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9/18/23 - Ace of Hearts - Everlasting Sunset Sub 7, 4123 words (LV)

Ace of Hearts

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Hi everyone!
After getting to know the other soldiers more, this one goes back to focusing on the dynamic between A and P. I'm hoping for their interpersonal relationship to carry a lot of the emotion in part 1, so I'm curious to see how it lands.
Thanks as always! :)
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 “…knew it was the wrong choice.” Tactically, or emotionally?

“He was supposed to make a break for it…” Even though he hadn’t managed to kill her?

P2 A’s manner of speech here seems to have changed. Though from the line just below, maybe this is deliberate?

P3 So… P’s rebellion is about the treatment of the soldiers?

P4 “Who will beat you down even further…” But the soldiers don’t usually remember their previous lives, do they? Or would the ministry do this regardless?

“Deep down, I don’t think I ever was.” Interesting. I wonder if there is a chance to plant a bit more of a seed on this sooner. Ditto “I’m not saying we’ll never revolt” – seems like a big shift in her thinking that hasn’t so far been signaled.

P7-8 after P has stormed off. This conversation goes on for quite a while without A participating, or even seeming to be an active observer.

P12 “…to tell her mom that she was going for a late stroll…” I still really need to understand how this base is laid out, physically Does A’s mom live on the base or…?

P14 “She bet all soldiers had that same thought at least once.” Did A?

Overall: I enjoyed this chapter in the main. I think the focus on P was helpful because it helped ground the chapter in one of A’s goals – to get P to stay – and helped keep the upcoming deserter conflict top of mind. I do wonder if a little more sense of escalation on that front would be helpful. Can there be a more overt ticking clock? More monsters coming out of the ocean as they try to prepare? Etc?

I thought the emotion between A and P worked pretty well, there certainly is a touching moment at the end of the chapter. One thing I’m not quite clear on is what kind of relationship it’s supposed to be. Is it a romance? A maternal/mentoring relationship? A saviour narrative? (A makes a reference in the early chapters about wanting to save P, but this chapter made me realize that we still don’t know what constitutes success or how A would achieve that.) Is the relationship between her and P different than it was in their previous lives, and how does A feel about that?

Keep up the good work!

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I thought the interaction between the two was good this chapter. That's one of your strong points.

Like @Silk, I'm also confused about what their relationship is. From this chapter, it seems like A remembers more than has been revealed to the reader, which makes it hard to connect to the two as having a relationship. If we knew a little more about what it was, or what A hopes it might be here, that would help.


Notes while reading:

pg 2: good interplay here!

pg 4: okay, so there's evidently an organized soldier resistance and Ash knows about it? Maybe some more hints from her in previous chapters?

pg 5: We see a decisive A here, from P's POV. But I don't think we've seen this side from A's POV. She's been much more cautious about working with the soldiers. Where did this change come from?

pg 8: Sooo...what's to keep A from just letting P get killed? Is there actually some emotional connection past knowing him before? He's not really endearing himself to his team, or the reader.

pg 10: "She couldn’t reach P because there was nothing left to reach."
--okay, so basically what I said above. I think we need a little more connection between them to give us a reason why she's fighting for him. She "lost" him in a past life. Were they friends? Lovers?

pg 14: "use it to remember me, even as you grow old"
--I'm still unclear on the age thing. Do soldiers just keel over after a couple years? And ministers don't?

pg 16: Nice ending.

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It's a good chapter. I liked the interactions between the two of them, the risk A takes telling L about the whole encounter, the dynamics of P's emotions. I agree with @Silk that there could be more of a threat - it's even enough to remind us about the Z-s arrival or there could definitely be the minister thread of uncovering it all. I am also curious as to what connects these two. I think it is a really interesting thing to explore, and you haven't given us all the cards. In this chapter, A says she wants to help more than just P, or just her group, she makes a promise, but it looks like it all started with P. F.ex., I noticed when A embraces P, she focuses on thoughts of her mother and actually feels a bit distant. It's interesting - does she try to hide more emotion? Or saving him is the only motivation? Is there a love interest?

Page-by-page comments

p 3: "“I’m doing this for all other soldiers,” P said. “Sure, maybe you can save us, but how many other soldiers are out there who need our help?” I really loved this emotion and dedication. But it was also the moment when I felt the most that I want to know the true scope and idea of the war. I know I've been saying this for a bit, but the thing is - the Prologue is the only part where we learn more about the threat. And the events of it happened some 300 years ago, as far as I remember, Even the course of war changes if it lasts that long.

p.4:“And go right back to serving them....” This is prime!

"When have we ever won better lives by appealing to the ministers’ sense of morality..." Same page.. Once again I really love it. And also this is when I think that the story goes too narrow. What I mean is that you definitely set up a conflict that is huger than one soldier base. I hope we will see more of the place and opposition.

There is also a very interesting hint on how A doesn't think she's ever been a soldier. I feel like when we will get all the information the caldron is going to explode.

p9: when L tells A that the bureaucracy wants her to lose - that's a great phrase, but I would also like to see it. Like somebody tempering with what A is doing.

p.11: First, I like how P alternates between using A's name and 'my lady'. However this time I felt like the dialogue started with too much familiarity on P's part. I also thought that it might be a good idea to accompany these switches between addresses with inner thoughts on P's part or A's reactions, depending on the POV. Hwever, this conversation lacks any description. I know they are talking not face-to-face, but you could still give us some reactions or body language. I am myself guilty of writing dialogues that are just a stream of lines, because it's easier at times, but sometimes it's good to go back and disperse a few descriptions about what's going on.

Also, in this conversation A says - why call me at this hour? And after the previous chapter, with their talk about no day and night and no true finish for the day, this looked slightly incongruous to me.

Overall, good chapter, we are definitely moving to a new level of A and P's relationship. Look forward to see where it goes next :) 


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