meera taj recent comments

written 610 days ago

Grimoire Review

Immediately you throw me to the action, which I think is tough to do in fantasy without turning the reader off to the story. I always like a strong female character, and an unrepentant killer is as interesting as I could want for the prison environment of chapter one.

Riley's a nice name for this woman as well, not all fluff and femininity like Alice or Penelope. Can't wait to see what this girl's capable of if her former residence at the back of the prison is any indicator.

In addition to introducing what I assume will be the central character for the story, I've noticed at least two well-armed and formidable factions vying for control of this world. The "Imperials" and maybe a rebel(?) force. I wonder if using the term "imperial" peeves you like it does me, not in the sense that it doesn't sit right but that it is an often-used staple of conveying a malevolent force of nefarious authority or an otherwise evil governing body in need of overthrow. I only call attention to this because I'm in the same boat with my story and am currently rewriting my "Imperials" in order to avoid similarities with 'Star Wars', 'Skyrim', 'Roanoke', et cetera. Other than the wordplay, your execution of their description so far deserves a thumbs up.

And then there's the ship. I didn't read the pitch until after the chapter because I wanted to let the meat define my taste for this, and until the mention of a gun barrel I was in the dark as to a period setting or some version of such. Just before the mention of the ship, I assumed this might be a space adventure but the warship on water makes me think of epic sea battles. Upon finishing the chapter and the pitch, I'm now very interested in what might well include flying machines and giant guns of war. Getting this across in the first chapter and cover insert is very impressive. On a side note, the ship's name makes me think of that "lost" colony in the northern Carolinas. I am not sure what to make of that yet, but being a fan of the beaches (and shipwrecks) in that sector of the world, I hope I'm not just reading too much into what the moniker will entail.

All in all, I like what I've read and will keep this in my watchlist as a result. I am not usually a fan of straight-up magical plotlines, and I still have no clear clue as to how much or if that is central to your plot here, but I will be glad to star this highly and return eager to see where Riley ends up next. view book

written 611 days ago

Club Grimoire Review

Noticed the Yardbirds and Animals reference, but if there were more I didn't notice them for my own lack of culture, not your wonderful presentation :)
I was not familiar with this story before your rendition, so I didn't have a fairy tale reference to look back on, but I would say the first story was entertaining enough to keep me interested to the climax. The wordplay between the animals is delicious and their inability to accept their likely failure as musicians is just as comical, but the payoff is ultimately the final paragraph.
I was fooled going in, thinking this to be strictly for kids but was delightfully corrected. Thank you for this entertaining piece. view book

written 613 days ago

Club Grimoire Review:

This is definitely the first Arthur tale I've heard of taking place in at least two points in time, not to mention two Arthurs.

The first location in the story seems a good place to start, someplace that connects both of the central characters. I think you were hinting that the old man could be Merlin, which could also be pretty neat.

Being about King Arthur, your story already has a lure big and familiar enough to set it apart from others. The original (as far as I can tell) spin you've adapted is surely enough to highlight it among the rest. Its rating here is as good an indicator of its popularity as you should need. view book

written 626 days ago

a YALF/YARG review

Chapter 1:
I definitely see a girl struggling to fit into her environment. Reminds me a little of that movie, "Blood in, blood out" where one of the main characters desperately seeks acceptance in a hispanic gang despite his appearance. It's sad and universally relevant in many of the less-than-diverse cultures out there. Blanca is flawed, an eager-to-please young woman who is mean to her mother and overtly racist as a result of her struggle. This makes her a great character in my eyes, ripe for development.
As well, I like the sprinkling of spanish words in the narrative. They were easy to follow, aside from the slang, but the character does well in the introductory chapter to hint at the meaning, so I wasn't lost.

Chapter 2:
Blanca's "friends" turn out to be as expected, products of a culture promoting faction over unity. I like the mention of the area code as a secondary label for the "gang", as well as comparing them to the neighboring asian crew, showing that the racism is more than a two-sided story. It also fleshes out the environment as hostile to Blanca, but still a few rungs below other places where violence is even more a way of life.
And in keeping with development, we get a glimpse of Blanca's heritage, her father is more than just a photograph.

Chapter 3:
More insight into Blanca's home life, and her long relationship with David. Very revealing stuff about Lina's mother, and her own aversion to the church. It's tough that she is so enamored of David but cannot shake the group mentality. I'm glad the first chapters invest in backstory before the major conflict, and all while maintaining a decent pace. Very entertaining stuff, and perfect for young adults of any background as far as I'm concerned. view book