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

9/24/2014 c1 2Midnight Hashiri
Thanks for the great read man! I was having my own doubts since the paragraphs are long, but after reading I take back my doubts! Since Im reviewing from my phone forgive the minor mistakes, aite?
(1) Cass appears to me as a professional in her trade, and a bit like Robin Hood. I kinda expected this to be a story detailing how she became a grandmaster theft, but I like it this way, its more interesting :) but Im not particularly interested, because like Nori, Im not the curious type.
(2) Gerald seems like a regular pacifist and plot device to me. Is there more than what meets the eye? Idk. But as far as plot devices go, Im not curious and he doesnt exactly strike me as interesting.
(3) The setting seems very videogames-ish (hinthint: Bethsuda). Cass has every right to steal it, but she would had appealed to me more if she acted on a request.
(4) Whats a framing device?
(5) I dont like spoiling nyself on the first chapter, so I'd rather not spectulate.
(6) Your wording got a bit awkward at first, but the more I read the more I lost track of your mistakes. Other than that, it was great!
(*) Cheers, and have a great day!
9/21/2014 c1 3This Guy Again
Hello from the roadhouse! These returns are very late, and I'm sorry for that, but I've been crazy busy with work lately. Anyway, on to the review.

["Actually, I'd prefer to be of service you today," Cassidy replied.] seems like you're missing a 'to' or some other such word here.

["You'd be amazed at what you can accomplish one when you've been groomed in all sorts of topics..." The placement of the word 'one' here doesn't seem to make much sense to me?

[She felt that words, as much as she enjoyed them, alone were a dime a dozen.] I don't know whether this is technically a mistake or not, but I think it affects the flow nonetheless, the placement of 'alone' seems like it would do better before the first comma, rather than after the second. Then it would become "She felt that words alone, as much as she enjoyed them, were a dime a dozen."

Apart from those things, there were no major errors with spelling and grammar, just a few things here and there that can escape anybodies eye when self-editing. Normally at this point I'd pick certain elements to talk about and review, however you've left some questions at the end, so I'll answer those.

My first impression of Cassidy Cain is that she's quite cold, but it's almost as though she doesn't want to be. I think at this point it's difficult to say whether or not she's a hero or a villain. If she's a hero, then she's definitely an anti-hero. But on the other hand, if she's a villain, she's a soft hearted one.

Gerard Turner seems like a simple priest really. He wants to see the good in the world and wants to help spread it, which is nice. I quite liked the Adora's Tear story, although I can't help but feel that the writing style seemed a little too casual for such an important piece of world history. As for whether Cassidy was right to steal it, it certainly seems like it belongs more with the Followers than it does a media personality.

Regarding the framing device, I quite like the idea. With first person stories, I do sometimes wonder why exactly it's being told in such a way, and if the author doesn't somehow make it clear, I find that I think about it quite a bit, so this is a good way to eliminate that question.

Predictions? I honestly couldn't begin to make any at this point, I'll just have to read and see.

-from the roadhouse, and again, sorry this return came so late.
9/16/2014 c6 1Storyus Raccoonus
I'm not sure but in the older version of this did Cassidy already know who Deus was before she became the Grandmaster of Theft? If so the change for that is that she's only now just hearing of him?
9/15/2014 c6 7LiVEWiRE360
I noticed some of the sentences were cut off. And, yes, i do want to know who this Deus is. Cassidy is as impressive as always. Im curious as to whats gonna happen next. Anyway, good chapter! Keep it up! :D
9/15/2014 c1 cerebral1
Hey, I can't PM you anymore because I don't use my Fictionpress account anymore and can't remember my login :( I've moved over to Watt pad (all one word). It protects from plagiarism better. Anyway, if you were to join over there, you'd find me and my stories. P.S. I'm going to be published in Feb. 2015!
9/14/2014 c6 Blazing Lights
I find it amusing that Narcissa is just a messenger. Deus is an interesting name and I am somewhat interested who they are. That code thing was a headache to look at and makes me curious. All very mysterious.

Have a Grand Day!:)
9/12/2014 c5 Blazing Lights
Narcissa is quite the character indeed. For surely adds some flavor to the story. I liked that scene of Cassidy and Narissa, was very well done. This chapter has really sparked my interest.

Have a Wonderful Day!:)
9/12/2014 c4 Blazing Lights
Ah that Lost me for moment but now I am back on track. Short and mostly dialogue but it did its duty.

I like how Cassidy keeps her together and goes back to the point. Not letting anything swerve her off the road.
9/12/2014 c3 Blazing Lights
How you write your description of people's appearance is rather unique and intriguing. Just how you word things. They seem complicated but so smooth and understandable. You can have a round of applause for that.

Rebecca for some reason reminds me of one of those people who jumps on the bandwagon of whoever is winning. Also that she isn't much of a deep thinker.

Rae is more reserved I feel but maybe a bit narrow minded. Also independent and strong to her beliefs.

Well nice job.

Have A Fantastic Day!:)
9/9/2014 c5 1grumpyturtle
How did Cassidy not just punch Narcissa in the face? Just reading her all caps screaming made me want to rip her teeth out. Ugh.

I do not like her. Not one little bit.

Did you name her Narcissa because she's a bit of a narcissist? I hope so, because if you did you have great taste.

I did, however, like the way Cassidy handled her...even though she didn't shut her up. Cass in that ever-indifferent voice. It was hilarious. Especially when she started talking slower to explain herself to Narcissa. "I...abhor...debacles...such as this...shall become." XDDD Priceless.

But seriously. I would have rammed a trashcan down Narcissa's mouth. Opportunity missed, Cass. :P
9/9/2014 c4 grumpyturtle
I almost would have preferred to have this from Cass's perspective, because I love her voice. There's also one grammatical error that I found: "You don't have to talk about it if you don't want it." Should be "You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to."

But other than that, this chapter is a very nice hook. It just now gets me thinking: maybe the POV switch was to disorient me, to further the "hook" effect?

*Thinks for a moment longer* That must be why you did it.

Well played.
9/9/2014 c3 grumpyturtle
I like Becca and Rae. They have a nice chemistry between them and with Cassie, too.

My favorite things about this chapter:

1. I really like how Cassie pretends to be a writer to get all of her information. I heard it said once that writers could commit the perfect murder because they have access to all the people who could tell them what to avoid. I thought it was a really nice touch.

2. The three techniques of a trickster. Those were awesome and I think you may have just given me a "con-artist for Dummies" book. :D

3. The ending. Was. Perfect. I love short snippets like that. They pack a punch. "It did not."

4. Also, the sparring scene was very nice. I love martial arts, and that scene made me realize just how much I like to read about it, too. Particularly from the calculating voice of Cassidy.

5. (Which reminds me) This was in the past few chapters too, but I ought to mention it now while I remember to mention it: I love the way Cassidy narrates. She's very prim and proper. Precise, too, in everything she does. It's this attractive sort of blandness, like nothing can touch her. I couldn't replicate it if I tried, and I'm actually a little jealous.
9/9/2014 c2 grumpyturtle
First, I want to apologize for my lack of reviews. I've been reading your story during all of my classes and haven't been leaving anything behind because I am an inconsiderate swine and also because I've been yelled at twice by one of my professors. I sit in the very back. How does she ALWAYS know that I'm not reading Shakespearean poetry?

So I suppose I shall answer your questions from the AC first. :)

I don't understand what Madame Richmond is trying to accomplish by challenging Cass in a public setting. It has no tactical advantage for her. Say that she lost. She'd be humiliated in front of who knows how many people. I mean, there's a reason she's not the Grandmaster. So...it would be stupid for her to pull a stunt like that. Did the possibility of failure even cross her mind?

(I think Cass overestimates her, if I'm being honest. But Cass is smarter than me, as evidenced by her planning. XD)

Overall, Narcissa strikes me as the try-hard, die-hard type. I actually kind of feel sorry for her, because right from the get-go, anyone can see that Cass is superior. It's even in her name. You can't get much higher than "Grandmaster."

On the other hand, I think Cass's plan of hijacking the train was a bit of an overkill-particularly when Narcissa is concerned-but that is the purpose, as I understand it. Psychological warfare, yes?

As for Cass's attitude towards religion and the police, I think they're spot on with her character.

Now...onto Wynn. I feel like he's either been/will be friendzoned. Possibly. He's very attached to Cassidy, methinks, but she sees him as a mix between her very best friend and Albert the Butler from Batman.

Kind of like Pinky and the Brain. Only Wynn is a lot smarter than Pinky. ;)

And, other than your questions, I have to tell you why I like this chapter:

THE TRAIN PUNS ARE FABULOUS. XDDDDDD (Not to mention Wynn's reaction to them.)

"Back on track? Seriously, Cass?"
"It was appropriate to the situation."

9/9/2014 c5 7LiVEWiRE360
Narcissas funny, shes just gotta belt it out lol while Cassidy just remains calm. I love Narcissa. This chapter was good, although the paragraphs are a little too long. Anyway, i like it. Now were getting some action in here.
9/7/2014 c5 deathpigeon
I enjoy what you have so far, but it's got weak flow to it. What I mean is that, while almost everything is interesting on its own, it feels like a series of events, not a single narrative, even things in the same narrative, so the interlude feels as unconnected to the prologue as the two phone calls do from the talk with Becca and Rae. The problem isn't that they don't connect on a sort of intellectual level, though. The problem is that they don't flow together. Like, I can tell the same story in two different ways: "I woke up. I go downstairs. I eat some breakfast, which is tasty. I leave for work. Work is hard, today." and "Shortly after waking up, I groggily head downstairs for breakfast. The cereal I got for my breakfast tasted deliciously, but, after enjoying it for a bit, I realized I was late and had to finish quickly. I rushed out there door and made it to the car. I managed to get to work just barely on time, though the lights which seemed to curse me by turning red just as I got there hadn't helped the matter. Despite being on time, I was the last one to arrive, so I got the hardest jobs. As such, my work was difficult, all because I was nearly late." While the second one is better than the first in many ways, the important part is the flow. The same series of events occur, but the next event lies in the event proceeding it. In the first, I go from "I woke up" to "I go downstairs," and leave the ideas unconnected. In the second, I combine them into one action "Shortly after waking up, I groggily head downstairs for breakfast."

To illustrate this problem, let's look at chapter 2:

"There’s no better feeling than when everything goes precisely as intended. I was so pleased that I even decided to reward myself after I finished. I asked a couple of other questions so that one would fail to stand out, concluded our call, and then retrieved a box of chocolate, the Chocoins brand to be precise, from my mini fridge. Victory truly is sweet.

I contacted Wynn not too long after I finished my final chocolate and instructed him on the next phase of our operation.

'Wynn, I’ve three tasks for you. The first and second both require you to return to the station. The first is to purchase us a private room for the day of the heist. The second is to log into the train’s network with this password. Learn how much control being logged in grants us and install a backdoor into their system. Erase the log history when you leave.'

'Easy enough. What’s the third thing?'

'Before you go, please chauffeur Becca and Rae here and back.'"

Now, this would appear to contain the next event within it since it talks about getting them over to Cass, but then you go to:

"Rebecca Maddox and Rae Crawford are dear friends who I had plans with that day. We were scheduled to exercise together, as we do two to three times a week. Rae and I have been doing so ever since we were children, as suggested by our former martial arts mentor, Rae’s mother Olivia Crawford. Rae’s kept to it since she’s the heir to the Crawford Combat Discipline, the martial arts style her family has developed and taught for over a century. I’ve done so because it’s what a leader should do. Leaders should be fit both physically and mentally. As for Becca, who joined us two years ago, does so for her ambition of becoming a world famous illusionist. There are a number of illusions which call upon being physically fit. This is actually why you seldom see any hefty magicians or assistants. What’s more, Becca uses beauty to both draw people in as well as distract when performing.

To note, even without her curvy figure, Becca defies the norm. Choosing where to even begin when describing her, both physically and as a person, is a formidable task. With regards to her physique, if pressed, I suppose I’d have to start with her eyes. She has almond shaped navy blues which are easy to be consumed by. They might be my favorite of her physical attributes, not to discount her others. Her long fawn blonde hair is likewise remarkable. It can sometimes be a tad messy – more whenever she spends the night and I see her in the morning – but she great at managing it. She typically braids it into a ponytail, though she can likewise make it appear marvelous when wearing it down in this curly style or when pulled back into a bun or a number of other styles. Beyond that, her face itself is quite pretty. It has a heart-shape which works well with her plump lips, cute snub nose, peachy skin, and busty. She’s always a delight to see.

Sadly, Becca wasn’t who I had business with that day. Rae was. While I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to fight Narcissa, strategy isn’t about hoping for the best. Instead we plan for the worst. I had to ensure that I was up to par before implementing my scheme. The best way for me to accomplish that was by sparring with Rae. I cannot imagine a single person who could ready me better than her. She’s a martial artist of the first order and an athlete from head to toe. Developing a real plan of attack for her is an unenviable position to be in. She’s fit to the point where I wonder if she has any fat left on her. I’ve yet to find a real weak point on her physically. She stands around 5’7, having a few inches on me, and she has a further reach than I. She even takes into account factors such as her hair; ever since we became teenagers, she’s worn her raven black hair short to keep it out of her way. The longest it ever reaches anymore is near her chin. As for her actual technique, she is like no other. The amount of time she must dedicate to is staggering. I imagine her lack of concern for cosmetics or aesthetics as a whole might favor her there. It’s not a path I’d opt for, I rather exploit the Halo effect – this admittedly illogical psychological bias which exploits attractiveness to compel others to assume other positives regarding oneself – but I hold her in high regard for it."

rather than going straight to:

"The two arrived sometime around three. I met them outside at the driveway entrance.

'Cassie!' Becca shouted out as she exited The Premiere. She sped over and threw her arms around me, as she typically does. She’s the affectionate sort. I wasn’t particularly fond of that at first – I rather not be touched if it can be averted, but it’s grown on me enough that I’m fine returning the gesture now. We embraced one another while she said, 'It’s been forever! I missed you!'"

and containing within those actions the descriptions you stopped the narrative to give. The events with the calls contain within them the event after the next event, but the next event isn't contained in the previous and doesn't contain the next within itself. This is a problem with stopping the narrative to describe. Description should lie within the narrative, not as a break from it. Compare this to a book I love Skin Game by Jim Butcher in the Dresden Files series. It's also a caper book, and introduces new characters. On pages 107-108 we have:

"I walked around the doughnut tray, eyeing everyone seated there as I did.

Nicodemus and Deirdre were present, looking much as they had yesterday. Binder and Ascher sat there, too, a little way down the table, speaking quietly with each other. Binder in his dark, sedate suit, was eating some kind of pastry that didn't look familiar to me.

Ascher had a place covered in the remnants of doughnuts that she was apparently struggling to redeem from the hellfire even now. She had changed back into her jeans-and-sweater look, and bound up her hair. A few ringlets escaped here and there and bounced slightly as she spoke. She gave me a small nod as I went back, which I returned.

Seated at the table a little apart from everyone else was an unremarkable-looking man who hadn't been there yesterday. Late thirties, if I had to guess, medium height, solid-seeming, as if he had more muscle to him than was readily apparent beneath jeans and a loose fitting designer athletic jacket. His features were clean-cut, pleasant without being particularly handsome. He had a dark complexion and the right bone structure to pass for a resident just about anywhere in the Western Hemisphere, and in chunks of the rest of the world. His dark hair had a few threads of grey in it.

One thing about him wasn't average-his eyes. They were kind of golden brown with flecks of bronze in them, but that wasn't the strange part. There was a sheen to them, almost like a trick of the light, a semi-metallic refraction from their surface, there for a second and then gone again. They weren't human eyes. They looked human in every specification, but something about them was just off.

Something else about him bothered me, too...

He was entirely relaxed.

[Some more stuff I'm too lazy to copy about how every one of them was tense]

Every one of us was exuding body language that warned the others that we were potentially violent or at least hyperalert.

Not the new guy.

He sat slouched in his chair with his eyes half-closed as though he could barely keep them open. There was a half-empty Styrofoam cup of coffee in front of him. He'd drawn hash marks in it with his thumb and played a few rounds of tic-tac-toe with himself in a gesture of pure boredom. There was no sense of violence or alertness in him, no wariness, no caution. None at all.

Now that made my hairs on my neck stand up.

Either this guy was stupid or insane, or he was dangerous enough that he genuinely was ot bothered by this roomful of people-and Nicodemus did not seem like the type to recruit the stupid or insane for a job like this one.

I secured a doughnut and a coffee. I checked with Karrin and Valmont. Neither wanted to save the doughnuts from Nicodemus's corruptive influence. Not everyone can be a crusader like me."

This is just as much a first description of a character as what you were doing there, and he even goes on much longer with the single person than you do with both of the people you are introducing. But he k
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