Hi, itís The_Crookshanks_Saga, here with your requested reviews!
The beginning had me (by the way, love the chap. summaries). Beautiful writing, you had the perfect mix of humor and something more. The balance between showing and telling is also perfect. There are a few spelling/grammar mistakes here and there, but overall they donít interrupt the flow of the stories.
I love the way her great-gran explained to Ellie exactly what was special about her. It was clear and ambiguous at the same time, and left us wanting more explanation- and more reason to continue reading. This reminds me a bit of the Mediator series by Meg Cabot (if you havenít read it, donít- until youíve finished this brilliant story).
If thereís one thing I didnít like about this chapter, its the unnecessary paragraphs added in for punchlines. I know many fanfic authors use them, but they seem like a cheap trick if not used properly. Here is an example.
'Whilst I had a gift for seeing dead people, Christian had the gift of music.
Guess which one of us got the better end of the stick?í
'You know your life ainít normal when you can see dead people.
No, Iím not kidding.
Yes, I am sane.
For the most part.í
It sounds good, with those pauses, but it takes away from the flow of the story. It also makes it hard for the next transition to feel natural. Instead, you could say something like this. ďYou know your life ainít normal when you can see dead people- and no, Iím not kidding, yes, I am sane- well, for the most part.Ē Or something like that.
The scene where Chris and Ellie stand over their motherís grave was written beautifully. It was such a contrast to the earlier humor, and will definitely draw readers in.
At first, the explanation for why Ellie hated Albus seemed a bit cliched, though the banter cleared that up immediately. Still, you might want to revise that a bit.
(his lack of shirt, I mean, not his lack of nipples): made me laugh. I like that about your sense of humor- itís the small things, hidden in gaping crevices. Not a gigantic, in your face joke.
Another thing- somewhere in the bookshop scene, you mentioned an ĎAmyí. Who, exactly, is this? You didnít mention her before (I sound like a jealous girlfriend:])
'I was legit not kidding. On top of the whole dead people thing, I always knew when there was a cake in the room, or if there was one arriving shortly, without the use of my mundane senses. I could tell when someone was about to bake a cake, right down to what type, and had a ninety-nine per cent success rate at knowing a personís favourite cake. The skill extended to a certain degree to include cupcakes and muffins as well. On a good day, I could even sense tarts. original and hilarious. On a good day, I could even sense tarts?' I cracked up.
The ending line was perfect- 'Now that was creepy'. Like seeing dead people isnít.
Basically, I am extremely glad you requested a review, because otherwise this wonderful story would have probably escaped my notice. Until next time!
Author's Response: Hello! I'm so sorry for the late reply!
Oh, I'm glad you enjoyed the beginning. Since they're rather important, they're also one of the most difficult things to write. And I'm so happy that there was a good balance between show/tell!
I'm pleased that there was still some mystery left after great-gran's explanation. At times, I felt as if I was doing a huge info dump, but I didn't know how else to get this rather necessary information across.
I completely understand where you're coming from with the one-sentence paragraph punchlines. I don't want to excuse my writing here, but I think it's a mark of how far I still have to go with it. This chapter is one of my earlier pieces, and it probably shows the most in these lines. I don't know if I should get rid of them in this chapter, or keep them here as reminder of how much I still have to learn, and not include them later on. Thanks for pointing that out!
Gosh. The reason Ellie doesn't like Albus is so cliche isn't it? It's hard coming up with a legitimate reason, but it's definitely a weak point for this story. Hopefully, I can address it!
Amy is introduced in chapter 2 - another mark of lazy writing!
I'm so happy you found those bits funny! I don't want to write straight-up comedy, but I still want things to be funny, so I'm very happy that you thought of it that way!
And yes, Ellie has very strange standards of creepiness, which is necessary if she doesn't want her "gift" to drive her insane :P
Thanks so much for this lovely and helpful review :)