Request: Kings & Queens Informal Review

Over the last two months, I have been working on cleaning up previous chapters that I had written when I first started my web serial Kings & Queens. The overall reception was positive when I did some review swaps earlier last year; however, there were some critiques that I wanted to improve on before I got deeper into the series. Some of this cleaning has been changing a sentence or two, and some of it has been complete reworks. I had 37 chapters up; however, today I disabled all but the first 7 of them until I get some feedback from a larger reading community.

So, my request - I would really appreciate some feedback on this forum without it being a formal review. Feedback about the opening of the story. Is it exciting? Does it grab the reader's attention? Did I do a decent enough job explaining motivation or making the protagonist a relatable or likable individual? Did I reduce the amount of world jargon enough for it not to be overwhelming?

Any feedback is super appreciated.

Give me a day and I'll take a run.

That would be very much appreciated. And if you wouldn't mind, please post it here. I really want to get a more formal review later once I've finished my polishing.

And that was fun. The reading is generally crisp and clear, though it did get a bit scrambled during the fight scene... but it takes a lot to make a fight read clean, and I'm afraid I'm not good enough to offer advice in that regard. You held off on the infodumping until the readers had a chance to get invested, which is about the smartest thing any writer can ever do.

Nicole is a threat to the Suspension of Disbelief... she's clearly supposed to be part of the *elite* military, and she acts like a combination of bratty little sister and stalker ex-girlfriend. Two traits that would get her disbanded from any armed force "the real world" has to offer.

I would advise you get some advice from someone who knows speech writing to redo that TV scene. Don't get me wrong- a powerful speech is a royal goddamn pain in the ass to get right (I avoid them as much as possible, myself)- but you went there, so now you have to put in the extra work to make it look professional.

Unless you want to convince the readers that a nation with both magic and scifi tech doesn't have dedicated speech writers.

Beyond that... solid. Nothing really stands out as amazing, but those first seven chapters only give a glimpse after all.

Thank you for the feedback.

So what I gather - your criticism is on specific things rather than my writing as a whole. Hopefully you don't mind if I run a few things by you then. That way I know what to address.

You say Nicole is a threat to SoD. I can see your point of view, so I'll try to elaborate. The point of these "Archangels" is that they get their rank based solely on their military prowess/their magic. In order to gain the title, one has to kill one with the title. Nicole is a 21-year-old sociopath. So, do I need to make who she is and why she is clearer in these chapters or is it fine to let that understanding come through in future chapters?

As for the speech, I actually completely agree with you and am a little embarrassed that I didn't realize the implication of Derek speaking impromptu.

Yeah. Your writing as a whole looks fine, though you do sometimes have a bit of purple prose, it's few and far between and thus tolerable, and even enjoyable. I chalk it up as part of your style and enjoy it for what it is.

You can get away with Nicole being what she is... but if this is a magic system that allows one so young to gain so much power, you're going to REALLY need to explain why the world hasn't been burned to the ground by crazy-powerful teenagers yet. It also wouldn't hurt to make Nicole's age more apparent, she's that young but the way the story presented her made her sound like she was in her late 20s to early 30s.

... Really, if you haven't seen Full Metal Alchemist yet, I highly recommend it to... everyone, actually, but specifically to someone like you who's got this kind of setting, with extremely young super-magic-powerhouses.

Hahah, I find it funny you mention that. FMA and FMA: Brotherhood were big inspirations when I created the Archangels. There's 7 of them. So I'm sure you can figure out where the direct inspiration came from.

I can definitely make sure to focus on those things you mentioned though. And really, I appreciate your feedback. It's been very helpful.

I wondered, but didn't want to assume.

Anywho, always glad to help more literature come along. I wish I could do more, but I'm kinda not a fan of the 'former cop antihero with a tragic past' archetype. Just a matter of taste.