Thanks first to our new team member Andy021278 for writing these two great reviews - first of Promising Author Comicfan's Red, and then of Author Hayven's Dancing. And rather than blather, I'll get out of the way so you can enjoy his reviews, and then hopefully go check out these stories! Enjoy
Review by: Andy021278
Word Count: 10,773
This is one of Wayne’s fairy tale remakes for which he is well known, and like many of his stories, is a brilliant read. There are elements that are instantly recognisable as being from the source book, “Little Red Riding Hood” (the woods, the path, a wolf, a red cape), and a few that may not be quite so obvious. Wayne’s skill with these remakes comes from his innate ability to turn things on their head, twist them inside out, and flip them back to front; so you’ll never know how this story is going to end, until it ends.
Wayne’s world is set after both a disease and a meteor shower have ravaged the Earth, and nearly wiped out its population. Humanity has only avoided extinction with thanks to help from three ancient races that were previously thought to be nothing but myth (vampires, werewolves, and elves); however, their saving of humanity has come at a truly horrific price.
Children, on their eighteenth birthday, are given a cape of a particular colour, and told to travel to a neighbouring village on some pretext; in fact, the children are being hunted by one of the three races for either food or a mate. Only the race to which the colour cloak belongs may hunt the child; and there are five colours of cloak.
The blue cloak belongs to the vampires (who seek either food or a mate), the light brown cloak belongs to the werewolves, (who seek either food or a mate), and the green cloak belongs to the elves (who also seek either food or a mate; though they rarely choose a mate).
The wearer of the white cloak is said to be a truly exceptional child; they are being hunted as a mate by all three races, but they may never be harmed for any reason.
The red cloak is perhaps the darkest of all, and it is the red cloak that has been given to Nock on his eighteenth birthday. The red cloak indicates a free for all; hunted by all three races, and hunted for food or a mate.
A child will only be safe by reaching their destination before nightfall and by obeying the rules; two simple rules that surely anybody could follow. Providing a child never talks to anyone, and they do not wander from the path, whilst on their journey, then they will be safe.
Nock is about to find out the hard way what happens to those who do not obey the rules.
Review by: Andy021278
Word Count: 1947
Kameron Milac, who is planning to become an investment banker, for some reason, chooses to take contemporary dance as an elective. He was forced as a child to take ballet, and after being bullied over it, finally quit at the age of fifteen; but Kameron thinks the course will be easy credit.
He is assigned his dance partner, Michael Bink, and after getting over his initial shock at being partnered with another man, Kameron comes to enjoy their rehearsals together over the semester. The scenes surrounding their dancing are particularly well written, the emotion flows off the page, and it is impossible not to get wrapped up in the scenes.
For their last dance, they are given the theme of “bitter love” to interpret. As they rehearse more and more, Kameron comes to realise that this is going to be his last ever dance with Michael, before he moves on with his planned career.
However, by this time, Kameron finds that he is enjoying the feel of Michael’s skin, and all he can think about is Michael’s smell. Oh yeah! Kameron has it real bad, but what will Michael’s reaction be when Kameron reveals his feelings on the big night?
Since this story was inspired by the song “Dancing” by Elisa, and I had never heard of the song, nor did I have a clue who Elisa is, I figured I’d better YouTube the song and get a clue. If you are not familiar with the song, then I’d suggest listening to it before reading this story; as (in the author’s mind) the last dance is set to this song.
Forgiving a few niggly grammar and punctuation issues, this is a lovely read for such a short story. If, or when, Hayven posts another story, I’ll definitely be reading.