Book Jacket

 

rank 29
word count 17277
date submitted 03.10.2012
date updated 05.02.2014
genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Children's, Young...
classification: universal
incomplete

What, the Elf?

Michael Matula

A modern, fast-paced urban fantasy adventure. Manhattan like you've never seen it before.

 

Fourteen-year-old Whatrigal Madugal would give just about anything to be normal. Kids his age really shouldn't be out picking pockets in the glitzy Manhattan streets, working for crime kingpins with anger management issues. Normal kids don't usually have outlandish names like “What,” and don't regularly have to hide their pointed ears beneath their long black hair.

They aren't orphaned elves from war-torn homelands, and aren't used to being hunted by elf-devouring Vorgish mongrels and a legion of Dark Elf magicians.

Normal kids don't know just how good they have it, sometimes. Of course, normal kids don't get to chase mythical pegacorns through Midtown, or slip unseen into a wee castle in Central Park, searching for dwarven treasure.

Sometimes, it's good to be unusual.

 
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tags

, dwarves, elves, fantasy, mg, middle grade, new york, oliver twist, reimagining, thief, urban fantasy, ya, young adult

on 109 watchlists

235 comments

 

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Nigel Fields wrote 303 days ago

Michael,
Such vivid and likable prose. I am amazed how quickly you got me to sympathize with a thief. WHAT is a great character. And the name Pegrimus Perrywinkle has such a fantasy-like flare about it. Your first chapter is excellent. What an opening should be. I had to take a look at What the Elf since I am partial to an Oliver Twist type of story--glad you put that in your tags. I'll pop back for more.
Highly starred.
Best,
John Campbell (A Lark Ascending)

EHarkin wrote 254 days ago

Hi Michael,
I love the title of your book, it makes me want to laugh. Reading your work, I am impressed by the way you describe characters and settings. It enabled me to have a good image of the story in my head. The plot is really good too. You write in a way that keeps the reader hooked. I couldn't find any mistakes in it and you have obviously put a lot of effort into it. Well done.
Liz
Culling Time

SJKING wrote 362 days ago

Hi Mike,

I've gotten half way through "What, the Elf?" and think it is amazing so far. Even though I'm usually not into crime boss stories, I could definitely see myself reading this book over and over. I like that fact that you used a lot of detail to create a scene in the readers mind and how this book provoked me to thinking outside of the box. Great job!

S. J. King

carolinecutting wrote 338 days ago

Hi Michael,
I love this! As I think someone else has mentioned, my youngest son would to read What the Elf?. I couldn't find anything wrong with the first couple of chapters I read and you can tell you've been working hard to improve on it as I can see from the last date it was edited.
I think What's character will appeal to kids purely because there's a no-fear air about him and kids love an MC with courage and staying power.
I'll definitely be buying this when it's published and I'll be recommending it to others too.
Caroline

Lin-C wrote 393 days ago

What, the Elf?
Hi Michael, what an amazing idea for a book! You really have something special here. As I was reading I thought of how much my son, when he was maybe 10, 11, 12 would have loved this. So much is packed into the opening chapter, yet not once did the story flow grind to a halt. It moves at a perfect pace for your target audience of children and young adults. (Personally, I think it's pretty good for adults too).
There is a bit of an Oliver Twist feel to it which works well, add to that What being an Elf, and the fantasy aspect, this has to be a winner.
You have a great voice and there are some wonderful descriptions like 'fire trapped beneath a sheet of ice' this gave an instant visual.
I can't give you any pointers on places where I pulled up, because there weren't any! It's a polished piece of writing with a fantastic story.
High stars for an entertaining read.
Lin
Pride

Darius Stransky wrote 13 days ago

What, the Elf?
Michael Matula

Hi Michael - you ended your long pitch with : -

"Sometimes, it's good to be unusual."

Have read Chapter One and Two inclusive

There is not a lot I can add to the comments listed below except to compliment you on a remarkable piece of work

Integration, assimilation, cohabiting, secretive, dangerous, amusing, original - I could go on but all these things sprang to mind during my read

I was looking at the listings and saw your book had gone down a peg so that's what brought me over. I'm glad I popped by and wish you as much success with this work as you've had with others

Best wishes
High starred
Darius
The King's Jew

MichaelDorman wrote 20 days ago

This is a YARG review
Hi Michael (great name),
Let me just say how much I enjoy this, right from the gate. I like the narrative voice thing you're doing, with those string of short sentences. It really gives it a cool pace and lets us into the mind of the protaganist a bit. I found myself liking the protagonist from the get-go as well: great opening.

This is nit-picky and your call, but I tend to dis-like the shorter 'What'. I found it a bit distracting to read. I think it would be better just to go with the long name each time.

'Speaking of the hunt. He had to go back to work.' I don't know if you're still trying to do that cool, short-sentence thing, but this one didn't work for me. Fragments are easy to forgive when in service to style, but I don't think this is necessary here. I would just go with, 'Speaking of the hunt, he had to go back to work.'

'Whatrigal would need a crowbar and about half an hour...'--loved this!

'Whatrigal turned on a dime'--nit-picky, I know, but I would avoid the cliche.

This is also nit-picky: It felt that the chase scene went on a bit too long...by the end I found it anti-climactic, and didn't necessarily feel any relief...nit-picky I know.

I really, really liked this story. I was entertained and want to keep reading more. Normally, the whole fantasy world meets everyday world is really not my thing, but this one is more interesting than the others I've skimmed.

The only other advice I might offer is that the end of the chapter might end on more of a cliff-hanger. I mean, I don't really feel the absolute neccessity that Whatrigal go see his boss right now. It seems like he can choose to or not, which means I don't feel all that compelled, this instance to keep reading. Maybe make it more of a cliff-hanger? Or not...it's your baby, and you clearly know what you're doing.

In short, high stars and I've added you to my watchlist. This is really solid stuff.

It would be great if you could return the favor and look at my book, 'Tides of Tomorrow.'

--Michael Dorman
'Tides of Tomorrow'

JCGG wrote 25 days ago

This is based on the first chapter. I’ll claim it as a wtf review. It’s a nice setup, you inserted a fair bit of backstory without huge infodumps, which was very good. The writing is very clean. By far, the worst thing is the name of your main character, particularly when you call him What! Very confusing. You do have a tendency to throw in a few unnecessary words; I’ve only commented on this a few times, below. I do not know if the real world locations are described well - - it would be nice if they were real NYC places, described well enough for a local to recognize them. Nitpicks follow:

The string of diamonds disappeared into the thief’s front pocket.
>They didn’t disappear. What happened? . . . diamonds slipped/dropped into . . .? Also, I haven’t heard “string of” applied to diamonds, though it’s commonly applied to pearls or beads or other things that have a hole that the string is threaded through. I suspect it is a necklace, but I’m not sure.

Once again, the fourteen-year-old thief
> As I don’t know how elves age, I don’t know if this is very young or not. Maybe just “young” instead of fourteen y.o.

every single time
> wordy, delete single.

His gaze settled upon the widespread wings of a mottled gray hawk, swooping majestically between the immense buildings high above What’s head
>I think it will take some time if I ever became used to What as a character name. I feel like I’m in a “who’s on first” routine. Not in a good way - - I’m the rube.

.  The hawk came to rest atop the railing of the Corman Hotel’s balcony, fifteen stories up, folding its elegant wings against its sides.
>that’s a dangling participle. Unless the balcony has wings.

Much like Whatrigal, the hawk was out hunting.  The hawk hunted for small animals
>in NYC, probably pigeons.

Whatrigal silently wished the hawk luck as he returned his eyes to the sidewalk. 
> “silently” is not needed, and what was Whatrigal doing with the hawk’s eyes? ;) Rewrite: Whatrigal nodded to the hawk, wishing him luck with his feathered pigeons, then scanned the sidewalk for his own prey: pigeons that wore Brooks Brothers, Armani or Donna Karan.

resting his right hand against the grungy steel of the stoplight.
> I suspect it was a pole he touched rather than the stoplight.

  The lettering on his watch said “Rolex,” but the imitation leather on the strap shouted “fake.”
>nice.

Two fingers dipped into the handbag, just before the remaining fingertips flicked the zipper shut as the woman’s wallet made its escape.
> I’m not keen on disembodied bodyparts doing things, but it works ok w/ the fingers and fingertips, but then things get passive when the wallet apparently sprouts legs and runs off. Have those fingers do something about moving that wallet.

What a few extra brownie points.
>I’m not sure whether you meant this as a joke - an elf getting brownie points.

turned on a dime
>cliche

“Come back here!” he heard one of the policemen yell from behind him as What passed the Fifth Avenue intersection.
> “he heard” is “filtering” and isn’t needed here.

Whatrigal’s upper lip tilted into a smirk.
> be careful about these disembodied body parts. You could have just said he smirked.

He grunted, then took a right at the light when he reached it.
> I haven’t always pointed them out, but there are several instances where you append words that aren’t needed. Here, you can delete: when he reached it. We can assume he didn’t turn right and run into the wall of a building.

while at the same time appearing not to even notice they existed.
>here are some more extraneous words. you can delete: “at the same time”, which is redundant after “while”.

“Had the apple stayed true and firm...” a Dark Elf with impossibly black hair began to tell him.  The monster’s voice grew no louder than a whisper, yet What could hear his words as clearly as he could hear his own thoughts. “...You would have been branded a threat to our treaty.  Still, that you saw through us—”
>The previous paragraph threw me for a loop. I have no idea whose perspective that was from. Isn’t there some distance between What and the dark elves? You don’t need to capitalize Dark Elf; you didn’t capitalize human.
***

Whatrigal was somehow able to hear her grinning over the phone.
>No he couldn’t. What did he hear, if he heard anything particular?

massive crime boss.  
>He’s Jabba the Hutt? Huge? I have no idea what you mean.

Michael Jones wrote 33 days ago

CWOG review

Great title. Good pitches.

I enjoyed the first three chapters. Nice imagery throughout. What is well fleshed out and I particularly liked the scene with the Dark Elves. In chapter two you bring June to life and I enjoyed the dialogue between the two of them. In fact the dialogue is very natural and not overdone. Chapter three brought us to the cavern and the place where the stolen articles end up. Perrywinkle is portrayed as dark and overpowering ... as befitting a crime lord. Liked: '... lazy sons of dwarves ...' that brought a smile to my face.

Nothing jumped out at me. A well polished MS, easy to read and a story that promises adventure and excitement ... perfect for your target audience.

Best of luck with it.

Ry Guyiam wrote 39 days ago

A very original concept and nicely written. I have only begun reading but look forward to continuing. I will comment more later.

Poppygb1415 wrote 40 days ago

Chapter Three

Oooh, finally we get to the nitty gritty! So much so that - and feel free to slap me for this - I almost want you to put this, or maybe a glimpse of it, the interview with Perrywinkle - to the top of your story. Lead in with it. Then go back to rehash the history, how What got to this situation.

And was the fab penny sequence meant to remind me of Oompa Loompas in a certain well-known fantastical factory? One thought on that... The chutes and baseball catchers are great, don't get me wrong, but it seems that this is something that could've been mechanised. And explanation as to why it isn't might not hurt. 'With all the free labour he wanted, Perriwinkle never shelled out where he could put his elf slaves to work.' Something like that?

For more pedantic-type notes:

walls all collided into - 'walls collided in' would be neater

The elves were all just - you could really leave this as 'They' - as you already told us we were looking at a bunch of elves...

Before long, What halted before - don't need the 'before long'. Most readers will have a sense of how long it takes to cross a room - hill of loose change notwithstanding! That said... How does it feel to walk across that much money. Slippery? Like a pebble beack? Word or two of description might not go amiss.

He may never get another opportunity - might never get

a mature trench dragon - ha! very good. Also gives us an elves' persepctive on matters of size.

'You did?' - 'You have?' would be better, questions like this usually echo what's been said already - here 'have' would echo the crime boss's 'I've heard'

The threat to beat What to within an inch of his life makes me think of the way Medieval beggars would deliberately cripple thier children, so that they would earn more in sympathy alms. I wonder if something like that might form part of Perrywinkle's threat? 'You won't be picking pockets anymore. You'll be snivelling along the pavement's on a broken skateboard, begging for a few pennies to fall into some pathetic McDonald's takeaway cup.' Ok. So I'm getting a bit carried away. Obviously Perrywinkle's gotten into my head. The villains always get the best lines.

Still, fun reading, and exciting to see the various strands of the story developing and starting to intertwine. Will be back for more.

Hope to see you back in Mandi's China soon,

Poppygb
Amanda Cute and the Case of the Pussycat Sex Club

Monte Thompson wrote 42 days ago

A YARG review
A wonderfully creative story that's built for a movie deal. The writing flows easily and the pace is exciting right from the start. You've stacked the odds heavily against our hero, a feature of the story that keeps the reader glued to the page. I will certainly be returning to read more (any chance you'd send me the ms for ePub?). Solid work by a clearly talented writer.

Montgomery Thompson
(The Shielding of Mortimer Townes)

July's World wrote 60 days ago

Back for another read (WTF review)

Hi Michael!

I read all you've posted of your lovely story! What is such a lovely character, I felt with him when Mr Pennywinkle spoke with him in his office. And I like the way you introduce the later history of Marrelon, it fits right there where you've put it.
Nik and Dungary are lovely, too. :) But Dungary seems to be a bit too confused for his young age.
End of chap 6 makes me want to read more, but I do understand that you don't want to upload your whole book.

Just a formatting issue:
I'm not that happy with the scene breaks in chap 6 and at the end of chap 5, they're not necessary, but that's just my thinking.
It's a good book and I know you'll make it to the editor's desk!

I hope this helps you in some way :)

July
Midwinter Nights

Poppygb1415 wrote 63 days ago

Hi Michael,

Have followed What as far as the dragon's lair at the end of Chapter Two now... And still want to know if you read Colfer? If not, I think you might enjoy him.

He still knew she worked for... I'd add a 'first and foremost' there. I did enjoy the image of yor nyade's desk and appliances blooming around her.

Your concealed lift down to the secret lair is clever... But for some reason it reminded me a bit of the Haunted House lift at Disneyland. Maybe it was the green glow... The idea of a whole room acting as a lift. Man, do I have some sad reference-points in my life!

The strangled elf is a great note to end the chapter on.

Poppygb

VelvetCiara wrote 68 days ago

What a great book, I'm thoroughly enjoying this.

A.Paine wrote 69 days ago

Michael,
Such a fabulous read, with the fantastical elements crafted into the tight plot so that they fit seemlessly. The MC is instantly likeable, which to me is important, as I tend to lose interest if I don't care what happens to an MC. I liked the title even before i knew about the word play. The receptionist nymph is clever, and i like the 'lazy sons of dwarves; line which pays homage to so many epic fantasies. A great read, and I wish you luck on the way to the ED.
Watchlist and high stars.
I will back soon, when i have given those on my shelf their due time.
Andy.

Poppygb1415 wrote 72 days ago

So, initially I wanted to ask if you were a Colfer fan at all. What with backtalking elves and thieves - though the two were seperate entities in Colfer's 'Artemis Fowl' series, of course. And then, as you suggested of your other book, it morphed towards Matrix-dom, or Men in Black... Some funny moments here, and plenty of hooks to snag the reader, pickpocket their valuables and lead them on... Though I did wonder, with What's reported pickpocketing skills, if maybe you might be a bit more graphic, a bit more detailed. if he's such an expert, why not give us a blow by blow account of how he does what he does? Cause, you know, it's interesting. Unless it's some kinda spell or hex that you're storing up for later?

Poppygb
'Amanda Cute and the Case of the Pussycat Sex Club'

BarbShaya wrote 73 days ago

CWOG Review:
Disclaimer: Fantasy is not my genre, but I do have kids and read in a 'Would I recommend this book to my kids?' mindset.
Hi Michael - You are certainly a strong writer. Descriptive in your building of action, I can see how your book would swoop lovers of fantasy into your world. For me there were almost too many pieces of newly-created esoteric language to grasp all that was happening in the first chapter. I had a similar reaction to your long-pitch. Probably because I don't have a fantasy base from which to critique, I felt like I had to work too hard to figure out the world you were creating.
Also, I was confused by the use of "What" throughout. Whatdrigal initially struck me as creative and indicative of a made-up-name for a made-up-world. However, when you shifted to What and What's within your sentences, I would, for the briefest of moments, have to think hard about how it was being used: adjective? adverb? Proper noun? Usually it was a proper noun but that was not coming naturally to me.
As a mom of teens who does much of the book purchasing for said teens, I thought you might find my perspective of use.

Best of luck - you are a talented writer.

Barb Shaya (Not Really Gone)

July's World wrote 97 days ago

WTF review

Hi Michael!

First I thought the title of your book strange but after reading the first chapter, I found that What was your main character's name. So now the title appears to be a funny word game. :)

short pitch: It didn't give me enough information. As Whatrigal is your main character, you could have mentioned him there, or at least the elves.
long pitch: You did a good job there.

You have a vivid description (cabs, people, buildings, vehicles, trucks) that makes the language flow easily. I was disappointed when the first chapter ended simply because I don't have the time to read more now.

Here are some things I have to point out anyway:
What confuses me is the world elfin, shouldn't that be elvish? Maybe I'm just confused but I'm sure I never heard that word before.
And "After now more than two seconds went by" reads strange to me because that sentence doesn't flow as easily as the rest of the chapter. Maybe it would be enough to just say "After only two seconds".

I hope this helps!

July
Midwinter Nights

The Imagineer wrote 103 days ago

YARG Review

P71 "...shiny red skin of the apple in his hands. The apple now felt soft and squishy, as though... hunk of fruit mashed within his palm." This is a brilliantly descriptive chapter. Although, you've mentioned that he is carrying an apple before, and now, in the same paragraph, mention it an additional two times. Maybe "of his apple" insead of "of the apple in his hands."?

"What, the Elf?" is interesting, fun, and I feel it has plenty of potential. I've read three chapters, and each character is vivid and full of life, especially the boss. Frightful. I can see why your work is so high in the rankings. Keep it up, can't wait for it to get published. (Probably might even be a movie too.)

Heidi Whatcott wrote 105 days ago

YARG review

This is a very compelling story, and the writing is very good. I love the first chapter. WHAT has a lot of good layers--a proficient thief who knows his way around the streets, but an underlying vulnerability that makes him very likeable. A lot of great hooks in this chapter: the crime boss has called him in for a personal meeting (never a good thing), and three very powerful, evil men cross his path and remove his memory of them. Beautiful description of them. I do think you should add in a reason for them not killing WHAT. Maybe they don't want to leave incriminating evidence lying around or just don't want to be wasteful. WHAT could come in handy to them in the future. It feels too convenient that they choose to let him live if they really don't care.

I was eager to get to the meeting with the crime boss, so I was impatient all through chapter two, where we are just being introduced to characters and the set up. It's extremely well written and descriptive, I just thought it really slowed the action down. Unless you have to introduce Cricket at this point, I would rather have June tell him Nik had gone to meet with Mr. Periwinkle earlier and then have him worrying about her betrayal as he's traveling down into the shaft. It would shorten it and better maintain the good pace you've set. I almost missed the detail about the sealed corridor because by the end of the chapter I was skimming to see when the boss was coming in. I would like to know why he thinks even the boss hasn't breached that corridor.

I wasn't a fan of the catcher's mitts. It was quirky and amusing, but it really took away the tension from WHAT's upcoming meeting with the boss and robbed Mr. Perrywinkle of his sinister aura to have a piece of his operation be so outlandish.

I really, really loved the boss's responses to WHAT's questions about "something wrong vs. something to anger you." That was masterfully done as was the win/win situation (for Mr. Perrywinkle, not for WHAT) that the boss presents him with. I would take out "make sure you never walk again" and leave the rest. That line made it a foregone conclusion that WHAT was going to complete the test, while if you had left it at "pummel you within an inch of your miserable life....They'll watch you crawl before me." I could believe you might let that happen to WHAT. It would make his test feel much more real.

I really liked the crime boss and the dynamics between him and WHAT. I felt it watered the boss down a bit when he sat through all that conversation and bickering from Nik and his assistant. I would rather see him more detached, perhaps on the phone with occasional threats thrown their way. It seemed out of character for him to be so patient. The back and forth was driving me nuts, let alone him.

I can see why this is garnering a lot of support. It's a very intriguing premise with great characterization and a lot of action and peril. It's also well written in an entertaining voice, and the plot holds together well. High stars and I'll keep you watchlisted. This was a fun read!

Heidi Whatcott--Crayton House

Colleen MacDougall wrote 118 days ago

What The Elf – Chapters 1 to 6 – CWOG Review

Michael,
Now that I’ve read all of What The Elf that you’ve uploaded, I understand why so many people are backing it. It is delightful and very inventive. It’s intriguing, funny, original and well written. It’s a nice quick read, except for one part, and I blew through the six chapters enjoying them immensely.

The title, short pitch and long pitch are excellent. What is well drawn and you’ve managed to garner sympathy for a thief, which is very well done.

I do wish you’d upload more. I was really getting into it when I got to the end of chapter six, feeling like I was on a roller coaster ride that ended up going faster than I’d hoped.

I’ll give you a bit of feedback based on my reactions to a few parts. Take them with a grain of salt, please.

I did find the segue from the three bad guys in chapter one stealing his memory to his headache a bit abrupt. I had to read back over it to ensure I understood what had happened. Maybe a sentence to the effect of, “What had no memory of the previous few minutes,” would help a bit.

Perrywinkle came across as not only impatient but intolerant of anything but himself and his schemes, so I found Nik’s two paragraphs of chatter at the start of chapter four, apologizing for speaking out, a bit long for Perrywinkle to endure. It was great when she put her foot in her mouth again. She's a great character, btw.

The six chapters flow very well until we get to his meeting with Kylie in chapter five. That brought the wonderful plot to a halt for me. I can understand he found her attractive, and as a young adult novel, this element is crucial. It is also a wonderful reflection of What’s yearning to be a normal boy and to dream of a girl to be worthy of. But it is quite long, especially as they are setting off on a dangerous mission, so it killed the build-up and suspense built up in the first few chapters. Then the way he suddenly ran away when her detective father approached without so much as a goodbye was understandable, but a bit too abrupt. I was surprised Kylie didn’t suspect his nefarious activities at this point.

Other than those few little things, I think this is a great book. High stars and backed.

All the best and good luck with your novel
Happy holidays
Colleen
The Patron Saint of Dogs

Fleeting mood wrote 119 days ago

Hi Michael,

This is a WTF review. Read all you've posted of 'What the Elf' so far and am completely engrossed. I loved all the characters and thought the wood nymph, especially, was a very nice touch. I will definitely buy this once it hits the bookstore shelves :)

Have a great XMAS xxx

Eva

vee8 wrote 124 days ago

YARG review.

Great concept, Harry Potter meets Oliver twist somewhere in Alice's New York Wonderland. How could it fail?! First impression is that you have a great skill for narrative description. The images of Manhatten spring clearly to mind, but What's longing to return home also resonate. I've been to London many times, and always look forward to returning to my quiet home town. I did think Elves were shorter than humans though? Then again, I haven't seen 'Lord of the Rings yet, so maybe I'm wrong. Great opening chapter.

The reception area. Some sort of half-way stop between worlds? Or an illusion to distract? Again, a deft turn of narative, easily painting pictures in my mind. A chubby aircraft. Never heard that before, nicely original! Glowing rainbows of hope and positivity. I wish I could write stuff like that! Bloody. that's a very British term, not, so far as I'm aware, in common usage in America. I'm assuming Perrywinkle is of British decent, otherwise it would be incongruous.

This is fine work, well polished and it's clear why it is so highly ranked at the moment. I love the way Elves and other mythical beings are so adapted to our world, as if it's normal, no big deal. Somewhere out there I now feel there really are Elves, living among us. That may be where my last wallet went!

Thank you for an enjoyable read.

Vee8
Daughter of Chronos.

M T Pelletier wrote 125 days ago

Hey Michael,
Just read a few chapters of your book. I'm loving the originality of it. Very interesting. Hard to find such originality anymore. Your story really moves right along, and as an adult, I love it - but not sure if it is too fast for the younger readers. Not sure of the age group you are shooting for. Thinking maybe you could break them down to form smaller chapters for the kids. Another thing I thought of too was some of the wording might be beyond some of the kids knowledge...not sure how many kids actually know what a "pinball" machine is anymore (at least in my part of the world they are very hard to find.) Overall, I do love it, and look forward to watching it go all the way. Best of luck!

M.T.Pelletier
TWIGS AND PEBBLES

Marina Freedman wrote 125 days ago

HI Michael
I thoroughly enjoyed this. Well written and likeable character despite his flaws and profession. Great plot and excellent storytelling – it had me intrigued and wanting to read more of this Urban Fantasy from the very first chapter. No wonder it’s ranking well. High stars and WL
Marina

Dimanagul wrote 126 days ago

A WTF / CWOG Follow up Review for chapters 2, 3, and 4

I pushed on to Chapter four and found myself engrossed. There are a few times throughout when I got hung up on specific phrases that felt busy. Compound clauses that I felt could be tightened up. But nothing so offending that it didn't feel like 'voice'.

One specific point on chapter two. I find it odd that the elves are dressed like catchers. A catcher is dressed so to catch pitches. But when a pop fly goes up the frost thing they do is pull off their masks. Food for thought.

I do love the shift with Perrywinkle and I laugh because it is a move I see myself doing with villains. It makes sense though, What's 'betrayal' shows balls and promise to thrive as an elite.

My one snag on chapter 3 is the bit about What's dad. I felt that could have been shorter (not that it was long) but It felt forced where it was presented. I felt similarly about the explanation of Nik's betrayal, but less so.
Chapter 4 I ran into some mild concerns:

Paragraph 2’s end I felt it should be crisper to punctuate the emotion. “…his new promotion, or terrified.”
Nik’s action (or reaction) when she sees What is weirdly worded and I think that ‘nearly knocked over’ could be turned into a stronger verb. And I got completely lost in what she did. Another nearly a few sentence away. Those almost actions really stick out.

I also just noticed you tend to do things like “nodding towards the blue haired elf” this seems odd after a character is introduced. I don’t mind the ‘reminder’ if the action directs attention to the feature (say pulling off a hat) but this seems forced.

This.

Single word paragraphs. I haven’t seen any of them that needed to be single word paragraphs. Just the single word sentence seemed fine. But that’s opinion. I think it comes from the fact they tend to be near single sentence paragraphs, which diminishes the effect.

Looking good so far. I like how the primary conflict has come out and some heavy plot points have reared their head. I’m sure I won’t be able to stay away from 5 and 6 for long.

Dimanagul wrote 133 days ago

First Impressions:

Starting a story about a thief with petty theft sets my expectations in a firm happy place. Then you seamlessly shift into what makes him tick. Bravo.

You paint the cityscape well, my only quibble is some of the comparisons. I think it comes from the fact that the main character is an elf, so my brain wants to pounce on anachronistic comparisons like to a pinball machine. I wonder what the word ‘Classic’ means to him. And would he know what a robot is (towards the end)? It makes me assume he’s been in Manhattan his whole life. Food for thought.

I love his ‘connection’ with the Hawk. Nice touch.

Some of the verbiage made me smile. “found a new home in his pocket”

Yep. Time to run. – Loved that.

Halfway through I met my first hang up with your piece. The introduction paragraph of the three men felt clunky, too much comparison and not enough description. Moving on the descriptions are cool and effective though.

The apple part intrigued me, but some of the language felt odd. I’d retool that paragraph.

Overall I think this has a brilliant hook and I will be reading more. I've been left cynical with slow starting fantasy it's nice to see you dig right in.

Questions I’m left with: How long has What been in Manhattan? Why did he come there in the first place? Why did he become a theif? What’s up with the three monster guys? What’s up with that apple? What’ll happen at his little meeting with the Boss?

billydot wrote 136 days ago

WTF Review

Hi MIchael!

This is certainly a fast-paced and adventurous beginning, and I can only imagine it will only get more exciting as the story develops. Being a fan of all things quirky, I love that the main character's name is 'What'.

When What first descends into Perriwinkle's underground lair, full of cultural riches and beauty that was long ago lost on the planet's surface, I felt a little of V for Vendetta sneaking in there - and trust me, that is a good thing! There is also a dash of Oliver Twist about the lives lead by these thieves.

As an avid fantasy reader, it was wonderful for me to see elves in this completely new light; especially in an urban environment. Elves are usually seen as aloof with inexplicable motives, while you have humanized them, making them more accessible for the reader. It is a unique take. The reader is also lead to wonder what tragedy might have befallen their Kingdom in order to force it to its knees.

You are particularly good at describing cityscape and indoor scenes. You personify well with phrases such as "A dull hum bled from the light towers..."

And what is the opposite of personification? Because you do that well, too, as in when you describe "limbs as thick as fire hydrants." Loved that one. I see this Perriwinkle character as a UFC champion in the heavy-weight division... except he's an elf!

Oh, and I loved the insult "Lazy sons of dwarves!" Nice one!

I would suggest, in order to tighten the narrative, you might be able to get rid of some redundancies and unneeded information. Less unneeded information but more succinct information could make it a smoother read (I could be wrong here - this is very subjective.)

I will give some examples so that you know what I mean:

Running away from the police always managed to give What an appetite.
I would suggest simply: Running away from the police always gave What an appetite.

'Tis a small thing, but I worked with an editor on my book, and removing a lot of very small things made a big difference to its accessibility. I feel you might benefit similarly as I in this manner :)

This is a unique take on an elfish life, with a mystery looming on the horizon and just waiting to be discovered. Top stars from me!

Smiles,
Leah :)

jc_intz wrote 152 days ago

CHIRG Review

Hi Michael,

First of all I have to say that I love the title, very clever! It's a very original story and the characters each have their charm. I've just finished the third chapter, but your book is now on my watchlist so I can come back for more!

I spotted a few grammatical bits which could be changed as it paused my reading, but it might not all be correct so have a look if you like...

Chapter one:
The word ‘both’ is used very close to each other “both sauntered and scurried” “both friendly and furious”

‘that’ twice in a sentence “It was likely that the city of New York gave her people enough to gawk at that they...”

“He never lost eye contact with the three men” slightly confusing sentence as how can he keep eye contact with three men at the same time? But I think the reader will understand what you mean.

Chapter two:
Very good way of introducing the forest nymph Juniper
Good way of alternating between What and Whatrigal as it could become confusing in the beginning of sentences.
Love the sentence “...didn’t exactly fill Whatrigal’s insides with glowing rainbows...” very inventive

Over all, your book flows very well and I wish you the best of luck! High stars from me!

JC

Jim Provost wrote 160 days ago

i don't read books on here to point out spelling mistakes and punctuation errors, I'm simply not qualified enough.
I read because I'm interested in the story pitch.
I read the first 3 pages and was hooked. Great story telling and a quirky title.

Kaaren Lee wrote 160 days ago

This is a CWOG read.

Hi Michael,
I am a big fan of urban fantasy, especially Kevin Hearne and Jim Butcher and so it was fun for me to find a YA writer exploring this genre. Chapter One does a great job of quickly (and intriguingly) introducing your MC, explaining the basic rules of how "reality" works in this world and establishing the existence of a significant threat.
However, the second chapter had me a little confused about the rules of this reality - you clearly state that Perrywinkle's Travel Agency is supposed to be a legitimate business - but if a human customer walked in off the street wouldn't they be surprised/suspicious/freaked out to find a wood nymph growing flowers on her paperback book and plants sprouting up through the wood floor? How is this magical activity concealed from human discovery? Is there a magical filter that prevents humans from seeing it? I think you need to provide some explanation before, or immediately after, the paragraph saying that Perrywinkle needs his business to look as legitimate as possible to the police.
Despite that confusion, I remain intrigued and will look forward to reading additional chapters when time permits.
What, the Elf is on my shelf.
Kaaren

NatashaSapienza wrote 170 days ago

YARG review

I liked this opening chapter! It was quite original. I feel terrible that poor What lost his memory. I'm wondering if you should end chapter one when he gets attacked by white-hair. I definitely liked your prose and metaphors, "like fire trapped beneath a sheet of ice." You painted great pictures, I was able to envision the scene clearly.


I am a little confused about the melting apple. Not sure if you can somehow make the message in all that clearer. Maybe it was just me. But all-in-all, good job!



Grace to you,

Natasha Sapienza
Seven Sentinels: The Sword and the Acumen

Bradley Darewood wrote 188 days ago


Hey Micheal,

A fellow WTF author with a thief protagonist!

I'm really glad gentrification hasn't pushed all the elves out of manhattan!
There are parts of that island that can only be described as a shrine to overpriced BS. That said, your pickpocketing scene just convinced me, for the first time ever, that skinny jeans aren't all bad.

All of my rambling aside, this tale most certainly is an allegory and one that deals with very heavy issues: refugees, migration, and the vulnerability of migrant populations that leads to entrapment within steeply clientalistic organizations-- between your off-the-cuff comedy you've got some very profound truths to reveal here. Your elf crime syndicate is very much like the street life of homeless children in SE Asia, mixed in the liminality faced by migrants to the US of all stripes (it really got me wondering if Santa's elves are actually an *intentional* allegory for child labor or if that was just a happy accident). Yet you tell it all with an effervescent, free-flowing whimsical style. It made for a very enjoyable read.

Usually, at this point, I have a ton of huge structural suggestions, but man, you write cleanly! It was hard to come up with anything constructive to add! I did come up with two things though, but both things could be resolved in 30 seconds by pushing the delete key a couple of times.

Chapter 2:
when whatrigal grimaces at the thought of Dungary's remedy, you follow with another sentence that would probably better together as one paragraph instead of two separate one sentence paragraphs.

Chapter 5
Usually *** signals a significant change of scene or gap in time, I wasn't sure of the purpose of the two you had there. I'm guessing a POV purist told you you had to use them to change POV. I obviously come from a different school of thought. I'm not an expert or anything, but as a reader I didn't feel like it quite worked when you do it within the scene-- it had me questioning the gap and psychologically pulled me out of the scene. Up to you (esp since there are ppl out there that might disagree with me), but I'd either just change POV in-scene (which I think would read smoother than using the breaks) or I'd keep that middle sequence in What's POV. I didn't feel quite as disoriented by the ***'s in Chapter 6, but it would probably be easy to get rid of them there too.

Anyway, it was a nice light hearted read that made my evening much more colorful and enjoyable. thank you for putting it up here!

I'm kind of ambushing you with a WTF review here without asking first, sorry for that! If you don't have time for a return review, no worries on my end. I had fun reading yours.

RJBrown wrote 191 days ago

This is a CWOG return read.

I really like the premise of this book Michael, What is likeable and the tension builds really well. I am already wondering who the strange memory wiping men were and why they chose not to kill him. I wasn't expecting the underground world and thought it was impeccably well described. I could picture it immediately and the smaller touches like the catchers and the illumination fairy were wonderful.

I couldn't spot any grammatical errors at all which sets this book apart immediately... my own is not quite there yet! I want to know more and hope you manage to get this published so I can read the rest! Very high stars for originality and content!

R
x

jessicaminor wrote 227 days ago

Yarg review
hi mike how have you been? I see that what the elf is doing well I read it again and still love it. I hope to see you make it to the editors desk this book is soo creative I love the name a pegacorn that's great... I really enjoyed reading it again, a wonderful story with a persise flow and strong charecters. good luck with it

AudreyB wrote 228 days ago

Hi, Mike--a few notes as I read Ch. 2 for our game.

I took a few moments to scan Ch. 1 again so that I'd be ready for the second chapter. What struck me this time is the absence of voice. I have no feel for What's personality, no ideas about his attitudes or thoughts. I don't feel a connection to him.

I feel the same after reading the second ch. Although I'm not a fan of fantasy, some of them do appeal to me. I liked the warmth and humor of the Harry Potter books, for example. But after two chapters, I have no feelings for Whatrigal...and little concern for his welfare. And I need both.

~AudreyB

Wizard of Oz wrote 237 days ago

WTF

Michael - a great read. I enjoyed it very much and will put it on the shelf. A few thoughts as I read through all of what you have posted:

-I have to agree with the other comments that your title is great. It has mutliple meanings, all of them funny. Very memorable and engaging.

-There are a lot of moving pieces early on in these chapters. There are multiple story lines and hooks that are sprinkled throughout the chapters, which is great, provided the later chapters can resolve all of the various pieces you have put in motion. Not having read the later chapters I can only say that the story as it is laid out has a lot of ground to cover, and I hope I will get to read it sometime in print!

-Perhaps one area to look at would be the dwarven castle scene. The implications from the earlier chapters was that the task being set for What was nigh imposssible, but he gets in, grabs the sword, and out with relative ease. It may be that you have reasons (yet to be discovered by the reader) for making it this easy, but it seemed a bit anit-climatic after reading how difficult it was going to be for What to survive. It didn't truly feel like he was in any danger during that part. As I said, there may be more here than the reader is aware of, but working with what I have read, I felt perhaps a bit more peril would match the earlier descriptions.

All in all, a great read. Happy to put this one on the shelf for a while.

Best,
David
The Unseen War

Felicia Porter wrote 238 days ago

CWOG return read

Hi! I critique as I go along, please keep in mind everything I say is simply opinion, so feel free to discard all suggestions. Only you as the writer know what you’re trying to achieve.

Chapter One
* It feels contradictory to say he feels no pride or joy in pick pocketing and then say, “when he wasn’t buzzing with a fresh steal” something along those lines…anyway, buzzing makes him seem kind of happy in my opinion.
* Love the description of the city
* Very engaging chapter, I like the originality of the use of the telephone in the subway to make deposits…very clever.

Okay, sorry and yet this just proves how great a writer you are, but I read to chapter 4 without taking notes. Your story has me hooked as a reader, and as a writer, that’s definitely the most important thing. So many questions! Why did Nik betray him? What’s the top secret mission? Is someone ever going to remove the giant stick from Mr. Perriwinkle’s ass, because seriously it must be uncomfortable shoved that far up there?? Anyway, what a wonderfully unique twist on Oliver Twist! So delightful! Wl’ed, will be backed later.

Samuel Z Jones wrote 251 days ago

Something of a Neuromancer - Shadowrun thing going on her. It's well written; sparse prose and clear imagery, a bleak anti-hero and an alternative-Earth setting. I've always thought that classic Fantasy transposed to modern or futuristic settings needs more exploration, so it's nice to read this.

It needs something though - there's a lack of palpably crushing despair that anything with these Cyberpunk/Shadowrun overtones really needs to pull all the disparate elements together.

EHarkin wrote 254 days ago

Hi Michael,
I love the title of your book, it makes me want to laugh. Reading your work, I am impressed by the way you describe characters and settings. It enabled me to have a good image of the story in my head. The plot is really good too. You write in a way that keeps the reader hooked. I couldn't find any mistakes in it and you have obviously put a lot of effort into it. Well done.
Liz
Culling Time

EHarkin wrote 254 days ago

Hi Michael,
I love the title of your book, it makes me want to laugh. Reading your work, I am impressed by the way you describe characters and settings. It enabled me to have a good image of the story in my head. The plot is really good too. You write in a way that keeps the reader hooked. I couldn't find any mistakes in it and you have obviously put a lot of effort into it. Well done.
Liz
Culling Time

EHarkin wrote 254 days ago

Hi Michael,
I love the title of your book, it makes me want to laugh. Reading your work, I am impressed by the way you describe characters and settings. It enabled me to have a good image of the story in my head. The plot is really good too. You write in a way that keeps the reader hooked. I couldn't find any mistakes in it and you have obviously put a lot of effort into it. Well done.
Liz
Culling Time

Sam Barclay wrote 266 days ago

Hi Michael,

That's a pretty good pitch you have there. Anyway, just looked at the first page or so. It sounds great...liked it even more than 'Arrival.' I had to laugh at the name 'What.' Reminds me of a Beckett novel but it is spelt differently.
A few thoughts for you to chew on, but let me first make it clear that I really liked the start. It is brilliant in parts.

Para 5: do you need 'at that'...especially given two previous sentences start with the same word?
'Completely and utterly' ...I think I know why you've done this...to establish that he is not a willing lawbreaker, make him sympathetic to the reader, and emphasise his desperation that he is a person of conscience etc/ and his inner turmoil. However, 'utterly' is slightly redundant (nine words later you have another adverb in any case, although with a different meaning).

dyn 'bold' as that's evident in the action of dashing into traffic? in fact, taking out the adjective makes the action more three-dimensional because it is also foolhardly and overly time-conscious as well as simply 'bold'.
dyn 'both' in 'both friendly and furious' ? Deleting this word will also emphasise the alliteration to an even greater extent
'A bit' is padding
'However, Whatigral worked as a thief'...this has been established clearly already.

Hope this helps, Michael, even if you only agree with one of these comments. If i had space, I'd think about giving you a slot on my shelf. Feel free to 'blitz' any page you like in 'Dax'...the poor lad needs it!

5 stars and WL
Cheers, Sam

Jaclyn Aurore wrote 295 days ago

CWOG/WTF/YARG review cont'd
Chap 4
"color of recently fallen autumn leaves" - nice
"best friends weren't supposed to reveal dangerous secrets..." love it
"bloated gasbag" - ha!
love the bit about forgetting animals too ... cute
magic bean... cracking shell, not by sitting on it, accidentally or otherwise - love it :)
best chapter so far methinks - love Nik, Dungary, and this ridiculous adventure that they have no chance in completing successfully

chap 5
k so why was Nik included in this mission? do we find out later? i'm going to assume it's either a) to punish her for something as well, or b) to slow What down, making his already impossible task more so... even still, i think the consequences for her will be as dire, no? and so if What is in this trance and forgetting that he has very little time to complete mission impossible, wouldn't she be reminding him instead of sitting nearby trying not to be annoyed by What and Kylie's stupidity?

otherwise - good.

chap 6
freshly dipped in ink??? does this have anything to do with Ageliss?
ah ok, so not big punishment for Nik - but it's possible then she doesn't see What as his best friend if she truly doesn't care for his well being - now i think there's defo some ulterior motive - like she was hired to sabotage the mission and all she can think about is the executive perks... not her supposed best friend.
"stale and warm down here" - 'here' makes the sentence present tense - i think should be 'there'
- ooh mention of a gargoyle, does DJ know about this?
"he didn't dare even to breathe..." i don't think you need the 'even to'
"he heard the bean crackle just before he heard the bean break" - i'd omit the second 'he heard' and just say "just before it broke"
"not that i didn't think we wouldn't" - double negative, shouldn't it be "not that i thought we wouldn't" ???

oh error - Nik says "yee-hoo" and tosses her glasses high into the air... no mention of catching them
yet a few sentences later she punches the air and her glasses fly from her hand and hit What in the face. tsk tsk.

also - not a hook... what the deuce? this isn't a very good place to end a chapter, nor is it a good place to end an authonomy post - of course i want more, but this right here just didn't seem finished :(

favorite part? the fact that you have a very Lord of the Rings/Hobbit adventure - but in New York... g'damn good. give me a little more to chapter six please... then seven and eight whilst you're at it ;-)

errr.... didn't you have more uploaded before?
Jac x
My Life Without Me

Nigel Fields wrote 303 days ago

Michael,
Such vivid and likable prose. I am amazed how quickly you got me to sympathize with a thief. WHAT is a great character. And the name Pegrimus Perrywinkle has such a fantasy-like flare about it. Your first chapter is excellent. What an opening should be. I had to take a look at What the Elf since I am partial to an Oliver Twist type of story--glad you put that in your tags. I'll pop back for more.
Highly starred.
Best,
John Campbell (A Lark Ascending)

TobyC wrote 312 days ago

What, the Elf by Michael Matula

YARG

The long pitch makes What, the Elf, sound like a thrilling adventure into the life of a not-so-typical protagonist. There's enough information to draw the reader in, yet it's the voice that sells it. It's as though a narrator is sitting right there sharing the pitch. I can't wait to read the book.

Now, I'm disappointed. I've already critiqued this book and put it on the shelf back in February. Once I read the first paragraph, I remembered it - it's that good!

TobyC
Dreams Bound in Black

TobyC wrote 312 days ago

What, the Elf by Michael Matula

YARG

The long pitch makes What, the Elf, sound like a thrilling adventure into the life of a not-so-typical protagonist. There's enough information to draw the reader in, yet it's the voice that sells it. It's as though a narrator is sitting right there sharing the pitch. I can't wait to read the book.

Now, I'm disappointed. I've already critiqued this book and put it on the shelf back in February. Once I read the first paragraph, I remembered it - it's that good!

TobyC
Dreams Bound in Black

TobyC wrote 312 days ago

What, the Elf by Michael Matula

YARG

The long pitch makes What, the Elf, sound like a thrilling adventure into the life of a not-so-typical protagonist. There's enough information to draw the reader in, yet it's the voice that sells it. It's as though a narrator is sitting right there sharing the pitch. I can't wait to read the book.

Now, I'm disappointed. I've already critiqued this book and put it on the shelf back in February. Once I read the first paragraph, I remembered it - it's that good!

TobyC
Dreams Bound in Black

Jaclyn Aurore wrote 315 days ago

CWOG/WTF/YARG - reread because it's on my shelf and i do that...
not much to say on chapter 1 - it's brilliantly written - though I still notice your Thomas the Tank need for two adjectives per noun... the train huffed and puffed, wheeshed and whooshed, and caused confusion and delay... anyhoo, for Thomas it annoys the piss out of me, but i got nothing bad to say about What...
i liked the unnaturally brilliant blue eyes on the elf, and the addition of the flecks of crimson - problem is, from a distance, would you see blue and flecks of red, or would you just see some sort of weird purpley colour? now i need to see these eyes as i'm distracted by them...fire in ice? bad ass

"You want me to tell him that you're busy" - i'd omit 'that' here, you don't need it... starting the question with 'you' makes her informal so you can drop the 'that' and make it less formal too - just a suggestion

chapter 2
"We'll tell you where to go..." - ha!

other than that - no comments... i still love your name choices

chapter 3
This is a long one...
hmm, i might rearrange the sentence about the group's ringleader, Lester Budge - there's a lot of info jam-packed in there... so what's necessary... name, age, elf... i'd drop 'group's ringleader' and the action (pointing to ceiling)... put those two things into a separate sentence, it'll read smoother

don't like the question "What made this time any different?" simply because i'm now attuned to What being a name... i don't think you should start sentences with "What" unless you are referring to the elf
maybe "So why was Mr. Perrywinkle giving What a second chance now; what made this time any different?"

gah - how is that a win-win??? stupid perrywinkle.

ok you know me, more to follow
Jac x
My Life Without Me

dottie davis wrote 318 days ago

Hi Michael,

This story is more my style and I love the beginning. There are only a few nit-picky things. I have a hard time with the name. everytime I see it, it looks like "What a gal" to me and I think it's a girl, but clearly this is a boy.

Also, I would use he and him a little more often than using the name.

there are a few sentences that are broken up that I think should be one ex: Speaking of the hunt. He had to get back to work. I like choppy sentences for impact, but these don't seem to merit that kind of impact.

otherwise, a great read! I look forward to reading more as time allows.

Thanks!

Dottie
(Larimar -- the Hidden City)

MadReader wrote 326 days ago

This is such a funny idea. I was drawn into your world very quickly but I did get consued sometimes with your main characters name - is it too clever - WTF who cares This is very adventurous im glad i read it.

MR

BrandonF wrote 326 days ago

I enjoyed reading this story and am interested to see where it goes. I liked the Abbot and Costello 'who's on first base' moment with the conversation between kylie and What in the fifth chapter, although I expected something like that, it was nicely fitted in and did not feel forced.

In terms of story the only real criticisms I have are that the elves just seem to be humans with different cultures, there's nothing distinctly non-human about them. Also that breaking into the dwarven castle was too quick and straightforward. These are extremely minor things though and come down to my own personal taste. I think the scouts where I am a leader would enjoy this.

Hope to see the next part up here soon

Brandon

Garen Osiar wrote 327 days ago

CWOG

First of all, great work on your descriptions. The images you create make the story more interesting.

I did notice a few things you might want to consider editing.
In Chapter 1:
"Something that set them apart." Do you mean set him apart? He is referring to himself in this sentence; however, I understand there are other elves in the city.

"An army of motor vehicles churned" turned?

"Taking a deep breath, What reluctantly drew open the door and stepped foot inside." I think you want to eliminate the word, "foot".

In Chapter 3 you have a paragrpah that could use clarification. It is a conversation between Mr. Perrywinkle and What. The paragraph begins, "That's all you have to say for yourself?" The part I am referring to is after What says, "Yes, sir." I think the next line is suppsoed to be said by Mr. Perriwinkle, but it isn't in quotes and it isn't the start of a new paragraph.

You have a fun story line and I enjoyed reading what you have written so far. Best of luck to you!

The Ambitious Fox wrote 328 days ago

You have written in such a way that it is obvious that there is a beginning, middle and end, even in the beginning section. This is because the beginning not only introduces the main protagonist "What" well, but it also relays a hint at what might come later in the story. The social commentary for both the elves and humans respectively, interwoven within the story, is also a pleasure to read that works well inside the foundations that you have set.

Sometimes, the language can seem to be written too "flowery" for the sake of forced imagery however. This includes the majority of the metaphors used that seem out of place by the language that you use, but can be used if the language is changed. At parts, the story seems to be unnecessarily drawn out, such as the beginning with "What" at the crossing, waiting to cross the street, or where he's speaking with the other elf before going in to see the boss. This is detrimental to the flow, where you could potentially replace this with more narrative accommodating the plot or the like.

All else being said, it is a charming fantasy novel with what is a potentially interesting plot. Your characters are easy to visualise and seem different from each other. This is particularly emphasised in the discussions between "What" and the others. A lot more work can be accomplished in relation to imagery however, which seems to be your weak area in the whole rubicon of your abilities. Apart from this, you are evidently a competent writer that has promise for the future.

Hope this helps!

Ambitious Fox :)