ABNA Reviews

I like these reviews not only because they’re so positive, but also because they were written by the exact kind of reader I was aiming for with my book. It’s not an easy read, and it’s not a simple world, so yeah, I want people to be overwhelmed.
I understand the confusion in the first chapters, I’m getting a similar vibe from my beta readers and will try to address it in my next rewrite.

ABNA Expert Reviewer

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

Obviously intricately planned, this writing is very detailed and imaginative. Well written overall, the author has skillfully created a fantastical world for this work geared to young adults.

What aspect needs the most work?

As a reader, I felt like a non swimmer who had been pitched off of a dock and told to sink or swim. Though this excerpt contained only the prologue and first chapter, I felt bombarded with almost forty unfamiliar names, places, and terms, and felt like I was drowning. About half way through, I stopped and reread, listing the characters and places to keep things straight. By the end of chapter one I had identified at least six cultures or races and fifteen or more characters. One paragraph spoke of a girl, “She wore the robes of the Geomancers, although Bran knew her dream was to one day become a Derwydd at Mona. The brown-green, plaid cloak suited her auburn hair and green eyes, framed in a spiral woad tattoo.” With no further information, in such an intense chapter, and not knowing what a Derwydd was, or what a woad looked like, I could have waited on this unfamiliar stuff until she was mentioned again. It was a tad overloaded.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

I liked it! Despite the complaint above, after rereading half of it, I realized I was making it harder than it was and I started to enjoy the action; to continue my own hackneyed analogy, I started swimming strongly through it. It’s hard not to mention the obvious comparison to the Harry Potter series, with the dragons and wizardry in an academy, but this was only the first chapter, and the pitch proposes action in other places. Besides, I loved Harry Potter! This book lends itself well to the intended audience, and I project a hit.

ABNA Expert Reviewer

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

I think this excerpt was very well written and that it has an interesting idea behind it. Having such a short excerpt that doesn’t get into the plot is a little frustrating but that isn’t the fault of the author.

What aspect needs the most work?

The way it goes between several different scenes is a little confusing, not because I can’t follow it, but because it doesn’t really give any kind of info about where the scene takes place, who these people are, how they are connected, etc.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

I think it is great but I don’t feel like I fully understand it. I like that there is good character development and the writing itself is great.


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