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Somewhere between okay and good, needs time to mature

By TanaNari, author of Price

Nov 15, 2015: The purple prose is strong with this one, especially at first. It’s not a painful read, like some I’ve reviewed before, but it’s a slow read. Most chapters could be cut in half without costing a single important detail.

The overall numbers are a straight 3.5 in every arena- more than adequate, good even, but needing time and improvement. I almost wish I’d come to this story later, after seeing where the plot was taking itself . . . then I might be able to give it better numbers . . . or perhaps the opposite, I can’t know.

I can say the later chapters are much faster reads, though no more informative, than the early ones.

I’ll see about coming back to this review in a month or so, with a more established and fleshed out opinion.

Writing: 3.5

Dude knows how to write, but has yet to really engage the reader. Despite the ‘prose’ issue, the language flows well and there aren’t any critical flaws. I didn’t even notice any typos, which is impressive unto itself.

After the first couple chapters, the writing focuses mainly on dialogue and character behavior, which makes things a lot cleaner.

Does use the word "well" a lot- a habit that needs to be broken. I had- sometimes still have- the same problem with "of course". No deduction for that, but it would make the writing stronger overall.

Pacing: 3.5

Chapters are slow. 3k+ words, very little plot advancement per chapter. I see that it’s establishing the world by showing everyone going about their business, but it’s a lot of material for these scenes without any events. Still nowhere near what one can call bad.

After six chapters, I still find myself wondering what the story’s actually going to do. The tone isn’t set, the goals aren’t established, and while they’re clearly a bandit group, it seems like that’s all there is to them.

Very very heavy on the internal dialogue- or what passes for internal dialogue with a third person narrative. Which hurts the story, because.

Characters: 3.5

We got a goblin, which is the main focus early on. To the point that I’m surprised the story wasn’t first person narrative, as it reveals nothing of the other characters and everything of said goblin.

We got an "alpha" human maybe-soldier-maybe-bandit who’s clearly fairly smart, but we never really get to see his thought processes or anything but his behavior through the goblin’s view.

All the characters are believable, if not always interesting. The dialogue sometimes comes off as a little forced- like the author’s looking for as many excuses to put in worldbuilding into quotations as often as possible.

Worldbuilding: 3.5

Interesting, if fairly generic seeming world. I’m so very glad the writer didn’t pull that "our (whatever) are different!" trope with the goblin. It works, sometimes, but it’s so overplayed.

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