Cursed, a Fantasy story | SparkaTale

Sparkatale

Cursed

By: Genevieve Middleton

Status: In Progress

Summary:

On a small island isolated from the rest of the world, children are taken away from their families if they are found to possess powers, or Gifts. The Gifted form the government and are trained in combat so they can maintain control through any means necessary. This order has been maintained for over a thousand years, and is all the nonGifted and the Gifted have ever known. Widespread rebellion has slowly begun to weaken the Gifted’s hold on the country. As the Gifted take extra measures to maintain control, the rebels are divided by both external and internal factors. Will they be able to get over their issues and work together once more toward their common goal? A sequel to Gifted. The cover was not made by me - thank you very much to Liz Uli for making it for me! :)

Created: July 15, 2014 | Updated: November 8, 2017

Genre : Fantasy

Language : English

Reviews: 0 | Rating:

Comments: 155

Favorites: 10

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      • Chapter: 1 Reply

        Woot! The sequel is here! Though I understand you're focusing on rewriting Gifted I can't help but be excited... 

        I was curious where you were gonna pick the story up, and I was pleasantly surprised. It's nice to see so many old faces again, but it's especially interesting to see the transformations in the characters. I definitely like Janelle a lot better now that she's matured... I'm still tentative about Reagan, though. 

        Awesome-ness!

        PS. Love the optimistic ending. 

        July 15, 2014 | Liz uli


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! :) I was quite nervous about this chapter, so your comments have reassured me :P I considered having more of a timeskip, but it just didn’t work, so I’m happy it’s okay.

        July 15, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 1 Reply

        That ending. It was like, he's so going to die. Wait...never mind. False alarm. It's all good. It was pretty crazy, but I like that you made Janelle say, "He doesn't look like he's dying to me." Those words made me think Wait, what? and slowed things down a little bit so that the scene, and its change in mood, wasn't too rushed. Anyway, I'm glad 256 is going to live. If he is. I shouldn't make quick assumptions. This chapter was a very pleasant read after the gloomy ending to Gifted, even though the girls were getting in their silly little scrabble. Reagan'll fix that somehow like he promised. They're getting stronger, and at the moment it looks like everybody's going to be okay.  Though, like I said, things might change later on so I better not jynx it.

        Onto your comment: One thing confused me was how, in the beginning, Janelle felt guilty for illegal possession of a right hand =B :

        “'Hi,' she said awkwardly, waving. She withdrew her hand quickly, realising she probably shouldn’t show off the fact she still had a right hand."

        After reading it a few more times, I know it was because Thomas lost his own right hand, but that was really weird to me at first. Though it may just be me.

        Why is she sharing a bed with Marvin and Reagan? Wouldn't she share it with Samantha? You know, someone who's the same gender so it isn't awkward? Or am I missing something here? (That's probably the case.)

        My last niggling for this chapter is stating the obvious, or things that are simply already known. It most certainly isn't a common problem problem for you, at least not a noticeable one, but when Janelle thought, "He wanted to tell me something then, too" It seemed redundant, and when you leave things like that unsaid it makes us come to the conclusion to ourselves. The story is more powerful that way. But like I said, it isn't a worry throughout. Parts like the one with right hands was a bit confusing for me at first, but did a good job at showing and not telling.

        I like your attention to detail, including but not limited to Thomas apologizing to Janelle for her having to see his stump, and Regan limping (I forgot about his foot).

        Reagan and Janelle kissing...that was probably my favorite part XD As a boy I'm not very romantic; it was more the element of surprise that got me, and what their kiss symbolizes. Janelle finally let go of her suspicion and trusts him now. It was a little funny when Reagan was like, "What, didn't you want me to kiss you?" I like his characterization, because he could be either friendly or wanting to take advantage of Janelle, it's hard to tell. Or maybe he's 256 from the future =P

        I also like Janelle's characterization. She isn't your typical kickass female leader from the movies, with an emotionless/apathetic personality, an abundance of confidence, and short hair. At least I don't think Janelle has short hair. But she's less tomboyish than fictional female leaders that I can think of. She's kind of soft. Buuuuut she does have inner courage because otherwise she wouldn't have been able to made the decision of sending her friends away from their injured loved ones, Thomas and 256.

        I think that it was really jerky of Samantha and Carey to be nasty at Janelle, and feel sorry for the rebel leader. It wasn't her fault that they had to leave a little bit earlier than planned. Though I did think for a second that Janelle would kill 256, the way she said that he would lengthen Janelle and Marvin's stay if he got better. Don't think Carey would want to leave him in her hands.

        I wonder what Reagan wanted to tell Janelle twice but immediately changed his mind on both times. Maybe he wanted to tell her that he's actually the Gifted leader, and was manipulating her so that he could gain control of the rebels and defeat them from the inside out, but loves her so he wants to spare her while he slaughters all the other rebels.

        And 256's recovery was odd. It's like he was hydrated by a Gift of Water or something. I don't know how else he could have gotten better so quickly. Maybe he's secretly a sponge in human form and just soaked up some cold water to hydrate and cool down. Maybe Carey got it for him.

        July 25, 2014 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        She’s sharing a bed with them because there’s only three beds in the house. Thomas and 256 are occupying two of them, and Samantha refuses to leave Thomas. So Janelle, despite the awkwardness, has to share with Marvin and Reagan (or now, just Marvin). That’s mentioned in the next chapter.

        I agree, the thing with the right hand is confusing. I should definitely reword it, or something. I’ll figure it out :P

        Anyway, Carey and Samantha were definitely being jerks in this chapter. They’re both really upset, and they’re not thinking rationally.

        And I’m glad you liked the kiss lol. I’m not very good at writing romance (at least, not kiss scenes and stuff like that. I think I’m okay at the emotions), so I’m happy it’s okay and the emotions and symbolism got through. I do have a question – originally I was going to make this happen at the end of Gifted,under different circumstances, obviously, but other than that it was the same. But there wasn’t really room, so I cut it out… When I was writing this chapter I was really unsure if it fits here. Do you think it’s okay or should I move it back?

        I’m glad you liked Janelle’s characterisation. I tried hard to subvert expectations of the three main characters based on their character types, so I’m glad Janelle’s is working, and her hair is kind of medium length :P 256 is supposed to subvert the typical male lead of young adult novels, where they’re always brooding, angsty bad boys who are all tall and handsome and stuff. So I made him young looking and short and not really a bad boy at all :P And Carey, too, because she’s the “tough and feisty” female main character but at the same time, deep down she really wants people to like her. Although I’m not sure if that worked.

        Sorry for rambling, btw, and making you read this really long reply :P

        July 26, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        Sorry about the late reply. Is the chapter number in Gifted important? In HA and NC the numbers both signify something from the story, and I don't know if the number 43 means something in Gifted. Besides that, your story is pretty long, but one more chapter wouldn't make much of a difference in my opinion. If you want a happier, more energetic ending to Gifted I would recommend moving this chapter back. However, one thing to consider is that this is also a good first chapter. It does a good job at pulling the reader in, not only because of the emotion but you had a good beginning: both intriguing and giving us a good sense of the situation she was in.  So if you want to move this chapter back, it might be good to have something similar in the new first chapter for Cursed.

        Ha ha, rambling. Whenever you say that I think you're implying that I talk too much XD Sorry if that's the case. If not, I really don't mind if your replies are long.

        July 26, 2014 | David Boyce


      • Chapter: 2 Reply

        I love it! There's so much emotion and drama, and you pulled it off well. I bet that Marvin guy is a Gift of Water. So smart, aren't I? It's so exciting, and I can't wait to see what happens next. The ending was very cliffhanger-y, and the halfway point too...like, wow.

        Most of my criticisms are about wording. One is you talked about Carey and the word and proving twice at the beginning.

        I've talked about this before, but transitions between settings is still a minor problem, like when Carey's bed was seemingly right at the top of the stairs. But while I've seen it happen several times in your stories it isn't a typical occurrence, and I'm not sure whether it's really that bad.

        Carey biting her lip and the metallic taste of blood filling her mouth, I think you've already described that several times. I've seen that a lot in other books too.

        Two things that Samantha and Carey said that seemed strange: when Samantha said that she's good at being insensitive, and when Carey said "It was." Samantha's phrase was awkward because it doesn't seem like something to brag about, and Carey's because, while I knew that she was talking about 256's "death" being her fault, it somehow looked like she was talking about something else...if that makes sense. I guess their dialogue is more natural if that's what you were doing, but thought that I should mention it. There are more, little errors like those ones that I didn't mention, but if you want me to point them out for this chapter and from now on I would be happy to.

        The scene with Carey and Samantha was good and I could feel their emotion easily, but it felt fast paced and brief. Normally I would think that it was just me, but I usually read as slow as a snail. The sentences were long, so maybe if there was more description in that scene. Unless it was supposed to be brisk like that. I don't know, because I'm not you. Or you could get rid of the first part when Carey thought about how Thomas was going to live, but 256 would "certainly" die, so that when she thought about it again in the inn it could be more impactful.

        But! I just uttered about description. Your description before the part where Carey got mad at Samantha had really good description. I really liked, for example, how you described Samantha's beer and Carey's beef stew. You used personization, simile etc. and yeah. Not that the rest of your descriptions aren't good, but I particularly liked that part for some reason.

        It was funny when Ronald Reagan jumped up on Carey and Samantha like that ("Hi!"), like he did in Gifted. You did a good job of keeping everybody in character, like with their habits.

        Whenever Carey Bear thinks about whether 256 is alive, I just want to shout, "HE'S ALIVE, CHILL OUT DUDE!" at her in an Australian accent. Though it would be sad if he died before they meet up. I doubt that though. Maybe they're going to have a romantic moment, like Janelle and Reagan.

        And Carey briefly started to lose her suspicious in Reagan, when she was like, maybe he isn't that bad after all, huh. Kind of like Janelle, and maybe Marvin. He's gaining more and more of their trust, and if he's evil then it's going to hit them harder than it would have before. I'm wondering if anybody has connections to the other, foreign rebel group, like Wesley. Oh! Wesley! He makes me wonder too.

        My last observation is that Marvin and Janelle look like they're going to be gentle with 256, because Marvin could relate to him and Janelle felt sorry for him, not wanting to be cruel like the Gifted. And 256 is likely going to be retreative (disclaimer: retreative is not a word) because he was scared of them. I wonder how he'll act, and what the characters will do in the future. Also what the rebels will encounter on their way to their base, if they encounter anything.

        July 27, 2014 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Carey’s POV in this chapter (and the one after) is rather… dodgy. I’ve rewritten her part in this chapter like four times already, but it still doesn’t seem right. Same with the next one. I’m really nervous about that one, actually. It’s because her plot is waiting for something to happen, but it can’t happen yet, and I keep changing my mind about what should happen in the meantime. Anyway, I apologize in advance for the poor quality of Carey’s part in the next chapter (and this one too :P).

        Anyway, Samantha when said she’s good at being insensitive she wasn’t bragging about it. It’s more like she’s acknowledging it’s something she does, but she isn’t happy about it. If that makes sense.

        July 28, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 3 Reply

        That was another good chapter, I don't see what you were worried about it. Though you may have changed things when you edited it twice the other day. Carey's half here was definitely focused on Samantha.

        The only thing I'm wondering is why Miss Carey would still cling on to the hope that 256 would still be alive even though Marvin told her that he would for sure perish. I would just take that part out, because why would he empty Carey's bucket like that if he was going to heal him anyway? Or did he get the idea later, when he read the book? I guess that's the answer...

        But it still makes me wonder how Carey knew that he was wrong, and that 256 wouldn't die. Is that what you said the problem with the chapter was? I suppose Carey could convince herself that Marvin couldn't be certain that he would die. Sorry if I'm missing something and you have a solid reason for her thinking the way she did.

        Something else is what 256 is thinking of Carey. I'm not trying to criticize, but it might be nice to have a better grip of what he thinks of Carey and the position that she's in. He at first thought they were lying when they talked about Carey, then he was disgusted for caring about her, then he was upset about her being "gone." Where did he think she was? Yeah, she was away, but...huh. I don't know, I guess he was confused at the time, and not thinking clearly, so this is just a little suggestion.

        Samantha's scene was great (holy cow, she punched the Reagan!) but I'm going to raise some points there too. She mentioned Alex. How would Reagan know who he was, or did he learn Janelle's story somehow? Or was she sort of speaking her thoughts? I was also confused about why shy would say the more formal "Alexander" instead of just "Alex." Darn, that Alex. He abandoned Janelle, got Jason killed...We have to do something about that guy. Are you going to kill him off or should I? =P

        Yeah, also, was I supposed to get what Reagan was talking about before Sam gave him a punch? I feel like I should, because he was like "I've seen the way you blah blah blah" and I'm guessing that Sam is in love with her bro Tom. She was upset after Reagan mentioned something about her and love, and Carey was like, "She must be upset about Thomas." Also, she was really concerned for Thomas and stuff, and normal siblings don't care that much about each other.

        Anyway, two more details that I want to niggle about. One is why Carey ripped off her sleeve for Reagan's nose. I understand that she wants people to like her, and doing something for him isn't the problem. It's just, how much clothes would she have? And it gets cold where they live, so...yeah.

        The last thing is a repetition thing, and that's characters devouring their nails (though you say "bite" or "nibble"). Both Carey and 256 in this chapter, and at least Jake in Day and Age.

        Your feelings and dialog were very natural though, and fun to read. I like how you included little, realistic details, like 256 going, "She thinks I have a number...I mean a name." You also did a good job at describing indirectly, like when he thought, Why is she looking me at that?

        It's interesting how the different rogue Gifted have different ways of thinking about it. Thomas is like, Oh, whatever, I can't let this Gift ruin my life, and he's pretty cheerful. At least he was, before Sam left. Carey and 256 both felt like they lost something, but 256 was more self-sorry and it was a personal loss, while Carey sorta felt sorry for everybody else as well, thinking that they would hate her, because of their different personalities and backgrounds. And Marvin...I don't know how he feels, but I don't think he's too upset about leaving the Gifted because he was young. But he remembers what life there was like by the looks of it, and I'm guessing that he might refuse to fight the Gifted if he relates to them more, like he did with 256. Of course, that's only possible if he's really a Gift of Water, but it's pretty much the only possibility.

        I wonder, if he really was a Gift and not a servant, how he got away from the Gifted peoples. Maybe he...uh...killed them. Or maybe the story was actually pretty similar to the one he told Jan, with Rosa saving him.

        proud Samantha. Something is bothering her, surely it's more than Thomas's injury because he's healing. And Thomas was upset as well. I wonder why, it's all very mysterious.

        Reagan has always been mysterious. I think he's holding back anger or some other nasty emotion, because of his hurtful comment to Samantha paired with a calm nature. I wonder if he and Samantha knew each other in the past.  

        Sorry for talking so much, there was a lot to comment about. If you're still having doubts about this chapter and the previous one or have questions let me know.

        July 31, 2014 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Samantha calls him Alexander because that is his name :P Only Janelle calls him Alex. At least, that’s been my intention – I may have accidently made Carey or someone call him Alex before, but it’s supposed to be only Janelle.  As for Reagan, he didn’t know about Alex specifically, but he knows she has a kid so when Samantha mentions a dude using her (having just accused him of doing the same thing) it isn’t hard for him to figure out who he is. Lol, and he’s definitely not a very nice person, that Alex :P I vote we both kill him.

        And although I don’t usually like correcting theories, I have to say that Samantha isn’t in love with Thomas :P I’m not promoting incest. Samantha is more attached to him than usual because she sees it as her responsibility to keep him safe and stuff. Plus she didn’t really have any friends aside from her family. You’re not really “supposed” to know what Reagan meant (but, I expect some people to figure it out. I’m not saying you’re stupid or anything for not, it’s more of a “life experience” thing :P). Carey assumes she’s crying because of Thomas again, but really she’s not (at least, not completely).

        And about Carey thinking 256 is still alive – even though Marvin told her he was dying, she is just trying to convince herself he was wrong. In her heart, she “knows” he’s dead (even though he isn’t). As for 256, hmm… He was pretty confused in this chapter. I don’t think he’s really thinking about where she is right now, he just thinks: Carey's gone, I’m alone :P But, I should make his opinions about Carey at this present moment clearer, even if he’s confused :P

        July 31, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        Oh, and I forgot to say. The reason why I dislike this chapter (and the last one), at least Carey’s portions, is because… Nothing much happens in them, and I don’t like including filler, but Carey’s plot doesn’t start properly until the next chapter (which I hope is interesting) because of timing and stuff. Plus I just feel like the chapters don’t fit together well. I guess it’s not that there’s any particular event that I don’t like, I just… I don’t know :P I feel slightly reassured, but they still bug me a lot. Oh well.

        July 31, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 4 Reply

        Holy cows! Sometimes I wonder if you're really J. K. Rowling or something, this is such an amazing story and it's written so well. The plot is especially cool. So Gifts are really curses/Curses? 256 was right when he thought that, huh.

        It's bizarre that the man and woman were looking for "Cursed" people. It looks like they're on the Gifted's side, if they were looking for them and apparently adore them or something, though I guess they could be with the rebels.

        Yeah, it looks like there's all sorts of people visiting the Gifted island, unless the two people are in the same group as the one Wesley joined. Maybe they're fighting the other foreign guys, and want to help the Gifted defeat them.

        I wonder what makes them Cursed, both on terms of who Cursed them and what's bad about being Gifted/Cursed. Maybe it's a Curse because it's making them fight each other the way they are and the government is all corrupted.

        So Samantha and Carey went to the oceanside village as a mission, but also to take a break? At first I saw it as just a mission, and was confused as to why Reagan and Carey made Samantha go, and why she would want to go (even though she didn't). That might just be me, though. If not maybe you could illustrate it as more of a leisure thing earlier on, because whenever I think of their missions I think of something serious. But, like I said, it might just be me.

        What made her think of 256 at the beach? Did he just pop up in her head? Was it her loneliness? Also, I would like to know whether Carey put her shoes back on and what the time gap is between this chapter and the last one.

        The detail was good in this chapter overall, though I'm not sure what the weapons look like. Are they just a sharpened stick and a bow, both with red jewels in them? What kind of clothing did the man and woman wear? And the man's hair was long but tied back in a short braid, I'm not sure how that works. Lastly, what was the loud thud Carey heard? Was that an arrow?

        I like how you think of pretty much everything. It seems like common sense, but all the things the characters do, like leaving their weapons to avoid suspicion and Carey not rushing into their abandoned house shelter, could be easily overlooked. It's nice detail, too. Carey's not using her Gift instinctively was another one.

        It was nice to meet some characters with a different culture, and Carey's reactions were interesting. You wrote that part nicely. I can't wait to see what other new things they experience in the future, but of course I don't mind waiting if chapter uploads are slow.

        August 3, 2014 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Lol, J K Rowling… I don’t think I’m quite at her standard, somehow ;) Anyway, thanks for the kind comments, I’m glad the plot is interesting.

        Well, they did go to the village for a mission (to get supplies). But it’s not particularly dangerous, and they weren’t planning on having to fight someone, so even though they still had a job to do it was relaxing and allowed them to get away from the rebellion for a bit. Maybe I should call it a job or something instead, to distinguish it from their usual missions :P

        I’m glad the details were okay, even though there were some things (like their clothes) that I forgot about. I tried to be more descriptive than usual in this chapter, but I don’t think I’m very good at it :P The woman’s weapon was essentially a spear with a steel blade on the pointy end, but Carey has never seen a spear like that before so she keeps calling it a stick :P And the man’s was a bow, with the jewels and stuff. As for his hair, I did make that a bit confusing. He has long hair for a guy, but his hair is still in short braid in comparison to say, Carey’s hair (if she braided it).  

        August 3, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 5 Reply

        I finally get to read some more, wooo! Sorry I haven't commented in a while. There was humor in this chapter, and it was executed very nicely. You don't usually rely on humor, and you're less direct about it, so when you do include humor it's all the better. I was laughing my head off at various parts of the book, specifically when Janelle was reaching for 256's knee xD I'm glad that you still use logic and reasoning, like Carey helping Maui learn because she's a native speaker, and the humor doesn't get in the way of that.

        There's one thing that I thought was worded strangely but made me laugh. When, in the beginning, Samantha pushed her knife into Hahana's neck. You could also say that she pushed it against her neck. Also, if it's made of diamond, wouldn't it have shattered by now? That's not a rhetorical question, I'm actually wondering.

        Carey has a second Gift. Aye, that she does, and I was very surprised when I found out. But alas, it appears that her second Gift is not the most useful and will not help her as they fight the Gifted. When she used her Gift of Tea to make the cups appear...I mean, it was like "Would you like some tea? Okay, here you go." It made me wonder how many other Gifts she has.

        How did Hahana and Maui get those fancy beautiful bejeweled weapons if they're poor? They said they came from a poor country. Are they royal or something?

        But like I said, the humor in this chapter was so good I was grinning the whole way. Hahana's characterization was great, she seems pretty dramatic, like when she was "worshipping" Samantha, and then looked and Carey and was like, "Eh, you're better than nothing." By the way, I like how she differs from Maui. It seems to me that she is more devoted to their mission, but he's nicer and more laid back, though they are both devoted and nice, and obviously close. What was your inspiration for them? The way things are written also makes it funny, and the dramatic irony such as when Hahana thought that they could just walk over to the Gifted and ask them for help. It makes me wonder what would happen...xD And Samantha wanting to kill the Zeians. That was crazy, but Sam will always be Sam lol.

        Like Carey, I wonder how Maui was defeated so easily even though he has good military skills. Maybe he's just good compared to his fellow Zeians. They were worried about "threat of invasion." Or maybe he's just in love with them or something. He was looking at Samantha with interest in the last chapter and in this one.

        It was wise of Janelly to tell 256 about her daughter. I can't wait to see the effect it has on the lad. Hopefully he'll be less upset, and will help dem rebels. Also the fact that there's another Fire Gift in the house.

        So they need a Gift of Earth that would be willing to help them, eh? It's funny, because they have two Fire Gifted on their side and a Water Gifted (if Marvin is, though surely 256 would have sensed it?) but no Earth Gifts. Oh, wait. 805. Well, I wonder how that will work out for them.

        So Hahana's mom was from the Gifted island! How did that happen? There's a lot more to things than one would think. I wonder how those archer rebels tie into things. Wesley isn't from the Other Worlds, and he was one of them. Also, the Gifted Leader's action is due. He just seemed like an important character. Wesley too, of course.

        August 14, 2014 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! I’m glad the humour was okay. I enjoyed writing this chapter, and I’m glad their characterisation was clear. I don’t know, maybe I talk too much, because I was struggling to convey Maui’s character when he can’t talk much to them :P I don’t really have any particular inspiration for them, at least, not a conscious one lol.

        You’re right about that sentence. As for the diamond, I’ve actually thought about that before. Diamonds are brittle, but I think the size does play a part, so it might not shatter, but I’m really not sure. It’s been ages since I did chemistry lol. But in this story the diamonds are magical so maybe they’re not as brittle as usual :P

         As for Hahana and Maui’s weapons, they aren’t royalty, but they were sent to the island by royalty so they were given special weapons. When they were just in the military they would have had ordinary weapons. As for Maui (and Hahana, because she’s quite skilled too) being defeated easily, I figured it was because they was surprised by Carey’s invisibility. Maui and Hahana don’t have much experience with actual missions and fighting, so when she did something unexpected like that it caught them off guard.

        As for the Leader and Wesley, they both have a role in this story… But it might be a while before they appear :P

        August 14, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 6 Reply

        This is in all honesty one of the best series I've ever read, and I wouldn't say that if it wasn't true. I can't wait for the movie to come out. Are you going to get Gifted published, once you're finished editing? The story is very original and captivating, and your knowledge of psychology is a big plus. There's also humor here and there, like in this chapter when 913 and 805 were like "There is so much love in our hearts!!!" and stared at 256 smiling at him creepily, and when Hahana asked what a brothel is. Also when she made Maui carry her stuff, though that's probably a cultural thing.  

        I feel so bad saying anything negative about this story, but there are a few things I must be niggly about and confess. One is 913's repetition of the word "silly" though she only said it three times.

        Something else was when 256 said, "But...why?" after Thomas told him why he never was in the Council. I understand that this part was supposed to be awkward, it's just that it looked like he was asking why there were only one or two Gifted in the village and the last thing he said was "But...how?" I don't know if that was intentional, just thought I'd point that out.

        My last criticism is that 256 was sleeping in his uniform, right next to an open window and there were Gifts patrolling outside. Or at least that's the way it seemed to me. Wouldn't the Gifts have seen him? Wouldn't the rebels be more careful? And even if the window was closed at first, why would 256 open it? Unless it was tinted or something =P

        I really like the dream part at the beginning. For a second I was actually thinking that everything else was all a dream and those were his real parents xD What a plot twist that would be! It also made me think about what 256's parents are/were like. Do you plan to introduce them? The way he was all sweaty waking up and thought he was still drowning, that was a really nice touch too. Realistic and interesting.

        I like how you show 256's being embarrassed by love. When his "parents" in the dream were slobbering all over each other (kissing) and when Thomas asked him if he loves Carey, he obviously felt awkward. The Gifted dude within him is still strong, even though he would make a better rebel. Though, like you said, there's no good and bad sides. Does he dislike the rebels? I know he doesn't totally trust them but it's hard to tell, though I'm probably just being stupid. Or maybe he doesn't feel anything towards them?

        It was wise of Thomas, when he said he was glad that he didn't join the council, to not tell 256 that the Gifted were evil but rather that he wouldn't have met his friends. If he bashed the Gifted that definitely would have broken any trust between the two. The things they tell 256 seem to have an effect on him, even though he wasn't assured by Janelle and Thomas when they said that parents love their Gifted children. I wonder how they'll persuade him to support their cause and help him get over his broken identity as one of the Gifted.

        Hahana and Maui are a good addition to the story. They're unique characters, and change the story a little bit. I like your use of vernacular, like how they don't use contractions and even Hahana gets confused sometimes, like with the brothel. I'm trying to imagine what Carey told Reagan near the end: "Yeah, we tried to kill each other and Samantha almost ripped their guts out but then we were like let's be friends! Yay, we're helping each other out now!" That's not how it went. But, now that I'm thinking about it, I don't want to let my guard down. Hahana and Maui could be hired by the Gifted as spies. Gosh, that would be terrible! 0_0 There's been a lot of surprises in this book, so anything could happen. Like Carey drinking beer (even though she's only 19?) and Samantha being pacified by Reagan. Definitely looking forward to the next chapter! =)

        So Genna, where's the rest of your commentators? They're really missing out!

        August 23, 2014 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Thank you for saying such nice things :) I don’t really think it’s as good as you say. I’m really not sure if I’ll try and get it published. Not just because I'm not really sure if it’s good enough, but because I’ve still got like four and a half years of study left, so I'm not sure if I have the time. But I’ve only done like 14 chapters of editing so far, so maybe I’ll see how I feel when I’m done.  

        I must admit I didn’t really think about 256 possibly being seen by the Gifted :P He sleeps in his uniform because he’s become rather attached to it. He was on the second storey, so they might not have seen him, but I guess Janelle and Co. would probably be more careful xD

        I’m glad you noticed Hahana’s (and Maui’s) way of talking. If figured they wouldn’t really use things like contractions, as they’re more something a native speaker would use, while someone learning a second language usually speaks quite formally. And I figured that brothel probably wasn’t a word her Mum taught her :P And Hahana making Maui carry her stuff isn’t a cultural thing, she’s just like that xD

        I’m happy you liked his dream, too. I thought it might be too weird lol. Anyway about 256’s parents – although I think it’s quite obvious that he will try and find his parents one day, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will appear :P Or maybe they will, who knows? His parents would probably be forty-something, so they could likely be dead, as this is an old timey setting and it’s a much bigger deal for them to live to be forty or older than for us. As for the rebels, I wouldn’t say he dislikes them, but he is kind of indifferent to them at the moment (because he’s more focussed on the Gifted).

        As for Carey drinking at the tender age of 19, in Australia the drinking age is 18, not 21. So she’s being perfectly legal in my eyes :P

        August 24, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 6 Reply

        Hmm, this is going to end up being more of a comment than a critique.

        At the beginning of this chapter, I was a little hysterical. I mean that dream was pretty, um, freaky? Which is what you were going for I guess... I found it to be quite an interesting dynamic, however, in terms of dealing with the concept of parents. You also haven't revealed too much about 913 so I was excited to see what she was like, but I guess she was out-of-character in this dream. 

        And 256 is just too adorable! I can't even--no, I need to stop. But I'm really curious if his real parents or 913 will make a presence later on in the story. Though maybe not, because the likelihood of that actually happening is low. Hmm, who knows? I'm also liking the greater amount of characterization for Thomas in this chap.

        Carey trying to explain a brothel.... xD I also like how you're trying to play up her ignorance about countries and whatnot, seeing as they're living on an island. Reagan grows ever suspicious... To be honest, I'm not favoring his romance with Janelle. She can do better... 

        Well, until all of Reagan is revealed that's what I'm going to think! Good job with this chapter. 

        Update soon!

        August 23, 2014 | Liz uli


      • Reply

        Haha, that dream was definitely freaky :P It’s supposed to show that 256 really has no idea what parents are like.

        913 was out of character in the dream, but not as much as 805 was. Mostly because she actually was like a mother figure to 256, while 805 isn’t really a father figure, so he’s more out of character :P

        As for Reagan, everyone always wonders about him but I can never say anything… xD He’s definitely the character who gives me the most headaches, though, but he’s very important to the plot in this book, so I hope I can pull it off okay.

        August 24, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 1 Reply

        Well, that was certainly a good start. I wasn't sure where this story would pick back up (expected a bit more of a time jump, actually) but I'm glad there wasn't. This way it feels more fluid and I like that.

        I fully support Janelle in this chapter. She's making smart decisions (strategically at least, I'm still not sure about 'the Reagan thing' :P) and she's doing what she needs to do to keep her revolution going. Carey and Samantha are being really mean, but I can see their points. Still, Janelle's making the right call.

        Speaking of the Reagan thing, the romantic in me loved their kiss. Janelle let her guard down and allowed herself to trust him, and perhaps herself as well because she doesn't think she'll make the same mistakes she did with Alex. Then again, being overly suspicious as I am, Reagan still makes me uncomfortable. I'm beginning to think I'm just prejudiced against him because he was really sweet and kind in this chapter. Naturally, I want to know what it is he can't bring himself to tell Janelle because right now I really have no idea :P

        As for 256, there was a bit of schoolgirl-ish squealing on my part with that ending xD I didn't think he was really going to die, but I was still worried about him. Now I'm curious as to his seemingly miraculous recovery.

        Anyway, a very good start. I'm really excited to see where the story goes from here :)

         

        August 24, 2014 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Originally there was going to be more of a time skip, but it didn’t work very well. I was worried about this chapter, so I’m glad it ended up being okay.

        I tried to make his survival as ambiguous as possible, but I thought even so most people would think he was still alive. But, he really should have died, as the ending suggested.

        August 24, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 2 Reply

        This was a really good chapter! I always like seeing the Carey/Sam duo together. They have an interesting dynamic between them. They don't really seem to be the likeliest of friends, but they compliment each other really well. Despite the fact that they're still being rather large jerks in regards to Janelle, I really enjoyed their portion of the chapter. Also, it's always good to see Samantha's softer side. I liked the scene where she tries to comfort Carey as she blames herself for 256's current situation. She really can be quite nice when she wants to be, although I can absolutely see her wishing Reagan had drowned in a river :P

        I must say, I do hope Carey changes her mind about springing 256 and going on the lam. That's probably not the best idea she's ever had. Despite her feelings on the matter and whatever course Janelle chooses to take as she tries to get information out of 256, I think both he and Carey will be better off with the rebels than trying to strike out on their own.

        Janelle's portion was also very interesting. So, there's a secret Gift of Water running about then? Right now I'm leaning more towards it being a new character, despite Marvin's insistence that no one else could have gained access to 256's room. Unless, of course, it's Marvin himself. Actually, that is an interesting possibility now that I think about it. He was pretty quick to shift the focus to Samantha and Reagan and he also pointed out that even if they were Gifted they didn't necessarily betray her. Hmm... well, he's definitely on my Secretly Gifted List for the time being :P

        Anyway, before I decide to go back and peruse the last story for clues to aid my theory and forget I'm supposed to be leaving a comment... I really liked the emotions in this chapter. Carey's guilt and regret was very well done. And regardless of my opinions of Carey and Sam's attitude toward Janelle, it's a very realistic portrayal. That's how practically anyone would respond in that situation, so well done! I can't wait to see what happens next.

        Also, 256 is awake! *Happy dance* :) 

        August 27, 2014 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        I’m glad you like this chapter. Personally I really dislike it (at least, Carey’s part) and the next one :P I don’t know why, it just bugs me.

        And yes, Carey’s idea really isn’t her best :P But, she’s not really thinking rationally at the moment. I’m glad her guilt and emotions were okay, that’s what I was mostly worrying about.

        Lol, Secretly Gifted List… I wonder who else is on that list :P Anyway, the circumstances of 256’s miraculous survival (and who’s responsible) won’t be revealed for quite some time. So that’s plenty of time to theorize :P

        August 27, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        Haha, the List fluctuates depending which theory I'm working at the time :P Currently Marvin, Reagan, and Janelle are on the List. Janelle's there because I've recently started thinking that perhaps the odd feeling she gets from Reagan is the Gifted's ability to sense each other. Also, we know from Carey that it's possible to be Gifted and not know. Obviously that would mean Reagan is Gifted too for that idea to work so... yeah, don't ask... I put way too much thought into stuff xD 

        But yeah on this chapter, I really like it. Personally, I don't see anything wrong. I'm the same way though :P I'll write something that other people think is perfectly fine and yet I'll obsess over it for ages trying to get it to work exactly like I want it to.

        August 27, 2014 | Serina Harcourt


      • Chapter: 7 Reply

        That ending! For some reason I though it was a bit clichéd, but perfect! So Mr. Reagan is a ghost too. I knew it (sorta) but that was definitely a surprise. To be honest I'm a little mixed about it at this point because Carey lost her originality, and she's less op than Reagan because not only can he be invisible but he's also way better at swordfighting and talking to people (like with Sam at the end of the last chapter). But I'll just have to see =) Haha I'm just thinking back to that moment when Reagan caught Carey spying on him and Janelle, when they kissed. The surprise he must have felt when he just saw a glowing blue figure standing there staring at him xD I wonder why he's so embarrased to have the Gift of Stealth and won't tell Janelle.

        Maybe there's a whole bunch of Stealth Gifts. My little Gifted theory is that all the Gifted dudes started out as clans each having just one of a Gift type, and they fought each other but realized that the Air Gifts are superior so they teamed up and dominated the normal people. But I wonder why they're so mean. Hm. I wanted to look it up on the Gifted wiki but the two Gifted wikis I found aren't about your book. Bummer. You should start one =P

        Anyway, now I shall get to my guilty nitpicking. First of all, I may be wrong, but would 256 realistically know how internal organs work but not know what a liver is? The rest of the detail in that scene, and the rest of the chapter, was great and realistic, I just thought that part was strange.

        Another thing that just felt peculiar to me was how at both the end of the first part and the beginning of the second part someone was running and yelling a name (Marvin calling Janelle and Hahana calling Maui). Does that make sense? The parallelism just stood out awkwardly, it might just be me though.

        Some repetition: Hahana likes to "puff out her chest proudly" and say/do things proudly. That was throughout the story, not just this chapter.

        But no matter how many errors there are, you sense of humor is to die for. I like how it's more natural and adult-like than mine. Mostly it's the awkward moments between Janelle and 256. They do things that I definitely wouldn't do if I were them, but are very much reasonable, so I guess irony is your strength. Like when Janelle was all teary and like, "256, you're not nothing." Not only is that stereotypical, but a double negative too. Also all the observations they were making. And these two quotes:

        [“Anyway, where did you learn to fight, Samantha?” she asked, grinning. “You are very good, I noticed that when you nearly killed me.”] Lol she was pretty enthusiastic about that.

        ["And then, on my fifteenth birthday, my mother gave me a sword she made."] Not something you hear everyday =P

        I also admire the way your dialogue is natural and flows nicely. The topics of your characters' conversations change gradually and are natural, plus there's all the thoughts and actions mixed in. I will always applaud the way you use psychology and emotions in your stories, mainly 256 in this chapter but also when we learned a little bit about Hahana and Maui. Your details were really good too.

        So the Gifted found them, eh? Well, what a pickle they're gonna be in during the next chapter. I wonder what would happen of they decided to let 256 join them again, because that water chic (I forget her name) was slaughtered by the Carey before she could tell them about what he did. And then 256 would tell the Gifted about Janelle and Co. and the things he learned while they where caring for him =P

        So you turned the Leader into a lady? xD I wonder if she's Carey from the future...He/she will be a very fun addition to the future of the story, because as the main Gifted he's pretty important.

        The roles of Hahana, Maui, and Regan also intrigue me. We now know a lot more about them, and I can't wait to find out how they're going to take part in the rebellion.

        August 28, 2014 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        About Reagan and his powers, well… I really can’t say much about it. He’s very important to the plot of this story, but (hopefully) not in the way anyone would expect. But, even though Carey has lost some of her originalness the point of this chapter is to show that she’s not the only one, and that’s important. But, Reagan is definitely the character who gives me the most headaches (because he’s difficult to write), so I hope his part is okay.

        As for the internal organs thing, now I think about it he probably would know what a liver is :P I mean, I’m sure he’s probably mentioned lungs, hearts, stomachs and possibly brains before… I should apologize to him for thinking he’s stupider than he really is :P

        And thanks for pointing out repetition and stuff. Some things are deliberate (like Hahana puffing out her chest, because it’s a habit so she does it a lot) but I should probably find different ways of saying things (like proudly).

        Haha, after changing the Leader’s gender I must say I admire you for changing Sadie’s gender :P I mean, she hadn’t appeared much yet but I still found it so tedious going back and changing all the he’s to she’s, changing her appearance slightly and some of her speech, etc. And I only had a few chapters to do lol. But, I can’t say why I changed her gender yet.

        August 29, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 3 Reply

        Another good chapter! Again, I don't see any problem with this one. Not too much happened, I suppose, but it was written very well. I especially enjoyed 256's portion. Poor guy. I felt really sorry for him now that he's 'captured' by the rebels. I liked the way he slowly realizes throughout the scene the full weight of what he did. His part ended with him in a really dark place. I hope Janelle can manage to help him. Hmm... I bet she wishes she hadn't sent Carey away right now :P

        Janelle's part was short, but interesting. I liked the way she wanted to make 256 more comfortable and get him to trust them. She even patched his uniform. Perhaps, with time, he'll be able to see how much better his life could be away from the Gifted. It was also nice to see Janelle's desire to learn more about the Gifted's society. They are still human underneath all of the brainwashing. If only there was some way to break that. Even if there's not, it's obviously always better to understand all the facets of your enemy.

        Okay, so don't tick Samantha off :P Reagan, it appears, touched a very sensitive nerve. Reagan earned a little bit of... I don't want to say 'trust'... I suppose I like him a bit more since he tried to get Carey and Sam to forgive Janelle. I'm glad to see Carey has let go of her anger at Janelle and instead is focused on 256 recovering. Keep hope alive, Carey. Keep hope alive.

        As always, it's good (and sad) to see Samantha's softer side. Poor girl's having a tough time and something tells me she's not just crying about Thomas right now. I think she needs to open up to someone before she cracks under the weight of everything she's dealing with.

         

        August 30, 2014 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        It’s mainly Carey’s part of the chapter that I don’t really like. I don’t know, I just feel like these chapters were fillers, because her plot can’t really start until the next one.

        As for Samantha, she’s upset about a number of things. She’s upset about Thomas, of course, and meeting 805 affected her more than she’d ever admit :P But, there is something else in particular that she’s upset about, which is probably more obscure… I’m actually curious to see if anyone will figure it out.

        August 31, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 4 Reply

        Blessedly, I'm finally headed home and back to my normal schedule, so I'll be able to read things again! I'm posting this from a plane that's got pretty unreliable wi-fi, so hopefully this works and this comment posts :P Anyway, wow! That was unexpected! Pretty clearly these two new arrivals are from the Other Worlds. I wonder if they have anything to do with the group of rebels Wesley joined? I don't know. Somehow, I think they don't really have any interest in the Gifted/Rebel war but instead have their own agenda... so much mystery! I love it! My theories are already running on overdrive after this chapter :P

        I'm curious as to why they're looking for Gifted people and also why they call them Cursed. It seems 256 was onto something when he said that. Maybe these Otherworlders know more about the history of the island than its own residents do. Of course if that's the case and they really are Cursed instead of Gifted (and we could easily just be talking semantics here) then who cursed them and why? And then of course there are the strange weapons. Perhaps there's some link between Samantha's dagger and their weapons.

        It was interesting that Carey and Sam knew nothing of other languages. I'd never thought about that before actually, but it makes perfect sense. Anyway, I'm going to keep this comment short due to the aforementioned unreliable wi-fi. This chapter was very well written and it really took the story in a direction I never expected. Well done. I'm really excited to see what comes next.

        September 4, 2014 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Lol, well I’m about to do my scary test in less than an hour so I should be able to comment more now too :P I’ll probably do another comment tonight, or during my farm safety lecture this afternoon if I get really bored (which is pretty likely :P). Sorry for not commenting in ages.

        So far this chapter and the next have probably been the ones I enjoyed writing the most of this story. Originally I had them both just speaking English or whatever, but then I realised it was weird that they could… xD Anyway, there’s some more stuff about the language thing in the next chapter. Anyway, I’m glad it was enjoyable.

        September 4, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        Lol, well good luck on your test! :D Try not to fall asleep during that lecture :P

        September 4, 2014 | Serina Harcourt


      • Chapter: 8 Reply

        Yay! If only you could see your stories the way I do. This chapter was amazing! It must have been really hard for you to kill Marvin off like that. I was like "Noooo Marvinnnn" well anyway that will definitely change the way Janelle and Co. runs in the future since he was such a good advisor, and if 256's injuries worsen then he's pretty much skrewed =/ His death was pulled off really well not just because of its impact on them, but the way Janelle is reacting to it. Accepting one's mistakes seems to be a big theme in these stories, which I think is original and cool. Also Marvin's death was unexpected because I thought he was a Gift of Water, and would reveal this later on.

        The fighting scenes were really cool, but I have a few suggestions (which is incredibly hypocritical of me lol). One is to remind us of the setting (their house and the rooms in it) and what Gifts the Gifted had so that we readers can sort of foresee how the battle's going to be and incorporate different aspects like how the environment will affect them. What Gift did that one woman have?

        Another suggestion is the tone. For the most part you did a marvelous job at invoking emotion, one tine thing that stood out to me though was when Janelle said "arsehole." I don't know why, but her euphemism made me laugh even though it was a serious scene. It might just be one of those personal things though. Also you can replace phrases like "said desperately" (256 talking to the Gifted woman) with words like "begged," "pleaded," or "insisted" to help bring the scene to its full potential.

        Another teeny thing that stuck out to me was how the young Gift dude was described as "barely a teenager" but you described him as a man...?

        Why did Marvin scratch his throat when he was being choked? Is that an actual thing that people do? Sorry for being stupid =P

        My last niggling is why Thomas would have a coat if he doesn't feel cold. Besides that though, I like you paying attention to detail and the effects his Gift has on his body, also when his hand was warm when he helped Janelle up. I guess his Gift isn't totally useless then. And he's so strong, wow!

        You also used Thomas to season your story a bit by making him do interesting things, like surprising Janelle by popping up out of nowhere at the beginning, smile and joke a little after killing that guy even though it disturbed him, and swearing before going back to 256. They were nice touches to the story.

        I know there's a lot of deep psychological themes here, but do you also use symbolism in your works? Like Thomas's hammer? Is he a Communist? 0_0 No seriously. The young Gifted, the one who got away, I'm wondering if that symbolizes something, and if his escape will mean something in the future. Also 256's thoughts near the end, so it looks like he finally detached himself from the Gifted, he told himself he doesn't want to be part of them anymore. That was as unexpected as Marvin's death, and without a doubt the good kind of unexpectedness. He's obviously still having an identity crisis though, and it makes me wonder what he will see himself as further on, and if he still loves Carey. He didn't think about her much in this chapter.

        September 6, 2014 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        It was hard for me to kill him… I couldn’t decide whether to do it or not, because it’s not 100% necessary for the story, but it would be a lot better story-wise if he did... I was really torn between killing him or not, but then I thought: “Come on Gen. George RR Martin would think you weak!” :P Anyway, that’s where I got the thing about him scraping his throat from – I don’t know if people really do that in real life, as I can’t say I have much experience in that area, but it happened in one of the GoT books when someone died… And I swear I saw it on a crime show one time too :P

        As for Thomas’s coat, I kind of thought he’d wear one simply out of habit. I mean, when he was growing up he and his mum wouldn’t have had much idea about his powers, so she probably would have made him wear one when he went outside because she didn't realise that it didn’t bother him. Plus by having one and wearing it when it’s cold outside he wouldn’t draw attention to himself. But as for the other things you mentioned… I don’t know what was going on with those haha :P Particularly with the young Gifted.

        I do use symbolism, but I can’t say that Thomas’s hammer was one of them :P If anything the Gifted are the communist ones, because of the way they run the country.

        September 7, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 5 Reply

        I love Maui and Hahana already! They're both great additions to the cast. They fit in well even though they're so different. They add a good deal of humor too, which I always like. I couldn't help but laugh at the mental image of Samantha's face when Hahana was pledging herself to her :P And of course her 'you'll do' reaction to Carey.

        Maui's quite interesting as well. He's clearly very different from Hahana. He seems more... fun, I guess is the word. Relaxed, actually works a bit better. Hahana's clearly the more mission-focused of the two of them. Maui also seems to have a little crush on Sam :P

        Ah, they need a Gift of Earth to take back with them. I wasn't expecting that! It would definitely be a good way to fund one's country, having someone that could create diamonds on demand. It's too bad they don't know the Gifted very well. It's interesting that Hahana thought they could just pop on over to the Council and politely a Gift of Earth for help. That also reinforces my theory that the Gifted weren't always evil, egotistical tool bags xD

        So, Hahana's mother was from the island. I wonder if she was Gifted? I'm also curious how she managed to get off the island. Clearly there's a story there and whatever it is, I'm sure it'll be interesting.

        I do agree with Sam, somewhat, on the subject of asking Hahana and Maui to help them. While I do like both of them, I don't exactly trust anything they say. They could easily be lying about everything. In fact, I would be quite surprised if they weren't at the very least leaving out a detail or two about what they're doing on the island.

        As for Janelle's portion, it was very clever of her to tell 256 about Amy. Obviously she couldn't know that he was once thinking about how his parents wouldn't remember him or want anything to do with him, but by telling him that she's shown him that his preconceived notions about that might not be entirely correct. Having Thomas around seems like it would be good for 256 as well seeing as he's Gifted too. Hopefully they'll be able to slowly help him feel better about leaving the Gifted and gain his trust.

        Anyway, I do believe I've rambled on too long as it is so I'll hush :P Overall, this was a very good chapter. Hahana and Maui are very nice additions to an already great cast and I can't wait to learn more about them.  

        September 8, 2014 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        I’m glad that Hahana and Maui captured your heart easily. Particularly Maui. I must talk a lot, because I really struggled with his characterisation when he can’t talk much :P Still, I had a good time writing about them.

        Anyway, thanks for the comment! The next chapter was an… interesting one to write, shall we say :P

        September 8, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 6 Reply

        Oh my... that dream was all kinds of creepy. Very well done with the dream sequence, playing off of 256's belief that his parents must hate him because he's Gifted. It was a really interesting way to show that. Also, a nice and happy 805 is entirely too weird :P It was also interesting that Thomas has dreams about water too. Hmm... now I'm curious if the other Gifts have the same sort of dreams.

        I've never had to explain what a brothel is to someone, but I can easily understand Carey's... hesitance to do so :P That would be awkward. I like the way you described her wonderment at learning a new language. I don't know any other languages myself but I can see how to someone like Carey, who never knew such a thing existed, would be amazed by it. Oh, out of simple curiosity, what inspired the names of Zeia and Tarantis? I always like to know what people are thinking when they create names for fictional countries/towns/etc... I really don't know why :P 

        And Reagan's being suspicious again xD Why was he afraid when he learned Hahana and Maui were from the Other Worlds. Is he, perhaps, from the Other Worlds as well? Hmm... it's all quite curious indeed. Also, what could he have said to Samantha? I do not know, but he's one thought-provoking character.

        Anyway, overall this was one of my favorite chapters. I can't exactly say why, but it was. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it! I'm hoping to read another one today, but given how I swear this website hates me sometimes I may not get to comment on it. It took me forever to reply to your comment yesterday and this is my third attempt to post this one. Hopefully it works this time *fingers crossed*

        September 12, 2014 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Heheh… To be honest I made those names up on the spot :P Although Zeia does have a bit of thought behind it – I wanted them to have foreign sounding names, and I’ve always really liked the Maori language, so I gave them Maori names… Although the country itself is not based of New Zealand in any way (it’s certainly not a desert :P) the name Zeia is kind of a nod to that. But Tarantis I just made up, without much thought :P

        Lol, It’s kind of sad that a nice and happy 805 is weird :P Although, if he was going to be nice and happy he’d show it in a very different way.

        And Reagan can never catch a break, can he? xD

        September 12, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 7 Reply

        I have no idea why I laughed as much as I did at your note at the beginning. My first thought was that the Leader's Gift is the Gift of Sex Change and giggling ensued. I digress :P Anyway, that's a pretty interesting change and I'm very curious as to why. I don't envy you having to go back and change all of the Leader's past appearances. That can't have been fun.

        Anyway, moving on, 256's part was very interesting. You really managed to show just how much knowledge the Gifted suppress in order to keep the masses in line with 256 not knowing what a liver was or even how to make his own food as the Servants do it all for them. The Gifted are so rigidly structured that they don't seem to be able to operate very well at all once that structure is removed. It's interesting to think about what would happen to them should Janelle's rebellion overthrow the Gifted regime. Doubtless there would be Gifted still alive afterwards. I wonder how they would react to suddenly finding themselves structureless?

        I must say that 256 and Janelle are perfectly awkward around each other. They both seem just the right level of uncomfortable with each other. The sandwich scene was cute :P I'm glad 256 sort of learned a new skill. I do hope, with time, he'll come to see he can have a purpose beyond the Gifted. I'll admit I expected the Gifted would come looking for them before long. I'm not really sure how they'll get out of this one, but it's sure to be exciting!

        Meanwhile, back with Carey, things got really interesting really fast :P Reagan! That sneaky bastard! Just when I started thinking he wasn't Gifted (and yet still very suspicious) I find out he most certainly is Gifted and a Gift of Stealth as well. Now it all makes sense! He could see Carey that day in the woods when he and Janelle were kissing. So... he's Gifted, I know that now. But is he a spy? Is he working for the Gifted? He's obviously keeping secrets from Team Janelle, but that doesn't automatically make him an evil, lecherous tool bag.

        Despite lying and being generally suspicious, he hasn't technically (as far as I know) done anything to harm the rebels, again unless he's working as a deeply embedded spy. And if he is a spy, he's clearly not a very good one. He got caught. Geez, I could go on and on with this for hours. Oh, how I love a good mystery! I don't think a book series had made me think this much since I was reading Harry Potter.

        Climbing out of my box of theories for a moment, it was interesting that Reagan turned out to be a rare Gift instead of one of the common ones. I didn't expect that. I suppose it does take away a bit of Carey's uniqueness given that up until now we haven't seen any other people with rare Gifts. Still, I like that she's not the only one now. Assuming he's not working against the rebels, the revelation of Reagan's powers will be sure to change the dynamic of the team.

        Hahana and Maui need a mention as well. While I still continue to really like them more and more each chapter, something about them continues to trouble me. It's interesting that they're basically newbies and have been sent on a mission that could very well save their nation. That's like sending a solider straight out of basic training to command a battle that could end a war. Hahana's explanation makes sense. It's a perfectly logical reason for them to be chosen, but something about all of this makes me nervous. I still think they could be hiding something.

        Anyway, overall a very good chapter. I get the feeling things are going to change quite significantly now. I'm looking forward to finding out more about Reagan and seeing if Janelle and the others make a clean getaway from the Gifted.

         

        September 15, 2014 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Haha, I can’t really say why I changed the Leader’s gender yet. It’s not that big a deal, but I feel I should probably wait :3 Luckily she/he hadn’t appeared much yet, so even though it was tedious to change it there wasn’t too much that I had to do.

        Surprisingly no one seemed to guess that he had the Gift of Stealth. A lot of people thought he was Gifted, which didn’t surprise me, but no one ever seemed to raise that possibility :P Carey has lost her originality but (hopefully) it won’t matter so much… Reagan is really important to the plot of this book, although hopefully not in a way people would expect. Anyway, he’s definitely the character who gives me the most headaches, so I hope I can pull off his role okay :P

        September 15, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 8 Reply

        I swore to myself I wouldn't comment on anything after midnight anymore as I usually can't string together an coherent thoughts, but after this chapter I doubt I'd be able to even if it wasn't after 2am :P I literally have no words right now. I just... gosh, I didn't expect to feel this lost. I'm really upset right now. Well, at least now I know why The Winds of Winter is taking so long. You're clearly George R. R. Martin in disguise :P 

        Poor Marvin. He's been around pretty much since the beginning. I've always thought of him as the wise, old mentor of this series. He's been a leader and a founding member of the revolution. He was Janelle's advisor and moral compass in a way. This was a major loss for the rebellion. I'm interested to see how Janelle handles the loss of her mentor and one of her oldest friends. 

        Despite Marvin's death bringing me to tears, it was, writing wise, an excellent decision. You're clearly not afraid to kill off important characters, which I'm always happy to see. This is a war story in a way and in war people die, so losing main characters like that definitely adds a layer of realism that's really good. That, of course, terrifies me for the rest of the cast but still it's good writing. Janelle's reaction to Marvin's death and her subsequent refusal to just leave his body behind felt very realistic and believable.

        As usual, I really enjoyed the fighting scenes. You're really good at those, a skill I'm immensely jealous of because I don't think I am :P As for 256, it was good to see him finally beginning to distance himself from the Gifted. He hasn't fully come to terms with his new life, but he's clearly realizing he can never go back to the Gifted.

        Anyway, that's it from me for tonight/this morning... whatever. I'm going to bed. Overall, this was a very emotional chapter and one of my favorites so far even though it really upset me :P Oh, and I've finally caught up! Yay, that's a first! If there's anything else of yours you'd like me to read in the meantime, just let me know.

        September 20, 2014 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Haha, it’s funny you should mention George R. R. Martin… Pretty much the whole time I was writing this chapter and the ones preceding it, I was split 50/50 on whether to kill Marvin… His death wasn’t 100% necessary for the story to continue, so it was really difficult for me to kill him. I kept trying to think of ways to get out of it, but then I thought that if I didn’t kill him George R. R. Martin would think me weak if he in some alternate universe ever read this story :P And so, I made my choice…

        O.o I just realised that GRRM and I have the same initials. Except my middle name doesn’t start with an R, but both of my sisters have names starting with R… Lol, that’s a funny coincidence. Sorry for rambling, by the way. I'll get back on topic.

        Anyway, when I started to write this story it was soon after I  marathoned all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the first time. So when I created Marvin, Giles was definitely a major influence :P Anyway, I’m glad that his death had an effect on you, and that you thought it was a good decision writing-wise. On my fictionpress account I think one of my reviewers thought I’d just killed him off for the shock factor… Which isn’t true at all, and hopefully the next chapter will clear things up for them O.o

        Gifted was pretty light in terms of deaths of major characters, I don’t really know why. It just kind of ended up that way that the only important characters who died were the semi-villainous ones (3349, 440) and the sacrificial lambs whose deaths were planned before their debut (James, Emma, Rosa). But there will be a lot more deaths of major, established characters from now on. Anyway, be afraid. Be very afraid :P

        I’m busy with school plus I'm really stuck on the next chapter, so it’s probably going to be a while until I can post it… As for reading more of my stories, don’t worry about it. The only other stories I have are short ones anyway :P

        September 20, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 9 Reply

        Yay, I'm glad you switched back to Carey's POV. I've been waiting for this one :P Our Mr. Reagan is just full of surprises, isn't he? How could he have learned to control his powers? Why was he so insistent that he and Carey are different? So many questions! This is one of those times when finding out the truth just creates that many more mysteries to discover. Hmm... I'm assuming the story he told Carey about his powers manifesting was the time the Gifted attacked his home? I can't go back and double check the details, but it would make sense.

        One thing that interested me was that both times Reagan said 'she' would hate him. He never once specifically said he was talking about Janelle (who, admittedly, was the first person I thought of) I can't help but wonder if he was talking about someone else. And if he was... then who?

        As for 256 and Thomas, their conversation was equally interesting. I was very happy to see 256 has found a purpose in teaching Thomas to control his powers. That will be good for both of them. Thomas, meanwhile, made an excellent point. The world isn't spilt into rebels and Gifted (Yes, I just sort of quoted Sirius Black right there :P) 256 doesn't have to be a rebel or one of the Gifted if he doesn't want to be. Especially once he learns to read and write, the world will be open to him. Although oddly enough, his desire to learn to those things is an open act of rebellion against the Gifted since they don't allow it.

        Anyway, overall a really good chapter that answered some questions and brought in a whole host of new ones. I'm interested to see 256's continued growth and development now that he's free of the Gifted, and of course finding out more about Reagan. He *may* not be a traitor or a spy, but he still has plenty of secrets that will definitely be exciting to learn.

        September 23, 2014 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Personally I don’t like this chapter very much… Mostly because there was originally a part from Janelle’s POV which dealt with her feelings over Marvin’s death, but 256 and Carey’s parts just got so long that I thought it just didn’t fit… I’m going to work it into the next chapter, but I’m worried that it should be in this chapter… O.o

        Hahahaha that was the best quote ever! Now I feel sad… Sirius :’(

        September 24, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 10 Reply

        Another new chapter already! You sure know how to spoil a girl :P I was so glad to see most of the gang back together again, even if things are a little awkward between some of them. I really didn't expect them to meet up again so quickly, so it was a very nice surprise.

        It was pretty funny when 256 was confused by Samantha. Like Carey, I wonder how long it will take him to figure that out. He's also acting quite strange around Carey. I'd been hoping seeing her again might cheer him up a bit, but it seems to have made things worse for the poor guy.

        As for Janelle's portion, it was really sad to see her feelings on Marvin's death. I actually kind of like that you waited until this chapter to show that. She's had some time to process her emotions somewhat before we start to see what she's feeling. I must say I'm really proud of her. I was worried she would break down like she did after the battle at the Lake Village. It's nice to see how much she's grown since then. She has a strength now that she didn't have back then and maybe Marvin's death will even make her stronger because, as she said, she won't have him to go to for advice anymore. She's soldiering on even though I'm sure she'd rather just lie down and cry. I really think she's be okay.

        Since Reagan's secret was revealed I find him shockingly less creepy than I did before. Even his relationship with Janelle is quite nice. I'm still not saying I'd bring him around my apartment for dinner or anything :P Just that I'm starting to warm to him a little bit. Admittedly, in books like these this is around the time I end up getting my heart broken, but well, here we are xD 

        Oh yeah: "Are you sure you’re not secretly Gifted" I loved that :P

        September 28, 2014 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Haha, I wouldn’t count on him figuring it out any time soon :P He’s nowhere near savvy enough for that.

        Anyway, I’m glad that Janelle’s feelings about his death were okay in this chapter >.< I was mostly worried that people would think I forgot about him if it wasn’t in the last one, but I suppose it doesn’t really matter if it’s in this one. But yeah, Janelle has changed a lot since then… And particularly since Marvin was the one to help her get out of that moping phase it would almost be an insult to his memory if she broke down like that again :P

        Lol, I had to throw in that line :P It was too ironic to resist…

        September 29, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 9 Reply

        Sorry it took so long for me to comment! I've been dying to read this chapter...and I wasn't disappointed =D 256 has really thought this through. It's going to be really interesting to see what he does in the future, especially when he meets up with Carey xD I guess I can't blame him for not wanting to overthrow the Gifted. The stuff he told Thomas was common sense, but the way he said it made it really fascinating. Their conversation in general was nice to read, because it showed their personalities well and their was a lot of emotion, even from Thomas though the focus seemed to be on 256, which was cool. Is that water lady he loved really still alive? It might be fun to meet her. Too bad 256 thought 440 was alive too...

        I hate to niggle, but as a critic I must be strong ;) Two reoccurring actions in this series: loss of confidence, stabbing one's own hand until they bleed, and staring at someone else's eyes. The first one isn't really a problem, the second and third it's not really that bad. Just wanted to make sure you're aware. 

        There's two Australian phrases in this chapter that as an American I don't understand: "as before as before" and to be "able sleep." Some wording that I thought was awkward, but didn't notice until I read it a second time: You repeated "beside" with Carey bear and Reagan, and the innkeeper's strange look could be more descriptive, unless you want to leave exactly what kind of face he gave to the reader's imagination.

        I just realized, that's how Reagan escaped that brothel when he was little, he used his Gift! I can't believe I didn't think of that. Though while his part of the chapter was very good too, I'm a bit confused. Did he know about Carey's Gift? She spoke as though he did. Sorry for not remembering. His emotions were understandable though. It's sad that he's been sad all that time, and his smile was fake. It was funny how direst Carey was with him, but I really want her to ask him for help, because then he won't be "better" than her, but will feel better about being Gifted. Maybe things will change if he saves her live using his Gift or something.

        I wrote "side" in my notes but I have no idea what that means...so the last negative thing I have to say is the end part confused me too, particularly the flow of time when Thomas hesitated to control the fire ball and I couldn't tell if it was night, and turned to day.

        But Thomas is going to learn how to use his Gift! That was surprising. It's going to open up so many possibilities, and I can't wait to read ahead. Hopefully everybody's going to get a lot stronger, physically and mentally.

        Was Janelle upset about something? Thomas was really upset when the innkeeper was rude to her (the part when 256 cooled him down was pretty interesting) and at the end she had red baggy eyes. I wonder if she's still under the stress of being a leader.

        Yeah, also there were a lot of surprises in this chapter. Carey almost cut Reagan's throat, he probably would have let her (?) because he didn't resist, and he's actually having confidence issues. But I must not let my guard down, because his possibility of being some sort of spy is getting greater since he's earned Carey's sympathy. So much mystery! I can't wait to read the next chapter!

        October 4, 2014 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! And don’t worry about taking a while. And thanks for pointing out those things. I was being really lazy when I wrote this chapter…. (Excuses, excuses) ;)

        I wouldn’t say Carey nearly cut his throat :P She threatened him because he scared her, but I doubt she would have gone through with it. And Reagan did know about her Gift before this chapter. I don’t think I ever wrote him finding out about it, but I guess someone must have told him :P Or maybe he saw a shiny blue Carey before that time in the forest and figured it out for himself. Maybe I should add someone telling him in when I get to rewriting that part of Gifted, that could be some good foreshadowing.

        As for Janelle, she’s upset about Marvin’s death. There was supposed to be a thing about it at the end of the chapter from her POV, but it didn’t fit so I worked it into the next one… Anyway, that’s probably why the timing at the ending is confusing O.o Thomas is upset too, and that’s partly why he overreacted so much when that innkeeper was being rude.

        Anyway, with 913 (I assume that’s who you meant by water lady even though she has an Air Gift :P) it’s similar to 805 and Michelle – as far as 256 knows, she is alive, but considering it’s been a long time since they saw each other she could very well have died since then. But, perhaps she is still alive... xD

        October 5, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 10 Reply

        What a great chapter! Quite sad to say the least, but pleasant nonetheless. I like the themes (if that's what they are) of having friends who don't trust you with their secrets, and the loss of someone/something you relied on so heavily. There is a lot to be admired in this story, especially the way it's developed.

        Please forgive me if I say something stupid, like wondering why Samantha was upset in the last chapter =P Anyway, I don't have many negative things to say for this chapter. The first thing is a sense of setting at the beginning. I know it isn't essential to what was happening, and they were in a room of the brothel at night, but at first it was as if they were by a campfire during the afternoon. Also, the first line suggested that Carey wasn't feeling well, which doesn't match the rest of the story, unless she said that to explain why she was staring at the fire.

        Another case of repetition is people (namely Reagan) being about to say something but then change their mind. But like the other things repeated, it could be intentional as it creates a sense of unmet anticipation where we readers expected Reagan to tell Janelle about his Present, but he didn't.

        I thought it was a little awkward when Reagan told Janelle that Sam was dealing with something. Did you do that on purpose, making it so that he was trying to impress Janelle before telling her about his Gift (as it seemed like he was about to)? Obviously you know a lot more about psychology than I do, I just wanted to point that out.

        Speaking of that Sam chic, this is just a theory, but is she secretly jealous of Janelle and her relationship with Reagan? I was wondering how he could ease tensions between him and Sam like that...But yeah, he and Janelle are so a thing now ;) And it was hilarious when Jan was like "Are you sure you aren't Gifted?" xD And also 256 thinking that he recognized Sam. That was very clever!

        I was expecting Carey to slip and tell Ms. Sam about Mr. Reagan's Gift, or at least give her subtle clues. I really want them to find out =P He could be so useful to their cause, especially if he helps Carey. The scene where Samantha told Carey that she's bad at making friends was powerful too. The way it was set up and written, I could clearly feel the guilt, awkwardness, and sorrow that the characters were feeling.

        Another part that emotionally stood out to me was the irony when Carey expected to see Marvin but never did. The previous sentence made it even more impactful: "A niggling doubt in the back of her mind told Carey there was something wrong, but she was too excited to care."

        Am I supposed to know what 256 is upset about? I'm only asking because, due to Carey's confusion, I'm assuming that it's more than the fact that he's now half Gifted and half rebel. The way he hugged Carey but then slammed the door in her face was rather surprising, so there must be a lot on his mind. He needs to cheer up soon, and Janelle too. They can't conquer the Gifted or find 805 and hand him over to the Other World people in this state.

        This is just an aside, but unfortunately I do not plan to continue the Sorcerers of Draida series any time soon since it's all based on the poorly written first book. Instead I'll be starting a new, sort of similar book/series which will be a lot more pre-developed. Hopefully it'll be as good as yours.

        October 8, 2014 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Samantha asks if Carey’s feeling unwell because, when she saw the shiny blue Reagan (which was earlier that day), she was acting weird then. Samantha asked her if she was feeling okay back in chapter 7, and now that she’s come back after her chitchat with Reagan (which Samantha thought was her going back to the brothel cos she was sick) but still acting weird she asks if she’s okay again. But that was quite a few chapters ago, so I should probably make it clearer, along with the setting and stuff :P

        Well, I didn’t deliberately make Reagan telling Janelle about Samantha’s thing an attempt to win her over, but it does kind of seem like that now I think about it… Heheh. That would be a bit douchebaggy of him :P I should definitely change that. And Samantha is acting a tad jealous, isn’t she… xD

        And you’re not exactly “supposed” to know what 256 is upset about, but… To be honest, there isn’t really anything in particular :P Carey’s confused because she doesn’t fully understand the impact leaving the Gifted has had on him – she thinks he should be happy, because he’s free now or whatever, and she doesn’t get why he would be as upset about it as he is. Plus, she’s kind of used to being the centre of his attention, so when he acts more distant like he did she thinks something is wrong. But it was kind of mean of him to slam the door in her face :P

        Aww, now I’ll never get to know what happened to the characters :( Still, I look forward to reading your new story.

        October 8, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 11 Reply

        ["...great misfortune,” she said, grinning.] A bit sadistic, isn't she? =P

        [“Anyway, that is what we need you to do,” Hahana declared.] A bit bossy, isn't she? =P

        [...barged into the room as Janelle looked up, dragging Samantha behind her.] A bit violent, isn't she? =P

        Plus, "Hahana" contains three syllables. The chic has eyes. ILLUMINATI CONFIRMED. The island of the Gifted is obviously in great danger. The Gifted and the rebels must join forces in order to defeat the Zeians and the Tarantisians, and any other countries that are spying on them. In addition, it was inferred that Wesley was the brunette's brother, but maybe he isn't since we found him with the archer rebels. I can't trust anyone anymore.

        Anyway, I couldn't find much here to criticize, so I'm going to be a little picky. The first point is more of a cause of confusion: How is it that 256 knocked into Carey, but he was the one who got hurt? Wouldn't Carey have fallen if she was in front? Sorry if this sounds stupid, just...I don't know xD

        A couple parts that I thought were a little awkward were when it read "'Um,' Janelle said" twice on the second half. Also when Julia thought "What's Zeia?" but asked the question "But why?" right after. But as I said, I'm just being picky.

        At one point there were two people's quotes in one paragraph: [“Is it you?” she said breathlessly, rushing over and grabbing her hands. Janelle blinked, unsure what to say. “Err…”]

        Lastly, I noticed that "I mean" is repeated often, not in this chapter but in general.

        Haha I bet you couldn't write a poor-quality chapter if you tried. I really liked the way you lead Julia's train of thought, where she decided to break into the Gifted Library. Not only was it clever, but it means a few things to the future of the story. Reagan's probably gonna have to reveal his Gift, since he's so much better than Carey. Maybe he could even use his Gift to turn parts of walls invisible to see through them, like x-ray vision. Anyway, Julia's decision could be bad if Hahana and Maui are really spies, and they're using them to get information. Also the unexpectedness of it all raised the suspense a lot, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

        You've done a good job with the emotions too. It's really sad that 256 longs to be with the Gifted again, even though they're the enemy. I almost want him to join them again! It was also sad when you used the words "to his dismay" when Carey wanted to talk to him. But I understand how it was because he didn't know what to say. Hopefully their relationship gets better soon. I bet he wants to write a love letter to her, huh? Maybe that's why he was so intent on getting lessons xD

        Sam was pretty intense too, when she grabbed Thomas's arm because it was shaking, and Hahana when she was honoring Janelle. By the way, how did you come up with Hahana's name? I always see it as "ha ha ha" and think someone's laughing =P Well besides that the characterization in this story makes everything interesting.

        It was fascinating to see how Thomas taught 256 how to read and write. It's not something we, or I, think about often. I wonder what his intentions are, and how he'll teach Thomas how to use his Gift.

        I wonder how 256 would react if he heard the Zeians say that the Gifted are really Cursed. That could either help his indecision, or make it worse.

        I likes the bits of information at the end, when they were talking about Zeia and Julia's reactions, and when Janelle and Sam talked about how they met. They've come a lot way since they first met! =P

        Let me know if you have any questions. I hope I didn't talk too much 0_o

        November 11, 2014 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Oh no, you’ve figured it all out. I might as well stop writing the story now :P

        I’m not really sure how it works, all I know is that I fell down the stairs after bashing into someone like that once :P I don't really know how it happened, to be honest. Lol, sorry about the constant “I mean”. It’s a verbal tic of mine, so I always put it into dialogue without thinking xD I should probably be more careful with stuff like that…

        Haha, a love letter xD That’s totally been 256’s secret plan all along. Anyway, I’m glad that the thing with him learning to read was okay. I was trying to remember when I learnt to read/write, but my memories are very fuzzy, so... The only thing I remember is how I often wrote my letters backwards because I’m also left-handed and my teachers were not :P Or maybe that was just me. Anyway, apart from that I made most of it up, and I wasn’t sure if that’s what someone would actually do to teach someone.

        As for Hahana’s name, I wanted her and Maui to have foreign-sounding names so I googled “Maori names” (because I really like that language) and then picked ones I liked. I didn’t intentionally pick it to sound like “ha ha ha” :P Anyway, that’s why Zeia is called Zeia, as a small nod to New Zealand. Although it’s nothing like New Zealand, because last time I checked they are certainly not a desert country lol. That’s more like Australia xD

        Lol, you don’t talk too much xD I do have a question: Do you think I should split this chapter into two? When I was writing it I kind of felt like there was too much crammed into it, but… I don’t want to push stuff back any further, so I kept it as one. Should I change it or is it okay?

        November 11, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        When I read the chapter, I thought it was okay on terms of length and bandwidth even though it's your longest chapter so far. 256 fell down the stairs and went to his writing lesson. Janelle talked to Zeia and Maui. Event-wise not that much happened, looking back on it, though it felt like more because of all the characters' thoughts. So I personally wouldn't split the chapter into two. I hope this helped =)

        November 12, 2014 | David Boyce


      • Chapter: 11 Reply

        I apologize in advance if I say something stupid or this comment makes no sense. I got very little sleep last night and I'm really high on cough syrup, which is proving to be a bad combination. Nevertheless, here we go.

        I felt really bad for Carey when she was trying to get 256 to talk to her. I just wanted to give him a shake and say "Talk to her, you fool!" :P Still, leaving the Gifted has been really hard on him so I suppose that earns him a reprieve even if he has been really rude to my girl. Watching 256 begin to slowly integrate with the group, even though he does still think of himself as one of the Gifted, is really interesting. It was really intriguing that he found freedom in something so simple writing letters. I liked that because even though most people take something like that for granted, it's new and exciting for him. It's also funny because he's defying the Gifted just by learning.

        I liked Thomas's teaching methods too. He did a much better job than I could've done. I wouldn't even know where to start. To be honest, I can't really even remember learning. Either way, his methods made sense to me. Maybe Thomas could be a teacher once the war is over. Oooh, 256 is left handed? Me too! #LeftiesUnite xD

        For Janelle's part, it was funny with her thinking the Other Worlders would be really sophisticated and then Hahana comes in :P Hahana continues to be a delightful addition to the cast, even if I still don't completely believe her and Maui's story. Anyway, there was a lot of interesting information gleaned during their conversation. 

        I'm glad to see Janelle is actively seeking information about forms of government. It's never too early to plan ahead. Janelle's plan to raid the Council is worrying me, I'll admit. There are so many things that could go wrong, but I am glad that she's trusting her instincts. She's the 'fearless leader' after all :P I'm glad Marvin's death seems to be making her stronger and more confident. She's using that as a source of strength. Her plan does raise the interesting question of what would 256 do if he found himself back at the Council. I'm curious if his newfound freedom would be enough to keep him from going back.

        Lol Julia xD That's funny! Anyway, I'm going to shut up now before I say something really confusing or stupid (if I haven't done so already) Overall, I really liked this chapter. It gave me some things to think (and worry) about. Good job :)

         

        November 12, 2014 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Yes, 256 is left-handed. I am too, actually! :) I've always written him that way, so he uses the southpaw stance when he's fighting and favours his left arm. But I wouldn't expect anyone to notice those minor details :P It makes it easier for me, because he's the one who does the most hand to hand fighting so I can imagine and write it much easier than when I write about the other characters fighting xD

        I'm glad what Thomas did to teach him seemed okay. I'll admit I remember almost nothing about learning to write (expect that I used to struggle to figure out how to write the letters because all of the teachers were right-handed) so I wasn't really sure what to make him do at first xD It took me nearly an hour to figure out that he would probably start with the alphabet :P I think it really is very easy to take learning to read/write for granted in first world countries - here almost everyone knows how to do it from a young age, so it's hard to see how much of a difference it can make for someone. It definitely opens up a lot of doors for him.

        November 12, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 12 Reply

        Yes! Way to go, 256!! I'm so happy for him =P I wonder what it's gonna be like for him from now on, if he's really over being a rebel. Also I wonder if Janelle made Carey go to see 256, since the older woman was worried about him. Hopefully not, because it was sweet of her to do what she did. I wonder if they're going to give 256 a name, too. I believe you said he does have one, and it starts with a g? Anyway, Janelle told Reagan about Alex! That was pretty intense, because I didn't know how he'd react. These events were a bit repetitive, but that's okay since the ends of each half were so intriguing and unexpected, plus they developed the relationship between Janelle and Reagan and changed 256 so much. I feel bad for laughing at the romantic parts, though I can't help being a boy =P

        I have a bit more to talk about, though I still enjoyed this chapter just as much as the other ones if not more. In the first paragraph I was confused, partly because of the word "village," because I forgot the brothel was in a village. Unless you meant from the village, and were talking about the one they raided. Also, in the third sentence, it looked like you were talking about Samantha even though you were talking about Janelle. I would say "brothel" instead of village and say that Janelle gave control over to Samantha. Though I'm just being picky.

        Something that seemed odd was when Janelle said "He was handsome handsome, while I'm... not." I think maybe "good looking" would be a good gender neutral word ;)

        Later when it said "Her tone was bitter" I thought that was a bit obvious and could be taken out to get the best out of that moment, which was otherwise really good.

        Another thing that confused me was "She swallowed despite the lump in his throat." Why was there a lump in Reagan's throat, and how does it influence her swallowing? xD Also the second paragraph also started with "She swallowed" which seemed repetitive. You can do that Ctrl+F thing to find those.

        When Janelle was telling her story, her paragraphs were each started and ended with quotes, though there should only be quotes at the beginning of each paragraph and only at the end of the last paragraph of her dialog. There was one paragraph that didn't have quotes at the beginning where it should have.

        I don't know if this is just me, but when Reagan "apparently" pretended that he couldn't hear Janelle the word "apparently" seemed strange to me. The sentence would sound perfectly good without it, or you could say "as if pretending."

        Near the end, it said "of" instead of "off" at "take of."

        Carey's dark hair falling over her shoulders was mentioned twice in this chapter, which also seemed repetitive. Though it's funny, because she reminded me of that scary ghost girl with hair covering her face. Haha, get it? Scary, Carey? No? Ok =P

        Sorry for being so negative this comment. There's a lot to love in this chapter too. One aspect that keeps standing out to me, as I've probably said before, is your great use of irony to evoke an emotional reaction, like characters wondering about things we already know and 256 making that decision at the end. His choice, by the way, was very sudden, but the way you wrote that part it was not only realistic but dramatic in a good way. I think that was my favorite part.

        Another thing I like is the characters' awkwardness. Not only does it make them more realistic and make us feel sorry for them, but it makes them more relatable on my part xD Stumbling on words and doing weird things isn't that common in stories, so it's also something unique about yours.

        All the decision-making enhances the story too, because it makes the reader think about what they would do and stimulate such thought processes that make the story even more interesting. Janelle's decision to tell her story to Reagan and make out with him, and 256's decision to change both physically and mentally, are some of the major decisions made that did a really good job of this. That's something I need to do more often, so I admire you for incorporating them into your story so well.

        Your descriptions were pretty good too, like when you described their positions when talking and especially with 256's part, and when he got ink on Carey's face. I couldn't help thinking though, it was very convenient that there just so happened to be a gust of wind to blow his hair away xD Not realistic, but it made me laugh for some reason.

        I wonder who that guy was that Reagan seemed to know. Maybe Reagan knew Alex and Janelle when they lived at the village, and that guy was Alex, and Reagan recognized him.

        Also I wonder what he meant when he said that he knew what it's like to find out someone he thought cared about him was actually using him. He isn't talking about Jan, is he?? I have no idea who or what he could be talking about, so I'm all the more interested in finding out.

        I noticed that the chapters have been getting longer and longer, which is totally fine - I don't even notice it when reading - but it makes me wonder if you're doing it to build up to the climax, or some important, exciting point in the story. What was your favorite part in writing this chapter?

        November 14, 2014 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        The thing with a village was a mistake, it should be either from the village or back to the brothel :P Thanks for pointing that out. Haha, I made her say handsome because I thought it would be funny. It’s supposed to be another awkward thing she says, because she’s talking about Alex at first but then switches to talking about herself without thinking it over :P I’m glad you like the awkwardness and stuttering and stuff, I’m always worried people will get annoyed by that xD I’m glad it’s relatable, I find it relatable too. And thanks for pointing out those other errors too. I’ve been really lazy with editing lately, I’m like five chapters behind lol.

        I always laugh at romantic moments in books and movies so I can’t blame you for that xD Especially in 256 and Carey’s part, because I wanted it to seem awkward to highlight 256’s inexperience.

        The gust of wind thing was something I changed at the last minute. I wrote that part where he is cutting his hair and stuff first and originally that scene occurred in the backroom of the brothel (where Reagan and Janelle were, except at a different time obviously :P). So he just threw his hair into the fireplace before burning the uniform himself. But then I changed it to his room when I wrote the part with Carey, and I only noticed I’d still left in the fireplace when I’d finished writing the chapter and it would be weird for him to have one in his room xD So yeah, I didn’t think that one through very well.

        And I am building up to something…. *evil laughter* The reason these chapters have been long is because there’s this event that I’ve been planning for a long time, and I’ve pushed it back a lot already so I don’t want to push it back any more in terms of chapter numbers, and the chapters have lengthened as a result. Sorry if that doesn’t make sense.

        My favourite part to write was probably the last part. I was like “my baby is growing up! I’m so proud!” xD But yeah, I’m glad it seemed sudden yet realistic because it was very much a spur of the moment decision for him.

        And sorry for all the rambling xD

        November 15, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        And I forgot. 256 does have a name, the one his parents came him. That's the one that starts with a G, so if the rebels were to give him a name it would be different. The other main Gifted have names too, although theirs will never be revealed cos they're either dead or don't care to find out. xD I had fun picking them. I tried to pick the names that suited them the least, except for 256's xD Sorry for rambling again.

        November 15, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 12 Reply

        Okay, so the short, too long; didn't read version of this comment: I loved this chapter :P Seriously, I did. It definitely ranks among my top favorite chapters of this series. This chapter has so many of my favorite aspects of fiction. There's a lot of emotion and hints of romance, but there's also humor and awkwardness as well. It managed to interest me just as much as an action-packed chapter so well done all around on this one.  

        Janelle's section was very emotional. It was good to learn more about Alex and what happened with him. It's a very sad story and it makes me feel really bad for Janelle. I am wondering, though, if maybe there isn't more to the story. Alex did at least one halfway decent thing by Janelle and their daughter, so I can't help but wonder if there's something else going on. My suspicious mind :P It was also really sad to see Janelle's feelings about Reagan's obvious secrets. That has to be really tough for her, even though I don't agree with her when she seems to say that Reagan doesn't love her because he's hiding things. I do think he really does love her. Whatever else he may be, I believe his feelings are real. Yeah, that's right, a positive comment about Reagan. I'm capable of it xD This John person, however... him I'm immediately immensely suspicious of him. Reagan definitely reacted strangely to his appearance. Something's up with that, I'm sure.

        And on to 256's part now. Without a doubt, my favorite part of this chapter. His talk with Carey was so adorably sweet and awkwardly cute. Carey's offer to abandon the rebellion and return to the Council with 256 was sweet and really pulled at the heartstrings. And the kiss... What can I say? Been waiting a while for that :P

        The only nitpicky thing that I have, and I'll say here that I didn't even think about this while I was reading the chapter but it just occurred to me as I was preparing my thoughts on this chapter and I really hate to even mention it, was that 256's decision at the end seemed a little... sudden. He's been pretty dedicated to holding on to his few remaining ties to the Gifted and I was surprised that he abandoned everything so quickly. Of course, he had just kissed a pretty girl so I imagine that could have had something to do with spurring him on xD I'm not saying I'm upset about it, mind you. I'm really glad he's turned this corner and I couldn't be prouder of him. Like I said, when I was reading the chapter I was too busy cheering him on to think about it :P

        Anyway, I've blabbered on long enough so I'll shut up xD Overall, a really good chapter. I've got a feeling that something really big is about to happen soon and I'm really worried for the future of my favorite group of rebels.

        November 15, 2014 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        I wouldn’t say there’s necessarily anything else that went on with Janelle and Alex. Sorry if that’s a spoiler, but… yeah. It’s just that, Alex himself is told from a very biased point of view. I’m not saying he’s an amazing person, because what he did was very cruel, but he’s not a monster either. He was very young himself, and when he got in too deep (oh, that pun xD) he got scared and bowed out when he should have taken responsibility. I think he did feel remorse for what he did (hence why he gave Janelle the money that time) but he was very much in denial about it. Who knows? Perhaps, as he saw his daughter grow up from afar he might have changed his mind about the whole thing, or perhaps he would have remained in denial forever. But seeing as she was taken away the opportunity never really arose. Sorry for the rambling, by the way.  

        As for Janelle, yeah. Because of what happened with Alex she doesn’t have a lot of confidence about relationships, and the fact that Reagan is so secretive really doesn’t help :(

        And you’re not nitpicking lol. I was worried about that myself, honestly. It is supposed to be a spur of the moment decision for him, but I when I read over it I thought, I’m not sure if he’s really ready for it yet... Still, I’d hardly say he’s a card-carrying rebel now, and when he calms down a bit he does feel a bit of remorse, so I hope his decision will seem less sudden as the story goes on. Kissing Carey just sent him over the edge, I think xD These feelings have been building up in him, even if he didn’t really admit it before (like, how he’s been really happy to learn how to read/write even though that’s forbidden too). So once kisses her, something he never ever thought he’d have the courage to do, something just snaps inside him xD But, I think I definitely need to work on that, because as I said it did bother me when I wrote it.

        And you should be worried… *evil laughter*

        November 16, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 13 Reply

        I almost couldn't force myself to read this today. You've got me seriously worrying for the safety of these characters and after one of my favorite TV shows killed a beloved character last night I'm hardly in a place to deal with anymore heartbreak today. Luckily, nothing terrible happened so I can start breathing again :P

        This was a really good follow-up to the last chapter. The fact that you managed to make teenage relationship drama fit so seamlessly into a fantasy story about a rebellion is really cool :P The part with Carey and 256 was funny and had a good balance of awkwardness. Neither of them have any idea about how to handle what's happened between them or what to do next, do they? Both their situation and their reactions to it are realistic and relatable. Their future encounters should be fun xD

        It was very sad and emotional to see Carey thinking about Wesley and her family and wondering if they would still love her and want her to come home.
        Of course I'm sure they would, but for Carey that's got to be something she would be afraid of. Poor girl really shouldn't be so hard on herself. She's kind of in the middle of a war, after all. She's got a lot on her plate :( This is making me curious again as to where Wesley has gone. We haven't seen him in ages. I wonder what he's been getting up to.

        Meanwhile, Reagan continues to be a mystery. He's not going to be able to keep his secret forever. He'd be much better off telling Janelle the truth than letting her find out through some other means. And it seems Carey's powers are growing. That should be interesting.

        I half expected 256 to say no to Janelle's plan. Not because he wouldn't want to help, but as he said he might not be strong enough to see his old life again. I'm once again very proud of him for having the courage to agree to the plan despite his reservations. Oh and of course, 805! *happy dance* xD

        December 1, 2014 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Lol, is it weird that I’m happy you’re on edge about this story? xD

        Teenage relationship drama xD I don’t know why, but I cracked up when I read that. That’s a pretty good description of it, to be honest. Anyway, I’m glad that part was okay :P They’re both pretty much clueless about relationships and stuff, so yeah they pretty much have no idea how to handle what happened.

         I’m glad that Carey’s thoughts about her family and Wesley were okay. I feel bad because she’s kind of been a bit in the background for the last few chapters or so, seeing as Janelle and 256 have both had pretty important stuff happening with them. But there are big things coming up for Carey, so I hope it won’t matter that much >.< She really is quite an insecure person, honestly. She tries to act tough to cover it up, but self-esteem definitely isn’t one of her strengths :/ As for Wesley, I can’t say much… :P

        I’m happy that 256’s decision was good too. I thought most people would expect him to say no, but he feels that by going to the Council he’ll be able to decide once and for all whether he really does want to help the rebels or not. There is also another big reason why he wants to go back, but that’s probably not something people will expect :3

        Lol, now I’m imagining what 805’s face would be if he saw someone doing a happy dance about him. I don’t think he’d quite know what to make of it xD

        December 1, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 13 Reply

        Whoa! 256 is going to help them break in! I can't believe it. This is terrible. We all know that Janelle is really the Gifted leader (because the Leader's a female now) and that the Gifted are really aliens with their unique powers and the people from the other worlds are really the Gifted, so technically they're breaking into an alien base and are going to get abducted. Otherwise, yeah I liked 256's part =P

        A few wordings that I thought were awkward, though that may be what you're going for or I'm just being stupid:

        [He was so caring, compassionate, and kind. Carey was none of those things.] You don't like Carey bear, do you?

        [“Um… hi,” he said, smiling sheepishly and averting his gaze.] her* :)

        [..so she sat on her bed and drew her knees all the way into her chest.] That must have been painful.

        [Carey stood up rather quickly, deciding she probably wasn’t welcome with whatever it was Janelle wanted from him.]  [“It looks fine… Not that you look fine though. Except you do. I mean, you don’t.”] There wasn't anything wrong with these - I was laughing a bit too much when I read the second one - it just seems that you could include how Carey came to the conclusion that she wasn't welcome, and why she said that 256 didn't look fine. If that makes sense.

        [Carey grabbed a rock beside her, willing it to fade into nothingness like the rock in Reagan’s hand had the previous week. To her great surprise, it worked.] How did it surprise her if she'd turned her friends invisible before?

        One last thing is that pretty much every character seems to be having problems with confidence. I understand if that's going to be part of the theme, otherwise I feel that it takes away from their uniqueness a little bit. It would be interesting to see one person be all confident and stuff.

        Sorry if I seem a bit negative =P I did like 256's thought process in this chapter, how he feels the urge to support his friends even though he still feels connected to the Gifted. He's taken another huge step towards being a fully fledged rebel, after writing and changing his hair and clothes. I wonder if he's going to change his name, too.

        Carey's part was great too. It's so sad that she thinks her parents won't like her, and that she didn't think much about them. I can't blame her, because she's living an entirely different life right now. It was cool when she made the rock invisible, though. You're a wizard, Carey! Hopefully she can teach herself.

        You mostly created amusement and empathy in this chapter, but the part with Reagan made me even more curious about who he really is. If he's not free, why would he feel se constrained? My guess is that he's a spy, like the Leader's son or something, and feels really guilty.

        December 4, 2014 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Lol, I had to read that first paragraph a few times before I got it xD And you’re not being negative. Sorry for the bad quality of this chapter. And the next one as well, cos I don’t like it :/

        Anyway, I like Carey (why is she a bear? xD) just fine :P It’s Carey that doesn’t like Carey very much.  Same as I don’t really think those things about 256 (I mean, sure he’s a nice guy overall but he just spent a week ignoring her for a pretty pathetic reason :P) but Carey does. As for the other things you pointed out, I’ll fix them (hopefully :P).

        December 5, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 14 Reply

        Ô_Ô

        This chapter is surely the most surprising I've ever read. Seriously, I would pay a million bucks to see this as a movie. How hard was it for you to write all this? Sure, I think I can see why you don't like the chapter, but the story at least made it one of my favorites. I like the way it was developed, and especially the ending.

        So what were your concerns with this chapter? I have a few comments, though they don't take away from the chapter's quality and I'm partially just being picky. The first one is why Carey was so insistent on making sure that 805 was the one 256 was talking about, and how she knew. It definitely helped create the emotional mood, but it would be nice to know why exactly she acted the way she did :) Other than that the emotions were great.

        There were a few parts that I felt broke the tone a little bit, though like I said I'm being picky:

        [“Okay,” he mumbled, staring at his boots as though they were the most fascinating pair of footwear on the Island.] This sentence felt too long for some reason. I guess it slowed the pacing down in that scene a bit too much.

        [Unlike 256, she did not go to pick it up.] I'm not sure why this sentence stood out to me and I'm being super picky here. To me it seemed awkward and unnecessary, but don't feel like you have to take it out.

        [...Even if I’m angry at first, or something… I won’t stop.”] Janelle's use of the word "something" is understandable since it at times seems to be a verbal tic or something, however it in a way made her words seem less sincere, if that makes sense.

        The last thing that I`m going to be fussy about is the ending, which raised two questions. So Janelle looked away from the guy who was obviously up to no good, when she shouldn't have kept her eyes off him. Why? Also, why did he keep the spear just a few inches away from her face when doing so would cause the thrust to have little momentum, when drawing it back would be more effective? Here's an illustration if it helps 😈-->👱

        This isn't really a criticism but a thought: Do the Gifted and the rebels have different fighting styles? You did a good job with the battle scenes, it's just a factor to consider.

        You did a really good job developing the characters and their thoughts in this chapter. Though it was confusing when Larry I mean Carey spoke up at the meeting, everybody else's actions seemed perfectly natural, even Sam's. 256's feelings probably got worse since he can't back out of it now, and he found out that his former role model "abandoned" his family. Janelle is dealing with the feelings of upsetting Samantha and the thought of "lording" (nice word choice) over everyone, and her trust in Reagan grew. Carey's still dealing with her relationship with 256 (which is still amusing). Hahana is really excited because she thinks 805 will serve her king...xD Anyway great character development.

        I really liked the comic relief with Hahana:

        [“But… 805’s not… I don’t think he’ll agree to help you,” 256 muttered.

        Hahana dismissed his doubts with a wave of her hand. “I will persuade him. It will be easy.”]

        It really makes me wonder how she'd react if they can't get a Gifted/Cursed person. Hopefully they don't become bad guys. Given their knowledge and enthusiasm they make useful allies. I bet it'll be hard finding 805, if he's looking for his deceased wife. He could be anywhere, or might have killed himself if he realized what happened.

        One thing you do that a lot of people don't is make your series easily appeal to both genders through a combination of action and badass tomboys (for the boys) and sensitive, girly boys and sex I mean romance (for the girls). Great job! =P

        My assumption is that Reagan can either shapeshift or control other people's bodies. The way Thomas tried to comfort Sam reminded me of Reagan. I know Reagan said he would talk to Sam, implying he hadn't yet, but maybe he's just covering up. And when he told Janelle that he had to fix things first, then she's understand. Maybe he set her encounter with John so that he could save her, so that she'd associate her discovery of his Gift with something good instead of something bad. Surely she can't die...CAN SHE???

        Anyway, when I said Carey bear in the last comment I was referencing care bears xD Haha don't ask =P I like playing with her name because my sister's name is Carey. 

        December 7, 2014 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! When I was writing it I thought it seemed a little disjointed, that’s why I don’t like it that much :/ Plus, I’m not very good at writing romance so I struggled a bit with the part with Janelle and Reagan.

        I must admit I never really thought of why Carey would think of 805 xD I just thought because she actually spoke to him for a bit at the end of Gifted she’d be more inclined to realise it could be him than Janelle would, but I didn’t really think of it beyond that. It doesn't make that much sense but I guess Carey is just expecting the worst xD Anyway, thanks for pointing out, I’ll fix it :P

        I kind of saw Janelle turning her back on John because she was going to run back to the brothel, but then she didn’t get to because of the wall being in the way. But I did describe her as stepping around him like she was walking so I should change it to make her seem less of an idiot. As for the holding the spear further away thing, I never thought of that :P That does make sense. Physics was never my strong point xD

        The Gifted probably would have a different fighting style from the rebels. I guess they do because they (usually) rely more on their powers than their physical fighting skills, but I haven’t thought about it much honestly :/ I think fighting style would really depend on the person, though, more than anything else. I do try and do that by giving the characters different favourite weapons and stuff, mostly because I thought it would be boring if they all used swords all the time xD

        Lol, sensitive, girly boys. That’s a pretty accurate description. At least they aren’t all bishies :P I’m glad you think it appeals to both genders. Personally I like series that mix action, romance, drama, humour, etc. the best so I try to make there something of everything in my story.

        Your sister’s name is Carey????? That’s so cool :P I don’t know any Careys in real life.

        December 7, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 14 Reply

        Are you trying to kill me? :P You know my heart is fragile and that I'm on edge about this story, but you still do this to me xD That ending... I can't even right now. But despite almost having a coronary, I really liked this chapter. I must say that this is one chapter where I really wish Samantha was a POV character. I can only imagine what's going through her head when she's faced with the prospect of coming face to face with 805 again. That must be really awful for her :( Thomas makes a good point though, running away isn't going to help her at all. I'm also interested to see how 256 will react to learning about 805 and Samantha. I imagine that will change his opinion of him, even if it's just a little.

        Lol, Hahana xD She's so optimistic. Somehow I can't see 805 being so easy to convince :P I was glad to see Reagan opening up a little to Janelle. Even though he hasn't been completely truthful, he seems to be heading in that direction. The part with him and Janelle was really sweet and romantic. Janelle had to open up a bit a well and let down her guard with Reagan, what with everything she's been through with Alex. That can't have been easy for her, but I'd like to think it was good for her... and by 'good for her' I just meant emotionally not, you know, anything else :P

        John... this guy, I don't know. Right now I'm thinking he's part of some sort of group of renegade Gifted. I mean, John's clearly Gifted but he doesn't seem to be working with the Gifted so... yeah, that's my theory for now. And Janelle, don't ever look away from someone you find suspicious. C'mon, girl, you know better than that :( I'm going to hope and pray that Janelle is okay. She has to be, right? Reagan was likely hiding nearby, invisible. He'll save her or she'll find a way to escape, right? I don't think she'll die, but who knows? There's still way too much to her story for her to die this early, though. Of course, I said the same thing about Ned Stark and we all know what happened there, so... yeah. It'd be a heck of a surprising twist if she died and although it would break my heart to see it happen, I'd have to praise you for fantastic writing.   

         

        December 8, 2014 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Oh no, you’ve deduced my plan to murder you! Damn, it was going so well… xD

        I’ve debated many times whether to make Samantha a POV character or not. I seriously considered making her one in this story, but I decided against it because I thought it would disrupt the gender ratio and because I thought four POVs would be hard to follow when they switch around so often :/ So I decided against it. But, when writing chapters like this I regret my decision xD Although she’d never admit, she really is quite terrified about having to face him. Especially if it’s in a situation where she has to ask for his help instead of yell abuse/kill him :P

        I’m glad the part with Janelle and Reagan was okay. I was worried about the romance stuff, cos I’m not very good at writing it. And lol, I never would have taken that as anything but emotional if you hadn’t said it :P

        As for Janelle’s possible death, I can’t really say anything, can I? :3 I will say this: I’ve been looking forward (in a kind of sad way) to writing the next (possibly two, if it gets too long and I have to split it xD) chapter for a long time. It’s definitely a turning point for his story, anyway.

        December 8, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 15 Reply

        Damn. Yep, that's all I've got for you. Comment over :P I don't know how to feel right now. So much happened in this chapter that I should probably wait and think everything over before I start talking but oh well. Firstly, Carey has two Gifts? I didn't think that was possible. That's a really interesting revelation. Could she have more than just the two?  Ooooh, 256 was healed by a Gift of Water Marvin said, so could that have been Carey? Has she had more than one Gift all along and just didn't know? If she had them all along I would have thought she would have discovered it before as she's been in life threatening situations before. Wow, so many questions xD I must admit I was a bit surprised, in a good way, by 256's reaction to what 805 did. He's optimistic and hopeful and he's choosing to believe the best in 805. Truth be told, I believe he's right.

        Janelle survived and that made me immensely happy :P But everything else... I just don't know what to feel. Reagan's death hit me harder than I expected it to. I only just started to trust him, but if what Caleb said is true and he was spying on the rebellion all along, then... O.o But if he really did turn against the Gifted, and I mean he was fighting John, then was he really on the rebel's side? I still believe he loved Janelle, so had he really changed sides? Perhaps because of her? Regardless of my confused emotions over Reagan, I'm really upset for Janelle :( She just finally let her guard down for someone and now this has happened. Poor girl, she just keeps losing the people closest to her. How much more loss can she handle?

        This Caleb though, he's quite interesting. Do I trust him for a second? Hell no. Since he seems to be the leader of the rebels that were slaughtering Gifted, I'm not sure he's the nicest guy around. Of course, Wesley was last seen with them so perhaps a reunion is coming soon? Either way, it appears things are about to change pretty significantly with Caleb and the Southern Rebellion in the picture now. Anyway, overall this was an emotional, informative, and well-written chapter. It's given me plenty to think about until the next one. And for Reagan... well, for a long time I didn't trust you and I'm still not sure if I ever should have, but whatever you did, whoever you worked for, you loved Janelle and that earns you a place in my heart. RIP Reagan :(  

        December 11, 2014 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Well, there really isn’t much I can say about Carey’s use of fire :P It’s probably quite different from what you’re thinking, but that’ll be mentioned in the next chapter. As for 256 believing in 805, that’s the way he is – in situations like this 256 has to see the best in people, no matter what. 805 is no exception xD Besides, as he said 805’s behaviour in Gifted convinced him :P Plus, he has other reasons for wanting 805 and Sam to become best buddies, but those won’t really be mentioned for a while.


        I’m glad Reagan’s death was emotional. I found it easier to write than Marvin’s (not because I didn’t like him, but Reagan’s death is 100% necessary while Marvin’s wasn’t so I knew I couldn't back out of it) but it was still sad for me :( Anyway, his motives and whose side he was one will probably be unclear for a while xD Overall he’s probably the character I struggled with the most when writing, so I hope that overall his arc of the story paid off.


        Lol, Caleb does have some explaining to do regarding the slaughtering of the Gifted.  But, he could still be a nice person. After all, he can’t really control what his rebels do when he’s not there… Or can he? :P
         

        December 11, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 15 Reply

        This is literally the most astonishing plotline I've ever seen. Although I had already though that Reagan was a spy and that Carey had more than just the Gift of Stealth, I wasn't thinking about it. The details and how they manifested made this chapter wonderfully intense and without a doubt my favorite.

        I wonder if there's any more invisible people. With the tragic passing of Reagan, and with the revealing of her second Gift, Carey seems a lot more unique and powerful now. The fact that 256 burnt himself when he absorbed her fire and how she hurt herself makes me think that her Gift of Fire is extremely potent. The question is whether she has all the Gifts (as implied when she used to go all "I'm fire, wind, water, earth, I'm everything") or maybe absorbed 256's powers as if she were Kirby. Also, it must have appeared or arisen suddenly because I'm sure that otherwise 256 would have sensed it earlier.

        Another thing that I was thinking about is the others' reactions. It was really cute - I mean nice *cough cough* - when 256 hugged and consoled her. I think that Sam's going to react the same way she reacted to Thomas, since he has a similar situation with an uncontrolled Gift of Fire and all. By the way, how's it going with Thomas and his lessons? Since you haven't mentioned it much, my assumption is that it's going to reveal itself when they need it to.

        One thing that confused my a tiny bit was this part: [She opened her mouth to respond, but she was distracted by noises coming from the kitchen. Her curiousity getting the better of her, she stood up and peered through the peephole.] Is "curiousity" the Australian spelling? =P And the thing that confused me was, weren't they already in the kitchen? I wasn't aware they were sitting down? What peephole? Sorry if I sound like and idiot xD

        When Carey was making fire appear everywhere, wouldn't it have spread since there were grass and trees nearby? And what was 256 doing when that man ran toward her?

        The last thing is just a typo: [“You’re going to be okay,” she said, her voice cracking as she could as his shaking increased.]

        I can't believe Reagan died. Maybe it was for the best, since he was a spy, but the way he reacted when they told him that John was hunting her down and when he heard her scream, surely his love for her was sincere. Maybe he never really was a spy, and joined the rebels because he hated the Gifted who were using him. The worrying thing now is that literally anybody could be a spy, since Reagan and John were able to get in. The rebels are looking pretty weak. But who knows, maybe they'll join the Southern Rebellion.

        As for that Caleb guy, was he introduced before? I got a sense of déjà vu when I read about him. Anyway, I trust him because Wesley was part of the archer rebels. It'll be interesting hearing his story, and maybe Wesley and Carey will meet up again. I hope that happens because then Wesley would be all "we still love you, Carey" and she'll feel better. Then her worries will be less selfish, and there will be something happy for once ;)

        I really liked your fight scenes, though. The first one wasn't that long but it was a lot less important that the one with John, Janelle and Reagan, which was longer and nicely detailed. Reagan and Janelle had only a knife to fight, and no one was unscathed.

        You've done a really great job at paying attention to detail and realism. There are some strange parts like the ones I mentioned, but I can tell you put a ton of time and thought into the chapter. From the oats spilling and the excess of honey in the beginning to 256's hand feeling cold because Carey had the Gift of Fire too and Caleb's face closer to the end, it was very realistic.

        Please forgive my belatedness, I really wanted to read this chapter but I've been really busy lately and it always takes my a long time to comment. Let me know if you have any questions.

        December 17, 2014 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment!!! And no worries about the belatedness, I don’t mind. I’ve been hanging out with horses all week anyway so I haven’t done any writing for this story :3 Thanks for saying such nice things. I don’t think the plot line is that astonishing, though, but I’m glad you like it :)

        I remember thinking when you questioned Carey’s uniqueness: It doesn’t matter cos he’s not going to be there for much longer anyway… :( But, I do have a question: Overall, what did you think of Reagan’s character? He’s probably the character who’s given me the most trouble, with all his conflicting motives. Were you sad when he died? Someone on my fictionpress account said they didn’t care that he died, which made me sad :(

        Thomas’s lessons have been continuing, but there hasn’t been much opportunity for me to mention them recently. But they have still been happening and will be mentioned again soon.

        My spellcheck isn't screaming at me for spelling it curiousity, so I guess it must be an Australian spelling :P Sorry, I forgot to mention that they moved to the dining room to eat. And there’s a peephole on the door to the kitchen. And the fire probably would have spread, you’re right. I always forget things like that. I did try and put more details in about the environment this time, but I’m not very good at it xD

        As for Caleb, he’s never been introduced before, so I’m not sure why you’d feel a sense of déjà vu :P Although he is the reason why I changed the Leader’s gender. Originally Caleb was a woman named Cecily, but I made her have a sex change because I didn’t want people to assume she was going to be like President Coin from the Hunger Games xD But I didn’t want to make her a man originally because then all of the authority figures (the Leader, 805 and Marvin) would all be men, so I changed the Leader to a woman cos her gender doesn't matter and made Caleb a man :P And in hindsight I think he's better as a man anyway.

        Anyway, sorry for the insanely long reply (and I’m not saying that your comment was insanely long, it was a very nice length long). And sorry for rambling xD

        December 18, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        I'll admit, I was a bit disappointed when Reagan died :( I didn't relate to him but he was always trying to help people, plus he did show guilt and true love so only a Gifted wouldn't care that he died. His character was well thought-out and very involved with the plot so I'm assuming his death was necessary and can't hold anything against you.

        By the way, I like your new profile picture :P

         

        December 18, 2014 | David Boyce


      • Chapter: 16 Reply

        Well, I'd planned on reading the next chapter of The Killer tonight but when I got home I saw you'd posted this and my curiosity got the better of me :P I really like the nervous interactions between 256 and Carey. They're so cute together xD Their scenes could just go on and on and I wouldn't get bored with them. Hmm... Carey can keep control over her new power already. Very interesting. It was interesting to see both of their thoughts on Reagan and Caleb. His death would naturally hit Carey much harder than 256. I felt really bad for her, especially since I'd been so focused on how his death would affect Janelle and less about the rest of the group. Carey cared about him too, maybe not the same as Janelle but still... :(

        I'm glad Carey doesn't trust Caleb. Sure, he could be a perfectly nice person that only wants to see the Gifted overthrown. Or he could be a crazy psychopath with an agenda all his own, or some other point in between the two. Better safe than sorry, I say :P In this world, trusting new people would be really hard. 256 thinking back to the Gifted murders was good as well. If that really was Caleb's doing... O.o Lol, squishy Carey xD Well, she wasn't so squishy when she slapped Samantha. Carey's got a temper :P

        Janelle's dream made me really sad :( Heck, Janelle's entire portion of this chapter made me sad. I liked that she didn't care if Reagan had been a spy. I think that would be a very natural reaction. He's gone, so what does it matter? I thought that was a realistic response. I've got to say, as much as I love 256 and Carey's relationship, I really think Janelle and Sam's relationship is my favorite of them all. There's something magical, and I hate to use the word magical here but it's the only word coming to my sleepy brain right now, about their relationship. I just love their friendship. There's a deepness to it, if that makes any sense at all :P Like I said, I'm sleepy xD The conversation between them was really well done. It's emotional and very sad. When Janelle said Sam was the last person she loved left... :( If anything happened to Sam...

        I'm glad Samantha decided to go on the mission to the Council. I'm really proud of her for doing that. It would be good for her to come face to face with 805 again. I'm glad she's realized she needs to see him and face her demons. That last sentence :( Damn.  Now I'm all weepy and want ice cream.

         

        December 28, 2014 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Lol, I’m glad you like Carey and 256’s interactions xD They’re both not the suavest of people :3 I don’t know why I get so much enjoyment over making my characters say and do stupid things. Although, half the stupid things are based on things I say – like the squishy thing :P As for Carey’s powers, the thing I mentioned in my last reply was actually moved from this one to the next, but yes it is rather odd she has so much control over them. Especially compared to someone like Thomas.

        256 never spoke to Reagan, at least not on-screen (on-page? :P). They were probably introduced at some point, but they never knew each other well. For Carey Reagan was a friend, and shared her power. So yeah, she’s upset and wishing he were still alive so she could ask him if he knew anything about her newfound abilities. 256 is saddened by the sombre atmosphere and the feelings of his friends, but he’s not sad on a personal level. As for Caleb, it would be very stupid of Carey to trust him at this point :P After all, she knows basically nothing about him.

        I must say I was quite worried about Janelle’s bit and what people would think about her dismissing him being a spy. I thought it seemed natural, since she’s more concerned with the fact he died and as Samantha said the evidence points to him switching to their side. Still, I was worried people would think differently xD I really love writing about close platonic relationships, and theirs is probably my favourite too :P Lol, it’s ironic that their friendship is magical when they’re the two main characters without magical powers xD

        December 29, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 16 Reply

        On one side it seems as though nothing major happened, but I'm comparing it to the previous events of Reagan dying and Carey finding out about her new Gift. This chapter was still so full of emotion so it feels like a cool-down. I like how you included comic relief like when 256 called Carey squishy because the atmosphere is otherwise rather sad :( Similarly to 256 and Carey I find it hard to trust Caleb because I get the impression that he was trying to demonize Reagan :P It's understandable since they were enemies, but the rebels are really cruel to the Gifted. I assume that if John hadn't killed Reagan, Caleb would've.

        I apologize as my critique is going to be a bit picky. First, about the following quote: [Since then he had only seen Janelle a few times.] I would say "256" instead of "he" since it looked it was talking about Reagan.

        Also, I would like to know more about Thomas' reaction to finding out about Carey's Gift of Fire, if it isn't unimportant right now. Did he just tell them that he knew, and that's it? Also, this is just out of curiosity, but why does Carey not want them to know? She was really valuable to them before, but now she's even more important.

        [“Thanks,” she muttered when he finished dressing her hand. Carey pulled it away and flexed her fingers while he set to work on her other hand. Her movements were still stiff, but were slowly getting better.] Carey could be replaced with "she" and it would still make sense. I just thought it looked weird there.

        [..ripping of the bandage around his palm]

        [almost empty bottle]

        [I wish I was cooler…]

        [“Where have you been?” she demanded, using far more colourful language than he cared to repeat.] Sorry if this is super-niggly; I read it as if "Where have you been?" were the colorful language :P

        Samantha's leaving confused me. At first when I read about it at the beginning I thought she left because of Reagan's death rather than after her fight with Janelle, so when Carey said "Reagan's dead!" it was a bit puzzling. For me :P Also, I wonder what Sam was doing for a week all by herself, and how she survived, though that probably isn't important to the plot.

        [..but Carey had other ideas.] This part seems unnecessary since she shows that she has other ideas when she slaps Sam. (She's pretty mad at her, huh?)

        Lastly, are you going to write chapters from Sam's point of view and maybe those of other important characters? It could be refreshing to see the story through someone else's eyes besides Carey's, 256's or Janelle's. After this chapter I'm just worried that you have it this way because Sam's going to die, or has some dark secret.

        But this chapter had as much detail as the rest. I really admire the way you wrote the awkward dialog between Carey and 256, and the way you portrayed Janelle's feelings. The emotions in the chapter were incredibly immersive. There were little bursts of suspense like Carey heating up the room and the tension between Sam and Janelle when Sam said that there were things that she couldn't tell Janelle, and Jan thought that Sam doesn't trust her. These moments did a good job of developing the flow of the chapter. The physical details were great too, like when you described how Carey and 256 tended to each other's wounds.

        Another thing is the complexity of the characters' emotions and the situations they're in. 256 is getting more and more like a rebel and less like the Gifted he once was, but meeting Caleb might make him revert back to his old ideologies. I don't think he'll ever go back completely though since his parents aren't Gifted, and he clearly wants proof that parents care about their Gifted children. 

        Sam was also less obedient, but now is trying to be more supportive since Janelle is really fragile and probably doesn't have the emotional strength to keep leading them. Jan also seems to be getting bitter not only because of what Sam said before but because the people she loves apparently don't trust her.

        Carey seems to be getting angrier at Sam since she probably could have stopped Reagan's death (which has different meaning to different characters) and her feelings are probably also based off of her previous thoughts that Samantha is perfect at everything. Thomas, on the other hand, for some reason seems to be content all the time so I wonder if the others will rely on him for emotional support.

        It's fun to experience the contrast between Carey and 256, from the difference in how carefully they undid the bandages to how direct they are in talking to people. They do have some things in common though, like their Gift of Fire and loveable awkwardness. Also their relationship is so different from Sam's and Janelle's. I can't wait to see how all their relationships come out throughout the rest of the story and how they relate to the plot.

        December 29, 2014 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Sorry for making all those mistakes xD I’m not going to have another character’s POV. Even though it would be interesting, the story is already established as having three POVs and I feel like it would be un-formulaic to randomly start writing from a new person’s POV unless one of them dies. I like things to follow a formula :P Anyway, Samantha’s safe for the immediate future, so don't worry :P And although she does have a secret, it’s not a dark one. It’s pretty mundane, actually.

        As for Thomas’s reaction, I should put more details about that… It’s something I added in at the last minute (before I just said she hadn’t told anyone) but then I realised there was no way he wouldn’t have guessed the truth xD Still, he’s a calm guy most of the time so I don’t think he would say much about it, he’d just offer to help her or something if she needed it.

        Carey doesn’t want anyone to know because she still feels guilty about killing that man and injuring 256, and not telling anyone is kind of a way to pretend it didn’t happen. If they don’t know about it, she doesn’t have to face it – hence why she refuses when 256 tries to talk about it and get her to join him and Thomas when they practice.

        Haha, it’s funny you should say that Caleb would have killed Reagan because originally Caleb was going to kill Reagan as well as John :P It would be rather silly of Carey and 256 to trust him at this point, since the evidence certainly isn’t in his favour xD

        As for what Samantha did, I have the idea that she went back to that seaside village where they met Hahana and Maui and fumed there for a few days, thinking things over. She probably brought food/money/other supplies with her. I’m not sure why, I just picture her going there xD I also thought she might go back to her village but that's too far away.

        December 30, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 17 Reply

        Aww...this story is sadder than Day and Age. I'm glad there's characters like Thomas and Hahana to lighten the mood. From Thomas talking about how he can't completely control the bad things in his life to Hahana making Sam smile, this chapter was party depressing and partly heartbreaking. Chingados, I'm a straight guy I shouldn't be saying that xD Anyway, this is definitely for people who are socially permitted to show feelings a very emotionally captivating chapter, the atmosphere of which was exquisitely conveyed.   

        I only saw two tiny typos, at least I think they're typos: [He stood up abruptly, grabbing his bag before.] You can either say "grabbing his bag first"/"after grabbing his bag" or switch the clauses. [256 shoved a few spare clothes into his bag.] I don't know whether it's correct, but I would say "some spare clothes" or "a few spare articles of clothing",

        [“What was that about?” Samantha muttered, staring after them. Her eyebrows were still knotted when she turned back and noticed Carey in front of her.

        Carey cleared her throat, running her hand through her hair. “I – I’m sorry for slapping you. I was mad, because you went away and then Reagan… Anyway, it was wrong of me.”

        “It’s fine,” Samantha said stiffly; the smile had faded from her face. “I – I shouldn’t have left. It was childish of me. Anyway, we’d better go.”]

        The above quote seemed awkwardly quick, which could have been becaase of their social awkwardness or insincerity but otherwise the way it was written stood out to me.

        There were a few other things that stood out and I personally didn't get, so I'm sorry if my comments sound stupid. Why did they leave at night? Also, Hahana and Maui came out with their armor knowing that it would attract unwanted attention but didn't take it off after making Sam smile. Was there a reason for that? My last point is that Carey so willingly tried to summon a fireball at the end, even though she probably would have burned herself and the others like last time. I know that she needed to see whether she still had her Gift, but I think she would have at least hesitated or something before doing so.

        I love the whole story but I think this is one of the best chapters because it's good about having the characters get things done while not overloading the readers with information, having parts like Carey agreeing to ask 256 for help controlling her and then apparently losing her new Gift that make significant and lasting changes to the plot and provoke interest. Overall the events made the chapter unique compared to the other ones, and I didn't get the feeling that I had read it all before. 

        I wonder if Carey really lost her Gift, and whether Reagan took it away from her somehow. Probably not, since she said that she didn't have any problems since that one incident. It would be so horrible if they got to the Council and she suddenly lost her Gift of Stealth xD Hopefully she gets it back, because then she would be more powerful, but then again it would also make 256 and Thomas less unique. We'll see!

        Hahaha when 256 said her name was Carey xD The part when he was talking to Caleb was tense, because I thought the older man would find out and kill him or something, 256 kept slipping. It makes me wonder whether using Carey's name will get the real Carey in trouble somehow. And I honestly thought he was going to be 256's dad! That would have been awkward. It was nice to learn about Caleb a little bit, such as the fact that he seems to hate all Gifted, even his son, and he must not have a lot of confidence since he turned his mirror around. The irony in the way he talked to 256 about his feelings for the Gifted was sad but in a way entertaining, and it'll obviously affect the way 256 feels about the mission.

        January 11, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Lol, my inner gender equalitist nature is trying very hard to resist ranting xD Anyway, thanks for pointing out those typos and awkward wordings.

        Your comments don’t sound stupid xD They didn’t decide to wear their armour just to make Samantha smile, they wore it cos they wanted to :P Hahana just used the situation to her advantage. In reality it doesn’t really matter that the uniform will attract unwanted attention. To be frank they’re going to attract attention anyway even if they don't wear it, since they’re black (or in Hahana’s case, half black half white) and pretty much nobody on the island has ever seen a black person before. I never really thought about Carey being hesitant. You’re right, she would be. As for why they left at night, I forgot to write about this so I’ll add it in but it’s because they (meaning Sam :P) don’t really trust the other rebel group much yet and they don’t want them to know what their group is up to until they’re sure they can trust them.

        256 is lucky that Carey is both an uncommon name and a unisex name. And lol, I added that part about his son’s age precisely because it looked like 256 was going to turn out to be his actual son xD I didn’t want people to think I was being unoriginal and using a similar plot point twice, so I decided to make it obvious he wasn’t :P But, if 256 had been like: "Caleb, I am your son!" he wouldn’t have killed him. There’s a difference between what Caleb says and thinks he feels and what he actually feels deep down. Regardless of what he thinks about the Gifted, his son is still his son and he probably would find it very difficult to kill him if they ever came face to face. Sorry if that doesn't make any sense, btw xD And he is pretty confident overall, he just doesn’t like being reminded of his own mutilation and the memories of when it happened.

        January 11, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 17 Reply

        This chapter is making me feel anxious again. Whenever the group splits up, it makes me nervous but this time I'm just getting a really weird vibe. To say the least, I'm really worried. Lol, I'm glad you left no question as to whether or not Caleb was 256's father. If you hadn't, I would have been theorizing about that one forever :P The fact that you had already done something similar with 805 would have made me really skeptical of the idea, but still I know how my mind works xD

        256's part of the chapter was really good, especially the scene with Caleb. That Caleb, why must he be so smooth and make very good points about things? It was much easier to be mistrustful of him before. Now I find myself agreeing with him because his points are perfectly valid. I still don't trust him, but he's starting to lure me in xD Even so, his lack of any compassion or responsibility in regards to what he claims his people did to the Gifted worries me. Either he doesn't care that his men mutilated the Gifted or he does care but his people didn't listen to him. The latter would make him a bad leader, while the former scares me a lot. And it's not just Caleb, I mean if his people are willing to do things like that... O.o Oooh, I almost forgot. He had his mirror turned facing the wall. I wonder if that's because he doesn't want to be reminded of his scars or for some other reason?

        I'm concerned about 256 going on this mission, especially after what Caleb said to him. That's not something he really needed to hear right before going back to the Council. With him thinking that 913 and 440's punishment being his fault.. yeah, I'm worried about him. Lol, 256 using Carey's name :P What's he going to do if he, Caleb, and Carey are ever in the same room together. That'd be awkward xD

        Carey's talk with Thomas was really emotional. His story about hurting Sam and their mother made me sad :( I feel really bad for him. I was glad that Thomas was able to convince Carey to let 256 teach her even if she doesn't need him to anymore. I honestly have no idea what's going on with her now. I'd been thinking she could be some sort of Avatar-ish character that can 'control all four elements' or something, but since she's lost her Gift I'm guessing not. Hmm, maybe she can focus the Gifts of other people that are nearby? Or maybe she can 'borrow' Gifts from other Gifted or something? Yeah, I have no idea. I'll stop rambling :P

        Lol, Hahana and Maui xD I love them. They're always a delight to have around and I was happy to see Hahana got Sam to smile. That was really nice. I found it funny that Samantha was worried about their armor but not about the fact that they're taking the (I assume) only two black people on the island with them. They're kind of going to stand out a bit. That's not how you sneak around places, Sam. Bring people who blend in :P Anyway, this was a really good and emotional chapter and I enjoyed it. It made me really nervous for the future, but I suppose that's a good thing. I'm excited to see what happens with the mission and until then I'll be over here in my corner, quietly praying that no one else dies :P

        January 12, 2015 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Haha, originally I didn’t include the stuff about his son’s age in this chapter, but when I was reading it over I thought: “People are just gonna think 256 is his kid, aren’t they?” xD I didn’t want it to look like I was unoriginal and using the same plot twice so I decided to just make it obvious he wasn’t Caleb’s son from the start. Caleb’s son is a random Gifted who has never been introduced, just like 256’s parents are random people. Although, none of them may ever appear in the story (or maybe they will :3) so it might not matter. Anyway, I’m glad that Caleb and his rebels are thought-provoking. They’re supposed to be morally ambiguous, like the Gifted themselves :3 As for Caleb’s mirror being turned around, it’s just because he doesn’t like being reminded about his scars and how he got them. He’s not a vampire or something :P

        I’m glad Thomas’s story was emotional. Most of the details he spoke of came from some of my many side stories, so it was fun to include them (although sad :P). Anyway, about Carey’s powers, I’ll give you a hint – there’s a few details that I deliberately left out, back when I wrote chapter fifteen, and it makes it a lot harder to guess what Carey’s deal is without them. I’m not sure whether that’ll be helpful or not xD

        Lol, Sam does need to get her priorities together. Although, Hahana pretty much just invited herself and Maui along on this mission, so she didn’t have much choice but to let them come xD But yeah, everyone they run into would never have seen a black person before, so regardless of whether they’re wearing armour or not they’re going to get noticed.

        January 13, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 18 Reply

        The second I start to somewhat trust Maui and Hahana, I'm immediately hit with some unnerving new information about them. Whatever Hahana's explanation is, they did technically lie. With their insistence to go on the mission, I'm getting really nervous that they're up to something nefarious or at the very least aren't being completely honest about their reasons for being on the island. I hope not since I really like them xD Regardless of that, it was nice to learn a little bit more about Maui and his family. We don't know much about either of them yet, so I was glad of that. 

        Carey and 256's conversation was heartbreaking. 256 talking about 440 and just his whole story really tugged at the heartstrings, so good job there. It's a tough thing to make a character as cruel as 440 a sympathetic character, but you succeeded in spades. Despite everything 440 did, I can't help but feel sorry for him. And 256 blaming himself for what 440 became, that made me really sad. Carey, naturally, is still struggling with having killed 440. I think 256 would understand that what she did was mercy, but still they were friends once so it's going to be hard for him to hear. I know that chapter is going to make me weepy :(  Hmm... why were Hahana and Samantha laughing together all of a sudden? What are they up to out there?

        Oh Janelle... Janelle, Janelle, Janelle, what are you doing? She's lost hope and her confidence again. I really hoped she wouldn't, but it's pretty clear she has. I don't know if Caleb is up to no good or not, but I can't help but think that this is the worst move she could have made. I was also surprised that she made such a big decision without discussing it with at the very least Sam. Although, I suppose it does make sense seeing as Sam would tell her she was being silly and to woman up and be the leader. I don't trust Caleb as far as I could throw the Empire State Building and giving him command of her rebels just seems like a terrible idea. Sure, he's organized and in control of a much larger force, but... I don't know. I've just got a really bad feeling about all of this. Suddenly, I can't help but get a very slight President Coin vibe from him. Like... he seems like he's a decent guy, fighting against the Gifted, but I worry about the lengths he'll go to in order to win. Gah, I'm rambling. I'll stop now xD

        Right now it seems like the group has lost their way somewhat. They've all got a lot of personal issues and I'm scared they're not ready to break into the Council. I hope they manage to pull themselves together in time to get this job done. Otherwise, I'm afraid we might well be having another funeral before long. Anyway, another really good chapter that has succeeded in further increasing my nervousness for the safety of the group and their future. With Janelle stepping down, the team on the mission not getting along, and 256 and Carey worrying about 440... I'm scared xD

        January 29, 2015 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Well, I see it more as Hahana and Maui withheld information rather than directly lying xD I enjoyed writing that part though and including more about Maui’s family, since there hasn’t been that much about him so far. But let’s just say there’s a reason why Maui introduced himself as Maui to Carey and Samantha, instead of saying Maui Aroha even though most people would introduce themselves with both their first and last name in that situation.

        I’m glad 440 is sympathetic, even though he’s not the nicest guy ever :P I’ve always thought that it was what society (or more accurately, the Gifted) that made him what he is in the end. So, even though as 256 said he did have tendencies for violence, he was overall a good person before being punished. I watch too much Criminal Minds, that’s my problem xD Half the serial killers/rapists on that show have sympathetic backstories and it’s rubbed off on me :P As for when 256 finds out, well… Carey’s essentially digging a hole for herself here, because even if 256 understands that she killed him out of mercy, as of this chapter Carey definitively knows how important 440 was to him, and she’s deliberately not mentioning that he’s dead. As for Sam and Hahana laughing, they’re not up to anything sinister :P Hahana’s just good at getting straight-laced people to laugh xD

        Heheh, it’s funny you mention President Coin. Originally Caleb was a woman, but then I realised people might assume he was going to end up like President Coin so I changed his gender to make him a bit more distinct xD But, then I was faced with a dilemma because all of the authority figures (The Leader, Marvin, 805 and Caleb) were men. I’m attached to 805 and Marvin as men (plus I can’t really change 805’s gender without doing some serious rewriting xD) so I decided to make the Leader a woman instead since she hasn’t appeared nearly as much. But yeah, they’ve all definitely lost their way a bit, especially Janelle. And she definitely should have discussed it with someone, namely Sam, since it’s not like it’s just her decision to make. And giving control to Caleb is a pretty terrible idea. After all, even if he has completely good intentions, Janelle barely knows him at this point, so she's taking a huge risk :/

        January 30, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 18 Reply

        Awww, why did Janelle have to do so a thing :( That stupid Caleb, I bet it was his plan all along. He didn't do anything to stop her but rather was like, "Yeah, that's a great idea, Janipoo." Surely the only way for her to get her confidence back is to see that she can do well as a leader, and has, but she won't make that realization if she stops leading the rebels. Maybe Caleb is really a double agent working for the Gifted, and meant to weaken the rebels by removing Janelle from power. What's more, when Carey and Co. come back, all the others will have left the brothel since Jan's rebels are going with Caleb's. Oops. If I were a character in this story I would throttle that son of a 

        This is going to sound really fussy or irrelevant of me, not to mention hypocritical, but the first paragraph might look better if it's shorter and evokes more emotion. I've been reading The Blood of Olympus lately and he starts chapters with one-sentence paragraphs like "Two minutes wasn't nearly enough time." and "Piper couldn't believe how hard it was to find deadly poison." both of which make readers think, "What???" Also, did anything in particular happen at the inn as a result of standing out? (Notwithstanding, the ending was, by contrast, most unexpected and well played with Janelle relinquishing control and all. It must have taken a lot of willpower for you to write that.)

        I'm a bit suspicious of Maui. He didn't wash his hands before or after handling the rabbit's guts, and he touched Hahana after doing so! Then, he left the raw meat in a bag so it could rot. (I don't think a fox stealing it would be their only problem.) I am deeply offended by your portrayal of us men as filthy creatures :P Though I'm not that sure as to their level of hygiene awareness so sorry if this sounds weird.

        I noticed that attention is often brought to the characters' eyes. I don't know if that's intentional, but wanted to mention in case it isn't.

        [“Yeah,” Carey said, coughing as her stomach gave a loud rumble. Hahana’s expression softened slightly.

        “Perhaps I went too far,” she said at a normal volume; it was almost like a whisper for her. “I feel I should not have mentioned her parents.”] It looks like Carey's stomach is what made her realize that.

        [...dumping some more wood on their small fire and increasing the intensity of the flames.] Correct me if I'm wrong (it's your story), would 256 be able to rekindle the fire with his Gift? Where did they get the wood?

        [“But what about –“
        “I’m disbanding our group,” she said quietly, so none of the recruits attempting to listen in could hear. “I won’t be the leader of them anymore. You will be.”] This is just one paragraph. I think you pressed shift and enter at the same time.

        So Maui's royalty, eh? If there's anything that I've learned from being American, it's that politicians are evil. KILL MAUI EVISCERATE HIM HE ONLY CARES ABOUT HIMSELF unless he was just trying to impress Samantha, and that's why they lied (maybe the lie was that he was a noble's son, and Hahana didn't want him to talk about it because she didn't want him to dishonest), in which case never mind. I can actually relate to him, because he reminds me of when I'm trying to speak French xD

        I like how you controlled the pacing. It seems to be slowing (there were some long sentences, repeated info, etc.) as if portraying the fact that the rebels seem to be losing power and hope. 

        The realism in your characters' reasoning and dialogue was great, and everybody was in character. Two hundred fifty-six (you're supposed to spell out numbers at the beginning of a sentence) seems more mature compared to Carey, who was crying and ran away, so I'm thinking that he might be starting to accept his condition, though not completely of course. Or maybe he was just tired. It was also realistic of Carey to feel the guilt and indecision she's feeling, and to worry about people (256) not liking her. The contrast between Hahana and Samantha continued to agree with their characters, and was quite entertaining to read about :P

        For some reason I liked this quote: [“Did you sleep well?” he asked casually, as though they had just happened to bump into each other instead of him dragging her out of bed at the insistence they spend some time together.] I was hoping that Thomas's idea would work, and it's touching that he cares about Janelle. The way he was redirecting her guilt before trying to cheer her up was clever. Caleb, on the other hand, doesn't seem to care much. He was insensitive enough to ask Thomas how he got injured (and wasn't that an intense moment!) and I find it hard to trust him. Janelle should just kill him and give control to someone she knows she can trust.

        When do you plan to make them do some more fighting? Sorry if this sounds really boyish, but there's been a lot of emotion and though it's written well you're good at writing battle scenes too, plus it would vary the plot a little bit. When Samantha got all angry at Hahana and Maui and picked up her sword, I thought there would be a little action but no xD Anyway, it's just a thought.

        Gosh, I'm so sorry for rambling :P Let me know if you have any questions.

        January 31, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Lol, Janipoo xD If you were Australian you would have said Jazza :P You don’t like Caleb much, do you? ;) Anyway, he’s not going to pretend that Janelle giving up her rebels for him isn’t the better option for his group, since it increases his numbers and stuff and gives him more control over what happens.

        Lol, well I didn’t really think about hygiene when I wrote it so girls are just as filthy as boys xD I’d imagine that they wouldn’t have as high hygiene standards as today, plus they don’t have access to a reliable source of water so it would be wasteful for Maui use some for that. Still, I should definitely make him wipe them or something. Thanks for pointing out my mistakes and repetition and stuff. And for suggesting that thing at the beginning. I always struggle to think of opening lines and stuff xD

        As for more fighting, eh… I’m really not sure xD I have one of the major plotlines mapped out quite clearly in my head, but the other is much more vague at the moment so I can’t say for sure. There might be a bit of action in the next chapter, actually, now I think about it. But it wouldn’t be a huge scene. But, there will be more politics and some sneaking around and things in the near future. That’s not exactly action, but it will be a change from the drama, in a sense :/ I hope that’s okay.

        As for questions, sorry if this is really weird, but what do you think are the main themes of the story? I'm just curious if people are thinking the same things I am when they read it as I am when I write it :P

        February 1, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        Come on man, I want blood!! Just kidding, politics and sneaking around will do just as well. Of course you're the only person who knows where exactly you want to go with your story, so you'd be the best at making that decision.

        I don't think that's a weird question; main themes are very important to a story :) Let's see...I guess one could be about conflict and how there's no "good guy" because the Gifted are just trying to maintain order and some rebels are mutilating the Gifted. By the same sense it could also be about discrimination or equality because of what the Gifted and non-Gifted think of each other, even though there's people like 256 and 805 who are different. Samantha and Jazza bring up ideas of self confidence, Carey of social anxiety, and 256 of depression (?). It could also be about change, because of the effects their quest had on them (like when Carey was worrying about her family being afraid of her. Taking into account the titles, I also think that it could be about what we make of our strengths and weaknesses. Sorry if my interpretation is off, that's how I see it.

        February 1, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Chapter: 19 Reply

        Sam is not a happy lady these days, is she? She's justified, I feel, considering all she's dealing with and what she's been asked to do, but she ought not be taking it out on her friends. She being awfully... well, awful to them. Nothing that's going on with her is their fault and her attitude won't be helpful to the mission, but still I understand where she's coming from. So, they left Hahana and Maui behind then? It's a good idea, but suddenly I'm concerned those two might decide to follow along behind them anyway :P

        The Gifted destroying the village just to make an example of them just goes to show the lengths they'll go to, doesn't it? I always try to view the Gifted as morally ambiguous because while the things they do are really terrible, they believe they're doing the right thing. Good and evil, as they say, depends on your point of view. But then they go burning entire villages to the ground and make me mad :P I guess that's what makes them such a good antagonist. 256 also got a good lesson about how the Gifted treat their own when he found the little girl. That was a really sad and well written scene. I felt really bad for her, despite her helping destroy the village. She was just a kid after all. 256 burning her body was touching as well. It's interesting that they sent someone so young out if they usually don't. That's very curious...

        The nonGifted boy was really heartbreaking. He was really brave and I felt awful about him and his family. I hope his reaction isn't common when it comes to Gifted that have turned against their own. Obviously he's just a boy that lost his entire family and saw the horrors of war, but I'm still hopeful that maybe there could be some form of peace between the Gifted and nonGifted. But with the way the Gifted have treated the nonGifted, it feels less and less likely. 256's fight with the Gifted woman was brief, but exciting. I couldn't help but laugh when Sam complained about missing when she threw her knife. Although, she didn't actually miss so she's getting there xD She just needs to work on getting the blade pointing in the right direction :P

        There's something I think of all the time when I'm reading this but never think to mention it when I'm commenting (or at least I don't remember it if I ever said something before :P) This time 256's thoughts reminded me about it. I really like that almost all of the characters are acting because of, or at least thinking about their families. Janelle started a revolution because of her daughter. 256 is worried his parents never loved him or would reject him. Carey's been separated from her family for ages now. Sam's dealing with her father and of course Thomas. Everyone has these deep familial connections and I really enjoy that. I know that's random, but... yeah xD

        Anyway, I've rambled on entirely too long and really ought to hush now :P I'm really interested to see what comes next. It looks like 256 is finally going home. That's really scary O.o

        February 13, 2015 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks so much for the comment! I think awful is putting it kindly :P I would have said Sam’s being something much worse, to be honest xD No matter what’s going on with her, there really isn’t an excuse to treat her friends that way, especially since they’ve done nothing wrong. And I’m glad you laughed at her missing when she threw her knife xD Heheh, Even if she managed to land the knife pointy-end in she really needs to work on her aim, since the back of someone’s skull really isn’t the most logical place to throw a knife :P

        I’m glad both of the kids deaths’ were emotional. The main purpose of this chapter was to show how the rebellion is actually affecting the island, since the main characters have, until now, been shut up in their hideout and really have no idea what’s going on in their country. And to show that both the nonGifted and the Gifted will suffer if a full-scale war breaks out.

        I’m glad you like the family stuff too, I’m happy you said that so it’s not random :) I love writing about close platonic relationships, both familial or friendly, so familial bonds always seem to come up as strong motivators for my characters xD

        February 14, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 20 Reply

        Everything Janelle is dealing with makes me so sad :( I hate seeing her so broken, so beaten down. It was good to see her grieving though. I thought the scene in Reagan’s room with her finding his shirt and that note (What was he going to fix? I still want to know xD Oh, the curiosity :P) was very well done.  Janelle’s emotional state throughout the chapter felt believable and very realistic for someone that’s been through as much as she has. She’s doubting her leadership abilities, but she’s also second-guessing her decision to no longer be the leader. Poor girl :( She’s so lost and confused. I feel really bad for her. I liked that she didn't want to leave Reagan behind as well. That part was very touching and sad.

        I love Thomas xD He’s clearly the voice of reason these days. He told Janelle some things she definitely needed to hear and hopefully made her think about what she’s done, even if he did earn himself a nice slap across the face for his trouble. He also raises some excellent points about Caleb. He could very well be lying about the size of his rebellion or anything else. He’s an unknown quantity and as Janelle thought, she only trusts him because he killed John. Personally, I think he’s telling the truth about his rebellion. I don’t think he’s a bad guy really. I just get this feeling from him that he’s the type of person that would go too far trying to overthrow the Gifted. It feels like he would sacrifice his own soul, if you will, to do it. I don't know and now I'm rambling :P I'll stop.

        I hadn't even thought about the fact that Janelle could very well be pregnant. With everything else happening, I hadn't considered it. Still, it's good she isn't. That's not exactly something she needs to have to deal with right now. Anyway, overall a really good and emotional chapter that I probably shouldn't have read with my dad in the room. I got a bit teary-eyed in the middle and he kept asking me what was wrong and refused to believe it was because of a story :P I liked the ending because Janelle does at least seem to be slightly more... I don't want to say hopeful, but she at the very least managed a smile.   

        February 19, 2015 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        I’m really glad Janelle’s emotional state seems realistic. I must say, I was worried what people would think about that. I can’t say I’ve ever been in her position so I was rather nervous about it, especially in this chapter but really in all the chapters since Reagan died.

        Lol, Thomas has sort of become the voice of reason :P It’s not really a role I ever intended him to have, but no one else is there with Janelle at the moment and he has the personality for it, so… xD Anyway, even if Caleb turns out to have good intentions and everything he’s told them is the truth, Janelle doesn’t know that. For all she knows he could be a complete tool, or perhaps he’s the Gifted spy himself :P So yeah, even if choosing Caleb turns out to be a good idea Janelle definitely didn’t think it through, and that’s what Thomas is trying to tell her.

        Lol, I never considered it either, until on Fictionpress someone wrote after Reagan died that they thought Janelle would be pregnant. So I figured I should clear things up, and this chapter was the first where it really fit in. That same person said after this chapter that they were disappointed she didn’t get pregnant xD I suppose it would have been interesting, but rather unrealistic and cliché in my opinion since they only spent one night together and he died the next day. One accidental pregnancy is enough for Janelle, thank you :P Besides, I can’t afford to have her out of the action for a decent portion of the story xD

        February 19, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 19 Reply

        Oh Sam, look what you've done. Now Carey Bear is all grumpy too :P You know it's getting extreme when Carey thinks, or pretends to think, that Sam would kill them (well, she did ask 256 if he wanted to die xD). Maybe this is why Maui and Hahana were so happy to leave them. 256 is so calm about it though, like "I guess she has her reasons." At least someone's keeping their anger to themselves. That's one of the reasons he's my favorite character.

        Look at that cloud over there! I think it's a village! :) Odd time to be cloudwatching?

        The repetition of [valley before them] seemed a bit awkward to me. I would get rid of the second "before them."

        [as though it was]

        [hidden away inn]

        I was a bit confused, because I thought Carey was going to tell 256 that she had killed his best friend because of the last chapter. Sorry, guess that was just me :P I'm assuming that's what she wanted to talk about before leaving 256.

        ​Is 256's book waterproof? I don't remember if you mentioned the material used for the pages, but taking it out in the rain doesn't seem that logical. I assume the alley wasn't covered because he noticed that the rain had lessened. Also he never put the book away. Hopefully he didn't drop it...That would be bad :P

        [...through the village. This part of the village...]

        [nonGifted]

        [glancing nervously had Samantha]

        I liked the part near the beginning when you said, "since they said goodbye to Hahana and Maui the previous day." Though it was obvious that they couldn't go to the council, that threw me off for some reason (in an attention-getting way). 

        You details with 256 were also really good, such as him wincing as the rain hit him. I'd forgotten he doesn't like water. Also when he asked who/what had burned down the village, as if he were in denial of the Gifted's maliciousness. This also seems to be reflected in the way he sort of doesn't want to go back to his parents, even though such feelings are also due to what Caleb told him. I mean, he did put the book away after having that thought.

        However it was very clever of him to learn to read the word "village" and the numbers so he could find the records for where he came from. I hope he does find his parents, so he can see that they do love him. (You said Caleb doesn't really hate his son, so I have hope :P)

        It's really sickening that the Gifted would send a thirteen-year-old to help burn down a town of mostly innocent people, then abandoned her and their other their injured comrades. That doesn't really help their record. It seems to have made a mark on 256, maybe it'll make him be more certain about running away to his parents. It also affected the girl, it seems, since while she did want them to come back she was willing to hold his hand and shuddered when she described what happened. Maybe more of the Gifted will join the rebels if the council keeps being this oppressive.

        The way all those people came out of nowhere really added to the tension and action of the chapter. It definitely wasn't ruined by that battle scene, which was short but made use of every word and well written. 

        "...the boy’s ashes, which looked exactly the same as the girl’s before. In death there was no way of knowing they had come from such different worlds." Awwww. Yet another reason 256 is my favorite.

        I'm going to shut up now because I'm almost at 666 words xD Let me know if you have any questions.

        February 21, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Thanks for commenting! Haha, when I saw your comment I thought, who is that??? Why did some random person comment on my story??? That never happens!!! Did you change your name recently or am I just unobservant? xD And lol, 256 seems to be everyone’s favourite character. I find it funny because I was worried people would dislike him at first, since he kidnaps Carey and stuff. 

        Anyway, 256’s book is magical. It can’t ever get wet, and it teleports back into his bag when he’s not using it. Duh. I thought that was obvious xD Thanks for pointing out all my many mistakes. I’ll fix them. And sorry for confusing you. Carey is avoiding telling 256 about 440 because she’s afraid of what he’ll think. That’s why she ran away from him, and why he still doesn’t know about it.

        I do have a few questions: Do you think I show Carey’s perspective enough? Someone said they thought I didn’t O.o Do you think her development is okay, or is she overshadowed by the other two? Also, do you think I’m descriptive enough? I did try to be more descriptive in this chapter, but I’m not sure if I did a good job. When I read over it, I thought it wasn’t very good. Sorry for asking lots of things O.o

        February 21, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        Hahaha. Sorry for any confusion :P 

        Looking back, Carey's been a major character in the last four chapters or so. I encourage you to focus on other characters if it's part of your plans though, because it's nice to get an impression of how the other characters see her. Carey was probably that person's favorite character.

        As such, I think it's okay if you take a break on Carey's development. Focusing on all your characters at once can overload the reader with too much information. She did have that little talk with Thomas in Chapter 17: Ideals and Injuries, about not being able to control everything in life. Thinking about it again might add a little to her development, if that's your intention.

        Your level of description is fine, though there is room for more. On one hand I feel you don't need to add to it since a lot of the story is psychological. However, if more description would help you achieve your purposes then you could describe, for example, the smell of all that smoke, or the eerie silence (sorry for sounding cliché xD) of the dead village. If I may use The Blood of Olympus as an example again, one of the things I noticed about that book is that he uses lots of similes and they seem to really add to the description of the story. 

        I hope this helped. If not I would be more than happy to explain my opinions in a different way. It feels strange answering your questions because you're such a great writer, but I'm here to help where possible :)

        February 21, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Chapter: 21 Reply

        This a pretty tense and exciting chapter, especially when they were sneaking through the Council. I'm sorry, but I kept picturing Harry, Ron, and Hermione sneaking through Hogwarts under the Invisibility Cloak during those bits :P Not that that's a bad thing in any way. Anyway, it was good to see Carey thinking about her family again, even though it always makes me sad. She's always so sure they've forgotten about her or wouldn't accept her or love her because of what she is. For some reason after reading this chapter I started seriously thinking about the possibility that they wouldn't. We know next to nothing about Carey's family apart from Carey's thoughts about them, and we've seen the nonGifted's general hatred of the Gifted (even those that have turned against their own) so it makes me wonder how they would react upon Carey's return.

        The infiltration of the Council was really well done. There was plenty of tension as they snuck through the gates and wound their way to the records room. I'm glad to see 256 seems to be handling being back there okay. I'm still really worried about him though. Well, I'm worried about all of them since they're sneaking about in the halls of the enemy's base, but you know what I mean :P That was a brilliant and rather blunt way of fooling the Gift of Air xD Ah well, desperate times call for desperate measures and it got them into the records room. Speaking of the records room, lots of interesting information in there. Hmm... how did 256 know there were clothes there? So, the Gifted recycle numbers then? Well, that actually does make sense. There's less of a chance to ever have a 8,527,931 that way :P The other numbers there... dates of birth and death perhaps? Maybe the date their Gift was discovered and then their death? I'm just guessing, but that line of thought seems logical since 805's file only had one number instead of two. Clearly, 256 seems to know what it means. I wonder why he pretended not to?

        So, 805's been made a member of the Council. That is... unexpected :P I was imagining this quest turning into some sort of prison break where they would have to bust 805 out of jail. That's a surprising development for sure. What are the Gifted up to? Anyway, a good solid chapter that kept me entertained on my train ride home from work. You may have had problems writing it, but they don't show up in the finished product as far as I can see. I'm really anxious to see how they'll track down 805 and get out of there.

        March 6, 2015 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Lol, there’s definitely nothing wrong with that xD Harry Potter is one of my favourite things ever, so… If anything makes you think of Harry Potter is a plus in my book. But yeah, there’s definitely a possibility they will react that way. Carey’s parents are pretty family orientated (I mean, they have eight kids :P) but at the same time the Gifted are disliked widely so they may not accept her. But then she’s also not a normal Gifted, so who knows… xD

        It’s funny about the numbers thing. I thought it was totally obvious they referred birth dates and death dates of the Gifted (and yes, it is the birth year, since it’s more accurate if they were looking at the average lifespan of the Gifted or something. Plus the Gifted are born with their Gifts and if they were to be Assessed on the day they were born, they’d be found but it’s just easier for them to collect the babies all at once. So it works for their ideology too :P). It wasn’t really supposed to be a mystery, it's just to show that the Gifted keep a lot of information from the nonGifted and the Gifted, even stuff like their own time keeping system. But I’ve gotten some rather elaborate theories about what they are, which I found interesting :P Oh and 256 wasn’t lying, he really doesn’t know what they mean, he was just acting weirdly because he was conflicted about whether to look at his own file or not xD

        Lol, it’s funny the way people were about 805. Most people seemed to think he would go off gallivanting to look for Michelle instead of going back to the Council, but… Yeah, he wasn’t lying when he said he was going back :P And he decided not to look for her because reasons ;) Still, even with that in mind it is odd for them to promote them, since, as 256 said, their mission kind of failed and most people don't get promotions after failing things :P But the Council have their reasons for their decisions too. Anyway I’m glad the chapter turned out okay, I’m just annoyed I couldn’t finish it where I wanted and had to add the original end to the next one :/

        March 7, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 20 Reply

        Cazzo, now I can't read this story anymore. I just...I can't even. This is even sadder than The Killer :P I want to punch Janelle in the face for trusting that Caleb guy because gah, he's such a caleb! (That's a swear word now.) I think there's a fourth group of people other than Jazza and Co. and the Gifted, and the other worlders. That putain Caleb and his accomplices are among them and seek complete control of the island. That's why he tricked Janelle into thinking that she isn't good enough, and pretended that he left her directions to his place. So maybe he isn't evil or with the Gifted, but he could still try to prevent our young heroes from being the ones who overthrow the Gifted.

        [“We have about a two hundred rebels at the moment and our numbers are growing.]  

        [Did I make the right decision? I know I can’t be the leader anymore, but why do I feel so…

        She wiped the tears from her cheeks. I can’t change it now. I’ve made my decision, and… it’s for the best. I know that. The others, they’ll understand. Eventually.] I think this should be one whole paragraph.

        [“The rest of you, meet us in the backroom tomorrow morning,” said Caleb briskly, as though all forty of them still stood before him.] This is really picky, but he said "the rest of you" but as if the other half were still there?

        ["She sank to the floor, holding her head in her hands."] Ha! Your argument is invalid. We all know Janelle has two heads and one hand. Also, [Janelle sat down properly on the floor and wiped her eyes on his shirt, noting how it still smelt just like him.] "Smelt" means "to melt or fuse (ores) in order to separate the metallic constituents."

        [A few clothes spilled out of the small travel bag next to the wardrobe, while the shirt, pants, and underwear he was wearing the day before his death were still on the floor beside his bed.] *had been wearing

        [She opened her eyes slowly, blinking at the sunlight. It was shining through the window, high and bright.] Why would the sun be up high if Caleb said they were leaving "quite early"?

        [I can't believe I... Why am I being so cruel? He's only trying to help!] Personally that part would feel better without this line.

        [That’s a lie. I know why I trust him. He killed John, although I suppose that was probably a fake name. He must be on our side to have killed a Gifted like that. And John wasn’t just one of the Gifted – he was Reagan’s killer.] The words "killed" and "killer" made this part seem a bit repetitive.

        The phrase "in her heart" was used three times.

        However these are all minor errors, and Janelle's thoughts and emotions in this chapter were amazing, both realistic and original. I don't really want to punch her :P It's nice that we know why she feels the way she does, because she didn't want to leave Reagan and she trusted Caleb since he killed John. They also had a little it of variation from her previous thoughts in other chapters to keep it flowing and her conversation with Thomas was original too.

        I also liked your details, like with Janelle thinking about Caleb's face, and the rebels sitting both in chairs and on the table when they were waiting for Janelle to speak. Does looking up really help you hold back tears? Wow. I've learned so much by reading your stories xD

        Since Steven and possibly the others thought of Jaynelle as betraying them, I wonder if they're going to join the Gifted now to get revenge on her. If not, I wonder what else they do. It's cool because they could form their own group and save the main characters later, once we readers all forget about them. Or they could just be gone forever.

        It's interesting how Thomas asked Janelle if she was pregnant, and was like, "It will be hard without Reagan, but we can do something about that." Maybe he has a crush on Jaynelle, and was hoping to help raise Jaynelle's non-existent second child as a father. Haha, is Jaymas shipping a thing?

        Anyway, it was nice to see the atmosphere lift ever so slightly (again, after she talked to Thomas *cough*) when she smiled, and kept Reagan's shirt as a reminder of their undying love. Yeah, maybe coupling her with Thomas isn't a good idea xD It was, erm, cute how Reagan wrote her that note with a smiley face on it. It's always great to know their feelings for each other are true.

        It's funny, normally I wouldn't read a story with such emotion and romancey stuff in it. I applaud you for making me step out of my comfort zone :D

        March 7, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        No, that’s exactly what Janelle was doing with Reagan’s shirt. It was made from metal, and she was separating it into its components. And Reagan himself was made of metal, so when she said it smelt just like him she meant it separated into its metallic constituents just like he did. Duh. I thought that was obvious xD As for the thing with Janelle holding back tears by looking up, I’m not sure if it’s really that effective, but it’s something people (*cough* me) do to try and stop it. Anyway, thanks for pointing out all those dumb things I did xD

        I’ve never heard of someone shipping, erm, “Jamas/Thonelle” but it can be a shipping thing if you want it to be xD I mean, Reagan only died a couple of weeks ago in the story, so she’s not over him yet but eventually she’ll move on from him and go on with her life. Unless she dies too, of course… ;) But yeah, I honestly don’t plan ahead when I write romance (and if I do plan to include a romance, their relationship almost always ends up different from how I originally envisioned it) so anything’s possible, I guess. I’m sorry this story has been so romancey and emotional lately xD There should be more variation soon. The next chapter’s pretty plot-driven, I guess you could say.

        March 7, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 21 Reply

        "Wow." - Samantha, Chapter 21. Her reaction was really realistic. I would be surprised if I were here. But what I thought was surprising was how many Gifted there have been. Thinking about how there was one named 3349 and each name has been used about four times, either they've been around for a long time (don't remember if it's been mentioned) or many have died in the recent rebellions. Or both. I don't think it's because there's a lot of Gifted at the same time because it's a small island with smallish towns and plenty of forests. Also at one point it was mentioned that they spared 256 because they were starting to run out of members. Well, either way I feel like the Gifted are bound to collapse and that this won't be the climax. They do maintain order, so surely defeating them won't be the end, right? :P However anything can happen in your stories, so I look forward to seeing what happens next.

        [She reached down and unwound the bandages covering her hands, staring at the slightly pink, still scarred skin.] You spelled "She" wrong :)

        [I don’t want to think about just another thing that separates me further from my family. It makes me more like them instead.] Forgive my ignorance, but how does it make her more like them and why did her tone change? Or is she just trying to be optimistic?

        [Although she had been able to see the blue shape Reagan while he was invisible,]

        [It was a small office, with a desk and large piles of paper stacked on the surface and in the bookcase behind it.] There was a desk stacked on the small office and in the bookcase? Sorry, it's just a personal thing but this sentence seemed a bit weird to me.

        Eyes were mentioned 8 times and eyebrows 3 times. But looking at other stories I just realized how normal that is. Huh.

        It said that Carey had never seen 256's book before, but Thomas showed her in Chapter 17: Ideals and injuries. (Yes, I know the exact chapter because I'm such a fanboy xD) 

        I liked how fuzzy our view is of Carey's parents and what kind of people they are. It must be how Carey feels, if she thinks they would think of her differently. Sure, Caleb (ugh) said he didn't particularly love his kid anymore, but he never formed a connection with him like her parents did. It's sad how this is tearing everyone apart. It kind of reminds me of the American Civil War, but instead of slavery they're fighting over the abuse of Gifts. Maybe they'll form a new country with their own ruler and everything :P

        Though I don't mind the emotional parts from before it was great to have a more action-y and intense chapter. Normally 3,816 words would be a lot for one chapter but like the others it was easy to go through it all in one sitting. I really like the details, from the front gate looking scary to Carey scuffing her boots on the stone floor, and that awkward moment when Samantha found out that the Gifted's non-Gifted children are servants. 

        It's sad that 256 never found out the number of the town he was from. That's really why he wanted to go in the first place, right?. He must be too scared. At least he was able to be there without any problems. Hopefully this will have been a big step towards being completely comfortable with being a rebel.

        You did provide comic relief though so that's good. There were humorous undertones when they dressed up as ninjas (and never took off those clothes) and when that old lady cursed loudly. The latter isn't just funny 'cause she's old, but because the title of the story is Cursed. Hahaha, nice one. Also I pictured them to be inside Costco for some reason, when they were in the records room.

        It was surprising when 805 was revealed to have been added to the council. This seems like a stupid move on the Gifted's part since he had just failed a mission and isn't exactly one of the most loyal Gifted. Not to mention he's one of the Gifts of Earth. Unless he was just pretending to be that way and really befriended 256, and the others (near the end of the prequel) to spy on them. Maybe that's why he was chosen to watch 256 when they went on that mission to investigate and stop the rebellion, and why they didn't kill 256. Also, the dates on the folders they looked at in this chapter showed that most Gifted live half as long as him (he's about 40, right?) so he should be twice as experienced and thus well respected.

        So we're only on Chapter 21 but Gifted has twice that much so it looks like you aren't even half way. Heel ya! All the more we get to read! :D It's so exciting to think about all that will happen in the next half of the story. Honestly I can't wait. Actually, I can. I don't want this series to end xD

        March 16, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Lol, I completely forgot Thomas showed her the book xD Oops. I should stop trying to force my bad memory onto characters. Sorry for that, and for all the other mistakes I made. [I don’t want to think about just another thing that separates me further from my family. It makes me more like them instead.] for this bit, when she said them she was referring to the Gifted, sorry it’s unclear.

        And yes, the Gifted have been there for a long time :P There would actually be more than four generations of each number, they just keep those four generations. So when 256 “died” they would have thrown away the file of the 256 three generations before him in preparation for the new 256. As for how long they’ve been around, I’ll give you a hint: they didn’t start recording the years in this era with the birth of Jesus Christ.

        Yes, that was 256’s plan all along and that’s why he agreed to go to the Council in the first place because he knew he’d be able to find out the town he came from there. But, the records room will still be there if he changes his mind, so not all hope is lost… Unless they get caught or something :3

        As for 805’s new position, the Gifted do have a reason why they promoted him despite his failed mission and lack of loyalness (cos even though they don’t know about Thomas, Michelle, and Samantha, he’s still far too inclined to do his own thing :P). And he’s actually around 47/48, depending on what time of year he was born. The Gifted (and nonGifted as well, since they don’t have very advanced medicine) who didn’t die as infants would usually live to about their early to mid forties in times of peace, so he is still slightly older than average. The previous 256s were just an unlucky bunch who all seemed to die pretty young xD

        Anyway, there is still a lot more of this story to go. For one, Cursed will probably end up a bit longer than Gifted (hopefully not too much longer though, I don’t want it to surpass fifty chapters :P) and after that there’ll be at probably one, but maybe two more stories, so… Yeah, it’s gonna go on for a while xD

        March 16, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 22 Reply

        You've gotta be kidding me! What if she never sees Wesley again?? If Carey had stayed instead of going on the mission with Sam and 256...xD I knew it was Wesley as soon as you described him, but the way you kept his identity unsaid for a while made it more suspenseful. I really liked Jan's conversations with him and Thomas. The way Thomas made her talk to someone was, um, endearing (?) sure endearing and the awkwardness of her talking to Wesley made what they said all the more realistic and relatable.

        The way Carey and Co. were completely surrounded by Gifted made their part really suspenseful as well, not just because of 256 but because of the fact that they were visible and others were watching them. Also because wearing a Servant's outfit wouldn't change the fact that the Gifted could still sense Carey's and 256's Gifts. They're going to get caught soon, I just know it :P

        [256 looked away from her sat down, staring at the floor just like Samantha was.] "and"

        [although there was a couple of Fire Gifted among the group.]

        [A woman with shoulder length, wavy blonde hair sat opposite.]

        [She shrugged, sliding of her chair and edging away from him.]

        The details in this chapter were just as great as in the other ones, especially when it involves a character's reaction like Carey thinking about how the food wasn't fancy but better than the cheap grainy foods her family ate, and the way the Gifts of Earth were happy that one of their kind got into the Council.  It was also cool how you implied that it had been raining when Thomas was wet and cold, without having to say so (though you did to be clear). With these details you focus on one thing at a time with smooth transitions, making them all the better. 

        Another thing I admire is the little imperfections which also make the story more realistic, not to mention more interesting and the reader may, in a way, feel better about him- or herself :P From Wesley's dirty rag (and the dramatic irony of that scene overall) to what Carey and Sam thought/said: "Should I hug her?" / “I – I’m trying to say nice things, but horrible things keep coming out instead.” These last two examples also allow us to see deeper into the characters and understand that they actually care about each other. Awwww :P

        One of his deputies, eh? I think not, Marina. They seemed a bit too cuddly for my liking. Caleb shouldn't be focused on romantic interests when in charge of a rebellion. Yeah, Janelle can get away with it but he can't because he's a pendejo. But that bartender, what was he thinking? It makes me wonder if he's going to do something  bad. The way he excused Janelle though xD Your humor is the same as it has been: enjoyable but it's more indirect, not the kind where we feel forced to laugh at it, which I find to be quite refreshing even if- no, especially if it is a little silly a times. 

        So the other world people/aliens are supplying the rebels, eh? I wonder if Hahana and Maui know about this. My guess is that they don't since they were all proud about visiting the Gifted island to earn the respect of their king. But it didn't say that they are from the same country as the ones who had dealings with the rebels, right? There could be some sort of World War or something if too many people get involved. That would be interesting. Then the Gifted might become good guys.

         

        Sorry if I missed something. As always let me know if you have any questions.

        March 26, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Haha, I thought most people would figure out it was him right away, so I thought there wasn’t much point dragging it out too long xD It is a bit unfortunate timing for Carey, though :P As for the Gifted possibly sensing them, they might, but there are so many people in the Council with Gifts that they wouldn’t really be able to pick 256 and Carey out of a crowd. But if they were face to face, then they might notice :P

        Anyway, thanks for pointing out all my mistakes xD I’m glad the humour is okay. Usually I just make the characters do random things that I find funny, but I’m not sure if the rest of the human race does xD And hey, don’t discriminate against pendejos. They have rights. They can have romantic interests if they want to :P

        I do have one question: Do you think the title of this chapter is too silly? xD I was thinking of a name for it and that just popped into my head and made me laugh for like five minutes, so I decided to just go with it. But I don’t want it to ruin the mood or something.

        March 26, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        I don't think there was anything wrong with the title, hahaha. It definitely piques the reader's interest though, making us wonder who's stalking and who's talking. Of if it's like a Christmas stalking and they're talking about it.

        You don't know what a pendejo is, do you? If not it just made what you said all the better xD Well thanks for your advice, I'll try not to discriminate. 

        March 26, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Yes, I do know what a pendejo is. I found out through the power of google :P Anyway, thanks for answering! I’m glad the title is okay.

        March 26, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 22 Reply

        This comment is being sent from my phone since I have no internet at home right now. I'm saying just in case autocorrect decides it wants to screw with me (and it usually does) and change Council into Chihuahua at least you won't think I've lost my mind :P I was so sure Carey, Sam, and 256 were going to be caught. The tension when they're sneaking around and hiding in plain sight was great, but lightened just enough by moments of humor like Carey wondering if she should hug Sam or a gem like "I keep trying to say nice things, but horrible things keep coming out instead."xD Hmm, with the way Sam's been acting, I'm curious if she would have returned the hug or punched Carey in the face :P I'm really worried about 805 now :( I hope he's okay and the Council aren't doing awful things to him. Although, he does seem to have the admiration of his fellow Gifts of Earth, so that's something. Lol, once again I'm reminded of Harry Potter. I kept imagining the Great Hall during that whole scene :P  

        Well, Marina and Caleb sure seem cozy together, don't they? I'm scared and not for the usual reasons. She's the first new person in a while that haven't just instantaneously gotten a bad/suspicious feeling about. That, oddly, makes me even more suspicious of her :P I clearly have trust issues. Hmm, so the Other Worlds and Caleb's rebels have an agreement? That, too, makes me uncomfortable. They're sending weapons in exchange for what? Which Other World country is their agreement with? Ooooooh, maybe Caleb's group is allied with Tarantis and they want help with their invasion of Zeia or something?

        Wesley's back! :D I thought it was him based on his description, but I wasn't sure. Darn, Carey's still got the worst timing of anyone ever. She was so close to a reunion. It's nice to see him again. I'm glad he doesn't trust Caleb's group either. Lol "They're too rebellious" xD I liked Wesley's conversation with Janelle. It was awkward between them, but it was nice to see Janelle getting to know someone new. I wonder if she'll have any more luck figuring out that relationship than 256 had with Sam/805 :P Anyway, a good chapter that left me anxious and excited for more. I can't wait for Carey, Sam, and 256 to meet up with 805 and see how that goes.

        March 26, 2015 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! I didn’t see any Chihuahuas :P Personally I think Samantha would’ve hugged her back. Now, she might have punched her after, but Carey would’ve been safe initially at least :P As for 805, what do you mean you’re worried? He’s his usual happy, healthy self ;) It’s funny you should say that about the Great Hall cos that’s pretty much exactly what I pictured too. Originally there were going to be four tables (one for each Gift) instead of six, and then the Council would have their own table like the teachers did in HP. But I realised I was channeling the Great Hall so I changed it xD I should just rename the building Hogwarts, shouldn't I?

        Hmm, they do seem a bit cozy :P Lol, maybe you do have trust issues. Or maybe you’re completely right to distrust her ;) As for which Other World they’re working with and what they want, that won’t be clear for a while. Probably. I actually haven’t decided when I’ll reveal it yet xD

        And yes, Wesley’s finally back, and this time it’ll be for more than one chapter. I’m happy cos I’ve been looking forward to reintroducing him for ages (and 805 as well) and it was originally supposed to be much sooner, but I kept writing too much and having to split chapters up so it took me way longer than I thought it would to reach this point xD Well, Samantha and 805 look more alike than Carey and Wesley do, so I don’t think Janelle’s got much hope, unless he says something that clues her in :P Although to be fair, 256 is far more clueless than Janelle is so perhaps she'll be able to figure it out.

        March 26, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 23 Reply

        Janelle is starting to respect Caleb because he lost a child as well? Huh. I wonder if there's going to be some sort of Calelle/Janeb shipping going on here when she gets over Reagan xD Who knows, he might be trying to get Janelle to take her place back as leader of all their rebels, since he was asking her to be a deputy. I mean, he and his people are starting to seem like they aren't so bad after all. They're at an inn but everybody's drinking water so they must have self control. I'll still be keeping my eye on him though.

        The emotions in this chapter were as great as usual, but I feel like they could be even better with more solid transitions. For example: [What am I thinking? Of course she’ll be angry. This isn’t just my rebel group, and yet I threw it away. She’ll be furious. She went all the way to the Council even though it scared her, and I gave up so easily. But I can’t change it now. I made my choice and I have to live it.] This may be just the way I read it, but it's harder to believe her. Also this dialogue: [Janelle raised her eyebrows in surprise. “How did your parents meet then? Sorry, I shouldn’t ask that.”] and here: [This place is… It’s not happy. I was never truly happy here, even when I had 440 and 913. ¶ Still, there were moments when he missed his old life. Watching them all there in the dining hall, together… Sometimes he missed that feeling of unity.] However I really liked the transition at the end of Janelle's half, when she went from thinking about Caleb to thinking about herself, which in turn all neatly tied in to her inner dialogue at the beginning.

        [Wesley mumbled under his breath, looked away again. Janelle could tell he was dying to know more, but he resisted until Thomas left about ten minutes later to visit their rebel group after failing to persuade Janelle to join him.] What were they talking about in those ten minutes? Was Tom trying to convince her the whole time, with Wesley sitting doing nothing? :P

        [“Okay,” Janelle said as she strode off to talk to the next group. Caleb stepped forward, clearing his throat.] Excuse my ignorance, but I thought Janelle was the one striding off xD

        Where they still invisible in the garden? Sorry if this is a silly question; I was just confused since though Carey still had her hands on theirs Sam was getting mad at 256 for peeking over the bush.

        [The walls were a startling white, matching the couch they sat on and the wood the desk in front of them.]

        That ending though! That was definitely the best part. 805's gonna have to make a really hard decision to make, just like the other characters (all the decisions made in this story is one of the things that makes it so riveting) and 256 preparing to talk to him was very well-written. I honestly had no idea what to expect. Also, was it supposed to be a little amusing, especially with the last line? If not I feel bad for laughing haha. I probably shouldn't because there might be some tension between Sam and her dad. Hopefully they can control their emotions.

        It was nice to get some more information here, like the intra-village trading, Caleb's scars, and the Gifted exams, to keep it fresh. The way you forced us to sympathize with Caleb was just...ugh. It certainly made things more complicated :P

        I doubt 805 would be willing to leave, even though he told 256 it's not worth it to stay. I assume he might make them some diamond objects though. It'll be interesting to see the effect will be of him and Sam being together locked in the same room.

        Jan still hasn't recognized Wesley! That probably doesn't make much of a difference though, now that I think about it. What matters is that she has more or less come to terms with her having stepped down as rebel leader. It looks like she'll do the same with Reagan, eventually. That dream was really sad - having placed it at the very beginning made it easy to feel the realism - but she seems to be getting better and is content with talking with Wesley and Thomas. I'm so happy for her! :P

        Those were some pretty cliff-hangery endings. I can't wait to see how the plot evolves further, since they've finally found 805 and the rebels are leaving the inn. It'll be interesting to see what Caleb's base is like. Somehow I doubt it's a brothel :P Hopefully you have found this comment helpful, and as always let me know if you have any questions.

        April 9, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Sorry for all the mistakes in this chapter. I stayed up til like 2 a.m. to finish this (which I almost never do, cos I need my sleep or I get really grumpy) and my editing definitely suffered as a result. Or maybe I’m just making excuses for myself :P Anyway, they weren’t invisible while in the garden, but Carey kept holding their hands in case somebody came along and she had to turn them invisible again quickly. I meant to mention that, but I must have forgotten to add it in, sorry xD

        I’m glad that Caleb and the rebels are perhaps not appearing to be quite so evil. Although, I think it’s rather standard behaviour to drink water instead of alcohol in the morning so I’m not sure if that’s really an indication of their goodness :P And rumours are rumours, so perhaps the story Wesley told wasn’t even true, or only part of it is. Hahahaha, Janeb/Calelle xD Somebody told me they shipped Weselle/Janley, so you can add him her growing harem as well as Caleb and Thomas.

        I think you’re being a bit optimistic saying there “might be” some tension between 805 and Sam. After all, they didn’t exactly part on the best of terms :P Anyway, it was supposed to be indirectly funny so you don’t have to feel bad for laughing.

        April 9, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 23 Reply

        This chapter succeeded in making me both extremely happy and quite sad at the same time. You're really good at doing that :P The beginning with Janelle dreaming about Reagan was heartbreaking. I felt awful for her the whole time :( Despite all that, though, she does seem to be improving somewhat. She's made a new friend in Wesley, which will definitely be good for her and she's at least acknowledging that she needs to put Reagan's shirt away and move on. She may not have done it yet, but it's a step in the right direction so I was glad to see that.

        I'm glad that Janelle still isn't completely trusting her new companions. She didn't even tell Wesley that Thomas was Gifted, which is a good call. Of course, she is blindly following these people without knowing where she's going :P Still, one out of two isn't bad. Even so, I still can't figure out whether or not I want to trust Caleb and his rebels or not. Wesley's with them, but he doesn't trust them. I'm suspicious of Marina, but she doesn't seem like a bad person. Even Caleb I don't think is a terrible human being, I still just think he's the type of person that will do unspeakable things to accomplish his goals. I feel like he won't be satisfied until he's wiped the Gifted out completely and if Wesley's story turns out to be true, then that makes me believe it even more. That said, I couldn't blame him for feeling that way if all of that happened to him and honestly, I sympathize with him if it's true. That's really terrible and sadly, I believe it. It sounds like something the Gifted would do, so yeah I can see it.

        This business about Janelle becoming Caleb's deputy... hmm, honestly I think she should do it. I'm not sure of Caleb's reasoning, but I think it might be good for her. She clearly regrets her decision to step down, so maybe if she took on a leadership role in Caleb's group it would help her. And hopefully it will put her in a good place to keep an eye on Caleb for potential evilness :P

        Please excuse me while I take a moment to let the fangirl in me celebrate the return of 805. *Ahem* Squeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! xD Now that's out of the way, I thought the entire run up to 805 and 256 reuniting was extremely tense and exciting. Especially when 256 walked up to 805 during training,. I thought maybe 805 had been brainwashed and he was going to start yelling that they had been infiltrated or something. I'm glad to see I was wrong. I'm not sure he'll be willing to just drop everything and come along with them, but if he doesn't go I hope he and Sam get a chance to talk. They really need to after everything that's happened. Anyway, I'm really anxious, nervous, and excited to see what Janelle decides to do, and how 805 responds to seeing Sam and being asked essentially join the rebellion. I'm suddenly getting a really strong feeling something bad is about to happen.

         

        April 10, 2015 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Heheh I try my best xD Conflicting emotions for the win. Anyway, Janelle is beginning to accept Reagan’s death and move past it as she makes new friends and gets on with her life, but it will be a while before she’s ready to let the shirt go, I suppose you could say :P

        Well, Thomas’s Gift isn’t really her secret to tell, so even if she did trust them completely she probably wouldn’t tell Wesley and Co. about it. Most of her own group doesn’t even know about it, since some of them would have more prejudice against the Gifted than others and wouldn’t care if he was actually raised with the rest of them or not. So Thomas doesn’t really go around broadcasting it to the world :P

        As for Wesley’s story, most of it is true, but there’s one part of it that isn’t. I’m not really sure when I will reveal the true story, but it probably won’t be that long. It’s not a major secret or anything, I just figured Caleb wouldn’t blab about it to everyone so all they have to go on is rumours and word of mouth, so they wouldn’t get the whole story correct xD

        Lol, I don’t think 805 would quite know what to make of someone fangirling over him xD Still, I’ve missed him too. I’m happy because both he and Wesley are back in the story now. Took me long enough to get to this point xD Anyway, 805 is definitely going to take a lot of convincing if they want him to help them. I mean, theoretically he's at the best place he could be. He has power, respect from his fellow Gifts of Earth... Or does he? ;) Anyway, I don’t think Sam is really that interested in talking at the moment. She just wants to yell :P

        April 11, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 24 Reply

        “No matter how mad she is and how many people she has to kill to do it, she wouldn’t leave us alone in here.” -That's Sam for you! :P

        I really enjoyed the way the characters interacted in this chapter, mainly in the second half. The personalities of the characters matched well with their actions, but what they did wasn't expected. Especially when Carey was digging through 805's cabinets. That was like, what? xD I wonder what was in the cupboard...And in his flask. He said in Gifted that it was just water, but from its color it's either apple juice or alcohol. Or he's a demigod and was drinking nectar.

        [Her arm twitched a few times, like she was fighting the urge to punch him.] I think the last part was unneeded, and that part would be more dramatic without it.

        [There were some differences between them, such as their skin tones, gender and age, but even so it was difficult to deny they were closely related.] This is really picky, but would these features make it harder to see they're related anyway?

        [“Um…” 256 began, trying to ignore Carey as shook her head vigorously at him.]

        [Samantha said nothing, clenching her fists in a way that made 256 unsure if she was angry at him for getting it wrong or right.

        [“We need to show us where the library is,” she declared.] *you

        [And there’s people like you that care about him on the other side.”]

        When describing the golden knobs, you can just say "knobs" instead of "golden knobs" every time, to be less repetitive.

        [The water stopped flowing and he carried the now full pot back to the fire.]
        [and as if to demonstrate he picked up the plate and pushed all the ingredients into the pot of now boiling water.]

        [In one swift movement she pulled 805’s quilt of his bed]

        But like I said, you did a really good job with the character development in this chapter. The differences between Carey and 256 were well conveyed in the end, and when she was holding his hand instead of trying to stop Sam and 805 from arguing. She seems like a "che sarà, sarà" kind of person, more in the present than 256. But she still admires 256's outlook on life and, as revealed in Chapter 13, blames herself for not being more like him. But then 256 feels the same way about her. I've got the feeling that what they do and how will change in the future due to the influence they sort of have on each other.

        It's still funny how awkward they are (in a relatable way). It makes the story a lot more realistic. I'm glad he didn't get in the bed with her, because there's too many sex scenes in this story- one too many. I mean, the word sex rhymes with "six" and has three letters. 6×3=666. ILLUMINATI CONFIRMED. Why are there so many illuminati references in this story??

        Anyway, though I've been focused on Carey and her little boyfriend 805's a cool character too. He's just as complex as he's always been if not more. He really makes you think and his actions are reasonable but unpredictable. It was really funny when he created so much tension when 256 was watching him cook xD

        I wonder how they're going to get him to join them, if at all. Also Hahana's and Maui's reactions when they found out that he won't be going with them to their home country. I almost feel sorry for them, since it's as if the others were just using them for information. 256  seems to be the only one who really thinks about their side of the deal.

        May 3, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Lol, it’s funny you should mention sex and six rhyming… You’re not secretly a Kiwi*, are you? I’m suspicious…

        “Carey’s little boyfriend” Ouch. That’s a bit mean :P Short people have feelings too. Not that I’d know, of course, since I’m freakishly tall xD

        I do have a few questions, firstly, do you think my chapters are getting too long? Secondly, what do you think of Sam’s actions in this chapter, and the ones leading up to it? Is she still likeable even though she’s been acting rather witchy?

        *Kiwi is Australian for a New Zealander :P

        May 4, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        Secretly a Kiwi? xD 

        To be honest, personally, the chapter size doesn't make much of a difference. Though I usually have trouble reading large chapters like this one it was just as easy to get through as the other ones. It does feel like you're building up tension though, the way each chapter is longer than the previous one.

        Sam is not likeable and shouldn't be. I hope she dies or something...

        Just kidding. No, it's nice to have a characters like Sam and her dad who are "good guys" but hard to like or do what the reader doesn't want them to do. That's life, you know? She's a great character and makes the story even more three-dimensional. 

        May 4, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Yep, you’re secretly a Kiwi. You see, they sound like they’re saying sex when they say six (something that we regularly make fun of them with) so I am very suspicious now :P

        Anyway, thanks for answering my questions. I’m glad the long chapters are okay. I keep trying to limit myself but they keep getting longer and longer xD And I’m happy Sam’s still likeable. I was worried I’d gone too far.

        May 5, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 24 Reply

        I’m finding myself unable to think about anything else other than what 805 is hiding in his kitchen cabinets right now :P That was a surprising thing that I wasn’t expecting. What could he be hiding that he definitely doesn’t want Carey (and I assume anyone else) finding? Clearly not dead bodies, but he’s hiding something. I fully expected 805 to refuse to help them. I think he can be convinced, at least to help them find the library, but there's no doubt it won't be easy. He's very set in his ways, I think, and he is loyal to the Gifted even if he doesn't always agree with their methods. I can't imagine him actively working against his own people without something major happening to change his mind. It was interesting and really sad to see 805's thoughts on his family. He can say he never cared, but I don't buy that for a second.

        So, the Gifted have sinks and running water then? Very interesting. An invention of their own, or could it be something given to them by the Other World they're working with? 256's reaction to it was really funny xD I imagine a sink would be a nightmare for him. Oh, 805... he needs to take a cooking class if he's going to keep making his own meals. I wonder why he dismissed his Servant?

        Now, let’s talk about Sam. Sam, girl, you know I love you but you’ve got to relax. You’re stuck in the middle of the enemy’s headquarters on a secret mission. You can’t behave this way right now. Once you’ve finished what you came for and you’re safely out of enemy territory, then you can rage as much as you want. Honestly, I can’t even say I think her behavior is unwarranted. She’s ticked off and rightfully so. She’s just choosing a really terrible time to deal with it. Running off like that all by herself is extremely irresponsible. Still, her reaction is completely understandable and definitely believable. As someone who cares about these characters, it’s hard to see her behaving as she is, but it definitely makes her feel more human and relatable. She’s face to face with the man who abandoned her and her mom. It would be tough for anyone to ignore that. I just hope she doesn’t end up putting her friends’ lives at risk because she’s mad. Lol “No matter how mad she is and how many people she has to kill to do it, she wouldn’t leave us alone in here.” Very true, that. Oh Sam, never stop being you xD

        I enjoyed the bit with Carey and 256 there at the end too. I liked the twist from what was shaping up to be an awkward ‘sharing the bed’ scene to both of them sleeping on the floor instead. It was also, as they discussed, a nice callback to a time a long while ago when they weren’t quite so fond of each other xD Those two are still really awkward around each other, but it’s absolutely adorable. Anyway, overall a really good chapter here. I’m anxious but excited to see if they can convince 805 to come with them, or at least help them get into the library.

        May 5, 2015 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Lol, honestly what 805’s got in his kitchen cabinets really isn’t that exciting xD As for his parents, he is definitely stretching the truth when he says he never cared, but the way he thought of them when he was a child is very different to the way 256 feels about his. It’s partly because even though they were both raised in the Council, 805 never had anyone like 440 and 913, and he was a prodigy while 256 was the pass by the skin of his teeth sort :P But there is one, specific reason why 805 resented his parents, but it’s not something he likes to talk about so I don’t know if it will ever be revealed in the story. Lol, somehow I don’t think the Council really hosts cooking classes for the Gifted xD Besides, 805 would never see the need to go to one, because he likes his food even if no one else does :P

        Sam… Yeah, she’s definitely not making the best decisions right now :/ Still, it would definitely be very difficult for her to ignore it and treat him normally until they get to a more appropriate location. She’s built him up as a demon in her head and it’s difficult for her to let go of that, even a little bit. Heheh, that’s true, it would have been a little typical if they’d had the awkward “there is only one bed, now we have to share” moment :P I didn’t really think of that, tbh. Anyway, thanks for the comment! :)

        May 6, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 25 Reply

        I feel I should apologize in advance in case this comment makes absolutely no sense. It is currently some ungodly hour and I'm sitting in a rather rowdy club my friends dragged me to, typing this on my phone, so... yeah xD I'm hoping for the best, but expecting the worst :P

        I was happy to see Sam came to her senses and came back. I was sure she was going to get in some sort of trouble while she was out, so I'm glad she didn't. It was still very silly of her and I was glad to see Carey stand up to her about her attitude. Someone certainly needed to, because she's getting a little out of control. I still think she's got ever reason to be ticked off, but finish the mission first, Sam. If you want to bludgeon someone after that, fine :P

        Watching Carey fret over how to explain nicknames and just names in general was really funny xD It would be pretty tough to explain how names work to someone used to numbers. It's actually an interesting idea. If we used numbers, I wouldn't have 6 different Jennifer's in my phone :P

        So, it was booze he's keeping in his cabinet then. Well, that's much less troublesome than the decapitated heads of his victims or something :P I'm still worried about him, though. He's clearly under a lot of stress and turning to the hooch isn't necessarily the best idea. Meanwhile, 805 is definitely a stubborn man. Not that I can blame him, of course. If someone came and asked me help them overthrow my government I'd be pretty hesitant too. That was an interesting tactic Sam employed to try to get him to help. I'm really worried about the consequences of that, but there's no way it'll be good when 805 finds out the truth.  

        It was interesting to get some backstory on Caleb's group. I didn't expect them to have been together for so long, so that was pretty surprising. I'm honestly shocked they've managed to survive that long, considering how powerful the Gifted are. As long as they aren't up to anything nefarious, I guess that's a good thing xD They must be a group of experienced survivors if they've lasted that long. It was nice to see where Caleb's group has been holding up as well. Like Janelle, I was expecting another sanctuary of some sort not a separate island. The description of their island reminded of Dragonstone :P

        One thing that continues to disturb me (in a good way) is how I keep growing to like Caleb's group and distrust them less and less. I blame little Alice for weakening my resolve xD I mean, they've got kids now. Well, at least one. Just having a kid in your group makes you automatically less intimidating in my mind :P Thomas makes a good point, though. Caleb sounds like someone who would have a hard time seeing that just being Gifted don't make someone an evil lecherous hump. That makes me very nervous for 256, Carey, and Thomas. I really have no idea how Caleb's group would react to learning about them, but I can't see them being particularly welcoming. I still think Janelle should take Caleb up on his offer of becoming his deputy. She has good leadership skills and it would be a good place for her to put them to use. And maybe she could help them see that not all Gifted are bad.

        I can't even guess what could have upset Alice so much. I'm guessing it's whatever Marina had to tell her before, but I don't know what it could be. Whatever it is, I hope she'll be okay :( She seems really sweet. Anyway, I'll stop my sleepy rambling here :P I liked pretty much everything about this chapter, and I nervously await the next one because I still can't shake the feeling I had before that something really horrible is coming soon.     

        June 27, 2015 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Haha, see I told you what was in 805's cabinet wasn’t very interesting, at least, it was nothing people didn’t know before xD Although who knows, perhaps 805 keeps his decapitated heads in the drawers of his bedside table. By the way, hooch is now my new favourite word. I feel sorry for blasphemy. But it served me well :P Anyway, Sam was definitely deserving of Carey’s wrath. She does have a good reason to be upset, but she shouldn’t let it get in the way of their mission the way she has been.

        As for Caleb’s group surviving so long, well… To be honest very few people in the original group formed twelve years ago are still alive :/ I cut most of the explanation out, but originally Marina was going to mention this in more detail and I’ll definitely add it to a later chapter, but when she says their allies kept getting killed she means their group has been wiped out save a small number numerous times over the twelve years. So the current group of people has only really been around for a bit longer than when they found the small island, since they’ve learned to stay undercover rather than challenge the Gifted directly. It’s only recently that they actually started moving into the open again. Lol, Dragonstone xD I never thought of that when I was writing it, but perhaps there was some unconscious stuff going on. Still, I think I'll call it that to myself now, to help distinguish it from the other island xD

        I must admit I enjoyed writing about Alice and remembering back to my thirteen year old days :P Anyway, I’m glad her presence means Caleb’s rebels aren’t all bad xD As for what she’s upset about… Well, let’s just say that probably won’t be revealed for a while.

        June 28, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 26 Reply

        Sorry I didn't get around to commenting on this over the weekend. It was Independence Day and I ended up being way busier than I thought I would be... and I just realized I never said I was going to comment over the weekend, I just meant to do so :P I really shouldn't talk to people when I'm sleepy. Anyway, I really liked Carey and Sam's conversation. My sister wakes me up just like that all the time, so I feel Sam's pain xD I liked seeing Sam and Carey's thoughts on Reagan and Caleb too. I'm not remotely surprised Sam doesn't trust Caleb, although Carey does make an excellent point that if Reagan really was a Gifted spy, you'd think they'd have some sort of security measures around their headquarters to detect people with that Gift. Sure, they're arrogant, but could they really be that arrogant? Carey's comments that Reagan could have been spying for someone else (perhaps a rogue group of Gifted?) is really interesting as well. You're going to have me theory crafting all week with this xD

        I'm going to have to petition for more awkward Sam/Carey hugs :P I was really happy to see Sam apologizing for her general douchebaggy attitude recently. I knew she'd come around eventually, but I'm really glad it happened now. And it came with a cute hug, so I'm content :P I was also glad that Carey finally told someone else about what's going on with her powers. She's needed to do that for a while now, but I'm not sure she's going to feel much better until she tells 256 about 440. He deserves to know and Carey's clearly disturbed about it. Carey's right, after all, one too many secrets she's keeping.

        Marvin :( Now I'm sad. I really miss him. I still can't figure out who the Gift of Water was. Ooooh, maybe it was someone from Reagan's rogue group? Or maybe Reagan himself and he temporarily had two Gifts like Carey? Hmm... I don't know :P It was interesting to get more back story on 805 and Michelle. Poor 805 :( I feel really bad for him. I get the feeling, and I'm not sure why, that he didn't tell her he loved her when she asked him to. He's got a lot of regret in him. If Sam tells him Michelle's dead... :(

        Aww, 256, you're not lame. You just need a bit more self-confidence. You'll be fine, just get in there next time xD 256 does make an interesting point though; how would he know what love is? He's never gotten to experience, well, anything really. That would have to be really confusing for the poor guy to suddenly start getting put into situations and feeling things he doesn't understand. Anyway, overall a really good chapter and I'm really excited to see what happens next. I'm really starting to feel like you're lulling me into a false sense of security :P I've still got that bad feeling, but with each passing chapter nothing terrible happens. Not that I'm upset that nothing bad has happened, I'm just really nervous.  

        July 6, 2015 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Heheh, well I have the same problem often so I can’t blame you xD I always plan to read stories then something else comes up and I have to leave it for another day. Lol, my sister often wakes me up like that too sometimes so I was writing from personal experience xD Unfortunately, I’m very cranky when woken up from sleep so I usually have a few choice words for her :P Anyway, Carey and Samantha’s discussion of Reagan and his alliances was probably the most important bit of this chapter. It hasn’t really been touched upon much since he died, but there is a lot that doesn’t make sense about the current explanation of his situation.

        Haha, well I’m not sure when I’ll be able to work in more hugs but I’ll try xD I’m glad I managed to redeem Samantha a bit in this chapter. That was really my main aim for it, to be honest. I rewrote that part many times because I felt it was really important to get it right. Anyway, it definitely is good for Carey to tell someone about her problems with her Gift, but as you say she really does need to bite the bullet and tell 256 about 440. Otherwise her guilt is only going to worsen, and the chance of him having an adverse reaction increases the longer she keeps it a secret. Let’s be honest, Carey’s got a talent at digging herself into holes :/

        As for 805, more about his current situation will be revealed soon so keep feeling sorry for him xD Overall he does believe he’s made the right choices in his life, but there definitely a lot of things he regrets despite that. Michelle's a good example of that, because although he knows his choice to leave her was the right thing to do and staying with her was an impossibility, he still can't help but wish he could've stayed and had a longer and more open (as in not secret, not the other thing :P) relationship with her. As for 256, he really doesn’t have a clue about a lot of things. A normal life is not something he’s familiar with in any way, and he really doesn’t know if his feelings equal love, or how to have a relationship with someone even if they do.

        July 7, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 27 Reply

        I'll have to ask you to excuse me if I'm not my usual chipper self today. I've just finished playing through episode 5 of the Game of Thrones game from Telltale and fittingly, I am extremely upset and depressed now :P Anyway, it was really interesting to get a glimpse of Wesley's journey so far. Given how long it's been since Carey was taken away, he must have had quite the adventure to get where he is now. It was nice to see how he came to join Caleb's group and get a lot of insight into his motivations. They're a lot alike, Wesley and Janelle. Neither of them really wants to fight, they just want their loved ones back. The image of Wesley's parents asking him to bring Carey back is really powerful and the whole time I was saying to myself; "Just say Carey's name, Wesley. Just say it once. C'mon man! That's all you need to do." :P But alas it wasn't meant to be. Its interesting, but Wesley's only appeared in a small smattering of chapters and yet now I want to see him complete his quest and find his sister with the same passion I want to see all the other characters succeed. I really do like him, which knowing my luck means he's destined to die soon :P I always fall in love with the doomed characters no matter what it is I'm reading/watching xD I'm also quite curious about Wesley's mission that went bad. Could it have been the one where he ran into 256 or something else? Hmm... curious indeed.

        Aww, Alice :( Poor kid. A hidden rebel base is hardly a place for a little girl, with no one her age around for her to talk to. I feel really bad for her. I still can't imagine what could have happened to upset her so much, but whatever it is I hope she'll be okay. Hmm, well isn't Caleb suddenly all kind and compassionate :P He's just a big teddy bear deep down, isn't he? No? Yeah, probably not. Still, he seems to have some positive qualities so that's good. Noooo... too many more moments like that and I'll start warming to him. I won't let down my guard, I say! I will not do it :P Hehe, 'Daleb' xD Nice cover, Alice. Very well done :P Although she was crying, so I suppose she could have just been congested and having a hard time pronouncing her words :P I'm really glad Janelle agreed to be Caleb's deputy. She needs to be in a leadership role, it's where she belongs and I'm happy to see her taking this on.

        Poor Sam. No one will ever let her sleep :P Hmm, maybe that's why she's been so grumpy lately. I was so sure the Leader was going to catch them when they ran into her in the corridor. I got a very strong Dumbledore-can-see-through-invisibility-cloaks feeling during that scene and I just knew she was going to see them. You really made her feel terrifying and I would hate to meet her... well, anywhere actually.

        Well, I see what you meant by keep feeling bad for 805 :( I feel really horrible for him. He's just being used and while Sam's idea to complain isn't the best plan ever, something has to be done. I've no idea what he could do or how they'll ever find a peaceful balance between the Gifted and nonGifted, but 256 is very right. Something has to change. Hopefully they'll find something they can use in the library, now that 805 has agreed to help them. Now, 256's book :/ That makes me very nervous. Sure, 805 could have knocked it off, but if someone was snooping around the room... Yeah, I'm going to be very worried until the next chapter.

        July 21, 2015 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Lol, anything to do with Game of Thrones is reason enough to be depressed xD Aside from Samantha he’s the other one I seriously considered making a POV character for this book, but I rejected the idea pretty quickly because otherwise Caleb and Co. would have had to appear much earlier xD Haha, I almost did have him mention Carey’s name in this chapter, but then I decided to save it for later. I felt like he might hold onto her name for a while instead of telling her everything at once. Anyway, I’m glad that the image of his parents was powerful. I wanted to show that despite Carey’s worries her parents still love her and want to see her come home safely, Gift or no.

        Yeah, a rebel hideout isn’t really the place for a kid :/ Sadly for Alice it’s been like that for pretty much her whole life, even before they found the island. The sanctuaries in general aren’t very good places to raise children (unless the parents are the owners, work there, etc, and even then it’s not ideal), but in Alice’s case… Well, that’s another chapter xD As for Caleb, nah somehow I wouldn’t say teddy bear xD But, he can be compassionate and kind sometimes :P  There are a number of people he truly cares about and he does feel compassion for them in his own, deadpan way. And they’re used to the way he is so they know he means it. Psssh, what are you talking about covering? Alice wasn’t covering aaaanything, I swear. Everyone knows all that congestion from crying turns C’s into D’s ;)

        Lol, Carey’s quest in life is to make sure Sam never gets a good night’s sleep :P Forget overthrowing the Gifted or going home, that’s her true goal. Anyway, I’m glad the Leader seems intimidating xD I can’t really say much about her, to be honest. She’ll be very important in next few chapters ;) As for 805, he’s really not in the best position at the moment. He’s being used and is very well aware of it, but really there is nothing he can do to make the situation better – at least, not by himself. 

        July 22, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 28 Reply

        Going in, I wasn't expecting to get nearly as many answers and I got. A lot of things I've been wondering about were revealed in this chapter, but of course now I've got more questions, but I'm still happy xD It was really nice to get so much backstory about Caleb and his group. Marina's story went from sweet and touching to sad and heartbreaking. Getting a taste of a younger, gentler Caleb caring for a girl and her mother was really nice and everything he's done to protect Marina and Alice... geez, I'm actually starting to really like this guy :P Terrifying as I find that prospect, seeing Caleb's history and everything he and his family have been through is definitely warming me toward him.

        Then there's Ben's story of Henry going rogue and slaughtering the Gifted. I was really excited to get the details of all of that because that was a big thing keeping me from trusting this new group, so to learn about Henry makes it much easier for me to trust Caleb's group. Speaking of Ben, I instantly liked him. I don't know what it is about him, but he seems like a straightforward, down to Earth kind of guy. Probably means he's evil/going to die soon, but that's beside the point :P It was also really interesting to learn about the black market in the Council and that Caleb's group has spies there. I guess Carey, Sam, and 256 aren't completely alone even if they don't know it.

        Gah, Tarantis! Really? I mean, really? The instant, I mean the absolute second I start trusting Caleb and his group, I find out they're being supplied by the bad Otherworlders. I even agreed with Caleb when he said that they're at war and people are going to have to die if they're going to win. Now I'm really worried. I'd bet dollars to donuts Janelle is right and Victor is from Tarantis and is working to achieve whatever evils it is they intend. Assuming they're evil at all and Hahana and Maui are telling the truth. For all I know they could be the bad ones and Tarantis is a perfect pleasant country. I really have no idea who to trust or what to think at this point xD No matter who's good or bad, whenever everyone comes back together again it should make for one heck of a reunion, that's for sure. Oooh, but Thomas is mysteriously absent! He was last seen with Victor and... oh crap, now I'm really scared for him.

        I'm glad Janelle seems to have gotten her groove back a little bit now that she's in a leadership role again. This mission she's going on with Ben should be exciting and a good way for her to gain more leadership experience and get some good confidence in herself. Anyway, you've left me excited, worried, and very scared since I don't think I can trust anyone anymore. I really did enjoy this chapter and I'm excited to see what happens next since I still can't shake that bad feeling I've been having for a while now. I just know the second that feeling starts to go away and I let my guard down there will be some sort of horrible massacre and my vulnerable heart will be shattered :P

        August 13, 2015 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment!  See, Caleb’s not that bad xD I enjoyed writing about his and Marina’s backstory in this chapter. Caleb may not be the best at expressing compassion but he deeply cares for Marina and Alice and they love him a lot too.

        As for Ben, I’m glad he was likeable. He is very down-to-earth and easy to get along with for the most part, but, like most of the characters he’s got some secrets ;) Still, I’ve grown quite fond of Janelle’s harem so it was fun to write about Ben because I correctly predicted that he’d become the newest member :P  If you’re wondering, Janelle’s harem consists of all the men people have suggested she will have romantic liaisons with in the future – the list consists of Wesley, Thomas, Caleb (tsk, Janelle. Seducing a married man :P) and now Ben, due to my sister’s reaction to this chapter xD

        And hey, who said Tarantis were the bad Otherworlders? :P It all depends on how you look at it – I mean, assuming Hahana and Maui are telling the truth, they of course aren’t the biggest fans of Tarantis since their country’s under threat. But who knows? Perhaps the Zeian government has done something to offend them or something like that. Hahana and Maui, being patriotic members of the military, will gloss over it. Or maybe Tarantis just plan to invade Zeia for the Evulz :P Who knows?  

        August 14, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 29 Reply

        Aaaaaaaand... my bad feeling has been justified :P I don't even know where to start with this chapter, there's so much to go over. Okay, so firstly it was really interesting to see that Gifts of Earth are bothered by being high up and separated from the ground. I wasn't at all sure what theirs would be. I could hazard a guess at the other two, but Earth not so much. Unfortunately it isn't an easily exploitable weakness the rebels can use, but it is nice to see the Gifted do get scared. It really does help to humanize them that much more.

        Aww, 256 wants to know where he's from :( It's good that he wants to know, but really sad that he can't find out now. If only 805 could remember. He didn't seem like he did either. Normally I'd question whether he was just hiding it from 256, but it didn't seem like he was doing that.

        So the Gifted have glasses too then? Where are they getting all this technology? The Other Worlds? If so, which one? It doesn't seem like they're manufacturing it themselves, so they've got to be getting it from somewhere. Then again, they seemed surprised by bows and arrows which are known to be Other World weapons, so... I don't know xD Anyway, the history of how the Gifted came to be was really interesting. There's lots of interesting information in there. I was especially surprised by the fact that the first Gifted boy could control all four elements. I didn't expect that it all started with one single person. That's really interesting... theories are going to start spinning up over here xD All this also raises a lot of questions about Tarantis. If they've waited all this time, wanting to destroy the Gifted then they'd have a good reason to help the rebels do just that. But after so many hundreds of years, would they really still be worried about the Gifted? I definitely feel like I'm missing some vital information about all this.  

        I'm not sure how much of this I actually believe, especially considering the chapter title. History is, after all, written by the victors and clearly the Gifted won, so it wouldn't surprise me in the least if the Gifted were just making up crap to make themselves appear to be the victims. But there's sure to be some truth to the story too, no doubt. I would imagine the truth sits somewhere in the middle between this extreme and the other. I can't imagine the Gifted were completely innocent, but I doubt they were entirely responsible for everything. I'm immensely curious who the Queens of the Stars are as well. Deities, aliens, or something that doesn't exist at all. The Gifted don't seem the type for religion, they're too egotistical to believe there's someone superior to them. Hmm... so many questions xD If only I could spend an afternoon in that library :P

        Oh, the Leader... she's a sneaky witch, isn't she? Now the gang has been captured :( I was starting to think they might make it out okay, given how they've managed to sneak about successfully. Although I guess they haven't been sneaking successfully at all, have they? :P I'm really really worried for all of them. The Leader is quite clearly a woman that will go to whatever lengths necessary to achieve her ends and she's not above torture, so... so yeah, I have no idea what's going to happen, but it's going to be very bad. I can't imagine anyone's going to be coming to rescue them either, so it seems they are very much on their own. I'm also really curious about 805 and who he's supposed to have killed. Even more than that, why would the Leader think the Council was so afraid of him that they fabricated a story to let him off? Oh, so many questions xD

        Anyway, enough of my late night rambling :P This chapter was really good. I liked learning about some of the history of the island and the Gifted. The Leader questioning 805 was tense and frightening because I just knew she was going to catch him all the way through. Now I'm going to be freaking out, anxiously waiting to see what happens next.

        August 30, 2015 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Heheh, that’s funny because for me I struggled to think of what Gifts of Water would be afraid of xD I don’t really know why, because the other three were easy for me to think of :P Anyway, 805 really doesn’t remember. He wouldn’t hide something like this, not when he can see how desperate 256 is to know. I wouldn’t say it’s an 100% given he won’t remember though (if he survives, of course :P) – if he thinks about it and something happens to jog his memory, it’s possible he’ll remember it.

        As for glasses and the bows and arrows, only a select few of the Gifted know about these inventions. The Council knew bows and arrows existed but the ordinary Gifted did not, that was the main problem. They were, after all, the ones who sent a letter telling the ordinary Gifted what the weapons the rebels were using were once they'd had the chance to examine them. Same with glasses, the ordinary Gifted have no use for them because none of them can read and they don’t hand out glasses for those with prematurely bad eyesight. The Council members who need glasses are not allowed to wear them in front of ordinary Gifted, just like they’re not allowed to tell the ordinary Gifted about any of the other technology the Council uses.

        For a history noob like Carey reading that chapter was very disturbing, but it was my intention for it to be fairly obvious to everyone else that the Gifted were stretching the truth with their account :P Of course, it’s not completely a lie and the major events are more or less accurate. It’s the reasons behind those events and the situations the factions were in that are just a tad dramatized to make the Gifted look like the oppressed, pure-hearted group. The Queens of the Stars, whether real or not, are the objects of worship for Tarantians. Or at least they were, since the island seceded from Tarantis a long time ago so they perhaps they worship something else now, or have a modified version of their original religion :P They’re meant to have to have a “Mother Nature” vibe, which is why they’re Queens instead of Kings like I originally planned xD Anyway, although the whole island, not just the Gifted, is devoid of religion in the present, it may not have always been that way. After all, the book Carey reads only chronicles the first 200 years after the Gifted took power, and was probably written around 300-400 years into the Gifted’s reign. A lot of time has passed since then so perhaps when it written they still worshipped the Tarantian religion.

        Haha, yeah overall they haven’t been very sneaky :P The Leader and Co. was onto them from almost the very beginning. As for 805 and the woman he supposedly killed, I’m not really sure if I’ll ever reveal the full truth about that. Part of it, yes, but not the whole story because 805 has kept it hidden for a reason :P

        August 31, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 30 Reply

        I was really nervous to read this chapter, which is bad since I knew I wouldn't be able to read it until tonight so it's just been lurking in the background, taunting me with promises of terrible things happening. While my fears, for the moment, aren't fully realized, I'm now even more terrified than I was before :P Anyway, it seems as though Janelle is starting to settle into her new role pretty well. She's found a new purpose and focus and I think that's good for her. As Thomas says, if she'll build up her self confidence, she'll do great. Maybe if she sees some success on this mission, she'll start to gain some of that.

        Assuming Sam ever makes it back to Janelle (please, please, please xD) I feel like she might be more forgiving than Janelle thinks. She's obviously going to be going through a lot before they see each other again, and she might be so happy to see Janelle that she doesn't even care what she's done in the meantime. But even if she's ticked off for a while, Thomas is completely right that Sam will eventually forgive her. I'm not sure there's too much Janelle could do that Sam wouldn't forgive at some point. #Friendship :P Speaking of Thomas, it was good to see him again too. I was worried about him after he vanished with Victor a while back, but since Victor didn't murder/dismember/eat/etc him (yet) I'm feeling quite relieved. I'm not comfortable with Janelle going off and leaving him alone with this lot, but hopefully he'll be okay while she's gone.

        Alice has got to be the most heartbreaking little girl to ever live :( I think I want to see the Gifted overthrown just so she, Caleb, and Marina can live safe and happily together. Wow, I want Caleb to live safe and happy? What's gotten into me? :P Sure, Caleb, sure. You forgot something, I believe you. No, you couldn't possibly be off to do anything else. No, that would be silly :P It was nice to learn more about Ben too. His story was really, really sad :( I feel bad for him and Lily too. I can't imagine what it feels like to lose a child, but I can see how something like that could drive two people apart. As for Wesley, his response to Janelle becoming a deputy is interesting. It didn't seem happy for her, but he didn't come off as jealous either. But then he didn't seem flustered just because he was surprised that she was promoted so quickly. I know he doesn't trust the group, but... hmm, I'm not sure what to make of that.

        Okay... this part. The part I've been dreading. Writing-wise, it was fantastically well done. I was nervous all the while Carey was trying to undo her bindings, hoping she'd manage to free herself. The interrogation scene with the Leader was tense and terrifying and really unnerving. The Leader almost seemed obsessed with how Carey escaped as a baby. Carey makes a very good point. How could she know that and why was the Leader so certain she did? Very curious. Ugh, my fingers are actually hurting right now :P That was so unexpected and horrifying. Just stay strong Carey, stay strong. I'm really worried for the others too, particularly Sam. She's nonGifted and I'm not sure the Leader will have much use for her.  

        Geez, I've always thought the Gifted were some egotistical bastards, but the Leader takes the prize. 'We are the great powers above'? She thinks awfully highly of herself, doesn't she? Whether the Queens of the Stars are real or not, you're not one of them, lady. I'm much more inclined to agree with Carey's answer instead. Anyway, I really liked this chapter despite Carey being tortured. That just made me want to stab the Leader just a little bit. I've been worried for ages and now I'm even more scared than ever. I don't know what's happening to Sam, 256, and 805 and I'm really nervous. I'm going to stay hopeful that everyone will be okay, but somehow I just don't see them all making it out of the Leader's clutches in one piece. 

        October 2, 2015 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Haha, yes Thomas is fine… For now :P Victor could still be a cannibal, just give him a bit more time. Still, he is definitely right about Sam forgiving Janelle. As you say, there isn’t much she could do that would mean Sam would never ever forgive her.

        For Alice, whenever Caleb or Marina goes away on a mission it may be the last time she ever sees them. She’s seen it happen with other rebels, so she feels it’s only a matter of time before one of them won’t come back. Psh, Caleb was totally telling the truth when he said he forgot something. Why would he ever lie? xD As for Ben and Lily, their married life was based off them having a child, so losing their son definitely drove a wedge between them that couldn’t be fixed :/ Still, there is a lot more to Ben’s story that hasn’t been revealed yet as well. There’s a reason why he left his village instead of just leaving his wife, and a further reason why he joined the rebels. As for Wesley, it’s not that he feels jealous/malicious or anything. He was under the impression Janelle was just like him – not really into the rebellion, just doing it because she wanted a loved one back, etc. etc. So he was surprised to learn Janelle would actually take an interest in a leadership role.

        I had a fingernail ripped off once, many eons ago. It was very painful indeed :/ Of course, it was more a case of me being the accident-prone klutz I am rather than it happening during torture. Anyway, the Leader does think pretty highly of herself. Just a tad :P Still, it’s rather hard for her not to think that way, considering how she was brought up – not only was the told she was one of the elite (like the rest of the Gifted) she was told she was the one chosen to lead them. I think most people would be at least a little bit narcissistic if they grew up hearing that all the time :P

        October 3, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 31 Reply

        I should warn you that I am extremely sleepy, to the point that I'm drinking coffee just to keep myself awake long enough to do this :P So if I say anything stupid, just disregard it. Actually, you probably know me well enough by now to know I say stupid things on a pretty regular basis, sleepy or not so I suppose the warning is pointless xD Anyway, as with the last chapter I went into this one scared out of my effing mind :P I keep expecting really terrible things to happen and I still can't help but think that you're just luring me into a false sense of security, waiting to strike when I'm the most vulnerable. Either way, I'm exceptionally glad no one died. Still don't know what's going on with 805, but I can't let myself worry about that right now. He's fine until I see he's not. Anyway, enough of my ramblings :P Moving on.

        256 might just be the epitome of bipartisanship. I really think he might be the only person on the island that doesn't want much more than peace between the Gifted and nonGifted. He's seen that the current regime is horrible and needs to be disposed of, but the fact that he's still one of them deep down is very telling. He doesn't want the Gifted's evils to continue, but he doesn't want to kill them either. He doesn't have much stake in the game other than just wanting to set everyone free. Whether or not he'll ever convince the two factions to agree with him is another story entirely. I like that he has this... I don't want to call it hope, but this idea (and that's still not the right word) that the two sides could, maybe, someday, live in peace.

        Samantha and 256's conversation was both sad and touching at the same time. 256 so wants Sam and 805 to get along and love each other and his reasons for that are perfectly understandable. They're an example of what he wants; a reunion with his parents. If they can't love each other, he's afraid his parents won't love him either. But I do hope 256 won't pin all his hopes on Samantha and 805 mending their relationship. Admittedly, it's the only relationship of that type he has to reference but Sam and 805 have a lot of issues that have nothing to be with being Gifted. They aren't the poster children for a healthy parent/child relationship. Despite what he thinks, I believe 256 probably has a better chance at being a family with his parents than Sam does.

        I liked how Samantha so blatantly stated that 256 was in love with Carey xD Girl doesn't have an ounce of tact, but then her bluntness is part of the reason I love her :P It's still good to see him at least beginning to come to terms with how he feels. I'm sure that an emotion like that would be pretty difficult to understand, with an upbringing like he's had. How do you understand love if you've never seen what it looks like or anything? That questioning aspect is really well done and I like it. I'm glad to see Carey is safe (I use that term exceedingly loosely) and didn't suffer too much more than we saw last time. Even so, I imagine this is only the beginning of the tortures the Leader can inflict, so I'm not remotely comforted by Carey's return. I'm sure things will get much worse before they get better, so I'm still really scared for all of them.

        For Janelle's part, it was really interesting to see what the other members of the group think about Caleb and honestly, it wasn't what I expected. Brooke's thoughts were especially interesting and somewhat mirror my own only exactly the opposite. I'm coming to like Caleb even if I don't completely trust him. Speaking of Brooke, she seems like a nice addition. She's plucky and seems to have about as much tact as Samantha, only in a different way. And I love the way she talks xD Evelyn seems... lovely. I get where she's coming from, even if I don't like it. Someone new and unproven gets tossed into a leadership position on her first day? Sure, that's a legitimate reason to be a little ticked off, but that kind of behavior isn't appropriate for their situation. They're on an important mission, after all. Strike one, Evelyn. Strike one.  

        Oh, Reagan... the feels :( It's great to see Janelle beginning to move forward and starting to accept his death. Obviously she hasn't even begun to fully move past it, but she's on her way and that's good. It's heartbreaking to see how conflicted she is over his motives, so much so that she's questioning everything about their time together. It's so sad and she may never know what Reagan's plans were or how he really felt :( Personally, I think Reagan really loved her, but like Janelle I've got that nagging doubt that maybe it was all a plan to do bad things. Nonetheless, she's beginning to heal and accept her loss and that's a good thing that I was glad to see. I hope she continues down that road and eventually finds the answers she needs, but I'm concerned she never will. I can't imagine being haunted by that for the rest of her life :/

        I have to say that when I first read 'She could see Ben sitting alone on a tree branch at the edge of the sheltered area they were hiding in' I imagined Ben perched high up in a tree like Katniss, watching for approaching dangers. Then Janelle sat down beside him without climbing anything and I realized my mistake :P Oh, but what's he hiding then? I suppose he isn't necessarily hiding anything, but just doesn't want to have talk about whatever it is. I get more of a 'painful memories' vibe than anything nefarious, but then I don't trust anyone anymore so what do I know? xD

         

         

         

        December 8, 2015 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Well, the coffee must have been working because it all made perfect sense to me xD Anyway, 256 is most certainly the idealist of the group. Slowly, but surely he is forming his own ideas about where he wants the rebellion to go and how he wants the island to be. The Gifted will always be a part of his personal identity and he really does wish for peace above all else.

        256 sees 805 and Samantha as a test, I suppose you could say. If they’d instantly bonded and become a family he’d feel more reassured that if he meets his parents they’ll feel the same way. But, really it’s not very productive for him to compare his own situation to theirs, because although they are similar in the sense that they both have a Gifted/nonGifted parent/child type relationship, there really isn’t much else that’s similar between them. The roles are reversed for one, since 805’s the Gifted party instead of Sam. And as you say, they’ve got plenty more issues between them that have nothing to do with 805’s Gift. In fact, 805’s Gift doesn’t bother Samantha at all. She’d hate him just as much if he were nonGifted xD  

        Lol, that’s Samantha. Keepin’ it real, yo :P Tact really isn’t one of her strong points. But hey, she’s probably getting sick of all their dithering xD I’m glad you like 256’s second-guessing and questioning of his feelings. I’m always worried people will find it annoying. As for Brooke, I’m glad she’s likeable. I enjoy the way she speaks too :P  

        Although Janelle is beginning to accept Reagan’s death, it’ll be a long time before she’s truly okay with it, if she ever does move on. It’ll be very difficult for her to do so if she doesn’t find out more about Reagan’s motives, but that’s easier said than done :/ Realistically, she’s never going to find out everything. Sure, it’s entirely possible she’ll find out some things but she’ll never truly know Reagan’s personal feelings. Still, hopefully she’ll learn enough so she can either have or guess the answers she seeks.

        I should probably change that to “fallen tree branch” to avoid confusion xD It’s funny you should mention Katniss, because when I was describing Brooke I had a moment where I thought: huh, she looks kind of like Katniss now I think about it. At least, they both have a long braid :P Plus I just came home from watching Mockingjay part 2 so it’s almost like fate xD

        December 9, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 32 Reply

        Sorry for taking forever to get to this. I actually read the chapter days ago but haven't had the chance to sit down and type up a coherent comment* Anyway, this isn’t at all the way I expected this chapter to go, so it was a nice surprise. I went in fully prepared for more torture, and while that could still happen I’m very glad to see there’s still a sliver of hope. That's something you do quite well, I should add. I always think I know what you're going to do and the direction you're going to go and then you almost always do the opposite. You constantly surprise me and keep me on my toes and I like that.

        Poor Carey :( I feel so bad for her. Being tortured like that, wanting to give the right answer but not being able to is just... unnerving. The Leader is absolutely... ugh, I don't even have words for her :P This does bring up the very interesting question of exactly where Carey's Gift came from, and also just how much do the Gifted know about their own powers? I had always assumed that Carey's Gift, being stealth and all, had just been exceedingly hard to detect and she had slipped through. But if that were the case, the Leader would surely know that already. If Gifts can spontaneously manifest themselves in previously nonGifted people... well, that would be really curious indeed. Okay, I've got to stop otherwise I'll start an endless spiral again of trying to figure out how Carey temporarily got the Gift of Fire and never get to bed xD I still can't figure that one out.   

        So, 571... I really don't at all know how I feel about her. I don't trust her for a second and she pretty much admitted she's not on their side and clearly has absolutely no concern for the Servants (although admittedly she did seem to feel bad about killing the poor girl), but she seems sincere in her desire to rescue 805 so... heck, I don't know :P She's willing to kill her own people for someone who's basically a rebel sympathizer, but she isn't willing to actually help them rescue him or even come up with a plan, so... I'm conflicted. I'm not entirely convinced this whole thing isn't some elaborate trap or the Leader is just screwing with them. No matter what 571 is up to, I have no idea whatsoever how they'll manage to rescue 805 and escape the Council armed with their just their wits and a borrowed sword. It seems to be a fool's errand if their ever was one. Of course, they appear to already have been caught so they may not even get a chance to try. Ooooooh, a Gift of Water? Maybe the same one that helped save 256? Probably not, but I've had worse theories before xD

        Anyway, overall this was a very good, exciting chapter. It wasn't at all what I expected, which is a very good thing since what I expected was more torture. I'm by no means reassured that nothing terrible is going to happen since they're about to embark on a suicide mission in the heart of the enemy's fortress. My nervousness aside, I'm really excited (and scared) to see what comes next.

        *This should not be considered a binding promise that this comment is, in fact, coherent :P

        December 29, 2015 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! I’m glad you like this chapter although personally, I don’t like it much at all :/ I had to make a lot of changes to my original plan for this chapter and the next because I realised my original vision wasn’t very plausible, but I’m not really sure if this version is all that much better. Oh well. I tried xD Anyway, I’m glad that the events of the story are surprising. I always tend to worry that my supposed plot twists are totally obvious/cliché, so I’m glad to hear at some things are unexpected :P

        As for Carey’s Gift, it is harder to detect than the others. At first glance, many Gifted wouldn’t notice her Gift because the feeling they get is much less potent. But if they take the time to concentrate they will sense it, although it’s still not as strong a feeling as for other Gifts. Still, it’s unlikely she would have been missed if her powers were present as a baby, because the Assessors are specifically looking for it and so would take more care to be sure it was there or not, like 256 did.

        As for 571, she’s probably as conflicted as you are ;) She’s torn between the part of her that’s a law-abiding Gifted citizen and the part that wants to rescue 805. Her attitude about the Servant is really the same as most of the Gifted, though. Servants are little more than furniture to most of them, and many are treated very cruelly by the Gifted. That’s the main reason why 805’s Servant got involved with 571’s zany scheme to rescue him, because he was one of the few Gifted to ever show her an ounce of kindness. It really saddened me to kill her :( She wasn’t going to die originally, but when I changed the chapter I didn’t feel like 571 would keep her alive since she knew too much :/ Anyway, I’ll stop there before this turns into an essay xD I could go on and on about the Servants, because to me they’re oft forgotten group by both the Gifted and the rebels that really have it the worst out of everyone. Although to be fair, the general nonGifted population and the rebels don’t usually know about the Servants, and if they do they don’t know much about their lives. Okay, I really will stop now xD Thanks again for commenting.

        December 30, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 33 Reply

        Once, long ago, you told me I was good at mood whiplashes. After this chapter, I give you my crown. The ups and downs in this chapter were frequent, surprising, and powerful. Every time something good seemed to be happening, it would almost instantly turn the other way. The gang's all back togeth... Murder! We're escapi... Death! :P Those moments were really well done and have a lot of impact even though they're characters we know next to nothing about.

        Sam, that is really the worst plan ever... of all time. But then if it's a bad idea and it works, it's not a bad idea. I've long been hoping for a Gift of Earth revolution and while this isn't an all-out uprising, it's definitely a start. As the boy says, the Gifts of Earth will remember this forever. Maybe they'll see that things have to change. Of course, the Gifts of Earth don't seem as though they'd be any more lenient with the nonGifted as the current regime ("She's just a rebel") or how open they would be to an alliance with the rebellion, but it is certainly a start nonetheless. Instability and division amongst the Gifted can only be a good thing for the rebellion. The Council would find itself fighting a war on two fronts, one of which is in its own backyard. The Leader might be in a speck of trouble. 

        I know I mentioned it already, but the deaths of 571 and the boy hit a lot harder than I would have thought :( I was really hoping to learn a lot more about 571. She seemed like such a complex and interesting character and to lose her so soon was a blow I wasn't prepared for. Her death came right at the moment when I'd just begun to think they might have a chance, so that made it all the more surprising and sad. The boy was just sad all around. He was so brave and noble. I can't imagine the courage it takes to do what he did. He wasn't alone of course, but to join in that kind of uprising, knowing what's probably going to happen... :( 571, we hardly knew you but in the short time you were with us you saved our heroes more than once. Sure, you didn't give the gang a plan and then complained when you weren't happy with what they came up with, but that can be forgiven. I wish you could have stayed longer, but in the end your sacrifice saved many. You will be remembered. Gift of Earth boy, we never even learned your number but you are a hero through and through. Nothing more need be said.

        Well, you go Carey! Seriously, what is she? I feel like it's obvious and I'm just missing it even though you said you deliberately left out some details that make it hard to guess. (Dear God it doesn't seem like that comment was a year and three days ago, but according to the date next to it, it was. Geez, time flies) I would say maybe it had something to do with her getting angry, but she felt lighter before that and that almost has to have something to do with Carey getting the Gift of Air. That also eliminates my theory that she can siphon Gifts from other Gifted since there wasn't a Gift of Air near her at the time (this assumes her ability to siphon has a limited range/requires line of sight or physical contact) so I don't know. OOOOOH! She has to kill them! Is that it? Do I win? You probably can't tell me, but I feel like this could be it. Back in chapter 15 she killed that Gifted woman who admittedly wasn't confirmed to be a Gift of Fire, but immediately afterward she had the power. Now she kills a Gift of Air and minutes later she's can control the wind. 3349 was a Gift of Water and 256 was healed by a Gift of Water. And back when Carey killed 440 (she's building up quite the body count, isn't she? :P) just before she noticed that he wasn't affected by the smoke and then later she opens the shed and gets hit in the face with smoke and she notes that it doesn't bother her anymore. I admit, I'm reaching with the last one but I have to say I feel fairly confident with my theory. So I'm sure you'll very quickly tell me just how wrong I am :P I'll let myself feel smart for tonight at least.

        I find it really interesting that becoming a Gift of Air seems to have made Carey increasingly confident to the point of recklessness. She didn't even hesitate when suggesting she fly them over the wall. It seems strange that acquiring a Gift would change her demeanor like that, but she's definitely different afterwards. I'm really curious. Anyway, enough of my rambling. This was one heck of a chapter, no doubt. Exciting, action-packed and filled with mood whiplashes. I'm really glad the gang made it out safely and even managed to start a little revolution in the process. I was sure one of them would die in the attempt, so I'm so happy no one did. Hopefully they'll put as much distance as possible between them and the Council and somehow find their way back to Janelle and the others. Oh yeah, Hahana and Maui O.o Whatever happened to those guys? They seem too impatient to just be waiting around for them to come back. Hopefully not getting themselves into too much trouble xD  

        January 16, 2016 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Haha, I learnt all I know about mood whiplashing from you, so I say you still get the crown :P Lol, Samantha’s plan wasn’t the most reliable of plans, was it xD But it worked and that’s what counts. But even so, the Gifts of Earth rebelling is a positive for the rebellion, there’s no doubt about that. At the very least there’s internal rebellion in within the Gifted, at best, the Gifts of Earth may be more inclined to form an alliance with the rebels at some point in the future with the memory of this uprising still fresh in their minds.

        I’m glad the deaths of 571 and the boy were moving. Because I didn’t end up killing any of the main characters (I really wanted to though – I’ll get to that later xD) I knew I’d have to kill them both :/ As for your theory, it’s a very good one :) You won’t have to wait that long before you find out if it’s right or not. Although it won’t be totally confirmed, since there’s no Big Book of Stealth Gifted for them to reference, the characters will form their own ideas fairly soon about how Carey got the powers based on the available evidence. Will they come to the same conclusion as you? I’m not sayin’ :P

        Anyway, although it did end up that none of the main characters died, I was very, very, very tempted to kill 805 in this chapter. I imagined it a total Ned Stark moment – instead of just nearly being executed, he would actually have been hanged and his death would have driven the Gifts of Earth to rebel, which I thought seemed more realistic than what ended up happening. But I was faced with a dilemma because out of the four main characters present in this chapter, 805 is the one that’s probably needed alive the most right now :P If I killed him I’d have to re-plan a decent chunk of what I have for the rest of this book. I really want that stuff to happen so I was faced with choosing between my short-term happiness from having my Ned Stark moment and long-term happiness from all that stuff, and the long-term stuff won the battle :P Still, because of that I’m not all that satisfied with that scene :/ As for Hahana and Maui, don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about them xD They’ll be around again before too long :P

        January 17, 2016 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 34 Reply

        Well I started typing this up yesterday, but the 26 inches of snow we got managed to cause some power outages so I had no internet until tonight to finish. Screw winter. That's all I have to say about that :P Anyway, I really enjoyed the change of tone in this chapter. The last few I've been scared to read, so it was nice to go into a chapter without fearing for everyone's safety. I'm really proud of Janelle and the way she stuck to her guns about her plan. She's learning more and more how to lead and she's doing a good job. She's not second-guessing herself as much and she's sticking with her plan despite the issues caused by Assessment Day. She's right that it's much more of an opportunity than a problem in the long run. I still think Janelle is the best person to lead the rebellion forward, even if I am coming to trust Caleb a little more. I'm glad to see her growing as a leader. Hopefully this mission will be successful and she'll gain more self-confidence. It's hard to believe it's only been a year since it all started. So many things have happened in such a short space of time. I can't imagine what will have happened in another year.

        "Her name's Carey." These are words I've been waiting to hear from Wesley for the longest time. I'm glad he finally knows the truth and I imagine just knowing what happened to her will give him some degree of comfort. Its good that Janelle was able to talk Wesley out of running off and trying to find her. I don't know how big the island is, but I don't think he'd have much of a chance of just bumping into her out in the woods. Or at least I hope she managed to talk him out of it. Not too much is known about Wesley. For all I know he's just telling Janelle what she wants to hear so he can slip away while she isn't looking. Don't do it, Wesley! She's on her way back. Just wait, hopefully there will be a reunion soon. Honestly, I need that too. They've all been apart so long, I need them together again xD

        Yay, Hahana and Maui are back and don't seem to have gotten into too much trouble. I can easily see Hahana just strolling up to a random Gift of Earth and insist they accompany her back to Zeia xD Oh Hahana, don't ever change :P And also, we now know exactly how 805 would react to someone fangirling over him xD Poor guy. I really don't think he had the slightest idea of what to do. It was also interesting to see 805's reaction to being called Cursed. Its pretty easy to see why he might agree with Hahana's reasoning. I was glad to get more backstory from Hahana as well. Her story was sad, but I liked how upbeat she is about the whole thing and how romantic she finds their story to be. She seems to have an eternal optimism about everything, no matter what it is.   

        Aww, Sam :( I feel really bad for her. (For Maui, as well since he really seems to like her) This seems to be something she's really struggling with and that's terrible. I wonder if she's ever told anyone or if she's kept it to herself? I don't even know how things like sexuality are viewed on the island. For all I know, it might make her a social outcast or something. It does add more weight to my Sam/Janelle/Reagan love triangle theory though. I dismissed that at one point, but now I'm going to have to completely reconsider seeing as its now infinitely more likely. I liked the way she responded to hearing Hahana's story as well. I like seeing her softer, more emotional side come out. She doesn't let it show much, but I do like seeing it when she does. Anyway, overall another good chapter that left me feeling more hopeful for the future. I'm strongly hoping for a reunion soon back at the rebel base, but somehow I imagine I'll be waiting a while. There's still all sorts of opportunities for things to go wrong for one/both of the groups. 

        January 24, 2016 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Sorry for taking ages to reply, by the way. I’ve been on a farm and although I did have internet this time it was only on my phone and I hate typing out long messages on that thing xD For my sanity’s sake I thought it best I wait to reply until now :P Anyway, I enjoyed the change in tone for this chapter too. It was nice to write something knowing that my characters are, at least for now, relatively safe. As for Janelle, her lack of confidence is  the main thing holding her back so hopefully if the mission goes well, she’ll be able to gain some. But who knows? At this point, anything could go wrong :P

        As for Wesley, the island’s a pretty big place (at least for a guy searching for one person xD). I imagine it being around the size of Ireland, but then I suck at geography so I have no idea if the time it takes the characters to travel places correlates with the size of the area :P I considered waiting a bit longer before Wesley finds out about Carey, but I wanted it to happen and besides they’re going to be busy for a while so I wouldn’t have had much of a chance to make it happen later. Lol, 805 really doesn’t know how to deal with a fangirl at all, does he xD Still, it’s not something he or anyone else would come across in everyday  life, so I guess I can’t blame him for being a bit clueless about what to do :P

        As for Sam, her sexuality has been something she’s found very hard to accept about herself, and she still struggles with it greatly :/ As far as she knows, she’s the only person in the world who feels the way she does. Growing up, she never knew anyone who was gay. Well, openly gay, anyway – I’m sure there would’ve been a decent number in her village who were gay/bisexual/anything else, but she didn’t know about it. Anyway, among the nonGifted, sexuality isn’t really discussed, which is why Carey doesn’t get what she means even though I’d expect anyone who read this to understand what Sam is talking about. If someone were to reveal they were gay or any other sexuality but heterosexual whilst living in the villages, the majority of villagers would see them as unnatural/disgusting/etc. etc. So yes, if she was living in general nonGifted society she’d probably be an outcast :/  That said, she is not living in general society and most of the people who’ve run away from their villages and joined rebel groups tend to be at least a few degrees left of the mainstream anyway (some of them may have even run away because they were being shunned for their sexuality), so she might find more acceptance among them if she’s ever ready to tell more people. In contrast, though, the Gifted are very sexually liberal, even though in theory they’re supposed to be celibate xD

        January 29, 2016 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 35 Reply

        This plan of Janelle's makes me very nervous, I've got to say. Her group is shockingly exposed and neither she nor Wesley are expert spies. They aren't being all that subtle, and even if they were I'm not sure how much I trust Farmer Alex not to rat them out to the Gifted. I'm pretty sure the Gifted wouldn't reward Alex for reporting them, but he might do it in the hopes that he would win their favor. I don't trust him, but I can't at all fault him for the way he feels about the Gifted. I'd imagine that's how most anyone would feel in his position. It's his way of life, the only thing he's ever known. It would be tough, I would think, to convince someone who hasn't been directly exposed to the Gifted's cruelty to support two strangers talking about bringing a war to their town. I do get a bit of... I don't want to say brainwashing, but the whole thing with Alex saying they were never treated badly unless they "deserved it" and that they weren't "contributing to society" is a little unsettling. Even so, I do see where he's coming from and I enjoyed seeing just a regular guy's opinion on the Gifted and the rebellion. We mostly only hear from either the Gifted themselves or people directly affected by the Gifted's horribleness, so to see what the average Joe thinks is really interesting.  I'm really curious if his feelings are the norm amongst the nonGifted. I'm guessing your time at the sheep farm helped out immensely with this chapter :P Is that really how sheep are herded? I'd be just like Janelle in that situation :P Following along uselessly with no idea what to do xD

        I hope the sudden reminder of Alex didn't shake Janelle's confidence too much. She's just starting to regain that and she hasn't had the most successful first day on the job so far. She seems to want to press on, which is a good sign, but I'm still really worried about her. Wesley's comments are really quite disconcerting. They aren't human anymore. That is a scary statement right there. The moment you start thinking of your enemy as something other than human is the moment you start down the road toward dismembering them and leaving their bodies in the town square. We've already had quite enough of that, thank you very much Wesley.

        I swear to God if Samantha wanders off on her own and scares me like that one more time she and I are going to have to have a talk. You tell someone, Sam. You leave a note. Something. It's super easy. Example: "Hey guys. Going for a walk. Be back later. Love, Sam." It's considerate, see? :P Wandering around the Council, strolling through dangerous woods on your own... I swear, she's looking for trouble. 805 should do the same, but he hasn't got a record of unexpected disappearances yet :P Anyway, this part of the chapter made me happy, sad, and nervous within a very short space of time. I liked seeing Sam and 805 just talking for once, even if it was a sad subject. While 256 is clearly upset by Sam's lie, I'm slightly hopeful that 805 and Sam have a chance to be, well, something. I doubt they'll ever have a close father/daughter relationship, too much has happened, but just seeing them talking and Sam letting down that wall of hers just a little bit was really heartwarming. 256's thoughts on whether or not Carey knew about Michelle have me concerned. Eventually he's going to find out about 440 and I don't have any idea what that revelation will do to their relationship :/ I am worried because I feel like it's going to happen soon.

        So, not only can Carey use other Gifts, but she's more powerful than the regular Gifted as well? That's really interesting. Even if I'm right and I've figured out how Carey gets the Gifts, it doesn't at all explain why she'd be so much stronger. Oh so many questions :P Watching 805 adapting to life away from the Gifted should be quite interesting. I'm interested to see if he has an easier time than 256 or a harder time. He's quite a bit older than 256 and on the surface I'd think that would make it harder for him given that he's spent so much more time living the Gifted way of life, but maybe it might make it easier. He's already given up his uniform and stuff, but then I really can't see 805 clinging to a uniform like 256 did. 805 doesn't seem like he'd care that much about his uniform. Either way, there's obviously no going back for either of them so I hope he'll be okay. I can't really see him sticking around with the rebels, though. I mean, I strongly hope he does since I love having him around and I want to see how his relationship with Sam with unfolds, but I don't know. I can't see him doing like 256 has done and stay with the rebels. Then again, he doesn't really have anywhere else to go I wouldn't think. I doubt he has friends outside the Council and since the Gifted want to kill him, his options are limited.

        Anyway, I'm going to stop here since I feel like I'm rambling aimlessly. I am, and have been for the last couple of weeks, so unbelievably tired that I can't really concentrate on what I'm saying. I hope I've managed to make at least a couple of halfway intelligent observations here. This chapter has given me things to think about, which I always enjoy. How does the general population view the Gifted? Do they want things to stay as they are or would they rather have a change? Is Alex's reaction based on fear or does he really feel that way? Is Wesley starting down a dangerous path or is he just pissed off about Carey? Will Samantha ever learn how to write a simple note xD Anyway, another good chapter that's left me with lots of questions and concerns, but a tiny speck of hope on 805 and Samantha.

         

        February 21, 2016 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! I felt like the voice of the ordinary nonGifted person gets lost sometimes, since as you say most of the rebels have already been exposed to the cruelty of the regime firsthand. After all, they’re rebels for a reason :P Alex the Farmer (that’s what I’ve been calling him) therefore represents the ordinary nonGifted view - he doesn’t have any tragedy related to the Gifted in his life, he just does his job and he gets what he needs from it. The idea of rebels swooping in and changing everything he’s ever known scares him quite a bit. And yes, that is how you move a small mob of sheep :P You’d need cars or horses for a large group though, or it would take a very long time xD When I was at the farm they were shearing sheep so we did a lot of moving small groups around the sheep yards and at first you really feel stupid doing it but eventually you just give in and start flapping your arms and making weird noises because it’s most effective :P

        As for Wesley, his thoughts are sadly fairly common among the rebels themselves. And although Wesley’s certainly not at the mutilating stage (he was very disturbed by what Henry and Co. did, and it’s part of the reason why he doesn’t really trust the rebels) but even so, it’s not a very good thought to have :/

        Heheh, note writing really isn’t one of Sam’s strengths, is it xD Anyway, 256 is very disturbed by the whole thing, even though 805 himself doesn’t care that Samantha kept Michelle’s death a secret (or attempted to, anyway). And, while a part of him can sort of understand why Sam herself hid it from 805, he doesn’t understand at all why Carey would also keep it a secret, because if he’d known beforehand he would have told 805 no matter what Sam threatened him with :P As for Sam and 805, they’ve certainly taken a positive step, but who knows? Perhaps this is as far as they’ll get on the road to being something :P

        As for 805, his attitude towards his uniform really isn’t the best way to look at his attitude about leaving the Gifted. 256 bases what 805 feels over what he felt when he left the Gifted, but, like many things (he’s really not that good at comparing his own situations to others in a rational way, is he xD) there’s a lot of factors he hasn’t taken into account. Like you say, 805 isn’t really the sort of person to cling to his old uniform, and by extension, his old life, the way 256 did – he’s far too practical for that. He can’t go back, and he’s very aware of it. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t miss his old life and feel lost about what to do now, especially since it’s much harder to start a new life at the age of 48 than it was for 256 to start one at 18. The Gifted propaganda worked a lot better on him too, the deeper layers of it, anyway. 805 does truly believe that without the Gifted his self-worth is lost, because when he was young and being told these things he didn’t have anyone who cared for him to prove it wrong. For 256 it was a slightly shallower belief because, even though their friendships didn’t end well, he had two people who cared for him deeply and who he cared for in return.

        February 22, 2016 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 36 Reply

        Well, I knew it had to happen eventually, but I must say I wasn't prepared for what happened in this chapter. I fully expected 256 to ask if Carey had known about Samantha's mother and I must say her reasoning is perfectly legitimate. It wasn't her place to say anything, despite what she knew. I also liked that 256 thought she should have said something, that he would want 805 to know the truth no matter what. It seems a very 256ish thing to do.

        What I hadn't expected was for Carey to come forward with what happened to 440. That I didn't see coming. I was glad she finally told him, since obviously waiting so long has only made things worse, but still seeing them fight hurts my soul. That said, 256 is perfectly within his rights to be angry. Carey keeping something like that from him, I mean I'd be pretty ticked off too so I thought his reaction to it all was completely believable. Also, one thing I particularly liked was that he thought 440 had died at the Council. He wouldn't have ever imagined that Carey would have kept something from him for that long. I liked the entire scene and this all really needed to happen even though it hurts me to read it. I felt so bad for 256 through the whole thing, and Carey as well too since I know how bad she feels about keeping it a secret for so long. Of course, Carey did dig herself into this hole. I just hope she can find a way to climb back out of it :/

        I was really intrigued by Carey's thoughts there at the end as well. She really doesn't get it, does she? 256 said it himself. He can't hate her and it seems that's because he loves her and I don't think this will change that. It's sure to change their relationship, though. How, I'm not sure, but it pretty much has to and somehow I imagine it will end up breaking my heart and my dream of finally seeing... you know, I just spent five minutes trying to come up with a couple name for those two, but it just doesn't work when one of the characters doesn't have an actual name xD And of course I loved Sam's response to Carey when she told her everything that happened :P I've been waiting for more Sam/Carey hugs after all xD Their friendship is one that I didn't really ever expect, but watching them become close has been really nice. Their friendship is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I've said it before, but seeing Sam's softer side is always good. She's always had moments where that softer side comes through, but its becoming more and more common now that she's building friendships with people other than Janelle.   

        Yay, 256 and Carey reached the same conclusion I did about her powers. That doesn't mean it's the right theory, but I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who thought of it :P Hmm, 'she cried in private'. Tears... could the tears of a Gift of Water have power? That is interesting indeed. Carey's question is probably my biggest one at the moment. What sort of Gift is that? It doesn't seem likely to be part of her Stealth abilities, although I suppose it very well could be. As you said, there's no Big Book of Stealth Gifted out there xD Although, I would really appreciate such a book right now :P

        Moving on to Janelle's part, she's learning how to be a leader, that's for sure. I was proud of her in this chapter. She's working to integrate herself with people like Evelyn who don't seem to like her and she's making tough decisions like giving the order to kill the Gifted woman there. She's on the right track, I think, with the message she carved. They don't know what they need to do, but things can't stay as they are. That does worry me to a degree, and it always has actually. No one really seems to have a plan as to what exactly will happen if the Gifted are overthrown, and that's scary. They're a rebellion that's only unified by their shared desire to see the Gifted removed from power. Once that's done, what's to stop them from turning on each other? I love that aspect of this. It's really interesting that the quote unquote good guys might be making things worse in the long run. All that's completely off the topic of this chapter, but it's late and I chose to have a glass of wine before typing this, which makes me ramble even more than usual :P

        It was nice to learn more about Evelyn and Brooke. Their relationship was surprising. I hadn't thought that they would be related. That was a good surprise. Brooke's story was really sad. She seems like a really sweet girl and I was actually tearing up a bit when she said she tried calling Evelyn Mummy but she didn't want her to :( As for Evelyn, I do quite like her even though she's not the nicest person around. She's devoted to the rebellion, that's pretty clear. They need people like her around, that are dedicated to the cause. I am quite curious why it was she was so adamant they join up. I imagine pretty much everyone that's joined the rebellion thus far has a story to tell. I'm interested what hers is. Anyway, I really enjoyed this chapter even though parts of it broke my heart. I'm worried about Carey and 256 and I hope they'll manage to work things out, and that Wesley won't actually run off after Carey, and that Janelle's plan will work and they won't be captured/killed when the Gifted march into town. This is a good, emotional, well-written chapter that leaves me anxious for the next one. I'm especially concerned for Carey and 256. 256 seems really hurt and... yeah, I'm worried.

        Also, this chapter is a fantastic public service announcement about laziness in the workplace xD I may insist my employees read it for motivational purposes... and then buy a crossbow :P

        March 30, 2016 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! I’ve already dragged on this whole deal with 440 for long enough, so I knew I couldn’t keep it out for much longer. Now I’ve finally gotten to it I can move on to the next part of the story, which is good because that has been dragged out excessively too xD Anyway, I’m glad you found 256’s reaction to the whole thing realistic. I was worried what people would think since he’s normally rather passive, so I thought they might find his anger unrealistic. But for me it just seemed to fit, as it shows just how upset he is about this.

        I felt bad for Carey too, writing this :/ Still, you’re right, she certainly doesn’t get his feelings. She believes he’s just infatuated with an idealised version of her, and he definitely was at the start, but his feelings have morphed into something more substantial and real. Heheh, the name/number combination really doesn’t really meld well to a shipping name, does it xD 256’s real name sounds pretty stupid melded with Carey’s too, when I tried it out in my head. So long story short, I can’t help you there :P

        I’m glad you like Sam and Carey’s friendship, too. I’ve really been enjoying writing about them, since their friendship isn’t really something I ever really thought of either xD I just kept writing and it happened :P Granted, that’s true for most of the friendships (and romances) in this story, but theirs is probably the best example. And yes, Carey and 256 certainly agree with your theory :P They will act under the assumption that that’s how her Gift works, so before long it’ll become apparent if they’re right or not. And lol, your mention of magical tears had me thinking of that scene at the end of Tangled xD  Still, a Big Book of Stealth Gifted would certainly be a useful to to have, but sadly such a thing doesn’t exist. Probably. I mean, never say never, right? xD It’s certainly not immediately available to them, anyway. They’ll have to figure things out as they go along instead :P

        Heheh, well I can’t say I’m surprised that you’re surprised that Evelyn and Brooke are related. In all their previous appearances, they weren’t, so it’s a perfectly reasonable assumption to make :P Originally I’d imagined that they’d joined the rebellion around the same time and becoming close friends/surrogate families for each other from then on rather than having met before. They weren’t supposed to have much of a role in the story, other than being someone else other than Wesley for Janelle to interact with, as well adding some names to the faces of the group so they seemed more real. But when I got to this chapter I came up with a fairly elaborate backstory for them where they obviously have a much closer, familial connection. I enjoyed writing about them so much they’ll definitely have an expanded role in the future, a lot more than I ever intended them to have xD But yeah, most of the rebels certainly have a interesting story or two, and Evelyn is no exception.

        And lol, I’m glad my chapter may be of use to you to get your employees to behave. That’s one use for it, I suppose. Maybe I should get my own juniors to read it too :P

        March 31, 2016 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 37 Reply

        What does Sam have against you sleeping, Carey? I do believe you've got that the wrong way round, my dear :P Ah, sweet, sweet revenge. I swear, those two are entirely too cute. If you're not careful I'm going to start shipping Camantha before long :P Samrey? Forget it. I'm terrible at coming up with shipping names. Anyway, I find it to be a rare thing that I enjoy a chapter as much as I did this one while at the same time making me feel quite sad. Carey is really in a bad place right now, it seems. 256 as well, but we don't get a POV from him in this chapter so my focus is on Carey. She's clearly not okay, despite repeated affirmations that she is. She seems to be just holding it together all throughout the chapter. Samantha does have a good point that Carey should have told 256 the whole truth about everything 440 did, but even if she had I'm not sure it would have done much to make 256 any less angry. Not that I can blame him for being angry and upset. He has every right to be. Still, I'm glad Carey has such a loyal defender on her side in this even if she did dig the hole for herself. I feel really bad for her. She seems really upset by everything, especially now that 256 seems to want to leave the group. Seeing her break down there at the end... heart-wrenching.

        Hahana proves ever the source of amusement :P I love her. I must say I believed her when she told Carey she planned on offering 805 one of Maui's sisters. It did sound like a Hahana plan xD I kind of want to see what he'd do if she actually proposed the idea :P Poor 805 is never going to be rid of her, is he? Just admit it, 805. Some small part of you likes her :P I'm pretty sure she'll be starting the first ever official 805 fan club here soon xD At first I was immensely curious as to what 805 was doing out in the forest, but I get feeling it's got something to do with what he was keeping in his kitchen cabinets. Trying to find a way to make alcohol or something? Either that or the chinking noise Carey heard wasn't bottles but instead gold coins from being paid after selling the last of his severed heads :P Or maybe he's up to something altogether different. Anyway, 805's plan to head to the mountains is interesting. I'm curious what will happen on the way, especially with so much tension between everyone. I'm not sure this is the best time for them to be taking a detour and Carey's right that they need to be heading back to Janelle and the others. Also, this kinds of detours often seem to lead to tragic and otherwise avoidable deaths.

        The Lake Village. All this time and 256 is from the Lake Village. That's worrying what with the original rebellion's attack there. If 256's family didn't survive the battle there... That would just be... I don't even know. Now that he knows where they are, now that's he's this close I'm not sure how he'd react if something's happened to them. I can understand 256 wanting to go and find his family on his own. It definitely makes a lot of sense that he'd feel that way. I'm worried about him going off on his own, and I'm less convinced than Carey that 256 wouldn't break his promise to her if he finds his family. I may be even less convinced if he finds out they died and it happened when the rebellion attacked. He's only just begun to become one of them and if they're the reason his family died... eh, I'm diving too deeply into theories especially for this late at night. Suffice to say, I'm really worried about all of this. Anyway, this chapter was a really good one all around. The emotional aspects were quite well done and I especially felt for Carey. I'm really anxious to get into 256's head and see what he's really feeling about all this. As for everyone else, I live in a constant state of concern for them, but this off the books trip to the mountains has me worried more than normal.

        June 28, 2016 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Heh, personally I think Samrey sounds slightly better than Camantha xD And hey, if you want to ship them go ahead,  I don’t care :P Anything could happen, that’s what I say. Anyway, it was important to me to include the stuff with Samantha reminding Carey of 440’s less than honourable actions – not because it really changes much, even if 256 knew about them, but I felt it was important to mention because I haven’t really highlighted the fact that he wasn’t the nicest guy around for a while. I don’t want it to seem like I’m excusing the things he did because of his sad past. Anyway, Samantha has only ever seen that side of 440, since 256 has never spoken about him to her and she’s only heard about their relationship second-hand from Carey, so she doesn’t understand why 256 is upset. Still, even if she had known she’d still be firmly on Carey’s “side”. She’s a firm believer in sisters before misters :P Anyway, I’m glad Carey’s feelings were well conveyed. She’s feeling pretty broken at this point :/ She’s been carrying the guilt of not saying anything for a long time and that’s all exploded to the forefront now she’s actually seen his reaction, and what’s more, she has no idea how she can fix it and make things right again.

        Heh, I don’t think 805 would be able to manage much more than stunned silence if Hahana followed through and told him about that plan xD And since both of Maui’s sisters are actually already married and polygamy isn’t generally practiced in Zeia or on the island, Hahana’s got a very hard case to make there :P Still, I think 805 is developing a certain fondness for her (which is a good thing, because as you say he’s likely going to be stuck with her for a while :P) but his sanity would probably start to slip if he had to spend more than twenty minutes alone with her.

        Well, you’re not wrong with your prediction about 805’s forest adventure being related to what was in his kitchen cabinet :P Whenever he’s being vague and acting suspicious about something, that’s usually what’s involved. Although, I wouldn’t say he was trying to find a way to make alcohol. That’s a bit beyond his culinary/general creative abilities. He was looking for a reliable black market supply nearby to the cottage they’re currently in. He doesn’t have any money though so perhaps he sold his severed heads and used the coins to buy himself some booze :P But being serious now, the idea I have in my head is that he took some of the meat Maui collected for the cottage and sold it, since meat is usually a delicacy for the nonGifted so he could sell it at a hefty price. Then he bought the alcohol with that money. What he was doing out and about is not really a big secret (hence why I just told you :P) because both the readers/characters know about his taste for the hooch (I really love that word), it’s just his way of trying to hide it and failing.

        I’ll admit when I started the story I hadn’t really thought about where 256 came from, but as I kept writing I always seemed to have the Lake Village in my mind. I knew he wasn’t a farmer like Carey and it seemed right to have one of the characters actually coming from the most populated area of the island instead of them all being from, as a friend of mine often says about our city, “the arse-end of nowhere” xD As for 256’s parents dying in Janelle’s rebellion, it’s certainly possible, but their attack was directly on the Gifted’s living space and the number of civilian deaths were very limited even though so many rebels died. Still, who knows? Perhaps 256’s family were the unlucky bunch who got caught in the crossfire *evil laughter*. Still, it’s entirely possible they died in that rebellion or others – Janelle’s group is hardly the first to pass through the area, and since the Lake Village is such a large town/city (the name Lake Village simply comes from its origins as, well, a small village built next to a large lake :P) and an industrial centre of the island, it’s a favourite target of anyone looking to stir up some trouble. Still, overall, it’s more likely that 256 either won’t be able to find his parents at all or they’ll be dead by more natural means.

        June 29, 2016 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 38 Reply

        Sorry for taking forever to get to this. I wanted to do it sooner, but I'm preparing to move again sine we've got to be out of our current place on the 1st and we've got a lot of crap to pack :P Anyway, that's irrelevant. This chapter was really interesting, particularly the part about Ben. I'm fascinated by Ben, in that his just that type of character that you know there's so much more to him than we've seen. I'm curious to find out what happened between him and his family that caused them to stop caring about him. I doubt it's as straightforward as he makes it out to be, and like Janelle says it must be more than him walking out on his wife. That's not a good thing to do and I'm sure his family would certainly have opinions on that, but surely that wouldn't cause them to seemingly disown him. Very curious. It was also interesting to see how Ben came to join Caleb's group and what led to that. Especially since the Gifted attacked a place that had previously been left alone, that's rather suspicious. The Gifted don't seem the type to go burning down inns without reason, so obviously something was going on there. But what? And is Ben sincere when he says he doesn't know what it was? I think he is, but my honesty meter is known to be a bit off sometimes :P Regardless, I enjoyed learning more about Ben and I hope to see even more of him soon.

        I can't blame Janelle for keeping the other mission (and her assorted Gifted friends) a secret from Ben. I like Ben. I like Marina. Hell, I even like Caleb :P But I don't necessarily trust anyone in Caleb's group yet so I'm glad Janelle is staying cautious, especially with 256 and Carey's lives potentially on the line. Anyway, the attitudes of some of the farmers is a bit disturbing, I've got to say. Obviously I would never expect this mission to be simple and I was fully prepared for them to face opposition, but to see two examples of nonGifted outing the rebels to the Gifted is... scary to think about. It makes perfect sense though, I mean again these people are just trying to live their lives and the rebels are destabilizing that just by being there. But that's a powerful thing to try to overcome. It's not devotion to the Gifted, it's a desire to live in peace in the only way they've ever known. I don't quite know how you win people with that view over to your side.

        Have I mentioned that I love Brooke? Much like Hahana, that girl has no filter at all. She just says what she likes. Still, Janelle really doesn't need any more reminders of Alex right now. She's already had to deal with Alex the Farmer, so I'm sure she could live without Brooke's new nickname for her. It's interesting that Brooke thinks Janelle might like Ben. I suspect Ben may like Janelle, but I'm not sure Janelle is even thinking about anything like that at the moment. Reagan's death is still much too fresh in her mind, as proven by her taking his shirt out again. She may be recovering from that, but I don't think she's looking for another relationship quite yet. Then again, she doesn't deny it either. Okay, so I know you probably didn't intend for this line to be funny, but there was something about Wesley's observation that the other rebels were, in fact, too rebellious to be very funny xD I know what he means, of course. He's just worried about Carey and couldn't care less about the rebellion. Hopefully he'll finally get a happy reunion, but I'm not going to get my hopes up just yet. I feel like you're either going to give me a Jon and Sansa moment or it'll be like Arya on her way to the Red Wedding and one of them will die within minutes of reuniting xD Anyway, I really enjoyed this chapter. Learning more about Ben was great. He's such an interesting character despite his limited screen time thus far. I'm also left feeling even more worried for Janelle now that the nonGifted have started turning the rebels in to the Gifted. I still don't think she's the most likely to die out of the POV characters, but I am much more concerned for her safety. Anyway, I feel like I rambled way more tonight than I normally do. I'm sorry about that. I really wanted to get to 38 tonight as well, but it's now 1am and my sentences are starting to lose coherency (this assumes my sentences were coherent to begin with :P) so I'll have to put it off till tomorrow.

        July 24, 2016 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment, and no worries for taking a while. I’m currently at Sydney Airport waiting to go home, so I’ve been rather busy myself this past week :P Anyway, Brooke’s at that age that if she sees two single people talking and enjoying each other’s company she automatically assumes there’s something going on between them. At least, that’s the way my group was at school when we were her age, I don’t know about anyone else :P Still, despite Brooke’s hopes and dreams, Janelle is certainly a long way off from another relationship. Her previous two have both ended very badly in different ways, so she’s not exactly jumping to get into another one, even if she did have strong feelings for someone. But, despite that, she and Ben certainly have a connection. Whether that connection is romantic or platonic? Who knows! I don’t :P Still, Janelle feels like he’s the one who understands her best right now, although of course she could be completely wrong about that and he could be using her for some devious plan.

        Janelle (and everyone else who knows about the Gifted in their group) will always be cautious about telling anyone about Carey, 256 and Thomas’s Gifts. Understandably it’s a sore spot for many of the rebels, and even though she knows Henry was the one behind the Gifted mutilation she’s cautious. And who knows? Perhaps they lied about Henry and he was acting on higher orders :P Or maybe they were telling the truth and he is solely to blame. I’m just putting it out there xD Anyway, she knows how much danger they could be in if anyone finds out. After all, even if Caleb, Marina, Ben and all the other leaders don’t care the ordinary foot soldiers of the rebellion could find out through the grapevine and they pose just as much of a threat. And wow, you like Caleb? Mission accomplished! It was a hard road… ;)

        Anyway, Ben certainly still has a few mysteries to unravel (he’s rather like Reagan in that regard xD), and there’s a lot of information he’s left out of his story. As for the Gifted attacking the inn, there very well could be a specific reason why, but I will say there doesn’t necessarily have to be one. The Gifted are all different in terms of their strictness towards the nonGifted – some (most) will happily allow them to have their inns, brothels, etc, anything that’s against the law (mostly because they can then use the goods and services provided in such places :P) but others are much stricter and will alert the Council that the place exists which leads to a group being ordered to shut the place down, i.e. destroy it. Of course, like I said, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a specific reason why Ben’s inn was destroyed – like he said, even the more tolerant Gifted will destroy places if they think there are rebels in the area, or other reasons that mean they want to get rid of the joint xD I’m sorry if that’s really rambley and confusing, by the way. I’m tired, and I’ve got a 5 hour flight to look forward to :P Thanks again for the comment!

        July 25, 2016 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 39 Reply

        So 'tomorrow' very quickly turned into 'it's Sunday night and I refuse to go to bed until I finish this' :P Such is my life :/ Anyway, I've been waiting for a chapter from 256's POV ever since Carey told him the truth because I've been really interested in seeing how he's processing everything. Seeing things from his perspective puts everything that's happened between them into... well, perspective. I really like that 256 keeps saying he isn't angry at Carey. Obviously there's feelings of hurt and betrayal there, but 256 certainly has the right to be very angry with Carey. Still, I think it fits his character so much more that he's not outright furious with her and instead seems more confused about why she would keep such a big secret from him. It's so in keeping with the way his character has been portrayed so far. He seems really lost as well as to what he wants to do now. He's talking about going off with 805 or staying in the Lake Village, it seems as though he doesn't know what he wants to do next. That's perfectly understandable and I'm really interested to see what he chooses. He was kind of forced into the rebellion in a way, so now that he has a choice I'm really curious to see what he does.

        His thoughts about his past with 440 was interesting as well. Seeing 256 blaming himself for 440's descent into darkness was really saddening. He's heaping a lot of blame on himself for something that isn't his fault. Regardless of anything else that happened (and there's no doubt that what the Gifted did to 440 was horrible) 440 chose his own path. 256 was punished as well and he didn't go the way 440 did, and 256 says himself that he wasn't strong enough for the Gifted, yet still he didn't become what 440 became. I hope 256 can come to see that 440 made his own choices and I'm not sure 256 could have helped him anyway.

        256's raid of the Gifted building was tense and nerve-wracking. I was sure he was going to be caught at many different points during that scene. You wrote that entire scene really well and kept the suspense going all the way through as he's struggling with trying to read and worrying the sleeping Gifted might wake up and find him. Especially there at the end when the Servant walks in on him. I expected him to alert the Gifted and 256 to have to make a run for it, so I was surprised when things went a different way. Actually, I loved that. Save us. It reminded me not for the first time that there's another party involved here beyond the Gifted and nonGifted. In fact, I'd wager the Servants have a worse life on average than the regular nonGifted do, and yet it's easy at times to forget about them. They're silent, rarely seen, but probably suffering the most. And perhaps in realizing this, 256 could find a new reason to stay with the rebels? He did promise to try to help them, after all. Perhaps that promise will give him a purpose now.

        At least he's found where to look for his family in the end. Or, at least he knows where they were. I doubt his file would have been updated if his family was moved to a different home in the intervening years, or if his father died or was injured and couldn't work so they were kicked out. At the very least, he has a place to start looking. I don't know what he'll find or how things will go if he really does manage to find his family, but I'm glad to see he's getting closer to getting answers and finding out where he comes from. Anyway, before I ramble on too much, this was a really good chapter. There's plenty of suspense and tension throughout, yet the ending is surprisingly hopeful. I'm excited (but getting exceedingly more nervous) to see how things come together for 256. 

        July 31, 2016 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! I wanted to keep 256’s feelings on the matter with Carey a bit of a mystery for a while. I’m not really sure why :P It just seemed like the right thing to do. Anyway, he’s certainly very hurt by her actions and he doesn’t understand at all why she’d chose to keep 440’s death a secret for so long, but he’s not angry. As you say, it's just not in his nature to get really furious about something, even if it upsets him as much as Carey's betrayal does. And you’re right that 256 is in no way at fault for 440’s actions, despite what he thinks. In the end, 440 made his own choices and that darker side to him was always there, under the surface. Besides, as you say even if 256 had reached out to him after their punishment, it may not have made a difference. 440 was already pretty far gone by then :/ He may have been able to delay 440’s downward spiral for a little while, if that, but overall it wouldn’t be enough to undo what had already been done.

        I’m glad you thought the suspense was okay during 256’s raid of the Gifted house. I wouldn’t say it’s one of my strong points so I’m glad what I did manage was effective :P Anyway, the Servants have the worst of the lot without question. They are (in general) given safer, more secure living environments and are better fed than a lot of the nonGifted, but even so, they are allowed no individual identity and are raised and conditioned into slavery. And that’s not even getting into the frequently cruel and dismissive treatment of Servants by the Gifted, which is pretty much a normalised part of their society. Let’s just say there’s a reason why the personal Servant assigned to 805 when he was a fake Council member was a young, pretty female instead of an older male like the one in this chapter.

        256 hasn’t really considered the fact that his family could very well have moved away, or one or both of his parents could be dead. He’s got an image of what his family should be like and is so focused on actually finding them that there’s a lot of factors he hasn’t really considered. It’s been nineteen years since that record was made, after all. Anything could have happened since then :/ Still, finding out where his parents at least used to be will certainly be helpful, and there’s still a fair chance one or both of them are still there even after all these years. Perhaps he'll get lucky, and they'll either still be there or there'll be a clear trail to follow.

        August 1, 2016 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 40 Reply

        Ack, sorry for being horribly late with this. This turned into a really long, weird week and I ended up getting some kind of bug that's kept me in bed the last few days. Anyway, firstly, congrats on hitting 210,000 words perfectly on the nose. I doubt you did that on purpose, but still it's cool. So, I must say I have mixed feelings about this chapter. It's wonderfully written from beginning to end, but the emotional turmoil you've left me in will not go away any time soon. But let's start at the beginning and come back to that bit.

        Scott is certainly very interesting. As usual with any new character, I'm immediately suspicious of him although I'm not at all sure why. He just seems... I don't know. He seems shifty somehow. Who's this Ennis that wasn't supposed to be visiting? Many questions :P Regardless, getting to learn more about Sam, Thomas, and Scott and their lives before the rebellion was really nice. The lengths Michelle had to go to keep Thomas safe from the Gifted is really sad, having to keep him locked away so often to protect him :( At least he finally met Scott, I imagine that helped him somewhat. Oh, and Sam and Carey sure do end up sharing beds a lot, don't they? Still silently shipping Samrey over here :P But that ending. Geez, that was... unexpected. That conversation between Carey and 805 was very well written. It was great to get more of 805's backstory and see how he and Michelle met and the reasons he chose not to take Thomas away. I really enjoyed that, especially with how closed off 805 usually is. Alcohol will do that to you, I suppose :P But it's really interesting to see that even 805 hated being at the Council. I wonder how many other Gifted have felt the same? And much like Carey, I could've gone my whole life without picturing 805 and Michelle having sex on the couch xD Hahana and I may very well be the founding members of the 805 fan club and have posters of him on our bedroom walls, but there are some things we just don't need to know :P Anyway, I'm very worried for 805, to say the very least. Carey left him alone when he's very drunk and certainly sounds suicidal to me. He's apparently tried to do so before and he's quite clearly not in a good place right now. I don't see this ending well at all. 

        As for Janelle's part, well... heck. I knew something bad was going to happen when the Gifted arrived, but wow that escalated quickly :P I thought it would be Alex or his wife that would turn them in. I was sure Alex was leading them into a trap. But no, we've got Polly to thank for that. Random fact, I knew a Polly in high school. She was a troublesome little bitch too :P Still, I can't really blame her for doing what she did. She did what she thought was best even if that makes me want to push her off a cliff. Alex's murder was sudden and really shocking. I wasn't expecting him to die so quickly at all, so that was a surprise. As was Lena's opinion on the rebellion. I would have imagined her view would have been similar to Alex's, but I was glad to be wrong. Hopefully more people will have that same viewpoint, although I imagine Lena (if she survives) will likely have an even stronger opinion on the Gifted after they murdered her husband. I also loved Lena's speech to Alex about the rebellion as well. I was reminded of a quote from Dumbledore in GoF where he says "Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy." She's right about that. The easy choice isn't always the right one. In fact, it usually isn't. Anyway, I really have no idea how Janelle and Wesley will get out of this one. Unless some of the other rebels somehow come and help, they're outgunned and, once those reinforcements arrive, outnumbered. They're backed into quite the corner and I can't imagine how they'll manage to get out of it. I really liked how you left both sides of the story hanging with lots of tension, danger, and uncertainty even though both sets of characters are in completely different situations. Anyway, enough of my ramblings for one night. I really enjoyed this chapter and you've managed to raise the level of tension and fear significantly in just one chapter. I'm anxiously awaiting the next one because I can't help but feel that not all will end well.

        September 18, 2016 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! And I’m sorry to hear you’ve been sick :/ Anyway, looks like I’m not the only one who noticed the 210,000 words thing :P I thought that was pretty cool too. It was completely unintentional xD Anyway, I would’ve thought Ennis’s identity is fairly clear given some other things Scott says - and who I named Ennis after, of course xD So probably whatever you’re thinking is correct if you have a similar train of thought to me :P Let’s just say that Scott and his stepsister - well, they’re not really stepsiblings but I don’t know what else to call their relationship :P Anyway, whatever he and Samantha are, they have more in common than they realise. And it certainly was very difficult for Michelle, Thomas, and Sam to a lesser extent, to hide him away for so long. Thomas didn’t like it for obvious reasons, while Michelle had to live with the guilt of forcing her son to remain under house arrest until she died :/ Anyway, despite their misgivings all three of them knew it was necessary to keep him hidden, so they kept going because the alternative was him getting caught and all of them, including 805 (although only Michelle knew about that part :P) getting killed for hiding him.

        Speaking of 805, the info about Thomas is something I’ve been wanting to include for a very long time, but I’ve never found the space/time for it until now. I’m glad I finally managed to squeeze it in :P Anyway, he’s definitely not the only Gifted to have hated growing up in the Council. It’s a very lonely place, and although if asked most of them would never admit it (805 certainly wouldn’t, if he were sober :P) a lot of Gifted are plagued with similar feelings :/ Anyway, you’re right to be worried about him. 805’s certainly not in a good place and hasn’t been for a long time. Being a puppet of the Council and knowing they’d try and kill him eventually was a heavy burden for him to begin with, and things have gotten steadily worse for him since then. He’s very good at hiding it when he’s not completely sloshed, and overall he’s been sliding further and further into depression (and alcoholism) since they left the Council :(

         Heheh, I was thinking of a bitchy character named Polly from a TV show when I wrote this chapter – Orange is the New Black, if you’re wondering. I never really minor characters after anyone but for some reason this chapter ended up with both Ennis and Polly named after fictional characters :P Anyway, she did what she felt she had to do and she never thought Alex would be killed like that. And to be honest, he wouldn’t have been if the girl hadn’t freaked out. The two older Gifted are none too pleased with her killing a villager, especially since it’s in an area with rebels running around wreaking havoc :P It’s the last thing they need. Anyway, to be honest I didn’t really expect Alex to be killed so quickly either xD I didn’t imagine he’d be killed at all, but then I got the idea for this chapter and it just happened.  Heh, well I can’t say I remembered that speech Dumbledore gave when I wrote this chapter :P Maybe I was channelling him unconsciously, since it really does sound very similar. Anyway, thanks again for the comment! I hope you’re feeling better :)

        September 19, 2016 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 41 Reply

        Oh, the feels! So so many feels in the chapter and I was completely unprepared for it. I wasn't expecting this chapter to make me as happy as it did, either. Good things have happened and I'm just... ah, good times xD Anyway, Carey and Sam there at the beginning were, as usual, entirely too cute and funny. Carey did about as good a job as I would have when attempting to hide something :P I may have said this before but I can't remember if I have because my memory's crap, but you do a great job at creating fantastic characters with storylines that are completely capable of standing on their own. Characters are, to me at least, the most important part of a good story. A story with just these characters and their personal storylines of dealing with family issues and stuff would be perfectly interesting even without the overarching plot that ties it all together. I'm rambling and getting completely off topic, but Carey and Sam at the beginning reminded me of all that. Anyway, I completely understand where Sam is coming from when she says she's annoyed that she's annoyed. It's understandable despite their relationship (or lack thereof) that she would be annoyed by 805's actions. At the end of the day, he's still her father and watching him drink himself unconscious likely would bother her, even if she's not all that fond of him. Speaking of 805, I'm glad he's okay. I was really worried about him in the last chapter, so I was glad to see he's hanging in there and keeping his fangirl close by :P Hahana, as always, is hilarious. I mean, it was a perfectly fitting Hahana plan to build a bridge across the ocean even if she was only saying it to cheer 805 up. She's actually really sweet, isn't she? Although I do wonder why Maui seemed sad. There's a story there.

        The scene at the graveyard was quite sad. As 805 says, I think its fitting that Michelle's gravestone engraving is fairly straightforward and simple. Sam is usually a woman of few words after all. I imagine I'd feel the same and nothing I could think of for my parent's gravestone would never be enough. I loved the moment with 805 and Sam just standing there together. I thought it was sweet and a tiny little step towards creating some sort of relationship. I still don't know if they'll ever be anything more than what they are now, but things like this give me a tiny bit of hope that they could be. It's a long way away regardless. Well, damn. I didn't expect them to run into Alex. That was quite a surprise, almost as surprising as I sure Sam's sudden assault was for poor Alex :P I won't say he deserved it, but in the same situation I'd have the same response Sam did. Hahana has a good point that revenge doesn't really get you anywhere, but being the better person just isn't nearly as satisfying as punching someone in the face :P Still, it's very possible that Alexander is a completely different person now than he was back then and if he is then I feel he deserves a chance to earn forgiveness. Then again, he could be a massive asshat in which case I don't feel much sympathy for him. Either way, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for the moment until I see what he's up to.

        Oh, 256 :) Oh, I'm so happy right now. I never actually thought he'd find his family. I mean, that just usually doesn't happen in these types of stories so I'm really glad you went this way. Typically they're dead or something else horrible has happened to them, so going this direction is a really nice change from the norm. I know terrible things could still happen, but I'm going to take what you've given me for now :P Although I am interested in the differences between his father's reaction and his mother's. She didn't really act as though it were even possible 256 were her son, yet you can tell instantly that David knows something just by the way he responds. I'm wondering now if maybe something has happened to his mother and his father has since remarried. It has been a really long time, after all. Then again, as David said he never thought 256 would survive anyway, so maybe she just doesn't think its possible. Hmm, but that raises another interesting question; why did David think 256 wouldn't survive? I can't imagine the Gifted have too high of a death rate when it comes to their stolen children. That's very interesting. And Gareth! It was October 19th, 2014 when you told me 256's name started with a G. I've been waiting for this moment for two years one month and eighteen days. Let's put it this way; I read this chapter on my tablet on the subway and people will look at you strangely if you squeal excitedly for no apparent reason. I've done this before so I should have learned my lesson by now :P I love it. I never thought of it I'll admit, but I do like it. Of course, I'm reminded of Sir Gareth from Authurian legend. Coincidentally (or perhaps not and you did this on purpose) Gareth seems to mean 'gentle' in Welsh, which does seem to be a trait of 256's. Also, if you haven't already, don't look up Gareth on Urban Dictionary. I'm serious. You'll regret it and never look at 256 the same way again :P Anyway, okay I'm officially in love with Helena xD She's awesome and I hope we get to see more of her. She's stubbornly persistent, isn't she? I guess someone should have told 256 that some names are girl's names and others are boy's names :P Of course you're a girl. I laughed way too much at that line, I must say. I did feel sorry for 256 though, poor guy. It seems like he's been mistaken for being a girl quite a few times in the past.

        Anyway, I've rambled enough for tonight. I went into this chapter expecting... well, I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but I wasn't prepared for all the feels at the end. I think you did a really good job building up 256 meeting his family, only to seemingly have it ripped away from him before turning it around again and having him meet his father. Hmm, you know what? Maybe we should just start doing a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants thing and share this mood whiplash crown :P Anyway, this was a good, emotional chapter with a number of funny moments to balance it all out. I can't wait to see what happens next, especially with 256 (or should I start calling him Gareth now?) and his newfound family. 

        December 7, 2016 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! I’m really glad you like all the personal storylines in this book :) I’ve always worried that I include too much personal drama, rather than focusing more the overarching plot all the time, because that’s what most fantasy stories seem to do. But I agree that characters are the most important part of a story and without some sort of personal drama I just can’t get invested, whether it’s my own stories or others. As for 805, well, I wouldn’t say he’s okay. Alive and functioning, yes, but okay? Not really :/ Still, you’re right, at least he has Hahana around to entertain him xD She’s probably one of the most kind characters in this story, and she’s very perceptive too. She knows she can make people laugh and feel better so she always tries her best to do so if the need arises.

        Heheh, I’m rather ashamed to admit that the real reason Michelle’s grave was so plain was because I couldn’t be bothered thinking of anything meaningful to put on it :P 805’s words on the subject are really just me trying to justify my laziness xD Still, I do think it fits with Samantha’s personality and the general culture of the island to have just the basics written on her headstone. They have very little extravagance, so straightforward and simple is pretty much the way everything is done there :P Anyway, in regards to 805 and Sam’s relationship, Samantha really has let a lot of her anger towards him go although I don’t think she’s realised that herself yet. She’s no closer to forgiving him, but she’s certainly not as furious at him as she was. And it’s not even because their relationship has improved significantly, it’s simply because keeping an anger like that going for so long is exhausting. Especially since they are (for the moment) constantly in each other’s presence. As for Alex, I’ve wanted to include him for a long time. In fact, he’s the main reason (along with 256’s family) that I made them take this detour in the first place xD He’s a very interesting character for me because he’s so integral to Janelle’s story and the way she is now, but so far he’s only appeared in her (and Samantha’s, to a lesser extent) narration. Still, Alexander has certainly changed a lot since he dumped Janelle and their daughter. It makes sense, after all, he’s now in his mid-twenties rather than being a teenager. But does that mean he’s become a better person who’s willing to own up and apologize profusely for what he did? That’s a question for another day xD

        Hehe, don’t feel comfortable for too long :P 256 may have found his family but who knows? Maybe I’ll kill them all off in the next chapter just for funsies :P Anyway, the difference in David and Sarah’s reactions will make a lot more sense in the near future, as will David’s comments about thinking 256 would die. You’re right that there’s no reason for him to think that 256 was more likely to die because he was Gifted - in fact, the Gifted children are if anything more likely to survive than nonGifted, since they’re generally better fed and the Gifted have better medical care available too. Anyway, I can’t believe it’s been so long since I said that xD It makes me feel old :P Heheh, I’m not very familiar with the Arthurian legend so I had no idea there was a Sir Gareth. I did know that Gareth is thought to mean gentle, though. I wouldn’t say I chose the name Gareth with that in mind - not initially, anyway. When I was thinking up names Gareth just popped into my head and it seemed to fit. I decided pretty quickly to go with it and after that I looked up its meaning out of curiosity, which only further cemented my decision :P By the way, I couldn’t resist the temptation to look up Gareth in the urban dictionary and let me say it scarred me for life xD Anyway, you should keep calling 256 256 for the moment. I don’t want to say much on the matter because it’s going to be rather important later on. His name/number preference will be made clear soon, I promise :P 

        December 8, 2016 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 42 Reply

        Whew, that was an intense opening. I expected we'd be in for a wild ride when Janelle and Wesley appeared again and I was not disappointed. Their escape from the Gifted was tense and exciting and I can't deny I was expecting a sudden and violent death so I was glad that didn't happen and they made it away safely. Stanley, meanwhile :( But we didn't see it happen and Evelyn and Brooke seemed to only hear yelling, so I suppose it's possible he got away. I really liked the part with Janelle trapped in the circle of earth, as well as her rather clever escape. I've got to say, Janelle's pretty badass xD I liked her thoughts on killing the Gifted man as well Our heroes haven't exactly killed whole swaths of people (Carey's well on her way, however :P) and it's interesting to see how it affects them when they are forced to kill. Her thoughts on the matter ring true, I feel. There are good and bad people on both sides, but there's a war on and there's one truth that is constant in war; people die. Then again, this guy did mention disposing of her friend rather casually so maybe he's not exactly all that great of a person.

        Evelyn makes a fair point about bringing Lena along. I can see where she's coming from, sure. Bringing a pregnant woman into a war zone isn't exactly the best idea. If they have to flee quickly, Lena would be a major liability. That said, I'm glad Janelle overruled Evelyn and brought her along. In a way, Janelle and Wesley brought the war right to Alex and Lena's doorstep so I suppose they kind of owe her in that regard. Having her along is impractical and potentially very dangerous, but it was by far the right thing to do. I was glad to see Ben's group made it back safely, although how long they'll stay safe is anyone's guess. With the Gifted having now arrived in force, I feel there's quite a battle looming on the horizon and I doubt the Knights of the Vale are waiting nearby to swoop in at the eleventh hour if things go badly. Janelle and Ben... plan carefully. There's a lot of beloved characters in the line of fire here.   

        Geez, 256 :( I feel really bad for him now. I mean, I kind of expected what happened to his mother, but watching him learn the truth was heartbreaking. He seems so sure that she left to find him. I don't cry much when reading, but damn that got to me. Still, seeing him getting to know his father a little was really nice as was his realization at the end that there are other types of families than the one he'd always envisioned and perhaps he can one day be part of that. David seems like an all-around good guy and I liked what he had to say about 256 being Gifted and that he doesn't care at all that he's one of them. His willingness to learn about 256's Gift and how he says its part of him... that was really sweet. It was also good to learn more about how 256 was taken and why David believed he had probably died. I guess in a way the Gifted saved 256's life. Since they obviously have much better medical facilities and just general knowledge on the subject than the nonGifted, 256 might very well have died if they hadn't taken him. Hmm, and here I was thinking I'd never have to thank the Gifted for something :P Anyway, I liked what you did with 256 and David's interactions. David seems so open and willing to invite his son into his home, but 256 just seems so unsure of everything.

        I can't say I blame Sarah for her reaction. As far as she's concerned, some guy just showed up at her doorstep claiming to be her son and ends up revealing her husband's deception. I don't really like using the word deception here since I don't think David at all intended anymore more than exactly what he says, but I can't think of a better word. She's justified in feeling hurt and betrayed and I can completely understand why she might not be 256's biggest fan at the moment. That said, I do hope she'll come around and help make 256 feel welcome. I'm sure it would be very awkward for her, but I'll stay hopeful for the time being.

        Haha, filled with a new hope. I know it wasn't an intentional Star Wars reference, but for some reason I got a giggle out of that xD But I'm really glad that 256 is more upbeat about things by the end. That was a nice, positive note to end the chapter on. Anyway, sorry for taking ages to get to this. Claire's given permission to blame her completely :P When I said I needed someone to schedule my days for me, I meant someone that would better balance my time so I actually manage to get things done. Insisting I spend my evenings on the couch engrossed in a True Blood marathon does not a productive night make xD Regardless, this was a really good chapter and as usual I'm worried about the lives of practically everyone, especially Janelle and the gang now that they're facing off against a reinforced group of Gifted.

        January 25, 2017 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! I’m glad you liked Janelle’s part of the chapter :) I’m not the best at action and stuff so I’m glad it seemed okay. Particularly the earth prison, because I realised the Gifts of Earth in this story haven’t really shown much of their actual earth-manipulating (I will not say bending. I will not even though its so tempting :P) powers, so I decided to add that in. Anyway, Janelle feels pretty much exactly the same about Lena. She knows it’s hardly practical to bring a pregnant girl along and that she could be a huge liability depending on how their mission goes. But she believes after her and Wesley’s involvement in Alex’s death she can’t really refuse Lena’s wish. Still, she’s thrown a spanner in the works for me because I never intended to have them bring her along :P Killing Alex was a rather spur of the moment decision, and Lena was never going to appear in person originally and her existence in the story would have purely been Alex mentioning her when he met Janelle. But once she was appeared in person I really liked her and I felt like she wouldn't want to stay in the village so I had to make her join them. Heh, quite a battle looming… Well, I hope there will be xD I’ll do my best, but I’m not much of a strategist (there’s a reason I don’t play chess or games of that ilk :P) so I’m rather nervous about how it will turn out. There won’t be a Vale Ex Machina, I can promise you that, but there's a sizable chance it will end up being just as lame xD

        Anyway, you’re right, 256 probably wouldn’t have survived if he hadn’t been Gifted. The medical Servants are far better trained than the average nonGifted doctor and their facilities are better too. And even before he reached the Council, 913 (as his Assessor) was a Gift of Air, so she would have used her Gift on their journey Council to keep him breathing. So long story short, 256 owes his life to her and the Gifted society in general. Anyway, I’m glad you liked his and David’s interactions in this chapter. Throughout this chapter, despite 256’s worries about his parents rejecting his Gift, etc., in the end he’s the only one holding himself back from having a proper relationship with his father and the rest of his family. He does realise that at the end though, that although they might not be truly a family straight away but they could in the future if he puts in the effort to get to know them. David’s already there, ready to learn more about him and the world he’s lived in for nineteen years, while 256 is the uncertain one until he makes that realisation. As for Sarah, yeah the whole situation is very upsetting for her :/ She does believe David’s explanation of why he never told her and she knows he genuinely thought 256 died. But at the same time, it’s a pretty huge secret that he’s been hiding since they met so she definitely feels betrayed by it.

        Hahaha, well while that Star Wars reference certainly wasn’t intentional when I initially noticed this chapter, I noticed it during editing it and considered cutting it before deciding it was too funny to take out :P So it’s semi-intentional, I suppose xD

        January 26, 2017 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 43 Reply

        Do you get some sort of sick pleasure from breaking my heart? Do you? Do you? I mean, really? Okay, I suppose I shouldn’t start there. Let’s start at the beginning and work our way towards the heartache. The beginning with Janelle and Ben was quite interesting. Janelle makes a good point that all of this is very similar to her original plan and subsequent defeat the last time she tried to attack the Gifted head on. It makes sense to me that she’d have a hard time believing that this go around would be any different. Better prepared or not, it’s the Gifted we’re talking about. I have to admit that I tend to subscribe to the idea of hope for the best but expect the worst. Its much harder to be disappointed that way and I agree with Janelle’s thinking that its better to expect the bad and then if they win she can be pleasantly surprised. All that said, however, Ben also makes a good point. Too much doubt and negativity is bad for morale all the way around. A lack of confidence is no help at all and it’s a good thing to keep a little hope alive. After all, as someone in my new favorite Star Wars movie happened to say; rebellions are built on hope :P I’ve been quietly hoping for some Benelle (that’s what I’ve been calling them for a while now :P Blame my sister for my obsession with shipping names. She has one for everyone. I’m now one half of ‘Clarina’. I hate her :P Anyway, off topic) and I’m glad to see some of my hopes coming through. I can’t blame Janelle for resisting, however. It wasn’t that long ago that Reagan left us and she’s not exactly over him. I don’t think Janelle’s ready for a new relationship quite yet, even though I get good vibes from Ben for the most part. Hopefully they really do get a chance to talk about it later, although I won’t get my hopes up just in case :P

        If only you knew what Carey and the others have gotten into, Janelle. You wouldn’t be so confident she’ll be at the base once you’re done. Cause, yeah… she’s not there. Complications arose, Gift of Earth rebellions started, detours were taken… she’s busy. Anyway, I said I was expecting quite a battle and that’s exactly what I got. Your action sequences continue to impress and honestly this might be my favorite yet. You manage to give a good amount of detail, explaining the combatants actions clearly without it becoming boring. Instead, there’s just enough to see what’s happening without taking the time to intricately each person’s every move. The fights flow well and the combination of Gifts, swordplay, and ranged combat all work together to make some very interesting fights. The battle was tense and excitement and I was scared (for good reason) all the way through. In a story like this where it never feels like the characters are ever truly safe, these scenes are a great way to scare the hell out of me. I knew we would be losing people, but I wasn’t at all sure who it would be.

        Okay, so that brings me to this part. I don’t really want to talk about it, but I have to. I really don’t know what to say. I saw it coming though, the second you split Brooke and Evelyn up I knew one of them wasn’t going to make it. You surprised me because I’d pegged Evelyn to be the one to die, but no you decided to go for the jugular and take sweet Brooke. Okay, since I’m not able to do this from the standpoint of someone invested in these characters at the moment, let’s start from a narrative standpoint. In that way, Brooke’s death is actually a really interesting choice. The type of character Brooke was, so young and lively and bubbly, that loss will certainly be felt by everyone. Evelyn, obviously, is devastated and she should be. But also this serves as a great reminder of exactly what it happening here. This is war. Not a war happening on foreign land between soldiers, but a war taking place in the villages and towns where friends and family live. This is war where kids are either taking up arms to fight, or just get caught in the middle. Ack, damn you’re getting too good at making me cry. I guess it’s a testament to your writing that this is hitting me so hard. Brooke wasn’t around all that long in the grand scheme, but when she died it was like… I don’t know, but it really hurt. I’m just… no, I can’t right now. Brooke, you were the bright spot in a dark world. You will be deeply missed and your sacrifice will be remembered. Sleep well.

        Anyway, this battle doesn’t appear to have gone all that well for the rebellion. It was a tactical defeat, no doubt, but it may end up being a strategic victory. A difference was made here and the lives lost will hopefully serve a purpose. They didn’t win in the traditional sense, but a point was definitely made. Overall, this was an exciting, tense, and heartbreaking chapter that I honestly wasn’t prepared for. I knew when this chapter came along and we got to the battle it was going to be bad, but damn, I underestimated the emotional impact. I’m going to stay hopeful that Ben will be okay. I can’t take losing anyone else at the moment, and I really want Janelle and Ben to have that conversation. I’m worried for him, but… he’ll be okay. Right? Anyway, this was a really good chapter with lots of action and excitement. Good job!

        March 14, 2017 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! And don’t you know breaking hearts is the most fun a person can have in life :P Muahahaha. Ahem. Anyway, I’m glad you thought this chapter was well-written and that the fighting was interesting. I’ve never really written something like this before, where it’s just fight after fight after fight for a long stretch. It took its toll on me, and I wasn’t altogether sure that it stayed interesting. I try to vary things as much as I can (hence why Janelle happened to run into the only two Gifted who weren’t Gifts of Air :P) and make people use different weapons, so I’m glad it was effective. Anyway, I guess Janelle’s problem is that she’s expecting the worst without hoping for the best at all :P She finds it impossible to see a situation where they’ll come out on top, and that, like Ben/you point out, is pretty bad for morale all round. Heh, Benelle works quite well as a shipping name, doesn’t it xD It helps when they have letters in common in convenient places :P Still, Janelle certainly has quite a way to go before she’s ready for another relationship. She’s still not over Reagan and even is she was at peace with his death, letting someone else in would mean potentially losing them in the same way she lost him. And who knows? Maybe she’ll lose Ben too and they’ll never get to talk at all ;)

        I always knew that Brooke would die in this fight. Ever since she and Evelyn entered the story, I knew I would kill one of them and I knew it would be Brooke. I did try and throw the scent of her a little, by making Janelle and Wesley talk about Carey. I mean, whenever someone says “I’ll see you when I get back” or “you’ll see her when you get back” that person’s going to die, right? :P I guess my attempts were fruitless though, cos you figured out it would be Evelyn/Brooke anyway xD Anyway, Brooke’s death will certainly effect them all, even the ones who didn’t know her all that well. I guess none of them ever expected her to die. Even without realising it, they sort of felt she had this… Immunity, I suppose, because of her age. But no, she’s just as likely to die as anyone else – maybe more than anybody, actually, since she’s young and therefore not as strong physically as the older characters. But now they’ll realise more than ever that they are fighting a war where the innocent will be caught in the middle, where fourteen year old girls and any other vulnerable people are just as in danger as everyone else.

        By the rebel’s standards, this battle was technically a victory despite the massive casualties. They did do what they set out to do, after all – they killed quite a number of Gifted and made a point. But I suppose what this chapter aims to point out is that the rebels can train and fight as hard as they can but they’ll always be at a disadvantage because the Gifted are simply better prepared; they’re better trained and they have powers the rebels don’t. Being a ragtag bunch of misfits can only get you so far :P I can’t say much else than that because it’ll be addressed in later chapters, but the rebels will be at the end of the line very soon if things keep going the way they have.

        March 14, 2017 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 44 Reply

        Sorry for taking a while to get to this. I knew I wouldn't have time last weekend, but I'd expected to have plenty of time last week. Unfortunately, it was one of those weeks where if it can go wrong, it has :/ Things with my grandmother went to hell in a proverbial handbasket, so... yeah. Anyway, this isn't about that. Today was the first chance I've gotten to settle down and put together some coherent thoughts. Also, the usual disclaimer that this comment may not actually be all that coherent applies. It is 1:30 in the morning, after all. Anyway, it's comforting to know that Carey has roughly the same navigational skills that I do :P I barely manage as it is, so leave me with trees and the stars as my only tools and it wouldn't end well. I liked the conversation between Carey and Sam (surprise, surprise :P) and honestly I'm inclined to agree with Carey in that Sam probably wouldn't admit to being lost even if she was xD I must say, I can't recall Sam calling 805 by his number either, although the likelihood of me remembering such a small detail is, admittedly, small.

        It was very interesting to get some more information about the Leader. Like 805 said I'd always thought that the Leader was so fixated on Carey because she was unique. This is one of those chapters that makes me go back and reread things with a different perspective, so I went back and reread Carey's interrogation scene. I remember thinking at the time that she seemed awfully obsessed with Carey and how she escaped as a baby, but I never considered the possibility that there was anything more to it than the fact that Carey was an oddity. Now I'm curious. Was there more to her questions than I thought? It's given me something to think about, that's for sure. 805 seems oddly convinced that the potentials that aren't chosen are still alive. It certainly sounds to me like the ones that aren't selected are taken away and executed. I mean, if they disappear never to be seen again and their numbers are recycled... dead seems likely.  

        I have to say I was quite surprised that 256 returned to the group. Not that he met up with them there, but actually left with them. After finding his family, I fully expected him to stay with them for the time being. He's never wanted to be a rebel and now, having been given an out, I thought he would take it. I'm glad he's chosen to return to the group, but you did manage to surprise me with his decision. It was nice to see Carey and 256 have a somewhat normal conversation too. Obviously things are still really tense between them, but it appears their relationship has at least slightly improved. That kind of pain will take a long time to heal, but 256 has a big heart and I'm confident Carey will earn his forgiveness eventually. I swore I would never admit this, but I used to mix up 256's number in exactly the same way David did :P I do that a lot with numbers, actually. Maybe I have dyscalculia or something. In much the same way, I'm surprised 805 stayed as well. He'd be adamant that he'd leave them, so I'm surprised he's sticking around. In my heart I'm hoping he's staying for Sam, but I really don't know for sure.     

        Moving on to Janelle's part of the chapter, it appears I've found a kindred spirit. I'm one of those horrible people who will pay for things with whatever change I happen to have. I've gone to the store with a pocketful of pennies before. I'm a bad person :P Anyway, I'm glad to see Ben is recovering. I was pretty worried about him. I wasn't too sure he would survive after the last chapter, so I'm happy to see he seems to be on the mend. Evelyn, on the other hand, is understandably... not. And how could she be? That loss has to be devastating, regardless of whether they are related or not (and I must admit that I'm no longer sure what to believe on that matter anymore :P) Brooke was obviously very important to Evelyn and no one recovers from something like that quickly. Brooke's death will most likely be hanging over the entire group, and Evelyn in particular, for quite some time.  

        I'm still considering passing on my crown of mood whiplashes over to you :P I really do think you've got me beat. Sure, this wasn't a case of going from happy to sad or scary, but you went from this emotional, touching moment between two people that have lost loved ones to damn creepy in an instant. But we'll get to that in a minute. First, Janelle's conversation with Ben was really quite sad. Janelle is right that their current strategy isn't sustainable. You can't beat a superior force when you're taking far more losses in every battle. Still, Ben is right that they can't give up. It was a victory at the end of the day, even if it wasn't a tactical one. As much as I hated to see Ben be turned down by Janelle, I can't really say I blame her. Reagan's death is still so recent that even though she certainly seems to like Ben, Reagan still has her heart for now.

        Getting some backstory on Ben was also nice. We didn't know too much about him, so seeing more of his past is really interesting. I was also surprised to see him as the first seemingly confirmed bisexual character in the story. But all that aside, what was with that ending? I'm infinitely more suspicious of Ben than I've ever been before. I mean, what the actual frak? Okay, theory crafting time. Ben somehow knew of Reagan, or knew Reagan. I don't believe he heard the name from Thomas or anyone else. So how did he know?  Oh, I'm going to have to think about this a while. I have some theories but I'll keep them to myself for now because they're all pretty far-fetched :P I really don't quite know what to make of it.

        Anyway, this was a really interesting chapter. I often find chapters like these to be some of my favorites because they introduce so much for me to think about. The Leader and the potentials and all this stuff with Ben is quite a lot of information to process. I'm not really sure what to expect moving forward. I'm hoping to see the whole group back together soon since I really want to see what happens when Carey and Co learn about Janelle disbanding their group to join Caleb. I guess I'll find out next time :) Anyway, another good chapter that left me with a long list of things to think about. Looking forward to see what comes next :D

        July 17, 2017 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Aww, I’m sorry to hear things have gotten worse with your grandmother :/ I hope things will start to get better soon, but it all sounds rather omninous :( Anyway, I’m no good at navigating either. I did orienteering once with Girl Guides, many years ago, and let’s just say I did not do well :P It’s always bugged me how little time my characters spend getting lost when they’re going places, because I know if they were real they would, but I don’t have time for that so some of them became SuperNavigators xD Heh, well I’m glad you don’t recall Sam ever calling 805 by his number, because it’s something I have tried hard not to make her do up until now. I know I slipped up at least once which I have since corrected, but it took me a while after posting to notice it. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more instances I haven’t found yet :P Anyway, I didn’t really plan on breaking that trend with this chapter, but when I was writing it just seemed natural for her to say his number at last. I guess their trip to the graveyard affected Sam more than I originally thought it would xD

        The info about the Leader in this chapter is something I’ve been trying to squeeze in for a while. It’s not really essential to know all this right now, but I didn’t want to delay it any further since I know I won’t have room for it anywhere else in Cursed xD Anyway, originally I wanted 256 to have POV in this chapter and thus his reasons for deciding to leave with Carey and the gang were explained in more detail. But since I went with Carey’s POV in the end, that part was cut and therefore his decision does seem very sudden as a result :/.Still, in future POVs 256 will reflect on why he decided to leave instead of staying with his family so I hope that will make up for it. It’s not a supposed to be a major spoiler and I could go into it right now, but I’m lazy and I suppose if I did it would make that future chapter a bit more boring for you if you’ve already heard his reasons xD As for 805, if he had a clear idea of where he could go and what to do next I think he would leave them. But he just doesn’t have that so he’s resigned himself to staying with the gang, at least for now. Part of it is due to his Gifted upbringing; he’s always been told where to go and what he’s supposed to be doing, and now he’s on his own he doesn’t have any idea where to start. And of course, he’s fonder of their little gang than he cares to admit :P Sam does come under that umbrella, of course, but he’s not staying specifically because of her (sorry xD).

        Oh, I see. You’re one of those people :P When I was writing that scene I was definitely channelling the innkeeper rather than Janelle xD Too many times has a customer at work presented me with a handful of 5 cent coins I am then expected to count. Pretty much everything he said to Janelle is what goes through my mind whenever that happens. Although unlike him, I don’t voice my contempt out loud and just stew in silence :P  Hehe, well I still think you’re just as good at mood whiplashing so I insist the crown stays shared xD Anyway, I’m glad Janelle ad Ben’s scene was good, and that the reveal at the end was surprising. Their whole scene contained a lot of things I’ve been itching to mention for some time – namely, the stuff about Ben’s past and sexuality and of course, the Reagan thing :P Still, I’m not completely happy with the way it turned out, particularly the way I revealed he’s bisexual – having him slip up on the gender pronouns just seems rather cliché to me :/ I tried to write it more in the subtext originally but it just seemed really unnatural and not obvious enough that way. And short of having him actually admit it outright (which he’s not going to do considering A) he and his boyfriend were run out of town for their relationship, and B) in this world even someone he likes and trusts like Janelle probably has a very heteronormative view of society), there wasn’t much else I could do :/ Still, I’m glad you enjoyed the chapter and I hope it isn’t too bad overall. There was a lot to cram in and I ended up not going into as much depth about certain things as I’d like to have, so it all seems rather forced to me. And the fact this chapter was a product of months of dithering and changing and general frustration didn’t help either. I think I ended up scrapping what I had and starting from scratch around 4 times. But in the end, I’m just happy I finally managed to get through it and post something. Now I can move on xD

        July 18, 2017 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 45 Reply

        I was so unexplainably nervous throughout the beginning of this chapter, although I can't really say why. Obviously I had an idea of how some of the gang (Sam in particular) were likely to react once they returned and discovered that Janelle had disbanded the group so I was nervous about that, but I think it was mostly the lead up to the reveal that Janelle and the others had left. The entire time from the moment the girl opens the door and Teresa comes in, I really thought she was about to sell the out to the Gifted. It just has that feeling, I can't really explain it. I kept thinking that as soon as they enter that room and find it empty, Gifted are going to leap out of the shadows and attack. I don't know if you intended the scene to have that feel to it or not, but if you did then very well done. If not, well, still well done because it's one heck of a tense moment all the way through.

        Seeing Sam so crushed by Janelle's (I almost used the word betrayal here, but I hesitate to do so since that's not what she intended, but I could understand if Sam thought of it as such) decision to disband their group. Regardless of what we call it, Janelle did sort of throw away something that she and Sam worked very hard to build together. That alone has to be difficult, so add in the fact that they're really close friends (and that Sam may or may not have more than friendly feelings towards Janelle) and that's a very deep hurt. That's why I was really happy to see Hahana, well, being Hahana at her best. I must admit that I didn't really trust the two foreigners for a while after they first appeared (and I'm still not entirely convinced that they've been completely honest about the purpose of their mission) but they've definitely grown on me, especially Hahana. She's just seems to be a genuinely good person with a big heart. She's very good at talking to people when they're upset and saying just what they need to hear. That's exactly what she did here and she got Sam to open up pretty easily, a feat I'm sure the others wouldn't have accomplished so quickly. Oh, and I've got to say, poor Maui :( He's so clearly got a huge crush on Sam but she won't even give him the time of day. His situation reminds me of Jorah a bit, actually. Maybe they could start some sort of support group for men suffering from unrequited love or something? :P

        I don't know why I was surprised that Carey would go visit Reagan's grave, but I was. It makes a lot of sense that she'd want to visit him. He's the only other (known) Gift of Stealth, and so the only person who truly understands how she feels. Like Carey, I wonder how much he knew about his Gift. Did he know how it worked or why the Leader is so interested in Carey? He must have known more than Carey does, or at least I would assume so. We still know so little about him, so it's hard to say for sure. Of course, that's one of the things I enjoyed the most about this chapter; we got some backstory on Reagan. He still remains a huge mystery and I still can't quite piece together all the Ben stuff and whatnot. Heck, I'm still not entirely convinced whose side he was really on. Regardless of all that, this was a really touching scene between Carey and Theresa. They haven't really interacted all that much in the past, but I really enjoyed this scene. Also: "We don't bite. Unless you want us to, of course." Hahahahaha, I officially love Theresa xD

        I can't really blame 256 for choosing to leave with the group, honestly, given what happened and how he feels. Family or not, it takes time to forge those bonds. It won't happen overnight. It wouldn't happen easily even in the real world, much less when you add in the Gifted's way of life to the mix. 256 has it right, it'll take time and they need to get to know each other. Then, eventually, perhaps they can be a real family. It's sad that he wasn't able to truly open up to David about his life with the Gifted. I understand why, of course, but it's still really sad :( There's a lot to tell and I'm not at all surprised that David would be horrified to learn of it. Who wouldn't be? Still, I'll keep hoping that one day they'll reunite and perhaps they'll be able to further their relationship then. David certainly seems to want to and clearly 256 does, so I'd say there's hope yet. I like that 256 also intends to keep his promise to the Servant as best he can. The Servants deserve all the help they can get, and he's right that the rebels are the best chance the Servants have of making things better for them. If 256 really wants change for them, and I believe he does, there's really no where else for him to be at the moment. He asks an interesting question, though; how do you feel grief for someone you never met or miss someone you never knew? Despite his own wonderings, I think that makes him human. It’s his mother so it seems perfectly natural that he’d feel that sort of grief.

        Hehe, 256 didn’t even try to feign ignorance when Sam asked him if he’d been listening to them :P C’mon man, you’re made of sterner stuff than that. Don’t just confess! At least try to talk your way out of it xD Don’t be like me when you’re asked by your roommates if you ate the last of the apple pie and just scream “Who told you?” at the top of your lungs. Lie, 256, lie xD Anyway, I was glad to see Sam tell 256 the truth about 440. He deserved to know the things 440 had done and the circumstances surrounding his death. She was perhaps a bit harsh, but well, she's Sam and she's obviously pretty emotional at the moment so I think she can be forgiven for getting a bit snippy. Still, 256 really did need to know the truth about what really happened and the things 440 did. I wonder how learning all of this will change things between him and Carey? It surely must, but I’m not entirely sure in what way. But anyway, overall quite a good chapter here. Some interesting revelations in regards to Reagan, a lot of tension at the beginning, 256's reasoning for returning to the group and much more. My only complaint is that you left me hanging there at the end :P For a second I thought something was wrong with my mouse. I was absorbed reading and suddenly the page wouldn't scroll anymore. It was just so sudden :P Oh, also it was nice to see Theresa and the old brothel once again. By the way, I gotta ask; is that peephole still in the kitchen door? xD 

        August 3, 2017 | Serina Harcourt


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Heh, I can’t say that the tension in the first part of the chapter was deliberate xD I didn’t even consider that Theresa might sell them out. Although, in my mind it’s not something she would ever do, since she’s a strong supporter of the rebellion and far from a fan of the Gifted in general. She’s seen them use their powers and strength to do a lot of bad things and hurt the people close to her time and time again. Still, obviously I haven’t really touched upon this so I can see why you thought she might sell them out. Luckily for them, she (and everyone else in the brothel) didn’t :P

        As for Sam, although she knows that Hahana is right and Janelle didn’t mean to hurt her, she does still feel slightly betrayed by her actions. Like you say, she threw away something they’d worked so hard for, something they’d been thinking of and trying to do for almost five years at that point. Their united desire to overthrow the Gifted is what formed the basis of their friendship in the first place. So long story short, Sam’s pretty bummed about it :P Anyway, I’m glad I got to write that scene with her and Hahana. Originally I was going to write about her feelings over Janelle leaving in Carey’s POV (and thus the equivalent version of that conversation happened with Carey instead) but I just didn’t feel like Sam would open up so quickly about this with Carey and the whole tone of the scene would have been a lot more bitter and confrontational than it ended up being with Hahana. As for Maui, he and Jorah are rather alike in this regard, aren’t they :/ A support group might do them both some good :P

        Heh, 256 knew the game was up the minute Sam accused him of listening in xD Besides which, he’s an honest person whose guilty conscience was working in overdrive during that scene :P Anyway, 256 knows that 440 changed after he was punished and he had some idea of what he was really like – after all, although he didn’t know 440 actually did try to rape Carey, he threatened to at one point beforehand. Still, he never truly believed 440 would actually go through with it, so to find out he did is rather shocking and will certainly change things. And I assume the peephole is still there :P I can’t say I’ve really thought about it since that chapter it featured in, but I don’t think anyone would have been bothered to remove it xD

        August 4, 2017 | Genevieve Middleton