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Review Requests: ON
375 Public Reviews Given
378 Total Reviews Given
Review Style
My review style will change to conform to the needs of the work. If I find no grammatical issues, I move onto something else, and I will always key on requested aspects of the piece per the author's instructions.
I'm good at...
Helping with descriptive phrasing, less capable in the realm of grammar, but always aspire to be honest yet polite. I feel that those who concentrate on criticizing are compensating for something, which is lacking in themselves.
Favorite Genres
SciFi, Fantasy, Horror, Country, and almost anything else I'm asked to do.
Least Favorite Genres
X rated. Other than that, I haven't met one yet.
Favorite Item Types
Short Story, Novel chapters, etc.
Least Favorite Item Types
Poems, because I know very little about that art. However, I am very willing to give my impression of a poem. I just make no promises as to how helpful it will be.
I will not review...
X rated or anything over a rating of 18+
Public Reviews
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126
126
Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
This short story is imaginative and well written. I found nothing, which in my opinion, necessitated change. Keep writing like this and posting stories and I'm sure you will garner many followers among the citizenry on this site. I do apologize for not giving you at least some advice, other than to keep writing, but that's all I have.

I will visit your home here at WdC, to read some more, if you don't mind? In the meantime, well done and keep on.

jdennis
127
127
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (4.0)
jonblair,

Review of the First Episode of "Star Voyagers"

First, let me preface my review by saying that I have never been an expert in any subject, and during those few times in my career when I was considered an expert, in a limited field of endeavor, I proved my first point.

Suggestion 1: Just a preference comment about the first paragraph of Episode 1. It read fine to me. However, you might consider a slight change. This approach would only be "what I would do," and that doesn't mean it is a good thing to do, but instead of being a detached statement from an unidentified narrator (the author), I would make it a comment interjected by one of the crew. A character like, Beta Ghislaine Vangelos, who is the first character you introduce. That way the author is not stepping into the scene. I would instead assign that task to one of the characters. This tool may also come in handy during later events.

Suggestion 2: Sorry, but I am reviewing your story and, what good would a review be without input that is meant to help improve the piece. Again, please understand that these suggestions are opinions:

"Down, get down," Foxwell suddenly, but quietly shouted as he turned and motioned repeatedly downward with his arm to the surveying party, all following in a straight line behind him and Science Officer Beta as they immediately dropped to one knee, while the Captain, a foreboding look unfamiliar to his crew, turned again to confirm what only moments ago he had witnessed, a Metropolis of gargantuan and futuristic design as far as the eye could see."

This paragraph contains a good action scene, the first action scene in the story, so you might want to punch it up a little. Might I suggest breaking this one sentence into shorter, more impactful sentences, separating the action into jabs? I compare action scenes in my mind to a good boxing match. Boxer's always begin their attacks with a flurry of jabs leading up to a knockout punch.

Example: "Down! Get down!" Foxwell shouted in a whisper as he repeatedly motioned for the trail of crewmembers behind him to drop. Beta immediately dropped to one knee, and the others followed suit. A foreboding scowl, unfamiliar to his crew, spread over the Captain's face as he scanned a futuristic Metropolis spilling over the horizon.

Suggestion 3: This suggestion concerns the ending of the episode:

"It IS a map, Captain. A map and invasion plan - target is:

"PLANET EARTH."

May I suggest rearranging some words to:

"It's a map, Captain, with an invasion plan. The target is—Earth."

I only make this suggestion for maximum impact purposes. This ending is a classic segway into the next episode.

Again, it's your story; use your words. All of the above are simply examples of my observations as a reader and the limited knowledge of writing I possess.

However, I do know that your terminology is sound. (I say that from an in-depth scientific background from many, many years of working with military contractors, NASA, and many other high-end electronics manufacturers. I worked extensively with the R&D departments from all of the above.)

Your premise and plot are strong enough for a series of short stories, books or television shows, and your characters seem well fleshed out. You must have been thinking about this for some time.

I also appreciate your use of words like "conurbation" because I learned from your writing (and referring to the dictionary a few times) and have discovered increased fodder for my works.

I noticed a few spots where you will need to perform some rework on your wording, very few grammatic issues and just a few suggestions like the above examples, but overall, the story(episode) flows well.

My main advice is to keep plugging and when you come to a point where your imagination dries up, go back and touch up the work you have at the time, and the rest will come to you.

You have talent, my friend. Keep using it because that is the only way to ensure that it will grow.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
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128
Review of Summer Ritual  
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (5.0)
Ken,

I understood all of this, and I have never been able to comprehend poetry. I am ignorant when it comes to "sie-lab-uls." I guess my IQ isn't high enough. Kids today always get high on their own IQ's. My generation never did.

In all seriousness, you have done an excellent job of introducing Spring and reintroducing me to my past, thank you.

jdennis
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129
Review of Singularity  
Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Huntersmoon,

I don't have much to say that will help you with this short story, sorry. I think you nailed it. There was humor in the banter between Davi and Tamor. Suspense upon the discovery that they were underground (for me, imagining that environment is suspenseful enough--(can you say claustrophobia?) and when the "diggers" narrowly missed them. The restrained excitement when they found the filing cabinets along with the information that would help them recapture their world. And, my grasp of the entire situation of their existence somewhere along the way.

I'm afraid that all I can offer you in regards to this short story is my appreciation for letting me read it and my congratulations to you for your success. Good Job! I don't even see a misspelled, did you get help?

All kidding aside, Great Job! BTW, I read this in the FSFS Magazine-----Congratulation!! Can I have your autograph?

jdennis
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130
Review by jdennis
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Huntersmoon,

Here is a small donation for your group. I am not a veteran, but my father was. I have three medals that my mother gave me at his funeral. One for service in World War II, one for service in the North Korean Campaign, and one for serving in the War in Vietnam. He went to Vietnam in 1968 so that I would not be sent because I was the last surviving son in my family line at the time. I did not ask him to go for me and I didn't know at the time why he went and that made me even more proud of him after I found out.

Good Job!

I will be contributing as often as I can.

jdennis (jdennis01jaj)
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131
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (4.5)
GentleGiantess,

I enjoyed reading the chapters of your story with the little ponies and all of your other characters' and their adventures. You have a great imagination and should try to pen some children tales, which include more experiences in your new world. I know I would like to read them.

You might describe your world for me with a little more detail. I am an older person who has stretched their imagination out of shape over the years so that it needs a little help to create a picture of your world. Please draw it in words for me.

Thank you,
jdennis
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132
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (5.0)
David,

A small donation for SFSF. Sorry it has been so long since last donation. I will try to do better in the future.

jdennis
133
133
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (3.5)
Review of Fabled Origins - Zerek (1)

Even when the night was dark and covered by rain, with only the occasional light from a lightning strike, Zerek was able to dodge the obstacles in his way with stunning agility. He fit his small frame through cracks in between buildings to get to the shortcut that he always takes, and he burst into a sprint once he landed. He took(maybe another word would fill your intent better like "He stole a peek from over his shoulder searching for pursuers and slowed his pace as he found none.") a look back to check for any pursuers,(no comma) but saw none. All he could hear were the disgruntled shouts of those pursuers who were left far behind. With a victorious smirk, he clutched the sack tightly in his hands and turned his attention back to running. In no time, he arrived at a run-down(,)(also, you might use a more intricate description like "dilapidated." The reason I say this is that run-down might still be inhabited, whereas dilapidated implies "condemned, uninhabitable.") abandoned shack, and sat down("sat down" is kind of casual for this situation, would he "sit down" or would he have "collapsed" from exhaustion?) on a pile of hay. He opened the sack and counted out the coins inside - ten gold coins, that was enough for a week's(ten gold coins should be worth more than a week's worth of meals, maybe a month or even several months plus a change of clothes) worth of meals, and maybe even a change of clothes. He smiled as he realized this, but at the same time, he felt the fatigue hit him. A long night of sneaking in and out of a rich (wealthy) merchant's well-guarded residence left him exhausted. He put the coins back in the sack, held it close to his chest, draped his trusty("tattered." He is sleeping in an abandoned shack. Maybe "trusty," but "tattered.") tarp over himself, and drifted off to sleep.

****This paragraph is an exciting opening to what I believe will be a much longer story, and it has piqued my interest. You have a talent for creating a tense moment, use it in the right places (like the beginning of a story, chapter or important scene.) I would also rewrite using a broader vocabulary. Once you have the action set to paper, go back and look for words or phrases that add emphasis to your writing. I attempted to give you a couple of examples, but these are not in your style so you will have to go back and rewrite with your own words, which conform to your intent for the scene.

All in all, this is a great beginning. Keep this up and have fun. Stories are only interesting when you have fun writing them and you seem to be having fun.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it. I have given you 3.5 stars only because the scene still needs some work and it is not completed, or at least, I would like to see more. Write on.

jdennis
134
134
Review of The End  
Review by jdennis
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
Review of "The End."
1. "just where her heart would be and she cried" sounds awkward. Maybe: "clutched her shirt just over where her heart would be…" After all, she is not clutching her heart, she's clutching her shirt that is over her heart.

2. "… to have hearse handy." Should this be "…to have a hearse handy."?

3. "After the two octogenarians signed the papers, they followed the men to where the men strapped into their gear then strapped them to each other." This wording is a little confusing. Maybe something like, "After the two octogenarians signed the paperwork, they followed the men to where everyone was strapped into their gear. When all of them were suited up, Marv and Betty were strapped to each other." or something like that, but in your words.

This is a sweet little short story. I really liked it. I am almost where these two are, so I can relate. I would wonder though if they would actually go to so much trouble in preparation for this short excursion, especially since Betty evidently did not think she was going to die. I remember that Marv commented after the drop that he had not expected to live through the experience, but I did not get the impression that Betty had expected to die. I know that earlier in the story she went along with his idea, but I guess I didn’t take her statement of, "I sure would be dead by the time its over," as a capitulation to ending her life. By the way, that should be "…it's over." I guess I have to ask myself if someone, especially one who loved another, would ask that "other" to kill herself because he was dying. You might make the case that neither truly expected to die, but then would they go to so much trouble before the trip? I only bring this up because this was my impression and changes are possible at this point if you reread and find some agreement.

All in all, this is a very good read and a cute story that warms the heart and ends on a happy note.
Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
135
135
Review of End of Summer  
Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Very good. I relate to what you capture here, in your poem. I feel the same way as summer ends and Winter looms. There seems to be a brief period of mourning stretching between the cusp of early Fall and the waning Winter's demise.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
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136
Review of Even A Snail Will  
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (5.0)
This piece is a beautiful and uplifting story. As I began the story, I thought it might be depressing, however, as I read I found the tale surprisingly inspiring. Please keep writing and keep the inspirational tone in your writing, it is refreshing. There are too many people in this world trying to drag everyone else down into their sad existence. Hope is always the best moral.

thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
137
137
Review of The Note  
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (4.5)
Very good and whimsical. This poem reminds me of Dr. Seuss' stories, but more adult in the subject. All in all, I enjoyed this poem and found it relevant in my life as a person of "experience." (In today's terminology that means elderly.) It is even more impressive with the understanding that you created the poem under the pressure of a prompt.

Well done, Cubby.
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138
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (4.0)
This piece is beautiful. It is well worded and effective. Although, I question whether the story is complete. I sensed of an accident and the narrator's death, but still had many questions about who she referred to and what happened to her and her lover. I like this short-short; however, I do not feel the story is entirely complete. Just not quite enough to provide satisfaction, yet almost enough.

I may be missing something because I am not a poet or a romantic writer and lack much in that department. All in all, you did evoke emotion and sparked curiosity, so on those fronts, you hit a home run.

I enjoyed your writing and hope to see more from you in the future.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
139
139
Review of The Beanstalk  
Review by jdennis
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
I really like this short-short. Did you enter it into the SciFi short story contest? If not, you need to, but before you do I believe you should take a second look at it and touch up a couple of small issues, like:

1. Sam frowned and turned away, scratching furiously at her arms. Should remain past tense: Sam frowned and turned away as she scratched furiously at her arms. Or: Sam frowns and turns away, scratching furiously at her arms. (if you want to change to present tense. Which might be a good idea for the entire story.)

2. He recoiled, dropping the keycard which clattered into the floor vent. Should remain past tense: He recoiled and dropped the keycard which clattered into the floor vent. Or: He recoils, drops the keycard which clatters into the floor vent. (if you want to change to present tense. Which might be a good idea for the entire story.)

3. The door slammed, leaving Jack alone. Should remain past tense: The door slammed and left Jack alone. Or: The door slams and leaves Jack alone. (if you want to change to present tense. Which might be a good idea for the entire story.)

Jack went Up the next day Should be: Jack went Up the next day. (period)

Also: Outside, one hundred million humans huddled in similar shoebox apartments across the Arcology, trapped in indentured servitude(.) (Needs period)

Thanks for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
140
140
Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
This first chapter ends perfectly. It invites the reader into the next chapter with a load of questions to keep him searching through your prose. Speaking of your prose, I found them to flow extremely well. Although there were some sections where the grammar, switching of the verb tense and such, seemed slightly off, still I could not help but continue as the overall story compelled me to reach for the next sentence. My curiosity kept me captive to this first chapter the entire read and I am going to look to the next chapter in the morning, as it is time for this old gentleman to slip off to his dreams.

I have to admit that, as I read I wanted to jot down a sentence or two to rewrite in this review, but I then realized that it would have only been an attempt to make the story my own and it is most definitely your story to tell. I apologize for stating this fact, however, it does reveal to you how much you have captivated this reader and that is a valuable critique for a writer as it divulges your success. Many times, I believe, reviewers strain to find something to criticize thinking that they are helping the author. I admit to this fault in some of my own reviews, but I have come to realize that letting someone know when they have succeeded is just as important.

To summarize: After you complete your initial creative write of several chapters, I would go back and make some touch ups to your grammar in a few places (if you need help with that don't ask it from me, my grammar is atrocious.) However, I would be ecstatic if you would invite me to read further as you complete the next chapters of this story as I believe it is going to be a wild adventure. One which I know I will enjoy.

By the way, your writing is very visual and that characteristic helps to pull the reader through the story and makes the trip a tactile adventure and also make the reading of it a pleasure instead of a chore.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
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Review of Chapter 3  
Review by jdennis
Rated: 18+ | N/A (Review only item.)
Review of Chapter 3 of Unnamed Novel

I know this is picky, but I think you are like me and want a reviewer to be a little picky. I stumbled when I read this sentence: "No chance of escaping only to fall to his death." I don't know, but it seems to me that you are getting in too much of a hurry here and trying to say too much with a very few words. I say this because I am very much guilty of doing this with everything I write. Needless to say, I do a lot of rewriting. I get in too much of a hurry. I think that what you are trying to say is: "He crossed the room to the window, but it was locked and that wouldn’t have mattered because the room was 30 stories up and escape from the room wouldn't help, if he fell to his death from the narrow ledge outside." Or something like that. You'll have to use your words, of course.

You seem to shift from past tense to present tense as you write from paragraph to paragraph and even in the same paragraph a couple of times, but I understand doing that in an early, rough draft. I would think at this point, knowing your capabilities, you are probably looking for input on character development and the progression of the story line. So, from here on out I will concentrate on the story. If you want something more in-depth just let me know. I'm not the best at that, but I would be glad to give it a try. You have always been of great help to me, so please let me know. I just don't want to insult.

This chapter is a perfect follow-up to chapter 2. You keep the reader involved in Jon's plight in finding his wife and you continue to build the new world through his bewildered and astonished eyes. My personal favorite are the Mars. Androids are something I like to write about because they can be so clinical in habit, yet express the wonderment of a child due to an innate curiosity, which must exist because anyone capable of designing and building such a being, must wish to endow it with their own curiosity.

The best indication of what I think of your story to this point is my own curiosity about what will happen next. You have maintain a stream of questions in my mind through each chapter. Answering some and creating more as you guide me through you wonderfully painted world. Keep this up and continue to write. You can rewrite later and fix some of those small issues that I brought up in the second paragraph of this review, but for now, keep writing.
I look forward to the next chapter and hope to read it soon.

jdennis
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142
Review by jdennis
Rated: 18+ | N/A (Review only item.)
Max,
I am sorry it took so long for me to get back to you with a review of Chapter 2 of Timekeepers. I have no good excuse accept that, my wife made me do it. We had several chores that we have had to complete over the past couple of weeks. But let me begin:

Good bridge between Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. The battle continues and you introduce a new character, who was mentioned in the first chapter. What I like most is that the action continues. A battle with a warrior sporting a Harley Davison helmet is a great hook and leaving that unexplained keeps the reader wanting to continue to the next page. Very good work. It is obvious that you have been working on this project for a good while, since the writing is crisp, the action carries the reader from paragraph to paragraph and your well developed character's actions are well thought through and make perfect sense. You are definitely following a good outline and that is important for maintaining coherence through a straight-line Plot in an action novel.

I am sorry at this point because I find nothing that I can do here to help you, other than to belay any doubts that may be in your mind about this story or its construction at this point. I know from my experience that a big problem when writing something like this is doubts that creep in from our own lack of confidence. Don't listen to them because you have complete control of the reader at this point. Simply continue and maintain your confidence in yourself and you will have a winner.

Just one catch, I think, and it is minor read-over issue that I experience all the time.

"Haakon strode forward and handed the waif off the woman, who opened her arms in a caress." Would this not be "…handed the waif off (to) the woman…"?

Keep writing on this and if you wish, I will look in on it from time to time and let you know if I see anything, which might need your attention.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
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143
Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Graham B.,

This is a great Halloween story. You begin the story on a dark night in the perfect setting, and with the words of Wyatt begin to build tension into the evening. Having teenagers as the main characters is brilliant because they can show innocence and a great deal of fear in an unknown situation, where adults might be less malleable and more predictable. The suspense builds nicely as the story progresses and the ending with the oak tree outside Dana's window is foreboding. All in all, a successful suspense story for the season.

There were a few items I wanted to bring up that are minor in nature, but since I am providing a critique, I want to be thorough.

Here are some of my comments:

"Are you okay?" he said. "Do want my coat?" Should this be—"Do you want my coat?"
"And what do they say?" asked Sasha, almost succeeding in keeping the mockery from her voice. (Until this point, you have been in the past tense, does this matter? This is up to you as the writer.)
She handed her joint over to Kyle and took a long pull. (Should this be "…and he took a long pull.")

Also, as I read, I think you drifted with your tense from time to time with verbs going from past tense to present tense. I know that this is not as important as it once was, so I did not note it but a couple of times, just to bring this to your attention. I'm sure that if you find it to be important, you will catch this on a read-through.

Bottom line for me, this was a cool story with suspense, a reminder of youth, and it made my blood pump as the characters struggled against the revenge of the trees. Wyatt has made me think twice about trimming some of the limbs that were about to fall on my fence over the past couple of days. I hope I didn't piss anyone off. Luckily, most of the property around my house is pasture land . . . However, I do have several trees that I planted for shade around my house.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
144
144
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is a cute, but stabbing criticism of the commercialization of Christmas. I agree. I love the way you spell out the word "Christmas" with the first letter of the first word of every line. I do not write poetry and know nothing about poetry, so this may have some type of style significance. Forgive me if I am showing my ignorance. I did enjoy reading this and will remember it come this Christmas season, when my grandchildren want to know what I got them for Christmas, instead of asking, "What do you want for Christmas, Grampy?" But I guess that's all you can really expect from children, and I love them all. Have a merry Christmas and "What do you want for Christmas?" (Besides a story being published:)

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
145
145
Review by jdennis
Rated: 18+ | N/A (Review only item.)
Max, sorry it took longer than I thought it would to get to the first chapter of your book. Well, here goes. This is a very good first chapter. I've read "Time Guardian" and "time travel"stories in the past, but not quite like this first chapter indicates that this story will be like, and yes, I want to read more after reading this. Your time policing organization seems to be more complex than others I have encountered through my previous reading.

You present a lot of information about that organization in this first chapter. There seems to be a central "home office," which all of the different entities answer to and the different entities like time guardians (people who watch for anomalies in the timeline), people who live in each of the timelines (who may just be someone of that timeline, who has been chosen to be informed about the time watchers, I haven't figured that out yet), and others who get involved in correcting timeline issues.

To answer your questions:

Yes, it makes a lot of sense to me. If time is to be policed, there would have to be a rather large organization to monitor, fix, prevent . . . issues that might occur, if from no other source but their presence, from anomalies created by or the result of some previous anomaly, which would result in a cascade of anomalies through time. To me, it would seem that once experimentation begins, this type of organization would be inevitable.

The hook is great. Like I said, the subject is something everyone has thought about and wonders if some day it will be possible. Personally, I think everyone wishes for it to happen. Then we all might be able to go back in time and live something over . . . and so on.

The characters are alive. They seem human, with human desires, human frailties, human doubts, and they seem real.

The goals of the characters make sense for the circumstances they are thrust into by their jobs and by the problems around them. And of course the goals matter, otherwise time itself would unravel and where would that leave the world full of people in the present, past and future. That kind of includes everyone.

Finally, I think most anyone who reads this first chapter would want to continue reading, so keep it up and I'll read the next chapter within the next couple of days and let you know how that one reads to me.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.
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146
Review of Lights Out  
Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Wow! Very poignant. The brevity is striking in that you provide so much impact within condensed sentences and sharply aimed words. The precision and the rhythmically choppy, straight forward action filled style of your writing is impressive. I know this is a short review, but frankly I can't find anything to complain about. I was caught in the beginning and reeled in with ease. Enthralled to the End. Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
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Review of Chapter 2  
Review by jdennis
Rated: 18+ | N/A (Review only item.)
"They rode the elevator up in silence. Jon tugged at his shirt(,) which felt too small and repeatedly touched his(the) wallet in his back pocket to make sure it was still there. It was disconcerting knowing that whatever he had on him right now was everything he owned." (I believe there should be a comma after "shirt", but I am not an expert on grammar. Also, you might think about changing the first "his" in the second sentence to "the" only so as not to be repetitive. Possession seems to be established with the second "his".)

" Rather, there was a thin, silver rod approximately 2 feet long and an inch think." Should this be "thick?"

"…focusing its view on its windows where men, women, and children waved frantically." This is probably just a personal preference, but to me, this may read a little easier, "…focusing its view on windows where men, women, and children waved frantically." And all I did was remove "its." This may just be me and my preferential wording habits.

This is a good follow-up chapter to the beginning chapter, and I like that you still leave questions, creating more mystery for the reader to ponder on the way to the next chapter. I say it that way because the way it is written makes one want to move right on to the next chapter to find out what Jon finds out next. You are constructing a discovery the reader will not be able to set aside, and that makes for the best read, in my opinion. So far, I am impressed with your style and story construction. I find no real grammar issues, and you lead the reader with a comfortable wording and easily read writing style. To me, that is essential for the type of novel I like to read. Some writers try to impress the reader with difficult sentence structure, multi-syllable wording or too much techno-babble and I for one, find that too high-brow and shy away from their work after stumbling through the first book. It is my opinion (only) that writing like Mark Twain or even Michael Critchton is much more appealing.

I really have found little to critique in anything of yours that I have read to date, and I am sorry I have been so little help to you. All I seem to be able to say is, keep on doing what you are doing, and I will continue to read. If at some future point, I see the need to offer you help, I will comment on it (in a polite way). Until then, keep on keeping on (as we used to say when I was young).
Again, thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

By the way, there are no rating stars on your Review box. Should there be?

jdennis
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Review of Chapter 1  
Review by jdennis
Rated: 18+ | N/A (Review only item.)
As you know, I am not a professional writer, editor, teacher or anyone else who could profess expertise in writing or the subject of literary endeavors. I never paid attention during grammar lessons, and have regretted it all my life. I am a reader, though, and can recognize aspects of a story and in the style of writing, which catch my attention and awaken me from the story. This is probably my only value.

"With his eyes shut, all he could make out about the room was the sound and the smell." I have been told in past critiques to, "keep every word close to you, like a miser and his coins." Would this sentence work just as well? "With his eyes shut, the room revealed only sounds and smells." I understand you lose only a few "the's," but sometimes a reader's eye catches on each word. This is not a biggy, just a question and one of the few observations I can find to make in this chapter.

" Holy shit. Suddenly, his headache flared and rammed into his temples. 2353? In the future? It was hard to remember anything, but he dug into the recesses of his brain and scrunched his eyes together in concentration. 2018, yes, that was it. His last memories were of 2018. Which meant that the procedure must have been successful. Seeing as he was awake again, that was the only option available. His last memories were of a room similar to the one he was in now on the 18th floor of the ALTO Corporation’s headquarters with his wife of 25 years, Valerie. They had been here together. Val!" This is a great paragraph and placed at the most opportune moment in the action. Great job!! Up to this point I was thinking he was in an accident and then-POW-I'm in the middle of a Sci-Fi story. Absolutely, perfect.

" He was as naked as they day he was born, and…," should this be, " He was as naked as the day…."

" he looked a lot closer to the age when he was born as well." Just a suggestion, I stopped for a moment. " he looked a lot closer to the age of his birth…."

"…a hard line where the color ended and the dusty brown began." Awesomely, vivid imagery.

This is a great start of what appears will be a fantastic story. Your character will be able to show us your future through a set of today's eyes and that sounds superb. I look forward to the next chapter and will pick it up and try to get it completed sometime wid-week.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
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Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
First, I would like to say that this is the beginning of a wonderful story and I would like to read more as you develop it.

Remember that I am not a professional writer and I do not profess to being one. The suggestions I make are just that, suggestions.

I have been told on this page and several others, to not rely on the word "that" excessively. Probably because I use it at least in every other sentence. Also, I have been advised to conserve words. I find it difficult to avoid, when telling a story due to my tendency to explain too much as I go.

Examples of possible changes in word use:

"I laid the phone back on the receiver. Closed my laptop and packed it up in its case, unplugged my cell and put it in my back pocket and grabbed my keys." Instead, you might have used only one sentence. "I laid the phone back on the receiver, closed my laptop in its case, placed my cellphone in my pocket and grabbed my keys." Granted, you only save a few words and this may not be the best example (because again I am no expert), but I think you get the picture.

Another thing I have learned from critiques I have received is to attempt to avoid repeated words in a sentence and especially to try and avoid that, began and so on...

"I finally pulled into the driveway at 8:15. It was then that I realized how truly exhausted I was. It had been a long day with clients and paperwork and scheduling. Now it was time for a bite to eat and a hot bubble bath."

Example: "I finally pulled into the driveway at 8:15. I suddenly realized how truly exhausted I was. What a long day, with clients and paperwork and scheduling. Now it was time for a bite to eat and a hot bubble bath." Not much of a change, but for some it reads smoother--I guess.

To me, these sentences were fantastic: "After the movie I dragged myself upstairs with my second glass of wine in hand."; "I made sure to hold onto the handrail for fear of missing a step and spilling my beverage.";"I decided against the hot bubble bath and just put on a pair of lounge pants and an old t-shirt. I wandered down the hall to David’s room and knocked on the door."

Please remember, this are suggestions and not criticism. I hope you understand that because I really enjoyed your story and hope you keep writing on it and many more. Please give me the opportunity to read them and thank you for writing this beginning of what I believe will be a great story.

jdennis
150
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Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (4.5)
"Manuel Francisco could feel the residents huddling within, their fear seeping through the windows and tumbling down the windows like smoke." Window/window reads just a little awkward. Think of a substitute like: "…their fear seeping through the windows and tumbling down their glass like smoke." This is a very visual and outstanding piece of writing, yet I hesitated on the second "window" instead of continuing to read. This wording may not be correct either, but I think you will understand what I am trying to get at.

I appreciate a story with constant action and banter between characters. I also appreciate succinct writing styles like yours.

"There was a pop of displaced air, and Zuum was gone." I really liked this sentence due to its brevity and descriptive pin ash.

I want to compare your writing style in this piece to that of Brandon Sanderson, who is one of my favorite authors; however, your style differs slightly in that you are even more visual than he is and your banter comes quicker than his especially during action sequences.

This piece is fun and emotional. I enjoyed it immensely.

Thank you for writing it and letting me read it.
jdennis
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