|Hi Dave2write }, today I am reviewing "Checkmate" from the Newbie Review Request list. A review is only how I, see your piece. Accept what you agree with, ignore that which you disagree with.
I found this read entertaining. I am glad I checked it out. I will do this differently than my usual review because of the way I feel the story unfolds. I will try to address the story chronologically.
We find two distinct settings in this story. Initially on the top of a 20-floor building; where we meet our main character and Jax. In the first six paragraphs, we learn who Jax is, what he does, and what his general looks. We do not learn even our main character's name until the seventh paragraph. As Jax appears to be a minor character, this should be reversed.
Here are a few samples of the grammar spelling or punctuation issues that I found:
"The wind whipped around me as I watched(,) a small paper cup took (take?) flight over Jax as he knelt motionless off (on?) the twenty story office building."
You wouldn’t know he was an elf unless the wind didn’t blow (blew) the white hair off his pointed ears
You know, Just just because we help each other out every once in a while doesn’t mean I like you”.
There is also the statement that Indigo keeps Jax sane since "they" were thrown through the veil. We never explore indigo, they, or the veil. So why are they mentioned?
At this point, I know Gabriel's name, but I am unaware if he is human or not. As Gabriel is looking for Johann Luther, he contacts friends in the supernatural world but does not describe that world, he also returns to his old homeless haunts but does not explain that world either.
The introduction of Izzy is awesome. The initial description brought to mind an old western schoolmarm. The review of her true nature unfolded perfectly; it is an excellent premise for the story. The back-and-forth between Gabriel and Izzy was enjoyable, but I found myself wishing she was just slightly less formal, maybe a little cheeky even.
"My attitude has nothing to do with logic," she said placing her small purse on the table. This sentence does not appear to refer to anything in this story.
The summoning of Ne’Farus was a great opportunity. A change in the point of view to Izzy's would have made me happier as a reader. Having Izzy explain how Gabriel came to be soaking wet would also be nice.
I'm not sure as a reader, why I am not allowed to know the contents of the silver box. It is another opportunity to provide a back story for Johann Luther.
We do not know the location nor do we have a description of the city we are in until almost halfway through the story, then we get the name Morgan City. The city scene is undeveloped and could be explored to set the tone.
Selene is an interesting character. Again I find myself wanting a back story.
By the time he is in the lounge preparing for Johann Luther, Gabriel has been referred to as a Bloodkeeper five times. We do not know what a Bloodkeeper is or how he became one.
The confrontation with Johann Luther was my favorite part, and I greatly enjoyed it. One of my favorite lines from the scene is “Very good Gabriel that went quite well; he’s going to rip your throat out.”. The description of the mangled and burnt Johann Luther is fun, but I found it somewhat clumsy. Probably the biggest part stuck out was "and it's right appendage missing".
The protection spell is a cool idea. It would be interesting to explore how it works a little more. The phone call with Selene was appropriate. The before and after calls with Selene indicate how important she is to Gabriel, and you should explore their relationship and back story.
I enjoyed the premise and plot of the story. In general, I found the characters believable but underdeveloped. Sorry but to enjoy the story itself, I did have to suspend belief in spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
Overall, I did enjoy the story greatly and would love to see it cleaned up and expanded upon.
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