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Unchosen

by Vervain


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235 Reviews


Points: 2200
Reviews: 235

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Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:02 pm
inktopus wrote a review...



Hey, Lare! Ink here to beat the tar outta Kayla, Adri, and Hatt! Here's to hoping I can do this story some justice!

In only three paragraphs, I'm already feeling like your story with Kyle was written better than this is. Your description in this isn't as distinctive as I've seen before. I'm used to being wowed by you, so seeing something more generic like this is a bit of a disappointment. I think part of this is that Kyle's voice was very distinct, and this is written in the third person, but I think that you could do a lot better with this. Even in the third person, the writing has a sort of voice, even if it isn't the voice of the main character. I just want to see you make this special. I couldn't have gotten your other story anywhere else, and I want to feel the same about this one. That being said, this is a rough draft, so you have nothing to worry about. Obviously, nothing's perfect on the first try.

Maris couldn’t bring herself to feel sad.

This is where I'm starting to like it. I know you want tropey fantasy, but please please please use this well. I'm fairly sure you will, but I really want to emphasize it. This is what's going to make this novel stand out. This is what is going to make this a good tropey fantasy instead of something we've all seen before.

as she let go of the lights, they floated over Estelle’s body and cloaked her in a blanket of diamonds.

I'm pretty sure you're talking about the same person here, so I don't know why you changed the pronouns.

Cadeyrn’s voice was strained. He clapped Maris on the shoulder and pulled all attention to him. Strapped to his belt was a new sword—Estelle’s, the hilt adorned with amethysts.

Why is Cadeyrn getting all of Estelle's stuff? Were they romantically involved? Is he the next "Chosen One" or something? If neither of those things are true, why doesn't Maris get all of Estelle's stuff? Also, I think you have a prime chance for some jealousy and resentment here and Maris's part.

Maris didn’t understand magic to begin with. Some people could wave their hands a certain way and blur the lines between worlds or times or countries.

I think I remember you talking about magic systems, so I'm sure you know that every story needs some sort of rule system for magic. I think it's an interesting aspect that your main character doesn't get the rules, but I'd be careful to make sure that it's apparent that rules do exist and people can't just do whatever they want.

While I did say that I wasn't entirely impressed with the writing, I did enjoy the plot. It compelled me, and I want to read more. I'm a little disappointed that you didn't do much more with the resentment(?) of Estelle, but that can come later. (I just love my juicy character drama.)

I do have one question about the plot. Why are they killing the dragons? I'm pretty sure you never mention it, and I fail to see how eradicating a nest of dragons is going to save Journsea from 'evil.' (BTW: I like how nonspecific that is. I feel like you could do some cool things with a perceived evil).

Overall, I liked the plot and characters. I think you did a good job of introducing most of them (barring Lynet who needs more of an introduction of personality and backstory). The plot is compelling and I'm liking the tropey fantasy setting you have going on.

I'm always open for novel talk on Discord.

~Ink




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12 Reviews


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Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:19 pm



Dun dun dunnnnn! The suspense is killing me! I need the next chapter! Please?




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Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:22 am
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i would love to read a full blown trilogy of this if possible
20/10




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Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:39 am
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Evander wrote a review...



Heyo, Reine! I'm here for a quick review~

I really enjoyed this short story! A bunch of lines really resonated with me. And I always love taking the concept of the chosen one and flipping it on its head. The main character is relatable and I'd love to know more about the world. One of the main takeaways that I have is just a hunger for more information. I want to know more about the evil in Journsea, how the magic of land works, more about Estelle, and more about the dragons. This story honestly has so many openings to move forward.

But! Let's move onto the criticism.

It was odd—looking at herself, lying on the ground, never to stand up. Her body shivered, but the tears wouldn’t come.

For a moment, I thought the "her" in question referred to Estelle. Personally, I would replace "her" with Maris's name.

“Mare… You okay?” Cadeyrn set a hand on her shoulder. It was the most words he’d said to her since[...]

I'd replace "it was" with "those were". "It was" sounded kind of clunky to me in the context of that sentence.

 “You’re alright. That makes everyone, well, except, you know.”

I'd change up the punctuation here a little bit, because the delivery comes off as more neutral than I think it's intended to. I think it's mostly because of comma after "everyone"; I would have expected an em-dash to be used to signify a more abrupt stop as the reality sets in. Does that make sense? I hope it does.

The net was fireproof, but not exactly blade-proof, and by the time it cut itself down, it was frantic.

I'd say something else instead of "blade-proof" here. For a second, I had imagined that the dragon got its hands on a sword. It makes more sense that the dragon's tail is like a blade, but it isn't the first thought to come to mind.

Maris didn’t have time to move out of the way before a spout of fire grazed her face. Her hair was still singed back to her scalp. She ran her hand over the burnt remains of her hair and winced when she hit a fresh wound.

The switching back and forth between past event and present scene doesn't really work well for this paragraph, especially since the following two paragraphs take place in the past. On the first read-through, it almost sounded like she had ran her hands over hair right after she had been burned.

Also, for some reason, using the word "hair" twice in such close proximity sticks out oddly and doesn't flow that well.

Question: Why was Maris close enough to the dragon to get burned? It seems like everyone else had a role in the fight against the dragonet except Maris. If she was a researcher, then wouldn't it make sense to keep her away from danger given that she is, to put it in D&D terms, "squishy".

Well, she was sad, yes, that her sister had died. 

I would remove this caveat so the impact of Maris actually being sad that Estelle is dead would hit harder, because instead it's just her flip-flopping between the two states without much concrete emotional resonation.

Maris's emotional response makes a lot of sense and I don't really have much to say about it other than it was really well done. Personally, I might have added a small line later on where she turned to look back at her sister for confirmation or something just to realize Estelle wasn't there, but that's just to hammer in the feeling of loss.

After the dragons brought the deer back, they waited until the full moon was halfway up the sky.

It sounds like the dragons are waiting for the full moon to be high in the sky and not the party.

One foot came down directly on Cadeyrn’s chest. 

If Cadeyrn was stumbling out and the dragon was coming from behind him, then wouldn't a foot come down on his back instead? I don't quite understand where Cadeyrn turned around or where the dragon got the upper hand.

I really wish that there was more information about the dragons? The fact that this nest was unlike any other didn't really have any long lasting repercussions (or any repercussions, for that matter) for the characters. Interest and intrigue dangled over the reader's head without much fulfillment. Although, I still really liked the scene with the dragons.

Maris didn’t feel like a hero, and the dragonet didn’t feel like a monster.

Like, dang. This was a really good line.

I think Estelle would have had to died in the morning in order for the rest of the events to fit in a day (fight, mourning, brewing dragonsbane, finding the nest, etc.), but I don't think that it is entirely improbable for everything to have happened in that time period.

Cadeyrn, Rhys, and Maris are well represented in this story, but I wish that Lynet had been featured a bit more in terms of direct interaction with Maris. We learned about Cadeyrn and Rhys in terms of minor backstory, but not much about Lynet. She's a nonverbal mage! That's pretty cool! But what lead her to magic? Did she have any defining connection to Estelle?

Hmm, I also wish that the evil in Journsea was a bit less nebulous and a bit more pressing. Estelle (and now Maris) had to kill the dragons because... why? There's evil in Journsea! Cool! What is it? How did it involve the dragons? Sure, the dragons were powerful and dangerous, but they didn't seem to be an immediate threat. Were they terrorizing Journsea with bursts of flame? Because that wasn't mentioned. I'm not quite sure why Estelle had set off to kill them other than the fact they were dragons.

Okay! All-in-all, I really enjoyed Unchosen! Let me know if this review was helpful because aaahhh I don't think I've ever reviewed a short story by you before. Please, please, pleaaaase keep on writing!

-E




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Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:07 pm
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Lacy says...



This is really great! :)





It's a dramatic situation almost every time you answer the phone—if you answer the phone.
— Matthew Weiner