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

4/8/2017 c2 1Tomoyuki Tanaka
Cassidy is an awesome narrator, and I guess I like the set up. The confrontation between Cassidy and Narcissa was intense, and you can see direct opposites clash, and I think that was quite the pinnacle of conflict that you pulled off there, and it was excellently done. I especially enjoyed the way Cassidy goaded Narcissa, and despite Narcissa being a hateful character I like how you portrayed her down to her narcissism, her shouting and spitting (everything in caps), her demands to be addressed as madam, and her arrogance. That was all done very splendidly.

Uh. is there anything to say about Cassidy and Wynn's relationship? It looks like the typical boss and subordinate relationship, with Cassidy being the creative while reckless one while Wynn's calm and caution complements her. Otherwise there's not much else to say.

Valkyries...I have to admit it I burst out laughing when I saw Vincent's Valkyries. The guy has one hell of an ego. Oh boy. I'm going to enjoy reading about his character really soon.

No, I don't want to figure out Cassidy's plan. I'm just here for the ride and to enjoy the unfolding of events. I'm not a thriller or mystery kind of person, I like having things spelled out for me. Maybe it's because I'm stupid, but I'm of the opinion of keeping things simple.

Looking forward to the next chapter!
4/8/2017 c1 Tomoyuki Tanaka
Yes, the prologue drew me in, I think it was Cassidy's character in particular that drew me in. The intrigue and dialogue, particularly with the thoughts running through her head. My first impression of Cassidy was strong, confident and proactive, I think. She takes what she wants with her own hands, and immediately acts on what she thiks is right. Wynn seems like a cool guy, very dutiful and loyal.

Hmm, I like the contrast you set up between Gerard and Cassidy. One is a pacifist and very passive, the other is a lot more aggressive and proactive. It set up a conflict between their principles and that was pretty awesome. It already presented a clear dilemma in the story, which was easy to follow and imagine. Narcissa, on the other hand, there's too little about her to say anything for now, but she seems the typical narcisstic villainess, but I believe that was your intention.

That dialogue at the end was pretty cool, and was a splendid cliffhanger.

I look forward to the next chapter!
1/27/2017 c1 GTS
Did this prologue draw you in? If so, what did it for you?

I'll be honest Dash, this kind of literature isn't the kind of thing I'd usually read. Having said that, I thought it's well written and has potential for the intended target audience.

What is your first impression of Cassidy Cain? Wynn? Gerard Turner? Narcissa?

Cassidy Cain seems like a cool character that has a lot of layers, both good and bad. That kind of character will keep the reader interested as no one really invests in straight "good guys and bad guys" anymore.

Thoughts on how I introduced Adora's Tear?

Thought it could have had more backstory to why it was so important and maybe how it was lost in the first place

What information do you want to learn right now from the coming story?

I guess where Cassidy goes from here?

Thoughts on the prose & pacing?

Like I said it's impressive literature, just wasted on someone like me haha

Is there anything you found confusing?

Nah it was simple to understand what was going on

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

Yeah potentially you may be onto something here, just need some more back story to your characters - if you do that in later chapters then ignore that lol.
11/17/2016 c3 Puralika Mohanty
Took me a long time but yeah I was held up in exams and stuff so sorry for that. Now onto my review.

Frankly speaking, the chapter was almost engaging. By which I mean, it got me interested in some parts like the skeleton key and yes the recruitment was played out well but I have a feeling it could have been better, like I wanted to know why Perkins sympathized with a group of people (If you have already explained this earlier chapters then I am sorry I read them so long ago that I forgot the details) And the characters for the first time fell flat. I don't know what happened but I just didn't connect to any of the characters. I was most compelled to skim a few parts.

I am afraid I have been harsh on my review though I have no right to. And yes, if I could say something more, I feel as though the chapters are not being written from the heart. Normally, when I read I get engrossed in the work and enter a world but this seemed to have a stone wall or a glass ceiling that I can see through but not feel.
10/1/2016 c2 3Virage
"Still sure about this one?" Wynn, who steered the luxury SUV in which I conventionally travel, asked along the way. – I think you still want "traveled"

"How was I to predict that a bear would elude the flood by crawling atop the roof? I cannot be held accountable for acts of god." – god should be capitalized since it's used as a pronoun in this instance.

"THAT'S MADAME RICHMOND, LITTLE GIRL!" – She stopped rolling her 'r's, and I only bring this up because I kinda wanted her to roll her 'r's again for " OH, THIS IS RICH!" hahaha. You can just ignore this though.

I didn't see much else in the way of grammar and the writing is still very well done. There were some great back and forths with Cassidy and Wynn as well as Cassidy and Narcissa. Dialogue is definitely the strong point of this story. Like before, the structure and flow of the story was easy to follow and there was little vagueness to anything presented.

One of the things I found missing from the story though was concrete imagery. I'm getting a lot of internal monologue and a sort of ushering by Cassidy that transitions us from one scene to the next in a timely fashion. Take arrival at the mall for instance. There are concrete images of the people, cars, and tents and then internal dialogue and explanation, then images of police, a glass door, an escalator, and then finally a cafe, before making it to the plaza. Most of that is short and somewhat glossed over. Did Cassidy notice peculiarities with the people she passed by? Was there anything worth noting while she sat and waited for hours? What noises and smells did she encounter? Was it a wide open mall or did it feel claustrophobic? I think the scene setting could use more fleshing out. It doesn't feel like a living breathing world so much as time lapse from Cassidy's perspective.

A minor issue is that Valkyries are female by nature so I'm not keen on calling men Valkyries. My two exceptions to this rule would be one, the man who named them be exceedingly flamboyant, like Liberace gay, or the actual people who are the Valkryies be exceedingly flamboyant themselves, like Village People gay. This of course, would be mainly for comedic effect.

I cannot strike her! I reasserted. It'll disrupt the scheme! And there are better ways to remove her. She can't afford a fight here either, so if I threaten her, she'll either back down or throw the first punch. If she attacks first, I can sue her and take Adora's Tear that way. – This might be a personal thing but you don't need to italicize internal thoughts in first person. Every thought is already internal. Telling yourself your own thoughts is actually quite cumbersome. There are a few instances where you would want to establish why an internal thought would be different than regular internal thoughts and the best one I can think of is if you're quoting someone else internally. – I had forgotten the most powerful weapon at my disposal. Use the Force, Luke. It was so simple. – just a quick benign example, but in that case Italics refer to a powerful, singular thought worthy of standing out from the rest of the mental thoughts, because of it's importance. I assume that's the point of why you chose to italicize those particular words or internal dialogue, to have them stand out more than they already are. Then it just becomes a case of whether or not it's important for them to stand out in the first place. That's subjective of course.

Upon reading the rest of the chapter it seems like the internal italicized dialogue is a largely reoccurring feature that I both understand and do not, hah. I'll leave it to you as an author but I don't believe it adds anything that can only be gained by using them.

I do like that I think I was able to pick up on what Cassidy's back up plan was. I like that she's manipulative in the sense of the mentalist and can direct conversations to her end game. She's definitely smart and a very likeable character. Narcissa on the other hand was really annoying and you got that point across great. Wynn seems the muted butler type so it'll be nice to see more of his retorts since they do add another layer beyond the surface level of his character. He's poised to be a very likeable henchman. Not sure what else I can add other than beating a dead horse about how well written this is.
10/1/2016 c1 Virage
Did this prologue draw you in? If so, what did it for you?
The prologue didn't really draw me in and was very slow and almost methodic.

What is your first impression of Cassidy Cain?
I would say two parts, she comes off as highly intelligent and confident while in disguise and then has a noble air about her along with determination while in her true form.

How about Cassidy's muscle in Wynn?
Not much was said or show about him, just some surface level details.

How about Gerard Turner?
Fairly well characterized and has a range of very human emotions. A stark difference to the robotic Wynn and the charismatic yet concealing Cassidy.

What about Narcissa?
Not much was shown about her, just some supplemental back story.

Thoughts on how I presented and handled Adora's Tear?
The handing over of the tear itself was interesting and gave some insight on to how Cassidy operates. But since the deed was already done there wasn't much going on except for dialogue and some imagery during the scene.

Thoughts on the prose & pacing?
The prose is top notch with no grammatical errors I found, nor confusing bits that were unclear or vague. The pacing was very slow and as I am a slow reader by nature, did have a steady almost monotone, beat to it. It helped the flow continue uninterrupted and made things very digestible.

Any questions, comments, compliments, criticisms, or so forth?
So first the good things. This story is very well written and has no basic or elementary errors I could find on a single pass, doing a slow read. It shows you as an author have an understanding of the basics for sure. The sentences flowed well and they were easy to read. The structure was also good, breaks were at opportune times, and the settings were clearly defined with imagery and gave a sense of space.

The only issue I had was the choice of those two scenes to start as a prologue. Although the characters are great and images are concrete, I couldn't get a sense of why this was the first thing shown to me and why I needed to know it in this fashion. What you have is back and forth dialogue in a confined area, between Athena and Gerard, and then the scene moves to a bar (brilliantly described if I may add), a stairwell, and then another confined space with the same exact two people exchanging dialogue again in a similar manner. The dressing of the scenes are fine and I find no fault there, but I just couldn't bring myself to invest very much emotion in characters talking to one another in a very formal setting.

I would almost argue Gerard was the most interesting party here because a lot of descriptions, emotional descriptions, came from his actions or reactions to what he was told. I could almost see him sweating, making nervous fidgets with his hand or some part of his body, and can almost taste his general distress. Wynn on the other had, as you said, just existed, and Cassidy, for now anyway, seems to be hold her cards for the audience.

I am neither disappointed nor excited about this story from the prologue. It is very well written and I had no issue understanding the characters, plot, and setting. The choice of scenes just eludes me is all.
10/1/2016 c2 Will9035
The set-up with the train: I liked it a lot. Some parts were pretty obvious and I didn’t feel they needed to be elaborated on as much as you did (like the door and the window being the only way in) but I did appreciate how you drew the getaway scenario into play as well. It could’ve been condensed a little, but the set-up itself is a very intriguing one. I definitely feel like you took everything into account that a real burglar would have to consider.

The confrontation: Again, it could have been condensed, and I’m not entirely sure what purpose it served. I’m with Wynn, in that making that sort of scene for no apparent reason doesn't seem like the smartest decision. I’m sure you had Cassidy put on that little show for a very good reason, though! At the very least, it was entertaining…for the most part. My problems with it can be summed up with…

Narcissa: I see that name is very appropriate. She was funny at first, but the constant capitalized letters and ham-fisted dialogue got old kind of quickly. I’m sure we were meant to find her annoying, as even Cassidy was mocking her for the same reasons I was mentally doing so. But even if we were *supposed* to be annoyed with her, after the third “MADAME RRRRRRRICHMOND” I was like, “Okay. We get it.” So all in all, a good job establishing her as a loud, pompous, egocentric pain in the neck. I just think you laid it on a bit thick.

Cassidy and Wynn’s Relationship: They’re striking me as a kind of work-buddies duo. They don’t seem like they’d be good friends outside of work, but are on pretty friendly terms with one another and get along just fine, even with the occasional disagreement or eye-roll.

The entirety of Cassidy’s plan: Not a clue yet. Maybe a disguise of some sort will come into play so that she could enter Narcissa’s room without looking suspicious?
9/26/2016 c1 RJ Lee
I was drawn in by the description of Cassidy Cain, she sounds like a strong character that could go far. Not too sure about the name, it's very similar to a DC Comics character but that's just going off of my knowledge. Not sure if it would be a big issue. Any other criticisms would be simply that I would go more into the character of Cassidy. Try and hook an emotional connection with the character from the start.

I thought you presented and handled Adora's Tear perfectly.

As far as Gerard Turner goes, I liked the interaction between Cassidy and Gerard. I assume there is more to Gerard as the story goes on.

There wasn't much about Narcissa but just enough to make me think she's a little pretentious.

Overall I liked the pacing and thought the story was pretty interesting. Keep up the good work.
9/8/2016 c1 10Silent Will
Did the prologue draw me in? Yes! You did a great job setting up the characters (I’ll elaborate on them in a bit) and I’m wondering what this mission of Cassidy’s is that has her contemplating murder.

What is my first impression of Cassidy Cain? Bad. Ass. Granted, she doesn’t talk at all the way I would expect a 19 year-old to talk, even given the highly unusual circumstances of her life. She just sounds way too formal for a teenager, and it got a little distracting. On the other hand, the way you wrote her clearly indicates to me that she is a character who knows how to get stuff done, is never intimidated by a tall task, and will get her hands dirty with no problem but is also open to the idea of a less-lethal means of accomplishing a goal if someone can present a good reason. So it’s nice (in the weirdest sense of the word) to see that she’s not totally heartless. That makes her much easier to relate to.

Cassidy’s muscle in Wynn? I considered Wynn to just be a thug. I didn’t have any greater impression one way or the other of him than I do of any other bodyguards in other works.

Gerard Turner? Seems like a nice guy. I don’t feel like we’ve been given enough insight to him yet, but I guess he sounds genuine enough.

I’m going to treat Narcissa and Adora’s Tear as one in the same, because I have similar thoughts on them: I don’t really follow what the significance of either is. Obviously Adora’s Tear is a jewel, and Narcissa is a horrible person, but I was left a little confused by both of them. You gave explanations, but they were rather fast and I didn’t see how they entirely fit into the bigger picture (Narcissa especially). And that ties into one suggestion I have for your work overall:
When you mention things like the Osion Purge, or King Gregory, or the Temple of Yew, or the Exodus of Tai Emmons, I found myself saying, “Wait? Who/what is she talking about? How does this have any bearing on anything?” I give you props for evidently having created a world with a backstory, it was a little confusing to have a new term/name mentioned, briefly described, and then mostly forgotten for the rest of the chapter. (Although I’m sure they’ll come into play later on.)

One other thing: it was a little jarring, at least at first, when the first part of the story followed Cassidy in disguise, but then it switched over to Gerard’s POV without any warning.

But on the whole, this was seriously a great and intriguing opening chapter. It was well-written, and the dialogue flowed very well (even if, like I said, it seemed a little unbelievable at times). I’m looking forward to seeing where this is headed!
8/20/2016 c2 Wohendum - Wing3ee
The set-up with the train, the entire concept of having to steal something so valuable under such heavy opposition and viewing presence...damn I can't even imagine pulling that off. Well I can, but I'd have to do a helluva a lot more thinking about the situation than my personality for being gung-ho normally allows. Sheesh.

The confrontation between Cassidy and Narcissa...was public and the whole point of it was easily to dissuade Narcissa from suspecting her in the future as the Grandmaster of Theft. On top of that, I sense a bit of wanting to shame/embarrass her being in their in smaller tones. Perhaps not so small?

My thoughts of Narcissa are as I mentioned before...but now they are more expressive. Nothing a good ol' bolt-action couldn't handle before she screws someone's life over any further with her nauseating amount of arrogance. I wonder if that idiotic amount of confidence is even deserved? I can't imagine it being, but like Cassidy mentioned, something I would also consider, her openly exposing her shortcomings/flaws/weaknesses/, could easily be a ruse, to give her opponent a false sense of early victory. She could be brilliant in her own way. Smart Cassidy for also coming to the same conclusions.

I feel like Cassidy and Wynn have some sort of romantic attraction to one another, but neither seems willing to touch up on the subject for whatever reason. Maybe I'm reading too much into nothing tho...

Can I figure out the entirety to her plan? Taking control of the train, I had figured that much from the getgo, but the rest...eh not really. Would take too much time for me to think of, and since I'm not the one plotting this or trying to counter it...I don't care. I'll wait to read it for myself.

Godd stuff so far dude.
8/19/2016 c1 Wohendum - Wing3ee
Did it draw me in? I'd say so. She was right you know, there are somethings that cannot be done by following the laws, by being nice, by doing the supposedly right thing. The world, sadly doesn't work that way. If it did, why would we need religion to convince us of a place better than here? That's a pretty rhetorical question. Sometimes, you have to be the monster under your own bed to finally achieve anything even remotely close to justice. Morality is self-perceived, and every "self" has their own morality. A priest can see the light, while others struggle to do the same. That's our world.

My first impression of Cassidy Cain is someone who has seen both walks of life, the good and the bad. She straddles the fence with both, neither willing to accept either fully, yet seeing a purpose and a reason for the existence of both. Perhaps she craves balance of a kind, or simply feels balance is needed. She seems like the type who can be a great ally, but can equally be a cruel enemy. I can't really consider her as an honorable thief, though I've seen the attempt at it. Me personally, theft is a tool of it's own kind. And tools are neither honorable nor moral, good or bad. Me personally, murder isn't always a bad thing, depending on whose killed, for what reason, circumstance, and history. If someone was to gun down a serial rapist right in front of me, I'd pretend I never saw the incident. In my eyes, vigilante justice when aimed at something disgusting, is just as good and effective as court "justice" which is just as flawed, even if it's better dressed. It's just as corrupt as any other form of justice, but it's more accepted. But personally, I feel like it's only better accepted simply because money is easily involved. I don't believe in a crime free world, this country makes a huge profit on the criminal justice system, if crime stopped, I wholeheartedly believe the government would invent crimes to cover the losses. It's the way the world works.

Cassidy's muscle Wynn is the stereotypical silent and stoic guy watching his employer's every angle and movement, ready to pounce and annihilate anything that seems even slightly suspicious. In incidents like this, the employer can be the best friend, and by extension, a safe haven away from the murderous clutches of their bodyguard.

Gerard Turner seems to be a man with a large conscience, he seems to try being righteous in the best way he knows how. I wouldn't say priestly since it doesn't take a man of the cloth to try and work for another's best interest. I guess you could say he's the lawful citizen whose trying to be generous when he can, and keep to whatever religious principles he follows in this Follower's religion/path thing.

All I can say about Narcissa at the moment is, "What a bitch". That and the name Narcissa even sounds troublesome, but eh.

Adora's Tear reminds me of something like a Holy Grail to whatever these people's beliefs are. If not the Holy Grail, than something like the True Cross christians used to wield before riding into battle. Some physical idol of their faith that carries a historical purpose. But I don't read much on religion of any kind, so tis just speculation.

Prose and pacing? I'm not qualified to go there.
8/7/2016 c1 2philosophik1
The prologue was well written for the most part, and leaves you with enough questions to pique your interest.

Cassidy seems like an anti-hero who has a sense of justice but is not afraid to bend the rules. I must admit, I was confused at the begining when Cassidy was refered to as Athena all of a sudden, with no explanation as to why. I figured it was an alias, but i had to read it a couple times to figure it out.

The muscle at the wynn seemed basic. He didn't really have much personality, but then again muscle never does.

Gerard seems like a timid mouse who likes to do the right thing but is afraid to get his hands dirty.

Narcissa seems like a stuffy old, haughty, rich girl who isn't very likeable.

The pacing was decent, although There are some places where words aren't needed and should be trimmed for better flow. You are very descriptive, although some descriptions seemed forced, like you were listing features. I like my descriptions to be worked into the storytelling and not to be told for the sake of merely describing a character. Instead of saying something like 'he had black hair, thin lips, a red large nose, and deep green eyes' I would say something like' He walked into the room, his sweeping black hair flitted in the breeze of the air conditioner as he strolled to my desk. His piercing green eyes captured my gaze and his big red nostrils flared as he huffed with anger.' See how the latter description incorporates action and better integrates the description? In my opinion, this is more engaging for the reader.

Good job though, it's a good read.
7/27/2016 c1 melanamobes
1. The prologue definitely drew me in because of how descriptive the author was about the characters. His use of striking words made me feel like I was actually in the story.
2. My first impressions of Cassidy Cain are that I believed her to be intellectual, independent and slick. I am very interested in the way she thinks about "taking care" of people's wrong doings. She has a unique personality which is shown through her strong ideals.
3. My first impressions of her right hand man are that I believed him to be loyal and intimidating. Although, he seems to be more of a body guard than Cassidy's "right-hand man".
4. My first impressions of Gerard are that I believed him to be religious and timid. I also noticed that he seemed to have a very huge amount of faith in people no matter what.
5. My first impressions of Narcissa are that I believed her to be independent, frank and greedy.
6. The author presented "Adora's tear" to be a very sacred pendant, making it seem like there was only one of its kind. I later on learned that there were actually 30 other pendants which confused me. I was puzzled once again when I read the line "She owned Adoras tear. She could do whatever she pleased." This line seemed like it was implying there was only one pendant that existed and whoever had it was in power.

Criticisms:
1. It is clear that Gerard works at the church as a priest so it seemed very odd to me that he was meeting a woman he barely knows, inside a bar.
2. I am not sure if this line is actually supposed to be this way, but if so I found it a bit awkward.
("You don't already know? Curious..." A tiny grin bent her lips.) Or maybe it is just a typo and the "curious" belongs before "A tiny grin bent her lips".
7/16/2016 c2 Puralika Mohanty
hmm. I don't know but for some reason this chapter was almost mechanical and didn't quite thrill me. The planning and the logic was nice but nothing out of the world. and I believe Wyn and Cassidy's relationship is the sort of relationship an agent would have with a principal. you kow fiduciary and mutual trust and all. But I did get the vibe that cassidy is never too sure about wyn's answer and that rather makes her human, it is only the last line that gave her off as a character while everything else really fell flat.
6/23/2016 c1 Puralika Mohanty
Namaste!
I am sorry but I couldn't quite clearly form a first impression of the series as by reading only a chapter all I could decide was the genre (i.e Mystery and crime thriller) and what it is going to be about. I percieve that we are going to follow Cassidy through her crimes and mysteries.

But I must say that I formed a very strong impression of Cassidy. She comes across as a super strong female character determined to do what she wants in a flexible way i.e by taking other opinions and she is almost endearing as a cool person. Her demeanour and everything speaks her richness and intelligence. I especially find her manner of speaking loveable. (I am a sucker for elegant eloquence.)

Gerard turner comes across as a very average character. Augustus Wynn forms a more solid impression than him. He is a priest and level headed and all but he still seems to be missing something that makes him fall flat on me.

Narcissa? She leaves little to no impression. I suppose it is her underhanded tricks that disgust us but still not enough to imprint her in my memory.

Adora's tear was handed nicely and it's shape is understood in general, also the history behind it is very cool. However, It sounds a bit opaque and is a bit hazy in my imagination i.e it has a default setting of gems in general in my mind (does that even make sense?)

Initially the prose was rather rigid but it flowed smoothly by the end and I loved Cassidy's philsophy about perception and being a thief! (Being a thief has never been cooler.)
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