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5/6/24 - Ace of Hearts - Everlasting Sunset Sub 24, 5095 words (L)

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Hi everyone,
I was feeling a bit under the weather last week so decided to take it off from submitting, but I'm back with another submission. Thanks as always for the comments on the previous one!
This chapter deals with a lot of the same threads as last time--particularly A's relationship with M and the discussion of gender. I'm curious to hear how they come across, and if there are other aspects of those dynamics that need more setup.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for my slow reply - it's kind of been a Week over here.  Let’s get right to the comments, then!


“…those two know some of C’s friends who might be willing to take charge…” Does Ix not have plans for a line of succession, so to speak, somebody to inherit the interim position until a byelection can be held?

“… Learning that his daughter was…” Wait, so was she pretending to be somebody else for her entire life? Wouldn’t telling her father about this present some security concerns?

Okay, so she was replaced by someone else. Still, her dad seems to be taking this… Really quite well. This seems a bit contradictory — enough that she came back different, and that he thought she could’ve been replaced, but the other person mimic her mannerisms really well?

Since M, A, B are all dspeakers, why is she so much more powerful than the other two, that they don’t stand a chance against her?
                Edit: I see this is answered later. Maybe worth hanging a lantern on?

M’s remark about A killing them seems to be flippant, so I was surprised when A took it seriously.

Yeah, I think P and his relationship with A to be a bigger thread to get us to this point. We never really understand why  A wants to save P in the beginning, and this is the first real insight we’ve gotten to what their relationship was like before A became an overseer.

So… B is the original L from the prologue?
Edit: Ah yes, there it is.

I’m having a hard time following the lines of how gender is handled by the old empire vs attitudes now. B hates all men (for some reason), scoffs at people who are transphobic but seems to be levelling the same kind of vitriol at A herself, and old empire/our “real world” terms are being used interchangeably with setting terms like “dspeaker.” Not understanding this stuff makes it hard to follow the character motivations (particularly B’s), especially since there’s clearly also some backstory between B and her brother that’s informing this (but that we as readers haven’t encountered yet).

“Something…unfortunate may coincidentally happen if you choose not to step in.” Confused again here – is B threatening A (which would have been my expectation) or exhorting her to action (which is what the language makes it seem like)?

At the end of the chapter, A has a revelation, but I’m not clear on what that revelation is. This can work, but because I’m already struggling to understand the overall philosophical debate here, I’m unsure whether this is intended or whether I’m supposed to already understand what A understands. Earlier references to “philosophy” being the key to defeating her were also pretty broad.

So – I’m looking forward to seeing how the conflict from the prologue has shaped the world and the current conflict in a little more detail. Just need more grounding in the world and the setup!

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Sorry for the wait on this! I've been absolutely swamped on edits the last two weeks.

Again, similar thoughts to @Silk. I think the overall focus of the book is shifting too much from the beginning. There's a big focus on gender and feminism here, but I was expecting more of a cool future society/worldbuilding from the first section. Not that they're incompatible, but I think they're shifting too much from one to another as the book progresses.

Interested to see how it wraps up!

Notes while reading:

pg 1: still don't really see the need for all the "personal" objects.

pg 3: Why did Am think A would read his diary? There's a lot in here that is touching, but a much bigger emphasis on the age of the clones, how they're treated, and gender dynamics in the first section will help this land better.

pg 9 “The one I had to hold you away from screaming and kicking..."
--there's a lot of repetition of past events in here, often told in dialogue. Some of this you can assume the reader remembers, and if the characters are detailed enough, the the reader will remember what they've done.

pg 12: I'm struggling at bit at this point in the story to understand what it's really about. It was about the interesting worldbuilding at the beginning, and then went in to the gender discussion, and still is about that, but also about political philosophy now? it's getting a bit scattered, especially this late in the book, and needs to be focused more.

pg 14: wait, doomspeakers are all transgender? I don't think I got that before.

pg 15: "And I’m sure there was a part of you that knew all along..."
--ok, yeah, so this ties back into the prologue. Nice tie back!

pg 15: “So you hate men,” 
--I think this is the part I'm not getting in the story. This seems to be a new part coming up now.

pg 16: "you’re a disgusting killer"
--I think I'm missing the subtlety here. As far as I can tell, B is just transphobic?

pg 17: It seems like there's a big shift in the narrative again at the end of this section. Now we're focusing specifically on feminism? I think the plot is getting scattered at this point, and needs some massaging from the beginning to be consistent.

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