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An intriguing tale that transmutes the contrived into charm.

By Patrick Rochefort, member

Feb 1, 2016: The Good: Oceans of Shelter is a story that loves language, and the rhythm thereof. Prose is crafted as much for those values of rhythm and cadence as for the power of the words, and it lends a genuinely magical air to the tale.

The (not actually) Bad: The initial dialogue in the story feels terribly, eye-rollingly contrived, with a great deal of rhyming and stilted dialogue that felt too artful and precious to suit the setting or characters. THIS PAYS OFF IN LATER CHAPTERS. Bear with it. Turns out the magic system revolves around song and rhyme, and when the context for it becomes plain, it casts a whole new light on the tale.

The (actually) Bad: All the forgivable part above aside, the early dialogue is still stilted as all hell. It does improve pretty fast, though. Parts of the story have sacrificed clarity and power of emotion for the sake of preserving that sense of rhythm and cadence to the language, and some plot turns come out of nowhere, and frustratingly without much credibility.

The Ugly: Not much ugly here. A few misplaced ‘now’/’not’s, but the work appears to have been thoroughly proof-read and edited.

Overall: 3.5 stars, based on the first 5 chapters of the story. I’m looking forward to reading more, because the use of rhyme and song to evoke magic is really very interesting, and there’s enough hooks in the plot so far to keep me interested.

Watch for very good things to come out of this story, as the writer improves. This story definitely has charm, and with a little less pretension and a little more heart on its sleeve, it’ll go far.

5 of 5 members found this review helpful.
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