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59 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I only send a review if I know I have something valuable to say. I tend to provide detailed advice, probably a longer and more detailed spiel than you actually wanted to be honest. I will sooner point out what you've done right then what you've done wrong, but I'm not afraid to be blunt when a piece needs serious revision. I will never criticize anything without offering advice on how to improve it - though I would rather see you ignore my advice altogether than make a change you don't want to make. It is your writing, after all.
I'm good at...
I've read a lot and I feel like I have a pretty good ear for what does and doesn't work, but I mostly rely on experience that I hope adds some value to my reviews. I've edited "professionally" (as a freelancer) and been involved with writing workshops with successful authors miles above me, happy to sit back and be judged as I learn everything I can. I was trained as a writing tutor at my university, including working with special needs students and those for whom English is a second language.
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Dark, Thriller/Suspense, Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Folklore, Gothic, Mystery, Mythology, Political, Supernatural, Comedy, Satire
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Romance, Relationship, Melodrama
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Book, Static
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Madlib, Folder, Word Search, Crossword, cNote, Product Review
Public Reviews
1
1
Review of The Disappearance  
Review by J. B. Anthony
Rated: E | (3.0)
This is an interesting piece, but I'm not sure I understand why it ends where it does. Will it be expanded - is this just a beginning? (The word count makes it seem complete.) If it isn't complete, then I feel ill-equipped to review what would seem to be just the opening to the piece by itself; if it is complete, I must have missed something. Further, I wonder why this is broken into three chapters, which are short for chapters - why not break them with a simple divider instead?

More specifically, I felt that the conversation with Nana at the end feels forced and rushed. The dialogue feels a bit artificial, and Nana's explanations gloss over the questions rather than answering them. I believe that this scene needs a lot more time, more powerful emotions that are fully and deeply explored, and a more natural and effective revelation of Nana's connection to both the fairies and the house.

Despite this, what you have now is a worthwhile read that kept my interest. For the most part, I felt the characters were well fleshed-out and believable. If there is more to come, I'm eager to read it. Keep it up!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review by J. B. Anthony
Rated: 18+ | (2.5)
This is a decent piece, but draft is definitely the word. Aside from general grammatical issues througout - especially commas missing here and there - I believe the most room for improvement is in the dialogue. For example, just the sentence before Mikey's father is described as a big, burly man (and right before he screams a few choice words), he says, "Oh boy, you're first report card!" This definitely doesn't feel like something that character would say. Keep in mind that dialect, which is an important part of this story and used to good effect, still follows grammar conventions; that is, even a sentence in dialect needs to be complete, not a run-on, with commas in the right places and so on.

If you would like me to sent you an in-depth edit for grammar, I would be happy to help; and let me know when your next revision is available, and I will comment again - I'm definitely interested in reading the rest of this story. Keep up the good work!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review of Down At The Local  
Review by J. B. Anthony
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
An interested and enjoyable little piece. The effectiveness of this piece is also its weakness. The twist is what makes the story, but, at the same time, the reader has a sense that "something's going to twist somewhere." Personally, when I first read the text, I didn't take it as "I will kill you if you don't show up," which is (apparently) how the character interpreted it; without sharing this interpretation, the bulk of the story didn't fully make sense and the twist was expected. After rereading the piece and realizing the character's perspective, I understood better what was going on. I realize that it is preferable to leave some things unsaid, but having the character's interpretation presented more overtly would make it more likely that the reader falls in step, making the twist more effective.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
Review by J. B. Anthony
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Very, very interesting - I'm hooked for the continuation (I'm a sucker for high fantasy constructed worlds).

Something to consider that I thought of especially while reading this over: typically, we think of rhythm as something that poets work with, but prose has its own rhythmic component. For instance, the very beginning passage here, about the village burning - the sentences are long and flowing, and they feel like they have a similar pattern. The overall effect of the speed and rhythm of the first few paragraphs is almost lulling, not chaotic and aflame. Certainly the content is horrific and the images are powerful, don't get me wrong, but the sound, the flow, the feeling of the words just doesn't match. In reality, all of your exposition/summary passages (the opener, living above the butcher shop, the very last section) are very much wed to the same sort of sentence structure and flow, so that they feel a bit flat and repetitive. Though you are telling rather than showing, the piece is in first person, so the character's emotions should come through in that narration (unless the character is such that they shouldn't).

Hope this is helpful in both revising and moving forward; I intend to read on. Keep up the good work!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review by J. B. Anthony
Rated: ASR | (3.5)
You're on your way to something here, but it's definitely still rough. The most and least effective elements in this chapter are, in fact, one and the same: your character description. You give the reader very in-depth, well thought-out descriptions of the characters - especially Cathy and Josh; this is easily a strong point. However, the description is delivered in bulk, with long strings of details. Not only is it a bit difficult to process the visual this way, but you've actually lost the opportunity to develop the description more fully. By offering the details as part of action, for example, rather than just stating them outright, the reader has more context and can more easily picture the scene: "as he bent over his breakfast, his facial piercings glinted in the sunlight" is more effective than simply listing off what piercings he has where (though this is just an example - it can be done must better). Furthermore, keep in mind that characters don't need to be described directly 100% - sometimes it's better to let the reader fill in the blanks.

In order to comment more directly on story and characterization, I'll need to take a look at more than just this chapter (which I'm happy to do - I'm certainly intrigued!) This is a good chapter, and with polish could be really great. Keep up the good work!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
6
6
Review of Burning Tables  
Review by J. B. Anthony
In affiliation with The Dark Side to Magic  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Unfortunately, I don't have much to say about this piece, but that's because it's so well done. Your narrator definitely has voice and personality - I especially enjoyed his assertion that he "was becoming insane" (when he clearly was already). The extremely insane often make fascinating characters, especially because of their tendency to understand things in terms of complicated metaphor, a fact you've used to great effect in this piece. Furthermore, the form of the piece offers another layer of interest - that the story is somehow being told *after* the narrator has died implies that the readers themselves are "hearing voice," much as the narrator does (or thinks he does, depending on the reading). The only real suggestion for improvement I have is to have the narrator refer to the orderlies in some figure of speech instead of just calling them "orderlies" - a large, complicated, official term, which raving lunatics are not known for using. Instead, have him incorporate the orderlies themselves into his metaphor, perhaps referring to them based on their appearance or function in the hospital.

As I said, there isn't much criticism to give here, except my one suggestion. This is very well done and an excellent read. Keep up the great work!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
Review by J. B. Anthony
In affiliation with The Dark Side to Magic  
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
Clearly you have a great idea in mind for an interesting and engaging piece here. I am indeed interested to read the continuation of the story, but unfortunately there are a number of issues with the piece that I feel must be addressed. As it stands, these issues are so prominent that portions of the narrative are actually difficult to read.

There are two major issues that occur throughout this piece, and they are largely overlapping. The first is a lack of brevity - that is, an excess of wordiness. In the words of Louise Brooks, "writing is 1% inspiration, 99% elimination;" throughout a large portion of the narration, you've simply used more words (sometimes a lot more) than you need, which makes the piece feel slow and cumbersome. The second is an issue of diction - word choice. To demonstrate what I mean, allow me to examine the first paragraph of this piece:

"Hidden behind a mass of spanish moss and magnolia trees, a decrepit sepulchre of a building rested chillingly among the chirping cicadas. This monumental structure of flint and granite had been ostracised from normal societal function, leaving the decaying walls to crumble by their own hand. Surprisingly, this edifice housed four hundred and seventy orphans of ages fourteen to seventeen in relative squalor, a product of the waning public safety ordinances. And whilst the children slept, a creeping squall hovered above the bayou."

Firstly, the most basic examination shows that "Spanish moss" should be capitalized, "sepulcher" is technically misspelled (although the archaic "re" ending is often allowed for flavor's sake) and "ostracized" is also misspelled. Digging deeper, the diction issues show themselves: an "edifice" is the front exterior of a house, usually referring specifically to appearance. Therefore, the "appearance of the front of the house" cannot "house" anything - the building itself "houses," but the "edifice" itself cannot. This sort of word choice issue occurs frequently throughout the piece.

A yet deeper analysis brings other concerns. Consider your use of adverb transitional words, as "surprisingly" in this portion. These words - "surprisingly," "unreasonably," "predicable" (to highlight just those that appear in the first two paragraphs), etc., when used in narration, tell your reader how they should interpret the sentence that follows. Generally, it is best to avoid this - let your reader decide how s/he feels about the story rather than telling them. When revealing a character's thoughts, of course, these words are more appropriate. Secondly, this paragraph could communicate the same information in far fewer words by condensing the description. I'll offer an example, then explain how I arrived at it. Consider this passage:

"Deep within the bayou, a mass of Spanish moss and magnolia trees gives way to a decrepit sepulcher. Largely forgotten by civilized folk, the large building now slumps by itself on the outskirts of society, left to crumble as it would. Nonetheless, it does not sit empty; instead, a full four-hundred and seventy orphans, ranging from just fourteen years to nearly eighteen, sheltered therein, living in squalor. And all around them, the bayou winds rage."

Here's why I did what I did: (1) the bayou needs to be introduced earlier in the story, to give a more concrete image of the setting - I myself pictured instead a dank forest, so by the time I got to "bayou" at the end of the sentence I had a strong image in my head that I had to totally change; (2) a sepulcher is already a "building," so "sepulcher of a building" is redundant - again, the fewer words, the better, as long as you don't change the meaning; (3) I cannot picture something resting "chillingly" - you might have meant it is "chilling" in appearance, but that is not what you said; (4) the walls don't actively choose to crumble, so the metaphor "by their own hands" is a bit off - instead, they simply collapse wherever they happen to collapse; (5) a "squall" is an intense wind - it doesn't creep, it rages, roars, or barges. I DO NOT suggest you simply use this passage - your writing is yours, and only you should rewrite it - but I offer it as an example of how revising word choice and condensing the material down can make your writing both clearer and more interesting.

Finally, the another issue I see in this piece is your consistent use of passive voice, which contributes greatly to the wordiness of the piece but also presents another problem. Passive voice is when the object of the verb is the subject of the sentence. For example, "Gary visited Amy" is active voice; "Amy was visited by Gary" is passive voice. Active voice is always preferred because it makes the writing more, well, active and, again, says the same thing in fewer words. Consider the sentence from later in the piece: "Yet, with the bustling excitement of the storm stirring about, and the intense percussion of the breaking roof tiles, this was not what caught the eye of the young orphan." Because of the two long appositives ("with the bustling excitement of the storm stirring about" and "the intense percussion of the breaking roof tiles"), the reader looses track of what "this" is, creating confusion. Instead of saying "with the bustling excitement of the storm stirring about," which is in passive voice, why not simply say something like "the storm's excited bustling?" Instead of "the intense percussion of the roof tiles," why not "the roof tile's percussive bangs?" These rephrases (for example purposes only - of course you should use your own words) put the same thoughts into active voice, making the ideas more clear in fewer words.

As I said at the beginning, your story concept is a good one - unfortunately, the piece need some serious revision before it can really shine. If you would be interested, I would be glad to send you my word-by-word analysis of the piece with further, more specific advice - please let me know. If there is anything else I can do to help, or if anything here as confused you, don't hesitate to send an email. Thanks for the opportunity to read this over!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
Review of The Return  
Review by J. B. Anthony
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
I enjoyed reading this piece, start to finish. It was an engaging and powerful look into the mind of the character - the preface says that your goal is to show the world as a veteran sees it, and I'd say you've done that extremely well. Your use of symbolism and contrast are excellent, and you have some moments of very detailed description.

In terms of writing technique, I have a number of suggestions. And they are suggestions, not criticisms - that is, I haven't found much that you've done wrong, I just noticed a few things that might work better if done differently.

Firstly, your diction - that is, your choice of words - struck me as out-of-place from the beginning. Don't get me wrong, I love your vocabulary and style, but your narrator speaks in a way that doesn't, for me, fit the idea of a veteran soldier very well - the voice belongs more to a college professor. Words like "behold," "caricature," "obtained, "beckoned," to name a few that initially stood out to me, were not words I expected in this context. Like I said, I really like the way you write, I was just put off a bit by the contrast. Within dialogue, though, I think you've hit the nail on the head.

I suggest you make some separation - many people use italics - when writing out a character's thoughts. A few times you've done this with no indication other than "he thought," which made me wonder exactly which parts were actually word-for-word his thoughts and what was your narration. Small clarifications like this prevent the reader from having to go back a re-read, which damages the flow of your story and takes away from the immersion.

Speaking of damaging the immersion, there is a sudden shift to Blake's perspective just after leaving the bar, before he vomits. You write, "Blake fished around for his keys and fell propping himself against his car. He suddenly doubled over and vomited. His fedora went tumbling away and he shambled after it. He returned cradling the hat, took off his glasses and wiped sweat from his brow and leaned and vomited again." After this, we center on the protagonist again. For me, this felt very abrupt, and it took away from my connection with the main character, which is what makes the story so effective. I would suggest adding just a few words to keep the protagonist in the center. "He watched as Blake fished ... Suddenly, Blake doubled ... As I watched, he returned, cradling ..." or something to that effect. Maybe not everyone reads this as a shift in perspective like I did, but it did stick out to me.

Finally, the last sentence struck me as just a little...off. I really can't say why, and I wish I could (because that would actually be helpful). I like the way you end the story, but the structure or wording of the sentence itself seems strange. You should take out the "had" (it's the wrong verb tense), and that alone may clean it up.

To sum up: already a good story that could be tweaked into something really great. Your narrator has a great voice, but it may be a little out of place; and there are a few other minor changes that could be considered, but - even left as it is - you've given your readers a real glimpse into the mind of a deep, well-developed and realistic character. Keep up the great work!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
9
Review of ENWIN  
Review by J. B. Anthony
In affiliation with The Dark Side to Magic  
Rated: E | (3.5)
I was drawn to reading this by the apostrophe saying it has "very little structure or point." As far as I'm concerned, the main "point" of a story is to entertain, and this definitely entertained me. It was short, sweet, and to the point, and the twist at the end was effective because it felt a bit like a child's story - like a fairy tale.

A few bits of advice for improvement:
*Bullet* I spotted one typo: "maybe the squirrels were only sought food." Either remove "were" or replace "sought" with seeking.
*Bullet* I would suggest, if you are interested in working on this piece a bit more, that you offer a sort of red herring - either make it seem more that the squirrels are acting more naturally, or that they really are just hoping for food, so that the audience doubts the protagonist and then is proven wrong. This would add some more meat to the story and make the ending that much more striking, and lasting for the reader.
*Bullet* I think the park ranger character could do with some expanding. The protagonist can drive, so he's obviously not all that young, but the ranger seems to look at him as though he was a little kid playing with his imaginary friends. Presumably she should at least be a little freaked out - after all, what he's telling her sounds like the ravings of a crazy person.

I do hope that you'll revisit this piece in the future - admittedly it's not groundbreaking, but it is a fun little story and I like the way you've presented it. Best of luck with future writings!

A small brand to identify Dark Side materials.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review by J. B. Anthony
In affiliation with The Dark Side to Magic  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
An interesting poem. I definitely appreciate your rhythm and rhyming, which make it feel driven forward. That being said, I was a bit confused by the title and topic: the title references the "first deadly sin," which (in traditional thinking, anyway) would be Pride (which is called the greatest and source of all sin); in the poem, however, you seem to address different kinds of sin, but none of them is obviously pride. Now, I am not the deepest or most profound reader of poetry, so it may be that my reading is off, or that you intended a different sin by the title - but still, as your reader, it left me a little confused. Again, though, a very well-written poem, with movement and power. Keep up the good work!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
11
11
Review by J. B. Anthony
Rated: E | (3.0)
An interesting look at the presidential question. It has a lot of positives going for it - lots of truth, backed up with historical fact and presented in an engaging and entertaining way.

However, I must mention that the quality of your thoughts is somewhat obscured by some grammatical and punctuation errors. These sorts of small mistakes can make any piece of writing more difficult to understand. The piece also suffers a bit from the sentence structure, which lacks variety - you chain many simple sentences together, making it possible for the piece to feel bland and repetitive in some places, even though the content is interesting. Finally, I must admit that I am confused by the sentence, "Indeed, I think only President would do in my travails." Did you, perchance, misspell "travels?" (In my experience, the word "travails" is usually used to refer to/describe a woman in labor.) Even if this is the case, the sentence still seems out of place.

All these things considered, I feel that your evaluation of history is well-informed and valid, and you point out a number of very true things that should be considered in our country's future. You may be able to further strengthen your argument by including examples of notable well-respected presidents as well, in contrast. All in all, this piece is a clever and well-thought-out examination that has a lot of merit. Well done.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
12
12
Review by J. B. Anthony
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello again! Another wonderful story here! The imagery throughout is powerful, and the language/diction was effective. There were a few grammatical errors that I noticed, but nothing serious enough to damage the flow of the story. I did catch a few moments, a few sentences, that confused me a bit; for example, in the tenth paragraph of Part II, the sentence "There was at least someone screaming" was confusing. I have a feeling that there was a small issue here; perhaps you intended that to be part of another sentence? In any case, that sort of thing caught my attention a few times.

In the realm of constructive criticism, I have two other comments. First, I noticed that there wasn't a whole lot a variation in the description of your characters. For example, two characters were both described as "fat, bald men;" because of the similarities in these physical descriptions and in their actions, these two characters almost seem to be the same person, which is very confusing for a reader. Secondly, I felt that your part of the story didn't quite fit with the end, which I know was given by the prompt. I felt that the sympathetic nature of the ending sentiment clashed with the ideas of the rest of the piece, where everyone seemed to be frenzied into violence. Maybe a different form of transition could make the connection a bit smoother.

All in all, though, this was a great piece, and an interesting take on the prompt. Keep up the great work!
13
13
Review of This I believe...  
Review by J. B. Anthony
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello, my friend! When I saw that you had started posting your Creative Writing assignments, I wanted to take a look - since I took the same class, I've written on many of the same prompts. This particular prompt, I remember, was hard for me; it is difficult, sometimes, to look inside yourself and admit the truth of what you find there. That said, I have a great amount of respect for this piece. While I don't really see you as the person you've described, I greatly respect the willingness to put these views out for others to see. Because this is a personal piece, I don't feel it's right to nitpick about grammar or any of that sort of thing, and I wouldn't have much to say even if I was going to. Overall, a well-written piece.

P.S.: You should set the item rating on this.
14
14
Review of The Tenant of 306  
Review by J. B. Anthony
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
*NoteV*Personal Thoughts

I was intrigued by the storyline of this piece, but somewhat surprised at the amount of issues I found; I was expecting your usual accuracy and care. That being said, the story is a good one, and all the problems I've seen are minimal and easily fixed.

*NoteV*Plot

The story was interesting. The twist was unexpected, but after that point became somewhat predictable; it didn't suffer for that predictability, however, and remained engaging until the end.

*NoteV*Structure

Structurally, the story is sound. In terms of flow, it takes a bit of risk with the flow of time. Though this is slightly confusing in retrospect (mainly in the question, "how did I get to this point in time,exactly?"), it didn't bother me at all while I was reading. I think this manipulation of time is well done, because it achieves the story Rnding before it began, which is interesting and effective.

*NoteV*Narration/Style

The narration in this piece is a bit inconsistant. The story opens with a series of beautiful images, well described and effective; but once the twist has happened, the imagery stopped abruptly and was replaced by intense descriptions of action, also effective. The contrast between the ywo may be effective in terms of the plot twist, but is odd in terms of style.

{eNoteV:}Originality

This story is a bit cliche, but written well enough that it doesn't suffer.

*NoteV*Grammar/Technicallities

There are a number of technical Issues, mostly improper word choice as apposed to grammar errors. To point out a few of the worst offenders:
"From there, he sat in his car most nights waiting for her to come home."
"Removing one more loud noise" as opposed to one less
"Docking area for boats to be tied up." (remove the "to;" it's grammatically incorrect to end a sentence with a preposition)
"What can't you understand about that?" (as opossed to "see")

*NoteV*Final Thoughts

Overall, a fair story that needs some revision.
15
15
Review by J. B. Anthony
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
This is a story with great potential. It's short, but effective. You obviously have a clear image in your head of everything that happens here. However, I do have a few suggestions.

First, there are a number of grammatical errors that make this piece a bit difficult to read, especially regarding punctuation. I'm a bit of a stickler, so it may have bothered me more than other people, but I found myself having to go back, a number of sentences in some cases, and reread entire passages becaue punctuation errors made it flow incorrectly. Punctuation, expecially the comma, is not only necessary for grammatical correctness, it also changes word flow, effects the rhythm of the story, and determines which words are stressed and unstressed. All of these things need to be in place in order for a story to work.

The second suggestion I have is regarding your word choice, especially in dialouge. The content of the story suggests it does not take place in modern times, but it's written in very modern language. Even if it were modern, I would council a more formal voice for your narrator and characters; but since it isn't modern, formal voicing is necessary. For example, the phrase "a couple minutes" is a slang term that feels weak and washed-out. "A short while" or even "a few minutes" would be more formal, and therefore more powerful. A "couple" feels like blog writing; "few" feels like a short story. Furthermore, your characters speak too modernly; they use slang and tonation that I would expect, again, from something along the lines of a blog.

Finally, I feel that your ending could be improved. Because Nathan is not a character in this story, the fact that they choose to name their child after him doesn't mean too much to the reader. If I understand correctly, those who have read your other works might know the reference, or at least signifigance. But for a reader who has not, this ending feels incompete. I suggest a reference back to the phenoix be added, just a single sentence, to satisfy both people who have read your other material and those who haven't.

Keep in mind, of course, that these are only my suggestions, and I mean them only to help you improve this story. I would like to extend an offer, also, to go over this story more carefully and send you my suggestions on improving grammar and voicing, ect. in specific detail, if you are interested. Let me know.

I hope to read the next draft of this story. Keep up the good work!
16
16
Review by J. B. Anthony
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
This is a really great story. It is written very well, and the imagery is powerful. The twist, which I wse not expecting, was interesting and worked beautifully - once I finished, I was able to look back and say, "How did I not see that coming?" despite the fact that I had missed all the hints the first time. That's exactly how a great twist works, and you nailed it.

While the twist was very effective, I thought the ending was kind of unclear. Once I got to "Shock ravages my nervous system..." I felt pretty lost - I think everything happens a bit too quickly at the end. It needs more - maybe not out-right explanation, but something, to make the ending clearer and less rushed and sudden.

Also, I would suggest you take a close look at word choice. Occasionally, you used a word that seemed out of place to me. FOr example, in the sentence "I stagger off the rock, holding myself over my feet as nutrients reject itself from my gut," nutrients seems like a bad word choice. First of all, it doesn't agree with "itself," which is singular ("nutrients" is plural); it also doesn't work in combonation with "gut." "Nutrients" is a rather sophisticated word, and "gut" is quite the opposite.

This is just one example of a problem that pops up throughout the piece. Tidying up your word choice could take this to the next level.

All in all, I really enjoyed this piece, especially the unexpeceted twist. Keep up the great work!
17
17
Review of One  
Review by J. B. Anthony
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
This is a really good story. It's interesting and held my attention all the way through the end, and the twist there was well done.

However, I felt that parts of the story were a bit lacking. First of all, there is no indication of where the entirety of Part One takes place - is it in this world, in the next, somewhere in between? Also, you reference the "Company" a number of times, but I don't fell like you ever explained what that is. It's all well and good to leave some things open for the reader to firgure out through context clues and such, but be careful that you're not too vague. The same goes for the discussion (in Part One) about letting someone "go back" - while I thought I knew what you meant, I wasn't really sure until much later. It's uncomfortable for the reader to be unsure what exactly is going on, so I would advice clarifying a few things.

Another suggestion I have is that you try to revise your dialouge a bit. Every character in this story seems to talk the same way - the man who talks to Kenu at the beginning of the piece sounds basically the same as his mother does at the end, which is not realistic. Try to give your characters more individual voices, so that they sound more like real people.

I also have a problem with Kenu's reaction his mother's suicide and the events leading up to it. I feel that more expression of emotion on his point is needed here. You say "he hung his head a cried," but that's pretty tame, and the overall language lacks emotion entirely. This being the emotional climax of the story, I feel it deserved more feeling.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that this piece has a number of grammatical errors that make it a bit difficult to read. Especially, make sure to capitalize proper nouns - since you make "kicks" and "phones" the characters new "names," they should always be capitalized, and the name of the "Company" should be as well. I would also suggest adding dynamic punctuation (such as elipses (...) and dashes) to your dialouge to give it timing and more impact. People tend to pause(symbolized by an elipses) and break off (sumbolized by a dash) while speaking, especially when talking about difficult or emotional topics, such as death.

Those issues aside, I really enjoyed this story. It is an interesting look at life-after-death, and well-written. Keep up the good work!

P.S.: If you are interested, I would be willing to give this piece a thorough edit and send you my suggestions, mostly grammer-wise. Let me know.
18
18
Review by J. B. Anthony
Rated: E | (3.5)
This is an interesting piece. It's a bit short, and I think could be improved if it were lengthened a bit - the introduction of the time machine was rather sudden, and could be handled better. You could hint at its existance earlier in the piece, perhaps, or even make it the big project that propelled the speaker to the position he loves so much.

The piece also has a number of gramatical errors, which can probably be taken care of with a good edit - I'd be willing to write one up and send it to you, if you'd like me to. Also, I would advise you take a look at your sentence structure: some of the sentences, while not really be "run-ons," feel like the drag on a bit. Finally, I would suggest you put main character' thoughts in italics, just to add additional clarity.

All that being said, I really enjoyed this piece. Keep up the good work!
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Review by J. B. Anthony
Rated: E | (3.5)
Good stuff. There is a rythm to it, almost like a prose poem. The imagery and atmosphere are powerful, and the character, though we don't know too much about them, is interesting and well-developed (which may sound contradictory, but I hope you know what I mean).

The intrinsic rythmic nature of this piece is really great (and it's especially good when read out loud), but it is not perfect. The piece overall needs to be tightened: there are some unecessary words to take out and word choice could be adjusted here and there. Some of the words just don't flow with the rest, and that's the only thing, I think, that seperates this version from a "finished" version.

I really enjoyed reading this, and I hope to follow up on it's next version (if you choose to edit it again).

P.S.: Just an aesthetic note: right now, the piece is a bit hard to read; increasing the font size and line spacing and possibly double-spacing between paragraphs would make it a bit easier.
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