Book 2 in the Paragon series
The first chapters of a very, very rough sequel. Thoughts are appreciated - though it would be silly to read if you haven't finished Paragon.Fuck pitches. I'm terrible at them.
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best pitch on autho - just sayin'
Ellie, this is a well written book, I know you are aware of some bits that need doing but its a cool read. Not normally what I read but this is going to attract a wide audience and readers who are into this genre will enjoy it for what it is. So well done with your characters and very good descriptions throughout the read. I can see this doing well in the future for you. Well done. Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or watch list wont you?? Many thanks. Sean
At the risk of being silly, I'm reading this without having read Paragon first. And while I am a bit clueless as to what's going on in the story so far, I thought it was very well-written. In particular, I really liked how active the voice was, and I've always been a fan of short, punchy sentences. I wrote down a few notes as I read: CHAPTER 1: - I wasn't sure if this was intentional, but when I saw “Abu, Nazir”, I instantly thought of the character on Homeland with that name.- “with a heavy vest over his chest” - I did wonder a bit if it was necessary to specify where on his body the vest was, as there aren't too many other places people wear them. - excellent line about the breath turning to stone- It seemed a bit heavy on commas at times to me, and I might have taken out a few, though this could simply be personal preference. As an example: “She glanced back at the hole in the roof, and saw yellow opium smoke.” - I may have just missed it, but I don't recall seeing a description of Nilo.CHAPTER 2: - This could just be me, but I may have trimmed an adverb or two here or there, as I felt it got a bit heavy on them at times in this chapter, though I didn't have this issue in the first one. Granted, I may have only noticed them as it's been something I've been working on cutting down on in my own writing. - “dimples drilling into each cheek like instruments of manipulation” - another great lineExcellent job overall, and all of my issues are either quite minor, or easily ignored. Mike Arrival of the Ageless
Ellie, I've just finished Paragon and have read what you've put up for Invictus. I love it! i really cant wait for you to upload more chapters. I love the way you left the end of Paragon and I'm looking forward to how you'll develop the story further. (personally wishing James and Apollo will meet...)I couldnt find anything to criticise on either book, and your style is very engaging :)HattyI am King
Ellie,You said "very rough" so I expect you don't want much critique yet. I've none to offer anyway, same high quality work as always. You have not yet followed up on the hook from the first chapter, but that could be coming with the new mission launched in 9...?Jim
Hi Ellie,First of all, I wanted to thank you for a great read! Here are a few comments on both Paragon and Invictus – I thought I’d post them here together.What I particularly loved about Paragon was your smooth and enticing style that carries the reader forward without them even realising – it makes it very difficult to stop! Yet it allows for great reflexivity as well, as much on the part of the characters as on that of the readers.Your descriptions were generally strong and realistic. Particularly when dealing with character development, they made it easy to follow their emotional changes and struggles. At no point in the story did I have to stop and wonder how the character had gotten to this point – it’s all there.I loved the characters. All of them are very strong yet not typified. They’re all still very ‘human’ and understandable in a way. The relationship between Keira and Aiden is also pictured very accurately and the readers can relate to them easily.The plot was interesting – I liked the fact that you took several well-known themes and brought them together in a story that is still very different from everything I’ve read so far. I appreciated the fact that you managed to combine a strong narrative with a more reflective part of the story which forces readers to stop and reconsider their position.As for Invictus, perhaps because it is the second part, my expectations were very high when I started reading it. And though I know you’ve not finished writing it yet (or have chosen not to publish further chapters) I thought that maybe a few comments would be helpful at this point.The first chapter I found a little destabilising. I know it’s meant to have that effect, but it felt like there were a lot of new things to take in – new characters, names and plot parts. It also feels a little strange not to have had any hints of this scene in the previous book or following few chapters of Invictus. It might be worth plugging it in a little more (though I realise I might have missed hints because I didn’t know what to look for…).As for the rest – again, I know it’s only the beginning, but it felt to me like there were a lot of loose strands of narrative that you were trying to bring together, but not always successfully. It feels like quite a lot of things are happening but the developments aren’t always very clear.With the exception of the Ethan/Keira line of action, which you’ve worked out very nicely, the rest feels a little rushed (the Paragon’s ‘visits’ and killing, Bear’s arrival (which doesn’t really make a lot of sense to me – I’m not quite sure how he’s meant to go about protecting her, but I suspect that’s going to be explained later), Rhea/Thandi’s character…)I feel like we aught to see a little more of the journalist as well – beside the obvious Keira/Aiden part of the storyline, that’s really the bit I’m most intrigued about.I think you might also want to work on Aiden’s reasons for not finding Keira a little more. I find it difficult to believe that he’s not in the least bit suspicious and never tries to even get in contact with her.That said, your text is every bit as intriguing as its first part! I can’t quite figure out how you’re going to bring all of the bits together which makes it incredibly interesting. I can’t wait to read more of it! Good luck with the rest of your writing!
I'm so happy that you posted this!! I've been delaying reading everything because of school work. When I started reading this sequel, though, it pulled me in just like the first book. The way that you shift from different perspectives and story lines has me reading just so I can see how you'll pull them all together. I love your writing style and the way that the characters have stayed true to the way they were in Book 1. I can't wait to read more!
YARGEDI can comment on this - being the only truly annoying Austro-Canadian on site. This is easy. First up, your pitch needs work. Well actually it sucks, though I did like the final comment. Secondly, I wasn't going to comment on the first book, because you already have 192 comments and any comment I made was going to be superfluous. Thirdly I didn't read the first book, partly because a good second book will put you in the picture of what happened previously, in some form or other, or, alternately it will stand alone and not need the previous book as a crutch. I read the Narnia series out of order (had to - too many kids and only one library copy of each book) so I know this to be true. Okay so the first chapter is a little bit crutchy. It was difficult to parse the characters. I had to re-read a couple of times to work out who was who. That aside, it was mildy disturbing (I'm understating this) but I think that was what you were striving towards so well done. Lot's of drama in a very short space.Hmm. Chapter 2, from the headline of Paragon (okay so I cheated a little) Aiden is an assassin of sorts is he? The first rule of a good killer/assassin is that you shouldn't stand out. You stand out; you're a target, and you're dead. Trust me on this, I went to school in Alberta. Aiden should be invisible when he needs to be.Second chapter wasn't too crutchy until I got to "The Paragon's have made very sure of that. Its been great for Alectron." I had no idea what that meant. Is it explained further on? Or can you provide an explanation here?Hope these comments help. I know this book will do well, so I wanted to give you a highly annoying perspective to challenge you to get there. Regards Scott Butcher (The Merlin Falcon)
Ellie,This is great. I want more Paragon............. I insist that you post more :)I love this story and these characters. I'm dying for the moment when Keira learns that Aiden isn't dead, and on the flip-side, the moment when the Aiden and the twins learn that Keira was lied to. Can't wait to see where everything is going. This is excellent and riveting. You've got an addictive story that makes me crave more. Wonderful.I didn't give you detailed critiques for this since I figure you're still writing and editing. However her are a few things I noticed along the way:Chp 3 – Aiden didn’t put the phone back in the reporter’s pocket. Keira did.Chp4 – You use a line of asterisks when you aren’t changing POV; which confused me a bit.I LOVE that you included the legend of a selkie.In the exchange between Mr. Young and Keira, you flip-flop between their POVsChp 8 – When you say, “It was the first time she’d used his name around Bear,” Aiden’s name hadn’t actually been used.Anna-Lara
HiJust read the first four chapters - and it's impressive stuff - I love the opening to this book - it asks so questions. Your style is fluent and very readable. Some of the minor charcters could be a bit stronger maybe - but that's an almost insignificant criticismAn excellent readDavid
Hi EllieFinished now! You truly have a style that draws the reader into the world you have created. It's a serious world too. Chapter nine is brutal, yet a brilliant portrayal of heartbreak. I was flinching yet sympathizing as I read it. I can't wait to read more. Please let me know when it's up!KataTwell
EllieI've come to take a look and am on tenterhooks for more to be posted. Loving it so far.Now, as this is a rough draft, I didn't bother with a line edit, but looked at the bigger picture. First off, if this is only a rough draft, I can't wait to see what your final will be like. It's amazing. The pacing is just right. The love story is driving me crazy - which it should. I just want the truth to come out already! Though, as with all love triangles, I don't know how it could possibly end well. And, of course, I'm wondering what Rhea - who I believe is also Thandi? - is up to. I had a couple of thoughts while I was reading:- To me, the first chapter felt completely different from the rest of the book - almost a different style. I don't know how it applies to the rest of the plot and if there's a reason you've done that, but it didn't feel like it flowed quite right into the next chapter.- I'm assuming that the date on chapter 1 means that it happened sometime in the past, but there's no date on chapter 2 to bring it to the present.- Also, in the chapter where Bear and Keira meet at the school, you have Iona walk over to meet Bear, but there is no separation of the group before they start talking about the Paragons. I'm guessing that Bear and Keira have already gotten to the shop before they start talking, and that Iona is not around, but it needs to be clarified.- You do a pretty good job of reminding the reader of what happened in the last book, but I saw a couple places where I could have used a little more explanation. There's one place in particular - and I can't for the life of me remember where it was - where Keira is talking to Ethan and remembers something Aiden said to her once, then answered Ethan's question, but you didn't specify what Aiden had said and I couldn't remember. (I know I'm talking in circles, sorry. I should have written it down, but didn't think much about it at the time.)Overall, it's a great start. As with Paragon, I'm rating it highly and putting it on my watchlist. Can't wait until you post more.LynnSurviving Sunset
Chapter 6 nitpicks-Oh boy, I've been waiting for this chapter! I'm torn now! Ethan is so good and comforting. I want him to hold me too, ahhhhh!! But poor Keira. There's northing worse than that sensation of being pulled along by someones else's desires and I think you have captured it really well. Loving this plot!Anyways only two errors spotted right at the end:He came back to wear (should be where) she was obediently sitting.She smiled (is the semi colon necessary?) because she could (insert see) anxiety in him...That's it for six!kataTwell
Hi Ellie.Well it's very late and I should have gone to bed hours ago and it's your fault because I started reading and went all the way to the end of chapter five. Darn your compelling writing and talent!Anyhoo, here are my nitpicks for you:Chapter 1- very mature, adult level really. How old is the girl, and her brother who is taken? It's unclear and I'm assuming it will be relevant at some point? Also, with the maturity of this prologue, Will it be offputting to YA?Chapter 2- I would change this sentence by removing the second and to as follows:…and they pressed lightly into his lips, the memory of her so strong he could almost feel her.-He fingertips should be -His Fingertips.- Should his fingers clench into a fist rather than ‘clamp’?-I can’t believe Avin slept with Thandie. I’m not happy. I don't like it! How could he? Really? Poor Keira! Really? Does he have to sleep with her? Really!??Chapter3- wont upload for me, says there’s an error. Darn it!Chapter 4-Tricks name is spelt wrong repeatedly. Typo?-Finally a break came and she kicked up, hard up. Should this be-she kicked up hard?-Sam was in no position to object and (insert:as) Sam helped her up-In the flash back to Aidens words it should read ‘I missed you so much-insert you.-James didn’t tolerate stupidity the way some people didn’t tolerate lactose. It made him explosive.- Love this line!-Kiera wearing the dog tags. Hmmm I’m not sure she would do this if she wants to hide where she’s been and protect her friends. Maybe she still has them, but keeps them somewhere else to take out and look at?-the time of day is inconsistent. Day or evening? Which is it?!-Was Rhea out there surfing? Where did her board go? No one asks about it, or recovers it for her. It’s not mentioned. What was it that hit Kiera? Is this meant to be unanswered for now?Chapter 5-She’d been pro (insert for a) few years in her twentiesThe twins who had stolen it –should be the twin.Ok that’s it for now. Will read more soon! Totally sucked into your world again and loving it! My only thought with your writing is that your first chapters always seem very adult, and the second chapter for me is always much more compelling and just the right level for YA genre. I hope the sophistication of your first chapters won’t be off-putting to your target audience. What is your target audience actually? Ps- Your one of the best writers on this site, or anywhere. So sort your pitch out missy! KataTwell
Hey, El! Happy to see your sequel :)"Fuck pitches" is an interesting approach, but- as a pitch, it could use some work ;) Don't you know you have fans here? and they are AUTHORS? Ask THEM to write your pitchs! In fact, make it a contest. You could offer a perscription for Atavan to the winner, just as soon as you finish med school ;) But seriously, if it's not your strong suit, pick out a couple friends who's pitchs you like, and ask them to whip yours up.I like your start here, and I hope you buckle yourself in to your desk chair (or where ever you write) and crank this one out. Mike
Hi Ellie, OK, clearly i am too involved in your story. I read all of the new chapters, and stood here in my kitchen yelling at the computer - No you can't fall for Ethan! and C'mon Bear, just spill it and tell her he's alive! Now I am not going to be able to do a single thing today. :)I love it! I can't wait to read more.MindyThe Wishing Place
'In my heart, there's only room for two.' Lovely.PrologueI assume, by the description of his eyes, that the American soldier is Apollo? I'm intrigued by this prologue, mostly wondering what the Paragons wanted with this young boy. I'd like to get a slightly better idea of Nilo and Nazir's ages. Nilo seems young, but at times older (She felt the need to draw a map of all his lies, just to see where they led). I didn't get a good sense of whether Nazir is older or younger than Nilo, or are they possibly the same age?Chapter 1Though I like the description of Aiden in the first paragraph, I'm not sure if it works from a POV standpoint. In third person limited, would the POV character really be able to know this much about how others are perceiving him? Just a question, which I don't feel equal to answering.In the second paragraph, there are a lot of passive verbs. His vision of Keira might be more gripping if written in a more active voice – He drew his fingers...She stared back at him, through him...His fingertips traced her temple...His palm pressed against her face...Just an ideaThandi is an interesting character. Hmm, I wonder if Alectron is similar to Jadis? Chapter TwoQuite a web you've woven. What is Thandi doing working for Melanie? Surely she's going to figure out, if she hasn't already, that Keira is Aiden's second. One inconsistency here – when the boys are talking about Keira, Colton suggests that Aiden go out and talk to her, then 'mumbled in exasperation, having awoken', but he was already awake, because he spoke before that, unless he dozed off in between, which wasn't mentioned.Chapter ThreeWhen Ethan tells Keira the story about Selkies, he says 'on a night like tonight' but it is midday. I'm not surprised to see Thandi in Jack Creek. I'm guessing Keira hasn't taken to wearing colored contacts, so she's sure to recognize the eyes. What will Alectron want with her?When James confronts Keira outside the diner, there is a paragraph about the deaths of King and Jackson. Supposedly King killed Jackson first, then committed suicide, but isn't Jackson the one Aldous was going to kill and frame Keira for (along with Harper) if she talked? So shouldn't she recall that here, and make the connection that King was probably another one that Aldous took care of? She gets there by the end of the paragraph, but having doubts didn't seem like a strong enough phrase. Well, unfortunately that is all I have time for right now. I was going to be good and stay off Authonomy for the most part today. Darn you and your Paragons :)Kate
How wonderful! :)
Elspeth, I finished Paragon about the day I started it. I can hardly wait to read the sequel :) Crayton