Hi! I made it! Yay! Sorry again about the delay! Stupid wisdom teeth! ^.^
Anyway, starting right from the top: I love the way this story begins! The tour guide speech is so perfectly accurate as far as characterization goes - she was just spot on; I felt like I was on that same tour with the others! haha And I think it's brilliant how quickly the action begins, too! It was really captivating and clever having us thrown into such a high intensity situation right off the bat and tracing it with some light humor as well. Really well done.
On a similar note, the chapter as a whole is really great too! You threw us into this really cool, crazy situation that allowed the actions of every character to give them some definition, rather than having your OC/MC give this explanatory internal monologue! It bothers me so much when chapters are basically just "Let me tell you who I am! And while I'm at it, let me also tell you who everyone else is!" It's a really easy trap to fall into, especially when you're writing from a first person perspective, so you get double the points for steering clear! Kudos! *throws confetti*
There's some true originality taking place in this story that I have to mention! First off: I adore that Tommy (and presumably her group of friends/co-workers?) is Canadian! I've only ever seen American OC's if they're from outside the UK, and while it's a similar concept, it's different enough to not feel overused or cliche! Also, while you've only given us a pretty small amount of background information on Tommy and Co., I really enjoy what you've told us so far! They're here on a one-month assignment from their boss for a story, so presumably they're a reporting team - Tommy takes the pics, someone else maybe does video, someone else does interviews and pokes around for new information, etc - obviously your set-up may not actually be structured anything like that, but I still think it was a clever reason for why Tommy is away from home and in Romania.
One of my favorite moments was this here: "...Jensen would never let my baby fall." - You're probably laughing because it's such a small, seemingly insignificant line to point out, but I really think it speaks volumes. The fact that she calls her camera her 'baby' gave a brand new level to Tommy, in my opinion! Based on that line, I just have to assume that her camera is a huge part of her life; that taking pictures is not simply her job, but something she loves to do; that she's probably not only a good employee because she actually enjoys her job, but that she's passionate about doing it well. I hope I'm not way off! And if I am, you may want to change that line cause it otherwise gives a false impression! :-p Methinks you did it on purpose though. ^.^
All of that said, there are a few bits and pieces that I want to point out:
So a couple of times you've sort of double used a word in a sentence that then makes the sentence sound a bit repetitive: "The tour guide shrieked again and ran over to the *cage, quickly opening the *cage with a swish of her wand." - The double 'cage' here feels a little cramped; I'd consider changing the second one to the word 'door'. Another: "I gave the redhead one last look of contempt and then gave him an innocent smile. "Smile for the camera,"" - Double 'gave' and 'smile' makes it a bit choppy. I would maybe rewrite the first sentence to say something like "I gave the redhead one last look of contempt, followed almost immediately by an innocent grin. "Smile for the camera,"
"As the dragon swished *the tail, I felt my grip loosen but I held tight." - *his/its tail, not the.
As much as I love the opening tour guide speech, there was one part that felt a bit off: "We do have actual cages for the dragons we are currently tagging, but we will only be bypassing them today." - It just reads a little choppy, is all. I would consider creating contractions and maybe even inserting a reason for passing on the caged dragons: "We do have actual cages for the dragons currently being tagged, but due to a temporary maintenance issue, we'll be bypassing them for today."
"Having put the rope over my shoulder, I now only had my wand to deal with, but I had put it in my mouth." - This bit is just a little confusing. I think what you're trying to say is that with her wand in her hand, she would have a hard time climbing the dragon's back, and so she decided to put it in her mouth to free herself up. The 'but' is what's throwing off the meaning because it makes it sound like she didn't mean to put it in her mouth; that the wand being in her mouth was the problem, not the solution. I would instead say something like "I now only had my wand to deal with so, thinking quickly, I placed it securely in my mouth."
I love the Charlie/OC love/hate relationship that's forming. I think relationships like this are so fun to read about when written well! My only concern is that I think you may be toeing the line as far as making Tommy a bit of a Mary Sue. I like that she's sassy and strong and confident, but she was sort of immediately placed into the hero position and hardly struggled with the task at all, and that coupled with the way the story ended (her swinging her hips and Charlie watching her walk away) could mean she's on her way to falling into that category. However this is strictly me basing her off of chapter one! Just make sure you know the difference between an actual fault and a fault-that-isn't-really-a-fault, or she's going to continue feeling that way, I'm afraid! Please ignore this comment if future chapters already rectify C1's situation!
Overall I really enjoyed this! I've never read a Charlie/OC or a Canadian OC before and I think you've got a really great foundation for a handful of reasons! The small things I pointed out are still completely outweighed by all the good stuff going on, so congrats on a well-done beginning! *hugs* ^.^
Author's Response: Hello!
Yay! I'm so glad you like the tour guide. She's one of my favourites to be honest. :)
And I'm also super glad you liked the direct action! Yay for me!
I'm really glad you liked this story as well as my introduction to Tommy and (kind of) everyone else. And yay for confetti! (Confetti! It's a parade!)
And you liked the fact that Tommy was Canadian? Yay! I know what you mean about mostly American foreign OCs. That was a big reason to have Tommy be Canadian (and it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I'm a purebred, home-grown and raised, proud Canadian, eh!), and I'm glad you caught the reporting team structure (ish). There's a photographer (Tommy), a writer (Ally), and an editor/jack of all trades (Jensen). So you were close! :)
And nope, not at all off at all concerning Tommy's love (*cough* obsession *cough*) with her camera. I wanted to make her someone who doesn't really appreciate anything unless she can stare at it through her lens, so yay! You-thoughtses right! :D
Eek! Typos! So sorry, I will get right on those. Thank you so much for pointing those out. I completely missed those! :S
And that part with the tour guide I completely understand! I will rectify such awkward stiffness immediately! As well as the rope part. I can definitely see where that could be confusing. And I will definitely keep your suggestion for that rewrite in mind since it flows very smoothly and nicely!
And go love/hate relationships! I love both reading and writing those (although reading them seems to be much easier :P)! As for Tommy, I'm trying to show she does have flaws in later chapters - namely vanity, over-confidence, and extreme stubbornness (to the point where it interferes with important matters) - so I hope that cancels out this preliminary Mary Sue feelings! But, I will definitely keep that comment in mind! :)
And yay! I'm glad you enjoyed this! And aw, good things outweighing bad things always makes me happy! Thank you so much for this wonderful review! It means the world! *hugs right back*