9 13 2014 EMCSA Update

WITHIN: Graded primarily on heat and narrative
WITHOUT: Graded primarily on narrative
Possible spoilers below …

WITHIN
Abby’s Ascention (mc ff mf fd gr ma sf) (new)  by effjoo
–2.5/5 (not great, had some redeeming qualities)–

A gem that reshapes the protagonist and those around her? Sure, why not? While definitely polished, the start of this wasn’t particularly enticing. I think I was “secretly” wanting for that gem to appear almost right away. Backstory can be fine, but having it at the beginning can make a start dull, especially if the main characters had little of note prior to a magical gem! Perhaps its arguably more realistic to find a magical object by subtle chance, but even Bilbo found the prior owner of the Ring of Power almost right away. I guess my point is the finding of the stone here seemed like a hollow experience. Anyway, not much of note really happens until almost halfway through the first chap. Kinda predictable, too. A plain girl transforms into a gorgeous woman with ridiculous power. Sure, even I use related themes sometimes, but it is an overly trodden path. Overall, interesting in its own right, but it never had the serious umph it was trying for.
(ReReadability: low / follow: no)

Nine to Hive (mc ff mf fd ft ma gr sf bd) (1 new chapter)  by Half Shim
–3.5/5 (good, not quite earth shattering)–

I find myself really enjoying the disorienting nature of the plot. There is a definite order to the plot, but we don’t get to see it all at once. Not yet. We are evolving in fits and spurts along with the character, while trying to decipher bizarre realities with her! This is really quite well written. Quite a lot happens in this rather long chapter. Narratively, excellent, while not too much in the way of heat for me. It’s hard to say if its clear how this will end, showing multiple possibilities, but at this point it is clear things may get even more interesting!
(Chap ReReadability: moderate / Chap: 6)

WITHOUT
Wind the Mirror (mc mf fd sf) (new)  by Arafinte
~~2/5 (so-so, maybe a good story to others but didn’t mesmerize me)~~

Virtual reality can be a fine theme, but this felt a bit like the holodecks of Star Trek TNG and later. Even an addictive aspect to it was discussed via the neurotic Barclay character! That all made this feel like it was one step away from a fanfic. The writing felt generally polished, but felt almost too in your face, for lack of better words. The story flowed at you rather than with you … Probably an interesting story hiding here, but I started skimming fairly early.
(ReReadability: Low / Follow: no)

RANDOM COMMENTS
Of all the things that more than turns my head, a woman wearing tight jeans and flip flops is an image that can truly melt my brain.

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