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The Sorcerers of Hisderat, Chapter 4.2

by HarryHardy


Chapter 4

That One Day You Regret Having a Portal for a Cat Flap

“Armory this time?” asked Rose.

“Probably better. Dude had quite some power. Better safe than sorry now that we can actually go in prepared.”

“Good point. Let’s go then,” she agreed.

“After you,” said Harry.

Rose smiled in reply and the two of them set off towards the armory. A quick walk back to the elevator they’d come through was followed by a two minute elevator ride to the central hub which they’d entered earlier. This time, they took the door labeled 2. After one more elevator trip down, they arrived at another white corridor. Right at the end of the corridor, stood the entrance marked with a plaque that simply said "ARMORY".

It was one of the largest rooms in the entire agency. The training area and the airplane hangar were the only ones that were larger. The walls were constructed from reinforced concrete. It also had one of the most extensive protective runic arrays set into the walls. The metallic grey walls, besides the many weapons, contained no decorations whatsoever. The lighting came from lighting arrays set into the roof.

Harry stepped inside first. The four sides were covered in the four primary types of equipment ranging from, firearms, melee weapons, and enchanted protective clothing, to armor. A door set in the northeast corner led off to ten changing rooms.

Harry took a look around and spotted what he wanted. Need to go for the level 5 stuff this time. He made straight for the enchanted clothes.

“Rose, make sure to grab the level 5. Dude was able to cut pretty deep with that slasher. I have a feeling he would punch right through a level 3,” he advised her as he grabbed a pair of cargo pants and a hoodie to go with a sleeveless t-shirt.

“Not forgetting anytime soon,” she replied, scratching at her side, where the bandage was probably chafing against her skin. 

Harry quickly stepped into a changing room.

Two minutes later he was done and headed over to the swords to wait for Rose. As he waited, he glanced at the corner of the wall where the personal weapons of the higher ranked agents were kept. His sword had been hanging there unused for close to a week now. To take or not to take? Last time we had to blend in. Guess this time’s the same. As he continued to mull it over, he heard the door of the changing room close.

“Going sleeveless again?” asked Rose, walking out of the changing room.

“Uh huh,” he replied, turning around,” well it’s not like you’re wearing something new.” She was wearing her usual blouse and jeans along with a pullover.

“ My outfit protects my arms just fine." she said, letting out a sigh,” but yours does NOT!! That’s why I keep telling you to change it.”

“Well...you know...I am pretty good at dodging,” replied Harry.

“I am never going to win this argument, am I?” she said, doing her best to look exasperated. “ So, are we taking any weapons?”

“Probably better to leave them behind. Blend in and all that.”

“Guess so,” she agreed,” so let’s go then.”

“Wait for the…” began Harry but was interrupted by buzzing from both their communicators,” I mean we leave now.” Time to topple the dirt king. Mysterious or no you are going to get paid back with interest. He opened up the message to look at the address.

“Godoguy Lane,” he read aloud.

“Hmm...yaa. I remember the place. How ‘bout you?” Rose asked.

“Think I can. Let’s go.”

“Okay then,” she agreed, giving him a small smile,” let’s get going Mr. I can go sleeveless and not get hurt.”

It was Harry’s turn to sigh.

“Come on. We have a dirt king to catch,” he said turning and leaving, Rose beside him. The two of them made their way out to the entrance. The door marked with the number 1 was opening as they stepped out.

“Glad I caught you two,” came a voice. It was Jenna. She emerged from the door to the Healthcare division, holding a bottle. She was breathing fast. “I wanted to give you something.”

She handed Rose the large yellow bottle, which was full of some gelatinous looking liquid.

“What’s this?” asked Rose, opening it and giving it a whiff,” smells like cotton candy.”

“A little something I cooked up Miss McNamara. Perfected it a couple of days ago and now that I have it bottled, I’m delivering it to everyone going out to the field. It’s a modified painkiller potion. Since you are going out to the field so quickly, without waiting for that to heal up fully, I think that you might especially appreciate it.”

“Ohh...thanks so much Jenna,” said Rose,” I’d hug you but I have...you know.” She gestured to the bulge from the bandage.

“You're welcome. Now I don’t want to see the two of you again tonight.”

“And here I thought you actually liked us,” said Harry, mimicking tears.

“Oh you…,” she said, trying and failing not to laugh,” get out of here!! Come back safe.” Harry and Rose exchanged a look. Identical grins were exchanged.

“Yes MOM!!!” the two of them chorused, charging out of the wall before Jenna could come up with a reply.

They spent a few moments laughing before the seriousness of what they were about to do sunk in once again.

“Let’s go nab a dirt king,” said Harry, rubbing his hands together in his best supervillain impression. This will be fun.

“Teleport outside or in here?” asked Rose.

“Anything’s fine by me.”

“Here's probably better.”

“‘Kay,” agreed Harry before he disappeared in a flash of blue light. He appeared in the corner of a deserted looking street. The street lights were all off. Looks like the council still didn’t get around to replacing those.Typical. In the rapidly fading light, it looked like every human in the neighborhood was either already inside or hurrying to get there. The only occupants of the alley were a few stray cats and the occasional bird.

“Let’s get to that address,” began Rose,” and find a way to get to... apartment…uh...lemme check...501.”

“Great. That means the 5th floor right?

“Um… I think so. Maybe. Probably.”

“ Let’s go check it out I guess. Get the lay of the land.”

“‘Okay,” she said, nodding, and the two of them made their way along the quiet street and towards the large white apartment building looming out of a side street.

It was a five minute walk and soon they were in front of the rusted iron gates of the complex, sitting adjacent to the River Zarate. The white building rose twenty stories into the air. The paint was chipped and peeling off in several places and if it wasn’t for some tactically arranged runic arrays the large cracks that ran through some of the walls would probably have caused it's collapse a long time ago. There was a small balcony on each floor. Behind them and in front of the building was a small park surrounded by several alleyways. The park was deserted although the various bits of trash scattered about showed that it had been in use until very recently.

Harry studied the walls. Despite the crumbling nature of the building itself the perimeter walls didn’t appear to be in a similar state. The concrete was holding strong and there didn’t appear to be any obvious weak points. There was a massive sign painted on the wall proclaiming it to be Vemlanyen's Residencies. That is when he spotted a possible ticket in.

Right under the sign, several hand painted labels of various apartment numbers were laid in orderly rows accompanied by small rectangles marked by tape. They were all glowing a faint white. Portals. Cat Flaps. Oohhh.. this one is going to be even more fun than I thought.

As the two of them strode past them, Harry pointed out the glowing portals, indicating the large neon 501 that was somewhere right in the middle of a row of portals. Rose gave him a wink in return.

The two of them continued all the way to the banks of the sluggish river. Then, making a turn, they kept a close eye on the portal marked 501 to look for anything that could give them away if they wanted to enter through it. There didn’t appear to be any cameras pointed in the direction nor were there any guards at the entrance to the complex. Well this is almost too easy.

“Alright I’ll transform into something and sneak in there. I’ll try to get a window or the small balcony doors to open, and you teleport right in…” began Harry after a few minutes of observation.

“...to the balcony to cause a distraction and then you do your surprise reveal thing and nab him. That’s the seventh time you came up with the exact same plan.”

Harry raised his eyebrows.

“What? I can remember tha…” she shot back.

“No not that. You actually counted them.”

“Yeah,” she said, shrugging,” now shall we break into this house already.”

“Yes indeed,” agreed Harry, deciding that now was not the time to tease her about that. Time to give this guy a taste of his own medicine. Harry slowly walked towards the building, keeping a cautious eye out for any hidden cameras that he hadn’t noticed earlier.

As they approached the cat flap, a large ginger cat came bounding out of the alley adjacent to the park, heading right for the portals. Who’s is th...ohhh...we got lucky. He thrust out his hand and a small blue rectangle of light appeared, blocking the portal marked 501 just as the excited cat attempted to step through it.

He gestured to Rose, who got the message and ran for the cat. She picked up the cat, quickly murmuring a spell, and causing it to instantly fall asleep in her arms. She held it up to Harry who took a good look at its features.

Concentrating, he pictured the cat in his mind. As soon as the mental image solidified, he gathered up his magic, feeling the smooth flow of energy within him and willing it to change. The magic began to fluctuate rapidly and he felt a slight itching sensation as his body began to rearrange itself. Ten seconds later, Harry the cat held up its front paw to dispel the blue force field. Harry charged into the portal.

He felt the usual tingle and soon found himself stepping through a rectangle of tape onto a balcony. The door was open and there was nothing stopping him. At least nothing that I can see. Okay well...let’s see what’s inside.

Harry walked in as stealthily as he could. Inside, sitting on a couch, and casting spells on the briefcase, was the dirt king. He took a few seconds to get a better look. He was a bit taller than Harry remembered from the courtyard. He had piercing grey eyes and looked like someone who had missed a couple of meals in the past couple of weeks.  Dude is definitely working alone.  Well...time for payback. I wish I was the one punching him first. Oh well...let’s get this done fast.

Harry slowly edged towards the briefcase taking care not to disturb the dirt king from his work. He hid behind a large chair and began to survey the apartment for signs of any defensive spells. The only thing of note was the overly bright bathroom door which appeared to be a cleverly disguised escape portal.

After deciding that Rose should not encounter any issues with teleporting in and attacking the dirt king, he sent her a ping on his communicator. It took him a second in cat form as he had to strike a bit of a yoga pose to get one of his paws of the ground to tap the watch. Okay Rose. Do your thing.

There was a bright flash of hot pink as Rose appeared on the balcony and proceeded to march right in through the door. He heard a surprised shout as their target was most likely levitated up and blasted against a wall.

Showtime. Harry silently emerged from his hiding place. Their target, wearing a pair of faded black jeans and an old blue shirt, was held tightly against the wall; Rose, hands glowing pink, was holding him in place with what looked like a localized containment shield.

Harry bounded straight for the briefcase. He arrived at the table that it was kept at and transformed back into a human. He smiled at the man and gave him a cheeky wave.

“Good Evening,” said Harry, waving his hand in a large U shape over the briefcase looking for any booby traps that had been added by the dirt king.

“Evening,” replied the man, a look of recognition on his face. “You’re those two from the courtyard? Well I have to say, this was a neat plan.”

“Thank you,” replied Harry, giving an elaborate bow. Well. That’s a first. Someone who replies with something other than every cuss word known to man. Doesn't mean that he is going to get off easy though. Harry ran another basic detection spell on the case before looking up at Rose, who was busy concentrating on keeping the dirt king afloat.

“Prickle?”

“Yes Wings?” asked Rose, turning towards him.

“Do you…” began Harry but a large thump interrupted him. He turned to see the dirt king, glowing a midnight black, pick himself off the floor. Oh crap. Freaking aura. This guy knows his stuff.

Rose whirled around just as the man erected a hasty black shield and sent out a shower of blue sparks. Harry prepared to dodge, but as the sparks got closer, he realized they were not aimed at him. The twisting and turning sparks flew through the air, starting to vibrate as they passed by him, and struck the case with a nasty hiss. The case began to glow an angry shade of purple.

Crap.


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Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:42 pm
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MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi Harry,

Mailice a final time for today here with a short review! :D

Because of this chapter, it's about time I had a short look at the characters; here at least for Harry and Rose.

Let's start with Harry. He is open and self-confident. As already mentioned and seen in the last chapter, he also seems to be a bit fussy, and especially when not at work, a bit more of a diva. He's very particular in that and I like that. He's very warm, he puts other person in focus more than himself while he's working, which I think is a great plus. At the same time, you also notice that he is reserved towards his superior, Johnson. He tries to explain himself on many points, whether he wants to hear it or not. That also shows his childlike and naive streak. I don't know exactly how old he is, but maybe it's some kind of residual glow from his childhood, or maybe it's just a tick of his. In any case, I like this structure because it has something positive and something negative about it. Also his sometimes very optimistic nature can be good and bad, depending on the situation.

Rose... yes, Rose is cautious. She seems to prefer to plan everything in advance before jumping into action, going over everything in her head rather than loudly and mindlessly kicking down a door. She also seems to be more of a second hand to Harry, but that may be my impression that I see her more like an appendage so far, and that will unfold more in the chapters to come. Since we're still at the beginning, a lot can still change. She also seems to be rather realistic, and indirectly shows it openly. She is up for fun and yet also serious.

I like that dynamic, builds it up great especially here in this chapter in the mission, in that they complement each other. I have to say this definitely has a big plus point with me and has made me curious to see how the story continues. Since one of the genres is still Romance, I'm still waiting for that. :D

I'd like to interject here that a lot of your descriptions start with the walls. (Is that something you study? :D Just kidding!) If you want to start with that, it would also be good if you could phrase it differently, putting in there impressions and feelings of Harry or the particular person who is currently having the POV. For example, you could describe it as "smothering the grey cement" or "breathing in the hollow asbestos surfaces", to name a few.

That's just a little nitpicky thing of mine, but that stands out there for me too. On the other hand, I have to say that you do a good job of hooking the reader with your structure and how the story develops. First of all, I was totally surprised to meet the mother and how the tension continued to build until the end, but on the other hand I was also thrilled by your division here and how you manage to keep it up part by part.

I don't know how to describe it, but I somehow "see" a little more between and behind the lines when I read a text and notice how far someone has planned and built up the story when they publish a chapter. The structure and presentation at the moment is really, really good, and I actually expect that when I get to the most recent chapters, this structure will have increased even more.

Have fun writing!

Mailice




HarryHardy says...


Thank youu for the review!!

The Romance...welll...

Yes my current major is walls xD...I guess walls are the first thing I think of when describing an indoor area...I should probably change that up :D



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Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:34 am
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MaybeAndrew wrote a review...



Hey! Andrew here to review your chapter! This was an interesting one, but I have to agree with the others that time was wasted with strange transitions. The dialogue was good if a tad childish. Overall I would like to know more about the world, I assumed this was just urban fantasy but the magic cat flaps made me think otherwise...unless of course the only one who had it was the dirt king, but it didn't seem that way in the description.
But into specifics!

“Rose, make sure to grab the level 5. Dude was able to cut pretty deep with that slasher. I have a feeling he would punch right through a level 3,” he advised her as he grabbed a pair of cargo pants and a hoodie to go with a sleeveless t-shirt.

Wait why don't they just always have the best stuff? Limited supply?

Time for #unneededspaces
” well it’s not like you’re wearing something new.” She was wearing her usual blouse and jeans along with a pullover.


“ My outfit protects my arms just fine." she said, letting out a sigh,” but yours does NOT!! That’s why I keep telling you to change it.”
“Well...you know...I am pretty good at dodging,” replied Harry.

“I am never going to win this argument, am I?” she said, doing her best to look exasperated.

These folks are so obviously in love it's almost painful.
she agreed,” so let’s go then.”

began Harry but was interrupted by buzzing from both their communicators,” I mean we leave now.”

she agreed, giving him a small smile,” let’s get going Mr. I can go sleeveless and not get hurt.”

Also, I have to agree with the other reviews a bit immature, unless of course, a part of their personalities is kinda acting like kids, if so, then maybe be a little more direct about it. Like, have someone call them childish.
asked Rose, opening it and giving it a whiff,” smells like cotton candy

said Rose,” I’d hug you but I have...you know.”

she said, trying and failing not to laugh,” get out of here!! Come back safe.”

Total mom vibes
“ Let’s go check it out I guess. Get the lay of the land.”

she said, shrugging,” now shall we break into this house already."

I think that's all of them!

Mysterious or no you are going to get paid back with interest.

Such a dorky thing to think, I love it.

It was Jenna

Do we know Jenna? If so, a bit of a reminder in the chapter would be helpful XD, since we are just getting to know some of these guys. (or maybe I'm just dumb) Something like "It was Jenna, the women who had healed rose countless times, including today(?)" would be nice
^okay, that was kinda bad, but you get my point.

rubbing his hands together in his best supervillain impression.

Once again, so dorky. Our dorky somewhat childish characters are growing on me so fast.
blocking the portal marked 501 just as the excited cat attempted to step through it.
Haha, such a great image, though I would love a description the cat slamming into the magic wall.

But that's all just my two cents!
“Do you…” began Harry but a large thump interrupted him. He turned to see the dirt king, glowing a midnight black, pick himself off the floor. Oh crap. Freaking aura. This guy knows his stuff.

This is cool, I just want more descriptions! (:
Crap.

Great ending
Overall very fun! Sometimes a tiny bit rushed or clunky, but besides that fantastic.
Thanks, and keep writing!
-Andrew




HarryHardy says...


Thank you for the review!!
Ahh this one is not really one specific category. For now there's buildings and streets but there's a lot more in this world...



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Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:41 am
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JustPerks wrote a review...



Hello there! Thanks for requesting another review.

A couple of other reviewers have already touched on a few things that I noticed, but I do want to point out that there is a lot of telling here - mostly in how things are described in what I would call "transition" scenes since the characters are changing locations/leaving a building/things like that.

Some advice on that would simply be to consider a direct scene change -- not describing every movement - i.e. entering elevator (1) to enter corridor (1) then elevator (2) and so on. Rather, you could write the characters arriving at the "Armory" and mentioning the elevators or how the trip was always kind of boring cause it felt like they did the same thing twice, if that makes sense.

I again like the dynamic between Rose and Harry here - I think a few dialogue fragments seem a bit too childish -- as I picture them as adults, and at least in their twenties as it had been mentioned they had been working together for years. Mostly the "NOT!!!" and "Mr. I can go sleeveless and not get hurt" seem a bit off to me, even if they are good friends and partners. I can picture teenagers talking like this, but not quite trained agents.

I like that Rose and Harry have Jenna looking after them, even if she's a side character. This little dynamic seems cute, and something for Rose to help with her pain is a good idea. The repetition of finding "a dirt king" definitely lightens the mood here, which is good because the "silly" stuff works nicely with a slightly less serious tone -- at least a lighter tone in certain scenes.

The action scene read pretty nicely as well, with Harry and Rose showing up at the scene and letting the reader know a bit about how portals work and how miniature ones can be used to their advantage. I am curious to see how Dirt King deals with the two of them now, and if he starts to show his true sides - whether he's good or bad.

I liked this chapter a lot! I'm glad you posted it in two pieces, and I think the chunks work well together, blending in dialogue with description. Nicely done and I hope this helped!




HarryHardy says...


Thanks for the review!!!
Ah...okay...I was trying to sneak in a bit of layout for the compound there because there were some questions as to how these separate sections connected to one other. Something I'll look into changing.
Ah well...I write their dialogue based of off how I usually talk with my friends....I guess there's no prize for guessing why it sounds like a couple of teenagers. ;)
Ahh...fun fact....there is a third part...this is a bit of a long chapter clocking in at almost 5,500 words overall.
Thanks for the review again and it was definitely helpful. :D



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Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:08 pm
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Que wrote a review...



Hello HarryHardy!

he grabbed a pair of cargo pants and a hoodie to go with a sleeveless t-shirt.

Interesting, so the armor is just regular clothing with, say, protective spells? And if so, do they put their own clothing in there, or is there always some sort of clothing in their size...? :0

His sword had been hanging there unused for close to a week now. To take or not to take? Last time we had to blend in. Guess this time’s the same. As he continued to mull it over, he heard the door of the changing room close.

I bet the sword does something magical and awesome! I'm not exactly sure why they have to blend in, though? Later on when they find the dirt king, he recognizes them anyway... Also, they seem to have quite a bit of weaponry on their hands with magic alone, so I'm curious to know how an actual weapon would help. You might want to include a line like, "I guess I'm not taking it, then" because Harry was deliberating and then I couldn't remember if he actually took the sword or not!

“Godoguy Lane,”

hah!

several hand painted labels of various apartment numbers were laid in orderly rows accompanied by small rectangles marked by tape. They were all glowing a faint white. Portals. Cat Flaps.

The other chapter, I didn't realize that all of the apartment owners had cat flaps! So I'm wondering now, how does the cat know which portal to go in? Could cats just end up going to a bunch of different apartments on accident? I'm curious how they can get this system to work!

“Alright I’ll transform into something and sneak in there. I’ll try to get a window or the small balcony doors to open, and you teleport right in…” began Harry after a few minutes of observation.

“...to the balcony to cause a distraction and then you do your surprise reveal thing and nab him. That’s the seventh time you came up with the exact same plan.”

Interesting! So is there a rule to teleportation that you can't get into someone's house, or is the balcony just safer? Why not both transform into cats? I'd maybe like to see more feedback here, like Harry saying, "Well, you just can't argue with a plan that works! Do you have anything better to counter all possibilities?" before going in.

a large thump interrupted him. He turned to see the dirt king, glowing a midnight black, pick himself off the floor. Oh crap. Freaking aura. This guy knows his stuff.

Oops! Got a little confused here--could Rose only hold her shield while she was facing him, and so he dropped to the ground while she turned?? It was a little hard to tell because one moment he was levitating and the next he was on the ground. Also, I'm very curious about what these auras say about people and their magic!

Okay so overall thoughts: I like the development here, and I'm really interested in what this "dirt king" has to say for himself, because in the few scenes we've seen of him he seems to be a decent kind of guy. I'm curious if he will actually end up being good, or if Rose and Harry will just have to take him down. Either way, interesting developments to come!

Like Rain said below me, you write really nice banter between Harry and Rose. However, while it's really fun to read, it also seems to make the two of them one person? We see everything from Harry's perspective, and it's kind of like Rose is an extension of him. I would really like to see some more from her. Not that there shouldn't be nice banter, but maybe times when Rose disagrees with Harry, but decides to go along anyway because of all the years they've worked together, or things she specifically cares about which he doesn't think of. I just want to see their separate personalities working together a bit more.

Anyway, really ominous ending here! I'm anxious to find out what happens next, as always. Nice job creating tension and cliffhangers!! :)

-Q




HarryHardy says...


Thank you for the review!!
Ahh...I get what you mean with Harry and Rose. I'll work on it in the coming chapters.
I'll add in those things you suggested. And to answer a few of you're questions.
They just pick out clothing based on their size. There's also a set for the top level agents.
The blend in thing is so that they appear like normal people when they walk up to the apartment. It's to blend in among the people.
Ahh...the cats. I'll try to explain that better. Ahh the aura is how he got out of the shield there. Once Rose turned away for a second, he used that to use his aura to cut off her shield spell and drop to the ground. He used Rose turning away as a distraction to fire the sparks off.
And thank you..I'm glad you like the banter and the cliffhanger.
Thanks again for another great review!!



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Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:12 pm
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EternalRain wrote a review...



Hey there!

Woohoo for more Harry and Rose banter! I am seriously loving these two. Right now there’s a nice balance between the silliness and teasing in their relationship as well as the seriousness of their job. I also like how it’s still a bit unclear at the moment whether or not they like each other.... :0 It definitely adds a bit of mystery, as well as depth, to their relationship. As readers we don’t know how long they’ve known each other (right? maybe it was mentioned in a previous chapter, if so, oopsie) or how they came to know each other.

Ooh, one other thing is that I’m wondering how old they are. Are they in their mid teens, late teens or early twenties? Older? Not only would it be nice to know about the characters but also about the organization!! (For example, if this organization were employing people at young ages, like mid-teens).

Now onto some more specific comments-

Then, making a turn, they kept a close eye on the portal marked 501 to look for anything that could give them away if they wanted to enter through it.


I’m not sure I quite understand this- are they just waiting to see if someone will spot them?

Also, I’m a biiiiit confused about the whole portal/apartment thing works. Are there, like, different portals for each apartment number, that are used for the cats? It seems sort of odd to have cat portals, but I mean, that’s pretty neat haha. Or maybe I misunderstood.

Inside, sitting on a couch, and casting spells on the briefcase, was the dirt king.


When Harry pops in here, I wish we got a little more description! Like is Harry surprised by what he looks like (I’m assuming he’s getting a better look at him?) or something like that. It feels like it’s missing some “dirt king” description.

Left us on a cliffhanger! I really want to know what the man did to the briefcase. Curse it or something? Bomb? Can’t wait to find out, and see the implications of whatever happened to the briefcase 0-0

Peace,
~EternalRain




HarryHardy says...


Thanks for the review!!
Ahh...the portals are for like the apartments where they have cats.
And right I'll add some more description there.
Thanks again!!!



HarryHardy says...


And something I totally forgot to reply to...they are supposed to be in the early twenties...i'l try to sneak that in somewhere. So far I could't find a spot for it.



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Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:00 pm
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Seirre wrote a review...



Hey Harry! I thought I'd drop by to review Chapter 4.2!

I love the balance of action/plot development, and dialogue/character interactions that we see in this chapter. The story moves at a nice pace, enough to keep the reader's interest, but it also shows us the character's personalities!

I also love the relationship between Harry and Rose. It's really supportive, and I can tell they really care about each other (but the question is, do they like each other??), and their teasing interactions and "arguments" are just the cutest. I think you write the dialogue between them really well - it's fun and light and gives a lovely break between the action-packed fight scenes.

One general critique I have for this chapter is vocabulary. Throughout the chapter you tend to use the same words to convey the same ideas. For example, "elevator", "corridor", "appeared", "reappeared", "building", "walls", etc. Going through specific examples would take up a lot of space and probably not be the most useful way to fill this review, so I won't do that, but I would just suggest you read through and see how many words you use two or three or more times in one paragraph. This is more of a polishing touch, and maybe not something you want to focus on in a first draft, and if so, I totally get that. But at least in future drafts, just reading through (even aloud, if that helps), and substituting some repeated words with synonyms, ensure that the vocabulary is varied and not repetitious.

After another elevator trip down they arrived at another white corridor. Right at the end of the corridor, stood the entrance marked with a plaque that simply said "ARMORY*.

Your use of "another" here, twice in one sentence, feels a bit repetitive. There aren't really a lot of good synonyms for "another", but you could consider something like
"After one more elevator trip down, they arrived at another white corridor."
Also, one very minor typo is that I think you wanted a quotation mark after "ARMORY", not an asterisk.

The four sides were covered in the four primary types of equipment ranging from firearms, melee weapons, enchanted protective clothing to armor.

This is a bit hard to read, and I'd recommend rewording it just slightly, like so:
"The four sides were covered in the four primary types of equipment, ranging from firearms, melee weapons, and enchanted protective clothing, to armor."
In fact, I only added one word ("and"), but two commas. One of them, the one after "protective clothing", is called an Oxford comma. It's not technically necessary, but it can make things a lot smoother to read. It's used after the second last item in a list, and it's helpful to show that the last two items are separate. The clothing isn't protecting the armor, it just comes before armor in the list. Anyways, not a huge deal, just something I thought I'd point out so you were aware of it. Tiny things like this don't really impact the story as a whole, but they do make the read just a tiny bit smoother and clearer for the reader.

“Not forgetting anytime soon,” she replied, scratching at her side, where the bandage was probably chafing against her skin. Magic can only do so much.

So here, the perspective is a bit confusing. Prior, we have Harry's perspective, even up to him thinking that the bandage was chafing her skin, but then I'm pretty sure we see one of Rose's thoughts. But it could be Harry's thought, too? I would either change the sentences to read
"...scratching at her side, where the bandage was chafing against her skin. Magic can only do so much, she mused."
or
"...scratching at her side, where the bandage was probably chafing against her skin.
Magic can only do so much, Harry reflected."
Of course you can change the wording a little but that general structure would make it more clear who's thinking what, since we do see both of their perspectives in the book.

“I am never going to win that argument am I?” she said, doing her best to look exasperated. “ So, are we taking any weapons?”

It probably makes more sense to say "this argument", not "that argument", since it's the one they're having currently. Also, another minor comma thing, there should be a comma after "argument".

“Oh you…,” she said, trying and failing not to laugh,” get out of here!! Come back safe.” Harry and Rose exchanged a look. Identical grins were exchanged.

“Yes MOM!!!” the two of them chorused, charging out of the wall before Jenna could come up with a reply.

This is just so sweet. I love how they knew what the other person was thinking, without saying anything.

They spend a few moments laughing before the seriousness of what they were about to do sunk in once again.

“Let’s go nab a dirt king,” said Harry rubbing his hands together in his best supervillain impression. This will be fun.

"Spend" should be "spent" 'cause you know, past tense. And another comma thingy, there should be a comma after "Harry".

Harry raised his eyebrows.

“What? I can remember tha…”

“No not that. You actually counted them.”

“Yeah,” she said, shrugging,” now shall we break into this house already.”

It may just be me, but I found it a bit tricky to keep track of who was talking here. Maybe just adding one extra dialogue tag would help? After "What? I can remember tha..." you could say something like, "she defended herself".

“Yes indeed,” agreed Harry, deciding that now was not the time to tease her about that.

Hmm, ya know, in my experience, teasing usually means you like someone...

Harry walked in as stealthily as he could. Inside, sitting on a couch, and casting spells on the briefcase, was the dirt king. Time for payback. I wish I was the one punching him first. Oh well...let’s get this done fast.

Why does he need to be sneaky if he's disguised as the guy's cat?

Their target, wearing a pair of faded black jeans and an old blue shirt, was held tightly against the wall, Rose, hands glowing pink, was holding him in place with what looked like a localized containment shield.

This is technically two sentences, so the comma after "wall" should either be a period or semi-colon.

The twisting and turning sparks flew through the air, starting to vibrate as they passed by him, and struck the case with a nasty hiss. The case began to glow an angry shade of purple.

Well I gotta say, that sure is a good cliffhanger!

Crap

Also, just like one teeny thing to end the chapter, there should be some form of punctuation after "crap".

Overall, another really great chapter! Most of the critiques are really small things like commas and small grammar nitpicks, and they really are just things that you can fix on a second draft. My main critique is vocabulary - other than that, I love the characters, the plot seems solid, and I'm interested to see more of their magic system!

That's it for my review, I hope it's helpful - and if you've got any questions, as always, please ask!

Keep writing!

whatchamcallit

This review courtesy of
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HarryHardy says...


Thank you!!
I'll try to fix the vocabulary issue.
And all those mistakes. Thanks for the time to point out each one. That must have taken a while.
And I'm glad you love the relationship between Harry and Rose.
Also the cat...he was just being careful.
Thanks again!!



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Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:55 am
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IcyFlame wrote a review...



Woo I'm first here! (this literally never happens, haha!)

As I've just read the previous section/chapter/post, I'm hoping I'm in the right mindset to do this one too.

A quick walk back to the elevator they’d come through was followed by a two minute elevator ride to the central hub which they’d entered earlier. This time, they took the door labeled 2. After another elevator trip down they arrived at another white corridor

That's a lot of elevators in one paragraph!

“Rose, make sure to grab the level 5. Dude was able to cut pretty deep with that slasher. I have a feeling he would punch right through a level 3,” he advised her as he grabbed a pair of cargo pants and a hoodie to go with a sleeveless t-shirt.

If level 5 is an option, why on earth would you ever go for lower levels? Is it to do with weight or availability? I think this needs some explanation.
Also, a good rule of thumb is to always write numbers that are ten and below as words rather than numbers. So I would change it to 'level five' and 'level three'.

Mysterious or no you are going to get paid back with interest.

don't quite understand what you mean by this one.

“A little something I cooked up Miss McNamara. Perfected it a couple of days ago and now that I have it bottled, I’m delivering it to everyone going out to the field. It’s a modified painkiller potion. Since you are going out to the field so quickly, without waiting for that to heal up fully, I think that you might especially appreciate it.”

“Ohh...thanks so much Jenna,” said Rose,” I’d hug you but I have...you know.” She gestured to the bulge from the bandage.

“You're welcome. Now I don’t want to see the two of you again tonight.”

“And here I thought you actually liked us,” said Harry, mimicking tears.

“Oh you…,” she said, trying and failing not to laugh,” get out of here!! Come back safe.” Harry and Rose exchanged a look. Identical grins were exchanged.

“Yes MOM!!!” the two of them chorused, charging out of the wall before Jenna could come up with a reply.

I'm a little confused by the dynamic they have with Jenna. She calls Rose 'miss' but then they're suddenly joking together. It doesn't fit well for me.

As they approached the cat flap, a large ginger cat came bounding out of the alley adjacent to the park, heading right for the portals. Who’s is th...ohhh...we got lucky. He thrust out his hand and a small blue rectangle of light appeared, blocking the portal marked 501 just as the excited cat attempted to step through it.

Hmm, perhaps a little too lucky. Things seem to happen very easily for these two. I'd like to see them having to use their brains/powers a little bit more in scenarios like this. Again, I sense that you're eager to move the story along so this might be easier to do when you come back to edit!

Rose whirled around just as the man erected a hasty black shield and sent out a shower of blue sparks. Harry prepared to dodge, but as the sparks got closer, he realized they were not aimed at him. The twisting and turning sparks flew through the air, starting to vibrate as they passed by him, and struck the case with a nasty hiss. The case began to glow an angry shade of purple.

Ooh it got interesting!

I think the end of this chapter was more interesting than the beginning. As I've said before, I think it's just a case of pacing and you being eager to write the more fun stuff ;) but try to spend a bit of time looking over the sections like this, where not as much is happening. It's a great time to develop their characters and also their relationship (the stuff that's not just the tease each other and laugh together).

I can see that they story's really heating up now though, so it'll be exciting to see what happens next!

Hope this helped.

Icy




HarryHardy says...


Thanks for the review!!
The armor stuff will make more sense later...didn't want to have too large of a info dump there.
And Jenna...that's...sort of supposed to be like she calls them Mr. and Ms. out of habit as a doctor but they know each other well enough to joke around.
Oh trust me this story only appears to move fast here...there's a lot more going on here and besides the first act isn't even over....;)
Anyway thanks for the advice again. It's definitely helpful...and actually there's a part 3 to this...so...not the ending actually...don't know if the actual ending will work as well...let's see.
And thanks again!!




If you receive a bribe, you must report it in your income.
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