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WOLF, OWL, & BLACK APPLE

Painfully wordy, otherwise good

By TanaNari, author of Price

Oct 16, 2015: Alright. We start with an in-media-res opening. Pretty standard- one might even say cliché- these days. I’m not complaining, I love the style, but I know plenty who disagree. Bare bones- guy and girl captured by shady criminal organization, the setting and characters are introduced pretty quickly and expanded outward from that point.

On to the review. Numbers time:

Writing: 1.5 out of 5.

The writer is technically excellent, without any notable typos or grammar issues. There just needs to be less repetition and more variety

Throughout the first scene (a total of around 1k words), one character gets referred to as "the young man" fourteen times.

The first real paragraph is 100 words. One Hundred Words. "The young man" happens three times in that paragraph alone. And this isn’t an isolated thing, this is the style of this writer.

The whole 1k scene of the first chapter only has one event of note- that of the protagonists being thrown into prison cell. It all could have been done in 3-400 words without the reader feeling cheated of anything.

Repetitive and unnecessary descriptions done in huge walls of text make up another 700 or so words.

Pacing: 1.5/5

Remember what I said about the details? Yeah. The story follows a pattern of 1k to 3k word scenes that are incredibly detailed, but if were being shown as part of a movie would be over in less than two or three minutes. Lots of reading for almost nothing actually happening.

Characters: 4.5/5

This story shines here. The major characters are interesting and have a lot of depth to them. The writer clearly loves what he’s doing and is taking great care to do it well. The introductory duo have interesting nuances and quirks, and the mains respond to each other like ‘childhood friends’ should respond to each other.

Minor fault for villains being pretty standard and predictable. They’re treated more as obstacles to overcome than people with real motives.

Worldbuilding: 3.5/5

The world is, again, overly detailed. Especially for what is essentially a fairly straightforward and by the books Fantasy Urban story. (Used in that order on purpose . . . it’s a Fantasy World that’s evolved to a more or less modern culture rather than a modern world with fantasy elements included).

I get the feeling that the writer doesn’t believe readers can draw their own conclusions, and feels the need to make sure there’s no nook or cranny left unexplored before moving forward.

Final Conclusion: 2.5/5

But for one painful flaw, it would be a must read. If you can tolerate the huge walls of text (or do what I did at times and skim about 3/4ths of every chapter) it’s well worth the read for a gritty fantasy noir storyline with lots of interesting characters.

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