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Review of The Supremes  
Review by Anni Pon
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi Ken,

This is a clever and very timely piece! I like the music theme, and the fact that you called out each Justice out by name. It starts strong with the first stanza and keeps the attention from there. And then ends strong as well, with the call for impeachment.

My favorite stanza is probably:
“No need changing with the times,
we know what’s wrong and right.
The law is clear - there are no crimes
if you are male... and white.”

There are just a few places where I think maybe the meter / flow could be a little bit smoother. For example, Thomas' stanza. I think something about where the emphasis falls in the "his wife is a Trump pawn" line doesn't flow as well with the rest of the stanza, at least when I read through it.

But overall I enjoyed this piece! Obviously, I agree with the message and it's always nice to see someone else put your own thoughts down into words (probably better than you could yourself). Keep up the good work!
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Review of Pride Goeth  
Review by Anni Pon
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
This cracked me up. The names, the characters, the town Mianus. Great use of dialogue and humor. Down to the subtle details, like the fact that Curt "heard" that Calanthe said his name with a K instead of a C. The literal interpretation of "Pride goeth before the fall". Brilliant. Great work! A very entertaining read.
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Review of A Dip in Darkness  
Review by Anni Pon
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
I really like this story and the concept!

There's a great sense of horror and mystery throughout, I enjoy how the group works together and tries to methodically test this unknown void. The ending leaves things very open, as nothing about where the void came from, where the 7 people went, or how everything returned back to normal, is answered in the end. They are just expected to go back to their lives like all of this never even happened. I just imagine them having to explain to police and friends / family that this void came and swallowed up the missing 7 people.

There are some places where there's a bit of "telling" what is happening, where I think "showing" might be even more effective. And there are a few sentences like this one: "He believes this is a joke, it must be" and a lot of "He thinks...". It would be more effective if you stated things like that directly as, "This must be a joke", etc, and leave the "He believes" and "He thinks" out. They aren't really necessary and kind of take the reader out of the story.

Overall, nicely done! This left me wondering and wanting to know more.

Reviewed as part of the July Jubilee Raid for the "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Pretty  
Review by Anni Pon
Rated: E | (5.0)
I love this. A perfect snapshot of a pretty, shallow, self-absorbed bully. I love the nod to the whole "Too slow!" high five game the cool kids used to play. It's really very well written.

My favorite stanza is:
"Modest is the queen
The skin is the pawn
Insecure is the rook
Now the bishop is gone"


There's something about it that stuck with me. I'll definitely be reading more of your stuff! Keep writing, you've got talent!
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Review of Daylight Saving  
Review by Anni Pon
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
This is a well-written poem with beautiful imagery throughout! An accurate snapshot of a moment in time during a very dark year, 2021. It captures the feeling perfectly without really including any specific details. Although I actually love Autumn and don't normally associate it with death and decay, maybe after reading this I will from now on.

I like that it starts out with lots of naturalistic autumn descriptions, then moves on to death and decay in current world events, then zooms out to the scale of stars and eons. Even the stars themselves are disappointed in the state of the world in 2021. And it's all well connected.

My favorite lines:
Daylight saving is ending
But nobody was saved.
The stars in the night sky
Are all beside themselves.


Perfect ending as well. Great work, I really enjoyed reading this. Keep writing!

WdC SuperPower Reviewers March Hare

This review is part of a RAID from the "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Friends  
Review by Anni Pon
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | N/A (Review only item.)
Hi Steven, I came across your short story "Friends" and wanted to review it.

I really enjoyed this story! It's a very engaging story about the bonds of friendship and grief after the loss of a mutual friend. The beginning drew me in and made me want to read more. I like all the characters and how they interact together, and the way you worked in scenes from the past with their reminiscing. It feels very appropriate after an event like that to reminisce together as a group about the good times. You really captured the group dynamic well and showed how grief can affect everyone differently. I liked the brief conflict between Thommo and a few of the other group members. I thought the way you worked in the descriptions was effective and the dialogue flowed naturally

I especially liked the twist at the end, that was really well done. Definitely wasn't expecting that. Overall, this is a touching and well-written story. I didn't really notice any major grammatical or technical issues. Thanks for sharing! Keep writing!

This review is brought to you by the "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group
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Review of Hanakotoba  
Review by Anni Pon
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I just came across this and I love it. I realize it was written quite a while ago, but I wanted to review it anyway.

This is such a very well written piece! It has a lot of structure without rhyming. And that was a smart decision, as I think rhyming would take away some of the impact by making this feel a bit more childish or cheesy. I love how you worked in different types of flowers in appropriate ways throughout, the cohesive theme is very effective. The Primrose section caught me by surprise. My favorite stanza:

It takes me a month to find the primrose,
my S.O.S. of too many flowers in bloom.
One grows in me, a seed sown
only to be ripped out,
for no one should know.


It's a very clever and beautiful metaphor for an abortion, a topic that is sensitive and difficult to approach. However, you've done a great job with it. Just the right amount of finesse without being so subtle that it's hard to tell what it means. And you managed to address the gravity of the situation as well, by including more detailed descriptions of the process in the next two stanzas. That really drives it home and makes it feel more real. The ending is perfect for the piece! I'm glad she realized that relationship had to end. Overall, very well done. I will be reading more of your work now. Thanks for sharing!

This review is brought to you by the [#1300305] "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Anni Pon
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is an engaging and entertaining story and I like the concept behind it! The beginning works well, starting out slow with what seems like a normal camping trip before the main character starts noticing that the stars were disappearing. I thought that scene was very effective. I also like that the alien being Hatu tries his greeting in every language before he finds that they speak English. That's a nice touch.

I will say that it leaves the reader wanting a little more background or explanation about some things. To me, this kind of feels like a prelude or beginning to a longer story. Who are the Guides of Sebraxis? Is Hatu one of them or is he another species? How did Hatu know exactly where to find them? What was the Hollow and how did it get to Earth? Are there more of them or were they all destroyed? If so, is the threat against the Architect gone now or is there something else out there? Where exactly are they going? What will she be training for, a battle of some kind? I think leaving some things open ended is ok, but there does seem to be a lot of unanswered questions here.

But it does make me want to read more, so good work! Keep it up!
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Review by Anni Pon
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Aww, what a sweet story. An event like that would definitely put things in perspective about how pointless and stupid a fight with a loved one might be. I like that it's based off of a Bruce Springsteen song too. I'm a fan of Springsteen.

The only real comment I have is about the 911 dispatcher. As far as I know, the dispatchers main job is to keep the caller calm and also to keep them on the line until the police or ambulance actually arrives. So I don't think they would actually hang up the phone at that point. It's a pretty minor thing, but I think the phone call would be a little more realistic with those two things in mind.

But besides that, I like this story! It has a nice moral too. I think the ending might be a tiny bit confusing with so many angels referenced. Was she the angel? Or did an angel lead her to help the man? Or was the man the angel, for guiding her to this realization about her life? It might actually be stronger if you just stick to one of those points (maybe two, but all three seems like just a little too many angels for one story). Good work here!
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Review by Anni Pon
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Wow, such stunning imagery! I really love this. And I like the idea of visual art directly inspiring word art. Imagery is one of my weak points in poetry so I'm always impressed when people can do it so well and so effortlessly.

The only comment I have is on this line:
"a snowman sees
us through short-lived endeavors,"

I get that rhyming is probably the reason for the line break where it is, but I feel like that line just doesn't flow as well as the rest of the poem for some reason. I think because it's a strong end rhyme that's not in a natural break in the sentence structure. But honestly, because there isn't a strict rhyming scheme here, I don't think you need to end the line on "see" to rhyme with "breeze". You could leave it as more of an internal rhyme and that might help the flow and add a bit more complexity. Maybe try moving "us" to the line before, or some other configurations for that line, and see how that changes the flow.

Great work, will be reading more!
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Review of An autumn walk  
Review by Anni Pon
Rated: E | (4.5)
You've left me so many nice reviews I thought I should return the favor!

This is a lovely poem full of lots of good description. Autumn is my favorite season so I already like the subject. I especially like the beginning:
"Beneath the mellow tree boughs, I wade through
Fallen leaves. They crunch, crisp, like paper bags."

And I think the line break right before "fallen" works really well with the meaning of the word, seems like you thought that out. I also like the alliteration used in the first line of the second stanza, that's a nice touch.

My other favorite line is:
"From the valley floor mist rises, ghostly.
Breathes cobwebs to glittering necklaces."

I can just picture spiderwebs with dew drops shining on them. Well done, keep writing!
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Review of Attracted  
Review by Anni Pon
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
This is a very engaging story, you definitely captured the creep factor. And it's very realistic how everyone else just sees Mr. Christopher as a "charmer" and thinks all of his unwanted attention is sweet and flattering. It's so common for stalkers to be seen that way and not taken seriously, so nothing is done by anyone until it's too late. I feel for the main character who is (rightly) scared for her life, so much so that she has to go into hiding and not even contact her own family.

I like the scene where she realizes that he ordered "her usual" for her-- and not just "the usual", but he knew her specific order. That's a nice touch that's very effective at making the reader feel as creeped out as Cecilia does. I didn't notice any spelling or grammatical issues that stood out. All in all, a well written story! Keep writing!
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for entry "Ghost Stories
Review by Anni Pon
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Aww, I really love this! Great concept, and great characters too. I love that Avery was her muse and she gave him credit in her works when no one else would. And how things evolve from horror into romance. It's really too bad they didn't get to actually finish their masterpiece. But it is very in-character for the editor to change everything and put his name on it.

And the ending is just perfect! Great work!
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Review of Sean is gone.  
Review by Anni Pon
Rated: E | (4.5)
Love the twist ending here! That would definitely be frightening... although that's what she gets for slapping him! But this is a very interesting and creative interpretation of the prompt.

I do think this line could be broken up into two sentences: "The voice that came from her eight year old son's mouth was deep, confident and raspy, it was not a boy's voice and it sent chills up the woman's spine."

A very cute little story. Keep it up!

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Review by Anni Pon
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
What a well-written story! Such great imagery and metaphor throughout.
I really enjoyed this.

I like the scenes of her childhood intertwining with who / where she is now as an adult. Even the lines: "She’d pull herself back into the truck bed, to safety. Why was she was always hanging over the edge? Teetering on the precipice of darkness, balancing on one foot but then complaining there was no solid ground?" relates directly to her current situation, teetering on the precipice of darkness with alcohol.

The whole story is a perfect picture of how alcohol can take over and destroy a life. I also like the phrase "the devil's piss" and the comparison to the hamster who used to pee on everyone. Adds a bit of humor into an other wise pretty dark story. It also brings everything back to the main theme, and gives the impression that she doesn't even really enjoy the taste of alcohol anymore (comparing it to piss), she just drinks it because she needs to. Despite the fact that it's clearly destroying her liver and her health.

I also noticed the subtle reference to a lost pregnancy with the ultrasound comment, which was very tactfully and effortlessly worked in. Might be an easy thing to miss if reading too quickly, but the fact that the unborn child reminded her of Miggy was a nice touch. Well done with the dialogue too! It comes across as very natural, which can be hard to do with children since they talk differently than adults do (especially to each other without adults around).

As a note, I also used to play with yellow dandelions as a child and make paste from them, so this was very relatable.

My one suggestion would be to add in some spacing between paragraphs just to make this a little easier to read, as opposed to one big chunk of text. Besides that, great work with this short story. Keep writing!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Broken Past  
Review by Anni Pon
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I like this, there's some good detail and imagery and a lot of action. The beginning prologue really draws the reader in. The smiley face of blood was a very creepy detail too. I have a distinct feeling this is a werewolf situation, even though it's not explicitly said. But I like the concept and the mystery. From the main character's perspective, she has no idea why she's there or what's happening, just like the reader, and in fact the reader learns things kind of at the same time the character does, which works well here.

One little comment, I'd be careful about mixing tenses. Most of the story is in past tense, but every now and then you slip into present tense. For example, "She was confused, scared. How is she here?" I'd just try to keep that consistent throughout. And I think in Chapter 2, you mean "intriguing" instead of "entriuging" and "legible" instead of "eligible". I will also note that in the letter, "Why did I tell you what I just said?" would be an odd thing to write, it's since not speaking. You could change it to "Why do I write this?" or even "Why am I writing this?" or just leave that line out entirely.

This was an enjoyable read, keep it up!
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Review of Sentience  
Review by Anni Pon
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Aww, what an adorable little story. I love the ending! It reminds me a little bit of the Brave Little Toaster. I also like that the three office supplies seem to have their own personalities when they come to life. There might be a way you can exaggerate the differences between them even more in the dialogue to make them even more unique. I almost wish the story was a little bit longer so I could get to know the office supplies a little more before the sun rises again.

I do think that the opening line could probably be something more creative than "Once, there was a man who worked inside an office." which seems a little bit overused. Also, there are a few places in the dialogue that I think should be broken up into two sentences instead of one because grammatically they are two complete sentences.

For example: "We are cared about right, we must have families we go home to like the higher beings right?” is actually two questions. There's a few other instances of the same thing.

In any case, I enjoyed the story! Keep it up.
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Review by Anni Pon
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi, I'm reviewing this story at your request!

My overall impression is that this is an amusing story about a blob from outer space taking over the planet, starting with the main character Carole. It reminds me of the old movie The Blob. In fact, the way it's written is also fairly movie-like. I think there's a lot of good description and detail and some moments of humor throughout. I like the stomach stretching scene. This story has potential, although I do think there is room for improvement.

Characters:
It seems like the Blob and Carole have a lot in common, in that they're both extremely ambitious and power hungry and want control. They actually seem to get along, even though it's kind of a host/parasite relationship. I think the dialogue could use some work in places, but the characters are good.

Plot:
The plot, although a little bit predictable, is still entertaining. I think the ending works, but I kind of wanted some karma in the end. I was hoping that Carole would have a moment of regret when the Blob completely took over her and she would lose control over her body to the Blob in the end. I think that would be pretty ironic.

Technical notes:
I noticed there are many sentences missing punctuation, so I recommend checking to make sure every sentence ends with a period or some other punctuation mark. I noticed several other punctuation or grammar issues as well, for example:

“I’ll show you all what I’m capable of”. I’ll create an amazing piece of work and gain all of your respect”. She thought angrily to herself

You end the quotation marks twice here. Also, as a note, the period at the end of the sentence should go inside the ending quotation mark. This probably seems nitpicky, but these things can be quite distracting from the narrative of the story itself. I would go through the story with a fine tooth comb to catch any grammatical, spelling or punctuation mistakes.

I hope this review helps!
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Review of Thursday Thoughts  
Review by Anni Pon
Rated: E | (4.5)
I really like this! Something about the way it's written is just beautiful. I got the impression of a new love fizzling out with the realization that they don't have much in common and they have nothing to talk about except the weather. The narrator is lucky indeed to realize this before they become "blinded by the light" and things end in heartbreak. For such a short piece, this feels complete and the ending is quite satisfying.

One small little comment: I think you meant to say "to let its love breathe" with an "e" at the end, otherwise it's the noun form of the word. Also, I think the phrase "The desire I craved for you" is a little odd since you wouldn't say "I craved for cereal" or anything similar. And it's not the desire that's doing the craving, either, so maybe consider rephrasing that a bit.

Besides that, really good piece here! Keep it up!
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Review of Karma  
for entry "Chapter 1
Review by Anni Pon
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
An interesting concept! I like the idea of paying a debt for using magic, and of everyone having their own person limit of how much they can do at once. I also like the integration of science and magic, since they are usually considered to be opposites.

I think the flashback to the class is a pretty good way to explain a lot of the backstory, but it does feel very expository since it's a "lecture". There may be a way you could take some of the explanation out and work it a little more subtly into the narrative later on. For example, instead of having her actually say what the consequences are, you could have someone ask and have her trail off or give a vague answer like "You don't want to find out..." or somehow end the flashback without giving a specific answer to leave the reader hanging. Because they're going to find out what the consequences are anyway when the main character exceeds his limit at the end of the chapter. A little suspense can go a long way. I also suggest maybe adding in a little bit more detail or character development into the classroom scene so it doesn't feel so much like the purpose is just to explain the background.

There's a lot of good detail and imagery throughout, which I enjoy. I like the dialogue between the main character and Anitra too. That part really adds to his character, how he responds to being treated that way as if he's kind of used to it. It's also a bit of an unexpected twist, which adds to the feeling of him being blindsided. It's not how I expected the date to go.

One technical thing I noticed is that you often don't end the dialogue with a period before closing quotation marks. For example:

“Well, this is new”

He brings up the description.

“Cast a random low-level spell.”

“Might be useful”

Both the first and the last lines there should end with a period inside the quotes, like the second to last line does.

And one last suggestion about the dialogue, particularly in the last scene. I assume he's by himself at this point, and thus talking to himself. Which people actually do sometimes, especially when things are going wrong, but typically not to say out loud what they're doing or about to do. So I'd go back and think about what feels natural to actually say out loud in a situation like that. Probably "I have to stop." could be taken out or replaced with some kind of exclamation of surprise or a curse.

All in all, this is a fun story and a good start to a novel! I'd like to read the next few chapters at some point. Keep it up!

Anni
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Review of The Party's Over  
Review by Anni Pon
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Aww, that's sad... I have a friend who's birthday is also on September 11th. I remember watching the second tower fall live on the news and then having to go straight to school afterwards. It was very surreal. I bet it's kinda hard to celebrate birthdays after that, since people don't feel much like celebrating on such a somber date.
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Review of Peaceful Handover  
Review by Anni Pon
Rated: E | (5.0)
Haha, I love this idea! Great execution too, it's very believable for a sci-fi story. Almost a little TOO close to reality. The dialogue is very natural and flows well, which can be hard to do. One minor thing I noticed is that you don't use periods before or between dialogue. For example, I think it should be: "Chris risked a faint, distracted smile. “They haven’t noticed yet.” Silence echoed around the table as that sank in."

Besides that minor detail, I really enjoyed this! And it's not lost on me that the company is called Smoogle which I assume is in reference to a real life tech company that has taken over the world. Love the ending too. Although the last sentence might have even more of an impact if you took out the "and" at the start, just because starting a sentence with "and" almost makes it feel like an afterthought. Awesome story, keep it up!
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Review of The Shifting Sand  
Review by Anni Pon
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I love this! Awesome imagery and descriptions. Fits very well with the lyrics of the song that inspired the story. I really like the idea of a sandy desert planet with whirlpools of sand that turn things into solid glass. And I think Jack is a great character. I like that he talks to himself even though there's one one around. I imagine that I would too, alone in the empty vacuum of space. I was admiring his determination and persistence throughout, then the irony of the ending really hit home. He was so close to being rescued! :( Well done, really entertaining story!
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Review by Anni Pon
Rated: E | (4.5)
Very nice ode of the new generation. A generation of change, a turning of the tide. Well written poem! I especially like the second stanza. Keep on writing!
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Review by Anni Pon
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
This is a nice story! Very engaging, and well written too. I like the way you work in descriptions and exposition into the story line slowly, like when you say "Being just under three feet high made doing her tasks inconvenient at times." That way the statement has another purpose beyond just describing how tall Aira is. Lovely imagery too throughout. And the build of up suspense at the end of the chapter is pretty effective.

I think the line "Perhaps she might never see him again?" probably doesn't need to be a question, and it might be a bit more impactful as a statement instead. I also kind of want more details about that moment that Boroden confessed Aira that he loved her, since it seems like an important one. You spend a lot of time describing the scene where she came across the wolf, but kind of glossed over the other moment.

Overall, well done! I will definitely be reading more of your stuff.

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