HAZAAH Honest Book Critiques 1 (Closed )

@laynejodi you are the next to be reviewed!


You make some valid points. I’ll definitely improve on the things you suggested. Would you mind telling me what characters you think I should add more description to? How can I make them more relatable? And what should I add to make my summary more unique?

Please remember all my comments are meant to be constructive and are not a representation of you as a writer.

Review for Blame the Goddess

Summary 6/10
I found this summary a bit difficult for me to review mainly because I am not very familiar with the werewolf/vampire genre. With that said, from an outsider’s perspective, I felt I needed a bit of beforehand knowledge to fully understand what was being said here. Not sure what you mean by omega and the concept of “his wolf.” Otherwise I do get some of the main points needed in a summary such as the main character’s name, a triggering event/ focus and a reason why the main character needs to progress. You do describe Callum as a human towards the end which throws me off from the whole hybrid idea. And I would like an short explanation why he is going through so much physical and emotional abuse. This idea seems tacked on in the summary and if fleshed out would provide more depth to the character of Callum.

First Line 5/10
I’m usually a sucker for origin stories, but I felt with your introduction I was given a lot of jumbled information. By the end I got a gist of what you were attempting to create, but I feel this information would be better suited included within the story itself and revealed through the characters more so than in a prologue. With that said, I jumped to the first chapter. I instantly got the cliche waking up scene. While many authors use this as their opening tactic there are ways of making it unique and striking. Your opening here needs a little bit more work to capture me. Perhaps instead of starting with Cal waking up, you start with him already up doing something in the darkness.

Readability 7/10
My first thought reading your chapters was, “This is a lot of telling.” Backstory, backstory, backstory. It is important to get information across to the reader, but what I see for most of these opening chapters is a lot of the character describing their society instead of actually immersing the reader into their society, a trick that is difficult to achieve but can be highly effective to drive readership. Again this is just me and my inexperience, but I would like to know what exactly is an omega, beta, deltas, etc in the sense of this book’s themes. I did like the many wolf groups and their societal rules and the introduction of werecats. That is the first time I have heard of such a thing. I was hoping for a bit more excitement, but I believe what you have so far will do for most people familiar to the genre. This Darric character though, I don’t like him. Bad news if you ask me.

Grammar 8/10
I saw a good bit of simple mistakes ranging from punctuation to awkward words. Not much to hinder the reading so a good edit is all that is needed.

Characters 6/10
There are so many, so many characters introduced in your first chapter alone. I’m guilty of it too and strive everyday with my writing to take it slow and don’t rush with character introduction. While it is fun to have so many characters, the volume you presented left very little for their description. I wanted to know what hair color they had, how they were dressed, etc.

World Building/ Setting 7/10
I want to say this takes place in a post apocalyptic modern day in an earth-like place. It is really unclear to me and I would like that addressed in the book early on, possibly in the summary itself. Otherwise I got the immediate scenes presented very visually such as the rooftop scene under the stars.

Total Score 39/60

Final Thoughts: For most part I liked the story after reading the first few chapters. While I may not be the intended audience for this genre and my knowledge of it is quite poor, I learned some new techniques and themes from your writing that inspired me. Things that need to be worked on are the fast pace, many character introduction, and opening scenes. I love the origin and mythos ideas. It only needs to be either fleshed out and better organized or added within the story itself. The pacing needs to be slowed and chapters shortened. A slower more exciting pace would allow for characters to be introduced more reasonably and described. I do see potential here and a theme that has not hit the selves very often. I like the mix of modern day technologies and the fantasy element. I wish you the best of luck and if you need writing advice please feel free to message me.

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@DonatelloCreates you are the next to be reviewed!

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Can’t wait

Thank you. This book will be edited upon completion. I hope to include most of your suggestions. Thank you.

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Please remember all my comments are meant to be constructive and are not a representation of you as a writer.

Review for The Dance of the Marquis

Summary 8/10
I want to start by saying I love all your themes mentioned here. Eldritch horror fascinates me and I’m a sucker for blood magic so needless to say I am already very excited to read into this story. Now time for the criticism. As much as I love your themes you list them instead of including them in with plot and characters. I would love to see the same ideas echoed within a blurb that tells a story of who, what, where, and why. I get a taste of that in the second paragraph but not as much as I would have liked. I do see a uniqueness here, something out of the dark realm that many fantasy stories tend to avoid treading which is great. I just feel it is kinda all over the place and lacking focus. For that reason I can’t give it a perfect ten. Also be careful with too many names. I know having a lot of characters can be fun, but I get six main characters here. Overload for some readers especially in a summary.

First Line 10/10
One word: poetic. I can already see a unique writing style here one that strikes me as a mix between HP Lovecraft and modern storytelling. I really like your first line. Full of imagery, foreboding, and feeling. My only fear here is that some people may take this as too much telling in the beginning. I think it is a nice balance for high fantasy so if I was an agent, I would feel good about this work. You succeed in capturing me early on so kudos to you.

Readability 8/10
So I mentioned earlier your many main character plot and was worried it might come back to haunt you. In the case of this story it interrupts the flow. I got all pumped after the first chapter and wanted to know more then BAM new person. I would like to see more fluidity here. Maybe one character is not far from the action of the previous one and is hearing all the commotion. Something that ties it together rather than breaks it. Otherwise I love love love your imagery. The blood magic gave me a chill. I would like to have a few of the terms mentioned defined, such as the Culling, blood mark, and Blood warriors compared to blood clerics, just to enhance the story.

Grammar 7/10
While the writing is poetic and unique one can’t forget about grammar. I saw a lot of punctuation errors, change in tenses, and repeated words between sentences. An easy fix of course but it was jarring at times.

Characters 8/10
The characters are so far unique in personality and traits, and I get a sense of their insecurities. Samai was perhaps the most fleshed out of the ones I read so far simply because I got more backstory and a more intimate look into her life. I did have some trouble trying to figure out who was male or female for some not all. Such as Samai I used context clues to determine that I’m 90% sure she is a female. Otherwise the characters interacted with their world very realistically and felt alive.

World Building/Setting 9/10
I wanted to give it a perfect ten. I really did, but because there lacked some explanation to some unfamiliar terms I couldn’t fully experience your world vision. Besides that little tidbit I loved your creative painting of scenes and the joyful way you played with your characters within them. I felt like a happy and scared observer experiencing this rich world in all of its bizarre beauty and danger.

Total Score: 50/60

Final thoughts: I’m very pleased with what I read. It is not often on here I find a work that sparks my interest on a literary level. I see potential here. My advice is to not rush things, take your time explaining, give each character a couple of chapters before introducing the other, and find ways of blending scenes when you do switch. Great intro, just work at presenting a more focused summary, and I think you got it made.

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@jgrace2197 you are the final one on the list to be reviewed. Expect your review very soon! Thank you for your patience.

Yay! Thank you! :smile:

Please remember all my comments are meant to be constructive and are not a representation of you as a writer.

Review for The Legend of the Moonflower Princess

Summary 10/10
You hit on all the right points to make this a lovely and intriguing blurb for your book. My only critique here is to edit down. You are giving me a lot of information and not all of it is needed to capture my attention. If it is not crucial to the plot then get rid of it. Maybe the poor origin, scarlet red hair, etc part can be taken out. I am confused about the branded woman. If you are going to include that define what you mean by “branded.” Otherwise, well done. I’m impressed.

First Line 7/10
It’s not a bad opening, but it also did not excitement as much as the summary did. I can tell very quickly you are a great writer with a solid grasp on writing. I do enjoy you did not start out with a cliche as most writers tend to do. With that said, I do have to point out the amount of telling. I got to understand a lot of the world through Sahara’s mind, but I feel that world would have a greater impact if I saw it through her eyes and felt it through her actions.

Readability 7/10
Besides the occasional redundancy and the heavy use of telling, I found it to be an easy read. The telling though was a major factor for me and caused you to over describe in many scenes. Such as the scene where she speaks with Claudia and hears someone cry out. You make a whole paragraph about the voice even pointing out Claudia’s dislike for obnoxious people. I understood that through her actions. I did not need to be told that. I saw many examples of this. Chapter two was also a very long chapter separated into many parts. This might have worked if these parts flowed together, but the interruption felt jarring. I also wanted more to happen, but while I am one for a drawn out and patient narrative, I like to be kept guessing. The part about the mystic in the beginning caught my attention. If you could add that type of mystery to the other scene breaks and throughout, it would only enhance your story.

Grammar 9/10
Some bizarre word choices here and there and a lot of adverbs, but nothing major to point out grammar wise.

Characters 7/10
Sahara is a cool gal, but while reading I felt she was more the narrator to the story than the main character. Claudia to me had more spunk and personality while Richard kinda fell flat. I also had trouble visualizing Sahara. Her character did not set well in my mind as much as the others. You also didn’t overload me with characters so I’m thankful for that. I still don’t have an opinion towards Nashoba.

World Building/ Setting 8/10
I’m still trying to figure out what time period this is set in or exactly where this takes place. Moonflower makes me think of Asian inspired places, then Sahara’s name made me think of middle eastern. Maybe clarify somewhere. While I got the general setting quite well through your descriptions (especially that market scene), the world as a whole left me lacking. I did like how the characters interacted well within the world around them and to each other.

Total Score 48/60

Final thoughts: Your greatest weakness here is your amount of telling. That can be a big turn off for a lot of would be agents. Otherwise I loved your voice, it is strong and knows how to describe beautifully. Sahara needs to stand out more and take charge of center stage. Perhaps give her a funny quirk or a bizarre tick when she is nervous. I also feel you can start out and end your chapters much stronger. Most of the time I felt a lack of excitement when moving between scenes. I see some potential here. You write much like an old me many years ago. I thought you had a well developed plot and much potential to brand uniqueness. A strong female character is not always one who can suddenly brandish a sword or stands firm in the face of danger. A strong female character is one that can grow and has insecurities. Sahara has some of this, but by giving her more and I’m sure she can propel your story to new heights.

Thanks for the feedback! Feel free to keep on reading if you want. Sahara starts to get some awesome scenes later on :smile:

The first installment of HAZAAH CRITIQUES has officially been completed. I want to thank everyone for their patience, and I hope I offered you some valuable feedback. I’m going to start a new thread shortly for the second HAZAAH CRITIQUES if you have other works you wish to have critiqued. The payment may change and I may be adding new elements so stay tuned.

Remember if you want your review in my book review collection please message me.


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