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for The Confessions of Cassidy Cain (Grandmaster of Theft 1)

4/20/2015 c7 14Virtuella
Oh, that was a great chapter! I really liked how Cass handled the situation and half bullied, half convinced Narcissa to change her ways. I am curious now about the deep web and what mysterious transactions can be performed there. Ah, and just as everything was going so smoothly, a new antagonist enters the scene. His final line in this chapter is excellent!
4/17/2015 c6 Virtuella
Ah, I am delighted with this unexpected turn of events! Narcissa is just one massive red herring then? That was very neatly done and I am looking forward to finding out where the story will go from here.

Also, I really think you must be unconsciously channelling Pterry. Cass has clearly read the book on camouflage that Havelock burns in Night Watch, hence she is wearing navy and grey rather than black.

I can't use copy paste on this computer, so I'll just answer your questions in a more general way. It's all good! The gear is nifty, the point abour frames well made, the plot development lucid. I have no idea where this might be going, but I'm happy to follow you wherever you might take me.
4/13/2015 c10 Darinas
... I admit Deus' attitude wasn't what I expected at all. That guy is amazing. I think he is going to be enjoyable as a villain.

Narcissa... kinda feels like an idiot here. I am not sure what she is trying to accomplish.

I like Cassidy's fake freak-out. And the way she intends to use it actually is good, as it shows her as capable to planify, yet not predicting everything about to happen like if she read the script.
4/13/2015 c6 2Jalux
I'm going to agree on you the disguise sounds sick, I like the extra detail you put into it with the extremely vivid description because I have a feeling this disguise or suit is going to have multiple appearances (obviously). Some will say the description is too long but I think it's a worthy investment if you will because of the importance of the said suit. It also shows just how careful she is in that she does a total 180 appearance wise. Strange that Wynn would have doubts at this point but I guess it shows his conviction is not as strong as Cassidy's.

Hm, not going to lie I was a little baffled you kind of threw away Narcissa's character away like that. Like I don't know the fact she's just a messenger for Deus is a little strange but then again I don't mind at all because I'm always a fan of keeping the bigger villain in the shadows so excellent twist. As for predictions I don't have any really, I feel like my guesses would be wrong.
4/12/2015 c5 14Virtuella
“Thoughts on Narcissa Richmond as of meeting her?” - As a narcissist, she’s spot on. Unbelievably grating. Which makes me doubt a little, though, that she would be such a society darling as is mentioned in an earlier chapter. The more successful narcissists usually manage to tone it down a bit.

“Enjoy the overall first exchange between the two?” - Hard to enjoy the presence of an overbearing, deluded narcissist, LOL. But yes, it was a good interaction. I liked that Cass commented on the objective unsuitability of Narcissa’s clothing, which Narcissa herself no doubt considered the bee’s knees.

“Thoughts on Cassidy's implementation of a propositional con & how she exploited the pieces Narcissa herself setup to use against Cass?” - It came out quite natural, so that as a reader I felt it was inevitable that it would go Cassidy’s way. Perhaps there would have been more tension if we had not already known Cassidy’s plans from her discussion with Wynn.

“Also, I am curious, what are your thoughts on the emphasis on executing plans & social engineering throughout this so far instead of just straightforward violence?” - I wouldn’t have expected straightforward violence from Cassidy’s character. What we have instead fits much better with the master thief theme. I expect to see wit and ingenuity.

“Finally, as always, anything else you want to say?” Neat, nicely paced chapter. I think the technical explanation of cognitive dissonance was a bit jarring. The same information could be woven in more casually. Something like, “I had counted on this. Narcissa’s image of her own endless superiority would not allow her to back down in a situation like this, not in public. Cognitive dissonance would have killed her. And so she took the bait.”
4/11/2015 c5 2Jalux
Narcissa is very clever and careful I see. I think it's nice how you show this through her employing a tonne of security and drawing a huge crowd. She knows she has enemies and is cautious of that. I definitely liked the exchange between them, the caps honestly were a bit jarring though. Perhaps try use italics or less capital letters? Like I understand they are yelling but just I don't know I dislike reading all capital letter sentences. That being said I loved when Cassidy throws out the one million crowns bet and turns the tables on her.

I think Cassidy's plan is very clever and laid out in such a way that the reader can easily follow it. I think the emphasis on the plans and tactics rather then violence will definitely appeal to some and not so much to others. Honestly it's what you want to do with the story, if you want to keep this focused on the tactics and the mind games then I think the story will be fine. However I do think a little bit of action could definitely create a wider audience. Nothing else to say, I think it was an exciting chapter.
4/11/2015 c4 14Virtuella
“What is your reaction to the jarring effect of going from a chapter which is in 1st person back to the 3rd person frame?” I think it’s useful, because I had kind of forgotten the frame. Well, not quite, but it had faded into the background. So it’s good to be reminded of it.

One problem that I usually have with this kind of frame is that it seems implausible to me that a person telling somebody else their story face to face would go into quite so much detail. For example, I would have thought that Cass would say about Rebecca, “She is a very attractive woman, you know,” rather than going into minutiae. Having said that, the way you have used it here, with self-contained chapters in the 1st person narrative, without interruptions from Gerald, make this more believable, because it feels less as if we are listening to Cass telling the story to him, but more as if we are witness to her reliving the memory in her mind. So what I’m trying to say s, it’s okay this way.

I like the chapter titles!
4/11/2015 c3 Virtuella
“What are your thoughts on Cassidy's approach to gain access to the train?” I really liked the different gadgets she was planning to take. They sound entertaining and imaginative. It was also interesting how she press-ganged the conductor, who lost my sympathy when he showed his greed.

“What's your first impression on Rebecca Maddox? How about Rae Crawford?” I think both of them are great additions to the story. I like how with the addition of Cass they make up a very accomplished trio with a broad portfolio of skills.

“What are your overall thoughts on Cass' relationships with them? What about their relationship with one another?” I liked it that they have opposing views on the Grandmaster and are at the same time ignorant of the fact that they are in the same room with her. It is nicely ironic and also makes me curious as to how things would develop if they ever did find out.

“Thoughts on learning a bit of Narcissa's backstory before her official debut?” Her comment on her affair and the man’s family confirms her as the narcissist her name proclaims her to be. I am now curious about the sister.

“Any other comments, questions, or criticisms?” I really enjoy the tone, the tongue in cheek comments like, “I'm fairly certain you can see how that doesn't factor well into my schemes.” When Cass said, “I imagine the tradeoff is worth emerging unscathed from this transaction” I was immediately reminded of Lord Vetinari. I seriously recommend Discworld to you; I’m sure you would love it.

I got the impression that this chapter has not been properly edited, as there were a number of little mistakes, for example:

“The only way we would was if we were caught with our tools.” - Something missing there between “would” and “was.”

“though in place of a hoodie he adorned a runner's jacket” - “Adorned” is not the right word here; I think you might mean “donned.”

“less than a minute to infiltrate to exit his home,” - I think “to exit” isn’t meant to be in this sentence.

There were a few more like that; you’ll easily catch them if you read over the chapter again.
4/7/2015 c4 2Jalux
Hm, I'm on the fence about this sort of thing. On the one hand I do like how you're extending your universe and story with this buy personally I feel tacking this on to a chapter would work much better if you were to ever try publish this. Simply put I don't feel a paragraph and a bit warrants a chapter. Still in all honesty it was a good reminder of Gerard and the dialogue was clean and crisp so it wasn't a bad read by any means. I think the extra insight into Cassidy's past is nice as well, looks like she's been through some shit.
4/7/2015 c2 14Virtuella
“What are your thoughts on Cassidy's plan?” - It leaves me a little confused. Cassidy has already contemplated the possibility that Narcissa will not even have the gem with her. Yet her plan does not seem to take this possibility into account. If I were Cassidy, I would think of a way to steal the gem the day before – perhaps replace it with a replica, then put a message in the paper that if Narcissa had her gem examined, it would turn out to be fake. Other than this, the plan seems logical enough. Also, really does put me in mind of Moist van Lipwig, what with raising the stakes and all.

“What's your overall response to Wynn so far & his relationship with Cass as shown in this chapter?” - They seem very much at ease with each other.

“Any other questions, criticisms, or comments?” - Another enjoyable chapter. I will definitely read on as I am intrigued to see how this plan will pan out. Some niggles:

“It was only after researching what Adora's Tear was and what she had done to your people did my blood boil.” - The syntax in this sentence is broken.

“The number of ways it could go awry, especially if I were smuggling in my equipment, was far too numerical to count.” I think you mean “numerous” rather than “numerical.” And either word is a bit awkward in connection with “number” earlier on. How about “The ways it could go awry, especially if I were smuggling in my equipment, were far too numerous to count.”

The paragraph with the description of the room’s security features: unless these features become important at some point, I think this could be drastically shortened. I would also omit the following paragraph the one that starts with “The meeting commenced.” It doesn’t seem to do anything for the story.
4/7/2015 c1 Virtuella
Since you have obligingly posted questions, I will review on the basis of these.

“What is your first impression of the series & the premise as a whole for the opening chapter?” - Refreshingly different. I really like the idea of Cassidy’s moral code being so unconventional. I also like that you are using an omniscient narrator; for some reason omniscient seems to be near extinction these days. You have used it really well here, shifting between perspectives. One thing I found a little (but only a little) distracting was the many names of places, nations etc of the setting. It made me feel a bit lost, as I couldn’t tell how they fitted together or whether they were even important for the story.

“Did this prologue overall hook you?” - I found this chapter very engaging and I would like to read on. Having said that, I am not particularly fond of the concept of being hooked into a story, I prefer to be eased in. Which actually did happen here; the scene in the waiting room gave me enough time to get a feel for the tone and setting of the story without throwing me directly into any action.

“What is your first impression of Cassidy Cain?” - Intriguing. As I said, her unconventional views are very refreshing. I had a bit of a Mary Sue alarm bell ringing when you described her immaculate beauty, but so far her behaviour is not sueish, so that’s all right. I loved her sentence, “We're 'the villains' so people like you don't have to be."

“How about Gerard Turner so far? What are your thoughts on him?” -Inscrutable. I am not sure if he is genuinely a devoted man of faith or whether he has something to hide. It seemed odd that he had to do “background checks” before he could hear her confession. This seems to point to complex conditions in the setting.

“The story surrounding Adora's Tear, what do you think about that?” - Not hugely original, but since the story is otherwise original, that’s okay. It’s pretty much a standard type of motif, and it fits in well.

“Your thoughts on Narcissa Richmond so far as she's setup to be the antagonist?” - Excellent choice of name!

Any questions, comments, compliments, criticisms, or so forth?

I like it. The man with the instantly forgettable face, is he a nod at Moist van Lipwig? (Thinking this also because of “Adora”)

“The worst thing she would have done is lecture him on the difference between thugs and Wynn.” This amused me, it sounds as if being lectured by her would be torture!

Some niggles:

“he stood around 6'1 with an average build, had brown hair which he kept short and neatly maintained, brown eyes which he kept behind his round glasses, and sepia toned skin” - That sounds more like a description for a police report than for a story, and it doesn’t actually give me a vivid image of the man. Some little striking detail would be more helpful.

“the man opened the door for Gerard and Gerard entered into the VIP room” I would omit “for Gerald,” it is not necessary and makes the sentence awkward.

“how well was your people doing” - were your people doing

“if they wish to join them in paradise” - wished to join him in paradise

The paragraph that starts with “A lesson she learned in her earlier teen years” is needlessly wordy. It really boils down to “Deeds speak louder than words.”

“who possesses an alternate perspective than everybody else” - to everybody else’s
4/3/2015 c1 14Scott Pilgrim
Wow. Just wow. I can already tell this story has some thought out elements to it. It convines Robin Hood and Terry Pratchetts Moist vin Lipwig into one package.
4/3/2015 c8 Darinas
Now, that chapter was interesting...

What I like in this exchange is that both sides have a point. I do feel sympathetic toward both Cassie's and Gale's rants. They both have their own points of view on what justice, right and wrong is, and they both chose different paths, each one having its own good and bad points.
4/3/2015 c7 Darinas
Well, well, this is getting more and more interesting. I got to admit, Cassie's methods keep impressing me. I can see you did research on how to handle a character talented in psycho-analysis.
4/3/2015 c6 Darinas
Aaaaaand so Deus enters the scene. Somehow I knew he was going to hijack the plot, and yet the fact he already was behind Narcissa kinda surprises me. I am curious to see where this is going...
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