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

1/11/2016 c19 9cmaej
Comments on Plot:

I’ve mentioned this before, but I'll say it again. You found a good balance in portraying Cassidy’s intellect and skill without killing the tension. She’s not always a step ahead of everyone, and we the readers are involved when she figures out a problem. I am worried about the purpose of the prologue, though. When Narcissa’s sister, Elizabeth, did not get fooled by Cassidy I was like, “Oh, shit.” But I also remembered that Cassidy somehow still ends up with Adora’s Tear later. I can’t positively tell if me knowing this has significantly dropped the tension or not.

Now about the chapter with Cassidy and Gerald. Between the two of them, I definitely think more like Cassidy. However, there are indeed religious people who are a lot less naive than Gerald. The pair seems to on opposite ends of the spectrum. Even though they are both capable of being respectful and cordial with each other, they will probably never see eye-to-eye. Personally, someone at Gerald’s level would make me faceplant, especially that conversation they had. I guess this portrays a strong point in Cassidy’s character. She will intentionally to put herself in company of people with opposing ideals for the sake of improving her own flaws while others will naturally avoid such people.

Have you ever facedesked really hard because of something a reader knows but the character doesn’t know? Well, that was what that last chapter was. I wanted to punt Cassidy for trying to reason why it was better to play Becca for a sap rather than simply telling her everything and asking for help. Granted, Cassidy doesn’t know if Becca would turn on her, but we the readers knew that won’t happen. When she said to her conscious that Becca’s betrayal might happen, I was like, “bruh”. orz

I still think she has a secret yaoi stash. XD

Comments on other characters (gonna leave Cassidy off this list since she was pretty much already covered):

Gale - Fucking Gale. I felt bad for him when Cassidy made him cry. Then I thought he was a tool. Then I loved him because he matched wits with Cassidy, then I thought he was a tool again. Alana get out of his ear.

Narcissa - Her antics made me laugh so much, I peed a little. Don’t judge.

Wynn - I wish to know more about him, his history and his skills compared to Cassidy. Most importantly, I want to know what Cassidy did to earn his loyalty. Yes, I said “earn”. He doesn’t seem like the type who would be someone’s lap dog. He’s not fearful of her and openly speaks his mind, and even tests her patience.

Becca and Rea - needs more screen time. XD
1/4/2016 c12 3Psykofreac
It seems like this went from a luncheon to a whole party lol. Anyways, I guess Vincent is pretty entertaining being a casanova wannabe and all.
1/4/2016 c2 1Nori-san
Finally got the time to get back into reading your work and for a moment I was surprised to see a first-person narrative but wait...I shouldn't be considering Cassidy did mentioned that she was going to tell her story.
AHHH but what really hit me hard was the way you have with said narratives! The exchanges between Cass and Wynn were so witty and so full of humours that there never was a dull moment despite all the chapter was talking about revolves around planning the grand scheme. Their shots at one another showed the type of chemistry the two of them had, and it's definitely one reminiscent to the BBC series I was watching, 'Sherlock', for some reason you should watch it if you haven't!
Cass has a way of explaining her steps with concise thinking and without moments of dullness. Of course, Wynn is there to act as her restraints in case she tries to take more than she can chew. I really wish to pull out pointers of improvements from your work but it's quite hard considering how well written your story is! If there's ever the slightest thing I have against the chapter, then it would be the part where she introduced her three part apartment. It feels a bit too much of an info-dump with nothing much to contribute to the overall plot. Other than that, the work is really neatly done!
1/3/2016 c11 3Psykofreac
In my opinion, Cassidy comes up with answers a little too quickly, such as the Ostrich Effect bit to outmaneuver Gale and his suspicions for her. I personally think it would be better if she takes some time, maybe even consider different possibilities before deciding which is the best course of action. It's also a great way to keep the readers following both with her train of thought and also provoke their own thoughts about the issue as well.

Other than the Ostrich Effect though, I think the decoy Grandmaster involving The Collective strategy mentioned in the previous chapter "might" be handy here. Not only would it shift suspicion from Cassidy but also distract Gale who would have to urgently investigate them. The Grandmaster making an appearance there shouldn't seem too suspicious either, Cassidy could disguise their reason as following Narcissa, being a sore loser, going for a more impatient, reckless approach to taking Adora's Tear this time. Gale seems to be the biggest threat at the moment so I suppose it might be a good time to play that card.

One other thing I forgot to mention about the previous chapter though, I think the plan to force Narcissa to drop Adora's Tear was a bit counter intuitive. That's not always a bad thing by the way, many times being counter intuitive makes the most mind blowing strategies. But I mean, Adora's Tear was what was supposed to win her the bet of a million crowns and would that be too big of an incentive to keep it?
1/2/2016 c10 Psykofreac
You seem to like ending a chapter with that line at the end before a big heist begins lol. Anyways yeah, the chapter had a lot of info based on Cassidy's plan but then that's due to the genre of the series so it's okay. I'm personally used to this kind of thing.

The collection of strategies seem to focus more on quantity in my opinion though, it's full of tricks here and there, all were practical but hardly any actually stood out on it's own. I guess the bit about switching the Adora's Tear with the fake is pretty clever but that's if Cassidy is able to reach the real one and I don't think Narcissa would just leave it open.

By the way, just curious but are you familiar with the concept of double bluff? Anyways, it seems you can mold your world building to suit the story purposes but I suggest introducing concepts before it's able to solve a problem.

Sorry, I think I'll also review the previous chapter here in order to leave space if I decide to retype my thoughts on the chapter before that. Deus kind of reminds me of Moriarty from Sherlock, also at this point, Rebecca would make a really good Red Herring. I'll think of anything else when my mind comes to it, peace.
1/2/2016 c1 1Nori-san
Hey Thieves! I didn't know you've got such a talent at writing such stories :) Really impressed by the opening chapter and Cassidy has already displayed her wits clearly through the actions on the Adora's Tears.
Judging from this chapter alone, Cassidy as I've mentioned earlier, is witty, observant, charming, composed and one that plans ahead. That's my first impression of her. As for Gerard, not much can be said though, and I would like to point out the story revolving Greg the fourteenth is a bit too much of an information dump to the readers. What you could do is break them up into dialogues for the readers to piece it up together, so at least it'll keep the pace consistent. That bit was a bit too much to swallow down while everything else is great wb I feel that the character of Narcissa could be strengthened through dialogues of her deeds, rather than the back story because the former would have provided a more intimate relationship between the readers to the characters, but that's just me.
I'm liking your story a lot, definitely would read the next one to see what else is cool!
12/30/2015 c1 6Kisho
So here I am reading at last your infamous work. And as expected of the infamous Thieves, your prose really does leave nothing to criticize. You're very strong indeed x3

I have to admit I'm not a fan of the prologue that takes place after the ensuing chapters, but the way you frame it does make for a really interesting setup. It's pretty refreshing to see a master thief, can-do-anything type like Cassidy seek moral advice of all things. Gerard Turner is an interesting counterpoint to Cassidy too. He seemed like a total throwaway at first but I do like his character and I hope he is not, in fact, thrown away.

It felt a little backstory-heavy so far and diverting a lot into explanations of things that have already happened that might be more interesting if we didn't know everything about them, but you definitely do have interesting backstories to tell.

Cassidy is honestly more than a little bit obnoxious right now xD But not necessarily in a bad way. She's just not a perfect person, which makes for a perfect story character. Still, she's so full of herself, comes off as so uppity. I wanna see her muck up.

Narcissa as well seems over-the-top but... I already know from talking with you that that is entirely deliberate. For a story following a criminal, not much of a feeling of moral quandary in opposing her, but morals quandaries are bound to come in at this rate if she's planning on murder. :v

All in all very splendid very splendid. You're impressive just like I figured you'd be. Definitely very professional writing no matter how you look at it.
12/24/2015 c2 2Ink Lord
Plotting, planning and scheming are so cool to read about. This was a dialogue heavy chapter, but in a way I think I wanted to see how much time and effort she was really putting into this. Nicely done.

Honestly, it still felt the same with Wynn here. We had Cassidy explain more and more to us, outlining her plan, but Wynn isn't really giving any solid input, only reactions and glimpses of hesitation. I do like their interaction, but he could definitely contribute more.

The entire chapter was very clear in this purpose in explaining what Cassidy had in store. Nice job with that.

Honestly, she assumes A LOT without any sturdy reasoning to back up her plans. I don't know if you intended it to, but I can almost picture the smile she must have as she plans it. I do think that her saying stuff like we're just going to hack it comes off as halfway. Like how are you going to do that? I will say that she has definitely thought about it though. So, 8/10.

Wynn is the loyal friend to Cassidy. Of all the people to have at her side, she's chosen Wynn. He hasn't surprised me yet or made me want to know more about him. He's a stable character overall.

You asked me last time to point out grammar. Honestly, the only problem you have is that at times a single word will be missing from a sentence. Not a big one either, more like a word to link others together:

shut everything down (on) the train
unaware of (the) keycode's password

Little things like that is all.
12/23/2015 c1 Ink Lord
First, I have to ask where you picked up that amazing cover for your story? did you have it done personally for you by an artist on Deviant Art? The questions at the bottom are a reviewers dream. It makes the whole process way smoother since I know what you want from me. So, here I go.

My first impression is of a series that unfolds sort of like a play, piece by piece presented to us so that we can follow Cassidy's machinations tot he fullest extent. This entire chapter was almost like a summary of what she represents: a thief who helps.

Yeah, the prologue drew me in. Some of the grammar threw me off a bit, but the best part was me wanting to know what Cassidy will do in future chapters.

First impression? She's almost like an actress the way she presents herself to others. She has Anti-Hero tendencies as she's not afraid to get her hands dirty.

Right now Gerard feels like a pawn to be controlled who will be the "normal" person in this story who is supposed to mimic the emotions of the reader.

Adora's Tear had a nice backstory, deep and complicated with comparisons to real world history. Narcissa feels like a common villain who wants money, or rather wants to see people struggle to please her.

I've already mentioned the grammar sometimes. Sometimes, it sounded a bit weird, like one part saying, "just a tall task." Maybe something like "just to tall a task to comprehend," seeing as how it was Gerard's reaction to Cassidy's title.
12/16/2015 c3 Argentum Vir
I thought the way Cassidy prepared for the job was thorough, if just a little simple. Besides relying on the human element is just a little too presumptive. Humans are as unpredictable as they are easy to manipulate.

First impressions of Rebecca are that she's a little hyperactive and possibly naive. The way you describe her, I'm a bit surprised that she'd come off as such. But her reactions to the Grandmaster show that perhaps she's a bit childish in that aspect.

Rae on the other hand seems like she's Rebecca's foil and is more in line with someone cynical and worldly. Her analysis of the Grandmaster is needlessly simple and has a sense of finality to it. Both are extremes that assume the best and worst of people, and I can't wait to see their expectations smashed into easy to pick up and reform pieces.

Hard to say how I feel about Cass' relationship with Rae and Becca. I feel a history, plus I do get a best friend vibe with the intimacy between Cass and Becca. I haven't seen enough to really form a concrete opinion yet, but I do want to see more.

Narcissa might as well be a Kardashian at this point. Both rose to undeserved popularity because of a scandalous escapade. Can't wait to see her knocked down a peg. The backstory before her debut is a good way to get it over with without interrupting the action I'm sure we're going to see.

I'm thinking it was competitive. Possibly something concerning martial arts. Other than that, nothing to really go on.
12/16/2015 c1 Moonfawn
My favorite thing about this story is Cass herself. She's powerful and confident, but not domineering. Her and her philosophy are intriguing. Wynn is intriguing himself.
I already hate Narcissa. ;-;
The Followers are sympathetic; their conflict with Narcissa helps.
The story has many details of characters, environments, and sensory details as well. There are a few typos here and there, but they're minor.
This story makes me want to read more to see where Cass goes...
12/16/2015 c2 Argentum Vir
The intellectual posturing is something I greatly enjoy as both a read and writer. My favorite shows usually have some form of these in them. It's no different here, but these usually focus on their plans going off perfectly and no other variables in the mix. I hope to see some equally well thought out improvising when something does go wrong though.

It was easy enough. I don't think this could be improved too much.

I'll be honest, Cassidy's plan sounds nightmarishly complicated and relies on a few unpredictable factors due to being set in a public place.

Not at all what I expected. I thought it would be more professional than personal, but the signs were there already the this was intentional.

No real thoughts on the setting being used as a vehicle to express Cass' character other than it's well thought out.

It's hard to feel sympathy for a rich, well endowed thief. It's more intrigue than anything.
12/15/2015 c1 Argentum Vir
What is my first impression? Lighthearted, somewhat like an episode of Jackie Chan where he steals a talisman. This is clearly proven wrong by the last few paragraphs though, so take this as you will.

Did the prologue draw me in? Yes. Personally I consider this chapter one no matter what unless it takes place far before the events of the main story. It doesn't look like this is the case, but I'll reserve judgement.

Cassidy Cain? Hard. Manipulative. Smart. She reminds me of Artemis Fowl somewhat and Wynn is in the same vein as Butler. Not at all a bad thing really.

Turner sounds unlike a priest personally. He's a little less judgmental than I'd imagine. But I don't know enough about the faith to draw any conclusions. As far as thoughts go, I'd say he's seems loyal and in his own world, professional. I'd like to see more of him.

Adora's Tear sounds like a McGuffin really. So far you've established a pseudo supernatural setting where this is either a story or something that really happened. We'll see where this takes us, but I have a feeling it may end up being slightly predictable. Which is a plot choice for the observant and I get that you drop clues to make it as such.

Narcissa Richmond isn't even subtle. Holy shit. She might as well drive a car with the license plate "Vil1an". Honestly not sure I like her. She reminds me a lot of Cruella De Vil which is another completely obvious antagonist. In a work which on initial impression might require subtlety, I'm questioning if that's what you're going for at all.

(Then again, I have all the subtlety of a brick through a window so not much room to talk.)

Compliments-wise I like the back story here. Though, I really wish you'd drop less exposition about the tear and place some emphasis on what the religion actually believes. So far I have a Catholic vibe and I'm not sure you want me to draw such comparisons without some explanation.

Other than that, I'm not looking at much here. A whole lotta nothing happens and it's hard to judge a book by it's first chapter. Onward.
12/11/2015 c3 5ZekeFreek
Someone's got a case of black and white insanity, probably. idk.

I'm a sucker for double life or secret identity elements. So the fact Cassidy has people in her life who don't know what she is works well for me.

I wouldn't be surprised if her bribery ends up biting her in the ass. Relying on bystanders to not screw you over is a pretty risky move. Granted Perkins doesn't really have anything on her, but he could still screw over her operation if he decided to take the money and blab anyway. Yeah, it'd be stupid of him but... people are stupid.

Little confused about the watch. What part of it is supposed to "grapple"? I get there's wire inside it, but what shoots out to grapple? How is it propelled? What kind of propellant mechanism could fit inside a watch? Also, I get that even small wires of certain kinds can withstand immense weight, but how would using this not break her wrist? Or does she take the watch off and use it like a handle? Of then wouldn't the watch itself break from the strain? This is one instance I feel a little more description was warranted because that kind of bugged me.

I've actually had bump key vs lockpicking arguments with friends. Usually the argument is lockpicking is quieter and leaves less of a trace, but harder and slower to do. While bump keys are easier but louder and can damage the lock. Considering she wasn't exactly pressed for time, I wonder she didn't just pick it. I'm assuming a master thief knows how.

Ironically, lie detectors are in fact themselves lies. Good on you for getting that right. I'm always annoyed when people get all antsy about them too. Total scrubs.

Is there any particular reason she disguised herself as a guy? I just found that interesting since she clearly didn't need to.

Tumblr: This is obviously evidence of him being a genderfluid trans boy.

Me: Shut up, Tumblr. Go away.

Btw, this story really works if you just play the Mission Impossible theme in the background.
12/10/2015 c2 ZekeFreek
Now I'm absolutely sure there will be more twists and turns when the heist begins, but as it stands I can't help but feel the plan is somewhat anti-climactic in that it side-steps all the elements of danger instead of tackling them. Now I know what you'd say, that that's the point. But it's just too matter of fact, it's not... cathartic.

A suggestion to improve that: Have Wynn come up with a more conventional plan only for Cassidy to shoot it down and explain the more direct and obvious solution. Not only would that make it feel more like back and forth, as opposed to one person explaining something to another person, but it would better demonstrate Cassidy's planning ability, I think. Tearing apart what we the audience would do and going "no, silly. THIS is how a Grandmaster of Theft does it".

Here instead, it's more "pfft, of course this is the solution, obviously". Which is fine, but not as engaging. That's just my take on it though.

Wynn's character is going to take longer to develop as we aren't in his head like we are Cassidy's. I'm confident it will, but as of this chapter all I know of the guy is he; A) Is the more conscious and restrained of the two. And B) cares about Cassidy. Both things I could've inferred from the previous chapter.

Not a fault at all, these things take time, but I found it odd you asked my response to their relationship after just this chapter. And I'm just like "idk, we'll see".

Now let's see how their plan blows up in their faces/goes off without a hitch. I think which way will determine just what kind of series this is.
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