Lost Raven #4
on March 04, 2014
Lost Raven had a lot of potential, but unfortunately falls pretty flat. It has an interesting premise, but the story doesn't go anywhere. The antagonists are pretty one-dimensional and stereotypical. I hate to say that the main character's constant monologue amounts to little more than angst-ridden emo whining, but it's true.
Still, it was rolling along, showing potential, until the 4th episode, where it just sort of ended. Like the writer couldn't figure out where to go with it, so he whipped out a Castaway version of a cowboy riding into the sunset.
Also, and this is important, although it's catalogued under the gay & lesbian genre, IT IS NOT GLBT!
The comic features a strictly heterosexual protagonist, and lacks even a hint of non-heteronormative undertones. I really hope the creators of this piece don't actually think that just because it features an HIV-positive character, it should be considered GLBT.
The Fence And Then The Trees
on April 07, 2014
This is the first story I read by this author, and I was riveted. This isn't a kink story full of salacious stereotypes and little substance, oh no. JF Smith gives you complex characters in difficult situations, in which he artfully peels away the layers one strip at a time to explore who they are and what drives them. I was struck by how utterly human his characters felt, and how the author treated his characters with dignity and intensity despite their apparent darkness.
Definitely one of the most satisfying reads I've come across in a long time, and I absolutely recommend it.
on July 31, 2014
For me, the quality of a written work is as important as the plot, and this short story was a bit lacking in both aspects. It's poorly written (misuse of prepositions and other grammar errors, as well as redundancy), and there doesn't seem to be much point beyond elucidating a violent and phobic social mindset towards homosexuals.
I think that if the author put some effort and thought into this, she/he could create something interesting. As it currently stands, however, it falls rather flat.
on Sep. 21, 2014
This is a really great story; despite how short it is, it still has a decent plot, character development, and a satisfying resolution.
Despite the main character having one foot firmly entrenched in his past, the focus of the story is on his present situation, so his (or any other character's) background, or details on how the world came to be what it was, are fairly glossed over. However, as I've said, those details aren't the point of the story, which is sufficiently well-written that the ephemeral background doesn't detract.
Wounded Beacon is definitely worth reading, and if its any indicator of the author's skills, then I can only look forward to exploring her other work.
on Oct. 13, 2014
Judging by the other reviews there's a decent plot in here somewhere, only I didn't last long enough to encounter it. The dialogue felt so wooden and unnatural that I couldn't stay interested and gave up less than half a dozen pages in. The way the characters spoke honestly had that stiff, awkward quality that one encounters in mediocre translations of foreign language stories. Sometimes such things can be overlooked; unfortunately, for me this wasn't one of those times.
First Class Package
on Dec. 15, 2014
This was a very sweet and satisfying short story! The auther did a remarkable job of creating an interesting situation and multidimensional characters despite the brevity of the work. Well done, and thank you!
Taking Shield 01: Gyrfalcon
on March 25, 2018
Let me start by saying that while I love how free reads gives me the opportunity to sample an author's skills, I don't generally have very high expectations of them. So... imagine my surprise. This story was very well written, had an actual and coherent plot, satisfying character development, and fantastic world building. My sincere thanks to the author for sharing her work, and I look forward to future purchases (I know they'll be well worth it).
Dipping His Pen in the Office Ink
on Oct. 30, 2018
For a short, free read, I thought this story was sufficiently entertaining to read all the way to the end (I tend to abandon stories if I'm bored by the end of the second page). I prefer characters who have more personality than hormones, so depending on one's tastes, other readers may enjoy this more than I did. Also, I have nothing against Dom/sub or S&M, but it did feel a little out of left field.
Omega's Fate (Mated to the Alpha 1)
on Oct. 30, 2018
To be fair, the story itself (or what I read of it) wasn't bad -- not exceptional, maybe, but a fairly standard trope for this genre. I abandoned it for two reasons:
1. The story was poorly constructed. The entire story is written in first person, which is problematic when the authors jump to another character's perspective without clearly indicating that we have, in fact, moved on to a different character. (Identifying the main character's name in Chapter 2 is insufficient when the main character in Chapter 1 remains unidentified).
2. Poor grammar. The authors would highly benefit from hiring a qualified proofreader.
on Oct. 30, 2018
"Quench" is a fantastic and very well-written short story; it would certainly be worth reading again at some point.