was this big accomplishment for me, and a 'hell yeah, I said that' feeling.

overall the story was interesting and enjoyable - reminded me of the Merlin Falcon but with dinosaurs, and not as 'young' - big ups on the glossary - though you're still missing Trogdor ;-)

favourite line: "She was lost among the stars" - this was beautiful...

high stars for a unique read - thank you for encouraging me to read again :)

Jaclyn x
My Life Without Me

Brad Group wrote 441 days ago

Yarg review

I found the premise to be great. You had me at dragons and dinosaurs. I found the writing to be decent, as in other than a few grammar mistakes which will be found in editing, there weren't any problems. I was able to follow the story easily.

My only main problem with what I read was with all the terminology needed. I don't know if someone in the age demographic you're going for would be willing to put in the time and effort needed to understand all the various species and the differences between them. And a personal problem I had was that every time I saw the word 'raptor' I instantly envision the ones from Jurassic Park, since it's been ingrained in me that raptors don't fly. I understand you're reasoning and I like how you made a plausible new species of dinosaur in that regard, but it just became irritating to me that everytime I read the word raptor, I had to take myself out of the story and remember the new meaning it had taken on in this story.

Hope this helped you somewhat. Overall I enjoyed what I read, and I wish you nothing but the best in your future writing endeavors.

Brad

Jessicaw wrote 442 days ago

Dragonraptor YALF/CHIRG/YARG review (and return review)

Ch 1: I found nothing to comment on here, but I can see why you think this would be suitable for anime. If the reader is unfamiliar with different kinds of dinosaurs, it’ll be difficult for them to visualise what’s going on in the story.

Ch 2: I lost track of the different types of creatures and the personal names of individual creatures involved in the story here. I’m assuming that I’ll get the hang of it eventually, and I’m not too worried about it at this stage. You describe them well, but I’m not able to store all the info in my head as I’m reading. I think illustrations of some kind is the only way around this, as you’ve already identified.

Ch 3: It’s nice to have a link to the beginning here , with the Bakunawa mentioned again. It reassured me that I’d been able to follow the story line in spite of my confusion re the names.

Ch 4: No comments made.

Ch 5: A lot going on here. I tried to skim it, since I had to leave the PC for a while, but I had to come back later and read it properly in order to understand what they were talking about.

To sum up, I think you write very well, and there’s a story here. But it’s too difficult for the average reader to keep track of the different species and characters. If you’re intending to keep this in book format, you may have to simplify the information a bit, and be less precise. Is it possible to name fewer characters and to refer to other creatures in more simplistic terms (‘one of the large plant eating dinosaurs’ rather than a Latin name, for instance?)? If not, perhaps a list at the beginning with species and characters, that the reader can refer back to if they get confused might be an idea?

Cariad wrote 449 days ago

YALF review (first five chapters.)

Dragon Raptor,

Formatting okay for me.

Chapter One. (says 2)

I assumed that the calm sea was a sign of something unusual, otherwise as Lucy said, it’s odd considering the planet is storm tossed. You then say ‘kept the shining rings in orbit’ - but what rings?

Your writing style is ‘nice’ and I mean that in a good way, even using that most castigated of adjectives. It’s nice in that it reads smoothly and well, drawing the reader in, painting clear pictures of what is going on.

Chapter Two

I found all the different velos and pterosaurs mentioned together a little confusing as to who was where and what colour. I loved it when Kyeran spoke – you did mention this before so I was expecting it, but it was still a surprise. Again was a little confused with the arrival of another and the colours etc, but I expect I’ll work it out.

One thing about the names. I did find them hard to pronounce, and it did take me out of the narrative to work them out. I think names should be at least easy to work out phonetically, you don’t want readers skipping over them because they have to stop and work them out. (might just be me!) Likewise too many detailed descriptions of colours and varying sizes – too much to remember in one hit.

Chapter Three

Like this chapter. Got to know them by their actions, and there is a hint of something menacing going on.

Chapter four

Very vivid account of the hunt and fight with the prey. Well told and exciting. Not much to say otherwise.

Chapter five

Oooh, what are the red eyes beneath the water?
I like this chapter as things move on here. We’ve met the main characters and now we learn some new things. A threat mentioned, a vision quest, challenges, mention of some rules broken, laws transgressed. I think this adds to the picture of these creatures as having things we can recognise from our own world, and they all promise things to come, problems and conflict ahead. A good pivotal chapter that encourages the reader to carry on.

More later. Bedtime for me in a few.

Cherry G. wrote 449 days ago

Chapter 2
Again, very atmospheric description. You create vivid, colourful images of the velociraptors in a prehistoric world. An amazing achievement. The only criticism (and the fault is probably mine, not yours) is that I found it difficult to remember which velociraptor was which. I'm sure this was just an initial problem and as the adventure unfolds, I will learn their names and distinctive features.
Cherry
The Girl from Ithaca

Cherry G. wrote 450 days ago

I could only access chapter 1 due to an error in the system (I'll try for Chapter 2 later)
Chapter 1: Very atmospheric description of the world which gives the reader colourful images of the setting. Good description of Kyeran. Don't know if I've got him right, but I have a picture of him in my mind. I'm assuming we'll learn more about him in Chapter 2.
Cherry
The Girl from Ithaca

Douglas York wrote 456 days ago

YARG Review

Chapter One

I was a bit confused with the chase at the beginning. I think the pacing and action was lost in some of the flowery description. That said, the description of Kyeran was great. “wing-like tufts” and “iridescent mane” painted a refreshing picture.

Not sure you need “to his left and right.” It’s as if he doesn’t care if he hears talons behind or in front of him.

Chapter Two

I think taking “a few powered” out of the first sentence would strengthen the alliteration. “Kyeran soared with flaps of his four wings over the jungle canopy.” Just personal opinion. If they’re few flaps, we already know they’re powerful. Also, it’s not necessarily the tropical air that’s lifting him, but his wings. Tropical air just makes it easier.

Lightning “striking the air” sounded a bit odd to me. It actually comes from the ground, launches to the clouds, and then returns (which is what we see). I also think it would be more intense if it hit a something on the ground near him. Okay, I’m done nitpicking!

I think you excel at describing the setting and natural beautify of this place. I think my biggest challenge with this was that I couldn’t really grasp the separate characters. It’s clear you’ve put a ton of thought into how each of these characters look, but to me it was Kyeran and then a bunch of other birds. The descriptions were mostly comparisons among the different creatures and I wasn’t able to really care about them as much as I should. Perhaps if the reader gets into Kyeran’s head more, this will be less of an issue.

This may sound a bit weird, but I wanted to see more conflict in the first two chapters. What happens if Kyeran doesn’t catch his prey? Is he just having fun, or is this a dire situation of hunger? If he’s just having fun, then he won’t risk dangerous situations like he would if he was starving.

Hope these comments help. This was a very different read and I mean that in the best way possible. It took me back to my obsession with Jurassic Park. The way you describe the tropical island makes me want to go there (in a very safe airplane). I already like Kyeran, I just want to get to know him more. Good luck with this!

Douglas York
Majestic Shadows: Before the Sky Fell