Hi! Maggie here with your requested review! Thanks so much for requesting this story. I'm looking into writing something action-y myself, so it will be very educational for me to read your take on the genre. I really enjoyed getting the chance to read your opening chapter!
I like Cassandra so far. She's a little abrasive for my taste, but with the hints of backstory you've given it's understandable. I think it was a smart move to include a lot of information about her background early on, because it puts some vulnerability behind the tough-as-nails soldier persona she has. Great job with her so far!
The flashback at the very beginning was especially good--I think it's my favorite part of the chapter. Seeing Cassandra as a little girl (especially a scared, defenseless one) helps us to sympathize with her. And it's just really well-written, too. I was transported into Cassandra's world, feeling her guilt with her and seeing those horrifying images. I wonder if she repressed those memories, or if she was maybe Obliviated? Haha, I just have to speculate. So many unanswered questions! I love the mystery you're setting up with regard to Cassandra's origins and childhood.
On the surface, Cassandra is kind of difficult to like. She's aloof, and we don't see her interacting positively with anyone in this chapter (but that's probably due to her "father" being so utterly awful.) That's why I like the little moments where you hint at what's beneath the facade. The mention of her wanting to get rid of her Army uniform in favor of a long skirt was a great way of showing us that Cassandra is more than just a hardened soldier. That image of her as a normal girl opened a door for me to connect with her :)
She does seem to have a lot of special abilities for someone so young, and I'm curious about where they came from. You might need to be cautious about Mary Sue-isms with Cassandra. I can get on board with the genius/child prodigy thing, but a fully-fledged doctor and soldier at seventeen? It's a little difficult to swallow. But if you keep going with the interesting character development that you've already started with this chapter, I'm confident that Cassandra will continue to be a compelling main character.
Ugh. The Colonel is just awful. A straight up piece of work. Adopting Cassandra and using her abilities for his own personal gain? Dastardly indeed. I hope he's gone for good, that's all I can say. What kind of "behavior" is he yelling at Cassandra about? That's one thing I wished was more clear. Does being attacked by a wolf count as "behavior?" That's the only thing he really mentioned (that I picked up on, at least), and that definitely isn't Cassandra's fault.
Oh my goodness the ending. What a way to hook your readers! Now I HAVE to keep reading, just to see what the Lupin thing is about. Is Cassandra connected or related to Remus in some way? I have to know! I'm very excited to read on :)
I enjoyed this! I think you have a really interesting plot going (especially with the "Lupin" bombshell at the end), and it's definitely unlike anything else I've read. I'll be interested to see how Cassandra develops over time. Keep up the good work and feel free to re-request any time!
Author's Response: Hi! Thank you for your review!
It may sound strange to you, but I'm glad you told me how much Cassandra may seem "unpleasant" at first, because that is what I wanted to gain. Cassandra is a soldier, a doctor, a really intelligent girl, that's true, but she's also a teenager who has not been raised properly. As other readers pointed out, she is capable of dealing with "professional" social interaction, but has difficulty to deal with friendship, affection, and so on. She is rough, instinctive, has an inner discipline due to her military upbringing but at the same time does not hesitate to express her judgment on people, sometimes unfairly so. I am aware that in this first chapter she can appear as a Mary Sue, but I can assure you, the areas in which she excels are limited. I am trying to develop her character a chapter at a time, and I hope you'll be there to let me know what you think about her. In the meantime, think of her as a grown up, grumbling Hermione, minus Ron and Harry.
Regarding the Colonel's part, the awful git considered "behavior" the fact that, instead of preserving her physical appearance -the only thing which he considered valuable about his daughter-, Cassandra fought the wolf losing permanently that quality. He would have preferred to see her in a coffin rather than alive and useless to his purposes.
Again, thank you so much for the review! I'll certainly re-request!