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  1. Wow, between this and the prologue you're clearly flexing your character writing muscles. I can feel these two, I know them, I know people like them. Very very good work.
  2. seakinklets

    Chapter 2

    Fast and hard with the heavy exposition, before we even know what either of them look like. I don't know how effective this would be on new readers, but I know your work and I'm certainly interested. I trust you to get the dump out of the way now to focus on the story and characters, and I'm interested to see where this goes. The fairy tale happily ever after and general story beats seem obvious, but The Reluctant Consort showed me I should expect more from you, so I'm curious what wrinkles you'll introduce. All in all, promising first two chapters.
  3. Beautiful piece about a dying man meeting his first love after decades of absence. Seeing Coy and Boone again was nice, but not all that exciting. They're living up their happily ever after as farmers and just as in love as when we left them. Their stable life is a great boon to Mitch however, and seeing the fatherly relationship between the three is heartwarming. Coy and Boone got lucky, and its nice both learning more about Mitch and how his young love didnt pan out as well, and his complex feelings on the matter. The story is incredibly simple, the setting is quite simple, and there are really only about 4 characters. And yet, I was thoroughly invested from word one to the end. I was just as interested every time a chapter came out. Its a lot of talking, a lot of thinking, and a bit of farmwork, and yet it was a wonderful read. The characters feel incredibly three dimensional and *real*, and the strife and love between them feels so *real*. Remove the word love from the story and its still so obvious how much they care for each other. Its truly a testament to how well written this is that such a simple and barebones story can be so fulfilling and worthwhile based on the emotions behind it. This is art, and among the best stories across the entire site. I struggle to think of a story on here that compares to how clear and deeply you can *feel* the love pouring from every word they speak. I repeat myself a lot here, but I do it for emphasis. I would love this to be turned into a proper novel. I would want a paperback copy of this sitting on my shelf. This is a story that even if you didn't read the first, I can easily recommend to anyone I know.
  4. seakinklets

    Chapter 1

    Sean is from another story? This isn't a part of a series or world on the website, so I would have no way of knowing that.
  5. The strength of this piece lies in the friendship between the unknown texter and his two best friends. Above all else, that was refreshing as always and heartwarming. The framing device of only using texts to tell the story hampers it rather than adding to it; it leads the whole piece to feel very "tell don't show". This is compounded by Sean's role in the narrative: He asks explicit questions that are given frank answers, removing implication and deduction on the reader's end. Sean also gives wise advice I wouldnt expect from a teenager presumably 1-2 years older than the texter. This leads to him feeling less like a friend and more like an author stand in to give advice directly to character. Overall the characters feel very flat, and with a bare bones plot and weak framing device this work's score is held up almost entirely by the friendship I mentioned. Just like an action movie lives by its choreography, a story like this lives by its character work and how "human" it feels. In all but one area(that does take up about a third of the story admittedly) it falls subpar, but if you just want a simple, blunt story about a kid coming out and finding out just how close he is with his bros, this is hardly a bad choice to spend a quick hour or so on.
  6. seakinklets

    Chapter 1

    Interesting framing device, but ended up being incredibly "tell don't show". It's very hard to get a read on the personalities of the characters other than "generally nice people". The strongest aspect of this was the friendship between Bryce, Jo, and Fern, however I think any subtlety is hindered by Sean outright stating what we as the audience can infer. The framing device's biggest strength lies in subtlety, in implying things based on a regular conversation. At the first hint that Bryce's dad is abusive Sean flat out asks him and its explicitly confirmed, and that's a bit of a running trend. The partial snippits referencing them meeting irl or calling could also be better if they were less recap-y. Each bit should be a puzzle piece, and I think it should look like swiss cheese by the end. Enough for a broad picture but the audience has to fill in the blanks and use logical deductions to figure out the unstated parts. Like I said, the friendship between the three boys was the strongest part. I don't know any of them individually, but I do know them together, and its strong. I think the character work is weak, the framing device isn't fully taken advantage of, but the unflinching friendship and care was very nice to read.
  7. Ah, we're going with end of the world, destiny as foreseen by norse gods, and angelic messengers playing cupid. Well, at least we'll finally get some conflict, some actual plot, maybe some other characters that add some level of intrigue. Considering theres a binary good and bad ending, the result is now obvious. With the stakes that high, theres no way you'd follow through on that. Siku and Shivay will be true mates, although that was obvious when they fell in love at first date. I hate to sound so negative but this particular book has been so boring. The first book had death as a possibility for beloved characters. The second was an expansion of the lore and how bad bears can be. The third was an exploration of a character and their trauma. The fourth was full of mythology and gods and ghosts and shit. Even if it wasn't great, there were elements I didnt expect and intrigue. Here, Siku wants a mate. Find the mate. They're perfect together and fall in love immediately. And now I know they cant break up or be threatened by the mom or something with the party, cause they have to be together or else the world ends, and I'm calling your narrative bluff. Honestly I enjoyed Siku on the road, but beyond that this has been just... disappointing.
  8. seakinklets

    The First Date

    I won't lie, I am curious about where this will go and clearly you're doing research into Hinduism based on that rum loophole, but these characters feel a bit flat. What about Siku makes him unique from any other horny and hairy fishing bear? Likes, dislikes, hopes and dreams? He wants a mate... and...? I think the issue I'm having is how extra flst the dialogue is, which kinda makes sense considering English is(presumably based on their backstories) neither of their first languages, but without a colorful cast of characters the weak dialogue is really all we have. Most of the characters have been pretty one note, but theres been enough of them to paint a colorful, if simple, picture. I'm hoping for more characterization, development, new characters, some actual plot, SOMETHING. I'm sure you'll pull through, but I always want to give constructive criticism to things I'm invested in and passionate about.
  9. Honestly I'm not a huge fan of this one. The series was at its best with paired down character interactions and personal stakes. Mike surviving and being with Gunnar, Axel trying not to kill his abusive papa, ect. The high concept battle of the gods being solved by the kid being Thor's descendant and weilder of Mjolnir is... a bit much, to say the least. The distraction and escape of the drag performers in the first book felt more clever and interesting in terms of the events actually happening. Axel taking control of the dabibi's and only Chris and his father dying/being injured was morr interesting thematically and emotionally. The kid being Thor was pulled out of nowhere like the rest of the high concept magic and felt like raising the stakes and specticle simply for the sake of it. Things don't need to get bigger, stakes don't need to get raised, scope doesn't need to widen with every book. I still think Trophy Cub is the best because it was focused on a limited number of characters that were more thoroughly explored, with clear and personal stakes that happened to have wider reaching implications. Susie is still great though, love her. I *will* keep reading as long as shes in it.
  10. seakinklets

    Tennis Tandoori

    What was that hint of an accent the killer had? Nova Scocia, Canada? The attractive killer? Maybe I'm reading into it too much, but I've never heard someone say "plaster" in America, not a single time. I havent read the rest yet and I know its old, but i gotta point that detail out cause everyone in the comments forgot this is a murder mystery as well.
  11. Susie continues to not only be my favorite character, but unironically one of the best depictions of trans women I've seen. As a trans woman myself, ill never drop this series, if only to see more of Mrs Banshee
  12. The best of an already great author. Two protagonists try to manage their trauma and how it affects them, and grow from it, and its amazing to watch. The first book was similar in themes, but the protagonists had felt a bit too bland and clean. These two had very understandable reasons for how they acted, but it sure as shit doesn't excuse them. They are both fucked up people who did fucked up things because of the fucked up situations they were in, and god damn is it good to see them try and get over their shit. The characters are written so well, so real, and you truly find yourself empathizing with Dennis, who was an antagonist last book. The Long Way is a good read, and required for the full context of just how far things have come. Every single character changes, they learn and grow in understandable ways. Theres no big plot points or moments for me to point out, the whole thing is just so grounded that its compelling to read from front to back. If you at all liked The Long Way, you'll love this. If everything I said sounds appealing, its worth reading TLW just to get to this. Even if you didn't care for it, depending on your reasons, you might like this. Genuinely one of thr best books I've ever read, I'd buy it in paperback without hesitation.
  13. Riding the thunder? That's one he'll of an entrance Cy. The mage dance tends to fall apart for me cause its so high concept and can be difficult for me to follow along with what I'm supposed to be visualizing, but that part was loud and fucking clear. Between his performance and Vincent's, all that high concept visual displays in a text medium flew over my head. However, My man jumping out of a helicopter, riding a lightning bolt, then landing without a hair out of place? More than enough. Thats some seriously Smokin' Sexy Style right there.
  14. The first half is a 4.5 out of 5, but I cant in good faith recommend this to anyone. Any praise about its characters and the exploration, of their disorders and trauma is dropped in the second half to focus on a love story between a child rapist and his victim, with everyone except one of the dual protagonists being totally ok with it. Oh and said protag is treated as an asshole for it by the narrative. All characterization from the first half? Trashed. Same names, barely connected. Plot points? Dropped. Graceful and careful handling of the subject in a respectful and realistic way? Blakes autistic traits disappear and Erith's system is a plot device for drama. The first half is so good it gets 2 stars, but it falls apart. I left a spoiler filled review about how the child rapist character who the second half revolves around ruins the story on the final chapter.
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