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ANTLERS, COLORADO

Antlers

By ChrysKelly, author of Matilda Raleigh

Sep 16, 2016: Antlers Colorado is fantastically written. How well? I absolutely hate first person present tense stories and I’m finding this gripping. The description is so evocative that you’ll think you live in Antlers. The storyline is great, and the characters are realistic.

I did find the prologue a bit of a drag, and I only kept reading because antlers is in the webserial book club, but I found that it’s definitely worth it to keep going. The first chapter is so much better than the prologue, and it keeps improving from there.

At this point, I’ve only just finished the first chapter (and what a cliffhanger it ended on). There are lots of unresolved subplots that I’m looking forward to reading more about.

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ANTLERS, COLORADO

Supernatural mystery done well

By Deadpansmirk, author of Desert Steel

Dec 2, 2015: Antlers, Colorado starts off well, because it makes me intrigued in the story, settings and characters all within the first chapter. What’s especially great is that it lives up to its initial promise, keeping me entertained and engaged throughout.

This is a well-written web serial. Sentences have good structure, grammar and flow. Nobody should have any problem understanding what is happening when. The characters are believable and interesting, all with their own unique personalities. I like the main character. He, like all good protagonists, is flawed enough to be interesting but not too much to be unlikeable. His relationships with his father and Otter are fleshed out, and make me care for every single one of them.

The combination of supernatural and mystery works well together, although I have a personal love for both genres. Supernatural beings are merged smoothly into the modern small town setting, and each serves the other well. A downside is that the lore is unclear. The police take him on as consultant without scepticism, but people don’t seem to know about the existence of ghosts. It’s not made clear how much of the supernatural is common knowledge, which means world building is lacking. Furthermore, there’s no explanation of what monsters exist out there in Colorado or the greater US. Do vampires prey on Hollywood actresses in LA? Are Werewolves roaming the prairies? You don’t know, or even if they exist in this world.

That being said, the mysteries so far have been engaging, action-packed and, most importantly, mysterious. The only other complaint I can think of is that I maybe thought their pacing wasn’t perfect, but this is just a feeling that I can’t really nail down or describe, so it might well be different for you.

In conclusion, you should definitively give it a read.

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ANTLERS, COLORADO

I Don’t Really Know What the Word Spoopy Means, But This Serial Feels Spoopy

By Billy Higgins Peery, author of A Bad Idea

Nov 29, 2015: This is a well-written serial. It’s important to say that right out the gate, because some serials, while fun, aren’t necessarily well-written. This isn’t the case here. From the very first post, it’s clear that Marn is a serious author.

Just take the first line, “When Austin Jones leaves his home on the back of a motorcycle at the age of twenty, he barely stops to consider that he has been followed.” There’s a sense of craft there: the proper elements of suspense and introduction.

I didn’t find many typos, either (except for a misused semicolon or two, which is forgivable, because the number of people who misuse semicolons is almost identical to the number of people who use semicolons). That’s impressive.

Now, onto the story itself. There’s a lot to like here. So far Antlers is a semi-traditional supernatural mystery. Austin comes to a new town and helps it deal with supernatural creatures. His ghostly father follows him around, which adds a bit of intrigue to the setup. It’s especially intriguing because the father ran an organization tasked with dealing with these strange creatures—an organization Austin’s brother now runs.

I call it ‘semi-traditional,’ because it has a queer cast. Austin and Otter have a particularly awesome relationship, which I love.

The only thing that makes me take a half-star off is the unclear worldbuilding. This review covers the first chapter (17 posts) of Antlers, so stuff could be revealed later. But as it stands right now, I find it hard to discern just how familiar this world is with the supernatural. Austin acts like it’s all pretty unknown, and everyone’s confusion when he talks to his ghostly father furthers that idea.

But on the other hand, everyone seems to know about the creatures that are coming into town. Austin seems mildly surprised that they all know, but not as surprised as I would be if all these people knew a secret they weren’t supposed to know. I’m further confused by the fact that the police seem to just believe Austin is a medium straight out of the gate.

As well, many of the chapters start a little slow. It’s a jarring pace, given how short many of the chapters are.

That said, despite my minor concerns, Antlers has proved to be a very good read. It gives a Twin Peaks-ish vibe, but with more fun and less terror.

Note: This was written as part of a review swap.

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