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

11/21/2011 c13 12Deedee Elle
I liked the opening of this, the way you made it very clear what Cass is up against in terms of security as you led us through the building. The trophy room description was good and I like the reactions of the different characters to the book as a means of illustrating them. Vincent is obviously a bit of a philistine.

I loved the very detailed description of Cass dropping the card- it was really easy to picture the sleight of hand (and foot). I do find it slightly unrealistic that Narcissa or Vincent wouldn't at least suspect one of the party being responsible, even for a moment.

As to how Cass is going to pull off the heist- hmmm, something to do with water refraction?
11/19/2011 c19 cerebral1
Way to end Volume 2! What a powerful, well-written chapter; by far the best you've done! I absolutely loved the first few paragraphs:"The sun relinquished its hold on the sky where the half-moon would commandeer its place." Pure poetry!

"Eligere Island was devoured by the darkness with every passing hour. Many succumbed to its will,submitting to their beds..." Again, such imagery! Plus a clever juxtaposition of Wynn's and Cass's sleeplessness.

"...Cain Manor's library where bookcases looped around us. The bulbs above us were the lone light of the night." Once again you use an economy of words to paint a deft picture. "looped around": what a perfect description. Same with the bulbs; I know your vision exactly. Honestly, I bow down to your descriptive powers :)

Ha! And what exactly was being done to turtles? Good humorous interjection, as was the "Oh, just you. And this stuff. Still." Honestly, these two really remind me of Booth and Bones on the TV show "Bones", although Cass is more approachable than Bones.

I like Cass's momentary study of Wynn. It's a well-placed hint of some sort of feeling she has for him, be it friendship or more.

As you get farther into the segment your proofreading gets a little lax; you may want to take the time during this hiatus to re-read and correct. Other than that, I honestly don't have much other concrit for this chapter. From beginning to end it flowed very professionally. Your writing has really grown throughout this volume. Well done.
11/19/2011 c12 Deedee Elle
Ooooh, that was interesting to see Cass lose it when Vincent taunted her about Wynn. I wasn't expecting her to lose her cool over anything so the fact it was over her friend showed a depth to her which was good development. I hope she hasn't overplayed her hand by revealing her strength, though it would be a nice twist if it was loyalty which led to her being revealed.

I like the way you drop in little details such as there being an official language and state languages- it all helps create a rounded world.

I like the interplay between Vincent and Cass, they've obviously got a bit of history. Julia is a bit of an enigma- having to beg 'pretty please' then cajoling Cass into being nicer implies a level of subservience which doesn't quite ring true- I wonder if she's got more up her sleeve.

I think you got the balance really well here between dialogue and action, it was easy to picture what was happening.
11/18/2011 c6 6lalala445
Okay, I just have a guess and I felt like I had to put it out there: Is Gale Deus?

I (again) couldn't find any grammer mistakes. All was good there...

Anyway... I was glad to read the Gale and Cass scene... It was good. Can't wait for more!

11/18/2011 c5 lalala445
That. Was. Epic! Loved the chapter! (*RH REVIEW*)

Okay, I say no spelling mistakes (but just look t my stories, I'm not very good at it.)

I feel like misjudged Narcissa throughout the story. I have a feeling that she will be important soon.

I was sssooo excited when Gale showed up! Then I realized that he doesn't that Cass is the Grandmaster Thief... TROUBLE!

Can't wait for more!
11/17/2011 c18 cerebral1
Oh, my goodness, I am so sorry! I was sure I had already reviewed, and then realized I hadn't. And after you went and voted for me so quickly, too. Well, I'm here now. Sorry!

This chapter showed a nice cameraderie between the girls; they can fight, argue, and laugh together. Well done. I like how Rae looks out for Cassidy's injuries. And, as always, Cassidy has her eyes on the prize...namely, Deus, and The Calamity. She needed a little girl time!

With that being said, I found the chapter a little slow going; I know it was meant to build the girls' characterization, but I just expected a bit more action or plot progression. Unless I missed some kernel of info (it is late here), I didn't think I got any clues or hints of anything to come.

Your descriptions, as always, are spot on. I can see where the self-defense practice is occuring, and I can see exactly how the girls look. You always describe well.

"The sweat we both shed was proof of our struggle to overcome the other." Cassidy usually speaks very correctly, but this line seems very stilted, esp. for in her thoughts. It's well-written; it just sounds too proper.

"Tenderer" is not a word. "More tender" would be correct.

Gale is still MIA, eh? I tell you, that guy is shady in some way. I still think he's Deus.

I also didn't quite follow the story of Rae's great tragedy. I got lost in it; did you explain it? Or did Cassidy begin thinking of her own altercation with The Calamity and leave us hanging. Again, it just may be that I am tired...

Overall, if the chapter was meant to show us the girls' bond between each other, you did that well. I just wanted more action. You're very good at those scenes :)
11/11/2011 c3 v-n-ll-y
The exchange between Gale and Narcissa is interesting and reveals a lot about Gale's role especially. It's also a good source of background information regarding the Imperial Guard and Sharpe Security. There's also a particular emphasis on Narcissa's characterisation that serves to justify Cassidy's intense dislike of her.

I felt that this chapter was better than the last, although the only event was the exchange between Gale and Narcissa. The flow was much better, and the content is moderated well. Only thing I'd suggest improvement on here is just the proofreading process; there are some minor grammatical errors here and there.

All in all, going very well from what I've read so far.

11/11/2011 c2 v-n-ll-y
Things are starting to build up very quickly, and it's getting very interesting.

In terms of content, everything is fine. Characterisation is very apparent. We get Cassidy's intelligence showing through again and some of Wynn's personality. I like the inclusion of the gadgets, I can see it's going to prove to be a very gripping conflict.

I do want to point out that it would be unnatural for someone to say such a thing as "I've yet to explain my motivation" - in this it's too evident that the authorial voice is trying to speak through the character - but that may be idiosyncratic of Cassidy, I do not know.

As for Narcissa, although she does not physically appear until the end of the chapter, she is characterised quite well through Cassidy's profiling. It might be fair to say Cassidy's evaluation of Narcissa is accurate, but with use of words such as 'bragged' in regard to Narcissa, it could well be a skewed perception of character. Just be aware of such things.

It's all good content and all relevant. I think what needs work here is the manner of execution. Your descriptions, though very well detailed, tend to jar the flow of the writing; what I mean is the colloquial writing term 'info dump'. For the most part, there's an alternation of abundant description and scarce description here and there. It all needs to be diffused evenly and appropriately to the revelation of the scheme.

Other than that, as I said, in terms of content it's all good, it's just that the execution could use a little polishing.

11/11/2011 c1 v-n-ll-y
Hello there, after the long delay, I've finally managed to find time to read your story.

It's certainly a very interesting start. From the narration it's almost immediately apparent that Cassidy is a very intelligent character; I would attribute this to your choice of vocabulary, and certainly it does reflect that aspect of her character.

As the prologue works on its own as a short story, the inclusion of a lot of background information isn't a problem, though were this not the case, it would feel like an overwhelming amount of information to absorb. Do also try to keep paragraph length in check as well. Also, be careful of the small errors in punctuation and such, though another read through will sort this out easily.

I like the concept of the thief of justice, though. It's always refreshing to have the anti-hero protagonist, and this does make for an interesting plot. The last paragraph as the lead-in to the present time (I'm assuming) works well as an ending.

One last thing concerning your A/N: please give readers more credit. As an author I can understand the necessity for clarity you feel, but keep in mind readers are also intelligent beings and can actually figure some things out for themselves. It's not necessary to explain everything right away. To another reader you might come off as condescending.

11/10/2011 c18 1Sol An
Oh, I like Rebecca. She's really cute and I love how eccentric she is. A really good magician character. I am looking forward to her part in the story as she becomes involved. I am curious about Gale. I have had some theories about him before and this chapter moving to support those. Let's see if they come true.

In any case, good job as always. It has inspired me to move on with my own story. In my own opinion, the best ones are the ones that inspires, so kudos.

Also, thanks so much for the eBook. I definitely will have to start reading it this weekend!
11/7/2011 c7 5Whirlymerle
Nothing like watching a movie about robot fighting doctors! :)

Eck! Deus is gross, with his sarcastic, babying sort of voice. I think our antagonists parallel each other in this sense. He's power hungry too, I see. All the more despicable, then.

[Artist, like I, have absolute power over our masterpieces.] "Artists" should be plural.

I like the cast. I think my favorite character (if I hadn't mentioned this already) is Gale, because his intentions are different from Cass and Deus's. Narcissa especially, is a little too dramatic and black and white for me. I think it's part of her characterization, but if I were watching channel 9 on TV like Cass was, I'd think, wow, this chick's got to seek help.

I admire so much your ability to build your world from ground up! I really like the details you've put in it, like the Chocoin, and the cities and positions and all that. I look forward to seeing the world expand.

I could see Deus and Cass battling it out, but I feel like we're either not going to see, or only get a brief view of the elusive Deus in the next volume.

As for shipping… Hmm, I wonder if there's something special about Deus's love metaphor… I don't think I’m a shipper for them, I just want to see if there was more to Gale's words.

11/6/2011 c4 13Tsumujikaze no Soujutsu
Well first thing first, let me just punt in a suggestion here. Actually I've discovered that while Cassidy has her own worth of character definition, the same couldn't be said for Wynn apart from the possible Jin-Saya rule I've mentioned in a previous review. Simply put, I discovered that so far, his worth as a character has never been independent in nature. Unlike Cass or Gale, there's no way a reader could see him as important beyond having Cass as the required catalyst. What I'm trying to say is that Wynn's own characterizing can only be significant via Cass direct interaction with him. If you are to ask me, my view is that you can try to create a tangible platform on his persona via Cass' very own thoughts on what he is like as a friend and human being rather than a friend plus assistant. Of course I might have mentioned it before, but you can just opt to screw it if you've already got your own plans on this end. :)

Now with the curbstomp out of the way, let's get on with the real stuff. Firstly, Sun Tze's Art of War. That's my only reaction towards how Cass play her cards. I won't use the term tactics. Tactics are meant to be used via the on-the-field format. Strategy would be a more apt term. I'm not too sure on how Western warfare view this end, but on the Chinese side, strategy is just this: Planning ahead of the real thing kick-starting. Pretty much like how a manager picks his starting line up and formation in any given football match. (This is NOT the US version of the sport. I'm talking about using the feet, NOT the hands. :D)

Actually now that I've seen Cass' way of planning, I'm being reminded big time constantly as to what Fa Zheng could be playing during the Liu Bei's successful Hanzhong campaign against Cao Cao. Toying around with the opponent's mind via the cat-and-mouse format in order to make him/her crack. Simply put, you can call it an attrition mind game.

And while I'm at it talking about the Hanzhong parallel, I might as well add in Wynn's role as that of Huang Quan's where on-the-field execution at the most vital moments is concerned. Although granted Huang Quan was also a strategist rather than a field general and that his role lies in the deployment of forces via terrain knowledge more than anything else. Liu Bei was right when he cried for Fa Zheng after he died while expressing his own self-shame in letting Huang Quan down due to the immense stupidity called The Battle of Yiling.

And now on Gale. When Cass commented on his god-tiered adaptive ability, it really reminds me of Zhao Yun. In fact the parallels are really that eery seriously. Simply put, it's a combination of foresight and on-the-field adapting. I won't put up a history lesson here, but if you're interested, you can try Google search for his biography. Albeit the Chinese sources will always be the most reliable since info in English sites are really limited in terms of contents. Please don't ask me why. I don't know either. Of course if it's any given Three Kingdoms forums, the story will be different. :D

And lastly, on Cass intent to play around with her prey, it seems that the entire battle was one of pride more than anything else. Simply put it's a poker game involving both parties where the symbolic nature would be the required final nail into the coffin. Pretty much ironic if you ask me. A showdown of purely symbolic nature having the actual role of dealing the decisive victory.

And for the card throwing, all I can say is... OMFG! IT'S REMY LE BEAU! GAMBIT FTMFW! Funnily enough, dude was actually part of the Thieves Guild before he joined the X-men. :)
11/5/2011 c16 1Sol An
I thought that when the room filled with smoke, it was Wynn and Grandmaster fighting each other but not realizing. That would have been horrible.

In any case, great chapter. I love how Grandmaster carried out her strategy. It was perfect and sounds just like something Trick would do: create a diversion and then do the impossible!
11/3/2011 c12 Sol An
You really are a good author. Cassidy and your characters are so believable. I also like how you keep the story moving by balancing description and action. There is enough detail to understand the setting and environment but not too much that it distracts from the story. Good job!

Here is a link to a picture I drew featuring Cassidy and Fable. I hope you like it!

11/2/2011 c1 99Dreamers-Requiem
I feel like there's a lot of information here; it's almost kind of an information over-load, especially for a first chapter. Not that it's not interesting, but it's a bit daunting. I do like the start, and I think you've got a good hook, but I found myself getting just a little confused over the amount of characters you've introduced, and all the different backstory you've crammed in, too. At certain times, it did get a bit...static. Maybe try to merge it more with the action/description, rather than having huge chunks dedicated to what this family does or what that family did etc. I think you need to slow down the pace a bit in terms of introducing the characters, too. Just a little bit, to give the reader time to absorb it all. I also think you could cut out the last two paragraphs; maybe put them at the start of the next chapter or something? Otherwise it is just..well, too much. Like I said, other than that though it does seem interesting, and I can't help but wonder how she managed to get all the skills she needed. Di she have any background in gymnastics or anything like that? Of course, that's just me wondering aloud and kind of hoping it'll be explained later on :) I'll be back to read more soon.

-from The Roadhouse
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