Book Jacket

 

rank 1034
word count 29248
date submitted 29.04.2012
date updated 28.08.2012
genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult
classification: moderate
incomplete

The Nine Worlds and the Great Mechanical Tree: Book I: Philosophia

Kayla Shaw

All great discoveries have unforeseen consequences.

 

The discovery of the Nine Worlds and the Great Mechanical Tree is the most fantastic discovery since the invention of steam power. The World-Tree is dying; two nations battle for control, and the only solution is to send a scout to validate the claims. However, what the two nations could not foresee was the scout, Skáti, they sent to explore the discovery, finds a truth that’s not only unexpected, but it’s a truth that's all his own.

While Philosophia incorporates elements of Norse Mythology, magical practices rooted in folklore, and elements of the Steampunk sub-genre, its focus is the exploration of what it means to be human. Experience virtue and vice, love and loss, social and moral crises through the characters destined to change their world forever.

*Please Note*
The chapters uploaded are not the final edits. The book is currently being considered by agents, but I still welcome any and all feedback.

 
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adventure, alternative history, clock punk, clockwork, epic, exciting, experimental, faeries, fantasy, folklore, horror, magic, magical, mythological,...

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42 comments

 

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KenMooney wrote 604 days ago

Kayla

Am in love with this: such subtle work that incorporates mythology and science, it can go one of two ways, and I'm delighted to see that it works.

Mark below already mentioned your writing style and I have to agree with him: the prologue/letter sets things up really well, and I love that your voice in this section adopts the tone of the academic/political text, subtly different from the narrative voice in the subsequent chapters. I think this is one of your strengths here, and I'd love to see more of it incorporated into this work: Mark already mentioned a few names, but I'm going to add to them, as this prelude calls Jules Verne and HP Lovecraft to mind for me.

Pacing is subtle, slow enough to build a sense of mystery, but you're taking your time to let the world build here. What's more, you know the story you want to tell, and that shows throughout the text, reflecting a certain unity of character, thought and location that you don't usually see in fiction that's attempting to cross genres and build a world like this.

I can't say much more than that: looking forward to getting my hands on more of this and making room on the shelf: it'll take a lot of work to knock it off.
Ken

Mark Cain wrote 609 days ago

How marvelous! a fusion of Norse mythology and steampunk. This is an incredibly fresh idea. We should have had you in the Most Original Novel Contest, which just finished up a week ago. You might just have won it!

The style you have adopted is dead-on for a book that would have been published around the turn of the 20th Century. The writing tradition of H.G. Welles, H. Rider Haggard, Bram Stoker, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and even Arthur Conan Doyle lives on in Philosophia.

Though you say this is still without a final coat of polish, I found it quite polished indeed. Unfortunately, the website started giving me errors before I finished all that you posted, but what I read was first rate. Six stars and on my watch list. As soon as I get some room, I'll shelve it.

Come on, everyone! Come read something that's great and different from the normal fare!

Maevesleibhin wrote 623 days ago

I read everything you posted.
There are a few titles that I have read in this site that have made me be truly happy to have joined, where the pleasure of reading a good book comes through like a gem in an attic. It is particularly pleasing when the book is not highly ranked, because then the experience is so much more serendipitous. Philosophia is a great example. I have very much enjoyed reading this atmosphere-filled fantasy with an exciting premise and alluring characters. It reminded me of the movie Metropolis, combined perhaps with the computer game Thief, with a dash of something quite its own. I was saddened when I got to the end of the posting, and would gladly read on, and I am sure it will do quite well. 
Hook and plot- The book starts with a proper use of the prologue, which I appreciate. Rather than flashing forward to some exciting scene for the sake of a faux hook, the prologue is a short report from the Department of Subtle Manipulations regarding the astronomy of the universe we are being thrust into and its current vulnerabilities. It is slightly confusing, as there is a lot of information packed into a few paragraphs, and there is the list of impossible to remember names which are often the drudgery of fantasy novels, but the report managed to capture my attention by prognosticating doom in a rather convincing and urgent manner, and by hinting at the richness and intricancy of this world. I particularly liked the concept of a world where people go when they die. This was a fantastic twist, bringing in mythology to the fantasy world. I was quite hooked.
The first chapter did not dissapoint. You start with a murder. But what I found intreaguing about it was that it was a murder by the main character, a personage whom we are meant to like. Of course, I did not realise this at the beginning, and my first impression was to dislike the man. But but the time he meets the namesake of the book, I was quite fond of him. The hook is strong and stable.
The plot develops well, I think. I am quite curious to see where you will go with it. You are starting upon an epic journey, which is a bit different from what you have given us so far. However, if the last chapter in the posting is any indication, you will do it in an unorthodox way.
Character development- I think that Garth is a really very intreaguing character. He starts as such the bad guy, and I was completely and absolutely ready to loath him in the beginning. He is a self centered chauvanist. But at the same time there is something weak and voulnerable about him which makes him endearing. This duplicity makes him a very appealing main character. Heidi was a wee bit harder to swallow as a strong character, perhaps because she was too strong. The rebellious daughter of the supreme ruler of everything who is so self aware that she can walk away from it all, and also happens to be gorgeous and clever. Perhaps a bit of vulnerability might have made her a bit more alluring, but this is really a minor issue.
I found the supporting characters very convincing, from the corrupt coroner, to the macabre parliamentarians to the slightly odd shopkeepers. And, of course, the wonderful Philosophia, with her eerie insistence on getting her sisters back and on sucking the blood out of people's fingers. 
Ambiance- I truly love this, the mechanical machinery world is not new, but it is so very well done. I love class system, and the concept that they live in this cocoon amidst an universe in crisis. I love the cloak and dagger of it  all, the addiction which afflicts his wife... Excellent. I could really go on about this, but I would just spoil it and waste space. It is fab. This alone makes the posting worth reading, folksd. I could dream about the universe that you created for hours.
Internal consistency- Well, if there was one bit of criticism I could give about this book it is in this section. Don't get me wrong, it holds together quite well, but there are a few minor moments that don't hold up to my close scrutiny. I think the largest one is the fact that Garth was not killed right away when he reveals his findings.  Why put this off? And what about the people at the D.S.M. who wrote up the paper? Don't they pose a greater risk?
Heidi is, again, just a bit too perfect, and gets away with just a bit too much. She was thrown out of her father's house, but drives his car? Little things like that. But what is really important is the premise, which holds very well for me. It is engaging and, again, I gladly suspend my disbelief at these minor issues in order to read on.
All in all, I am sorry you did not post more. I am delighted to have had the chance to read it while it is still ranked in the thousands, as I am sure it will not be there for long. I will back it in my next shuffle. 
Best of luck with it,
Maeve

Karataratakas wrote 661 days ago

This is awesome. This is one of the top three books I've ever read on this site, and since the other two weren't in my genre this one is now my favourite, and I love everything about it, a complex plot, fantastic style and pacing, steampunk, Nordic mythology, a wonderfully morally ambiguous protagonist, I... can't think of anything critical to say about it, I hope a backing suffices, lowly as I am on the TSR scale right now ;)

Rachel

TMHickman wrote 706 days ago

Hi!

First of all, your hook was fantastic, and the rest of the story kept reeling it in. =D Your writing style is fluid and almost lyrical, and a real joy to read. This is not a casual read, though. This is the kind of book that you take to a nice secluded corner, or perhaps a far off get-a-way, buy it a few drinks, and get absolutely lost in it. At the same time, it has the cerebral appeal that calls to the intelligent masses.

Well done, I say. =D Your edits have not been in vain!
-Tamara

Nanty wrote 586 days ago

The Nine Worlds and the Great Mechanical Tree.
Book 1: Philosophia.

I really enjoyed the prologue, but then I often do. This however was a little different from most in presentation and content. A letter, a tool I have used in my latest work, introduces a report concerning the tree of life, not necessarily a living organic thing, but the engine that drives the nine worlds, worlds that can be exploited or subdued, in some instances, and others whose function is a little more mysterious. This tree is taken from Nordic myths and has been given a little twist to make it the author's own, which is a very nice touch. The voice of the letter is one of barely contained excitement, whilst the voice of the report is flat and cold evaluation. A nice contrast.

Chapter 1.

A question - how could Garth Emit know the expression of the selectorian's face was the same as his, after reading the report? He might suspect it, but he really couldn't know.
'He just killed a man.' - He had just killed a man?
'...to consume is hand...' - his hand.
'...much stronger than what he felt for the man.' - This passage is rather awkward - much stronger than his feelings for the man?
My impression of Garth at this moment in time, is that he a corporate man, which is not terribly attractive, but I shall have to read on to see how you develop this character.
The sleazy coroner offering running a secretive clean-up operation, came across very well.
I note from your profile the book is currently under consideration and you have yet to make a final edit. I hope you do, as I came across little typos and awkward phrasing throughout both the prologue and chapter 1. Having said that, I like the world you appear to have created and will comment further when I have read more of your work.

J C Michael wrote 588 days ago

Hi Kayla,

Just had time to take a quick look at the prologue (I will read more but this evening seems to have escaped me) and I liked the format as it gave us a lot if information without it coming across as heavy detail, presumably because the format lent itself to such detail rather than us expecting a story.
You have obviously researched your mythology but it's also good to see the twists you are putting on it, it's slightly reminiscent of one if the Tomb Raider games which was also based on Norse myth and had large machines and contraptions woven into the storyline.
Writing wise I noted one typo where you mention that the tree was found to dying, I think there's a "was" missing in the sentance. Other than that it flowed well and was easy enough to follow.
My only other point could just be me, so please ignore me if I'm off the mark, but you mention a perpetual motion machine stopping and the fuel running out. Now I could be wrong but this statement jarred with me as I thought the idea of a perpetual motion machine was that it didn't need fuel? I'm going to google it but I'm pretty sure that the concept is that such a machine would run without using any energy, but also that such a machine is impossible unless the laws of physics are somehow broken.
Anyway, a good start and I will read more tomorrow. Very intriguing and different to anything else I've read.
Best wishes,
James

Abby Vandiver wrote 597 days ago

This is very good. It started out with a bang with that letter. You write very well. It is so easy and has such a good flow. I loved the plot and what a wonderful imagination you have.

Abby

KenMooney wrote 604 days ago

Kayla

Am in love with this: such subtle work that incorporates mythology and science, it can go one of two ways, and I'm delighted to see that it works.

Mark below already mentioned your writing style and I have to agree with him: the prologue/letter sets things up really well, and I love that your voice in this section adopts the tone of the academic/political text, subtly different from the narrative voice in the subsequent chapters. I think this is one of your strengths here, and I'd love to see more of it incorporated into this work: Mark already mentioned a few names, but I'm going to add to them, as this prelude calls Jules Verne and HP Lovecraft to mind for me.

Pacing is subtle, slow enough to build a sense of mystery, but you're taking your time to let the world build here. What's more, you know the story you want to tell, and that shows throughout the text, reflecting a certain unity of character, thought and location that you don't usually see in fiction that's attempting to cross genres and build a world like this.

I can't say much more than that: looking forward to getting my hands on more of this and making room on the shelf: it'll take a lot of work to knock it off.
Ken

scoz512 wrote 604 days ago

Loved it. I absolutely would pick this up off the bookshelf and devour it! Fantastic story and beautifully writte. Exciting as well! I actually really love the prologue you begin with. Its not too much and it just gives us a little something to go on without being overly winded. I liked getting right into the story. I also love the way you paint the main characters and the quirks and personalities that make them so much more than two-dimensional. Will back it and watch where it goes,

good luck!
Sara Sjoquist
War of the Wastelands

Mark Cain wrote 609 days ago

How marvelous! a fusion of Norse mythology and steampunk. This is an incredibly fresh idea. We should have had you in the Most Original Novel Contest, which just finished up a week ago. You might just have won it!

The style you have adopted is dead-on for a book that would have been published around the turn of the 20th Century. The writing tradition of H.G. Welles, H. Rider Haggard, Bram Stoker, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and even Arthur Conan Doyle lives on in Philosophia.

Though you say this is still without a final coat of polish, I found it quite polished indeed. Unfortunately, the website started giving me errors before I finished all that you posted, but what I read was first rate. Six stars and on my watch list. As soon as I get some room, I'll shelve it.

Come on, everyone! Come read something that's great and different from the normal fare!

~Evangeline~ wrote 612 days ago

Kayla

I understand you have a revised manuscript out with agents at present so I will keep my comment general rather than dig into the minutiae.

This is a story set on a grand scale. You have obviously put a lot of hard work into your world making and your writing is clearly competent. However, I think you are trying to communicate too much of your vision too soon. It's as if you are saying to your reader: look how big and clever this story is, read it! It would, in my opinion, be better to draw the reader into your world of intrigue - secret knowledge, a murder, a cover up - and slowly unfold the epic backdrop.

As I say, that's only my opinion.

I hope you have success with the agents. Obvious if they are considering your book, they don't have the same concern that I do :)

All the best

Evie

D.J.Milne wrote 614 days ago

Hi Kayla
Here are my comments based on the first 3 chapters of Philosophia.
I enjoyed your description of the different worlds. Breaking the discovery down in the form of a letter was a great idea. It took me a couple of reads as there is a lot of info in these different worlds, but I got there in the end.

Once into the scenes with the murder of the selectorian, after he had read the report that was too top secret, the character of Garth with his ticks and anxieties really kicks in. His double dealing with the coroner to cover up the murder to make it look like it was a janitor who fell down the stairs, all great stuff. Then the meeting with the reporter digging for dirt. And all the time you have this bubbling fantasy world taking shape around these intriguing characters.
You certainly have an imagination to be envious of and the ability to put it down on paper. I found that your dialogue flowed nicely and there was nothing that jarred or broke my reading stride when the characters were talking.
My one crit was sometimes you use a word or pronoun to often. I am guilty of this myself so not one to talk, but I have been made more aware of it on Authonomy. For example, in the following paragraph you use 'he' 7 times

'Being so high up and with only the lanterns to break the penetrating night, he couldn’t see her face clearly, but he got an impression of loveliness. He admired her for a few moments before he realized she could see him as well as he could see her. He jumped back from the window, his breath catching in his chest. He hurriedly snuffed out the candles and turned off the light switches. He crept slowly back to the window, now encased in shadows, but the woman was nowhere to be seen.'.

Perhaps use the character Garth's name more, or break it up.

Being so high up and with only the lanterns to break the penetrating night, Garth couldn’t see her face clearly, but it gave him an impression of loveliness. He admired her for a few moments before realizing she could see him as well as he could see her. Jumping back from the window, his breath caught in his chest. Hurriedly Garth snuffed out the candles and turned off the light switches. He crept slowly back to the window, now encased in shadows, but the woman was nowhere to be seen. (down to 3 uses of he)
All in all an excellent read and highly starred, you have a fertile imagination and have crafted a world of shadows and darkness that will go far. I hope my comments on the writing are ok, you said you wanted constructive criticism, hopefully this is what I have given you.
D.J
The Ghost Shirt

Philthy wrote 619 days ago

Hi Kayla,
I’m here for our read swap. So sorry it’s taken me this long to get here. I’m playing catch up on reads. My comments below are just humble opinions, so please take them for whatever they’re worth. You know your story best, after all.
Opening Letter
A few small, nitpicky things:
--Drop the comma after “luck”
--“missing text that we needed” you could drop the “that” to make it smoother if you wanted.
--Drop “to this letter”
--Drop “that” after “I suggest” and drop “that” after “substantiate the claims”
--The semicolon after “I must warn you” should be a comma.
--It’s weird that he’d say “at the Department of Subtle Manipulations” in the letter, since the writer wrote to them. I would delete this. If you want to show the reader who this is from, include it after his name in the salutations. This seems forced.
This is an interesting concept, and while it’s a whole lot of telling, it works in the way you’ve presented it. It’s quite clever. It won’t cater to a lot of readers, I suspect, but it works. Some might prefer it. I like it, anyway.
Chapter 1
Great opening line.
No comma needed after “untimely demise”
You say “the death” quite a bit in close proximity. Might think of inserting a different way of saying this.
Might be a personal preference, but I’d delete that question in the second paragraph. It isn’t needed. Then omit “after all” and just begin with “Many people died…, but not many people died…” If you wanted, you could start that sentence with “While.” I just think this makes it read smoother. You might disagree.
“The man who died was a selectorian.” Didn’t you just say who this man was was insignificant? Then why should the reader be interested in this part? You might want to rethink this, as you’re inviting the reader to tune this out.
The prose is well written, but there tends to be an overdose of telling vs. showing. For instance, “Then he suddenly felt ill.” First, when something is described as “suddenly,” it rarely is depicted that way. In other words, use the word sparingly. Second, “felt ill” is wishy-washy and weak. “A burst of nausea twisted in his stomach” is more showing. I’m not saying to use that (you can if you want), but it’s just an example. There are more sentences like this in this chapter that could use a brush of showing, I think.
You use the word “felt” five times in the first half of this chapter (six in the whole chapter). I’m not of the opinion that “felt” should never be used, as some are. However, if overused, it comes across as weak. Might rework some of these sentences.
This is a great, gripping story, with strong pacing and fairly good prose. I say fairly good, because I think there’s too much telling in some parts. Punctuation could use work in spots, but that’s very minor and isn’t a problem when it comes to the storytelling. Your biggest strengths are concept, pacing and building tension. This is a strong read. Highly starred and best of luck.
Phil
(Deshay of the Woods)

Tod Schneider wrote 620 days ago

This is a very interesting, detailed world you've created. I'm impressed by how much work it must have taken to map out your many worlds. the writing is erudite, very well put together. Critique-wise, although I understand that chapter one is delivering important information, I would look for ways to launch the story in chapter two with the dead body, which is a stronger attention getter. I would abbreviate the info in chapter one and then gradually deliver details about each world as it became necessary to know it. But other than that, I think the story telling is stellar. Best of luck with this!
Tod
http://authonomy.com/books/40646/the-lost-wink/

Maevesleibhin wrote 623 days ago

I read everything you posted.
There are a few titles that I have read in this site that have made me be truly happy to have joined, where the pleasure of reading a good book comes through like a gem in an attic. It is particularly pleasing when the book is not highly ranked, because then the experience is so much more serendipitous. Philosophia is a great example. I have very much enjoyed reading this atmosphere-filled fantasy with an exciting premise and alluring characters. It reminded me of the movie Metropolis, combined perhaps with the computer game Thief, with a dash of something quite its own. I was saddened when I got to the end of the posting, and would gladly read on, and I am sure it will do quite well. 
Hook and plot- The book starts with a proper use of the prologue, which I appreciate. Rather than flashing forward to some exciting scene for the sake of a faux hook, the prologue is a short report from the Department of Subtle Manipulations regarding the astronomy of the universe we are being thrust into and its current vulnerabilities. It is slightly confusing, as there is a lot of information packed into a few paragraphs, and there is the list of impossible to remember names which are often the drudgery of fantasy novels, but the report managed to capture my attention by prognosticating doom in a rather convincing and urgent manner, and by hinting at the richness and intricancy of this world. I particularly liked the concept of a world where people go when they die. This was a fantastic twist, bringing in mythology to the fantasy world. I was quite hooked.
The first chapter did not dissapoint. You start with a murder. But what I found intreaguing about it was that it was a murder by the main character, a personage whom we are meant to like. Of course, I did not realise this at the beginning, and my first impression was to dislike the man. But but the time he meets the namesake of the book, I was quite fond of him. The hook is strong and stable.
The plot develops well, I think. I am quite curious to see where you will go with it. You are starting upon an epic journey, which is a bit different from what you have given us so far. However, if the last chapter in the posting is any indication, you will do it in an unorthodox way.
Character development- I think that Garth is a really very intreaguing character. He starts as such the bad guy, and I was completely and absolutely ready to loath him in the beginning. He is a self centered chauvanist. But at the same time there is something weak and voulnerable about him which makes him endearing. This duplicity makes him a very appealing main character. Heidi was a wee bit harder to swallow as a strong character, perhaps because she was too strong. The rebellious daughter of the supreme ruler of everything who is so self aware that she can walk away from it all, and also happens to be gorgeous and clever. Perhaps a bit of vulnerability might have made her a bit more alluring, but this is really a minor issue.
I found the supporting characters very convincing, from the corrupt coroner, to the macabre parliamentarians to the slightly odd shopkeepers. And, of course, the wonderful Philosophia, with her eerie insistence on getting her sisters back and on sucking the blood out of people's fingers. 
Ambiance- I truly love this, the mechanical machinery world is not new, but it is so very well done. I love class system, and the concept that they live in this cocoon amidst an universe in crisis. I love the cloak and dagger of it  all, the addiction which afflicts his wife... Excellent. I could really go on about this, but I would just spoil it and waste space. It is fab. This alone makes the posting worth reading, folksd. I could dream about the universe that you created for hours.
Internal consistency- Well, if there was one bit of criticism I could give about this book it is in this section. Don't get me wrong, it holds together quite well, but there are a few minor moments that don't hold up to my close scrutiny. I think the largest one is the fact that Garth was not killed right away when he reveals his findings.  Why put this off? And what about the people at the D.S.M. who wrote up the paper? Don't they pose a greater risk?
Heidi is, again, just a bit too perfect, and gets away with just a bit too much. She was thrown out of her father's house, but drives his car? Little things like that. But what is really important is the premise, which holds very well for me. It is engaging and, again, I gladly suspend my disbelief at these minor issues in order to read on.
All in all, I am sorry you did not post more. I am delighted to have had the chance to read it while it is still ranked in the thousands, as I am sure it will not be there for long. I will back it in my next shuffle. 
Best of luck with it,
Maeve

Nepalwriter wrote 629 days ago

First let me say, I love what I'm reading. You asked for critical comment so I'm being really, really picky.

Chapter 1. I have a fixation about repetition of words. I noticed the use of "text" four times in only a few lines at the very beginning. There are other places where this occurs as well but not terribly much.
Fascinating description of the composition of the tree.
I love the references to worlds from Norse mythology. I've written another book YA that takes place at a Ren Fair. Father of the main character dresses like a Viking and they travel in a bus painted like a Viking ship. I have many references to Norse mythology in it. A really favorite topic of mine!! You some some realms I don't know. It's either my lack of knowledge or your creative mind. That being said, I'm hooked!

I like the "internal torture".

The first chapter is all very informative and appeals greatly to my interest in the mythology. There's also a hook. Who will be the scout and what will the scout find?
I guess what I'm missing is a stronger connection to the narrator. I know nothing about him. Is he a character in the story or merely one who sets up the rest of the book?

Chapter 2. Repetition of "death" and "died" in the first two paragraphs.Five "selectorians" in the next paragraph. I won't continue along this line. I acknowledge that it's my personal writer's hang up.

Fictional novel is redundant All novels are fiction.

Your use of an omniscient POV gives the reader a great deal of information in a short time. And that's good. On the other hand, the reader doesn't connect emotionally as well.
I'm out of time now but will read more later.

I really want to know about this tree!!

rikasworld wrote 658 days ago

I have read everything you have uploaded and enjoyed the read. What an interesting plot! This is certainly a very original idea and the plot is developing nicely. I like the Norse mythology bacground. Your style reminds me slightly of the Philip Pullman books. I think it's generally very well written, dialogue is good. Maybe when you have finished writing you could read it all out loud to yourself to polish up odd phrases (like the first sentence of ch. 4) but that's not a criticism. It's a good idea for all of us! I'm not sure I like Garth much though he does seem to have potential to redeem himself as Philosophia says. So, the character development would be very interesting. Skatie has just appeared so not sure about his character yet. Also not sure it's young adult. I think it is an adult fantasy but anyway that's for a publisher to decide.
So, great writing, I'd say! Very, very original. High stars and I really hope it catches the eye of an agent or publisher.

DWBrown wrote 660 days ago

Intersting storyline; very creative imagination. Good writing, good story. Many stars...
On my watchlist. Didn't even notice any mistakes in Chapter 1...

DWBrown wrote 660 days ago

Interesting storyline; Your creative imagination must be eons above mine, because it's hard for me to fathom such a story, much more pen it. Good writing, good story. And I can't say I saw any mistakes. Chapter 1 down and going....
Many stars...
On my watchlist.

dmroberts wrote 660 days ago

Thanks for leaving your comments for my book, Letting Go and Holding On. I just wanted to let you know that the word count was way off because 50 of my chapters had been downloaded twice! But now the word count is where it should be at 113,000.
As for your book, Philosophia, I really enjoyed the first three chapters. I liked the use of a file/report for the first chapter because it sets up the backdrop of the story nicely and it's a good length. Chapter Two is very good, although there's one part where the line is "after pondering Garth's preference to have the story spun", and you could just as easily say "Dr. Dragur pondered the request for a moment" and it wouldn't seem so clunky. Also there is a line missing a word. It should say "his office was equipped WITH all the latest technology (with is the word that's missing). Chapter Three has great dialogue between Garth and the reporter, Heidi. The buildup to his outburst at the end is very well done.
Overall I think you have snappy dialogue and vivid descriptions that really help to shape the story. I will definitely be reading more and I have backed the book.

Karataratakas wrote 661 days ago

This is awesome. This is one of the top three books I've ever read on this site, and since the other two weren't in my genre this one is now my favourite, and I love everything about it, a complex plot, fantastic style and pacing, steampunk, Nordic mythology, a wonderfully morally ambiguous protagonist, I... can't think of anything critical to say about it, I hope a backing suffices, lowly as I am on the TSR scale right now ;)

Rachel

Su Dan wrote 663 days ago

brilliant epic. great ideas and concept, written very well indeed. this is a good book all round.
backed...
6 stars.
read SEASONS.

Kayla H wrote 669 days ago

Read your new chapter three and I’m very impressed. I found myself liking Garth quite a bit more as he becomes more sympathetic in this chapter. This chapter has a very tense, suspenseful atmosphere to it, especially nearer to the end.
The description of Stenin Fornis was very vivid and original.
This came across as a little confused, though: “Stenin Fornis was the only one who did not consider Garth to be a great help to their cause. Garth was not born to the elite families and nothing he could ever do would change that in Stenin Fornis’ opinion.” The “that” in the sentence is not clear what it is referring to; the way it’s worded kind of sounds like nothing would change Fornis’ opinion that Garth does not come from an elite family, instead of whether he can be a help or not.
“vomit inducing” should probably be: “vomit-inducing”
“a sheer expression of terror” read a little backwards, maybe “an expression of sheer terror”? Though that does sound a little cliché.
“You are the man that’s going to fix it.” I think you could consider taking this line out. Garth has been worried about being enslaved or worse and in a very chilling scene Fornis starts talking to him with his back still turned to him. I think this line diffuses the tension too soon, as it implies Garth will still be around, not conveniently “disappeared.” Maybe leave the question of what’s going to happen to him hanging until they get to the door and Fornis reveals he’s going to let him in a secret.
Very intriguing end to the chapter. You’ve got me wanting to read more.

Kirstie wrote 682 days ago

I was captivated by the ideas behind this from the moment I began reading. The prologue's explanation of the discovery of the world tree is a brilliantly unique idea. I find all myths and legends interesting so I knew at once that this was going to be something I would like.

Chapter One opens with a dead body - always a good start - and adds to the mystery outlined in the prologe. I actually felt quite tense reading this as your writing is quite convincing. The dialogue between Garth and the reporter Heidi was particularly good. There is a lot of introspection, but this helps us to get inside Garth's head and see things from his point of view.

The prologue was fascinating and I like the way it was written in the style of a report. I did find the descriptions of the other worlds rather long, but then I do have the attention span of a gnat. Once I started chapter one I was immediately carried into the story.
I noticed a couple of typos/grammar issues
'It had been too long for anything this juicy'
'he began to doubt that if his actions'
'blame was place where it needn't be'
'Garth was extremely uncomfortable of being caught.'

Overall though I found this highly original (which for me is the main thing0, intriguing and enjoyable
Best wishes
Kirstie
The Girl who ran with the Wolves.

Kayla H wrote 685 days ago

I read the first chapter in part two:
This is a very intriguing chapter opening: “In the span of only ninety-nine minutes, Skati went from being confident to being dead.” I don’t think anyone could read that and not read on.
The descriptions are beautiful and many of Skati’s thoughts have a definite, ironic edge to them: “Being alone did not bother him, being lost did not bother him, but running out of water two days prior bothered him a great deal.”
The Cogger on the trail is quite eerie. Not something I would like to meet in the dark. Actually, all the characters he meets there are kind of spooky, adding to the atmosphere. I especially like the man wondering that Skati has not received a proper burial.
Turning Odin’s magical horse into a “steam-powered steed” is quite clever. And dwarves making guns! I really like how you’ve taken these old myths and updated them in a truly original fashion.
I did find a few typos:
“a voice rank loudly in his ear” should probably be “rang”?
“ready to snatch him off my feet” should be “his feet”
“Skati was taught in my training” should be “his training”
“the back of my throat” should be “his throat”
“the child, of only ten or eleven was” I think you need an additional comma after “eleven”’
“See my family” should probably be: “See, my family”
Other than that, this is really great and I’m very curious to see where the rest of the story goes.

rlyon wrote 688 days ago

Hi, I’m here for my promised return read. Sorry it’s taken so long. I normally receive an email when someone has commented on my book but for some reason that didn’t happen this time and I only spotted yours when I stopped by for a quick check in.

Anyway, I liked the idea of starting with a letter, that interested me. But then came the info dump in the form of a report and I got confused and a little bored...sorry. I have to say it’s not my genre, so perhaps that’s why I struggled. But I wanted to say something nice so I skipped the last part and went to chapter one.

Starting with a murder is a great hook. Not sure about the word ‘Numpty’ to describe those particular kinds of workers (where I come from it’s a term for an exceedingly stupid person) and I think using it seven times in an eight line paragraph is a bit much. I loved the section with the disposal of the body; I could really picture what was happening. In chapter two, I liked the fact that Garth has a mechanical heart. I think that has intriguing possibilities.

I stopped reading at the end of chapter two, which was a great chapter. Your writing style is easy to read and with steampunk being quite ‘in’ at the moment, I’m sure you’ll do well.
Starred.
Raquel.

Lucy Middlemass wrote 689 days ago

Philosophia

I’ve read the first two chapters. The first part, the document, is located well in terms of the flow of the story. It’s fun (sort of) to imagine that what we have just read now lies under a dead man. I think the document’s inherent lack of a character is a little off-putting, as is some of the detail within. The following two chapters are then surprisingly easy to get to grips with. Garth might be difficult to like, but I do appreciate the way his guilt has created his twitchiness. He feels bad but, as far as I read, is prepared to stand by what he’s done.


I’d like there to be some value to my review so I’ve added some close crit. It’s the ignorable variety because you have a tight manuscript.

“The inevitable ending is called Ragnarok of which we do not want to see.” The “of which” seems odd in this sentence.
“Iron, gold…” At the end of this sentence “for the taking” could be removed.
“one in the same in…” Should this be “one and the same as…”?

Ch 1

Nonetheless can be one word, although it reads fine the way you have it.
“almost at midnight to be exact.” Almost anything isn’t really exact.
The word “numpty” is a good choice.
“terrified that he had been caught..” This makes it sound like he isn’t sure if he’s been caught at all.
Some of the Garths in the paragraph starting “Garth picked up the file…” could be “he”. You have some “he”s already, but I think it’s noticeable because three sentences start “Garth…”
“the stank of blood” should be “the stink of blood”.
In the paragraph “After several minutes..” Garth’s name is used a lot of times again.
“…of a tope colour..” I couldn’t find a meaning for “tope”, so I think it might be meant to be “taupe” which is a grey-brown colour.
“The latter” What follows this is a description of the doctor’s actions, rather than Garth’s. But the speech belongs to Garth, so it’s a little confusing.

Ch 2

I really like the description of the citizens’ reaction. They are disappointed it isn’t an exciting murder. Nice!

“now-when” and “tense-well” seem like they have been hyphenated. I guess you just meant to - separate them - like this. Likewise “giggle-faint-anything” later on.
“blame was place” should be “placed”.
“Garth Emit wasn’t born into the privilege” This has already been said.
“on their behalf.” A representative is by nature always on someone’s behalf.
“Mr Emit, do you know..” It’s hard to follow who says what here, because the actions of the opposite speaker are given after each piece of speech.
“worker’s log book” might be “workers’ log book”?
Gawky is more a word I’d use to describe appearance, rather than attitude.

I haven’t read anything like this before; I had to look steam punk up to properly understand what it is. But now I know, and I can see how this story fits into it. You have a confident style and some great sentences and images - I had to resist the urge to quote back to you all the ones I liked. Highly starred.

Lucy

Kayla H wrote 692 days ago

I read the prologue and the first two chapters, and wow, very different beginning. Your approach of having scientists discussing the “Voluspa” and the world tree is very original and fascinating. You’ve definitely taken old stories and put them in a new context. I really liked how you made these scientists of Muspel shocked to discover that their enemies, Niefel, is home of the rivers that safeguard their existence: those of Muspel might not be the “good guys.”
The story is written in a brisk, matter-of-fact manner, that is clear, easy to follow, and easy to get drawn into.
The first chapter opens very dramatically: with a murder. Its set up in a very intriguing manner, in which the murder has already taken place, and then the story back tracks a little to show why and how it happened.
Despite the mythic backbone of this story, there are very clear parallels to modern life: from the media to the entertainment industry. This gives the story a strong sense of relevance.
I thought all of those things were really well done.
On the other hand:
Garth is not a very sympathetic character. He is cold almost to the point of being emotionless and he is willing to casually murder a man. I didn’t find anything about him to really like which made it tough to read two chapters from his perspective. At the end of chapter two you bring in information about the scout and the mission that might cost him his life. I’m assuming this is going to be the actual main character. Why not start with him? Or, if you don’t want to do that, make Garth a little more palatable—he can still be a cold-blooded murderer, but give the reader something to connect with, something to make us care about him and his part in this story.
The other issue is the beginning of chapter two. It really isn’t focused on any one character, but the people of Muspel as a whole—it’s hard to connect to the story at this point. It’s easier to relate to and care about one fictional character than several thousand nameless ones. There’s also a lot of generalized, abstract telling in this section—you tell us how “they idolized those who entertained them” and how “their politics had become a thrilling show also” etc. I believe you when you tell me this, but in a novel it doesn’t become meaningful to me until I’m shown it in a vivid way, until I see a specific character I care about living in this terrible, trivialized world where entertainment, gossip, and consumption rules.
As a whole, I think the story is brilliant, unique, and the themes contained in it are smart, relevant and insightful, but I think you need to find a way to make the reader care about what’s happening by giving us a character we can experience the character through and details that are specific and concrete.
Anyway, I think the pros outweigh the cons and I’m definitely going to be reading more to see where this story goes.

revteapot wrote 699 days ago

Kayla, sorry this took a while - I have too many distractions!
Notes:
Good opening sentence.
"... my mother turned away at social events." I know what you mean but this feels like an anticlimax.
Good hook at close of prologue.

Chpt 1 : "The frozen rushed" missing word, I think.
"Even though I cannot explain how I knew,...; I died." Not sure this sentence works. Possibly with a colon instead of a semi?
Another good end to the chapter.

You write very well, but - and bear in mind I tend to skip descriptive passages - I found chapter 1 too heavy with description and too little action/dialogue. I did enjoy it once your hero stood before the Throne, but I'm afraid I'd lost too much enthusiasm to continue further.
I repeat, you write very well. The description thing is very personal, I know, and there are lots out there who would love your style. (I get plenty telling me I give too little description!)
I've starred it well, because your craft is undoubted.

Lindsay
A Priest's Tale

TMHickman wrote 706 days ago

Hi!

First of all, your hook was fantastic, and the rest of the story kept reeling it in. =D Your writing style is fluid and almost lyrical, and a real joy to read. This is not a casual read, though. This is the kind of book that you take to a nice secluded corner, or perhaps a far off get-a-way, buy it a few drinks, and get absolutely lost in it. At the same time, it has the cerebral appeal that calls to the intelligent masses.

Well done, I say. =D Your edits have not been in vain!
-Tamara

K J Anderson wrote 708 days ago

Unlike anything else I've read on the site. Strange and troubling...and thought-provoking. Backed and highly starred.

R.J. Blain wrote 711 days ago

Greetings!

I read to the end of chapter 4. Normally I try to take notes as I'm reading, but I think I was a little tired before I started to read, so I'm writing this from memory.

I had a little trouble disbelieving the intro scene where the horse was still alive in the desert but the main character was on the verge of death. A horse's drinking requirements are much higher than a humans, and the horse should have floundered long before the rider did. For example, the more durable breed of horse can survive at max of 30 hours without water in the desert. People, on the other hand, can survive for approximately 48 hours. Also, the horse would smell the water and likely go straight for it and disobey the rider if the animal is that bad off.

Just something to consider.

The first chapter was interesting, but at the same time, it didn't really have anything that hooked me. Good use of language, though I think the story might benefit from simpler language. While I knew many of the words, there were a few I needed to check. I think this may be considered a disadvantage to some readers as they try to puzzle through your vocabulary (which is rather extensive!) rather than focusing on the story. In later chapters, I did notice that you toned down on the difficulty level of reading, so perhaps if you could moderate the opening a little, it might go well.

Very good use of descriptive language. You may want to consider lowering the amount of purple prose a little, but many of the passages were very imaginative, so for the most part, well done!

The development between Lile, Beini and Maion is interesting, although I am not sure that I'm a fan of how quickly and easily he recovered from his experience in the desert versus being able to have such a wild evening, even under the influence of the drug. There just didn't seem to be any real cost or price to such a healing, which bothered me a little!

Overall, I do think this has quite a bit of potential! I'm not usually a fan of present first tense, but it didn't really bother me in the way you presented it.

I hope these comments are of use to you!

~RJ

Mademoiselle Nobel wrote 711 days ago

~Philosophia by Kayla Shaw~

PHILOSOPHIA is so beautifully written and so full of imagination! I absolutely love your descriptions (i.e. ‘The horizon flickers like demons’ tongues lapping up the sky’). Just gorgeous! It’s like a thick, creamy hot chocolate with marshmallows on a cold winter’s night!

I’ve read five chapters all in one go and have WL so I can read the rest! Highly starred and recommended! Well done!

Iman xxx

MISS MANNERS: http://www.authonomy.com/books/39355/miss-manners

Here are just a few suggestions:

Chapter 1:

- 'Exotic fabrics and disturbing [missing word?] hang over the door frames.'

- ‘I shake my head no’ (Here, ‘no’ isn’t really needed. ‘I shake my head’ should be enough.)

- [S]he takes my hands and rubs the flesh of my palm with her thumb [which makes me uncomfortable] (Here, you need a capital ‘S’ for She and you don’t really need to say ‘which makes me feel uncomfortable – actions speak louder than words.)

Kayla H wrote 715 days ago

I read the next chapter.
Maion’s confusion comes across as very real; he is unsure of who these people are and just what he has gotten himself into.
The points where you add in more details about the people of Muspell and their beliefs seem like natural places to add this info, though sometimes these details felt a little abstract and I wanted more clarification about what exactly the vitkar hate, and how they “take us, twist us against our beliefs and morals to serve their purposes”, etc.
I found the incident with the hare to be quite intriguing.
A few minor things:
“What is all a dream?” Should this be: “Was it all a dream?”
“to affirm that he has, indeed left” needs a comma after “indeed”
In “he had a point” “he” should be capitalized.
“the people killed in the crafts” should that be: “skilled in the crafts”?
“The longer I am with these desert sorcerers, the more I sense something more to their action than just goodwill and an honest wish to help me.” This seems just a little redundant as he was quite suspicious of them right from the beginning, and more so after they drugged him.
“The heat of the dessert” should be: “The heat of the desert”
Overall, the story has a very original feel to it, and I have no idea what is going to happen next, or what the results will be when Maion attempts to “get to the bottom of their intentions.” Definitely looking forward to reading more!

Kerrin wrote 719 days ago

I just finished reading up to chapter three and I must say that I was completely absorbed. It was well written, the dialigue was believable, and the imagery was amazing. Maion is a very likeable character, and even though he succumbed to "evil"---no thanks to the drugs--he kept his concious close at hand, doing his best to see past possible trickery. I really like his character.

The story moves along nicely. It has a good pace, but I would've liked to have known his gender sooner...I kept reading thinking it was a girl. Typical me! I also noticed that you sometimes repeat certain words in close proximity--it didn't happen too often, only enought for me to take notice. Here's one example: In chapter one, paragraphs 2 and 3, you say "room" three times close together.

For the first paragraph of chapter two, I tweaked the first sentence. If you hate it...just ignore it! Here it is: "I open my eyes. Well, I try to open them, but only one will open." This way, you say "eyes" only once in that sentence.

Also in para. one, I tweaked another one. I took out a few words to make it flow better: "I shift my gaze wildly around to get a sense of where I am." I took out "what I can see of the room" because it felt too jumbled to me.

Again, I thought this was a superb book. You have a true flair for writing.

Kerrin Krainis
Wings

The Altopian wrote 721 days ago

at one point you say "i take a swing myself". should this be 'swig'? either way it would work, just thought i'd ask.

Stevie Ginger wrote 721 days ago

Kayla,
I've read the first three chapters and will get back to the others as well. I like your philosophy of authonomy and am of the same mind. I've read some work in here that does not merit the praise it gets, and other work that is amazing. You are on the amazing side. I like your style and the story. You tell enough to keep the reader interested, yet not too much. We really need to read on to learn more. That being said, I have added some amateurish editorial comments. I hope you take them in the hospitable spirit they were intended. When i finish what you've posted, I'll comment again.
All in all good work
Best of luck

Last paragraph of Ch 1 Discipline. ‘I’m sorry to inform you of this, but by the time we had found you were dead as dead can be….”
Missing a word, or comma here. ‘I’m sorry to inform you of this, but by the time we had found you, you were dead as dead can be…”
You wrote of birds chirping and seeing birds circling overhead. It makes me assume that the vultures were chirping?
Ch2 “Do you like it?.......why I didn’t ‘ should be don’t to keep it present tense.

There are areas where new paragraphs should be, when switching speakers, for example, but that could just be the error of uploading. I know it happened to my ms.

Kayla H wrote 722 days ago

I read the first two chapters.
Over-all I think this is a great beginning—the main character dying (literally, it seems) in the desert only to wake in a very strange situation. Very dramatic, it definitely makes me want to read on (and I will).
Your use of present tense is unusual, but I think it works well; after the first paragraph or so I mostly stopped noticing it and just enjoyed the story. I did notice a few spots where I wasn’t sure if it was referring to a past event or was just a slip in tense: In chapter one: “The last thing I wanted was to shame my family with my utter failure.” “I think she said” And in chapter two: Should “This reaction was not only unexpected” be “This reaction is not only unexpected”?
I really liked this description: “I see a porcelain girl sitting on a silver throne. No one is allowed to touch her for fear that she will crack at the slightest touch.” Very beautiful, mythic, and almost biblical in phrasing—especially that first sentence.
From your long pitch this definitely sounds like a story that is going to be very focused on theme as you attempt to answer the questions you pose. And it follows that you focus a lot on how the character feels and what he’s thinking. But, the physical aspect seems a little neglected. For example, I am really not sure where or when this story takes place; I keep thinking I have it figured out, but then becoming unsure. In the first chapter, from the fact that the main character was riding a horse and looking for a warrior I thought—traditional fantasy, set in some mythical past. But then, when he wakes up later you give no description of the room he finds himself in; I wasn’t sure if it was a more modern house or a traditional Western Middle Ages peasant kind of house, or since they’re in the middle of a desert more of a Middle East nomadic type dwelling. The terminology kept making me change my mind: calling the bed he’s lying on “a mat” but then using the word “psychopath” which is very modern. Later, the reference to a pub makes me think more modern, as does calling a room a parlor. So present or future time frame? Or completely separate from reality? The lack of clarity was very distracting from the story itself.
Still on the physical details of the story I was a little confused in the beginning: The horse is walking, Maion slides off, and then the horse is dying beside him. I’m really not sure what this looks like or how much time elapses between his sliding off and them both dying. Is the horse in better shape and standing there? Or is it lying beside him, dying? I find it hard to believe it collapsed the moment he did—it would probably feel a little more perky without a rider on its back. Unless the horse stumbles/falls first? Just a little thing.
I thought that the tone seemed to shift in the second chapter, becoming more comedic in an almost slapstick kind of way. After they drug him, the tone seems to shift back again. For me, at least, that first part of chapter two didn’t work as well—it jarred too much in comparison to the rest of it.
I loved the way you end the first chapter, but this sentence was kind of awkward, like it was missing a few words or something: “but by the time we had found you were dead as dead could be and there were vultures just all over you” should maybe be, “but by the time we had found you, you were as dead as dead could be and there were vultures all over you.” Very intriguing way to end the chapter.
I thought it was very creepy how they had the heads of large animals on the walls, but I’m not sure if a squirrel would count as a “large animal.”
I really liked the symbolic referencing of Odin—losing an eye to a bird like Odin in exchange for a drink of wisdom. I definitely want to find out what Maion is going to learn.

scargirl wrote 722 days ago

good subject matter and compelling questions. perhaps too many questions in the long pitch, as my head begins to spin...a good short pitch, but needs a stop at the end. a contorted and descriptive start. this piece is well structured.
j
what every woman should know

CarolinaAl wrote 722 days ago

I read your first three chapters.

General comments: A captivating start. Maion is a conflicted, sympathetic central character. You use deep point of view well to flesh him out. Vivid visuals. Stunning sense of place. Well-managed tension. Smooth pacing.

Specific comments on the first chapter:
1) 'I feel impotent as he whinnies and ... ' Try to avoid using the verb 'feel.' Just describe the onset of his feeling of inadequacy as realistically as possible so the reader will experience it along with Maion. When you do this, the reader will be pulled deeper into your scene. There is another case in this chapter where you use the verb 'feel.'
2) 'My skin is ripped off only to be sown back on and ripped off again.' 'Sown' should be 'sewn.'
3) 'I never understood what my mother meant when she would say that pain in necessary for healing.' 'In' should be 'is.'
4) 'I am preparing to see a crooked old witch or a demented psychopath to enter this room, ... ' Delete the second 'to.'
5) "Welcome back weary traveler." Comma after 'back.' When you address someone in dialogue, offset their name or title with a comma. There is another case in this chapter where you address someone, but didn't offset their name or title with a comma.

Specific comments on the second chapter:
1) "You dolt, this is the man that you saved last week ... " 'That' should be 'who.' Use 'who' for people.
2) 'I feel extremely vulnerable with my backside exposed ... ' As mentioned above, try to avoid using the verb 'feel.' Just describe his vulnerability so vividly the reader will experience it along with Maion. By doing this, the reader will be plunged deeper into your scene.
3) "AARRR, ERRRR, ARRRR!" There is no need to write in all caps. Writing in all caps is unusual and pulls the reader out of your story while they try to determine what you mean to imply with all caps. You don't want that. Use italics or an exclamation mark (which you did) to emphasize words.
4) "Thank you dear and I presume ... " Comma before and after 'dear.' As mentioned above, when you address someone in dialogue, offset their name or title with commas. There are more cases in this chapter where you addressed someone and didn't offset their name or title with commas.
5) "Do you like it?" The man asks ... 'The' should be lowercase. 'The man asks' is a dialogue tag (tells who said something). When a dialogue tag follows dialogue, the first word in the dialogue tag is lowercase. There are more cases in this chapter of this type of problem.
6) 'Every curve of her body, every taught muscle and slender feature ... ' 'Taught' should be 'taut.'

Specific comments on the third chapter:
1) "You look much better my warrior." Comma after 'better.' As mentioned above, when you address someone in dialogue, offset their name or title with a comma. There are more cases in this chapter where you address someone but didn't offset their name or title with a comma.
2) "You couldn't know I was on my way to Niefel." I say hoarsely. Comma after 'Niefel.' 'I say hoarsely' is a dialogue tag (tells who said something). When a dialogue tag follows dialogue, the last sentence of dialogue is punctuated with a comma (unless it's a question or exclamation).
3) 'I keep eating my breakfast not knowing what to say to this woman that I ravished last night.' 'That' should be 'who.' Use 'who' for people. There are more cases in this chapter where you used 'that' when 'who' is appropriate.
4) ' ... and the ceaseless gait of the horse has made me wary for home.' 'Wary' should be 'weary.'
5) Good end of chapter hook. Who wouldn't turn the page after reading that line?

I hope these comments help you further polish your all important opening chapters. These are just my opinions. Use what works for you and discard the rest.

I hope you'll take a look at "Savannah Oak" and let me know how I might improve it.

Have a marvelous day, Kayla.

Al

The Altopian wrote 723 days ago

i loved the line about fallen heroes and fools

kshaw wrote 723 days ago

***Please Note***
I really appreciate any feedback on my story, but I am need some help with a few things:
1. Tense changes (for some reason I have trouble seeing and hearing them) I am really committed to the 1st person present tense
2. Glaring inconsistencies and grammatical errors
3. Overall presentation and structure (e.g. what is your experience with the text as a reader?)
4. And anything else you may see!

Chapters Five and Six are in the first draft phase and I would really appreciate any constructive feedback there.

Thanks A lot!!!!
Kayla

Neville wrote 724 days ago

Philosophia.
By Kayla Shaw.


My first reaction to the book was that it would turn out to be a difficult read—I was wrong.
I would have liked to have known earlier the name of the narrator without checking the long pitch or waiting until later to find out.
Your description of, Maion in his death throes, delirious, chasing black shadows and hearing birds chirping is well thought out and ties up later on.
He awakes in a terrible state, unable to speak properly, heavily bandaged and an eye missing.
His mind isn’t clear yet as he pictures the old lady being something of a beautiful woman as he comes round.
Far from it—this is nothing short of a nightmare for Maion.
He learns that while being close to death, vultures had robbed him of an eye as they sought to feed upon his tortured body.
I would imagine that this is the meaning of his dreams of black shadows and sound of birds chirping earlier on. It’s a very good connection to the story and breathes life into it.
When the old ladies husband comes on the scene I’m beginning to wonder how much stress, Maion can take, it’s twisting my mind—these are a real pair of weirdo’s and I wouldn’t like to be there.
As regards your book, it’s a very good fantasy read and I’m enjoying it as I move along.
Your description is vivid and lacks for nothing, frighteningly so at times.
I have to come back to read all you have uploaded, but believe me, I will do.
Top stars and on my shelf - Backed!!

Very best wishes,

Neville. The Secrets of the Forest – The Time Zone.

Shaun Holt wrote 724 days ago

Hi, Kayla.

I like how your begin the story - a splattering of blood. Makes me wonder what's going on here. I don't read many fantasy-type books, and find it hard to sink my teeth into the genre. This book puzzles me a bit. Is it meant to be somewhat allegorical? The name Philosophia reminds me of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and C.S. Lewis's Pilgrim's Regress. Or is that simply the name you chose?

If I have to suggest something you can work on... You spell out quite a few words that could be abbreviated. (i.e. "I've" instead of "I have" ... "What'll" instead of "What will")

Other than that, I like what I've read. You show some promise. And since you just started out here, I'll give your book some time on my shelf.

All the best,

Shaun Holt
Waiting for the Rain / German Derelict / Columbian Death

Karamak wrote 724 days ago

Hello Kayla, this is an extremely vivid descriptive piece and I was transported into your book. I love the way you draw in the reader and leave us wanting more. Highly stared on My W/L Karen, Faking it in France.

patio wrote 725 days ago

I read couple chapters that hooked me from the first paragraph. Your work is crisp and fluid. Its packed with emotion that glued me to the screen.

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