*Magnify*
SPONSORED LINKS
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/jacecar
Review Requests: OFF
39 Public Reviews Given
45 Total Reviews Given
Review Style
I'm picky when it comes to review, or shall I say not just how I review, but what I choose to review in the first place. I will make an attempt at anything if you really want me to, but there are exceptions. If something is so riddled with errors that a spell checker or basic grammar checker would find, I have a hard time reading through it. And if I can't get through it, I can't give you a good review. If I comment on grammar at all, it usually means I've identified a pattern of repeated errors, and I think I can help you fix them. That said, I look mainly for Content, Theme, Style, Continuity, Passion -- NOT line editing or grammar checking. In addition to the above, I tend to comment on what I think is missing, what can be improved, or something that I really like and want to see you keep doing it.
I'm good at...
finding logical inconsistencies and conundrums when dealing with a lot of detail. In other words, I can spot plot holes, unfired guns, and things that you describe one way in the beginning and a completely different way later, without a logical reason why the change occurred.
Favorite Genres
thriller, historical fiction, tech, spy vs spy, fantasy, magic, romance, and more. I tend to like what I understand.
Least Favorite Genres
religion (as a main theme, not just a book that happens to mention it), political (except for fiction that happen to discuss it on the side), erotica (just not into it), childrens, or self-help/do it yourself
Favorite Item Types
novels (it's what I write, so it's what I'm interested in reviewing), essays, short stories, books
Least Favorite Item Types
poetry I can sing. I used to dance. I can play the piano. I can write. But I can't understand poetry beyond a few Poe or Keats classics, and I can't create a poetic thought to save my life unless it's purely by accident.
I will not review...
NaNoWriMo obfuscated text. For some reason, page after page of: "Nn nn nn nnnnnnnn?" nnnnn nnn nnnn nnnnn. "Nnnn nn nnnnnnn, nnn." "Nnn nn nnnn nnnn nn nnnnnnnn?" "Nnn, nnn. Nnn NNN nnn Nnnnnn nnnnnnn nnnnnn nnnnnnn nnnnnnnnnn." ...doesn't do anything for me. Sorry, Can't help you, there. Go find yourself another reviewer.
Public Reviews
1
1
Review by JaceCar
In affiliation with Perspectives  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Humorous! I couldn't stop reading. I even read it twice just to make sure I didn't miss anything. I don't normally do that.

A very nice parody of a drug addict's cravings wrapped in something we can all easily picture. As it was also a different take on Goldilocks and the three bears... it worked well. Very well. Having a dual meaning come through so clearly is something many writers strive for, but few achieve.

Your imagery was amazing. I'm not sure what I could suggest for changes.

Thank you for sharing!
>JaceCar
novelist and editor

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
2
2
Review by JaceCar
In affiliation with Perspectives  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Gripping! From the point where he first entered the house and started exploring, you had me. Ghost stories, with the appropriate amount of suspense, can evoke strong reaction in a reader. You got one from me.

This deserves a better review than I am able to give it at the moment. For that, I apologize.

Favorite Lines:

         Hiding beneath the desk, she heard him enter the room, his black boots thundering across the hardwood floor. Shuddering, she swallowed a hard lump in her throat and bit down on her lip, waiting for the inevitable.

         "Maybe I can help you with that," Carolina said flatly.

Amazing work.
3
3
Review of My Mind  
Review by JaceCar
In affiliation with Perspectives  
Rated: E | (4.5)
You've really captured the essence of what it feels like, at least at times, to have ADHD -- or like me, the combination of ADHD and NLD (Non-Verbal Learning Disorder).

It's so easy to get overwhelmed, and so hard to find relief.

My favorite lines:

         Consuming knowledge, constant greed.

         A mind, lost in thought,
         But tightly wound.


I can't think of a criticism. You've captured the spirit of it. I wonder what it reads for someone without the condition.
4
4
for entry "Over the Edge
Review by JaceCar
In affiliation with Perspectives  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Simple, sweet, and wonderfully expressive.

Thank you!
5
5
for entry "Regret
Review by JaceCar
In affiliation with Perspectives  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
I love it! I've been there, done that, and am living with the consequences.

The ONE thing I would suggest you change (the only thing that stood out as a possible negative) -- is to change the word "regret" in the second stanza to something else. Perhaps the word "remorse" would be more appropriate.

Alternately, leave everything alone and change the name of the piece to "Remorse" or another synonym...

It just struck me that using the name of the piece as a primary object in one of the stanzas takes away from the impact -- and lessens the reader's ability to identify why you entitled it as you did. It hands them the answer too easily.

That's my two cents -- and please take this with a grain of salt, as I'm not a poet and really don't know what I'm doing when it comes to reviewing it -- so it's just a gut reaction, not a critical or technical review.

Hope this helps!

JaceCar
novelist, editor, and (most recently) publisher
6
6
Review of Cat-ie  
Review by JaceCar
In affiliation with Perspectives  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Gotta love it. Feline dominance, or at least incessant curiosity.

Very nice photo!
7
7
Review of Waiting  
Review by JaceCar
In affiliation with Perspectives  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
This one gives me chills, Elle (she/her) .

The two lines that clinch it for me:

         The faint scent of your aftershave clung to your pillow, bringing faint comfort as I clutched it each night, but now that's gone too.

I've known this from personal experience. It was painful to live through, and painful to remember. And then this line immediately following:

         The memory of your laughter that used to play in my mind as a comforting refrain has been absent for so long now that I can't be sure if it was ever there at all.

The first line was sad, but anyone who has experienced a passing (or sometimes even an end to a close relationship) can relate. This line, however, is simply haunting -- and amazingly expressive. And sad, even tragic.

There are other lines, don't get me wrong. *BigSmile* But those really touched me.

Thank you for this.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
Review by JaceCar
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
It looks like you have enough members (529 -- wow) but I would like to get involved somehow. I know you've seen my post in "The Angel Outreach Program and that I'm looking to mentor/mentoree and perhaps partner with someone, but I would like to do more than that for the group.

I am not great at reviewing... Some would beg to differ, as I won the December "Good Deeds Get CASH! but it is more of a question of my comfort level when reviewing. It stresses me greatly, and something that positive should not do that.

If there are ways I can assist (other than in reviewing), then I would be interested in doing so.
9
9
Review of Haruki  
Review by JaceCar
In affiliation with P.E.N.C.I.L.  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
*Pencil* A Simple Review *Pencil*


Reviewing "Haruki

*NoteB* General Comments & Reader Reaction:

I'm... avoiding speaking to my son. I don't know why. He has told my wife that he is having a crisis of identity and wants to speak to me... but I'm hesitant. I want to be there for him, but for whatever reason, I cannot, at least for the moment. I pulled up your portfolio and selected this piece at random. Perhaps when I'm done, I'll talk to my son. We'll see.

I read this story, and I wanted to cry. Not for you, not for him, but for the beauty of the words within your piece. I'm not sure how, but you lifted my spirits and made me want to more than I am.

I think I will call my son. Thank you for providing the lift I needed to do it. If anything speaks louder than that in recommendation of this piece, I do not know what it would be.

*NoteG* Plot & Pace:

Your pace is good. There are no dead spots, no places where the reader gets hung up and wonders "Ok, get on with it." In fact, as I drew near the end and knew it was going to be over, I found myself not wanting it to end. I want to see what else happens -- if anything -- between your characters.

*NoteO* Characters:

You develop the main character, Annie with very little personal description, physical description, or anything resembling political or psychological beliefs. And you know what? You didn't need a word of it. Her emotions and observations came through clear as a bell and defined her as perfectly as anyone would ever need.

Haruke is almost the same, though (if it were me) I might describe him a bit more on the physical side, because you're not in his head. You're in her's. Otherwise, his honesty, simplicity, and genuine nature speak volumes.

Yoshi is off to the side, and as a secondary character, he is a mirror for the other two. He does a good job of it, and I don't see anything lacking.

*NoteR* Setting & Imagery:

Simplistic, but completely effective. Adding the rain brought a dimension to the setting that might seem obvious, but is not. It fulfills the image and allows the characters to come to completion within. Bravo.

*NoteV* Themes:

I'm not good with themes... so I'm going to suggest that the theme of loss and how one deals with it, overcomes the pain and the loneliness and carries on, regardless. The story is meaningful, and the shared loss (different for each) provides a connection the characters might not otherwise have.

*NoteW* Emotion, Mood & Atmosphere:

Sad, but hopeful. The thing I felt most here is the positive drive for the future, even if hard work is required to get there.

*Note* Structure & Consistency:

I don't know Japanese culture or language, but the little bit I got from this piece made me want to understand more. Annie's lack of knowledge, even after two years, seems awkward -- which it is for her, but I can completely understand. I studied Russian, and even after a year of intense study, I was still a newborn in some ways. Her attempt to communicate (rather than giving up) was consistent throughout, and a driving factor in her acceptance by the others, specifically Haruki. He might not have accepted her so warmly if she gave up in the Dojo, or in trying to communicate.

*NoteB* Writing Style & Grammar:

No issues that I felt needed to point out. Perhaps if you wanted an editorial review, I might find a thing or two... but that's not what I look for.

         *Bullet* Favorite Lines:

         Breathe. Put the pen away. Get dressed and go home.
- She did not need to force an external ethic (good or bad) upon the pristine environment. That demonstrated personal honor and discipline.

         Hum under your breath — it keeps the devils away.
- Shows awareness of other cultures, as well as a bit of superstition on her part. It also shows a proactive attitude to potential danger. Don't be afraid of it, just deal with it.

*NoteG* Overall Impression & Conclusion:

You asked me to review "Invalid Item. Before I respond, I wanted to look through and see what else you are capable of. Color me impressed.

*NoteO* ~ JaceCar

*StarO* WRITE ON! *StarO*
** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **

*Pencil* A "Invalid Item Review *Pencil*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review by JaceCar
In affiliation with P.E.N.C.I.L.  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
*Pencil* A JaceCar Review *Pencil*


Reviewing "Threads in the Tapestry Prologue

*NoteB* General Comments & Reader Reaction:

Initial reaction: Wow

This piece grabbed me from the first words as Mikhail woke up, focused in on where he was and what was required of him, and went from there. As it ended, with his "rescue", perhaps, I found myself wanting more -- I want to know where this story goes.

Less than perfect rating not because of the creativity, but rather the execution. There are a few spelling, word choice, and grammar issues (easily fixed), and a couple things here and there that don't contribute to the story or actually draw the reader away from the imagery.

*NoteG* Plot & Pace:

I felt where Mikhail was, what surrounded him, what he was doing, and what happened as the ship destroyed itself on the rocks in the midst of the storm.

The description was rich, and the story flowed easily from point to point. The pace felt good, and at no point made me wish it would get on with the story, or slow down to let me understand it. It was just about where it needed to be.

*NoteO* Characters:

Mikhail, the head cook, the captain, and a few of the others were easy to visualize. I didn't need more information or details. When it got to the girl and her "father", there was a slight disconnect between the reality of the storm-tossed sailors (most of them now dead) and their dry, warm, existence -- but that was exactly what you intended, I think. There was supposed to be a disparity.

*NoteR* Setting & Imagery:

Well done. I could see and feel everything in my mind's eye as if I were there.

Two things stood out as less than ideal (to me): Describing mother-of-pearl as 'chipped from scallop and abalone shells' -- anyone who knows what mother-of-pearl is doesn't need it literally described to them, so doing it doesn't add anything to the text. Then, 'a quick, efficient killer with an unspoken name, hypothermia' is great, until you actually use the word hypothermia, which was unknown to them (I think) in the eighteenth century. Using a modern term in the midst of older description jars the reader out of the vision you have painted so precisely.

*NoteW* Emotion, Mood & Atmosphere:

Clear, precise, expository. Mikhail had to wonder if he was already dead, because what he was seeing and feeling was so real. The reader gets that same impression.

*Note* Structure & Consistency:

As a prologue, without the rest of the book to follow (without reading things you haven't written yet), I felt it was solid, and yet visionary at the same time. Consistent? I cannot yet tell.

*NoteB* Writing Style & Grammar:

There are a few errors, some typos, and some things I think you could do better, but they will come out in the natural revision process. The first error that strikes me is in the line: “More soup boy, boomed the voice. And mind your step now; she’s kicked up nasty again.” I would correct it to say, "More soup, boy!" boomed the voice. "And mind your step now; she's kicked up nasty again." -- in other words, basic editing, nothing to worry about. The writing, even with the few errors, is very clear and shows marvelous potential.

         *Bullet* Favorite Lines:

The tar-soaked beams sang to him in the dark, their distressed fibers wailing a siren's song of protest as the old ship pitched and yawed through the storm-tossed seas.

(and)

What a strange way to die, he thought.
So bewildering.
So painless.

*NoteG* Overall Impression & Conclusion:

I want more. You did exactly what a prologue is supposed to do -- make me want to read the rest of your work and where you are going with the story. Ideas are popping all over the place in my brain, wondering what your creative genius is going to come up with. Well done.

I am affiliated with PENCIL, but this is not a standard PENCIL review. These are my own opinions, and may or may not reflect PENCIL standards.

*NoteO* ~ JaceCar

*StarO* WRITE ON! *StarO*
** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **

*Pencil* A JaceCar Review *Pencil*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
11
11
Review of Dawnrunner  
for entry "Chapter 6
Review by JaceCar
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
...the entire of District 7 – is in every way a carefully designed fortress.

I think the word is "entirety" in this case.

...positive conclusion about the strange turn of events

Doesn't feel like a 'strange turn of events' to the reader. If it is, it needs more explanation, perhaps with a buildup to a more dramatic statement.

This chapter doesn't seem to move as quickly as others, and was hard to get through (hard to keep a readers attention).
12
12
Review of Dawnrunner  
for entry "Chapter 5
Review by JaceCar
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
...car clears the guard station at the border wall between Districts 3 and 6.

I don't know if you explain it somewhere, but when they are driving, they cross from district to district, which is what? Like a state or province? If so, why would there be border guards? The reader needs to understand why it is secured like that internally.

The Special Resources are an elite group of people that...

This explanation/definition needs to come in an earlier chapter where you first mention SR's.
13
13
Review of Dawnrunner  
for entry "Chapter 4
Review by JaceCar
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
The later I attribute to the fact

"latter" is the correct word in this case.

suddenly going from 0 to serious in a heartbeat

I think I know what you're trying to say here, but the inevitable question pops up: Zero of what? Not zero emotion, or it would be going the other direction. And the other thing: single digit numbers should be written out unless there is a strong reason for them to be stated numericaly.
14
14
Review of Dawnrunner  
for entry "Chapter 3
Review by JaceCar
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
I sacrifice my grace and shout to him across the room.

I know what you're saying here, but from my perspective, the 'sacrifice my grace' comes across as academic. I'm not sure that's what you're going for there.

It’s only after the feeling comes back to my senses that I realise I’m smiling.

I love this image! But the wording could be better. "after my senses recover" or "after I get my senses back", but those phrases are overused by others. I'm not sure what to suggest in order to keep the image fresh.

Overall, however, the chapter has good pace and emotion. The reader can understand Carli's perspective easily.
15
15
Review of Dawnrunner  
for entry "Chapter 2
Review by JaceCar
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
...fought was over the decision to become SRs.

The introduction of SR is quite early, and you refer to it several times and then mention MR before you define either of them. I was left looking through everything I've read so far to figure out what the heck an SR or MR is, but they are not defined anywhere.

This passage gives the reader a lot of information, but also asks several questions, and we don't get the answers to those, which leaves the reader confused and searching for what isn't there.
16
16
Review by JaceCar
Rated: E | N/A (Review only item.)
I really enjoyed reading this, Jeannie. It sounds so much like my mother's story growing up in the depression, going to school at a one-room schoolhouse. She got her license @ 13, so that she could drive to the next town to attend a better school than was available to her locally. She returned to teach in that school, and it is at the heart of so many positive experiences for her and everyone involved. I wish I could have felt it for myself.

Your passage:
...questions at the end of each chapter. Instead of answering them individually, he wanted everything summed up in a couple of paragraphs. This was harder, and more thought went into it. At the time I didn't like it, but I am thinking now this was really a good exercise in summarization. It was quite a challenge!
calls out to me. I can write 10k words at the drop of a hat, but ask me to summarize in 250 or 500, and I'm completely overwhelmed. If there were tricks you learned on how best to summarize, I would love to hear about them.

Thank you again for a wonderful passage on what writing means to you.

>jace
neophyte novelist


** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
16 Reviews · *Magnify*
Page of 1 · 25 per page   < >
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/jacecar