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167 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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Review by Kotaro
Rated: E | N/A (Review only item.)
Howdy Turtlemoon,
Saw this in the Short Story Newsletter. Interesting lucky happening. Fun to read.
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Review of Membranes  
Review by Kotaro
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
I enjoyed this very much. It flowed very well and didn’t meander into a distracting bend.

Saw it in the horror newsletter.

I found a few things that might need editing.

In the paragraph below, what does (They) refer to? And from where did he notice the bloodstain, since he couldn’t have seen it before rounding the turn?

Carstairs located the basement stairs off the kitchen, and started down. They followed the wall with a ninety degree turn at the corner where he noted a large bloodstain. Apparently one of the victims had made it this far before the killer had caught him. Him it had to be, for the only woman had been found on the basement floor.

Wrong tense in the sentence below.
Scattered candles littered the floor, and he noted fresh scuff marks where the old crates, trunks, and furniture has been pushed back against the walls to make room for the ritual.

I noticed near the very end one paragraph’s words were in a smaller script.

All of these are minor that didn’t distract much from the reading, so I’m giving it the five stars. As you seem the type to give return reviews. I suggest Dr. Whoa-ha’s Spiritual Treatment since it’s a steampunk tale.
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Review of Black Gargoyles  
Review by Kotaro
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I enjoyed the story, for who hasn’t had the same experience?

Look at these three paragraphs you wrote.

I fell asleep.

When you awaken from deep sleep to something moving or stirring, it can take a few moments for you to truly understand what is happening. The fog of sleep hangs over your eyes and ears even when lucid.

As the last cobwebs of sleep withered from my mind, the noise took on a more familiar form. Sometimes the simplest of sounds can be the most unnerving, a cold wind whistling through a tree outside, a neighbor’s footsteps uncomfortably close, or, in this case, the simple sound of bed sheets rustling in the dark.

If you write, I fell asleep then something woke me. Then, you don’t need the second paragraph since the third paragraph shows rather than tells what happened next. You just wrote something twice the first one tells the second one shows.

Thanks again for your review.
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4
Review of Ghosted Memoirs  
Review by Kotaro
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
It’s a ridiculous story. Well done.
5
5
Review of Snokum Joe  
Review by Kotaro
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
How are you Bill?
This is good, but I wouldn’t rank it with your best.

A mallet of wind struck him in the face then, a foretelling of some unforeseen event, and then it lifted some of the loose earth he had piled making it scurry across the belly of the mound like a group of small beetles.> This paragraph struck me as a little confusing as I had to reread it. The two it(s) in the sentence should be clarified. The word then is used twice in the same sentence. Maybe, the sentence could be broken up.
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6
Review by Kotaro
Rated: E | (5.0)
This brought back a lot of memories. I’m older than you, so I’d include disco and braless fashion. I still have my pet rock.
I thought Bubblegum wrote this when I saw the title.
7
7
Review by Kotaro
Rated: 18+ | N/A (Review only item.)
Congratulations on first place. You did a great job transporting the reader into the past.
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8
Review of A Woman of Honor  
Review by Kotaro
Rated: E | (4.5)
I enjoyed your well written story. The two main characters came out strong.
I found one sentence that might need an edit.
It was enormous, and one of several items she never examined before. Perhaps, this calls for the past perfect.
One suggestion is since it’s July you could mention how hot the attic was. Also, I expect she would be sweating from her exertions seeking the grotto and you could mention the coolness within the caves.
The ending left me wondering what else was in the journal. But, I was satisfied with the ending.
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Review of Outcast  
Review by Kotaro
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
This was well written. I didn’t notice any errors and it did keep me reading, but I was disappointed by the ending. The ending was basically just telling rather than showing.

It said the rest is history. I think you should offer the reader more than that. There was nothing shown about their struggle to cross the mountains. I think that could have been the central part of the story rather than having them circling their tent and then being tricked by an unknown life form.
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10
Review by Kotaro
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I saw this in this week’s newsletter. Nice story. I’m amazed at how your dog correctly understood the situation.

I have a couple of suggestions. Look at your second sentence. Seems odd, doesn’t it?

Further down.

I tossed the kitten in the hutch, gently it had been a very bad day for the poor thing. >I tossed the kitten into the hutch, gently, for it had been a very bad day for the poor thing.
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Review of Suspicions  
Review by Kotaro
Rated: E | (5.0)
Saw this in this week’s newsletter.

Funny ending. The story reminds me of my wife, worries about everything and suspects the worst of people. So, now I know I’m not the only one. So, I gotta give it five stars.
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12
Review by Kotaro
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Although, what would happen was inevitable the way it’s told keeps one reading till the end.
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Review by Kotaro
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi Jones,
How’s your day?

This was fun to read. I see you spent some time seeking an answer to this philosophical question.

A chicken probably thinks in a completely different way if it thinks at all. What does a chicken see when it sees a road? So, the original answer possibly touches on this ambiguity. All we can do is see it from a human perspective.

I agree the second question about the chicken and the egg is much more tricky since it touches on the existence of a creator or not.

Aloha,
Kotaro
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14
Review by Kotaro
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi Red,
Thanks again for review. I used to like to go fishing when I was a kid so this story easily hooked me.
As I was reading I came upon an astonishing coincidence. Today, I listened to two old LPs one was Hendrix the other ZZ Top just as you wrote in your story.
I don’t go fishing anymore. Once when I was twelve I fell into the ocean and a friend had to dive in and rescue me. It would have been a double blow to my mother and sister since my father had died the previous year. But, the real reason I don’t go fishing anymore is I feel sorry for the fish.
Using a youngster to tell the story was a good choice and you put yourself in his voice very well.
The only tale I have posted about fishing is about a boy who never catches anything.
Kotaro
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15
Review of The Closet  
Review by Kotaro
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Great surprise ending!
Saw this in this week’s horror newsletter.
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16
Review of Snack Time  
Review by Kotaro
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Saw this in this week’s horror newsletter. Descriptive and imaginative writing.

Danny presses the buttons of his desire. >Isn’t it just one button?

Danny turns and walks away away, unwrapping the bar as he goes.

She digs into her purse and produces the necessary key to the portals of plenty. The coin goes into the slot and, with practised finger, she taps in the code.> These two sentences cause some confusion. At first I thought it was really a key and she really punched in a code as if she had some kind of secret way to get the goodies.

Enjoyed this tale very much.
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17
Review by Kotaro
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
One typo is all.
Have you heard it’s snores?”

I enjoyed your story. It flowed well, had good dialogue, and an interesting plot.

I have two questions. How did he get to the tavern and where from? I ask because I wondered why he went to the castle after leaving the tavern. I doubt he was staying there. Why would he walk instead of taking a vehicle. After all it was a cold windy night. In the movies one always sees Nazi officers, in occupied territory, accompanied by a lower rank who is also the driver.
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Review of Brass & Coal  
Review by Kotaro
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I found this in the short story newsletter.

The dialogue was spot on. Transported me to that time. Enjoyed it immensely.

I was hoping for Collier and Braxton to be outwitted by the Penningtons in some delightful way, but instead the ghost got its revenge as expected. So, I was a little disappointed.

When they deal with Englishmen, who have been a nation for a thousand, they expect to smell the must of permanence." > What is the must of permanence?

Below are three sentences that you should take a look at. Very minor errors.

Braxton and Collier made themselves comfortable on the pillows, occasionally passing some disparaging remark in a muted whisper, but for the most part, simply being bored. I feel this sentence at the end seems a little awkward.

Shhh! Braxton replied. Quotation marks missing.

“Collier, you're genius," he pronounced. Left out the letter a.
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Review of Jingle Jangle  
Review by Kotaro
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
I saw this in the horror newsletter. Well done! The flashbacks were placed just right.

Take a look at the two sentences below. Seen should be saw and how about a comma after brother?

It was the last time I seen my mother alive.

On the 11th chime I turned and seen the boy, my brother as nothing more than a rotted corpse
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20
Review by Kotaro
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Good ending for Oscar. Below are some things needing looking at.

Sweat formed in the hand where she still held the too small revolver. > I’d omit a few words. Sweat formed in the hand where she held the revolver. (The reader remembers that the revolver is small.)

She moved slowly moved toward the still locked door; then stopped in her tracks when the doorknob turned and rattled.

Oscar's voice, muffled by the door was distinct. " omit the quotation mark.

"Stop or I'll shoot!" The voice just laughed and at the door. > Rebecca laughed?

The recoil forced her back a step and propelled her hands up above her head. For such a small gun, the weapon made a very big noise.> The gun roared and propelled her hands above her head. (Be concise.)

He held up long pencil-thin knife, it's thin, six-inch blade glinted in the lamplight. > Double description. Don’t need the adjectives before knife.

That newspaper clipping he had upstairs wasn't research material on Michael. It was a keepsake. ??? Is someone saying this or what?

He landed at the bottom with a sickening, bone-breaking thud. Rebecca turned her face away dizzy, and moved away from the open shaft before she fell down there herself.

"You know, I never thought I'd use that room I monitor function on this thing. Isn't technology great?"

She knew he had been involved in at least one insurance fraud he'd admitted to torching the building where she and Michael met.
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Review of My identity  
Review by Kotaro
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, Tarasankar
You can have fun changing the order of words.
The first sentence, I am of a vagabond nature, is nice. I wish to travel a lot, but…Rearranging the words, my nature is of a vagabond’s, to travel is my wish…
One can always go back to what has been written and enjoy rewriting it.
Thanks again for your review,
Kotaro
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Review of Novalis.  
Review by Kotaro
Rated: E | (5.0)
This poem clearly shows how much you feel for the poet.
I especially liked the first eight lines for how you use contrast to convey the poet’s inner torment.
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Review of Chapter 10  
Review by Kotaro
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
He placed his hands on the desk behind her his face and chest mere inches from hers. > He placed his hands on the desk behind her, thus his face and chest were mere inches from hers.

You left out one important detail. In the first shop they handed the statue to the dealer, but he never gave it back.

This chapter cleared a mystery and created another. Interesting story behind the statue.
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Review of Chapter 7  
Review by Kotaro
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hey!" Lloyd protested. "That reminds me! I came in early again this morning to do that for you and you didn't even bother to bring my pay. Like you probably 'em on the way here, didn't you?"

Take a look at the last sentence. Looks like you left something out. Maybe ate?

This chapter brings out the ruthless side of Michael besides his penchant for bending the law. Makes me wonder why he seems to be popular in the department.
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Review of Chapter 6  
Review by Kotaro
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
I enjoyed the banter between Rebecca and Michael and the slightly bizarre ending.

I have a couple of suggestions.


Her bed wasn't made(,) old clothes were scattered over it,(and) the Sunday papers (were) still on the sofa. Not unusual after a late deadline, but it made it difficult to tell if anything had been disturbed.


"Later." The officer before her was clean shaven, had short graying hair with a neatly pressed navy blue uniform.

"Rebecca North?" The officer pulled a notepad from his pocket.

The description sounds a little awkward. How about dividing it and combining the two paragraphs?

"Later." The officer before her was clean shaven with short graying hair. Pulling a notepad from a pocket of his neatly pressed navy blue uniform, he asked, “Rebecca North?”
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