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9/17/2013 c1 99Dreamers-Requiem
I feel like there’s a lot more you could do with this to really draw the reader in. Try playing around with POV a bit. At the moment, a lot feels like you’re cramming a lot of information in without giving the reader a chance to get really hooked in. Try introducing us to Hicks a bit more before telling us everything that’s going on and he’s got planned. Give us a reason to care about what he’s doing. Otherwise, it falls, well, a bit flat.

[Hicks placed the last set of vials in the cooler with the others and closed the lid. He clicked the padlock back into place, and returned to his laboratory. Hicks took off his lab coat and placed it on the hat-tree that sat next to the door.

Hicks sighed with satisfaction as he surveyed his small lab.] When you’re working on something, try reading it out loud to yourself. Especially opening lines/paragraphs. At the moment, this feels a little bumpy, with the ‘Hicks did this and that. He did this and that. Hicks did this and that. Hicks did this’ feel. Try cutting down on the use of his name and play around with sentence structures so you can have a stronger opening. “Placing the last set of vials in the cooler, Hicks closed the lid.” For example. Just have a play around with it a bit and you could have a very strong opening. Good luck.
9/4/2013 c1 11Kay Iscah
A little hard to judge since this is a small slice. I do think you need a description of Hicks. We get a nice sense of the lab, but no sense of what he looks like.

$10,000 doesn't seem like much of a bribe for 3 months of work by a PhD on something likely criminal. I think the average pay for a chemist is over $70,000/year.

For suspense, it seems like you might do better building from your protagonist's PoV. That way you can play with whether or not Hicks is a villain/the villain a bit, rather than immediately revealing him as the bad guy. However, I don't know the rest of the story, so I maybe completely missing the intended direction.

The Coke ad at the end seems a bit out of place. It's kind of funny, but I'm iffy about hijacking ad campaign slogans.
8/23/2013 c1 BethCamella
nice
8/14/2013 c1 2Ghost Divsion
You do a good job of building suspense and story in your first chapter, while keeping a nice balance with the detail. This is a very hard thing to achieve, so props for that. One problem is that there aren't enough specifics for the first chapter. We know that hicks is a professor, but it would be nice to know what school he teaches at or even what class he teaches, even if it's stated as a throwaway sentence. Other than this, your story is very good.
8/14/2013 c1 7Vladvonbounce
This is an intriguing opening, it is very open ended. Nothing is given away and I kinda like that but I also think giving a little more clues might draw the reader onto the next chapter.

I also really like a lot of the description and detail of the scene setting. It explains things without really making sense, which adds to the tension and mystery.

A few minor nit picks.
"charisma, persuasiveness, eloquence, flattery."- and flattery.

"He and Dr. Harrison had made sure, through the work they had done during Phase One, that such would be the case." I think this would read better as "He and Dr. Harrison had made sure during Phase One that there would be no obstacles to their plan." or some such. Just a little less clunky.

"There was still a week left before the events of Phase Two could commence, however." Should the however be at the front of the sentence?

"The Real Thing and the Refreshing Pause " These don't need capitals.
8/14/2013 c1 4Sidekicks-anonymous
Your writing style is well-suited to this genre. You're excellent at building up suspense, and at pulling the reader in. Your characterization was pleasingly subtle; it was easy for the reader to pick up, yet it didn't tell them outright. My impression of Hicks is that he's suave and cunning; he's narcissistic, easy-going, and (to an extent) lazy. If that's the impression you wanted to make, then nicely done!

One suggestion, though; use more pronouns. You say "Hicks" in a lot of places where "he" would flow better-for example, in the first paragraph. Generally, you only need to mention the characters name once per paragraph, at the beginning. After that, you can just use "he" or "she." It sounds more natural that way, and the text flows more smoothly through the reader's mind. It seems like an insignificant detail, but it can make a difference.

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