I gave this book the old college try of 25 pages...and while I admire the author and her dearest Adam for encouragement and assistance, I wished Adam could have been a bit more critical.
*We first learn the protagonist's father's name completely by chance on page 16 (It's Desmond).
*The main character doesn't need to 'recognize immediately as a volleyball'...it's a volleyball. Karen could inquire as she 'passed me a volleyball'.
*'We passed a field of feasting bovine.' A cow pasture? It's not a science text.
*Last, nobody 'unexpectedly' puts their hand on a stranger's face without serious attention from the stranger being touched.
Ms. Poe, I'm sorry I couldn't get much past the 25 page mark. I'll give your work 3 stars because I could follow the narrative, and it started becoming intriguing despite odd wording choices and developments that were difficult to believe.
I am also one of your fans, Brea Bond, but I can't mindlessly enjoy and give five stars. Apologies. The reasoning is that you seem to have a love affair with italics. Most dialogue is filled with italics, which bothers me. I can read dialogue without it. When you add her stream of consciousness in italics, the dialogue italics just get bothersome. Secondly, these aren't exactly novellas, as much as they are installments. The first one sort of has a resolution. The second does not. Overall, very nice work!
Once again, a nice installment of Jane's growth as a character...there is almost more intrigue here, more new questions arising than answers to those questions, which sort of irked me. And since there's no actual resolution to the book, I'll give you four stars. Nice work.
What exactly is a 'module'? Let me tell you what it isn't: it isn't a self-contained story with a resolution (I've now come across several stories on smashwords that don't end). A module apparently doesn't have to explain itself. What is powder? Why does it matter? Is powder the reason this 'module' is classified as urban fantasy? Why do the girl's tattoos matter? Where exactly is the fantasy element? I kept thinking maybe my iPad didn't download the whole thing, so I downloaded it again.
And here's the worst part: the writing was very good. It was intense and well-spoken (aside from 'desert' which needed to be 'dessert', but big whoop), there were excellent visuals. I read rapidly and hopefully to the end. It's clear Chad has a great command of the language. I just feel robbed because I didn't read Newt Run first.
Which I'll be certain to do.
I'm now halfway through the book and have to lodge complaints with other reviewers.
Pros: Newt Run's author has an astonishing command of the language, throws in memorable details. The premise is interesting, the concepts and ideas engaging. The writing feels like literature, in its complexity, but there's enough fantasci-fi that it really keeps me engaged (not a lit. fan here).
Cons: Let's be serious in our readings here folks: the format of the book runs from first to third person, then to SECOND (since when was I some sort of floating ghost?), past to present and then back again. As if this wasn't confusing enough, and to be fair the author keeps things pretty well in hand, he names characters after letters and then goes in whole-hog with insidious pronouns and dialogue that's not attributed so that I'm not sure who's talking and, in fact, who any of the characters are! (see the transcript of J's talk with two agents, where they are referring to C, when one of the agent's last names begins with a C so he's ALSO referred to as C in that transcript). Oy.
To top this off, neither of our previous reviewers seems to have noticed that the main character (I'm pretty sure) undergoes complete gender change without any sort of mention. The second person narrative follows C (Carol) for 5 years, and later we learn that C (or perhaps another boy? This part is unbelievably confusing) had his dad die in the mines once upon a time, and J was there to comfort him.
Which C is C? Is it Carol, or some other strange boy who's first person narrating and doesn't have a name except for C, and is this part of the overlapping universes thing? I'm almost angry enough at this book to delete it, but it's compelling enough despite the uncountable questions that haven't been answered that I want to finish it.
When I began the book, I'd read a short story by Mr. Inglis and thought it was so interesting (but lacking in explanation and resolution) that I was sure to give this novel 4 or 5 stars. Try as I might, I can't.
I've been looking for something of superior quality on this site for quite some time, and have found it. While I'm not a massive fan of the CS Lewis-like religious overtones here, I am an enormous fan of well thought out, compelling and often musical prose. I can find little fault in Worlds Unseen, and I applaud you for it.
What you have here is a masterpiece. Thank you for giving it to me for free.