Ties That Bind by Kasidy Manisco


Tell us what you thought about the March 2013 issue!

Moderator: Editors

User avatar

Long Fiction Editor

Posts: 2614

Joined: January 11, 2010, 12:03:56 AM

Location: by the time you read this, I'll be somewhere else

Post March 20, 2013, 06:36:16 PM

Ties That Bind by Kasidy Manisco

opener
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?
User avatar

Long Fiction Editor

Posts: 2614

Joined: January 11, 2010, 12:03:56 AM

Location: by the time you read this, I'll be somewhere else

Post April 04, 2013, 01:14:25 AM

Re: Ties That Bind by Kasidy Manisco

I liked this story. The main character -- the narrator -- has a busy life, protecting her friend. Her motivation seems a little stronger than the explanation for it is, but that isn't bad; it hints at credible backstory.

The fight scene was well done, but even better was the immediate aftermath, when the narrator has to overcome the temptation to be controlled by her magic, instead of being in control of it.

About the only thing that bothered me was what I felt was a use of jargon: some magical terms that I'm not familiar with. They're used as though the author simply assumes that every reader must already know them. I got the impression that they must be listed in some kind of dictionary. This wasn't a deal-breaker, though.

I liked the way the story was written; Kasidy is quite skillful with plot, character, and action. It was a smooth, fast read, sleek without drawing attention to itself. I didn't notice a single technical error.

Excellent job.
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?
User avatar

Critic

Posts: 198

Joined: October 13, 2011, 08:33:33 AM

Location: Ely, Cambridgeshire, UK

Post April 10, 2013, 06:57:00 AM

Re: Ties That Bind by Kasidy Manisco

This is going to sound overly critical (scroll down for details), but I really liked this story. There's a strong flow and style that makes it great to read. The MC is well defined, she comes across as a strong woman... half-woman... whatever the hell she is, I liked her and I liked that she is protecting an innocent.

However...

Logical error:
" My only ace was that he hadn't scented me yet (a fey's scent was far more difficult to catch)."
Then later:
"I'd save the perfume for Cece -- slavers couldn't pick up the scent of my kind."

There is a smaller contradiction that the MC states slavers have poor eyesight, would not notice her and track mainly by scent but then later: "I was a little more obvious, though, with my signing. You didn't see too many ASL signers around here, which made me stand out all the more. "

I'm not sure how the Slaver managed to carry both a whip, which is a really impractical weapon, AND a scimitar under an ugly jumper without anyone noticing, unless he has a bag of holding somewhere on his person. Oh wait, he had a backpack. That wasn't mentioned until the end of the fight scene. Did he wear it during the fight? Is that were he pulled the scimitar from?

When the MC leaves the bathroom she takes her bag - is that the same as the Slaver's backpack?

Hmmm! There are a lot of asspulls , the backpack, the whip, the scimitar, the stun gun, the fact that the Push transcends language barriers. If you could fix those, with a little foreshadowing or a few Chekhov's guns, I think that would really help.

The janitor gets a raw deal; With all the DNA and blood splatter in the men's room, he's the one the cops will come for when the body is found. Plus he's got to fix that broken sink, I really feel for the poor guy.

In Conclusion; Liked it, obviously this is part of a larger piece as there are many loose ends. Not sure it's strong enough to stand alone as a short story with that many things left hanging.
Doggerel is a derogatory term for verse considered of little literary value.

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 2501

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Mass, USA

Post April 16, 2013, 07:41:30 AM

Re: Ties That Bind by Kasidy Manisco

(Early Context Style notes Cont.)

"I spotted the slaver right away. He stood at the back of the store, hat low over his head, trying to hide the tattoo on the left side of his face. The slaver's illusion magic was good, but with my eye sight, I could see a faint outline of the Hebrew fish hook. Even worse, he couldn't hide the metallic stink that hovered over him like vultures over a dead body."

Okay, now we have some world with legit, overt, systematic magic. "Tattoo" to me suggests it's not Arthurian-Tolkien Fantasy - something about the mood of a tattoo doesn't ring right in those settings for me according to the tropes. A few lines down, we confirm this by seeing something about a baseball cap. Now unless we get colonists playing baseball, that's striking interesting chords because we have to figure out why there's Magic here on Earth. The opening remark is too casual for some settings, where magic is barely accepted but far from clearly known. Various things clearly show it's Earth, with that same fuzzy now/near-future hazy line. And what's a Slaver?

So we have Magic, and elsewhere I'll go into why I think Magic is one of the toughest themes to write in, because it risks so many plot holes. For now, it looks like Magic isn't completely universal. Best guess is then some kind of "Hidden Elite" setting such as the one in the RPG Mage the Ascension.

Return to March 2013

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.