Mandamon

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Mandamon last won the day on February 26 2013

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About Mandamon

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    Complex and Unnecessary
  • Birthday May 26

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    North Carolina
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    Practicing and Teaching Karate, Reading, Writing, Gaming, Tinkering
  1. I enjoyed that this had quite a bit more content in it pertaining to the plot. Some of the history rehash between Q&M felt like it could have come earlier, but it did lead to a good conclusion. Now I'm greatly confused about two things: 1) Q is going toward his son? Or did I read that wrong? Is he the person captured by Gen? 2) Mystery Caller was pretending to be TOM, which, okay, but TOM was giving orders to DM, wasn't he? Because if that was this same person, then they've engineering everything and I have no idea what their motives are. I was assuming this was either one of the techs or the person locked up, but neither really has access to this level tech, or to the freedom to call. Plus extra confusion cross-reference with 1) above. Seems like this is getting very close to tying things up, so I'm interested to see what's coming. Notes while reading: pg 3: "Cunning, crazy, brave little..." --is this is reference to her asking where they were going, or for rolling under the truck? pg 3: "or maybe yapped was a better word" --why? pg 4: "Is his CPU in his butt?" --lol pg 5: "Towards his son." --what now? If this means what I think it means, I feel this is something that has been seriously neglected before this point. pg 7: "which T and now E could link Gen to" ---Can they link Gen. to election fraud? I haven't seen any connections they would know about, especially T, who's been hidden away this whole time for all we know. pg 8: "The status of his relationship with M was similar." --to what? Charging? The android? pg 8: "“How about that?” She began to sob." --Good character development, but I'm not sure where all this is coming from. Q&M are both diving into stuff that happened prior to and in the first book. Why now? pg 9: "because the drone had visual sensors as all media hubs did." --We can figure this out from context. pg 10: "I think it’s all because you couldn’t save your wife.” --ok, that's a good line. pg 11: "That is a great relief to us all, I’m sure.” --lol pg 13: Does M know what's on the loose? Is that common knowledge yet? I don't recall Q&M learning exactly what is loose. pg 13: “Why would he do that, if you’ve been pals for so long?” --Are they? Did he say at some point that they were? pg 14: "“Nope, not once.” Mystery Caller reverted to his own voice." --ok, more confused now. The whole thing was set up by this person? And we still don't know who it is. I guess we'll find out next time?
  2. Interesting story, though it reads more like the intro to an RPG than a book. I liked Tempter a lot, as he gave the story some nice levity. Got confused over all the role names and why they mattered if this is already half the story, especially why there needed to be three types of werewolf. Overall, there's a lot of telling and not much showing, which makes the dialogue stilted. It seems like part of a larger world, though, so good job on that. This half was mostly explanation of worldbuilding, thought, so I'm wondering how much content is in the second half. Character-wise, S is kind of one-dimensional, but Z is interesting and I like Tempter. Not sure what this means. I'm not familiar with it. Did a quick search on it and didn't come up with anything either. Notes while reading: pg 1: "Ea’s sliver could scarcely make it through the branches" --took me two readings to figure out this was a moon, not a character. pg 1: "The first rule any intelligent predator learned is that there will always be another predator higher up the food chain" --Except there's such a thing as an apex predator, and it seems like he is one of them. pg 1: I feel like bright- and light- will be confusing prefixes for wolves. pg 3: "His creature companion killed it" --Tempter? The small creature that can perch on a staff? pg 3: "His nocturnal eyes were hampered somewhat by his fire’s light, but Z had the good fortune of being taught by a skilled mercenary how to properly keep watch" --I don't know how much skill can keep your pupils from contracting in light... pg 4: hmmm, "light" and "bright" seem like they would be confusing compared to "dark" for wolf types. pg 4: "A grizzled veteran...late forties" --*lifts eyebrow* pg 5: The description of Tempter makes it much more believable it took down a deer. A hint of this earlier would be good. I assumed it was some sort of bird. pg 6: "If you’re a friend of his, you’ve got my respect" --has this person been brought up before? S just started talking about him for some reason. pg 7: "Seekers sojourn like a plague or a blight, ever cursed to never use moon’s light' --this is kind of clunky. Could take our "ever" and it would scan better. pg 8: "Anything else I could help you out with" --was he helping? pg 9: "And there’s something you should know about him. Tempter feeds off of emotions for sustenance, not food" --This is tell-y. A lot of this conversation has been. pg 9: "with the guild rank of half-moon " --I thought the half-moon referred to the moons' position in a few days, when S was talking before. --oh, he explains it. Alright, but still very tell-y pg 9: "This is why everyone hates Seekers" --because they use logic? pg 11: "mentally translating" --I thought it was pretty clear. pg 12: "He loved an inn, especially at this time of night. Z had arrived an hour before dawn" --Is the inn busiest right before dawn? I would have though late evening instead. pg 13-14: There's a lot of small talk on these pages that doesn't really do anything. pg 14: "took a sip of the red ale" --wait, I thought he said he didn't drink? pg 15: "Not that he wanted to run this Guild, but his type doesn’t exactly like not being alpha." --So is the guild all werewolves? Confused. pg 16: More confused. Z is a member of the guild? Is this the gramarye he talked about before? I don't know what it is. pg 17: "Can I enlist you on a Guild mission?” --this reads more like the beginning of am RPG than a short story. pg 17: "over the break of dawn?”" --strange phrase. pg 18: "His weapons marked him plainly as a Forger" --So the guild isn't for just gramerye people. Who is it for? pg 19: "Tomorrow at dusk, I’ll give the two of you this assignment and the information" --Huh? I thought he gave it to Z? And why wait for a day? --ok, so I guess they're going to work together.
  3. Similar concerns to @kais on this one. It was an exciting chapter to read, but I feel like we didn't get much resolution. In addition, I really don't care about the cops as an antagonist to Q&M, so that decreases the tension for me. I feel like they should be up against DM and the beasts, not random law enforcement who is following them for...what was the reason again? Stealing a car? There are much larger problems going on. Mainly, I wanted them to escape so we could get to the real confrontation between Q and DM. pg 2: "busy subverting a national election that would shape the fate of nations, even worlds, busy trying to kill MR and TT." --Is this WRS or did Q know all this before? pg 4: "Ten supple fingers" --is there any reason to think that the android would have more or less than ten? pg 4: "enjoying the contact a little too much" --I mean, he did accept the massage... pg 4: "centrally enough" --centrally located enough? pg 4: "whacky" -> "wacky" pg 4: "Whatever had caused J to trust in that turd on legs?" --WRS again, or do we know what J was trusting DM with? pg 5: "I will read it. Shut up already!" --is this the caller talking to someone else? Confused. pg 5: "Oh, we sort of work together," --Are we supposed to know/guess who the caller is? Am I just being thick? pg 6: "But you do, Q. You just haven’t figured it out yet," --This makes me think it's someone we haven't met yet, and I'm not sure what I think about an unknown character being a Deus Ex plotpoint to feed Q&M information. pg 6: “She was lying. She’s still in play.” --who was? E? The Caller? pg 6: "unfathomable morass of migraine-inducing human testes" --very cool metaphor, but I'm not sure why they would cause Q migraines or why we wouldn't particularly like that anatomy. pg 7: "wished he was tootling around Europe with the formidably lovely Frau Professor " --was this one of the side jobs from the beginning? pg 8: “Awesome, possum,” --do what now? Very confused by what this means. pg 13: "saw three harnesses descending from the copter’s core. Mystery Caller?" --Why would he assume this? I thought the copter was with the police? pg 14-16: Good action here, but there's a lot going on. The blocking could be a little clearer on where Q is in relation to M and the copter.
  4. I second this! Also, that is a lot of googly eyes. That clear shell looks cool.
  5. I thought it was clear that Mor had pulled some sort of special protocol that E wasn't aware of but they clearly were, a bit like sleepers Yeah, I do remember that, but I wasn't clear on if that was some deeper protocol the techs were blindly following, or if they were actually planted to help DM cause chaos. Mor's task is just to cause massive chaos. What I need to do is add a thread with a ticking clock for finding TT. That is something that is missing although it's set up at the beginning in Creston, when it's clear that is what Mor will do, but then it drops out of sight. Like @industrialistDragon, I think just "causing chaos" is not really cutting it as a motivation. DM's done that. Why is he still here? At this point anything else he does just drops more breadcrumbs back to him. I did like the throwaway line about him resenting Q because of what he did to J. If you expanded this, if might bring DM and Q into more conflict, and give DM more reason to keep messing things up.
  6. Sounds like something Mork would say... I haven't really found that being on a panel helps book sales at all. There's a strange dissociation between people sitting in a chair thinking "This person knows what they're talking about" and people actually buying your books. I'd also be a bit wary of going to the same con two years in a row with the same books, especially if you didn't make table this year. I've done six cons this year, and none of them were very good. I'm blaming the year (general societal apathy) as I did have a book come out in April, but that's one reason why I want to get Seeds 2 and 3 out before I do many more cons. I've seen people will snap up a series, or at least commit to the first book more often if they know there are others already out.
  7. Well, I had little problem with E's section. It was some good emotion for her, and a sequel to the scene with the monsters. That said, It's again a transitional chapter. people are moving to places, but never actually getting there. I really want someone to just get where they're going and punch a monster in the face. The first two sections, however, didn't do a lot for me. I wasn't sure what the purpose of adding another POV for the sheriff was, when we basically knew that information. It could be encapsulated in Q seeing a blip that the sheriff is coming after him, recruiting other sheriffs along the way. DM's section was more of the crazypants plot he's going through, but at this point I've pretty much lost the thread. I guess now he's just sabotaging things and basically taking over the company with his own private army? I don't have a definite goal for him in mind. He's not actively going after E, Q, M, or even T. He's just loosing creatures, which he could have done at any time, if the two IT folks were already in on it. Seems like E's story is the most engaging one to me in this book. She's at the heart of the actual conflict, and having Emotions because of Things Happening. Even though Q&M are the titular characters, I feel like they've become secondary to her. Notes while reading: pg 2: "K woke with a snap." --hmm. I am concerned about another POV at this point. Or have we seen this one before? pg 3: "He splashed water on his face" --from...where? Is there a sink in the driver's seat? pg 3: "The footfall counter " --that's convenient. pg 5: "the dash screen capturing the message and replicating it for several seconds once he was past. " --now that's a good feature. pg 6: "I’ve got two bodies in Creston morgue" --they've already mentioned this, and I this point I feel they're just recapping the plot. pg 6: So, I'm not really sure what that first section added to the story. It's a new POV (or one we've seen maybe once before) and we didn't learn a lot of new information. pg 8: "She’s done here. I’m in charge. Read that back to me.” --I'm still concerned with how DM basically gets away with everything. He's obviously a sleazeball. Why do people just believe him when he starts taking over? pg 8: "They’ve pulled down two tinhats by the stinger and mauled them to death." --Have we heard of the tinhats before? What are they supposed to do, and for that matter, why are they putting a bunch of extremely dangerous and terretorial creatures together in the first place? pg 9: "A ladybug and a man ‘o war jellyfish" --okaaay. I guess that explains that...still no idea what they'd be used for. pg 9: “Remember what you signed up for, both of you" --so are these two actively betraying the company, or are they pawns? pg 10: weird italicization in the top paragraph of this page. pg 10: "Bring this home" --what exactly? I feel like I'm missing a large part of the plot pg 10: "draft in your prisoner" --who what now? pg 10: "Gamma Lab’s inmate " --still don't know who this is. Is it the guy from the first book? pg 10: "I haven’t spoken to my prodigal son-in-law since Cuba." --except they talked at the beginning of the book. Or is TOM lying for some reason? pg 11: "were loading more mangetouts into a new truck." --they're letting more out? I really have no idea what's going on. pg 11: "After what he’d done to J, rejecting her… " --has this been mentioned before? Good motivation, but seems late in coming. pg 21: "E took the wheel and steered out" --I was half convinced E was going to kill her or something...
  8. I had some trouble with this image too. I sort of waved it off as "fancy future tech," but yeah, I stumbled. And now, thanks to @Mandamon, I will never be able to unsee "1950s housewife Optimus Prime." Shame there's only a few days left 'til Hallowe'en. I need pictures if this happens...
  9. Yay! Looking forward to it. I figured ;-)
  10. Awesome! I'll have to pick your brain for performance critiques afterward...
  11. Oh, the horror! Speaking of which, I've been focusing on getting words down for Seeds book 3, and did a quick calculation yesterday. Turns out I've been writing about 1200 words a day since 10/07, so almost my own little NaNo if I keep it up for another couple weeks!
  12. Hmmm...Yes, this needs to be clarified a lot, maybe in the few DM POVS we have. I had no idea this was his objective. Getting the president involved makes the election coverage make sense as well, and this connection needs to be very clear to show what the stakes are.
  13. Overall, this was more exciting than the last few chapters. My main concern is that now I don't understand DM's motivations. Did we ever learn why he's pulling E-C apart from the inside? He's going in a very roundabout method as well, when he's already chief of security. That's were all the suspicion is going to land once he's done, and I don't see how authorities aren't going to figure everything out. Also, I'm very confused on what DM hoped to accomplish at the end of the chapter with E. For all his supposed competency, he's only managed to kill one of three people. Now he's releasing the animals that kill all the other problem animals, and hoping they go after the human they're coded not to? Seems like a very risky plan which didn't have much chance of working (and didn't...) Also still wondering with Q&M are going to do about all this. Their investigation seems very far away from whatever else is going on, and they've got no stake in the largest danger, which is the creatures loose in YK. They could literally walk away and no one would fault them, or even know they were there. Anyway, still looking forward to how this all wraps up. I'm assuming not many chapters left? Notes while reading: pg 2: "Although things were out of hand, she had been back at the helm" --so this is after Q's call from last chapter? We're caught up to real time now? pg 3: "“Not that kind of test,” said the woman." --can she tell what E thinks just from her face? Also, what kind of test was E thinking of, because I have no idea. pg 4: "I doubt it, and so does the president." --the prime minister? pg 4: "she didn’t know how she knew, but she just knew." --okay, but it seems very plotful. pg 7: "It was Con. C." --Who is this again? pg 10: "Armageddon protocol" --this is the one that just kills the creatures, right? Can they not grow more? I'm wondering why this and not everything else would end E's career. pg 11: "Coded not to attack humans, she reminded herself, coded to seek and destroy unwanted terra-fauna" --oh, well then why didn't they let these creatures out first of all? This seems less like Armageddon and more like first response, unless they're not sure of the creature's code. pg 12: “Emergency protocol one-Mike-two,” --this, however, I'm concerned about. pg 12: "It was him!" --This response is so quick I had to go back and check that I wasn't missing some other clue. I think if E came to this conclusion this quickly, she must have suspected something, but that hasn't come out in the story. pg 13: "they were still in the lift" --wait what? I thought she saw them loaded in. Maybe need some clearer blocking in here. pg 13: "the wimpy little child-hands" --these do not seem made for killing anything... pg 14: "circumvented the laws of robotics fifteen months ago" --okaaaay. This seems awfully convenient. I thought DM was working against E-C, but for TOM? Or am I getting my motivations mixed up. I'm really not that sure why he's doing all this in the first place. pg 14: "Two were showing an interest in Morton, the other pair were closing on her." --I somehow got the idea that there were only two of them...I don't think it was clear how many there were. pg 14: "internal emergency." --I mean, she could also call an outside emergency number, as there are obviously some big shenanigans going on in the company. pg 14: "The goods lift is going to be busy today," --not sure what this means...bringing up other creatures? Why? pg 15: "“It’s the che-ga" --The what now? Did we learn about these before? And won't the saurians just focus on them instead of E? pg 16: "which would have killed her by now if they were going to" --yeah, I mean in this situation, I'd probably be testing my luck against them and getting to safety as quick as I could, rather than letting them herd me. I know it would be much harder in person, but just getting frustrated at E just standing there the whole time. pg 17: Glad there's finally some action here, but I'm very unsure of DM's plan. I'm not sure how he was going to make sure any of the creatures killed E when some were programmed to hunt the others. Maybe she would get caught in the fight, but it still seems pretty sloppy.
  14. Random nerd knowledge FTW!
  15. They might be escape pods?