Review Swap

My submission just today got posted, woohoo!

So, if anyone fancies a review swap, I'd love to get some more traction. Thank you.

Eish dude you should add a "start here" button to make it easier for new visitors

EDIT: And now I feel like an idiot :-(

Oh, I think I was planning to do a review on this one a little while back, and then life became a nightmare for a while and I lost track (also: had to get a new computer).

So, yeah, reading time.

If you're planning to do a review of my books, I'd like you to do Blue Steel. Don't worry, you don't have to read any of the other books to understand what's going on there. Each novel group is independent of the other and shares almost nothing aside the setting itself. Different core themes (well, aside from Power at a Price- that one's a theme of the whole setting), different main characters, different parts of the world. Part of Blue Steel isn't even on Earth.

I'll review swap with you. Seeems quite interesting thus far.

GeneralRincewind -I figured the spoiler free start link, combined with a table of contents up at the top of the page was good enough for now, but I know the site itself needs as much work as the writing does. I have no idea how everyone has such not atrocious wordpress sites.

What exactly was your confusion, if you got lost someone else probably did too and it needs fixed. Also, to clarify, you're just a reader, correct? I checked your profile and didn't see any links to works to review, but I wanted to make sure.

TanaNari - You were next on my list. I think Price is the one I was looking at, it sounded Worm-y and I especially like the idea of everything being kept to a local small time level. Just checked out the opening lines of Blue Steel - my interest is piqued. It doesn't look too terribly long, so I shouldn't be long on the review. Most of the wait will be me tearing myself away from Void Domain, I'm really into it right now.

Team Contract - Thank you. It's riddled with errors, very amateur mistakes and the whole thing is garden, as opposed to architectural, writing so it's going to be a rough ride, but luckily it isn't very long. I'll start on your stuff as soon as I've finished with TanaNari's.

Honestly, not a lot of Worm in there. I lifted the power classification concept, because it's a really good idea, but the tones and themes are more supernatural than science fiction. Lots to do with the concept of fate and destiny, which given that the story is meant to be directly inspired from the old Epic Tragedies, is to be expected. You can't draw from Tristam and Isolde, The Iliad and Odyssey, or King Arthur and not have those themes. Just doesn't work.

I think the story feels more like a blend of El Goonish Shive and the World of Darkness setting, but without the masquerade stuff. People in Price know about all the magic running amok in their world... they're just trying really *really* hard to pretend it's not actually magic. Some even manage to convince themselves.

You have a typo on the front page: "and spends all day every day rocking gentle" -> gently

I've read up to 1.6 - and btw I agree with General Rincewind's review there. It looks like you've done a good auto-spellcheck (great) but have missed a lot of the wrong/right words that spellcheck can't find. eg. misspelling Eluria, won't for wont, etc. Keep an eye out for those because although they're impossible to eradicate they play hell with my immersion.

You've got some fun ideas, but the start is too slow for me I'm afraid.

And that's my review. I wanted to give you a higher score, but the mechanical flaws are pretty huge.

Honestly, I'd recommend you do what I did and keep your original ideas to yourself for a while and do some fanfics or other "easy" stuff to get experience using someone else's ready-made fanbase... you need refinement and to find your voice, first. That way you don't "waste" any of your original ideas by not being skilled enough to do them justice.

Think of it as training.

Fantastic. I couldn't ask for better.

I'm up to chapter 13 of Blue Steel and I'm enjoying it so far. To clarify, is Shadow Play part of Blue Steel? Did you intend me to review it? No trouble either way, I like what I've read so far and it shouldn't take me too much longer regardless, just wanted to make sure I didn't accidentally do half the work.

Ugh, you cut me deep! The criticism is legitimate and constructive for sure, I'm just very sad at the prospect of writing fan fiction.

Well, Shadow Play is the direct sequel, but it's also a different book. Your call, but reading both would be a lot to ask for traded review since I've got a lot more words sitting out there than you do even in just the one book.

Also: don't be ashamed of doing a fanfic or two early on. The most important parts of writing are practice and improvement... you won't get that in an echo-chamber, and the absolute reality is that you can't collect much of an audience until you've got some experience and that criticism.

Think of it as going to a writing class... only it's cheaper and what you'll learn is more valuable.

Seriously... I've got a decade plus of education on literature behind me, and I learned more in six months of fanfic writing about the actual art of writing. Plus it let me build an easy audience to start with.

Are they stand alone stories? I think that'd be my final call. I just finished the first book last night.

I feel like a child - I know what you're telling me is good advice, but I still don't want to do it.

I'll also be starting on Once Giants shortly, Team Contract.

They're "stand alone" in the same way the Discworld books are stand alone. Each one can be read and understood without reading any of the others, and so far there's not enough of them to have a huge amount of (or, much of any) overlap. Reading all of them adds a lot of context and shows moving parts behind the scenes that the individual novels don't have the scope for on their own... but there's absolutely no need to read all of them.

That said, other than direct sequels (re: Threefold and Shadow Plays), there's no need to read any other book, or in any particular order. It enriches the overall worldbuilding, but I make sure every book contains everything critical to the current plot. Well, again, save the direct sequel books... them, you probably need to read the predecessor...

And, well, we all have our struggles and life choices. As long as you know it's good advice you're rejecting, that's really all I can ask.

Okay, I'll pass on Shadow Play for now then in the interest of spreading the reviews around. I definitely enjoyed Blue Steel and I'd love to hear more about the Thassan's and I'm curious about Lynx and her whole deal, which is what I assume Shadow Play touches on more, so I'll definitely be coming back to it.

I might give it a go. I need to find something I feel like I could enjoy writing fan fiction about. So far, nothing appeals to me.

I'm up to 1.5 so far, im going to read a bit more before review, but yeah... you need to go back and rewrite and edit. Lots of weird gaps and pacing changes.

Story wise, so far it makes me think more of Alma's backstory in F.E.A.R. than anything else. its interesting, but... I'm not sure where its going. We don't know what Daisy WANTS, what she does, what her point for being, for riding, is. We should get some touches here and there BEFORE she takes doc for a ride because right now, shes just.... super powerful and playing with it.

I rather like her power level and essential mysteriousness at the moment, myself. It's kinda like a disaster movie, a "man vs nature/environment" storylines... where instead of 'nature', it's 'god-child'.

Now, granted, if the story was told from her perspective it'd be rather boring... but being told through the eyes of someone who could have all his atoms have spontaneously separated for saying the wrong thing... it's a pretty interesting premise I've not seen done very often, and I like it.

I've never delved into the FEAR games, so I have no idea.

Yeah. It is what it is right now. I'm just looking to finish it at this point and hopefully go back and make it into something more coherent. I know it's fucked up and there's continuity issues and what have you throughout, but right now it's "as is".

Posted your review TanaNari, it's rambly, but positive on the whole.

Agreed, it is an interesting premise to play with. Just... Okay, im going to make some assumptions here. Im going to assume you're a teenager, Hostile? Because your characters all read like... a youth's mental impression of how adults talk when kids aren't around? if that makes sense?

None of the characters have a unique voice, and there's a certain tone of impropriety to all of them that you would NEVER get from military or a scientific facility. It's not just the swearing. Its the familiarity with each other, as well as the mental and verbal eyerolling and dismissive attitudes when talking to each other. its very offputting.

Actually, Shadow Plays (and I'm considering changing the name to Blue Wall), has nothing to do with Shannon or the Thassans. Most of it takes place in NYC.

That's the thing about the Blue Steel series... it's meant to be a way to explore the setting as a whole, with a fairly episodic series of one-shots that let me showcase more of the setting than I can with the other series. It's also an excuse to test out concepts that I like, but am not sure are worth a full book in their own right... so I can insert Warren into the scenario, see how I like the setting as a whole, and move forward.

The Thassans were one such experiment, and they'll get a book of their own some day. As will Shannon. But neither will come up in Warren's adventures any time soon.

I'm actually 26, and just a shitty writer.

I don't know about the scientific community, but I did 4 years with 1st Ranger Battalion - I'd hazard that wherever you were at in the military, unless you're speaking about your own ideas of what the military is like and not personal experience, was just the teensiest, tiniest bit different from where I was.

Definitely change the name. After her creepy shadow like powers it really seems like it'd be about her.

It's definitely cool, the rest of Price is on my to do list.

Yeah, the dialogue between buddies makes sense. The behavior between people at the heavily regulated essentially government lab? Needs to be less informal... these are organizations which take their everything as Most Serious Business Ever...

Thanks. So, as an expert on the military, how does Warren come across? Believable (within the bounds of magic and magical superscience), I hope?