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

4/15/2016 c5 17cud-b-better
Well I think I figured it out although I don't understand it. The numbers represent where the letters are in the english alphabet and it is written backwards. I made it: Do not trust the potatoes the following statement is a lie: I am going to kidnap Narcissa Richmond and sell her as a sex slave hat this guy named Christopher Fitzgerald. Well am I correct in the code? Still don't understand what it's getting at.

Well it was a little demotivating for all the hardwork Cass pulled Narcissa is really nothing, and now she owes cass a debt. Curious whether deus is a friend or foe and just what his goal is. I'm guessing it is going to go the direction of try and find out Deus' identity. Anyway a good chapter and I like giving the reader a light puzzle. Well done.
4/15/2016 c4 cud-b-better
Well the two meet finally. I'm quite surprised no one mentioned reverse psychology the moment Cass talked about appearing in front of a group of people. Still wondering how Narcissa could get away free after causing such a huge unrest with her actions.

Well Narcissa is a bit too annoying, I don't mind arrogant character for as long as they can back up there talk in person. Still wish Cass just turned around on Narc and just say I'm not going to play your publicity stunt game just to show her up. Out of your inspiration for the character the only one I know is Redd White but can't say I like narc as much as redd (good villain).

Well I felt Cass already won round 1 with the exchange but I for some reason can't see her paying up. I always love when characters pull the carpet from underneath arrogant scums.
4/15/2016 c3 cud-b-better
Well another good chapter, a bit of preparation time here. Kind of get the feeling that Cassie didn't make the brightest of choice by getting the conductor onboard. He could very easily have turned on them. I also felt his character was a bit erratic, first wanting more money, next not due to a bit of word play.

Becca seems like the typical dunce with one talent, who some how became a friend to the character. Typical clingy type. Rae is the no none sense type who seems to see everything in black and white. I feel she could prove to be an obstacle for cass at a later date. Well Cass and becca's relationship seems to be fairly strong and she seems to even like the alter ego, I can see her becoming an accomplice at some point or other. Kind of curious just to see how they became so close.

Narcissa is obviously the scheming type who is only out for personal gain and shows no shame in what she does to get it. Quite surprised she hadn't been assassinated already.

Cassidy and Wynn I'm unsure of, but it seems almost that he is something more than just a colleague well if he's helping with heists that's only to be expected.
4/15/2016 c2 cud-b-better
Well a chapter of good planning on Cassidy's part. It's been a while since I read the first chapter although I remember enough of it to carry on without issue.

Anyway I'll answer a few of your questions then:

Yes I was able to follow Cassidy's assessments and planning and kudos to you for coming up with all the ideas as the author. I get the feeling she lets her pride talk a little bit too much though. Rather than do something where the opponent calls all the shots, I still think it would've been smarter to have played Narcissa down by publically sending a request denied that will make her lose face.

I think Cassidy's plan is pretty good although if they're on a train I don't see why they don't just uncouple them all to isolate the problem entirely.

Well Wynn so far is the typical sidekick, he's basically in awe of Cassidy's schemes and her planning as well as being a bit more down to earth and realistic. But despite their boss subordinate relationship Cassidy seems to value his opinion probably just as high as her own. They seem pretty casual yet professional with each other, the fact they talked the plot out in Cassidy's own room just goes to show.

Well finally I'll just say that although I enjoyed this planning stage, if the script is already prepared then there will be less excitement during the actual heist. So here is me hoping for some serious adlibbing to liven it up.
4/14/2016 c6 20hazelnutbrew
I think that this was very well-written and compelling, and I was on the edge of my seat while the conversation and back and forth between Narcissa and Cassidy took place. You're really good at showing Cassidy's mental maneuvers and applying the stuff that you learn through books and put them into stellar prose. I think that Cassidy came up with a great proposal, it's ingenious, really, and I love seeing her line of thinking while she does all this. I think that Narcissa is a good set up to show Cassidy's skill and cunning, because Narcissa is quite cunning herself and demonstrates a lot of showmanship. She's a great antagonist, I think, and despite some people being peeved by her behavior, I love Narcissa. I also know what your plans are, but I won't elaborate further on that. I think that she's a worthy opponent for Cassidy in the beginning, though what really intrigues me the most is Deus's maneuvering. We see him shadowing Narcissa in the shadows, and we're curious to know more about him. He truly is an opponent that is worthy of recognition, and to show Narcissa is scared of him shows him as an ominous figure indeed. Even though we don't directly see Deus yet, we can still see him maneuvering in the shadows through Narcissa, and I think that's a brilliant way to introduce him. Of course, Narcissa isn't a slouch herself and she's suc ha hammy opponent that-how can you not love her? I mean, sure she did some bad things and has a less savory reputation, but I still love her anyway. She is a memorable opponent, that's for sure, and I have a feeling that she'll play an overall bigger role throughout this story ;o

Gale Crawford is interesting. I like how he is the foil to the Grandmaster of Theft. He's pretty cunning himself, able to maneuver and position himself towards the Grandmaster and trapping her. There are many stellar plays going on, and you keep track of them all pretty compellingly. It's interesting to see each play that an opponent makes on the chessboard to Cassidy's mental prowess and wits. Having worthy opponents only confirms how brilliant Cassidy is, and she's not a boring Godmode Sue that has no difficulty overcoming her opponents. Like Tatsuya Shiba _ -brick'd- Overall, well done, and I hope that you enjoyed my review and ramblings. As always, Thieves sensei, you're an amazing writer with prodigious talent!
4/10/2016 c5 11Madcinder
That certainly went differently. I had considered that she wasn't acting on her own, but only briefly. It's not really a surprise, but it definitely makes me rethink how I expected the story to play out.

I think I've seen enough characters calling themselves 'God' to last a lifetime. I can do without him, whoever he is. I'm sure Cassidy could too.
And I really don't think finding out Narcissa's real role changes much of anyone's opinion of her.

Her mind works fast, no dancing around that. Unfortunately, I'm seeing a few things that she seems to have overlooked. It was fine in the end, but opening that envelope could have very easily been a dooming move.

Now, obviously, this Deus is going to lead Cassidy on a wild goose chase like in Die Hard 3. Maybe not, but it seems a likely case. Either way, whoever it is now has a hand up on her. How serious of an advantage that is remains to be defined, but possibilities range from bad to extremely bad.

Learning about psychology and sociology, and a fair number of other things, is something I love to get from reading. For example, now I'm thinking of doing my own train heist! (not actually)
But learning is always good. I have an aversion to people who have an aversion to learning.
Other than the thickening liquid on the kevlar, I was expecting something a bit more extravagant. This, however, seems to fit her more.

Now, for the characters. Narcissa has made it clear that she's really not pleased about any of this. On top of everything, now she has to pay a million crowns. She's seeming more like a grouch now.
And I'm getting a better sense of Cassidy herself. As the main character, it takes more to learn about her properly, but I'm getting a real good idea of her. And with that in mind, I'm sure she hates what just happened.
4/9/2016 c4 Madcinder
Well, I think I know Narcissa particularly well now. Perhaps better than I'd like. 'Shrill' is the word that comes to mind. I like how she tested Cassidy's patience even then, but her overall confidence without any proof was what made me think of a certain presidential candidate. Making promises, but you're not gonna say how. That's reassuring.

I expected something a bit more intricate than that, though. I mean, it works, but just betting a lot of money isn't as exciting as I was thinking.
Granted, what I was thinking wouldn't work so well on someone like her.

I really wonder if the technological level in this story is the same as ours or better. Cause, uh... that could make or break my suspension of disbelief right now.
4/9/2016 c3 Madcinder
I get the sense that Rae and Becca don't get along perfectly. Rae is obviously the quiet and serious type, and Becca is the bubbly friendly talented type. I have no doubt there is more to both of them.

I just wonder what her plan was if Mr. Perkins had gone to the Guard.

Well, actually, this chapter made me quite curious about the world. It's clearly not ours, or at least as we know it. (I tried googling Yewel).
I think it's a smart move for Cassidy to not tell her friends, but that's all I can really surmise about their relationship just yet. In fact, there's a lot in this chapter that left me feeling like there was a lot more to the picture. All of it stuff we'll probably find out later.

Over all it's a setup chapter, and those do tend to be, while essential, somewhat... dry. Neither Rae nor Becca are interesting to me so far. Wondering what happened with Wynn and Cassidy in the past, but it's clearly been cleared up between them.

And of course, just more reasons to love Narcissa.
4/8/2016 c2 Madcinder
"I love tactics!" Me too. Trust me, the interest is soaring.

Actually, in all honesty, it gives me chills. Seeing a character's mind mastered so well is tangible pleasure to me. Mental gymnastics are fabulous.

Oh, I could follow it. I was right with her all the way up to the point where she explained what she was actually gonna do. She was intentionally vague, possibly for Wynn's sake. I can't say I've yet gotten a proper understanding of they're relationship, or Wynn in general, but from what I can see it seems like it'll be fun. And I'm sure he's a wonderful guy... right?

I'm more concerned with what I learned about Narcissa so far.

In fact, I find it takes a good lengthy bit of writing to get to know one character, and it's hard to overlap getting to know characters. The first chapter I mostly learned about Gerard Turner. This chapter has heavier focus on Narcissa in that respect. She's the one whose real person is better unveiled.
In that respect, Cassidy is still a fairly notable question mark. Wynn too, but not as much.

Really, it's Narcissa I learned most about here, as the whole chapter is about analyzing her and her tactics. It's about learning who she is and what she's capable of, investigating as many aspects of her as possible.
And it works near perfectly.
Jai ho
4/8/2016 c1 Madcinder
I get a very real sense when reading this that you truly have an intricate and brilliant plot prepared and in mind. Dancing around twists and turns, both in the prose and the dialogue, the writing is ever superb. Worth a commendation for sure.

Drawn in is one way to put it, but I would opt for 'immersed' more readily. It gets the mood more right, though I can't put my finger on any definite thing that caught my attention. Lack of poor writing is a huge factor, however. Murder too. There is that...

Now, on the characters, immediately I can say I understand Cassidy and her viewpoint, and find it valuable if not in a realistic sense at least in a characteristic sense. It seems to define her quite well. As for Gerard, I really do like him. I don't know what this religion of his really is, but it seems pretty good from what I can tell. His ideals and how his mind works are very appreciable.

Narcissa seems like... a character I haven't met yet. I can't comment on the personage of someone I don't know anything about at all.

And finally about Adora's Tears... nice story. It doesn't feel terribly consequential except to the characters. While that has its own worth, it would need a bit more to affect me in remotely a similar way.

I honestly can't find anything any of the characters have said that I disagree with on a personal level... Discounting the little bits of remembering what Narcissa said, of course. I... think I've stated my piece, then.
Jai ho
4/7/2016 c4 12578916
i see there's a mixture of present tense and past tense in here. was it a mistake, or is that how it works? ._.

i'm clutching my head at her rrrrichmonds. you have to force us to hate her...

you must've done research on bugging. at least it beats death note's l using a shinigami to look for them.

i still think that, based from what is shown up to now, that there are still a lot of variables to the plan, and we haven't yet seen cassidy's plan as foolproof. many things can go wrong than one'd expect from the plans of a master thief. but life is like that, i guess. things look less perfect from behind the scenes.
4/5/2016 c3 2578916
human element is the weakest link. totally agreed

"I uncovering everything else I needed..." -uncovered

babbler page. nice. i knew facebook is going to be a thieves' den

the way cassidy describes becky... she's infatuated with her haha

""You're either doing what's right or doing what's wrong. She's breaking the law, so she's wrong. Learn the difference between the two"
wait... someone with a black-and-white morality says this? that's interesting

i like that last sentence. hello, murphy's law

there's a nice assortment of characters here... i want to see them put into motion
4/3/2016 c2 2578916
the observer. i like this newspaper name.

those screaming caps.

train hijacking. it's nice to see a master thief do that for a change actually. even if that means a risk of summoning murphy's law. i want to see plan a fail

"it's absurd so no one thinks we're seriously going to do it." i want to see the jawdropping scenes that come as a result of this approach

covert. overt. i like this word play.

hacking is the modern day's magic. :3

i can't agree more. wordplay is so unappreciated

oh, also, i'm curious about the 'swaying' part. how can she persuade in that situation? there'll probably be guards or security systems all around.

spectacle. flash and bangs. being mystery thief is show business

i love scheming... if ideas don't keep eluding me.

it's nice seeing cassidy and wynn complement each other. i like their exchange.
3/28/2016 c1 2578916
firstly i like the atmosphere. prologues are usually about either plot hooks, world or character establishment moments. you pulled off all at once in a way that doesn't disappoint. that sets you above most amateurs

cassidy has real charisma and presence, i give you that. resourceful and self-aware, a sense that she's 'alive' and not just a cardboard cutout to fill a particular role. and she had a crew. that makes it more realistic, than just some lone 'heroes' we see in most stories

a bit description-heavy, especially about clothing, like that second paragraph. but then, it is a story about master thieves, where meticulousness is a must

i found the dialogue hinting at the characters' intelligence and 'highbred' temperament. they're well-written. the tone also matches the atmosphere

so she wants to murder this mastermind you mentioned huh. knowing her, and how she's thinking of resorting to murder, that person must be someone resilient and able to hold a candle to her. maybe i can expect another breathtaking character then, the moriarty to... wait, if she's a thief, then what's her nemesis? :D

gerard seems like he's going to be the straight man. the intelligent but ordinary person appraising the genius

narcissa richmond. sounds like some snobby rich-person, the usual targets of noble rogues. hope she put up a powerful fight.

oh. so we're going into the past after this? hm...

my first impression? this story will really take me places. :)
1/16/2016 c1 5Y. S. Wong
Well, I finally turned up. (*w*)

As expected from the rave reviews, the prose is at a high level. Could still benefit from a comb-over to get rid of stray typos though. I spotted a few. (Capitalizing tennis unnecessarily, "he instructed then slipped into the room," etc.)

I like your descriptions. While I'm definitely not in the camp that eschews descriptions of people, including their clothing, I think at times it does threaten to slow down your pacing, especially the scene where Gerard meets undisguised Cassidy.

"The only articles of her appearance which wasn't black..." Weren't.

"She wore a smile that could disarm an army." I've been playing a lot of rhythm games lately, so to use that analogy, this line would earn a "Great!" You're well in rhythm and prose-writing here. Love the line.

Really liked the little discussion about what makes a master thief. I've been thinking a lot lately about what makes people "elite" at a given activity compared to the overall population, and this discussion fits right into that self-musing.

"'No,' he said, his voice guarded." This was first published in 2011, so I'll assume this is pretty old writing I'm reading. I do notice the use of third person limited here, but it's not necessarily 3 deep.

Dat King Gregory tho. In my story universe, Gregory is a revered emperor. Hue.

This is a decently executed surprise history buttsecks. I'd still prefer to find out such details along the way, but it flows well enough.

Heh, Narcissa Richmond's lawyers. I mean, this is obviously your universe, so the law can be whatever you want, but I'm curious whether you looked into the doctrine of bona fide purchasers for this.

Oh god, we're going back in time next chapter, aren't we. Have to say, I really do like Cassidy as a protagonist though.
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